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 11:49 am , on May 9, 2019
With our conference being held in Gardens Hotel itself, naturally the delegates were housed here. Due to the less than ideal timing of the flights (SQ 118 and SQ 119), we had only 8 hours in our rooms!
Posted at 1:22 pm , on March 14, 2019
The Holiday Inn Osaka Namba is a reasonably budget hotel excellently situated in Namba, just at the fringe of Dotombori (read food!) It is very well connected to transportation hubs namely Nippombashi Station (Kintetsu line to Nara, Hankyu and Keihan Line to Kyoto) and Namba Station (Midosuji Line to Umeda and more importantly Nankai Line to Kansai International Airport). Next to Namba station is the OCAT where there is a direct bus (KIX Limo bus) to the airport as well. During winter, one can utilize the Namba walk (an underground shopping link connecting Nippombashi station on one end and Namba Station on the other).
There are plenty of food choices to go around in Namba and Dotombori, so feel free to book a room without breakfast plan. The hotel came with a 7-eleven (and another Lawson nearby), making it extremely convenient for breakfast and supper too!
Posted at 11:18 am , on March 14, 2019
This ryokan came as a recommendation from my wife (from her read up) and after doing some search of my own, it came recommended by many. As it is situated in Nara, it allows me to do a Ryokan stay and visit Nara at the same time. Kansai International Airport has a direct bus (2050 Yen per person) and the journey takes about 1.5 hours. The bus is comfortable and comes with on board toilet too! Do check the timing online before planning your journey.
Posted at 11:12 am , on January 16, 2019
Over the years, my preference for my hotel bookings has slowly switched from 3rd party sites (Expedia – mainly for its 6 miles per dollar promo with Citibank previously) to that directly from the hotel. This is due to progressively less bonus promo from credit cards (DBS Visa Altitude still has 6 miles per dollar promo) and more expensive hotels (Kaligo offers 10 to 12 miles per dollar but at a significantly higher price).
My preference further changed once I signed up for the IHG Ambassador programme which then make me choose IHG properties as my first option (direct booking with IHG). There are indeed benefits one can get from booking directly with the hotel (especially when you have status with them) e.g. my stay in Holiday Inn Munich. Another of my preference (but only if I will be staying for 4 nights) will be utilizing the Citi Prestige’s Hotel Night benefit (in which the 4th night will be free!). One can occasionally double dip on this privilege (e.g. for my upcoming stay in Osaka where I managed to book on IHG for Holiday Inn Namba using member’s rate, getting the points and get the 4th night free!).
Posted at 1:39 pm , on July 28, 2018
Hotels in Hong Kong are not known to be cheap, nor spacious. With the exception of Tokyo, most hotels here can barely fit 2 persons comfortably. Likewise, Holiday Inn Express Mongkok measures only at 19 square meter, it can be pretty challenging if you have many luggage with you. Despite its petite size, this hotel is not exactly shabby.