Follow Me

    Close

    “My Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb experience was fun, funny & interesting. A must for anyone visiting Sydney”

    On Top Sydney Harbour Bridge

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge, represents more than just a bridge to get from A – B. In my eyes, it is one of Sydney’s most symbolic and iconic landmark, that all of us Aussies should be proud of. When I was given the opportunity to climb the bridge on Australia Day and to take in our gorgeous harbour and surroundings. I could not have thought of anything more ‘Aussie’ to do.

    We did the express climb, which is at fast tracked pace and a slightly shorter route. Our guide was super friendly, funny and knowledgeable which made our experience even better. We learnt about the history behind the bridge, got to see and feel how it was constructed and heard the grand tales that accompanied the Bridge as it was being made . The view to be expected is absolutely breathtaking.

    Opera House Through The Bridge
    On The Way Down

    I normally live by the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, I wasn’t worried about getting the perfect shot, I wanted to take it all in and really appreciate the bridge and all its entirety.

    A big thanks to the team at Sydney Bridge Climb for creating this beautiful memory that I will never forget. If you too want to climb the bridge you can book directly here.

    At The Top
    How was your Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb experience? What was the best part of the walk? Share your thoughts, comments & photos if you want below.
    K x

    ” In my humble opinion Barbacoa is the best grill in Bali”

    Barbacoa Bali - Looking In From The Street

    Barbacoa (click here) has made its mark as one of the best of the best in Seminyak’s dining scene if not the whole of Bali. The energetic atmosphere is full of laughter and cheerful chatting, while still creating an intimate experience for guests who are ready to tantalize their taste buds with some Argentinian bbq goodness.

    Barbacoa Rice Fields

    Outside the back of Barbacoa is an outdoor patio which overlooks verdant rice fields. Another one of Bali’s perfect spots to relax and unwind in the soft cool breeze of the afternoon and through into the night.

    Looking Out On To The Rice Fields From Barbacoa's Balcony

    From the moment you enter the reconditioned substantial ‘barn’, the smell from the smouldering charcoal grill & the open fire pit overwhelms your aromatic senses.

    Pigs On A Spit At Barbacoa

    Inside is an eclectic mix of dark recycled wooden features, bright Peranakan tiles, red exposed brick, blonde sandstone walls, French style floor to ceiling windows, oversized statement lighting and vintage leather booths. These are just some of the things that make up this immensely popular, rustic South American smoke house.

    Barbacoa Barn

    Firstly, let’s start off with the drinks menu, which was curated by one of the owners (and owner of Mexicano in Sydney). You will find an ample tequila selection with any of the frozen margarita’s being the perfect drink to cool down in the Balinese heat (My favourite; the frozen chocolate margarita after dinner).

    The menu is inspired by the Latin American style asado (or BBQ). The uncomplicated style of grilling meats with perfectly matched sides, sauces and seasoning. If you aren’t the biggest of carnivores, there are plenty of vegetarian and pescetarian options on the menu too.

    The Menu

    What we ate:

    WARM GRILLED CHAPA BREAD – Roasted Garlic • Balsamic Vinegar
    BRAISED BEEF BRISKET TACO – pico de gallo and onion on a corn tortilla
    PORK EMPANADAS – (special)
    JALEPENO CROQUETTE – (special)
    BARBACOA’S SPICY SNAPPER CEVICHE – with spring onion, coriander, capsicum

    CHARCOAL GRILLED OCTOPUS – crispy Polenta, chorizo and paprika oil
    8 HOUR WOOD-FIRED LOCAL SUCKLING PIG – Crackle and green chimichurri (220gm)
    CHARCOAL GRILLED AUSTRALIAN GRAIN FED RIB EYE – with green chimichurri (250gm)*
    GREEN BEANS – anchovy butter, lemon and oregano

    CRÈME CATALANA – with scents of lemon and vanilla
    WHITE CHOCOLATE & HONEYCOMB ICE-CREAM SANDWICH

    This Chapa Bread Is Heavenly
    Brisket Taco
    Empanadas
    Jalepeño Croquette
    Snapper Ceviche

    To pick our standout dishes is pretty challenging, so I have narrowed it down to a few. Starting off with the warm Chapa Bread, it isn’t necessarily the warm pillow like bread that makes this dish fantastic but the roasted garlic oil that is out of this world. There is something about Balinese garlic, which makes it softer and more delicate and not so ‘pungent’, which makes it the perfect spread to cover your bread and not worry about lingering ‘garlic breath’.

    This Chapa Bread Is Heavenly

    The Bbq Octopus was also very good, it had a lovely bark to it and was impeccably charred while still remaining completely soft. Mixed in was some polenta that added a nice bit of crunch, although next time, even though the flavour was spectacular, we would have liked to see a bit more chorizo.

    Bbq Octopus

    The Grilled Rib Eye was simply, perfection. Cooked extremely well and combined with a simple green chimichurri that really heightened the dish and lastly Barbacoa’s staple dish the Suckling Pig was some of the best I have ever had.

    The Staple Dish. Suckling Pig
    Green Beans w/ Anchovy
    The Staple Dish. Suckling Pig
    The Servings Of Dessert Are Huge
    Crèma Catalana

    Overall:

    Barbacoa continues to deliver time and time and time again. The best grill in Seminyak by far. During our trip in October 2016, we loved our meal so much we dined here twice.

    Barbacoa
    Jalan Petitenget 14,
    Kerobokan ,Bali  80361
    +62 812-3999-9825

    Have you eaten at Barbacoa before? What was your favourite dish? Leave your answers and comments below.
    K x

    “The Three Monkeys at Sanur was an extremely satisfying and relaxing meal”

    Three Monkeys Sanur

    The Three Monkeys restaurants are renowned for their good honest food and live jazz being played.

    Three Monkeys (click here) is located amidst many other restaurants and cafes on the main street of Sanur. The delightful bamboo pavilion has a much more relaxed and leisurely vibe to it when you compare it to the food hub of Seminyak’s Oberoi Street. This restaurant is the second venue of the Three Monkeys family with the original one located in Ubud.

    Three Monkeys

    The thatched bamboo bungalow is separated into three main areas. To the front of house there is a shady timber terrace for people watching on the nearby sidewalk. Back of house there are tables and sofas to unwind and have a drink, while observing the busy kitchen work its magic.

    Three Monkeys Shady Timber Terrace

    Upstairs, there is an air conditioning enclosed glass section for ultimate comfort or the open-air loft to spectate the passer-bys below. We took a seat upstairs on the patio, as it wasn’t to hot and there were fans whirling away while subtle jazz played in the background. It was incredibly peaceful while we waited for our food.

    Much like its sister café, the menu is a mix of modern Balinese, Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisine. There is a heavy focus towards Italian and Greek and using wood fire is the main method of cooking.

    Lemon Mint Refresher

    What we ate:

    PRAWN & SNAPPER SPRING ROLLS – lemon basil

    BALINESE SPICED DUCK SPRING ROLLS – fern shoots, coconut

    BALI SPICED SHREDDED CHICKEN SALAD – long beans, young bamboo, bean sprouts, torch ginger sambal, citrus dressing

    WOOD-OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN THIGH – grain mustard, oregano, rosemary, lemon, white wine

    WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA – w/ baklava

    Prawn & Snapper Spring Rolls
    Spiced Duck Spring Rolls
    This Chicken Salad Packed Some Heat

    The standout dishes were both the mains. The shredded Chicken Salad was fresh, light and fragrant. The generous amount of ginger sambal packed some heat that the young coconut and citrus dressing balanced faultlessly. After the initial rush of the sambal’s spiciness, every bite after had a pleasant warmth that lingered in your mouth.

    Wood-Oven Roasted Chicken Thigh

    The Roasted Chicken was incredibly succulent and had a nice charred skin from the wood fire. The vegetables were cooked until just tender and the white wine sauce was fantastic. Most dishes that we ate were a hit, although the prawn and snapper spring rolls were not as good as the duck ones.

    White Chocolate Pannacotta

    Overall:

    We were pleasantly surprised with the food at Three Monkeys! Our main meals were light, fresh and extremely well balanced. If you are staying in Sanur I would definitely make three monkeys one of your choices for lunch or dinner. We are most definitely going to book a table at their sister venue in Ubud on our next trip to Bali.

    Three Monkeys
    Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar,
    Bali 80222, Indonesia

    Have you eaten at Three Monkeys before? What was your favourite thing? Did you get to hear a live band? I’d love to hear your comments and answers below!
    K x

    “Mejico brings delicious home-styled Mexican fare from Mexico City to the Yucatan Penisnsula to Sydney’s Pitt Street”

    Mejico

    Mejico (pronounced meh-he-co) brings “market to table” goodness from Mexico City to the Yucatan Penisnsula. Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD Pitt Street, and now Miranda. Mejico (click here) is renowned for it’s fresh modern twist on Mexican classics. Oh and did we mention that it has Sydney’s largest tequila selection? Arriba!

    Another restaurant under the Dr Sam Prince banner has set its sights on establishing itself as one of Sydney’s best Mexican hot spots. By focusing on sourcing some of the freshest ingredients direct from producers, the seasonal menu combines traditional classics with a modern twist. Don’t expect to see any tex mex style dishes on the menu. Instead anticipate slow roasted beef brisket, fresh ceviche and burnt jalapeño hummus.

    The venue has quite an industrial feel to it, exposed brick, concrete beams, geometric shaped wall patterns and pops of colour set the tone for an exciting and somewhat engaging meal. Mejico’s atmosphere was buzzing on the Friday night we went. It’s not a ‘quite, sit down, romantic dinner’ type of restaurant. It’s loud, energizing, entertaining and most of all fun! Not to mention a killer sound track was playing in the background.

    Takes The Work Out Of Guessing

    If the very large selection of tequila is slightly a little daunting, you are in luck! As there is nifty little tequila picker on your table, which is essentially a lucky dip type spinner.

    I have dined here quite a couple times, and the staff always blow me away with how friendly they are and knowledgeable of not only the food menu but the extensive tequila/drinks menu.

    One of the many novelties that comes with dining at Mejico is the ordering the guacamole which is assembled right in front of you at the table (comes with a full detailed run down of the ingredients and why they use them) and is accompanied by tasty platain chips, that really go down a treat ! This has always been a winner when I’ve dined at Mejico, although this time, it could have done with a little bit of extra spice.

    Fresh Guacamole Made At The Table

    What we ate:

    GUACOMOLE – Avacado, serrano chilli, Spanish onion, coriander, pistachios & plantain chips
    BURNT JALEPNO HUMMUS –  Smashed chickpeas with scorched jalapeños, served with hand cut tortilla chips
    CORN LOLLIPOPS – 3 lollipops of corn, topped with chipotle mayo, queso fresco, coconut & popcorn
    COCHINITA PIBIL TAMALE – Traditional tamale stuffed with slow roasted pork & topped with pink pickled onions

    TUNA (RAW BAR) – Tuna with avocado, ginger & capsicum, topped with spiced tapioca pearls & served on tortilla chips
    SNAPPER (RAW BAR) – Fresh line-caught snapper, pickled ginger & pomegranate tossed with jalapeño & creamy goats cheese

    SlOW ROASTED PORK (TACO) – Slow roasted pork, chilli caramel salsa, aioli @ crispy pork scratchings
    6 HOUR SLOW ROASTED BEEF BRISKET – Ancho & coffee crusted brisket, smokey chipotle sauce, chilli mac & cheese
    PATATAS BRAVAS – Smashed garlicky potatoes topped with paprika & chipolte aioli

    Burnt Jalapeño Hummus
    Corn Lollipops
    Cochinita Pibil Tamale

    Standout dishes were: Cochinita Pinil Tamale, this was very soft and the pork melted in your mouth, the pickled onions balanced the dish out really nicely, think (soft polenta/baked omelette/frittata) with shredded pork throughout. Pork Taco, this was hands down my favourite dish of the night, I am a sucker for a good taco. The pork was perfectly cooked, with the nice crunch factor of crackling on top, the subtle cinnamon note made for the perfect sweetness to this juicy taco.

    Slow Roasted Pork Taco
    Snapper Ceviche

    Tuna tacos were incredibly fresh, Half spicy and peppery, half lemony, slightly sweet and packed full of flavour & the Patatas Bravas, these bad boys are a serious side dish, caramalised to perfection with the right amount of outer crispness and inner softness that perfectly accompanied the extremely tender Brisket.

    Mejico's 6-Hour Beef Brisket
    Bite-Size Margarita Cheesecake
    Ice Cream Sandwich

    The only downfall from the night was as the team at Mejico recited our order, one requested dish  missed making an appearance at the table. Besides this slight mishap, the service was practically faultless.

    Ariba!!!

    Overall

    Dining at Mejico has always been a great experience for me. The restaurants buzzing atmosphere, the food & drinks are certainly crowd pleasers, but what really makes this restaurant stand out from the rest, is the staff. On every occasion they have been quite simply, fantastic. Mejico is great option for after work drinks or the perfect ‘south of the border’ culinary destination.

    Mejico
    105 Pitt St
    Sydney NSW 2000
    02 9230 0119

    Have you one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor @ Mejico before? Would love to hear about your experience below!
    K x

    “Take a walk off the beaten track and experience one of Bali’s best-kept secrets in West Bali, The Menjangan”

    The View From The Top Of The Tower Was Incredible

    Located within the heart of the unspoiled national park of Bali Barat National Park and spread across 382 hectares, The Menjangan (click here) is a place for you to unwind, connect with nature and explore the native wilderness.

    Getting to The Menjangan, on the North West Coast of Bali is a 4-5 hour car trip from Denpasar airport. To break up the trip, get your driver to take you on some activities along the way. (Click here to see what we did)

    Another Deck At The Menjangan Tower

    Check’n In

    The Menjangan Tower Top
    The Menjangan Tower Middle
    The Menjangan Tower Bottom

    The landscape is not what you’d typically expect in your typical Southeast Asian rainforest but something more like the Australian bush. The Park Rangers at the main National Park entrance greeted us* and from there we took off on the somewhat weathered road to the main lobby. As we pull up to check in, the sheer grandeur of the 28 metre high open air “tree house” dubbed the Bali Tower was astounding. This is where we were to spend most of our time (when not in our room). Boasting panoramic 360 degree views across to Menjangan Island and onto neighbouring Java from the top of the tree house, the idyllic surroundings make this a view to remember.

    * Please note that adhering to the latest regulation issued by the Indonesian Forestry Ministry, all visitors to the West Bali National Park are required to pay entrance fees. The tickets will give access to all the National Park area and Menjangan Island, so guests can freely enjoy trekking, bird watching, snorkelling, etc.

    The View

    From the Tower we jumped on the safari style double decker shuttle to go to our room. We were staying in a suite at the Monsoon Lodge, which consists of 14 thatched-roof rooms and two suites. The Monsoon Lodge is a haven for those who want to harmonise with nature. As we walk through to our suite, we pass the swimming pool (which is reminiscent of a watering hole) and hot spa.

    The Monsoon Lodge At The Menjangan

    The Room

    The décor within our suite had a traditional Balinese tone throughout, with Bengkirai wooden floors, traditional alang alang grass roofing and minimalist furniture.

    The Menjangan Deluxe Room At The Monsoon Lodge

    Food & Beverage

    There are 2 restaurants located in The Menjangan, (both with the same menu), one on the beach and one in the Tower/Dining Deck. We opted to dine in the Tower due to its unrivalled view and serenity. The menu consisted of both traditional and western (Italian/French) inspired meals. Considering the resorts remoteness, the food at The Menjangan was of a high standard; every meal we had was extremely enjoyable.

    The Restaurant Level At The Menjangan

    On the third and fourth floor were observation deck’s for sunrises and sunset cocktails.

    Pool & Gym

    The resort has one pool at monsoon lodge.

    Monsoon Lodge Pool

    As the other rooms are on the water you can simply go out and have a dip in the sea. (In certain areas you need booties because of sea urchins).

    The resort doesn’t have a gym but offers plenty of activities in exchange from horse riding & mountain biking to snorkelling and diving trips to Menjangan Island. For the less adventurous there are also cooking classes and bird watching, (the park is home to many different types of wildlife like deer, wild pigs & monkeys as well).

    Diving Area Before The Storm Hit

    Pros:

    • The Bali Tower – especially at sunset
    • The serenity
    • Great food
    • Animal spotting
    • An abundance of activities

    Cons:

    • Because of the monsoonal rain, we couldn’t walk around
    • Can’t swim in the main beach due to rocks and sea urchins
    • No room service
    • No gym
    The Menjangan Tree Top Deck

    Overall:

    If you are after a holiday full of relaxation, immersing yourself in nature and having some of the best diving spots in Bali at your fingertips, The Menjangan is a must.

    The Menjangan
    Jl. Raya Gilimanuk – Singaraja Km. 17, Pejarakan, Gerokgak,
    Pejarakan, Buleleng, Kabupaten Buleleng,
    Bali 81155, Indonesia
    +62 362 94700

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at The Menjangan was provided complimentary from Lifestyle Retreats in return for brand awareness and a review on the Krumbled website.
    Have you been to West Bali before? Have you stayed at The Menjangan before? What did you think? I’d love to hear your comments or questions below.

    “The Olsen has made a name for itself as a hot spot for celebrities and athletes”

    The Olsen

    Perched above Melbourne’s prestigious Chapel Street, the Art Series’ trendy 229 room boutique hotel The Olsen (click here) has made a name for itself as a hot spot for celebrities and athletes. The hotel offers chic accommodation, drawing inspiration from renowned Australian artist John Olsen. The refined charm of Olsen’s artwork throughout the hotel balances the energy and charisma of Chapel Street seamlessly.

    The Olsen hotel is located in the heart of South Yarra on Chapel Street. A swift 30minute cab ride from the airport, The Olsen is in the midst of one of Melbourne’s main tourist destinations with a myriad of cafes, restaurants and shops at its doorstep.

    Front & Centre At The Olsen

    The Room

    We stayed in the ‘Deluxe Studio Suite on the 7th floor’. Our North facing room overlooked the thriving hustle and bustle of Chapel Street. The neutral and earthy tones of the room were highlighted by the abundance of natural light that is let in by the oversized window, giving the room that ‘very comfortable, home away from home’ feel about it.

    The room area itself was quite cleverly thought-out, with floor to ceiling mirrored walls and wall-hung plasmas that free up a lot of ‘leg room’.

    The room also boats a lounge area, a fully equipped kitchenette with quartz bench tops and a semi private bathroom, which is separated by a screen-printed glass mural.

    The Bathroom At The Olsen

    Food & Beverage

    Being located on Chapel St the hotel has an abundance of dining options at its’ doorstep. Spoonbill is on the ground floor next to the lobby while Two Wrongs (click here) & Smäk (click here) are around the corner.

    Pool & Gym

    The pool area is situated on the first floor; the pools deep blue mosaic tiles, sandstone pavers, lounges and deck chairs give a somewhat ‘European’ feel to it. The pool is half undercover while the other half hangs off the side of the building, with glass flooring that allows you to see pedestrians walking underneath while floating above them, which is something different.

    At one end there is a spiralling staircase that leads up to 2nd level to another lounge area. Honestly the 2nd level is a little lack lustre but on a sunny day you can certainly unwind on one of the oversized sofas/lounges. There is also an oversized novelty chessboard that makes the area a little more playful.

    The gym isn’t anything flash, it’s a stock standard hotel gym with a few running machines, bikes and free weights up to 20kgs.

    Then Overhanging Pool
    Semi Open Pool

    Pros:

    • Beautiful Art
    • Stylish
    • Pool Area
    • Location
    • Spacious Rooms
    • Very Accommodating Staff
    • Hotel Restaurants

    Cons:

    • Air Con Needed Repair*
    • No iron in room (there normally is)

    The air con was working at about 50% when we got to the room, I brought this to the attention to the concierge on our way out to dinner on the first night. Someone came up to fix it and when we got back to the room, the room was nice and toasty but after waking up the next morning there was a slight layer of dust on the glass table, so I think it was due for a service.

    Overall:

    The Olsen brings a touch of class and finesse to Chapel Street, the location is central to everywhere and I would definitely stay here again.

    The Olsen
    637-641 Chapel St,
    South Yarra VIC 3141
    (03) 9040 1222

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at The Olsen was provided complimentary from the art series hotel group in exchange for a review on the Krumbled website. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
    Have you stayed at The Olsen before? What’s your favourite hotel in the Art Series Chain? Leave any questions or comments below.

    “The Amala is a holistic and tranquil sanctuary only minutes from Seminyak”

    Just a 10 minute walk from Oberoi Street in Seminyak, The Amala (click here) is home to a holistic and tranquil sanctuary completely surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

    Entry To The Amala

    Check’n In

    As we drove down the bamboo lined driveway the soft approaching sound of flowing water  instantly relaxes guests . The boutique villas main focus is to provide “a relaxing space for couples to escape the outside world, rejuvenate and reconnect with each other”.

    The Room

    Our Room Number 9
    Welcome

    Our pool villa was set to the back of the hotel. The villa consisted of an outdoor lounge area, dining table and fully equipped kitchen which took up one side of the open air thatched roof.

    The other half was a private dipping pool that was shaded by a fragrant frangipani trees and had a big water feature.

    Towards the back of the villa is the bedroom. The bedroom itself was reasonably comfy, with bi-fold doors that open out directly onto the pool.

    The Bedroom At The Amala
    This Photo Was Taken From The Bed

    To its side is a semi-detached dark concrete and stone bathroom that contrasts the white tiles and white walls of the villa. The bathroom was good in size and had a Jacuzzi smack bang in the middle with double vanity and rain shower

    Food & Beverage

    We only ate once at the villa and it wasn’t great (in my case dangerous, explained in ‘cons’). With Seminyak only a 5 minute walk we decided not to risk it again.

    The Spa

    The Spa at the Amala offers guests complete wellness packages that focuses on ancient Asian medicine and western holistic philosophies.

    Pool & Gym

    Each villa has its’ own private dipping pool. There is also a shallow lap pool in the middle of the hotel.

    The Amala has a spacious wellness centre for yoga classes and other relaxing activities such as painting. Guests are invited to join the yoga masters in daily classes, which are also open to the public.

    Pros:

    • The serenity of the open plan pool
    • Yoga classes

    Cons:

    • No gym
    • Food wasn’t as good as expected and in my case dangerous**

     

    **After a Spa treatment where lunch is included I ordered the Vichyssoise soup (a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock) for my starter. I am anaphylactic to tuna, salmon and trout. So when my soup arrived I noticed it had something that looked like red capsicum in the middle. Having, re-read the menu and talking to the waitress on the day, neither said that there was any animal product (especially fish) in the dish whatsoever. I was still sceptical so I didn’t eat it. After my partner had finished his starter I asked if he could taste mine just for peace of mind and it turned out that it was indeed tuna. Luckily I stuck to my gut-feeling (pun intended) and didn’t eat it because the next post I would have been writing would have been from hospital!

    The Amala

    Overall:

    Our stay at The Amala was very relaxing and a great place to unwind and still be so close to Seminyak.

    The Amala
    Jl. Kunti I, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung
    Bali 80361, Indonesia
    +62 361 738866

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at The Amala was provided complimentary from Lifestyle Retreats in exchange for brand awareness through Krumbled’s media channels.
    Have you stayed with Lifestyle Retreats before? What do you think of The Amala? I’d love to hear your comments or questions below!

    So, you want to know more about where you came from?

    Well I might have just found the solution you have been searching for! Introducing my AncestryDNA Kit Review.

    Arriving in my mailbox, my AncestryDNA kit came in a small parcel (perfect for that gift to your loved one, friend or even yourself!)

    I must admit I had seen the ads on TV but I was skeptical of how it actually worked, but I thought hey it’s worth a try right.

    Honestly, I am not quite sure what I was hoping for or even expecting. Somewhere deep down I think I was hoping for something a little bit left of centre, being the blonde hair blue/green eyed girl that I am, what if I had something a little bit more than just European?

    AncestryDNA Kit

    The Kit

    The kit itself is pretty straight forward, spit here, seal there, post here, register there. And before I knew it, my kit was off in the mail.

    And then what?

    Sit put for 6-8 weeks

     My AncestryDNA Kit Results

    AncestryDNA Kit Results

    So there you have it, no real surprises!

    According to the results I am 71% Western European, 16% Irish, 9% English & traces of Spanish and Greek/Italian. I must admit I had never even contemplated having bit of Italian in me (although I really do love pasta so maybe that’s a bit of my Italian side coming out haha).

    Having this information has peaked my interest even more. I am now in the process of building a more in depth family tree and wanting further insight into my DNA.

    Want to know more about where you came from? Check out AncestryDNA here.
    Kx

    “Showcasing Osaka’s very finest, the InterContinental Osaka takes the concept of urban luxury to the next level”

    Intercontinental Osaka

    The InterContinental Osaka (click here) has quite the enviable location. The hotel is conveniently attached to the large-scale mix-development complex, Grand Front Osaka. A two minute walk can get you to the shopping and entertainment complex which is home to 266 stores plus has the added bonus of the JR Osaka railway station inside it as well. From here you can connect pretty much to the whole of Osaka and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the InterContinental’s doorstep.

    We arrived to Osaka by Shinkasen (Bullet train) from Kyoto and headed straight to the hotel to freshen up and start exploring. It was only a 15 minute taxi ride from Shin Osaka (Shinkasen Station).

    Check’n In

    As we pulled up to the entrance, we were greeted by not 1, not 2 but 4 bellmen and concierge hosts, who took our luggage off our hands and directed us to the check-in lobby which was located on Level 20.

    Stepping out from the elevator I was honestly taken back by the sheer size of the lobby. In a country like Japan, space is such a precious commodity so to say The lobby with its’ commanding 360-degree panoramic views of the city was big would be an understatement.

    The distinctive Bilkey Llinas and Yuki Hashimoto design seen in the lobby transcends through the entire hotel. There is a generous use of glass, wood and natural stone (that is locally sourced) used to create a contemporary Japanese environment.

    Having opened in 2013, the InterContinental Osaka is relatively new and showcases many modern amenities and fixtures.

    The Room

    There are 215 guest rooms, and 57 residential suites for longer stay guests.

    Funnily enough, the first thing I noticed walking into the room was actually the door! The door was extremely heavy and well insulated. This immediately gave an element of seclusion which you wouldn’t expect in a large inner city hotel. We stayed in the Deluxe room with view. The room was gorgeously light filled from the two large feature windows and was extremely spacious (for Japanese standards).

    Deluxe Room With View

    The elements of stone, wood and glass are once again seen heavily in the room. Especially with the ‘signature’ lump of stone with glass table that is the work area.

    Work Station Rock

    The bathroom was very generous in size with interchangeable sliding doors and bath/shower combo area.

    Food & Beverage

    The InterContinental has 5 food and bev outlets that have all been influenced by french cuisine. Level 20 is home to four of the five outlets. Straight to the left of reception is the 360 lounge which has light snacks and afternoon drinks. Past the lounge is Noka Roast & Grill (we ate here for breakfast and dinner) it is half-half buffet and a la carte bistro.

    Noka Roast & Grill

    To the right is the 1 Michelin Star restaurant Pierre which joins transforms into stylish bar called Adee the further you walk along. The entire floor has amazing 360-degree views of the city.

    On the 1st floor is the french bakery STRESSED (desserts backwards, love the pun). They had a lovely collection of home made cakes and chocolates and was great for afternoon coffee. There was a line out the door when we were there.

    InterContinental also has 24 hour room service if you don’t feel like leaving your room.

    Pool & Gym

    There is a 20m indoor pool, a very large and well equipped 24-hour gym, a spa (All That Spa Osaka) and a traditional Japanese Bathhouse, not something you wouldn’t expect in a high rise urban hotel. To top it all off there is also an in house florist for those that are looking to brighten up their day  and a stunning wedding chapel with stone waterfall to emulate nature at its best.

    Pros:

    • Traditional Japanese Bathhouse
    • Beautiful Design
    • Michelin Restaurant
    • Location

    Cons:

    • If I was really nitpicking the buffet selection for me was a little bit restricted. Im anaphylactic to tuna, salmon and trout so I couldn’t eat most of what was on offer due to the french cuisine influence. In saying that the three other people I was staying with who aren’t allergic to anything thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Osaka Castle

    Overall:

    The InterContinental Osaka was near faultless. It has been one of my favourite hotels to visit thus far. From the service, to the decor, to the location it really ticked all the boxes that you want from an international hotel.

    InterContinental Osaka
    3-60, Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku
    Osaka, 5300011, Japan
    +81 6-6374-5700

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at the Intercontinental Osaka was provided complimentary in exchange for a review on the Krumbled website. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
    Have you stayed at InterContinental Osaka before? What is favourite InterContinental in Japan? If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them below.

    “A slice of heaven at The Anantara Dhigu in the Maldives”

    The Maldives From The Sky

    Stepping off the plane into the (rather hot) Maldivian humidity. We embarked on our journey to Dhigufinolhu Island which is in the South Male Atoll of the Maldives. It takes roughly about 45 minutes to get to the Anantara Dhigu (click here) by the resorts’ private speedboat from the airport. (Luckily for us the weather was beautiful and the water was calm for our boat ride to the island).

    Maldives From The Plane
    Passing By Other Resorts On The Trip

    The scenery much like from the plane was absolutely breathtaking. Passing by the beautiful reefs, deserted islands and bungalows made this trip go extremely fast, I felt as if I had been transported to another world.

    Arriving At The Anantara

    Check’n In:

    Anantara Dhigu

    The Anantara resort surrounds a lagoon with a total of 3 islands, making up Dhigu, Veli & Naladhu. The turquoise lagoon is home to beautiful marine life that makes it perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.

    As our boat pulled up to the resort, we hopped off  and we were taken up to the sandy lobby. My first impression was heaven. The staff (a mixture of locals and ex pats) were extremely friendly and more than happy to take some happy snaps of us on arrival.

    Once we checked in, we were taken by our butler to the over water bungalow by golf buggy. In the back of my head I could not stop thinking how extravagant this all was.

    Arriving To Our Room

    The Room:

    We stayed in the ‘Sunset Over Water Suite’, which was such an incredible experience in itself.

    Outside The Over Water Bungalows

    Our entrance room was decked out with everything required for a secluded tropical holiday (think disposable water proof cameras, a chess board, mini bar, nespresso machine, life jackets & umbrellas).

    Sunset Over Water Suite

    Our bungalow was extremely spacious and peaceful with an open plan living room fitted with king sized bed, oversized wooden wardrobe and entertainment unit. Our suite opened out straight onto an oversized deck through floor to ceiling bi-folds with uninterrupted views of the ocean as far as the eye could see. You could literally jump into the ocean from the bedroom.

    Surprise For His Birthday
    The View From The Bathroom

    The sublime bathroom had floor to ceiling sandstone tiles and was fitted out with a custom built-in stone bathtub*. There was also a seperate Grohe rain shower that overlooked the horizon through floor to ceiling glass panels.**

    Oh and underneath our toilet there was a little glass viewing panel built into the floor to see glimpses of the marine life underneath.

    The Bathroom

    *note since our stay the resort has had a major revamp and the bathroom has dramatically changed in appearance to give ‘a more contemporary feel’.

    ** important note: remember your surroundings. Since the end of the bathrooms are floor to ceiling glass and a very popular activity on the island is paddle boarding around the islands. It is as easy to see in, as it is out! I found this out one afternoon, while turning around in the shower to see a young Scandinavian family of four awkwardly smiling at me.

    Sunset From The Deck

    The large wooden sun deck had an abundance of lounging spaces, including 2 sunbeds, built in lounges and outdoor dining. We really were spoilt for choice.

    Sunset From The Balcony

    At sunset, our room truly came to life, the vast array of turquoises, emeralds and blues emulated throughout our room with picture perfect sunsets every night. On the last night you could see a distant rolling thunderstorm pass by to open up for a star struck sky.

    Easiest Way To Travel

    Getting to & from your room and around the island is a breeze, there are communal bike spots placed around the island where you can drop off or collect bikes at will and can simply ride them to your doorstep. From our room to the other side of the island only took roughly took 3 minutes.

    Bikes Everywhere

    Or roughly 10 minutes walk

    Anantara Dhigu

    Food & Beverage:

    Sunset Cocktails At The Anantara Dhigu
    Anantara's Sunset Cocktail Party

    As Dighu is in the middle of the Indian Ocean and miles away from anything you would think that the food would be limited. Think again. With two buffets options and four main restaurants on the islands we were once again spoilt for choice.

    The View From Breakfast

    We ate at each of the buffets for breakfast, which were both great and had an assortment of different choices. It wasn’t until our fourth morning that we actually understood how the breakfast was set out. There was no bacon or ham options for my omelettes in the morning (which is blasphemy in my eyes) but I really should have worked it out quicker, since the Maldives is predominantly a Muslim country where pork is not allowed, the buffet breakfast on the Dhigu Island is completely Halal where as the buffet breakfast on the Veli island is Haram and full of bacon goodness.

    Pizza at Terrazzo

    For dinner we ate at the buffet style restaurant another two times for dinner, which was once again was nice but it’s the Anatara’s restaurants that really excel. My favourite restaurant of the trip was definitely Baan Huraa. Baan Huraa is a Thai restaurant poised in between the Dhigu and Veli islands. The restaurant is perched above the rocks that divide the outer reef and the turquoise lagoon The easiest way to describe the restaurant is a glamorous, oriental inspired, oversized, open plan teak hut that is softly lit by lanterns.

    We dined here late one evening and the food and the cocktails were great. The dishes are inspired from the north-eastern and southern parts of Thailand. What really made the dinner special was watching the reef sharks scouting for food amongst the rocks and coral. The waitress mentioned every night at that particular time you could see them for up to one hour, which was a pleasant surprise.

    Dinner By Design At The Anantara

    Another dining option that the Anantara provides is ‘dining by design’ which is a private banquet on the beach with your own personal chef. There are several different cuisines to choose from. We chose the bbq seafood banquet. Our seafood was caught that day and could not be any fresher.

    Fresher Than Fresh Seafood

    Around The Island:

    So Much Fun

    There is a lot to do around the island as well. With every type of water sport imaginable at your fingertips, paddle boarding, wind surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving & the under water rocket to name a few.

    Paddleboarding At The Anantara
    Kayaks and Paddle Boarding Are A Big Thing

    There are also cooking classes available for entertaining indoors if you are unlucky enough to get rain.

    Cooking Classes At The Anantara
    Fresh Ingredients Are Delivered Daily

    Or there are endless amounts of spots you can simply pull up, relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.

    A Hammock Just Casually 100m Offshore
    Just One Of The Relaxation Spots Around The Islands

    Spa:

    If leisure is more your thing there is a luxury spa perched over the lagoon on Dhigufinolhu. The spa menu features holistic therapies designed to enrich and detoxify, while you relax and take in your perfect island holiday. We chose the Anantara Synchronised Massage which was totally pacifying that my partner actually nodded off during it.

    The Spa

    Overall:

    The Anantara Dhigu is a complete luxury island getaway where you can totally immerse yourself in the island’s serenity.

    Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
    Dhigufinolhu, South Male Atoll 20109, Maldives
    +960 664 4100

    My stay at the Anantara was provided free from the U.N (united nations) to promote small developing nations.
    Have you been to the Maldives before? Where is your favourite island getaway? Leave any questions or comments you might have below.
    K x