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




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.


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.


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


Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

The Hotel

Marina Bays Sands Hotel is Singapore’s most iconic hotel and dons the world’s largest infinity pool.

One thing you’ll come to learn about me is that I’m not always fussy when it comes to hotel stays. As long as the hotel is in the 4* or 5* range, I’m happy to try new places.

However in some countries there are certain hotels that I must stay at and for me, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is one of those hotels.

The architecture of the hotel is breathtaking, even from afar the infrastructure stands tall. When seeing pictures of Singapore you’re sure to see this magnificent building crop up.

View of the hotel from the Gardens by the Bay

The Room

We stayed in the Deluxe King City View Room located on the 24th floor. I would highly recommend a city/sky view room. Although the room comes at an extra cost you can see the whole of the Singapore skyline in all its glory – definitely worth the money!

The room was very spacious with two king sized beds and a large bathroom. The view was absolutely insane. I could see the whole of the Marina from the window, it was mesmerising.

Decor inside the room was more like a 4* hotel than a 5* – it was basic and outdated. If this was any other 5* establishment I would definitely be unimpressed. I guess with MBS you pay for the experience and you have to decide whether it’s worth it or not.


I must say the hotel went above and beyond. The staff were extremely friendly! For instance when the Bell boy first took us up to the room, he gave us facts about the hotel and Singapore and left his name and extension if we needed to contact him.

We were surprised with new animal shaped towels every day and bottles of own brand Marina Bay Sands water. It’s the little things like this that make your experience so much more enjoyable.

The Pool

The largest infinity pool in the world and the best pool I’ve experienced visually. This pool is found on the 57th top floor of the hotel and spans across the whole rooftop.

The pool is packed and booming as soon as it opens at 7am full of swimmers and guests trying to get a photograph. It can be quite overwhelming and not relaxing.

I genuinely can’t think of a pool that can rival MBS infinity pool aesthetically. However I wouldn’t rate it as a favourite purely because it’s too busy, from when it opens to closing time, but it’s a must visit pool.

I’m not sure if the view is better by day or night but it’s stunning either way.

The 57th floor also boasts a Jacuzzi which overlooks the grand harbour. The Jacuzzi itself was spacious, warm, and the currents were strong. Just like the pool, the Jacuzzi was always crowded and reminded me of a cesspool with people just sitting in there for hours. Again, stunning view but not my favourite due to the busyness.

Jacuzzi on 57th Floor MBS

FYI you really can’t access the pool unless you have an active room key card. They are very strict on this and there is security at all times.

The Food

Yay, my favourite part. If you read my Singapore blog post you’d see that I didn’t get the chance to eat outside of the hotel much. My meals were mainly in the hotel or in the shopping mall.

We ordered room service several times and managed to sample breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was sublime, no complaints. It was on the pricey side but well worth it. The breakfast had every option imaginable – take a look at my birthday breakfast.

MBS has over 80 restaurants. The hotel is connected to its own shopping mall which has a wide variety of eateries.

I chose to dine at ‘Cut by Wolfgang Puck’ for my birthday. All I can say is; compliments to the chef. The food was so good that we went back on our layover from Bali back to London. The starters, steak and bread were all amazing. And on that note I’m gonna stop there because I’m reminiscing too much.

Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Singapore 

‘Ce La Vie’ is a rooftop bar on the 57th floor of the hotel. Whether you stay in the hotel or not you should visit whilst in Singapore. The drinks were delicious and pretty (I really appreciate a well-dressed cocktail).

Being on the 57th floor the view at ‘Ce La Vie” was fab – the Singapore skyline. And my favourite of all was the music, old school and new school afrobeats, hip hop and R&B, the vibe was perfect.

Cocktails at Ce La Vie

The Grounds

MBS is a huge hotel, and it can feel like there are thousands of people around. This is one of the reasons why the personal touch in the bedrooms are in important.

The hotel is very central to Singapore and is walking distance from many of the main attractions. There is direct access to the Marina Bay Sands shopping centre and Singapore’s MRT train.

As a guest of the hotel you get discount in some stores. Such as 10% off in Sephora which came in handy for my beauty shopping. All you need to do is show your room key card.

The shopping mall is a visual representation of the chicness of Singapore. Filled with designer boutiques such as Chanel, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and more.

Would I stay at MBS again? Absolutely! The hotel is chic and a one of a kind experience and I had a great time.

Please feel free to comment with any feedback or questions.

With love,

Roberta x


Top 10 Things to do in Bali

Thinking of what to do and where to go in Bali can be overwhelming as you’re simply spoilt for choice. If I’m being honest it’s really difficult, maybe even impossible, to see all that Bali has to offer on a short trip.

I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do in Bali but I’m happy because it’s given me an excuse to return.

Here are 10 of the best things to do in Bali:

 1. Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Bali is known for its gloriously green and luxurious rice paddies. You can find lush greenery all over the rural parts of Bali, but Ubud is a popular destination for rice fields.

Tegallalang rice terrace is an iconic rice terrace situated in Tegallalang Village north of Ubud Bali.

This rice terrace was absolutely breath-taking. The views were unreal, just like you see in pictures. There are plenty of cafes for you to relax and basque in the glorious views.

You can also take a trek, swing on one of the many swings, or take a quad bike tour.

Tegallalang, Ubud

It’s best to get to the Tegallalang as early as possible as it gets really crowded with tourists by midday. We got there at opening time 7am and it was quiet and easy to trek around.

Wear walking shoes!!! Don’t be like me and wear flip flops. There are loads of puddles, stairs and insects. We came across a newt but were lucky enough not to encounter rice paddy snakes.

We paid nothing to enter Tegallalang but had to give donations to enter some parts of the terrace. The donation you give is up to you, but I wouldn’t give more than 50,000 IDR which I felt was a sufficient amount.

Tegallalang, Ubud

2. Bali Swing

Can you really visit Bali without visiting the famous Bali swing? Bali Swing is not only a great photo opportunity but is actually a really fun adrenaline rush.

Situated just outside of Ubud, Bali Swing has a series of jungle swings ranging from 10m to 78m above the ground – really high. The view is gorgeous and overlooks a river, waterfall and lush greenery.

The thrill of this swing is unforgettable and you should definitely give it a try if you’re not too afraid of heights! It was one of my best experiences in Bali.

Bali Swing, Ubud

There are also numerous hanging nests at the location if you really can’t face the swing.

Bali Swing, Ubud

Entrance to the swing is 35 dollars or the equivalence in Indonesian Rupiah. This includes access to all swings and nests, drinks and a Balinese buffet. For a few dollars more you can pay for professional pictures which they can send straight to your phone.

A word of advice, get there at 8, as soon as it opens! If you get caught at midday the queues are super long and the afternoon sun is very hot! You’ve been warned.

Nest @ Bali Swing, Ubud

3. Sunset Watching

The sunset in Bali are incredible. A beautiful mix of yellows, pinks and purples, they light up the skies.

I might be cheating with this being on the list as you’ll inevitably experience a sunset. However it makes such a difference finding a good sunset watching spot. Don’t sleep on the Balinese sunset.

Photography by me – Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran

My personal recommendations for a sunset viewing would be:

  • Rock Bar at Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran
  • Woo Bar, The W Hotel, Seminyak
  • Potato Head – Seminyak
  • Bonfire on the Beach, Sundays Beach Club, Uluwatu
  • Double-Six Sunset Rooftop Bar, Seminyak

There are so many sunset watching beach clubs and bars so do your research, but the above are famous for their views.

Rock Bar, Ayana Resort & Spa, Jimbaran

4. Cooking Class

Might sound boring to some but the cooking class I attended was some of the most fun I had. It was a real insight to Balinese culture and we made some damn good food. And if you know me, you know that I love food.

After researching, I decided to go with Paon Cooking Class Ubud and it was a great decision. The cooking school offers two classes; a morning class which you go to the market with them and select the produce, or an evening class without the market trip.

As our time in Ubud was short we went with the evening class. This was a perfect decision as we cooked in an open air kitchen overlooking the jungle. We finished cooking our meal just in time to eat under the purple sunset.

Paon Cooking Class, Ubud

Under the guidance of Paon’s Indonesian gourmet chef, we prepared an 8 course menu. This included chicken satay on bamboo sticks, mushroom broth soup, steamed tuna wrapped in banana leaves. Desert was boiled banana with palm sugar syrup.

We learnt Balinese techniques such as using a Bali Blender (pestle and mortar), grilling the satay on an open fire grill, and steaming the tuna wrapped in banana leaf.

Paon Cooking Class, Ubud

The food was incredible! So fresh and delicious. Definitely do your research but if in Ubud I highly recommend Paon.

The class cost 350,000 IDR (£18.50) and included pick up and drop off to your hotel in Ubud and a recipe booklet.

Paon Cooking Class, Ubud

5. Massages

You can’t come to Bali and not get a cheap massage! You can get 60 – 90 minute long massages for under $10.

Or, you can indulge in a luxury spa day – so worth it!

Fivelements, Ubud

You can find cheap massage parlours all over Bali and even on the beaches in some areas. I have listed some luxury spas that are worth visiting if you want to splash the cash:

  • So Spa, Nusa Dua
  • Lembah Spa, Viceroy Hotel Ubud
  • Fivelements, Ubud
  • Four Seasons, Ubud
  • Butter & Scrub Spa, Jimbaran
  • The Spa at the Edge, Uluwatu

There are too many beautiful spas to name. As my best friend would say ‘do your googles’ and you will find a spa that is perfect for you.

The Spa at The Edge, Uluwatu

6. Monkey Forest

I feel like a hypocrite telling you to go to the Monkey Forest when I was too chicken to do it.

I really enjoy encountering wild animals, however monkeys are not always my favourite. They can be very naughty and pesky and the monkeys in monkey forest are known to try and steal your bits and bobs and bite you!

I really wanted a calm and relaxing holiday for my first trip to Bali so monkey forest was well and truly crossed off my list! I will however visit on a future trip to Bali.

Monkey Forest is located in Ubud and is the sanctuary or natural habitat of Balinese long tailed Monkey a home to around 750 monkeys.

It’s a highly recommended experience by many.

Monkey Forest, Ubud

7. Snorkelling/Diving

The seas surrounding Bali are full of vibrant coral reef and buzzing sea life.

You can swim with Manta Rays in Nusa Dua at Manta Point. This is the only snorkelling point in Bali where Manta Rays are sighted frequently.

Shark Point in Serangan offers swimming with sharks. And Mangrove Point in Nusa Lembongan is great for snorkelling with a wide variety of fish.

Although it’s not Bali, I snorkelled in Gili Trawangan, Lombok. Turtle Point in Gili T was absolutely unreal. At one point I was swimming with 7 huge turtles. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Utilise the clear and brimming coral reefs of Bali.

Turtle Point, Gili Trawangan

 8. Floating Breakfast

Floating breakfast is just one of those things I associate with Bali. Once niche, floating breakfast is now very popular and is offered in a lot of resorts.

Ayana Spa and Resort, Jimbaran

A really relaxing and fun was to enjoy breakfast. You can enjoy this in the privacy of your own villa or in a hotel pool resort.

I enjoyed a floating breakfast during my stay at Ayana Resort and Spa, it was only available to guests of the Villa.

Kamandalu Resort in Ubud offers a floating breakfast for non-guests. See details on their website here.

Ayana Spa and Resort, Jimbaran

9. Chase Waterfalls

DO go chasing waterfalls! Bali is home to many gorgeous waterfalls. You can find them all over the island, so the good news is that you don’t have to travel far to find a waterfall in Bali.

Sekumpul Waterfall

A list of some of the best waterfalls in Bali:

  • Tegenungan, Ubud
  • Tibumana, Ubud
  • Tukad Cepung, Ubud
  • NungNung, NungNung Village
  • GitGit Waterfall, Singaraja
  • Sekumpul Waterfall, Buleleng

Tegenungan Waterfall

10. Volcanos

Bali is home to more than 139 Volcanos, most are active and can erupt at any time. Two volcanos that offer a guided trek are Mount Batur and Mount Agung.

Mount Batur is an easy trek and takes around two hours to reach the summit. You can then basque in the views of the Lake Batur and explore the rim of the crater.

Mount Agung is slightly more difficult and you’ll need to be in some kind of shape to climb. The Agung trek starts at 2.30am and takes between two and four hours to reach the summit.

The surrounding villages have hot volcanic springs that you can visit and and are said to be medicinal.

Mount Agung

I hope you find this useful. There are so many more activities that Bali has to offer.

Please feel free to comment with feedback or questions.

Roberta x


Ayana Resort & Spa Bali

Ayana Resort & Spa Bali

Many years ago I saw a picture of the Ayana Resort which gave me my first urge to visit Bali. The resort looked idyllic and picturesque I just knew that I had to stay there.

The Villa

We decided to stay at the Villas and get the full experience of this resort. Our Villa was the One Bedroom Ocean View Pool Villa. It was practically a small house at 289 sqm. We had buggy service and a butler on call 24/7 we were given a “handy” mobile to contact him whenever we needed to be picked up on the resort in our buggy.

We had a garden terrace and private plunge pool with sunbeds and a Balinese bed, with access to the garden through the bedroom, or living room.

A spacious living room with sofa, premium bluetooth speaker system and 55-inch TV.

Picture from Ayana Website

In the bedroom, a walk in wardrobe and two poster beds and another 55-inch TV.

An enormous marble bathroom with double vanity sinks, a large bathtub with a flower petal bath. Indoor and outdoor showers and separate toilet.

It was amazing to wake up in the morning and hop straight into the sunbed for a quick 30 minutes of morning sun.

As amazing as the resort was it was soooo difficult to even leave villa. It had everything you needed and more.

Floating Breakfast

When I think of Bali I think of floating breakfasts. Being able to relax in the pool and eat snacks at the same time… a match made in heaven.

The Ayana Resort offers floating breakfast (for a price) exclusively to guests in the villa because of the private plunge pool. The breakfast has a lot of popularity and is another selling point of the hotel.

My friend and I enjoyed the floating breakfast, which was more of a brunch. Veuve Clicquot champagne and a variety of eggs Benedict, Florentine and eggs Royale.


Ayana Resort boasts of 12 pools! And they are all amazing in their own right. I didn’t get a chance to visit all 12 pools as the resort was so big and I had my favourite pools to chill by.

The staff would bring round free snacks to your sun loungers, my favourites were the frozen strawberry daiquiri shots, mini sliders, chicken satay and fruit kebabs. I love free things and I love snacks! It was so cute and thoughtful of the resort; always going the extra mile.

The pools that deserve a mention in my opinion are:

River Pool

This is the iconic Ayana pool, and the pool that most people, including myself, associate with the resort. It is made up of 3 pools, 1 is an overhanging infinity pool, a Jacuzzi. This pool really did live up to the expectations. The architecture is so well thought out, and the whole pool area looks like a slice of paradise.

The pool was generally quiet. There would be people taking pictures at different times and then it would become quiet again.

Ocean Beach Pool

Though a popular pool in the resort, it was very secluded and mostly quiet. This was by far my favourite pool. The view was insane and the Bali Beds around the pool were spacious and had sheer curtains for privacy.

I want to meet the designer of this pool and give them a personal handshake.


I’m not sure that I’ll be able to top watching the sunset from this pool. An uninterrupted view of an unadulterated pink sunset – it really couldn’t get any better.

Ariel view from Ayana website

Ayana Main Pool/Lower pool

The main pool is another beautiful infinity pool. I liked this pool as it had constant live music in the form of traditional Balinese Gamelan (gongs) and drums. The music was relaxing and therapeutic whilst in the pool or taking a dip in the Jacuzzi.


The resort has 19 restaurants and bars so it’s safe to say that you are spoilt for choice with dining options. Again, we weren’t able to dine at all 19 restaurants – and I’m not sure this would have been possible in 5 days. My faves are below:


Steak and Seafood restaurant. We had dinner here on the first night and they went the extra mile to celebrate my birthday. The staff came out singing with dessert and also gave me a birthday card signed by all.

The food was exceptional I literally have no complaints. I’m a big foodie, and I will let it be known if I didn’t enjoy my food.

Rock Bar

Rock bar is one of the most famous bars in Bali, known for It’s sunset view. The food speciality is Mediterranean and tapas.

As Villa guests we had access to the VIP Round Deck. Yet again the views were unparalleled with Rock Bar being 18 metres up on a cliff edge.

The food was nice but not spectacular, what it lacked was made up for in views. The drinks were fun and delicious.

The sunset view was magical, especially from the VIP round deck as it had a platform to take pictures with no obstructions.

I had no complaints about any of the food at the resort. It was all made to perfection whether room service or in a restaurant or bar. We sampled the al a carte breakfast and the buffet breakfast – both brilliant with great choice. The poolside bars served restaurant quality food which was perfect for poolside hunger.

Ice Cream at the Main Pool

Room service in the Villa

Breakfast Buffet

‘ICE & All Things Nice’ Dessert Shop

‘ICE & All Things Nice’ Dessert Shop


As a villa guest we received a complimentary massage in the spa. The spa itself was lovely and relaxing. The spa has full facilities, and an aqua-tonic massaging hydrotherapy pool.

Hydrotherapy Pool

Ayana Resort & Spa, Spa Room

Resort Grounds

The resort grounds were huge and consisted of 3 resorts in one; The Villas, Ayana and Jimbaran. You need to be transported by buggy/shuttle in order to get around the resort.

Every corner of the resort is beautiful, with mini rivers and pools filled with Koi Carp and Balinese beds in every corner.

Whilst walking around the resort I would stop just to take pictures every few seconds.


There are loads of activities on offer: Shopping, private cabanas, golf course, gym, spa, numerous bars, private beach (Kubu Beach) and tennis.

I’m sure you can tell that my experience at Ayana was a great one and well worth the money. The resort left me wanting nothing more, and every hotel I’ve visited since has not lived up to it yet. Really happy with my decision to stay in the villas and I would do it again!

Thank you for reading,

Please feel free to comment with feedback or any questions.

Roberta x




Where do I begin? Honestly, Bali is currently my favourite holiday to date and my top destination. From the people, the culture, unreal sunsets, hotels and food. What more can you look for in a destination.

Before visiting Bali I read a lot of mixed reviews; some said that Bali is very overcrowded with tourists and has become a love/hate destination. I didn’t get those vibes at all. Perhaps it’s the areas I visited, but I can’t see how anyone could hate this gorgeous island.


Bali is situated in Indonesia, Far-East Asia. Indonesia is an archipelago which comprises of 17,000 islands – insane right! Bali is known for its volcanic mountains, bright coral reefs, rice paddies and paradisic beaches.

My Trip

When I travel I get a lot of questions, mostly on Instagram, asking how I booked my trip.

For this trip I booked flights and hotels separately. I used for flights and flew with British Airways to Singapore. I stayed in Singapore for 3 days. My return flight was from Bali (Denpasar) to Singapore then Singapore direct to London.

Direct flights are usually more expensive than multiple flights, however I’m not a fan of stopovers unless necessary.

I stayed in 4 different hotels for the duration of my trip and used different websites for each, including direct websites and 3rd party.


The first resort we stayed in was Ayana Resort and Spa.

One word; exceptional!

The Villas at Ayana completely took my breath away. This hotel was so intricately and thoughtfully designed and it was worth every single penny.

I had seen a picture of the Ayana resort many years ago and always said I wanted to stay there when visiting Bali. We decided to go all out and stay in the private Villas in order to get the full Ayana experience.

We stayed in Jimbaran for 5 days and had planned to leave the resort and explore Jimbaran, however we actually ended up spending almost every moment in the resort and I don’t regret a second of it. Ayana was a 10 out of 10 for me.

Read this post to find the ins and outs of my fabulous stay at Ayana.

Ocean Beach Pool @ Ayana Resort

Jimbaran facts:

Situated 20 minutes from the airport Jimbaran is a perfect mixture of luxury and authenticity.

Best for: Seafood – Sunsets – Luxury Resorts

What to do: Dinner on the beach – Visit close-by Uluwatu – Rooftop Bars for sunset – Visit the famous Jimbaran beaches – Go on a fishing trip


Tegallalang, Ubud

I have mixed feelings about Ubud… whilst filled with gorgeous greenery and incredible sights, Ubud was a place I loved to visit but also loved to leave.

I did my research before my trip and I knew that Ubud looked so beautiful and unique, however I’m not a big fan of forest. I decided to stay in Ubud just overnight, and I was very happy with my decision.

There is a lot to do in Ubud! And if you want to complete all the activities that Ubud has to offer then you should stay no less than 3 days.

My two days spent in Ubud I managed to visit the famous Bali Swing, attend a cooking class, visit a Luwak coffee plantation, and visit the famous Tegallalang Rice Field. My friend and I decided not to visit Monkey Forest, because monkeys are pesky little animals and we were not in the mood to spar with them.

Ubud really is a one of a kind, fascinating destination. I do highly recommend that you visit when holidaying in Bali. Ubud is such a stark opposite to the beachy areas of Bali.

Bali Swing, Ubud

In a nest at Bali Swing, Ubud

Ubud facts:

The arts and crafts hub of Indonesia. Known for It’s gloriously green rice paddies and lush forestation.

Best for: Arts – Scenery – Tropical animals

What to do: Monkey Forest – Rice Fields – Coffee Plantation – Rooftop beach clubs – Waterfalls – Temples – Bali Swing – Cooking Class – White river rafting

Paon Cookery Class, Ubud

Lombok, Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan

About a month before my trip to Bali, the Gili Islands was hit with two massive earthquakes. Over 1000 Tourists were evacuated and locals suffered from extreme devastation.

With my hotel already booked and upcoming trip looming, I scanned the internet trying to find out how bad the situation was. It was bad. Hotels were in ruins and some were non contactable and the UK Foreign & Commomwealth Office (FCO) had advised against all travel to the Gili Islands.

Over the next few weeks I scanned TripAdvisor, and social media to keep updated on the situation in Gili. 95% of individuals advised against going to Gili but there were a handful of optimistic people. Their advice was that if your hotel was open you should try and make an effort to visit, and honestly thank God for these few optimistic people.

The locals had lost their businesses and homes and with tourism at a standstill there was no way for them to generate any revenue unless the tourists came back. As my hotel had reopened after a month of being shut, my friend and I made the decision to go ahead with our trip to Gili Trawangan and I’m so happy we did.

We stayed at the Pearl of Trawangan. This hotel did absolutely fabulous considering how soon after the earthquake we visited. We stayed in the standard Teak Cottage which was newly renovated. The hotel was clean and the staff went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable.

Pearl of Trawangan, Gili T

The Pearl of Trawangan is situated in the best location on Gili T. It is far enough away from the harbour and the main strip if you need the peace and quiet. At the same time it is a 3 minute bike ride from the hub if you want to be in the mix of things.

The hotel provided free bike rental with a bike lock, so it was very easy to get around the island.

The hotel’s restaurant ‘Pearl Lounge’ serves some of the best food on the island and their snickers flavoured ice cream was to die for!

Indonesian dish ‘Nasi Goreng’ at Pearl Lounge, Gili T

Gili T was a dream – gorgeous white beaches and endless turquoise seas.  I would have loved to visit it when was alive with tourists. It was quiet and solemn when we visited, there were a handful of tourists and the island was just beginning to get back on its feet. The locals were so appreciative of us and the other tourists and told us to spread the word!

We stayed in Gili for 4 days, this was enough but I would have loved to stay for longer.

In that time we island hopped to Gili Meno and Gili Air. We swam with turtles twice, once on Meno and once at turtle point on Gili T. We got massages, ate lovely food – including our favourite local Indonesian dish, Nasi Goreng. We had bike rides around the island, and watched a film on the beach.

Gili T was paradise and I would advise everyone to visit and get the Gili Islands back to what they used to be.

Hotel Ombak Sunset, Gili T

Gili Islands facts:

The 3 Gili Islands are situated off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Gili T is the biggest island, popular with travellers. There are no motorised vehicles allowed on the islands, meaning that you have to get around by bicycle or horse & cart.

Best for: coral reefs – sunsets – swimming with turtles

What to do: Movie night on the beach – shisha – sunset watching – massages – snorkelling – scuba diving – kayaking – watersports – island hopping – turtle point – night food market

Gili T


Woo Bar, The W Hotel Bali Seminyak

Seminyak was another must-visit for me. Seminyak is Bali’s most trendy and upscale beach resort area which is pretty much a bit of me.

We stayed in Seminyak for 4 days at the Four Points by Sheraton Seminyak in the Deluxe Room, pool view with balcony. The hotel was nice but nothing to write home about, a standard chain hotel. In hindsight we should have stayed in the W Hotel as we spent 3 out of 4 days there.

After an action packed time in Ubud and Gili T it was nice to unwind and relax in Seminyak. We knew that our time would be spent eating, getting massages and sunbathing by the beach – and we did just that.

Two oustanding eateries that I would recommend are Dough Darlings and Merah Putih.

Merah Putih is an Indonesian restaurant. Their food was top notch, affordable and the restaurant ambience was on point. I had the Nasi Goreng… again.

Merah Putih, Seminyak

Dough Darlings is an artisan doughnut bakery. The doughnuts were mouth water-ingly good. We visited several times, and bought 4 doughnuts on the way to the airport… greedy. I still wistfully dream about their doughnuts.

If you go, my personal recommendation is the dark chocolate, and the peanut butter with strawberry drizzle… yum!

Dough Darlings, Seminyak

Apart from eating good, we also had spa days and beach club days in Seminyak. We visited the popular Potato Head Beach club and I must admit that it was a let-down for me.

Potato Head was extremely busy and difficult to get good seating. The infinity pool was also a bit of a let down but in fairness the infinity pools at Ayana were a hard act to follow. We ended up leaving before the sunset and went back to our favourite haunt in Seminyak, The W Hotel.

The W Hotel had winning vibes, and being a beach front hotel the sunset view was dazzling. Advice, if you’re not a hotel guest, book in advance for good seating.

Seminyak was a perfect ending to the dream holiday. It’s also a 20 minute journey to the airport which ensured a smooth transition.

Seminyak facts:

Seminyak is a trendy hub of Bali; perfect for foodies and fashionistas. With luxury beach front resorts, spas new restaurants, and shops, there is always something to do.

Best for: luxury – food – relaxing

What to do: Beach clubs – Brunch – Spa – Clubs

Kynd Community, Seminyak

Bali was an amazing experience. I would absolutely return. The Island has so much to offer and is so versatile.

I hope you find this useful. Please feel free to comment with feedback o\r questions.

Roberta x



Singapore truly lives up to everything you hear about it. Also known as, The Lion City, this country is clean, classy and chic.

When I say this city is clean, I mean you can literally walk around barefoot. Nobody litters, chewing gum is illegal, and the residents have a respect for the cleanliness.

Singapore is sophisticated and stylish. Everywhere you look there are fast expensive cars, rooftop restaurants, fountains and palm trees. The shopping malls are filled with exclusive boutiques and five star eateries.

One thing you may hear about Singapore is that it is expensive. It’s true. If you live in London, like me, there are few places that rival with London’s costs and Singapore is one of them.

Birds eye view, Singapore

My Trip:

I visited Singapore as a multi stop trip. First destination was Singapore and second was Bali.

The flight was 13 hours direct from London Heathrow, and we stayed in City for 3 days at the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel. (click the link for my hotel review).

Singapore gives the best of both worlds, you can either purely relax, shop and dine, or you can see the sights and explore the city.

I did a bit of both, but as this was a birthday trip my main goal was relaxing, shopping and dining. I plan on visiting Singapore again in the future so I didn’t cram in everything on one trip, and instead rather enjoyed my relaxing break.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

48 Hours in Singapore Suggestions:

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands has a lot to offer. As well as being home to the world’s largest infinity pool, it’s also a hotel, mall, casino, theatre AND museum.

Let’s face it. This hotel is expensive, and to many it’s overpriced, but I personally don’t regret my stay as the hotel is iconic. However if you don’t want to stay at Marina Bay Sands you can always visit for the day

Visit the SkyPark for breath-taking views of Singapore via the observation deck. Dine at Ce La Vie, Lavo, or Spago by Wolfgang Puck, or visit Club55 if you want to party.

Ce La Vie, Skypark, Marina Bay Sands

Gardens by the Bay

My favourite view in Singapore were these beautiful gardens. You can spot the Supertrees from any sky view and the lights constantly change from purples to blues.

The Gardens are huge and full of exotic flowers and plants and there are 3 different gardens to enjoy.

Don’t miss the free light show which comes on after sunset – it really is a gorgeous sight.

Cloud Forest Waterfall, Gardens by the Bay

Food market/Hawker Centres

This is one place that you won’t have to spend all of your coins in Singapore. Food markets are reasonably priced and the food is authentic and delish!

You can get a meal from as little as 2.50 Singaporean dollars, from chicken or beef satay and spicy fried rice, to the unmissable chilli crab.

A few of the best rated food markets are ‘Chomp Chomp Food Centre’, ‘Maxwell Road Hawker Centre’ and ‘ChinaTown Complex Food Centre’. You can find a lot more with a little research.

Fresh waffles at Lickety, Singapore

Sentosa Island

If you have time visit Sentosa Island, a man-made recreational island.  There are loads of attractions available such as Universal Studios, Sea Aquarium (the largest aquarium in the world), a waterpark and so much more.

You can reach Sentosa via a short sky cable car ride. There are white sand beaches if you want to get away from the city life and see a different side to Singapore.

Cable car to Sentosa Island

There is a lot to do in Singapore and you don’t need a long trip to do it all. See the sights, the beautiful mosques and the Merlion statue. Find cute and quirky places to eat, and shop ’til you drop.

See you again Singapore x

Feel free to comment with your experiences or any questions.

With love,

Roberta x