Peppers Seminyak – Bali

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Hotelchain: Mantra Group
Location: Seminyak – Bali – Indonesia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitepeppersseminyak.com

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The Peppers Seminyak is a top notch five star villa resort in Seminyak. That is right, no rooms here… only villas with private pools. When you think of Bali, you think of palm trees, sun and private pools together with top service. That is what the Peppers Seminyak is all about!

First of all, I was surprised by Seminyak. I love this small village. There’s this ‘cool’ vibe around the place and there are tons of nice (but pretty expensive) shops around. There are a lot of hotels here and the cool thing about Seminyak is that tourists can still experience the local traditions. People here are fantastic and I had a great time here. The Peppers Seminyak is just a 5 minute drive away from the center. It is so quiet here… and when you enter, you enter a piece of paradise. An open check-in desk is waiting for you. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the main outdoor pool. It is so beautifully integrated into the landscape. This hotel has been built with eye for details and is very stylish. They used a lot of wood and dark materials. Check-in staff was very accommodating and kind. They were very informative without being over the top.

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Then it was time to explore our amazing villa. They brought us to the villa with a buggy and as soon as I opened the grand door I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that this was our home for the next 24 hours. It was so beautiful. We even had a small private pond and a large private pool which was very well maintained. We actually had 3 villa’s: 2 villa’s with each a bedroom and private bathroom with open air showers and one very large main villa with large sitting area and private kitchen. The gardens were stunning and decoration was very romantic. The bedrooms truly were great featuring high quality beddings and large bathrooms. As said before, each villa at Peppers Seminyak has its own pool and lounge area. It is great to hang out here and spend some time together with your loved ones.

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A full fitness and spa center is available too. We thoroughly enjoyed our 90 mins treatment by very professional staff. It was unbelievable how they managed to make me feel at ease in just seconds. The spa menu by the way is varied. You can choose from so many treatments and I truly believe that each will be great. Staff was professional and when I asked them questions about the treatments, they gave clear answers. The place was very well maintained, it was very clean and smelled really good. The treatment itself was very relaxing and when pressure was a bit too hard, I just told her and she immediately changed pressure. It was excellent! A swim in the main pool after the treatment was a good idea and so relaxing and refreshing!

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One thing you should definitely try out is the bar 🙂 their mojitos are the BEST and they have several versions. I loved the berry version, it was just delicious and I immediately ordered a new one J Next to the semi-open bar is the restaurant. Cuisine was top notch and service was excellent! We ordered some burgers and local food and both were outstanding! Breakfast is served here too and it was one of the best breakfasts we have ever had! Instead of a large buffet (as in most hotels), Peppers Seminyak offers a small buffet with many à la carte options. The granola bowl with fruit was to die for and I ordered another one. They even have pancakes, French toast, etc. This definitely is the perfect way to start your day!

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We had a great time at Peppers Seminyak and I would return in a heartbeat. If you are looking for a private pool villa experience, this is THE place to stay!

The Haven – Ipoh

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Location: Ipoh – Malaysia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitethehavenresorts.com

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The Haven Resort near Ipoh is a five star resort in a great spot. First of all, let me tell you something more about the area. When you think of Malaysia, one of the highlights are the Cameron Highlands. Ipoh is a small town with a great history and a perfect place to explore those amazing Cameron Highlands.

The location of The Haven Resort truly is unique. When I entered the resort and saw the small lake which is surrounded by rocks and palm trees, this tropical landscape took my breath away! This place is so beautiful, so peaceful… I just couldn’t believe my eyes!

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After check-in it was time to explore the room. Actually there are no standard hotel rooms at The Haven Resort. All of their rooms are spacious apartments. We stayed at a 3 bedroom apartment and really liked the room. It was so spacious that a whole family easily could stay here for a couple of weeks. There’s a kitchen which you can make use of when staying there for a at least a week, a nice and comfortable sitting area and a good size balcony overlooking the amazing resort and lake. All bedrooms are very comfortable and each room had its own bathroom. The master bathroom even featured bathtub and separate walk-in shower. And although the rooms are apartments, they do offer hotel services. Our apartment was cleaned every day, they made up the beds, filled the fridge with drinks, etc.

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You couldn’t get bored at The Haven Resort. The very large outdoor pool is just gorgeous and offers stunning views over the lake and large rock. It was so nice to relax here, listen to the sounds of the animals while reading a book. The walk path through the resort is a must do, it is even accessible with wheel chairs, very nice touch! The fitness center offers stunning views over the resort. It is so nice to work out while enjoying views over the lake.

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Breakfast is served at the restaurant and the buffet was excellent. From yoghurt to freshly prepared eggs, they have it all. We also had dinner there and thoroughly enjoyed the food and service. A must try is the chicken rice, their speciality dish! The quality of the food was outstanding! Especially the home made desserts 🙂

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The Haven Resort in Ipoh is a fine comfortable resort in a great spot! The Cameron Highlands are only a 60 minute drive away. Highly recommended to stay here with the whole family!

Kempinski Das Tirol – Jochberg

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Hotelchain: Kempinski
Location: Jochberg – Austria
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitekempinski.com/…n/jochberg/hotel-das-tirol

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This Kempinski Das Tirol is a fine five star hotel in Austria, surrounded by the beautiful mountains. I was so excited to be able to explore this jewel! At first I thought that this hotel would only be fun in winter, but soon found out that it is as much fun in summer 🙂 The nature is so beautiful and all the flowers and animals are lovely to see!

When we arrived at the Kempinski Das Tirol, I knew that the next 48 hours would be great. Kempinski has one of the world’s finest hotels and you can expect top notch service at each Kempinski hotel. The hotel itself is pretty large offering 156 comfortable rooms. By the way, complimentary parking here! Great!

The lobby area is stunning and you immediately feel the Austrian atmosphere which is great. The comfortable sitting areas and fireplaces are cosy. Check-in was very professional and everything we needed to know about the hotel facilities were explained in a very kind way. I appreciated the welcome drink.

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When I entered the room, I was blown away! The rooms, even the standard rooms at the Kempinski Das Tirol are very luxuriously appointed and decorated in warm colors. The mix with traditional wood and hyper modern bathrooms is excellent. The very comfortable couch was great for reading a book and enjoying the surrounding areas. Bathroom is large featuring separate bathtub and walk-in (rain)shower. The separate toilet is great and one of the largest separate toilets I have seen in any hotel. The outdoor terrace offered fantastic views and although our room faced the street, we didn’t hear anything at night.

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The highlight of the beautiful Kempinski Das Tirol is their spa area. It is a huge spa area (3600 sqm!) with an indoor and outdoor pool, several saunas, steam rooms and endless relaxation areas. This is paradise and THE place to relax! I enjoyed some me-time here every day experiencing several sauna sessions (do visit one of the outdoor saunas as well, you will love it!). We were lucky with the weather while we were there and could enjoy the outdoor facilities as well. The outdoor pool is huge and very well maintained. There’s also a separate salt water pool as well with excellent water temperature! The loungers were the best! It was so nice to relax, enjoying the sun and watching the surrounding panoramic views. I also appreciated the pool service, staff member will make sure you have a great and relaxing time. A full fitness center is available too with up to date equipment.

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I got to experience the Winter Warmer treatment which was very energizing! This classic deep tissue massage is both energizing and nourishing and is specifically designed to focus on painful joints or stiffness in the body as required. This therapeutic body treatment included a warming shea and mango butter foot balm which was so relaxing!

The body treatment rooms are definitely one of the nicest I have ever seen! They are all very large and decorated in different themes. Therapists were excellent and everything was well maintained!

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The Kempinski Das Tirol offers several dining options. Breakfast is served at restaurant Steinberg. This restaurant is known for its authentic cuisine and I liked the decoration. It sort of felt like being in a large, luxurious mountain lodge. Breakfast here is something to look forward to. They even have complimentary champagne and freshly made smoothies. Loved it! There’s a large buffet with endless options as well as several à la carte options. Everything you could wish for is there. Did you know that you can enjoy breakfast here until noon? How cool is that? Having dinner is possible here as well with their signature dish, the lamb stew.
We had dinner at Sra Bua, the signature restaurant at the Kempinski Das Tirol. First of all, when I entered the restaurant the decoration blew me away! It is such a gorgeous place! The chefs did an excellent job too. We thoroughly enjoyed their tasting menu, a culinary journey. From the consommé with beef, leek and rice pasta to the caviar and veal entrecote with teriyaki and som tam. 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

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The Kempinski Das Tirol is a top notch five star hotel in a fantastic location! I appreciate their way of working involving local farmers etc. The rooms are luxurious, service is top notch and the spa is unbelievable! Do know that this hotel is also paradise during winter as you have direct access to a ski lift which will take you directly to the slopes. I will return in a heartbeat! Highly recommended for a luxurious mountain getaway!

Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten – Munich

Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten

Hotelchain: Kempinski
Location: Munich – Germany
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitekempinski.com/…ch/hotel-vier-jahreszeiten

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Situated in the city cented of Munich, the luxurious five star Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten is one of the best hotels that this beautiful city has to offer! As one of the staff members told me, it was like they first build the hotel and afterwards the city. Everything is nearby, you really can’t beat this location! The Marienplatz only is a five minute walk away and so is the beautiful large garden of Munich.

When I entered the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten, I was blown away by the stunning lobby area. This legendary hotel is so beautiful… The huge colorful ceilings took my breath away.
At check-in they offered us a small welcome drink which is always a bonus! Everything we needed to know about the hotel was explained in a very kind way. Not too formal which is sometimes the case at this kind of hotels. There’s a laid back atmosphere throughout the entire hotel and everybody was extremely friendly.
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We stayed in a deluxe room on one of the top floors. The room was fabulous and definitely of a five star level. I liked the mix of old and new. For a city hotel, sizes of the rooms are great! The luxurious marble bathroom both had bathtub and one of the best showers I have ever had in any hotel. Water pressure was superb and 3 people could easily fit in. The mirror television was a nice feature too.
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Enough things to do here! On the top floor of the hotel, there’s a large indoor pool / spa area. The pool itself is pretty large for a hotel in the middle of Munich. I was glad to find out that the fitness center was located right next to the pool offering views over Munich. After a swim and work out, it was great to relax in the sauna and steam room which are both located next to the pool. As the sun was shining while we were there, we relaxed on one of the comfortable outdoor loungers while enjoying the sun! What a perfect way to end our day.
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The Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten has 2 restaurants and after a wonderful night (the beds are heavenly) we got to experience Schwarzreiter. The breakfast honestly was one of the better five star breakfast I ever had. There was a large buffet with freshly prepared food (I loved the large oven with freshly baked croissants!). Several à la carte options are available too at no additional charges. Champagne is offered as. The breakfast experience definitely was one of the highlights of our stay…

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But THE highlight was the test drive with the Mercedes AMG GTS. As they have a sponsorship with Mercedes, guests can drive with this amazing car!

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I had a great stay at the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten and loved every second of it! This five star hotel has it all. From the stunning and stylish rooms to the best restaurants. Service is top notch. Nothing was asked for too much. Five stars all the way!

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

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Hotelchain: Shangri-La
Location: Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websiteshangri-la.com/kualalumpur/shangrila

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Rated as one of the top 3 hotels in Kuala Lumpur, the Shangri-La KL is located on one of the top locations of the city. The major attractions in Kuala Lumpur are reachable within just a few minutes. As soon as I entered the hotel, I was blown away by the stunning and bright lobby area. And I immediately noticed the typical Shangri-La smell which I like very much. We were welcomed by friendly bell staff and check-in procedure was efficient and only took 2 minutes.

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The room we stayed in was nice and had a good size. It was not the most modern room I have slept in but it had great beds and a comfy couch which was ideal for browsing on my iPad and enjoying the surrounding views over Kuala Lumpur. The oversized desk was perfect for doing some work. Internet speed was excellent by the way! The marble bathroom had separate tub and shower. As in most Southeast Asian hotels, standard toiletries included dental and shaving kits.

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As we had an executive room, we had access to the great executive lounge. The grand lounge is extremely comfortable and the personal service was appreciated very much. Complimentary drinks are offered throughout the day. Afternoon snacks and appetizers are there during afternoon and at night several cocktails can be consumed at no additional charges. It actually is a great bargain to upgrade your room with lounge access. You don’t have to leave the hotel at night as you can have small bites and drinks at the lounge. Club guests can have breakfast here too which I recommend. Although the variety of the food downstairs is amazing, it was very busy. At the lounge, it is more quiet and there’s still a lot of food to choose from! But if you want endless food options, go downstairs… the buffet is just huge and service is still very good.

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Dinner at Shang Palace was one of our highlights of our stay at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and the food was top notch! We tried the tasting menu and it did not disappoint. From the chicken rice to the mango dessert, we enjoyed every bite!

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The pool area at Shangri-La is quite large with plenty of sun loungers and cabanas. You can even see one of the two Petronas Towers which are nearby. Next to the pool area is the fitness center. At most hotels the fitness centers are located in the basement, but the one at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur offers beautiful views over the gardens. It was one of the best fitness facility I have experienced. The place is huge and very well maintained. Also the spa is a must visit! The treatments they offer are wonderful and done by very professional staff! Decoration is amazing and so relaxing! Highly recommend to book a treatment here.

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I am a fan of Shangri-La hotels because of the service level. Every staff member I met was greeting me with a smile. They seem to really enjoy their job and want to make sure that everybody is having a nice time.

The Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur deserves its high reputation! Location is great, the rooms are wonderful, food is delicious and staff is most accommodating! Loved every second of my stay here!

Novotel Eindhoven Airport

Hotelchain: Novotel
Location: Eindhoven – The Netherlands
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official websitenovotel.com/…ovotel-eindhoven/index.shtml

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I had a flight from Eindhoven and was looking for a nice airport hotel. The four star Novotel Eindhoven Airport was the perfect choice! The airport is just 1,5 km away and from September they organize complimentary shuttle service from/to the airport.

The Novotel Eindhoven Airport offers 94 comfortable rooms with all the facilities you will need. Although this isn’t a new hotel, they did a good job renovating this place as you will notice from the moment you step in. The lobby area is quite spacious and bright. Most importantly, the front desk staff was very accommodating and professional. Check-in was very efficient and our keys were handed in just a couple of minutes. We were there pretty early at noon and they were happy to grand us an early check-in which was appreciated very much.

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The rooms at the Novotel Eindhoven are the typical spacious Novotel rooms. They all offer comfortable king size beds and a couch which is very convenient when you are travelling with kids as this is a double sofa bed. What I particularly liked in this room was the quality of the HD television and the separate toilet. Bathroom featured bathtub and single sink. Everything in the room was very clean. When I looked out of the window, I immediately noticed the beautiful garden!

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It is great to hang out and chill down in this beautiful garden. They even have an outdoor pool with comfortable loungers. The outdoor terrace is a nice feature as well. Here I enjoyed a cup of coffee while enjoying the surrounding area. Prices are very reasonable. Oh, by the way, the internet speed is pretty good here. Even outside I browsed on my iPad and watched some Netflix without any problems.

Kids are welcome too at the Novotel Eindhoven Airport. Novotel is pretty child friendly and offer great deals for families. There’s the pool, but there’s also a small play area for kids inside and outside. It sometimes frustrates me that hotels forget children, but kids definitely will have a great time here as they have a lot of facilities for them.

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We had dinner at their restaurant URBN and loved the overall experience! For a hotel restaurant, the kitchen is very good and the menu is pretty varied. Great cocktails and mocktails too, by the way. As a starter I had the tomato soup with meat and my dad preferred the soup with sea food. Nice to be able to choose your favorite. As a main course, I enjoyed the chicken very much. The dessert, a typical small Dutch apple pie was just delicious! Breakfast is served here as well. Since we had to catch a plane early in the morning, the staff was happy to provide breakfast boxes which was great to start our day!

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Believe me, this was the perfect start of our getaway! If you need to catch a plane from the Eindhoven Airport or want to play some golf in the area (a 18 hole golf course is nearby – 2 km), then this is the hotel to stay at! Also, if you are travelling with kids, you can’t go wrong here. I will definitely return.

Hard Rock Hotel – Penang

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Hotelchain: Hard Rock hotels
Location: Penang – Malaysia
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website:  penang.hardrockhotels.net

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We all know Hard Rock from their famous cafés all over the world, but did you know they also have hotels? I didn’t, until I found out recently and was happy to experience and explore the Hard Rock hotel in Penang, one of Malaysia’s beautiful islands.

This four star hotel is located on one of the most beautiful spots of the island, Batu Ferringhi Beach. The tropical beach is right next to the hotel and the pool is surrounded by palm trees. This is what a dream hotel looks like. The hotel lobby is bright and airy. We were welcomed with a smile and everything we needed to know about the hotel and surrounding areas were explained in a professional way. The Hard Rock theme is noticeable throughout the entire hotel. They have really cool stuff here like an original Elvis costume etc. It is fun walking through the hotel, after every corner there’s a surprise waiting for you 🙂 Staff members are very nice and cool too, most of them are pretty young yet very professional.

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The deluxe room we stayed in was a very comfortable room. For a four star hotel, they are superb! Actually, I have stayed at five star hotels with less comfortable rooms. The sea view was amazing! It was so relaxing to enjoy sun set from our balcony! I must say the room was immaculately clean… and the bed was one of the most comfortable ever! A real cool feature were the complimentary on demand movies. It was so nice to relax at night and be able to watch a recent movie.

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As said before, the pool area is just stunning. Plenty of loungers, cool drinks and a relaxed atmosphere. I could hear the sea in the background… There are a few small slides for the kids. The good thing about the pool is that the kids have their own pool which is not directly connected to the main pool. It is good for them to play and just be kids without bothering other guests. Kids can be king here too *wink*, they can play in an oversized and supervised kids area. I visited the place and it was pretty cool, especially the small movie theatre where they can watch movies together!

The Hard Rock Hotel Penang also has an executive lounge where guests can enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks throughout the day. In the evening, complimentary alcoholic beverages can be consumed as well.

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A stay at the Hard Rock Hotel wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Hard Rock Café! So that’s where we had dinner that night. The food and service were outstanding as I could have expected.  We tried the burgers (of course!) which are all made with their proprietary blend of premium grade beef. Each year they have the specialty burger and we tried the English breakfast burger with eggs and bacon 🙂 It was just delicious! If I can give you some advice, do spare some room for dessert, they are like heaven, especially the hot fudge brownie and the fresh apple cobbler which are both big enough to share! Great cocktail menu here too, by the way. Other restaurants are the pizzeria which is located at the pool area and Starz Diner. Breakfast is served at Starz Diner and the buffet style breakfast just has something for everybody.

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After all the eating and drinking, we were ready for a work out. The Hard Rock Hotel Penang has a great fitness facility with a view of the pool area and tropical surroundings. It is so nice to have such a beautiful view while working out. Even if you’re not into working out, do try the spa facilities. I visited several (indoor + outdoor) treatment rooms. You should definitely experience the Stereo Massage, one of the signature treatments of the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. They even have kids and teens treatments, how cool is that?

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The Hard Rock Hotel Penang has it all! It is a really cool hotel and I loved the overall atmosphere. Souvenirs can be bought at the gift shop. Thumbs up, Hard Rock Hotel Penang, you rock 🙂