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Hotel Skt. Annæ – the perfect hotel for a stay in Copenhagen…

Arriving at Hotel Skt. Annæ in Copenhagen I was immediately impressed by the beautiful exterior with large flower pots on either side of the entrance, historic buildings in the surrounding area and the close proximity to the city centre. We were within walking distance to a variety of restaurants and most importantly Strøget; the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe at 1.1 km. We arrived a little early for check in and the front desk staff were happy to keep our luggage in storage while we went to explore the city.

Hotel Skt. Annæ boasts a beautiful open area which immediately catches your attention. Featuring a large wooden table in the centre, with beautiful chandeliers hanging above and plants all around the room it really is a special space and feels like the heart of the hotel. There is also writing on the wall explaining Hotel Skt. Annæ’s history and other interesting facts about the property.

Once we got back from an afternoon of exploring the charming city of Copenhagen, we were able to go to our rooms. Our room was modern and beautifully decorated with a painting by the famous Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi. His artwork can be seen throughout the hotel and really stood out to me.  Besides this the furnishings in Hotel Skt. Annæ are largely from Danish Designers.

Our room also had a beautiful view over the street outside, a sizeable and comfortable bed, desk area and a beautiful bathroom with gold bronze taps and shower heads. The design in the bathroom really stood out to me.

After a great night’s sleep, we headed down for breakfast and wow, Hotel Skt. Annæ seriously shines here. There are 3 parts to the breakfast area, first the Breakfast Restaurant Area, then the kitchen area where the buffet is placed and lastly an indoor courtyard area where more seating is available with a beautiful tree in the centre. This area is also buzzing at night, and a great spot for a glass of wine with friends.

I absolutely loved the fact that the buffet area was basically in the kitchen and while you were dishing up your morning scrambled eggs you could see the chef on the other side preparing meals. Very unique and a great touch. The food selection at breakfast was incredible with everything from Bacon and eggs to Cheesecake and Nutella Croissants.

The lounge area in Hotel Skt. Annæ is also a great area to grab a quick coffee, meet with friends or simply relax with a glass of wine. Keeping in theme with the hotel décor, the space is modern and contemporary with a beautiful fireplace as a centrepiece. There is even a Hotel Skt. Annæ magazine on the table where you can read all about the hotel, get to know each staff member and great tips on what to explore and must see’s  in Copenhagen. I loved this personal touch.

The staff at Hotel Skt. Annæ are incredibly friendly and helpful and you immediately feel comfortable and at home. On our last day we had a late flight back home and at the last minute requested a late check-out. The staff were quick to accommodate us at such short notice and this really made our last day in Copenhagen enjoyable. Just before leaving for the airport we were able to freshen up for the long journey ahead.

All in all, our stay at Hotel Skt. Annæ was an all-round wonderful experience from start to finish. The Hotel is the perfect blend of luxury and comfort with modern design. Add in amazing staff, great food with a warm atmosphere and you have yourself a winner!  Hotel Skt. Annæ is definitely the hotel to stay at when visiting Copenhagen.

Reviewed by Executive Manager of The World Luxury Awards: Ms. Tanique Echardt

To book a stay at this remarkable hotel follow the link: www.hotelsktannae.dk

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Hotel Katajanokka – Escape the ordinary.

Hotel Katajanokka is a rather comfortable prison and one of the most uniqe hotel’s I have ever visited. Before it was converted into Hotel Katajanokka, it was literally the old prison of Helsinki. A new prison was built and the decision was made to renovate and recreate the old prison into Hotel Katajanokka.

The beauty of the hotel is almost hidden behind the perimeter wall, but once you enter the gates the scope of this hotel with its rich history comes into full view. Walking in the front door is not at all what you would expect from a prison. No metal gates, no bars and no prison guards taking your belongings and putting you in handcuffs. Instead, you get modern automated glass doors, friendly welcomes from the staff and someone willing to take your bags to your “cell”.

Walking down hotel hallways between rooms that used to be the cells where the prisoners were kept, you almost get the feeling of being in an episode of Prison Break. The rooms are comfortable in size; defnitely not as small as the cells used to be. They broke through the walls and converted 3 or 4 cells into one lovely room with a modern bathroom and enough space for a large bed and dressing table. The rooms still have the original small windows with views into the yard. The decor was stylish with old prison locks and images framed above the bed; reminding us of the unique history of Hotel Katajanokka.

The hotel has also kept an isolation cell in the exact condition it used to be when it was still a prison. So if you like, you can go down and lock your friends up or take some awesome pictures. Another feature is the group holding cell. This is basically a small, dark cave in the foundation of the building that was used to hold large groups of people. I must admit it was quite eery exploring these rooms, but also very intresting. These original cells and many more features of the Hotel Katajanokka are now being used for treasure hunts and team building exercises where you will be given clues hidden inside the dark and scary cells. This to me is an amazing way of sharing the rich history of the hotel with the public.

Hotel Katajanokka also has a gym. You are able to do great workouts in the small but well thought out gym with top of the range equipment. They have everything you need and more for all your workout needs during your stay.

The restaurant is just as impressive. With amazing food and a warm and entertaining atmosphere you find yourself sitting around the table laughing and cracking jokes with the friendly waiters for much longer than you initially intended. If you ever find yourself in this particular prison kitchen, I do recommend the burgers!

Breakfast at Hotel Katajanokka is really amazing. No matter where you are from, you will find exactly what you want at this buffet breakfast. There is even an ipad that controls the juice fountain.

Hotel Katajanokka has exceeded all my expectations. I really loved staying here, but one thing stands out to me above all. The staff. Especially the front desk staff. On our last day in Helsinki our flight left early in the morning which meant we would have a really early checkout before breakfast was available. In most hotels if you put in a request the previous evening, they will give you a yoghurt or some fruit the next morning just to keep you going.

Not at Hotel Katajanokka; here Taija who was on duty told us to come down 30min before we needed to leave so we can eat something. When we got to the reception early in the morning, she had bars and fruit waiting for us. There were also smoothies and shakes. And as if that’s not enough, she offered us coffee and tea and then she told us to have a seat while she fixed us some oats. This is unbelievable. Never have I experienced a front desk staff member at a hotel going through so much effort to make sure we do not leave with an empty stomach. Thank you! This was really appreciated!

In conclusion, Prison Break is a TV series where some inmates desperately tried to break out of prison. However, here you will find yourself willing to do anything just to stay a little longer at this stylish and unique hotel.

Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Executive Manager Tanique Echardt

To book a stay at this unique and stunning property follow the link :www.hotelkatajanokka.fi

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Arctic Light Hotel – a unique contemporary hideaway in the heart of Rovaniemi …

Arriving at the Arctic light hotel during the day, it blends in with the buildings around it except for a massive polar bear welcoming you to your new home. At night it completley lights up with stunning fairy lights and bright colored spotlights shining onto the building and it becomes clear you have arrived in aurora-light territory. Located in the tourist part of Rovaniemi and just a two-minute walk from the vibey centre of this magical town ;we were in the perfect location for our stay in Rovaniemi.

In contrast to the freezing cold outside, walking in the modern front doors you are greeted with warmth. Not only by the exceptional staff but also by the atmosphere created by the lighting and warm interior design. After walking up and down the shopping street in temperatures bordering zero degrees it’s a sigh of relief every time those automated doors of the Arctic Light Hotel swing open to greet you. It’s the same feeling you get when coming home after a long day at the office. It feels like home.

Arctic Light Reception
Previous Wins proudly standing in reception

The best part of home is kicking off your shoes and getting comfortable. In the spacious room with its own mini lounge and kitchenette, that’s easy to do. And the cherry on top…. Sauna!!! Yes, you have your own personal sauna. So, if the atmosphere and friendly staff warmed your heart then the sauna will surely warm your body. It’s the best feeling to jump in the sauna and warm up after having to wear thick layers outside. Our room was beautiful with modern and contemporary design, as well as touches of local heritage and a delight to return to after a day of exploring.

The Arctic Light hotel also scored major points in my book with their gym. The gym and breakfast are two areas where I personally pay close attention to. I love a good workout. And I also love to eat. Especially in the morning. The gym itself is small, but big enough to do a full workout. The layout and types of equipment they have available allows you to do great workouts all week long. I really appreciated this and its clear that some thought went into the design and outfitting of the gym.

The Arctic Light Hotel has a great buffet breakfast with enough variety to cater to everyones needs. The food was delicious – especially the sweet treats. I also loved the layout of everything. The perfect way to start a day of exploring.

While on the topic of food, lets talk about the restaurant which was absolutely superb! The menu offered a variety of local dishes and being in Finland, I had to try the Reindeer. And boy was it good! The waiter was friendly and helpful, the food was out of this world amazing, the atmosphere was relaxing yet vibey; the list goes on. Even if you don’t stay at the Arctic Light Hotel but happen to find yourself in Rovaniemi one evening, I would highly recommend trying out the Arctic Restaurant.

Arctic Light Restaurant
Traditional Reindeer

After dinner if you are looking for a nightcap you are able to relax in the Plan B bar area. Also part of the Arctic Light Hotel. This area offers a full bar with a great and relaxing lounge area. It’s all very classy and is a big contributor to the warm atmosphere you feel as you walk in the door.

My conclusion is that The Arctic Light Hotel is an amazing hotel to stay at when visiting Rovaniemi. It feels like home and is warm and inviting while being very modern and contemporary at the same time. It’s a place you look forward to being. Instead of just being the accommodation you stay at every night while you explore your dream destination, this hotel becomes part of the dream. Arriving in Rovaniemi is arriving at your dream holiday destination. Arriving at the Arctic Light Hotel is completing the dream.

Reviewed By World Luxury Awards Executive Manager: Tanique Echardt

To book a stay at this superb hotel: http://www.arcticlighthotel.fi/en/hotel/

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Sintra Marmoris Palace – a truly royal experience…

The Marmoris Palace Hotel is located in Sintra, 38 kilometres from Lisbon city centre and a quick 30 minutes from the international airport.

The charming building – previously a private residence and converted into a boutique hotel two years ago – is surrounded by lavish trees and a huge private garden.  Situated on top of a hill, it is overlooking the historical town centre with beautiful views of the castle.

Being a small hotel, it offers guests a truly personalised experience. All from the reception and welcoming drinks to the check-out was a great experience. Our host also gladly assisted us with recommendations for dinner, where to shop for a few necessities that we needed and ideas to explore the town.

The hotel has nine individually decorated rooms – four in the main building – all of which have breathtaking scenic views of Sintra –  and five in an outbuilding a few metres away, all offering privacy and direct access to the garden. The massive en-suite rooms which are beautifully furnished speak of royalty and have all the amenities that you can think of.  

The buffet breakfast has a huge selection of fruit, cereals, pastries and hot food. Taking into account that Marmoris is a small hotel with a limited number of guests each day; this was hugely impressive. 

Beautiful shaded gardens create a calm and relaxed atmosphere and because of the huge premisise it is situated on and surrounding gardens, the hotel offers a totally quiet and noise-free environment to relax in. An indoor swimming pool is also available to guests with a retractable roof overlooking castle hill.

Although my stay at Sintra Marmoris Palace was short, it is truly one of the most exquisite properties I have ever visited. From the perfect location to friendly staff, scrumptious food and attention to the finer details, Sintra Marmoris does not dissapoint and I highly reccomend a stay here if you are visiting Sintra.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this exquisite property follow the link: www.sintramarmoris.com

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Richmond Nua Wellness Spa … A truly special Spa destination …

Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa is situated on the scenic edge of Lake Sapanca, which is less than 2 hours’ drive from Istanbul and a popular choice for spa and wellness resorts in Turkey.

Being the pinnacle of spas in Sapanca, Richmond Nua spares no expense to ensure the ultimate wellness experience. The reception area immediately sets the tone with uncluttered and modern finishes that echo the emphasis on revitalisation, while the recurring theme of flowing water calms the senses – the water flowing inside the building through the dinner area is a great design feature. The common areas are simplistically yet stylishly decorated with a heavy emphasis on natural elements like wood and stone.

Our spacious Q-level suite was the epitome of luxury – a private deluxe-sized spa jacuzzi and separate lounge room with private tanning balcony overlooking the serene lake. The huge all-marble bathroom recreated the luxury feel of a true Turkish hammam in the privacy of our own suite. Complete with luxurious queen bed and two TV’s, this truly made for a relaxing stay.

Our stay was complemented by the friendly and attentive staff. All of our needs were meticulously anticipated and attended to by Guest Relations Agent Firuze Hidayetova, who graciously guided us through everything that the resort and surrounds had to offer.

Richmond Nua is the first and only destination spa in Turkey as well as the Global winner in the category of Luxury Destination Spa 2019. Boasting a total of 15 spa experiences that are recommended before treatments, the spa is a dream for even the most discerning spa goer! Starting off with a traditional Turkish Hammam, the following series of curated water, steam, mist and temperature therapies awaken all of your senses. Amongst our favourite of the 15 experiences were the salt-steam inhalation therapy, menthol misting experience and ice grotto. Ensure that you allow ample time for this sequence of rituals, the entire routine of which could take between 3 and 4 hours. After our first full sequence, we felt revitalised and our skin was soft and glowing – ‘Sanus Per Aquam’ in the true sense of the word!

I was treated to a much anticipated ’Signature Ricmond Nua Massage’ by the skilled hands of Spa Manager Birol Paşalıoğlu who has approximately 30’000 massages, as well as various qualifications under his name. This exclusive massage created for Richmond Nua is tailored with specific techniques and therapies that revolve around the guest’s needs and left me feeling entirely revived after this hour-long treatment.

Richmond Nua offers wellness in all areas including the cuisine – a unique Beautyfood Menu is specially designed to optimise healthy results. A standard à la carte menu is also offered at the romantic lake-side seating area. The restaurant undoubtedly presented the best meat Köfte and the tender-soft beef fillet was impeccable. The ‘Warm Chestnut Cake’ is an absolute must! There are delicious options for guests on the wellness program, including dessert. The breakfast buffet showcased a wonderful spread, ranging from fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits and nuts that made for blissful clean eating to traditional Turkish favourites as well as the more classical breakfast offerings.

This is one destination spa that is well worth the journey!

Reviewed By World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative Signe Da Silva

To book your next Spa holiday follow the link: www.richmondnua.com

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The Taj Cape Town – an oasis of calm in Cape Town City Centre…

Situated in the bustling Cape Town City Centre, The Taj hotel is within close distance to all local attractions.  We arrived at the Taj on a rainy Friday afternoon. The Staff warmly greeted us with umbrellas and took care of parking our vehicle. Entering the Taj is like entering another era; the grandeur and splendour of the lobby area simply takes your breath away.

After a smooth check in we were escorted to our room. We stayed in a Luxury Room in the King Tower wing with a view of Table Mountain and the bustling streets below. We were greeted with a welcoming snack of nuts and fruit, a bottle of white wine and note from the General Manager. The room was spacious with elegant designs and finishes. The bathroom for me was simply stunning with the perfect layout and marble finishes.

After settling in we headed to the lobby to enjoy an afternoon tea and snack while listening to the rain fall outside.

The fitness centre at The TAJ hotel is one of the best I have experienced. State of the art equipment including free weights and stretching equipment made for an intense training session. Fresh towels and water are available at each machine. There is also an indoor heated swimming pool if you wish to get in a few laps.

Dinner at Mint Restaurant was absolutely fantastic. Friendly staff, efficient service and a menu that will satisfy any craving made for the perfect evening. There was also live jazz music which added to the ambiance.

After a good nights rest in the King size bed we enjoyed a Buffet Breakfast which was incredible. From every cereal imaginable and English breakfast options to sushi and a variety of pastries we had it all!

Jiva Spa was the absolute highlight of our stay. We were treated to a 60minute couples Indian Aromatherapy massage. This was an amazing and relaxing experience from start to finish. A special thank you to Bianca who was my therapist – she has magic hands!

Overall my experience at the TAJ Cape Town was incredible. From Check in to check out everything was perfect. The staff are friendly and welcoming, the facilities are world class and the food is superb. I left thoroughly refreshed and would highly recommend the TAJ Cape Town to anyone visiting South Africa and hope to visit again soon – one night is just to short!

Reviewed by Tanique Echardt – Executive Manager of the World Luxury Hotel Awards

To book a stay at this incredible Hotel:

www.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj/taj-cape-town/

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Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve – A piece of heaven in Portugal…

Pine Cliffs resort is located in the Algarve with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When you drive through the resort you feel like you’re driving through a beautiful little town.

Upon check in, we were greeted by friendly staff and promptly taken to our room. We stayed in a deluxe room on the 2nd floor, with a balcony overlooking the Resort. The bed was very comfortable, and the interior of the room was beautifully designed.

There are multiple swimming pools at the hotel and the gym and indoor pool overlooks the Resort grounds. To get to the beach, you need to take an elevator from the hotel down to ground level.

On the pathway to the beach you are surrounded by the most beautiful and unique red cliffs. On the beach there are complimentary lounger chairs and towels. There is also a boathouse with many water activities including jet skis.

The beach restaurant called Mare, was a great dining experience. The food was delicious, and you have a great view of the ocean and beach. For sun downers we went to the Mirador champagne bar. When the sun hits the red cliffs its almost like they glow, it was a breathtaking view.

Dinner at Yakuza was amazing, it is a Japanese inspired restaurant. I would eat there every night if I could. We had two breakfast options every morning and both were great. A huge selection of food is on offer along with great service.

Overall Pine Cliffs was an amazing experience, we wish we never had to leave the Resort because they literally have everything you want inside the resort. Highly recommended and I would love to visit again soon.

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay in paradise:

www.pinecliffs.com

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EPIC SANA Algarve – Paradise found …

EPIC SANA Algarve is located on Falésia Beach, which is one of the longest, and most beautiful beaches in Portugal. We were checked in by Stefanie, who showed us all the hotel facilities on our way to the room.  She also helped us with restaurant bookings throughout out trip.

We stayed in a Grand Deluxe Garden Duplex Suite. The balcony overlooks a beautiful garden and over the trees you can see the ocean. Downstairs we had a big lounge area and a fully equipped kitchenette. We were also given a complimentary bottle of wine and a platter of chocolates upon turn down.

The gym is open 24 hours and has all the necessary equipment. It is right next to the indoor heated pool which is also open 24 hours. The spa is beautiful and also has a separate heated pool and a relaxation room.

Breakfast was great, all the food was so fresh and delicious. The chef made really good omelets. We also had a choice of sitting inside or outside in the sun, which was great. The Manager came to check on us every morning, it was great to have such personalized service and hospitality.

Every night in the main restaurant there was a buffet dinner and the cuisine changes each evening. The hotel is also located within walking distance of many local restaurants and shops.

There is a beautiful wooden pathway leading to the beach with amazing views. There is also a “love tree” in their garden which is great for couples. There you can hang up a wooden heart and write your personal message on it and leave it to hang on one of the tree’s branches.

The hotel has two outdoor swimming pools and one is for adults only. So, it’s great if you want some peace and quiet. And if you’re with kids you can relax at the family pool.  There is also a nice restaurant next to the pool which is open for lunch and dinner.

The hotel is so peaceful and relaxing, we really enjoyed every moment at the hotel and hope to visit again soon. A huge thank you to the EPIC SANA team for making us feel so relaxed and at home.

Reviewed By: Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this stunning Property

www.algarve.epic.sanahotels.com:

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Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre – The perfect spot for a business or leisure Holiday…

Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre is located in the small coastal town of Calpe in Spain. The hotel is perfectly located just a street up from the beach which has many shops and restaurants.

What a welcoming hotel, the staff made us feel instantly at home. We were checked in promptly and the staff were so friendly. Our room was on the top floor which gave us a great view of the ocean.

The beds were very comfortable, and the bathroom had all the amenities we needed and more. The view from our room’s terrace was just amazing. We were given a special fruit platter upon arrival which was delicious.

There are two pools with a kids pool and many lounge chairs for sunbathing. The spa was an experience on its own. A heated pool and many different showers and baths around it. Definitely one of the best spas I’ve visited.

Breakfast was delicious, many different food stations with a big variety. The coffee was great, and the service was friendly and attentive. A great way to start my day.

Audrey’s is a Michelin star restaurant located in the hotel. We had a special lunch and wine pairing. Chef Rafa greeted us personally and it was a culinary experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank the entire team of Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre for making my stay unforgettable. Thank you for spoiling us and showing us what true hospitality is.

Reviewed By: Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this beautiful hotel:
www.diamantebeach.com

 

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A city break at the magnificent Melia Barcelona Sarriá…

Upon arriving at Melia Barcelona Sarriá we were struck by the sheer size and majestic look of the building.

After a smooth check in we were shown to our Deluxe room which was warm and welcoming. It was so spacious we felt like we had our very own apartment. All staff were friendly and accommodating at all times and this really did make our stay that much more special.

I booked a facial treatment which was  calming; relaxing and completely rejuvenating. The Spa area was stunning and a wonderful space to relax in. We really enjoyed spending time in the pool area after a day of sight seeing.

The Buffet breakfast was absolutely fantastic with such a large variety. A combination of healthy, sweet ,English Breakfast choices and lots of fruit was available. We certainly ate a little more than usual each morning.

The restaurant service was amazing. We both had a large pizza which we enjoyed very much.

We must commend the Housekeeping staff at the hotel. They are incredibly efficient; every time we returned after breakfast our room was made up and spotless.

Overall, the experience was amazing and we really enjoyed our stay at Melia Barcelona Sarriá. A huge thank you to all the amazing staff for for there outstanding service and for welcoming us so warmly.

We hope to return one day soon and definitely recommend this magnificent hotel to anyone visiting Barcelona.

Reviewed By World Luxury Hotel Awards Representatives

To book a stay at Melia Barcelona Sarriá simply follow the link:https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/barcelona/melia-barcelona-sarria/index