This little blogger got some luxury

I am one of the few travel bloggers who will not claim to ‘love’ budget travel. I know it’s the sensible option if you want to travel long term but if I had the money I would be lapping up the 5* luxury everywhere I went. 

I’m not ashamed to say that I like king sized beds with duvets like thick marshmallows and feather pillows. I like being able to chose from 15 types of tea for breakfast (even though I only ever drink English Breakfast tea) and I like having the extra room that business class provides (OK, I’ve only flown business class a couple of times but a girl can dream it will happen again.)

Unfortunately, I also like having money in my bank account so it isn’t very often that I get to enjoy these little luxuries. But recently I was lucky enough to take two rather luxurious trips and, everyone loves a bit of travel porn, so I thought I’d show off my fancy pants hotels because it could be a very long time until you see something this nice again on The Travel Hack.


Hotel Verhaegen in Ghent

This 17th Century mansion is now owned by interior designers and houses their design studio as well as four stunning guest rooms. They restored the mansion to its former glory with painstaking care to ensure it was respectfully preserved. They’ve managed to create a wonderfully modern yet ancient mansion that makes you feel like you’re stepping into another world while keeping your feet firmly in Ghent. The mansion is filled with artwork which is for sale if you wish to buy but the hotel feels much more like a grand and luxurious home than an art gallery of hotel.

The owner’s saying is, “We never have clients, only friends.” I need to get more friends like these.

Breakfast at the Hotel Verhaegen

Breakfast was probably the highlight of the trip and it’s true what they say about food tasting better when you eat with silver. My scrambled eggs have never tasted so good.

You can read more about my trip to Ghent here.


Sheraton Porto Hotel and Spa

Yes, I stole the toiletries. Every day. I now have cupboards full of little mini mouthwashes

This hotel is the conference venue for the next TBU and is bringing a splash of luxury to the conference. Actually, this isn’t a splash, its more like a wave.

During the pre-conference inspection visit I was well and truly lapping up the luxe in the rather lovely spa where I had a fully body scrub and massage. For the following few days I would often be found stroking my arms as though my skin was made of cashmere. When I win the lottery I am going to employ a full time body scrubber so I always feel like this!

Best thing about the hotel? Having mini cakes and pastries delivered to your door before bed. Perfect for a midnight feast!

Disclaimer: My trip to Ghent was sponsored by Visit Flanders and my trip to Porto was with Travel Bloggers Unite. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of the best holidays. Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!


  • August 9, 2012

    I am also this kind of traveller : nice large bed, design all over, gargantuesque breakfast. I still need to find an appropriate travel bag !

  • Annette | Bucket List Journey
    August 9, 2012

    Never be ashamed to admit you like feather pillows, the are the bomb 😉

  • Natalie
    August 9, 2012

    Both those places look amazing! I’m also not afraid to admit that I’m more of a middle-of-the-road traveller rather than someone on a backpacker budget.
    I absolutely appreciate all the luxurious parts of staying somewhere amazing too, can’t go past a super-sized bed that feels like sleeping on a cloud 🙂

  • August 10, 2012

    A little luxury never hurt anyone. The rooms pictured are so yummy and inviting I wanted to climb into them.

  • August 16, 2012

    I’m with you – affordable luxury trumps over budget travel EVERY SINGLE TIME!

  • August 27, 2012

    Lush hotels also make me very happy, given I absolutely devour interior design. There is nothing better to me than arriving somewhere, and relaxing in the soft king-size bed, crisp linens and all the over conveniences … I am not into cheap hostels where you sleep in bunk bed, never have been, although some are not bad at all. Lovely hotels!!

  • September 1, 2012

    I’m a total luxury junkie! Turndown service, smores at night and a breakfast delivered to my door makes me one happy camper! I LOVE this post. I would go to Ghent in a heartbeat…

  • September 15, 2012

    Looks amazing! Like you, I’d swap budget travel for luxury any day of the week; unfortunately, my finances would not allow for that.

  • safaris in botswana
    October 8, 2012

    Hotel Verhaegen looks truly luxurious through those photos. And those croissants looks really enticing!

  • November 23, 2012

    That croissant looks delicious! I think I’ll probably grow out of my budget traveling style as I get older but when I do, got some nice luxury items to indulge in!

  • August 26, 2014

    I fully understand you 🙂
    I also enjoy staying in nice hotels when I can. Having a large comfortable bed makes the dream better 🙂


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