HOTEL TIP: Nyuh Resort & Spa – Ubud, Bali

Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa

Retreat from the busy streets of Ubud to your own little sanctuary at the Nyuh Resort & Spa. The Nyuh resort is roughly a 10-minute drive from town and is a stunning setting to privately re-charge for a few days. Every villa comes with its own spacious pool,  personal assistant and diverse breakfast options– delivered right to your own villa if desired. Guests are granted one upgrade to a floating breakfast during their stay to contribute to that genuine Bali experience.

Nyuh resort & spa Ubud

Villa

At the relatively new Nyuh resort, the villas themselves are spacious and incredibly well airconditioned.  They all come with their own private pool, outdoor bathtub and lounge area. The large bathroom features two sinks, one for him and one for her. But, no shower nor toilet. These can also be found outside, something to keep in mind but definitely fun for the experience. Don’t worry about privacy, you really have your own little space here. When and/if there is anything you might need during your stay, a dedicated personal assistant is at your disposal 24 hours a day. From arranging tours to figuring out the breakfast selection; they’re there to help!

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Facilities

Spa

In the mood to pamper yourself or take a romantic flower bath with your partner? Then the Nyuh on-site spa is a great place to go. The spa is partially set outdoors, has a capacity of two and can be closed off for privacy. Reservations are preferred as this will allow the staff to prepare for the treatment.

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Restaurant

Within the comfort of your own luxury villa, it is likely you don’t want to leave the premises during the day. With the high-quality food on offer at Nyuh, you don’t have to. Aside from dining in the on-site restaurant, guests can also choose to have the dish brought to the villa and set up at the kitchen table; talk about a stress-free meal. The prices of the menu items are in line with local restaurant prices, perhaps even cheaper.

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Love a healthy meal? Nyuh resort highly encourages highly amongst their guests and this reflects this on their menu selection. For breakfast, guests can choose between a large range of healthy options such as cinnamon oatmeal, yogurt with fresh fruits, egg-white omelets and more. And, as mentioned previously, guests are granted one upgrade to a floating breakfast during their stay to contribute to that genuine Bali experience.

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Pool

No plunge pool at your villa – the pools at Nyuh resort are large in comparison to most Bali hotels and resorts, making them perfect to hang in all day long; going from sun lounger to pool and vice versa. Need to cool off? The kitchen/lounge area is conveniently located poolside.

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What is a night at Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa going to cost you?

Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa

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Deluxe pool villa’s starting at €167 ($187) per night

Book now

For more information visit www.nyuhbalivillas.com.

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

 

BALI DAY-TRIP INSPIRATION: Where to go and what to visit

Hanging out all day at your luxury Bali resort, sipping Mai Tai’s by the pool and only moving from room to restaurant sounds like a tropical fantasy right? Well, indeed, for some. But for those that are fully re-charged from their day-to-day life after a few days of doing absolutely nothing, there is an island adventure that awaits!  Hit the road by renting a private taxi driver for the day and explore all the known and unknown that Bali has to offer. Here is some inspiration to help you, and your driver, along the way!

Want to know what to pay for a full day private taxi?

These trips have been mapped from the Canggu/Seminyak area. If you are planning on taking one of these trips whilst located near Uluwatu (trip 2) or  Ubud (trip 1), check the travel distances on Google maps and see if you can possibly do the tour yourself by scooter.

Balinese women

Bali day trip 1:

Ready to explore hidden waterfalls and hike through lush rice paddies? Discover the beauty of Bali’s inland on roundtrip no. 1. This trip will take you to some of the lesser known waterfalls on the island, past the famous rice terraces, and last but not least, seat you directly at the table of a Balinese family.

Summarized day tour:

Tukad Cepung waterfall
Tegallalang rice terraces
Lunch: Balinese Home Cooking
Tibumana waterfall

Tukad Cepung waterfall

Now here is a secret we don’t like sharing. The Tukad Cepung waterfall is amongst the prettiest waterfalls on the island. Not due to its size or crystal clear waters, but due to its magnificent light rays. Light rays? Yes, stay with us, we’re still talking about a waterfall here. What makes Tukad Cepung so unique, is its underground location. The waterfall is set between rock formations, of which the top has been largely covered by natural plantation. When the sun hits the top of the cave just right, light rays turn the waterfall into something majestic.

It takes a little adventure to get to Tukad Cepung, but that’s half the fun! Expect a short trekking through the jungle (paved, but steep), going into a cave, wiggling under a rock, and passing through streaming water. Yes, the feet will get wet.

Usually, we would say save the best for last on a road trip, but this waterfall is too magical in the morning to miss. Arriving here before 09:30 will likely mean you get to chance to experience this hidden gem all by yourself. Hang around for a bit longer to get a glimpse of the light beams, they start making their way through the waterfall a little later on the day.  Let’s keep this beauty a secret between us, for now, shall we.

Entrance fee for the Tukad Cepung waterfall is 10.000 IDR. 

Tukad Cepung waterfall route

Tegallalang rice terraces

If you’ve seen pictures of Ubud, you’ve seen pictures of the Tellegan rice terraces. These rice terraces have become quite the phenomenon, which unfortunately also means the area is now hurdled with tourist orientated shops, restaurants, and the latest hype, the Bali swings.  That said, the rice fields are still, without a doubt, worth a visit whilst in the area. The area is quite large and once you make your way through past the chaos,  it is easy to find yourself a nice quiet area to enjoy the immenseness of the green paddies.

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Lunch: Balinese Home Cooking

Support the local community by dining in the backyard of a lovely Balinese family. Balinese Home Cooking is a small family run restaurant which operates from their own backyard. The entire family lives on the premises and visitors are happily allowed to take a walk around their homes so that they can get a sense of local habits and culture.

Tibumana waterfall

We started the day with a waterfall, so it only feels right to end it on the same note; with a visit to the Tibumana waterfall. The Tibumana waterfall might not be the biggest on the island, nor is it the smallest, but it is a lovely one to experience in an intimate jungle setting. The walk down to the waterfall takes roughly 10-minutes and is an amusing tropical track. Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear!

Bali day trip 2:

This beach orientated day trip is guaranteed to take you past some of the most incredible beaches on Bali’s mainland. Expect to see all shades of turquoise and plenty of surf action. Best thing is;  although insanely beautiful, these beaches are not as crowded as one would expect because they are hard to reach without a driver.

Summarized day tour: 

Belagan beach
Bingin beach
Lunch: the Cashew Tree
Dreamland beach
Uluwatu Tempel/Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Keen on going for a surf? Keep in mind that waves and currents in the Uluwatu area are extremely strong. This is therefore not the place for anyone just starting out. There are loads of surfers in the water but these are at an expert level.

Balangan Beach

Starting off, yet again, with a good one; Balangan Beach. Aside from being a popular beach amongst local surfers, Balangan features a limestone cliff with an incredible view. The viewing point is actually super easy to access from the parking lot, making it a popular pitstop for daytrippers like yourselves. Make sure to make your way down for a dip in the waters, as they’re just as blue from beneath as they’re from above.

Balangan Beach view point

Bingin beach

Bingin beach, a quiet little surf hub that can only be entered via an alley, followed by a steep stair down. This hidden beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs and has a stretch of sand that lends itself perfectly for some sunbathing. Cool off with a drink at Kelly’s Warung, or any other of the other beach shacks, and enjoy Bingin’s splendid coastline.

Lunch: the Cashew Tree

Stop for lunch at the Cashew Tree. The restaurant is playfully set-up on a small square and focusses on serving healthy meals that are just as good for you as they are for your taste buds.

Dreamland beach

Another beach, another baby blue shoreline. The last beach of the day is perfect for a dip in, yet again, crystal clear waters or, if you’re done swimming, to do some bodyboarding! More a pool lover than an ocean fanatic? Make your way upwards to the Klupa New Kuta resort for a pool overlooking the sea. The resort allows outside visitors to use the pool for 60.000 IDR. Disclaimer: this place does get crazy busy with Asian hotel guests. Some days worse than others, but it’s definitely something to consider before paying. 

Parking fee for Dreamland Beach is 20.000 IDR. This includes usage of a minivan that will bring you towards the actual beach. 

Dreamland beach view

Uluwatu Temple / Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Finish off the day with a visit to a temple rising 70 meters above sea level; the Pura Luhur Uluwatu, commonly known as the Uluwatu temple. Whilst the temple itself might not be very impressive, the cliff views that accompany the premises are nothing short of spectacular. This spot is one of Uluwatu’s touristic highlights, so do expect a lot of people here. A walk along the grounds surrounding the temple will not take more than 30 minutes of your time.

Note: Watch out for the monkeys here. Whilst they may look incredibly cute, they’re more than eager to get a hold of a pair of sunnies or, worst case scenario, your camera or phone.

The entrance fee for the Uluwatu Temple is 30.000 IDR. This includes free usage of a sarong, which is required as it is considered holy ground. 

What you should pay for a full day private taxi

A fair price pay for a full day private taxi in Bali would be anywhere between 500.000 and 600.000 IDR, equal to €37,- and $42,- Keep in mind that a lot of the sights on this list also ask a small parking and/or entrance fee, which has to be paid by yourself as well. This is usually fairly cheap -think anywhere between 2.000 until 20.000- but make sure to bring some spare change for this.

All prices as of 25 January 2019, in US dollar and EURO, converted on http://www.xe.com. 

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

7+ Things to do during your next trip to Sydney

With an abundance of diverse activities – surfing on brilliant beaches, going into the depths of the urban jungle or visiting world-renowned landmarks – it can be difficult to decide what to do first when arriving in Sydney. For a little head start, we’ve laid out the highlights, that cannot be missed on a visit to the biggest city of Australia:

1. Luna Park

Ride the Ferris Wheel, the Wild Mouse rollercoaster or just enjoy some people gazing at Sydney’s retro Luna Park. This colorful theme park originally opened in 1935 and has been open on and off since, with some of the attractions still in use this day. The general old-school vibe and its waterfront position are what makes Luna Park worth the visit even for those who are not planning on riding anything.

Entrance to the park is free, visitors solely have to pay for the rides they want to get on. Luna Park is open year round and can be easily accessed by ferry, which stops right in front of its literally smiling door. (Milsons Point Wharf)

Note: avoid going on school holidays as it tends to get extremely overcrowded. 

Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park Sydney Luna Park Sydney

 For more information and opening hours visit www.lunaparksydney.com

2. Sydney Opera House

Perhaps the most symbolic to Sydney is the Opera House. Surprising for some is that, even though it looks like one gigantic building from a distance, the Sydney Opera House actually consists out of 7 individual venues. Each and everyone with their own iconic white roof built up out of over 1 million tiles. The Opera House still hosts over 40 shows a week and no, these aren’t only opera shows. Shows vary from cabaret to theater and dance; basically, anything that concerns performing arts so that visitors of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy a visit to the striking UNESCO world heritage site.

TIP:  Have a drink at the Opera Bar whilst visiting the Opera house. This beer garden is situated right at the waters edge and offers a phenomal view of the harbour.

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Visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com for more information and to discover the prices of a show to your liking.

3. Chinese Garden of Friendship

An oasis amidst the busy city center; the Chinese gardens of Sydney. This calming sight is open to the public for an entrance fee of 6 AUD (€3.7/$4.2 ). It takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to make your way through the park

Chinese gardens of friendship Sydney Chinese gardens of friendship Sydney

For more information visit www.darlingharbour.com

4. Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney’s Harbour Bridge was originally build to make the Northern half of Sydney more accessible and has been in use for nearly a century now. The bridge is 1.149m long and 49m wide, allowing cars as well as pedestrians to cross the sea. For an exceptional walk in which you can spot several city highlights from above, access the bridge on Cumberland Stree in Circular Quay,  and make your way over to the Northern end. The walk is particularly good during sunset and sunrise!

Sydney Harbour Bridge bonus activity:

Feeling a bit more adventurous than crossing the bridge by foot? It is also possible to actually climb the steel arch bridge, where an organized tour will bring you all the way up to the top. Hearsay has it that this experience, and the views from above, are ones to never-ever forget. As it is a once in a lifetime experience, climbing the bridge does not come cheap. Tour prices start at 168 AUD and run up to 388 AUD.

For more information visit www.bridgeclimb.com

5. Bondi Beach

A visit to the world’s most renowned beach can surely not be left off this list. Surfing, tanning, people watching, take a ton of photos, drinks with a view, outdoor workouts; there is something to do for everyone on this nearly 1 km stretch of sand. For a complete overview, click here to discover the best things to do in and around Bondi Beach.

Bondi Icebergs Pool

6. Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Darling Harbour is without a doubt a leisure and entertainment hub. The long paved path surrounding the harbour is filled with bars, restaurants, and shops that are ready to entertain its visitors. The waterfront location and the skyscrapers set in the background of the area, is what makes Darling Harbour an impressive sight in general. At night, the area comes even more alive, with street performers, happy hours and tourist and locals alike flocking to the area, preparing for a night into town.

7. Go to Manly 

Perhaps one of the most surprising Sydney suburbs is Manly. This idyllic beach set town is located a half hour ferry ride away from Circular Quay, or 15-minutes if you hop on the fast ferry. Manly is a Sydneysiders favorite and many will go to Manly on the weekends, to either get their surf on or just to enjoy a nice meal along the palm-lined boulevard. There is more to Manly than just the long stretch of golden main beach, make sure to explore the area and visit Shelly beach whilst you’re there.

The ferry to Manly leaves every half hour from Circular Quay. The price of a ticket for the regular ferry is roughly 15 AUD per person. The fast ferry is priced at 18.20 AUD. Prepare yourself for some killer views along the way.

Tip: on Sundays, public transport fares are adjusted to a $2.70 travel cap within NSW. Making it by far the best day to explore farther out areas in Sydney, such as Manly.

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8. The Rocks 

‘The Rocks’ is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney’s inner city center and can be referred to nothing less than spectacular. Whilst the area is mainly popular with locals for its shopping and dining possibilities, it is the view that makes The Rocks into something truly unique. A walk through these vibrant streets is amusing at any time of day.

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*All prices as of 8 January ’18 in US dollars & Euro, converted on xe.com

HOTEL TIP – Florence, Italy

HOTEL TIP Florence – Hotel Pendini

Where classical music plays on vinyl,  the rooms are decorated with floral wallpaper and the furniture is antique. Hotel Pendini, a stone’s  throw away from all the major sightseeing spots in Florence, is an ideal base for any tourist visiting Florence. The hotel first opened its doors is 1897, as the upscale Pensione Pendini, and has been run by family ever since. Nowadays, the hotel is still by many perceived as city history, setting high standards to uphold the class it once opened with.

Hotel Pendini lounge

Popular landmarks such as the cathedral of Florence, Basilica of Sante Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Uffizi Gallery and the renowned Ponte Vecchio bridge are all within a short walking distance of the hotel. And, as to expect from such a central location, so are all the restaurants, shops and gelato you could possible wish for. Or, after a long day of visiting the historic sights, chill out in hotel Pendini’s very own authentic Italian lounge,  decorated with hints of gold and vintage furniture throughout. 

Lobby Hotel Pendini

 

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Fun fact: the location of hotel Pendini is now perceived as one of the best areas to stay in Florence,  with neighbors such as  Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. BUT, back in the day, this particular neighborhood was known as the ghetto of the city and the square it is situated on was just a local market. Then, late in the 1800’s, Italy decided to clean up Florence and, in an effort to imitate some of Paris’ elegance and fine historical buildings, builded the grand arch that is featured in the photo above. When the work on the arch was completed, a very rich lady which happened to be part of the Pendini family decided to started a residence for travellers in the attached building. The grand arch still proudly bears the Pendini name today.

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Usually we like our hotel rooms to be styled somewhat modern, but this -the vintage cellphone, golden beds, velvet curtains and bright floral wallpapers – somehow just all work. All rooms of the hotel are featured with air-conditioning, television and free wifi. Furthermore, the room above in specific, had a lounge, desk and closet which aren’t showing in the photo. The same goes for the bathroom, which might look small but is in reality rather large.

Bathroom hotel Pendini

Breakfast at the hotel is served every morning from 07:00-10:00, with some good complimentary Italian coffee brought to you be the attentive staff members.

Price of a night at Hotel Pendini, Florence

So, what does one pay for a stay in a vintage-esque hotel right within the city centre of Florence? Well, for our 4-night trip (Thursday till Monday) we paid a total of  $637.36 (€ 527,40) with breakfast included. With high review scores, such as the 9.1 on Booking.com, the hotel is incredibly popular and always sells out early. Being on time is therefore highly recommended, also budget wise as it tends to get more expensive as you wait. Curious to whether it is still available and what it might cost on your desired date? Click here. 

Have you ever visited Florence? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 ↓

* All prices as of 30 April ’18, in US dollar and EURO, converted on xe.com. 

SLEEP IN THE HISTORICAL CENTER OF FLORENCE : Hotel Pendini

HOTEL TIP Florence – Hotel Pendini

Where classical music plays on vinyl,  the rooms are decorated with floral wallpaper and the furniture is antique. Hotel Pendini, a stone’s throw away from all the major sightseeing spots in Florence, is an ideal base for any tourist visiting Florence. The hotel first opened its doors is 1897, as the upscale Pensione Pendini, and has been run by the family ever since. Nowadays, the hotel is still by many perceived as city history, setting high standards to uphold the class it once opened with.

Already there and hungry?

Hotel Pendini lounge

Central location

Popular landmarks such as the cathedral of Florence, Basilica of Sante Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Uffizi Gallery and the renowned Ponte Vecchio bridge are all within a short walking distance of the hotel. And, as to expect from such a central location, so are all the restaurants, shops and gelato you could possibly wish for. Or, after a long day of visiting the historic sights, chill out in hotel Pendini’s very own authentic Italian lounge,  decorated with hints of gold and vintage furniture throughout. 

Lobby Hotel Pendini

IMG_9301

Fun fact: the location of hotel Pendini is now perceived as one of the best areas to stay in Florence,  with neighbors such as  Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and Cartier. BUT, back in the day, this particular neighborhood was known as the ghetto of the city and the square it is situated on was just a local market. Then, late in the 1800’s, Italy decided to clean up Florence and, in an effort to imitate some of Paris’ elegance and fine historical buildings, built the grand arch that is featured in the photo above. When the work on the arch was completed, a very rich lady which happened to be part of the Pendini family decided to start a residence for travelers in the attached building. The grand arch still proudly bears the Pendini name today.

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Room interior

Usually, we like our hotel rooms to be styled somewhat modern, but this -the vintage cellphone, golden beds, velvet curtains, and bright floral wallpapers – somehow just all work. All rooms of the hotel are featured with air-conditioning, television, and free wifi. Furthermore, the room above in specific had a lounge, desk, and closet which aren’t showing in the photo. The same goes for the bathroom, which might look small but is in reality rather large.

Bathroom hotel Pendini

Breakfast at the hotel is served every morning from 07:00-10:00, with some good complimentary Italian coffee brought to you by the attentive staff members.

What is a night at Hotel Pendini in Florence going to cost you?

For our 4-night trip (Thursday till Monday) we paid a total of  $637.36 (€ 527,40) with breakfast included. With high review scores, such as the 9.1 on Booking.com, the hotel is incredibly popular and always sells out early. Being on time is therefore highly recommended, also budget wise as it tends to get more expensive as you wait. Curious to whether it is still available and what it might cost on your desired date? Click here to check out the prices.

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Rooms prices starting from €95 ($108)

More information

Have you ever visited Florence? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 ↓

* All prices as of 30 April ’18, in US dollar and EURO, converted on xe.com. 

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

DAY SPA HEAVEN: La Mamounia, Marrakech

A short walk away from the popular, but slightly overcrowded, Jemaa el Fnaa square lies an oasis of peace; the magical La Mamounia hotel. The entrance is hidden within lush green walls and solely given away by the security that is standing guard. Once passed through the initial entrance, the award-winning 5-star hotel somewhat feels like stepping into an ancient palace. With the average price of rooms starting at $597 and going all the way up to $6.519 a night,  the best way to get a taste of the luxury on offer is by paying a visit to their day spa. There is, unfortunately, no getting in here without either one of the two reservations to show for.

Looking for more activities in Marrakech?

La Mamounia hotel entrance
Main entrance of the hotel

La Mamounia hotel

The Hotel

Within the hotel, the overall lavish oriental atmosphere is enhanced by deep tones of red and gold that are featured throughout. Whilst, on the other hand, the outside areas of the hotel are infused with bright light and colorful tiles. In general, the sense of luxury that you feel when walking in here will almost make you feel displaced. Expect to see international business men having heavy discussions whilst nestled into extravagant red couches, hotel staff that is eager to anticipate on whatever you might need or guests spending thousands of dollars in the high-end shops located within the main hallway; all whilst making your way through to the entrance of the spa.

Dat spa entry at La Mamounia

Main pool La Mamounia spa
Main pool

La Mamounia Day Spa

La Mamounia’s spa has won many awards and is world renowned for its captivating main pool. The whole spa boasts an oriental atmosphere, which is executed into the tiniest details and upholds a dreamy feel for visitors throughout the different areas. The treatments themselves draw inspiration of  Moroccan as well as Eastern culture and a variety of traditional and modern therapies are available. Entrance to the spa also allows you free access to several other leisure facilities. Such as a fitness pavilion, on-site tennis courts, and the outdoor swimming pools

Outdoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Outdoor swimming pool

Luxury lunch La Mamounia hotel

Complimentary lunch

When opting for a season pass, a three-course lunch at the incredible Italian restaurant is complimentary. Each and every dish we tried was sublime, as were the several staff members serving the table. But, do note that this menu excludes any drinks you might have. The wine list, as to be expected, matches the prices of the rest of the hotel. However, there is a really decently priced Moroccan wine on there that turned out to be perfect. The hotel features two more signature restaurants. An authentic Moroccan one and one that offers French cuisine, all offer an intimate setting and a menu that stays true to their origins. 

Indoor hot tub La Mamounia spa

What is a visit to the La Mamounia spa going to cost you?

The Italian restaurant, as one would expect, is high-end and priced as such. This is what makes the season pass an exceptionally good deal. The season pass is valid for the entire day and includes a 60-minute massage or hammam treatment, a lunch at the Italian or French restaurant (depending on opening days) and will cost you $163 (€132). We, of course, couldn’t pass up on some good wine, this added another $73 (€59 to the bill).

Combined, this leads up to a total price of $399 (€323) for a single day at the La Mamounia spa for two people.

You can also opt for a day pass, which is valid for a treatment before 15:00 daily, and considerably cheaper: priced a little over $65 (€52). This will also allow you entry to the rest of the spa facilities for the day. Keep in mind that both passes are subject to availability, reservations are always a good idea.

But as mentioned before, with the superb lunch, massage and just an entire day of relaxation in one of the prettiest surroundings imaginable, if you can spare it; go for the season pass.

How to get to La Mamounia?

The hotel is very conveniently located near the main entrance of the old city center of Marrakech. Or if you’re already staying within the medina, the hotel can easily be reached by foot. The same goes if you want to explore other popular things to do in and around the medina after your hotel visits, such as a visit to the bubbling souk or the impressive Ben Youssef Madrasa. The doorman will also be happy to pull over a taxi for you, however, keep in mind that coming from this hotel the taxi driver will think you have some serious cash. And therefore most likely aim to charge the highest amount possible.
For more information on La Mamounia and their spa facilities visit www.mamounia.com/en/
Please note that an elegant dress code is required in all public areas.
*Converted on xe.com, as of 12 April’ 18 

PAYDAY LUXURY: La Mamounia, Marrakesh

Luxurious La Mamounia, Marrakesh

A short walk away from the popular but overcrowded Jemaa el Fnaa square lies, in an oasis of peace, the magical La Mamounia hotel. The entrance is hidden within lush green walls and solely given away by the large men from security dressed in black.  Once passed through the initial entrance, the award winning 5-star hotel feels like stepping into an ancient palace. With marble tiled floors that lead the way up to staff that awaits you in traditional robes. With the average price of rooms starting at $597 and going all the way up to $6.519 a night,  the best way to get a taste of the luxury on offer is by paying a visit to their day spa. There is, unfortunately, no getting in here without either one of the two reservations to show for.

La Mamounia hotel entrance
Main entrance of the hotel

La Mamounia hotel

Right from the start, there are so many different impressions that its hard to decide where to look first. The overall lavish oriental atmosphere is enhanced by the deep tones of red and gold that are featured throughout the massive hotel lobby. Whilst on the other hand, the glimpses you catch of the outside areas of the hotel are infused with bright light and colorful tiles. In general, the sense of luxury that you feel when walking in here will almost makes you feel displaced. Expect to see international business men having heavy discussions whilst nested into extravagant red couches, hotel staff that is eager to anticipate on whatever service you might need or guests spending thousands of dollars in the high-end shops featured in the hotel; all whilst making your way through to the main entrance of the spa.

Dat spa entry at La Mamounia

Main pool La Mamounia spa
Main pool

The day spa of La Mamounia has won many awards on its own and is as visually appealing as they come. The main pool is so captivating that is like something from a dream. But, frankly, so is every other aspect of the spa. Indulge yourself by going for the season pass – exact costs  can be found at end of the post- and get pampered with a 60-minute spa treatment, garden-side lunch and enjoy an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing. The spa treatments at the hotel draw inspiration of  Moroccan as well as Eastern culture, offering a variety of traditional and modern therapies. The spa pass furthermore, allows free access to several other leisure facilities. Such as the fitness pavillon, tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools

Outdoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Outdoor swimming pool
Indoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Indoor spa facilities

Luxury lunch La Mamounia hotel

And then, there is the food. When opting for a season pass, a three-course lunch at the incredible Italian restaurant is complimentary. Each and every dish we tried was sublime, as were the several staff members waiting the table. But, do note that this menu excludes any drinks you might have. The wine list, as to be expected, matches the rest of the prices of the hotel. However, there is a really decently priced Moroccan wine on there which we were hesitant to try at first, but later turned out to be perfect. The hotel features two more signature restaurants. An authentic Moroccan one and one that offers a French cuisine, all offer an intimate setting and a menu that stays true to their origins.

Indoor hot tub La Mamounia spa

What is a visit to the La Mamounia day spa going to cost you?

The Italian restaurant, as one would expect, is high-end and priced as such. This is what, even though the drinks might be excluded from the deal, makes the season pass an exceptionally good deal. The season pass is valid for the entire day and includes a 60-minute massage or hamam treatment, a lunch at the Italian or French restaurant (depending on opening days) and will cost you $163 (€132). As we, of course, couldn’t pass up on some good wine, our drinks brought the total up with another $73 (€59). Which combined, led up to a total price of $399 (€323) for a single day at the La Mamounia spa for two persons.

You can also opt for a day pass, which is valid for a treatment before 15:00 daily, and considerably cheaper: priced a little over $65 (€52). This will also allow you entry to the rest of the spa facilities for the day. Keep in mind that both passes are subject to availability, reservations are always a good idea.

But as mentioned before, with the superb lunch, massage and just an entire day of relaxation in one of the prettiest surroundings imaginable, if you can spare it; go for the season pass.

How to get to La Mamounia?

The hotel is very conveniently located near the main entrance of the old city centre of Marrakech. Or if you’re already staying within the medina, the hotel can easily be reached by foot. The same goes if you want to explore other popular things to do in and around the medina after your hotel visit, such as a visit to the bubbling souk or the impressive Ben Youssef Madrasa. The doorman will also be happy to pull over a taxi for you, however keep in mind that coming from this hotel the taxi driver will think you have some serious cash. And therefore most likely aim to charge the highest amount possible.
For more information on La Mamounia and their spa facilities visit www.mamounia.com/en/
Please note that an elegant dress code is required in all public areas.
*Converted on xe.com, as of 12 April’ 18 

ACCOMMODATION TIP – New York City

That Manhattan is no longer the only ‘place-to-be’ has been clear for quite some time now. With a large variety of districts – that each have their own characteristics- Brooklyn’s got it. And, whilst other popular area’s such as Williamsburg and Dumbo might be located closer to the bridge, Bushwick, a little bit farther out, ain’t bad at all. Especially, if you come across an accommodation like this.

The Funky Loft

A 30-minute subway ride away from New York City’s bubbling core, lies the extravagant Funky Loft.  With a variety of lush plants, a swing in the living room, kitschy 1970’s themed bathroom, vintage furniture and props throughout; this place truly is an artists dream. The Funky Loft was named “the coolest Airbnb in Brooklyn’ in 2017 by Time Out Magazine. Well, there is no arguing that.

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With its quirky interior and something eye-catching on every inch of the appartment, it’s no wonder the property is regularly rented out for photoshoots. The Funky Loft features 3 rooms that are individually themed and are fully decorated to complement that theme. New York City is famous for ever fluctuating weather but they’ve got you covered with an A/C for the hot days and heaters for the colder ones.  The doors of the accommodation are wooden barn doors, and slide from side to side. Which are super cool but do not completely close, so hopefully you’ll have mindful neighbors.

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The owners are friendly and, above all, experienced in renting out their accommodation. They know how to anticipate on anything you might need and have tons of tips to make the best of your stay.  As, an original bed and breakfast be-tamed, breakfast is set up for you to use at 07:00 and remains available until 11:00.

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However, as superb as this place might be, do keep in mind that the owners actually live at the property. Therefore, they’ve set silent hours, from 10pm until 10am. Not to say that you’re unable to go out or anything like that, you’re more than welcome to step in at any time of the night, just keep down the noise. Small price to pay for such a lovely apartment. Staying longer or having a romantic weekend getaway? Than maybe this place is best combined with a night in a hotel in Manhattan.

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Total costs for staying at the Funky Loft in Brooklyn?

For our 3-night stay, during a particularly cold March, we paid a total of $345 (280 EUR) which is a bargain in NYC.

Keen on spending the night in this incredible accommodation? Find out what it is going to cost you on your desired date and time by clicking here.

*All prices as of 31 March’18 in US dollars and EUR, converted on xe.com

Healthy Barcelona Hotspot: Flex & Kale

Flex & Kale, located in the inner streets of this large Spanish city, is the first healthy Flexitarian restaurant in Barcelona. With a menu that for 80% consists out of plant-based items, the remaining 20% percent includes oily fish. The best thing is, we had no clue that they had so many vegetarian items on their menu until we looked it up later online. With my date, a true carnivore, that’s  something special.

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The restaurant is actually quite large and features several floors,  but nevertheless it feels cozy and has garden-esque vibes throughout. At Flex & Kale they flawlessly combine health with happy taste buds. Just the way we like it. Best place to enjoy your meal is on the second floor. That is where the restaurant features a small light infused rooftop terrace.

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Featuring above are the following three menu items:

WHEN GOAT IS GOD |   $12.90 (€ 10,50)
goat cheese and beetroot cold-pressed juice beetball + mixed sprouts + rocket +
beetroot + mango + strawberries + pistachios + maple syrup vinaigrette

FUNGHI COCONUT TOAST | $9.80 (€7,95)
seasonal funghi mix toast + 5 cereals whole grain spelt bread + white wine +
coconut cream + thyme + black truffle

BTT: BEET TUNA TARTAR |    $16.60 (€13,50)
tuna and beetroot tartar + avocado + seeds + sprouts

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So enjoy your lunch under their motto “Eat better, be happier, live longer”. And before you leave, make sure to grab some vitamines on the go from the funky cold-pressed juice wall at the entrance.

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Flex & Kale is open everyday of the week during the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 23:30
  • Saturday and Sunday from 09:30 to 23:30

For our lunch at Flex &. Kale, we paid a total price of $47 (€39). This included three dishes, two coffees and a bottle of water.

For more information on opening hours and menu items click here

* All prices converted on xe.com on 17 February’18 

HOTEL TIP – Brussels

Hygge Hotel

Hygge –  pronounced “Hoo-ga” – is a concept originating from Denmark and refers to the feeling of coziness and fulfillment by enjoying the simple things in life. Which is exactly what the recently opened Hygge Hotel embodies. Decorated with Scandinavian design throughout, the hotel intertwines modern, minimalistic architecture with a warm touch.

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The hotel is conveniently located in the Louise area, right within the city centre of Brussels. The area is a very popular district where shopping, business, dining and bars meet another.

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The rooms of the hotel are styled in cool blues and whites, with hints of wood scattered throughout. The bathrooms are decorated in Delft Blue tiles and most encompasses a spacious bath. All of the above contributes to the creation of a relaxed atmosphere to either get some work done (on the in-room desk) or enjoy a good nights sleep.

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©HYGGE Hotel

The breakfast, which will cost you roughly 15 euros if you purchase it on the spot, is varied and satisfactory. With the offering ranging from freshly baked baguettes,  Scandinavian yogurts to pressed juices. It is served on the ground floor and the carved details in the ceiling allows you to let your eyes wander, whilst enjoying your meal.

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So what will a stay at the cozy and centrally located Hygge Hotel cost you? For a 1 night stay, on a week day, we paid a total of €78/$95.

Hit this link to find out what a stay at Hygge Hotel is going to cost you on your desired date and time.

* All prices as of 1 March’18, converted on xe.com