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A Weekend at the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport – South Africa

Getting off my plane at the Johannesburg airport in South Africa, I was ecstatic to discover that my hotel, InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport is merely 67.8 metres away from the arrival terminal. I was met by a handsome gentleman in a beautiful grey uniform holding up a digital tablet with my name on it. He assisted me with my luggage and escorted me to the entrance of the hotel lobby. After a long flight it is a great delight to be able to immediately check into a luxurious Hotel.

The hotel’s lobby lounge has an electrifying energy as it is filled with a combination of foreign and local business executive, corporate experts as well as leisure guests visiting the economic hub of South Africa. The hotel features modern and elegant décor, While the interior design boasts beautiful African design elements with art pieces that makes guests want to stop to admire and take a picture.

The hotel lobby leads into the Quills Restaurant and Cocktail Bar to the left and the corporate meeting rooms to the right. The exquisite high sealing gives the impression of a modern African palace.

Going up the elevator I found my room on the 6th floor. Room 619 features a beautiful view of the busy airport hub. The room is generous in size and featured an entrance lobby, huge bathroom, a seating area, big elegant desk, modern television and bed fit for an African king.

In the lobby of my room I was presented with complimentary sherry in a beautiful crystal decanter on a table. Upon entering the room I found delicious savoury treats that consisted of South African biltong, nuts and dried fruit. This was an extra gift from the concierge team, along with a welcome card personally written by the hotel General Manager. The room amenities include an espresso machine, minibar, DVD player as well as a special device that can be used to press trousers. I enjoyed the big comfortable bed when resting as well as the broad desk when completing work on my laptop. The wireless internet is fast and efficient, making it a breeze to connect. The room is beautifully decorated with subtle African features and is enhanced by the ample natural light that creates a calm environment but also features blackout curtains when darkness is required. The shower head in the bathroom was huge, the towels and linen soft, comforting and room service is as fast as lightning. What more can a guest need?

Quills Restaurant serves a selection of international dishes. They have taken the most popular dishes around the world and have given them a South Africa twist. I stayed at the hotel for two nights. The first evening I ordered room service and had the delicious Caesar salad that was served with a deep fried bacon and cheese covered egg. The second night I dined in the restaurant. The restaurant is very busy and I would recommend to book in advance. For dinner I had the most delicious salmon dish to date. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the combination of sauce, garish and seasoning was absolute perfection. The cuisine at the restaurant provides an interesting and refreshing twist on classic dishes, but also features exotic game dishes like crocodile warthog, kudu and ostrich, paired with outstanding South African wines. The portions are generous and the ingredients fresh and delicious. The waitron staff are extremely social and friendly. Even though you are in a formal restaurant setting they make you feel comfortable and at home.

Quills Restaurant also features a bar and cocktail lounge which is perfect for relaxing at leisure or meeting business associates over drinks. It is a very popular spot and the lounge is always busy, giving it an electric atmosphere.

The hotel boats a selection of elegant meeting rooms and an impressive business centre. There is also a special smoking room where guests can relax, read a newspaper, have a beverage or get up to date with the latest news via the television.

Going up to the 8th floor is where you will find the spa, the swimming pool as well as the gym. The swimming pool and gym have a spectacular view, which makes working out even more pleasant. The gym is big in size and well equipped with a full range of fitness machinery allowing a full body workout.

The Camelot Spa offers a variety of impressive treatments including beauty treatments, body scrub, body wrap, facials, foot reflexology, manicures, pedicures, paraffin hand treatments as well as waxing. The products that they use in the spa includes, Thalgo and Milk Solutions. The Spa caters to both male and female guests and also offers the standard locker room and steam facilities.

The Camelot Universal Signature Massage is a good option to experience a combination of Hot Stone, Kahuna, Balinese and Indian Head massage techniques. This massage incorporates the use of a unique massage candle, where the fragrance and softness of your skin lingers in guests’ mind long after you have left the spa.

Overall I had a fantastic experience at the hotel. The staff delivered on all my requests at a rapid pace and with precision. Even when I had to leave the hotel for an appointment the service did not end. I was provided with an excellent driver and a luxury vehicle to transfer me safely to and from my destination. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the staff, their conduct was always professional but extremely charming and warm. I would recommend InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport to anyone heading to Johannesburg.

Reviewed by Michelle Snyman

Brand Manager & Events Coordinator – World Luxury Hotel Awards

To enjoy a stay at this beautiful Hotel:

Book Here

 

 

 

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Exploring the beautiful town of Bruges…

We arrived in Bruges on the 31st of December, just in time for the New Year’s celebration. We decided we would walk the short distance from Bruges city centre to our hotel, this time of year is freezing cold, especially for people coming from +/- 30 degrees, however the small town of Bruges mesmerised us so that we forgot for a moment that we were freezing. Thankfully when we entered the hotel it was pleasantly toasty and warm, and just as I had imagined a hotel situated in the small and beautiful town of Bruges would be.

After a quick check in we were showed to our beautiful room. We got such a surprise at the bottle of champagne waiting for us to celebrate the new year. We had a garden room, the room was previously a horse stable and was so beautifully decorated in a rustic theme. I really loved the fact that the hotel reminded me of Bruges itself, charming and full of history.

We went out that evening, after finishing the champagne, and walked around the town until it was countdown time at T’Zand square. It was truly a special experience to be in Bruges for New Years. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast buffet with a huge variety to choose from. Thereafter we went for a stroll through Bruges and tried their famous hot chocolate at The Old Chocolate House.

Hotel Jan Brito is situated in the centre of Bruges, 200 meters from the Market Square. The 16th century manor house, the home of noble families for generations, was converted into a four-star hotel with all necessary amenities and welcomes its guests to an oasis of calm.

I would highly recommend visiting this amazing hotel, I loved everything about it. Thank you Betty for the wonderful stay, Bruges was one of our favourites and we will definitely come back soon.

To visit this amazing property in Bruges follow the link:

https://www.janbrito.com/en/

Reviewed by Jana Stoman – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

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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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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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TIME Oak Hotel & Suites, a truly magical experience…

TIME Oak Hotel & Suites is centrally located in Dubai, and within close proximity to the Mall of the Emirates. We received a warm welcome from staff members and were also greeted by the General Manager. We stayed in a spacious 3-bedroom suite which had its own kitchen and a big lounge area. We also had a great view from our terrace looking out on Dubai’s high-rise buildings and bustling streets.

The café at reception had the most delicious pastries and treats and we were also given a whole platter of sweets and snacks upon our arrival. Their attention to detail was great, the rooms and public areas were always very clean, and housekeeping regularly restocked our rooms.
The swimming pool was perfect, there was also a jacuzzi and a pool bar. The staff were very attentive and greeted us by name. The travel desk was a big help, they helped us book all our excursions and gave us great recommendations.

Breakfast was delicious, the chef made me an omelette, pancakes and waffles with cream every morning. The waiters were very friendly, and the Restaurant Manager also asked all the guests if they were happy with the service.
The hotel really made our stay personal, from the welcoming and throughout our stay the staff greeted us by name. They also arranged airport transfers for us which was very kind.

I would definitely recommend this hotel to travellers, it is well located and provides excellent service to its guests.

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens- World Luxury Hotel Awards representative.

To visit this beautiful hotel click on the link below

 

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Relaxation and wonderful Thai hospitality at the Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas…

The Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas is situated in the centre of the busy town of Patong in Phuket. The hotel is within walking distance of the beach,shops and restaurants.

We received a Thai purple drink and a filled pastry with purple icing on top as a welcome treat and a cold towel to fight off the heat. We felt very welcome and all the staff were friendly.

We stayed two nights in a one-bedroom pool villa, which was gorgeous! A beautiful bath and a big lounge area. Our private splash pool was so great, and the pool chair was very comfortable.

There is a high tea lounge for VIP guests which offers complimentary beverages and snacks every day from 11:00am to 17:00pm which was delicious.

The swimming pool was heated and there were many poolside chairs available.  Most of the ground floor pool facing rooms are adjacent to the swimming pool so guests can just jump in from their terrace. The pool bar had daily specials on their cocktails which guests can enjoy on the chairs inside the pool.

The buffet breakfast was delicious, there was an Asian corner as well as an assortment of Indian and western food.

There was even sushi for breakfast and also a stand where you could make your own iced coffee or chocolate milk which was great.

Our entire stay including the amazing staff made our trip unforgettable. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who plans on visiting Phuket.

To book this magnificent property or get more details follow the link below

http://grandmercurephuketpatong.com

 

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

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Kolbe Hotel Rome; an enchanting experience from the city of Rome.

The city of Rome, Italy is an enchanting experience. Rome is a vibrant and decadent destination. It is filled with passionate Italian locals and rich history. Rome has played an important role as a political and religious capital during centuries of human civilization and should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Walking amongst the historic ruins of the Roman Forum is an experience that will leave you with goosebumps, not to mention a tour of the Colosseum where one can imagine gladiators having a brutal battle.

What made my Roman tourist experience truly special was the fact that our hotel was located right in the middle of all the important historic sites. Just a brief walk from Kolbe Hotel Rome brings you to the centre of it all.

“Surrounded by the magnificence of ancient Rome, only a few steps from the Circus Maximus and the Imperial Roman Forum, the building is located in an evocative and prestigious area right in the heart of the city.”

Kolbe Hotel Rome is a blend of modern and ancient décor; the furniture and finishing are modern and comfortable, yet the hallways are decorated with examples of ancient Roman clothing which is fascinating and really gives you an idea of what was worn back in the day

       

Upon entering the lobby guests are met with extremely friendly staff welcoming you to the hotel. The lobby leads into a contemporary bar lounge as well as the Garden Restaurant – Al Palatino. Guests can choose to sit inside or outside to enjoy a delicious gourmet meal. The garden outside is breathtaking.

“Keeping Mediterranean traditions alive, the courtyard reflects calmness, tranquility and peace. Guests can drink, dine or simply relax in this private sanctuary that is unique in all of Rome.”

The Kolbe Hotel Rome offers a variety of rooms. This includes double rooms, deluxe suites as well as family rooms. Rooms are generally decorated with maroon and light pastel colors and guests can enjoy bathroom amenities from Roberto Cavalli. One of the great features of the rooms are the big windows which open with a view of the surrounding area.

The hotel also offers great meeting and function facilities. During my stay at the Kolbe Hotel Rome, the hotel hosted a large corporate group with ease and professionalism.

Breakfast is served as an informal affair and leaves guests to help themselves to coffee and snacks from the buffet. This provides a relaxed environment for families or businessmen that want to grab a quick snack before heading to the next meeting.

Overall it was a wonderful stay that provided me quick access to the best that Rome has to offer.

Reviewed By Michelle Snyman

Brand Manager World Luxury Awards

To see more of this hotel click here

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Hotel Papadopoli Venezia – MGallery by Sofitel

Travelling to the city of Venice in Italy is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. I suggest taking a private water taxi from the airport and entering the hotel via the water canals with style.  If you are lucky enough to enter Venice just before sunset, the experience will be even more romantic. Imagine sailing into a city filled with beautiful historic buildings, arched staircases and the suns’ reflection on the water streets. The water taxi takes you directly to the hotel entrance and kicks off your love affair with the city of Venice forever.

Arriving at Hotel Papadopoli Venezia – MGallery by Sofitel is an exciting experience. Once you enter the lobby of the hotel the glamour and elegance of this intimate boutique hotel is overwhelming. Close to the reception desk is a display case fill with shoes and handbags decorated with Swarovski crystals. The lounge is decorated with vintage furniture that includes throne chairs, carved giltwood tables and mirror frames, 18th century Italian style sofas as well as breathtaking chandeliers that provide just enough light to feel cozy and relaxed.

 

 

The stairway to the GIARDINO D’INVERNO (Winter Garden) restaurant is framed by two fashion mannequins, each dressed in a ball gown skirt and colorful ladies jacket. One soon discovers that the skirts actually consist of a tree and flower decoration. The beautiful artistry of this hotel is mesmerizing and the use of pastel colors is calming and poetic. Once you reach the Winter Garden one is transported to a scene from the magical Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The hotel has 96 rooms and suites that are finished with furnishings reflecting the elegance and splendor of the 18th century, and views of the Tolentini Canal and Papadopoli Gardens. Each of the rooms are themed and I was fortunate to be accommodated in the Marco Polo room.

One of the special qualities of Hotel Papadopoli Venezia is the spectacular view the rooms provide.  I would suggest starting your day with breakfast on your balcony and a wonderful view of the city rooftops.

The location of the hotel is great and within walking distance of most of the tourist attractions. It is a real treat to explore the busy allies of Venice and stumble upon unique gift shops and restaurants. If you have a lot of luggage the hotel will organize you a city porter in no time to assist you with the heavy load.

Overall, I can recommend Hotel Papadopoli Venezia to any traveller visiting Venice. Personally, the comfortable stay and attentive service contributed to a wonderful experience and many cherished memories.

Hotel Reviewed by Michelle Snyman – Brand Manager of World Luxury Hotel Awards.

To view this hotel click here

To phone +39 041 710400

 

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Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage

Situated in the heart of medieval Brugges, rich in history and gastronomy, Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage, is the exquisite setting for your romantic getaways and for all your special celebrations in life.

Photo with Nagi, one of the amazing employees at Hotel Heritage.

Upon arrival at Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage, we were warmly welcomed and checked in by Jessie who showed us to our room. Our room was absolutely stunning and elegantly decorated with exquisite attention to detail. The hand written welcome note from Johan and Isabelle really made us feel welcomed.

Our beautifully decorated room.

The Hotel’s location is in the heart of Brugges, close to the market square and the city’s many canals, this is ideal for sightseeing, museums, chocolate shops and theatres.

Exploring the market and canals.

Each morning we had a full buffet champagne breakfast, which was served in their beautiful dining area. The food was absolutely divine and local Belgian waffles were definitely a highlight.

We were personally greeted by owners Johan and Isabella and had lovely chats with them. All the staff are incredibly friendly, attentive and provided the highest level of service.

A glass of red wine and snacks at Bar le Magnum in such a beautiful setting truly relax’s you before dinner at Le Mystique Restaurant. This was without a doubt the best 5 course meal I have ever experienced. Chef Gregory Slembrouck is a true master in the kitchen and this is one meal I will never forget. Only the finest seasonal ingredients are used and combined with World class flavours to create these wonderful gourmet delights.

Johan and Isabelle are true visonaries in creating the perfect boutique hotel.
Rich in history, charming and absolutely magnificent would be the best way to describe my stay at Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage. I do hope to return one day in the near future.

To view more click here

To send a booking inquiry – info@hotel-heritage.com

Reviewed By Tanique Echardt- Executive Manager World Luxury Hotel Awards

 

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Over water villas that will leave you breathless…

Dusit Thani Maldives

Maldives

In this setting of unparalleled beauty, enjoy the breath-taking scenery at this over water stilt-hanging haven. Gaze at the ever-changing turquoise hues of the lagoon or take a dip from your private deck. Alternatively, cool off in your very own private waterfront pool.

With a unique combination of beach and lagoon access, all Water Villas are furnished with subtle Thai touches imbued with Maldivian architecture and appointed with modern amenities.

Visit the website here

Diamonds Thudufushi

Maldives

The island features elegant beach bungalows and luxury overwater villas. A wellness centre offers ayurvedic treatments and a diving centre caters to the underwater experience of our guests. The Diamonds Thudufushi resort is a luxury paradise situated just a 20-minute scenic seaplane flight away from Malé International Airport.

Visit the website here

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson

Malaysia

Nestled along Port Dickson’s Pasir Panjang beach and overlooking the Straits of Malacca, the iconic and expansive Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson sprawls into the Straits of Malacca and resembles the national flower of Malaysia. With a total of 639 pool villas comprising 117 tower rooms and 522 water villas, each villa is spacious, tastefully decorated and comes with its own private dip pool and steam room for luxury and privacy.

Visit the website here

Diamonds Athuruga

Maldives

Boasting elegant beach bungalows, Junior Suite and beautiful overwater villas, Diamonds Athuruga is a luxury paradise located at just a 20 minutes scenic flight away from Malé International Airport.

Athuruga is the ideal resort to discover the Maldives from a centre of excellence, where attention to detail will make your journey unforgettable. Let yourself be charmed by one of the most unique, enchanting well-known coral reefs in the Maldives.

Visit the website here

Myanmar Treasure Resort, Inle

Myanmar

Inle Lake is one of Myanmar’s most anticipated destinations, it is a vast body of water, 875 meters above sea-level featuring a unique ecosystem, singular life-styles and rich traditions. Sitting right on the lake waters, Myanmar Treasure Resort, Inle offers an elegant combination of traditional local lifestyle and the comforts of modern accommodation to capture a tradition held long and true.

Visit the website here

The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

Maldives

Dip your toes in the ocean and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach – the Maldives is yours to do as you please.

At The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi and take your pick from a range of stunning accommodation including breath-taking water villas, beach villas, and exclusive retreats. Here at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, not only do you get to experience luxury, you get to experience the traditional Maldivian culture too.

Visit the website here

 

Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min Resort

Myanmar

Choose from an airy suite looking onto the resort’s lush gardens, or a spacious villa right on the water. The infinity pool invites you to soak up the views, and the sunset on the lake provides an unforgettable backdrop for holidays or meetings at Novotel.
Inle Lake is located at the heart of the Shan Plateau, one of Myanmar’s top destinations. It is a beautiful highland lake, 900 meters above sea level and inhabited by different indigenous tribes.

Visit the website here