DOHA / Qatar : Grand Hyatt Hotel REVIEW *****

Lives up to its name in every way…

Where : Doha / Qatar

Click for location and website   /  30-50min from Hamad Intl. Airport ( approx 75QR Karwa Taxi )

Overview :

The Grand Hyatt Doha is an upscale property, with private beach and heavy palatial feel.

Located away from the traffic jam packed Doha centre and next to the newly developing artificial island complex called The Pearl-Qatar. Lagoona Mall is just across the road and the Financial centre of Doha only 10 minutes drive.

Rich and opulent Arabic decor, subtle colours and lot’s of marble. Hotel has it’s own 400 metres beach, perfectly manicured gardens,  ideal for a cup of Arabic coffee in the shade of palm trees.

This place is ideal for leisure,or business travellers alike.

Room :

Spacious, bright, modern and very comfortable. Sea View King Room comes with a big terrace and loungers. It was pleasant to watch the sunset and observe airplanes on approach to near by Hamad Int. Airport while sipping lovely tea.

Room contains King size luxury bed with wonderfully soft bedlinen, working desk and seating area.

Bathroom with walk-in rain shower, marble bathtub and nice toiletries was spacious and very elegant.

Enough storage space, sockets, iron, safe, minibar and tea/coffee facility, socket adapter…all practically placed and easy to use.

Wi-Fi could be a bit faster but was ok. The old Iphone docking station should be changed for a new type.

Service :

Efficient and delicate. One of the fastest Check-in I have ever experienced and the staff ready to deal with any wish you may have.

Facilities :

I was stunned with the size of Jaula Spa. It almost felt too big, but I guess that’s what luxury is all about. Different types of saunas, steam, jacuzzi, indoor pool and outdoor pools.

Professionally equipped fitness centre, kids corner and water sport area at the beach.

Dining / Entertainment :

  • Biscotti Pastry shop
  • Isaac Thai Restaurant
  • Rocca Restaurant  – by the pool
  • Dunes Bar – with big selection of wines
  • Grill Restaurant – all day dining / Buffet Breakfast*
  • Majlis Arabic cafe

*Breakfast is adequate, not the best I have experienced, but with plenty of fresh fruits, juices, omelette station and beautiful outdoor area, perfect during the pleasant winter months.

Who is it for :

For leisure and business travellers. It’s a quite green oasis ideal for a long weekend on the beach and some shopping in near by malls.

What makes it special :

  • quiet location
  • green surroundings
  • huge Spa
  • private beach
  • variety of dining options

Not so good :

  • slow Wi-Fi
  • lots of construction in close proximity
  • not easy to get a Karwa ( public ) taxi
  • missing tiles in the swimming pools

Practical INFO

Breakfast included / Free Wi-Fi / Free access to the beach and Spa

Tips for Trips

Souk Waqif ( 30min ) / Museum of Islamic Art ( 30 min ) / Village Mall ( Doha’s biggest mall ) 45 min / Corniche ( 20min ) – drive time

SINGAPORE : Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa REVIEW *****

“Almost perfect”

Where : 

Singaporean holiday Island Sentosa – 30 min drive from Changi Intl. Airport

Sofitel Website  /  Sofitel Location Map

Overview :

Plush, tropical and luxurious hideaway just a stone’s throw away from Singapore City and fantastic attractions of Sentosa Island. This piece of land is Singaporean holiday playground with dozens of attractions such as Universal Studio, 2 Aquariums, Zip line Adventure Park, Merlion Statue, Casinos, Beaches etc. Check the updates and attraction list on Sentosa and RWSentosa Websites.

Sofitel Sentosa is a tropical luxury resort. The moment you step in, you will get immediately transported into exotic elegance and switch into holiday mode.

Open air layout, numerous water features, jungle setting, relaxing atmosphere and friendly smiley staff will make you feel more than welcome.

The entire property was just completely refurbished and I enjoyed the fresh feel and crispy white surfaces. Colourful peacocks are ramming freely around and bubbly fountains complete the de-stressing effect.

Swimming pool is big, deep and very clean. Ideal for laps or just chilling in shallow area. There is variety of sun beds an chairs for everyone. Never too full, so no need to place your towel at 6am ( I know you do it : ) )

You can walk directly on to the beach via steep stairs and walk all the way to Resort World ( Universal ) in around 30min. Otherwise you need to take a taxi, or a free shuttle from the main entrance.

The best feature of this property is the secluded jungle feel ( even the city is few minutes away ) and flawless service.

Guest are mainly couples and families mostly from Asia and Australia.

Room :

Standard double bed room isn’t too spacious , but you won’t be spending much time in there anyway. It has all you need to make you feel comfortable with some corky design details which brings fun and makes it look different then the usual hotel room.

As you would expect ,the bed is very comfortable with soft bedlinen. Enough storage space, sockets and interesting coffee/tea making area which isn’t very practical but looks good. Complimentary water.

Bathroom has a bathtub and wet room with rain shower. I really liked the mosaic tiles and Lanvin toiletries. Same as the room, could be more spacious.

Free Wi-Fi, bathrobes, safe and minibar facility available.

The room I stayed in had an adjoining door to the next room and this caused an issues with unwanted noise from neighbouring guests. I had to use ear plugs in the evening to block the noises. This may not be the case with all rooms, so check with the reception before-hand.

That shouldn’t be an issues in 5* hotel and left me a bit disappointed. Make sure you get a room without a adjoining doors.

Service :
As you would except from such a establishment, it is very good. Starting at the quick check-in and finishing with pool staff and room maids who are always happy to bring you fresh towels or more water.

Concierge informative and always on hand to sort out transport, tickets…etc. very quickly.

Dining / Entertainment :
Breakfast & dinner buffet restaurant Kwee Zeen / “Garden” Restaurant by the Spa / Pool Bar / Le Bar Cocktail Lounge and newly opened “Illido at the Cliff ”  inspired by Italian cuisine.

  • Kwee Zeen Breakfast Buffet offers exciting selection of international and Asian dishes. Fresh juices, live omelette station and wide selection of cheeses. Don’t miss the amazing homemade granola yogurt.
  • Le Bar Lounge is the perfect destination to unwind after a long day at Universal Studio. Seriously…the cocktails are world class !

Facilities :
“So Spa” and “So Fit” Gym are located 5 min drive by a golf buggy away from the main building. I have found this a bit inconvenient. To always look and wait for a transport when you want to go to the spa or gym wasn’t my favourite thing.

On the other hand, Gym is well equipped for a serious work-out session and Spa looks heavenly. The Garden Restaurant is located here too.

Who is it for :
Everyone who enjoys lush exotic setting, impeccable service, quite location few minutes away from many attractions and fabulous cocktails accompanied by live piano music.

What makes it special : 

  • Jungle setting by the beach
  • Open Air layout
  • Beautiful Peacocks ramming freely around and showing off their colourful feathers
  • Miso Sea Bass at the Garden Restaurant ( organic food )

Not so good :

  • Noise from other room and corridor
  • Gym and Spa inconveniently located

Practical INFO
Breakfast included / free and fast Wi-Fi, 30min transfer from Changi Intl. Airport / Beach access stairs but the gate closes at 10pm – note, if you stay at Universal Studio for fireworks you need to catch a taxi, as the gate will be closed!

Tips for Trips : 
Walk around Sentosa beaches and enjoy lovely cocktail in one of the beach bars / Universal Studio Theme Park 25min walk / Singapore Esplanade 15 min drive

BALI : The Oberoi, REVIEW *****

“ Time to treat yourself ”

Where : Seminyak /Bali / Indonesia

Overview : Oberoi is the first 5star hotel ever build in Seminyak.  Located in extensive, lush
and perfectly manicured “private jungle” garden, directly on quite stretch of the beach.

You won’t find here massive concrete building with hundreds of rooms like W, Legian or Seminyak Beach Resort.

Instead…cute little bungalows scattered all over the gardens.  You feel like the only person there, even if the hotel is fully booked…and that’s in my eyes what luxury is all about.

All buildings have authentic “Balinese” style with usage of local materials.

Location : quite area of Seminyak. Beach front, but only few minutes’ walk to shops, restaurants                  and the main street.

The popular beach club Ku-de-Ta it’s right next door. Click HERE to see Ku-de-Ta review

Rooms : they come as a bungalows ( 4 rooms ) or private villas with pool. The entire interior breaths Balinese traditional decor.

There are burning scented sticks the first time you enter and it smells amazing. Bed is comfortable, AC very quiet and you can make yourself lovely local tea and coffee.

There is also  enough sockets to re-charge your electronics.

Bathroom has a two sinks, complimentary water and toiletries, candles and private mini garden.

Different fresh fruit basket daily, weather forecast and next day “activity message” and flowers on you bed every evening adds a nice touch.

ServiceI must honestly say, one of the best, from all the numerous hotels I have ever stayed in.

It almost feels like they know what you need before you even ask for it. The staff is not intrusive or pushy but there, when you need them.

Dining  : amazing a ’la carte outdoor breakfast setting with fresh juices and made to order egg dishes. Luxury dinner restaurant (didn’t try) and a bar (good cocktails).

For lunch and dinner I have never stayed in the hotel as there is numerous options outside to try.

Especially loved the Beach Shacks for coconut water, beer and Nasi Goreng.

FacilitiesGym, Spa, Outdoor pool with controlled temperature (very pleasant), Tennis court

Who is it forcouples celebrating special occasion. But hey, I wasn’t any of those and had’d a     wonderful enjoyable time.

What makes it specialsprawling size of the entire complex and Balinese chic.

Every day a different presentation of traditional music or dance, performed by local school kids and with complimentary afternoon tea. Also live presentation of local artist

Not so good : Gym dated and small, food served by the pool is very generic and the huge wooden turtle     room key doesn’t fit anywhere.

The Best :  incredibly tasty welcome drink , quite location away from crowds and garden setting

PRACTICAL  INFO : Breakfast included, free and fast Wi-Fi, 40min transfer from Denpasar airport,  hotel library has a DVD’s you can borrow for a night in.

Tips for TripsPetitenget Temple 5min / Tanah Lot Temple 30min / Ubud – 60min