Arriving at Hotel Skt. Annæ in Copenhagen I was immediately impressed by the beautiful exterior with large flower pots on either side of the entrance, historic buildings in the surrounding area and the close proximity to the city centre. We were within walking distance to a variety of restaurants and most importantly Strøget; the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe at 1.1 km. We arrived a little early for check in and the front desk staff were happy to keep our luggage in storage while we went to explore the city.
Hotel Skt. Annæ boasts a beautiful open area which immediately catches your attention. Featuring a large wooden table in the centre, with beautiful chandeliers hanging above and plants all around the room it really is a special space and feels like the heart of the hotel. There is also writing on the wall explaining Hotel Skt. Annæ’s history and other interesting facts about the property.
Once we got back from an afternoon of exploring the charming city of Copenhagen, we were able to go to our rooms. Our room was modern and beautifully decorated with a painting by the famous Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi. His artwork can be seen throughout the hotel and really stood out to me. Besides this the furnishings in Hotel Skt. Annæ are largely from Danish Designers.
Our room also had a beautiful view over the street outside,
a sizeable and comfortable bed, desk area and a beautiful bathroom with gold bronze
taps and shower heads. The design in the bathroom really stood out to me.
After a great night’s sleep, we headed down for breakfast and wow, Hotel Skt. Annæ seriously shines here. There are 3 parts to the breakfast area, first the Breakfast Restaurant Area, then the kitchen area where the buffet is placed and lastly an indoor courtyard area where more seating is available with a beautiful tree in the centre. This area is also buzzing at night, and a great spot for a glass of wine with friends.
I absolutely loved the fact that the buffet area was basically in the kitchen and while you were dishing up your morning scrambled eggs you could see the chef on the other side preparing meals. Very unique and a great touch. The food selection at breakfast was incredible with everything from Bacon and eggs to Cheesecake and Nutella Croissants.
The lounge area in Hotel Skt. Annæ is also a great area to grab a quick coffee, meet with friends or simply relax with a glass of wine. Keeping in theme with the hotel décor, the space is modern and contemporary with a beautiful fireplace as a centrepiece. There is even a Hotel Skt. Annæ magazine on the table where you can read all about the hotel, get to know each staff member and great tips on what to explore and must see’s in Copenhagen. I loved this personal touch.
The staff at Hotel Skt. Annæ are incredibly friendly and helpful and you immediately feel comfortable and at home. On our last day we had a late flight back home and at the last minute requested a late check-out. The staff were quick to accommodate us at such short notice and this really made our last day in Copenhagen enjoyable. Just before leaving for the airport we were able to freshen up for the long journey ahead.
All in all, our stay at Hotel Skt. Annæ was an all-round wonderful experience from start to finish. The Hotel is the perfect blend of luxury and comfort with modern design. Add in amazing staff, great food with a warm atmosphere and you have yourself a winner! Hotel Skt. Annæ is definitely the hotel to stay at when visiting Copenhagen.
Reviewed by Executive Manager of The World Luxury Awards: Ms. Tanique Echardt
Arriving in Norway at Oslo Airport we hired a car and took the scenic route towards Herangutunet Boutique Hotel. The hotel is situated on the outskirts of the quaint town of Heggenes and driving towards the hotel you almost think for a second you are lost. The Hotel is magnificent and right in the middle of the forest. It truly does take your breath away. I absolutely loved how the hotel is at one with nature and eco-friendly in every sense.
We arrived early, but Marco the owner greeted us and immediately made us feel so welcome and right at home. He was happy to show us to our apartment early. The hotel boasts 4 suites, 5 rooms and one apartment. The apartment is spacious and with two rooms, a lounge area, dining area and a fully equipped kitchen mking you feel immediately relaxed and at home. The Apartment is decorated with earthy tones and beautiful wooden finishes. I especially loved reading through the Guest book about previous visitor’s happy experience’s here.
After settling in, Marco was kind enough to show us some of the rooms and suites where guests had not arrived for check in yet. I must say, I was and still am completely blown away by Marco and Marie and their love for Herangtunet. They have spent years making each room and space something truly special. Marie is an interior designer and all I can say is wow. I have never seen such beautifully and well thought out decorated rooms.
Marco too put his heart and soul into creating the spaces with his own hands. It was fascinating to get all the details. The main building was even dismantled picked up and rebuilt at Herangtunet to house the current suites. It was incredibly special to be taken on a personal tour of this special property.
We spent the afternoon exploring the beautiful woodlands surrounding the hotel and soaking it all in. Marco has even created a Sauna in the woods with a jacuzzi outside. There is also a fire pit area you can enjoy on the colder days as well as outside seating to enjoy on the warmer days.
The main building and where the restaurant, lounge area and bar is situated is warm and welcoming. Walking in here you immediately know that it is going to be a great evening. All the staff are so friendly and welcoming you almost feel like you are joining your family for dinner. I was also so happy to see our World Luxury Hotel Awards Trophy proudly displayed on the bar counter. A well-deserved home.
Dinner at Herangtunet was incredible and a dinner I will not soon forget starting with a mouthwatering starter of soup freshly made and ending with a unique beer ice cream. Everything is made by the team with the freshest local ingredients and served with a wine of your choice. Marco and the team really interact with all their guests and Marco even gave all of us a warm welcome and some history on Herangtunet and how it came to be. It was a memorable and special evening.
After a great night’s sleep, we joined the Herangtunet team for breakfast and again everyone was there to welcome us and have a chat. This breakfast was absolutely incredible, assorted cheese, fresh homemade bread, sliced ham and salami, cereal, and even a home-made chocolate spread. After telling Marco how much I loved this chocolate spread he even sent me the recipe which will definitely be used at home.
In conclusion Herangtunet Boutique Hotel is honestly the most intimate and luxurious property I have ever visited. The location and nature, the history, the food, and most importantly the people make this property a rare gem. Marco and Marie are extraordinary and it is clear that Herangtunet is a labour of love. My only regret is that I could only stay for one evening, but even so; in this time, I fell in love with Herangtunet. I look forward to visiting this exceptional hideaway in the near future and highly recommend it to anyone travelling through Heggenes, Norway.
Reviewed by Executive Manager of the World Luxury Awards: Tanique Echardt
Hotel Katajanokka is a rather comfortable prison and one of the most uniqe hotel’s I have ever visited. Before it was converted into Hotel Katajanokka, it was literally the old prison of Helsinki. A new prison was built and the decision was made to renovate and recreate the old prison into Hotel Katajanokka.
The beauty of the hotel is almost hidden behind the perimeter wall, but once you enter the gates the scope of this hotel with its rich history comes into full view. Walking in the front door is not at all what you would expect from a prison. No metal gates, no bars and no prison guards taking your belongings and putting you in handcuffs. Instead, you get modern automated glass doors, friendly welcomes from the staff and someone willing to take your bags to your “cell”.
Walking down hotel hallways between rooms that used to be the cells where the prisoners were kept, you almost get the feeling of being in an episode of Prison Break. The rooms are comfortable in size; defnitely not as small as the cells used to be. They broke through the walls and converted 3 or 4 cells into one lovely room with a modern bathroom and enough space for a large bed and dressing table. The rooms still have the original small windows with views into the yard. The decor was stylish with old prison locks and images framed above the bed; reminding us of the unique history of Hotel Katajanokka.
The hotel has also kept an isolation cell in the exact condition it used to be when it was still a prison. So if you like, you can go down and lock your friends up or take some awesome pictures. Another feature is the group holding cell. This is basically a small, dark cave in the foundation of the building that was used to hold large groups of people. I must admit it was quite eery exploring these rooms, but also very intresting. These original cells and many more features of the Hotel Katajanokka are now being used for treasure hunts and team building exercises where you will be given clues hidden inside the dark and scary cells. This to me is an amazing way of sharing the rich history of the hotel with the public.
Hotel Katajanokka also has a gym. You are able to do great workouts in the small but well thought out gym with top of the range equipment. They have everything you need and more for all your workout needs during your stay.
The restaurant is just as impressive. With amazing food and a warm and entertaining atmosphere you find yourself sitting around the table laughing and cracking jokes with the friendly waiters for much longer than you initially intended. If you ever find yourself in this particular prison kitchen, I do recommend the burgers!
Breakfast at Hotel Katajanokka is really amazing. No matter where you are from, you will find exactly what you want at this buffet breakfast. There is even an ipad that controls the juice fountain.
Hotel Katajanokka has exceeded all my expectations. I really loved staying here, but one thing stands out to me above all. The staff. Especially the front desk staff. On our last day in Helsinki our flight left early in the morning which meant we would have a really early checkout before breakfast was available. In most hotels if you put in a request the previous evening, they will give you a yoghurt or some fruit the next morning just to keep you going.
Not at Hotel Katajanokka; here Taija who was on duty told us to come down 30min before we needed to leave so we can eat something. When we got to the reception early in the morning, she had bars and fruit waiting for us. There were also smoothies and shakes. And as if that’s not enough, she offered us coffee and tea and then she told us to have a seat while she fixed us some oats. This is unbelievable. Never have I experienced a front desk staff member at a hotel going through so much effort to make sure we do not leave with an empty stomach. Thank you! This was really appreciated!
In conclusion, Prison Break is a TV series where some inmates desperately tried to break out of prison. However, here you will find yourself willing to do anything just to stay a little longer at this stylish and unique hotel.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Executive Manager Tanique Echardt
The award-winning Mövenpick Hotel Izmir with its urban all-glass exterior is perfectly located in the absolute heart of the city. It is within walking distance of the business- and shopping districts and less than a kilometre from popular tourist sites like the Izmir Clock Tower and Kemeralti Bazaar. The stunning lobby with high-rise ceiling of intersecting golden circles also echoed on the floor are a symbol of the perfection, class and consistency that is Mövenpick.
The staff are highly professional and certainly uphold the traditional Swiss standards with a flair of true Turkish hospitality! They spared no effort in ensuring that our time in Izmir was well spent making the necessary arrangements for tours and activities in Izmir and the surrounds and were very well informed. We were welcomed by the lovely PR Manager, Merih Hasaltun, who ensured that every detail was perfect for our stay.
The hotel has 185 Rooms, including 36 Executive Rooms and 17 Suites. Our senior suite on the eighth floor had spectacular views of both the city and sea. The suite was spacious with lots of natural light and well laid out with two separate lounges and workspaces particularly useful for business travellers. The suite furthermore had two minibars, two television sets and other equipment that might be of use to corporate guests. The hotel also has several meeting rooms available.
For a sweet indulgence, there is the Swiss Cake Shop Mövenpick which sells delectable cakes and the world-class Mövenpick ice cream. For something more substantial, there is Margaux Restaurant which serves a buffet-style breakfast and à la carte lunch and dinner and the occasional themed set menu. A lot can be said about the creative cuisine that is presented by the chefs at Margaux Restaurant. We were treated to a world of flavours of both international cuisine as well as some wonderful interpretations of Turkish classics. Of particular note was the Börek (fine duck leg and pistachio in phyllo pastry) which simply melts in your mouth and the chef’s signature Roast Aubergine Soup garnished with aubergine chips. The Beef Tenderloin was remarkably succulent and soft and served with a marvellous porcini sauce! All meals were beautifully presented by the chefs and well accompanied by our friendly waitress Ôykü who served us every night and ensured that that we got a good impression of what special dinners at Margaux Restaurant is all about.
For those aiming to keep in step with their after-work exercise routine, the Fitness Centre with its incredible view of the sunset hues and Izmir skyline will make the stress (and time) simply fade away. What better way to end it all off than with a dip in the heated pool in the Coral Health Club on the 11th floor or spend some time in the sauna and steam room. For destressing on a deeper level, professional massage therapists are available until 9 pm.
It is then no wonder that Mövenpick Hotel Izmir has been vote as Turkey’s Leading Business Hotel.
Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative: Mrs. Signe Da Silva
Mandarin Oriental Bodrum was home away from home! This massive 60-hectare resort with 2 kilometres of private coastline is located in Cennet Koyu, appropriately translated as Paradise Bay. The sheer size of this resort is a proclamation that space itself is a luxury. Arrival was unlike any other – a ceremonial and warm greeting awaited us at the beautiful entrance courts which invite one inside to discover for yourself what lies beyond – and what a sight it was! The magnificent terrace with iconic tub chairs had a view that was breath-taking and it almost felt like one could observe the whole of the Aegean – ‘land of the eternal blue’.
There are over 130 accommodation options in 33 different categories to choose from, including hotel rooms, suites, villas and apartments. Of note is the resort’s 5 new green marble family villas at the secluded Olive Garden Beach. These villas range in size from 3-bedroom to an enormous 7-bedroom option and include a dining room, lounge, kitchen and private terrace with pool to make for the perfect family luxury experience.
Our dedicated butler, the lovely Ksenia who was both professional and very friendly, escorted us to our Sea View Suite complete with private pool. We were delighted with the lavish welcome gifts that awaited us – an abundance of handmade confectionary, fresh fruits, champagne and edible platter with golden fan beautifully fashioned entirely out of chocolate! The suite was very spacious with a reception area, large walk-in closet, lounge, shower (convertible to steam room), two toilets and huge open bathroom area with sunroof which could be opened and closed at the push of a button. The modern wooden interior had several moving walls that allowed us to create and compartmentalise the space as we wished. The bedroom was conveniently situated in the centre of the suite with access to the patio, bathroom and reception area. The lounge and bedroom each had a Bang & Olufsen Beovision TV, automated blinds, and an array of lighting features. Our private outdoor area was spacious as well, with a beautiful swimming pool clad in green marble, sun loungers and outdoor set. The cleverly designed valet box, which is simultaneously accessible from within and outside the suite, optimises privacy by allowing for the daily newspaper and other services to continue uninterrupted without the interaction of staff. The grand turndown service surprised us with something special every night, from a gold eye mask to an invigorating salt scrub. All of the above made for an experience of ultimate luxury!
Being the Group’s first resort in Europe, this stylishly designed haven certainly set the bar very high. The architecture and interior design are masterfully done by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Co. who in partnership with landscape architects Scape Design have more than succeeded in creating a resort that has been seamlessly merged with the natural habitat. The stepped layout of the resort perfectly complements the natural terraces and combined with the several eco-friendly planted roofs create the illusion of isolation amidst the thick, lush forest. MO Bodrum is very much concerned with the environmental impact and sustainability and boasts using desalinated and recycled water for irrigation and solar-panels in some parts of the resort. They have furthermore maintained much of the natural indigenous flora, including many very old olive trees that create a sense of time as if the resort has been imbedded in the ancient bedrock.
The modern design of the buildings incorporate local materials with natural elements of stone, marble and wood and the interiors are reminiscent of the oriental. The superb suspended staircase in the main building is a stunning feature and grand match of design and engineering. The descent to the spa-level reveals even greater interior beauty, with opulent floral wall pieces and a unique light feature that reminds of poppyseed pods bursting open.
The MO Bodrum Spa & Wellness offers an array of massage treatments from only the best of masseuses, Hamam, Fitness centre, Yoga, Pilates and indoor and outdoor pools. The spa overlooks a green valley and has a tranquil Spa garden. The indoor pool looks out into the woods, creating a sense of being at one with nature.
MO Bodrum also hosts a number of exclusive luxury retail stores, from the one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces by Cevan Biçakçi to one of only three Chanel stores in the world exclusively located in a resort. For those interested in something a bit more physically engaging, the resort offers a range of sports and watersports, from tennis and jogging trails to flyboard and scuba diving. Yacht excursions can also be arranged.
The resort has stunning sandy beaches as well as a wonderful pool area with three-tiered swimming pools where guests can soak up the sun. For some privacy, guests can rent a cabana on the seaside. They cater splendidly for the younger generation as well, with everything from arts, crafts and movies at the kid’s club to supervised kids sports and a selection of other in-room amenities.
For dining, the resort offers eight fabulous options. The Mandarin Cake Shop presents a selection of handmade gourmet treats, pastries and other delicacies including their delicious Turkish Baklava which can be enjoyed with a splendid view of the vast blue! The glamorous Mandarin Bar is situated near the reception area and is the perfect place to enjoy a unique cocktail or savour the some of the premium liqueurs in style. For a party, there is Kai Beach Club – the only part of the resort that is open to the public on occasion. It has become notorious for hosting famous musicians and DJ’s for events and parties with a chic Mediterranean setting. The Pool Bar & Restaurant serves an array of healthy, bite-size meals – we particularly enjoyed the Beef Tataki and Shrimp Caesar Salad and the fact that waiters brought around freshly squeezed juices to the poolside guests.
Blue Beach Club & Bar has a very relaxed atmosphere and is there to welcome you when you are sandy and salty having just come out of the ocean. They serve delicious lunches, specialising in Turkish mezzes including a variety of kebabs, pide and Lahmacun. Assagio is the resort’s Italian restaurant, and probably has the best location of all dining options. It is magically situated on a pier extended over the water, where the ocean is beautifully lit up at night. They serve wonderful Italian specialities such as handmade pastas and pizzas, accompanied by some excellent wines. For traditional Turkish seafood, there is Balikçisi. We loved this relaxed, market-style restaurant with fish laid out on ice, nets strung up along the ceilings and peppers being dried on the walls. We were treated to an assortment of mezze starters, such as zucchini leaf Dolma with carrot puree to imitate the yellow flowers, stunningly presented on an urchin server. The Lobster main was also done splendidly and was evidently fresh. To top it off, we had the signature ‘White chocolate soup’ consisting of 70% high quality white chocolate presented in a mousse-like texture with raspberry sorbet that was divine! Kurochan offers a unique take on Japanese cuisine with some creative sushi and seafood dishes. They serve a noteworthy Black Cod that is marinated in Miso and tastes like sweet melted butter – an absolute must try!
Mornings at MO Bodrum are a magical time. The skies turn the most beautiful soft pink, setting the tone for a beautiful day which begins with breakfast at Sofra. Here, the open buffet style breakfast caters for everything that the heart desires, made fresh and on site. So fresh, that a selection of the breads and traditional Gösleme are made as you watch. A wide selection of Turkish cheeses and olives are served, thoughtfully identified by region and type – so much to discover and experience!
They say that your arrival at MO Bodrum is a gateway to paradise and so it was for us. Our stay MO Bodrum was one of discovery and new experiences; hospitality of an unparalleled kind; and luxury redefined. So, whether you come by plane (the airport being only 35 kilometres away) or rest your yacht in one of the resort’s moorings, every moment here is time well spent. And perhaps, you might consider staying permanently by purchasing one of the resort’s 125 private residences with private entrance and beach.
When our time came to an end, we left feeling like family and it was like waking up from a dream, wishing only that we could go back to sleep. All that remains is to say that “I am a fan!”
Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative, Mrs. Signe Da Silva
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
Friendly staff awaited us in the light and airy reception area adorned with palm trees and cloaked with white linen adrift in the ocean breeze. The abundant green olive groves along the walkways offset by the dry-stone walls made for a sense of antiquity. Gracefully balancing ancient Mediterranean design elements with a modern minimalist style created a gateway from the past to the present – a snapshot in time; a space where hours of lounging pass by freely and at the same time a place of eager expectancy.
The continuous views of the Aegean starting from the reception area all the way down to the beach is the crown feature of this 5-star property. The 108 rooms, lofts and villas cascade down the slopes with cobbled staircases running in between them.
The resort is ideally situated close to the Yalikavak Marina at the western point of the Bodrum peninsula with its vibrant night life and boutique retail stores. Perfect summer days consisted of lazing at the golden, sandy beach with a cocktail in hand or taking a dip in the turquoise water. The stunning high-rise infinity pool seemed to flow directly into the ocean, enabling one to quite literally lean over the blue horizon. The pool-side hammocks made for hours of blissful daydreaming.
Our room was elegant and modern, furnished in light and neutral colours. The finishes were neat and uncomplicated. We had a lovely patio with ocean view that included our own olive tree. The light bathroom had a luxurious tub. The room service staff were particularly attentive and friendly, ensuring our every need was taken care of.
Breakfast at EDITION’s Kitchen Restaurant
is somewhat of a ritual – an experience that should be savoured and not rushed,
to be enjoyed any time at leisure between 7 am until 4 pm complemented a the
splendid setting with views of the Turkish Riviera. It is a full house
demonstration of what an authentic, Turkish breakfast experience is all about –
an assortment of around 16 elegantly curated small plates and portions of all
things traditionally Turkish, including olives, cheeses, fruits, vegetables,
honey, homemade butter, homemade cream, traditional baked goods and much more
to share and enjoy. Added to this then is your choice of choice of eggs, or healthy
muesli, yogurt and fruits. Not to be missed are the ‘elements breakfast shots’
and very creative cold pressed juices which are very healthy and nutritious.
Keeping up with the trends is the Ministry of Coffee which presents a wide
selection for the discerning coffee connoisseur, boasting even a its very own Kyoto-style
slow drip cold coffee brew. This method extracts the essential mineral
components from the coffee beans through a process lasting several hours, resulting
in a rich full-bodied coffee that is exquisite. It goes without saying that there
is no rush this side of the Aegean.
No day would be complete without a visit to the spa area. The beautifully tranquil all-white spa has water flowing along the walkways and is as enchanting as it is relaxing. The spa is divided into a men’s and women’s section, each with hammam, dry sauna, steam room and salt room where one can unwind and rejuvenate. At the end of it all is a powerful jet pool for a relaxing aqua jet massage. The massage treatment areas are open-air and cater for couples massages as well.
Dinner at BRAVA was a refreshing experience! Chef Diego Muñoz showcases a daring yet perfectly balanced menu which combines innovate flavour combinations with nostalgic Peruvian tradition. Be sure to save room for dessert: surprising offerings such as the Caramelized Eggplant, Passionfruit & Coconut Cachanga dessert are sure to shift your culinary boundaries.
Life is truly beautiful at The Bodrum EDITION.
Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative: Mrs. Signe Da Silva
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
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
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