INK Hotel Amsterdam

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Hotelchain: MGallery
Location: Amsterdam – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitemgallery.com/…lery-collection/index.shtml

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I was excited to experience and explore the INK Hotel Amsterdam, a hotel of the prestigous MGallery Collection. This luxurious 4 star hotel has impressed me! It is a trendy place with a laid back atmosphere. From the outside, it looks like a more traditional Dutch hotel but as soon as you enter you enter an upscale high class hotel with a top notch service. The reception staff was very accommodating and check-in went smoothly. Always nice to be welcomed with a smile, we felt at ease from the first second.

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The building used to be the home of the Dutch newspaper “De Tijd”, it always has been a place where stories were conceived and let me tell you mine…

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This life style hotel has gone a complete make over only one year ago. It now is totally up to date and will please every traveler looking for a pleasant upscale hotel experience. Every staff member I met served us with a smile, was friendly and kind without being over the top. From the outside you wouldn’t tell that this hotel is pretty large and has 149 rooms. They have several room types and suites. We stayed in one of their executive rooms and were very pleased with our room! It featured an oversized king sized bed, cozy sitting area and the most wonderful touches. It wasn’t the typical hotel room, I appreciated the trendy decoration and atmosphere. This hotel is located right in the middle of Amsterdam, so don’t expect the largest rooms ever, but the space they have has been used in a very practical way. Our room actually had a great size and an open bathroom with walk-in (rain)shower and separate toilet. Other amenities you would expect from a high class hotel: Nespresso coffee machine, bathrobes, etc. The room had everything we needed and even the hall way was fun to walk through as there are so many humoristic elements and quotes throughout the hotel.

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After some shopping in beautiful Amsterdam, we went to the gym. I loved the wall…

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Later that night, we explored the PRESSROOM – the bar and restaurant of the INK Hotel Amsterdam. We first enjoyed our yummie cocktails and light bites before we were escorted to our cozy table in the middle of the restaurant. They have this ‘tasting experience’ which is reasonably priced. It is a three course “sharing food” experience and we loved the concept and food! Of course, à la carte dining is possible as well.
Although the restaurant was fully booked, the service (again) was top notch and always with a smile! The laid back and informal atmosphere was great and totally  in line with the hotel’s strategy. From the trout, to the coq au vin, every dish was delicious!

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We had breakfast the next morning in the PRESSROOM and were happy finding out that there were many dishes to choose from! From the freshly baked eggs to several pastries, everything you would expect from a superior breakfast was there!

When you are looking for a unique and cool hotel right in the middle of Amsterdam? Do consider a stay at the INK Hotel Amsterdam! I definitely recommend staying here!

Andaz – Amsterdam

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Hotelchain: Hyatt
Location: Amsterdam – The Netherlands
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websiteamsterdam.prinsengracht.andaz.hyatt.com/…/home

After exploring several hotels of the Hyatt chain, I was excited to experience the Andaz hotel in Amsterdam. There are only 2 Andaz hotels in Europe, one in Amsterdam and one in London. The Andaz hotel in Amsterdam is an upscale five star hotel with trendy and cozy interiors. The service here is top notch and the staff will do anything to make your stay flawless!

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The hotel is decorated and designed in a trendy way. There’s a cool vibe around this place which I liked very much. I loved the fact they filled the hotel full of typical Dutch items such as the Dutch Clumps, etc. By the way, no ordinary check-in here, they make it special. We were offered a drink in the bar and while we were enjoying our drinks, they did all the administration and handed our keys within minutes.

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The Andaz Amsterdam is located right at the Prinsengracht which is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We stayed in one of their large deluxe rooms overlooking the Prinsengracht. I do recommend the upgrade, it is worth the money… You will love the views! The large yellow couch was very comfortable and relaxing. It was fun to hang out in this room as there is so much to do around the hotel. The open design bathroom was just gorgeous! There’s a minibar with complimentary soft drinks and some light bites. Other amenities are the Nespresso coffee machine and oversized plush towels. The room had enough space and once again, I appreciated the attention to details. While you are seated on the toilet, you will not get bored… Check it out yourself and you will know what I mean.

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On the lower level of the hotel, there’s a (small) spa area with a large sauna, an over-sized shower and relaxation area. There’s a full fitness center as well. It is a great place to hang out after a day full of walking in Amsterdam.

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There’s a small lounge area, they call it the Library, where guests can enjoy complimentary wine and light bites from 5pm – 7pm. Always a bonus and great for an aperitif before dinner.

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The next morning, we enjoyed a full breakfast downstairs. If is a buffet style breakfast with several cold and hot items. Again, the service was excellent! While I was staying at the Andaz Amsterdam, I had sore throat and the staff was so helpful and kind. They even offered me some complimentary ginger tea and some cough drops. This is what a true five star hotel is about! As mentioned, the Andaz Amsterdam is located right at the Prinsengracht and staying here will make you feel like a local in Amsterdam. I can’t say enough good things about this place! Go check it out yourself!

Sheraton Creek – Dubai

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Hotelchain: Sheraton
Location: Dubai – UAE
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitehttp://www.sheratondubaicreek.com/

The Sheraton Creek Dubai is located in the Deira area of dubai and is known as one of the best hotels in the area so I was pretty excited to get the chance to experience the hotel myself. The hotel is actually the first 5 star hotel in Dubai making it pretty unique and you wouldn’t tell when you enter this Sheraton as it looked brand new! It has one of the nicest lobby areas I have seen, very large and ultra-luxurious decorated! It has that grand feeling which I like very much!

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Check-in staff made us feel very welcome and was down to earth, not over the top which sometimes is the case at other 5 star properties but still acting very professional. You feel at ease here, which is worth a lot…

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The room we stayed in was large and of a true 5 star level. It had 2 comfy couches, 2 lovely beds and a large working desk. The marble bathroom was luxurious featuring separate bath tub and oversized (rain) shower. Once again, you wouldn’t tell that this is Dubai’s very first 5 star hotel! The room was totally up to date and decorated in a very nice way. On plus we had the most amazing view!

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The Sheraton Creek hotel has a full spa center with nice swimming pool and several treatment rooms. There are also steam showers and saunas which guests can use at no additional charge. The treatment I had was one of the best massages I have had in Dubai. The therapist did an amazing job and I felt like walking on clouds throughout the treatment. It was so relaxing… Definitely book a treatment when you are there as you will be pampered and relaxed as never before! The outdoor swimming pool offer great views over the creek and Dubai’s skyline. This area may be a little bit out of the center of Dubai, but I liked it. We did see a lot of the locals here which made it quite interesting. Also at night, be sure to check out the view, it is amazing and makes this place pretty special.

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The Sheraton Creek Dubai has several restaurants. The Vivaldi by Afredo Russo is their signature restaurant. I didn’t eat here, but I did take some pictures since the decoration was just stunning! I’m sure that food there is just delicious as Alfredo Russo is a Michelin rated chef.

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We started the next day with an excellent breakfast. The restaurant is located on the lower floor with views of the pool area. The buffet is large and the quality of the food is outstanding! It will please everyone!

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we were staying in a room with club lounge access, we had the choice whether to have breakfast in the restaurant downstairs or in the lounge. I checked out both and have to say that both options are great! Also, during the day you will appreciate the complimentary drinks and snacks in the lounge. From 3 – 5pm guests can enjoy an afternoon tea with small sandwiches. At night, from 6.30 – 8.30pm they serve complimentary alcoholic drinks and small bites. It is a small buffet and after experiencing several executive lounges in different hotels, the quality of the food and drinks are above average! Definitely worth the extra money to upgrade and enjoy the extras this lounge has to offer! They even remember your name which makes you feel very welcome. The personal approach is amazing and makes this hotel one of the better in Dubai!

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The Sheraton Creek Dubai is definitely a good option for your next Dubai getaway! From the stunning views of the Dubai’s skyline to the attention of details throughout the hotel, you will be amazed by this Sheraton hotel!

Dusit Thani – Dubai

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Hotelchain: Dusit Thani
Location: Dubai – UAE
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitehttp://www.dusit.com/dusitthani/dubai/

The Dusit Thani hotel is an iconic hotel in Dubai, conveniently located on the Sheikh Zayed Road. Dusit Thani is a Thai hotel brand and this one was the first for me to discover. The building itself is shaped to resemble the Wai, pretty impressive. The Dusit Thani is strategically located just a few minutes from Dubai’s main attractions such as the Burj Khalifa , Dubai Mall, etc. The metro station is within walking distance. We hired a car at the airport and within 15 minutes we arrived at the beautiful Dusit Thani. Good to know: the hotel offers complimentary scheduled pick-up and drop-offs to either the Dubai Mall and/or Mall of the Emirates.

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We arrived pretty late at the hotel, but the staff was very accommodating and made us feel at home right away! We really appreciated the known Thai hospitality! The lobby area is spacious and beautifully decorated. There are several sitting areas with the most comfortable couches.

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We stayed in a very spacious 2 bedroom suite. The suite was very comfortable and well maintained. The beds were very soft and we both had a great night’s sleep. The furniture was totally up to date and the room seemed recently renovated. It was one of the largest rooms I have seen in Dubai. The view we had of the Burj Khalifa was great!

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It would be hard to get bored at the Dusit Thani Dubai. The swimming pool is located on the top floor. Pretty impressive pool area with lovely views over the surrounding Dubai areas. The fitness area is located on this floor too… How cool is it to work out while enjoying a view of the Burj Khalifa?

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The Dusit Thani has several restaurants, I can not comment on the food as I didn’t eat here but they all looked stunning.

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A stay at the Dusit Thani won’t disappoint you, I recommend staying here due the good location and Thai hospitality!

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof – Frankfurt

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Hotelchain: Steigenberger
Location: Frankfurt– Germany
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitehttp://en.steigenberger.com/Frankfurt/Steigenberger-Frankfurter-Hof

I have had great experiences with the Steigenberger hotelgroup and when I got the chance to experience the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof with my mother, I was excited! It is one of the best hotels that Frankfurt has to offer. We were blown away by the service and overall quality of the property! It truly is a grand hotel that has a lot to offer… Let me explain you why…

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First of all, from the outside the building is gorgeous. It was built in the 1800’s but was destroyed (almost) completely during the war, except the 4 men who are still “holding” the hotel. I loved the fact that they kept the traditional elements of the original building. The main entrance of the hotel isn’t right in front of the hotel, you have to drive into a small lane which is ideal to (un)load your car. Of course they offer valet parking and take care of the car as soon as you arrived. They escorted us to the main reception area and we immediately felt good here. Walking around in the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof feels like walking in a castle. The grandeur, the service, the furniture… We loved it all.

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In 2012 they renovated a part of their hotel rooms and we stayed in one of their “Grand Deluxe” rooms and luxurious it definitely was! I was “wowed” by the room! Totally up to date and very exclusive furniture all over the place. Although the room wasn’t too big, it had all the amenities and services I would except from a high end 5 star hotel such as the Nespresso coffee machine, bathrobes and a turn down service. The bathroom was gorgeous featuring a separate tub and oversized experience (rain) shower with different lightning themes. It also had double sinks and a television. Very nice room!

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One thing you should definitely check out is their Spa area… It is huge (1000m²!) and one could totally relax here. We both had a treatment here and found them reasonably priced. We really appreciated the therapists who were very kind yet professional. They made us at ease after the first minute! The 50 minutes that followed were pure relaxation! I appreciate the fact that they make you fill in a form before your treatment asking you how you would like to get your massage (soft, medium, strong) and which parts of the body they should (not) concentrate on. All was done in a very professional way while we enjoyed our cup of thee. The treatment rooms themselves are very nicely appointed and the soft music they were playing made it even more magical. After the treatment, I explored the spa area and was wowed for the second time at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof! Saunas, steam rooms, etc. they have it all. The place was very clean, well maintained and everything was done with a smile.

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The Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof has several dining options: The Oscar’s restaurant/brasserie and Français. We had dinner at Français, 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 8 courses with 3 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. They weren’t too formal yet professional. I found the food quite innovative and sophisticated and the chef definitely deserves his 17/20 rating by Gault&Millau!

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The breakfast we had the next morning was excellent! It is a buffet style breakfast with a lot of different (international) dishes to choose from. It was the first time I had chicken with curry in the morning and have to say I wanted more!

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Our stay at the Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof was flawless and not only for its rooms. This hotel has so much more to offer! The restaurants, spa area and overall service… We loved it all and I’m sure you will do the same! Highly recommended!

Kasteel Engelenburg – Brummen

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Hotelchain
: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Brummen – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitehttp://www.engelenburg.com/

Peacefully located in a beautiful area of the Netherlands, the Engelburg Castle is a real treat. This hotel is part of the famous Relais & Châteaux chain. As soon as you are driving through the gates, you will feel and be treated as a true royalty! The most friendly lady checked us in and showed us around the area. Trust me, it is huge … featuring a 9 holes golf course and several buildings where the rooms are located. There’s a main building, the Manor House, where guests need to check-in. There is a comfy and stylish lounge area. Into whisky? No problem! They actually have the largest Scottish Single Malt whisky’s collection of the Netherlands! So cool and besides that, the wine cellar of the Engelenburg is worth a visit too.

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We stayed in one of the deluxe rooms located in the South African coach house. The room was nicely and stylish decorated in a classical way as it should be and the view we had was amazing. They did a great job by maintaining the original elements. Not the typical ‘do not disturb’ sign here, they have a small baby ‘do not disturb’ lion. The bathroom is spacious and well maintained with separate shower and tub. The beds are of a very good quality, mattresses were fine and they offer a pillow menu on request.

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If you are into golf, the hotel is located on a 9 holes golf course where guests benefit of a 20% discount. The driving range and putting green can be used free of charge by hotel guests.

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One of the highlights of the Engelenburg Castle is Serre, their signature restaurant. It has a celebrated reputation for its fine cuisine. I was wowed by the decoration and amazing views, it truly is a unique setting. The food was outstanding… A true gastronomic experience with several surprises. Each dish was beautifully decorated and tasted great. We started with an oyster and a nice glass of champagne. The dishes that followed were all very tastefully presented and the chef does know how to combine different flavors in an exceptional way. If you are staying at the Engelenburg Castle, do include a dinner arrangement. You won’t be sorry!

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The Engelenburg Castle is the perfect getaway! The location is beautiful, the rooms are cozy, the restaurant is top notch and the service is wonderful. Would return in a heartbeat!