Bliss Hotel – Breda

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Location: Breda – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://www.blisshotel.nl/

Situated in the heart of beautiful Breda, a small pittoresque village in the Netherlands, right at the Church of Our Lady, the Bliss Hotel is an absolute jewel! This all-suite boutique hotel has 9 suites, all decorated nicely in different themes. After having stayed in many 4 and 5 star hotels, the overall quality of this property blew me away!

As you approach the Bliss Hotel, you will recognize the beautiful building. This hotel opened back in 2004, but it still looks very new… They seem to clean this place all day long. I appreciated the trendy look with nice accents. It is all about the details here! Every staff member I met was young and very accommodating. They are doing an excellent job here!

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I appreciated the welcome drink! Always a nice touch and appreciation of the hotel!

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The Bliss Hotel has only suites, all in a different theme. They have the Classic suite, Dickens & Jones suite, the Mystery suite, Dream suite, Notting Hill suite, Lodge suite, Long Island suite, Wedding suite and the Business Suite. I got the chance to experience the Long Island suite which I loved very much! It felt like staying in an American beachfront hotel near the Atlantic ocean. From the wooden floor to the oversized pillows with maritime accents, this suite has been decorated completely in the New England nautical theme. There is a sitting area with the most comfortable couches and fire place. I still had to do some work which was no problem since there’s an oversized desk in this room where 2 people easily could sit at. All the suites have super king sized beds. The gorgeous bathroom featured bath tub and very large walk-in shower.

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I did visit some other suites and they are all great! Entering a suite is like entering a whole new world. Besides the suites, the Bliss Hotel has a bar and the restaurant ‘Chocolat’ with a chocolate brown interior and accents offering a French cuisine combined with Oriental influences. If you are in the room and want a soda or a beer, there’s an “honesty bar” located on the 2nd floor.

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At night, I lit the candles and enjoyed a cup of coffee. This service is free, by the way. There are no coffee making facilities in the room, but just dial 109 on the telephone and the hotel staff will bring your coffee or tea to the room, at no additional charge. I had a great evening by myself, watching a movie. There are 2 televisions in this suite and you can enjoy movies since they offer Netflix, love it!

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The next morning I enjoyed the breakfast, which is always included in the rate. The small and cosy breakfast area has been decorated with style. The buffet offered several cold items and I loved the salmon.

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The Bliss Hotel truly is an amazing four star boutique hotel with very comfortable and fancy suites for both romantic or business trips. Can’t wait to return to this jewel, I truly felt at home here which makes this hotel so unique!

La Butte aux Bois – Lanaken

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Hotelchain: Relais & Chateaux
Location: Lanaken – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://www.labutteauxbois.be

Voted as second best hotel in Belgium, la Butte aux Bois is nestled in peaceful Lanaken. As you approach this unique hotel, you’ll hear the sounds of birds and notice the beautiful surroundings. The hotel used to be a great manor house built in 1924. When the Bullens family moved into the manor, they opened a restaurant in 1986. A few years later, they opened the hotel. La Butte aux Bois has been renovated late 2013 and is one of the very best hotels in Belgium and a member of Relais & Châteaux.

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As soon as you enter the hotel, you’ll feel a sense of luxury and details. I even noticed a very nice smell (probably due the fresh flowers – loved it!). The young woman behind the front desk made us feel very welcome and showed us around the hotel. In every corner there is a surprise: a piece of art, flowers, candles, statues, etc. I knew this was going to be a great experience and this place truly has character.
The room we stayed in was a deluxe room in the original “manoir” and we were very pleased when we entered the room. It was a very large room with a classy French cottage decoration. 2 nice comfy chairs, a large table, lots of closet space and a large desk.. The comfortable and modern bathroom had a tub with tv and separate rainshower. I loved every aspect of the room and did appreciate the extra amenities: nespresso coffee machine, dvd-player, bathrobe and slippers, etc.

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La Butte aux Bois has 2 restaurants: Het Binnenhof and La Source. We had dinner at La Source, a gastronomic Michelin rated (*) restaurant and we were blown away by the food. We thoroughly enjoyed our 5 course meal with wine pairing. Our 5 courses were actually 10 courses with 5 amuses bouches before we started and then always other snacks in between. To be honest, everything was just perfect… Every single item we tasted was divine! The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness, the pleasure of taste and was served by very professional staff. The waiters were very knowledgeable about each dish, even about the wines. I found the food quite innovative and sophisticated and the chef definitely deserves his 16/20 rating by Gault&Millau!

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The next morning, I visited the spa area. I could spend hours in the thermal floor area with its sauna, hammam and nice swimming pool. The changing facilities were spotlessly clean, the water of the swimmingpool was perfect – not too hot, not too cold. I did not get a treatment here, but I guess they’d do a great job since this spa was voted as best spa in the country in 2013.

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Breakfast is served in Het Binnenhof and as soon as you enter the restaurant they offer a delicious smoothy and fresh orange juice. The buffet-style breakfast offers a large selection of both hot and cold items and all products are of a good quality. You can even make your own pancakes. Sparkling wine is offered to the guests as well. Very nice!

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La Butte aux Bois is a top class hotel and I would revisit this hotel in a heartbeat. Service is top notch, every single staff member professionally greeted us with a smile. Do not hesitate to book a beautiful room in this hotel. I promise you will love everything!

Hotel Heritage Bruges

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Hotelchain: Relais & Chateaux
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://www.hotel-heritage.com

Hotel Heritage, a member of the renown Relais & Chateaux chain, is a superior 4 star hotel located in the center of Bruges (the nicest and most romantic city of Belgium, if you ask me!). This hotel has impressed me! It is the most beautiful 4 star hotel I have ever been to.

First of all, let me tell you something more about Bruges. Every year, 5 million tourists visit this small city which often is referred to “the Venice of the North”. With its canals and typical roofs, it truly is a must-see when you’re in Belgium!

Now… let’s get back to the Hotel Heritage. You really can’t beat the location, it literally is just a few steps from the main market square, the Church of Our Lady and the Groenerei (canal). Also the main shopping streets are 2 steps away. As soon as you enter the hotel, they will park your car and guide you to the beautiful authentic reception area. This hotel is all about service! Every staff member we met was serving us with a smile and nothing was too much for an ask.

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The deluxe room we stayed in was absolutely stunning and very stylish. Again, they are of a 5 star level. Every room at the Hotel Heritage has some luxurious touches like an iPad 2 and a handmade bed. Also a Nespresso machine and a Bose speaker are available. The room we stayed in had a walk in closet, separate sitting and sleeping area and a very spacious bathroom with walk in shower, tub and sink. It’s all about the details, such as the old phone, etc. As you already know, I just love the combined old/new styles and they did a great job here!

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The Hotel Heritage is a small hotel with only 22 rooms. That’s why they will treat you as a true guest and not just a number. The service is very personal yet professional, as it should be in every hotel. But given the size of the hotel, they do have a full fitness and wellness area with sauna and hammam which are both well maintained. I need to mention the rooftop terrace! It is located on the 4th floor… Do go up and explore, you won’t be sorry… The views are amazing!

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Since a few years, they opened their gastronomic restaurant “Le Mystique”. It is often referred to as one of the best restaurants of Bruges. We had dinner at Le Mystique and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here! This is not just a “hotel restaurant” and let me tell you why …

We enjoyed the 5 course summer menu which truly is reasonably priced at 125 EUR per person. I ate at several michelin starred restaurants and the quality and presentation of this one blew me away! We started with champagne and enjoyed several classy bites. Every dish that followed was to die for! I especially liked the roe deer, probably one of the best I ever had! The dessert, a creamy of caramel and milk chocolate, clemenvilla and marzipan was like heaven! Also, the service here was top notch! Not over-the-top and very professional. Trust me, this restaurant deserves its top reputation and it honestly is one of the best restaurants I ever ate in my life. 10/10!

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The next morning we could enjoy a full breakfast and I loved every single bit and sip. Some highlights: champagne, the sugar bread and the salmon. Again, service was top notch!

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The Hotel Heritage in Bruges is a very exclusive hotel which will please everyone. I could take pictures of this place all day long. Highly recommended when you’re looking for a high class hotel in this beautiful city? Will I return? In a heartbeat!

Hilton Antwerp Old Town

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Hotelchain: Hilton
Location: Antwerp – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/belgium/hilton-antwerp-old-town-ANRHITW/index.html

The Hilton Antwerp old town is one of the best hotels in Antwerp I have ever stayed at. It truly has a prime location right in the center of beautiful Antwerp, on the “Groenplaats”. It offers stunning views of the Cathedral of Our Lady. The historic building itself is quite impressive and as soon as I entered the hotel, I was surprised by how modern and large this hotel is! The lobby area clearly has been renovated recently.  Check-in was very friendly, professional and accommodating!

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We stayed in an executive room and although the rooms have not been renovated, we were really pleased with the room! It had a great size and most comfortable sitting area. We actually watched a television show later that night while lounging in those cozy chairs. I also liked the oversized desk. The marble bathroom had a bath tub, single sink and great toiletries. The beds were great! The Hilton Antwerp Old town is a classic Hilton and I did appreciate the design and decoration of the rooms.

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Guests staying in one of the executive rooms can enjoy and relax in the executive lounge located on the 5th floor (actually, all the executive rooms are located on the 5th floor) and having experienced different executive lounges in many hotels, I loved the on at the Hilton Antwerp Old town. I felt like a large living room to me and I have spent many hours there. There are complimentary soft drinks, water, coffee, etc. and snacks throughout the day. At night (from 6:00pm) complimentary wine (red, white, sparkling) is offered and some light bites such as different cheeses, bread, nuts, etc. When the weather is nice, the terrace overlooking Antwerp is the place to be! I do recommend paying a little bit extra for the executive floor. It is totally worth the money!

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Before dinner, I went working out in the fitness center. The fitness center has been renovated and has up to date equipment. Towels and water are provided.

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Later that night, we had dinner in Brasserie fLO. I loved the interior of the restaurant! It is really a fancy place with a great service! We had the seasonal 3 course menu and priced at 32 EUR per person, this was a great value for money! I enjoyed the mussel soup with curry cream, fennel and North Sea shrimps and the sea bass with Mediterranean vegetables and lemon risotto as a main course. Also, the clafoutis of cherries with Amarena ice cream was so yummy, I enjoyed every bite J I highly recommend Brasserie fLO, the quality of the food is excellent and prices are fair.

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Hilton Antwerp Old town is known for its grand ballroom. I had a chance to see the ballroom and since they are still renovating the place, I couldn’t take pictures. But I can assure you that the ballroom is even more spectacular than it used to be. Up to 1200 people could easily fit in, making it the largest hotel ballroom of the Benelux. Very spectacular! The hotel also offers different meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology.

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Breakfast is served at Brasserie fLO, it is a buffet style breakfast with plenty dishes to choose from. When staying in an executive room, a buffet is offered in the executive lounge as well.

The Hilton Antwerp Old town is a great hotel with excellent service. Everyone I met was really nice and professional. Again, an upgrade to the executive floor is a bargain. You won’t be disappointed when staying here. Highly recommended!

Sofitel Victoria – Warsaw

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Hotelchain: Sofitel
Location: Warsaw – Poland
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-3378-sofitel-warsaw-victoria/index.shtml

Located near the old center of Warsaw, the Sofitel Victoria is one of the best hotels Warsaw has to offer! It is one of the oldest hotels in the city, but they completely renovated most of the place and now it is a very trendy and classy five star hotel. From the lounge music playing in the lobby to the most friendly welcome, the arrival at the Sofitel Warsaw was great! I loved the lobby lounge, the furniture is totally up to date and in a great state. The check-in staff told us everything we needed to know about the hotel and surrounding areas.

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We stayed in a deluxe room. And luxurious it was! Sofitel is known for their MyBeds and believe me, it feels like sleeping on a cloud… it is so heavenly soft! The room decoration is nice and it was great to relax on the chaise longue after spending a day in beautiful Warsaw. Amenities I appreciated particulary are the Nespresso coffee machine and high quality toiletries of Hermes. The bathroom had an oversized rain shower with good water pressure. The Bose sound system in the rooms is a bonus! The room we had, had a great view of the Saski garden. Very nice view!

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The indoor pool is worth a special mention, it is one of the nicest indoor pools I have ever seen! The ceilings with mirrors are stunning. The light effects make it even more special. You just have to visit the pool while you’re there! Besides the gorgeous pool, the Sofitel Warsaw has a fitness facility and full spa with several treatments.

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At night we had dinner in Le Victoria Brasserie. We had a three course and thoroughly enjoyed our dishes. From the light carpaccio with vegetables and cheeses to the steak and yummie marcarpone, the food was of a very high standard. This is not just a hotel restaurant, it is a full service classy place with a high level of service.

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Breakfast is served at Kitchen Gallery and, as expected, the buffet breakfast was excellent with plenty of hot and cold choices!

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Again, service here was top notch. Sofitel is known for their great service and the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria has convinced me once more. I had the feeling that every guest was treated in a very personal, professional and caring way. Thumbs up, all the way!

DoubleTree by Hilton – Warsaw

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Hotelchain: DoubleTree by Hilton
Location: Warsaw – Poland
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website: http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/poland/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-and-conference-centre-warsaw-WAWCCDI/index.html

The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Warsaw is a four star hotel located only 20 minutes from the city center of Warsaw. It opened only 16 months ago, so everything in this hotel looked brand new! The lobby of the DoubleTree is very large and bright. It’s a very nice lobby area with comfortable sitting areas all over the place. They played lounge music throughout our stay and it had a relaxed feeling. I was surprised by the size of this hotel, they have 359 rooms and do a great job maintaining the whole place. Everywhere I looked, I can assure you it was clean… Upon arrival, every guest will receive a yummie cookie. Such a nice touch and it made me smile 🙂 What a great way to welcome your guests!

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We stayed in a standard Twin room and I was very pleased with the room! It is definitely worth its four stars. The room had a good size and was nicely appointed. It had all the amenities I would expect from a hotel of this class. The large shower in the bathroom was great and they do provide a lot of toiletries which were of a good quality. I also appreciated the large desk and cozy little couch. Oh, I do need to mention the drinks in the mini bar are reasonably priced! Some hotels charge outrageous prices for their drinks, but not at the DoubleTree Warsaw! 1,5 EUR for a coke…

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A lot of things to do here! The fitness center was one of the better ones I have seen in a hotel! The equipment is of a very good quality and it offers several treadmills, etc. You will always find something to work out, even if the hotel is full. Free headphones are provided for your convenience! After working out, I went to the wellness area. What a great place to relax and rewind after a busy day. The indoor swimming pool is fantastic! I also enjoyed the sauna and steam room which were both complimentary. They also have a kids pool. Actually, they are really child friendly here. I could imagine that families are staying here for a week since they have a kids area, kids club, etc. Even for the business traveler, a business center on the 1st floor is available with computers and printers.

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Later that night we had dinner at the restaurant. But before dinner we enjoyed a few great drinks at the bar!

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The restaurant itself is nicely and modern decorated without being over the top. Again, prices are reasonable here but maybe that’s because this is Poland? Nevertheless, we enjoyed our dinner! The food was of a good quality.
The next morning we had breakfast there and the buffet was of a good quality with many hot/cold items!

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I enjoyed my stay at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Warsaw! I would even call it a luxurious hotel with great amenities. Since it is located a bit out of the center of Warsaw, one could relax and feel at ease here. The surrounding areas are green and all I heard at a sudden moment were the birds, while I was reading a book. Service was top notch, every staff member I met was friendly and it seems that everyone is enjoying their work here. Highly recommended when you are looking for a modern and upper scale hotel out of the center of Warsaw with great wellness amenities. Also, very recommendable for families with children. Lots of fun facilities!

Marriott hotel – Warsaw

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Hotelchain: Marriott
Location: Warsaw – Poland
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wawpl-warsaw-marriott-hotel/

The Marriott Warsaw is a five star hotel located in the new part of Warsaw. It is one of the tallest buildings of the city and has some breathtaking views including a full view of the … . The shopping Mall (the largest one of east Europe) is a 5 minute walk. Very convinient!

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The lobby is pretty large and although the Marriott Warsaw has already its age, they have renovated the lobby by putting some nice and modern furniture. The lobby bar is beautiful, do try their lemonade with mint and lemon, very tasty! Upon check-in, guests are asked which view of Warsaw they prefer. I requested a room one of the higher floors with a view of the culture palace.

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And yes, we did get a room on the 32nd floor with an amazing view! The rooms are typical Marriott rooms with nice beddings. The bathroom was kind of dated and not very large. I did appreciate the large desk and comfortable small sitting area. The beds were very comfortable! We had a great night’s sleep.

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The Marriott Warsaw has a fitness center with the latest equipment. It is run by Holmes Place. There is an indoor pool too. We had a treatment and thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing massage. They do have specials on weekdays so look out for those.

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On the top floor of the Marriott Warsaw is the Panoramic bar, it is te highest bar of Poland. Views are great and drinks are reasonably priced! Every day they have happy hour from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Be sure to visit the bar when in Warsaw and enjoy yummie cocktails with spectacular views.

All in all, the Marriott is a good hotel. Although I do prefer the old town of Warsaw, the Marriott has a good location within the new town.