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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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Five-star serviced residence, perfect for business travellers.

Joy~Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila is located in Ortigas, Pasig which is a popular business district and has multiple shopping malls within walking distance.

I enjoyed two nights in a one-bedroom suite which was spacious and comfortable. The kitchen is fully stocked and the room had high speed internet. The shower also has a steam option and there was a TV in the bathroom which was convenient.

The hotel has a rooftop bar on the 43rd floor with panoramic views of Manila Bay, it is the perfect spot for sundowners. They also serve food from the grill to accompany your cocktails.

The hotel’s main restaurant, Nostalgia Lounge & Bar, offers buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast was delicious, the buffet included, pastries, hot dishes, cold meats, cereals and more, the chef will cook your eggs while you wait. 

The indoor heated pool is the perfect place to relax after a long day and be sure to take a dip in the jacuzzi. The pool even has underwater music playing! The fitness center has all the necessary equipment for a good workout.

This hotel is perfect for long stays, or a short staycation when you are in Manila. The suites are pet friendly and spacious for families.

Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Kayla Lourens

Visit their website to make a booking: www.joynostalgmanila.com

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Pan Pacific London – a modern urban retreat in the heart of the City of London.

When in London we had the pleasure of spending a night at Pan Pacific London. We arrived to immediately feel embraced by the ambience and were impressed with the décor which was matched by the friendly and attentive staff who welcomed us.

My partner and I enjoyed the comfort of a beautiful en-suite deluxe room with a stunning view of the city. The room was super-modern with all the amenities at hand to make one feel at home. 

We chose to dine at the in-house restaurant, Straits Kitchen, which proved to be an experience we will never forget. The restaurant serves South East Asian food with dishes from Singapore. Our favourite was the variety of small plates, which included spring rolls, prawns and vegetables, to top it all off, we indulged in the Mandarin dessert which was absolutely delicious. 

My partner and I are both very keen on keeping up with our gym routines when travelling and this was undoubtedly the best gym I have ever seen in a hotel. The gym is fully equipped with the latest technologies and is clean and organized. We also took the opportunity to have an afternoon dip in the pool at the spa, it was extremely relaxing and the setting was amazing with an incredible view of the city. 

We will definitely return to Pan Pacific London on our next visit to London.

Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Shannon Langeveldt

Book a stay at Pan Pacific London: www.panpacific.com/en/booking/search.html?propertyCode=pplon

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The Taj Cape Town – an oasis of calm in Cape Town City Centre…

Situated in the bustling Cape Town City Centre, The Taj hotel is within close distance to all local attractions.  We arrived at the Taj on a rainy Friday afternoon. The Staff warmly greeted us with umbrellas and took care of parking our vehicle. Entering the Taj is like entering another era; the grandeur and splendour of the lobby area simply takes your breath away.

After a smooth check in we were escorted to our room. We stayed in a Luxury Room in the King Tower wing with a view of Table Mountain and the bustling streets below. We were greeted with a welcoming snack of nuts and fruit, a bottle of white wine and note from the General Manager. The room was spacious with elegant designs and finishes. The bathroom for me was simply stunning with the perfect layout and marble finishes.

After settling in we headed to the lobby to enjoy an afternoon tea and snack while listening to the rain fall outside.

The fitness centre at The TAJ hotel is one of the best I have experienced. State of the art equipment including free weights and stretching equipment made for an intense training session. Fresh towels and water are available at each machine. There is also an indoor heated swimming pool if you wish to get in a few laps.

Dinner at Mint Restaurant was absolutely fantastic. Friendly staff, efficient service and a menu that will satisfy any craving made for the perfect evening. There was also live jazz music which added to the ambiance.

After a good nights rest in the King size bed we enjoyed a Buffet Breakfast which was incredible. From every cereal imaginable and English breakfast options to sushi and a variety of pastries we had it all!

Jiva Spa was the absolute highlight of our stay. We were treated to a 60minute couples Indian Aromatherapy massage. This was an amazing and relaxing experience from start to finish. A special thank you to Bianca who was my therapist – she has magic hands!

Overall my experience at the TAJ Cape Town was incredible. From Check in to check out everything was perfect. The staff are friendly and welcoming, the facilities are world class and the food is superb. I left thoroughly refreshed and would highly recommend the TAJ Cape Town to anyone visiting South Africa and hope to visit again soon – one night is just to short!

Reviewed by Tanique Echardt – Executive Manager of the World Luxury Hotel Awards

To book a stay at this incredible Hotel:

www.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj/taj-cape-town/

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Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve – A piece of heaven in Portugal…

Pine Cliffs resort is located in the Algarve with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When you drive through the resort you feel like you’re driving through a beautiful little town.

Upon check in, we were greeted by friendly staff and promptly taken to our room. We stayed in a deluxe room on the 2nd floor, with a balcony overlooking the Resort. The bed was very comfortable, and the interior of the room was beautifully designed.

There are multiple swimming pools at the hotel and the gym and indoor pool overlooks the Resort grounds. To get to the beach, you need to take an elevator from the hotel down to ground level.

On the pathway to the beach you are surrounded by the most beautiful and unique red cliffs. On the beach there are complimentary lounger chairs and towels. There is also a boathouse with many water activities including jet skis.

The beach restaurant called Mare, was a great dining experience. The food was delicious, and you have a great view of the ocean and beach. For sun downers we went to the Mirador champagne bar. When the sun hits the red cliffs its almost like they glow, it was a breathtaking view.

Dinner at Yakuza was amazing, it is a Japanese inspired restaurant. I would eat there every night if I could. We had two breakfast options every morning and both were great. A huge selection of food is on offer along with great service.

Overall Pine Cliffs was an amazing experience, we wish we never had to leave the Resort because they literally have everything you want inside the resort. Highly recommended and I would love to visit again soon.

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay in paradise:

www.pinecliffs.com

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The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky – The perfect City Escape

The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky is located in the El Poblenou neighborhood and within walking distance of the metro station. The metro connects the entire city which was extremely convenient.

The level reception is located on the 25th floor of the building and we were checked in by Marta. Check in was done smoothly and Marta gave us all the information we needed. I would like to give a special thank you to Marta for helping us with all our bookings and transfers. She was amazing.

We stayed in a spacious suite on the 27th floor of the hotel which gave us amazing views of the city. The room had a big lounge area and a separate area for luggage storage. The bed was extremely comfortable, and the bathroom had a double shower as well as a bath.

View from our room:

The pool area was great, with many lounge chairs and a few double loungers which were very comfortable. The weather was also perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Breakfast was served on the 24th floor with seating areas on both sides of the building so you had a choice of a city or ocean view. There was a huge variety of food and drinks at breakfast and very high quality, it was delicious.

On the 25th floor there was a special dining and lounge area only for selected guests. Complimentary food and drinks were served throughout the day. Tapas and sun downers were also served every evening around sunset.

What an amazing experience, I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Barcelona and I hope to visit again soon.

Reviewed by Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this incredible hotel

https://www.melia.com/es/hoteles/espana/barcelona/the-level-at-melia-barcelona-sky/

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Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre – The perfect spot for a business or leisure Holiday…

Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre is located in the small coastal town of Calpe in Spain. The hotel is perfectly located just a street up from the beach which has many shops and restaurants.

What a welcoming hotel, the staff made us feel instantly at home. We were checked in promptly and the staff were so friendly. Our room was on the top floor which gave us a great view of the ocean.

The beds were very comfortable, and the bathroom had all the amenities we needed and more. The view from our room’s terrace was just amazing. We were given a special fruit platter upon arrival which was delicious.

There are two pools with a kids pool and many lounge chairs for sunbathing. The spa was an experience on its own. A heated pool and many different showers and baths around it. Definitely one of the best spas I’ve visited.

Breakfast was delicious, many different food stations with a big variety. The coffee was great, and the service was friendly and attentive. A great way to start my day.

Audrey’s is a Michelin star restaurant located in the hotel. We had a special lunch and wine pairing. Chef Rafa greeted us personally and it was a culinary experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank the entire team of Diamante Beach Spa Hotel & Convention Centre for making my stay unforgettable. Thank you for spoiling us and showing us what true hospitality is.

Reviewed By: Kayla Lourens – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a stay at this beautiful hotel:
www.diamantebeach.com

 

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The Kayon Jungle Resort – A magical Jungle experience…

My first surprise when arriving at The Kayon Jungle Resort was the location – the resort is located approx. 20km North of central Ubud, but with their excellent in-house transfer service; accessing Ubud proved really easy and travelling the local road an enjoyable trip to see more of the beautiful rural setting.

The Resort and facilities were really magnificent and exceeded all expectation in a spectacular setting. My room was my own private paradise!

My best impression of The Kayon Jungle Resort was the friendly service and reception I received from the staff. On arrival and check in I was asked how I would like to be addressed and after that everybody down to the room personnel, knew who I was and addressed me as such in a respectful but informal way. What a wonderful personal touch to make one feel truly at home.

I am grateful for the experience and my stay and can happily recommend this as a unique Ubud jungle getaway.

World Luxury Hotel Awards can be proud to represent this sublime Resort.

Reviewed by World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To book a room at this Jungle Hideaway:

https://www.thekayonjungleresort.com/

 

 

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A visit to the historic and beautiful town of Porto…

We arrived in Porto after a long bus ride from Lisbon, and while heading towards the hotel we were astounded by this historic and varied city.

We arrived at Porto Palácio Congress Hotel & SPA at around 2pm in the afternoon, they checked us in, gave us a complimentary voucher for a glass of port at the roof bar and showed us to our room. The first thing I noticed was how big the hotel was, with 251 rooms the greatest thing about this hotel is that it is suitable for work and leisure.

We we arrived in our room, which has amazing views of the city, we were surprised by a complimentary massage and facial from the Wellness & Beauty Lab.

We went down to the spa to make a booking as we were only staying at the hotel for two nights, suffice to say, we just stayed at the spa to relax and enjoy our treatments for the rest of the day. The spa is truly magical, and my husband and I agreed that we had one of the best massages to date.

Afterwards we went to the bar and tasted some real Portuguese Port, what really got me though, was the breath-taking panoramic view of Porto.

The next morning, we went for the breakfast buffet at Madruga Restaurant, the buffet has a lot to offer and we were definitely set for the rest of the day of exploring. When we returned to the hotel, we went for a second round at the spa. We had an early morning flight therefore we went to bed quite early.

Porto Palácio Congress Hotel & SPA is an amazing hotel, the views, the spa, the amazing staff but mostly the way they cater to more than just business or leisure, but both.

Reviewed by Jana Stoman – World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative

To make a booking at this magnificent property follow the link:

www.shotelscollection.com/portopalacio