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    “Most Sydney-siders wouldn’t be familiar with the Primus Hotel. Soo without further ado I will introduce you to this (not so little) hidden gem.”

    Primus Hotel Sydney

    The unassuming entrance of the Primus Hotel (click here) is located at 339 Pitt Street. Originally home to Sydney’s Water Board HQ. Undergoing a complete restoration, this 1930’s heritage building has had a breath of fresh life put into it. Showcasing the 1930’s art deco era at its best.

    In 2008, the Water Board relocated and the two year restoration commeneced. This massive task was undertaken by Chinese hoteliers Greenland International Hotel Group or (GIHG) and architect design firm Woods Bagot.

    Check’n In

    The Lobby At The Primus

    As we pulled up, we were a little confused what to do with parking. The bell boy had gone inside with other guests just before, so we were left on the busy path trying to get our bags out. 

    Hoping the car would be alright we walked in through the discreet frontage (and to my surprise a rather expansive check in area). A different bell boy was quick to attend to our bags and grab the car.

    The lobby features eight original scagliola columns. The restoration of these eight-metre-high pillars has been a feat on its own. (There are only two men in the world that have the artisanal skills to complete such a job). The striking ruby red columns beamed above the marble floors, finished off with the glass brick atrium ceiling.

    The Room

    There are 172 rooms at the Primus. All rooms feature a dark masculine decor, from the carpet to the oak cabinetry. Breaking up the dark tones are subtle gold geometric trimming, plush pillows and lush robes.

    We were in the deluxe suite, and as the name suggests it was spacious and accommodating for those needing a little extra space, ideal for business travellers.  

    The bathroom was extra spacious with seperate bath, extra large shower and double marble vanity (that had insanely good lighting).

    Dual Marble Basins

    The art deco theme is carried throughout but reversed, with elegant white “brick like” tiles contrasted by black tapware and finished off with amenities by Appelles.

    Appelles

    Food & Beverage

    For me, I had a bit of a hit and miss in terms of food (in room dining that is). The first day I checked in I was ravenous so immediately went straight for the in room dining menu. I opted for the fish of the day (which was barramundi), it was fresh and cooked well, accompanied by broccolini and fries.

    The Barramundi

    The second day, we wanted to suss out the ‘cheat meal’ options, and ordered the Wagyu burgers and fried chicken. For me, this meal was inedible. The burgers were not waygu, there were two fillets on top of each other and felt as if it had been pre cooked and the texture was off. The fried chicken was bland and cold and very grey.

    Pool & Gym

    Level 7

    One of the hotels biggest draw cards would have to be Level 7. Once a test rifle range during the Second World War, it has been completely revolutionized to be an exclusive rooftop pool and bar. Fitted with blue and white striped lounges, being quite literally an oasis in the middle of the city, with drinks on hand and in the warmer months being absolutely sun drenched.

    There is an outdoor pool located on Level 7, and is heated for those wanting to have a dip during Sydney’s cooler months.

    The gym is quite small and underwhelming, but does the job.

    On Level 7

    Pros:

    • Glamorous art deco décor
    • Level 7, perfect for a cheeky afternoon drink and dip
    • Extremely spacious
    • Prime city location

    Cons:

    • In room dining was a little off, I would opt for one of the many great nearby restaurants (or via ubereats etc)
    • Valet parking is an option, however quite pricey

    We checked in early, and it must not have registered to other staff, as I had not 1, not 2 but 3 staff members come in after one knock to do quality checks and mini bar checks. Being all the way in the bathroom, they entered far too quickly!

    At The Level 7 Bar

    Overall:

    The Primus Hotel is a surprisingly gracious hotel, with so much to offer. We will definitely be back for another staycation!

    Primus Hotel
    339 Pitt Street, Sydney, 2000
    +612 8027 8000

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at the Primus Hotel was free of charge. All opinions/thoughts are my own.
    How good is the location! If you have stayed at the Primus before and think I have left something out or have a question, drop us a line below!!

    “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!

    “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

    “The Santai provides a tranquil and exclusive oasis nestled in the quite neighbourhood of the up-and-coming area of Umalas”

    The Santai

    One of Lifestyle Retreats newest members to their hotel family is the Santai (meaning “relax” or ‘lazy one’ in Indonesian) and boy does it truly live up to its name. The Santai provides a tranquil and exclusive oasis nestled in the quite neighbourhood of the ‘up and coming’ area of Umalas.

    The Santai (click here) is located halfway between Seminyak and Canguu. It is approximately 15 minutes either way by cab to Canguu or Seminyak (be careful, as when in peak hour these trips can take up to 45 minutes!) Umalas is renowned for beautiful villas, air bnb’s and homestays.

    The Santai Lobby

    Check’n In

    As we entered into the hotel from the road and on to the ‘cobble stone’ driveway I was truly surprised. From the road you can’t directly see how big and luxurious these clusters of villas actually are.

    Walking up a large two-toned staircase to the raised lobby, The Santai had a mixture of Japanese and Balinese feel to it. Adorned with a soaring pitched roof and remarkable dark wooden features, the buildings simple yet intricate design of criss crossing timber lattice formed a dramatic three-dimensional effect.

    Wooden Lattices & Large Pendant Lighting
    Large Pendant Lighting

    With only 11 private villas in the complex, there is a level of personalisation that you don’t normally get in a big resort. As we walked to our villa it was like we were the only guests here.

    The Room

    Our villa was exceptionally large with 3 separate living areas, pool garden and pool. As you enter the villa you have to walk through two double-breasted ornate wooden doors which leads into the pool area and sundeck.

    From this outdoor area you get to the first (of three) glass sliding doors. From here you enter into the living and dining area which has a wall mounted plasma, fully functional kitchen and wooden furnishings.

    Leading from the living room, you go through another set of sliding doors into the bedroom. The sizeable bedroom was filled with a very comfortable king bed, sun lounge and another wall-mounted plasma. From the bedroom you can walk straight into the private pool and water garden area.

    Through yet another set of sliding doors you enter what would be one of the largest bathrooms I have seen in a villa. Boasting both an ‘outdoor and indoor’ rain shower, extra large concrete bath and a hanging double vanity in the middle.

    Food & Beverage

    The villa’s restaurant ‘Gong’ offers a variety of South East Asian signature dishes.

    There are also cooking classes that can be done in room. This was a great experience.

    Pool & Gym

    Each villa has its own huge pool.  So there isn’t really the need for a general space one.

    Early Morning Yoga

    The Santai also doesn’t have a gym but bikes and yoga mats are provided to each guest.

    Pros:

    Large private pool
    Spacious living area with kitchen
    Butler service
    Complimentary car transfers into local areas

    Cons:

    No gym (however, bikes and yoga are matts provided)
    No room service after breakfast

    Overall:

    We found it very hard to fault our stay at The Santai. If you are looking for an exclusive and relaxing stay, a little out of the hustle and bustle of Seminyak, but close enough to enjoy it at the same time, The Santai is a must.

    The Santai
    Jalan Bumbak No.88A, Banjar Kelod Anyar,
    Kerobokan, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung,
    Bali 80361, Indonesia
    +623619002699

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at the Santai was provided complimentary by Lifestyle Retreats in return for creating brand awareness through Krumble’s social media and the Krumbled website.
    Have you stayed with Lifestyle Retreats before? What is your favourite villa? Leave any questions or comments below.

    “The Balé had a big WOW factor!!!”

    The Balé

    The Balé is the perfect place to unwind and relax in sleepy Nusa Dua. The ultra chic and luxurious resort surpassed all our expectations, The Balé’s main focus is getting guests to enjoy each other’s company in their own private “zen” pavilion.

    The Balé, Nusa Dua is a short 15-minute taxi from the airport and a 30/40 minute taxi from Seminyak. The resort is located approximately 10 minutes from the main beach in Nusa Dua although it’s only a short 2-minute drive to the private beach club Gegger. 

    Getting Around The Balé

    Check’n In

    Upon arriving at the Bale, the somewhat sombre entrance soon led into a minimalistic pathway surrounded by monochromatic neutral colours and different sizes of columns and decorative pipe pillars with the gushing sound of the waterfalls cascading throughout the resort.

    From check-in, we walked up the three-tiered monolithic stone staircase that has water gracefully flowing down the middle. The attention to detail in each of The Balé’s 29 immaculately designed villas will make your stay second to none.

    The Room

    The villas design highlight was bringing the inside out or the outside in (whichever way you want to look at it). Our room featured stunning polished concrete throughout, including the substantial elevated slab that the king size bed was built upon. Apart from the gigantic bed, the room also included a window seat and a free standing cupboard with floor to ceiling glass mirrors.

    The bedroom looked out to the tranquil garden area and cabana with its own floating day bed, which was the perfect place to unwind during the Balinese heat.

    On the other side of the mirrored cupboard is the bathroom. An abundance of light filled the room through its many floor to ceiling glass windows and the reflection of the water outside glistened on the polished stone to create a beautiful effect.

    The room was very spacious, with a floating double vanity, spa bath, inside and outdoor shower which the latter being in its own personal garden Also through double sliding doors you could literally walk straight into the pool.

    During my stay in the villas, simple things like reading a book in the sun, eating breakfast on the daybed or just enjoying the gentle breeze from your very own private pool, I felt like I was enjoying a lifestyle usually reserved for the super rich.

    Food & Beverage

    There is a resort wide focus on wellness and health. There are numerous healthy options on the food menu.

    Pool & Gym

    The gym is small yet functional with a lovely view out onto a pristine garden area.

    If you want to explore outside of your villa, The Balé has a two-tiered large swimming pool with day beds and luxurious water features. If you are after a bit of beach action.

    The Balé has its very own beach club located on Geger Beach. It’s within walking distance or a quick car ride (provided by resort).

    Pros:

    • Tranquil grounds
    • Beautiful design
    • Privacy
    • Chic villas
    • 24hr butler

    Cons:

    • There isn’t too much ‘night life’ in Nusa Dua, so if you are after an action packed night, I suggest somewhere else!
    • Also the bed sheets were a bit uncomforatble
    Sun-baking At The Balé

    Overall:

    The Balé exceeded in delivering an extremely enjoyable relaxing couple of days in ultra chic comfort. It was very hard leave!

    The Balé
    Jalan Nusa Dua Selatan, Benoa, Kuta Selatan,
    Benoa, Badung, Kabupaten Badung,
    Bali 80363, Indonesia
    +62 361 775111

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at The Balé was provided free of charge from Lifestyle Retreats in return for a review on the Krumbled website. All opinions/thoughts are my own.
    Have you stayed at The Balé before? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear any comments or questions you might have below!

    “Set amongst one of Japans’ most beautiful locations, Arashiyama. The Suiran Kyoto has gracefully set the benchmark for what can only be described as a relaxation paradise”

    Arashiyama Mountains

    Part of Starwood’s The Luxury Collection, The Suiran Kyoto (click here) has effortlessly blended cultural traditions of old Kyoto with modern day comforts. The Suiran was the perfect place to unwind, restore and take in the breathtaking surroundings of Arashiyama Mountains.

    Cafe Hassui On The Hozu River
    The Hotel Is Built Literally On The Bank Of The Hozu River

    To get to Kyoto, we took the Shinkasen (the three hour bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, which was definitely a highlight of my trip!) From the train it’s a brisk 2 minute walk to the hotels collection point (Suiran offers a complimentary taxi service from the station). The drive from the station to the hotel took approximately 30 minutes, which seemed to go quite quickly.

    Check’n In

    The Surian Kyoto is the last block of buildings along the Hozu River. It has uninterrupted views of the river and backs on to the Kameyama-koen Park.

    As the car slowly drove down the length of the river and pulled up gently to the entrance, I noticed that the facade somewhat depicted a ryokan (traditional Japanese bnb). This traditional style entrance was in fact part of an original building that dates back to the Meji-Era (1868-1912).

    The Suiran Kyoto

    As we walked through the gated entrance, it was as if we were stepping back in time and into a pristinely kept beautiful zen like garden

    Immaculately Kept Gardens

    Walking through to reception, we were greeted by Yoshiko, who gave us a great run down of what to do, where to eat and how to avoid the crowded popular spots. Check in was extremely quick and swift and before we knew it we were headed off to our rooms.

    The Room

    There are 39 rooms at the Suiran, we were in the “Yunzunoha” Deluxe Room. At first glance, I was pretty underwhelmed with the room but in saying that once I began to look around and notice just how the room ‘worked’ I started to appreciate it a bit more.

    “Yunzunoha” Deluxe Room

    It was a traditional Japanese room mixed with some modern day comforts. With ‘Tatami’ mat flooring, low chair set (actually incredibly good to work at for your posture!) and to top it all off, we had our very own open air bath with natural hot spring water from the Arashiyama Onsen.

    Having this open-air bath was quite an experience. It was quite a bit of a shock to the body with the change of temperatures. In fact, when I lived in Japan when I was younger, I would often go to the local onsen to help with my skin irritations, reduce body soreness and it helped with my blood circulation.

    Food & Beverage

    Suiran Kyoto has two dining options: Restaurant Kyo or Cafe Hassui.

    Restaurant Kyo was originally erected in 1899 as Baron Shozo Kawasaki’s summer house. Depicting true Meiji Era architecture, Kyo has been restored and rejuvinated with contemporary lighting and seating, floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the tranquil garden area and onto the Arashiyama hills.

    Dining options allow you to choose from traditional Teppanyaki dishes or more western infused meals. We ate here for dinner one night, the meal was extremely satisfying and the sushi was some of the best sushi I have ever had.

    Breakfast was also served at Kyo, however, in a complete contrast to the meal the night before, we felt as if the menu lacked and wasn’t anything special.

    Cafe Hassui is absolutely stunning, set right upon the Hozu River. We had afternoon drinks here after our action packed day exploring. The cafe is housed in a 100 year old building that was actually built for 19th century poets. I can also happily report that there are still a few original pieces of artwork and calligraphic poems. The front verandah of Hassui is in my opinion the epitome of relaxation, listening to the whisper of the river below and taking in the surrounding beauty (it would have been slightly a little bit more amazing if the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, but hey, who’s complaining!)

    Pool & Gym

    The Suiran doesn’t actually have either a pool or gym, however what it lacks in guest services it more than makes up in their spa treatments. The Suiran offers private spa experiences in either your room or the spa rooms, with treatments such as jade stone facials, green tea scrubs and collagen masks.

    Pros:

    • Tranquil landscape
    • Traditional rooms
    • Private hot spring

    Cons:

    • no pool or gym (take advantage of the many surrounding walks if cardio is on the top of your list)

    Overall:

    The Surian Kyoto was just what I had hoped for. It doesn’t have all the modern bells and whistles of an International hotel if that’s what you need. Nevertheless for those who are after tranquility, great views and authentic Japanese charm, The Surian is exactly where you want to be.

    The Suiran
    12 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
    Kyoto, Japan
    +81 75 872 0101

    Kx
    Disclaimer: My stay at the Suiran Kyoto was provided complimentary in exchange for a review on the Krumbled website. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
    Have you stayed at The Suiran before? What did you think of  the Arashiyama? If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them below.

    “In a city that is continuously reinventing itself, the ANA InterContinental Tokyo continuously caters for the astute business traveler”

    Club InterContinental Tokyo

    Astutely awarded ‘Japan’s Leading business hotel’ in 2016. The ANA InterContinental Tokyo (click here) leads the way in offering guests an all encompassing stay when it comes to those who are traveling for business. The 37 story hotel has a whopping 844 guest rooms, 11 restaurant and bars (one of which is a two Michelin Starred restaurant) and 20 banquet and function rooms.

    ANA InterContinental Tokyo is ideally situated in Ark Hills which is in the heart of the commercial district of Tokyo. Being only a short distance to the central business district, government offices, embassies, many tourist hotspots and also having the advantage of the subway literally at its doorstop, some would argue its location is second to none.

    ANA InterContinental Tokyo

    Check’n In

    Our trip to the hotel really started the night before in Hong Kong. We had the horror 2am flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo meaning we weren’t able to sleep before the flight. Then came the flight time of about 3 hours + a delay. Eventually we arrived to the airport early in the morning at around 6-7am which was then followed by an hour drive to the hotel.

    The easiest way to get to the hotel is by limousine bus. It’s just your normal greyhound but it’s comfortable, picks you up from Narita Airport and drops you off at the ANA InterContinental’s doorstep which was extremely convenient considering we were in a group of 4 and had 6 pieces of luggage.

    As we pulled up to the hotel in the bus were greeted by the usual valet suspects. Drop off was in the basement so the valet took our bags while another ushered us up 2 quick escalators to the main lobby. Being a sizable hotel of 844 rooms, the wait to check-in was a little tedious, but nonetheless it gave us a chance to take in our surroundings.

    The lobby was busting at the seams with people going in and out, having meetings while music was softly flowing from the restaurant, as it was breakfast. After the initial queue wait, the ANA graciously allowed us to check in 4 hours ahead of time. To say this was fantastic would be an understatement, as we were travelling with two 80 year olds who were in desperate need of some R&R.

    ANA InterContinental Lobby

    The Room

    Guest rooms are categorized into three types to cater for guests different needs. These are Premier, Executive Deluxe & Classic categories. There are also suites that are from approximately 52sqm and upwards.

    We stayed in the Premier room. It had a gorgeous view towards the Paris Tower and onto many of the garden filled rooftops that Tokyo is accustomed to.

    For me, the room was slightly outdated (the hotel opened in 1986). The decor was a mix of Japanese design and somewhat contemporary decor with its’ neutral tones and splashes of blue, red and orange. The layout was a little pokey (what you’d expect from 32sqm), yet it managed to fit in a workspace, king bed and built ins.

    Food & Beverage

    Spoilt for choice would be the only way to describe the ANA InterContinental Food & Beverage scene. The hotel houses 11 different restaurants and bars to choose from, including Pierre Gagnaire’s only Japanese restaurant which has continuously won two Micheline stars since 2010.

    With those seeking diversity guests can indulge in the award winning buffet and a la carte restaurant, Cascade Cafe (where we ate at for breakfast). If that doesn’t tickle your fancy you can try the long list of other choices which include: A Teppanyaki restaurant, sushi restaurant, champagne bar, cigar bar, The stylish MIXX bar, The Bar & Lounge, The Steakhouse, The Atrium Lounge or Japanese restaurant.

    The Mixx Bar

    With that being said, we had a bit of a hit and miss situation when it came to our dining during our two night stay. The first night we ate at the gorgeous Unkai. It was one of best Japanese meals I have ever eaten and the backdrop was a gorgeous perfectly manicured traditional garden.

    On the second night we ate at the Steakhouse, which I found to under-deliver and to be overpriced.

    Unkai
    Unkai

    Pool & Gym

    The gym was quite large. It had most of the stock standard hotel gym essentials but leaning more towards the cardio side of things rather than weight training options. The pool area on the other hand, was extremely bare and needed a little TLC. We later learnt that the pool area is only open for 4 months out of the year (which would explain the lackluster gardens as we were coming out of winter which in hindsight makes sense).

    ANA InterContinental Pool

    Pros:

    • Abundance of choice with food and beverage options
    • Business Lounge
    • Conveinient Location

    Cons:

    • As it is such a large hotel, get ready for queues
    • When going to concierge, although extremely helpful, I felt as if they were just trying to hurry me away
    Club Lounge At The ANA

    Overall:

    ANA InterContinental Tokyo is such a one-shop stop.  Everything you need is at your fingertips without needing to leave the hotel.

    ANA InterContinental Tokyo
    Akaska Minato-Ku Tokyo
    107-0052 Japan
    +81 3-3505-1111

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