La Butte aux Bois

Knipsel

Hotelchain: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Lanaken – Belgium
Classification: 5 star Superior Hotel – La Source Restaurant (Michelin **)
Official websitelabutteauxbois.be

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One of the best five star hotels in Belgium, la Butte aux Bois is nestled in peaceful Lanaken. As you approach this unique hotel, you’ll hear the sounds of birds and notice the beautiful surroundings. The hotel used to be a great manor house built in 1924. When the Bullens family moved into the manor, they opened a restaurant in 1986. A few years later, they opened the hotel. La Butte aux Bois has undergone several renovations and is one of the very best hotels in Belgium and a member of Relais & Châteaux. 2 years ago, a completely new building has been added with 20 gorgeous rooms and a brand new wellness center, La Forêt.

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As soon as you enter the hotel, you’ll feel a sense of luxury and details. The contemporary décor made a great first impression. There are designer elements all over the place. The wooden details match perfectly with the dark designer floors. The young woman behind the front desk made us feel very welcome and offered a glass of sparkling wine, always a good start! I knew this was going to be a great experience, this place truly has character. Sometimes you immediately feel at home and at La Butte aux Bois they welcome you with a great smile.

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We stayed in a brand new La Forêt room and we were very pleased when we entered the room. Again, the wood and designer elements are just gorgeous. The room had a great size and was built and decorated with eye for detail. The very comfortable couch was perfect for relaxing. I hate to lay on bed when reading a book, so I did appreciate the large couch. On top of that, each La Forêt room has amazing views over the forest. This factor really did make me feel more comfortable and added to the sense of prestige. Everything in the room is incredibly well finished from the furnishings to the art, styling and décor. The bed was very comfortable which enabled an excellent night’s sleep and added this, top of the line amenities are provided and immaculate cleanliness.

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The comfortable and modern bathroom had a tub and separate rainshower. They provide La Forêt toiletries and trust me, they do smell amazing! I must highlight the soft towels!

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La Butte aux Bois has 2 restaurants: Le Bistrot and La Source. We experienced La Source, a gastronomic Michelin rated (**) restaurant and we were blown away by the food. We thoroughly enjoyed our 8 course meal with wine pairing. Do believe me, I have been to many restaurants and I can honestly say that La Source is one of the best places I have ever been. Head chef Ralf Berendsen is an artist. He knows how to combine fresh ingredients. It seemed as if the courses would never stop coming. My favorite courses were the monkfish which came with Iberico Belotta, artichoke, basil and foie gras. Also, the Anjou pigeon was just delicious. Every course we had the most magnificent flavors you could possibly imagine. The pictures will speak for themselves.

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The service was almost unmatched and they really made you feel warm and cozy. Our La Source experience was the exhibition of art in food preparation and presentation. I loved every second of being there.

The next morning, I visited the spa area. I could spend here a whole day. Did you know that you can even visit the spa for a day without actually staying at the hotel. That is right, they have a day spa with a luxurious lounge with fruit and drinks. The relaxation area is absolutely gorgeous and so relaxing. They do offer the most magnificent spa treatments in the most comfortable spa suites. On top of that, the large indoor swimming pool is large enough for actually lap swimming and I’ve found the water temperature to be pretty pleasant. Next to the pool, guests can use a large Finnish sauna, infrared sauna and a large steamroom. The outdoor terrace is perfect for tanning. The outdoor jacuzzi is a treat. I spent a lot of time in there 😊

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Breakfast is served at Le Bistrot and as soon as you enter the restaurant they offer a delicious smoothy and fresh orange juice. The buffet-style breakfast offers a large selection of both hot and cold items and all products are of a good quality. Several à la carte options are available. Sparkling wine is offered to the guests as well. Very nice!

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La Butte aux Bois is a one of the few five star superior hotels in Belgium and I can honestly say I was blown away here. Everything they do, they’ll do it in style. Without being over the top. I could be me and again, I enjoyed each moment in this jewel. Highly recommended for a luxurious getaway!

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Villa Dubrovnik


Hotelchain
: Mytha Hotels
Location
: Dubrovnik – Croatia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitevilla-dubrovnik.hr/en

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Villa Dubrovnik is one of the exclusive hotels in Dubrovnik and I couldn’t wait to explore this jewel. Making part of the Leading Hotels of the world, the hotel has a high standard. Villa Dubrovnik has ‘only’ 56 rooms and truly has a boutique feeling. The staff will do their upmost best to make you feel at home from the moment you enter this hidden gem. This ultra luxurious hotel is not just a ‘hotel’, to me it is a destination… Let me tell you why…

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First of all, Villa Dubrovnik has a prime location. Sveti Jakov Beach, one of the most picturesque bathing spots in the region is only a few steps away. The (beautiful!) old town of Dubrovnik itself is only a 15 minute walk away. We walked to the city center in no time!

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You reach the entrance of the hotel by taking an elevator. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and we were really overwhelmed by the design of the lobby area. Very tastefully and attention to details. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed by the staff. The check-in staff were absolutely excellent, they could not have been more friendly and helpful. Check-in was seamless with zero wait.

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The Deluxe room we stayed in was absolutely breathtaking. It was spacious and decorated with style. The quality of furnishing was excellent. Prior to our arrival, I was asked if I have any special pillow/mattress preferences. I do prefer a soft mattress and informed them. Upon arrival I immediately noticed that everything I requested has been organized according to my wishes. Very impressive. The best thing about the room was the view. Each room at Villa Dubrovnik has a prime sea view.

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Bathroom had double sinks and a wonderful bath tub / shower combination. La Bottega toiletries are offered. They are among the best toiletries I have experienced. They smell amazing!

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A visit to the Villa Spa is a must do when staying at Villa Dubrovnik! The indoor pool area is stunning with one of the nicest swimming pool I have seen in Croatia. The doors can be opened so it actually feels as a semi open pool area. Sun loungers are of a very good quality and they provide bar sevice. Top service! There’s a separate tanning area where you can enjoy sunshine all day long. I loved the fact that the pool is open at 8AM as I love to swim before having breakfast.

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The spa itself is the place to relax after a day of excursions or quite simply because you want to. I let myself enjoy a pure moment of well-being and relaxation. I enjoyed one of their signature deep tissue treatments here. The treatment began with a more traditional relaxation massage. After my muscles were warmed up, my (excellent!) therapist began to work deep into my problem areas (my neck!). The therapist Stella really did an excellent job. I felt relaxed afterwards and my neck felt really good.

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Villa Dubrovnik offers several dining options, from lounges to fine dining restaurants… they have it all! Each night, we had dinner at Restaurant Pjerin where head chef Giuseppe Somma serves Mediterranean dishes which are to die for. The restaurant ifself is beautifully designed and service was top notch! The terrace overlooks the old town of Dubrovnik. This Michelin recommended restaurant only offers the best ingredients. From the prawn carpaccio to the most delicious desserts. The food really is of a great quality. You won’t be disappointed if you book a table here!

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Al Fresco bar Giardino is opened in the afternoon from 1pm – 4pm and is a perfect place for a lunch in style. Overlooking the beach, it has a relaxed atmosphere. This bistro has an outdoor grill. You can actually watch your orders to be grilled right in front of you.

At night, make sure to check out Prosciutto & Wine Bar, a perfect sundowner. This rooftop bar offers splendid views over the surrounding areas. I loved it. Sitting here while enjoying some delicious cocktials, watching the sun going down is a must do! Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you’re more than welcome to go up and have a wonderful evening. We enjoyed the sunset from up here more than in the old town.

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Last, but not least, there’s the Library Lounge where guests can relax and unwind all day long while enjoying a drink. Whether you are reading a book or a browsing the internet on your tablet, it is great to hang out here. By the way, each spot of Villa Dubrovik is clean. I should highlight the cleanness of the entire hotel. If you told me that the hotel opened just a few days ago, I would have believed it!

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Breakfast is served at Restaurant Pjerin and as you could expect from such a luxurious hotel, the quality of the food was excellent as was the service! The à la carte breakfast is a treat. It’s one of the most exclusive breakfasts I have been experienced anywhere. Again, service was top notch! Our server – Denis – is one of the best! He’s a true professional!

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Villa Dubrovnik is not just a hotel, staying here truly is an experience. If offers a perfect mix of elegance, history, spacious rooms, delicious food and the most attentive staff. No wonder Villa Dubrovnik is the most awarded Croatian boutique hotel. With its breathtaking position on the cliffs right at the sea and the most luxurious rooms all with stunning sea views, Villa Dubrovnik is one of a kind.

Koh-I Nor Val Thorens



Location: Val Thorens, France
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.hotel-kohinor.com/fr/
Official website Les Trois Vallées: https://www.les3vallees.com/fr



Located in Europe’s highest ski resort, Hotel Koh-I Nor is a top notch five star hotel offering amazing facilities. The hotel is located at the highest point of Val Thorens at 2400m and offers the best views over the village and surrounding mountains. It’s mind blowing and I couldn’t believe my eyes when we arrived at the hotel.

When you enter Hotel Koh-I Nor, you enter a world of luxury. Each detail has taken care of. The lobby area is spacious and front desk staff does give you all the information you need for a comfortable stay.




We stayed at a deluxe room and after having stayed at many hotels in Val Thorens, this was the best room we stayed in so far. The room had a wonderful size and was decorated with high quality materials. We had an amazing south oriented view over the whole area. I could have spent hours here sitting on the balcony and enjoying the views.






The marble bathroom had a nice bath tub, separate walk-in rain shower and an oversized sink. Fancy toiletries are provided each day and I must also highlight the nice bathrobes and towels. Another bonus: turndown service is provided each night.



One of the highlights at Koh-I Nor is the spa area. With 800m² it is huge! The whole area is very well maintained. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day on the slopes. The spa offers a warm indoor pool, a comfortable relaxation area with a salt wall and a jacuzzi. There are two saunas: an indoor sauna and an outdoor sauna which is pretty cool as it offers an amazing panoramic view over Val Thorens. There’s also a hammam. The experience showers are a must do! They’re real fun: I’d call it a “shower walk” as there are 4 different colored showers with different temperatures and water pressures. There’s also a large separate indoor pool especially for family with kids.






During the day we – of course – explored the ski area of Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski area in the world. I ski since I was a little boy and I must admit that Les Trois Vallées is one of my favorite ski resorts. The whole area has been connected in a very convenient way. The slopes were prepared in an excellent way and the staff was friendly. At one time we were skiing to Courchevel and were looking on the ski map which way we needed to take. Immediately a super friendly staff member of the ski area came to us and asked if we needed some help. We were really impressed! Les Trois Vallées is located in one of the nicest areas of the Alps. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.






There are also 2 zip lines: La Tyrolienne and La Bee, both really fun. La Tyrolienne is the highest zip line in the world and I enjoyed each second of it. With a speed of over 100 km/h I flew 250m above the ground. I highly recommend to treat yourself to a flight 😊




Hotel Koh-I Nor truly is a ski-in / ski-out hotel. The hotel is located right at the slope of Plein Sud which will bring you to the center of Val Thorens. Koh-I Nor has its own ski shop and when you return they will take your skis and store them for you, very convenient and unseen at any hotel!

After and before skiing, we need to eat 🙂 There are three restaurants on site. Each day we started our day with a wonderful breakfast at L’Atelier d’Eric. Breakfast at Koh-I Nor is something to look forward to! It offers a large buffet with a lot of healthy options. There’s even champagne… That’s what I call a five star breakfast!




Hotel Koh-I Nor is one of a kind! It’s definitely one of the best hotels in Val Thorens. If you’re looking for luxurious place in the highest ski resort of Val Thorens? Don’t hesitate to book a stay here!


Amor Arenal



Location: La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Classification: Deluxe hotel
Official website: https://www.amorarenal.com/



Situated at the foothills of the world-famous Arenal, Amor Arenal is one of the top luxury resorts in the area. This luxurious resort built with precious tropical hardwoods has only opened several years ago and everything still looks brand new.

The dramatic entrance as I would call it, truly is spectacular. You enter the semi open lobby area and immediately notice the fantastic view all over the resort. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it is so beautiful… so peaceful and oh so romantic. When I think of Costa Rica, this is exactly what I would expect. Check-in was very efficient and personal. A welcome drink was offered and the administration only took a few minutes.



I read many good things about Amor Arenal and I had high expectations. The resort is well known for its service and overall quality. When I entered the hotel, everything felt right here. After check-in we were escorted to our beautiful Canyon Casita King. Each room at Amor Arenal is a separate villa. That’s right, the hotel is build up in several buildings and the resort does feel like a small luxurious village. At 872 sq. ft., the room was huge and the king sized bed was heavenly. I loved the lay-out of the room as well as the decoration. The wood touches add the true Costa Rica feel. A bonus was the complimentary mini bar with home-made sangrias and kambuchas, local beer, water, soda, coffee, tea and snacks. The huge HD-television was something we didn’t need during the day, but at night it was fun to watch some Netflix while being in the middle of the jungle. To round up, our room felt like a small luxury villa. Absolutely gorgeous! It felt like a home away from home.





The semi open bath room has a huge double walk-in (rain)shower and his/hers sinks. Taking a shower here is something to look forward to. I’d call it a panoramic shower experience as I had a direct view through the top to floor windows over the jungle. Luxury toiletries of Molton Brown were a treat. They smell amazing.



The oversized balcony offered the most amazing views all over the jungle and volcano. And probably the best feature of the room: a plunge pool. Honestly, I could have spent a whole day in this pool. Relaxing in the plunge pool and soak up all the beauty of the area was heavenly!



There is so much to do here and even just walking around the resort is so much fun. It is almost unbelievable how well maintained this place is. I saw staff working and maintaining the gardens every time of the day. Amor Arenal offers several natural spring pool that are beautifully integrated in the resort and its surrounding areas. This is what paradise look like and I couldn’t believe how beautiful this place is. There’s a great laid back ambiance around the pools with a lot of comfortable loungers. No need to put your towels here to ‘reserve’ your spot in the sun. Pool service was great too, they greet you as soon as you approach the pool area and make sure you’ll have everything you need.





A must-do is booking a relaxing massage when you’re guest at Amor Arenal. They have 3 beautiful semi-open treatment rooms surrounded by jungle vegetation. I couldn’t have asked for a better view. I often have a lot of tension everywhere so I love a good massage. I’ve been for many massages in my life in many different parts of the world and I can say wholeheartedly and sincerely that my massage at Amor Arenal is one of the best I’ve ever had. The therapist was absolutely incredible. Her knowledge and intuition about the muscular system is superb and she is extremely skilled at releasing tension and always hitting exactly the right spots. On top of that, she made me feel so relaxed during and after the treatment.



Also the restaurants are worth mentioning. We started each day at El Rancho where they serve a wonderful breakfast. The personal service was great as was the food. They use many local products which was much appreciated. I liked the many healthy options I could choose from. Each dish was presented in an excellent way! This truly is a five star breakfast!





At night, we had dinner. It is good to know that the resort is proud of how fresh their ingredients are and that they buy almost everything from local producers. The six course Costarican tasting menu is a must do! This culinary experience takes you on a delicious journey through Costa Rica. Eating such good food with rain forest views is an experience I will never forget. Again, you can request the food to be prepared exactly the way you want it. Service was so friendly… They will make sure you are enjoying your time here and every single request has been taken care of with a smile! It truly is all about service here! People are so nice, the level of service is very high at Amor Arenal. I never felt uncomfortable requesting for something and I was greeted every single time I met one of the staff members. 







There is so much to discover at Amor Arenal. Let me share a secret: did you know that they have 2 hiking trails around the rain forest? A must do when you are here. The nature is mind blowing and I spotted many wild animals during the hike.



The Amor Arenal experience was amazing! From the beginning to the end, everything felt right here! Highly recommended for a romantic getaway in paradise!

Villa Dubrovnik

   

Hotelchain
: Mytha Hotels
Location
: Dubrovnik – Croatia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitevilla-dubrovnik.hr/en

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Villa Dubrovnik is one of the exclusive hotels in Dubrovnik and I couldn’t wait to explore this jewel. Making part of the Leading Hotels of the world, the hotel has a high standard. Villa Dubrovnik has ‘only’ 56 rooms and truly has a boutique feeling. The staff will do their upmost best to make you feel at home from the moment you enter this hidden gem. This ultra luxurious hotel is not just a ‘hotel’, to me it is a destination… Let me tell you why…

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First of all, Villa Dubrovnik has a prime location. Sveti Jakov Beach, one of the most picturesque bathing spots in the region is only a few steps away. The (beautiful!) old town of Dubrovnik itself is only a 15 minute walk away. We walked to the city center in no time!

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You reach the entrance of the hotel by taking an elevator. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and we were really overwhelmed by the design of the lobby area. Very tastefully and attention to details. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed by the staff. The check-in staff were absolutely excellent, they could not have been more friendly and helpful. Check-in was seamless with zero wait.

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The Deluxe room we stayed in was absolutely breathtaking. It was spacious and decorated with style. The quality of furnishing was excellent. Prior to our arrival, I was asked if I have any special pillow/mattress preferences. I do prefer a soft mattress and informed them. Upon arrival I immediately noticed that everything I requested has been organized according to my wishes. Very impressive. The best thing about the room was the view. Each room at Villa Dubrovnik has a prime sea view.

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Bathroom had double sinks and a wonderful bath tub / shower combination. La Bottega toiletries are offered. They are among the best toiletries I have experienced. They smell amazing!

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A visit to the Villa Spa is a must do when staying at Villa Dubrovnik! The indoor pool area is stunning with one of the nicest swimming pool I have seen in Croatia. The doors can be opened so it actually feels as a semi open pool area. Sun loungers are of a very good quality and they provide bar sevice. Top service! There’s a separate tanning area where you can enjoy sunshine all day long. I loved the fact that the pool is open at 8AM as I love to swim before having breakfast.

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The spa itself is the place to relax after a day of excursions or quite simply because you want to. I let myself enjoy a pure moment of well-being and relaxation. I enjoyed one of their signature deep tissue treatments here. The treatment began with a more traditional relaxation massage. After my muscles were warmed up, my (excellent!) therapist began to work deep into my problem areas (my neck!). The therapist Stella really did an excellent job. I felt relaxed afterwards and my neck felt really good.

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Villa Dubrovnik offers several dining options, from lounges to fine dining restaurants… they have it all! Each night, we had dinner at Restaurant Pjerin where head chef Giuseppe Somma serves Mediterranean dishes which are to die for. The restaurant ifself is beautifully designed and service was top notch! The terrace overlooks the old town of Dubrovnik. This Michelin recommended restaurant only offers the best ingredients. From the prawn carpaccio to the most delicious desserts. The food really is of a great quality. You won’t be disappointed if you book a table here!

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Al Fresco bar Giardino is opened in the afternoon from 1pm – 4pm and is a perfect place for a lunch in style. Overlooking the beach, it has a relaxed atmosphere. This bistro has an outdoor grill. You can actually watch your orders to be grilled right in front of you.

At night, make sure to check out Prosciutto & Wine Bar, a perfect sundowner. This rooftop bar offers splendid views over the surrounding areas. I loved it. Sitting here while enjoying some delicious cocktials, watching the sun going down is a must do! Even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, you’re more than welcome to go up and have a wonderful evening. We enjoyed the sunset from up here more than in the old town.

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Last, but not least, there’s the Library Lounge where guests can relax and unwind all day long while enjoying a drink. Whether you are reading a book or a browsing the internet on your tablet, it is great to hang out here. By the way, each spot of Villa Dubrovik is clean. I should highlight the cleanness of the entire hotel. If you told me that the hotel opened just a few days ago, I would have believed it!

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Breakfast is served at Restaurant Pjerin and as you could expect from such a luxurious hotel, the quality of the food was excellent as was the service! The à la carte breakfast is a treat. It’s one of the most exclusive breakfasts I have been experienced anywhere. Again, service was top notch! Our server – Denis – is one of the best! He’s a true professional!

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Villa Dubrovnik is not just a hotel, staying here truly is an experience. If offers a perfect mix of elegance, history, spacious rooms, delicious food and the most attentive staff. No wonder Villa Dubrovnik is the most awarded Croatian boutique hotel. With its breathtaking position on the cliffs right at the sea and the most luxurious rooms all with stunning sea views, Villa Dubrovnik is one of a kind.

Hotel Xcaret – Mexico

Knipsel

Location: Playa del Carmen – Mexico
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websitexcaret.com

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Rated as one of the top Riviera Maya destinations, Hotel Xcaret Mexico in Playa del Carmen truly is a unique place with a fantastic location! I was so excited to visit this resort and it didn’t disappoint at all! Right from the moment we entered the resort, we were in paradise! It is such a quiet and romantic place. Staff made us feel welcome right from the beginning. Actually every staff member I met here was very kind, professional and nothing was asked for too much.

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First of all, Xcaret Mexico is a large resort with a hotel and several nature parks. I explored Hotel Xcaret and Park. Both places blew me away… Let me tell you why!

When you book a holiday at Hotel Xcaret, you book an ultra all inclusive holiday. Food, drinks, access to the parks… everything is included, even the airport transportation. How convenient is that? I was surprised that even day tours such as a visit to the legendary Chichen Itza and many others are included in the rate as well. If you needed to pay all those facilities and services separately, you would stay ‘free’ at the hotel. It’s such an interesting and convenient package they offer.

As mentioned before Xcaret Resort has several parks which are all located near the hotel. When you are staying at the hotel, there’s complimentary transportation to/from the parks. Xcaret Park is their largest and most famous park, which I will write more about later. Other wonderful parks are Xel-Há Park, Xplor Park, Xavage Park, Xplor Fuego Park, Xoximilico Cancun and Xenses Park.

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I visited Xcaret Park and thoroughly enjoyed it! What a wonderful tropical dream world… There are so many adventures waiting for you! With more than 50 attractions, it is impossible to get bored here and there’s something to do for anyone! Let me share my favorite attractions: the underground rivers are amazing! Mexico has a lot of cenotes and many can be found here at Xcaret Park. It is so much fun to swim around the park in caves and just enjoy the beautiful nature on our planet. Xcaret Park has 3 underground rivers: the Blue River, the Mayan River and the Manatee River. All of them flow into the Caribbean sea. Is it safe? Absolutely! We needed to wear life jackets even though the water isn’t that deep, but it’s just comfortable to be able to float around. Floating next to coral formations fossilized on the rocks truly is spectacular!

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If you don’t want to get wet, you can enjoy the Paradise River: a river boat trip that takes you through the jungle and the underground rivers. We also saw some wildlife during this wonderful relaxing boat trip such as flamingos and other tropical birds. So nice!

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There are several shows included in your ticket. During the day, you have different chances to see the spectacular ritual ceremony of the Papnatla Flyers. This typical Mexican ceremony is a must see when you are in Mexico! Do not miss it! At night, Xcaret México Espectacular and the Pre-Hispanic Performances are not to be missed! Each show was professionally done and very enjoyable. The live music and dancing were amazing. The national costumes were nice to see. Thumbs up, Xcaret Park!

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Everything at Xcaret Park is maintained very well. The whole place looked impeccably clean. Just walking around this park is an adventure on itself. Walking at Xcaret Park is walking in paradise. The crystal clear water, the trees, the animals… it’s all there and it is so beautiful. There are even architectural wonders in the park as well: Hacienda Henequenera for example, a typical 19th-century Mexican mansion is worth a visit.

There’s so much to do here! Unfortunately I only spent a few hours at this park, but I’ll be back for sure to discover other attractions at this wonderful park. No wonder Xcaret Park is rated as the best park in the area and even maybe of the whole country! We had an unforgettable day here!

After a visit to the park, we explored the recently opened (December 2017) Hotel Xcaret. This luxury hotel only offers the best to its guests and as mentioned before, this is an all inclusive resort. Even access to all the parks and tours are included. That’s why they call it ‘All-fun Inclusive’, you don’t have to worry about anything during your vacation!

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There are no regular rooms at Hotel Xcaret, just suites. Each suite is spacious and very well maintained. The balconies offer the best views over the resort. The couch in the suite is perfect for reading a book while enjoying the wonderful scenic views. Bathrooms are great featuring separate shower and jacuzzi bathtub.

The pools are one of the nicest (if not, the nicest) pools I have ever seen! They are surrounded by hundreds of palm trees. There’s also a variety of spectacular infinity pools. It literally took my breath away and I could have spent hours there. Plenty of sun loungers too, by the way. Hotel Xcaret offers 11 (!) pools… I must also highlight the soft white sandy beaches nestled amidst rivers and coves. Kayaking and paddle boarding are included. Just go and explore it yourself! You will love it too!

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Hotel Xcaret has several dining options. There are many restaurants and bars at the resort, each night you have the chance to explore another wonderful restaurant. We had lunch at Le Trajinera. Trajunera offers the best land and sea fare in the Caribbean. This buffet style restaurant near the sea is a must visit when staying at Hotel Xcaret. The sea food is fresh and tasted amazing.

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At night we had dinner at the restaurant. Every Friday night they organize this traditional Balinese evening with traditional dancers and music. It was a great night and the dancing was fun. Also, very romantic… There were candles all over the place making it even more special. We could hear the sounds of animals in the jungle while enjoying our drinks at the bar. Breakfast is served here too. They offer several types of breakfast all at the same rate. No buffet here, they will serve you at your table. The food was delicious and healthy.

No wonder that Hotel Xcaret is rated as one of the most beautiful resorts in the Riviera Maya. Hotel Xcaret isn’t just a hotel, it is a destination.

Le Mirabeau Hotel & Spa


Location: Zermatt – Switzerland
Classification: 4 star superior hotel
Official website: https://www.hotel-mirabeau.ch/en

All of you know that I’m a huge fan of Zermatt! I was so excited to visit and stay at Le Mireau, one of the top rated hotels in this wonderful town. This upscale four star superior hotel has a prime location within Zermatt. Although the hotel has its age, they recently renovated the entire hotel. It’s totally up to date with wonderful decorations all over the hotel.

The building itself gave me this grand feeling right upon arrival. The lobby area is luxurious, well maintained and gave me a good first impression. Check-in staff was among the best I have ever met. A big smile, asking how the journey was while arranging our keys was a lovely experience. After I was told that we would be staying in one of their Alpine Junior Suites with a magnificent Matterhorn view, I could not wait any longer and wanted to see it myself.

I can easily see why our room is called a Alpine Junior Suite. Decorated in a very stylish way, the room absolutely had everything I would expect from a four star superior property. The wooden details in our room were wonderful. The sitting area with two comfortable couches was great for lounging and relaxing. The bed was extremely comfortable. And probably the best thing about the room was the wonderful view of the Matterhorn. It actually is one of my favorite mountains, I could look at it all day long 😊

Bathroom featured a bath tub, an oversized walk-in shower, toilet and oversized sink. Turn down service was provided every night, always a bonus!

You could never get bored here! I was happy to find out that the hotel has a large beautiful indoor new built pool. It is a very large pool for hotel standards and has the ideal water temperature. The adjoining jacuzzi is great to relax. The Alpine spa area is a must visit when you stay at Le Mirabeau offering several relaxing areas with waterbeds (probably the most comfortable loungers I have experienced at any hotel), several kinds of sauna’s (including a Valaison wood sauna and a mountain herb-scented sauna), a mountain crystal steam bath and a glacier shower (which is a treat after a session in a hot sauna). There are also several treatment rooms and a (small) fitness room. I just loved the spa area and recommend you to experience the same!

There are several dining options at the hotel as there are two on-site restaurants. Restaurant Veranda is the main restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I must say that breakfast at Le Mirabeau is a top notch gourmet breakfast… One of the better I have ever experienced in Zermatt with everything one could wish for. The extensive buffet has to offer something for anybody. Sparkling wine was a bonus! Do note that they offer several à la carte options as well. Restaurant Veranda has been awarded with 14 Gault Millau points. The tasting menu we enjoyed at night was delicious. From the beef carpaccio to the wonderful veal, it all not only tasted great, the presentation was also perfect. Service was great.

Marie’s Deli is located right at the entrance of the hotel. I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant, it offers local traditional specialties and French delicacies. Besides the restaurants, the hotel has a cosy bar where they serve fancy cocktails in a classy environment.

I loved my stay at Le Mirabeau and definitely recommend staying here when you are in Zermatt. Every staff member I met was friendly, professional and did everything to make sure I had a great time. Highly recommended!

Amman Rotana

Hotelchain: Rotana
Location: Amman – Jordan
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/jordan/amman/ammanrotana



Amman Rotana, Amman’s tallest tower, is a top notch five star luxury hotel. Guests are pampered here and the staff will make sure you thoroughly enjoy your stay! It definitely is one of the best hotels in town… let me tell you why…

First of all, location is great! The district of Al-Abdali is an upscale are in Amman. Also, several shopping malls are nearby. The hotel itself is quite huge with 412 rooms and suites. When I arrived, I immediately fell in love with the colorful and playful interior designs. 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. Amman Rotana is a true definition of a design hotel with colorful themes all over the place.





Check-in was very efficient and the Jordan 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 Amman Rotana. Always nice to notice as a guest.

The premium room we stayed in, was spectacular indeed! The design theme is noticeable in the rooms too. It had a good size at 44m², an amazing king sized bed and a large working desk. The view from up here is spectacular. Being Amman first tower hotel, make sure you get a room on one of the higher floors. You won’t regret! Watching the city life from the comfy chair is a must do when you stay here 😊




The bathroom had separate bath tub and walk-in rain. Toiletries are provided and are one of the best I have seen in any hotel.



After exploring the stunning room, I started to explore Amman Rotana a bit more. The hotel has a great pool area during the summer months. If you are more into working out, Amman Rotana offers a full size fitness facility with up to date equipment. Again, the place is designed in such a good way. At most hotels, the fitness facility is located in some sort of basement. At Amman Rotana, even the fitness facility does look luxurious.



Right next to the gym is the Health Club. Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club is the place to relax and unwind after a full day exploring beautiful Amman.

The hotel offers several dining options, ranging from casual to more formal. We had dinner at Rodeo Grill and honestly, I ordered one of the best steaks ever! I loved the funny elements such as the giant bulls. It are those elements that make Amman Rotana such a special place. The food here is just delicious. This must be one of Amman’s best steak houses. All steaks are cooked in their signature Josper wood fired oven and do taste amazing. Make sure to check them out yourself! I must also highlight the staff, they are wonderful and make sure you will have a great night.






If you are more into Italian food, make sure to book your table at Gusto Italian Restaurant. The open kitchen is entertaining and the chef definitely knows how to offer tasty food. Threesixty All Day Dining is a buffet style restaurant with an international kitchen. This is also the place where breakfast is served. Breakfast at Amman Rotana is something to look forward to! The food choices are endless. It truly is a five star breakfast.



Another highlight during my stay was the High Tea experience at the Club Rotana Lounge which is located on the 42nd floor, the highest floor of the hotel offering the most stunning panoramic views over Amman. It is just beautiful. Staff was very attentive and kind.




Amman Rotana 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 and wonderful staff, 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, Amman Rotana!

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea



Hotelchain: Mövenpick
Location: Dead Sea – Jordan
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/jordan/dead-sea/resort-dead-sea/overview/



Situated right at the Dead Sea, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is one of the top beach resorts in this area. This luxurious five star resort has been set up as a village. Walking around this resort is like walking on a movie set. Although the resort has opened many years ago, it still looks up to date. The entire resort is maintained in an excellent way!

The gorgeous entrance truly is spectacular. You enter the beautiful lobby area and immediately notice the fantastic view all over the resort. The floor to ceiling windows feature amazing views of the turquoise blue colored Dead Sea! I couldn’t believe my eyes, it is so beautiful… so peaceful and oh so romantic. When I think of a luxury resort, this is exactly what I would expect. Check-in was very efficient and personal.



The brand is well known for its service and overall quality. When I entered the hotel, everything felt right here. After check-in we were escorted to our beautiful Premium Room. The room we stayed in was very spacious and I loved the contemporary and modern design. The beds truly were among the best I have experienced! The comfy couches were great. I also appreciated the large balcony with the perfect lounge chairs to relax. Our Premium Room had access to the private pool area. That’s right, Premium Rooms have their own adults only pool. It is the perfect spot for relaxing.




Bathroom with marble furnishings was also super nice with separate bath and a great walk-in shower and large sink. Fancy toiletries with Dead Sea minerals were a treat! Bathrobes and slippers are provided for your convenience.



There is so much to do here and even just walking around the resort is so much fun. It is almost unbelievable how well maintained this place is. I saw staff working and maintaining the gardens every time of the day. There are several main pools located right at the beach. The infinity pools are large and very clean and offer amazing panoramic views. There’s a great laid back ambiance around the pool and beach area with a lot of comfortable loungers. No need to put your towels here to ‘reserve’ your spot in the sun. Pool service was great too, they greet you as soon as you approach the pool area and make sure you’ll have everything you need.





Make sure to take a swim in the Dead Sea! The salty water make you float around. Oh and don’t forget to use the mud afterwards. It is great for your skin.

There are several secrets spots to be discovered at Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea. Let me share some secrets: there’s a super nice Wellness & Spa area. This is the place to book relaxing spa treatments. There’s also a sauna and steam room available and a fully equipped fitness center.

Breakfast at Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is something to look forward to each morning. At Gaia, a gourmet breakfast buffet was waiting for us each morning. The freshly prepared omelets and waffles are a must try! They are sooooo yummie! I also appreciated the fresh and unique contemporary design of this restaurant. The food was amazing, each item we tried was fresh and tasted excellent. The panoramic views are fantastic!



At night, we had dinner at Luigi’s, their signature Italian restaurant. The food and service were outstanding.  Service was so friendly… They will make sure you are enjoying your time here and every single request has been taken care of with a smile! The pizza was outstanding!
There was even live music and a belly dancer when we were there which made our evening even more perfect! Did you know that Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea is the only hotel in the area with live entertainment?



Another great dining option would be Almyra Beach House for delicious sushi. I love the location of this place. In the large semi open area right at the beach, it’s great to hang out and soak up the stunning views. There are other stylish bars and restaurants all over the resort.



Our Mövenpick experience was amazing! From the beginning to the end, everything felt right here! Highly recommended for a romantic getaway near the Dead Sea!

Rixos Premium Dubrovnik



Hotelchain: Rixos
Location: Dubrovnik – Croatia
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.rixos.com/en/hotel-resort/rixos-premium-dubrovnik



Located near the old town of Dubrovnik, Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is one of the best five star hotels in the area. First of all, I absolutely love Dubrovnik. This gorgeous medieval town really has charm and will please anyone. Make sure to climb the wall around the city with splendid surrounding views.

Rixos Premium Dubrovnik has a prime location on a cliff on the Adriatic Sea. In only a 15 minute walk you reach the old town. The views when you enter the spacious lobby area are impressive. The lobby area gives a perfect first impression of this wonderful resort. This hotel used to be Hotel Libertas and has been totally renovated. Today it is an up to date luxury hotel that spoils its guests with the best facilities one could wish for.





The reception staff was very accommodating and giving us some useful information about the hotel. And not only during check-in, each time I went to the reception with any request they were super friendly and made sure each request was taken care of.

We were then escorted to our Deluxe Room. Fun fact: no buttons in the elevators here. You just need to use your room card to activate the elevator and it will then take you to your floor. The room we stayed in was luxuriously appointed. The room had a large balcony with direct sea views. The bed was ultra comfortable! We slept as babies.



Bathroom was luxurious too featuring Bulgari toiletries (my favorites!), a bath tub with rain head shower and an oversized sink. Always a bonus: a separate toilet.

Rixos Premium Dubrovnik has two large pools. The indoor pool is very beautiful and it was never crowded when I was there. I would call it the relax pool as there’s a relaxed atmosphere around here and the large soft loungers are the perfect spot to unwind. You can activate some jets. If you are not into relaxing, you can play table tennis which is located next to the indoor pool area.



For tanning make sure to pick a spot around the beach area. Although there’s no real beach, this area is directly located at the sea. You have direct access to the crystal clear water. There are plenty of loungers to choose from and the extra pillows on each seat is great. It makes the lounger even more comfortable. The outdoor pool is very large. It is the perfect way to cool off a bit. Another highlight of Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is the staff. It actually makes this hotel unique. Plenty of staff members are available. I found the pool service to be very efficient and friendly.



Speaking of food and drinks, Rixos Premium Dubrovnik offers several dining options. We had dinner at Turquoise Restaurant and we thoroughly enjoyed it! This buffet style restaurant has something to offer to anyone. The buffet really is out of this world offering freshly prepared meat/fish/.. you name it, they have it. The dessert selection in particular was amazing. This is also the restaurant where they serve breakfast. Breakfast at Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is a treat! Again, the buffet is very large offering only the best food options. A must try are the waffles 😊


An after dinner drink in the bar is the perfect way to end your day.



Other restaurants are Libertas Fish Restaurant where they serve freshly prepared fish. This restaurant is – of course – located on the seaside. Another option would be Umi Teppanyaki that offers the only teppanyaki experience in Dubrovnik!

My favorite place in the hotel is Libertas Terrace & Lobby bar offering stunning panoramic views over the Adriatic sea. It is such a relaxing place. Make sure to order one of their deliciously prepared cocktails. I’d rate the Moscow Mule with a 10/10!



Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is a top notch five star hotel with the best facilities. Although it is a pretty large hotel, they do offer a personalized service. Again, it is the staff that makes this hotel so unique. Rixos Premium is one of Dubrovnik’s jewels! Highly recommended!