PARIS : Triangle d’Or Hotel REVIEW ***

“Bienvenue à Paris”

Where : Paris / France

Click for Location and Website  / 40 min from CDG Airport approx. €70


Overview : 

Hotel du Triangle d’Or is a boutique property with a quirky music theme. Drum tables, Wall of Fame and endless musical details thru the entire building.

Located only few minutes walk from famous Madeleine Sq. in a trendy area full of shops, cafes and sights.

I really enjoyed the walking distance to many places such a Louvre Museum , Galleries Lafayette, Place Vendome, Place de la Concorde, or Opera Garnier.

Lobby with reception has funky neon lit desk and offers earphones so you can sample some latest hits. The Check-In procedure was very quick and reception staff very welcoming.

The Hotel doesn’t have a big sign outside so you need to look carefully, when you arrive.


Room : 

Surprisingly,  this hotel has one of the largest double rooms available compared to other hotels that I have visited within this price range. The room contains multifunctional work desk with and wardrobe in a shape of music equipment box.

Flat TV, safe, A/C, minibar, enough storage room, reliable Wi-Fi connection and complete black-out curtains.

The only negative thing was the bedlinen, very hard and almost “scratchy” , but I informed the Reception and it was no problem to change it.  Also, if you prefer soft mattress, this bed will not be your “best friend”.

Note, that the windows in all Parisian hotels doesn’t isolate noise from the street much. Bring your ear plugs.


Service : 

During your stay you’ll mostly be interacting with either the Reception or wait staff who take care of breakfast, I found both to be very friendly and welcoming. The Receptionists were always in a good spirits, ready to help and always with a smile on their face. I felt more like a friend than a guest, which was a nice surprise…especially in Paris.

For that reason I will definitely be back in Triangle d’Or !


Facilites : 

Steam room and Massage ( book in advance )


Dining : 

Breakfast area at the back of the ground  floor offers basic but satisfying selection of bread, cold cuts, eggs, yogurts and fruit.

Freshly made coffee will get you ready for a busy the day in Paris.


Who is it for : 

Pretty much for everyone who wants to explore this great city and looking for a good “value for money”place to stay. Ideal for sightseeing or business trip alike.


What makes it special : 

  • great location
  • quiet side street
  • spacious room
  • very friendly personel

Not so good : 

  • hard bed and bedlinen
  • car noise from the street ( in the morning )

Practical INFO 

Free Wi-Fi / Breakfast included / Metro Stations – Madeleine & Opera / many restaurants and boulangeries near by / great area for shopping and sightseeing


Tips for Trips 

Beautiful Toulieries Gardens – 10min walk away / Rue St.Honore for some luxury shopping – 5min / Disneyland Paris 60min by Metro & RER train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOHA / Qatar : Grand Hyatt Hotel REVIEW *****

Lives up to its name in every way…


Where : Doha / Qatar

Click for location and website   /  30-50min from Hamad Intl. Airport ( approx 75QR Karwa Taxi )


Overview :

The Grand Hyatt Doha is an upscale property, with private beach and heavy palatial feel.

Located away from the traffic jam packed Doha centre and next to the newly developing artificial island complex called The Pearl-Qatar. Lagoona Mall is just across the road and the Financial centre of Doha only 10 minutes drive.

Rich and opulent Arabic decor, subtle colours and lot’s of marble. Hotel has it’s own 400 metres beach, perfectly manicured gardens,  ideal for a cup of Arabic coffee in the shade of palm trees.

This place is ideal for leisure,or business travellers alike.


Room :

Spacious, bright, modern and very comfortable. Sea View King Room comes with a big terrace and loungers. It was pleasant to watch the sunset and observe airplanes on approach to near by Hamad Int. Airport while sipping lovely tea.

Room contains King size luxury bed with wonderfully soft bedlinen, working desk and seating area.

Bathroom with walk-in rain shower, marble bathtub and nice toiletries was spacious and very elegant.

Enough storage space, sockets, iron, safe, minibar and tea/coffee facility, socket adapter…all practically placed and easy to use.

Wi-Fi could be a bit faster but was ok. The old Iphone docking station should be changed for a new type.


Service :

Efficient and delicate. One of the fastest Check-in I have ever experienced and the staff ready to deal with any wish you may have.


Facilities :

I was stunned with the size of Jaula Spa. It almost felt too big, but I guess that’s what luxury is all about. Different types of saunas, steam, jacuzzi, indoor pool and outdoor pools.

Professionally equipped fitness centre, kids corner and water sport area at the beach.


Dining / Entertainment :

  • Biscotti Pastry shop
  • Isaac Thai Restaurant
  • Rocca Restaurant  – by the pool
  • Dunes Bar – with big selection of wines
  • Grill Restaurant – all day dining / Buffet Breakfast*
  • Majlis Arabic cafe

*Breakfast is adequate, not the best I have experienced, but with plenty of fresh fruits, juices, omelette station and beautiful outdoor area, perfect during the pleasant winter months.


Who is it for :

For leisure and business travellers. It’s a quite green oasis ideal for a long weekend on the beach and some shopping in near by malls.


What makes it special :

  • quiet location
  • green surroundings
  • huge Spa
  • private beach
  • variety of dining options

Not so good :

  • slow Wi-Fi
  • lots of construction in close proximity
  • not easy to get a Karwa ( public ) taxi
  • missing tiles in the swimming pools

Practical INFO

Breakfast included / Free Wi-Fi / Free access to the beach and Spa


Tips for Trips

Souk Waqif ( 30min ) / Museum of Islamic Art ( 30 min ) / Village Mall ( Doha’s biggest mall ) 45 min / Corniche ( 20min ) – drive time

SINGAPORE : Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa REVIEW *****

“Almost perfect”


Where : 

Singaporean holiday Island Sentosa – 30 min drive from Changi Intl. Airport

Sofitel Website  /  Sofitel Location Map


Overview :

Plush, tropical and luxurious hideaway just a stone’s throw away from Singapore City and fantastic attractions of Sentosa Island. This piece of land is Singaporean holiday playground with dozens of attractions such as Universal Studio, 2 Aquariums, Zip line Adventure Park, Merlion Statue, Casinos, Beaches etc. Check the updates and attraction list on Sentosa and RWSentosa Websites.

Sofitel Sentosa is a tropical luxury resort. The moment you step in, you will get immediately transported into exotic elegance and switch into holiday mode.

Open air layout, numerous water features, jungle setting, relaxing atmosphere and friendly smiley staff will make you feel more than welcome.

The entire property was just completely refurbished and I enjoyed the fresh feel and crispy white surfaces. Colourful peacocks are ramming freely around and bubbly fountains complete the de-stressing effect.

Swimming pool is big, deep and very clean. Ideal for laps or just chilling in shallow area. There is variety of sun beds an chairs for everyone. Never too full, so no need to place your towel at 6am ( I know you do it : ) )

You can walk directly on to the beach via steep stairs and walk all the way to Resort World ( Universal ) in around 30min. Otherwise you need to take a taxi, or a free shuttle from the main entrance.

The best feature of this property is the secluded jungle feel ( even the city is few minutes away ) and flawless service.

Guest are mainly couples and families mostly from Asia and Australia.


Room :

Standard double bed room isn’t too spacious , but you won’t be spending much time in there anyway. It has all you need to make you feel comfortable with some corky design details which brings fun and makes it look different then the usual hotel room.

As you would expect ,the bed is very comfortable with soft bedlinen. Enough storage space, sockets and interesting coffee/tea making area which isn’t very practical but looks good. Complimentary water.

Bathroom has a bathtub and wet room with rain shower. I really liked the mosaic tiles and Lanvin toiletries. Same as the room, could be more spacious.

Free Wi-Fi, bathrobes, safe and minibar facility available.

The room I stayed in had an adjoining door to the next room and this caused an issues with unwanted noise from neighbouring guests. I had to use ear plugs in the evening to block the noises. This may not be the case with all rooms, so check with the reception before-hand.

That shouldn’t be an issues in 5* hotel and left me a bit disappointed. Make sure you get a room without a adjoining doors.


Service :
As you would except from such a establishment, it is very good. Starting at the quick check-in and finishing with pool staff and room maids who are always happy to bring you fresh towels or more water.

Concierge informative and always on hand to sort out transport, tickets…etc. very quickly.


Dining / Entertainment :
Breakfast & dinner buffet restaurant Kwee Zeen / “Garden” Restaurant by the Spa / Pool Bar / Le Bar Cocktail Lounge and newly opened “Illido at the Cliff ”  inspired by Italian cuisine.

  • Kwee Zeen Breakfast Buffet offers exciting selection of international and Asian dishes. Fresh juices, live omelette station and wide selection of cheeses. Don’t miss the amazing homemade granola yogurt.
  • Le Bar Lounge is the perfect destination to unwind after a long day at Universal Studio. Seriously…the cocktails are world class !

Facilities :
“So Spa” and “So Fit” Gym are located 5 min drive by a golf buggy away from the main building. I have found this a bit inconvenient. To always look and wait for a transport when you want to go to the spa or gym wasn’t my favourite thing.

On the other hand, Gym is well equipped for a serious work-out session and Spa looks heavenly. The Garden Restaurant is located here too.


Who is it for :
Everyone who enjoys lush exotic setting, impeccable service, quite location few minutes away from many attractions and fabulous cocktails accompanied by live piano music.


What makes it special : 

  • Jungle setting by the beach
  • Open Air layout
  • Beautiful Peacocks ramming freely around and showing off their colourful feathers
  • Miso Sea Bass at the Garden Restaurant ( organic food )

Not so good :

  • Noise from other room and corridor
  • Gym and Spa inconveniently located

Practical INFO
Breakfast included / free and fast Wi-Fi, 30min transfer from Changi Intl. Airport / Beach access stairs but the gate closes at 10pm – note, if you stay at Universal Studio for fireworks you need to catch a taxi, as the gate will be closed!


Tips for Trips : 
Walk around Sentosa beaches and enjoy lovely cocktail in one of the beach bars / Universal Studio Theme Park 25min walk / Singapore Esplanade 15 min drive

KHAO LAK / Thailand : Moracea by Khao Lak Resort REVIEW ***½

“Looks better then it feels”


Where :

Khao Lak Town / Takuapa / Thailand –  60min drive up north from Phuket Intl. Airport

Moracea Website  /  Moracea Location Map


Location:

Moracea Resort is easy 10min walk from the town centre of Khao Lak. Main street is filled with lovely restaurants, shops, galleries, diving schools ( Wicked Diving ) and souvenir places. You can find enough of ATM’s, pharmacies and grocery stores.

It is a foresty hilly location away from the hustle and bustle of crowded noisy Phuket.

I was surprised how charming and well-kept Khao Lak town is compare to other Thai tourist destinations. It’s safe, laid-back and just perfect for a great retreat.


Overview :

Maze of low rise buildings and bungalows on a hill, sloping towards beautiful beach and completely surrounded by tropical gardens and nature. It’s quiet, private and looks very idillic.

Superb beach in front of the resort and all along the Khao Lak area. You can walk by it for hours. Big rocks, soft sand and small coves adds to the beautiful scenery. Sunsets are just marvellous and the sky colours unreal.

Check-In takes place in spacious lobby, filled with oriental dark wood furniture with lemon yellow fabric. The staff isn’t overly smiley or friendly and this apply for all of the employees. The famed motto about Thailand being the Land of Smiles is somehow mislaid at Moracea.

The resort it’s in hilly location, so be prepared for lots of walking. Even to find your bungalow it’s sometimes a bit of a challenge. This all adds to the charm though. Make sure you take the time and discover the entire area with it’s hidden paths, free shaped infinity swimming pools and stunning trees.

Free Wi-Fi covers most places, even pools and the sunbeds by the beach, which is great. What isn’t great are the sun beds, not comfortable and without padding. Even the cheapest hotel on the beach has padding on a sunbeds. I couldn’t enjoy relaxing on them and the beach towels Moracea provides, hardly covers half of the sun bed.

Just in case you have forgotten tooth paste or need water, or a beer, small grocery store is next to the reception.

Resort is well maintained and feels very casual. Most of the guests are package holiday makers from Germany & Scandinavia and the busiest season spreads from November till March.


Room : 

There is a lot of different room types in Moracea. From lovely bungalows with private pool to a bit dark and wet looking rooms hidden in the greenery. After peeping around the resort I would only recommend the bungalows on the hill ( not the beach, or pool access ) with private pool or Hibiscus Grand Deluxe Room on top floor of a two-story villa.

Hibiscus rooms are new, bright and spacious with secluded terrace and sea view. High ceiling gives pleasant airy impression and the best part is a seating corner area by the window. I have received fruit welcome basket and towels folded in a shape of elephants ( loved it ).

Bed moves a little when you turn but otherwise it is ok. Room contains a double size bed, sitting area, desk and spacious bathroom with wet room and separate bathtub. Storage space could be more generous, so don’t pack too many shoes.

Room includes fridge (empty ), Tea/Coffee facility ( with no Tea ), safe, flat TV with not enough English language channels, umbrellas, bathrobes, toiletries and 4 complimentary waters. There aren’t enough sockets and A/C is just ok. Also, if you remove the key from the room key card slot, all power switches off incl. A/C and inside gets hot very quickly.

Make sure you choose the room wisely as you may end up with damp dark room hidden at the back of the resort, so do your research beforehand.


Service : 

Generally the service was good, but no one puts any extra effort or a smile to make you feel welcome. Food in restaurant comes quickly, you always get what you need or asked for, but don’t expect much of enthusiasm…

As a guest, I need to feel recognised and genuine smile goes a long way. Do I want too much?


Dining / Entertainment : 

  • Thai Beach Restaurant “Malila”
located at beach front offering evening romantic setting with candles. Thai Food is nicely presented, it is tasty and fairly priced. This place is open all day and works as a cocktail pool bar 
.
  • “The Kumpun” serves International Cuisine and mostly used for a breakfast buffet or during events. Breakfast it’s ok with the usual selection + some Thai food. I was disappointed to be asked to pay extra for a green tea and all the juices are sugary ones from cartons.

Facilities : 

3 amazing free-form outdoor pools, game and fitness room with very basic equipment only for “emergency” work out. Also, no towels provided in the fitness room. Chilled water available.


Who is it for : 

I would say anyone who enjoys sun, sand and quiet tropical setting. It is a good base for scuba diving, trips to the hills or just doing nothing at all. It is an affordable upmarket resort with wide selection of accommodation. Definitely not a top notch, but personally … I would return to Moracea and who knows, maybe they will buy a sun beds cushions.

There are many resorts and hotels in Khao Lak but Moracea is definitely one of the better ones.½


What makes it special : 

  • Extensive size of the entire complex / beautiful nature & beach
  • Lovely Thai Food in Malila restaurant
  • Quiet and peaceful
  • Great Location away, but not far from everything

Not so good :

  • Not enough sockets in the room
  • Fitness room needs improvement
  • Small beach towels
  • Uncomfortable sun beds
  • Staff not too welcoming, outgoing or friendly

Why choose this place : 

To experience the “real” Thailand without hordes of tourists and noise. Enjoy laid-back vibe, tropical setting and excellent beaches. Get adventures…visit Similan Islands, National Parks and sample excellent local food at Qucumber Caffe or Mojo restaurant at Khao Lak Town


Practical INFO
Private Airport transfer 60min one way ( 1800 Baht ) / Free Wi-Fi in room and public areas / Breakfast Buffet included / Khao Lak Town less than 10min walk


Tips for Trips

Khao Sok National Park 45min drive / Diving, or Snorkeling Trip to Similan Islands 90min boat trip / for Diving I would definitely recommend Wicked Diving SSI …ask for Tom 🙂

KUWAIT : Four Points by Sheraton REVIEW *****

 “Home from home”


Where : Kuwait City / Kuwait


Overview :  Luxury hotel in centre of Kuwait targeting business and leisure travellers alike.

Hotel consist of two towers. Taller one, nearly 40 storeys high tower was just opened last year and offers new spacious rooms in “suit to every taste” sandy colour decor.

Hotel offers free Wi-Fi and also free international airport pick up which is very handy.

Check-In is always a very pleasant affair with friendly smiley staff, refreshing towel, glass of fresh juice and most importantly …it’s quick.

To be honest, the hotel could be anywhere in the world, but what makes it special is the team, who effortlessly works to make you feel comfortable, welcome and always ready to assist or help.

You can also use facilities of the near by Sheraton hotel.


Location :  Situated on the edge of the Kuwait City Centre with a great view over the sea and the skyline. About 30min ride from the Intl.Airport


Rooms :  Spacious and comfortable with quiet AC, very comfortable bed, working desk, coffee/tea making facilities with take-away cups ( what a great idea ) and complimentary bottled water

Enough storage space, bath robes and slippers, ironing board+iron, safe, fruit basket and all amenities you would expect from luxury chain.

Rooms are quiet and have a great blackout curtains to block the strong middle eastern sun.

Bathrooms have one of the biggest shower corner I have ever seen, big size toiletries and good lighting.


Service : Professional, quick and pleasant. Nothing is a problem and every request is being swiftly dealt with.


 

Dining / Entertainment : Breakfast is usually included in room charge and offers big variety to satisfy every taste. Live omelette station and fresh juices are matter of course.

There is also an Italian restaurant and Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby.


Facilities : Gym, Spa, Amazing Infinity indoor pool, Jacuzzi.


Who is it for : Mostly business travellers


What makes it special : friendly staff
                                             : panoramic infinity swimming pool


Why choose this place : If you looking for a home from home while discovering the Middle East.


Practical INFO
Breakfast included, free and fast Wi-Fi, 30 min transfer from Intl. airport. Shuttle to a biggest shopping mall – the Avenues. This hotel ,as all of Kuwait is alcohol free.

JORDAN : Marriott Dead Sea & Spa REVIEW ****

“Room to improve”


Where : Dead Sea / Jordan


Overview : Marriott Dead Sea is targeting wide “audience” and catering for nearly every taste.

It is not a huge property, but with 3 outdoor pools on different levels, direct access to Dead Sea and few restaurants and bar, it does have enough to keep you happy for couple of days.

I wouldn’t recommend longer stay as it gets really boring. Floating in Dead Sea and smudging smelly black mud all over you its’ fun, but novelty wears off quickly.

It is a busy hotel…you may have to queue for breakfast and in the afternoon good luck to find free sun beds. There is one pool for adults only, but it is full of young noisy party crowd and the other pools are full of kids. No escape from noise.

Hotel is a bit worn-out and needs better upkeep. Lobby is impressive and have a small shop for souvenirs and necessities. The entire resort is missing Arabic feel and it is more on the generic side of architecture.


Locationnestled with other 4 hotels directly on the shore of the Dead Sea. Note, once you step outside the hotel, there is absolutely nothing to see or to go. ( except resort next door )


Rooms : first room I have received have’d 30cm deep balcony with a concrete wall in front of it.  I really didn’t want to spend my vacation in a “tomb” and had to request different one. The reception staff did their best to help, but it was a bit of hassle. Avoid those rooms with concrete tiny “gap” windows overlooking the pool !

Later I have received upgraded room on the top floor with normal size balcony and quiet  sea view . AC worked only on one setting and small annoying maintenance problems were continuing during my 4 days stay. Room was big size, with complimentary water, safe, flat TV and the usual amenities. Bathroom had a nice shower corner but  problem with drainage. Very small toiletries.


Servicehit and miss. One day you get really good cheerful staff and the next, miserable faces…


Dining : Buffet breakfast/dinner restaurant with great selection of everything you need and also special “candy” area for Kids and live omelette station.

There is also Mosaico, Italian restaurant for more sophisticated dining ( bit overpriced ) and Champions American Diner/pub for daily casual dining or a pint of beer.

Outdoor shisha terrace with evening Belly dancing was enjoyable.


Facilities: 3 outdoor pools, 2 indoor pools ( extra charge ), spa , water slide, Jacuzzi, adult pool and nice gym.


Who is it for : everyone who is not afraid of hordes of local and foreign tourist


What makes it special : direct acces to Dead Sea. Keep in mind there is a lot of steps to go all the way down … 400m below Sea Level


Not so good : PAID WI-FI !!!, bad maintaining standards, staff mood and service differ by day, nothing outside the hotel, noisy pools, any order of food or drinks takes way too long time.


The Bestvariety of swimming pools and Dead Sea


PRACTICAL  INFO : Breakfast included, free Wi-Fi only in public spaces, transport: 45min from/to Amman, or the from/to Airport ( 30 JD ),small grocery store is 10min walk.


Tips for Trips : Jesus Baptism site 40 min / Mount Nebo 45min / Mujib Nature Reserve 50min

BALI : The Oberoi, REVIEW *****

“ Time to treat yourself ”


Where : Seminyak /Bali / Indonesia


Overview : Oberoi is the first 5star hotel ever build in Seminyak.  Located in extensive, lush
and perfectly manicured “private jungle” garden, directly on quite stretch of the beach.

You won’t find here massive concrete building with hundreds of rooms like W, Legian or Seminyak Beach Resort.

Instead…cute little bungalows scattered all over the gardens.  You feel like the only person there, even if the hotel is fully booked…and that’s in my eyes what luxury is all about.

All buildings have authentic “Balinese” style with usage of local materials.


Location : quite area of Seminyak. Beach front, but only few minutes’ walk to shops, restaurants                  and the main street.

The popular beach club Ku-de-Ta it’s right next door. Click HERE to see Ku-de-Ta review


Rooms : they come as a bungalows ( 4 rooms ) or private villas with pool. The entire interior breaths Balinese traditional decor.

There are burning scented sticks the first time you enter and it smells amazing. Bed is comfortable, AC very quiet and you can make yourself lovely local tea and coffee.

There is also  enough sockets to re-charge your electronics.

Bathroom has a two sinks, complimentary water and toiletries, candles and private mini garden.

Different fresh fruit basket daily, weather forecast and next day “activity message” and flowers on you bed every evening adds a nice touch.


ServiceI must honestly say, one of the best, from all the numerous hotels I have ever stayed in.

It almost feels like they know what you need before you even ask for it. The staff is not intrusive or pushy but there, when you need them.


Dining  : amazing a ’la carte outdoor breakfast setting with fresh juices and made to order egg dishes. Luxury dinner restaurant (didn’t try) and a bar (good cocktails).

For lunch and dinner I have never stayed in the hotel as there is numerous options outside to try.

Especially loved the Beach Shacks for coconut water, beer and Nasi Goreng.


FacilitiesGym, Spa, Outdoor pool with controlled temperature (very pleasant), Tennis court


Who is it forcouples celebrating special occasion. But hey, I wasn’t any of those and had’d a     wonderful enjoyable time.


What makes it specialsprawling size of the entire complex and Balinese chic.

Every day a different presentation of traditional music or dance, performed by local school kids and with complimentary afternoon tea. Also live presentation of local artist


Not so good : Gym dated and small, food served by the pool is very generic and the huge wooden turtle     room key doesn’t fit anywhere.


The Best :  incredibly tasty welcome drink , quite location away from crowds and garden setting


PRACTICAL  INFO : Breakfast included, free and fast Wi-Fi, 40min transfer from Denpasar airport,  hotel library has a DVD’s you can borrow for a night in.


Tips for TripsPetitenget Temple 5min / Tanah Lot Temple 30min / Ubud – 60min

HARD ROCK HOTEL : tallest hotel in the world near completion in Dubai Marina

Hard Rock branded mega tower is nearly completion in Dubai Marina.

The 101 storey, 432 m (1,417 ft) tall skyscraper under current “Marina 101” name in Dubai Marina should be after many delays finally finished by year end.

The roof glass structure is being slowly unveiled and mood lighting has been tested just few days ago.

The first 33 floors of the skyscraper will have a 5-star Hard Rock hotel with 281 rooms, while the floors from 34 to 100 will have residential apartments. The 101st floor of the skyscraper will feature a club and lounge. Cant’ wait for the views

Marina 101 will be the tallest hotel building in the world and the second tallest in the UAE, that would also be enough to make it the 15th tallest building in the world.

“Czech” the latest pictures below.