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
A Lavish Haven of Luxury: The Granite Luxury Hotel Exceeds Expectations
The Granite Luxury Hotel, located in Georgetown Penang, is the ideal destination for romantic escapes, family holidays, and business meetings.
I had the pleasure of staying at The Granite Luxury Hotel for two nights, and I must say that my experience was nothing short of extraordinary. From the moment I stepped foot into the hotel lobby, I knew I was in for an unforgettable stay.
The staff at The Granite Luxury Hotel is undoubtedly one of their greatest assets. Upon arrival, I was greeted with warm smiles and personalized service that made me feel like a valued guest. Bryan at the front desk assisted me with the check-in process and showed me to my room. He was very informative and helped me with bookings throughout my stay for various activities and eateries.
I checked into their Luxury Room, which had tasteful décor, plush bedding, and a comfortable ambience. The amenities provided were top-notch, including a welcome gift, a coffee machine, and a luxurious bathroom with premium toiletries. The room offered big windows which allowed for a great view of the city and a partial sea view. The bed was exceptionally comfortable, ensuring a restful night’s sleep after a long day of exploring the city.
At turndown, the housekeeping set up a romantic bubble bath which included a bottle of sparkling juice, chocolates, and bath salts. They also dimmed the lights to create a romantic atmosphere.
The Mirage Pool Deck was the highlight of the hotel for me, it’s a stunning pool overlooking Georgetown and the pool area lights up at night.
The hotel has entered the Malaysia Book of Records for having the Highest Acrylic Bottom Swimming Pool. You can look down through the glass bottom of the pool and see all the way down to the street. It’s definitely a challenge for those afraid of heights. The pool is a great place to just chill and enjoy the views. Be sure to visit the pool deck around sunset time to get beautiful views with sunset hues.
The hotel’s fitness center was well-equipped with state-of-the-art machines, providing an excellent space for those who want to maintain their workout routine during their stay.
The location of the hotel was ideal, situated in the heart of the city and within close proximity to popular attractions, shopping malls and restaurants. This made it convenient for me to explore the city’s offerings and experience the local culture.
The hotel has another notable award, that was judged by the Malaysia Book of Records as the Tallest Automated Hotel Car Park.
Their Attic 23 Rooftop Bar is well-known in Penang, offering a spectacular 360° panoramic view of the city.
For dinner, the hotel arranged a special dining experience at a traditional Nyonya house which is over a hundred years old. It is a hidden gem that only accommodates a select number of patrons each night. Little Kitchen Nyonya is run by Baba Jay and his wife who are Peranakans. They are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, and various other nearby areas.
Baba Jay took us on a historical food journey giving us insight into his family’s history as well as how the Nyonya cuisine came about.
There were multiple small dishes being served, each with their own unique story. The dinner also allows guests to partake in the preparation of certain dishes if they so wish.
After dinner, we were given a tour of his house and met his family. This allowed us a glimpse into their culture. I would definitely recommend this if ever you are in Penang.
The hotel offers various different suite rooms, noticeably their ‘safari suite’ which is a themed room that offers fun and exciting toys for kids to enjoy. The room has two queen beds but together, to fit the whole family. There is a ball pit in the room as well as a tunnel around the room which kids will love.
There are also business suites which can double as ideal venues for small meetings, seminars, workshops, and job interviews. The hotel has also converted some rooms into co-working spaces which can be rented out per day. Professionals can enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi, access to the hotel gym, as well as a shared kitchenette with snacks.
The Granite Luxury Hotel also offers an event space that would be great for birthday parties, weddings, and events. It has a glass chapel with scenic views of Georgetown. There is an in-house event organizer that can cater to all your needs and requirements for your special event.
I would absolutely recommend this hotel if you ever find yourself in Penang, it offers something for everyone, and is a top-tier luxury hotel experience.
A special thank you to Jovan, the assistant hotel manager, who made sure my every want and need was taken care of during my stay. Jovan, Bryan and the team offered exceptional service and made my stay unforgettable.
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
A contemporary private villa located in Seminyak, Bali.
This villa is the ultimate luxury accommodation for families or a group of friends, with a total of 5 bedrooms. The villa can also be split into a 3-bedroom and a 2-bedroom which can be booked separately. Each has its own private swimming pool, indoor and outdoor living area, kitchenette, and private gardens.
Villa Samuan is within walking distance of the popular Seminyak beaches, local shops, craft markets and a variety of restaurants. The area is safe and peaceful, a haven for travelers.
Upon arrival I felt completely at home, the staff were friendly and courteous.
I spent three nights in the 2-bedroom “Villa Kalih” which is fully serviced and offers in-room massages, full breakfast, complimentary coffee and tea, a private driver and ultra-fast Wi-Fi.
The villa staff are available 24 hours a day and are happy to attend to your every need. The lavender scented hand soap and shower amenities smelled like a dream and the bathtub is perfect for an afternoon soak. They also offer mosquito spray in the rooms and outside, which is definitely useful at night.
The villa has beautiful architecture, and a warm ambience, the ideal luxury private retreat. Around the pool you are surrounded by coconut trees and lush tropical gardens. Inside you have striking furniture, stunning art pieces and luxury amenities. It has stylish touches around every corner. The Villa is elegantly designed, and the king-size bed offers a comfortable night’s sleep.
Komang, the villa manager, has excellent commitment to service. Everything I needed, him and his team supplied. The fantastic staff provided exceptional service, making my stay unforgettable. The Balinese hospitality is so comforting, and they ensured my stay was carefree.
The daily breakfast was delicious, and they make the best cappuccinos. For breakfast, you can choose from a selection of meals such as Indonesian breakfast or full breakfast. You can have fresh juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, and I opted for the smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs. I had this dish every morning as it was so tasty.
Nearby attractions that I would recommend are KU DE TA, a beach club and restaurant that is an outstanding place for sunset drinks. For shopping I would recommend The Flea Market, and you can walk along that road to find multiple different cafes and shopping experiences. I would also recommend Luc. Coffee Roasters, a great café for lunch or a coffee in between shopping. These places are all within walking distance of the villa.
Villa Samuan stands out from the plethora of private villas in the vicinity due to its distinct architectural design and exceptionally fashionable interior decor. The villa harmoniously blends traditional Balinese elements with contemporary aesthetics, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind ambiance.
Thank you Komang and your wonderful team for being efficient, friendly, and treating me like royalty.
I would recommend Villa Samuan as one of the best luxury villas in Seminyak. Top class hospitality and exceptional service.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards Representative, Kayla Lourens
On a recent trip to Australia, I stopped over in Sydney and had the absolute pleasure of spending a few nights at the Crown Towers, Sydney. Having travelled to every continent and stayed in numerous luxury hotels, I can honestly say that this is the most incredible hotel I have ever experienced.
I was booked into a Studio room with extensive, fabulous views of the harbor. To give an idea of just on how “state-of-the-art” everything was, the bathroom even had an electric toilet!
The breakfast was fit for royalty, a feast for the eyes, catering for all palates with every conceivable type of food.
My sister, who lives in Australia came to visit me at the hotel for the day, she was blown away by the magnificence of the hotel. We spent a few hours relaxing at the infinity pool with spectacular views of the harbour and Sydney skyline. My sister was very happy to be right in the pool on a perfectly situated comfortable pool bed.
Unfortunately I did not have time to use the spa myself, but my sister went for a treatment, after which she could not stop commenting on how wonderful it was and complimenting the therapist on how good they made her feel. I did take a look around the spa and was very impressed with the ambience, and the warm and welcoming staff that were keen to show us around.
I try to work out almost every day, so naturally I went to try out the gym which was fantastic and equally impressive to my room with all the latest equipment, as well as great views of the Sydney Harbour as a perfect distraction to a heavy workout – much needed after enjoying rather a few good meals on my trip.
Whilst there, being so impressed, I took a moment to read a few reviews of the hotel and one that stood out to me said, that if it was possible to achieve 6 stars, this hotel certainly deserves it, and I can wholeheartedly agree!
Thank you to the General Manager, Mr. Chris Kemlo, for his kind hospitality, the attention to detail is impeccable and I extend my appreciation to all the teams working in the hotel for the excellent service I experienced.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Angelo Henry.
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
Fancourt offers a luxurious, contemporary and relaxed environment and with award-winning golf courses, fine dining, wellness and family-friendly facilities, it makes Fancourt perfect for any kind of traveller.
Upon arrival, my partner and I were warmly welcomed by the friendly porters’ ready to assist with our luggage and they even offered to park our vehicle for our convenience.
At the reception desk, my partner and I were served with a glass of champagne while the receptionist assured a smooth check-in process.
Jamie Cooper, the Marketing Manager took the time to introduce herself and offered her personal assistance should we need any assistance during our stay.
The porter then showed us to our One-Bedroom Suite where we were delighted to enter our room and find a complimentary wine accompanied by a hand-written note.
Each suite has a private balcony or patio with idyllic views of Fancourt’s estate. The room had a king size bed with a separate lounge area, TVs, mini bar, Coffee and tea making facilities and Wi-Fi access.
The second night we received a room upgrade and stayed in one of the suites at the Manor House. We were again surprised with a chilled bottle of champagne and they spoiled us with a beautiful towel and rose petal representation in our room, seeing that is was our honeymoon.
Guests staying at the Manor House can enjoy from 24-hour in-room dining and luxury bathroom amenities to a private pool and the beautifully appointed Manor House Library and Manor House Lounge.
My partner and I had dinner at La Cantina serving Italian cuisine. I enjoyed the best Chicken Ravioli and my partner had the most tender, flavourful T-bone steak served with salad and fries. The staff were very eager to assist with any request we might have had. Fancourt offers 4 restaurants to choose from and allows you to definitely find something to enjoy on their menus.
We enjoyed our complimentary full buffet breakfast at La Cantina since they are also Fancourt’s breakfast restaurant of choice.
The breakfast was delicious, the buffet included, pastries, hot dishes, cold meats, cereals and more, the chef also cooked our choice of eggs upon request.
We made use of the complimentary facilities such as the Roman Bath and Jacuzzi. The area was always clean and we appreciated the fact that there were always dry towels readily available to use. The perfect temperature of the Roman bath made it easily enjoyable and we could truly relax.
We were thoroughly impressed with all of the staff that we came into contact with. We were impressed with the effort that they went through to ensure our every need was met in an unobtrusive but kind way. The housekeeping services were quick to notice when extra items in the room were needed.
Our stay at Fancourt was an absolutely unforgettable experience and one that we are bound to remember for a long time. The excellence in service, presentation and luxurious details from beginning to end will definitely ensure that we will be recommending Fancourt as a place to stay when visiting South Africa.
Reviewed by World Luxury Awards representative, Chanté Ebersohn.
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.