The drive down to Sils was breathtaking as we descended into the verdant Engadin valley. The Waldhaus (“forest house”) is majestically perched in a forest above the delightful village of Sils, overlooking the valley and its many lakes. As the hotel is at 1800m altitude, the air is crisp and warm, devoid of the coastal mugginess at this time of year.
The décor of the hotel has been purposely preserved as it was many years ago and exudes an old-world charm in the best tradition of luxury hotels of that era.
Our room consisted of a lounge with bathroom on level 1 and a spacious bedroom en-suite accessible via a quaint spiral staircase. Bathroom fittings were of a classic look and of top quality. The accommodation was scrupulously clean and maintained.
Guests can choose a variety of room genre furnishings and decorations eg contemporary, historic, classical etc. Indeed, some returning guests specify the genre of their choice when rebooking at the Waldhaus.
We were treated to a very special fine dining multi course dinner in the original wood paneled a la carte dining room. The enthusiastic sommelier let us experience a few of the excellent wines from the region drawn from their huge cellar selection while guiding us for food matching as a delicate compliment to the fine cuisine that was presented to us. A most enjoyable candle lit evening overlooking the forests stretching out before us.
After a peacefully silent sleep, we awoke at dawn and were greeted by a spectacular view from our windows of the valley and its lakes stretching to the far mountains in the distance.
A special tour of the hotel was conducted by the family’s general manager and co-owner, a descendent of the original creator of the hotel, wherein he enlightened us of the rich history of the hotel.
Of great interest was the “live” ghost that lives in a suitcase in the underground museum surrounded by artifacts of a bygone era. The hotel also features one of the first synchronised clocks system to be installed in a hotel at that time. Who knew?!
In contrast to the classic décor of the hotel, the new spa is ultra-modern and has been tastefully designed to complement the hotel. We enjoyed massage treatments by professional therapists who were friendly and extremely knowledgeable about all wellness matters – superb!
Breakfast was a classic affair in the stately high ceiling dining room with a vast variety of tasty items together with the option of a la carte menu. Eggs were perfectly presented and the cappuccino was delicious.
Later in the day we were treated to an exhilarating cable car ride up to the 3300m peak of Corvatsch from where we could see the Waldhaus overlooking Sils valley.
We had an incredibly special and memorable stay. If you are looking for a grand country hotel of days gone by but beautifully preserved, look no further than the Waldhaus Sils hotel.
Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards representative Marianne Cauvin-Vaz.
To book a stay at this spectacular property: https://waldhaus-sils.ch/en/
After a long amazingly scenic drive from Monaco via Turin and over St Bernard pass we eventually arrived at the 17 suite Ultima Gstaad. Although the exterior of the hotel resembles a fancy Swiss ski chalet, the interior is quite a revelation.
Featuring the best finishes available and furnished and decorated in assosiation Louis Vuitton and Hermes it imparts chic while still being homely and warm. The rich combination of wood, leather and fine textiles ensure the WOW factor.
Upon arrival, one is greeted with a unique perspex piano in the lobby. This hi tech theme is also mirrored in the glass elevator which is one of a kind.
The duty manager and his team were super friendly and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble.
Our suite continued the theme of luxury, fine design and warmth. The walk-in wardrobe was bedecked with plentiful storage space including leather fronted pullout drawers. The lounge suite was finished in crème leather and soft fabrics. The king bed also featured the finest cotton linen.
A personalised letter welcomed us together with a plate of delicious canapes.
The large bathroom was stunning in fine veined grey marble featuring a huge walk-in double door Swedish shower and double marble sinks.
Waking through the patio doors onto the wooden balcony, we were presented with a stunning view of the distant mountains and the clanging of cowbells on an adjacent pasture.
The next morning we were greeted with a scrumptious breakfast including delicious pastries, breads, detox juices – all freshly made – and an a la carte menu. The bespoke eggs and bacon were presented in true gourmet fashion and tasted even better. The breakfast area was intimate and inviting and although the hotel was full, only a handful of clients were dining which added to the overall tranquility of the surroundings.
Secure and plentiful underground parking was available for complimentary use.
The hotel was a brisk walk to the buzzy and trendy Gstaad village centre together with its outdoor restaurants and cafes and picture postcard railway.
The spa is breathtaking comprising a large indoor pool, hot whirlpool tubs inside and out, a sauna, steam room and gym. After indulging, a visit to the indoor snow machine that spews forth snow from overhead is a surprise touch
The spa massage was absolute heaven.
Our stay was in one word – Perfection.
Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative: Marianne Cauvin-Vaz
To book a stay at this magnificent property: https://www.ultimagstaad.com/en
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
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