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A visit to the historic and beautiful town of Porto…

We arrived in Porto after a long bus ride from Lisbon, and while heading towards the hotel we were astounded by this historic and varied city.

We arrived at Porto Palácio Congress Hotel & SPA at around 2pm in the afternoon, they checked us in, gave us a complimentary voucher for a glass of port at the roof bar and showed us to our room. The first thing I noticed was how big the hotel was, with 251 rooms the greatest thing about this hotel is that it is suitable for work and leisure.

We we arrived in our room, which has amazing views of the city, we were surprised by a complimentary massage and facial from the Wellness & Beauty Lab.

We went down to the spa to make a booking as we were only staying at the hotel for two nights, suffice to say, we just stayed at the spa to relax and enjoy our treatments for the rest of the day. The spa is truly magical, and my husband and I agreed that we had one of the best massages to date.

Afterwards we went to the bar and tasted some real Portuguese Port, what really got me though, was the breath-taking panoramic view of Porto.

The next morning, we went for the breakfast buffet at Madruga Restaurant, the buffet has a lot to offer and we were definitely set for the rest of the day of exploring. When we returned to the hotel, we went for a second round at the spa. We had an early morning flight therefore we went to bed quite early.

Porto Palácio Congress Hotel & SPA is an amazing hotel, the views, the spa, the amazing staff but mostly the way they cater to more than just business or leisure, but both.

Reviewed by Jana Stoman – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To make a booking at this magnificent property follow the link:

www.shotelscollection.com/portopalacio

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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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JUMEIRAH CELEBRATES SUCCESS AT THE WORLD LUXURY HOTEL AWARDS

Jumeirah Hotels in the Maldives and Kuwait scoop several awards

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

Dubai, 10, December 2017: Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives has been named Global Hotel of the Year and Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa in Kuwait was named Luxury Business Hotel of the Year at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 held in Switzerland.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

Jumeirah Vittaveli was also named global winner for Best Luxury Island Resort and continent winner for Best Luxury Family Beach Resort. The Royal Residence at Jumeirah Vittaveli was named continent winner for Best Luxury Beachfront VillaBest Luxury Hideaway Villa and Best Luxury Private Villa – an incredible overall result for Jumeirah Vittaveli.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa also took home awards for LuxuryEco/Green Hotel and Luxury Beach Resort. The hotel was named  Luxury Destination Spa and Luxury Wellness Spaat the World Luxury Spa Awards 2017.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

Jumeirah Vittaveli’s General Manager, Mr Amit Majumder, received the awards at a grand event held in St Moritz, Switzerland. “I’m overwhelmed by the awards we received tonight. I can only say a very big Thank You to my team who has worked so hard to get us where we are today. And to our guests who continue to show their love for our little piece of paradise by returning regularly. We will continue to surprise you and strive to be worthy of this immense recognition. Being named Global Hotel of the Year 2017 in a fierce competitive field truly is the epitome of our recognitions this year.”

Jumeirah Vittaveli

General Manager, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa, Savino Leone, said: “We are deeply touched and proud to receive worldwide recognition for our continuous efforts in luxury hospitality in Kuwait. This coveted award is another testament to our brand promise of delivering exceptional guest experiences. It has been a great and successful year and we only hope to elevate our benchmarks of excellence in services in the years to come.”

Setting the basis for service industry standards around the globe, the World Luxury Hotel Awards provides true recognition to luxury hotels and resorts in their relevant categories during its annual voting phase. Over 300,000 votes were tallied this year from travellers and guests of these luxury establishments during the voting phase. Properties from over 120 countries competed in the 2017 awards and it is truly an honour to be one of the selected nominees and winners.

About Jumeirah Group:
Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Frankfurt, Istanbul, London and Mallorca (Spain) in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia. Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah LivingTM with properties in London and Dubai; the wellness brand TaliseTM; Jumeirah Restaurant Group DubaiTM; Wild Wadi WaterparkTM; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementTM; Jumeirah SiriusTM, its global loyalty programme; and isme by Jumeirah™ an app based rewards programme in the UAE. Future openings include luxury hotels in the UAE, Bahrain, Indonesia, China, Oman, Jordan, Malaysia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. www.jumeirah.com

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World Luxury Spa and Restaurant Awards Honour 2017 Winners

The scene is set; it’s a warm, exotic summer’s evening in Vietnam, the sun begins to set over the bustling and intriguing city of Hanoi, excited participants gather at the event of the year, the event that will later that night honour them as the crème da la crème of the luxury wellness and fine dining industries. Champagne flows, canapés travel on beautifully decorated trays to guests, and the air of anticipation grows.  Proudly hosted by the spectacular JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi, who with a red carpet welcome invite over 180 guests from more than 50 countries to a dazzling evening of luxury, glamour, and style.

“Over 100,000 votes brought our winners here tonight; 100,000 times the public voiced their opinion on who of the 1,000 entrants are deserving of these accolades. Tonight we honour the staff of these fine establishments, who through their immeasurable service delivery have brought success to the proud brands of which they are a part.” says Marna Lourens, Executive Manager for the World Luxury Spa Awards.

Setting the basis for service industry standards around the globe, the World Luxury Spa Awards and World Luxury Restaurant Awards pride themselves on providing true recognition to luxury spas and restaurants in their relevant categories during its annual voting phase. Votes are garnered through various marketing channels from guests, showcasing yet again the true value of service excellence.

“The most coveted award of the evening is our Global Spa and Global Restaurant of the Year awards. Each year the task to determine these top establishments begins after voting has closed and we announce to our winners if they have been successful. We are six senior managers who take weeks to decide, as voting is not the only criteria we look at to bestow this prestigious award. A multitude of factors come in to play; brand, location, overall guest satisfaction from online reviews, services and facilities, design, and even menu offerings whether spa or restaurant. It is important to look at each establishment as an individual as well, some are on an island, some are in cities or in a desert, it is not always possible to compare apples with apples when defining luxury. This year the focus was on unique design with a touch of classy elegance, and we were as such proud to award Global Spa of the Year to Harnn Heritage Spa at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, and Global Restaurant of the Year to Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Both of whom encompass the ethos of luxury and supreme service.” says Joanna Evans, Marketing Communications Manager for the World Luxury Awards.

The evening was as glamorous as one would expect from a JW Marriott brand hotel; a delectable 6-course fine dining menu adorned each table throughout the night and was paired with fine wines and champagne from Moët et Chandon. Entertainment fitting of the destination included a Dragon Dance, a Vietnamese based string quartet performance by Độc Cầm – Toxic Quartet, and a local Ao Dai Dance, all of which added to the evening’s Asian flair.

“The food tonight was exceptionally impressive, and has been during our entire stay at the hotel. Executive Chef Brendon Partridge and his team receive full honours from the World Luxury Awards and all our guests for the tireless effort of crafting these delicious plates of exquisite foods we received this evening.” says Linda Cooper, Executive Manager for the World Luxury Restaurant Awards. “I am proud to know that the awards they themselves received tonight are so well deserved.”

After all awards were received and each representative had an opportunity for exclusive photos and interviews on the red carpet, guests were welcomed to the chic and ultra-stylish Cool Cats Jazz Club, a name so apt for the warm red glow it provides, while live musicians entertained crowds late into the night with some fabulous classic jazz music.

Luxury establishments from around the globe are welcomed to participate in these exciting awards, to proudly show the world what they have to offer in terms of luxury and excellence.

www.luxuryspaawards.com | www.luxuryrestarantawards.com

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Conrad Pezula… a picturesque escape to the Garden Route of South Africa

Perfectly perched on Knysna’s famous Eastern head, the Conrad Pezula was our abode for a few dreamy and inspiring days. As we entered this extraordinary hotel, we were warmly welcomed into the spectacular lobby, showcasing elegant décor and African art. The scenic golf cart ride to our room was an unusual treat and instantly connected us with the beauty of our surrounds: manicured golf greens, indigenous forest, and the sparkling Indian Ocean. 

 

The butler staff are incredibly attentive and arrive within 2 minutes that you request them. Pure indulgence! The rooms are generously sized and boast a cosy fireplace which we loved and it kept us extra warm. Walking out onto the beautiful balcony that overlooks the grand estate in the imported gowns they provided, made me feel like pure royalty. The bathroom and walk-in closet are beautifully decorated and reflect the stylish character of this iconic destination. A gorgeous bottle of Stellenbosch wine and chocolates were waiting for us on arrival and really made us feel exceptionally welcome and special. 

 

The main lodge features high ceilings, contemporary décor and beautiful earthy colours. Walking down the dramatic staircase you are met with a model of the entire estate that is 1000 hectares in total. The ground floor features an exclusive boutique, the spa as well as the two restaurants, Café Z, Zachary’s and Noah’s Champagne and Cocktail Lounge. The kitchen uses the resorts homegrown vegetables as well as locally sourced fresh ingredients to create the generously portioned and delicious cuisine, reflecting true South African flavours and hospitality. Breakfast is an event, as we were wonderfully surprised with a glass of champagne, which always made us smile – what a great way to start the day! Dinner was world class, and the chefs outdid themselves in showing off the region’s freshest produce with style, flair, passion and Decadence. 

A feature we particularly enjoyed was the Conrad Concierge App. We were able to customize our entire experience, including dinner reservations, special arrival request, and local activities – all in advance. It’s wonderful to see how technology is being embraced and used to maximize the guest experience. 

A once-in-a-lifetime memory I will take away from our stay there, was our privately guided horse ride through the deep forest on the estate. How surreal it was to experience life from this viewpoint, and it connected us with nature in such a beautiful way. Food for the soul! 

The spectrum of attractions at Conrad Pezula is vast, so we’ve had to put them on our bucket list for a return visit. These include the uniquely accessible Noetzie Beach & Pezula Private Castle, the outstanding Spa as well as their wedding and conferencing options. Conrad Pezula is one of the best luxury travel experiences in Africa and I would highly recommend it to any discerning traveler.

Michelle Snyman-Brand Manager

To Book Conrad Pezula

www.conradpezula.com

Book: conrad_pezula@conradhotels.com

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A Luxurious Break In The Cape Town City Centre

Pepperclub Hotel & Spa

Located in the heart of Cape Town South Africa Pepper Club Hotel & Spa is a prime business and leisure hotel

A glass of decadent bubbly and a warm towel to refresh as we entered the uber stylish and glamorous Pepperclub Hotel & Spa was a fantastic start!

High up on the 14th floor, we checked into our luxurious studio apartment overlooking the majestic Cape Point. A sliding door opening up onto our balcony welcomed the fresh Autumn air and the famous Lionshead and Table Mountain – Cape Town’s pride and joy!

Ideally located, we took a short stroll and explored the sights, smells, and sounds of bustling Long Street. We loved the energy of Long Streets diverse cultures and endless pubs, clubs, divine eateries and boutique shopping spots that line the pavements.

Prepare to be ‘wowed’ by the onsite restaurant, Sinatra’s, decadent buffet style breakfast! An over-the-top display of culinary genius is spread out for patrons… it never disappoints. Definitely, make a plan to dine here if you are ever in Cape Town.

Popcorn and front-row movie seats to the hotels private retro 60’s style cinema were definitely on the cards, competing with a quick dip in the hotels 8th floor heated swimming pool… a treat in the cooler Autumn weather.

 Wellness is a priority at the Pepperclub, where we found the stunning Cayenne Spa which is incredibly serene and ultimately relaxing. We noticed some guests having a leisurely workout in their Fitness Centre which is fully furnished with the latest cardio and strength training equipment – all the while gazing over the pristine Table Mountain.

We checked out of this hotel with treasured memories and a great love for this exquisite property. We also would like to wish all the staff and management the very best for their 3rd season competing in the World Luxury Hotel Awards! It’s easy to see why the Pepperclub Hotel & Spa has won titles in both 2015 and 2016 – standing out as one of Cape Towns finest luxury hotels!

“From all of us at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, we would like to thank the World Luxury Hotel Awards for this distinguished award, we are really honoured by your recognition. 2016 has been a great and successful year for our hotel, and we are proud of our team for their dedication, commitment and hard work. We strive to deliver on our service promise, and delivering exceptional service to our guests is our mission and commitment. -Says Josiah Montsho general manager of Pepperclub Hotel & Spa”

Melissa Hofmann – World Luxury Hotel Awards

To view more or book online click www.pepperclub.co.za

Book: info@pepperclub.co.za

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Architectural Wonder In Ubud Bali

The Hanging Gardens of Bali is an architectural wonder, located in the heart of the Balinese jungle. The property and location can be described as sacred, as it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful regions in the world. Nestled on top on a hill and surrounded by natural forest, the Hanging Gardens of Bali provides the essence of luxury, while still preserving Balinese history and protecting the natural environment.

With 700 local craftsmen using traditional materials and adapting indigenous ideas, the resort took shape in the heart of Ubud. A winding path of 88 steps leads from the reception to the restaurant; built with Feng Shui principles to mean infinity and stability of energy: an important factor when building on a 45-degree angle

The creation of Hanging Gardens of Bali also resulted in providing the first telephone lines and electricity to the local villagers.

Getting to the property is an exciting experience as you travel, away from the busy Denpasar centre, you enter the rural area which is decorated with an abundance of beautiful green rice lands and local villages.

While dodging a few local villagers on scooters, you will get to view village life, beautiful temples and Hindu offerings. Arriving guests will travel a narrow road the top of a hill to reach the reception of the hotel. Guests can then look forward to taking an outdoor tram to the different levels of the property. It is a unique and exciting experience.

The resort features a private boutique, a magnificent restaurant and deck that overlooks the legendary pool, 44 private villas as well as an out-of-this-world spa.

The property overlooks the ancient holy Dalem Segara Temple. The resort offers guests the option of a personal chef to serve an exclusive and private gourmet dinner at the temple or you can experience one of the 6 dining areas in the resort.

The luxurious Spa Collection combines natural, local ingredients and ancient techniques, to create beauty therapies and treatments that soothe the mind, rejuvenate the body and energise the soul.

The property offers a variety if authentic Balinese experiences, from private cooking classes to a picnic by the river and even embarking on a spiritual journey and teaching of the Balinese Blessing.

“The owner and staff of The Hanging Gardens create a once in a lifetime experience. I consider it a privilege to have visited a place of such beauty and spiritual wellness”

 

Michelle Snyman – Brand Manager at World Luxury Hotel Awards

Contact Hanging Gardens of Bali

To book contact reservations@hanginggardensofbali.com

Or view this beautiful award winning hotel online via www.hanginggardensofbali.com

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Reviving The Senses At Constance Ephelia

Upon arrival, the sheer size of the resort is soon revealed – 120 hectares of absolute bliss! Spanning two large beaches (one situated in a marine park), a vast mangrove forest, cliff-side views, hiking trail, spa-village and several restaurants, Constance Ephelia certainly leaves one spoilt for choice.

Our spacious senior suite was on the north beach and had a very large balcony with views overlooking the picturesque Port Launay bay. A pillow menu was provided to ensure optimum rest – essential if one aims to explore all that Constance Ephelia has to offer.

The boathouses and fitness centers ensure hours and hours of activities – from zip lining and rock climbing to diving and sailing. Canoeing is a must! From an exclusive mangrove tour to the gentle sway of the open ocean, the views are a sight to behold. The Ros Lepa hiking trail will take you back in time to the age of discovery through lush palm groves, ancient boulders, and wild vanilla.

When you’ve had your fill of action packed adventure, head to the secluded spa village for some well-deserved relaxation, where you are sure to be pampered with exotic natural products by the finest masseuses.

Situated on the western side of the island, Constance Ephelia makes for breath-taking sunsets. When the day is almost spent, head to the helipad for an intimate picnic as the hues of twilight adorn the evening sky overlooking the bay. For a more festive sunset experience, Seselwa Bar at the north beach is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and embrace the night ‘a la Creole’ style!

The resort has 5 fine restaurants to choose from, each with different themes – from the signature dishes at Cyann to the buffet at Corossol. A truly entertaining culinary display are the chefs at Asian restaurant Adam & Eve, as they lure the enormous flames from the fire pit to the wok to achieve a smoky taste otherwise unattainable.

As with everything at Constance Ephelia, the breakfast buffet certainly presents a luxurious selection with a variety of exotic fruits.

With several boutiques at your disposal selling day to day necessities and handmade traditional crafts to a unique line of clothing, be sure to take a little bit of Constance Ephelia home with you when you leave. A magical place to revive the senses indeed!

Guest Signe Da Silva – Awards Representative

Contact information

To book contact Info@epheliaresort.com

Or view this beautiful award winning hotel online via www.constancehotels.com

 

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One of the world’s most secret tropical hideaways…

The Viceroy Bali is situated in the “Valley of Kings,” a name that was given to the area by locals as generations of Balinese royalty resided in nearby villages.

The resort is located near the charming village of Ubud and is known as one of the world’s most secret tropical hideaways.

“While we knew it would be an extraordinary experience to visit this resort, we really did not expect it to be so breathtakingly beautiful”

The Viceroy Bali had a view like no other, I  could almost always see the tropical jungle, so raw, beautiful and untouched. Upon arrival we were greeted with big smiles, warm hearts and a flower necklace, we were then escorted to the highly acclaimed CasCades Restaurant for a refreshing welcoming drink.

“Our villa was something out of this world, the villa was spacious and offered everything one could need”

With a pool and a beautiful view, we spend most of our days enjoying the villa and all it has to offer.

The resort also offered complimentary transport to the magnificent town of Ubud and while we were excited to get to the town to explore, we were even more mesmerized by the stories that the drivers told us about Ubud and its culture. There truly is nothing quite like Balinese hospitality.

Viceroy Bali also offers a valley-top infinity pool, boutique, complete and modern gymnasium, library and the luxurious spa and beauty centre, Lembah.

The staff were friendly and helpful throughout our stay, the food was spectacular and the view was breath-taking. Everything about this property is phenomenal.

A special thank you to Diah who showed us around and told us the history of this amazing resort.

Guest – Jana Stoman

www.viceroybali.com Reservations can be made through the hotel at res@viceroybali.com

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Whalesong & Hydro – Thatched jewel on the Southern African coastline

The World Luxury Hotel Awards had a wonderful opportunity in interviewing and experiencing Whalesong & Hydro, an understated gem perched on a hill in the world famous Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Majestic views overlooking the Indian Ocean, surrounding mountains and lagoon provide a luxurious nest in which guests from all over the world come to find rest, rejuvenation and explore this beautiful part of Southern Africa.

Warmly welcomed and lovingly managed by Manuela Teuscher, we were introduced to her hospitality style and received some insight on what makes her property so unique. Manuela shares with us her secret to success in keeping guest satisfaction levels high and attracting new and repeat guests, which ultimately lies in their staff selections. This cannot be emphasized enough as being the key to a thriving hospitality destination. Her focus is on recruiting staff that are passionate about this industry, as opposed to being motivated by earnings, and this certainly seems to be a winning approach.

Excellence is what we experienced – money could not have bought the level of service and heart that was infused into every minute detail of our stay. Luggage was carefully transferred to our first story cottage which had breathtaking views, we dined at the on-site @Whale Restaurant and enjoyed impeccable service and an outstanding meal. Upon return to our luxurious abode, we were surprised by a room laden with delicate rose petals and lit candles in honour and celebration of our honeymoon. Understanding guests needs and exceeding expectations is all true of the Whalesong and Hydro.

This chic African inspired thatched property combines lush landscaped gardens teeming with prolific birdlife – a major attraction for birding and outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to its natural features, it offers a magnificent spa, salon, bar and pool. The hotel is also just minutes away from the town center which has top restaurants and boutique shopping outlets. Pristine beaches, golf courses, the Tsitsikamma National Park, the world’s highest bungee and a diverse range of attractions including whale watching, dolphin encounters and diving are on your doorstep.

If personalized service, spectacular scenery and gracious hospitality are important to you, make sure you put the Whalesong and Hydro on your travel itinerary.

To Book Contact

reservations@legendlodges.co.za
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