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A visit to Valverde Hotel in romantic Lisbon…

I think all of us can agree that after a long flight the first thing you want to do is take a shower and a much-needed nap. We arrived in Lisbon at 6 in the morning and knew the chances that the hotel would have a room ready for us this early in the morning was next to nothing. I did however send our flight details to the hotel and arranged that we would drop our luggage at the hotel to then go and explore the city, or rather wait for the time that we could check in.

To my surprise and utter relief, our room was ready. We were welcomed by a quick check in, and a voucher for a complimentary drink at the Sítio Bar. I could take the shower that I wanted to, and we had a long nice nap before we headed out to explore the city, this time ready and happy to do so.

Our room had the most beautiful views of Avenida da Liberdade and was quite modern, very clean and had everything one could need- they even had an umbrella for the cold winter rain.

The hotel is situated at Avenida da Liberdade, most probably one of the best spots a hotel can be in when visiting Lisbon. The avenue is vibrant and was modelled after the boulevards of Paris. The first night we got quite lucky as we took a stroll through the avenue and ended up in what seemed to be a Winter Wonderland Street fare

The next morning, we went for our first breakfast at Sítio, they have a wide variety to choose from and everything was very delicious.

We enjoyed our complimentary drink voucher that evening, my husband had a Portuguese beer and I had a white wine from the Douro Valley. As the weather was quite nice, we decided to have the drink by the hotel swimming pool, I think it would be even better in the summer time when you can take a swim with a refreshing glass of white wine.

We had an amazing two-night stay at Valverde Hotel, Lisbon and would recommend anyone to visit not only the hotel but Lisbon as well.

To book this hotel follow the link to your website www.valverdehotel.com/en/luxury-hotel-lisbon 

reviewed by Jana Stoman – World Luxury Awards Representative

 

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Beachside bliss at New Star Beach Resort, Koh Samui

Our recent stay at New Star beach resort in Koh Samui was superb.
Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by the Resorts Sales manager and General manager.
All of the staff members were professional and the welcome drinks were presented very uniquely.

We also received complimentary drinks and snacks while getting comfortable in our room. We had a beautiful room with lots of natural light and a very comfortable bed.

The staff were extremely friendly, and the restaurant manager deserves a special mention for the excellent service throughout our stay. We had two great dinner evenings at the restaurant and enjoyed the breakfast buffet with a big variety of delicious prepared food.

The staff were very helpful and offered to help us arrange all our local tours. The general manager also offered personal assistance to make our stay most relaxing and memorable.The management team offered us a tour through the hotel to learn more about the hotel and what the hotel have to offer.
The scenery was beautiful and it was wonderful to walk in such a quiet and peaceful environment since our room was on the beach front.

The room was comfortable, clean, spacious and nicely decorated. The hotel provides every facility you will need without leaving the comfort of the hotel and is located in the perfect spot in close proximity to local attractions. We really enjoyed the swimming pool with a spectacular view of the ocean.


The atmosphere and scenery is so special that it really felt like home.

Upon checking out the staff offered a wake-up call and arranged a taxi where the general manager accompanied us to the airport.

The check-out procedure was fast and the staff thanked us for our stay.
We will most definitely stay here again and highly recommend New Star Beach Resort.

All respect for the general manager who not only does a great job here but is a true sample of excellent hospitality.

 

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Dash Hotel Seminyak – Dashingly different!

If you are looking for a unique, hip and fun place to stay whilst in Seminyak – look no further than Dash Hotel. With their hallmark assortment of red, yellow and blue mannequins standing outside on the hotel balcony, it is tough to miss the Hotel.

Upon entering the Hotel we where immediately bewildered, yet drawn in, by their unconventional architectural style that creates a unique atmosphere, the style mostly comprising of designs made from recycled materials. In the lobby we also noticed the Dash Hotel’s World Luxury Hotel Awards Winner trophies and plaques are proudly displayed in the reception area for all to see, confirming the appreciation and global recognition for that unique style and atmosphere.

On our way to our room we were able to observe more of the Hotel’s décor, and we were completely fascinated by the Hotel’s choice of art and other decorative pieces scattered all over on the walls and floor of the hotel. The Hotel’s use of this unique contemporary style surely surpassed our expectations.

The theme that we were now seeing continued into our room, which had a unique artistic style which also managed to incorporate elements of glamour, with the Hotel’s iconic bunny laid upside down on our beds.

Our balcony overlooked a sea of green trees, which is something pleasantly different for a place situated in the epicenter of the busy, yet vibrant Seminiyak.

After checking in and been shown to our exciting room, we were spoiled with a 15-minute complimentary arrival-massage at the Rabbit Hole Spa situated on the rooftop of the Hotel alongside the fitness centre.

Thereafter, we enjoyed a much needed cool-down swim session in the red pool with the Hotel’s iconic red bunny mascot lying next to the pool at the centre of the hotel. On the rooftop of the Hotel, there is another pool, this time yellow, where you can enjoy cocktails at ‘The Shack’ lounge bar whilst watching the beautiful sunset over Seminyak Beach.

The Hotel’s Mya Restaurant is situated on the ground floor, where guests have the option to enjoy a variety of reasonably priced meals and drinks throughout the day and night. We ate breakfast at the Restaurant which was absolutely divine. Instead of having a conventional buffet breakfast, the Restaurant brings you a menu from which any dish is available, leaving you unrestricted in your choices of what to eat. The Restaurant further features an entertainment section with a balcony on the street, where you can enjoy live music and DJ events, and play pool and various other games. The Restaurant comes alive in the evening, with the people and the atmosphere making it very difficult to leave.

Dash Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Seminyak’s night life and shopping district, whilst at the same time being close to the beach, which makes it the perfect place from which to experience all that the destination has to offer. Be sure to visit this trendy and unique hotel, we assure you that the red rabbit will not disappoint.

Reviewed By Jana Vos and Lindi Smuts – World Luxury Awards Representatives

To book this vibey hotel follow the link to their website below

dash-hotels.com/seminyak-bali

 

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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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Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort – A luxurious Resort for the entire family …

When staying at the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, you can be sure that you won’t want to leave the resort for the duration of your entire stay.. This resort offers everything you need and features facilities for the whole family to enjoy as well as being a very romantic experience. We stayed at the resort in November 2018 for unfortunately only 1 night, which was certainly not enough!

Upon arrival at the resort, we already felt at home when being friendly welcomed by the dedicated staff members, who escorted us through the beautiful, modern hotel lobby to the check-in area. While we enjoyed a refreshing welcome drink, we were immediately asked if we would prefer a late check out the next day which was the best decision we made.

Our room offered modern designs and facilities, the best part being the privilege to stay in a room whose balcony walks out straight into the pool that connects to the main pool.

View from room

This pool features their outdoor L’ oh pool bar area in the middle of the pool with the pool on one side and amphitheater style seating on the other, where you can enjoy drinks, pizzas, ice creams etc.

L’ oh pool bar

In addition to this pool bar, you can enjoy drinks and meals at their other restaurants such as Cucina, which boasts an Italian and Mediterranean setting; Kwee Zeen, with more of an Asian style or Toya Beach Bar and Grill, featuring a more relaxed seaside lounge area with a pool.

Cucina Restaurant

At the turn down night service we received a beautiful tea set with tasty tea to unwind before we went to bed.

The So Spa at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua comes highly recommended with its wide variety of relaxing treatments, the ornamental pool that overflows to the spa’s sunlit exterior and the beautiful dramatic architecture. Both staying and outside guests are welcome to make use of the spa as well as the So fit gym right next to it. If you are staying at the hotel, you can also benefit from enjoying a treatment in their open Balinese ‘bale’ gazebo on the resort’s beachfront or in the comfort of your own room, with the offer of treatments for children too.

So Spa

We believe the resort is the perfect family destination, because of their exciting kids’ club and pool where your children will be entertained for the duration of the day by professional, well trained staff members, giving mom and dad time to relax and spend some quality time together.

Kids Club Pool

In addition to the beautiful pools at the resort, they also have their own private beach where you can enjoy many beach and water sport activities.

Guests staying at Luxury Room Club Millésime, Suites and Villas receive a wide variety of benefits with the Club Millésime, which includes exclusive access to the Club Millésime lounge and club pool, your own personal butler, late checkout, daily complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and a wide variety of snacks, complimentary breakfast and much more.

Our Wonderful Butler
Afternoon Tea

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, family holiday or even a business destination for your visit to Nusa Dua, look no further than Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, as this property is perfect to suit all your needs.

World Luxury Hotel  Awards representatives Ms Jana Vos and Ms Lindi Smuts stayed here in November 2018

To book your next holiday here click on the link below

sofitel.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-9078-sofitel-bali-nusa-dua-beach-resort

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Hanging Gardens of Bali, Ubud- The Magical Jungle…

We were privileged to visit this unique Resort in the heart of the jungle, North of Ubud, Bali in November 2018. Upon our arrival at the resort, we were welcomed by the friendly staff members in their one of a kind open air reception area with a refreshing welcome drink and cold towel after our long drive.

What immediately caught our eyes was how proudly the property displayed their various Awards including their World Luxury Hotel Awards winner trophy and plaques in the reception area for all to see.

We were then shown around the resort in their “cable car” that goes all the way from the top of reception down to the bottom at the spa with beautiful views of the jungle as well as the Dalem Segara temple on the opposite hill.

We felt like royalty when they surprised us by upgrading our room to a Panoramic Villa with the most amazing view! The room had a comfortable spacious bed with a on suite bathroom and its own private infinity pool. This was such a treat to be able to relax in our own private pool while enjoying the views of this stunning property.

They serve daily afternoon tea that can be enjoyed at the spa area where all you hear is the relaxing sounds of the Ayung River flowing in the background. Here guests can enjoy a selection of coffees, teas and specially prepared snacks.

On our first nights stay we enjoyed incredible supper at the Three Elements Restaurant, and oh what a treat this was! The chef specially prepared a vegan friendly dish for us.

On our first morning waking up at Hanging Gardens, we went for a delightful guided walk with Gusti, a staff member, through the surrounding local villages and rice fields.

Morning walk with Gusti

This was certainly the highlight of our stay! It was so inspirational and interesting to see how the locals live and grow and farm their own fruit, vegetables ,rice and how they make a living of it, whether it be for their daily meals or medicinal reasons.

We also enjoyed locally sourced coffee in the village – certainly the best coffee we ever tasted.

After our walk and morning coffee we enjoyed a wonderful buffet breakfast at the Three Elements Restaurant. I had the waffles with fresh fruit it was delicious.

The resort offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the centre of Ubud town where we did plenty of shopping at the local stores,markets and visited some of the beautiful local temples.

Guests can enjoy soothing yoga classes and also visit the spa where they combine natural, local ingredients and ancient techniques, to create beauty therapies and treatments that soothe the mind, rejuvenate the body and energize the soul. The spa features a royal suite that is located by the Ayung River where you can enjoy an unforgettable experience among the natural sounds of the jungle.

One of the aspects of this resort that deserves special mention, is the remarkable swimming pool at its centre. The unique design creates an effect that the pool blends into the jungle and is something to behold in itself, but it is the position overlooking the trees and the Dalem Segara Temple that gives it the rare ability to make you feel completely at one with nature and leave you in awe as you relax over the edge.

We give great thanks to all staff members who went the extra mile to make our stay very pleasant, and especially to Gusti who left a special place in our hearts.

We would highly recommend Hanging Gardens of Bali Resort, especially if you are looking to relax, unwind and connect with nature, and we guarantee your mind, body and soul will feel refreshed after your stay.

Reviewed By Jana Vos and Lindi Smuts- World Luxury Hotel Awards Representatives.

To book this luxurious jungle escape go to https://hanginggardensofbali.com/

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A spectacular wellness experience at The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa…

Arriving at The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa is like being transported to another world. As our driver stopped at the entrance we were immediately warmly greeted by the staff and a large gong was rung to announce our arrival.

The lobby and reception area is truly beautiful with an open air layout, beautiful chandelier and contemporary décor. We were warmly greeted by Ninta who helped us with our check in. She also gave us a refreshing drink which helps with your metabolism and overall wellbeing.

Since we arrived early for check in we were escorted by our butler Merdita to Sapphire Bar and offered a complimentary cocktail and some snacks, what a surprise and absolute treat especially after a long car journey.

After enjoying our cocktails and relaxing Merdita escorted us to our rooms while also showing us around the Resort and giving us any information we needed. Walking through the resort we were struck by how beautiful the entire property is. The crystal blue lagoon pools, the ocean, lush gardens and swaying palm trees all add to the beauty and magic of the resort.. We stayed in a Deluxe Lagoon View Room with a private balcony and even a view of the ocean in the background. The room was modern and contemporary with beautiful designs and an overall relaxed feeling. The bathroom was stunning and elegant with a huge bath and shower.  We were also welcomed with a personal note, a beautiful Luxury Collection teddy and some delectable snacks. As soon as we had settled in the room we headed to one of the lagoon pools to relax with a signature cocktail and snacks. What a way to start a stay!

Dinner at the Arwana Restaurant was a real treat with the option to sit inside or on the beach watching the waves and sunset. The food was sublime with the freshest seafood and salads available. I must say the Chicken Ceaser Salad here is the best I have ever experienced while travelling.

Being a fitness fanatic the Lagoon Fitness Centre was absolute heaven for me. The layout of the gym, the equipment and the staff were all world class. While running on a treadmill you face one of the Lagoon pools with a fountain. What more does one need to start off a day in paradise! There are also showers, a sauna and steam room available. The Spa is right next to the gym and offers a range of treatments. This is one of the best Fitness Centres I have experienced at a hotel.

We also had the opportunity to take part in the Yoga Class which is held twice a week. This was a new experience for me and very enjoyable. It is so relaxing to start your day off this way.

Breakfast at Banyubiru was an experience in itself. I have never experienced such variety at a buffet with a stunning setup and flow to it. The food was out of this world and every morning we had an absolute feast!

The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to Bali Collection, which is an open air mall for guests to go and shop. This was a fantastic experience and the best shopping of my entire trip was done here. After a day of shopping you can return to the hotel and relax at the beach, one of the lagoon pools or pop into the shop for a delicious ice cream to cool off.

With its perfect location, impeccable service, range of activities and everything you need at your fingertips, The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa is truly a magical paradise and world on its own.

Three days here and you leave relaxed, invigorated and enriched! Thank you to everyone at The Laguna, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa for an unforgettable stay.

Reviewed By Tanique Echardt- World Luxury Hotel Awards Executive Manager

To book this amazing property or look for more information click the website link below

Website

 

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Immerse yourself in the magic and culture of Ubud..

Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa by L’Occitane is 20 minitues away from Ubud center, located in the traditional village of Kedewatan which means “Place of the gods”. The name of the Resort Kupu Kupu Barong meaning giant butterfly originally came from all the butterflies that were seen flying within the surrounding nature, however only a few lucky people have spotted the giant butterfly.

Arriving at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa by L’Occitane we were intrigued at how hidden in the jungle the property is. At the open air Lobby we were taken by golf cart up winding hills to the reception and greeted with traditional flowers and a refreshing juice while our check in was handled. The staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive and we immediately felt at home and relaxed. The reception area was also open air and decorated with traditional wood carvings and flowers. Even though we were inside, we felt very much a part of the jungle and nature.

Once we were checked in we were escorted to our room, and what a room it was! The room was very traditional, with wood being the focal point as well as local carvings and designs. The room had a private balcony overlooking the jungle, which was simply breathtaking. We were treated to a special welcome on our bed and even a beautiful butterfly bag to use and take home. This extra touch definitely made us feel incredibly special and welcome. The bathroom was simple and elegant with a large bath and shower head above and separate toilet.  The roof pool and Japanese restaurant was just above our room so we spent a lot of time, ordering cocktails, lounging at the pool overlooking the jungle canopy and snacking from the bar menu. The traditional red umbrella’s used at the pool and throughout the resort really added to the charm and cultural feel of the resort.

The buffet breakfast, which is always a favourite of mine at any property definitely did not disappoint! With everything from a full English breakfast spread, waffles and flapjacks with Nutella to Indonesian dishes and a large variety of fruit. This was really a great way to start each day in the jungle! Dinner is just as fantastic and it is truly special with all the lighting and background music to enjoy your meal and hear all the night time jungle sounds.  The food and service were absolutely spectacular.The gym was also fantastic with all the necessary equipment needed for a training session while on vacation. Again I loved the open air layout and the feeling you are one with the jungle.

The staff were also exceptionally great in helping us arrange our day to day activities and even have a pest control department to remove any unwanted visitors from your room, This was very impressive as we did have a few unwanted guests.

Mango Tree Spa by L’Occitane was a wonderful and relaxing experience. Hidden in the jungle canopy, with the sounds of the jungle as music you feel truly relaxed after a massage and treatment.

My entire experience at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa by L’Occitane was truly magical. I have never felt so relaxed and immersed in the local culture as I did here. You really get a feel for the jungle, the local community and an overall sense of peace. It is the perfect place to unwind, gain some knowledge and explore the surrounding area. Thank you Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa by L’Occitane for a truly enlightening stay, I hope to return in the near future.

Reviewed By Tanique Echardt- World Luxury Hotel Awards Executive Manager

To book this amazing property or look for more information go to www.kupubarongubud.com 

 

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A beach escape on Dubai’s Arabian Coast…

The Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach is located in Dubai’s lively seaside district called Jumeirah Beach residence, footsteps away from the warm Arabian ocean. The street is filled with award winning restaurants, shops and some of the best bars in the world.
What an ideal location, we were able to walk everywhere, the Dubai Marina Mall is the perfect place for shopping. In the marina was countless yachts which offered dinner cruises and tours.


We stayed in two executive rooms located on the 22nd floor of the hotel, overlooking the beautiful Jumeirah Beach. We were welcomed in our room with a display of homemade chocolates and a great bottle of wine. The duty manager personally escorted us to our rooms and showed us their facilities. We had exclusive access to the hotel’s executive lounge which offered complimentary high tea and evening drinks daily.


Breakfast was delicious, we had a special breakfast in the executive lounge every morning which was private, and we could sit outside with a great view of the beach. The staff greeted us by name and were very friendly and helpful.The swimming pool was great, and the barman made the tastiest cocktails. There was also a staff member who provided us with towels and umbrellas on the beach which was very convenient.

There are also a variety of restaurants to choose from and they have their own pizzeria, so you can order homemade pizza any time of the day.
In the lobby there was a café that offered ice cream and delicious coffee, there was also a souvenir shop which had the most beautiful gifts to purchase.
This hotel is one of the best addresses to stay in Dubai and will guarantee and unforgettable stay full of entertainment.

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens- World Luxury Hotel Awards representative.

To visit this beautiful hotel click on the link below

www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/uae/dubai/hotel-dubai-jumeirah-beach/overview/

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Natural Simplicity – A Lover’s Paradise…

We arrived at Kilindi Zanzibar on a beautiful sunny day, as we looked over our new home for the next few days we noticed the resort is in the center of lush tropical gardens. Scattered among the beautiful gardens are a series of white-domed Pavilions. We where checked into a Kilindi luxury pavilion. The Pavilions have their very own private plunge pool, and possess a separate but extraordinary ‘rainfall’ shower room. These same showers provide not only a spectacular view to the Ocean but the liberating sensation of being ‘at one with nature’.

 

Kilindi achieves the perfect marriage between Scandinavian minimalism and the dramatic architectural overtones of Middle Eastern heritage, whilst encouraging an open, ‘back-to-nature’ ambiance throughout.

We really enjoyed the exceptional food throughout our stay and not to forget the delicious cocktails.

Thank you to all the staff who were so welcoming and especially Adam and Kim, Lucas and Julius – you made our stay perfect.

Our experience at Kilindi was magical and as close to paradise as you can get; we would recommend Kilindi to anyone looking to enjoy nature and luxury in a tropical paradise.

To book this beautiful hotel click the link below

www.elewanacollection.com/kilindi-zanzibar/kilindi-zanzibar-at-a-glance