GRAND VILLA ARGENTINA ESTATES, DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

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Villa Orsula – Grand Villa Argentina – Hotel Argentina – Villa Glavic

 

 

Villa Orsula

 

Grand Villa Argentina

 

 

 Hotel Argentina

 

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The Villa Argentina Estate in Dubrovnik consists of four buildings which are interconnected. The mainbuildings are the Grand Villa Argentina and the hotel Argentina and the Villa Orsula. Across the street is the Villa Glavic which is a separate building but guests can use all the facilities of the Hotel Argentina.

The Grand Villa Argentina was built in the early 1920’s and became a luxury hotel a few years later. Its unique location makes this hotel a fantastic place to stay. Rooms and Suites offer a superb view of the Adriatic sea, the small island of Lokrum and the medieval city of Dubrovnik with its small harbour. The entrance to the old town is only 10 min walking distance away which makes it a wonderful place to stay, go and back to town whenever one feels like doing so.

The Villa Argentina has a magnificent garden which offers many relaxing spaces to sit down, read a book, or just simply watch the beautiful  Adriatic sea. A small swimming pool, a gym, a barber shop and a beauty spa are available. The hotel has a large bar, an indoor restaurant and an outdoor restaurant. I had breakfast and a dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and food tasted delicious and was plentiful.

There is also Villa Orsola which is no doubt one of the most luxurious places to stay in Dubrovnik. It consists of only 14 suites, all with a contemporary design. The Villa Orsula has been completely renovated and offers the highest luxury standards.  There is also a separate gourmet restaurant, a luxury bar and a lounge area. Guests at the Villa Orsula have a separate entrance with a small reception where a staff member is available 24 hours.

Dubrovnik offers many small hotels and accommodation. Those located in the old town might be a bit difficult to access as there are many steep stairs and small alleys and the old town tends to be very crowded if not overcrowded when the large cruise ships arrive and flood the town with their passengers.

I would highly recommend one of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels (14) as they are professionally managed and their staff are well trained, friendly, and helpful at all times.

 

 

https://www.adriaticluxuryhotels.com/en

 

PRIVATE JET EXPERIENCE

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This review is about the growing private aviation industry. There are numerous private airlines operating all over the world, from the smallest 4 to 6 seater aircraft to the larger up to 12 passengers aircraft which can fly long-haul.

I recently tried a German carrier called Hahn Air. They operate a fleet of aircraft which are available for hire on a charter basis. They can be chartered for short flights as well as longer trips. Some of these private airlines also operate scheduled flights on a seasonal basis. Hahn Air offers flights from Düsseldorf to Palma de Mallorca once a week and some scheduled flights from Düsseldorf to Luxembourg and return.

On my flight there were only 2 passengers and the captain gave us a safety briefing before take-off. The aircraft was a six seater Cessna Citation and there was a small monitor on which flight information was displayed. The cockpit door remained open and some pre-recorded  announcements were played before take-off and landing.

There is no flight attendant on board but there is a catering box which has soft drinks, coffee and small snacks for self-service.

The flight was short and the large windows offered a nice view. It was a unique experience for me as I am used to commercial aviation only. I liked the comfort and exclusivity as well as the ambiance and the feeling of being a VIP.

Private aviation is a costly business so careful planning is necessary. According to the company’s website, they offer nice deals for smaller groups or regular customers.

HahnAir

 

https://www.hahnair.com/en

HUGO JUNKERS LOUNGE, DUSSELDORF, GERMANY

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I visited the Hugo Junkers Lounge at Düsseldorf Airport in the early morning. It is located next to the security check point “B” upstairs. (Since the closure of Air Berlin,the security check point “B” is not very busy at all. My tip, use this check point instead of the busy “A” checkpoint. All checkpoints lead to all gates at this airport)

The Hugo Junkers Lounge is a themed lounge dedicated to Hugo Junkers, an aviation pioneer and his aircraft. The Lounge is spacious with a large seating area as well as some tables to work or eat. The food and beverage on offer is the usual, nothing special, and rather on the simpler side. All standard beverages are available, including wine and spirits.

The best asset of this lounge is the view. There is a tarmac view and part of the C and B terminals are visible and that makes it a nice place to wait, particularly for aviation lovers. Priority pass holders as well as some airline’s business class passengers may use the lounge for free. Access for a fee of roughly 30 Euros is also possible.

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https://www.dus.com/en/services/lounges/hugo-junkers-lounge

THE RITZ-CARLTON, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

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fullsizeoutput_12deThe Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui opened only a few months ago and is located on a hill enjoying beautiful views.

The resort offers all suites and pool-villas only and hosts its  own Spa Village with private cabanas, a private pool and plenty of treatment rooms. I stayed in an ocean-view King Suite which was 93 sq. metres in size and offered a stunning view over the property and the ocean.

The resort is of a fairly large size and after check-in at the arrival lounge you are taken to your Suite by an electric buggy. Buggies are available day and night and be called at any time to move around the hotel. Walkways can be pretty steep and long depending where your suite is located.

The resort suites and pool villas are tastefully decorated and offer all luxury amenities of a modern hotel. The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui offers several restaurants and dining options. I tried several of them and the food that I tasted was delicious. I would especially recommend the Pak TaI Restaurant which offers live entertainment every day.

The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui has two small private beaches as well as an awesome, large infinity pool. There is also a swim reef to discover where you can swim and feed the fish which I found to be a unique experience. Muay Thai and Yoga lessons are offered and a gym is also available.

The resort offers a sunset cocktail hour every day at the arrival lounge platform where guests can enjoy a sip and meet other guests. Another highlight for me was the fantastic breakfast at Shook! Restaurant. It offers an extra wide range of freshly cooked bakery and other breakfast items. Fresh vegetable juices, organic egg dishes and Asian favourites are on offer as well. This breakfast buffet is one of the largest I have ever seen and everything tasted so good.

One of the best assets of this hotel are certainly its staff members. Everybody I met was most charming, open and always ready for a chat as well as offering the famous extra-mile that Ritz-Carlton hotels are famous for. They always called me by my name and made sure I always felt comfortable and being well taken care of. I can only congratulate the Management for such eager staff members and hope the service level will stay as high as it is right now.

A fantastic new resort to the already top-notch Koh Samui resort world with a 6* service.

 

 

http://www.ritzcarlton.com

 

 

 

MIRACLE FIRST CLASS LOUNGE, SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT BANGKOK, THAILAND

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There have been some serious changes at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport during the last few months. Bangkok Airways have recently opened their new international departure lounge and now two new, large Miracle Lounges have just opened their doors. The dated Thai Royal Silk lounges remain open near gate D2 and in each C and E piers and will be hopefully refurbished and refreshed in the near future. The new Miracle Lounges are located near gates D6-D4.

Several airlines which do not have their own lounges at Suvarnabhumi Airport use the new Miracle Lounges. They are open 24 hours and the Business Class Lounge is also available for public use for a fee which offers 2 hours of usage.

I visited the First Class Lounge and it is divided into a food and beverage section and a relaxation area. The food section offers bar-style tables as well as dining tables which are more suitable for eating. They have a fully stocked bar available for self-service and soft drinks and coffee/tea are available as well. The food offering is changed during the day. I visited late morning and a selection of breakfast items, salads, snacks, cakes and ice cream was available. There is also a station with different food savouries and an open kitchen where a chef prepares fresh noodles according to the guest’s wishes.

Shower facilities and restrooms are conveniently located in the lounge. The relaxation section of the lounge was deserted and was a great place to unwind after the airport procedures which can be rather stressful and time consuming at Suvarnabhumi airport. I really enjoyed having a quiet moment for myself before boarding my flight.

The lounge has a beautiful modern decor and is a perfect spot to have a rest and chill out. I really enjoyed my stay and I did not miss the lack of sleep/resting rooms, although the lighting in the lounge was a bit too bright for my preference.

 

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http://suvarnabhumiairport.com

PARK HYATT, BANGKOK, THAILAND

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I visited the new Park Hyatt Bangkok on a busy weekday where it was booked with  a high occupancy of 80 %. The hotel is part of the new Central Embassy Complex which hosts many high-end brand-name stores, restaurants and more. Due to its architecture, the Park Hyatt Bangkok is anangled, irregularly shaped building and its corridors and hallways are curved and windy.

The rooms, however are large sized with most of them having a breathtaking view over the park. The bathrooms are ultra-modern, bright and have extra-large showers. (Photos show standard rooms) The design of the hotel is state-of-the-art and represents a big city hotel with timeless decor.

If you are looking for a Thai touch you will be disappointed here. But if you are looking for a downtown hotel located in the central Bangkok Sukhumvit area you will be happy with its location. Most places in Bangkok can be easily reached from here by BTS Skytrain or Underground MRT services.

I find this a very chic hotel with stunning views and a perfect downtown location.

 

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https://www.hyatt.com

SANCTUM INLE RESORT, MYANMAR (BURMA)

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Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar and offers some of Asia’s most fascinating markets, pagodas and a remarkable collection of 1,000 ruined stupas at Inhein Village that date back to the 13th century. Fresh fruit and vegetables and are grown near and on the lake and some local garment manufacturers can be visited.

I arrived at the Sanctum Inle Lake Resort from Taunguyi by boat to the hotel’s own boat jetty which made it quite a unique experience. I stayed in a cloister deluxe room which had a wonderful view over the hotel gardens and Inle Lake.

At Sanctum Inle Resort arches and cloisters reference the monastic life. The hotel has integrated all of the modern comforts, from plush beds and air-conditioning, cable-televisons, minibars and Wifi. The bathrooms are large and feature a separate bathtub and a rain shower. (However the water pressure was very low and the hot/cold water regulation was a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, this could not be fixed during our stay.

The hotel’s Cloister Bar is partly a bar, partly a lounge and offers everything from cocktails to wines and beer as well as the entire menu of The Refectory restaurant. The Refectory Restaurant offers Shan State culinary delights such as noodles, soups and salads from the hotel’s own gardens. There are international dishes available as well.

The hotel has a beautiful infinity pool which offers a stunning view of the sunset over Inle Lake. The hotel has a gym and bicycles are available to explore the surrounding area.

I tried a massage at the hotel’s Sanctuary Spa. The massage  was aromatherapy style and my request to do it on the softer side was very much adhered to by the therapist. (She did however not let me choose the oil as offered in their Spa-menu).

The hotel caters to individual guests as well as smaller and larger groups of travellers. The hotel promises a place of inner peace and calm and serenity in their brochure. This is kind of conflicting with selling their rooms to larger groups. While seeking peace and relaxation one could be disturbed by the arrival of forty to fifty people in a group invading the pool area or the breakfast room at the same time.

I had a pleasant stay at this new hotel in Inle Lake and all staff members I met were friendly and helpful. The food that I tasted was delicious and nicely presented.

If staying at Inle Lake, I would most certainly stay at the Sanctum Inle Lake Resort again and would add two or three days more to the stay for relaxation and unwinding.

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http://sanctum-inle-resort.com/