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Honeymoon bliss at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa…

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa

My husband and I arrived at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Sandton, Johannesburg to start our honeymoon. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by Ntekozo who offered to take our luggage and escort us to the lobby and reception area.

When we arrived at the reception area we received a warm welcome with referring welcome drinks. One of the staff member Stephan escorted us to our room and took us on a tour to see what the hotel has to offer.

We were completely drawn in by the elegance of our hotel room. The room was beautiful and spacious, with chandeliers and a uniquely designed bath tub.

The next morning we were happy to start the day with an early gym session. The gym entrance is right next door to the Fairlawns Spa which leads to great temptation to book a treatment at the Spa.  The gym had all the equipment that we needed for a good workout, so convenient to have a gym at a hotel.

Breakfast at Amuse-Bouche was definitely the highlight of our stay. Such a great selection and variety of food to choose from. Freshly baked and prepared for us. We really enjoyed the breakfast and the staff were very helpful and friendly.

Our next few days we only spent in the hotel room, the weather was not as sunny as we anticipated, but we were lucky enough to have one sunny day which we were more than happy to spend at the pool. Sometimes we had to remind ourselves that we were in Johannesburg City, the hotel has a very relaxing feel to it with beautiful surrounding gardens.

Our stay at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa was very memorable, we had wonderful service and will gladly return again.

Reviewed By Franca Smith and Hakeem Smith representatives of the World Luxury Awards

To book this hotel please click the link to their website. fairlawns.co.za 

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Fun for the entire family at Conrad Bali…

On a recent trip to Bali we were very privileged to have the opportunity to spend a night at the luxurious Conrad Bali. On arrival we were met by the charming General Manager Andreas Justkowiak, known as Andi to his friends. After checking in we were escorted to our newly rejuvenated premier rooms, which were beautifully appointed with every room having a sea view.

This luxury beachfront resort can be found only 12.2km from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Conrad is a tropical beach resort with seven hectares of lush green gardens and 350 meters of sandy beach. After a quick swim in the sea we rinsed ourselves off in the huge swimming pool which surrounds the hotel. If you are lucky enough to get a ground floor room, you will have direct access to the pool from your balcony. It was now time for lunch, which was served to us at the pool-side by a smiling and friendly waiter. The menu from the Azure Bar and Restaurant is substantial and caterers for all dietary requirements.

Conrad Bali has 358 guest rooms all with panoramic views of the ocean, pools and gardens. The exclusive Conrad Suites are located in a private wing, offering privacy and personalised service. This tropical paradise offers many tempting dining options, plenty of meeting space for all occasions, and offers leisure facilities including the state-of-the-art Jiwa Spa.

We were very lucky to have been shown around the hotel by the Assitant Director of Sales, Harry Purnama, who recommended we try the Suku Japanese Restaurant for dinner. We were very impressed by the atmosphere, service and a delicious menu which includes some very good sushi.

On our tour Harry showed us the unique “Infinity”, a majestic glass structure and one of Bali’s largest modern beachfront wedding venues. There was actually a wedding happening at the time of our visit.

We truly enjoyed our stay at this magnificent hotel even if it was just for one night.

I can definitely recommend the Conrad Bali – one of Bali’s finest hotels.

Reviewed By Michael Hunter Smith – World Luxury Hotel Awards Marketing Director

To book click the link below

www.conradbali.com

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An unforgettable wildlife experience at Aquila Game Reserve…

Only two hours away from Cape Town lies the Touws River area where the 10 000-hectare safari experience at Aquila Game Reserve awaits.

I was checked into a Premier Room with an exquisite panoramic view of the nature reserve. In the distance, there were elephants and giraffes frolicking at the watering hole. This room contains a balcony, an en-suite bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities and complimentary water.

View from our room

We did the sunset game drive with our very friendly and knowledgeable guide Trevor. Truly a once in a lifetime experience, we saw 4 of the big five as well as local wildlife that included giraffe, springbok and zebras. The animals can be seen so close that you are able to take selfies! The tour was informative and fun, ending on a high note with a drink and snack in the mountains before visiting the lions.

The infinity poolside restaurant served 3 daily flavourful buffet meals, a typical Klein Karoo culinary experience. After a gorgeous sunset and dinner was eaten, we were invited to stargaze in a fire pit and braai marshmallows.

I also enjoyed a treatment at The Tranquila Spa, which features 2 large heated indoor pools, steam room, sauna, nail bar, 10 treatment rooms, a couples or group treatment room and an outdoor pool. The property also boasts a Conference Centre Cigar Lounge, Curio Shop and Children’s Entertainment Centre.

A big thank you to the entire team for an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Reviewed by Adele Hamman – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

to book click the link below

aquilasafari.com

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THE WORLD LUXURY HOTEL AWARDS 12TH ANNUAL GALA CEREMONY

10th November 2018, AYANA Resort & Spa, Bali, Indonesia was the venue of the prestigious black-tie event celebrating the 12th anniversary of the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Over 360 guests flew in from around the world to attend the event, which awarded the world’s finest hotels for their luxury offerings and exceptional service delivery.

Set across 90-hectares along Jimbaran’s golden mile, AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI, is a world-class destination resort. As the property approaches its 22nd birthday this November, the privately-owned resort holds more fame than ever. AYANA is recognized for prolific sunset and ocean views, as well as offering a choice of five-star accommodation and facilities, coupled with the genuinely warm Balinese hospitality that has put AYANA on the map. Over the years, AYANA has received many top-shelf accolades including Luxury Honeymoon Resort Global Winner for the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017.

Participants from over 100 countries sipped on cocktails after being welcomed on the red carpet. During the cocktail’s guests enjoyed Jegog instrumental background music followed by Okokan and Kecak dancing. Jegog is a form of gamelan music indigenous to Bali, played on instruments made from bamboo, and the Kecak Dance is a form of Balinese Hindu dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s, but that was not all as the guests where welcomed to the gala dinner by the Panyembrama Dance, which is a traditional Balinese welcome dance followed by Gus Teja who is a maestro of the flute.

After Prof. Dr. I Gede Pitana Msc. delivered his keynote speech, the incredibly entertaining Masters of Ceremonies, twins Maria and Elizabeth Rahajeng, who are TV hosts for E! News Asia guided the audience through a dazzling awards ceremony where awards were presented to luxury hotels and resorts in over 100 categories on a Country, Regional, Continent and Global basis. Special congratulations go to the inspirational Gaia Retreat & Spa, who received the 2018 Global Hotel of the Year Award. Founded in 2005, Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John and Warwick Evans, affectionately known as G.R.O.W, set out as a close-knit team to realise a shared dream, offering the highest of standards and service excellence, true to the World Luxury Hotel Awards overall winner criteria. Gregg Cave, Co-Owner and General Manager of Gaia Retreat & Spa proudly collected the award on stage.

Gaia Retreat & Spa- Australia
Mr Gregg Cave

The prestigious Chairman’s Award is the decision of the Owner and CEO of World Luxury Hotel Awards, Brandon Lourens. This year Imrhim Inad, Director of Sales, attended the ceremony and was privileged enough to collect the award on behalf of the Velaa Private Island Resort in Maldives. This boutique private hideaway can only be described as “beyond luxury”.

Mr Imrhim Inad of Velaa Private Island with France 24 representatives Odile Franc and Vishmi Congreve and Ceo Of WLHA Mr Brandon Lourens, Executive Manager Ms Tanique Echardt and Ms Michelle Snayman Brand and Event coordinator for the World Luxury Awards Brand.

Further Global awards went to Vacala Bay Resort in Fiji who received both Luxury Contemporary Villa and Eco/Green Villa Award; Lamaraz Arts Hotel in Algeria received the Luxury New Hotel Award; Valamar All you can Holiday in Croatia received Luxury Hotel Group Award; Tintswalo Atlantic in South Africa received Luxury Beach Lodge Award and Okinawa Spa Resort EXES in Japan received Luxury Honeymoon Hotel Award just to mention a few.
The much sort after World Luxury Hotel Awards trophy was presented to winners on stage. Thereafter, the proud winners were given an opportunity for one-on-one personalised video interviews to speak about their achievement with the media.

Okinawa Spa Resort EXES in Japan

There was not a dull moment as the diners were spoiled by AYANA Resorts Executive Chef, Patrick Callarec and his team, who wowed guests with Balinese inspired 6-course meal. The food was elegantly plated and paired with the finest of wines supplied by Bali Indah and Sababay. The room was in awe as the incredibly plated food was served all at once to the entire ballroom. The fact that the food was on par with any fine dining restaurant made it even more impressive.

UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant was the venue for the after party where guests danced to the sounds of Martin Denev, the resident DJ from Rock Bar and were entertained by Sasha on vocals.

“We congratulate all our winners for the 2018 Award Year, who through their tireless efforts and endless passion to elevate their guests experience, have received this honour tonight. True luxury is not easily attained, it takes a team of highly efficient and dedicated staff willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that every guest feels cared for and no challenged not solved. This is the definition of luxury, this is what makes the winners shine at the World Luxury Hotel Awards event”. Says, Michael Hunter-Smith, Group Marketing Director for the World Luxury Hotel Awards.

“The 2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards will take place on Saturday, 12th October 2019 at Arctic Circle, Finland. The event will be hosted by Arctic TreeHouse Hotel and the gala venue SantaPark is an ideal location just before Christmas in the home town of Santa Claus. The magical Finnish Lapland is a bucket list experience and attendees can look forward to a winter wonderland, beautiful natural landscape wilderness, reindeer safaris, the phenomenon of the Northern lights, and of course Santa Claus” said Michael,“Applications to host the event in 2020 are now officially open”.

An event of this calibre would not be possible without our much-cherished sponsors France 24, Copenhagen Traveller, Caviar Spoon, Destination Golf, Santé Magazine, Singapore Brides and Spa & Wellness International who we thank for their continued support over the years. Thanks, is also extended to Bali Indah Beverindo, Captain Morgan, Coca Cola, Dewata Primi Lestari, Dolomia, Two Island Wine, Heineken Light, Kita Satu Bali, Strongbow, Global Seafood, Frizzante, Classic Fine Foods, Valrhona, Revolt and ABV Media Asia who were the sponsors here in Bali.

Please see our video of this prestigious event.

Everyone who attended the event was blown away by the professionalism of every person who works at AYANA Resort & Spa. Congratulations!

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Tulia Zanzibar, a piece of heaven …

We arrived at this amazing resort on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We were warmly welcomed by the amazing staff who were ready to assist us with smiles on their faces.

 

We were checked into the lovely Deluxe Garden Bungalow which with its stone walls and thatch roof really gave the feel of being away from reality. The beds where so comfortable and the décor was stunning. The room opens up onto the beautifully designed garden where you can hear the birds singing in the morning. Such an amazing way to wake up in this paradise.

The resort stay included a wonderful 1 hour massage for both of us and a complimentary bottle of wine which was a fantastic start to our stay.

Tulia Zanzibar is an all-inclusive resort and we were treated to a true dining experience. Fresh Fish and local produce is sourced daily which means the menu is never boring and constantly changing. For breakfast we enjoyed the local fruit spreads and freshly baked produce. We even got to enjoy our breakfast on the beautiful private beach. The flavours of the food where exquisite and compliments to the amazing restaurant staff and chefs who made this experience perfect.

We really enjoyed the local activities at the resort especially the lovely pool bar and the complimentary kayaks that we used to explore the serene blue ocean.

Leaving this beautiful piece of paradise was so sad but we left feeling refreshed and like cherished family of the team. A special thank you to the staff and the owners of this stunning resort, we hope to return again someday soon.

If I have to use one word to describe Tulia it would have to be “perfection”.

To book this stunning resort go to www.tuliazanzibar.com

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W Amsterdam – The Jewel of Amsterdam

What can one say about Amsterdam in the summertime… it is a place like no other. Warm days, cool evenings, bustling streets, hundreds of bicycles zipping past in amongst the cars and people, yet everything runs like clockwork. The city is modern yet the buildings that remain are historic, giving you that all-round “I’m in Europe” feeling. It is a truly magical destination. In the heart of Amsterdam city lies the W Amsterdam, and its story is one to behold.

Split across two unique buildings, a former telephone exchange building and an old bank, W Amsterdam is an intriguing design mix of heritage and contemporary style. This hotel holds back on nothing. It is a funky, modern, upmarket establishment that boasts an elegant restaurant, a stunning bar known as the W Lounge with a rooftop pool, super cool styled rooms and of course, the best in service excellence. We stayed in stunning rooms overlooking the canals which was a real treat to watch the boats go by as the sun set, and one of our favourite features of the rooms, apart from the hip and unique artwork in each, is the Marshall Bluetooth speaker set on the headrest… awesome, we have our own music at a touch!

Dining at The Duchess for breakfast each morning was a delight. The perfectly optioned a-la-carte menu is accompanied by a wonderous selection of pastries, juices and smoothies and gets your body ready for an energetic day walking the streets of Amsterdam. Although dining at a restaurant is always a great experience, the W Amsterdam offers something quirky in terms of its in-room dining, and nothing like what you would think you are going receive when ordering room service from a five star hotel. Instead of the usual silver domed plate and large trolley, room service is offered like a take away, delivered on a tray in a branded brown paper bag; you can simply sit on your bed in front of the TV eating your food out of paper boxes. We absolutely loved this feature of this hotel, as small as it may seem to some, it was a highlight for us! And of course, the food was absolutely fabulous as well.

The AWAY Spa simply had to make our schedule. I have always loved the look of this spa from its photos, however experiencing it is something quite extraordinary. Deep down in what was the old bank vault lies luxury, relaxation, sophistication and a very much required time-out. Lighting in this spa is everything; candles dancing in the slight breeze lead you down long and dark stair cases, yellow lighting in the hot tubs and pools make you feel as though you are swimming in liquid gold, and of course well-placed fireplaces add to the ambiance of the AWAY Spa at the W Amsterdam. The original vault doors are still in place as well as one of the gold smelting pots, now an ice water dip tub.

On 14 July 2018 at the World Luxury Spa Awards gala celebration, a week before our visit, this magnificent property took away, amongst other awards, the Best Unique Experience Spa award globally and upon arrival it was not hard to see why. The reception, X-bar (drinks and light snacks), Beauty Bar and hair salon are enough to entice your senses into what lies ahead, but finally getting down into that wet area is sublime, an experience like no other. Floating in the lap pool one can see oneself in the low placed mirror ceiling above whilst you can hear the music gently playing under the water.

Our stay at this phenomenal hotel will not soon be forgotten, and anyone visiting Amsterdam could safely pick this hotel as their accommodation preference and we can personally guarantee you will not be let down.

Reviewed by Joanna Evans- World Luxury Spa Awards Executive Manager

To view more of this beautiful hotel click the link below

www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/amswh-w-amsterdam/

 

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Hotel TWENTY EIGHT brings innovation, comfort and fun to the luxury hotel concept.

 As you enter the hotel lobby you are met with bright colours, contemporary art and elegant décor . The hotel staff dress in funky but relaxed uniforms that compliment the hotels unique style.

The lobby, lounge, bar and reception are open 24-hours a day and the lobby is perfect for meeting other travellers over a drink, or opening your laptop and catching up on work. This is a hip and happening space with flair.

Located on 260 Stadionplein, Oud Zuid of Amsterdam. The metro station is located 300 meters from the hotel and the tram is located just opposite the hotel. This makes site seeing in Amsterdam a breeze, as all the major tourist attractions like Museum Square, Vondelpark and the City Centre are merely a short tram ride away.

The hotel offers comfortable design apartments combined with the service and facilities of a luxury hotel. All the apartments have a fully equipped kitchen, a living room with a spacious seating area and a luxurious bathroom equipped with a rain shower. The rooms also feature climate control, a flat-screen TV and high-speed WiFi. The rooms are beautifully decorated with great attention to detail and a touch of Dutch heritage.

The property also offers an on-site restaurant, a sauna and fitness facilities as well as underground parking.

The level of service, apartments and hotel facilities make Hotel TWENTY EIGHT the perfect choice for business and leisure guests, both for short and long term stays.

Guests have the option to cook in their own apartment as well as make use of the self-service laundry room. This is exceptionally helpful for travellers that have been on the road for a while and want to relax and recuperate with privacy. Hotel TWENTY EIGHT feels like your home away from home.

When you do feel like going out for a meal the on site restaurant the Het Amsterdamse Proeflokaal is a must. This modern restaurant offers delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire family. Walking through the restaurant doors, the walls are decorated with vintage portraits of previous Olympic Games.

The staff are friendly, attentive and extremely helpful with anything that guests require. This is extremely helpful for foreigners visiting Amsterdam for the first time.

Hotel TWENTY EIGHT made my trip to Amsterdam exceptional and I would recommend this property to any traveller.

To book this hotel click here www.twentyeight.nl

Michelle Snyman – Brand Manager of Word Luxury Hotel Awards

Missing Amsterdam already!

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A luxurious art escape in the heart of Amsterdam…

The Conservatorium Hotel is located right in the heart of Museum Square in Amsterdam. The entrance of the hotel looks upon the Stedelijk Museum showcasing the latest expedition of modern art, which in this case was linen hanging from the windows. The central location of the hotel is a dream for foreigners visiting the hotel for the first time. The Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark and Amsterdam’s most indulgent shopping district are literally at your doorstep.

Once you enter the lobby of Conservatorium Hotel you are immediately struck by the beautiful and dramatic architecture. The height of the celling, the glass fixtures, the marriage between a landmark heritage building and modern contemporary design are beautiful to behold. The hotel is known for it’s Art Nouveau interiors created by the award-winning designer Piero Lissoni.

Originally this landmark building was a bank. The heritage and historic significance has been carefully preserved and incorporated in the design. Traces of this beautiful history can easily be spotted on the vintage floors.

The bank building was later converted into a music school and thus the reason for the hotels name today, Conservatorium. The impact of the classical music has also been incorporated in the design with magnificent art ; for example a spectacular violin centre piece.

The hotel features three restaurant dining options; Brasserie, Taiko Restaurant as well as Tunes Bar.

The Brasserie is located in the beautiful lobby and has a greenhouse atmosphere with the glass and plant features. This is perfect for a breakfast, lunch or just relaxing at leisure on the terrace. Do not be surprised if you spot a celebrity or public figures, for the Conservatorium is the preferred choice for high profile guests.

Taiko Restaurant provided contemporary Asian cuisine and is beautifully decorated with traditional Asian features. There is however a design twist as the hallway walls leading to the Taiko restaurant are decorated with photo’s of legendary artists and musicians visiting Amsterdam.

Tunes Bar is perfect to start your Friday night with a hip and elegant bar lounge experience. Tunes Bar offers exotic cocktails with chic food parings.

The rooms of the hotel are extremely spacious. Clever design has folded and hidden the bathroom as closet space and guests are pleasantly surprised when the size of the entire room is actually revealed. The rooms feature beautiful use of natural light, calming colours and minimalistic décor, but with overwhelming comfort and quality features.

The hotel also features the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre which is divided into four different areas corresponding with the elements of nature. The centre promises restoration and rejuvenation.

The Conservatorium Hotel is the essence of elegance and luxury, but it is also a playful environment as it is filled with unexpected fun and colourful art.

Activity options for guests are endless, if guests become tired of sight-seeing, guests can also enjoy shopping at leisure at some of the beautiful boutique shops available on sight. Here guests can buy anything from diamonds to cigars.

A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without staying at the Conservatorium. 

Click below to book or see more of this extravagant hotel.

www.conservatoriumhotel.com

 

Michelle Snyman – Brand Manager of World Luxury Hotel Awards

 

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Wildlife and luxury create harmony at the 57 Waterberg Lodge

What a wonderful surprise…after our long drive, we were greeted at the gate by our very own game-ranger with ice-cold champagne, served in silver goblets. The calm of the bush immediately settled over me as we made our way over the rocky terrain of the Waterberg Mountains to the lodge. An African welcome song and a glass of sherry completed our warm welcome upon arrival at the main lodge.

Beautifully furnished rooms, crisp white linen, snug fires and our own outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the bush filled my soul with thankfulness.

The game drives were informative and well worth the effort as we saw herds of elephant complete with little ones. The reserve is known for its conservation of white rhinos, of which we had a view close-up and personal.

The superb 3-course dinner and service was truly of world-class standard and accompanied by excellent vintages. I could return just for that!

It was with a lingering sense of loss but a conviction that I will return one day that we left this piece of heaven.

 

Reviewed By Marna Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book this wildlife experience follow the link below

Click Here

 

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Honeymoon Bliss at Bandara Villas, Phuket

My husband and I had the pleasure of spending our first three nights of our honeymoon in Thailand at the amazing Bandara Villas, Phuket.

We had such a friendly welcome with drinks and refreshing towels to cool us off while we were being checked in. One of the staff members showed us to our room and WOW! What a room it was, we stayed in one of the Panoramic Pool Villas with a view that we were only able to see the next morning but knew it was close to the beach as we could hear the waves almost crashing underneath us.

We had breakfast each morning at Sumpao Restaurant where we could order a la carte or breakfast buffet, with some delicious traditional Thai breakfast dishes to try out.

We spent most of our days at Bandara itself as it was so relaxing there and our room was so amazing, with our own private pool with sea views, internet access and a fully stocked mini bar where the first round was on them.

The hotel also assisted us with planning a day trip to Phi Phi Island, it was done efficiently and effortlessly. We had an early departure that morning so the lady that assisted us arranged that the restaurant makes us early breakfast in take away packages that we could enjoy on our way to the docks.

After a full day out, we decided the next day to just relax at the beachfront pool and enjoy some cocktails from the beach pool bar. We signed out a stand-up paddle board that was part of their free amenities that we took to the ocean to try out for the first time. They also have daily activities program such as Yoga, Thai Boxing, Aqua Aerobics, Fruit Carving etc.

We had such a lovely stay at Bandara Villas, Phuket. The staff are exceptionally friendly, and the service is on point. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our Thailand experience.

 

Reveiwed By Anke Van Zyl- World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book this spectacular accommodation – website

 stay@bandaraphuket.com