Review: Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin

Introduction: A Wandering Seoul
SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong
Korean Air 747-8 Business Class Hong Kong To Seoul (First Class Seat)
Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (East)
Korean Air Business Class Lounge Seoul Incheon Terminal 2 (West)
Korean Air 777 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong


As I mentioned in my introductory post, I’ve wanted to stay at the Park Hyatt Seoul for years. The last time we came to Seoul we stayed at the Westin Chosun, as the Park Hyatt was quite pricey back at the time. As luck would have it, this time the Park Hyatt was offering suites that were cheaper than booking two standard rooms at another chain hotel. While the hotel website wouldn’t allow us to book a Park Suite for all four of us, upon emailing them they were happy to accommodate, and even said that a rollaway would be free of charge. Sold!

The Park Hyatt Seoul is located in the Gangnam district, which is the financial district of Seoul. While a lot of people work around here, the biggest issue is that none of the city’s busiest areas are around the hotel. Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Jongno, etc. are where you want to be if you want crazy nightlife, good street food, and lots of cheap, local shopping (they’re famous for a reason), and the area, as the CBD, doesn’t have a lot of that. While the Samseong metro station is right next to the hotel’s entrance, it’s still a 12-14 stop ride away from most of Seoul’s biggest attractions. In terms of shopping malls, a quick walk through Samseong station will bring you to Seoul’s gigantic COEX mall, but it’s more of a high-class, imported-goods mall than a popping local joint. That’s something that’s at least noteworthy, in my opinion.

The hotel has a modern, glass exterior quite fitting with the adjacent office buildings.

Park Hyatt Seoul Exterior

Continue reading Review: Park Hyatt Seoul Park Suite Twin”

Review: L7 Hotel Myeongdong Seoul

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.

IMG_2007L7 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”

Review: Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room

Introduction: Spending The Night With A Virgin
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class Hong Kong to London
Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge London Heathrow
Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room
Virgin Atlantic 787 Economy Class London to Hong Kong


While a nap after a longhaul sounded great (though to be fair, I did get some pretty good sleep in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class), this wasn’t to be for either myself or my dad, as we were off to Bath University to attend a 10:45 AM meeting. Bath is a beautiful campus, though I can’t see myself studying there for four years, was I given the choice (I’d still be happy there, though it’s 20 minutes from the nearest Nandos, so…) After attending all meetings and taking the train back to Paddington, we lugged our carry-ons on the Underground to get to St. James’ Park, where the Conrad St. James is located. (For more on how I booked, check out my introductory post.)

This brings me to the beauty of the hotel’s location. Not only is the hotel literally right across the street from St. James’ Park station (I especially value this in London, as it’s relatively possible to get around London through the Underground than by any other means of on-ground transport), but St. James’ Park is also a relatively quieter station smack in the middle of Westminster and Victoria, two large intersection stations in the middle of Zone 1, each with their own attractions. So while you’ll face huge crowds at both of the aforementioned stations, St. James’ Park typically is easy to get in and out of. In summary, the hotel has a great location.

The exterior facade of the hotel blends in with the area, so it’s rather “classic”.

Conrad London St. James Exterior

It’s worth noting that the hotel used to be an InterContinental up until October 2014. The switch was made overnight, and while initially a renovation was promised, at the end the management company just decided to keep the same rooms, which I have no complaints about (as you’ll read about below).

Continue reading Review: Conrad London St. James Grand Deluxe Room”

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: 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: 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: 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”

Review: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

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


It took a bit of time to find the Andaz once we arrived in Amsterdam because of some construction that blocked the most direct path to the hotel. The hotel was easily distinguishable by the large Andaz flag outside of it. The hotel is located right next to the Prinsengracht Canal, hence the name.

IMG_0804Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht Entrance 

The hotel is decently located. While it’s a little out of the way and not smack dab in the middle of the Centrum area, Amsterdam is an extremely walkable city and it took us 20 minutes by foot to reach most major tourist attractions from the hotel. The local area also has quite a few excellent restaurants and shops.

Continue reading Review: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht”

Review: Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

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 the Sofitel after a long drive from Luxembourg. The Sofitel is located just off of Avenue Louise, which is basically the Brussels shopping district.

IMG_0423Sofitel Brussels Le Louise Entrance 

Continue reading Review: Sofitel Brussels Le Louise”

Review: Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg

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 after driving from The Hague to Luxembourg. At first glance, the hotel’s exterior wasn’t exactly visually appealing. The odd design looked quite odd, especially coupled with the facade, which didn’t look like it had been washed since the hotel was opened.

IMG_0319Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg Exterior 

Continue reading Review: Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg”