Burj Al Arab – Dubai

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Hotelchain: Jumeirah
Location: Dubai – UAE
Classification: 5 star hotel deluxe (some say world’s only 7 star hotel)
Official websitehttp://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/

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Internationally renowned as world’s most luxurious hotel, I had the opportunity to experience the famous Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It is located on a man-made island, 280 meters from the Jumeirah beach. It is the flagship of the Jumeirah hotel group.  Only hotel guests (or guests with a reservation in one of the restaurants) can enter the hotel, so there is no sightseeing here.  This is a good thing, as I saw a number of people at the front gate taking pictures of the hotel.

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Location

Located at Jumeirah beach, Burj Al Arab is located between Dubai Marina and Business Bay. There’s a holiday vibe around the area.

When I approached the entrance, I was impressed with the height of the hotel… 321 meters above sea level… Trust me, it is HUGE!  As soon as you enter the Burj Al Arab, you will enter in a completely different world.  I truly was blown away… Gold everywhere.  It is reportedly the only 7 star hotel in the world and I can easily understand why.  After taking the escalator — with a huge aquarium – you can look up 200 meters. A lot of looking up!  Did you know that the Statue of Liberty would fit inside?  Also, there are dancing fountains all over the place with tons of different programs, so you’ll never get bored when watching!

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The suites

There are no rooms in the Burj al Arab, only suites. Starting at 170m² (1,829 sq. ft.), all of the rooms are duplex suites, each with the highest level of comfort one could wish for.  The Burj has 1600 staff members looking over “only” 202 suites.  So that’s… eight members for each suite? Yep! There is a private check-in and butler service for each suite. No waiting times here at the reception. They explain everything you need to know and will do anything you ask — like making reservations in one of the restaurants, booking day trips to the city, making sure you will get the dessert you want, etc.

Every suite in the Burj Al Arab is beautifully decorated. Although the hotel opened back in 1999, the suites look very up to date and brand new. From the marble entrance with large staircase to the oversized living rooms, you will feel like a king or queen while walking around. They have the world’s most expensive mattresses, which can be adapted to customer needs and preferences. These things are making this hotel truly unique; returning guests are assured they will have a wonderful night.

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The bathrooms are huge — they used Italian marble – and you will be so relaxed after spending some time in the oversized jacuzzi.  Oh, a great thing: did you know that Hermès produced a special edition of perfume for the Burj Al Arab?  That is right, full-size Hermès Burj Al Arab amenities (female + male) are offered to guests at no additional charge. Of course, you could take them home as a souvenir.

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Spa facilities

A full spa – the Talise Spa – is located on one of the top floors. I was not able to take pictures of the spa area, but there is an indoor pool, jacuzzi, fitness, etc. Several treatments are offered and after a relaxing massage you can relax in the spa resting area, accessible for guests only, of course. From there, you can look straight down (200 meters!) to the ground level. Very impressive and not recommended when afraid of heights 🙂

Spa treatments are excellent! They exactly know how to make you feel at ease and so relaxed. Just tell them which pressure you prefer and you will enjoy every single minute. The soft music all over the place made it even more relaxing.

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There is also an outdoor pool area — and the Burj has its own beach across the bridge. The recently opened Terrace is stunning! For water fun, there is complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, which is located across the bridge.

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The famous Burj Al Arab hotel is one of Dubai’s highlights and one of world’s best hotels… The hotel’s immaculate reputation is well earned and you will be impressed with every aspect of your stay!

Hotel Heritage Bruges

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Hotelchain: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 4 star Superior Hotel
Official websitehotel-heritage.com/nl

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.

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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 Heritage Hotel. 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 Junior Suite we stayed in was absolutely stunning and very stylish. Again, they are of a 5 star level. Every room at the Heritage hotel 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 double sinks. 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 Heritage hotel 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 even 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 and I can easily see why. The dinner we had here was just d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s and we loved the professional service we received here. After some stylish amuses we ordered the river eel with courgette. What a great start of our night! The second course that was served was lobster accomponied with asparagus which I loved very much. The main course – beef wich came with a caviar of eggplant tasted heavenly. And of course, there is always room for dessert: Greek yoghurt with white chocolate. I could eat this every day 🙂

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We did got the chance to 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 Heritage hotel 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!