In this blogpost we will give you an insight into some of the best hotel experiences we’ve had throughout our last year of traveling. While some categories are more important than others, we feel it is our duty to address all aspects of the hotel-life. Let us know in the comments if there are other categories you would like to see added to the list! Enjoy the 2019 Hospitality Awards!
Best butler service – St Regis Vommuli, Maldives
From the minute we arrived, until the very last minute before departure, our butler Tom made our stay here an incredible one. From making our restaurant and spa reservations and taking us there with his buggy, to packing and unpacking our suitcases, ironing our clothes without even asking and even helping Laura with buying feminine stuff (which isn’t easy on a secluded island). The man is a legend.
Best room service – Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong
The picture says it all. Everything was not only presented beautifully for our in-room breakfast, it all tasted incredibly good too (even cold, because we had to take this picture first). The thing we probably liked the most was that they even installed a toaster next to our bed, in case we wanted our bread a bit more toasted than the one they brought us. We also loved the fact that a simple phone call was enough to have the breakfast removed in minutes. Nothing worse than some left over food sitting in your room all day (or even worse: in the hallway).
Best spa treatment – St Regis Vommuli or Raffles Meradhoo, Maldives
We’re picky when it comes to couple treatments. We both have very different preferences so when we the two of us have an amazing feeling after a couple treatment, it’s definitely a winner in our book. We’ve only had that exact feeling twice:
Once at the St Regis Vommuli, where everything was just right: the calming music, the ambient lighting, the silky soft bathrobes, the delicious hot lemon ginger tea afterwards and especially the hands of both masseuses.
Another time was at Raffles Maldives (they sure now how to do spa treatments in the Maldives!): very comparable to the treatment we had at St Regis, but the bathrobes were a bit less soft. The added positive was the glass window in the floor, which made us able to see eagle rays and baby sharks swimming while we were getting a relaxing treatment
Best breakfast buffet – Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong or One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
This used to be an absolute no-brainer, until we stayed at One&Only Reethi Rah. The Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong just knows how to do breakfast. On top of a great selection of western and oriental food, you will also find all kinds of vegan and gluten-free options. Everything is just so fresh and tasty. Mouth-watering good.
While the selection at One&Only Reethi Rah was a bit less extensive than at the Grand Hyatt, the fact that you can have an amazing breakfast while looking at the most insane turquoise waters, makes the experience all the better.
Best breakfast a la carte – St Regis Vommuli, Maldives
There’s something special about ordering a lobster and alaskan crab omelette with butternut pumpkin puree and oscietra caviar on a secluded island in the middle of the Indian ocean. The white asparagus with polenta fried poached egg, orange hollandaise and black truffle came a close second in best a la carte breakfast dishes we’ve ever had.
Best afternoon tea – Pullman, Cairns
We had our fair share of afternoon teas around the world and never expected it to find our favourite in Australia to be honest. A must for everyone who’s in Queensland. They even made us an all-vegan afternoon tea and it was wonderful. Don’t expect the fanciest of food or presentations. Do expect that every single piece of food is great quality and tastes delicious!
Best bed – St. Regis Vommuli, Maldives & Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
We have a small suspicion that both hotels actually use the same beds. While the last thing you want to do when you’re in the Maldives or in Hong Kong is stay in bed all day, these beds made getting out of bed a near impossible task.
Best amenity kit – Hôtel Lutetia, Paris
A bathroom filled with Hermès products is what you get when you stay at Hôtel Lutetia, and they gladly replenish (half) empty bottles. It not only looks good in the white marble bathroom, it smells delicious too.
Best hotel fragrance – The Langham, London
There’s something about the smell at The Langham in London that makes you instantly happy. We’re usually not attracted to hotel shops as items are mostly very overpriced, but we just couldn’t resist purchasing the hotel fragrance at The Langham to make our home smell just as good.
Best Club Lounge – Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong
Free-flowing champagne, 5 different meals a day, open 24 hours and located on the 116th floor overlooking Hong Kong with very attentive service from very well-trained staff. One of the few hotels where club lounge access really is really recommended!
Best all-inclusive – Constance Moofushi, Maldives
When we think of all-inclusive resorts, diluted drinks and tasteless buffets come to mind, but not at Constance Moofushi! With over 120 different wines included in the all-inclusive package and a small army of someliers who actually knew what they were doing, this was totally our kind of all-inclusive. And the food was great too! Have you read our Constance Moofushi Review yet?
Best shower – One & Only The Palm, Dubai
Do you ever have the feeling hotels tend to make showers overly complicated? And you spend too much time finding out which shower head the water will come out of and have no idea how to turn it hotter or colder? Not the case at One & Only The Palm! Large shower, very large shower head, great water pressure, steady temperature and silky soft towels and bathrobes is what you get here. Lovely.
Best bath – Hôtel Lutetia, Paris
Same story as with the shower. Don’t overcomplicate things. While there’s no built-in tv screen to watch your favourite movie while in bath (well, technically you could as there’s a built-in screen in the bathroom mirror but you’d have your head turned at 90 degrees the whole time) and while there aren’t dozens of built-in water jets to give your body a massage, the bath at Hôtel Lutetia is just a very comfortable, rapidly-filling bath made out of a single piece of white marble.
Best hotel yacht – The St Regis yacht, Maldives
Norma, the 66-foot Azimut yacht owned by the St Regis is a piece of art, just like the rest of the resort. The yacht’s three bedrooms can sleep up to 6 guests and is perfect to go explore some local Maldivian islands or sandbanks. At $2.500 per hour and a minimum of 4 hours sailing time, it comes with a hefty price tag though.
Best airport pick-up – Anantara, Hoi An
While the car wasn’t anything special (a BMW 5-series), the cold towels, the large selection of drinks to choose from, and especially the very knowledgeable driver which made an excellent guide made sure our stay started in an excellent way.
Best hotel transfer – One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
After having stayed at her sister-property on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, we were picked up by a mini-yacht and transferred to the Royal Mirage in style. The sun on our skin, the wind in our hair and the views of the Dubai skyline made this a transfer to remember.
Best courtesy car – Hôtel Lutetia, Paris
Staying at Hôtel Lutetia and need a ride to a nearby restaurant or art exhibition? Step outside the hotel and the Bentley Bentayga courtesy car will be waiting for you with open doors and will bring you to your destination in sheer luxury. You should definitely read the review we wrote of Lutetia’s sister hotel in London: Hotel Café Royal
Best pool – SO/ Sofitel, Bangkok
This hotel has surprised us in many ways, but one of the main selling points must be the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the lush Lumpini Park and the Bangkok Skyline. We went to the pool for sunrise one morning and it felt like being in another city.
Best dressed staff – QT, Perth and SO/ Sofitel, Bangkok
We like special things, and the staff outfits at both properties are definitely special. While it’s impossible to find a word to describe the outfits worn by both hotels’ staff, and while we wouldn’t want to wear it ourselves, it constantly reminded us that we stayed at special hotels.
Best rooftop bar – Park Hyatt, Bangkok
Ok, so technically we haven’t stayed there as we didn’t have a room booked. But we did spend a whole night there, which kind of counts too, right? Story has it we were invited by a friend to come over and have drinks on a regular week night. What started as ‘let’s go and have one drink’, turned into a full-blown party. Made possible by an amazing DJ and an even more spectacular MC. Shoutout to the bar manager, who turned out to be a Master at making cocktails.
Best historic hotel – The Strand, Yangon
A hotel which opened in 1901 and was one of the finest luxury hotels in South East Asia. During World War II, when Burma was under Japanese occupation, it was used to quarter Japanese troops. After the country’s independence in 1948, the hotel was neglected by post-colonial governments, which poorly maintained it. After the 1988 coup d’état, the strand was sold to a Burmese business man. He returned it to its former glory and is now an all-suite, high-end luxury hotel with (bad) butler service again.
Best welcome drink – SO/ Sofitel, Bangkok
Calling what we received at check-in a drink wouldn’t do it justice. The potion, as we like to call it, not only tasted great, it looked like something coming straight out of a Harry Potter novel. When the last ingredient was added, it completely changed colour. Magical. A deserved winner of the 2019 hospitality awards!
Best upgrade – /
Unfortunately, we have yet to receive a complimentary upgrade. Although we stay at lots of hotels, we have never been given a free one. The same applies for flights unfortunately. Let us know if you have any tips! Help us out!
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