Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace


Introduction: After its long journey around the globe and conquering the hearts of many nations, the Buddha-Bar concept has finally arrived to Budapest.











Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Long wait before the receptionist was ready to check me in followed by an escort to the room by the bellman.
What I loved: The beautiful old building, the location and the authentic design.
What about the rooms: Interesting rooms, but perhaps a bit too dark for some. My room had a large bathtub with rainshower, while the standard rooms have standalone showers.
Number of rooms: 102.
Website: www.buddhabarhotelbudapest.com
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Budapest, Hungary.
Facilities: Fitness Center, Spa and a business center (two computers in the lobby)
Complimentary internet: Yes and very fast.
Affiliations: Kiwi Collection.


My overall impression: Great experience.


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The Stafford London


Introduction: The Stafford provides elegance and charm combined with modern touches and luxurious amenities throughout all its rooms. Here, you can indulge in a truly quintessential English experience.

Offering three contrasting styles of rooms and suites, choose from the elegant Main House, contemporary Mews Suites and charming Carriage House. Each room at The Stafford London is individually decorated and designed with the utmost attention to detail to ensure that your stay is special.



Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Warm welcome from a Hungarian receptionist before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: The classical design, the professional service, and the location.
What about the rooms: Beautiful classical rooms, but the showers are not separate from the bathtubs.
Number of rooms: 105.
Website: www.thestaffordlondon.com
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: London.
Facilities: Fitness Center and a business center (a computer in the lobby)
Complimentary internet: Yes and fast.
Affiliations: Kiwi Collection.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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Mollies Auckland


Introduction: 
Mollies luxury boutique hotel is located just moments from Auckland's CBD in the gracious heritage suburb of St Mary's Bay. Private, spacious and welcoming, Mollies offers elegant accommodation, fine dining and impeccable service in a relaxed and intimate 5-star setting. 

The perfect romantic retreat or private getaway Blending Victorian charm with bold contemporary art and bespoke furnishings, Mollies has earned a reputation as one of New Zealand's top places to stay.

Perfect for that romantic retreat, honeymoon or luxury escape, it also makes a unique alternative to serviced apartments for extended breaks away. Each suite is peaceful and beautifully appointed, with sea, garden or city views. Guests can relax in the lounge and enjoy a cocktail or take a stroll in the leafy grounds. For a change of pace, the designer boutiques and cafes of Ponsonby and Herne Bay are a short walk away.


The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Warm welcome from Steve before being escorted to the suite.
What I loved: The extraordinary design, the lovely staff, the breakfast. In short: Everything.
What about the food: A fantastic a la carte breakfast with fresh, organic and mostly local ingredients. The dining concept has changed at Mollies since they left Relais & Châteaux and are now only available upon request.
What about the service: Very personal. The host Steve and his wife Bernadette runs Mollies like a home. The other staff members are very hospitable as well and the service is some of the best I have experienced anywhere in the world.
What about the rooms: Extraordinary suites. All 12 suites are individually designed and close to perfection. Some bathrooms don't have rainshowers, but all have local Nellie Tier products. The mini-bar is complimentary with lots of drinks and snacks. The beds are fantastic, and my room at Mollies is one of the best I've seen in all my travels.
Number of rooms: 12.
Website: www.mollies.co.nz
Type of property: Boutique Hotel.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand.
Facilities: Library and a small gym.
Complimentary internet: Yes and fast by New Zealand standards.
Affiliations: Luxury Lodges of New Zealand. Previously Relais & Châteaux.
My overall impression: Fantastic experience.





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Aga Reef Resort & Spa


Introduction: Did you ever have a dream of a South Pacific Island Paradise with pure natural beauty, colorful friendly people in combination with romance and relaxation. A place were the vibrant colors of the tropics are blending in with the living culture of the island. You just found Samoa. We might not be perfect in everything we do, but what you will experience comes directly from our heart. This is the way we grew up and this is what we like to share with you. Come and be a part of Samoa, come and be a part of Aga Reef Resort and Spa.




The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: A warm welcome before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: The beautiful, unique location.
What about the food: Basic breakfast, could be better. Full breakfast should be included for all guests, instead of just continental.
What about the service: Wonderful staff, especially the front desk staff that was of extraordinary help to me during my stay.
What about the rooms: Simple, but beautiful. Flatscreen-Tv's, comfortable beds and rainshowers.
Number of rooms: 16.
Website: www.agareefresort.com
Type of property: Resort.
Location: Samoa.
Complimentary internet: No. No hotels in Samoa offer complimentary internet.
Affiliations: None, but could be a member of organizations like Small Luxury Hotels of the World or Preferred Boutique.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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Sinalei Reef Resort

Introduction: Welcome to our world of pure and natural beauty. From the moment you enter the stunning, lush, naturally landscaped surroundings and step under the artisan-carved entrance way, you will know you have discovered a sanctuary like no other. The famous Samoan generosity of spirit and hospitality is proudly displayed to create an environment you will never forget. Sinalei Reef Resort Samoa is a true paradise where the irresistible beauty of nature surrounds you. Come and discover the essence of Samoa, an experience that offers food for your heart and soul.



The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Long check-in before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: The location including the beach.
What about the food: Very good a la carte breakfast. I also enjoyed a good local fish & chips for dinner.
What about the service: Friendly staff, but lots of staff needs a lot more training.
What about the rooms: Simple rooms with outdoor showers as the highlight.
Number of rooms: 29.
Website: www.sinalei.com
Type of property: Resort.
Location: Samoa.
Complimentary internet: No. No hotels in Samoa offer complimentary internet. One of the only countries in the world and something to be aware of. They advertise free internet on their Tripadvisor page, and I arrived very disappointed to see they find it acceptable to charge for it. We are talking 2015.
Affiliations: None.
My overall impression: Good+ experience.

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Emporium Hotel Brisbane

Introduction: Brisbane’s mark as a city of cosmopolitan savvy was complete with the Emporium Hotel, the first true luxury boutique hotel for the Queensland capital. The hotel is the sole vision of two dedicated property and design-driven Queenslanders, Anthony and Francine John of the Anthony John Group. Together they have conceived, designed, created and delivered a hotel without equal in Queensland.

Built in conjunction with the now pivotal residential and retail precinct, Emporium, in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Once a derelict site, today it represents the heart of inner city lifestyle, famed for its fusion of residential living, retail, restaurants, bars and our luxurious Hotel which opened in June 2007.

The above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My arrival experience: Friendly, professional staff made me feel very welcome right from the first moment.
What I loved: The beautiful contemporary rooms with comfortable rooms and Molton Brown products. The hotel is similar to the hotel you find in the Design Hotels-collection, but with better service.
What about the service: Professional front-desk staff. Only experienced friendly, well-trained staff. Front desk felt a bit overstaffed, but rather that than understaffed.
Number of rooms: 102.
Website: www.emporiumhotels.com.au
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Facilities: Fitness Center, Business Center and swimming pool.
Complimentary internet: Yes, but slow and limited data. Disappointing and something to be improved
Affiliations: Kiwi Collection.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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Swissotel Sydney

Introduction: Swissotel Sydney is a luxury five-star hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district.

This luxury hotel is surrounded by Sydney’s most exclusive shopping centres, such as the beautiful Queen Victoria Building and iconic Westfield Sydney and is within walking distance to all of Sydney’s famous landmarks and cultural attractions including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

The hotel’s 369 luxury rooms and suites offer a fresh and modern setting for your business or leisure stay. Enjoy an elevated level of luxury with the introduction of 14 new Signature Skyline rooms and suites, all boasting breathtaking views stretching from Sydney’s CBD to the Blue Mountains.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Quick check-in before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: The location and the club lounge. An upgrade would be well worth it.
What about the food: Great food at the club lounge. The breakfast buffet at the main restaurant could have had a better selection.
What about the service: Professional and fast front-desk service.
Number of rooms: 369.
Website: www.swissotel.com/hotels/sydney
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Facilities: Pool, Fitness Center, Spa and business/meeting facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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InterContinental Sydney

Introduction: Some visit Sydney’s icons. Others stay in them. For more than 25 years, InterContinental Sydney has been the luxury hotel of choice to meet, do business and unlock authentic experiences that make Australia’s harbour city one of the best places in the world to live, work and visit. From its exceptional service and world-class facilities to luxury accommodation and rooftop Club InterContinental lounge overlooking the harbour, it offers everything you need to make your time in the city count.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Quick check-in. No escort to the room.
What I loved: The location, breakfast and views. The service and facilities are up to InterContinental's standards.
What about the food: One of the best breakfast buffets I have seen in any luxury hotel. It's crowded, but the items in the buffet are of highest quality including organic Australian yogurt.
What about the service: Top professional service from staff. They also have time to talk and provide great service despite being a busy hotel. Well done.
What about the rooms: The renovated contemporary rooms are comfortable and lovely. Soft beds and beautiful rooms are the highlights. Only downside is the shower located within the bathtub. I would prefer a stand-alone shower if there isn't enough space for both bathtub and a separate shower.
Number of rooms: 509.
Website: www.interconsydney.com.au
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Facilities: Fitness Center, Pool and business/meeting facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes and very fast.
My overall impression: Great.


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Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Introduction:One of the most famous sights in the world greets you as you awake from the soothing comforts of your luxurious bed. The stunning Opera House glows a pearlescent white against the blue of the sky and the sea, while the Harbour Bridge stands majestically for all to see. The city is a palette of exuberant colours, all vying for your attention. Such is the spectacle from your room at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Arrived late. Qucik check-in. No escort to the room.
What I loved: The views and location.
What about the service: Quite good. Would rank it better than Shangri-La's properties in China, but far from the level of their property in Dubai and New Delhi.
Number of rooms: 563.
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/sydney/shangrila/
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Facilities: Swimming pool, fitness center and business/meeting facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
Affiliations: Kiwi Collection.
My overall impression: Great experience.


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Residence Nell

Introduction: Ideally located in Paris’s 9th arrondissement, Résidence NELL **** welcomes you to the intimacy of a private mansion.

This unique setting contains 17 apartments and studios designed by Patrick Jouin, available to you for stays of a night, a week or a month. Welcome to Résidence NELL ****, combining the luxury of a pied à terre with the carefully designed decor and comfort of a four-star service.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Warm welcome from the receptionist before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: Personalized service, beautiful rooms with own kitchen and a great location. Wonderful place to stay in Paris, especially for long-term stays.
What about the service: Great service from the receptionist both in the evening and the morning.
Number of rooms: 17.
Website: www.residencenell.com
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Paris.
Facilities: None.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
Affiliations: Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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JW Marriott Absheron Baku Hotel

Introduction:Treat yourself to refined luxury at the JW Marriott Hotel Absheron Baku. As the only JW Marriott in Azerbaijan, we welcome business and leisure travellers with a unique blend of traditional elegance and modern convenience. Our location in Baku's Old City, adjacent to Azadliq Square and 30 minutes from the airport, makes it easy for you to explore Baku Boulevard and other area attractions.







Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Warm welcome before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: I rank this hotel very high as the rooms are fantastic, the property beautiful and the service great.
What about the food: Excellent food both at breakfast and dinner (see photos below).
What about the service: Great service in most parts of the hotel. Only disappointment was the lounge with only one staff. Not enough and I did not get help in the morning to print out my ticket and almost missed my flight.
What about the rooms: Wonderful contemporary rooms with comfortable beds, flatscreen Tv's and Aromatherapy Associates products in the bathroom.
Number of rooms: 243.
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan.
Facilities: Spa, Swimming Pool, Fitness Center and business/meeting facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
My overall impression: Great+ experience.




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Fairmont Baku

Introduction:We are proud to extend our tradition of Fairmont hospitality to historic, windswept Baku, whose charming old Inner City boasts UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is home to Baku's luxury hotel, Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Azerbaijan.

As the largest city and port of Azerbaijan, it also boasts a prime location on the Absheron Peninsula, wrapped by the wondrous Caspian Sea. Amid cypress-lined boardwalks and café-filled streets, the exceptional Fairmont Baku—part of the iconic Flame Towers complex - opened in 2013 and brings 318 superbly appointed guest rooms, including 19 serviced apartments and an array of Fairmont Gold options.

Above information is how the hotel presents itself on their website.

Below is my experience based on a one-night stay at the property.

My Arrival experience: Warm check in before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: Beautiful rooms, excellent spa, great facilities and the well-trained staff.
What about the food: Good food, but didn't like the restaurant as a smoking bar is located next to it and the restaurant is full of smoke everywhere.
What about the service: Great service from well-trained staff.
What about the rooms: Beautiful and similar to the Fairmont hotel I reently stayed in Abu Dhabi. My room had comfortable bed, flatscreen Tv and separate shower from the bathtub.
Number of rooms: 318.
Website: www.fairmont.com/baku
Type of property: City hotel.
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan.
Facilities: Swimming pool, fitness center, spa and meeting/business facilities.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
My overall impression: Great+ experience.








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The Chedi Sakala

Introduction: The Chedi Sakala recently opened as GHM resorts third property in Bali. The Chedi Club and The Legian are two of my favourite properties in the world, and I arrived with high expectations. Although the resort still has things to fix, I loved the design and professional service you always can count on with GHM hotels. Bali is perhaps the number one spa destination in the world, and The Chedi Sakala is no exception. A great massage treatment, but the spa is not yet fully functional. The beach is pretty good, but the location is on a busy road makes it feel more a bit more like a city hotel than a resort. I enjoyed my stay a lot, and although it is already a great resort, it has the potential to become spectacular.
What I loved: The design.
What about the food: Breakfast could have a better buffet and a la carte options. I didn't dine, but my lunch was pretty good. The resort has appointed a French chef and shows they have made food a high priority.
Number of rooms: 261.
Website: www.ghmhotels.com
Type of property: Resort.
Location: Nusa Dua, Bali.
Facilities: Spa, fitness center and swimming pool.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
My overall impression: Great experience.

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The Datai Langkawi

Introduction: The Datai Langkawi is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and a world class resort in every aspect. I recently stayed in The Datai for 20 hours, and I loved every minute of it. Beautiful rooms with complimentary high-speed internet access, comfortable beds and separate rain-shower. Attention to details such as welcome amenities and bath salts in the bathroom is always something I appreciate. What makes Datai special is the extraordinary design by Kerry Hill that is similar to GHM, a chain The Datai previously belong to. Although The Datai has 124 rooms, the staff made me feel like I was the only guest. 20 hours are not much, but I did have time to experience their incredible beach, voted one of the ten bests in the world.

Conclusion: The Datai is the winner of Hotel Passion Hotel of the Year! Certainly the best resort I have stayed in a very long time and one of my new favourites.
Arrival experience: Warm welcome with a welcome drink before being escorted to the room.
What I loved: Almost everything. The service, design and the beach in particular.
What about the food: Great breakfast and lunch. Food often disappoints me in remote locations, but The Datai got it right.
Number of rooms: 124 rooms.
Website: www.thedatai.com
Type of property: Resort.
Location: Langkawi.
Facilities: Spa, fitness and 18-hole golf course.
Complimentary internet: Yes.
Affiliations: The Leading Hotels of the World
My overall impression: Fantastic experience.

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