With all the travel we’ve done over the years, I’ve stayed in a LOT of different hotels, resorts, hostels and everything else in-between. Some of them are really bad and some of them are really great! One thing I’ve learned, the price tag of a room often has little to do with how good it is. Usually, a great stay comes down to a hotel that has a wonderful team working for them and offer something unique.
Today I wanted to share with you five of my favourite hotels and resorts. These are the places I’ve stayed that have just stuck in my mind really clearly and made me want to go back again and again!
Hai Tide Beach Resort, Indonesia
The first time I went to Bali, Matt organised for us to make the trip by boat to Nusa Lembongan. Away from the crazy noise and bustling streets of Kuta, Nusa Lembongan was a quiet haven. We stayed at the Hai Tide Beach Resort, a series of free-standing tropical bungalows right on the beach. Each one has its own balcony where you can sit and chill out and a cool little hangout space underneath too.
Not only is your own private bungalow really cool, but the food and drinks are great too. The bathrooms are shared, but they’re still really luxurious. The roof over the shower is completely open, so you get to have an outdoor shower without exposing yourself to the whole world. Each morning we’d wake up and go for a swim, just a few metres away from the front door of our hut, then go for breakfast and spend the rest of the day swimming and hanging out. It’s one of my favourite stays because it was so unique and unlike anywhere else I’d ever stayed before or have stayed since.
Hotel Nikko Saigon, Vietnam
For one of the last hotels on our honeymoon, Matt and I splurged on absolute luxury by staying at Hotel Nikko in Saigon. We went all out and arranged for the hotel’s super swanky pick-up service to meet us at Ho Chi Minh airport when we arrived. From the moment we met the driver, we were in absolute luxury which is something different to the budget-friendly and mid-range way we usually travel.
The hotel was incredible, everything was so well thought out and luxurious. They arranged a room on a high floor for us and, knowing it was our honeymoon, had completely covered the room with fresh flowers and flower petals. The room was huge with amazing views of Ho Chi Minh, the bed was huge and incredibly comfortable and each evening they delivered a box of the best chocolate truffles you’ve ever had in your life. It was the kind of hotel that makes you want to spend time in the room and a hotel stay I won’t forget for a very long time.
Spicers Canopy, Australia
As part of the Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers, we got to spend two nights at Spicers Canopy. Arriving at Spicer’s Canopy was incredible, the bush breaks away and in the middle of a cleared space is the homestead and eco-tents. I had never experienced ‘glamping’ before and it has honestly ruined regular camping for me, it was so good.
The tents are huge, with massive comfortable beds, big pillows and cosy blankets to snuggle into. The first night was a little cold so the lovely staff placed hot water bottles in our beds to warm them up for us. In the morning, we woke up early to watch the sunrise and there was something incredibly magical about the location. No cars, no other people, no noise…. just nature. It was grounding to be there. On top of all this is the incredible customer service and genuine nature of the staff as well as the insanely good food and fantastic wine! I am itching to get back to Spicers Canopy for another stay, it is a one-of-a-kind place.
Hotel Century Southern Tower, Japan
After staying in some very small rooms in Tokyo, we splurged on something a little bit special for our last week in Tokyo. Hotel Century Southern Tower was the ultimate way to finish an amazing few weeks in Japan and a hotel stay that will definitely stay with me. The room was HUGE and the big window with views out to Mt Fuji was so amazing we found ourselves getting takeaway lunch so we could eat in the room and enjoy the view.
The stay was so good because the rooms were so luxurious and comfortable. The bathroom had all kinds of special touches, like Shiseido bath products you actually enjoyed using and a heated mirror that meant it didn’t fog up while you were having a shower. When I think back to Tokyo, our stay at Hotel Century Southern Tower immediately springs to mind, it was the base for so many fun moments and a really comfortable, memorable stay.
Secret Garden Bungalows, Indonesia
On the completely opposite end of the scale is the budget-friendly Secret Garden Bungalows, also on Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia. We booked a stay here as we wanted to get away from all the people on the mainland and have some chill-out time, but were on a really tight budget. When we arrived we found the power to the whole island wasn’t working, but that didn’t make an ounce of difference to our stay and we had so much fun. We spent days zipping around on scooters, snorkelling in beautiful clear water and sipping cocktails on the beach.
Each private bungalow is simply furnished but has everything you need. The bathroom is at the back of the bungalow and isn’t fully closed-in above you, so you feel a bit risque taking a shower, which makes it even more fun. We spent most of our stay without power, which meant cold showers and reading by candle-light, but to this day it’s one of my favourite resort stays because it was so easy, simple, uncomplicated and fun. A great holiday isn’t about how much money you spend, it’s about the memories you make and the memories from that trip are some of my favourites.
- Oasia Hotel, Singapore – A fantastic hotel in a great location, I loved the huge window in our Club Room which took up the entire space where the wall should be. I also loved experiencing club room privileges for the first time: amazing breakfast food and snacks throughout the day as well as happy hour, all included!
- Hanoi Elegance Ruby, Vietnam – A lovely little budget hotel in the heart of Hanoi, I absolutely LOVED the customer service of the fantastic staff here. The rooms were small but comfortable and contained everything we needed. It was such a memorable stay because of the amazing team working there and the comfort of the hotel.
- Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Australia – Incredible individual bungalows that are bigger than my apartment in Brisbane! Everything about Tamarind Retreat was comfortable, luxurious and well thought out. From the under-floor heating in the bathroom and the cosy throw rugs everywhere to the open fireplace and ridiculously comfortable bed. I cannot wait to go back!
What are your favourite hotels and resorts from your travels? Have you stayed somewhere that took your breath away or completely surpassed your expectations? Maybe you have a favourite spot, luxury or budget, that you can’t wait to visit again. I’d love to hear your favourite hotel and resort stays, please share in the comments below!
Watch our Colour of Queensland, Australia video!
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.