Jamaica

Jamaica is a Caribbean island in the West Indies which is situated in the Caribbean Sea.

Known for its stunning beaches, reggae music, rum and being home to the fastest man on earth, the island is a popular holiday destination thanks to its year-round sunshine and hot weather.

Need to Know:

Local currency – Jamaican Dollar (JMD)

Language – English

Transport – Taxi

Adaptor – 2 flat pin

 

My Stay:

My trip was a 14-night all-inclusive package holiday – I booked the flights and hotel together.

Where to stay

There are many places to stay in Jamaica – popular tourist destinations include Negril, Montego Bay, Ochi Rios and Port Antonio.

Negril – Situated in the west of Jamaica and is known for its beautiful white beaches.

Montego Bay – Mo Bay is the tourist capital of the country, it is energetic and lively, visited for its nightlife, lux resorts and activities.

Ochi Rios – Another popular tourist destination on the island which boasts some of Jamaica’s most stunning beaches.

Port Antonio – Perfect for those that like quiet trips as PA is not as busy as the other tourist cities.

Wherever you decide to stay you’re guaranteed beautiful scenery and a great stay. As this was a girls trip we opted for Montego Bay for the tourism and nightlife.

Doctors cove beach montego bay jamaica blog travel blog robbienroute

Hotels:

We stayed in the Riu Reggae which was a brand new hotel adults-only resort. Staying at the Riu Reggae meant we could access the grounds of its sister hotels; Riu Palace and Riu Montego Bay. Between the three resorts, there was more than enough going on to keep us occupied for two weeks.

The hotel was very new and clean, the food was good and I was kept happy with the endless supplies of frozen slushies.

The main highlight of the food was the Jerk Hut which was open for lunch every day – authentic jerk chicken barbequed on the beach.

Staying in a resort for my first trip to Jamaica was a good way to get a feel of my surroundings however for my future trips to Jamaica I would love to stay in a private villa.

Other hotels that I had shortlisted included:

  • The Cliff Hotel
  • The Caves
  • Royalton
  • Sandals
  • S Hotel Jamaica
  • Breathless Montego Bay
  • Sensatori Resort Azul Jamaica

 

Montego bay Beach Doctor's Cave Travel Blog image robbienroute

Doctor’s Cave Beach – Montego Bay

What to Eat

Staying at an all-inclusive resort didn’t stop me from trying some of my favourite authentic Jamaican dishes.

Scotchies

I can see why Scotchies was recommended to get authentic traditional jerk. Their jerk chicken did not disappoint, paired with rice and peas and festival bread. Highly recommend.

Juici Patties

Our hotel served a selection of patties every day but we still had to get the real deal. Juici Patties is popular with the locals and serves a choice of fresh meat, shrimp and veggie patties.

Floyds Pelican Bar

Pelican Bar is a unique bar on a sandbar in the ocean. To get there you need to take a 10-minute boat ride from Treasure Beach, Falmouth.

Also highly recommended were:

  • Miss T’s Kitchen
  • Fireman’s Lobster Pit

 

What to do

Jamaica is filled with different activities, I did so much and I still didn’t manage to get round to everything – even after a two-week stay.

Ricks Café

Ricks Café is a Negril hot spot, it’s a bar and restaurant which offers stunning sunset views and cliff jumping if you’re brave enough. If not, you can always watch others cliff jump whilst you sip on a cocktail and listen to the live band. If you visit, try to make sure you time it to see the beautiful sunset view.

 

Seven Mile Beach

Situated in Negril, 7 Mile is a famous endless stretch of powdery white sand and crystal clear water beach. There are plenty of water sports on offer and you can even do shark diving (at your own risk).

If you visit Negril, you can do Seven Mile Beach and Ricks Café on the same day.

Dunns River Falls

Visiting the Dunn’s River Waterfall was the highlight of my trip to Jamaica. The magnificent sight of the falls had me in awe of God.

The falls are situated in Ochi Rios and is one of Jamaica’s national treasures. It was rated the number 1 best thing to do in Jamaica and after visiting I can see why.

You can climb the falls guided or alone – we went in a big group with a guide which was the right option as it’s a slippery climb and can be a little bit dangerous.

Top tip – wearing water shoes is a must to protect your feet from the sharp rocks and to help your grip as you climb – I purchased mine from Amazon.

Bob Marley Museum – Nine Miles

The Nine Miles tour is a trip to the home and resting place of the legendary Bob Marley.

The guided tour takes you around the grounds of where Bob Marley grew up, and ends with his resting place and included a live band playing some of Bob Marley’s hit songs.

The tour isn’t to everyone’s taste but I really enjoyed it and I recommend, especially to any fans of Bob Marley.

Rafting on the Martha Brae

The Martha Brae River is in Falmouth which you ride down on a large bamboo raft – lasting for around an hour. The captain guides the raft with a 30ft bamboo pole and gives information about the river and the surrounding wildlife.

The captain also let us punt which was more difficult than it looks. Be careful if decide to steer the raft as depending on the time of year the river can be aggressive and is deep.

This is a must-do if you love absolute scenes. The river rafting tour was stunning and is one of the most tranquil excursions that I have been on – definitely at one with nature.

Dolphin Cove

Dolphin Cove is a marine interaction attraction in Ochi Rios. You can swim with dolphins, and interact with stingrays and sharks.

Swimming with dolphins was one of my childhood dreams and it was great to tick it off the bucket list.

Glistening Waters

The glistening waters occur in the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth. It is a phenomenon that occurs in only four places in the world. There are millions of glowing microscopic organisms which light up the waters and create bioluminescence.

The experience was fascinating and is worth going to if you’re near Falmouth. Other than that I wouldn’t recommend as the lagoon was grimy and the entertainment (a fire show) was disappointing.

 

Horse Riding

Horseback riding isn’t a particularly fascinating activity but there is something different about riding through the beach and into the Caribbean Sea.

The trail started in the Jamaican countryside and continued with a ride ‘n’ swim in the warm sea.

Festivals

The Caribbean is known for its festivals but unfortunately, there weren’t any major festivals on during my trip. Some of the best include Dream Weekend, Jamaica Rum Festival, Jamaica Carnival and Reggae Sumfest.

Even though did a lot, there were some other activities that I didn’t have time to fit in:

  • White water rafting
  • Mystic Mountain
  • Blue hole
  • Tubing

Night Life

Montego Bay is said to have the best nightlife in Jamaica and you’ll find the best nightclubs on ‘the hipstrip’ in Montego Bay. I partied at:

Pier 1

Pier 1 holds a party every Friday which is filled with locals; if the locals attend that’s when you know its a good event. Dancehall music is played all night, to a crowd of over 1000 people, overlooking a view of the bay.

Margaritaville

The nightlife was good but I did get a touristy feel and would have loved to have gone to a locals-only club.

 

I loved my time in Jamaica – it had a real authentic and relaxed island feel. The people, the food, the scenery and the activities were all amazing and I would visit again in a heartbeat.

Comment below if you have any questions or suggestions from your own time in Jamaica.

With Love,

Roberta 

x

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St. Regis Mauritius Resort

Mauritius Island has a large selection of luxe resorts and I was truly spoilt for choice when deciding where to stay. My top choices included St. Regis,  Shangri-La, and the Lux Resorts. After lots of deliberation, I decided on the St.Regis.

The St. Regis is located in Le Morne, in the south-west of Mauritius and is a UNESCO Heritage Site. The St. Regis offers an idyllic setting for a stunning beachfront getaway – an ultimate luxury experience.

Let me set the scene, you arrive at the resort met with an infinity waterfall that leads to a blue Indian ocean with a refreshing welcome drink handed to you.

Your 24-hour Butler (yes you read correctly) drives you to your room on a buggy, gives an induction of your room and offers to unpack your suitcase.

The perfect setting for a trip of relaxation and recuperation.

The Room

We stayed in the Ocean Beach Junior Suite on the ground floor as it featured direct access to the beach – honestly, can you think of anything dreamier?

The room had a modern yet warm feel. With a large king-sized bed, sofa and TV with plug-in high tech features.

The bathroom was marble with double vanity sink areas, and a separate spray jet bathtub and walk-in shower. The only negative comment I have is that the shower was a little outdated and the amenities were not of the standard that I would expect from Marriott.

 

The room also featured a modest walk-in wardrobe dressing area – which was perfect for me as I always unpack my suitcase when on holiday.

Direct access to the beach enhanced my stay, it was lovely to wake up to a sea view and be able to stroll to the beach directly from my room.

Pools & The Beach

The hotel has two pools which I’d normally think isn’t enough for a resort, however coupled with the large private beach, it was perfect.

The main pool was situated in front of the Manor House – it was very large and also very quiet (no doubt due to guests enjoying the beach). The pool was surrounded by large Balinese beds to recline on.

I loved that the poolside butlers were on hand to assist and it was not a struggle to get their attention which can usually happen in larger resorts.

The second pool was a lot smaller and nestled in the centre of the resort, closer to the beach. Like the main pool, there were attentive staff and fresh fruit infused water on tap.

The hotel was situated on the Le Morne Beach with a private stretch for hotel guests only. The beach was so beautiful and tranquil, and was where I spent most of my time.

The Watersports Centre offered a selection of beach activities including boating, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling and volleyball.

Restaurants

The food at the St. Regis is up there with the best hotel food I’ve experienced and was better food than any all-inclusive resort that I’ve stayed at. They absolutely outdid themselves in the food department – it was top two and it was not two.

The resort had five restaurants to choose from and in my seven-day stay, I dined four.

Le Manoir Dining Room

Le Manoir was a buffet restaurant which served breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And what a buffet it was! Waffles, pancakes, eggs cooked to your choice, I could go on and on. I sometimes find buffets in chain hotels substandard, but the buffet food quality was top notch.

I didn’t lunch at Le Manoir but the two evenings I had dinner were great. The seafood night was heavenly for a seafood lover. There were multiple choices of catch of the day, prawns, mussels, oysters, scallops… the list goes on. There was an outdoor grill serving grilled tiger prawns and lobster.

The Boathouse Grill

The Boathouse quickly became my favourite place to dine for breakfast and lunch. It offered the best views of the sea, even on the one rainy afternoon it was so serene.

The grill was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was served al a carte (for Platinum and above Marriott Members only). The A la carte menu was perfect served alongside vintage champagne.

I have to add that the quality of the buffet breakfast was incredible, so choosing between the two was difficult.

Lunch at the Boathouse was mixed cuisine from pasta & pizzas, to king prawns, lobster and steak. The desserts on offer were also delicious. I think overall the Boathouse Grill was my favourite restaurant and was consistent whether you dined there for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Floating Market

Floating Market is a premium dining dinner restaurant serving Thai cuisine. The décor was the best out of all the dinner restaurants at the resort – with marble floors and surrounded by water and koi carp.

I was reluctant to visit as I’m not a big fan of Thai cuisine but this restaurant delivered great food which was not only limited to Thai but also Malay, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Singaporean.

Simply India

Simply India was another fine-dining dinner restaurant which serves Indian cuisine. I visited this restaurant twice and the food was cooked to perfection on both occasions.

There was also a Japanese restaurant called Atsuko which I didn’t get to try and the 1904 bar which is a drinks bar but serves food out of hours.

 Spa

The Iridium spa and gym facilities were clean and contemporary which is expected of a five-star hotel. There were several treatments on offer which you could have in the spa or in-room.

Other than treatments there was a large Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna room.

Grounds

The hotel was made so thoughtfully that you genuinely would not have to leave the grounds unless you wanted to.

Every day at breakfast we were handed a card which showed the activities happening on the day.

The beach bar and the beach front were kitted out with comfortable lounge sofas and bean bags overlooking the sea.

There was so much to do including outdoor tennis court, bike riding and table tennis.

The grounds were huge and included a large beautiful library where you could choose from a large selection of books. There was also a games room with a pool table, table tennis and a PlayStation.

One of my favourite things was the onsite private cinema which was big but personal with several film viewings a day. Guests were given complimentary warm popcorn, beverages and other light snacks. The cinema can also be reserved for private event viewings which is a lovely touch if you’re celebrating an event during your stay.

The St. Regis went above and beyond to make our stay perfect; the grounds, room and the food were all top-notch and I would stay there again in a second.

As always, please feel welcome to comment with any questions or suggestions.

Love Roberta

x

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Mauritius

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean which lies off the coast of Africa. The island is known for its stunning beaches and turquoise seas and is one of the world’s top luxury tourism destinations.

Need to know:

Local currency: Mauritius Rupee (MUR)

Language: English and French

Transport: Taxi

Fun fact: Mauritius is the only recorded home of the extinct dodo

 

How I booked:

I booked my flights and hotel with Emirates on a full board basis.

 

Where to stay:

Mauritius has a microclimate – it can be stifling hot in one area but be raining five minutes away.

  • North Coast is the tourism capital and has the most hotels, which means the beaches are busier, however, there are more tourist attractions.
  • East Coast is the most exclusive with the most luxurious hotels. The east boasts some of the most beautiful powder-white beaches on the island.
  • The south is rugged and full of wildlife. There are fewer hotels causing it to be quieter but it’s a great choice if you want a private and quiet getaway.
  • West Coast is most famous for its beautiful sunsets and stunning beaches. It is home to the UNESCO heritage site, Le Morne Mountain. The calm waters in the west make it popular for water activities.

Where to stay depends on you as an individual and what you want from your Mauritian experience, either way, any corner of the island will provide a slice of paradise.

I stayed in Le Morne, situated in the West, the location of the hotel was perfect. Read more about my stay here.

What to Eat:

Mauritian cuisine is a unique blend of Chinese, European and Indian influences.

As I stayed at the St. Regis on a full board basis, I wasn’t able to eat outside of the hotel as much as I would have liked. However during a day tour of the Island, I was able to try chicken roti from a local restaurant which was divine.

Mauritian dishes to try include:

  • Mauritian Biriyani – flavoured rice with spices, potato and usually with meat or seafood. Bol Renverse is a popular type of biriyani.
  • Dholl Puri – street food which is bread stuffed with peas and served with curry.
  • Roti – an Indian flatbread which is also served with curries, pickles and chutneys.
  • Boulettes – Chinese dumplings served with bouillon.

Many resorts offer the options to dine on the beach which is perfect for a romantic getaway.

 

What to do:

Island Hopping

Spend the day island-hopping by speed boat or luxury catamaran from mainland Mauritius. There are tours on offer which take you to several of the mini islands that surround Mauritius.

You can snorkel to see the coral and sea life and most tours offer lunch on one of the islands.

Swimming with Spinner Dolphins & Whale Watching

The Mauritian Spinner dolphins attract many tourists each year who come specifically to swim with them.

You’ll need to set out early morning; breakfast can be served on the boat that takes you. This is an amazing experience to swim with dolphins in their natural environment.

spinner dolphins mauritius

Casella

Casella is a nature park and one of the leading tourist attractions in Mauritius. The park offers Safari, Lion encounters, zip-lining, quad biking and more.

I did the Lion encounter as the ‘Walk with Lions’ experience was fully booked. It was amazing to interact with these majestic creatures.

Casela mauritius walk with lions lion encounter travel blog

 

Port Louis

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius, and is where you can go to get a real feel of the island culture. There is shopping, markets, food tours, museums and more.

Island Day Tour

The half-day trip around the island saved us time by taking us to several activities in one day.

We visited Seven Coloured Earth which is a geological formation found in Chamarel. It is a fascinating sand dune made up of seven colours of sand (brown, violet, green, blue, yellow, red and purple). It’s best to visit on a sunny day when the colours really stand out.

seven coloured earth chamarel mauritius

Rum Tasting was the last stop on the tour… which was for the best. There are several breweries that offer a rum tasting tour, I went to the Rhumerie de Chamarel. The tour cost around £10 and involved trying 8 different types of fresh Mauritian rum.

We stopped off at the dormant volcano ‘Trou aux Cerfs’ which is in the CenterPoint of the Island and ended the tour at the Black River Gorges National Park which is a rainforest.

view point mauritius travel blog

Le Morne Brabant

Le Morne Brabant is a UNESCO Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mauritius. The mountain holds a huge amount of history and is culturally significant as it once harboured runaway slaves.

Nature and fitness lovers can take professional guided hikes which last 3 to 4 hours.

Le Morne brabant travel blog Mauritius

Le Morne in the background

The Beach

Whatever you decide to do in Mauritius, make sure that visiting the beach is at the top of your list.

Mauritius beaches travel blog

The best beaches on the Island include:

  • Trou aux Biches
  • Ile aux Cerfs
  • Belle Mare Plage
  • Blue Bay
  • Le Morne (my personal favourite)

Mauritius beaches travel blog

Mauritius was a holiday to remember – it was quiet and relaxing and it gave me an opportunity to recuperate. I highly recommend a trip to this charming island, be it with friends, family or a baecation.

  1. Drop a comment if you’ve been to Mauritius or elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, or if you have any questions.

Love Roberta x

Mauritius travel blog

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BoHo Hotel

BoHo Hotel is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel situated near Prague Old Town which I stumbled across during my holiday search. After reading reviews online I was sold.

I’m used to staying in well-known hotel chains, however, the more I travel I’ve realised that sometimes the lesser-known hotel is actually newer, cleaner and has tailored service. BoHo Hotel exceeded my expectation.

 

MY STAY

We were given a free glass of prosecco on arrival and sat in the comfy chairs whilst we were checked in. The process was swift and easy and the hotel was able to accommodate our early arrival.

After check-in, we were taken on a mini-tour of the hotel and we were informed that the restaurant serves crisps and a glass of free wine between 5 pm – 6 pm daily and the hotel offers a complimentary City Tour.

THE ROOM

We stayed in the Junior Suite; which was very spacious with a living space and sofa. The room was comfortable and warm but had a modern feel with the latest technology including USB chargers.

The bathroom was my favourite and I couldn’t stop raving about it. It was new and clean with brown transparent glass and equipped with a double basin and double vanity mirrors – handy if multiple people need to get ready.

There was also a separate toilet and a walk-in shower as well as a bathtub. As you may know from my past posts I love good amenities, and BoHo’s amenities were so good; Natura Bisse and Roja.

THE FOOD

The hotel restaurant was bright with large glass windows and an outside courtyard.

I’m not usually a fan of hotel food, but the food served at BoHo was delicious. The menu was a small selection which was perfectly tailored.

We tried the burger and chips, the truffle mushroom risotto with parmesan, and the chicken noodle broth – everything cooked to perfection.

THE SPA

The wellness area included a treatment room, hydrotherapy jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and a gym. The area was clean and warm and I had an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

The hotel offered guests a 20% discount on spa treatments; I had the Swedish massage which was the perfect end to my stay.

 

BoHo really went above and beyond and left us a special gift (of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) in the room. The customer service was top notch and all staff went out of their way to ensure we had a good stay. I highly recommend this hotel and I will definitely stay again in the future.

Comment below with any questions,

Love,

Roberta x

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Prague

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic which lies at the heart of Europe. Steeped in history, the city is known for its cobbled streets, old town square and towering castles.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)

Language: Czech. English was widely spoken, however, remember that Czech is the language of Prague

Transport – Trams, Meter Taxi, Uber. We ended up taking Uber everywhere as a 15-minute journey was around £3, very affordable

Adapter: Two round pin adapter

How I booked:

I booked this trip through a British Airways package deal. Flight and hotel were included. The trip was 3 days and 2 nights (Saturday morning to Monday night).

WHERE TO STAY

If you frequent my blog you’ll know that my usual advice for short-haul trips is to stay somewhere quite central. This is so that you can spend less time travelling when you’re on a tighter schedule than normal.

In Prague most sights are within a close distance of each other, the longest uber trip time was around 20 minutes.

Where to stay also depends on what you prefer; some may prefer staying in the quieter areas near scenery and historic sites – such as Prague castle.

I stayed in the BoHo Hotel which was very central and a 5-minute walk to the Old Town. Read more about my hotel stay here.

Prague is a very affordable city and you can stay in luxury hotels for less. If you’re likely to spend less time staying indoors then it’s a good opportunity to try out a unique boutique hotel.

Some options are:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Prague
  • Mandarin Oriental Prague
  • Augustine Prague
  • Hotel Cosmopolitan
  • Alchymist Prague
  • Carlo IV, The Dedica Anthology

WHAT TO EAT

Okay, where do I start?? I’m not the biggest fan of European food so I always prepare myself in the case of disappointment however I was so impressed with the Czech cuisine. Not only is it cheap and cheerful, there are also so many varieties of national foods to try from street food to restaurants.

Trdelnik

Trdelnik is a Czech pastry and one of the most common pastries sold by street vendors. It is often referred to as a ‘chimney cake’. It is made from dough that is wrapped around on a stick, grilled and top with sugar. The pastry is then filled with ice cream – dreamy.

You can choose from a variety of flavours, such as chocolate, vanilla or red velvet dough. Toppings include; nuts, sauces, sprinkles, fruit or gingerbread biscuits.

I had spotted Trdelnik before I came to Prague and couldn’t wait to try it. I can confirm that it really does look as good as it tastes.

Good Food is popular for its Trdelnik and is in a great location off Charles Bridge for scenery pics.

Manifesto (Faency Fries)

There are plenty of food markets in Prague. After some research, I decided on Manifesto as it has cute heated igloos to sit in and had a particular stall called ‘Faency Fries’.

Faency Fries were the best chips I’ve ever had in my life. The chips were seasoned to perfection and you could choose a selection of toppings. I chose cheese topping, which was melted by a blowtorch, and served with spicy mayo.

The chips were so good that we tried to go back to Manifesto the next day, but it was unfortunately shut (opens Wednesday – Sunday).

I also tried some of my friends beef kebab from another food stall. I’m not a big fan of meat at the moment but the meat was tender and soft.

Visiting a food market in Prague is a great idea, especially Manifesto.

Deer Prague

We stumbled on a cute looking restaurant on one of our walks through Old Town called Deer Restaurant and decided to dine there for dinner.

I had the John Dory fish fillet with mussels and roasted potatoes and my friend had the saddle of rabbit. For dessert, we both picked the Strawberry Cheesecake dish.

The food was well presented and tasted delicious. Including our prosecco and elderflower/raspberry drinks the entire meal came to £48 for the both of us – including a 10% tip.

Café Savoy

Café Savoy had been highly recommended on google for the best hot chocolate in Prague. The décor was beautiful and the patisserie display looked delectable – however, the food and drinks were a big disappointment.

The ham and cheese croissant was dry, cold and just generally not nice and the hot chocolate was bitter. I wouldn’t recommend.

Chloé Café

Chloe Cafe was chic and quirky and reminded me of the new wave of flower walled coffee shops in London.
I love a gimmick and really enjoyed the monogrammed coffee. “Gucci Gang” was on the menu, but I went for the Louis Vuitton.
Chloe’s had the fluffiest pancakes which looked like doughnuts they were a hit. The cafe was cute but it wasn’t a must-do.
Restaurants and food on my list that I didn’t get to try;
  • Pork knuckle (A popular traditional food in Prague)
  • Fried Cheese
  • Beer
  • Pickled Cheese (don’t blame me if it’s not nice!)
  • Mlynec Restaurant
  • Café Kaficko
  • Ice Pub

WHAT TO DO

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is a majestic and historic castle complex. The castle is home to the President of the Czech Republic and was once home to the Kings of Bohemia and Roman emperors.

You can easily spend hours at the castle visiting the cathedrals and different towers. Try and get to the castle in time to watch the guard changeover at noon.

My recommendation is St.Vitus Cathédrale which is stunning both on the inside and outside. 

Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock can be found in the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410 making it the oldest clock still operating.
The clock rings on the hour and the twelve apostles appear. Don’t expect too much from the display as this is a very old clock, but it was fascinating to watch.

St Charles Bridge

There are many bridges that cross the Vltava river, however, the biggest and most popular is the Charles Bridge. You can take a stroll over the bridge and see the swans of the Vltava river and picturesque view.

Vintage car ride

You can hire a vintage car which takes you on a tour around the city. The ride is the quickest and easiest way to see all of the sights, especially if you’re short on time.
They offer rides of either 40 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours and the prices start from around 1500 CZK which is roughly £50.
I didn’t have time to do everything I had planned but some others that were on my list were:
  • Truffle Tour – Truffle hunt with dogs which is followed by a truffle meal
  • Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Beer Tour – Czech Republic is famous for its beer – a great option if you like beer
  • John Lennon Wall
  • Boat ride – There are many public tours to choose from, the Four Seasons hotel offers a private boat ride
  • Christmas Markets
  • Food tour
 
Prague was a charming city break. Breaks like this that remind me that Europe is filled with unspoiled gems.
The cobbled roads, tall castles and spires of Prague made me feel like I was in an old Disney movie. I highly recommend Prague for a weekend away and I will back to visit one day soon.
Have you been to Prague or are you planning to go? Feel free to drop a suggestion or to ask any questions.
Love Roberta
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Redang Island and The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort

After deciding to visit Malaysia, I searched for the best Malaysian island to visit. Langkawi was the popular and obvious choice, however, after research, I stumbled across lesser-known islands; Redang and Tioman. I finally settled on Redang.

Redang Island is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia, famous for its crystal clear blue water and white sand beaches. Redang is an unspoiled tropical paradise, and it lived up to all expectations.

The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort is the islands number one resort and was the clear choice of where to stay. The Taaras offered a slice of paradise on the island of Redang.

Getting to Redang Island

Getting to Redang from Kuala Lumpur required a short hour flight from KL to Kuala Terengganu. I booked my flight with AirAsia which cost £70 for a return ticket (with 30kg luggage). Then a boat ride from Terengganu airport to Redang Island.

The Taaras have a private airport lounge for all guests in the arrival hall of the airport. The lounge offers complimentary wi-fi, TV, snacks and drinks whilst waiting for the boat ride. The hotel charged £35 per person each way for the boat transfer to the hotel which should be complimentary in my opinion. There is also the option of the public boat if you prefer, however, we took the hotel boat for ease of access.

Picture from The Taaras website

THE ROOM

I stayed in the Cliff Hill Deluxe room which is situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The room was light and spacious at 42 square metres, with the bathroom overlooking the bedroom through a clear window. The room was new and modern which is the standard I expect from a 5* hotel.

THE BEACH

The Taaras boasts a private beach for hotel guests. The beach was genuinely one of the best beaches I’ve ever seen in all my years of travelling. The sand was powdery white and so soft it felt almost grainless.

Private Beach at The Taaras

The water was crystal clear yet at the same time deeply turquoise and pleasantly warm. We spent about 90% of our time at Redang Island on this beach – it was so hard to leave that view!

THE VILLA

The Taaras Villa is a private clifftop villa which sits at the highest point of the cliff and overlooks the resort with sweeping views out to the South China Sea.

The villa boasts five bedrooms, five bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and dressing areas, a private gym, elevator, kitchen and an infinity swimming pool overlooking the ocean.

The villa is complete with a chef, butler and security service.

The price of the Villa ranges from around £2500 – £4000 a night depending on the time of booking. Whilst this is expensive, it’s a good option for birthdays or weddings as it accommodates at least 10 adults.

We spent the afternoon at the Villa and I can tell you that pictures online don’t even do it justice.

THE FOOD

There are four restaurants at the resort, and I tried them all. The food was very good at the Taaras but the menu has quite a small selection. It worked well for me as I stayed at the resort for only 5 days, however, I could see the menu being repetitive if I stayed any longer.

The Bayu Bar

This is the hotel’s beach bar which served lunch and dinner. We frequented this restaurant daily as we couldn’t get enough of the ocean view.

The Bayu bar served a daily ‘Catch of the Day’ which was cooked to perfection.

Breach Brasserie

The Brasserie is a dinner restaurant specialising in seafood and western grill. The food and drinks were top notch.

The Asean

The buffet breakfast was served at the Asean, overlooking the pool and the beach. The breakfast had a wide selection of choices and didn’t disappoint.

THE ACTIVITIES

Redang Island encompassed relaxation. Activities on Redang included, trekking, snorkelling and diving, and turtle watching and the Taaras offered all of the above.

Swimming with Turtles

We fed and swam with wild turtles for 1 hour which cost 70MYR (around £14 per person). I love turtles so this was my favourite experience. At one point we were circled by around 10+ turtles. We fed the turtles squid and fish – a breathtaking experience.

Kayaking 

Kayaking also cost 70MYR hourly per kayak. We shared a clear kayak and went rowing around the island and found more turtles and brightly coloured fish.

SEATRU Turtle Lab

As Redang Island is so enriched with turtles there is a turtle lab at the resort. The lab is managed by the marine biologist and guests are guided through the sea turtle life cycle from nesting to hatching and more.

During the hatching seasons, guests can experience hatchlings being released into the sea. Unfortunately, the lab was closed for renovation during my trip!

Other activities on offer:

  • Island Hopping 
  • Boat Charter
  • Water Zorb Ball
  • Snorkeling/ Diving / Surfboarding / Bodyboarding

 

THE SPA & GYM

The spa offers a range of treatments. I went for the Swedish aromatherapy massage and could make my own choice of massage oils. The spa was clean and relaxing and we were offered ginger tea before and after the treatment for ultimate relaxation.

The gym is situated on the cliff offering a beautiful ocean view. The view from the gym had me awake at 6 am for my gym workout to see the sunrise. Any encouragement to go to the gym is a win-win for me.

Both Redang Island and the Taaras lived up to expectations. Redang Island has truly earned its name as the Malaysian Maldives – and is up there with one of the best beach holidays that I’ve been on.

Have you been to Redang Island? or any other Island in Malaysia – if so drop a comment below. And as always ask me a question.

Love, 

Roberta x

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Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia was my first stop on a three week trip to South-East Asia. I spent 1 week in Malaysia followed by 2 weeks in the Philippines.

My stay in Malaysia began with 3 days in the famous city of Kuala Lumpur. Let’s get into it…

Popularly known as KL, Kuala Lumpur is the federal capital of Malaysia. KL is a buzzing city filled with skyscrapers and mogul-styled domes. It is a culturally diverse country with an ethnic make-up of mainly Malay, Indian and Chinese.

 

How I booked:

I booked my flights with British Airways and booked my hotels separately.

Need to Know:

Local Currency –   MYR Malaysian Ringgit

Language – Malay – English was widely spoken

Adapter – 3 flat pin – The same as the UK

Transport – Grab which is a cheap and accessible app like Uber. The metro (MRT/LRT) and regular meter taxis

WHERE TO STAY

Bukit Bintang and Brickfields are main areas to stay in KL and recommended for a first-timer to the city.

For a western traveller, hotels in KL are very affordable – even luxury hotel brands such as St Regis, Four Seasons and Shangri-La.

I stayed in two different hotels during my time in KL and for my first hotel, I was interested in a city view.

The first hotel I stayed in was ‘The Face Suites’ situated in Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Region. This hotel was extremely spacious, had a gorgeous rooftop pool terrace which offered stunning views of the Malaysian skyline.

The room was more like an apartment which a huge living room, bathroom and bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe.

The hotel was very central and in the hub of Kuala Lumpur.  I would definitely recommend for first-timers.

I opted for the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on my layover in KL on my way back to London. I was looking for a cheap and cheerful hotel for a quick stopover and even better the Doubletree provides guests with amazing warm cookies on check-in (check my New York post lol).

This hotel was also clean and central but gave me business vibes. I would recommend this hotel if you want somewhere nice to stay for a very quick stop in KL.

My KL hotel recommendations are:

  • Four Seasons
  • The Banyan Tree
  • W Kuala Lumpur

WHAT TO DO

We were in KL over the Easter Weekend and wanted a chilled trip before our adventure-packed time in The Philippines so we were mainly focused on relaxing, eating and shopping, with a few stops at popular sites.

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is one of KL’s most frequented tourist spots. The Caves are both natural and man-made, situated inside a limestone hill and featuring a gigantic golden statue.

Be warned that you have to climb hundreds of (beautifully coloured) steps to get inside the caves. Whilst you climb the steps make sure you keep your things close as there are loads of little cheeky wild monkeys – one of them stole my friend’s biscuit straight out of her hand.

The caves are free to visit however some sections have a small fee, no more than around £6. If you’re wearing clothes that expose your legs, be prepared to rent a scarf before you can enter, again this was cheap at around £1.

The caves are a must-visit when in Kuala Lumpur.

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world; A very popular landmark that always features in pictures of the KL skyline.

During the day you can visit the towers; the KLCC Park sells tickets for a view of the towers. In the night the towers are lit up which is perfect for a photo-op.

The tower lights switch off at midnight, so don’t get caught out like your girl here who wanted to take pictures after dinner and the lights switched off before I had the chance.

Menara Tower

The SkyBox at the Menara Tower was one of my favourite activities in KL. The SkyBox offers an unadulterated view of KL from a completely clear glass box.

The downsides were the waiting time and the time limit inside the box. You only get 2 minutes inside the box, which means rushed pictures and not a lot of time to see the view. And make sure you get to the Sky Deck early, we waited for more than an hour despite having tickets.

Also, note that they close the Skydeck whenever there is a risk of lightening due to safety reasons. KL is a tropical climate country, so be sure to check the weather beforehand.

You can also visit:

  • National Mosque of Malaysia
  • Little India
  • KLCC Park

THE FOOD

Honestly, Kuala Lumpur was not a food haven for me. Admittedly, due to lack of time I wasn’t able to try many food spots.

I made sure to try the local restaurants for my favourite South-East Asian dish, Nasi Goreng. This local rice did not disappoint, definitely try it if in KL.

Atmosphere 360 at the Menara Tower

As we only had one night to dine out it was between Atmosphere and Dinner in the Sky, but I decided on Atmosphere because how can you come to KL but not visit the world’s only revolving restaurant. The restaurant spins 360 degrees and offers views of the whole of KL.

The cuisine was an unlimited buffet with different cuisines on offer. The food was okay but I wouldn’t visit again. And the décor of the restaurant was very dated.

If I had to choose again, I’d pick dinner in the sky.

Some places that I would have tried if I had the time:

  • Dinner in the Sky – A three-course meal dining experience 150 feet up in the sky.
  • Sky Bar at Traders Hotel
  • Marini’s on 57
  • Canopy Lounge – A rooftop shisha lounge under the views of the Petronas towers
  • Night Market for a taste of the local food

THE NIGHTLIFE

I didn’t make it to the club in KL but don’t sleep on the Malaysian nightlife. KL apparently has a very good nightlife. Some suggestions below:

  • Fuze
  • V12
  • Zion

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? Drop some recommendations in the comments below. And feel free to ask any questions.

 

With Love,

Roberta x

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New York City

It’s called the Big Apple for a reason.

Visiting New York is literally like stepping into a film. There is so much to see and do in this buzzing city that never sleeps.

No two parts of NYC are the same, you can shop ’til you drop in the upscale Manhatten or do it for the culture in Harlem. Whatever you do will be filled with vibrancy.

I’ve been wanting to visit NYC for years, but all of my friends had already been. I was super excited when my bestie Melissa decided to visit for her birthday.

How I booked:

Package deal via British Airways – Flights and hotel were included in the price.

Need To Know:

Local currency – $$$ US Dollars

Language – English

Adapter – 2 flat pin

Transport – Uber, Lyft, Subway, yellow taxis (which are notoriously difficult to flag down), and the Bus if you’re brave.

Where to Stay

This is a tricky one and depends on how you are as a person. Some like the peace and quiet, whereas some might like the hustle and bustle.

If you’re a first timer to NYC, like me, I would recommend staying in Times Square. Yes, staying in Times Square is the equivalent to staying in Trafalgar Square – it is noisy and loud. But it’s the essence of New York – the perfect tourist hub and central to many locations. You can wake up at 3 am and get a slice of pizza or cheesecake – there is never a dull moment.

I stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Times Square West. The hotel was our stop and go and the only time we were in the hotel was spent sleeping or eating the (on-demand) warm chocolate chip cookies.

The bathroom was very nice and the standard room was absolutely tiny, which is the norm in NYC. The Hotel was clean, cosy and in a very central location.

The Food

Oh, the foodddd! NYC is foodie paradise. Whether it’s fine dining in upscale restaurants, fast food or roadside eats, NYC has it all.

When planning my trip I booked a restaurant for every night but only ended up visiting three of them. Instead, we would get stuffed on all sorts of delicious roadside food from Pizza to Popeyes and end up being too full to go out for dinner.

Some of the places we tried were:

Tao Downtown

Tao had buzzing reviews and I can see why. The restaurant itself had sultry vibes and the food was amazing.

It was restaurant week when we were in NYC and TAO offered a 3-course dinner for $46. To start, I had the crispy rice with spicy tuna (to die for!) and my main was the prawn pad thai which was sadly disappointing, the dish had way too many nuts and was not flavoursome enough.

Dessert was sorbet with fresh fruit which was delicious and freshened the palate.

We ordered different dishes so that we could share everything. The other main was the sushi platter and dessert was melt-in-the-middle chocolate molten cake with ice cream.

I am very hard to please with sushi but it was delicious and the chocolate cake was a dream.

Cafeteria

I had seen pictures of the mac & cheese spring rolls before visiting and they didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, the rest of the food didn’t live up to expectations. We had chicken and waffles and it was basic. I wouldn’t order again.

If you do go to Cafeteria, try the mac and cheese spring rolls – they were the bomb. They also serve really good biscuits with your meal.

Sylvia’s Queen of Soulfood

Wow. Sylvia’s was my favourite restaurant in NYC by far. I’ll be honest and say that soul food has never really interested me, but almost every recommendation that I got for NYC included Sylvia’s and I was curious to try it.

The food was incredible. We wanted to try everything and so ordered oxtail, garlic mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, collard greens and candied yams.

My favourite was the oxtail, potatoes and mac & cheese. The food may not look classy and cute, but trust me when I say the taste was everything. I totally understand why people travel far and wide to dine here. I’m annoyed that I went on my last day so I couldn’t visit twice.

FYI the fruit punch is soo good!

Hot n Juicy Crawfish

Anything seafood is good with me and crab is one of my favourite dishes. Hot n Juicy serve seafood in a bag drenched in their signature seasoning. I ordered 1/2 a pound of crab which was delicious. Side dishes were fries, hawaiian rolls and corn fritters – the side dishes left a lot to be desired.

Some places that I had on my list and I didn’t get to try were:

  • Milk and Cream
  • Sugar factory
  • SoCo
  • Buddakan
  • Catch
  • Junior’s Cafe

What to do

There’s so much to do in NYC, I don’t even know where to start. All you need to do is take a walk around and I guarantee you will find things to do. Some of the things I did were:

Tour Bus

We took the Grayline Bus Tour which has two routes; Downtown and Uptown. The tour also included a ferry around the Statue of Liberty.

Big tip – try to avoid paying for activities at your hotel. Our hotel was charging $59 but we negotiated with street salespeople to $49. And if we pushed we probably could have gotten it for cheaper.

Ice Skating

I had wanted to ice-skate in central park, but we spontaneously ended up at the Rockefeller rink. It was super cute and we had the best time. It was definitely one of my favourite activities even if it made me realise that I don’t know how to skate anymore.

Horse and Carriage ride in Central Park

Super touristy but so worth it. Riding around Central Park with a guide to tell you all the fun facts and point out where all your favourite movies were filmed. Central Park is huge so we preferred the carriage ride over walking, but if you visit in summer then walking might be your preference!

Watch a sporting event

You can get in the New Yorker spirit by watching a game of football, basketball or ice hockey. We watched the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden which was such an experience. I bought our tickets at stubhub.com and they were reasonably priced.

Brooklyn Bridge:

The bridge connects Manhatten and Brooklyn. Take in the amazing architecture and get some cute pics. If you start in Manhatten you can explore Brooklyn afterwards.

There are so many other things to do in NYC, some suggestions are:

  • Fifth Avenue for the glitz and glam
  • Top of the Rock to see views of New York
  • Empire State Building
  • Woodbury for discounted shopping
  • Ground Zero

Nights Out

Dumbo House / SoHo House

Sorry but you gotta be a member or know a member to get into Dumbo House. The views are amazing, both inside and outside on the rooftop, and they have really good drinks.

We didn’t go out much as we had dinner late every day and were exhausted from full days of sightseeing and shopping. I’d love to return to NYC in the summertime and I would definitely be going out more, especially to the rooftops which are world renowned. Some recommendations I got were:

  • Catch
  • Restoration Hardware Rooftop
  • PhD
  • 1OAK
  • 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

Whatever you do in this buzzing city, you’re bound to have a great time!

If you’ve been to New York, drop a suggestion in the comments! And as always, feel free to ask any questions.

With Love,

Roberta x

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New York Palace

New York Palace promises grand luxury and that is exactly what you get.

I toyed between staying at New York Palace and Corinthia. I had seen pictures of both of these hotels. Whilst Corinthia had a slight edge with their spa, the grand lobby in New York Palace won by a mile.

The hotel was very central which was important to us. Everything was either a short walk away or easy to access by transport.

My Stay

Upon seeing the hotel I knew instantly that I’d made the right choice. The building itself was a landmark and towered over the other buildings in the street, it screamed luxury.

Walking into the hotel made me even more confident in my decision. There were doormen in top hats and shiny shoes to welcome us in. The foyer smelt of roses and was lavished in gold with frescoed ceilings.

First impressions were everything and I was truly impressed. Not only was the architecture beautiful, but they had also added little touches like flowers and Diptyque candles. On Sunday there was a live pianist playing the grand piano, I felt like I was being serenaded and if I was, it worked!

The building itself was massive, several floors with multiples lifts and grand staircases.

Hotel Lift (one of many)

The Room

I did my due diligence when researching the hotel and I knew in advance that the rooms were quite average. This saved a lot of disappointment.

We stayed in the Superior Twin Room. Though the room was average it wasn’t bad at all. It was clean, modern and very spacious, all it lacked was décor.

What you have to bear in mind is that with some hotels, you pay for the atmosphere rather than the room itself. What the room lacked, the lobby and café certainly made up for.

The bathroom was also nice and spacious with a grey marble finish and delivered on the two main things I look for in a bathroom – cleanliness and a good shower! Both are very important to me.

 

The toiletries were Aqua Di Parma which was another plus. I love toiletries which double up as good handbag additions.

The Food

The hotel restaurant is the famous New York Café which is known as ‘the most beautiful cade in the world’. Like the hotel, the décor of the Café was absolutely spectacular.

The food was not to my personal taste as the menu was dated; perhaps to keep up with the antiquated vibes. But I did really enjoy the Hungarian wine and the hot chocolate.

There was a live string band that played every half hour. The staff would ask if we had any requests and the band would play it.

It was perfect having the café as part of the hotel as it was nice to come downstairs from your room to such beautiful visuals.

Being guests of the hotel meant we were given preferential seating. Prior to visiting, I saw reviews advising people to ensure booking before visiting the café. Although it was busy we didn’t have to wait for seating on our weekend trip. But I would advise booking in advance if you’re not a hotel guest.

The Spa

The spa/pool was very dark and modern which was a contrast to the old-fashioned vibes that the hotel gave.

We went to the spa area once and opted not to spend much time there or get any spa treatments because we wanted to experience the Hungarian thermal baths.

The pool was definitely not one of my favourite hotel pools but I didn’t mind as lounging by the pool wasn’t on my agenda for my weekend in Budapest.

Overall the grand lobby and the central location were the hotels main selling points.

Sometimes it is not only the hotel which makes your stay complete it’s the people around you who make it special. The staff were lovely and helpful. I’m so happy I went with the New York Palace, it truly was sensational.

With Love,

Roberta x

 

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Budapest

Budapest exceeded all of my expectations. I’m not sure what I was expecting as I’ve never ventured into Eastern Europe. Maybe something old-fashioned and historic?

The city is gorgeous and although it does have a historic feel to it in some parts, it’s also modern and cosmopolitan. The quaint cobbled streets and the whole look and feel of Budapest reminded me of Paris. I completely understand why Budapest is dubbed the Paris of Eastern Europe.

I’ve been wanting to visit Budapest for years after seeing the scenic castles and enticing thermal baths, but I had a hard time persuading some of my friends. I can see why they weren’t drawn to it at first glance – it looked pretty but boring.

After scanning online I found cheap flights and I told my bestie Melissa to pack her bags because this was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

Background:

Budapest is the Capital and most populous city of Hungary; it comprises of two districts ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ which are split by the Danube River.

Pest is busy, buzzing and boujie and is home to most 5* hotels and gourmet restaurants. Whilst Buda is on the hills and is the quiet and historic side.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Hungarian Forints (HUF)

Language: Hungarian, although everyone we encountered spoke very good English.

Transport: The transport was cheap and very easy to navigate. You have a choice of yellow metered taxis, underground metro, overground tram or buses. It’s also really easy to get around by walking and that way you can see a lot of the sights.

Where to Stay

New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology

I stayed at the New York Palace Hotel, formerly known as the Boscolo Budapest. It was between this hotel and the Corinthia Budapest.

Picking this hotel was the best choice, it was elegant and classy and the staff were so lovely. The hotel was also very central so it was easy to get to everywhere. Read my review of the New York Palace Hotel here.

Grand Lobby, New York Palace Robbienroute travel blog budapest

Grand Lobby, New York Palace

As Budapest is a short haul destination you are likely to have a short stay. I would opt for a hotel that is central, as it makes getting around a lot quicker, much cheaper and some of your destinations will even be walkable.

Budapest is a lot much cheaper than other European destinations so you can stay in a luxury hotel for less.

Below are some other luxury options:

  • Corinthia
  • Kempinski
  • The Ritz

The Food

The food in Budapest is amazing! Excuse me if I sound shocked but I wasn’t expecting it at all. Even better, food is very affordable. For example, one evening we dined at Nobu and it was around two-thirds of the price it would be London.

Nobu

We ordered drinks and 5 dishes (two of which were wagyu beef dishes) and the bill was around £120 for two people. If you’ve been to Nobu then you’ll know that this is a bargain.

The service was amazing, just like most places we visited in Budapest.

The vibe in Nobu was strange for a Saturday night. It wasn’t buzzing like its sister restaurants in London. It was more chilled and you wouldn’t get looked at strangely for coming dressed casually.

I highly recommend Nobu if you are in Budapest.

New York Café

I must admit that I was let down by the food at New York Café. This café is definitely on the pricey side. But as it has been named the most beautiful café in the world, you are definitely paying for the atmosphere rather than the food.

One thing I loved was that the food was so well presented. The little things make up the whole experience.

I ordered the beef Goulash – which is a Hungarian soup mixed with meat, veg and pulses. And my friend ordered the duck with cherry sauce and potato dumplings. The food was okay, but nothing I would rave about or order again.

The hot chocolate was hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. Melted Hungarian chocolate with cream. Now that I would have again 10 times over.

New york cafe budapest hot chocolate review blog robbienroute travel luxury

Hot Chocolate

The café itself was a sight to behold, ancient and glamorous and like nothing I’ve seen before. I would definitely recommend visiting this café even if it’s only for drinks.

Deak St. Kitchen

We stumbled across Deak St Kitchen whilst exploring the city. My friends know that travelling with me means I have a jam-packed itinerary, which usually includes restaurants. I had a whole list of restaurants to visit in Budapest but we saw this pretty bistro and decided to go with the flow.

The food was amazing and again, the staff were so friendly and attentive. We ordered the lamb chops.

After spotting Lemonade on every menu, we soon realised that Budapest has a thing for fresh Lemonade. If you like lemonade (and even if you don’t) you have to try it when in Budapest – their lemonade is in a league of its own.

Fresh, tangy and made to order. I became quite obsessed with the elderflower and strawberry combination. Can’t decide if my favourite lemonade was at Nobu or Deak St. Kitchen.

(left) Cucumber & Mint (right) Elderflower & Strawberry

What to do

Thermal baths

The thermal baths are what initially drew me to Budapest. Bathing in the thermal baths is part of the Hungarian culture.

The water is sourced from hot spring wells thousands of feet below the city, there are over 100 hot springs which pump water to Budapest’s 11 public thermal baths.

After deliberating between the Széchenyi Baths and St. Gellért Thermal Baths, we decided to visit Gellért.

Gellért Spa swimming pool budapest review robbienroute travel luxury blog

Gellért Spa swimming pool

Gellért bath was quite underwhelming. For a start, the staff were rude and nonchalant. I’d seen comments about the rude staff on reviews prior to visiting.

I understand that there are hundreds of people that visit the baths per week, but it’s not an excuse for being rude and unhelpful. This was the only place in Budapest that I received bad service, everywhere else was perfect.

What drew me to pick Gellért spa was the pictures of the huge bath with pillars. When got there, we found out that this was actually a swimming pool and not one of the thermal baths. The hot baths were a lot less attractive. I guess this is why you have to do your research.

The experience itself was strange, like being in a very hot bathtub with loads of people. But I enjoyed it. Sometimes you just have to try something new. It’s definitely an experience, so I urge you to give it a go, even if it’s not your thing.

Entrance fee was 5800 HUF (£16.12). And you can pay to rent a towel for 3000 HUF (£8), you get about £5 back when you return the towel. Beware that rented towels need to be returned an hour before closing time.

There are spa treatments available. When we went to the baths last minute on a Saturday night the treatments were fully booked so it’s best to book in advance!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace situated on the hills of Buda. The terrace gets its name from being the home of the fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.

The views from the terrace are spectacular, you can see the whole of Budapest and the river Danube. It honestly feels like you’re in a magical city, with castles, stairways and cobbled roads.

It’s free to enter the terrace and it’s really accessible. We rode two stops on the metro and a short bus ride to get there, and we decided to walk on the way back to see the chain bridge up close.

 

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

This bridge was the first to connect Buda to Pest and has become a well-known landmark of Budapest.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

It was lovely to take a stroll across the bridge and take in the city. Driving past the bridge, especially at night, was equally delightful.

Although it would be hard to miss the bridge, I would recommend getting close up and personal.

Other things to do:

  • Visit Buda Castle
  • Visit Matthias Church
  • Take the Big Bus Budapest Tour
  • Take a boat ride on river Danube
  • Dinner on a boat on river Danube
  • Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest was the perfect surprise; I wasn’t expecting much but it gave me everything. This city has fast become one of my favourites in Europe and I’m already counting down the days until my next trip.

Comment with any questions or tell me about your Budapest experience.

With Love,

Roberta x

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