Introduction: Home QSuite Home
Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Hong Kong to Doha
The Sad State of Transit at Doha Airport
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Amsterdam
Hilton The Hague Family Suite
The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room
British Airways Galleries Lounge Brussels Airport
Qatar Airways 777 Old Business Class Brussels to Doha
Qatar Airways 777 QSuite Business Class Doha to Hong Kong
In Brussels we decided to stay at The Hotel Brussels, due to its great location and competitive pricing. The Hotel Brussels is located adjacent to the Parc d’Egmont, which is walking distance from the city center and many tourist attractions. I loved the location of the hotel, and it was a key reason it quickly emerged as a top contender for us. While we never used the metro, The Hotel is also located right next to Louise station, which is on lines 2 and 6 of the Brussels metro.
The Hotel Brussels is by far the highest-rise building on the Boulevard de Waterloo, and the exterior looks quite modern. Originally branded as a Hilton (the hotel opened in 1969, so we were there for its 50th anniversary), the hotel underwent a complete renovation in 2011, which was when it started sporting its current facade.
The Hotel Brussels Exterior
Continue reading “Review: The Hotel Brussels Panorama Suite/Superior Twin Room”
Introduction: Revisiting Tokyo…Twice
Cathay Pacific The Deck Lounge Hong Kong
Japan Airlines 777-200 Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
A Tale Of Two Observation Decks: Tokyo Haneda vs. Narita
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo
Scoot 787 ScootBiz Tokyo to Taipei
Cathay Pacific A350-1000 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific A330 Economy Class Hong Kong to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific 777 Economy Class Tokyo to Hong Kong
I’m glad I manage to do what I do on this site, which is review a bunch of airlines and hotels from a well-informed perspective. I always aim to fly new airlines and stay at new properties whenever I’m presented with the need (or the opportunity), and have been fortunate to fly a variety of new airline products and stay at a variety of hotels over the past few years.
This wasn’t always the case. My parents love Japan, and as a kid we would always fly to Sapporo for a ski trip during the winter and visit Tokyo during the summer, using the miles Dad earned for his business trips to redeem flights on Cathay Pacific. During our Tokyo visits, we’d always stay at the Century Southern Tower, as it was affordable, had a great location, and had a room that could accommodate all four of us. I learned a lot about hotels from this place, and after so many years of writing, I thought it was “unfinished business” that I hadn’t written a review of this place. So we booked a twin room at the Century Southern Tower for ~HK$1,900 a night (our first three nights cost HK$1,800, whereas the last night cost more), and rolled up to the hotel at around 10:30 PM after our flight on Japan Airlines.
The Hotel Century Southern Tower takes up the top 15 floors of the Odakyu Southern Tower, which is a minute away from Shinjuku station, near the New South Exit. It’s accessible through a large pedestrian street called the Shinjuku Southern Terrace, which is a really nice walkway (on a nice day).
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo
Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo Entrance
Continue reading “Review: Hotel Century Southern Tower Tokyo”
Introduction: Spending The Calm Before The Storm In Bangkok
Thai Airways 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Premier Twin Room
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Duplex Cabana
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok – Grounds and Facilities
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Bangkok Concourse E
Thai Airways A330 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
First of all, as the trip report suggests, my few days of quasi-relaxation in Bangkok were meant as a break before my final push to get through the IB. Well, now is the time that I’m pushing through my final days of the IB, so I’m going to struggle even posting one installment per week. The idea is that I’ll try to get one installment out every Friday up until around the beginning of May, and after May 23rd (my last exam) I’ll write up the last three installments at once. Writing is therapeutic for me, and I can’t wait to tell you guys about this trip, so stay tuned!
Welcome to my next trip report, where I’ll be sharing details of my five day trip in Bangkok regarding my flights and hotels – specifically, two Thai Airways business class products, a lounge that I hadn’t visited yet during my lounge hop in 2017, and the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok.
The thought process of going to Bangkok was simple: we wanted to go somewhere cheap and close by during Chinese New Years’, and my parents didn’t want to go to Singapore, my favourite city. We were all enthralled by the prospect of going to Bangkok again, since none of us really got to know the city the first time around, so we organised another trip there.
This installment will cover how we booked the flights and hotels, and the thought process behind the choices we made.
Continue reading “Introduction: Spending The Calm Before The Storm In Bangkok”
In June, I travelled to Beijing in order to position for a cheap Premium Economy fare to New York. I had the good fortune of staying at The Opposite House, a member of Swire Hotel’s “House Collective” brand through a one-night free offer by booking through Visa Luxury Hotels and Citibank. We booked in a Studio 70 room, which is an upgraded room which normally retails for around CNY 3,000 a night. All in all, we paid around CNY 1,500 each night for our stay.
We arrived at the hotel at around 10PM after arriving in Beijing on a heavily-delayed Cathay Dragon flight. We had taken a cab to Sanlitun, which was a 20-minute drive from the airport. This area of Beijing is most-known for its nightlife, which is especially popular with expats. The hotel is specifically located as part of Taikoo Li – a large shopping complex where you’ll find many major regional and international designer brands.
The hotel’s exterior is decked out in blue and green glass tiles, which I personally thought looked really cool and simple. I’ll note here that most of the pictures of the hotel interior were taken the night that I arrived when I was really tired and groggy, so I apologise in advance for the crappy quality.
The Opposite House Beijing Exterior
The hotel’s entrance doors are designed in the traditional Northern Chinese style, which was one of many local design touches sprinkled throughout the hotel. We were welcomed by two bellmen who were dressed in grey wool waistcoats, jeans and black t-shirts. They were dressed so casually that at times that we thought they were just random people on the street.
Continue reading “Review: The Opposite House Beijing Studio 70 Room”
Last year, I took a trip to Seoul. Unfortunately, it was cut short by a last-minute family emergency. However, I was able to snap some pictures during the 3 hours inside the hotel that I had booked for our trip, the L7 Hotel Myeongdong. L7 is a trendy new brand under the massive Lotte Group. I was excited to check out the hotel and see if it all the hype was deserved.
We made our way to the hotel using an Airport Bus service, which dropped us off one block away from the hotel. After being greeted by some staff on the first floor, we were directed to the lobby which was on the third floor where we were able to check in and given rooms despite the fact that we arrived 5 hours before the published check-in time. The overall process was efficient enough and the associates were quite friendly.
The hotel is located in Myeongdong, which is one of the main touristy areas of Seoul with plenty of great shopping and dining, so I have no complaints there.
L7 Hotel Myeongdong Lobby
While my mother handled the check-in formalities, I decided to explore the gorgeous lobby area, which was quite honestly the perfect place for an Instagram photoshoot. Right behind the front desk were a couple of decorative benches.
Continue reading “Review: L7 Hotel Myeongdong Seoul”
In August last year, I was given a night’s stay at the Gold Coast Hotel in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. This was a one-night business event that I had in the area, so I was glad to be checking out a hotel I hadn’t visited in quite a while.
Tuen Mun is quite far from the city center, so the hotel is targeted at Hong Kongers looking for a weekend staycation at a nearby destination. It’s adjacent to a beach and is also directly connected to a resort, though otherwise it’s quite isolated from the rest of Hong Kong.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that I forgot to bring my camera on the trip, so I apologise for the photo quality in this report. With that in mind, I arrived the hotel grounds on Castle Peak Road on a sunny Thursday afternoon. The exterior of the hotel looks rather “textured”, since all the rooms on that side of the hotel are placed diagonally to the side of the hotel in order to maximise space.
Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel Exterior
Continue reading “Review: Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel Deluxe Seaview Room”
Introduction: Flying The Nordic Shortcut to Europe
Cathay Pacific 777 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Oriental Residence Bangkok
Finnair A350 Business Class Bangkok to Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki Airport
Finnair A321 Business Class Helsinki to Amsterdam
Hotel Des Indes The Hague
Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg
Sofitel Brussels Le Louise
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
British Airways Lounge Amsterdam
British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London
My Bloomsbury London
Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki
Finnair A350 Business Class Helsinki to Hong Kong
I wasn’t planning on actually reviewing the hotel until I checked out, so I’m apologise for some missing photos.
My Bloomsbury London is part of My Hotels, which is a small standalone chain with three locations around the London area. Bloomsbury is around a 20-minute walk from Oxford Street, within close proximity to Tottenham Court station. The surrounding area is home to Russel Square, the British Museum and the University of London, where I was attending a summer course.
We arrived at the hotel after driving from my aunt’s house on the outskirts of London. My first impression of the lobby was that it was small but intimate. The design was warm and homey. I liked the sit-down check-in desk, which contributed to the boutique feeling. We were welcomed by a friendly associate. Despite our early arrival, she was able to assign us a room.
My Bloomsbury London Lobby
Continue reading “Review: My Bloomsbury London (Brief Review)”
Introduction: Feaster Easter in Japan
Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Osaka
Hilton Osaka Executive Suite
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Wa-Yo Room
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Dining
Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport
Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong
While I’m starting to get the hang of travel between cities under good value, when it comes to more rural destinations, I’m clueless. I prefer being around the city, staying in awesome chain hotels and experiencing street food off local markets, so finding a ryokan outside of Osaka was something that was completely out of my element. Fortunately my dad offered to help, and he’s done a couple of “tatami runs” before (I had my first of these experiences shortly after I started blogging – wow, I’ve come a long way!).
The Yumesenkei Amahara hotel is located in Sumoto, a stunning town on Awaji Island. It’s quite lively, though the hotel is quite aways from any nearby attractions, so we drove to get around the area. Yumesenkei seems to be a bigger complex that encapsulates a few hotels, with Amahara being the more premium-seeming of the options.
The exterior of the hotel is rather understated, and blends in with the local buildings.
Yumesenkei Amahara Sumoto Exterior
Continue reading “Review: Yumesenkei Amahara Wa-Yo Room”