Posted at 1:51 pm , on November 30, 2021
My original plan was to book a room in TWA hotel (in JFK Terminal 5) and spend my time there watching plane take off and land from my room. After calculating the cost of stay (including late check out), it works out to be > $500 USD! I decided to go with a more cheapskate option – 44,000 IHG points for 1 night at Times Square Intercontinental hotel (with FOC early check in and 4pm late check out) even if I were to factor in a to & fro cab to Manhattan which cost about USD 75 – 80 per trip (inclusive of tips as the fare between JFK and Manhattan is a flat fee).
Posted at 8:49 pm , on December 25, 2020
So, 2020 has been a bummer for all of us especially travel nerds like me. For someone who is constantly scouring Singapore Airlines website for availability, I end up cancelling more trips this year than making them. So, what have I achieved in 2020? Let’s see:
- Flown a total of 368 miles this year
- Spent a total of 1 night outside of Singapore
- Came into contact with the 1st unlinked Covid-19 case in Singapore (and hence pushing Singapore from yellow alert to orange alert)
- Spending 11 nights in quarantine in a Government Quarantine Facility (and being able to review it)
- Countless interviews with Zaobao
- Having the privilege to have SQ crews working with me
- New business partners – CL who had the courage to fly on UA1 / UA2 last year in Economy and RC
- Inside SIA
- Amassing more than 1.5 million miles ready to burn them!
Posted at 11:45 am , on October 24, 2019
CHC and I were accommodated in the Renaissance Hotel in Bangkok for our recent conference. The Renaissance Hotel is part of the Marriott chain of hotels (Marriott Bonvoy points). It is centrally located in Bangkok, within walking distance from Erawan Shrine (and very near to the Holiday Inn hotel which I stayed in back in 2018).
There is a BTS station just a stone-throw away from the hotel with Central World and Big C shopping center being nearby. This makes the hotel extremely convenient for moving around, food and shopping.
Posted at 9:39 am , on October 2, 2019
Review by CHC
Made a short trip across the border for a jaunt up to KUL with the family to celebrate the end of prelim exams to take a break from the drudgery of studying for PSLE.
As expected, crossing the 2nd link was a breeze and the journey up to KUL took just short of 6hours due to various stops along the way.
As I held the Citi Prestige Mastercard, which is a world elite master card, I had decided to stay at the Park Royal Kuala Lumpur Hotel which is part of the Discovery loyalty program, as I held Black Status.
Posted at 9:29 am , on September 25, 2019
*Picture courtesy of kempinski.com
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) is one of the lesser known hotel membership program (vs. Marriott, Hilton, IHG etc) but they do have some great properties. Member hotels include luxury brands such as Capella, Anantara, Kempinski, Park Royal, Pan Pacific and many more! (click here for the list of hotels under GHA).
For those Citi Prestige cardholders, one of the less known benefit is the GHA Discovery Black (highest level) membership.
All you need to do is to sign up for membership, call up Citi Prestige Concierge and give them your membership number and your status will be upgraded within 4 to 6 weeks.
Posted at 1:07 pm , on September 20, 2019
Holiday Inn is one of the few hotels located at the northern side of Penang called Batu Ferringhi. It is famous for its beaches making it a nice place to stay for relaxation. Few other hotels located along the stretch are Shangri La and Park Royal – making Holiday Inn Resort the poorer sibling. At only RM 885 (inclusive of tax) for 4 persons with breakfast, it certainly makes this resort a very budget getaway (while it cost almost RM 3000 for the same dates in Park Royal!)
The hotel comprises 2 blocks, the Ferringhi Tower and Seaside Tower. When coming on Grab, do specify which tower you are going to. Even if you are dropped at the wrong side, both towers are connected by an overhead bridge and check ins can be handled both sides.
Posted at 10:59 am , on July 24, 2019
At almost 100 years old, this old hotel built by the Vanderbilt family near the Grand Central Terminal still looks elegant and classy well into the 21st century.
How does it fair in the modern New York?
Posted at 11:58 am , on July 17, 2019
After my previous stays in Crowne Plaza LAX and Crowne Plaza EWR, I was not having much expectation from this hotel. Afterall, it is just for me to stay for a night after arriving from Panama at 1230am!
Despite being the first to disembark and the had an all clear from the arrival machine, it took us more than 1 hour waiting to clear the CBP checkpoint!
Posted at 1:11 pm , on July 5, 2019
Playa Bonita is a seaside area just 20 minutes from Panama City. Located at the coast of Pacific Ocean, Playa Bonita is not far off from the entrance of the Panama Canal (Pacific side) and Bridge of the Americas.
Being a seaside resort, this place is popular with tourists. It is not far from Panama City and easy to get there (driving or Uber) yet without the city noise and congestion.
Posted at 11:15 am , on July 4, 2019
After 3 nights in the city, we moved on to our next destination which is Gamboa Reserve in the district of Colon. Situated roughly halfway between Panama City and Colon, the road goes through the forest and along the Panama Canal. Getting into the resort is easy with Uber but getting out? That can be quite challenging.
Once there, you will be greeted by the sight of a large and majestic resort that one stood glamorously 20 to 30 years ago but now looking rather worn out. Despite that, it still retains a certain charm for those seeking to be away from the city.