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The Kayon Jungle Resort – A magical Jungle experience…

My first surprise when arriving at The Kayon Jungle Resort was the location – the resort is located approx. 20km North of central Ubud, but with their excellent in-house transfer service; accessing Ubud proved really easy and travelling the local road an enjoyable trip to see more of the beautiful rural setting.

The Resort and facilities were really magnificent and exceeded all expectation in a spectacular setting. My room was my own private paradise!

My best impression of The Kayon Jungle Resort was the friendly service and reception I received from the staff. On arrival and check in I was asked how I would like to be addressed and after that everybody down to the room personnel, knew who I was and addressed me as such in a respectful but informal way. What a wonderful personal touch to make one feel truly at home.

I am grateful for the experience and my stay and can happily recommend this as a unique Ubud jungle getaway.

World Luxury Hotel Awards can be proud to represent this sublime Resort.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a room at this Jungle Hideaway:

https://www.thekayonjungleresort.com/

 

 

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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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A Romantic escape to Paris…

We arrived at Hotel Mademoiselle in Paris on a very cold day, our flight got delayed on our way to Paris as the weather was too bad to take off. Luckily we finally made it and arrived at our new home away from home for the night, The Hotel Mademoiselle.

We had quite the fast check in and once we arrived in the room we had some coffee before heading out to explore Paris. We got quite the weather as it started hailing on our way back to the hotel. I have never been as cold and as happy to take a warm shower once we arrived back at the hotel.

This Parisian hotel must be one of my favorites yet, we had a view of the Eiffel tower from our room creating the perfect French atmosphere. Behind the hotels discreet facade, hides a chic, yet unassuming establishment with couture style decor evoking the elegance and charm of Parisian women.

The next morning we enjoyed the delicious breakfast buffet before heading to the airport to fly back to South Africa.

Although we only had one night at this exquisite hotel I can fondly say that it exceeded all my expectations and is exactly what a Parisian hotel should strive to be.

I would love to go back someday and explore the hotel and Paris some more, the hotel has a lot of character, charm and the staff where amazing and so friendly and accommodating – it really made our stay feel special.

Reviewed By Jana Stoman – World Luxury Awards Representative

To book this hotel click the link below

hotel-mademoiselle-paris.com

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Adventures in the wilds of Africa at Pondoro Game Lodge…

After our 6-hour drive from Johannesburg, we finally arrived at Pondoro Game Lodge.
Upon our arrival, one of the staff members, Armand welcomed us and took us to the reception area. We were offered a special welcome drink by the staff members. Armand briefly explained the program for the following days to us.


We were then taken to our room which left my husband and I breathless. The room was really a big spoil – beautifully decorated to suite the name of the room which was called tree suit. The suite that we stayed in had a spectacular view overlooking the Olifant’s river and our own private hot tub on the beautiful deck.

During our three day stay, my husband and I were so overwhelmed with the wonderful staff and the exceptional service. The effort that was made for us was so special and the managers and staff really bent over backwards to accommodate our every need, no matter how small or big. My husband had a special dietary requirement which the staff accommodated without any hesitation. This meant a lot to us.

Dorah, the lady who cleaned our room every day, made the stay extremely special for us. We really want to thank her for making our stay even more memorable. She left us a note on our bed every morning and evening. It was really the little things she did that stole our heart.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the game drives and wildlife. Within the first few hours of arrival we saw 4 out of the Big 5 animals. Our Game Rangers Marius didn’t let anything stop him to get us as close as possible to the animals. Never before have I had such great success spotting wildlife.

It was a stay we won’t easily forget. Just speaking to other guests at the lodge, who return year after year, says so much about the Lodge.

We had a amazing stay and I hope to return again one day soon.

Reviewed by Franca a representative of World Luxury Awards

To book follow the link to the website www.pondoro.co.za

 

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Honeymoon bliss at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa…

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa

My husband and I arrived at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Sandton, Johannesburg to start our honeymoon. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by Ntekozo who offered to take our luggage and escort us to the lobby and reception area.

When we arrived at the reception area we received a warm welcome with referring welcome drinks. One of the staff member Stephan escorted us to our room and took us on a tour to see what the hotel has to offer.

We were completely drawn in by the elegance of our hotel room. The room was beautiful and spacious, with chandeliers and a uniquely designed bath tub.

The next morning we were happy to start the day with an early gym session. The gym entrance is right next door to the Fairlawns Spa which leads to great temptation to book a treatment at the Spa.  The gym had all the equipment that we needed for a good workout, so convenient to have a gym at a hotel.

Breakfast at Amuse-Bouche was definitely the highlight of our stay. Such a great selection and variety of food to choose from. Freshly baked and prepared for us. We really enjoyed the breakfast and the staff were very helpful and friendly.

Our next few days we only spent in the hotel room, the weather was not as sunny as we anticipated, but we were lucky enough to have one sunny day which we were more than happy to spend at the pool. Sometimes we had to remind ourselves that we were in Johannesburg City, the hotel has a very relaxing feel to it with beautiful surrounding gardens.

Our stay at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa was very memorable, we had wonderful service and will gladly return again.

Reviewed By Franca Smith and Hakeem Smith representatives of the World Luxury Awards

To book this hotel please click the link to their website. fairlawns.co.za 

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Beachside bliss at New Star Beach Resort, Koh Samui

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

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A wonderful Balinese experience with the gentle giants of Mason Elephant Lodge …

Although I did not stay at the Mason Elephant Lodge in Ubud, I was invited to come and visit this beautiful property for the day.

Arriving at Mason Elephant Lodge we were immediately warmly greeted by the staff who would be showing us around for the day. Just beyond the reception is a beautiful museum filled with rare and beautiful elephant skulls,tusks and even the only complete mammoth skeleton in the world. This was so informative and a great way to learn all that there is to know about elephants!

The Lodge offers 27 rooms, beautifully decorated and situated within the Elephant park. A stay here will give you everything you would expect from a luxury lodge as well as being amongst the herd and able to see them from your room balcony, or even bathtub. Guests can literally hop onto an elephant from their front door and explore the area.

After taking a look at the lovely rooms and the owners stunning Art Gallery we were taken to the Elephant Park area, and oh what an experience we had! We got to wash the elephants, take a ride through the Ubud jungle and even feed them some treats.  It truly is a special experience to get so up close and personal with these gentle giants and spend time with them.  Daisy was our assigned elephant and it was a real treat getting to know her and her quirky, friendly personality.

The park is the only rescue park in Bali and has been involved for the past 20 years in the upkeep of the elephants who were originally saved from camps in Sumutra. The team at the park are dedicated to giving this heard of endangered elephants a happy and safe existence.

There are 31 elephants in total and each elephant has their own dedicated handler. It was so amazing for us to see the bond each elephant has with there handler. After spending a few hours with the elephants we were treated to a buffet style lunch, with views of the elephant Park.

This is definitely an experience I will never forget and I hope to be back in the near future to stay at the Lodge.

A huge thank you to Jian and the entire team for looking after us and treating us to this once in a lifetime experience!

Some of the wonderful Mason Elephant Lodge team

Reviewed By Tanique Echardt- World Luxury Hotel Awards Executive Manager

To book a experience or accommodation of this piece of paradise click the link below

www.masonelephantlodge.com

 

 

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Fun for the entire family at Conrad Bali…

On a recent trip to Bali we were very privileged to have the opportunity to spend a night at the luxurious Conrad Bali. On arrival we were met by the charming General Manager Andreas Justkowiak, known as Andi to his friends. After checking in we were escorted to our newly rejuvenated premier rooms, which were beautifully appointed with every room having a sea view.

This luxury beachfront resort can be found only 12.2km from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Conrad is a tropical beach resort with seven hectares of lush green gardens and 350 meters of sandy beach. After a quick swim in the sea we rinsed ourselves off in the huge swimming pool which surrounds the hotel. If you are lucky enough to get a ground floor room, you will have direct access to the pool from your balcony. It was now time for lunch, which was served to us at the pool-side by a smiling and friendly waiter. The menu from the Azure Bar and Restaurant is substantial and caterers for all dietary requirements.

Conrad Bali has 358 guest rooms all with panoramic views of the ocean, pools and gardens. The exclusive Conrad Suites are located in a private wing, offering privacy and personalised service. This tropical paradise offers many tempting dining options, plenty of meeting space for all occasions, and offers leisure facilities including the state-of-the-art Jiwa Spa.

We were very lucky to have been shown around the hotel by the Assitant Director of Sales, Harry Purnama, who recommended we try the Suku Japanese Restaurant for dinner. We were very impressed by the atmosphere, service and a delicious menu which includes some very good sushi.

On our tour Harry showed us the unique “Infinity”, a majestic glass structure and one of Bali’s largest modern beachfront wedding venues. There was actually a wedding happening at the time of our visit.

We truly enjoyed our stay at this magnificent hotel even if it was just for one night.

I can definitely recommend the Conrad Bali – one of Bali’s finest hotels.

Reviewed By Michael Hunter Smith – World Luxury Hotel Awards Marketing Director

To book click the link below

www.conradbali.com

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Dash Hotel Seminyak – Dashingly different!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dash-hotels.com/seminyak-bali

 

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An unforgettable wildlife experience at Aquila Game Reserve…

Only two hours away from Cape Town lies the Touws River area where the 10 000-hectare safari experience at Aquila Game Reserve awaits.

I was checked into a Premier Room with an exquisite panoramic view of the nature reserve. In the distance, there were elephants and giraffes frolicking at the watering hole. This room contains a balcony, an en-suite bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities and complimentary water.

View from our room

We did the sunset game drive with our very friendly and knowledgeable guide Trevor. Truly a once in a lifetime experience, we saw 4 of the big five as well as local wildlife that included giraffe, springbok and zebras. The animals can be seen so close that you are able to take selfies! The tour was informative and fun, ending on a high note with a drink and snack in the mountains before visiting the lions.

The infinity poolside restaurant served 3 daily flavourful buffet meals, a typical Klein Karoo culinary experience. After a gorgeous sunset and dinner was eaten, we were invited to stargaze in a fire pit and braai marshmallows.

I also enjoyed a treatment at The Tranquila Spa, which features 2 large heated indoor pools, steam room, sauna, nail bar, 10 treatment rooms, a couples or group treatment room and an outdoor pool. The property also boasts a Conference Centre Cigar Lounge, Curio Shop and Children’s Entertainment Centre.

A big thank you to the entire team for an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Reviewed by Adele Hamman – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

to book click the link below

aquilasafari.com