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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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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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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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.

Bathroom

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

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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.

Pools

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.

Restaurants

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:

Dava

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

Spa

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.

Activities

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

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