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L Hotel Seminyak

Quintessentially Chic and Luxuriously Elegant, L Hotel indulges you with a personalized Butler service and appeals to discerning, well-heeled travelers looking for a luxurious, intimate retreat.

Rating: ★★★★
Price: $$
Couple quota: ♥♥♥♥

Price guide
$ – Less than S$200 a night
$$ – S$201 – S$350 a night
$$$ – S$351 – S$500 a night
$$$$ – S$501 – S$600 a night
$$$$$ – More than $600

At a glance

Plus points
+ Immaculate service to attend to every whim and fancy
+ Central location to quintessential Seminyak dining spots & attractions
+ Waking up to such lovely staff

Minus points
– If you are looking for a Balinese style hotel, L Hotel is too modern in design

Sleep

Snuggle in lush duvet and be pampered by an extensive pillow menu for guests to tailor their preference. Ladies will be impressed with in-room Kiehl’s range of toiletries, with thoughtful extras such as a UV defense face block and a facial cleanser.

All 30 plush suites are furnished with sheer white marble walls and a bespoke handcrafted piece of Balinese ceiling ornament. Sexy mood lighting and luxurious trappings in each room set the mood for Love.

Eat

The dining experience is surprisingly good for a relatively small boutique hotel. The rooftop Luna Bar & Dining, serves up delectable Balinese cuisine with an impressive wine list amidst idyllic panoramic views. Lola restaurant & Bar on the mezzanine level impresses with a one-of-a-kind “Lovers Corner” – a private corner isolated from the main dining area, with a cascading water feature streaming down from your table on the side. Brilliant!

Do

The L Hotel Butlers’ motto is “Leave it to Us.”

Each guest has a dedicated butler providing 24/7 attention at the guests’ request. L’s team of butlers to guest ratio is 1:1, making it the essential unique feature of L Hotel. Your butler can help tailor your Bali experience by helping you get to the right places to be for sunset, spa treatments, golf, sightseeing and many more. The hottest restaurants and beach clubs in Seminyak are within walking distance as well.

Relax

L’Spa offers therapies and wellness experiences that are luxurious, organic and authentic. Enjoy a luxurious massage, a facial or manicure services as a perfect prelude to enjoying Seminyak’s vibrant nightlife!

Buy

Carga, located near the hotel, is a must-visit standalone Balinese house selling chic Balinese and Indonesian handcrafted items and home ware.

In the area

Hop around some of Bali’s most famous nightspots – Kudeta, Potato Head Beach Club, Mint Club, Cubana and Hu’u Bar and enjoy dining in one of the best restaurants in Bali – Metis restaurant.

Getting There

Enjoy a warm welcome by informing your personal butler to pick you up from the airport. Thereafter, it is a 40 minute trip to the hotel where you can enjoy planning out the perfect holiday in Bali and make necessary reservations with the help of your Butler.

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Park Hyatt Saigon

Magnificently classy, the Park Hyatt Saigon is a landmark hotel in the bustling capital of Vietnam. Both a business and recreational hotel, it offers the best of both worlds for every traveler.

Rating: ★★★★★
Price: $$
Couple quota: ♥♥♥

Price guide
$ – Less than S$200 a night
$$ – S$201 – S$350 a night
$$$ – S$351 – S$500 a night
$$$$ – S$501 – S$600 a night
$$$$$ – More than $600

At a glance

Plus points
+ Prime location to main tourist attractions
+ World-class restaurants
+ Friendly staff and service

Minus points
– – Business hotel setting may not be suitable for couples in search of a romantic ambience

Sleep

There are 6 room categories to choose from. Beginning with the Park Room, this colonial style 34 square metre room comes with wooden floors, a separate work area, high-speed Internet access, white marble bath with walk-in rain shower and one king bed or two twin beds with plush feather pillows and duvets. Each room offers a stunning or pool view.

Other room categories include those with a private terrace with direct pool access, outdoor terrace and easy access to the spa and the gym.

Eat

In this lap of luxury are world-class restaurants that set Park Hyatt apart from other popular hotels in the city. Many come here just for the lavish breakfast spread and the renowned afternoon tea of traditional scones with home-made jam and cream, delightful pastries and more.

The Vietnamese restaurant Square One, which overlooks Opera House, is also said to be one of the best dining experiences in Ho Chi Minh. And if you are hoping to bump into the who’s who of international stature, the 2 Lam Son martini bar is without a doubt the city’s top nightlife destination.

Do

There is no better way to explore and understand a culture than through its cuisine. In an effort to showcase the diversity of Vietnamese food, the culinary team at Park Hyatt Saigon offers guests a unique culinary experience in Ho Chi Minh City. Guests depart to the local market and buy ingredients to prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes, and experience the hustle and bustle of the city. Arrive back to the hotel and begin preparing traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Square One restaurant’s open kitchen.

Relax

Park Hyatt Saigon’s Xuan Spa offers 5-star amenities, a refreshing 20-metre outdoor swimming pool and deck, indoor whirlpool, steam room and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. Take a soothing dip, enjoy a workout, or pamper yourself with a rejuvenating massage or body treatment in this Ho Chi Minh spa.

Buy

Visit Dong Khoi Street for its famous embroidered tablecloths and napkins, exclusive custom-made silk garments, colourful shawls, purses, and exquisite silk scarves.

In the area

Minutes walk from main attractions like Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh Market, and many other shopping and central business districts.

Getting There

40 minutes from Ho Chi Minh airport.

Reservations & enquiries: www.lightfoottravel.com/hotel/park-hyatt-saigon.

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One Eleven Bali

oneelevenbali

Planning your honeymoon or a romantic getaway ? Check out ROMANCE = I II at adults-only One Eleven in Seminyak, Bali!

ROMANCE = I II
3 Nights at USD 1,650

Price Includes:

  • Romantic Dinner for 2 in the romantic setting of your Villa or Omakase Set Dinner for 2 at Shiro Sushi / Sake Bar
    • Two Hour Spa Treatment for Two in Privacy of your own In Villa Spa Gazebo
    • Complimentary Bottle of Sparkling Wine at Shiro Sushi / Sake Bar
    • One Eleven Experience of Daily Romantic Treats

This promotion is available exclusively at www.111resorts.com. Book Direct and Romance with us.

Address:        #3 Pangkung Sari
Seminyak 80361
Reservations: +62 361 730594
Email:                reservations@111resorts.com

Terms and Conditions.

HIGH SEASON RATES APPLY:  15TH JULY TO 31ST AUGUST 2014 & 23ND DECEMBER 2014 TO 6TH JANUARY 2015.

2 NIGHTS: USD 1,290 & 3 NIGHTS USD 1,935

PROMOTIONAL OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER PROMOTIONAL OFFERS.

Rate inclusive of:

  • Inclusive Airport Pick Up & Drop Off
    • Complimentary shuttle service to Seminyak area
    • Chilled towel upon arrival
    • Complimentary foot bath upon arrival
    • Complimentary One Eleven mocktail upon arrival
    • Daily in-villa breakfast for 2 persons
    • Full complimentary Nesspresso Coffee and tea selection
    • Extensive male & female amenities exclusively developed for One Eleven.
    • Complimentary daily mineral water service
    • Daily newspapers and magazine selection
    • Fresh fruits daily
    • Fresh flowers in villa
    • Complimentary turn down treats
    • Complimentary WIFI internet access
    • Butler on call 24 hours
    • Access to our reservation only Japanese sushi/sake bar Shiro.
    • 21% Government tax and service charge

– See more at: http://wedding-travel.com/one-eleven-bali.aspx#sthash.u9DfJ2PG.dpuf

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Romance of Spiritual Tranquility

Romance of Spiritual Tranquility
After my visit to the all-villa Amanjiwo in Borobudur, I came back feeling peaceful. There is little wonder I felt this way. Staying in Amanjiwo was a rest for the soul weavied by the hustle & bustle of the city.

text CINDY ONG / photography Colin Wee ❘ SPECIAL THANKS TO AMAN RESORTS

The Journey

We exited Yogyakarta International Airport and were received by Amanjiwo’s staff with cold scented towels and chilled mineral water. We then embarked on an approximately one-hour journey through throngs of vehicles in the city into the rural area. Roads gave way to narrow, meandering tracks, but the driver maneuvered with skill, sharing interesting facts along the way. Gradually, low-rise shop houses gave way to village huts. Farms passed us by, horses roaming freely and buffaloes with grazing leisurely. Chickens hurried across tracks and children cycled or trekked through farmlands to school.

After passing through the village, a picturesque sight emerged — Amanjiwo set amidst lush greenery with the rolling Menorah hills as its backdrop. When I stepped out of our van, an air of tranquility washed over me. We were greeted with petal showers and ushered to the lounge for refreshment — Amanjiwo’s deliciously sweet and cooling creation of pink ginger tea. The general manager personally received us like friends at his abode. After some casual chats, we were shown our villas.

The Villa

My villa had terrazzo flooring with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. The interiors featured sungkai wood screens, a daybed, coconut wood and rattan furniture, batik pillows in classic Yogyakarta style and traditional glass paintings. There was a sunken outdoor bathtub set in a walled garden. For those in the mood for painting, Amanjiwo had thoughtfully placed painting materials in the villa.

In the centre laid a four-pillar bed on a raised terrazzo platform that looked out to a private plunge pool and thatched-roof bale (pavilion) with a daybed for outdoor lounging and dining. The view ahead was a vast tobacco plantation dotted with white flowers and Borobudur with volcanic mountains in the background.

With such a luxurious villa and view, doing nothing was truly natural. However the visit would be incomplete without exploring the village, and visit to Borobudur was necessary. I set out before daybreak for a sunrise experience on Borobudur. After climbing 42m flights of stairs to its peak, all I could hear was my pounding heart and shallow breathing amidst the thick mist of silence. It was certainly a good morning exercise.

The guide left us to enjoy the serenity and soon, rays of orange light peaked through the morning fog. I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the last of the morning chill as sunlight warmed my surroundings, bringing colours to life. The dark walls of the temple lit up, exposing relief panels with meticulous carvings relating the legend of Buddhism. Beneath me, the garden came alive as the sun rays gently stroked the plants awake. Far ahead, faint outlines of the volcanic mountains became visible.

My guide took me through the temple, sharing the tale of Buddhism using the relief panels. We ended the tour with breakfast and explored two other temples that were built coincidentally in a straight line with Borobudur. Apparently, pilgrims journey annually from these two temples, Candi Pawon and Candi Mendut before reaching Borobudur to meditate on Vesak Day.

The rest of the day included visiting a local traditional home where I drank and ate homemade tea, cane sugar and brinjal crackers, followed by a scenic ride around the village on a traditional horse cart.

I ended my day with a sunset experience 710m above sea level on Menorah Hills. It was only when I sat down in Amanjiwo’s thatched-roof bale at the peak of the hills that I discovered guests usually trek up from the resort. They arrive at a pavilion set up with cushions and floor mats and enjoy Amanjiwo’s sunset cocktail as a reward. As I had decided on this trip impromptu, I arrived in a car and trekked only the last ten minutes to the peak.

I had fresh sunset coconut juice and ate its flesh using a part of its husk — provided and taught by my guide in true Aman spirit. The guide also recommended that I trekked down.

As the sun set, I was escorted by a new guide who came all the way up just for me. Along the 30-minute descent, my guide impressed me with his knowledge of the forest and thoughtfulness for my well-being. By the time I returned to Amanjiwo, I was soaked in perspiration but was contented with such an original experience.

A Permanent Memory

When it came time to say goodbye, I was reluctant to leave. Not because of the luxury but the people who touched me with their spirit of providing a complete experience.

The hospitality of the resort was nothing short of memorable. My shoes were spoiled on the first day and Amanjiwo’s staff did their best to bring my shoes for repair. However, the shops were closed. So, they surprised me by sewing and placing them neatly beside the entrance of my villa.

They also prepared unchilled water for me when they observed I was nursing a cough. Nightly, they provided us with turndown services, left us sweet local treats and souvenirs. It was bookmark on one day and playing cards on another day.

Our guide who was with us from the first day sent us off at the airport. As I bade everyone goodbye, I was thinking, “See you again, my friend.” The rich experiences I had would be permanently imprinted in my mind.

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Nature At Its Best

Stone lions at entrances of buildings or houses, which act as auspicious guardians, always come in pairs.

They are usually placed apart, the male on the left side of the gate or door, and the female on the other.

But the pair at the entrance to the five-star Le Midi Hotel in Sitou of Nantou district in central Taiwan is not, taking all first time visitors by surprise.

Strangely, both the male and female lions are standing close to each other instead, leaning to the left side of the grand entrance.

A check with the hotel revealed that the lions, each weighing several tones, were originally placed apart at the entrance till a devastating earthquake in 1999 and Typhoon Toraji two years later. Both events nearly destroyed the 243-room hotel.

When the hotel’s new owners decided to renovate the hotel a few years later, they were surprised that the female stone lion from the right side had moved close to the male one on the left.

The new owners, believing it was the lions’ wish to be close together in the face of the two natural calamities, left them alone as the hotel went through a major make-over which turned it into the beautiful and elegant hotel it is today.

The hotel’s assistant public relations manager Mimic Chiu said: “It shows the power of love. The female lion, many of us believe, had moved towards the male one with some supernatural forces in the midst of the natural disasters.”

Today, the lions and their “love story” is the hotel’s greatest attraction. Lovers and even wedding couples in their suits and gowns pose for pictures in front of the two lions as a symbol of togetherness in adversity.

Taiwan, in the minds of many, evokes romance due largely to the volumes of romantic novels by Chiung Yao which were later made into movies and the many popular Mandarin love songs sung by Taiwanese singers like Teresa Teng, Tang Lan Hua and Liu Chia Chang since the 1970s.

And this pair of stone lions at the hotel in Sitou just adds to it, making Sitou, mainly a forest recreational area for lovers to holiday in and newly-wed couples to go for their honeymoons.

The natural habitat, the bamboo forests, tea plantations, camp sites, chalets and hotel resorts in the woods make holidays there tranquil, and most of all romantic.

Nantou district in Central Taiwan, is also popular for its mountain valleys and greenery. It is therefore an ideal location for holiday resorts, popular among honeymooners because of the cool weather there throughout the seasons.

Sun Moon Lake

The most famous resort there is the Sun Moon Lake which is Taiwan’s largest in-land lake. It is a beautiful alpine lake divided by the tiny Lalu island in the middle. The eastern portion is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon, hence its name.

The beauty of the place is created by the combination of mountains and water, making it a “honeymoon heaven” for the newly-weds. The lake’s 760m elevation from sea level gives the impression of a Chinese landscape painting, especially with the mist-laden water and clearly-defined levels of mountains.

Several five-star and four-star hotels, inns and chalets surround the lake with their rooms giving a breath-taking view. A visit to the lake cannot go without a stay in one of those hotels. Some of the more popular hotels include Hanbi lou, Fenisia Hotel and Hotel Del Lago.

Cingjing Farm

Another place of attraction for wedding couples and honeymooners in Nantou is Cingjing Farm, which is over 1,000m above sea level with abundant ecological environment. The fruit, flower and vegetable farms and tea plantations there were set up by the late General Chiang Kai-shek for retired soldiers from the Kuomintang army more than 50 years ago.

Today, the farm is turned into a cluster of holiday resorts, many with buildings and houses modeled after those in Europe, some even in Victorian and French architecture styles.

The place is so romantic and appealing to city girls from all over Taiwan that many who visited the farm chose to marry young men there in order to spend the rest of their lives to be among the flowers, greenery, sheep and cows together. It is today a popular place for couples to take their wedding photographs, and honeymooners on their first holidays together.

Hualian

Hualian district, also in central Taiwan, is well-known for the stretch of Taiwan’s North-south Highway which cut across mountains, giving travelers a breath-taking view of the beautiful scenery in the area. The drive through the mountainous region is a pleasant one with many stops especially set up for visitors to catch the most scenic view.

Taiwan’s most famous national park, Taroko Gorge, is also there. The 12-mile-long area with its side canyons, dating thousands of years in history, is a must-see for all visitors.

One of the latest development in tourism in central Taiwan is the sprouting up of hot spring bath resorts in the area, attracting thousands of loving couples.

The water from the springs at the resorts there, especially in the Lushan area, are all crystal clear, odourless and high in temperature, not found anywhere else in Taiwan.

The hot spring water are pumped into the guest rooms in some hotels for couples who want privacy, while others are in man-made, lake-like natural environment for those who prefer the outdoor. The variety of hot spring baths available in Nantou surprises you.

Guest Houses

A new trend in the hospitality industry in Taiwan is the emergence of country home-stay holiday guest houses or minshu in recent years. Many mansions and buildings with an interesting history have been turned into these guest houses which are like hostels or service apartments for tourists. Their numbers are growing rapidly, especially in Nantou. There are at least 100 registered ones there, with another 500 smaller ones not registered, according to one estimate.

These guest houses come in different sizes, from the smallest with no more than 10 guest rooms, to the big ones with close to 200 rooms.

A special feature of these guest houses is the history attached to the mansions or building housing them. Some were owned by Taiwanese who have lived there for ages. Many of them are still run by husband-and-wife teams who are owners of the mansions or buildings themselves. So expect very personal service during your stay there.

One owner, Mr Lin Shao-ming who runs Ming Cing Guest House there with his wife said: “Visitors who come here can feel at home and experience country-side living in Taiwan tending to fruit and vegetable farms here.”

Another special feature is that the guest houses often give visitors a feeling of being highly respected, like they are really the personal guests of the owners. This is especially popular with couples on honeymoon who want to be treated special.

Visitors are sometimes even given the choice of the colours of the pillow cases they prefer and asked if they wanted wet or dry bathrooms. Room décor styles are also available in some cases, just to give visitors variety instead of the standard rooms in hotels.

Wine and Dine

No holiday is complete without good food, and Taiwan has plenty to offer.

In Nantou, the most famous eating house is the Jin Dou Restaurant in Puli. It serves Chinese food with fresh ingredients farmed locally in Nantou. The dishes are either healthy, rustic take gourmet Chinese fare, or an epicurean twist on home cooked favourites, or both. But regardless of the influences, the food are good, hearty and fresh.

What was aptly named “meiren tui” or “beauty’s leg” is a large steak of succulent bak choy-like vegetable that resembles a chicken thigh more than vegetarian fare. This goes well with the pedigree glutinous rice (from one of their best harvests 2 years ago) glistening with oil from the succulent chicken and Taiwan sausage. The hot pot is a flavourful mix of fresh produce including mushrooms, summer vegetables and Chinese herbs.

Special dishes on its menu even includes a list cooked with different variety of flowers. The restaurant owner, Mr Wang Wen Zheng, said: “There is a great variety of flowers in this part of Taiwan, so we come up with the menu to be special, and we found that flowers do not only look pretty, but also taste good on the dining table.”

In another restaurant, Sun Link Sea, also in Nantou, one menu has its 12 dishes named after the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, all healthy food which provide cures for a variety of illnesses.

Besides the Chinese dishes, guest houses also provide a good variety of Western cuisine too, to go with their building architecture styles perhaps. So don’t be surprised to be served pizzas and steaks in Taiwan!

– See more at: http://wedding-travel.com/nature-at-its-best.aspx#sthash.jgVisojT.dpuf