My first encounter with a Belmond property was a fantastic experience on the whole.
This is a hotel brand which has always had a reputation for classic, 'old school' elegance. I was worried that this would be a euphemism for antiquated but aside from the old TVs and the pointless taps the overall feel of the property was rather charming.
Staff were truly excellent, very friendly and proactive. Again, there was a worry with this being a heritage property, that this would lead to an air of stuffiness but this couldn't be further from the truth.
The transfer process is slightly longer than reaching a resort by seaplane and as a result it deters a lot of people from coming here. For those looking for a truly remote and tranquil island, this is the perfect barrier to entry. It keeps out the noisy groups looking to ostentatiously display wealth with as little effort as possible.
Indeed it's the only resort I've been to where guests regularly greet each other and interact as if they were residents of a small village (which they effectively are).
A lot of Maldivian resorts are like fast food: convenient, nicely packaged, initially satisfying but ultimately devoid of substance.
The Park Hyatt is the antithesis to this.
My expectations were very high going into this and Silvan quite honestly smashed them.
If you remove the safari element for a second and look only at the hard product, Silvan is already in the very top tier of anything I've ever seen. In terms of the sheer personal space, the private pool, the outdoor terrace and the very high end decor, only places like Amanoi or the Waldorf Astoria Maldives come close.
Even if you don't have Priority Pass the value for money here is pretty phenomenal. 210ZAR (roughly $12) will get you not only a comfy seat away from the main terminal but also a massive selection of drinks as well as some delicious home made food.
This is a hotel that is moments away from the airport. It ticks all of the items in my basics checklist and also has a full size gym and excellent restaurant.
The room decor is a cut above most airport hotels globally, as is the service.
Unless you have a layover of over 20 hours I can't imagine why you'd consider anywhere else in Joburg.
It's safe to say that this stay absolutely blew away all of my expectations. Amilla is a resort that delivered not just on the things that I thought I wanted it fulfilled knew needs that I didn't even know I had.
The food was comfortably amongst the best we've ever encountered in the Maldives. The bed was also the biggest and the snorkelling the best I've ever encountered.
The variety of accommodation options is fantastic and the combination of beach, treetop, bubble and overwater could keep you entertained for weeks.
Although I really love the size of the rooms, the decor and location of the Conrad, there is something very special about the PH Tokyo, which really does make it stand out in Tokyo and for that matter, the world.
The level of service is just exceptional and that calm sense of serenity, the feeling that you are in a space which transcends the city, is remarkable. If you have a chance to stay here, do. If you didn't think you had a reason to visit Tokyo, start with this hotel. There is no one 'monument' that really puts Tokyo on the map. I love the city because of the deep energy and the sheer variety of experiences on offer. I understand that this alone can make it hard to convince people to visit.
The Park Hyatt Melbourne has all the makings of a great hotel but the finishes need to be spotless in a Park Hyatt. Any mechanisms need to function without problems. Cables need to be tidied inside consoles or at least pinned or bundled in some way. Empty plates, towels and bottles need to be cleared in a timely fashion. Most of all, the staff need to be helpful and courteous.
The Park Hyatt Sydney isn't cheap. Even when using 10% discount codes on gift certificates, this hotel isn't even on nodding terms with cheap.
However the Park Hyatt Sydney is worth every penny.
The staff are aware of the fact that they have a hell of a reputation to live up, due in no small part to the hotel's location. They deal with this pressure with charm, competence and a true sense of what hospitality means.
If you can, make sure you come here at least once in your life. If your budget won't permit a stay then consider going for breakfast, just to take in the fantastic view (and those omelettes!).
You won't be disappointed.
Park Hyatt Sydney. Believe the hype.
I had been looking forward to this stay for a while.
The pictures of the pool, with huge floor to ceiling windows, opening onto a snowy garden, looked fantastic.
All reports and reviews that I had read indicated that this would be a cut above the usual airport hotel experience.