We recently had the pleasure of staying at Athens Flair during our visit to Athens, Greece, while attending the 17th Annual World Luxury Awards Gala Ceremony, and we can confidently say it exceeded all our expectations. From the moment we walked through the door, the hotel’s commitment to excellence was evident.
Nestled in the heart of historic Athens, Athens Flair is a true gem that combines modern luxury with a touch of Greek charm.
The hotel’s unparalleled location offers convenient access to some of Athens’ most iconic landmarks. The Acropolis, Plaka, and Syntagma Square are all within walking distance, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.
Upon entering the hotel, there is a beautiful spiralling staircase which leads you to the reception area. Thankfully the friendly staff assisted us with our luggage and was very accommodating throughout our entire stay. Their genuine warmth and professionalism added a personal touch that made us feel like valued guests.
Our room at Athens Flair was a sanctuary of comfort and style. Spacious, elegantly furnished, and impeccably clean, with amazing views of the city. I particularly appreciated the attention to detail, from the luxurious bedding to the well-appointed bathroom stocked with premium amenities.
The hotel’s breakfast was equally impressive, featuring a variety of fresh and delicious options to suit every palate. We opted to eat in our room, however, you may also enjoy your breakfast on the rooftop terrace. The terrace has the most amazing panoramic views of the city.
In conclusion, Athens Flair is a true gem in the heart of Athens, offering a perfect blend of luxury, convenience, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re a leisure traveler or in town for business, this hotel is a top-notch choice. We left Athens with fond memories, and much of that credit goes to the exceptional experience provided by Athens Flair.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Jana Stoman
This unique property is located in Sandton which is a popular shopping and culinary destination.
It is the perfect place for a weekend staycation, it’s great for romantic getaways and ideal for international travellers visiting Johannesburg.
I had the pleasure of staying at Fairlawns for three nights and I must say it’s a hidden gem in Johannesburg. The hotel exceeded all my expectations, and I would absolutely recommend this property to anyone visiting Johannesburg.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the warm and friendly staff members who made me feel at home from the moment I stepped into the elegant reception. Check in was easy and after being offered a welcome drink, the porter assisted us to our suite.
You don’t feel like you are in Johannesburg when you are at Fairlawns. Clearly the hotel has put a lot of effort into the upkeep of the property. The hotel’s grounds provide a serene backdrop for a leisurely stroll through the property.
My suite was located on the first floor in a manor house style building and had a view of the surrounding landscaped gardens. The entire area just made me feel at peace and totally relaxed.
The room was generously spacious and exuded luxury and elegance. The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the design, from the plush bedding to the tastefully chosen décor.
The bathroom had a big bathtub and a comfortable double vanity with all the necessary amenities. The housekeeping staff ensured that the room was spotlessly clean and offered us Wedgewood nougat as part of their turndown service every night. We also received a Wedgewood nougat gift upon arrival which was a lovely touch.
The spring weather was such a pleasure in Johannesburg, we opened our large bedroom windows in the morning for a fresh morning breeze and the sun shining in. Birds chirping and the sound of nature is the best way to wake up.
One can stroll around the property which has multiple seating areas and different gardens. The property has so many Instagram-worthy spots and is ideal for photoshoots.
The main hotel pool is located in the centre of the property and is the perfect place to relax in summer.
One of the highlights of my stay was the dining experience at Fairlawns Hotel’s on-site restaurant called Amuse-Bouche. The menu had a variety of tantalizing dishes with both local and international flavours. Each meal was a masterpiece, visually pleasing and with the taste to match. The restaurant also has a wine list which pairs brilliantly with the menu. The waiter offered us some of his recommendations and was enthusiastic and had great knowledge of the menu. The Beef Bourguignon Soup was my favorite dish.
Breakfast at Fairlawns was a lavish affair. They offer a buffet-style breakfast inside with a variety of fruits, cold cuts, pastries, and juices. You can also order a hot breakfast from their a la carte menu. During my stay we had amazing weather so each morning we sat outside at a table overlooking the grounds.
The setup has such a welcoming atmosphere and it’s the perfect way to start your day. I had the eggs benedict, which was done perfectly, and my friend had the avocado toast as a smaller option. The F&B manager Brenden checked in on us each morning and was so friendly and helpful.
I fell in love with the spa at Fairlawns. This is arguably one of the best spas in Johannesburg in my opinion. The spa has been designed with a Balinese style creating a tranquil ambience and makes you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. I would definitely recommend a spa day to anyone who is in Johannesburg and wanting a treat.
Before my treatment, the therapist assisted me to the spa facilities and offered me a drink and snack from their refreshments table in the reception area. The spa pool and jacuzzi was a great place to relax before a treatment. They also have a steam room, relaxation room and outdoor seating areas.
I indulged in a 60-minute aroma oil massage and Mpho, the spa therapist, left me feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
Throughout my stay, the staff went above and beyond to ensure my comfort. They always had a smile on their faces and made me feel like a valued guest.
Whether you’re visiting for a romantic getaway, a business trip, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa is the perfect choice. I can’t wait to return!
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Kayla Lourens
Nestled in the picturesque Franschhoek valley, La Petite Ferme offers an enchanting retreat that marries luxurious comfort with breathtaking natural beauty.
From the moment we arrived, the warm and welcoming atmosphere embraced us, setting the stage for an unforgettable stay.
Our stay at La Petite Ferme was nothing short of exceptional. The accommodation seamlessly blended rustic charm with modern amenities. The spacious and well-appointed suite provided stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. The attention to detail, from the plush bedding to the thoughtful decor, made us feel right at home.
The on-site restaurant was a culinary journey that showcased the finest local ingredients. Each dish was a work of art, perfectly presented and bursting with flavor.
The staff at La Petite Ferme exhibited a level of hospitality that went beyond mere professionalism. Their genuine friendliness and willingness to accommodate our requests truly made us feel valued and appreciated. Whether it was the reception staff or the waitstaff in the restaurant, everyone ensured that our every need was met with a smile.
La Petite Ferme’s location is its crown jewel. Set against the backdrop of rolling vineyards and majestic mountains, the views are nothing short of breathtaking. Its proximity to the charming town of Franschhoek allowed for easy exploration of local boutiques, galleries, and other attractions.
Our stay at La Petite Ferme was an enchanting journey into luxury, relaxation, and culinary excellence. From the idyllic setting to the impeccable service, every aspect of our experience exceeded our expectations.
If you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a serene retreat, or simply a taste of South African paradise, La Petite Ferme is a must-visit destination.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Jana Stoman
To book this hotel, visit their website: lapetiteferme.co.za
On a recent trip to Italy, I had the immense pleasure of visiting Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa, located in the beautiful town of Rapallo.
Upon arrival the front-of-house manager gave us a tour of the hotel and provided us with all the needed information for our stay. We were booked into the Riviera Suite with panoramic seafront views and let me tell you, the views were spectacular.
We were welcomed with a bottle of champagne and fruit. We enjoyed our drinks while taking in the amazing views of the Portofino Promontory.
Our suite was spacious, had a walk-in closet and a large round whirlpool. It had everything one may need while traveling.
We visited in April; therefore, the weather did not allow for a dip in the pool, but I imagine during summer months many guests relax at the pool while sipping on an Aperol Spritz.
The hotel has three amazing restaurants, the gourmet restaurant Le Cupole led by Chef Graziano Duca, La Veranda a charming bistrot located on the panoramic terrace, and a new restaurant, The Flamingo pool bar&pizza gourmet.
The Erre Spa Bristol covers 2.000 m² and offers a 360-degree service, from wellness journeys to a wide range of body and face treatments, as well as varied and personalized programs proposed by the Spa manager.
A pleasant sea walk leads to the center of Rapallo, from there you can also take a ferry to Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino for site seeing.
Everyone with a love for travel should visit the Portofino coast in their lifetime. It is truly the definition of living la dolce vita. I am already dreaming of going back.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Jana Stoman
To book this hotel, visit their website: www.grandhotelbristol.it
A five-star luxury resort located on Sentosa Island, Singapore
The moment you walk into Sofitel Singapore Sentosa you feel instantly relaxed. It is a haven of tranquility and peace. The design, the décor, the ambience, it all represents luxury and opulence.
The staff are extremely welcoming and are happy to attend to your every need and desire.
The resort is located on the Southernmost tip of Sentosa island and has access to Tanjung Beach. The resort is perched on a cliff and is surrounded by lush greenery; a tropical ambience and the décor perfectly blends Singapore and France’s heritage.
The resort is the perfect place to relax and unwind, and it also offers many activities for those who want an active vacation.
Sentosa Island is home to the famous Universal Studios, as well as multiple scenic beaches and international restaurants. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa is the perfect place from which to explore the island. The beach and adjacent establishments can be easily accessed via the resort’s staircase, which also boasts a stunning view of the South China Sea.
They also offer a complimentary shuttle service to and from the Resort every half hour, which stops at the Harbourfront MRT station on the mainland, from which one can venture into the city.
The front desk staff made check-in a breeze, and also provided me with their shuttle schedule, weekly activities and dining options. The Marketing manager showed me to my suite, which was in their tranquility wing. On the way to the suite, she explained some of the resort’s décor pieces and significant design touches. I really appreciated the warm and personalized welcome. The resort definitely had a Balinese feel to it, and the architecture was incredibly impressive.
I booked their Junior suite which had a comfortable king sized bed, a spacious lounge area, and beautiful décor. It is an open-concept suite with a lavish bathroom complimented by Balmain amenities.
The housekeeping staff go out of their way to make your stay special, and even left me a handwritten card on my bed.
The room was thoughtfully put together with clear French touches, making it feel very classy.
The bed linen was plush, and the sheets were smooth; I slept very well throughout my stay. Next to the bed, there are multiple different power sockets, which was very convenient.
A QR code is visible at the desk, which allows you access to their online platform including their room service menu. The entire resort also offers high speed Wi-Fi.
This was the perfect place to escape the city life and have a luxury staycation where I enjoyed both French and local influences.
As you wander around the resort, enjoy the refreshing breeze and views of the ocean and beyond. While walking around be sure to look out for the resort’s resident peacocks.
The recreational facilities at the resort make it the perfect place for a weekend getaway. This resort is suitable for leisure travellers, business travellers and even those with pets!
The resort has a new herb garden which is very well maintained and is part of the resort’s sustainability efforts. The herbs and vegetables such as basil, tomatoes, and lemons, are used in the hotel kitchen. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa has multiple sustainability efforts, in line with the Singapore government’s green plan for 2030.
The resort gym is located in the middle of the property and is well equipped for any type of workout.
The SO/Spa was one of the highlights of my trip. The spa is luxurious and has multiple pools and spa facilities. The spa has a lap pool with sun loungers, and they have indoor hot and cold jacuzzis, as well as a Turkish steam room. If you are on a couple’s holiday, be sure to book their romantic package and have your treatments in their couple’s room which features a private jacuzzi bath.
Their pool is an instagram-worthy spot, with a waterfall feature and surrounding greenery. Their therapeutic body wrap experience is a must-try, where you lather on a special mud masque all over your body and leave it on for a few minutes, then enter the mud pool to soak it off, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
What’s better than a staycation? A staycation with your pets. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa is pet-friendly and has a special “FurKid” package for those who want to bring their pets. They even offer special dog food menus at the restaurant. I spotted a Pomeranian at breakfast, and it made my day.
The resort is also an ideal destination for MICE events, meetings, and weddings. They have a grand ballroom and multiple meeting rooms. It is a stunning location for weddings, with multiple outdoor and indoor venues and great photo spots!
The hotel’s main pool is the place to be during the day. They offer single lounge beds as well as comfortable double lounge beds. Relax around the pool whilst enjoying the sounds of the birds and palm trees around you.
A rare and surprising feature of the resort is their fish spa, located next to Le Bar. The pond is filled with “Dr. Fish”, a special fish breed that nibbles on your feet, getting rid of your dead skin. The kids completely love this feature, and it adds to the many reasons why this property is one-of-a-kind.
Le Bar, located in the heart of the resort, offers a daily 1-for-1 cocktail happy hour and is a great place to enjoy an afternoon or evening drink. The bar lights up at night and has lively music playing.
Kwee Zeen is the resort’s all day dining outlet and offers delectable local cuisine and international favourites. For dinner, I had the beef cheeseburger and French fries, which had to be one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I went to bed with a very full and satisfied stomach.
Start your day the right way with the buffet breakfast at Kwee Zeen, which features a made-to-order egg station, an Indian cuisine station, cold meats, and more. You can choose to sit inside with air conditioning or outside with the ocean breeze (and view). The breakfast offers multiple hot and cold dishes and a great selection of fresh pastries. The bread-and-butter pudding was so tasty.
Their other dining outlet is The Cliff, a restaurant with a delectable Italian menu. Pasta and Tiramisu, the perfect dinner combination.
I felt very cared for during my stay, the staff were attentive and their hospitality was of superior quality.
The Sofitel brand has French flair, and this resort lives up to the Sofitel name. It’s definitely an exceptional experience in Singapore.
The resort has multiple water features and fountains, which makes for a peaceful experience whilst wandering around the resort grounds.
On the one side of the fountains there is a lion statue, which resembles Singapore’s heritage, and on the other side there is a horse statue, which symbolizes French heritage. These special design details add to why the resort is so unique.
The resort staff were attentive, polite, and always had a smile on their faces. They also gave me great recommendations for shopping and nearby attractions.
I would consider Sofitel Sentosa a hidden gem in Singapore, and an absolute must-visit. It is the ultimate accommodation on Sentosa Island.
Thank you to all the staff at Sofitel Sentosa who made my stay out of this world. I look forward to visiting again.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Kayla Lourens
A Boutique hotel located on the beachfront of the famous Kuta Beach
The Kuta Beach Heritage Hotel is conveniently situated right by Kuta Beach, a 5-minute stroll from Kuta Square and the Kuta Art Market. The hotel blends contemporary design with fishing village-themed interiors and is the ideal destination for business and leisure travelers.
The hotel has a prime location and is a 5-minute walk from the Kuta Beachwalk shopping center which has great outlets and dining options. The airport is about a 15-minute car ride from the hotel. Right next to the hotel entrance is a convenience store, wine shop and transportation services.
From the hotel, you can go for a leisurely stroll on the beach and take in the beautiful sea views. Kuta beach is known for surfing, so I would recommend doing a surfing lesson during your stay.
My spacious room had a full view of the Kuta Beach and the bustling street below.
Many of the rooms have an ocean view and balcony, and some have direct pool access to a plunge pool.
My room was spacious and had a separate living area and study with a flat-screen TV, minibar and a balcony overlooking Kuta Beach. They also provided complimentary coffee and tea in the room daily. In-room dining is available 24 hours a day and the menu features international classics as well as local Indonesian dishes to try.
The bathroom had a luxurious bathtub and they offered bath salts as an extra amenity. The shower and toilet were private, and the double vanity featured quality amenities such as body lotion, scented hand soap and more.
The hotel also provides luggage storage in case you have a late flight and still want to explore Kuta. If you haven’t already booked sightseeing tours online, the hotel has a tour desk who can assist you with making bookings. I would absolutely recommend doing the Ubud full day tour.
The hotel’s rooftop infinity pool is the highlight of the hotel and is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Spend your day around the pool on one of the comfortable lounge chairs and relax with music playing in the background. The pool also has a bar with a variety of cocktails, you should definitely try a whole coconut.
The hotel features a spa, and I would like to mention that they offer a Traditional Balinese massage which is a must-do when in Bali. For fitness lovers, the hotel has a fully equipped gym.
Riva Bar & Restaurant has breathtaking ocean views and offers international cuisine as well as some local dishes. This is also a great spot for sunset.
The buffet breakfast is amazing, as you enter the breakfast area there are two Balinese performers playing a special instrument to add to the ambience of the hotel. The buffet offers a variety of food, including a vegetarian section, Indonesian section, sushi station and a made-to-order egg station.
The set up included traditional Balinese dishes and the staff were at your service and happy to explain the dishes to you. They also have a station that serves special juice that has Indonesian spices and herbs in, which is worth a try. Don’t forget to try their freshly made French toast with chocolate sauce. The perfect way to start your day in Bali.
The staff welcomed me with a smile every morning and made sure I was comfortable. You can also sit on one of the lounge chairs around the pool with a coffee and enjoy the view of Kuta Beach.
The staff members are highly attentive and sincerely dedicated to ensuring your experience is exceptional. Whether it’s the buffet staff, security personnel, receptionists, or cleaning services, everyone is always eager to go the extra mile to accommodate your needs.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Kayla Lourens
Located on Karon Beach, it is the perfect choice for families and couples.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I was greeted by a friendly receptionist who offered me their Ceylon tea welcome drink and a special banana leaf candy. The check in process was quick and all the staff members greeted me with big smiles, I instantly felt at home.
The hotel has a warm welcoming ambience, and all the areas are spotlessly clean. Karon Beach is just a 2-minute walk from the hotel as well as multiple shopping options and food markets. This prime location makes Avista Grande the top choice for a luxury stay in Karon. From the hotel, you can easily explore Kata Beach, the area’s nightlife, Big Buddha and the known surfing spots.
The receptionist showed me to my Deluxe Mountain View room and advised me about breakfast times and facilities etc. My room was modern and spacious and had a beautiful mountain view from the balcony. The King Size bed felt like a fluffy cloud and was so cozy. The bathroom was also spacious and had a double vanity with a big bathtub.
Breakfast at Portosino is a lavish affair. The perfect way to start your day. The buffet was extensive and had top quality food items from various cuisines. There was a juice station where the staff prepare your juice fresh as you wait. Around the corner was their pastries and breads, a must-try are the croissants. The chefs at the egg counter can prepare your eggs just the way you like it. I tried a few dishes from the Indian corner which was packed with so much flavour (and chilli). The breakfast buffet also featured a special dish known to Thailand, and it was a different dish each morning. The breakfast staff were attentive and helpful.
The pool was the highlight of the hotel, it had a beautiful waterfall feature, sunbeds positioned all around the pool area, and a swim-up bar. You could easily spend the whole day around the pool. They played music during the day which gave the pool area a fun and hip ambience. The lunch pool menu featured classics like a Caesar salad, and delicious pizzas. The swim-up bar “Lido” has a wide range of cocktails and drinks, as well as a daily happy hour which I certainly enjoyed. I would recommend the Pina Colada cocktail.
The property has a Sino-Portuguese design and there are multiple Instagram-worthy spots around the hotel. Adding on top-class hospitality and staff who go the extra mile to make your stay memorable. The hotel has multiple restaurants available for dinner: Portosino, which is their all-day dining outlet, The Dim Sum, which is their rooftop bar, and Sizzle On Water, which is a unique dine-on-water steakhouse restaurant where you can have dinner with your feet in the water. If you are on a couples holiday, then be sure to book a dinner at this romantic restaurant.
The hotel has an award-winning spa, I would recommend you have the Thai massage, it is a must-do when in Phuket.
I had an absolutely fantastic time here and would highly recommend. Thank you to the entire Avista team.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Kayla Lourens.
The Racha is located on Racha Yai island which is about a 30-minute speedboat ride from Chalong Pier in Phuket. The island has the most beautiful natural scenery and breathtaking sunsets, it is also a well-known spot for diving and snorkeling.
The meeting point is at The Racha Chalong Lounge at Chalong Pier which is about an hour’s drive from the Phuket International Airport. At the lounge, they offer Wi-Fi as well as complimentary snacks and drinks. It is advised to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled boat trip.
Upon arrival at the lounge, we were offered a choice of different scents for our room on the island.
We decided upon lemongrass as the staff explained that is repels mosquitos, as well as having a natural tropical smell.
We took a shuttle bus from the lounge directly to the boat and the staff assisted with our luggage. The speedboat ride was a fun experience, and the weather was perfect.
Upon arriving at The Racha, you are welcomed by crystal blue water and powdery white sands.
We were escorted to the welcome area at the resort and offered a scented cold towel and a special purple drink. The front office staff assisted us to our room and explained the services and facilities on the way.
We checked into a Grand Deluxe Villa for three nights, and it was just what we needed. A comfortable bed, indoor and outdoor showers, bathtub, luxurious amenities, and a terrace with sea views.
We arrived at the resort around 2pm in the afternoon, so we headed to the pool for lunch and a dip.
The adults-only infinity pool is the heart of the resort, it has the best view of the island and is the perfect place for a day of relaxing and sun tanning.
There are complimentary water bottles available around the pool and you can order drinks and food during the day.
The beach is another option for relaxing and sunbathing, there are lounger chairs and hammocks on the grass in front of the resort and beach towels available. The palm trees all around the resort make it such a relaxing atmosphere. The weather was perfect and every day we swam in the ocean and the pools.
The resort has a very laid-back ambience and is a great option for couples and even families who just want to relax.
There are numerous activities available on the island, including complimentary watersports such as kayak and snorkeling. This island offers some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Phuket. I would encourage everyone to try the water sports, the staff are knowledgeable and will assist with everything.
You can also explore the island by foot, there are a few beaches a short distance away from the main beach, which is more secluded. The reception will give you a map and are happy to help with directions.
They also offer chargeable activities such as island hopping, sunset cruises, ATV’s and guided hikes, which can all be booked via their mobile app. You can also ask any questions via the live chat on their app which is really convenient.
The resort also has a PADI certified diving center for those interested in learning to dive.
For those just wanting to relax, you can opt for a treatment at the Anumba Spa. The Spa also offers daily complimentary yoga sessions, which is also suitable for beginners. I would definitely recommend anyone to try yoga, the instructor is so friendly and its just a fun experience to try something new.
Sunsets at The Racha are magical. Six thirty until seven thirty at night is the best time of day for me. We made sure to book the best table at the restaurant which has a perfect view of the ocean and the sunset. Enjoy a fresh coconut or a cocktail as the sun sets.
The main restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, we sat outside all three nights because of the stunning views. Just ensure you spray mosquito repellant when sitting outside at night.
The restaurant menu is extensive, they offer international favorites as well as Thai specialties. I suggest you try a Thai dish at least once, for example the Pineapple fried rice, such a flavorful dish. I also had the mango Crème Brûlée which was 10/10.
If you are on a romantic holiday, you can book the private dining area which is set up right in front of the resort with unobstructed views of the bay.
The breakfast buffet has a great variety including an egg station where the chefs prepare eggs benedict or omelettes for you. They also offered complimentary sparking wine at breakfast for those wanting to make a mimosa.
The resort also has a gelato shop which is open during the day and is the perfect place for an afternoon scoop to cool down. Next to the resort entrance, there are a few small local stores which sell all kinds of snacks, and even swimwear and accessories.
I had a wonderful holiday, there is so much to do on the island, but it also is just so relaxing to do nothing if you want.
The staff were friendly and attentive, and the whole team delivered beyond my expectation.
Overall, I had a fabulous time at The Racha, thank you to all the staff who made my stay memorable, I will be back in a heartbeat.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Kayla Lourens
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
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.