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Lihim Resorts – A unique tropical getaway located in El Nido, Palawan

Lihim Resorts is situated within a pristine forest and can be described as a secret hideaway. From the outside you can barely make out that it is a 28-hectare resort, as the villas are tucked away into the natural lush greenery.

Lihim is reached by a short five-minute boat trip from El Nido Port and has breathtaking views of Bacuit Bay.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the entire Lihim team including my personal butlers, Emman and Jessica. I instantly felt at home and was offered a fruity local welcome drink and a cold towel. My butler assisted me to my villa which had stunning views of Bacuit Bay. Lihim offers a convenient express check in service, allowing guests to proceed straight to their villas instead of having to wait in the reception area. Instead of a room key, I was given a wristband which electronically opens the door. This small innovation removes the stress of having to worry about a room key/card for the duration of your stay.

The room was perfect. The high ceiling made the room feel extremely spacious. There were sliding doors on either side of the king-sized bed leading out onto the terrace. This allowed for a lot of natural light to come into the room as well as spectacular ocean views whilst lying in bed. The bathroom was huge and boasted a view of the ocean. It had a freestanding bathtub in the middle as well as an indoor and outdoor shower.

The rooms at Lihim Resorts are all villas and each villa includes a personal butler. The villas are named after the islands in El Nido. Many of the villas are perched high up in the forest and can be reached by the funicular or the buggy. The funicular is a unique feature that is much like a cable car and makes every villa easily accessible without having to climb numerous flights of stairs.

After a full day of island hopping, I returned to my villa and the staff had run a bubble bath for me with a bottle of wine next to the bath. It was such a special surprise. The butlers really go above and beyond their duties for their guests and help create lasting memories.

What makes the Lihim experience truly special is the butler service they offer, which is a designated staff member who looks after your every need. The butlers are reachable via instant message and are available 24/7. The butler service really makes your stay so relaxing and carefree. They prepare an itinerary for you before arrival and ensure all your allergies and preferences are noted. This itinerary can be changed throughout your stay.

A truly memorable touch was the personalized bamboo water bottle given to me by Lihim which had my name engraved on it. This was such a unique gift, one that I can take with me wherever I go, and it will always remind me of my stay.

Secluded and intimate are two words that best describe this resort. You really feel in touch with nature. The resort has multiple viewing points and nature walks around the property. Wherever you go, there is natural beauty surrounding you, whether it be the sights, sounds, or smells.

The housekeeping was impeccable, as soon as I left the room, a staff member was in to clean. Whenever I entered the room, it was tidy and re-stocked.

Lihim Resorts have the luxury of three secluded and scenic spots on Cadlao island. These spots include private beaches and a private lounge nestled in the Cadlao lagoon. The lounge is reached by a short, picturesque boat ride and is the perfect day activity. Cadlao lagoon has the clearest water and age-old limestone cliffs which makes for a spectacular setting.

Lihim offers day trips to the lagoon which includes a delectable Filipino style lunch and a knowledgeable tour guide who, incidentally, is also a great photographer. There are multiple activities available at the lagoon, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddling.

Gana is Lihim’s main restaurant and offers a culinary adventure with fresh ingredients from Lihim’s very own farm. All meals served at Gana are a la carte, including breakfast. Alternatively, you can have your meal served in the comfort of your own villa. My butler set up the outside table at my villa with a delicious breakfast spread. The view of the ocean and sounds of the birds made the breakfast experience even more extraordinary.

Lihim offers exclusive private dinners in multiple beautiful and secluded spots around the resort. These dinners will be offered to you by your butler in a set menu format which can be tailored to suit your specific wants and needs. I opted for a candlelit dinner next to the pool, affording me uninterrupted views of the ocean. It was the most fairytale-like, romantic evening under the stars.

There are numerous lounges spread throughout the property, each has its own striking view and atmosphere. Each lounge’s ambience is created through the rare ornaments, statues, and art pieces collected by the owner from various trips around the world. One can spend hours exploring the grounds.  

A hidden gem on the Lihim property is ‘The Cellar’. A small room that houses their collection of fine wines and luxury cigars. The Cellar is also a romantic and intimate dinner location. Not to mention the resort has its own exclusive collaboration with Moët & Chandon.

The resort boasts a tennis court as well as a basketball court with a stunning backdrop. The tennis court coincidentally is the only one in El Nido. The resort also has a fully equipped gym, perfect for the traveler wanting to maintain their exercise routine. In the resorts efforts to cater for all your needs, they can bring certain gym equipment to your villa for you to complete a home workout if you wish. These include the ergo (rowing) machine, watt bike, and freestanding weights.

The swimming pool is the perfect sunset location. Relax in the pool with a cocktail in hand, watching the picture perfect El Nido sunset. The sunsets are like something you only see on postcards.

The resorts’ Panari Spa, which appropriately means ‘rest’, has one of the most diverse and extensive treatment selections on offer. Not only does the spa offer massage and beauty treatments, but they also offer widespread health and wellness treatments. These include IV drips, hangover cures, immune boosters, and a whole lot more. The spa itself includes a couples treatment room and male and female changing areas, each with their own saunas. The spa is situated in a serene space amongst the resort’s grounds, and leaves you at peace. I opted for their signature massage which is a must-do while at Lihim.

I completely understand why it is called Lihim because it is the ‘secret’ paradise of El Nido. Their slogan is ‘Luxury in Simplicity’, and it is so fitting.

I would like to mention the staff members who took care of me. Firstly, my personal butlers Jessica and Emman; then, in the restaurant, Angel; the general managers Armand and Jen; and lastly, Sed, Toto, and Arnold. Thank you for making my stay so unforgettable.

Excellent hospitality and top-notch service guarantees an extraordinary holiday experience. For a luxurious relaxing getaway surrounded by nature, Lihim Resorts is the perfect destination.

Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Kayla Lourens

To book your stay at Lihim Resorts, visit their website: www.lihim.com

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Cauayan Island Resort – Picturesque “laid back luxury” private island resort in El Nido, Palawan

I had the pleasure of staying at Cauayan Island Resort for two nights and what a magical two nights it was. The resort is breathtaking in every aspect; it is the perfect island holiday destination. You cannot really put my stay into words as it truly was one of the best places I have ever been to.

After a scenic 20-minute boat ride from the El Nido Port, I arrived at the most beautiful setting – a private cove nestled in between towering limestone cliffs with over-water villas, white sand, lush palm trees and the most vibrant blue water that I have laid my eyes on.

What an idyllic setting, it is rare to find so much beauty in one place.

I received one of the warmest greetings from the staff when I arrived at the resort. This continued throughout my stay as every staff member greeted me by name. This was a small gesture but a very touching one, as it made me feel at ease wherever I went on the island.

I checked in to one of their water villas which overlooked the cove. The views of the cove being immersed by the limestone cliffs as you sit on the edge of the bed, could pass as one of the 7 wonders of the world. The villa itself offered me privacy which made me feel as though I was the only person on the island. All rooms on the island are villas that each have their own unique feel and features. These include beach villas, lagoon villas, as well as sunrise and sunset villas with their own private pools.

The water villa offers two loungers on the deck which was without a doubt the highlight of the room; allowing me to relax outside and listen to the sounds of the ocean. Included on the deck floor is a glass panel, so you can admire the sea creatures below. The sliding doors leading out onto the deck, as well as the window beside the bed, are tinted, allowing guests comfort and privacy in their own villa.

There was a large tub in the bathroom, that included a rain shower. It is not your typical shower bath. There is also an outdoor shower which is accessible from the bathroom as well as the main entrance, allowing you to rinse off before entering your villa. The amenities in the bathroom were all from L’Occitane, another small touch that really amplifies the luxury of the resort.  

I had one of the best nights’ sleep in the extra king bed. The sounds of the ocean beneath evoking a sense of calm. The cabinet at the base of the bed has a television that can be brought up through remote control if you want to watch one of your favorite Netflix shows, or you can leave it down and admire the view of the cove.

One of the main features of the resort is the infinity pool. It encapsulates everything a resort pool should be. It has unobstructed views of the ocean and is a stone’s throw away from the beach.

The resort offers complimentary water sports and activities. All motorized water sports are unauthorized due to El Nido islands’ regulations. The activities on offer include, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. I opted to go snorkeling in the cove. This presented me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the numerous baby sharks that are residents of the cove (they are ‘vegetarian’ as the guide put it, and not harmful in any way). All the gear is provided free-of-charge, including swimming shoes to protect you from the sea urchins and coral reefs.

The resort offers numerous activities on the island. These include sunrise and sunset hikes, yoga, volleyball, board games, and many more. I opted to do both hikes. The sunrise hike is a challenging one that includes rock climbing. It is worth it for one of the most breathtaking sunrises over the El Nido mainland, as well as memorable views of the Cauayan Island Resort. The guides are fantastic, you are provided with a helmet with a light as well as gloves for the sharp limestone cliffs you must climb. There are ropes all the way along the path for you to hold onto to make the climb easier, and to feel safe all the way. The sunset hike is on the opposite side of the island and is a lot less strenuous. It is a lot quicker and can be done in open shoes. It also delivered spectacular views and the perfect way to unwind before dinner.

In addition to the island-based activities the resort also offers full and half-day island hopping tours, as well as a sunset cruise. These tours can either be done on their speedboat or on the local group boat. There are numerous different packages on offer, all allowing you to take in the incredible different islands in and around El Nido.

I chose to do the half-day island hopping tour with the resort’s private speedboat, which was a fantastic experience. We visited some of the most picturesque lagoons and snorkeling spots, some of which have been featured in world-renowned films. The tour guide, Alan, was so friendly and gave me all the information regarding the sights and assisted me with all of the equipment.

The resort has one main dining area, which is located right next to the swimming pool, looking out over the cove. The tables are well positioned, allowing you to get the best view of the beach, as well as a real tropical feel from the surrounding palm trees. They offer a full buffet breakfast, with the option to order from the kitchen. My favourite was the eggs benedict, which I ordered every morning together with an orange juice. The orange juice was freshly squeezed, and the staff ensured that your glass was always full.

Lunch and dinner are served à la carte. You will not be short on variety as the menu is extensive. It includes over 100 different dishes bringing together flavours from all over the world. The portion sizes are generous, so you will not leave feeling hungry or short-changed. Lunch around the pool was relaxed. I had a fresh coconut which is the perfect hydrating drink on holiday. The dinner ambience was complimented by the pool lighting and ocean sounds. Fresh seafood is also available every evening, displaying the catch of the day that you can choose from. My favourite was the mango meringue roll for dessert, which was freshly made by their talented pastry chef.

On top of the à la carte menu there is also a bar menu that includes bar snacks as well as sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Not to mention the numerous cocktails, wines, spirits, and beer on offer that any bar around the world would envy. This menu is also available at lunch and dinner, you can relax on one of the pool loungers, or sit in the bar located across the swimming pool from the main dining area, and order from there. It really is the ideal dining setup: informal and relaxed, the perfect combination for a holidaymaker seeking to unwind.

The spa treatment room was one-of-a-kind. Each treatment room is tranquil and private. Each massage table includes a glass panel beneath it, allowing you to spot your favorite fish or take in the resident baby sharks. If you really want to get into a sense of Zen, there is no better feeling than doing it to the calming sound of the ocean. I opted for the signature massage. It did not disappoint, the pressure from the therapist was perfect and the setting could not have been better. I can honestly say it was one of the best massages I have ever experienced, and 90 minutes that I wish had never ended. To bring me back to reality, I was given a homemade ginger tea whilst sitting out on the deck overlooking the cove and El Nido mainland.

The resort has a romantic ambience and is a place you can call ‘a home away from home’. They offer honeymoon and special occasion packages which makes it the perfect romantic destination. They have private dinner locations and, of course, top-class service and hospitality. I would rate this property as one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world.

There were so many small touches that contributed to making my stay so perfect, many of which I cannot explain as it has to be experienced personally.

Everyone I encountered made me feel so well taken care of, especially Jolery and Kath who looked after me in the restaurant, Jen and the front office team, and Alan the tour guide. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of Cauayan and what a lovely couple, so down to earth and they look after their staff well.

Cauayan Island Resort really is a paradise of tranquility and a haven of comfort. Their slogan is “the art of laid back luxury” and that is exactly what you will experience.

The photos online do not do this resort justice. There are also small details and personal touches that really elevate your stay that you won’t get from their advertising or website. The staff really focus on giving you a personalized experience and creating lasting memories. I cannot sum up my stay any better than to say the resort is truly out of this world and the most beautiful place I have ever stayed at.

Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Kayla Lourens

To book your stay at Cauayan Island Resort, visit their website: cauayanresort.com

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Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa – an experience in luxurious African hospitality…

My husband and I visited Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa in September of this year, in a time where COVID-19 was, and still is, a big problem to all working in the hospitality industry.

We arrived on the Friday and had a welcome drink before checking in. Once checked in they gave us time options for when we would like to go on safari and then showed us to our room.

We were booked into one of the Premier Lodges. The room had a balcony with amazing views of the Game Reserve, we could even see some elephants roaming around from time to time. The room also had an en-suite bathroom, coffee and tea facilities, an in-room safe, a mini fridge and complimentary water.

The first night we watched the sunset on our balcony and then went to have dinner at the restaurant. The food throughout the weekend was amazing and the Aquila team took great precaution to keep guests safe and healthy during this time.

Our Saturday was spent relaxing by the swimming pool with some sparkling wine, thereafter we went on a sunset game drive. Our guide had the best stories and so much knowledge about the animals, he made our safari experience even better. We had a sundowner in the mountains before heading back.

We woke up early on Sunday morning to go on a sunrise game drive, it was very cold but so worth it. We had the best time at Aquila, it was very relaxing, and the safaris was an amazing experience.

Aquila is more than just an unforgettable wildlife experience, it is an experience in luxurious African hospitality, traditional culinary delights, service excellence and the restoration of pride to the indigenous people and the land.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative: Jana Stoman

To book a stay at Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa: https://www.aquilasafari.com/

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O’Two Hotel – the perfect city escape…

O’Two is a new luxury boutique hotel situated in Cape Town, South Africa. The hotel offers breathtaking views of Cape Town’s Mouille Point area and offers panoramic views of Table Mountain and surrounds.

Upon arrival, my partner and I were served with a glass of champagne and received a small gift bag containing masks, sanitizer, and Lindt chocolates.

The friendly porter assisted us to their penthouse suite on the 7th floor and explained all the amenities to us. The suite had two interleading rooms, both offering a bathroom, lounge, terrace, and kitchenette.

Our beautiful suite.

The design of the suite was stunning, such attention to detail, the scented candles, unique décor, and an amazing view from our balcony.

We also received a chilled bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne and strawberries, what a treat!

The smart TV had DSTV Now and Netflix, so we were thoroughly entertained throughout our three-night stay. We also ordered delicious pizzas from the in-room dining menu and enjoyed the fully stocked mini fridge and tea station.

O’ Two Hotel boasts a beautiful rooftop pool with sun loungers which is the perfect place to enjoy a summer’s day in Cape Town! There is a view of the ocean and on the opposite side a view of Table Mountain.

The hotel is located close to the city center offering numerous restaurants and bars. The V&A Waterfront and famous Cape Town attractions are all just a short taxi ride away.

Thank you O’Two for your amazing hospitality, I will always remember this trip.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Award Representative Kayla Lourens

To book your city escape at O’Two Hotel:https://www.otwo.co.za/

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A grand stay at Waldhaus Sils Hotel…

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.

On arrival, we were received with a friendly welcome from the family management and were presented with a beautiful book chronicling the fascinating history of the hotel and family since 1908.

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.

The spectacular view from our room.

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/

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Hotel Skt. Annæ – the perfect hotel for a stay in Copenhagen…

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

To book a stay at this remarkable hotel follow the link: www.hotelsktannae.dk

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Hotel Katajanokka – Escape the ordinary.

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

To book a stay at this unique and stunning property follow the link :www.hotelkatajanokka.fi

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Arctic Light Hotel – a unique contemporary hideaway in the heart of Rovaniemi …

Arriving at the Arctic light hotel during the day, it blends in with the buildings around it except for a massive polar bear welcoming you to your new home. At night it completley lights up with stunning fairy lights and bright colored spotlights shining onto the building and it becomes clear you have arrived in aurora-light territory. Located in the tourist part of Rovaniemi and just a two-minute walk from the vibey centre of this magical town ;we were in the perfect location for our stay in Rovaniemi.

In contrast to the freezing cold outside, walking in the modern front doors you are greeted with warmth. Not only by the exceptional staff but also by the atmosphere created by the lighting and warm interior design. After walking up and down the shopping street in temperatures bordering zero degrees it’s a sigh of relief every time those automated doors of the Arctic Light Hotel swing open to greet you. It’s the same feeling you get when coming home after a long day at the office. It feels like home.

Arctic Light Reception
Previous Wins proudly standing in reception

The best part of home is kicking off your shoes and getting comfortable. In the spacious room with its own mini lounge and kitchenette, that’s easy to do. And the cherry on top…. Sauna!!! Yes, you have your own personal sauna. So, if the atmosphere and friendly staff warmed your heart then the sauna will surely warm your body. It’s the best feeling to jump in the sauna and warm up after having to wear thick layers outside. Our room was beautiful with modern and contemporary design, as well as touches of local heritage and a delight to return to after a day of exploring.

The Arctic Light hotel also scored major points in my book with their gym. The gym and breakfast are two areas where I personally pay close attention to. I love a good workout. And I also love to eat. Especially in the morning. The gym itself is small, but big enough to do a full workout. The layout and types of equipment they have available allows you to do great workouts all week long. I really appreciated this and its clear that some thought went into the design and outfitting of the gym.

The Arctic Light Hotel has a great buffet breakfast with enough variety to cater to everyones needs. The food was delicious – especially the sweet treats. I also loved the layout of everything. The perfect way to start a day of exploring.

While on the topic of food, lets talk about the restaurant which was absolutely superb! The menu offered a variety of local dishes and being in Finland, I had to try the Reindeer. And boy was it good! The waiter was friendly and helpful, the food was out of this world amazing, the atmosphere was relaxing yet vibey; the list goes on. Even if you don’t stay at the Arctic Light Hotel but happen to find yourself in Rovaniemi one evening, I would highly recommend trying out the Arctic Restaurant.

Arctic Light Restaurant
Traditional Reindeer

After dinner if you are looking for a nightcap you are able to relax in the Plan B bar area. Also part of the Arctic Light Hotel. This area offers a full bar with a great and relaxing lounge area. It’s all very classy and is a big contributor to the warm atmosphere you feel as you walk in the door.

My conclusion is that The Arctic Light Hotel is an amazing hotel to stay at when visiting Rovaniemi. It feels like home and is warm and inviting while being very modern and contemporary at the same time. It’s a place you look forward to being. Instead of just being the accommodation you stay at every night while you explore your dream destination, this hotel becomes part of the dream. Arriving in Rovaniemi is arriving at your dream holiday destination. Arriving at the Arctic Light Hotel is completing the dream.

Reviewed By World Luxury Awards Executive Manager: Tanique Echardt

To book a stay at this superb hotel: http://www.arcticlighthotel.fi/en/hotel/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sintra Marmoris Palace – a truly royal experience…

The Marmoris Palace Hotel is located in Sintra, 38 kilometres from Lisbon city centre and a quick 30 minutes from the international airport.

The charming building – previously a private residence and converted into a boutique hotel two years ago – is surrounded by lavish trees and a huge private garden.  Situated on top of a hill, it is overlooking the historical town centre with beautiful views of the castle.

Being a small hotel, it offers guests a truly personalised experience. All from the reception and welcoming drinks to the check-out was a great experience. Our host also gladly assisted us with recommendations for dinner, where to shop for a few necessities that we needed and ideas to explore the town.

The hotel has nine individually decorated rooms – four in the main building – all of which have breathtaking scenic views of Sintra –  and five in an outbuilding a few metres away, all offering privacy and direct access to the garden. The massive en-suite rooms which are beautifully furnished speak of royalty and have all the amenities that you can think of.  

The buffet breakfast has a huge selection of fruit, cereals, pastries and hot food. Taking into account that Marmoris is a small hotel with a limited number of guests each day; this was hugely impressive. 

Beautiful shaded gardens create a calm and relaxed atmosphere and because of the huge premisise it is situated on and surrounding gardens, the hotel offers a totally quiet and noise-free environment to relax in. An indoor swimming pool is also available to guests with a retractable roof overlooking castle hill.

Although my stay at Sintra Marmoris Palace was short, it is truly one of the most exquisite properties I have ever visited. From the perfect location to friendly staff, scrumptious food and attention to the finer details, Sintra Marmoris does not dissapoint and I highly reccomend a stay here if you are visiting Sintra.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this exquisite property follow the link: www.sintramarmoris.com