luxury hotel

Sleepover: La Maison D'été

I've mentioned La Maison D'été in my last blog post. It's the hotel where we first stayed arriving in Mauritius. For two nights we had the pleasure of wining, dining, relaxing and exploring this ultra relaxing spot on the north east coast. Here's my full review. 

Banyan trees
It takes about an hour to get to the hotel from the airport. The route takes you along the highway and several small roads where one thing was made clear instantly. This is a green, luscious island. The long flight had made me tired, but the huge palms, banana leaves and incredible banyan trees kept me awake. Wow, absolutely gorgeous flora!

First impressions
First impressions matter. And La Maison D'éte knows what's up. Arriving on the driveway, immediately we were taken care off. A lovely welcome drink, a small tour around the grounds, and the fresh fruit in the room. It's exactly what you need after a trip across the globe. The room was amazing. My favorite part? Our balcony overlooking the pool and the beach. I've spend hours there just relaxing, reading my book, listening to the waves and appreciating life. 

Playing games
The high season was coming to an end and we could notice that in the amount of guests. I would love to see the place with a few more people. Since it felt like we had the place to ourselves we enjoyed everything around the hotel. Sunbathing at the pool, spotting coral in the sea, biking around the small villages in the area and a lot of eating. There's no place in Mauritius where the food isn't good. And La Maison D'été is no exception. Especially the selection of fresh fish is in high demand. Eat the restaurant, the patio or on the beach. It's all possible. After dinner you can enjoy a few cocktails at the bar or in the lounge area while you play board games. One tip from my side? Let the bar be open for just a little while longer. 

Carefree
Everything in the hotel is what you expect and want from a med-high stay. Spotless clean, fresh (beach) towels, beautiful beauty products in the bathroom, complimentary cooled water, privacy, security, super friendly and involved staff. It made our stay truly carefree and relaxing. There's not a whole lot to do in the direct area, so make sure to rent a car or book a driver. The concierge can help you with getting you a taxi, giving advice on where to go or hand you the hotel bikes. Make sure you bring water shoes since the beach and sand here is quite painful to walk on due to coral and rocks. 

I would def recommend this hotel to people who are searching for something for a boutique hotel that's personal, small with a very relaxing vibe. Thanks for having us La Maison D'été!

Sleepover: Parc Broekhuizen

Just drive for one hour and you're a million miles away from everything you know. From the city we drove to the nature reserve in the Utrecht area. And suddenly in the far distant you can see Parc Broekhuizen. This estate was recently made into a hotel, but the history still seeps through its walls. A quick getaway that feels like a vacation. Isn't that what we all need sometimes? 

We were the only ones in the castle. Not that we would have noticed other people anyway. The interior is carefully chosen and the surroundings of the hotel are so relaxing. Unfortunately the kitchen closed early on Sunday, so we went out for dinner at restaurant Bentinck just a 15 minute drive away. Here we enjoyed lovely wine and tasteful dishes in the former horse stables. 

Short & sweet
Our stay was short and sweet. I would totally recommend staying here, but maybe on a "busy" day so you can really enjoy the kitchen and hotel vibe. Something we missed out on a little bit. Combine your stay with a trip to the city of Utrecht and a nice stroll through nature. You won't be disappointed!

Sleepover: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

How to compete with other luxury hotels in the higher segment? Little details, that count for a lot. The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam understands this very well. Here's my full recap on my sleepover at the Waldorf: 

First impressions
The centre of Amsterdam isn't my favorite place to drive. It's busy, bikes pop up out of nowhere and parking next to the canals is just plain scary (I'm so afraid I'll drive in the water). Luckily, Waldorf Astoria offers valet parking. You only have to worry about your handbag and the rest is taken care off. The check-in ritual is one of the better ones I've experienced. We even got to chose the fragrance for the turndown, something light and sweet to fall asleep in. A hot towel, some drinks and the biggest smiles behind the desk. And the dresses of the ladies...! Hello Jan Taminiau! Gorgeous waving dresses with the map of Amsterdam's city centre. Little details, again.  

The room
There's no place like home, right? But, a hotel can feel homely as well. There are in total 93 luxury rooms in the hotel, with the biggest being as big as any pied-à-terre in a cool, international city. The room I had (#131) was very spatial. I really enjoyed the desk because I had to do a lot of work. The bathroom was filled with great essentials and things you sometimes forget to pack. Oh, did I mention we walked in on a bottle of cooled Champagne, freshly baked Madeleines and a chocolate key to invite us to the vault? Walking around the room with soft slippers in the morning was just the cherry on top of a great sleep and stay. Breakfast was served from 7 until 10.30 and offered a large range of typical breakfast dishes. I went for a lot of coffee and the vegetable omelet, together with my delivered newspaper the perfect way to start a hectic day. 

Great history
The hotel can be found on the Herengracht, as part of the UNESCO site - views of the canals. The six canal houses that make up the Waldorf Astoria have great history. It's legacy can be found all over the hotel. Little signs, the black and white strips across the walls (reminder that you walk into the next canal house), the fresh tulips in the room and old details all tell us the story of life in the 17th and 18th century. It took a few years to completely renovate the property, but it was well worth it. This year the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam celebrates it's 4th birthday, but is already a household name. It's not without reason the hotel is on all the top lists concerning interior, service, food & beverages and spa. 

A lot to do
If you're in Amsterdam for leisure, make sure to spend some time in the hotel. There's a lot to do! You can book appointments for the Guerlain Spa, relax at the pool, enjoy tasty cocktails at the Vault bar and have dinner at the two Michelin star restaurant "Librije's Zusje". The restaurant is quite popular, so if it's full you can always book a table at the Goldfinch Brasserie. This restaurant shares the same kitchen as Librije's Zusje, so you are in for a treat! 

The verdict
My stay at the Waldorf Astoria was in one word: wonderful. The entire staff is easy to talk to and are helping you however they can to make your stay the best. The concierge tipped us for some great places to go in the neighborhood. I'm normally quite picky where to eat, but he understood our criteria perfectly. It's not the cheapest place in town, so I won't be staying here every time. But for a special occasion I'll be ready to check in!

This blogpost is written in partnership with Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. The opinion in this blog is mine and represents my true sleepover experience. If you have questions about this sleepover I'll be happy to answer them!