St. Regis Singapore

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Hotelchain: St. Regis
Location: Singapore
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitestregissingapore.com

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The St. Regis Singapore is one of the best five star hotels that Singapore has to offer and I was blown away with this hotel. St. Regis hotels are well known for their quality and signature butler service… and I was so excited to find out what the St. Regis is all about, let me tell you why I love this hotel so much 🙂

First of all, the location is great. This world class hotel is located on Tanglin Road and all the main attractions that Singapore has to offer are just a short taxi drive away. When you enter the St. Regis Singapore, you enter a world full of luxury and attention to details. We spotted some nice high end art work in the lobby area. Do take your time when you’re there, you will love the paintings and sculptures throughout the hotel! Check-in was very efficient and friendly. Everything we needed to know about the hotel and facilities were explained in a very professional yet kind way. That’s what makes this hotel unique. Most staff members even remembered my name, which made me feel kind of special and that makes this hotel special in compared to other hotels.

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When we entered our room, an executive deluxe room, I thought they upgraded us to one of their junior suites but actually this room was the lowest category room they have! The rooms at the St. Regis Singapore truly are very luxuriously appointed and decorated. From the hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper to the most amazing marble bathroom I have ever experienced at any hotel (with a magnificent free-standing bath tub which I love very much :))

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Everything felt right in this room! Our butler explained everything and brought some coffee and tea to the room. And talking about this butler service … it is amazing! Every floor has several butlers who will make your stay unforgettable. Whether you want to order some cappuccinos or want to pack or unpack your suit cases, they will serve you with a smile! Did you know that they even prepare your bath tub upon request? At the time we were there, we felt ill and suffered from a stomach flu. Our butler went to the local pharmacist for us and bought some pills which he recommended. The next day, we felt better. This is what I call top notch service. Every guest at the St. Regis can make use of this signature St. Regis butler service which is included in the rate. I just can’t say enough good things about the butlers! They really went out of their way and I appreciated everything they did for us.

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The St. Regis offers several dining options. The first night, we had dinner at Yan Ting, their signature Chinese restaurant. But first we tasted their Bloody Mary at the Astor Bar. Did you know that every St. Regis hotel has its own specialty Bloody Mary? At Singapore, we enjoyed the Bloody Mary with was richly accentuated with Asian flavors. It was not your ordinary Bloody Mary and tasted good, although a little bit too spicy for me but hey, I was in Asia so I had to try 🙂 By the way, they even have a (virgin) Bloody Mary stand at breakfast!

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Dinner at Yan Ting was one of my highlights during my stay. This intimate restaurant offers delicious and fine dishes. Service was top notch and surprisingly fast. The menu is pretty varied, I had the deep-fried Whitebait fish which came with a homemade marinated radish and pan-fried scallop in teriyaki sauce, but my favorite was the lobster wok-fried rice with homemade XO sauce and braised prawn with pumpkin soup.

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The second day, we had lunch at their Italian restaurant LaBrezza. This restaurant is located right next to the pool and guests can have dinner/lunch outside if they want to. The chef at LaBrezza is Italian himself and the overall quality of the food and presentation was flawless. The food was presented in a very classy way which made it taste even better.

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After all the eating and drinking, it was time to check out their fitness center. The gym is located on the ground floor next to the pool. It is a pretty large gym compared to other hotels. Even the pool has a decent size considering that most guests are staying here for business purposes instead of leisure. A visit to the spa center Remède is a must-do when you are staying at the St. Regis Singapore! After all the treatments I got to experience over the last few years, I actually am getting an expert 🙂 And trust me, the spa treatment at the St. Regis was just amazing. Every guest can enjoy the wet lounge. This marble area (females/males) is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The oversized jacuzzi and heated loungers are top notch and made me feel at ease in just seconds. Before my treatment, I spent some me-time here and enjoyed every single minute of it.

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My therapist customized my treatment and met my needs. No effort was spared to make me feel relaxed. She utilized a variety of techniques to achieve ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. This 90 minute signature treatment with hot and cold stones was one of the best treatments I have ever experiences and I do recommend booking this treatment when you are looking for ultimate relaxation. Everybody at the spa center was so kind, by the way. Their goal is to surpass all expectations and to make sure you will leave with a fantastic feeling!

After the treatment I went to bed and it literally took one second before I fell asleep 🙂

The next morning, it was time again for breakfast which is served at Brasserie Les Saveurs. To me, this is the most beautiful restaurant I have visited in Singapore. With its high ceilings and elegant furniture, it is the perfect spot for cocktails, afternoon tea’s and breakfast. The buffet style breakfast is excellent and offers endless choices.

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And then, unfortunately, it was time to leave… The St. Regis experience was one to never forget! They are excellent in every single aspect. Highly recommended!

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Crowne Plaza Shangi Airport

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Hotelchain: Crowne Plaza
Location: Singapore
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websiteihg.com/…l/nl/singapore/sincp/hoteldetail

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Rated as the world’s best airport hotel, the Changi Airport hotel in Singapore truly has it all! This hotel opened in 2008 and still looks brand new. It is directly connected to Singapore’s airport Terminal 3. We landed at the airport at 6pm and it was just a short walk to the hotel, how convenient is that? The cool thing about this hotel is that it actually doesn’t really ‘feel’ like an airport hotel, it is a hidden gem where it is great to relax and have some rest before or after a long flight.

When I entered the hotel, I was pretty surprised by the great lobby. It is grand and pretty trendy. Check-in was efficient, friendly and only took about 2 minutes. I immediately noticed the nice architecture and design. The hotel has been designed by an multi award winning Singapore based architectural firm. After check-in I was so ready to explore the rooms!

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We stayed in an executive room and were pretty impressed with the room. For an airport hotel, they were huge! Normally, you just sleep and go, but the rooms at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport are great for relaxation. Beds are very comfortable and the oversized desk was appreciated as I still had some work to do. Bathroom was very large featuring separate bath tub and walk-in (rain) shower.

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As we were staying in an executive room, we had access to the luxurious executive lounge. The lounge itself is very comfortable, I could have spend hours here reading books or surfing on my iPad. During the day, complimentary drinks and snacks are offered. During the night, some lite bites (like chicken, pastries, etc.) and alcoholic drinks are offered as well. Even some cocktails! Great touch! I definitely recommend to upgrade to an executive room. In the morning, you can have breakfast here too and when you’re not a big eater you’ll be fine with the small evening buffet.

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As said before, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport has a lot of facilities. I LOVE swimming pools in airport hotels. For me, it is great to have a swim in the morning before taking a place or relaxing after a flight. The pool area is stunning and very comfortable. Water temperature was excellent. The hotel also has a good size gym with up to date equipment.

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Later that night we had dinner at the Azur restaurant. This all day dining restaurant offers a varies à la carte menu or buffets. The evening buffet is excellent and offers several hot and cold dishes. On the left is the European corner and on the right is the Asian cuisine corner. Quality of the food is excellent here! I tried the chicken rice and since I was travelling around South East Asia for some time, I was so glad to be able to enjoy some western food as well! You couldn’t believe how happy I was when I saw the dessert buffet. Choices are endless and I enjoyed every single bite!

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The Crowne Plaza Changi airport is very luxurious airport hotel which truly deserves its high reputation! Highly recommended when you’re looking for a hotel near Singapore’s airport!

W Bangkok

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Hotelchain: W hotels
Location: Bangkok – Thailand
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitewhotelbangkok.com

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The W Bangkok is the very first W hotel I featured here and it didn’t disappoint! For those who are not familiar with the W concept, the ultra modern five star hotels are unique! There’s this Whatever/Whenever concept which allows you to ask for anything you want 24 hours a day … Be it a hamburger, a bottle of shampoo or even a personal shopper. Guests are pampered here and the staff will make sure you thoroughly enjoy your stay at the beautiful W Bangkok!

Location is great! The Sky Train is just a steps away. The Grand Palace and several temples can easily be reached by public transportation in just minutes. Also, several shopping malls are nearby. The hotel itself is quite huge with 403 rooms and suites. When I arrived, I immediately fell in love with the colorful and playful interior designs. Cool music, trendy details and the most friendly staff made me feel at ease. I wanted to look behind every corner because they know how to surprise their guests here. I did notice a lot of interesting modern art work as well. The W Bangkok is a true definition of a design hotel with colorful themes all over the place.

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Check-in was very efficient and the Thai hospitality made the check-in procedure even more pleasant. Our keys to the room were handed in just seconds and they gave us enough information about the hotel and its facilities without giving too much information, great! Everybody here seems to work with great pleasure and are proud to work for the W Bangkok.

The spectacular room we stayed in, was spectacular indeed! The design theme is noticeable in the rooms too. It had a good size, an amazing king sized bed with the famous Thai boxing gloves which I love very much J The open bathroom had separate bath tub and walk-in rain shower. The in-room tablet was very convenient and lighting, air conditioning, etc. are controlled through the tablet which is very easy to use. Toiletries are made by the uber-expensive Bliss and are one of the best I have seen in any hotel.

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After exploring the stunning room, I went down for a swim. I read about underwater music and definitely had to experience that myself. Again, the pool area is a trendy spot and has a decent size. The pool itself is beautiful with plenty of cool loungers all over the place. The underwater music makes the W experience complete! A must-try when you are staying at the W Bangkok! The music even sounds better underwater! It is remarkable how they are able to extend the W concept throughout the entire hotel.

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Another bonus is the spa area AWAY. It is known as one of the best spa facilities of Bangkok. I appreciated the cocoon concept which is created with several stylish pod shaped beds. Guests can also choose from different mood lightings and relaxing sounds. The fitness center is large and offers the latest technology equipment. The beauty treatment I got to experience was amazing! The therapist was excellent and made me feel at ease in just seconds. I experienced the 60’ man-kind oil massage and the 60’ man-kind facial. This 120’ treatment was especially created for males.

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The hotel offers several dining options, I had dinner at the Courtyard, The House on Sathorn, their latest culinary venue. The menu was delicious and service was top notch! The way the present the food was amazing and this was the best meal we had while in Bangkok! Do try their cocktails, they are fantastic!

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The W Bangkok is not a standard five star hotel, it is a destination on itself with unique and trendy features and facilities. From the stylish decorated rooms to the most fantastic dining options, I am sure that this hotel will please even the most desiring guests! I expected much of this hotel and they surpassed my expectations! Thumbs up, W Bangkok!

Airport hotel: Van der Valk Brussels Airport

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Hotelchain: Van der Valk
Location: Brussels – Belgium
Classification: 4 star hotel
Official website:  hotelbrusselsairport.com

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Situated near the airport of Brussels, the Van der Valk Brussels Airport is one of the best hotels in the area. This four star hotel truly has it all, from the most accommodating staff to the very comfortable rooms… When you are looking for a nice hotel in the direct area of Brussels Airport, this hotel is a great option! The hotel provides complimentary shuttle service to the airport.

When I entered the hotel, I was surprised by how new this hotel still looks like. The lobby area is bright and I appreciated the friendly approach by the front desk staff. Everything we needed to know about the hotel and its facilities were explained in a very professional yet friendly way. They even offered a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival, always a bonus!

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We stayed in an executive club room and were very satisfied. The room was very large and offered all the amenities I would expect from a four star hotel such as a coffee machine, bathrobes and high quality toiletries. There was a nice comfy couch and oversized working desk. I still had some work to do and am always pleased finding out a comfortable desk with enough space. The oversized bathroom had a large XL (rain)shower, large jacuzzi bath tub and toilet. I can imagine that taking a bath in this tub is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a long flight. Every room at the Van der Valk Brussels airport has a free minibar with both still and sparkling water, 2 soft drinks, a beer and both red and white wine.

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If you are looking for a working out, the hotel offers a full fitness center with up to date equipment and a direct view of the airport. Complimentary water and towels are offered for every guests convenience. There’s an ironing room available as well at no additional cost.

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We had dinner at the main restaurant downstairs, Catharina. The menu they offer is varied and is reasonably priced. We thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails. Oh, do try their (non alcoholic) mocktails too, they are great! Service at the restaurant was flawless, every dish was presented in a professional way and the overall quality was outstanding. The beef carpaccio was delicious … and prepared just the way I like it! As a main course, I enjoyed the grilled chicken and pasta. As most of you know, I always save some room for dessert J The Dame Blanche was the perfect end of a great dinner. The overall ambiance at the restaurant was pleasant and although it was almost fully booked, they managed to serve the dishes within a reasonable timing.

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After a great night (the beds and pillows are very comfortable), it was time for breakfast. As expected, the breakfast was outstanding with several cold and hot items. Some highlights: freshly squeezed orange juice and the à la carte eggs. Once again, service was top notch and everybody seemed happy to serve us in a professional way. Thumbs up, Van der Valk Brussels Airport, this hotel is one of the best options within the direct area of Brussels Airport! Highly recommended!

Themepark review: Toverland

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Toverland (which means Magicland) is a Dutch themepark, located in Sevenum which is pretty close to Germany. Although the park is not that famous yet, it truly was a huge surprise for me! Before I visited the park, I thought it would be a themepark mainly for kids but when we arrived I was blown away by Troy, the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster at the Benelux.

First of all, the location of Toverland is great and is easily reachable. There’s a large parking facility which will cost you about 8 EUR per day. The park ifself was founded in 2001 and has more visitors each year. This is not a surprise, the park is pretty large and recently added 55 hectare for even more attractions.

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The main character of Toverland is called Toos, a friendly young lady with a large magical hat. We were there with two young girls and they both loved her! Toos even has her own show in the park and the kids loved every second of it! She welcomed us right at the entrance of the park. Tickets are reasonably priced so everybody will be able to enjoy a wonderful day in this great park.

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When you enter Toverland, you enter the Land of Toos. This large indoor park has a lot of attractions for the little ones. A must do is the kids roller coaster, Boomerang. The indoor Land of Toos is directly connected to the other indoor park, the Magic Forest. Trust me, it is huge … and since the weather isn’t always hot and sunny throughout the year, you can still experience a lot of fun without getting wet or freeze. The Magic Forest also focusses on kids attractions with large playgrounds, slides and Backstroke (a waterslide attraction) starts here as well.

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Besides the two indoor parks, there are also two outdoor places – Troy and the Magical Valley – where guests can experience more thrill attractions such as Troy and Booster Bike, the two main roller coasters of Toverland.

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But kids will have a great time here too! It is all about the details here, in the Magical Valley, animatronics can be found all over. The kids loved them! A second water attraction called the Djengu River is perfect for kids! It is not the wildest river I have ever seen which was great because the kids could ride with us. That’s the great thing about Toverland… you can ride most of the attractions with your kids! The Dwervelwind, for example, is an outdoor kids spinning coaster and although the kids didn’t ride on it, it looked fun! I also loved the Maximus’ Blitz Bahn, a toboggan coaster.

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After exploring and riding the attractions, we were getting hungry! Luckily enough, there are a lot of food options at Toverland. We found the food and drinks reasonably priced! It does bother me at theme parks when they overcharge junk food. As said, prices are fair and we appreciated the overall food quality. Also, the service here is very friendly! Everybody seems to work here with great pleasure and when we had a question or request, nothing was asked for too much!

Toverland definitely is one of the better theme parks I have visited. Everything is right here… From the attractions to the most friendly and accommodating staff. The whole park is well maintained and is not only built for kids… Teen and adults will have a great time here too! Highly recommended for a fun day whether it is winter or summer, you will love it! Thumbs up, Toverland!