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Me, myself and I

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Having a passion for hotels and exploring new cultures. Giving advice to future guests is invaluable. In this blog, I will be writing reviews about quality hotels and I will be adding some pictures and videos. I will comment on the overall atmosphere, the architecture and the interior. A hotel is more than just a room to stay in: amenities such as the bar, the restaurant and the spa services are equally important. Everyone has their own opinion, but I will provide you with an objective impression to give you a general and clear idea of what is awaiting you.

Enjoy reading and travelling!

Christophe Delcroix

Christophe.Delcroix@gmail.com

The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort



Hotelchain: St. Regis – Marriott
Location
: Mallorca – Spain
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.stregismardavall.com



The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is rated as one of the best hotels of Mallorca and I couldn’t wait to explore this luxurious five star resort. What is so unique about the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is the personal touch. Every single element seems like it has been curated and vetted to the extent that every experience there seems like you are in a pillow of comfort, midst of tranquility, and bathed in luxury.

The resort is beautifully located on the southwest coast of Mallorca. Make sure to check out the bay area just behind the resort. It is just stunning! 



As soon as you walk into the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, you are welcomed with wonderful smiles. Staff made us feel home in just seconds and gave us all the information we needed to know about the hotel. I just couldn’t wait to explore and experience this place. The grand lobby area itself is spacious and very appealing. I love the fact that they do take their time to check-in their guests. There is no large check-in desk here, but separate desks where guests are welcomed in a very personal way. This definitely is the highlight at the St. Regis Mardavall – the high level of personalized service! Each room comes with a personal butler service.






Let’s start with the rooms.

The St. Regis Mardavall has very spacious rooms. Our junior suite was superbly comfortable, very clean and filled with all the right amenities for a relaxing holiday. All rooms are of a very high standard and offer views of the beach or garden. The king sized bed is among the best I experienced. It is all in the details here, of example: I contacted the hotel upfront to request of soft bed. Upon arrival they took care of the request. Each guest is treated as an individual and every single request was suited. Just amazing! Another thing I really appreciated was the sitting area with two good sized couches and electronically controlled drapes. The rooms have been renovated over the last years and all look stunning. They all come with a Nespresso coffee machine, fully stocked minibar and an oversized desk. The view from our balcony was breathtaking!




The bathroom was beautifully tiled and contained many amenities, including a separate large walk in shower for two and a wonderful bath tub. Fancy Remède toiletries are offered, I am in love with those products. Did you forget your tooth brush or shaving products? No problem, each room provides them in case you forgot to bring yours.



Again, do note that a booking at the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort comes with a butler service that will make sure you will have a great time. Really nothing is asked for too much! We needed some extra hangers for our clothes – for example – and they brought some in just minutes and helped us unpacking. Great! The service level truly is out of this world!  

Every space of this hotel is clean, engaging and inspires you to focus on your wellbeing. Speaking of wellbeing, Arabella spa is quite large and is located on the ground floor of the hotel. The place is designed to relax and forget about your worries. There’s an indoor/outdoor pool with plenty of loungers. I particularly liked the salt water pool with adjoining saunas (Finnish + salt) and steam room. If you are into working out, the hotel offers a large fitness facility.



Make sure to book a treatment here. I thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing full body spa treatment. For me the experience was like returning to balance… it was like an escape from the everyday and physical wellbeing while being in the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca’s tranquil and welcoming surroundings.




The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort has several pools and the most stunning gardens. It does look like paradise here! We enjoyed the pools and the surrounding areas. This resort is huge and there’s a lot of privacy for the guests. No party music here, no yelling or screaming. It is very peaceful. Do note that kids are very welcome at this hotel. They have their own place where they can be kids and play and fool around. There’s even a kids club that will make sure children have a wonderful time.






Regarding the food and drinks, choices here are endless!

The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort offers a wide variety of bar settings from casual at the pools to more formal for the evenings. I loved the Aqua Restaurant. This Mediterranean restaurant has a cool vibe. The food here is outstanding and did not disappoint. We started with a wonderful selection of tapas. The grilled turbot was served perfectly as requested. As always, I saved some space for dessert and luckily I did because the cheese case was to die for. All in all, a wonderful restaurant with again (this is a St. Regis property after all) the best service!




Es Fum is the signature dining option. This Michelin (*) rated restaurant only offers the best. Unfortunately I could not experience this restaurant as it was closed due to Covid19, but that gives me a reason to come back! Based on the pictures of the dishes I saw, it must be quite an experience to have lunch or dinner here.

Breakfast is served at the Aqua Restaurant. It offers a large selection of bread, pastries and yoghurts. The large buffet has something to offer for anyone! The thing I appreciate in particular are the amount of healthy options. I saw a lot of fruit, nuts and vegetables.

I am in love with the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort! The biggest factor for me are the people who work at the resort. Most of the staff even remembered our names. How cool is that? The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is on par with some of the best hotels in the world which I have been fortunate enough to stay at. My senses were completely satisfied beyond anything I could imagine. We were treated like royalty here and cannot wait to return one day. A perfect place indeed!

Es Princep – Palma de Mallorca



Location
: Palma de Mallorca – Spain
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.esprincep.com/en



Rated as Palma’s number one hotel, Es Princep is a top notch five star boutique hotel located near the center of Palma de Mallorca. You can’t beat the location. All the main attractions of this beautiful city are within walking distance. The surrounding areas are just gorgeous: small authentic streets, palm trees, etc. Making part of the Leading Hotels of the World, I immediately fell in love with Es Princep as soon as I entered.

Es Princep is very stylish and cozy decorated. The intimate reception area just beautiful and gives an excellent first impression of the hotel: luxurious couches, high end furniture and most importantly: I was welcomed by the most friendly manager. The welcome drink is a nice touch. This is Spanish hospitality and I love it!




After I received my room key, I couldn’t wait to explore this unique boutique hotel. Walking around in the hotel felt great. The authentic atmosphere throughout the hotel is impressive and much appreciated. Es Princep has a total of 83 rooms. As a small hotel they can offer a very personal service. It feels like a home away from home where you are treated as a guest, not a number.

The executive room I stayed in was absolutely stunning! The design looking rooms are smart designed and I loved the lay out of the room. The wooden floors and open bathroom add extra coziness. The room had all the facilities I expect from a five star hotel such as the Nespresso coffee machine, a very comfortable bed and a cozy sitting area with the most comfortable blue couch.



The open bathroom has a great walk-in shower and separate toilet. Fluffy towels and high end Le Labo toiletries are available as well.



The absolute highlight of Es Princep is their rooftop! The large rooftop offers a restaurant, several lounge areas and a small pool. It was great hanging out here during the day. The full panoramic sea views are amazing. Restaurant Almaq offers delicious food with stunning views over the old town of Palma. We had a wonderful lunch here and the tapas and sea food main courses were to die for. Highly recommended to have lunch or dinner here, even if you’re not a guest of the hotel it is worth a visit!







Do note that there are other dining facilities as well. Bala Roja is another restaurant which offers degustation menus at night.

Another must visit when you stay at Es Princep is the Cocô Spa Oasis. Located on the lower floor, this space has been designed to relax and unwind. The indoor pool is wonderful and offers several jet experiences as well as a sauna and steam room. The Relax & Renew treatment was heavenly. I felt reborn afterwards as the therapist did an excellent job.



Breakfast at Es Princep is something to look forward to! We stayed at the hotel during the Covid19-pandemic and therefor there was no buffet but an à la carte breakfast instead. Each dish was of an excellent quality and again, service was top notch! Really nothing here is asked for too much. I also appreciated the botanical theme throughout the breakfast area.



Es Princep is definitely the place to stay when you are looking for an ultra stylish boutique hotel right near the center of Palma de Mallorca. Check it out yourself and feel the Es Princep vibe! Highly recommended for a romantic getaway!
 

Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American



Hotelchain: Hard Rock Hotels
Location
: Amsterdam – Netherlands
Classification: 4 star superior hotel
Official website: https://www.hardrockhotels.com/amsterdam-american/



Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American recently opened and I was so happy to find out that Hard Rock has a hotel in Amsterdam! Of course, after staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in Penang, I needed to explore this Hard Rock Hotel as well and it didn’t disappoint!

This upscale four superior star hotel is located near the city center of Amsterdam, it is just a 5 minute walk to all the major attractions beautiful Amsterdam has to offer! Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American is located on Leidseplein Square near the beautiful Vondelpark. The Rijksmuseum (which is THE museum of the Netherlands) is only a short walk. The historic canal area is just 5 minutes away by foot. Entering this hotel is entering a contemporary art deco styled luxury hotel with all the comfort one could wish for. The lobby area is spacious and has several Hard Rock items which are all taking us back in time.




I actually would call their lobby area a living room wall since there are many cozy sitting areas. Again, there’s so much to see here: Elton John’s shoes, a custom-designed jacket of Prince, etc. It’s all there and each item definitely is an eye catcher. Check-in staff was very helpful and accommodating and after some useful information, they handed us the keys for our room.





All rooms at Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American are luxuriously appointed and have decent sizes compared to other hotels in Amsterdam. I love the design and lay-out of the Junior Suite we stayed in particularly the oversized desk and (ultra comfortable!) cozy couches. They integrated the whole Hard Rock theme throughout the entire hotel, even the wallpaper. Guests can even take advantage of booking the Sound Of Your Stay Program. You will receive a guitar in the room which is pretty cool and add an even more Hard Rock feel to the room!



The bathroom had one of the best walk-in showers I have experienced so far. I should definitely highlight the Hard Rock toiletries. They smell amazing! Our Junior Suite even featured a fabulous free standing bath tub. Awesome!




There is so much to do at Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American! Downstairs you will find a large fitness facility. Hungry or fancy a drink? The famous Bar Americain is a must visit! At night, we had dinner here and again, the food didn’t disappoint (at all!). The freshly prepared steak tartare was to die for. The steak that came afterwards was just delicious. I must highlight the dessert. The Crème Brûlée was the best I have ever had, hands down!  


After a wonderful night (the beds are so big and soft) we were ready for breakfast. Since we were there during the Covid19 pandemic, we had breakfast in our room. Each item was fresh and tasted excellent! Thumbs up!



Hotel American was renovated and opened as a Hard Rock Hotel. It is a new top notch in the center of Amsterdam. I felt great here and can recommend this hotel for your next trip to Amsterdam! I was treated like a Rock Star and I recommend you to have the same experience! You won’t be disappointed. Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam Americain, you rock! I’ll be back for sure!

Villa Dubrovnik

  

Hotelchain
: Mytha Hotels
Location
: Dubrovnik – Croatia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitevilla-dubrovnik.hr/en

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Villa Dubrovnik is one of the exclusive hotels in Dubrovnik and I couldn’t wait to explore this jewel. Making part of the Leading Hotels of the world, the hotel has a high standard. Villa Dubrovnik has ‘only’ 56 rooms and truly has a boutique feeling. The staff will do their upmost best to make you feel at home from the moment you enter this hidden gem. This ultra luxurious hotel is not just a ‘hotel’, to me it is a destination… Let me tell you why…

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First of all, Villa Dubrovnik has a prime location. Sveti Jakov Beach, one of the most picturesque bathing spots in the region is only a few steps away. The (beautiful!) old town of Dubrovnik itself is only a 15 minute walk away. We walked to the city center in no time!

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You reach the entrance of the hotel by taking an elevator. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and we were really overwhelmed by the design of the lobby area. Very tastefully and attention to details. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed by the staff. The check-in staff were absolutely excellent, they could not have been more friendly and helpful. Check-in was seamless with zero wait.

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The Deluxe room we stayed in was absolutely breathtaking. It was spacious and decorated with style. The quality of furnishing was excellent. Prior to our arrival, I was asked if I have any special pillow/mattress preferences. I do prefer a soft mattress and informed them. Upon arrival I immediately noticed that everything I requested has been organized according to my wishes. Very impressive. The best thing about the room was the view. Each room at Villa Dubrovnik has a prime sea view.

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Bathroom had double sinks and a wonderful bath tub / shower combination. La Bottega toiletries are offered. They are among the best toiletries I have experienced. They smell amazing!

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A visit to the Villa Spa is a must do when staying at Villa Dubrovnik! The indoor pool area is stunning with one of the nicest swimming pool I have seen in Croatia. The doors can be opened so it actually feels as a semi open pool area. Sun loungers are of a very good quality and they provide bar sevice. Top service! There’s a separate tanning area where you can enjoy sunshine all day long. I loved the fact that the pool is open at 8AM as I love to swim before having breakfast.

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The spa itself is the place to relax after a day of excursions or quite simply because you want to. I let myself enjoy a pure moment of well-being and relaxation. I enjoyed one of their signature deep tissue treatments here. The treatment began with a more traditional relaxation massage. After my muscles were warmed up, my (excellent!) therapist began to work deep into my problem areas (my neck!). The therapist Stella really did an excellent job. I felt relaxed afterwards and my neck felt really good.

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Villa Dubrovnik offers several dining options, from lounges to fine dining restaurants… they have it all! Each night, we had dinner at Restaurant Pjerin where head chef Giuseppe Somma serves Mediterranean dishes which are to die for. The restaurant ifself is beautifully designed and service was top notch! The terrace overlooks the old town of Dubrovnik. This Michelin recommended restaurant only offers the best ingredients. From the prawn carpaccio to the most delicious desserts. The food really is of a great quality. You won’t be disappointed if you book a table here!

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Al Fresco bar Giardino is opened in the afternoon from 1pm – 4pm and is a perfect place for a lunch in style. Overlooking the beach, it has a relaxed atmosphere. This bistro has an outdoor grill. You can actually watch your orders to be grilled right in front of you.

At night, make sure to check out Prosciutto & Wine Bar, a perfect sundowner. This rooftop bar offers splendid views over the surrounding areas. I loved it. Sitting here while enjoying some delicious cocktials, watching the sun going down is a must do! Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you’re more than welcome to go up and have a wonderful evening. We enjoyed the sunset from up here more than in the old town.

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Last, but not least, there’s the Library Lounge where guests can relax and unwind all day long while enjoying a drink. Whether you are reading a book or a browsing the internet on your tablet, it is great to hang out here. By the way, each spot of Villa Dubrovik is clean. I should highlight the cleanness of the entire hotel. If you told me that the hotel opened just a few days ago, I would have believed it!

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Breakfast is served at Restaurant Pjerin and as you could expect from such a luxurious hotel, the quality of the food was excellent as was the service! The à la carte breakfast is a treat. It’s one of the most exclusive breakfasts I have been experienced anywhere. Again, service was top notch! Our server – Denis – is one of the best! He’s a true professional!

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Villa Dubrovnik is not just a hotel, staying here truly is an experience. If offers a perfect mix of elegance, history, spacious rooms, delicious food and the most attentive staff. No wonder Villa Dubrovnik is the most awarded Croatian boutique hotel. With its breathtaking position on the cliffs right at the sea and the most luxurious rooms all with stunning sea views, Villa Dubrovnik is one of a kind.

Beau-Rivage Palace – Lausanne

 

Location: Lausanne – Switzerland
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitehttps://www.brp.ch/en/home/




Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne is one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe. Located on the shores of Lake Léman, it has a prime location. The hotel makes part of The Leading Hotels of the World. I had high expectations, but still was totally blown away by this property. Having stayed at many high end five star properties, this hotel was beyond words and I can’t say enough good things about this place.



Let me first share some historical facts. The hotel opened in 1861 and the current main building was constructed in Art Nouveau and neo-baroque style in 1908. Of course, Beau-Rivage has been renovated over the years and still is one of the most luxurious hotels one could imagine.

As mentioned before, the location is amazing. Lausanne is a beautiful town with high end shops and dining options. The boulevard in front of the hotel is the place for a relaxed evening walk while admiring stunning lake views. There’s a lot to do here. Still you are in a private gem with all the luxury amenities one could wish for. Guests are treated like royalty here and nothing is asked for too much here. The personal approach is highly appreciated and one of the key factors of Beau-Rivage Palace.



Once I stepped in, I was greeted by the most accommodating staff who made me feel at ease right from the first second. Entering this hotel is stepping into a true palace. I could have taken pictures here all day long. Behind each corner, a new surprise is waiting. I love the fact that they kept the historical touches of this palace. From the grand chandeliers to the wonderful art work, it is all there and maintained in an excellent way. It set the tone for the next 2 days.




After check-in it was time to explore our room. With only 169 rooms and suites, Beau-Rivage is able to offer a very personalized service. Walking around in the hallways is an experience itself.




We stayed in a Superior room and again were very satisfied. The room had a great size. No standard furniture here, all items (and I litterly mean every item/product/…) is of such a high quality. I fell at home here which is unique. The room had a nice cozy sitting area with the most comfortable couch. The king sized bed was to die for. Oh and I have to mention that every day a new surprise will be waiting for you. For example, they brought fresh flowers in the afternoon, some (yummie!) pastries and when I needed anything, I just had to dial 0 and a few seconds later they were happy to bring it to the room. The views over the lake were mind blowing!




Bathroom is very luxurious featuring an oversized bath tub and a fantastic walk-in shower. There are plenty of luxury Cinq Mondes toiletries offered. The mirror television was a treat!



One of the highlights of Beau-Rivage Palace is the recently renovated spa area, Cinq Mondes. No words can describe how beautiful this place is. It is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring Lausanne. It was so quiet and peaceful… and the décor is unique. Candles, soft relaxing music and luxurious leather lounges made me feel in heaven. There’s an indoor pool, a Finnish sauna and steam room. Cinq Mondes at Beau-Rivage Palace is one of the most luxurious spa’s I have experienced, anywhere. Be sure to check out yourself.






There’s also an outdoor pool with very comfortable loungers. The gardens are impressive We were lucky with the weather when we were there and enjoyed a chilling afternoon enjoying the sun. It was wonderful and staff made sure we had a great time.




Beau-Rivage Palace has several dining options: Brasserie Restaurant “Café Beau-Rivage” where guests can enjoy wonderful dishes prepared by Chef Emilien Windels. There’s also a Japanese Restaurant ‘The Miyako’ with a teppanyaki table. Fancy a more formal dinner? Gourmet restaurant “Anne-Sophie Pic” is the place to be. Rated with two Michelin stars and an impressive 18/20 at Gault & Millau it is fine dining at its highest level. Let me share some pictures of the dishes. They speak for themselves

Time to sleep! Turn down service is provided every night. They offer complimentary sweet treats to their guests which is the perfect way to start a comfortable night. It’s all about those small details that make Beau-Rivage Palace a special place to stay at.

Breakfast at Beau-Rivage Palace is something to look forward to! From the freshly squeezed juices to the pastries, I totally enjoyed every bite. Although every hotel offers breakfast obviously the products and ingredients they use here are of such a good quality that I actually was blown away. I happily skipped lunch because I enjoyed the breakfast that much 🙂



It is all about service here. The staff is among the most professional and accommodating I have ever experienced.  As said before, after spending so many night at so many five star hotels, it is great to still be impressed by hotels like Beau-Rivage Palace. The place to be for a luxurious getaway in Lausanne, I am in love…

St. Regis Mexico City



Hotelchain
: St. Regis
Location: Mexico City
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitestregismexicocity.com

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Known as one the best five star hotels in Mexico City, the St. Regis hotel Mexico City only offers the best… The hotel has an amazing location near trendy shops and restaurants yet remains pretty calming.  It is impeccably decorated and the service was five star indeed. Once you enter the St. Regis Mexico City, you enter a world full of luxury, attention to detail and an incredible high level of hospitality.

The lobby area is luxurious and gave me this WoW-feeling! Actually, all areas in this hotel are just gorgeous. Check-in staff was exceptionally friendly and informative. At St. Regis guests are treated in a very personal way. Many of the staff members remembered our names and asked if they could do anything to make our stay one to remember. The grand lobby surely made an impression on me. Check-in is located on the third floor.

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We stayed at an amazingly designed and luxurious Grand Deluxe room. I could spend a whole day here without leaving the hotel. At 50 square meters the room was huge and offered only the best! This is what I would call a true five star hotel room, it just had all the amenities I could wish for. On top of that, I was (and still am) in love with the decoration. There was a large comfortable sitting area with a great couch. The room felt like a luxurious studio in the middle of the city. As you would expect, the beds are heavenly. The sleep quality was excellent due to the comfortable bed and high quality sheets and pillows.

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Marble bathroom was fancy and featured both a large walk-in shower and separate bath tub. The double sinks were very convenient and I loved the HD mirror television. The plush bathrobes and towels were top notch and something to look forward to after taking a relaxing bath in the evening.

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As usual at any St. Regis hotel, this hotel offers butler service too. St. Regis Butler Service has remained one of the hotel’s signature offerings. Each room comes with a butler and they will ensure that each guest is treated in a very personal way. My unique preferences were known and understood, loved it! For example, they knew I love cappuccino’s and brought me one at turn down service. What a great touch! By the way, the coffee and tea they bring to the room, is free of charge.

The St. Regis Mexico City offers several dining options. From casual dining at The Atrium to fine dining at La Table Krug. King Cole Bar welcomes several acclaimed guest mixologists, including Leslie Cofresi and Carlos Irizarry and many more.

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We had the most delicious lunch at Diana. I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant. We had lunch on their outdoor terrace with stunning views over the city. The Mexican cuisine blew us away. The food was exquisite, every course was explained and savoured, sight, smell, taste – what an incredible experience. A must try is the tuna… I could eat this every single day! The whole lunch was a delight for the senses. Add to the wonderful food, the ambiance and the service were the best. The whole staff were warm, friendly and welcoming, and made the experience unforgettable.

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Remède Spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day in hectic Mexico City! The spa area is located on the 15th floor, offering stunning panoramic views over the city. After completing a form, I was totally ready to enjoy a prehispanic treatment with Copal products. The therapist did an excellent job and all my preferences such as the soft/medium pressure were met. There was soft relaxing lounge music playing all over the place which made me feel even more relaxed!

There’s also a fully equipped fitness room and a very nice indoor pool with great views! Be sure to check out the pool especially at night. The views are really nice! You will love it too!

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Before we left the St. Regis Mexico City, we totally enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Diana. The international buffet was excellent and I loved the Mexican specialties such as the burritos.

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St. Regis Mexico City is one the best hotels in the capital of Mexico and the best thing is that the hotel is not trying to be. It just is. The staff really stood out. Can’t say enough good things about this wonderful five star hotel! Definitely one of the “go to” hotels in Mexico City!

Hotel Nivelles Sud



Hotelchain: Van der Valk
Location
: Nivelles – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: https://www.hotelnivellessud.be/

Van der Valk Nivelles Sud is a modern four star hotel with a convenient location, not far from Brussels. I have great experiences with Van der Valk hotels and had to try this one too, of course! In 2019 the hotel has been expanded with a brand new building. A bonus: free parking!

The lobby area is pretty large with a stylish design. The reception staff made me feel welcome and were very professional explaining everything I needed to know about the hotel and facilities. I stayed at the hotel during the Covid19 pandemic and was really impressed by how clean the hotel was. The measurements they take to prevent the guests are very good! Again, it is always nice to feel at ease at a hotel and this was definitely the case here.




As mentioned before, Van der Valk Nivelles Sud has a brand new building since 2019 with new rooms. I stayed in a large Executive room. The design looking rooms at Van der Valk Nivelles are very comfortable and offer up to date facilities. There was a nice sitting area and a large working desk. A nice feature is the free minibar which was filled with non-alcoholic drinks. Each Executive room and suite comes with a personal tablet which is handy to find any information about the hotel or it can be used to simply browse the internet. I highly recommend upgrading your room to a new Executive room or suite! You won’t be disappointed!




The large bath room had an amazing separate walk-in shower. Fancy toiletries are provided, as well as bathrobes and slippers when you stay in an Executive room or suite. The room also had a separate toilet. Always nice!



I am in love with the spa area at Van der Valk Nivelles Sud. The place is just beautiful and has one of the most beautiful indoor pool I have seen anywhere! It is just stunning… and it never was too crowded. The water temperature was excellent – not too cold, not too warm. This definitely is a nice place to spend some time with your loved ones. Especially in the jacuzzi. There’s also a good sized sauna and steam room. Access is of course included in your stay. Do note that there’s also an outdoor pool which is operational during the summer months. There’s also a good sized fitness facility. For the comfort of both the rooms and spa area, Van der Valk Nivelles Sud actually has an excellent price/quality ratio!




I ordered room service and tried one of their burgers. As expected, it didn’t disappoint! What a great looking burger! My Cocorico burger had a delicious breaded chicken, cheddar cheese (of course 😊), Brie, lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard mayonnaise. Service truly was very personal and kind. The overall menu looked great and varied. And.. there’s always room for dessert! The Brussels waffle with whipped cream and fresh fruit was the perfect way to end my beautiful day at Van der Valk Nivelles Sud! Again, since I was there during the Covid19 pandemic, I had to dine in my room. Normally, Van der Valk Nivelles Sud has a full service restaurant and bar.






After a wonderful night, I was totally ready for breakfast. As usual at any Van der Valk hotel, breakfast is something to look forward to. Each item I ate was of an excellent quality. The large buffet was impressive. Some surprises I’d love to share are the freshly squeezed orange juice and the Danette pudding. Loved it! Honestly, this breakfast was the best I have experienced over the last months! Make sure you book your breakfast with your stay.

Van der Valk Nivelles Sud is an excellent four star hotel with great facilities. I must also highlight the staff which made my stay very special. Again, the rates at this hotel are very reasonable and do remember that access to the wonderful wellness area is included. Highly recommended!

Château Jemeppe

Location: Hargimont, Belgium
Classification: Luxurious Guesthouse
Official website: https://jempireizen.be/chateau-jemeppe/

We all know that Belgium has many beautiful spots to discover. During this pandemic I have got the pleasure to discover new places in my own country. One place I can definitely recommend is Château Jemeppe. Having stayed at many high end properties, this castle was beyond words and I can’t say enough good things about this place.


First of all, the location is amazing. The castle is located in a small town, named Hargimont near March-en-Famenne and Rochefort. Durbuy is only 20 km away. When you enter Château Jemeppe, you are in a private gem with all the luxury amenities one could wish for. Guests are treated like royalty here and nothing is asked for too much here. The personal approach is highly appreciated and one of the key factors of Château Jemeppe.

Of course, this castle wasn’t built as a hotel. The castle is of medieval origin. The wings of the castle, double moat and farmstead also date from that period. The wings were modernized in 1739 and 1748, and more windows were added. Restoration work was also carried out at the beginning of the 19th century, including on the gallery and the gatehouse next to the donjon.

The castle has been completely renovated over the years and now is a top notch place where there’s a surprise waiting for you behind every single corner. Make sure to visit the big tower which is now used for conferences. Still you can soak up the history of this place.


There are two walks on the property itself. It’s great walking around the castle and river. I must highlight the fact that the gardens are very well maintained.

Once I stepped in at Château Jemeppe, I was greeted by the most accommodating staff who made me feel at ease right from the first second. I immediately realized I was in a special place. The furniture feels very luxurious and I love the fact that they kept some of the original elements. It is all about the details here. Check-in was very efficient and after I received my key, I couldn’t wait to explore my room! There are 70 rooms at Château Jemeppe. Some rooms are located in the farm house and some rooms are in the castle itself. For such a large building, it is impressive that they’re still able to provide such a wonderful personalized service.


I stayed in the castle (room 10) and was very satisfied. The room had a great size. No standard furniture here, all items (and I litterly mean every item/product/…) has something unique. The room had a nice cozy sitting area with the most comfortable couches. The Asian themed bed was to die for. I loved the décor, this is how every castle room should look like. Walking on the wooden floors added this ‘castle feeling’ even more. Bathroom featured double sink, a large bath tub. Of course, nice toiletries are provided.


Another highlight of Château Jemeppe is the spa area. It is the perfect place to unwind and relax after exploring the area. It is so quiet and peaceful… and the décor is so relaxing. There’s an indoor pool and a Finnish sauna.


Dining at Château Jemeppe was to die for. Since we were staying their during the Covid-19 pandemic, we dined inside our room. It’s such a special feeling when you are served in your own castle room. I felt like a king! The quality of the food was outstanding! The 3 courses they served were delicious. Do note that the menu changes regularly so even if you stay for more than one night, each dinner will be different.


Breakfast at Château Jemeppe is something to look forward to. There’s no better way to start your day with a delicious breakfast. From a nice selection of bread to freshly prepared yoghurt with fruit. It’s all there. Again, I couldn’t have asked for more.


Château Jemeppe is one of a kind. It is all about service here. The staff is among the most accommodating I have ever experienced. Each staff member I met was a professional. I can’t wait to stay here again and will make to choose this castle when I am in the area. The place to be for a luxurious getaway.

B&B Ter Wallen


Location: Izegem, Belgium
Classification: Luxurious Guesthouse
Official website: https://www.terwallen.com/nl/



B&B Ter Wallen  is a top notch high class château-B&B located in Izegem, a beautiful town in Belgium. From what I had heard from others, this B&B is a jewel and it truly is…



You can’t beat the location. The surrounding areas are just gorgeous. I fell in love with the domain the B&B is located on. The gardens are so well maintained and it is oh so peaceful. We walked around the property and couldn’t hear a thing, except the birds. It’s great to be able to walk around, enjoy the beautiful nature and exploring the area.

The B&B itself is very stylish and cozy decorated. We were welcomed by the most friendly host. This is Belgian hospitality and we loved it! Laurence is a professional. She’s very kind and made us feel at home from the moment we stepped in. The authentic atmosphere throughout the hotel is impressive and much appreciated. B&B Ter Wallen recently opened its doors and they did an amazing job by renovating this small castle to an up to date accommodation. I must definitely mention that each inch of this place is immaculately clean!



The main room is very comfortable and equipped with comfortable lounge salons and a cozy fire place. There’s an honesty bar with a good choice of beverages. The prices are pretty affordable.


B&B Ter Wallen has comfortable 6 rooms, all very stylish decorated with an eye for details. We stayed in room Polydor and it was absolutely stunning! What a great room this was with an amazing view of the garden. The room had all the facilities I expect from a high class hotel such as the Nespresso coffee machine and a very comfortable bed.




Bathroom was spacious and featured a beautiful sink with shower. Fluffy bathrobes and towels are available as well, labeled with their own logo, loved it! I must highlight the quality of the rain-shower. Water pressure and temperature are very easily controllable. Stella Maris toiletries were a treat, by the way! 



Eperon d’Or is their family suite, located on the top floor. This suite has its own sitting and dining area and is the best choice if you are traveling with children. It has two floors and on the top floor – right under the roof – there are 4 single beds which is ideal for families with kids.

Another highlight at B&B Ter Wallen is the outdoor swimming pool which is open during spring and summer. Also, there’s a ‘summer bar’ during those months where guests can enjoy drinks and small bites while listening to music. The perfect night to spend with your friends. Again, the surroundings are gorgeous.




Laurence knows how to cook! At night, she prepared a traditional spaghetti bolognaise and a hot casserole with potatoes, chicken and stewed apples. We loved every single bite.

After a wonderful night in our comfortable room, we were ready for breakfast. Having breakfast at B&B Ter Wallen is something to look forward to! Laurence prepares every single item in a very professional way. The bread and pastries selection are of a very good quality. It is always nice to start your day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Even pancakes, freshly prepared eggs, etc. It’s all there. All of this comes with delicious coffee or thee.



I was very impressed with B&B Ter Wallen and highly recommend staying there for a romantic getaway. You actually don’t have to leave the B&B, there’s so much to do. I will be back for sure!

Burj Al Arab – Dubai

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Hotelchain: Jumeirah
Location: Dubai – UAE
Classification: 5 star hotel deluxe (some say world’s only 7 star hotel)
Official websitehttp://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/

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Internationally renowned as world’s most luxurious hotel, I had the opportunity to experience the famous Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It is located on a man-made island, 280 meters from the Jumeirah beach. It is the flagship of the Jumeirah hotel group.  Only hotel guests (or guests with a reservation in one of the restaurants) can enter the hotel, so there is no sightseeing here.  This is a good thing, as I saw a number of people at the front gate taking pictures of the hotel.

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Location

Located at Jumeirah beach, Burj Al Arab is located between Dubai Marina and Business Bay. There’s a holiday vibe around the area.

When I approached the entrance, I was impressed with the height of the hotel… 321 meters above sea level… Trust me, it is HUGE!  As soon as you enter the Burj Al Arab, you will enter in a completely different world.  I truly was blown away… Gold everywhere.  It is reportedly the only 7 star hotel in the world and I can easily understand why.  After taking the escalator — with a huge aquarium – you can look up 200 meters. A lot of looking up!  Did you know that the Statue of Liberty would fit inside?  Also, there are dancing fountains all over the place with tons of different programs, so you’ll never get bored when watching!

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The suites

There are no rooms in the Burj al Arab, only suites. Starting at 170m² (1,829 sq. ft.), all of the rooms are duplex suites, each with the highest level of comfort one could wish for.  The Burj has 1600 staff members looking over “only” 202 suites.  So that’s… eight members for each suite? Yep! There is a private check-in and butler service for each suite. No waiting times here at the reception. They explain everything you need to know and will do anything you ask — like making reservations in one of the restaurants, booking day trips to the city, making sure you will get the dessert you want, etc.

Every suite in the Burj Al Arab is beautifully decorated. Although the hotel opened back in 1999, the suites look very up to date and brand new. From the marble entrance with large staircase to the oversized living rooms, you will feel like a king or queen while walking around. They have the world’s most expensive mattresses, which can be adapted to customer needs and preferences. These things are making this hotel truly unique; returning guests are assured they will have a wonderful night.

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The bathrooms are huge — they used Italian marble – and you will be so relaxed after spending some time in the oversized jacuzzi.  Oh, a great thing: did you know that Hermès produced a special edition of perfume for the Burj Al Arab?  That is right, full-size Hermès Burj Al Arab amenities (female + male) are offered to guests at no additional charge. Of course, you could take them home as a souvenir.

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Spa facilities

A full spa – the Talise Spa – is located on one of the top floors. I was not able to take pictures of the spa area, but there is an indoor pool, jacuzzi, fitness, etc. Several treatments are offered and after a relaxing massage you can relax in the spa resting area, accessible for guests only, of course. From there, you can look straight down (200 meters!) to the ground level. Very impressive and not recommended when afraid of heights 🙂

Spa treatments are excellent! They exactly know how to make you feel at ease and so relaxed. Just tell them which pressure you prefer and you will enjoy every single minute. The soft music all over the place made it even more relaxing.

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There is also an outdoor pool area — and the Burj has its own beach across the bridge. The recently opened Terrace is stunning! For water fun, there is complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, which is located across the bridge.

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The famous Burj Al Arab hotel is one of Dubai’s highlights and one of world’s best hotels… The hotel’s immaculate reputation is well earned and you will be impressed with every aspect of your stay!