Posted on

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

 

 

 

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

A historical journey through Amsterdam…

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam has quite the history, from a 15th-century convent to royal lodgings to Dutch Admiralty headquarters to the city hall of Amsterdam, the hotel boasts a rich history. Now, after a careful renovation by French designer Sybille de Margerie, it is a place of hospitality, art and culture. Furnished with French elegance and grandeur, the hotel blends sleek design with five star facilities, including 52 luxury suites with Butler Service and an indulgent spa. With the Michelin star restaurant Bridges, a Parisian themed bistro, the Library ‘Or’, a brown café, the banqueting halls and the beautiful garden terrace, this is definitely the perfect spot for the discerning business traveller or for a luxury stay in Amsterdam. Poetry and a rich history captivate and seduce everyone into visiting the hotel.

We checked in quite early for our three night stay at the hotel. We went up to our room and marvelled over how big, modern and beautiful it was. We had the most amazing view of the hotel garden and couldn’t wait to make ourselves some coffee to warm us up.

 

The hotel has so much to offer and one will definitely not get bored while staying there. My husband and I really enjoyed the So Spa and of course the marvellous breakfast they serve at Bridges. My favourite? I really can’t choose between the chefs special eggs Benedict and the amazing waffles. My husband and I had quite the appetite as there was just too many amazing things to try.

The hotel has the perfect location. We walked everywhere during our stay and while the wind was sometimes cold we actually enjoyed roaming around the streets and getting lost. There are many restaurants and bars in close proximity of the hotel, and it is also located in the Red Light District.

I would recommend this hotel to any traveller, the service was superb, the food was delicious and we could not have wished for a better location to explore Amsterdam from.

Reviewed by Jana Stoman- World Luxury Awards Representative

To view this Beautiful Hotel or book click the link below

Book Now

Posted on

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

 

Posted on

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

 

Posted on

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 

Posted on

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.

 

Posted on

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