Gloriously Good Hotels
I just love how beautiful, 5-star hotels enable you to step into a world that would otherwise be quite inaccessible to the ordinary self. A world where the affluent, well-off people go to enjoy themselves, relax, work or spend the night while traveling. To me, it feels like such a treat to step into this aspirational world in the rare occasions when I travel for work or go on over-indulgent holidays, like my honeymoon.
When I am in a nice hotel room or lobby, I feel inspired to create, to be productive, to make the most of my time. I feel elegant, accomplished, content, keen to look after myself and even achieve more. So, whenever I know I have to travel for work, I always try to arrive early at my new work destination, in order to have plenty of time to enjoy the hotel room, do some creative work and exercise in the hotel’s gym.
You may find it shallow, but luxurious hotels really do bring out the best in me. This is why I intend to invest more in this experience in the future. Spending a weekend in a beautiful hotel room with my husband should invigorate us, bringing a bit of variety into our lives, by making us feel like we’re in a luxurious holiday. It should also enable me to recoup my creativity that is mostly turned off during the work week.
The best hotel I’ve stated at so far was the honeymoon suite at Atmosphere Kanifushi. This one featured a big and elegant room with black solid furniture and queen-size bed surrounded by majestic canvas curtains and two big wardrobes. The dreamiest part of this were the floor-to-ceiling doors opening into the terrace, giving us a teasing glimpse of our part of the beach and the sea. With two oversized wardrobes, a desk area and a vanity station, this room was the perfect setting for stimulating one to become the best version of themselves. I also loved the wine chiller where we could store the bottles of wine (white and red), delivered twice daily. The room also had a minibar stocked twice daily with beer, tonic water, soft drinks and juices. Initially, they were only sticking it with a couple of light, zero-calorie drinks, but after I've left them a note that we prefer these to the sugary ones, they remembered to stock our fridge with light drinks only. The highlight for me was tbe fruit platter delivered every morning to our room and the box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates that arrived every evening. I also appreciated the coffee selection, ranging from Arabica espresso capsules to Columbia an Decaf. The pack of salted nuts, crisps and biscuits were also delivered twice to our room every day. When we're they thinking we would eat so many snacks, considering we were on an all-inclusive board with access to 5 restaurants and 2 bars? Anyway a very nice gesture that accompanied the room service which happened twice a day - something I hadn’t seen before in any other 5-star hotel room.
The veranda of our beach villa featured sun beds as well as wooden table and chairs to aid relaxation and reflection, whilst overlooking the beach and sea view.
I also loved the art and decorative objects in the room, ranging from vases of multiple shapes to wooden chopped side tables and and a rose gold, old-fashioned clock.
However, the most beautiful part of the room was the bathroom area which was separated from the main room by a solid black wooden door which was twice my height. The bathroom had been designed to have the jacuzzi bathtub at centre stage, out in the open, to allow you to gaze at the stars while having a bath at night and to admire the lush vegetation and palm trees surrounding the bamboo wall. With a his and her sink overlooked by large two mirrors and a sharing tray of vanity and self-care kits stocked daily, this bathroom is an absolute dream.
The next hotel room where I've felt a amazingly inspired and content was the presidential suite at The Grove Hotel. I stayed there on my wedding night and was so in awe with the majesty of this suite. The corridor leading up to it is mysteriously dressed in black walls and dark carpet. Whilst heading to it through I occasionally caught glimpse of the art pieces on the wall and the retro pieces of furniture, sitting majestically in the dark. Once we got to our room and my husband opened it, I was in awe. The presidential suite was nothing like the mansion room I expected to be offered for our wedding night. It was a millions times better. The wide reception room welcomed us into a spacious room with high vaulted ceilings from where I saw the majestic fireplace overlooking the white leather sofa and armchairs, all around the glass coffee table laid out with centrepiece books.
Just behind them was a wide drinks and coffee bar with a wide variety of chilled wines, beers and spirits at our discretion. By the right window, on the right side of the sofa and armchairs, there was a study area with a leather ergonomic chair and modern wooden slim table where I spent a short while journaling how happy I felt in those moments to have the privilege of being there with my beloved soulmate who only a few hours before became my husband. By the left window, on the left side of the sofa and armchairs there was another round table with a small flower centrepiece where I received guests on the morning after our wedding for another celebratory glass and coffee.
Now onto the majestic bedroom. The queen sized bedroom was the centrepiece of the room and it was interestingly placed right in the middle of the room, even though it had a large backboard. It was as if the interior designers wanted us to be able to take in the stunning views of the garden and fountain which were right below our wonderful suite. The end frame of the bed became a TV screen at the touch of a button. Not that we had any time for watching TV but I thought it was great how you could just make magic happen at the touch of a button. As the bedroom was on the top floor, going to sleep with the most breathtaking view of the starry night sky was as magical as the TV coming out of the bed. Also another unforgettable feature was Madonna’s presence on the wall near my side of the bed, where a diamond glazed bra that she once wore was proudly displayed.
Then, the bathroom. Coated in floor-to-ceiling marble and glazed in various spots with mirrors, it was so large that it featured both a bath and a senate shower room as well as his and hers sinks. The bathtub was my favourite part. Never before had I been in a squared shaped bath tub with a translated glass side overlooking the rest of the room to allow you to see the water level. This interesting bathtub was overlooking a large window from where one could admire the breathtaking view of the garden. The bathtub was encased in a marbled bath surround where we could place our champagne bottle and glasses as well as candles. It was glorious to be table to spend some time there on the morning after our wedding. I felt so happy and privileged. The marbled sink surround had a large selection of fluffy towels displayed at the bottom of the sinks. Everything about that room was breathless and it extended our happy wedding memory. Whenever I think of our wedding, I think of that room where I was able to take a few moments to contemplate the blissful state of my new life as a married lady, after the wedding whirlwind was over.
My third favourite hotel room was the one we had in the Marina Bat Sands hotel in Singapore. This was the second part of our wonderful honeymoon so we decided to treat ourselves one more time. I was in awe with this place even before I saw it in real life. We arrived at the hotel through the underground passageway connecting Marina Bay retail developments with the rest of the hotel. Once I stepped out of the train, I was amazed to be able to step onto a marble floor. A marble floor onto the underground! That’s for me was unheard of and unimaginable. Beautifully decorated with orchid flowers at every intersection of adjacent pathways and framed by luxury shops and high and boutiques, the was leading to the underground hotel entrance was surreal. We received the best service in this place even from the moment before we arrived there. Our check time time was 3 pm but we arrived at 10 am. We thought we would go to the check in desk to see if we could get access to the pool to laze about there until our room was ready. To our surprise, our room was ready 5 hours before the official check-in time, as we had announced our arrival time in advance. They also remembered that it was our honeymoon and delivered a sumptuous assortment of chocolates to our room.
What I mostly love about the room we had in Marina Bay Sands was the view. Floor to ceiling windows revealed the grandeur of this westernised city, uniquely settled in the heart of the eastern world, whose majestic skyline is framed by bold skyscrapers. What was also beautiful about this room was also the romantic arrangement of towels in the shape of swans which came together in a heart shaped kiss. The room was so spacious that king-sizes bed took up only a small part. Right in front of it, we had a huge TV stand with cupboards that we used to fit the clothes that could not be properly hanged on the hangers in the wardrobe. The sofa and glass coffee table pleaded right by the generous windows reminded us of how privileged we were to be there. We had sushi and wine there on an evening where we felt too lazy to go out for dinner. I also loved the large bathroom of the room with a large shower room stocked with aromatherapy pampering essentials. The sink overlooked by the generous mirror was framed in granite and it felt like a vanity room, as it was stocked with exquisite essentials like dental kits, cotton pads, combs, tissue, ear buds etc all beautifully presented in leather cases with multiple compartments.
The tea and coffee bar that greeted us every morning at the entrance to the room was also luxuriously stocked with then Singaporean TWG tea in multiple flavours.
In true Singaporean spirit the minibar was set up to charge you the drink you wanted to enjoy as soon as you picked it up. Quite ingenious I thought.
The piece de resistance of this hotel was nevertheless the infinity pool set on the rooftop and overlooking the whole city. With sun beds placed around the pool like an amphitheater and some dotted inside the pool to separate the adults-only area from the adults-with-kids area, this was a perfect picture spot from all angles. The palm trees were generously providing spots of shade to the lazy tourists. The bar was in close proximity and the floating bar servants ensured that you were well attended and looked after.
The rooftop was so big that it was set on multiple floors, such that the infinity pool was overlooked by a wide balcony that was part of a nightclub or daytime event space (Lululemon organised a spin class on the first day we got there) offering guests the ch ace to take their party outside and take in the breathtaking night views, if they wished to. There were also a few restaurants amongst which an exquisite French one. The observation deck on the other side of the rooftop offered a great display the skyscrapers, emblematic if the Singaporean city life. On one side of the infinity pool was a smaller pool made for bathing your legs or simply for retreating in a quieter area, away from the hustle and bustle of the infinity pool, invaded by tourists everyday. There were also two jacuzzis set on the other side of the pool whose hot bubbly waters were perfect for relaxing those guests partying in the pool all day. The pool was opened until 11 pm every day and I was amazed to see that people stayed there that long, enjoying it at all times of the day and even having their breakfast, lunch and dinner there. What an atmosphere! It was amazing to see the guests unwilling to come out of the pool even after the final call whistle was blown multiple times. Ignorant and careless, they would continue swimming. I felt a bit envious to see them getting in the lift in their bathrobes, close to midnight. It reminded me of productive gym sessions after work which would end with an hour long swim in the pool that I would finish close to the gym closing time. I wanted to feel that productive and fit as I imagined these hotel guests were feeling as they crammed the lifts on n their swimming costumes after the pool’s closing time.
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