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The Mulia – Nusa Dua, Bali – A blissful island escape …

My Husband and i recently had the privilege to visit The Mulia Resort in Bail. It was one of the most luxurious experiences we have ever had and we were thoroughly impressed with the attention to detail – the resort itself was immaculately kept, the staff always friendly, helpful and available, the food was exquisite and we will forever treasure the memories of our stay.

We arrived at the Mulia after a long wait and treacherous journey from the Gili Islands followed by a long drive from Padang Bay – typical traffic jams along the way. My husband kept in contact with the hotel to notify the delay in arrival and they were understanding and helpful in on the telephone. We arrived after dark and were immediately welcomed by a staff member who collected our luggage and provided us with a receipt which immediately came as a wonderful relief. Upon check in, due to multiple staff members being available to help us, we did not have to wait and were welcomed with a hot towel and cool water which helped to further remove the sweat and stress of the day. We were greeted and accompanied to our room by another staff member – which helped greatly, as the scale of the resort can be quite alarming initially – but she explained to us quickly which floors we would be wanting to use for whatever activity we wished to pursue, for example eating out or outdoor activities. She also explained vouchers that were issued to us which entitled us to discount on lunch or a few welcome drinks. Even with the sun down already, the aesthetic of the architectural design –with its clean and linear lines, juxtapositioned with the delicate floral lighting and glass fixtures and mosaic work in the water features were breath taking, and we were looking forward to a chance to review and appreciate the details of the interior design in the day time.

Refreshing Welcome Drink.

We stayed in a room with a king-sized bed, facing the courtyard, number 2857 to be specific. The room was extremely spacious, with small details that made it both comfortable and practical, for example the recliner in the corner, the presence of a desk and chair as well as a discreet blind that could either open the bathroom up to be visible from the bedroom or have the extra privacy if needed. There was ample cupboard space to unpack everything if needed to get rid of that “living out of the suitcase” feeling and the balcony had two upmarket but comfortable single seaters with a small coffee table, ideal for early morning coffees or evening sunset gazing.

The bed was absolutely perfect – the size, the mattress, the bedding, the linen – it was one of the most lavish spoils we have ever experienced. The fact that the bathroom consisted of both a shower and a bath – both spacious and elegant, made for a room truly catering for whatever preference guests could have. The high-end technology accompanying the toilet was also a first for us to experience and made for a more pleasant bathroom experience. Lastly small touches were made for guests, such as issuing of soft and lush dressing gowns, flip flops, bathroom accessories, lotions, soaps and shampoos as well as two beautiful carrier bags that could be used while staying at the resort. With my recent birthday just having passed, a piece of beautiful confectionary and a birthday card made me feel really special and spoiled on top of all the luxury and extravagance.

We had complimentary breakfast at The Café every morning and was astounded with the vast selection that was on offer – all cultures, tastes and preferences were accounted for, with ample quantities provided – and due to the layout of multiple stations, one rarely had to queue for food – and if needed, never lasting longer than a minute or two. The quality of the food was fantastic and the staff were courteous and friendly, eager to help with whatever request or inquiry we had. We also had dinner at The Café, where we were given the opportunity to order off the a la carte menu or from the buffet.

We also took the opportunity to order some room service while staying at the Mulia, and was impressed with the selection, efficiency of service and taste and presentation of the food. The fact that the option was there to set up a table for you in the room also made it a more comfortable experience.

We were thoroughly impressed with all of the staff that we came into contact with. We were impressed with the effort that they went through to ensure our every need was met in an unobtrusive but kind way. All of the staff members were fluent in English, which is not a small thing, considering our experiences in other areas of Bali. The housekeeping services were quick to notice when extra items in the room were needed and on one occasion even ensured that my valuables were locked away safely when I had forgotten to do so upon leaving for breakfast. Daily fresh fruit and complimentary water were given which was definitely a plus and there were clear notes left re: communication of washing of towels and bedding – we appreciated that an effort was made to not wash bedding every day to save some water and try to decrease our carbon footprint, but that you could also request to do so if there was a specific reason you might need this daily service.

It was truly inspirational to see what effort the staff put in to maintain the pristine premises of the Mulia. Staff members were seen raking loose sea grass from the ocean, sifting coarser pebbles from the beach sand and washing some gravel like stones in a decorative landscaped area. It is clear that only with the level of dedication and detail orientated focus, one is able to ensure the perfection and elegance that we found at the Mulia.

My husband and I spent some time at both the courtyard and seaside pools on the two days we spent at the Mulia. It was a lovely touch that fresh swimming towels were provided at the different swimming areas, meaning that we would not have to carry towels to and from the rooms and that towels that were used would be washed and or cleaned without you having to take responsibility for any of this. The deck chairs were fantastic – as comfortable as a day bed and long enough for my husband who usually ends up being too tall for these kinds of chairs.

I greatly appreciated that there was a traditional Balinese temple on the premises of the Mulia. I was so happy to have a look at the beauty one finds in the immensely detailed stone carving, rich history and fascinating stories one finds in such temples.

Temple on the Mulia grounds.

Our stay at the Mulia was an absolutely unforgettable experience and one that we are bound to remember for a long time.  It is not surprising to see how well The Mulia is performing in international awards arena, and the excellence in service, presentation and luxurious details from beginning to end will definitely ensure that we will be recommending The Mulia as a place to stay when visiting Nusa Dua, Bali.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representatives.

To book a stay at this beautiful Resort follow the link: www.themulia.com/mulia-bal

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NG Afyon Wellness and Convention – an oasis in the desert…

NG Afyon is quite literally an oasis in the dessert – a welcome retreat with enticing pools, gardens and luxurious delicacies!

The region is famous for the number of hot springs that burst through the earth’s surface and NG Afyon certainly showcases this in a unique way. With no small number of different pools, at different temperatures, both in- and outdoors, the emphasis is on the importance of sustained thermal water treatment as a preventative measure rather than simply a cure for ailments. Furthermore, the spa and wellness areas cater for everyone with not only specific sections for men and women, but also a children’s area and family area. Apart from the pools and jet pools, there are hammams, saunas, steam baths, tepidarium and an outdoor waterpark for the children – the perfect getaway for the whole family!

After some ‘aqua time’, enjoy a healthy drink and snack at the Aliva Café’s little greenhouse, and get that extra oxygen boost; or unwind poolside or in one of the hotel’s many lounge areas, bar and even patisserie. The hotel is decorated in the classical French style yet gracefully incorporates the traditional ceramic and tile culture that the surrounding regions are known for. The proud collection of ceramic displays in the lobby were most interesting and enlightening

The hotel has a very big capacity. Yet despite the number of guests, NG Afyon has managed to maintain the luxury of space and privacy and the property itself is large enough that one never feels crowded. As much as NG Afyon caters perfectly to its family-orientated guests, the hotel is also very well equipped to receive business-orientated guests. It has several meeting venues, convention centre and even offers Business Wellness and Corporate Wellness packages. It is furthermore well situated, being only a 5-minute drive to the city centre, which is easily accessible by car.

Our suite had a luxurious bath which uniquely had water directly supplied from the mineral-rich thermal springs found on the property. The varied pillow options ensured a good night’s rest.

The breakfast buffet presented a huge variety of foods, in all forms and catering for all diets. It was a delight to try the many traditional Turkish foods that were on offer before heading for the pools for yet another day of blissful water wellness! NG Afyon is truly an amazing

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative Mrs. Signe Da Silva

To book a stay at this wonderful property follow the link: https://nghotels.com.tr/ng-afyon/

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Hillside Beachclub – paradise found…

The Hillside Beach Club is about an hour’s drive from the nearest airport in Dalaman but our luxury transfer with in-transit WiFi, refreshments and a booklet giving the daily scoop of entertainment made for a blissful journey.

Upon entering the property gates high upon the hill, the cove in which the resort lies can been seen in all its splendour with steep slopes that are rich with indigenous flora and fauna. The resort boasts 4 private beaches: Main beach, Pasha Beach, Serenity Beach (which is accessible by either a short walk or a colourful water ferry) and Silent Beach (complete with mini-library for ultimate unwinding). If you’re looking for something a little less salty, there’s always the huge overflow pool with stunning views of the ocean. ‘Paradise Found’ is definitely an apt description to this resort!

The rooms nestle comfortably in the forested slopes, ensuring that most rooms have spectacular sea views and there is even a funicular for those who choose to avoid using the stairs. Our Superior Room had a roofed balcony with outdoor lounge set. The bedroom had a television, music docking station (in case you happened to miss your home playlist too much) and all the basic amenities, including a walk-in closet. Bathroom access was via the balcony and only separated by a bamboo curtain to let in the ocean breeze. At night we left the balcony doors wide open to take in all that Hillside had to offer.

Most of the amenities are open-air and lavishly clad in Bougainvillea creating a relaxed, beach-cabana look and feel. The light atmosphere makes one simply want to kick off one’s shoes, sit back and soak in the sun care-free! Being ‘full board+’, this resort is a culinary festival that takes resort dining to a different level. Pasha Restaurant serves a Mediterranean menu with beautiful views over the ocean. At Main Restaurant, buffet style dining gains a whole new meaning, with over 80 different kinds of desserts served at the special Turkish dinner buffet on Sundays – a feast not to be missed!

After sunset the air turns rife with excitement and there is always something festive going on – whether it’s a theatrical performance in the resort’s very own amphitheatre or the DJ’s at Beach Bar pumping up the beat. A special guest performance by local music professor Errol Erdine and family was particularly memorable being a mixture of classical, jazz and Latin-American music – all performed on the grand piano on the terrace of Abacco bar with its distinctly Byzantine-style domes. There were special romantic open-air movie nights held in the nearby deserted ruin village of Kayaköy. On one occasion, local craftsmen set up their stalls near the pool area for a private night-time market; on a different evening, professional stargazing equipment was set up so that we could discover the night sky in a way we had never seen before. With so much going on, every waking hour was filled with wonder and excitement!

The resort has two spa areas, namely the Sanda Spa and the Sanda Nature Spa, the last of which is hidden away in the forest near Silent Beach where your open-air massage treatment will transport you to a different world. There are all kinds of on-site facilities on offer, including an array of sport fields and courts, a water sport division, diving centre, creative art classes and a variety of boat tours depending on the day of the week. For all activities off the premise, there is a helpful ‘Hillside Outside’ office which can make recommendations for all kinds of activities from hiking and biking to shopping. The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle service 3 times per day to the town of Fethiye and back, which is close by and famous for its Tuesday bazaar and wonderful waterside boulevard.

The secluded location, layout of the resort and host of activities available make it a popular destination for families. There are several lifeguards, friendly and caring staff and lots entertainment to keep the children busy and happy, all in a safe environment.

Hillside Beach Club certainly lives up to its motto of ‘Feeling good’!

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative Mrs. Signe Da Silva

To book a stay at this spectacular property simply follow the link: www.hillsidebeachclub.com

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A relaxing weekend away at Kievits Kroon Faircity Hotel…

Upon arrival at Kievits Kroon I was greeted by the very friendly security at the big swinging gates to what looked like an exclusive and very pretty estate in the middle of the bush. The guards signed me in and directed me to the reception building. Driving into the estate it became clear that this was not like any normal hotel. Instead its more like a resort, with pretty trees and well-kept green lawns under which people were having picnics. It really did look like a place you can come to and just relax!

I parked my car and walked to the reception building where I was greeted by another very friendly staff member behind the reception counter. She informed me that I will be staying in one of the two VIP suites and I was instantly even more excited to see what Kievits Kroon had to offer. My room was not ready yet, but It turned out well as they had an opening for a full body massage immediately at their well renowned spa.

While they were getting my room ready, I enjoyed a wonderful Pinotage full body massage. Having been up since 4am to catch a flight from Cape Town, renting a car at OR Tambo and then driving 45min to the hotel, this was just what the doctor ordered. There were some snacks, juices and fruit flavored water waiting for me as I entered the spa. The lady behind the counter was again super friendly and made me feel right at home. I was very impressed with all the staff from all the different departments. My massage was amazing and I felt refreshed afterwards. I also had access to the jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and heated pool.

I checked into my room which as it turns out is more like a small apartment on the outer parameter of the estate. Completely private and with its own parking space. The room had a jacuzzi bath, two TV’s, a lounge area and a spacious room. All inside a beautiful Cape-Dutch stile building. There were also two outside porch areas where you can sit and enjoy some of the complimentary sherry provided in the room. Right next to my room was a helipad. Being a helicopter pilot myself, this really excited me. I love to fly to all the different wine farms in and around Cape Town and I’m always looking for places offering those with the means to do so an opportunity to skip traffic and fly in. I was really happy to see that here in Pretoria you can do just that at Kievits Kroon.

Breakfast the next morning was a full buffet. And I do mean full. From scrambled eggs to oysters. Anything you could think of for an amazing breakfast was on the spread. I really enjoyed my breakfast and decided to head back to the room for my costume and go relax by the pool area.

The restaurant was fully booked when I arrieved, so the waiter asked me to sit at the bar area next to the restaurant and they would serve me there. I didn’t mind this at all as it was really comfortable sitting outside and the view of the beautifully kept green lawns and big trees was just great. I ordered a chicken wrap and something to drink. The weather was warm and the view was amazing.

In conclusion, Kievits Kroon is a beautiful and peaceful venue for escaping the rushed city life. Whether you are looking to stay for a weekend, have a business conference, go for a spa day or just have a romantic picnic with your better half, Kievits Kroon really does offer it all.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this beautiful property simply follow the link: www.faircity.co.za

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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 Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club- Koh Samui – an unforgettable experience…

My husband and I were so privileged to enjoy a 3-night stay at this property on our honeymoon in July 2019. When we arrived at Koh Samui Airport, there was a complimentary air-conditioned hotel pick-up transport service waiting for us at the arrivals section. The location is further enhanced by a close proximity to pharmacies, convenience stores, markets etc, as well as scooter-rentals available on-site.

Upon arriving at the hotel, they already started spoiling us with a refreshing coconut welcome drink to cool down whilst being friendly greeted by all the staff as if we were part of the family. They offer several types of accommodation, from pool access rooms, sea view villas, penthouse suites, to a luxury presidential suite and many more. For two nights we stayed in a pool access room and the last night we enjoyed staying in the presidential suite. They spoiled us with a beautiful towel and rose petal representation in our room, seeing that is was our honeymoon.

The pool access room was conveniently located only meters from the main 40-meter swimming pool, only separated by some of the most comfortable reclining chairs. The pool has spectacular views of the beach and boasts its own pool bar that certainly creates a unique beach club experience! Apart from enjoying the swimming pool, going for a spa treatment, sipping cocktails at the pool bar or defeating your partner with a game of ping pong, the beach is also just a few steps down from the pool area where you can relax amongst the surrounding tropical palm trees. Large inflatable pool toys are left in the pool for guests to enjoy and children to play with

Our night in the presidential suite, was certainly the best night of our stay. The room boasted a glass bathroom, tasteful art and a very large and comfortable couch. The owner hosted a pool party that included cocktails and an exciting fire dance on the beach, which was great fun! After that, we enjoyed the Jacuzzi bathtub on the deck of our suite, with the most beautiful views over the ocean and surrounding islands, with a glass of champagne in hand. It was so special and romantic.

This was the best 3 days of our Honeymoon in Thailand! We would definitely recommend the Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club for anyone when travelling to Koh Samui.

Reviewed By World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative Ms. Jana Matthee

To book a stay at this incredible hotel follow the link: www.theprivilegehotels.com

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The Robinson Club Khao Lak – the perfect family holiday…

If you are looking for an ideal family holiday getaway, filled with entertainment for all ages, this is the place to be. The Robinson Club Khao Lak in Thailand is an all-inclusive resort, offering 4 restaurants, 5 bars, 6 swimming pools, a spa, gym, water sports, tennis court, golf course as well as its own private beach.

We enjoyed a 3-night stay at this resort in July 2019 and it was the ideal relaxing break away. As there is so much to do, we didn’t have the need to leave the resort throughout our stay. The management team of the resort strive in connecting with the guests and therefore have daily activities planned for guests to partake in.

We enjoyed most of our meals at the main restaurant, and what a treat! It was buffet style meals, 3 times a day with a wide variety , varying daily to suit every culture, pallet and desire. The resort is quite big and even with our map, unfortunately we did not get the opportunity to see all the types of accommodation they offer such as their villas, bungalows and suites, but we could tell by all the guests staying at the resort, that there is abundant accommodation available.

Some of the activities they offered during our stay were archery courses, cooking classes, pool action water boxing, water polo, beach volleyball, soccer and many more options. One of the nights we attended an all-white cocktail party just before dinner. There were delicious aperitifs as well as entertainment that we enjoyed whilst getting to know other guests staying at the resort. While the adults are being entertained, they have the Roby Club which is their signature Kid’s Club offering fun, creative and active programs to keep the children amused.

We were really impressed with the service of the staff members as they were very well-informed with arranging transport services, renting of motorbikes to explore the surrounding villages, organising snorkelling and diving trips etc. We would certainly recommend this resort to all families travelling together to Thailand.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative: Jana Matthee

To book a stay at the The Robinson Club Khao Lak simply follow the link https://www.robinson.com/de/de/cluburlaub/thailand/khao-lak/club-details/