Le Blanc Cancun

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Hotelchain
: Palace Resorts
Location: Cancun – Mexico
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official websiteleblancsparesort.com/en

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Le Blanc Cancun is the number 1 rated hotel in Cancun and I couldn’t wait to explore this amazing five diamond all inclusive resort. What is so unique about Le Blanc Cancun is the personal touch. Every single element seems like it has been curated and vetted to the extent that every experience there seems like you are in a pillow of comfort, midst of tranquility, and bathed in design.

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As soon as you walk into Le Blanc Cancun, you are welcomed with wonderful smiles. Staff made us feel home in just seconds and gave us all the information we needed to know about the hotel. I just couldn’t wait to explore and experience this place. The lobby area itself is spacious and very appealing. I love the fact that they do take their time to check-in their guests. There is no large check-in desk here, but separate desks where guests are welcomed in a very personal way. This definitely is the highlight at Le Blanc Cancun – the high level of personalized service! Each room comes with a personal butler.

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Let’s start with the rooms.

Le Blanc Cancun is an all suite hotel so there no regular rooms here, just wonderful suites… Our junior suite was superbly comfortable, very clean and filled with all the right amenities for a relaxing holiday. All suites are of a very high standard and offer views of the beach or lagoon. The king sized beds are among the best I experienced. Another thing I really appreciated was the Apple TV with Netflix. The jacuzzi right in front of the French balcony blew me away… The views of the Caribbean sea are just to die for. This is paradise!

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The bathroom was beautifully tiled and contained many amenities, including a separate large walk in shower for two. A mirror television is always nice, I love brushing my teeth while watching the news. Fancy Bulgari toiletries were a bonus, I am in love with those products. I even requested a specific aroma and they were glad to provide the right products… I guess it is all about the details and every single requested was suited. Just amazing!

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Each suite has a fully stocked minibar and since this is an all inclusive hotel, all drinks and snacks are included. They refill the minibar each day. On top of that, each suite has its own liquor dispenser. Yep, that is right, you can enjoy Tequila (we are in Mexico after all), Absolute Vodka, Johnny Walker Black and Bacardi.

Again, do note that on each floor, there are two dedicated butlers who will make sure you will have a great time. Really nothing is asked for too much! We needed some extra hangers for our clothes – for example – and they brought some in just minutes and helped us unpacking. Great! Your butler will provide you with any amenity you can imagine… For example, there are specific in room aromas you can request via their mobile app. The service level truly is out of this world!

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Every space of this hotel is clean, engaging and inspires you to focus on your well being. The spa is fantastic and is located on the ground floor of the hotel. The place is huge.

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The beach has beautiful white sand and the water of the Caribbean ocean has this amazing blue color. It does look like paradise here! Le Blanc Cancun has two pools, one in front of the ocean and one at the lagoon. We enjoyed both pools. By the way, use the pool at the lagoon in the afternoon as there will be plenty of sunshine to enjoy.

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Regarding the food and drinks, choices here are endless! Let’s start with the bars.

Le Blanc Cancun offers a wide variety of bar settings from casual at the beach to more formal for the evenings. I loved the Blancstage bar on the third floor and the Blancluna – a pool bar with the best cocktails one could wish for! I do enjoy one or two cocktails per day, but I’m not a huge fan of alcohol and I was glad to find out that the hotel offers many mocktails – non alcoholic cocktails – and soft drinks too. Most of the drinks are included so not to worry about spending extra money, etc. Pure luxury and relaxation!

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Food here is outstanding and will not disappoint! There are several restaurants at the resort and they’re all great! At most all inclusive resorts, the food gets somehow boring after a few days, but at Le Blanc Spa,  you have a wide selection of options including fine dining Italian cuisine, delicious snacks, soups, salads, the best desserts, etc. and the best thing is that it’s all available 24 hours!

The first night we choose to have dinner at Blancitalia, their Italian restaurant. What a gorgeous place! The appetizer – garlic bread with cherry tomatoes – was a great start. I must admit that the Roast tomato and goat’s cheese duet cream soup that followed was one the best I’ve ever had! I enjoyed it that much that I wanted to ask for another one (but I didn’t, too many great choices on the menu here!). The beef filet mignon as a main course was excellent and prepared just the way I requested. There was no room for dessert any more, but I did order a cappuccino (we are in an Italian cuisine restaurant right?) and liked it very much.

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The second night we had dinner at Lumière, their French-Fusion inspired restaurant. For me, this is the most beautiful restaurant at the hotel. Décor is luxurious and the white chairs were very comfortable. Again, the food was out of this world! The coquilles Saint-Jacques will please anyone… I could eat this every day. The most friendly waiter suggested the saumon for the main course: a grilled salmon fillet, bergamot air with a delicious lime beurre blanc, some braised asparagus and cauliflower purée, can’t be bad right? I just loved it. This time I just had to try one of their desserts and ordered the chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream which was yummy!

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The last night we had dinner at Blancasia. This elegant oriental restaurant offers the best Asian food. Here you just have to order some Sushi and Maki. I loved every single bite and the way they present the food is impressive. I love Thai food so I was happy to find out that they have Tom Kha Gai soup on their menu, a Thai style soup with coconut milk (a must try!). The pork belly in Japanese curry sauce and rice noodles were top notch!

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Blancinternational is their international buffet style restaurant. This is also the place where they serve breakfast. Breakfast at Le Blanc Cancun is something to look forward to. One of the best buffets I have ever seen (and I’ve seen many!). I particularly enjoyed the cheese omelets and freshly baked pastries. This restaurant is also open for lunch. Blancinternational actually is an all day dining restaurant. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner… you will find something to eat here all day long. Loved it!

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I am in love with Le Blanc Cancun! The biggest factor for me are the people who work at the resort. Much of our evenings started with cocktails and the bartenders never failed to deliver perfectly balanced cocktails. Most of the staff even remembered our names and our signature cocktails. How cool is that? Le Blanc Cancun is on par with some of the best hotels in the world which I have been fortunate enough to stay at. My senses were completely satisfied beyond anything I could imagine. We were treated like royalty here and cannot wait to return one day. A perfect place indeed!

Oh, and the best news: there’s another Le Blanc Resort!

Palace Resorts, the company that sets the standard in five-star, all-inclusive resort accommodations – recently opened Le Blanc Resort Los Cabos. I saw some pictures and the resort looks absolutely stunning. The interiors of the 374 guest rooms and suites were designed with a tranquil color palette with cool shades of white and plush furnishings.  Also at Le Blanc Resort Los Cabos, guests can enjoy personal butler service, a nightly aromatherapy menu, a selection of lavish pillows from our pillow menu and the most luxurious of in-room amenities. The resort offers an extensive array of gourmet restaurants sure to please even the most discerning palettes. Can’t wait to experience this resort myself and i’m sure that it is one of the best resorts in the area.

Hotel Heritage Bruges

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Hotelchain: Relais & Châteaux
Location: Bruges – Belgium
Classification: 5 star  Hotel
Official websitehotel-heritage.com/nl

Hotel Heritage, a member of the renown Relais & Chateaux chain, is a 5 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 one of the most beautiful 5 star hotels I have ever been to.

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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Each room at Hotele Heritage is 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. Don’t forget to book your spa treatment here! I had a relaxing massage and enjoyed every second of it. 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!

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!

QC Termeroma



Hotelchain: QC Terme Spas and Resorts
Location
: Fiumicino (Rome) – Italy
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.qcterme.com/en/roma/qc-termeroma-hotel



Looking for a luxurious spa resort near Fiumicino? Look no futher, QC Termeroma is a five star hotel near the airport of Rome Fiumicino. You actually wouldn’t tell that this hotel is located near the airport. The area is so peaceful. It’s the perfect spot for a luxurious spa resort. The surrounding areas within the Oasi di Porto National Park are gorgeous. I’d describe the hotel which is located within a historical building as a romantic place where you can unwind and relax in a luxurious atmosphere.

For me it was the first QC experience and truly was blown away by the top notch service and overall quality. From the beginning to the last second, everything felt right here.

The lobby area is cozy and luxurious, ‘country chic’ as they call it. It gives a perfect first impression of the hotel. What I liked here was the personal check-in. I was well informed of all the services and facilities in a very kind way.



Each room at QC Termeroma is luxuriously appointed and has everything I could wish for. The rooms have all the amenities you’d expect from a five star hotel and are beautifully decorated.

I stayed a Suite Caracalla, the signature suite at QC Termeroma. When I entered I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s such a beautiful suite. At 62 m² it is huge! As they describe it themselves: the ancient luxury still lives here. Decorated with an eye for detail, this must be one of the most impressive rooms I have ever stayed at.



I appreciated the classical look of the rooms which made them – again – very romantic. As this is a spa resort, the room is ideal for relaxation. The bed was heavenly. Couldn’t have asked for more…

Bathroom was luxuriously appointed with marble sink and high class toiletries. The oversized rain shower was excellent. Do note that each room is provided with bathrobes so you can directly enter the wellness area without having to change your clothes on spot. Very convenient!




We had a great view of the garden. Walking in the garden was like walking in a peaceful and quiet hidden gem. The pools are beautifully integrated in the garden.

The personal approach here is of a high level. Each time I met a staff member, I was greeted with a smile. It are those small things that made my stay at QC Termeroma so great. You never feel uncomfortable here while staff is serving you. It feels very naturally which means the service level is of an unseen level. Let me give you another example, after my work out one of the staff members offered me a complete stretch out. This was the perfect way to relax.

Then it was time to explore the highlight of QC Termeroma: the wellness area. Honestly, one of the best I have seen at any hotel. The entrance with relaxing waterfall showers is impressive. This place is filled with hidden pools, sauna’s, steamrooms, relaxation areas, etc. It truly is mind blowing and make sure you visit the spa area early in the morning as there are less people visiting the facilities.





Outside the relaxation experience continues. As soon as you are outside you will enter the jacuzzi area with 4 different oversized jacuzzis. Make sure to visit the Veranda of laurels, my favorite secret hideaway where it was fun chilling on one of the laurels. Another great room to rest is the carriage room which is located on one of the top floors. The sounds of horses pacing on the cobblestones makes the experience even more relaxing.

There are two large outdoor pools which are maintained very well. Actually, I found the whole place very clean.




In the afternoon I was pleased to experience the spa facilities at QC Termerome. After all those good previous services, I realized that this experience would be one of kind as well. And it definitely was! I was then escorted to the beautiful treatment room where the excellent therapist made me feel in heaven as she was massaging my body. The aromatic massage was excellent and what I requested before the treatment (medium pressure, etc.) was exactly done. After the massage, I thoroughly enjoyed the facial. All products she used were from the luxurious and fancy QC brand. My skin felt like a baby skin after the mini facial I received during the treatment 🙂 What makes this experience different from others is that the therapist actually introduces the products she is using and explains why she uses them. Those small things do make a huge difference!

Lunch at QC Termeroma is something to look forward to. The buffet style lunch has something for everybody. Freshly prepared pasta, delicious salads and the most perfect desserts… it’s all there. Make sure to check it out yourself.g

At 17h it was time for an aperitif. Every guest is kindly requested to wear bathrobes. The drinks came with several delicious tapas. This was the perfect way to start a nice evening. The bar itself is stylish and beautifully decorated. It is this kind of bar where you could spend hours in comfortable couches while enjoying drinks and some small bites.

Dinner is an à la carte experience in a wonderful décor. We had a table outside with direct views over the wonderful fairytale garden. I ordered a pea and carrot pie as a starter which was delicious and beautifully presented. The veal and yoghurt dessert were amazing too, as was the service! This is a classy five star hotel as it should be! Breakfast is served here as well by the way.







QC Termeroma is a top notch five star property which will please everyone. It is a one of a kind hotel in a very convenient spot near the airport of Fiumicino airport. The personal approach, high standards and impeccable spa services are making this hotel truly unique. This is what every five star hotel should be like! Highly recommended!


Andaz Prague

Hotelchain: Hyatt
Location
: Prague – Czech Republic
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/czech/andaz-prague/prgaz?src=corp_lclb_gmb_seo_prgaz

I have traveled all over the world and have found Andaz Prague to be one of the most exquisite luxury lifestyle hotels in my experience. Andaz Prague is a brand new luxurious 5 star hotel which is located in the iconic Sugar Palace. The hotel is well located on Senovázné Square, right in the heart of the gorgeous historical center of Prague. It’s a very convenient location. I walked around the city and most attractions are reachable within walking distance. Make sure to check out Wensceslas Square, the Old Town Square and, probably my favorite: Charles Bridge… offering stunning panoramic views over the surrounding areas of Prague.

I was welcomed by a very courteous bellman who escorted me into the beautiful lobby. I immediately realized why this will be one of the top 5 star hotels in Prague. It is actually the place to meet and mingle with your fellow travelers. The lobby is large and filled with cozy corners where you can relax, unwind and have wonderful chats. Further, I was greeted by an exceptionally great front desk staff. The kind of staff that make you feel at ease as soon as you enter the hotel. Check-in went smoothly and the staff were just extremely professional, going to extraordinary lengths to make everybody’s stay pleasurable. They even remember your names. Oh, and the complimentary welcome drink is a bonus and always a good start 😊

All the guestrooms at Andaz Prague are unique and very tastefully decorated. It’s all about the details and to be honest, the bed was one the best I have ever experienced! What I appreciated about my room were the small funny elements such as the 2 golden hands holding the drapes open, the giant lion head above the bed, the small golden guy hanging on the mirror in the bathroom… Those small things made me feel that I’m not just in a regular hotel. Andaz Prague has a personality which I liked very much. Other amenities I appreciated were the designer elements in the room and not to forget: a complimentary mini bar with local soft drinks and snacks. The room was modern, opulent and charming at the same time, perfectly appointed and completely functional. I loved the comfy lounger, large marble table and 2 comfy chairs. I had a few requests and everyone, from housekeeping to room service or the food and beverage servers, makes it their goal to treat all their guests like VIPs.



The bathroom – again, designed in an amazing way – had an oversized shower, large sink and separate toilet. Local toiletries by Krása were amazing!  




It would be very difficult to get bored at Andaz Prague. For example, the Spa by Klara Rott is the place to relax and unwind after a day in wonderful Prague. For me, it is one of the highlights at Andaz Prague. The staff is so kind. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing Ritual with herbal pouches. This 80 minute experience was just out of this world. I lately experienced some stress and this pressure massage with heated massage pouches filled with Czech herbs was exactly what I needed. The treatment comes also with a relaxing massage with detoxifying oil. The therapist was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. A great experience from start to finish.



There’s also a sauna and steam room which guests can use at no additional cost. If you are into working out, a nice fitness facility with the newest equipment can be used 24/24. I had a great work out and relaxed in the hammam afterwards. I felt reborn and was hungry …



Luckily Andaz Prague has a great restaurant named ZEM, an avant-garde Czech bistro. The menu is a creative combination of local Czech products with some Japanese touches. The 3-course dinner we had was delicious! I always try the local dishes and each bite was divine. I started with a potatoes and gheerkins salad… and it wasn’t just a salad! It was elegantly presented and came with onions, chives and crème fraiche. The Wagyu Beef (probably the best beef in the world) was to die for! The combination with tataki, ponzu onions, avocado and garlic chips was excellent. There is always room for dessert and the apple strudel with bourbon vanilla cream is probably the most special designed appel strudel I have ever seen.

You’d expect a high end atmosphere, but that was not the case. We could be ourselves and that was awesome. I must also highlight the staff (again!). Each person that served us was kind, professional and efficient. Nothing was asked for too much.

ZEM is also the place where they serve breakfast. The breakfast selection and service were amazing and they had my favorite fruit, muffins and excellent coffee. The large buffet was leisurely and good with great hot food choices. All in all, an excellent breakfast that set us up for the day.  

MEZ is where you need to be for a delicious cocktails. This beautifully designed bar is located next to the lobby area. I found the drinks reasonably priced and again, service was top notch!


Andaz Prague is one the best (if not THE best) five star hotels in Prague. It is brand new and is a destination hotel for those travelers that are looking for a truly wonderful luxury experience! Andaz Prague and its staff exceeds customer service in every possible way! I felt at home and I can’t wait to stay here again!

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.

La Butte aux Bois


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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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Aquarein – Grobbendonk


Awarded as the most beautiful sauna complex of Belgium and located in a very peaceful area of Grobbendonk, Aquarein is THE place to relax and unwind. After all the hectic times we live in, all we have to do is sometimes think about our mental and physical health and treat ourselves to a relaxing me-time. That’s exactly why I love Aquarein.



The first thing I really appreciate is the professional and kind welcome. Each time, we are welcomed with a smile and everything is explained in a very kind way. That’s how it should it. As soon as I enter I feel at ease and you immediately realize you are in a professional wellness center. Each guest receives a locker key which is also used for on site payments. That’s great as you do not have to carry any credit card or cash. Smartphone are also not allowed. Isn’t that great? Of course, you’re not allowed to take any pictures but it’s also super nice to be offline for a period of time. No e-mails, no messages, etc.

The locker rooms are very well maintained as is the rest of the complex. There’s no need to take your own towels or bathrobes as you can rent them on site.

The wellness complex itself is huge. It has an indoor/outdoor pool, a large jacuzzi, hammam, relaxing areas and several saunas. What I really appreciate is the fact that there’s hangers all over the place. While this is a nude facility, I like to wear my towel and bathrobe. When I want to enjoy a sauna session, I take my bathrobe off, hang it next to sauna and I’m ready to relax. During the day they offer several sauna sessions which are not to be missed.



The outdoor area is beautiful. There’s a beautiful garden with comfortable loungers and a large outdoor pool. There’s another jacuzzi as well which is the perfect spot to enjoy the garden views. Several other saunas are here too for you to enjoy. Make sure to also enjoy their bio sauna which uses several color schemes.





No wellness day without a spa treatment. Aqaurein has several therapists who are each professional and kind. We were escorted to the treatment room and totally enjoyed the experience. They definitely know how to make you feel relaxed and at ease. Also, each request was taken care of. The relaxing music made the experience even more special. Make sure to book upfront as a lot of guests book massages. If you are more into facials, they offer them as well.

Aquarein also has an on-site restaurant which we made use of. The Aperol Spritz which we ordered was actually one of the best we have ever had. Also, the small tapas were delicious. Service was splendid and we didn’t have to wait too long for our food and drinks. Excellent!



If you are looking for a relaxing me-time with just yourself or with your partner, mother, etc. look no further and treat yourself a visit to Aquarein. You won’t be disappointed!

More info can be found on: https://www.aquarein.be/

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!

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.