Hotel Veenendaal

Hotelchain: Van der Valk
Location: Veenendaal – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel


I have had good experiences with the Van der Valk hotel chain and was excited to visit their hotel in Veenendaal! From the outside, the hotel looks quite special and unique. And as soon as you enter the Van der Valk Veenendaal, you will experience a full service four star hotel.

Check-in was very efficient and super friendly! Always so nice to be welcomed with a great smile! The lobby area is spacious and you immediately notice the nice décor and decorations. They used warm colors and cozy furniture which results in a classy place. Thumbs up!


We stayed in one of their luxuriously appointed wellness suites! What a gorgeous room it was! At 60m², this suite is huge featuring several wellness facilities which we appreciated very much! There’s a free standing jacuzzi, a (double) steam shower and infra-red sauna. I could not imagine any better room to feel at ease and relax. Again, warm natural colors have been used. Other standard four star amenities in the room are a Nespresso coffee machine, bathrobes and good quality (Ritual) toiletries.


All guests staying at the Van der Valk Veenendaal enjoy complimentary access to the spa area which is located at the 2nd floor. There’s a Finish sauna, steam room and a relax area with comfy lounge chairs. A full fitness center is also available with the latest technology equipment. I must say the whole place was immaculately clean!

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The restaurant and bar are located on the ground floor and are very large. Throughout the whole hotel, the used the same style and atmosphere. Very cool! It was pretty busy while we were there, but service was top notch! Within minutes, we were brought to our seats and enjoyed a great aperitif. They offer a great selection of Gins! The menu is varied and they use several local ingredients. From the starter with mushrooms to the perfectly baked salmon… we thoroughly enjoyed every dish! Oh, and the dessert was to die for 🙂

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The next morning we had breakfast. The buffet was great with plenty of choices. What a great start of the day!

The Van der Valk Veenendaal is a very good hotel, no wonder it gets such good comments! From the beautiful rooms to the professional service… I loved every second of my stay here! Highly recommended!

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri – Abu Dhabi


Hotelchain: Shangri-La
Location: Abu Dhabi – UAE
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website:

Located near the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri is one of best five star hotels in the Abu Dhabi area and prides itself in the quality and attention given to every detail of your stay! The hotel has a modern Arabic style with amenities of the highest level which will please everyone. The location is just stunning. All over the hotel you can see the Grand Mosque giving you the true Middle East feeling and experience. I have so many good experiences with other Shangri-la hotels and was so excited to experience this one!


When I entered the hotel, I was just blown away by the most stunning lobby area. Gold and marble all over the place… It is such a gorgeous place and we were welcomed by the most friendly staff ever which is something Shangri-la is known for… hospitality in a very kind and professional way. They offered Arabic tea and a cold towel before checking us in. Throughout our stay, reception staff was always helpful and goes the extra mile.

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The room I stayed in was very luxurious and perfectly set up. It is all about details here: fresh flowers, mood lighting, etc. It is just perfect. Everything is very well kept and housekeeping will do their upmost best to maintain the entire hotel. The quality of furniture is of a very high standard as you could expect. I particularly liked the marble they used in the bathrooms. The bathroom featured a separate bath tub and (rain)shower, also fresh plushy towels and bathrobes are provided. The room had a good size and the balcony overlooking the mosque was great to hang out and enjoy the stunning surrounding views. The little touches that catch my attention: housekeeping noticed my personal toothpaste was almost gone and left me a new small tube and leaving chocolates, bottles of water and glasses next to the bed at turndown. We had access to the Horizon Club with complimentary soft and hot drinks during the day. Alcoholic drinks and light bites are offered every night from 6pm – 8pm. As always, personalized services was outstanding.

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The pool and ‘chill out’ areas of this Shangri-La are spectacular. Again, with stunning views of the Mosque. It does look like paradise and I couldn’t imagine any better place to read a book, relax and enjoy life.


There are several fine dining options here. The first night we had dinner at Shang Palace, the Chinese restaurant which almost every Shangri-la property has. The food was great as was the service. From the spicy chicken salad to the lamb… we liked it all! The restaurant was very nicely decorated too. The second evening we experienced p&c, their beach side restaurant with famous (rated with 2 Michelin stars) chef Sergi Arola. I was surprised by this ‘kind’ of restaurant and didn’t expect to find it here, the design was very hip and modern. Very classy and totally different than the rest of the hotel. The food was delicious! Chef Arola has taken the concept of tapas and you won’t be disappointed having dinner here! Other fine dining options are Bord Eaux with a French cuisine, Hoi an with a Vietnamese cuise and Sofra Bld. One day we had lunch at Sofra Bld and were thoroughly blown away by the buffet. The food options were endless… Asian and Arabic cuisine… It is all there and the quality of the food was outstanding! It actually is a buffet style restaurant with multiple live cooking stations. Highly recommend to have lunch here, the restaurant itself is beautifully decorated with the grand staircase in the middle. Breakfast is served here too and was one of the best buffets ever experienced! I appreciated the fresh juices a lot!

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When you are staying at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, there are 2 things you should definitely check out: a boat ride throughout the resort and a visit to their CHI spa center.
The boat ride – and not just a boat, it’s called an ‘abras’, a traditional Arabic boat – takes you to the hotel’s souk. On your way you can enjoy a fun and romantic ride on winding waterways. We were surprised by how large this complex is…

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CHI, the spa area of the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri hotel is a stunning place for totally relaxation! All massages and treatments they offer are based on authentic natural healing methods found in traditional well-being practices shared by many Asian cultures. I totally enjoyed my 90 minute treatment, they took care of me in a very professional, warm way. I was able to relax and rejuvenate both my body and mind. I definitely recommend booking a massage here.

The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri has it all and no wonder it is rated as one of the best hotels in Abu Dhabi. Part of the magic of their attention to service is that you actually don’t see it. You just experience it. I’m a (huge) fan and can’t wait to go back some da