Posted at 10:29 am , on July 3, 2019
After getting my HHonours Diamond status matching for 90 days, I decided to give my stays in Houston and Panama City in the Hilton chain a try.
With the diamond status, I can get Lounge access and breakfast for 2 regardless of the room category booked. Logic dictates that I book the cheapest room!
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 11:43 pm , on January 18, 2019
I know I am kind of late in writing this as the IHG Ambassador Programme and its upcoming changes has been extensively written by many. I am going to write about it from my perspective as someone who doesn’t travel extensively and if this programme is useful for someone like me.
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.
Posted at 3:23 pm , on July 3, 2018
Picture courtesy of ihg.com
My last stop in Europe happened to be in Munich. I had a lot of trouble deciding which part of Munich I should stay in but after some consideration, I decided to settle in Holiday Inn Munich City Centre.
The hotel is located just outside of the city centre. I was initially keen to stay within the city centre itself (near the Hauptbahnhof). After reading reviews that suggest the area may be a little rowdy, I decided to stay a little off it. Holiday Inn is just at the fringe of it and it is connected to the S-Bahn via an underground connector. This is extremely useful during winter time and makes the hotel very convenient for those arriving into Munich Airport (as the S8 line connects directly to Franz Josef Strauss International Airport).
Posted at 1:25 pm , on July 3, 2018
My next stop after Innsbruck happened to be Salzburg. The journey from Innsbruck was straightforward, just 2 hours direct train from Innsbruck. I booked this hotel mainly due to its proximity to the city and within walking distance from the train station (just 500 to 600 meter from the station). This booking was made via Prestige Concierge utilising the hotel night benefit (for the 4th night free) as Salzburg was my longest stop.
The hotel is situated along the main street but it was far from being busy. It only takes about 5 to 8 minutes to walk to Mirabel Palace, and probably 15 to 20 minutes to get the old city. Most of the point of interests in the city is within walking distance, but I would recommend getting the Salzburg Card which includes unlimited use of the public transport.
Posted at 12:45 pm , on July 3, 2018
Semi panoramic view from the room
My second last stop for my Europe trip (which was also the stop my other half most wanted to visit) was Hallstatt. Hallstatt is small quaint town in Upper Austria and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unless one is driving, reaching there can be quite a challenge and costly. Nevertheless, it is certainly a place worth visiting.
Being a very small town by the lake Hallstatt, there isn’t much hotel to choose from. Heritage Hotel is probably the most convenient to reach and is situated right in the town centre (it is very small town by the way). There are some B&B around though if one wants to consider other alternatives.