Category: Hotel design

Review: Viceroy Bali

It’s time for the second instalment of Balinese Hotel Goodness today loves.  On my last trip over I was invited to spend a morning at the Viceroy Bali, and was absolutely blown away by the incredible setting and design.

Literally hanging on one side of the Petanu River valley, it’s a seriously gorgeous plot full of thatch bales, infinity pools and sublime views:

1. Viceroy Hotel Ubud www.caribbeanlivingblog.com

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Review: Wapa di Ume Ubud

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Bali lately, for a lil bit of work and a lil bit of play.  Wapa di Ume Ubud Resort & Spa were kind enough to accommodate me on my latest trip and I spent an afternoon enjoying their unbelievably well-designed villas, peaceful grounds and lush paddy field views.

Feast your peepers on these beautiful interiors (this is one of their Family Villas):

Wapa di Ume Ubud Resort and Spa - www.caribbeanlivingblog.com1

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You know how I feel about an outdoor shower – big thumbs up!

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And pool views don’t get much more relaxing than this:

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Everyone I encountered who worked there was absolutely delightful, friendly and could not have been more helpful and attentive.

We actually stayed at this resort for a few nights on our honeymoon a couple of years back now (1 / 2 / 3), and I can confirm that the level of service and accommodations has not dropped in the slightest.

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And the grounds are divine – I did not know so many shades of green existed until I went to Ubud for the first time:

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Wapa di Ume Ubud Resort and Spa - www.caribbeanlivingblog.com10

I was very spoilt and treated to the chef’s specialty of whole roasted duck at the end of the day in their terrace restaurant (which was unbelievably good, this pic does not do it justice remotely – possibly the best meal I’ve ever had in Bali), and the fresh breakfasts served on the private villa terraces are yum also (pic from our honeymoon stay).

The restaurant also has lovely views out over the paddy fields and is especially gorgeous at dusk as the stars begin to come out.

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And check out these gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS all natural finishes used in the villa design – you know how I feel about getting me an eyeful of all natural finishes.

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{credits: Elly MacDonald Design}

Delish.

They also have a full spa and lovely meditation room, and a complimentary shuttle into the centre of Ubud town.  If you ever find yourselves in Bali loves, make sure you look these guys up, they are highly highly recommended.

Excuses and beach houses

Crikey people, what a Bad Bad Blogger I have been.  I’m sorry for the long absence from this little corner of t’internet, I have been sprinting around Singapore for the last three weeks setting up the biz.  I know I know, everyone in the entire world is super busy, but I’ve literally been feeling like my brain is on the verge of popping – visas and entity structures and insurance and office leases and logos and branding and stationery and websites and trademarks and bank accounts all need to be considered in detail.  And I’ve let the bloggy slide as a result.

So there’s my excuse, now here’s my way of making it up to you.

Msambweni Beach House is a boutique hotel on the coast of Kenya, and it is also one of the most gorgeously designed places I have ever seen.  Some (very lucky) people I know have a trip booked to this delectable hotel, and I am oh so very envious!

Check out these pics and tell me your jaw is not on the floor – it’s chocca jam-packed with carved and white-washed wood, floaty canopy beds and romantic candlelight.  YUM.

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So what say you loves…?  Do you forgive me?!

Sizzling in Shanghai

So I’ve finally sorted through some of our holiday snappies, to give you a little tour around the JIA Shanghai this morning.  A gorgeous gorgeous little boutique hotel on Nanjing Road, I would really highly recommend a stay here if you’re ever Shanghai-bound.  We arrived in the middle of a summer heatwave (which to be fair was only about half a degree hotter than a Singers August), and it was such a lovely space to arrive back to after a hot day of sightseeing.

Andre Fu of AFSO Designs is responsible for this stonking lobby area (see here for more of his handiwork) – you enter through an unassuming door on a side street into a fabulous birdcage-filled, OTT wallpaper-surrounded lift area which takes you up to the main reception.  LOVE:

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Our suite was furnished in a gorgeous eclectic mixture of quite masculine tones and shapes.  I was loving the natural marble in the kitchen nook, obvs.

Melbourne-based BURO Architects designed all the suites and rooms – must take a gander at their portfolio when I get a spare sec.

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No natural light in the bedroom and bathroom meant it was tricksy to get decent pics, but these fabulous fun paper pendants helped matters…

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It was one of the most interesting bathrooms I’ve seen in a while actually – the interplay of heavily veined marble and gold mosaic tiles was pretty rad, and I love me a good bathroom light fixture!

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Back to Andre Fu now I think.

These two cheeky chappies in the reception kinda freaked me out a little…pretty cool though no?  Oh ha, please excuse my crusty traveller rucksack, should have moved that.  I’m not a massive fan of purples and reds in interiors, think they are often very jarring, but in a commercial setting they look the business.

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And lastly is the restaurant/bar area, Issimo, designed by Hong Kong-based Darryl Goveas of Pure Creative International.  It has a very different vibe to the rest of the hotel full of rustic wood, (AGAIN) grey veined marble, plaid accents and more Tom Dixon Copper Shade light fittings than you can shake a stick at.  LOVE!

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{credits – moi}

I have to say the service was not the best, the reception staff definitely let the place down quite a bit, but design-wise it really was the bee’s knees.  Ooh and the brekkas, they were excellent too.  Go stay!

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and moaning herein are my own}

Monday’s Masterpiece – want to pretend you’re famous…?

So I have fiiinally got around to sorting through the literally thousands of pics from our hol in Vietnam to be able to do justice to the beauty that is Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.

A-List Rustic Beach Chic pretty much sums it up – I neither look nor act like a film star but this place sure made me feel like one for a few hours.  Set on a private beach and hillside, the only way in is to be zipped along on a very James Bond-esque speedboat.  Now that is my kinda FUN.

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Incredible beach that we didn’t even spend time on (only there for one night sadly) but look at it!!!

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We stayed in a Hilltop Villa which had the most insaaane view out over the bay.  The decor had me in fits of ‘ooooh’s and ‘aaaah’s and ‘bloody hell that’s such a good idea’s – I guess strictly it was pretty rustic but so so luxurious at the same time.  That makes no sense whatsoever I know.

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Heavenly bathrooms, outdoors shower a go-go:

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Ermm, and please excuse the screwed-up-photo-taking face.

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And the infinity pool, my GAWD!

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It was designed so well, fitted almost seamlessly into the decking/jungly vegetation around it – I have a real grumpy grudge against blingy swimming pools, think I might have to do a post on that soon hmm…

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I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever match this view.  EVER.

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{credits – moi, please include link to this site}

I can’t recommend this place enough.  Aside from the bonkers decor, the service is impeccable, dining options brilliant and did I mention it makes you feel like you’re famous?!

Unfortunately on the day we checked out (full on blubbing, gripping onto the wooden pier for dear life before being dragged onto the speedboat – just kidding, that’s just what I wanted to do), I let the hubs persuade me that a night train up to Hoi An would be a good idea.  Have you ever been on a night train in Vietnam?!  Much like our Nepal experience we went from glam luxe jungle hotel to extremely unglam backpackery mayhem in the space of 45 minutes – happily though this time I did not end up with goat pee on my forehead.  Oh that’s another story…

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions herein are my own}

Ancient House Hotel + sneaky courtyards

So the time has come to start boring you with holiday snaps…  Today I wanted to share with you guys the absolutely bee’s knees gorgeous Ancient House Hotel we stayed at in Hoi An, Vietnam.  A beaut of a property, its high ceilings and cool interiors are the perfect respite from the 40 degree temps in town.

Built around said [authentic 200 year old] ancient house, the rest of the hotel is designed to fit in with the traditional architecture, with clay tiled roofs, white pillars, silk lanterns and wooden walkways.

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Rooms are decked out with luurvely canopy beds, cool stone flooring and Asian style furniture – not to mention that bananas Chinese style window carving and tiled/beamed ceiling, yum:

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The service is really very good – fresh fruit is left in your room every day and the reception staff fall over themselves to whip out a cold citronella-scented face cloth every time you get in from the hot streets outside.  Lovely and friendly, I must say I did not want to leave!

ancient house hotel3 The grounds are green and luscious, even in the dry spell this time of year.

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[Err apols, our camera seems to be on its last legs, these pics are pretty hit and miss…]

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Gorgeous pool area, which we didn’t actually use as were too busy running around seeing the sights but it looked fab:

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And check out this sneaky little tropical interior courtyard in the middle of the main house (LHS):

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I would definitely recommend this hotel – it’s a brilliant midrange option for peeps who want a break from the more economical guesthouses (us!) but aren’t wanting to stretch to full on 6 star luxe.

The one thing I was a smidge confused about though is the colour of the walls in the bar and restaurant area – orange and pink (see above LHS) just do not do justice to the grandeur of the property.  This place is lovely as it is, but honestly it has the potential to be a total show stopper.  Refurb the bathrooms to 5 star standard (like this INCREDIBLY magical place) and do away with the rainbow colours on the walls, and it would suddenly shoot up to the land of places you daydream about visiting.  Or is that just me?!

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions herein are my own}

Anyhoo, so the internal courtyard got me thinking we should incorporate one when we build our future house.  DREAMLAND!  Don’t think you can even do that in Singers.  Ahem, well here are a few other ideas anyway, doesn’t hurt to collect some inspiration I suppose…

Those Moroccans really know how to do it well:

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Couple of contemporary puppies:

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And see here for the rest of this swoon-worthy property below left:

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Monday’s Masterpiece – luxed up Robinson Crusoe…

Morning loves!  Hope everyone had a fab weekend. 

We’re looooving Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City is totally bananas and we’ve just spent a couple of seriously relaxing days in gorgeous beachy Mui Ne.  We’re heading up the coast today towards this beaut of a hotel, and holymoly I cannot wait to see it.

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Decked out in rustic woods, bamboo, stone and floaty floaty mosquito nets, it is the perfect place to spend my birthday!

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Because there’s always time for a good hotel oogle

So I just found out that the Maldives are only 3.5 hours from Singapore.  SAY WHAAAAAT??!  These stunning islands have swiftly moved to the top of my travel wishlist (cue big groan from Alistair), and I have to say I would not turn my snoz up at the fun contemporary Cheval Blanc Randheli hotel, designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy.

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Not bad huh?!  I’m loving the play off of traditional natural finishes against the more modern design.  What do you think…?

Have a happy weekend guys!

East meets West in the T ‘n’ C

Crikey people, Asia/Caribbean flights are the worst!  I’m so jetlagged right now I don’t know what to do with myself.  But it was worth it – we’re loving hanging out with all our besties here in Cayman, visiting our old haunts on island, and consuming about a month’s worth of fish fry and jerk chicken, mmmm hells yeah.

Anyhoo, so given the Carib vibe we’ve got going on right now I thought it was about time I took a little peek at the insanely incredible Amanyara boutique hotel in the Turks and Caicos.

A snip at only $2k/night (ahem!), I think we probably won’t ever see this bad boy first hand…

..but I cannot imagine a more perfect fusion of easy breezy Caribbean palettes and finishes with Asian style and panache:

Such incredible spaces, no?!  The height of the roof is bananas.  Ok, so I’ll cease gabbling like a jetlagged buffoon and let you enjoy the pics in peace – let me know what you recky please!

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Someone seriously needs to open a showstopper like this in Cayman, I would like an oogle…