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”

Review: Hotel Des Indes The Hague

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 Hotel Des Indes after driving straight from Amsterdam Airport. We were greeted by the bellmen who directed us to the check-in area and offered to park our car.

IMG_0164Hotel Des Indes The Hague Entrance 

Continue reading Review: Hotel Des Indes The Hague”

Review: Hilton Helsinki Airport

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


Following our missed connection, Finnair put us at the Hilton Helsinki Airport Hotel. It appears that Business/Finnair Plus Elite members were put up at the Hilton, while Economy passengers were put at the Holiday Inn. The Hilton Helsinki is connected to the airport terminal by an outdoor covered pathway. It takes around 5 minutes to walk to the terminal from the hotel.

This leads me to my disclaimer: this review will be a short one, as we literally got to the hotel at night and left early the next morning for the flight we were rebooked on.

I appreciate that the hotel’s designers tried to incorporate some local design elements (e.g. exposed birchwood columns) and Nordic-style furniture, which spruced up the aesthetic of the lobby quite a bit.

IMG_9973Hilton Helsinki Airport Lobby 

Continue reading Review: Hilton Helsinki Airport”

Review: Oriental Residence Bangkok

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


This will be a short review, as we literally got to the hotel at night, and left for Bangkok Airport for our flight to Helsinki early the next morning.

We arrived at the Oriental Residence Bangkok after our flight from Hong Kong. The hotel is located in Lumphini and is within walking distance of the newly opened Central Embassy mall (where the Park Hyatt is located). The hotel also offers a shuttle service to the closest Bangkok Sky Train Station.

There’s a small seating area to the left as you enter. Next to that is the concierge, which wasn’t open for the entire duration of my stay.

IMG_9795Oriental Residence Bangkok Lobby 

Continue reading Review: Oriental Residence Bangkok”

Review: The Westin Sydney

Since we’d booked a Cathay Holidays package for our trip, our ticket included a four-night stay at The Westin Sydney. The Westin Sydney was right by Sydney’s central business district, and it looked pretty modern, so all else being equal we decided to go for it for our four-night stay. Our flights to Sydney in Cathay Pacific business class were retailing for HK$24,300 per person, so the overall cost breakdown from the package brought the hotel price to around ~HK$2,500 per night. The hotel was retailing our room type for ~HK$2,700 per night, though I’m not sure if Starwood was doing their fourth-night free promotion at the time – if they were, that would’ve saved us quite a bit of money, though the promotion never crossed my mind at the time of booking.

The Westin Sydney is a category 5 hotel, so an SPG redemption would cost 12,000 points. In this case we weren’t staying in an entry level room (though the biggest difference was probably the floor we were staying on). An entry level room cost ~HK$2,100 for our dates, so paying cash would’ve been a marginally better deal.

The Westin Sydney is integrated into the No. 1 Martin Place complex, so the general impression of the hotel’s exterior is the classic, dainty building that No. 1 Martin Place is. That’s where most of the public areas of the hotel are housed, though the real hotel is in a more corporate-looking, though still nice building located behind the complex.

The hotel is located right at the intersection of Pitt Street and Martin Place – two huge streets if you’re looking to shop or eat. There’s also a side entrance by George Street, another huge shopping street. It’s a couple of minutes from the Martin Place subway station, and a 10-minute walk from Circular Quay, so location-wise this hotel gets full marks.

The Westin Sydney Exterior

Continue reading Review: The Westin Sydney”

Review: Park Hyatt Bangkok Park Twin

Introduction: To Bangkok For The Weekend
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Park Hyatt Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse D
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse E
EVA Air Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse C East
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok BKK Concourse C West
Thai Airways 747 Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong


I was so excited to be staying at the Park Hyatt Bangkok. The Park Hyatt Bangkok was originally slated to open in 2014, though their opening was pushed back a couple of years, so they only officially opened in mid-May 2017. I was able to see a couple of photos of the hotel when it first opened, which only added to my excitement of staying at the hotel.

After our Thai Airways flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok, we had arranged our own private transport to the Park Hyatt. The Park Hyatt is located above Central Embassy, one of the newest malls in Bangkok. The mall is big, beautiful and contains everything you would possibly want (from a plethora of shops to many great Thai restaurant options), though everything is quite expensive as well. Nonetheless, the hotel looks beautiful from the outside.

Park Hyatt Bangkok Exterior

Continue reading Review: Park Hyatt Bangkok Park Twin”

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Haikou

Booking The Hotel

My father and I decided to take a trip to Haikou to play some golf, so we started looking for hotels. Seeing that there was a brand new Ritz-Carlton in Haikou’s Mission Hills golfing complex, we found a nice package that included buffet breakfast for two people as well as a one-way car transfer on their website and decided to bit the bullet. Overall, the stay cost CNY2342, which I’d say is actually a half decent deal.

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Continue reading Review: The Ritz-Carlton Haikou”