Hotel De Castillion – Bruges

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Hotelchain: Small Elegant Hotels
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 4 star deluxe
Official websitecastillion.be

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Hotel De Castillion is a top notch four star boutique hotel located in the center of Bruges. You can’t beat the location. All the main attractions in this gorgeous city are within walking distance. The surrounding areas are just gorgeous: small authentic streets, carriages, etc. I immediately fell in love with the hotel when I saw the building. It was built in the 16th century and it used to be a residence of Bruges’ 15th bishop. A fun fact: a part of the hotel is a listed heritage site.

Although this family owned and managed hotel is located in the center of Bruges. When I entered the hotel I appreciated the peaceful and quiet atmosphere.

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Hotel De Castillion is very stylish and cozy decorated. The intimate reception area just beautiful and gives an excellent first impression of the hotel: luxurious chandeliers, high end furniture and most importantly: I was welcomed by the most friendly manager. This is Belgian hospitality and I love it! He gave me a map of Bruges which was very useful and I was surprised the map was designed for the hotel. So this is not a standard map of Bruges, no, at Hotel De Castillion you will receive a city map with pictures of the hotel, the hotel location and several walks.

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After I received my room key, I couldn’t wait to explore this unique boutique hotel. Walking around in the hotel feels like walking around in a small castle. The authentic atmosphere throughout the hotel is impressive and much appreciated.

Room 103 I stayed in was absolutely stunning! What a great fairytale room this was! The wooden floors and grand chandelier add extra coziness. The room had all the facilities I expect from a four star hotel such as the Nespresso coffee machine, a very comfortable bed and a cozy sitting area with comfortable couches. This is how every room in Bruges should look like. Loved it!

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Bathroom was spacious and featured a bathtub with shower. Fluffy towels and high end toiletries are available as well.

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Hotel De Castillion has a total of 20 rooms. As a small hotel they can offer a very personal service. It feels like a home away from home where you are treated as a royal. Speaking of rooms, there are several room types. The room I stayed in is a deluxe room. I did visit some other rooms such as the classic room and junior suites. I must admit that each room I saw was different but all were ultra luxurious and decorated with the best materials and with an eye for attention.

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There is a nice stylish bar and golden art deco salon where you can also order snacks. The salon is a must visit when you stay at Hotel De Castillion. You will love the design!

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After a wonderful night in my romantic room (still in love with that room…), I was ready for breakfast. Having breakfast at Hotel De Castillion is something to look forward to! It is served in the unique and historic cellar. The buffet is very large and the overall quality of the food is outstanding. Salmon, fresh fruit, etc. It is all there.

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Hotel Castillion is definitely the place to stay when you are looking for an ultra stylish boutique hotel right in the center of Bruges. Check it out yourself and experience the Castillion experience! Highly recommended for a romantic getaway!

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!

Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf

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Hotelchain: Hyatt
Location: Düsseldorf – Germany
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: hyatt.com/…hyatt-regency-dusseldorf/dusse

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I visited several hotels in Düsseldorf and I was excited to stay at the Hyatt Regency as I heard great things about the hotel. First of all, the hotel is beautifully located near the harbor of Düsseldorf. It offers great views of the city and the center is only a 15 minute walk next to the river. The walk is just gorgeous, I really appreciate this part of Düsseldorf. Although not in the busy city center, it is reachable within walking distance. We actually used the electronic steps by Tier which we found to be very convenient. Try it out yourself, you will love it! It’s really fun.

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Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf definitely is one of the best hotels in the city, as soon as I entered, I loved the trendy and classy atmosphere. This is a hotel of a true five star level. From the soft lounge music playing in the lobby to the most friendly welcome, the arrival at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf was great! I liked the lobby lounge, the furniture is totally up to date and in a great state. The check-in staff told us everything we needed to know about the hotel and surrounding areas.

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We stayed in a deluxe room and luxurious it was! We had a lot of space, the rooms have a great size… And I loved the overall lay-out and decoration of the room. It has a semi open bathroom with separate tub and (rain) shower. Amenities I appreciated particularly were the Nespresso coffee machine and high quality toiletries. The view we had of Düsseldorf was amazing! You really can’t beat the view!

The quality of the rooms at the Hyatt Regency is of a high standard, that’s for sure. One of the best hotel rooms I have ever had in Düsseldorf.

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At night, we had dinner at their restaurant, DOX. Before we went to dinner we had a pre-dinner cocktail which we enjoyed thoroughly. Dinner itself was outstanding at DOX. We had a three course menu and found the quality of the food of a very high standard and we loved every single bite. From the sushi to the yummie dessert, it was delicious! The products the chef used were fresh and he certainly did a great job!

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After a great night (the beds are heavenly!), we went downstairs again for breakfast. I am not lying if I tell you that the breakfast at the Hyatt Regency is one of the finest breakfast I have ever had. The products were fresh and the choices are unlimited! From the sparkling wine to the most wonderful prepared eggs, we enjoyed it! Fun fact, do try their hot chocolate… I ordered it each morning. Just delicious.

We finished our visit at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf by visiting the Rive Spa area… Maybe this was the best surprise about this hotel. This place is so peaceful … so beautiful … and immaculately clean! Every staff member greeted us with a smile. They make you feel special and at ease here as soon as you enter the spa area. The changing rooms were very clean and had everything I needed to prepare myself before it was time for ultimate relaxation. I went down to relax in the huge jacuzzi. It actually is a small pool with different lightning themes. There’s also a sauna and steam room. Again, the whole place was so clean!

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As mentioned before, I did stay at a lot of different high class hotels in Düsseldorf and the Hyatt Regency definitely is one of the very best hotels I have stayed at! Every staff member I met when I was there, was friendly, professional and accommodating. Do not hesitate to book a room here when you’re planning a trip to beautiful Düsseldorf, you won’t be disappointed!