Review: Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel Deluxe Seaview Room

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”

Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki

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


Finnair operates out of London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which is also used by American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Virgin Atlantic. We arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our flight and headed to Travelex’s VAT refund desk, which ended up giving Alvin’s VAT refund experience at Munich airport a run for his money, and resulted in us losing a couple hundred dollars’ worth of refunds. Anyways, I digress…

I decided to go check-in early while my mother was holed up at the VAT refund counter. For some reason, the agent refused to check all of the bags under my name and insisted that my mother had to be with me to check any of our bags.

IMG_0001Finnair London Heathrow Priority Check-In Counters 

Soon enough, my mother arrived and we were sent on our way through priority security which was a breeze. Although we had access to Cathay Pacific’s London Heathrow lounge, we were running a little tight on time so we did a bit of souvenir shopping.

Continue reading Review: Finnair A350 Business Class London to Helsinki”

5 Of The World’s Best Business Class Hub Lounges

Over the past few years I’ve been incredibly lucky to try out quite a few business class products, and with that entailed going to their hub business class lounges as well. I’ve been to a range of lounges and come out with a variety of impressions, and find it such an exciting addition to the airport experience, especially when airlines put effort into it.

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Last year I listed the top 10 things that I look for in an airline lounge. Many airline lounges I know feature a large number, if not all, of these features in their own quirky variations. The five lounges featured below all have at least a majority of these features.

Too many times over the past few years, I’ve come out of a lounge thinking “hmm, this could potentially be one of the best in the world”. I haven’t visited all the business class lounges that I believe would make this list, though I don’t have plans to visit any of them in the near future. For that reason, here are my five favourite business class hub lounges, and I’ll share lounges that I believe potentially make the list as well.

Continue reading “5 Of The World’s Best Business Class Hub Lounges”

Review: My Bloomsbury London (Brief Review)

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.

IMG_0937My Bloomsbury London Lobby 

Continue reading Review: My Bloomsbury London (Brief Review)”

Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong

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


Today we were flying one of Hong Kong Airlines’ ex-Singapore Airlines A330s, featuring an angled flat business class product. On the outbound I reviewed Hong Kong Airlines’ longhaul business class hard product, which almost all of their longhaul routes feature, as well as a large number of the airline’s shorthaul routes. However, as the rate of increase of the airline’s routes exceeded the rate of which their A330s were being delivered, Hong Kong Airlines had to lease some A330s from Singapore Airlines, which operate exclusively regionally. (Hong Kong Airlines also has a few other types of business class seat on their A330-200s.)

Despite the fact that these A330s feature an inferior product, they’re actually less dense than the airline’s longhaul A330s. These A330s feature 30 seats between doors 1 and 2, whereas their longhaul A330s feature 32 seats within the same space.

Our A330 was parked at gate 5, and I had a clear view of our aircraft home from the Wing Express, the “people-mover” taking me to our gate area.

Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330 Osaka Kansai Airport

Once a boarding call was made at the Asuka Lounge, I made a beeline to the gate, where they were finishing up boarding for the infirm. Due to the sheer amount of families traveling to Osaka for leisure during Easter holidays, there were quite a few wheelchairs for the ground crew to fold up. However, the gate agents were efficient, and my boarding pass was scanned shortly after. Excitedly I made my way down the jetbridge towards door L1.

Continue reading Review: Hong Kong Airlines A330 Regional Business Class Osaka to Hong Kong”

Review: Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport

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


Our flight left Kansai Airport at 5:40 PM, so we spent the entire day near the Kansai region. We got to the airport at around 3 PM so we could deal with our car rental, and were checked in by 3:30 PM, where we were handed lounge invitations, as well as fast track cards for customs and immigration.

Hong Kong Airlines uses the Asuka Lounge at Kansai Airport, a contract lounge located near gate 5 (where our flight was departing). All of Kansai Airport’s gates require access by the Wing Shuttle, so after immigration I hopped on the train to the terminal station of the North Wing, where gates 4-11 are located.

The signage leading to the lounge is slightly misleading, since the lounge isn’t actually adjacent to gate 5. More accurately, it’s a right U-turn from the escalators down from the Wing Shuttle, around a minute-long walk from gate 5. The lounge is open to passengers flying United, Delta, Lufthansa, Sichuan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

The exterior of the lounge featured a door with frosted glass.

Asuka Lounge Osaka Airport Exterior

Continue reading Review: Asuka Lounge Osaka Kansai Airport”

Review: Yumesenkei Amahara Wa-Yo Room

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”

Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London

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


We started heading towards our gate as boarding was called in the lounge. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is notoriously poorly designed and difficult to navigate, and it took a good 15 minutes of navigating a series of walkways before we eventually made it to our gate just as pre-boarding was starting.

IMG_0818British Airways Amsterdam Airport Boarding Signage 

Continue reading Review: British Airways A321 Economy Class Amsterdam to London”

Review: British Airways Lounge Amsterdam

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


We arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport around 3 hours before departure and made a beeline for the British Airways counters. Since we were at the airport so early, there was barely anyone in line. Thanks to my oneworld Ruby status, I was able to use the Club Europe check-in counters.

IMG_0805British Airways Amsterdam Airport Check-In 

We cleared immigration and security, which were both quick and efficient. We ended up in the terminal with around two hours to kill. We made a beeline for the British Airways lounge, which we had access to thanks to my mothers oneworld Sapphire status. However, to reach the lounge, we spent around 20 minutes wandering around trying to follow poor signage to the lounge.

Continue reading Review: British Airways Lounge Amsterdam”

Review: Hilton Osaka Executive Suite

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


For our time in Japan we spent four nights in Osaka. While the InterContinental Osaka was probably one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at, prices for a room were exorbitant, so we had to look at other options. I had a look at the St. Regis Osaka, the Conrad Osaka and the Marriott Miyako Osaka, which were also offering rooms at prices that we weren’t ready to pay for.

There was one hotel that had intrigued me during our booking process, which was the Hilton Osaka. While many of our mid-tier options seemed rather run down (the Westin Osaka looks straight out of the ’90s), the Hilton seemed to have recently gone through a renovation, and looked like a property that I’d like. We eventually decided to go for an Executive Suite instead of staying in two separate rooms, as it was just marginally more expensive.

The Hilton Osaka looks rather bland from the outside, though a big benefit is its direct connection to the Hilton Plaza, a big shopping complex that brings you straight to the West-Umeda subway station. It’s right across from Osaka Station (the JR station that operates trains between cities), and connected to a bunch of shopping malls, which most shopping fanatics and frequent subway users will appreciate.

Hilton Osaka Exterior

Continue reading Review: Hilton Osaka Executive Suite”