Booking this place we knew it would be something special. It’s not your traditional hotel, but this is in no way a bad thing.
After meandering the winding and ever-changing roads we arrived at our destination.
Surrounded by the Daintree National Park and located halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. The Daintree Wilderness Lodge is conveniently located near many of the Daintree’s best sites. Built in the early 1990’s the lodge is managed by a couple who also live onsite.
The Queensland government is purposefully limiting infrastructure development in the Daintree National Park. This means the region has no mains supplied power, sewage system and limited cell phone coverage. By limiting the infrastructure they aim to deter major development that could threaten the integrity of the ancient rainforest. Therefore, the Lodge relies on diesel generated power stored in batteries. In the interest of responsible power usage, lighting and cooling systems are all high efficiency. To maximise the battery life visitors are encouraged to limit power usage during non-power generating hours.A fun fact a hairdryer will use up to 2500 watts in one use whilst the entire lodge uses only 3000 watts in one night.
The Daintree Wilderness Lodge has been awarded the Advanced Eco-Accreditation by the Eco-Tourism Association. To maintain their Eco-Accreditation they;
Use spring water which is pumped via bore
Bio cycle system to filter our natural waste from showers and toilets
Natural decomposition of waste where possible
Limited diesel generated power consumption
Use of deep cycle batteries to power the lodge
Using local suppliers to reduce carbon air pollution
Reduction of food waste where possible
Walking into the lodge you instantly feel in tune with nature, having a sunroof allowing you to gaze up at the sky admiring the serenity that you are surrounded by. There is respect shown to the environment. The pathways are and cabins are stilted to limit their footprint and impact on the rainforest. This allows the local flora and fauna to go about their lives and immerses you in the rainforest experience. It is not uncommon to see animals scurrying around our the front of your cabin. If you are really lucky you may get a visit from one of the local Cassowaries “Fred” who has been visiting the lodge since a hatchling. To keep visitors notified there is a posting board where visitors can show each other what local fauna they spotted on their walks and near the cabins.
The nearby nature walk is clearly marked and will take about 30mins round trip, taking you past Hopes Cycad that is over 1000 years old. Given Cycads take 100 years to grow just 1 metre, this is pretty special to see. Doing this walk really gives you a chance to get amongst it and enjoy the beauty of the Daintree rainforest.
Knowing early on that we would be arriving late, we pre-arranged for them to leave the cabin keys out for us. Only having seven cabins at the accommodation allows it to be intimate, private and each lodge features its own boardwalk leading to your front door.
If you are not relaxed enough from “switching off” from civilisation you can always take a dip in the heated spa.
Need something to read? You can take advantage of their “book swap scheme”. A small library features books from all over the world and a small selection of DVDs that can be played on your TV/DVD combo in all the cabins. If you want to learn more about the flora and fauna you see during the day, there is a great selection of books that you can educate yourself with. But please remember they are not part of the “book swap scheme”
The staff and friendly and very accommodating. If there is no one at the reception counter, there is an intercom that you can press and they come in a very timely manner. We asked for some assistance with a booking and they were able to secure a tour with very short notice through their network of guides.
FOOD and DRINK:
Their private restaurant ‘CYCAD’ provides its services exclusively for Daintree Wilderness Lodge guests. Breakfast is offered between 8-9 and consists of tropical fruit and then your choice of toasted muesli served with yoghurt, croissants served with butter and jam or a cooked breakfast which changes daily. Their coffee and tea are all locally grown, in fact, all their ingredients are locally sourced. Dinner is served between 6-7:30pm and you must place your order before 4pm. They do this to reduce food wastage. The dinner menu is placed at reception each morning allowing you to choose your menu items. From the time to time the kitchen is closed. When it is closed, management provides guidance on restaurants in the area and arrange bookings for guests. The Dinner was a very nice, with a focus on local ingredients it was great to get a taste of Far North Queensland.
Leaving here we were most certainly relaxed, getting back to nature really calmed and re-invigorated us. We would definitely say if you are heading to North Queensland, stop by here for a couple of nights, it will be worth it!
A stay at the Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel was a great way for us to end our time in Iceland, but definitely wish we had longer. From the moment we checked in it really felt like we were at an exclusive luxurious hotel.
If you want the crowds you can move to the main Blue Lagoon after 5 pm using your complimentary free pass, but we opted for the peacefulness and exclusiveness of this pool. They provide you with flip flops, bathrobes and floating rings. It was a truly magical and unique experience, where else can you treat yourself to a white silica mud mask? The only word we could use to describe this experience – surreal.
Whilst this hotel may seem isolated, it is the perfect way to end your vacation in Iceland given its amenities and proximity to the airport.
All rooms offer a glazed wall and with an external door for you to take in the views. The shower room was amazing, from all of the hotels we have stayed in, this room was by far the largest and best designed. Every bit of furnishing used in the room was a perfect fit and with only 35 rooms on offer, this really was the exclusive stay we wanted.
The staff were friendly and accommodating. The entire place has a very peaceful spa feel and the calmness of the staff reflects that also.
FOOD and DRINK:
The Clinic offers a beautiful surrounding of moss covered rocks with its own private geothermal pool for guests only. While there is no bar at the pool, they do have people on standby ready to take your drinks order. Unfortunately, there is no restaurant here so you will need to make your way to the Lava restaurant (reservations only) down the path at the main Blue Lagoon. Breakfast (continental only) was traditional and lovely, with plenty of cold cuts of meat, cheese, skyr yoghurt, salmon, wholegrain bread, fruit salad and unlimited flavoured water, tea and coffee.
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel is a member of the Design Hotels group and fits well with the rest of their portfolio. It is undoubtedly fashionable and trendy. The largest draw card being the remoteness and viewing of the northern lights. Unfortunately the weather was not favourable and and the stunning vistas promised eluded us.
Hotel is a 40min drive from Reykjavík, it sits on the side of a small valley encircled by nature. It is a real gem waiting to be discovered.
Walking in, the reception is big and the styling is in keeping with the amazing exterior with an abundant use of recycled and repurposed materials. The property offers unrestricted and spectacular views and has won awards for the Scandinavian design. The room is not the largest, but everything about it speaks quality.
The Geothermal pool was amazing, sitting neatly amongst the angled building columns, again offering great views and incredibly relaxing. It is not the biggest, but the hotel is boutique after all and, let’s be honest, small means less people which means more Lux. We could not recommend this hotel more highly, add it to your list! The Ion Hotel really is an experience in itself, coupled with a level of service that was brilliant, providing just what you want from a hotel.
The bed was king size, very comfortable and as an added bonus there was a Coffee machine in the room, they even provided a Mini iPad. There was no bath, which was fine with us, and it was not a large bathroom but plenty of room to do what you need to do. Toiletries provided were Organic.. The ever present smell of sulphur permeates everything, but it is Iceland after all. The view from the rooms fits very well with the Iceland aesthetic. Rolling boulders covered in moss and lichen almost seems otherworldly and had us looking for the mythical Icelandic gnomes and trolls. But honestly WiFi was the last thing on our mind we were much happier to lose ourselves in the natural landscape.
Unfortunately there are mixed reviews online regarding the friendliness of the staff. We are happy to say we found them very accommodating and friendly.
FOOD and DRINK:
With a dramatic view of Lake Thingvallavatn (Þingvallavatn) and the surrounding mountains the Northern Lights Bar is the perfect start to an evening. The design is quite modern with a chic twist. Books are on offer for those that like to read and guitars for those talented enough to strum and impress. Cocktails were lovely and the Northern Lights Bar offered the perfect ambience and it really just set our night up.
Silfra has a reputation for good cuisine and good service. It certainly lived up to it for us. The Chef specializes in the slow food movement. Meaning all the recipes on the menu are designed around locally sourced produce and flavour profiles. The dinner we had there did not disappoint any of us, yes it was on the expensive side, but when you are literally in the middle of nowhere and in Iceland, you have to expect it. We had the 4 course menu and not one complaint from any of us whatsoever. The service was spot on with efficient and polite staff who had great knowledge of the menu and wine list.
A beautiful large breakfast buffet which satisfied us, even though there are no cooked options.
We spent two nights at this hotel and having arrived around midnight, after a long international transit, it was delightful to see the hotel staff were helpful and our rooms were clean. The beds were extra comfy and the buffet breakfast was extensive with options for organic. As you walk into the hotel you are greeted by a vast and beautiful atrium, complete with a bar and lounge area with comfortable seating. Free Wi-Fi through the hotel.
It is only approx. a 20-minute walk to downtown Reykjavík, so take a walk along the waters edge for a scenic route and this will take you past the Sun Voyager. For those that choose not to walk the hotel does offer a one-way shuttle 3 times a day to downtown.
We would be confident in recommending this hotel to anyone and we would happily stay here again when we revisit Iceland.
The rooms are large and well appointed fitting with its four star rating. We really liked the hardwood flooring and leather sofas. The rooms where clean and even passed the hidden dust spots test. It did get a little warm in the room overnight, but we opened the windows and the fresh Arctic air solved that problem. With options for atrium or “a view” our choices made little difference in the quality. We suggest the real “view” is achieved by walking out the front door and seeing Reykjavik.
The staff were very friendly and very fluent in english.
FOOD and DRINK:
Aside from a few drinks at the bar and buffet breakfast we did not partake in much of the hotels food and beverage services.
The bar had a good standard selection with some local brew options and of course Brennivin.
The Breakfast Buffet had a great selection of hot and cold standard options. Including the customary Icelandic Skyr. For the meat incline the blood sausage nuggets were very tasty.
Built in 1927 the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago has a checkered and colourful history. The penthouse floor was once run as a casino by Al Capone’s brother. In the 1970’s it was known as the Playboy Towers. It has hosted John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon and the Rolling Stones. It is also high the most haunted hotels in the United States list. However, during our stay we saw no gangsters, bunnies, presidents or rock stars living or dead. What we did experience was a great hotel experience. Located on the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s 13 block street that is counted as one of the world’s great avenues. This hotel is all about location and history. Central to many great attractions the hotel allows visitors to travel on foot or access the public transit system easily.
The history and grandeur of the Millenium Knickerbocker is evident from the moment you step to the entrance. Ornate and elegant filigree adorns the awning and windows. It beckons you into a hotel lobby that has maintained a classic style. The rooms are simple and very comfortable. Soft furnishings and a thematically aligned colour palette take on a modern art nouveau meets art deco sensibility. The rooms are bright despite having relatively small windows by modern standards. Everything was clean and fresh and it was obvious that the housekeeping staff took pride in their work.
The hotel staff were very friendly and accommodating. Even taking part in a surprise that one couple has arranged for the other. The concierge was very knowledgeable a got us a line advance into a deep dish pizza place that normally requires a one hour wait. It helps to know the right people in Chicago… we guess!
FOOD and DRINK:
The bar staff were outstanding, remembering what we ordered from the first drink. Whilst handling a very high workload. We did not dine in the restaurant, but can only assume it is as good as the rest of the hotel.
We would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago
Not every review starts with a positive experience. It can be tempting to list everything that went wrong and vent frustration, but we don’t want this to be that kind of website. When you travel you expect with the right research you can ensure a satisfying outcome. However, on this occasion, despite our best efforts the experience was less than exemplary. The online reviews for this hotel are mixed, to say the least, but we didn’t expect what we experienced.
The hotel was built in the early 1920’s and it is a great location if you want to hit Central Park and the Time Square area. They pride themselves on hosting Jackie Gleason and Mae West to Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. But perhaps that was the last time they trained their staff on customer service too.
One of the rooms we booked promised a standard queen bed, but upon checking in the room had two single beds. Now sure, we are not “Honeymooners” (see Jackie Gleason reference to get that joke). But we want was requested on booking, at the very least be told about the problem/option at the front desk interaction. After a quick trip to the front desk and some disgruntled huffing from the staff, we were moved to a new room with our promised bed type.
But it didn’t end there the second room had a broken bed, that sagged very badly. Another trip to the front desk we were told that no other rooms were available. After further disgruntled huffing, a maintenance staff member was sent to the room to fix it. Unfortunately, the maintenance person deemed that it was not only unfixable but indeed unsleepable. At that point, one couple was moved to the two single bed room we had just rejected, with the promise that we would be moved to a new room the next day.
The rooms were small and our non-smoking floor reeked of cigarettes. Not wanting to fell like we were complainers, which we seldom are. We waited until the next night to tell the front desk about the smoke smell. Given that the other floors did not smell, we assumed someone was smoking on our floor and they were not supposed to be. The front desk was indifferent and did nothing to confirm or deny our concerns.
The beds were saggy and uncomfortable (even after changing from the broken one). The window view was of a brick wall and the elevators took a long time to arrive anywhere. It is almost comical now that we look back at the experience. Almost like the universe was giving us one hotel that is perfect for a bad review. Oh and when we walked out on the last day the hotel union was protesting the cleanliness of the hotel with a comical blow-up rat.
The staff were not accommodating or friendly. Every request we made, seemed to be an inconvenience for them.
FOOD and DRINK:
Aside from a couple of “ok” cocktails, we didn’t try any of the food or drink at the hotel. The experience with the rooms deterred us greatly from giving them any more money than they deserved.
Being our first time travelling as a group, we wanted to stay near Times Square. Our inexperience showed, after reading many recommendations telling us to stay away from the “Time Square Strip” we booked anyway. The room was expensive, although that is not uncommon in NYC. However, what we got for our money and the general lack of service showed a basic lack of understanding around the term hospitality. We can only assume the hotel thinks (knows) that thanks to their location they will sell out every week and there is no need for customer retention.
We would not stay here again and we would not recommend it to people. It may have changed since we stayed there, they may have made improvements in customer service and room cleanliness. But as they say “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Sometime, you need to eat up your pride, walk out of the hotel lobby and say “and… awaay we go!”
This hotel was recommended to us by a friend and, my goodness, we were glad we listened and stayed here. From check in to check out, our experience was impeccable.
This hotel has a certain buzz and is definitely suited to a younger crowd. The front desk staff were very accommodating and friendly and we got an upgrade which was lovely. The elevator up to the room had a great video art piece and the hall was all mirrored.
Offers easy walking to the West Village with plenty of restaurants and bars close by.
Our rooms had stunning views of the Hudson River and the Financial District, with floor to ceiling windows. The room has very little storage space for clothes, but given it is NY we expected it. Bathroom has a freestanding bath and the quality of the toiletries are amazing.
We walked into the Standard up to reception desk and we were greeted with a big smile. The lady that served us was very helpful and gave us a complimentary room upgrade which we quite happily accepted. Everywhere we turned each staff member is smiling, accommodating and helpful, what more can you ask for?
We had a couple of meals at the hotel and nothing short of amazing, the service again was spot on. We genuinely think they really love working there, they love interacting with the people that stay there from all over the world.
If you stay here, you will not be disappointed with their staff or their customer service.
FOOD and DRINK:
The highlight for us was the Cocktail Bar at the top of the Standard. Watching the sunset with the sweeping views over the Hudson river. The staff are attentive and they most certainly know how to make a good Amaretto Sour and an Old Fashioned. Vades has had many an Old Fashioned in his time, and exclaimed this was the best one ever! We started our night here, before making our way downstairs to the Standard Grill for dinner.
From the moment we walked in we received immaculate service and the food was equally matched. Being our last night together we went all out, having ordered scallops, oysters, steak, you name it, we ordered it. Everything was cooked to perfection and not one complaint came out from our mouths, this night was perfect.
Breakfast was delightful, nothing stands out here, but nothing to complain of either.
We booked this hotel after reading that it has been completely renovated and when you look at the pictures the pool looks amazing and we can confirm the pool is amazing. It is a big complex as you would expect, close to Po’ipu beach. There are deluxe studios to Villas to a Penthouse Suite, the only limit is your budget. All in all it wasn’t a bad hotel, would we stay here again probably not. We will look to stay North Shore next time.
We stayed in a deluxe studio room, it comes with a little kitchenette including a fridge, microwave and you can’t forget the coffee maker. If you find that you have run out of clean clothes they have washing machine. We found the bed too soft, so we actually pulled the sofa bed mattress out and slept on the floor for the 4 nights we were there. Nothing stood out for the bathroom, this room would definitely suit those families with kids.
Let’s talk about that pool. That pool is remarkable and is one of the biggest in Kauai, they have private cabanas you can rent. The pool is open from 7.30am -10.30pm every day and the kids (incl big kids) can have a little fun on the pool slide.
They do have a spa, but we did not have any treatments, the pool was relaxing enough for us.
FOOD and DRINK:
The resort has one main restaurant called Holoholo grill and we actually didn’t eat here at all, so no reviews unfortunately. There is a marketplace where you can purchase snacks, milk, cereal etc. this is great if you are on a budget and don’t wish to eat at the restaurant every day.
Hearing great reviews ourselves, we thought we should check this place out. It is about a 20min walk away from Waikiki beach or you can take the trolley for $2. It is closer to Ala Moana shopping centre. The front desk checked us in quickly and with a smile, the desks themselves were formed with layers of plywood and has been sculpted to an impressive curve to resemble a set of eyes. The reception area has such a cool vibe about it, very Minimalistic, very natural.
Thankfully our room was ready as we arrived a little earlier than the desired check in time.
Having many room styles to choose from, we stayed in a partial ocean view. The room is all white and you feel relaxed as soon as you walk through the door. The bathroom was nice and clean, a decent size and the vanity was also a good size. The room had cute little touches like towel hooks and ukulele’s. The bed was incredibly comfortable and you know how sometimes the pillows can be either too soft or too hard, well these were perfect. We loved the room.
They have 2 pools there and wow the pool may have been small but the hotel itself is classified as more a boutique hotel, therefore less guests. Poolside service for any drinks and menu items that you are after. The spa looks amazing, but sadly we did not book any treatment here. They have a nightclub should you wish for a night out without having to go far, but given our limited time we spent most of our time in Tourist hotspots.
FOOD and DRINK:
We had breakfast here one morning and the service was superb, the food matched and they make a good bloody mary. Poolside dining was a win, with the service being impeccable and the drinks matched. The serenity sitting poolside enjoying cocktails is what everyone looks for when they go on a holiday. It felt like we were in an Adults only hotel with no screaming kids around at all.