Travel tip: how to book Ritz-Carlton hotels at the cheapest rate?

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel conteststipsseries, or news.

Today (October 12, 2018): how to get maximum value when booking a Ritz-Carlton hotel?

Ritz-Carlton is an American hotel company, founded in 1983, that is now part of the Marriott group. The company manages more than 90 luxury hotels and resorts across 30 countries and territories in the world, including famous properties such as Hotel Arts in Barcelona, the Mandapa Reserve in Bali, and the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. Ritz-Carlton has been recognized with numerous awards for being the gold standard of hospitality.

Although the Ritz-Carlton hotels greatly vary in room rates, ranging from relatively cheap to insanely expensive, there are several tips & tricks to save hundreds of dollars when staying at one of the brand’s hotels and resorts. I hereby share with you the 4 best strategies – at least in my opinion – for booking a room (or even suite) into a Ritz-Carlton property. You can share your own tricks in the comments below.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
THE RITZ-CARLTON, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND


1. BOOK VIA THE OFFICIAL RITZ-CARLTON WEBSITE

You may think that booking via the official Ritz-Carlton website is a good idea, and that’s partly true because of the following benefits:

  • You earn Marriott Rewards points every time you stay at a hotel of the Mariott Group, including Ritz-Carlton properties. Marriott Rewards is the excellent loyalty program of the Marriott Hotel group, and allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for free (or heavily discounted) hotel nights at Ritz-Carlton hotels (read my review of Marriott Rewards here). You earn 10 base points for every US dollar spent on all qualifying charges with stays at the Marriott group. Marriott Rewards elite members automatically receive a bonus on all the points they earn: Silver Elites earn a 10% bonus, Gold Elites a 25% bonus, Platinum Elites a 50% bonus, and Platinum Premier Elites a 75% bonus.
  • Ritz-Carlton offers a best rate guarantee (BRG) when you book via the official hotel website. If you find a lower rate for the same hotel, room type and dates within 24 hours of making your reservation, you need to submit a BRG claim form. A Ritz-Carlton representative will review the claim, and if approved, Ritz-Carlton will match the rate and give you an additional 25% discount on the room or 5,000 Marriott Rewards points (up to your choice). Finding a better rate is not difficult at all, as I explained in my tips for booking a luxury hotel at the cheapest price. The BRG does not apply to The Ritz-Carlton Residences or partner hotels, including Ritz-Carlton Montreal, The Ritz London, and Hotel Ritz Madrid.
  • Elite members of Marriott Rewards are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out (when available). To enjoy those benefits, the room has to be booked though through an official Ritz-Carlton booking channel or a luxury travel agent involved in the Virtuoso or Ritz-Carlton Stars programs (more on that below).

However, I advice you to think twice before you book via the official Ritz-Carlton website because of the following reasons:

  • Ritz-Carlton’s most exclusive properties – The Reserves – do not participate in Marriott Rewards, so you cannot earn hotel points at Ritz-Carlton Reserves nor use them for a free stay here.
  • While Marriott Reward elite members also receive a welcome gift and free breakfast at other hotels within Marriott’s portfolio, this is – unfortunately and somewhat inexplicably – not the case at Ritz-Carlton Hotels. A complimentary breakfast is only included at selected Ritz-Carlton properties when you book via Ritz-Carlton Stars and Virtuoso (more on that below).
THE RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG, CHINA
THE RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG, CHINA

2. BOOK VIA RITZ-CARLTON STARS

The Ritz-Carlton hotel group launched a invitation-only benefits program for luxury travel agents (such as Lance and Ania from Classic Travel, who I partner with and use for my own travels).  It is called Ritz-Carlton Stars, and when you book a stay at a Ritz-Carlton hotel via one of these agents, it will get you a far better deal than booking directly via the official Ritz-Carlton website. Ritz-Carlton Star rates are similar to the best flexible rates on the official Ritz-Carlton website and will earn points and stay credit in the Marriott Rewards loyalty program. Booking via Ritz Carlton Stars comes at no extra costs and the following benefits are valid for stays at all hotels within the Ritz-Carlton portfolio:

  • Complimentary daily breakfast for 2
  • Preferred status for room or suite upgrade at time of check-in
  • 4 pm late checkout – priority request
  • First priority for your room type, location, bedding and connecting rooms
  • Top priority waitlist in sold out situations
  • No walk policy in sold out situations
  • Warm welcome from hotel management
  • Pre-registration and express check- in upon request

So basically, you are leaving money on the table if you book directly via the Ritz-Carlton website and not via Ritz-Carlton Stars, since the latter costs the same and comes with complimentary breakfast in addition to other perks (e.g. upgrade and late check-out).

THE RITZ-CARLTON BALI, INDONESIA
THE RITZ-CARLTON BALI, INDONESIA

3. BOOK VIA VIRTUOSO (= MY PREFERRED METHOD OF BOOKING)

More than half of the Ritz-Carlton hotels belong to the portfolio of Virtuoso. Virtuoso is not your classic hotel booking engine website. It’s the industry’s leading, invitation-only network of the world’s best luxury travel advisors, spanning over 26 countries and 9,000 travel advisors. So when you book a Ritz-Carlton hotel via Virtuoso, most of the time, you will be in touch with a Virtuoso travel agent who will make the booking for you. There are some Virtuoso travel agencies though that offer an online booking tool, such as Classic Travel, which has an excellent website and is my overall preferred Virtuoso travel agency for booking a luxury hotel.

Booking via Virtuoso instead of via the Ritz-Carlton website has the following benefits:

  • The single best reason to book a Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel through a Virtuoso travel agent is that it means value for money as you’ll get access to complimentary VIP perks, such as room upgrade, flexible check-in and check-out times, daily breakfast and a substantial resort, spa, or food credit (or something else). While the exact perks differ from hotel to hotel, they can easily be worth a few hundred dollars per night.
  • In most cases, the Virtuoso rate is identical to the Best Available Rate (BAR) found on the official Ritz-Carlton website, which is a flexible rate that can be cancelled without penalty. For that reason, you’re leaving money on the table if you book a paid stay at the best available rate (BAR) via the Ritz-Carlton website and not via Virtuoso.
  • You will earn points and stay credits in the Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

At first sight, Virtuoso looks very similar to the Ritz-Carlton Stars program. Personally, I find the Virtuoso program a much better deal because it includes a resort credit of up to $100 USD at most Ritz-Carlton hotels (something not offered by the Ritz-Carlton Stars program), although the Ritz-Carlton Stars program covers more Ritz-Carlton properties compared to Virtuoso.


4. BOOK VIA YOUR CREDIT CARD CONCIERGE

When you own an American Express credit card, you can book selected Ritz-Carlton properties via Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. This will offer you the same benefits as when you would book these hotels via Virtuoso (although Virtuoso includes much more Ritz-Carlton properties):

  • Room upgrade upon arrival when available
  • Daily (continental) breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed late 4pm check-out time
  • Noon check-in when available
  • A spa, food, and/or beverage credit (valued at a minimum of US$ 100 USD)

When you own a Citi Prestige Card (USA citizens only) you can make use of the fourth night free benefit: when you book a four night stay at a participating Ritz-Carlton property, you get reimbursed the cost of the fourth night, minus any taxes and service fees. The fourth night benefit is calculated based on the average nightly rate of your complete stay. Reservations must be made through Thankyou.com or the Citi Prestige Concierge and you must pay for your stay with your Citi Prestige Card, ThankYou points, or a combination of the two. There are a few things to be aware of, though:

  • You can only use the fourth night free benefit when booking the best available rate (BAR).
  • You can’t combine the Citi Prestige fourth night free with the benefits offered via Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Prive and/or Virtuoso. The latter often represent a much better deal.
THE RITZ-CARLTON, SHANGHAI
THE RITZ-CARLTON, SHANGHAI

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Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (October 8, 2018): Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world.

100 years of history. Countless rewards. With an unshakeable credo and corporate philosophy of un-wavering commitment to service, The Ritz-Carlton has been recognized with numerous awards for being the gold standard of hospitality. The Ritz-Carlton company is today a subsidiary of the Marriott Hotel group and operates more than 90 hotels in more than in 30 countries and territories. I hereby present you the Ritz-Carlton properties that most impressed me during all my years of traveling.

There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

Click to view slideshow.

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10. THE RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA, HAWAII, USA

Boasting 54 stunning acres on the northwestern tip of the island of Maui, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua proudly maintains the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site) that lies adjacent to the resort and serves as a destination where Native Hawaiians can gather to conduct ceremonies and protocol. The resort offers 463 fully-renovated guestrooms, including 107 Residential Suites, featuring dark wood floors, new marble bathrooms, flat-screen LCD televisions and Hawaiian inspired artwork. The Ritz Carlton Kapalua also features six restaurants, a fitness center with spectacular ocean views, a spa, renovated meeting space, children’s pool and the Ambassadors of the Environment program for children and teens 5-18 years old.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
  • Other accolades: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in Hawaii.
  • Tip: get free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).

THE RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA, HAWAII, USA


9. HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, SPAIN

Iconic design, incredible culinary experiences and the sparkling Mediterranean are what draw visitors to Barcelona, Spain. These elements are also what attract luxury travelers to Hotel Arts Barcelona. With famed architect Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture – known as Peix in Catalan – anchoring its entrance, the property rises 44 stories above the seafront, making this Barcelona hotel’s façade of blue glass and exposed steel a true beacon of luxury. From a contemporary collection of artistic masterpieces to stunning accommodations that include 28 luxury duplex apartments, to award-winning dining, this luxury Barcelona hotel provides guests with unparalleled access to all this vibrant destination has to offer.

  • Hotel websiteHotel Arts Barcelona
  • Other accolades: Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Spain.
  • Tip: Enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, SPAIN


8. PHULAY BAY, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, THAILAND

At Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, white sand and blue skies converge with the Andaman Sea to reveal one of the most captivating luxury beach resorts in Asia. From your first glance, Phulay Bay elicits a sense of jaw-dropping awe and blissful joy. Designed for the discerning traveler, this exquisite eco-resort’s 54 villas meld seamlessly into their stunning environs while providing incredible indulgences. You’ll find spacious verandas with inviting lounges, indoor/outdoor baths, rainforest showers and 24-hour attention to your every whim. Blending the soothing rhythms of the Andaman Sea with extraordinary treatment, the spa leaves you in a blissful state of relaxation. Phulay Bay’s restaurants present a culinary voyage inspired by the flavors of the world.

  • Hotel websitePhulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

PHULAY BAY, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, THAILAND


7. THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA, USA

Perched atop a seaside bluff and surrounded by panoramic views of the Pacific and the sandy shores of Salt Creek Beach below, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is a coastal haven, located halfway between LA and San Diego, along the coast of Dana Point. Sprawling shoreline vistas create awe-inspiring memories from the moment of arrival. The 396 guest rooms include 30 suites and 32 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms, all featuring a secluded patio or balcony with delightful views of the ocean or poolside gardens. The resort embraces its Southern California roots at every opportunity, from sea-inspired treatments at the spa and locally sourced restaurant menus to family-friendly eco-adventures.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA, USA


6. THE RITZ-CARLTON WOLFSBURG, GERMANY

The architecturally renowned Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg is the most elegant hotel in Germany’s most prosperous city, which is home to Volkswagen’s worldwide headquarters. Adjacent to the Volkswagen factory, the hotel demands that you swot up on pioneering architecture before you arrive. Armed with the right terminology, you’ll be primed to describe the style nuances of the hotel’s interior designer Elliott Barnes. It will also help keep your mouth closed when you see the hotel’s jaw-dropping floating pool. Inspired by an industry that thrives on mobility, this luxury hotel offers 170 stylish guest rooms and exclusive suites, a soothing  spa, and award-winning restaurants, including the 3-Star Michelin-rated AQUA, the epitome of modern European dining.

THE RITZ-CARLTON WOLFSBURG, GERMANY


5. DORADO BEACH, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, PUERTO RICO

Somewhere between idyllic and perfection sits a Puerto Rico resort of such intimate luxury and rare character, it calls to those who believe every journey should be a voyage of discovery. Once a 1,400-acre sugar plantation, Dorado Beach caught the eye of visionary Laurance Rockefeller, who transformed the lush landscape into Puerto Rico’s most exclusive luxury resort. With its serene coastline, private residences, spa sanctuary, and a harmonious sense of place that blends masterfully into the natural surroundings, Dorado Beach, invites guests to arrive spellbound, and depart speechless. With only 115 guestrooms spread across 50 acres and one mile (1,6 km) of beachfront, an unparalleled level of individualized guest service awaits you.

DORADO BEACH, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, PUERTO RICO


4. THE RITZ-CARLTON RAS AL KHAIMAH, AL WADI DESERT, UAE

Just one hour north of Dubai, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al khaimah, Al Wadi Desert invites guests to connect with nature and culture amid the beauty of a 1,235-acre protected preserve (where you interact with Arabian gazelles, camels and oryxes). The exclusive desert resort comprises an Asian-inspired spa, a 18-hole championship golf course and four dining venues. The 101 all-pool tented villas come in the style of traditional Bedouin nomadic dwelling and feature modern villa furnishings in classic Arab style. The resort can arrange a desert trek on camel- or horseback, a private archery lesson or an evening of stargazing.

THE RITZ-CARLTON RAS AL KHAIMAH, AL WADI DESERT, UAE


3. THE RITZ-CARLTON KYOTO, JAPAN

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto describes itself as an international modern-day luxury ryokan. Creating an experience that seamlessly blends the centuries-old traditions of Kyoto with the finest services and facilities that The Ritz-Carlton is renowned for, the property’s ladies and gentlemen truly bring to life the cultural heart of Japan. The hotel is built on banks of the Kamagawa River on land that was gifted to the original owners in the early shogunate era five centuries ago. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto has 134 rooms and suites, and enjoys panoramic 180 degree views of the Higashiyama mountains in the East which turn a rich shade of imperial purple at sunset.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
  • Other accolades: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Japan.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto here.


2. THE RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG

Being the highest hotel in the world, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is situated on the West Kowloon waterfront, a prestigious address with luxury residential development. Occupying floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre, it offers magnificent and unrivaled views of the city and the Victoria Harbor. Soaring architectural elements encrusted with custom glass artwork echo the signature glamour of the city below. All 312 luxurious guest rooms provide state-of-the-art technology. Guests can enjoy Italian specialties at Michelin-star Tosca or Cantonese favorites at two-Michelin-star Tin Lung Heen. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA takes wellness to new heights with its infinity swimming pool with glass walls opening to the harbor below.


1. MANDAPA, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, BALI, INDONESIA

Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “temple,” Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, stands as a tropical shrine dedicated to the self. Fronting the Ayung River near the Ubud jungle, the hotel replicates a traditional Balinese village, complete with working rice paddies. Showcasing the architecture and craftsmanship of the area, each of the 60 luxury suites and villas features a private outdoor space (some of them with pools) with views of the river or surrounding scenery. Four restaurants serve health-conscious cuisine sourced from the organic garden, although you can also arrange a romantic dinner overlooking the river or rice terrace. The spa offers a variety of programs focused on physical and spiritual well-being.

  • Hotel websiteMandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Other accolades: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Bali.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: coming soon.


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Review: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan (Ubud, Bali)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.

Last summer, I enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Java & Bali. You can read my trip reports here:


Today (October 3, 2018): Review of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Voted #1 hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2018, Four Seasons Resort Sayan encapsulates Bali at its philosophical and soulful best: a sublime hillside haven where man, humanity and nature unite with purest intent. Only a ten-minute drive from the stylish boutiques, artist ateliers and atmospheric eateries of boho-chic Ubud, Four Seasons Sayan is an inspiring base from which to explore Bali’s cultural heart or to retreat into nature’s meditative embrace. Guests arrive via a dramatic bridge, beneath which the Ayung River valley spreads its tropical arms. From the gravity-defying rooftop lotus pond, the property cascades down the hill to the two-tiered swimming pool, cantilevered over the river, through an enchanting forest that cocoons just 60 suites and villas.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan features in my top 10 lists of the best hotels in Bali and the world’s most spectacular hotel lobbies.

In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):

Click to view slideshow.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is located in the heart of Bali’s spiritual center, Ubud. Set in the island’s central uplands, Ubud is just one hour’s drive north of Ngurah Rai International airport and the beach resorts of southern Bali. This traditional country town offers a treasure trove of cultural landmarks, ranging from ancient temples and Hindu shrines to majestic age-old royal palaces and moss-covered ruins. Inspired by the fresh mountain air and vibrant Balinese festivals, Ubud became an elite artistic colony in the 1930’s, attracting eminent European painters, writers and musicians, and has now grown into one of Indonesia’s most famous tourist sights (also because of its starring role in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’). Complementary shuttle runs throughout the day between the hotel and town.
  • Surrounded by fragrant gardens and cooled by breezy mountains, the Four Seasons sanctuary enjoys a coveted hillside setting, nestled between two rivers in the Sayan Valley: the sacred Ayung River with its holy springs and ancient temples, and the Subak River, which is part of Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed irrigation network. Although the entrance to the property’s driveway is located just off a busy road, you feel transported to a world apart inside the resort, to a tropical heaven where tranquillity, positive energies and natural beauty take over hectic pace of daily life. As the property cascades down the hillside to the Ayung River, all you see are lotus ponds, patches of tall grasses, and rice paddies against a backdrop of verdant jungle.
  • The property features one of the most dramatic hotel entrances you’ll ever see. Guests arrive via a show-stopping footbridge, suspended high above the jungle canopy and leading to a highly Instagrammable, infinity-edge lotus pond, seemingly suspended in the air and floating above the treetops. From this rooftop pond deck, a wooden staircase spirals down into the hotel’s main, multi-level, open-air pavilion, where you find the lobby (top level), main restaurant (one level down) and wellnes center (two levels down). Two accommodation wings – housing 18 suites – spread out on each side of the main pavilion and look out over the resort’s 18 acres of lush, green-terraced rice slopes (where you find 42 private pool villas).
  • The hotel’s remarkable design and innovating architecture beautifully echoes the curves and waves of the surrounding, lush landscape. The heart of the property is the dramatic upside-down main pavilion, crowned with its arrival foot bridge and lotus pond (cf above). Designed by London-based architect John Heah – who was inspired by early James Bond films – the eye-catching pavilion’s exterior is somewhat reminiscent of a futuristic space ship (in part due to its elliptical shape) but still perfectly blends into the tropical environment. John Heah described the design as a “rice bowl”: guests enter along a “spoon” (a teak-and-steel footbridge spanning a tributary of the river) and pop out into the center of a “bowl” (the spherical main structure, with its sweeping, 180-degree views of the valley).
  • With only 60 rooms (grouped into 18 suites and 42 villas), the property is small by Four Seasons standards, which is exactly what makes this hotel so appealing. The spacious suites are set in two wings extending from the main building and mimicking the contours of the adjacent cliff. They are reached through dark corridors that run past stone monoliths and a good collection of traditional Indonesian and abstract Western art. These suites come with sitting rooms that feature stone and teak floors, comfortable furniture, small desks, genuine antiques, reproductions, dual-line phones, data ports, stereos, large TVs, minibars, half-baths and small balconies. Bedrooms feature king beds, elegant weavings, second phones and TVs. All suites have large furnished terraces that enjoy views of the gardens and rice paddies.
  • The 42 elegant villas are dotted across the sprawling grounds, some within walking distance of the main building and others a quick electric buggy ride away. Each of these villas has a private plunge pool and enjoys complete privacy. During my visit, I stayed in a magnificent one bedroom villa, whose entrance was one floor above the spacious indoor and outdoor living quarters. The decor was a mix of contemporary and traditional Balinese, with handsome teak furniture and bamboo woodwork throughout and beige wicker furniture on the terrace. The bedroom featured a four-poster bed draped in fine white nets. Clad in vibrant red tiles, the lavish marble bathroom came with a freestanding tub, his and her sinks, a rain shower, a wood-panelled walk-in closet and an outdoor shower.
  • As an alternative for relaxing in the privacy of your own lavish jungle villa, you may want to chill near the resort’s pool. Located on the banks of the Ayung River, in front of the main hotel building’s lowest floor, the resort’s pool area is a cool and relaxing oasis and the perfect hangout spot. The large, two-level, infinity edged pool follow the river’s natural contours and is surrounded by an expensive wooden deck furnished with comfortable chaises loungers. It offers great views of the lush jungle, the sacred river and the many rafters passing by. Pool service is offered, and you can enjoy snacks or lunch here, either served at your sunbed or at the Riverside Café, which overlooks the pool deck (more on that below).
  • Not surprisingly, there’s a huge emphasis on wellness at the extraordinary spa, which is spread over two distinct and separate facilities. Three treatment rooms are located inside a set of exclusive villas at the Sacred River Spa located on the banks of the Ayung River. The four other rooms are located on the main building’s lowest floor, near the well equipped gym, a fabulous outdoor deck with three Jacuzzi (overlooking the jungle), and the locker rooms with gender segregated sauna and steam room. I recommend trying one of the Chakra Ceremonies, such as the 150-minute Anahata, which focuses on heart work, comprising a rose quartz crystal chest massage followed by heart-shaped basti filled with healing damascena rose otto placed over the heart and a loving, rose oil full body massage.
  • Yoga aficionados will feel at home at the hotel’s beautiful bamboo yoga bale (an open pavilion), which is set above an idyllic riverside rice field. The bale specializes in anti-gravity yoga, in which you are weightless in a yoga swing and off the ground for the poses. A dynamic and groundbreaking ‘flying’ practice, anti-gravity yoga combines athletic strength with the motion of dance in a session that lengthens the spine and improves flexibility. In addition, daily complimentary meditation and yoga classes are offered, combining the freedom and health benefits of laughter with yogic breathing (pranayama) and asanas (poses).
  • In addition to in-room dining, the hotel offers three terrific dining options:
    • Ayung Terrace is the property’s fine dining restaurant, located inside the main hotel building one floor below the lobby. At night, it serves innovative Indonesian dishes, made with vibrant spices and the freshest ingredients, alongside captivating river views. Each morning, an excellent à la carte breakfast is served here (think eggs, pancakes and Indonesian specialities) in addition to a fruit station.
    • The Riverside Café is a more intimate dining venue perched above the swimming pool. It serves light Mediterranean fare at lunch, while it becomes a smart, contemporary grill in the evening.
    • Not to be missed is the Chef’s Table at Sokasi, an open-air 100% bamboo pavilion set on the banks of the Ayung river. Here, you’ll be served an intimate seven-course dinner, cooked right in front of you at Sokasi’s open kitchen. Highlights include babi guling suckling pig marinated with base genep thousand-spice paste and bebek betutu whole duck slow-roasted in a traditional clay pot oven.
  • Due to the high privacy and its stellar reputation, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is a magnet for many celebrities who visit Bali. The hotel’s most famous guest was USA President Barack Obama, who stayed here in 2016 when he took his family to Bali (the former president lived in Indonesia for a few years as a child). The Obamas stayed at the resort’s Royal Villa, a three-story, three-bedroom residence with a prime position overlooking the Ayung River, forest highlands and rice terraces. Hollywood actress Julia Roberts stayed in the exact same villa for three months while she was filming the popular movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
  • The property has won numerous prestigious travel awards and has featured on the cover of countless flossy travel magazines. Most recently, it has been voted the #1 World’s Top Hotel by Travel&Leisure, in recognition of the unique location, architecture and experiences that connect guests with the cultural heart of Bali. In announcing the winner of the World’s Best Awards 2018, Travel + Leisure highlighted the Resort’s “sense of calm” combined with “innovative and modern” new experiences awaiting guests.
  • Both management and staff at the property provide exceptional service. Miraculously, everyone at the resort seems to know your name and what you want before you even know it yourself. In addition to the stellar service, a wide range of complimentary activities is available to all guests, including a selection of yoga classes, guided walks, cycling, life talk series, meditation classes and Balinese dance performances. The activities vary from day to day.
  • Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is one of two properties on the island of Bali managed by Four Seasons. The other hotel is the beachfront Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, which I reviewed here. This has the advantage that guests can combine two exotic experiences on Bali under the umbrella of the famous Four Seasons brand. You can try ocean living at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, and escape to a private rainforest sanctuary on the Ayung River at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is hands down one of the best resorts in Bali. There’s little to say against this majestic rainforest sanctuary, although you need the know the following when considering a stay here:

  • The resort grounds are quite extensive and feature many steep paths due to the hillside location. Although efficient 24/7 buggy service is provided to all guests, you’ll still have to negotiate many steps, which may be challenging for those guests having difficulties with walking. This is especially true in the hotel’s 3-level main pavilion (which does not feature an elevator), and within the accommodations (most villas can only be accessed by a staircase and the duplex suites feature a staircase between the living and sleeping area).
  • The property is more than 20 years old, but it has weathered well and is perfectly maintained, partly thanks to extensive use of wood, which ensures the resort is reflective of local, timeless architecture. It also underwent a major renovation not long ago, so everything looks quite new. That said, if you are looking for a hotel with a modern design and trendy vibe, you will be disappointed here (but why would you want that in the rainforest of Ubud?).
  • The pool area is quite small for a resort of this caliber. In addition, the number of loungers on the pool deck is limited, so it may be difficult to find a spot here when the resort runs at full capacity. That said, most guests will prefer to lounge near the private pool of their villa, so this is not a major issue for most of the time.
  • Contrary to most Four Seasons properties, the property does not feature an adult’s only area, so from time to time, families with younger children can disturb the peaceful bliss at the riverside pool.
  • The resort is expensive, but you should know that going in. It’s a Four Season property and one of the best in the world after all. That said, the Four Seasons is not any more expensive than its competitors in the luxury resort experience on the island. Also, if you find the resort’s delicious food to be too expensive, you can always take the complimentary hotel shuttle to Ubud town, where you find many cheap eateries.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Pool: 8/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: 9/10
  • Service: 10/10
  • Value for money: 9/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8,8/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a Four Seasons property (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Room tip (suite): The wider, single story suites on the upper level are preferable, since the low-end terrace suites are narrow duplexes with two-story windows.
  • Room tip (villa): Choose a villa fronting the Ayung River or its tributary for views of bathing natives and working farmers.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

REVIEWS OF OTHER HOTELS IN BALI & INDONESIA

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Located close to the equator, temperatures in Bali hover at a balmy 30°C  (85°F) year-found. The frequency of precipitation is the only concern for travelers seeking to visit this paradise island. Rainy season lasts from October to March, and the heavy humidity and torrential rainfalls make this period more unpredictable for adventures and exploration. The dry season lasts from April to September, and the weather during this time is warm and pleasant, so this is generally viewed as the optimal time to experience Bali at its finest.


HOW TO GET THERE

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is a one to two hour’s ride from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (depending upon traffic). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flight to Bali.


PHOTOS
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ARRIVAL COURTYARD
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ARRIVAL COURTYARD
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: FOOTBRIDGE TO LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOTUS POND ABOVE LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY - WELCOME DRINK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY – WELCOME DRINK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY - SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: LOBBY – SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - LOCKER ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – LOCKER ROOM

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - LOCKER ROOM

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - LOCKER ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – LOCKER ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TREATMENT ROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SPA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: GYM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: CORRIDOR TO SUITES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: CORRIDOR TO SUITES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – ENTRANCE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – LIVING AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BEDROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – BATHROOM
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA - TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: ONE BEDROOM VILLA – TERRACE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT MAP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT MAP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT ACTIVITIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT ACTIVITIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT GROUNDS
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RESORT GROUNDS
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: POOL AREA
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RICE PADDIES
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: YOGA PAVILION
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: YOGA PAVILION
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: BOUTIQUE SHOP
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: KIDS CLUB
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: SOKASI RESTAURANT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RIVERSIDE CAFE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RIVERSIDE CAFE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RIVERSIDE CAFE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: RIVERSIDE CAFE
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT DUSK
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN AT NIGHT
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – DINNER
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST

FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE - BREAKFAST
FOUR SEASONS SAYAN: AYUNG TERRACE – BREAKFAST

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The post Review: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan (Ubud, Bali) appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.

Travel tip: book Marriott’s most exclusive hotels with a huge points discount

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel contests, tips, series, or news.

Today (September 21, 2018): Book Marriott’s top hotel with a huge points discount.

I recently posted an overview (with pros & cons) of the new combined loyalty program of Starwood, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton, which you can read here. With 110 million members, the new loyalty program is one of the largest in the world, and has more than 6000 hotels in its portfolio, including some of the world’s most exclusive and southt-after properties, belong to iconic brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, St Regis, and The Luxury Collection. The essence of the program is that you collect points when staying at Marriott operated hotels and later use them for a free stay at any of the Marriott hotels and resorts worldwide, with no blackout dates. Every property under the combined Marriott Rewards umbrella falls into one of seven categories, depending on the hotel brand, location and type. If you are planning on using your points for a free stay in one of Marriott’s top hotels, I recommend to make the booking asap (by the end of December 2018) and here’s why.

BOOK A STAY AT W KOH SAMUI, FOR FEWER POINTS
BOOK A STAY AT W KOH SAMUI, THAILAND, FOR FEWER POINTS

For the remainder of 2017, there are only seven hotel categories in the Marriott Rewards program, starting at just 7500 Marriott Rewards points for a free night at a category 1 hotel to 60,000 points for a category 7 hotel. However, in January 2019, a new award chart kicks in, which will see two major changes:

  • First, Marriott Rewards will add a new category 8 to their current reward chart. This means that the brand’s most exclusive hotels will move up from category 7 to 8, resulting in a shocking 42% increase in the number of points you need to book these hotels as they rise from 60,000 points per night to 85,000 points per night.
  • Second, Marriott Rewards will add on- and off-peak redemption rates, with category 8 hotels costing 70,000 points in the off-peak season and 100,000 points in peak season (a 66% increase as compared to now).

Since Marriott’s hotels slated for category 8 are temporarily placed in category 7 for the remainder of 2018, it’s time to book them now using your points since this means a savings of 25,000 points (or 40,000 point for certain dates) per night. Your stay can be for any date up to 12 months ahead, so you can make a booking until late December 2018 for a holiday until late December 2019. In addition, Marriott Rewards provides the 5fth night of every award booking free, so you only pay for 4 nights when booking a 5-night award stay. This means that booking a 5 night stay before the end of the year will cost you 240,000 points at a top Marriott hotel while the same journey may set you back 400,000 points in 2019.

Below, you find an overview of all category 8 hotels. The (updated) list is also found on this page of Marriott website (sort the chart by ‘points required’).


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The post Travel tip: book Marriott’s most exclusive hotels with a huge points discount appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.

Review of Marina Bay Sands Hotel (Singapore)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.

Last summer, I enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali. You can read my trip reports here:

  • Review: Singapore Airline A380 new First Class suite from London to Singapore
  • Review: Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore (today)
  • Review: Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Bay (Bali)
  • Review: Four Seasons Bali at Sayan, Ubud (Bali)
  • Review: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud (Bali)
  • Review: Amandari, Ubus (Bali)
  • Review: Amankila (Bali)
  • Review: Amanjiwo, Borobodhur (Java)
  • Review: Anantara Uluwatu (Bali)
  • Review: Banyan Tree Ungasan, Uluwatu (Bali)
  • Review: Bvlgari Bali Resort (Bali)
  • Review: Singapore Airline B787-10 Dreamliner Business Class from Bali to Singapore
  • Review: Six Senses Duxton (Singapore)
  • Review: Singapore Airline A380 (old) Business Class from Singapore to London

Today (September 19, 2018): Review of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
  • Location: Google maps
  • Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
  • Hotel website: Marina Bay Sands

The most expensive hotel ever built, Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel comprises three 55-storey towers, 2560 luxury rooms and suites, and 18 different room types. Crowning the three hotel towers at 200 m (656 ft) in the sky, the Sands SkyPark rooftop stretches longer than the Eiffel tower or four A380 Jumbo Jets when laid down. The Sands SkyPark is also home to the world’s largest public cantilever housing a public observatory deck, lush gardens, exclusive restaurants and a stunning 150 m (492 ft) infinity-edged pool to complete the luxurious experience.

Marina Bay Sands features in my top 10 lists of the most Instagrammable hotels in the world, the world’s most amazing hotel pools, the world’s best urban resorts, the world’s best hotel rooftops, and the best hotels in Singapore.

In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there
  • Photos

Click to view slideshow.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Marina Bay Sands enjoys an excellent location. It’s right next to Singapore’s most famous recreational area, Gardens By The Bay, which spans 101 hectares (250 acres) of reclaimed land and features popular tourist attractions like Supertree Grove, Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. From Changi Airport, it’s a 20-minute taxi drive to the hotel along the East Coast Parkway expressway. Orchard Road – Asia’s most famous shopping street – is a 15 min taxi drive away. The hotel is also directly above Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit system), making it a convenient choice if you want to discover a side of Singapore beyond Marina Bay Sands and Orchard Road (although most of Singapore can be easily explored on foot).
  • The Marina Bay Sands hotel is part of a mammoth resort complex, which also includes a convention-exhibition centre, an enormous shopping mall, a museum, two large theatres, dozens of restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an art-science museum, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. Designed by Moshe Safdie architects, the mega property fronting the Marina Bay opened in February 2011, one year later than planned due to escalating material costs and a shortage of workers. At a construction cost of $5.50 billion USD, Marina Bay Sands is the most expensive resort ever built.
  • Comprising three 55-storey hotel towers, the hotel features an iconic exterior that is instantly recognized all over the world. The three towers feature a distinct shape as they are broader at the base and narrow as they rise. Each tower stands on two asymmetric legs, with one curved leg leaning against the other before both legs fuse which each other towards the upper floors – a unique design which apparently created a significant technical challenge in its construction. At the base, the towers are connected by an enormous lobby (more on that below) and at the top, the three towers are connected by a giant roof terrace, called Sands SkyPark (also more on that below). Of course, the architecture of the resort was approved by feng shui consultants.
  • The hotel towers share a massively impressive lobby on their groundfloors. The soaring ceilings – especially the 23 storey atrium in tower one – highlight the exceptional architecture and the unusual curves of the buildings. Natural light floods in through the lobby’s full-height glass walls, creating a breezy feel, although there’s no denying that the space feels more like a modern airport or train station rather than a genuine hotel lobby due to its enormous scale. Check-in counters are located in tower one and three and here, you also find the taxi drop off and pick-up points. Several high-end boutiques and restaurants line the lobby, which also offers direct access to the adjacent shopping mall, the MRT, the convention center, and the casino.
  • Marina Bay Sands features several large-scale art installations created by internationally renowned artists. The site-specific artworks extend from the 23-storey atrium in the hotel towers to the exterior of the buildings, creating an inspiring and breathtaking art path through the hotel. The two most impressive art works are located within the giant lobby space. ‘Drift‘ is a massive three-dimensional stainless steel polyhedral matrix of steel rods and nodes suspended cloud-like in the air between levels 5 and 12 of the atrium of tower 1. ‘Rising Forest’ is a ceramic sculpture composed of 83 massive, glazed, stoneware ceramic vessels, with every vessel holding a tree, creating a “canopy” of trees across the lobby.
  • Marina Bay Sands has 2561 rooms and suites (yes, you read that right) spread across the 3 towers. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with either views of the Garden by the Bay (east side, 10th to 39th floors), the harbour (east side, 40th floor and above), the city (west side, 19th to 39th floors) or the Singapore skyline (west side, 40th floor and above). During my visit, I stayed in a club room with a view of the Singapore skyline (which the hotel designates as ‘sky view’). The spacious room had a kingsize bed area leading to a sitting corner facing the windows. The bathroom featured one sink and a rain shower. Featuring a beige-and-white colour scheme, the  room decor was classic, with thick carpets, textured wallpaper, wood furniture, and marble finishes.
  • The hotel is most famous for its much-talked-about 57th floor rooftop space – called the Sands SkyPark – which features many of the hotel’s facilities. The SkyPark is a shaped structure constructed of spanning steel bridges hovering over the concrete towers below. The incredible 151 m (495 ft) long rooftop pool is arguably the hotel’s most impressive attraction. The pool – which is dived into 3 sections, one of them reserved to adults only – appears to have a vanishing edge, making it a very popular location for a selfie to be instantly posted on Instagram. Open from 6 am til 11 pm, the pool is only accessible to hotel guests via their room key card. The Skypark also features two restaurants,  a bar and observation deck that are open to non-guests.
  • The hotel’s higher floors and its rooftop terrace offer the most spectacular view and photo-taking spot anywhere in Singapore. Towards the east, the panoramic vistas offer a bird’s eye view of the architectural wonders of Supertree Grove, the vibrant colours of Gardens by the Bay, and dozens of ships navigating the Singapore Strait. Towards the west, the hotel looks out over the glass skyscrapers of the Financial District, Clarke Quay and the central Civic District along Marina Bay. Whether you’re looking to immortalise the reclection of the skyline in the pool under the clear bright sun or marvel at the spectacular nightly light and water show, the hotel is the place to be to hone your photography skills from the best vantage point in the city.
  • Located on the 55th level, the hotel’s high-end spa – managed by Banyan Tree – opens up to a world of tranquility and calm in the heart of the city. Themed on the Tree of Life concept, the urban spa offers distinctive treatments in 15 uniquely designed rooms with panoramic views. Decked in earth tones with black as accent, the spa uses a clever combination of textured materials to evoke the themes of nature in a mystical rainforest. Artistic expressions of aesthetics and finishes of the spa honour its Asian heritage, such as leaf-patterned hand-carved timber panels by artisans from Indonesia and abaca woven fiber panels from The Philippines adorning the walls and doors.
  • The 55th floor room is also home to a Banyan Tree managed fitness center, which is equipped with – among others – a bench press, Smith machine, free weights and Kinesis Technogym pulley wall. You can catch your favourite Netflix series while you get your cardio done on touchscreen treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical cross-trainers. When you need some music, you can simply plug in your iPod for a hands-free, endorphin high, or loan one of the over-the-ear headphones. You can also take your workout to the next level with a personal training session.
  • Marina Bay Sands has no shortage of food & beverage outlets. There are more than 80 restaurants, offering local and international cuisines, both in the hotel itself and the larger Marina Bay Sands complex. This includes several dining venues led by celebrity chefs, such as Adrift by David Myers (in the lobby), Bread Street Kitchen & Bar by Gordon Ramsay, Bistro and Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud, and Long Chim by David Thompson, in addition to two Michelin starred restaurants, Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda and CUT by Wolfgang Puck. Of course, it was impossible to try out all outlets during my stay, but the dinners I had – at the Lavo Italian restaurant and Spago restaurant, both located on the rooftop – were excellent.
  • Guests of Club rooms & suites enjoy complimentary access to the enormous Club55 Lounge, located on the 55th floor in tower 2. Here, you can indulge in the extensive Asian and Western buffet breakfast or sip on drinks all day long as you lose yourself in the glorious skyline that spans the lights of the city to the Straits of Singapore. Club55 is exclusive to hotel guests from 6:30 am to 7 pm daily. From 8 pm, the lounge opens to the public with a brand new flights pairing concept. Guests can explore the world of wines, spirits and beer in a curated menu of ‘tasting flights’; each flight consists of three beverages, best enjoyed with a set of carefully paired petits plats.
  • On of the things that impressed me the most during my stay at Marina Bay Sands is that despite the gargantuan scale of the resort and the huge number of guests, service is excellent, efficient and personalized. The hotel staff seems to genuinely care about their guests, doing everything they can to make your stay a pleasant experience. To give you an idea, I arrived very early at the hotel (8 am) after my overnight flight from Europe, and visibly very tired, the reception staff did all they could to accommodate my request for an early check (and yep, I was resting in my own hotel bed only 30 minutes later).

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

An great location adjacent to Garden By the Bay, a stunning design, a world-famous rooftop pool, and a staggering number of restaurants and leisure facilities make any stay at Marina Bay Sands an experience in itself. However, the hotel has some major flaws that you need to know before booking a stay here (and I am writing them down with a heavy heart because I was expecting so much more):

  • The hotel’s most remarkable strength – the impressive mammoth size of the complex – is also its greatest weakness. Don’t expect a quite, tranquil hideaway here, since you will be sharing the hotel with thousands and thousands of other hotel guests and daytrippers. The property is so crowded – especially in weekends – that you often have to wait in line at check-in, check-out, the elevators, or to be seated at breakfast (which can be extremely annoying given the premium rates charged). The experience is at its worst at the famous pool, which is truly breathtaking for the view but overcrowded and teeming with screaming children; finding an available sunlounger on the pool deck is often mission impossible.
  • Because of the large number of guests, several ridiculous restrictions and controls are in place. For example, you can only enter the rooftop pool area via a set of gates using your room key (which often involves waiting in line due to the slow card key authentication). And once you check-out, you cannot use the pool anymore that day (even if you have to wait several more hours for your flight), probably to keep the crowds at the pool down. All in all, due to these restrictions, the leisure facilities have the ambience of a mediocre amusement park, not a luxury property.
  • As mentioned above, the light-filled lobby’s architecture is hugely impressive, but the space is so large and packed with tourists that is feels more like a train station or airport terminal than a hotel.
  • Not all rooms at the hotel enjoy a view.  The rooms on the lower floors look out onto the shopping mall or even on the side of the road. Windows are not completely sound proof, meaning that guests in these rooms can be disturbed by the noise of passing traffic. I highly recommend to book a room on a higher floor for great views and a peaceful night rest.
  • Because of its spectacular rooftop pool and unique design, this hotel is a destination in itself and enjoys a world-famous reputation. Consequently, everyhting at the hotel is very expensive and you clearly pay for the name. You definitely get more in terms of luxury and personalized service at similarily priced hotels. That’s said, if you are hotel addict (like me), then it’s still worth spending one or two nights nights here to enjoy the vibe of the place and take in the iconic sights.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Pool: 9/10
  • Rooms: 8/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Breakfast: 8/10
  • Spa: 8/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Value for money: 7/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Marina Bay Sands (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Save money: if you book online on the official Marina Bay Sands website and you find a better price elsewhere online within 24 hours, let the hotel know and they will honour the lower rate and and upgrade your room to the next level, free of charge.
  • Room tip: rooms on the higher floors enjoy better views (especially those designated as ‘skyview’ rooms and suites) and have less road noise. Families are better off in a family room on the lower floors, since these come with a king-size bed plus twin beds and a spacious balcony.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Singapore is anytime as the island nation experiences a hot and humid tropical climate year-round. And because of a continuous influx of business travelers and tourist, the city’s hotels always enjoy high occupancy and are able to maintain their reasonable to high room rates. To avoid exorbitant prices, steer clear of popular events like the F1 race or national holidays like Chinese New Year. December and January are usually the rainiest months, though it can be wet at any time of year


HOW TO GET THERE

From Changi Airport, it’s a 20-minute taxi drive to the hotel along the East Coast Parkway expressway. For a list of airlines that offer direct flights to Singapore, click here.


PHOTOS
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: EXTERIOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: ENTRANCE AREA
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY

MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT

MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RISE RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RENKU BAR & LOUNGE
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RENKU BAR & LOUNGE
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - RENKU BAR & LOUNGE
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – RENKU BAR & LOUNGE
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY - ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: LOBBY – ADRIFT RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: GUEST ROOM FLOOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: GUEST ROOM FLOOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: GUEST ROOM FLOOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: GUEST ROOM FLOOR
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - WELCOME CHOCOLATES
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – WELCOME CHOCOLATES
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – BATHROOM
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM - VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: CLUB ROOM – VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: BANYAN TREE SPA
MARINA BAY SANDS: GYM
MARINA BAY SANDS: GYM
MARINA BAY SANDS: GYM
MARINA BAY SANDS: GYM
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – VIEW
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - ENTRANCE TO POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – ENTRANCE TO POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – INFINITY POOL
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - WALKWAY
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – WALKWAY
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - FOREST
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – FOREST
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - FOREST
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – FOREST
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – CE LA VIE BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SPAGO BAR
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – SUNSET
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANTv
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANTMARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK - DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK – DINNER AT LAVO RESTAURANT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK AT NIGHT
MARINA BAY SANDS: SANDS SKYPARK AT NIGHT
SINGAPORE SKYLINE
SINGAPORE SKYLINE
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
GARDENS BY THE BAY - FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY – FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY - FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY – FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY - FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY – FLOWER DOME
GARDENS BY THE BAY - CLOUD FOREST
GARDENS BY THE BAY – CLOUD FOREST
GARDENS BY THE BAY - SUPERTREE GROVE
GARDENS BY THE BAY – SUPERTREE GROVE
GARDENS BY THE BAY AT NIGHT
GARDENS BY THE BAY AT NIGHT

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The post Review of Marina Bay Sands Hotel (Singapore) appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.

Top 10 best luxury hotels in Singapore

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (September 17, 2018): Top 10 best luxury hotels in Singapore.

Singapore, the gateway to Southeast Asia, is an intriguing country that was created by deeply passionate people following their dreams and aspirations. It’s a place that serves as a canvas for its people’s wildest imagination, where new experiences are created every day, and where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers, culture shapers, and socialisers meet. Constantly evolving, reinventing, and reimagining itself, Singapore attracted more than 17 million international tourists last year, more than 3 times its total population. It’s expected that the box office success of the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ – much of the film is set in Singapore – will boost the Lion City’s tourism even further, offering the island city-state an opportunity to rebrand itself as a high-end tourist destination. So now is good time to give a round-up of the ten most fabulous luxury hotels in the Singapore.

There is more info (with reviews and Youtube clips) below the slide show.  Think I missed a Singaporean hotel? Leave a comment or take my poll below!

Click to view slideshow.

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10. FOUR SEASONS SINGAPORE

Located on tranquil, tree-lined Orchard Boulevard, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore provides a welcome oasis of calm in the midst of the city’s bustle. Renowned for its service, each of the hotel’s 255 spacious rooms, including 40 suites, offers a full range of amenities. Foodies can savor Michelin Star Cantonese cuisine at Jiang-Nan Chun, authentic Asian or Western dishes at One-Ninety Restaurant and cocktails at One-Ninety Bar. Post-sightseeing, you can gently rejuvenate your body and soul under the masterful strokes of skillful therapists at the award-winning Four Seasons Spa, or reinvigorate at the tennis courts, 24-hour gym and two outdoor pools – one of which is located on the 20th floor, complete with a bar and an unforgettable, spectacular view of Singapore’s city skyline.

  • Hotel website: Four Seasons Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

FOUR SEASONS SINGAPORE


9. MANDARIN ORIENTAL SINGAPORE

Located at Marina Bay, Mandarin Oriental Singapore features an impressive atrium lobby with 527 beautifully refurbished rooms and suites. Contemporary in design with a stylish Oriental flair, all rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows boasting sweeping views of the city, ocean or harbor. The exclusive Oriental Club Lounge, located on the 19th floor, is designed to pamper both business and leisure travelers alike. Guests on the four executive floors of The Oriental Club enjoy benefits such as daily Champagne breakfast, evening cocktails, and late check-out until 6 pm. For an exclusive enclave in the heart of the city, the stylish swimming pool offers a relaxing environment. Gastronomic choices range from Italian at Dolce Vita to Cantonese at Cherry Garden to international at Melt Café.

  • Hotel website: Mandarin Oriental Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily buffet breakfast, a glass of champagne for two at Bay@5, Afternoon Tea for two at Axis Lounge, early check-in and late check-out).

MANDARIN ORIENTAL SINGAPORE


8. ANDAZ SINGAPORE

Andaz Singapore is housed in a striking pair of concave skyscrapers clad in a latticework of hexagonal windows. Located at the heart of cultural crossroads, the boutique hotel draws inspiration from its lively surroundings – intimate alleyways filled with shop houses in vibrant colours and textures. The 342 contemporary rooms, including 26 suites, feature floor-to-ceiling windows framing the stunning city views. A number of acclaimed artworks are showcased in the hotel, including color-saturated pieces by Brazilian sculptor André Mendes. Alley on 25 brings street food to hotel guests by offering seven alleyway ‘shop houses’ on one floor, from a platter of barbecued snacks from Smoke & Pepper to a steaming bowl of noodles from Auntie’s Wok & Steam or a refreshing shaved ice from Icehaus.

  • Hotel website: Andaz Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

ANDAZ SINGAPORE


7. THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE

The pampering at the St Regis Singapore begins upon your arrival, as a customized Bentley can be reserved to chauffeur you to the doorstep. The fine art of St Regis hospitality, refined over a century of storied legacy, awaits throughout the 299 elegantly appointed rooms and suites. Enjoying stunning vistas of Singapore’s downtown skyline, the rooms feature full silk-shaded chandeliers, bespoke furniture, lush fabrics, French marble bathrooms and state-of-the-art electronics, including Singapore’s very first IP phones. Gastronomes enjoy epicurean excellence with French cuisine at Brasserie Les Saveurs, Italian dishes at LaBrezza, Cantonese fare at Yan Ting and Japanese omakase at Michelin-star Shinji by Kanesaka. The hotel also houses one of Asia’s finest private art collections.

  • Hotel website: St. Regis Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE


6. THE RITZ-CARTON, MILLENIA SINGAPORE

Centrally located along Singapore’s Marina Bay, this 608-room luxury hotel continues to be distinguished by unparalleled hospitality synonymous with The Ritz-Carlton brand. Attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, the Art Science Museum, the Integrated Resorts and the Singapore Flyer are only minutes away, while over 2,000 shopping and dining options are accessible via a covered sky bridge. Renowned for iconic views from its spacious guestrooms and suites, the hotel features an exclusive Club Lounge on level 32. Guest of the luxurious hotel can unwind at the outdoor swimming pool, spa  or 24-hour gym, savor Singapore at Colony, or indulge in Cantonese cuisine at the Michelin-star Summer Pavilion.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD food & beverage credit, local delicacies (Nonya Kueh), 5 piece fruit platter, and fresh strawberries with chocolate dip).

THE RITZ-CARTON, MILLENIA SINGAPORE


5. MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL, SINGAPORE

The iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel comprises three 55-storey towers, 2,560 luxury rooms and suites, and 18 different room types. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the SkyPark floats atop the three soaring hotel towers at a height of 200 m (650 ft). This gravity-defying platform stretches longer than the Eiffel Tower laid down and is large enough to park four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets. It houses a ticketed observation deck, lush gardens, top-notch restaurants and an exclusive, infinity-edge swimming pool with a legendary view. Shopaholics will rejoice in the rows of luxury retailers at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Complementing the retail space are delectable dining options, which includes restaurants by celebrity chefs, fine dining and casual eateries.


4. SIX SENSES DUXTON & MAXWELL

Six Senses’ Singapore property is split across two buildings that are an easy wander apart: Six Senses Duxton and Six Senses Maxwell. The Six Senses Duxton site features a row of trading houses that have been sustainably restored under the gifted hand of acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel. In harmony with a rich Asian history, each of the 49 guestrooms and suites feature a unique individuality so that no two are exactly the same. The Six Senses Maxwell site was originally a nutmeg plantation before 14 colonial-style buildings were constructed and later joined together as a single entity. This property – due to open this fall – features 120 guestrooms and suites, a spa, outdoor lap pool, Champagne bar and lounge, whiskey bar, boardroom and club lounge. Guests can make use of the facilities in both buildings, as well as the rich local community in between.

  • Hotel website: Six Senses Duxton
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

SIX SENSES DUXTON & MAXWELL


3. THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE

The magnificent Fullerton Building is a grand neoclassical landmark built in 1928, that was once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, the Exchange Room and Exchange Reference Library, and the prestigious Singapore Club. Today, the Fullerton Hotel Singapore has been transformed into a stunning 400-room heritage hotel in Singapore. Dynamically located in the heart of the financial and arts districts, the hotel successfully blends rich heritage with contemporary style and personalized service to offer guests a world-class accommodation experience. Rooms overlook the sunlit atrium or have verandas with views of the skyline, river promenade or Marina Bay waterfront. The hotel has an equally luxurious but different styled sister property across the street, the 100-room Fullerton Bay Hotel, which is housed in a modern waterfront building and ranked the number one hotel in Singapore by Tripadvisor.

  • Hotel website: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, a commemorative historical book or limited edition framed Fullerton stamp, and access to the Straits Club Lounge for up to two people).

THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE


2. CAPELLA SINGAPORE

Capella Singapore, a tranquil beachfront oasis on Sentosa Island, is ten minutes from downtown Singapore. Inspired by Tanah Merah’s Malay translation red earth, the resort resort blends Singapore’s colonial heritage with modern designs. The 112 guestrooms, suites, villas and manors are decorated by renowned interior designer Jaya Ibrahim. Here, you can swim in one of three cascading pools, sunbathe alongside the lush greenery, get pampered in the award-winning Auriga spa, or dine at Cassia for Chinese cuisine or at The Knolls for Mediterranean flavors. Guests can also enjoy a drink while watching the sunset at Bob’s Bar or an elegant Afternoon Tea at its quintessential Chef’s Table. In June 2018, the resort gained instant world-wide fame as it was the site of the Trump-Kim nuclear summit.

  • Hotel website: Capella Singapore
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and a complimentary dinner at the Knolls for up to two people per room).

CAPELLA SINGAPORE


1. RAFFLES SINGAPORE

World travelers have been singing Singapore’s praises since the all-suite Raffles Singapore first opened more than 130 years ago. This colonial-era landmark and the flagship property of Raffles Hotels has become synonymous with unsurpassed service and the grace of bygone days. Period furnishings, ceiling fans and Oriental rugs atop teakwood floors adorn the 103 warm, inviting guest rooms; 12 themed “Personality Suites” are decorated with memorabilia of the celebrities who’ve stayed there. Every gastronomic desire is fulfilled at more than ten restaurants and bars, including Long Bar, the birthplace of the Singapore Sling, and the Lobby Lounge for English Afternoon Tea.

Raffles Singapore is currently closed for restoration with a planned reopening at the end of this year.

  • Hotel website: Raffles Singapore
  • Other accolades: Raffles Singapore also features in my top 10 list of the world’s most amazing hotel lobbies.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, Singapore Sling on arrival, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in, late check-out, 10% off Raffles gift shop, and complimentary 45 minute history tour).

RAFFLES SINGAPORE


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Tip: how to book Singapore Airlines’ First Class suites with miles

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel conteststipsseries, or news.

Today (September 14, 2018): how to book Singapore Airlines’ First Class suites with points & miles.

Flying in a Singapore Airlines‘ (SQ) First Class suite is one of the world’s most sought-after premium travel experiences (read here my trip report in First Class onboard SQ’s newest A380 aircraft). Unfortunately, SQ’s First Class ticket comes with a price tag that matches its exceptional reputation. Return tickets between Singapore and Europe, the USA or Australia are mostly priced well above $5000 USD, limiting access to the phenomenal product to the lucky few. However, you can also book a seat in SQ’s First Class cabin using points & miles (like I did), although these awards seats have limited availability as they are extremely popular among mileage geeks (which consider them to be the Holy Grail of premium flying). In this overview article, I explain how you can snag a First Class award suite on SQ for just a few bucks:

Have you ever booked an award seat in SQ’s First Class cabin? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.

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First Class cabin on Singapore Airlines

SQ operates three different types of First Class on its longhaul fleet. While there are significant differences in the hard product between these 3 products (e.g. cabin layout and seat type), they all share the same excellent soft product that SQ is known for around the world (think gourmet dining, Krug Champagne, top-notch amenities and impeccable service at 30,000 feet).

  • SQ’s most impressive First Class product is found in the front upper deck of its newly delivered A380 aircraft. It consists of only 6 ultra-spacious suites – 3 one each side of the aisle – with each suite featuring a swivel leather arm-chair and separate bed. The partitions between the suites in the first two rows can be lowered to form an extra-large suite with double bed, perfect for couples traveling together.
  • SQ’s older but still excellent First Class suites can be found on the front lower deck of the carrier’s older A380 aircraft. These planes features 12 First Class suites in total (twice as much as the new layout): 8 along the windows and 4 in the center; the dividers between the center suites can be lowered to create a larger suite for couples. These are genuine suites, with sliding doors, but the main differences with the new product are that these suites have a somewhat dated look and they don’t feature a separate seat and bed (just a seat that goes fully flat). This product will disappear over time as SQ plans refurbishment of all its existing 14 A380 aircraft, ensuring First Class product consistency across its entire A380 fleet.
  • SQ’s Boeing 777 fleet features a different, less impressive type of First Class product. The B777 First Class cabin features 8 generously sized and semi-private seats in a 1-2-1 layout. While still luxurious, the seats are not that different from SQ’s excellent Business Class seats (they don’t have sliding doors) and they are definitely a step down from SQ’s A380 offering, so I recommend to save your miles for the A380 experience (unless you have no other option).

Book via Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program KrisFlyer

An award seat in SQ’s A380 First Class cabin can only be booked via SQ’s loyalty program KrisFlyer as the carrier does not make First Class award seats available to its Star Alliance partners. So stop looking around as there’s no other way to book a First Class redemption on SQ than via KrisFlyer (with one exception, more on that below). The first step you need to take to fly SQ’s First Class cabin for almost free is to make a KrisFlyer account (which can be done here, free of charge). Once you have a KrisFlyer account, you can look for an award seat by clicking the “Redeem Flights” button at top of the flight search box. Next, you choose your destination as well as departure and return date, and you select “First/Suites” from the Class drop-down menu, after which you have the choice of booking two types of KrisFlyer awards:

  • Regular awards – called advantage awards by SQ – are more frequently available but they are also the most expensive award redemptions. In fact, IMHO, SQ charges an insane amount of miles for a regular award, so I recommend not to book them (unless you have no other choice and tons of miles to burn). For example, a one way First Class redemption between Singapore and Europe or the USA will cost you 210,000 miles. The number of miles you need can be checked here.
  • SQ also releases a limited number of saver awards on selected routes (sometimes in advance, sometimes last-minute). Saver awards require fewer KrisFlyer (e.g. 115,000 miles between Europe and Singapore or 118,000 miles between the USA and Singapore) but they are very popular and have limited availability. Saver awards on SQ’s new First Class product are rarely released, although I can assure you that my First Class trip from London to Singapore was booked last-minute via a saver award.

One of the things to keep in mind is that KrisFlyer has a very unique feature for redeeming points. When an award seat is not available on your requested flight, you will sometimes be offered the choice to be waitlisted for that award, whether it’s a regular award or a saver award. If SQ decides later to make that seat bookable using KrisFlyer points, you’ll be the first in line to snag it and you’ll be contacted by the carrier by email and/or text message to confirm the booking within a certain time frame (mostly two or three days). The good news is that being waitlisted does not implicate any obligation or financial loss: after the seat becomes available, it’s up to you whether you book it or not and only then will your credit card details be needed. So, in theory, you can get waitlisted for as many flights as you want, hoping that one will becoming available closer to your departure date.

When your journey involves a connecting flight on SQ or a SQ partner airline, you need to know that SQ’s loyalty program KrisFlyer operates two different award charts:

  • One award chart is only valid for flights that are solely operated by SQ and its local subsidiary SilkAir.
  • Another award chart is only valid for award travel on flights operated by Star Alliance member carriers only, or in combination with flights operated by SQ.

Lastly, while you cannot book A380 First Class awards via SQ’s Star Alliance partners, SQ does occasionally makes B777 First Class award seats available to its partners. Remarkably, SQ also makes a limited number of A380 First Class redemptions available to members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity loyalty program.


How to acquire Krislflyer miles

There are 3 ways to acquire KrisFlyer miles

  • You can collect KrisFlyer miles by crediting the miles that you earn with SQ and SQ’s Star Alliance partners to KrisFlyer. In addition to flying, you can also earn KrisFlyer miles with more than 200 non-airline partners, from credit cards to hotels, car rental companies, telcos, and more. Read more here.
  • You can collect KrisFlyer miles by transferring SPG or Marriott Rewards hotel points to KrisFlyer miles. SPS (Starwood Preferred Guest) is the loyalty program of Starwood hotels and Marriott Rewards is the loyalty program of Marriott Hotels. In August 2018, both loyalty programs were combined into an identical program, that has several great perks, one of them being the ability to transfer your hotel points to airline miles at a 3:1 conversation rate. In addition, you receive a 5,000 mileage bonus when you convert 60,000 points into miles (resulting in 25,000 airline miles instead of 20,000). As a consequence, one of the single best values of Marriott Rewards is to transfer your points in bulks of 60,000 to an airline’s loyalty program (such as KrisFlyer), which will get you 75,000 miles that can be used to book free award tickets or upgrades, which is what I did for this flight. Read here my review of the combined SPG and Marriott Rewards program. Keep in mind that it does take some days before your converted hotel points will appear into your frequent flyer account.
  • You can boost your KrisFlyer account with your credit card spendings as SQ is a 1:1 transfer partner with the top travel credit card rewards programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou. Holders of Chase Sapphire, Ink Business Preferred, Amex Platinum, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Citi Prestige, Amex SPG can transfer points directly into their KrisFlyer account in 1,000 point increments. Unfortunately, this option is only available to residents of selected countries (including the USA).

Best routes to book a Singapore Airlines First Class award

SQ’s First Class suites are only offered on selected routes. If you want to fly the new First Class product, you have to keep an eye on award availability on the following routes to London, Sydney, Zürich, Shanghai, and Hong Kong:

  • SQ221 Singapore (8:20 pm departure) to Sydney (5:55 am arrival; + 1 day)
  • SQ232 Sydney (11:00 am departure) to Singapore (5:30 pm arrival)
  • SQ322 Singapore (11:30 pm departure) to London (5:55 am)
  • SQ317 London (11:25 am departure) to Singapore (7:30 am arrival; + 1 day)
  • SQ856 Singapore (9:55 am departure) to Hong Kong (1:55 pm arrival)
  • SQ861 Hong Kong (3:40 pm departure) to Singapore (7:35 pm arrival)
  • SQ830 Singapore (9:45 am departure) to Shanghai (3:05 pm arrival)
  • SQ833 Shanghai (4:50 pm departure) to Singapore (10:20 pm arrival)
  • SQ346 Singapore (1:25 am departure) to Zurich (8:15 am arrival)
  • SQ345 Zurich (11:45 am departure) to Singapore (5:55 am arrival; +1 day)

If you want to experience the new SQ A380 First Class product with the least amount of miles, then you have to book a flight between Singapore and Hong Kong: this 4 hour journey will cost you 70,000 regular Krisflyer miles or ‘only’ 37,500 saver award Krisflyer miles.

One other SQ A380 route worth mentioning is the Frankfurt to/from New York route. Although this route is currently still operated by A380s with the the old layout, it’s the most affordable First Class route in SQ’s longhaul offerings, costing 130,000 regular Krisflyer miles or ‘only’ 70,000 saver award Krisflyer miles (almost half of the number of miles required for SQ’s other intercontinental flights).


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The post Tip: how to book Singapore Airlines’ First Class suites with miles appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.

Review of Grace Santorini (Greece)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.

Last spring, I enjoyed a sublime holiday in Greece. You can read my trip reports here:

  • Review: Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens
  • Review: PHENOMENAL Amanzoe, Peloponnese
  • Review: Kivotos Mykonos Hotel
  • Review: Canaves Oia Luxury Suites, Santorini
  • Review: Grace Santorini (today)

Today (September 5, 2018): Review of Grace Santorini (Greece).
  • Location: Google maps
  • Address: Imerovigli, Thira 847 00, Greece
  • Hotel website: Grace Santorini
  • Tip: get free VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso

Grace Santorini is an exclusive boutique hotel in Santorini, perched 363 meters (1190 ft) above Santorini’s world-famous caldera, offering breathtaking views. Crisp, minimalist and simply marvelous, the hotel skips the ornamentation for vast swatches of pristine white and sea views that stretch to infinity. The 21 innovatively refurbished rooms and suites showcase a contemporary style, combining cutting edge, bespoke design alongside traditional handcrafted pieces whilst the luxurious bathrooms offer double vanity units with marble carved basins and spacious rain showers with mosaic feature walls. Most of the rooms feature outdoor plunge pools while the 400 square meters (4.300 square feet) villa offers a private heated pool and spa. The hotel’s pool is truly spectacular and one of the most photographed swimming pools in the world.

Grace Santorini features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best honeymoon resorts, the world’s most amazing hotel pools, the world’s best hotel breakfasts, the best hotels in Greece, and the best hotels in Santorini.

In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there
  • Photos

Click to view slideshow.

*** Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Greece with my online Greece travel guide ***


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Clinging to the cliffs of Santorini’s famous water-filled caldera, Grace Santorini enjoys a sublime location in Imerovigli on the north coast of the island. Imerovigli is a picturesque village that looks exactly as a Cycladic village should, sprinkled with whitewashed houses, cobblestone alleys, blue domed churches, and idyllic squares. It’s far enough from Santorini’s capital Fira and world-famous Oia village to feel secluded, yet within walking reach of these busy towns if you want to explore their shops, bars and restaurants (a 20 minute hike along the main path to Fira, and a 3 hour hike or 15 min taxi ride to Oia). Imerovigli offers you the best chance to experience Santorini and its famous panoramas without the tourist crowds.
  • The village of Imerovigli is also known as “The balcony to the Aegean” since it is built on the highest point of the volcanic crater, about 300 m (1000 ft) above sea level. Consequently, most properties here – including the Grace Santorini hotel – provide dramatic heart-stopping views, which are even better than the already breathtaking views from Oia (where most visitors stay) since Imerovigli is located twice as high. Most of the hotel’s public areas, rooms, and suites offer uninterrupted views of Santorini’s word-famous caldera, the underwater basin of an ancient volcano. The dazzling azure of the sky and sea, sharply contrasting with the whitewashed buildings and black lava rocks, is a sight to behold.
  • Right in front of the hotel, on the seaward side, lies the immense Skaros rock, one of the island’s most famous and impressive attractions. This large rock promontory in the Aegean Sea was shaped by volcanic activity, erosions and earthquakes. Skaros rock is of paramount historical importance since it is here that the first Kasteli (fortress) was built on Santorini in the 15th century in order to protect the islanders from pirate attacks. I highly recommend to take the scenic hike to the rock’s top plateau and to take a few Instagram-worthy photos at the incredibly romantic chapel located at the trailhead, just below the hotel.
  • Imerovigli and the Grace hotel in particular offer the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy the famed Santorini sunsets. This is a huge advantage as compared to staying in Oia, where most hotels do not have sunset views (this is a simplification as it depends on the time of year). Another plus is that Imerovigli doesn’t have the crowds that gather in Oia as the sun sets. In addition to the benefit of enjoying prime sunset views from your private terrace or the hotel’s public areas, you will also get an extra 2 to 3 hours of late afternoon and evening sun as compared to hotels in Oia (which are often in the shade a few hours before sunset). I you adore the evening light and sunset (like I do), my advice is to stay here, and not in Oia.
  • The hotel’s understated design allows the magnificent volcanic seacape to take centre stage as the property cascades down the steep cliffs. The boutique hotel provides a contemporary interpretation of vernacular architecture, fusing Cycladic traditional style with modern minimalism. Inspired by the island’s ‘yposkafa’ cave-like dwellings, the property’s rounded walls and domed roofs are excavated from the rock-face. Staying true to its Hellenic heritage, the hotel’s rooms and public areas feature all-white interiors with brushed concrete floors, reiterating the trademark whitewashed houses of the Cyclades. Subtle accents in turquoise, aubergine or navy are present in certain areas, a colour palette synonymous with Santorini and the Mediterranean.
  • The magnificent swimming pool is the largest of its kind in Santorini and ranks among my favorite hotel pools in the world. Located on the hotel’s mid-level, it offers bathers mesmerizing views across Skaros rock and the caldera beyond, the ultimate transporting experience that defines every holiday in Santorini. Featuring a jagged outline echoing the zigzag paths that cross the island’s sheer terrain, the shallow pool is large enough to swim laps. It is surrounded by a row of well-cushioned double loungers on one side, while a dinner terrace is located on the other side, albeit at a lower level, giving the pool a real infinity edge. You can also enjoy a cocktail or take a light meal in style at the poolside bar area at any time of day.
  • The 21 guest rooms and suites come in 9 categories, ranging from deluxe rooms to a huge villa, some of them featuring private plunge pools. They are located on various levels of the steeply terraced property and are all perfectly positioned for breathtaking views of the caldera and the sunset. During my visit, I stayed in a superior suite, which came with a huge private terrace and a plunge pool with fabulous caldera views. Inside, the suite featured a softly furnished living room area, a separate cave with a kingsized bed decked out in crisp white cottons, and a small but stylish bathroom with shower, one sink and toilet. Modern amenities such as WiFi, iPod and dock, satellite plasma TV, and DVD player were all present inside the room.
  • Grace Santorini’s top accommodation is the so-called ‘Villa‘, one of the largest and most magnificent hotel suites in the Greek Islands and ideal for small groups. Two exquisite bedrooms, complete with king-sized beds and their own bathrooms with personalised bathrobes, look out towards a panoramic view of Santorini’s azure blue skies, sparkling ocean and of course the legendary Santorini sunset. The Villa’s open-plan kitchen is fully equipped and pre-stocked, with a private chef available on request. The Villa also has its own spa – with Hammam (steam bath), Jacuzzi and a treatment room. The Villa’s outdoor, double-level seating areas and sun decks overlook a private heated swimming pool, firepit and gazebo.
  • Grace Santorini features just one restaurant, called Santoro, which serves breakfasts, lunch and dinner. Meals are served on the restaurant’s cliff-top terrace (which comes with jaw dropping views), in the airy dining room if the weather is not cooperative, or in a private poolside candlelit ‘cave’ if you prefer. Although the hotel proudly prizes its food – Mediterranean fusion cuisine created by local chef Spiros Agious – I was underwhelmed at dinner (more on that below). In contrast, the four-course Champagne breakfast was beyond exceptional representing an indulgence of tempting gastronomy and offering a wonderful alternative to the all-you-can-eat-breakfast buffets in most other high-end resorts.
  • Although the property is quite small, it does feature a well equipped gym and a dedicated yoga and Pilates studio, where you can enjoy complimentary sessions daily, available on a first come first serve basis (qualified instructor are also available for private session). Next to the gym and the yoga studio is also a lovely boutique store, selling locally designed, hand-crafted clothing, accessories and jewellery. The shop also offers objets d’art through its collaboration  with the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. Repeat guests receive a gift containing two statues of Cycladic figurines.
  • Although you can watch the sunset from all of the hotel’s public spaces and rooms, the best spot is the outdoor terrace of the 363 Champagne Lounge, one level below the intimate lobby. A wide selection of Champagnes and cocktails paired with light canapés provide a truly unique indulgence as you take in the legendary Santorini sunsets. I highly recommend the Grace cocktail, a subtle blend of apple juice, pear purée, lemon juice and premium vodka with a hint of lemon grass.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

This utterly romantic hotel, one of my all-time favorites, comes close to absolute perfection. The location, views, service and overall decor will blow you away. Yet, there are some things that you need to know before considering a stay here: 

  • Santorini can be extremely hot in summer, and the hotel terraces do not provide a lot of shade. Although umbrellas are present, they can often not be deployed due the windy weather.
  • Several stairs from the car park to the hotel and steep steps within the property itself make Grace Santorini unsuitable for anyone with limited mobility. However, most guests choose the hotel for this very reason: its location offers 180 degrees unobstructed breathtaking views of the Caldera and the magical sunsets.
  • The main pool and some of the rooms on the lower level are located right next to the popular hiking path to Skaros rock. Tourists passing by look directly into the main hotel pool or your little private whirlpool and terrace. Some of them even enter the hotel to take a picture along the pool (although the hotel has security guards in place most of the time to prevent this from happening). So, if possible request a room away from the public path, or you may find yourself disappointed because of the total lack of privacy.
  • The hotel touts its fine dining offering and its chef, but unfortunately, I was not impressed by what I was served, especially given the astronomically high rates that are charged. I do not mind paying a lot for exquisite food, but my experience at Santoro restaurant left a sour taste in my mouth, since the portions – albeit tasteful ands nicely presented – were too small, leaving me hungry after dinner (and I am not a big eater). There are several excellent restaurants nearby though.
  • Some of the lower-end room categories (which are still very expensive) don’t have a plunge pool and are quite small. Of course, you can always hope for an upgrade, but as a small and well-known boutique hotel, Grace Santorini operates the majority of the summer period with a 100% occupancy and is most of the time not able to accommodate requests for room upgrades. I recommend to book at least a suite category for more space.
  • Contrary to some of the other high-end hotels in Santorini, the main pool is not heated. While this is a blessing in the hotter summer months, the water is cold – too cold – in the spring and autumn months. In addition, the plunge pools – which have the size of hot tubes – are filled with lukewarm water, so they cannot really be used as genuine Jacuzzis.
  • Rightfully enjoying a reputation as one of the best hotels on the island, Grace Santorini is also the most expensive hotel in Santorini. However, you should know that going in as room rates are well above 1000 euros per night in the summer season. Yet, some of the charges unpleasantly surprised me, for example a 15 euro tray charge for delivering food at your room (something which is complimentary at most other Santorini hotels) or a shared one-way airport transfer for 75 euros per room (or 100 euros for a private transfer). The airport is only 15 minutes away, and a shared transfer (same service) can also be booked for 25 euros per travel party via Santorini Transfer.
  • Unfortunately, the resort does not have a dedicated spa. That said, wellness treatments (by third-party therapists) are offered in the yoga room or the privacy of your suite upon request.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 10/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Pool: 9/10
  • Rooms: 8/10
  • Dinner: 6/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: not applicable
  • Service: 9/10
  • Value for money: 8/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8,6/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury resort like Grace Santorini (and receive many free perks).
  • Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, complimentary one-way private airport transfers, welcome amenity of bottle of champagne, fruit and chocolates, early check-in, and late check-out).
  • Room tip: If you book a deluxe room, request a room away from the public path.
  • Room tip: For the ultimate romantic experience, book a suite (and not a deluxe room). The VIP Suite and Grace Suite are stunningly beautiful.
  • Room tip: When you travel in group or have money to burn, consider booking Santorini’s most spectacular accommodation: the Villa.
  • Try to visit Santorini outside the high season, not only to avoid crowds and excessive summer heat, but also to avoid paying premium prices on room rates.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Santorini is spring and fall when the weather’s warm and the crowds are few. Like all of the Cyclades, Santorini welcomes the most visitors during the summer, so you’ll need to make your reservations at least two months in advance to travel then.


HOW TO GET THERE

Grace Santorini is located a 15 minute drive from Athinios Port and Santorini (Thira) National Airport. The latter is a very small and unpleasant airport, served by most European charters and some full-service and low-cost airlines in tourist season (click here for a direct link to their websites), but has no direct overseas connections.


IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
IMEROVIGLI: WALKWAY TO HOTEL
GRACE SANTORINI: EXTERIOR
GRACE SANTORINI: EXTERIOR
GRACE SANTORINI: ENTRANCE
GRACE SANTORINI: ENTRANCE
GRACE SANTORINI: ENTRANCE
GRACE SANTORINI: ENTRANCE
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY TERRACE
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY TERRACE
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY TERRACE
GRACE SANTORINI: LOBBY TERRACE
GRACE SANTORINI: WELCOME DRINK & SNACK
GRACE SANTORINI: WELCOME DRINK & SNACK
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF CALDERA
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF IMEROVIGLI
GRACE SANTORINI: VIEW OF IMEROVIGLI
GRACE SANTORINI: STEPS TO LOWER LEVELS
GRACE SANTORINI: STEPS TO LOWER LEVELS