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Singapore – Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Crowne Plaza International Airport Hotel (Los Angeles)

4 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located within the vicinity of LAX on W. Century Blvd, there is a blue bus that regularly goes every 15 minutes between airport (all terminals) and hotel. There is nothing much to walk to in the area just large parking lots etc. Room The newly renovated executive king on the 14th floor (Quiet Zone) was a spacious room that offered a large king size bed, high and very comfortable bedding. Each side had a bed side table that offered flexible reading lights attached to the bed, plus standard lamps. Easy accessible US plugs below and an alarm clock (that also one can plug a USB socket into or use via bluetooth to use as a speaker) one side and telephone the other. The room also offered a large chair and foot rest, large desk, lamp and plugs - fairly good place to work from. The TV was on a large unit that offered full cable channels and pay per view. Within the unit was a coffee machine and also a luggage rack. One item missing is no fridge or mini bar. The bathroom was spacious and included a combo bath and shower with Temple spa amenities of soap, shampoo, body lotion, vanity kit and conditioner plus a bottle of water. Dental/shaver kits appear to be on request, actual bedroom also offers the Temple spa Aromatherapy sleeping spray, face moisturising and cream for tired legs plus ear plugs- overall very nice. Digital AC is offered and in addition a separate unit for heating. I did notice any wardrobe or safe which was odd but may of just missed this. Overall the room was comfortable with nice fitting but despite being newly renovated room 1442 did have some scrapes on the walls and could do with a paint job. The windows though double glazing there was some noise heard like hoovering on below floor, not sure what it was but it was quite annoying. However hotel do offer ear plugs. Saying that comfortable and functional for working room. Facilities Hotel offers WIFI- mine was free not sure if it generally is. Worked fast for multiple devices with pass code. Catering facilities included 3 restaurants, a sports bar with a large menu from burgers to fish etc. A coffee shop which also is a wood pizza bar- quite nice pizza but very greasy- dripped thru my take-away box before i got to room. There is also a sushi bar as well but that opens at 5pm and i was looking for lunch. Business facilities include conference facilities and meeting rooms, plus about 6 or 8 computers located on a desk by reception- which also offered a printer. Leisure facilities included a outdoor heated pool and a gym but did not get a chance to see these, the weather was not great at LAX at time of visit. There is also a salon, concierge desk, ATM, a nice souvenir and convient store within the building. Overall excellent facilities for an airport hotel. Staff Staff at check-in were nice , though check-in clerk was very attentive and tried doc hare credit card for a pre-paid booking but once explained he apologised. Check out was smooth and staff in shop and restaurant were quite friendly. Overall a decent airport hotel option, not sure of the other 5 stars but Crowne plaza does look like one of the oldest, at least in public areas but the bed and room was very comfortable with amble amenities- I would definitely say here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 5985 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
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Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit (Bangkok, Thailand)

6 Case Rating
Location Located right on Sukhumvit road in the heart of the Bangkok busy main street. It is close to Terminal 21 Shopping centre (5 minutes walk) with cinema and many eating facilities and off course major mall of shops. Transport links next to Terminal 21 include Asoke BTS station and Sukhumvit MRT- there is one stop to change to Air link - Makassar (at Phetaburi) which in total takes about 35 minutes to get to BKK airport. By car around 45-1 hour due to traffic in area. To get to riverside area it is about 20 minutes. Room Room is very cosy with dark gold fabric and dark beige walls of the elegant decor- fells luxurious. Spotlessly clean and has nice mellow elegant ambience to reflect to relaxing atmosphere of Thailand. It has a slightly more innovative look than say the some of the other leading hotels in Bangkok (Shangri La, Banyan tree etc). The 22nd floor non smoking room is of good size for couple's but not in particularly spacious- more cosy and luxurious. It offer the signature Sofitel My Bed- which in my opinion is the most comfortable in the industry and slept beautifully. There are bed side tables which have deco artistic lamps and light switches. Each side of the bed has flexi reading lights. One side offers a phone which is also the sole side that has close by bed plugs in which also include RCA plug. Overall the room is slightly weak for power sockets close to bed. Both bedside tables have a pull out table-suitable for placing a bottle of water etc. Facing the bed adjacent to the large windows, (which by the way, offers a fantastic view of Sukhumvit road, Terminal 21 plus all the hotels pools below) is a working desk with glass top table, modern lamp and interesting pen holder. The chair is large leather, comfortable and grand. There is a very artistic somewhat antique looking cupboards that directly face the bed- on top is the BOSE wave sound system with remote, that displays a time on front and an iPod dock though pre-lightening edition. Below is the mini bar- a small refrigerator with some chocolates, beers and soft drinks. There is also some drawers of nuts, crisp, medium sized vodka, JW black and Gordons gin. This is also where the kettle is that offers some Dilma exceptional tea of 4 varieties. Next along is a luggage rack nice looking classic globe trotter suitcase style with drawers underneath. The corridor leading to door offers a huge mirror one side and opposite are tall drawers that offer an easy to use laptop safe, ironing board, Sofitel robe and slippers. There is somewhat limited space for a couple to hang items but ok for one person. An iron and ironing board is offered. The bathroom is very nice decked out in nice marble with golden lighting on ceiling- offering a large modern bath tub plus a shower cubicle - rain and separate heads. As typical in Asia the bathroom has a large window to the main bedroom but the electronic blinds can be pulled down. The amenities provided are all L'Occitane small bottle items & soap but also full set of amenities as expected such as dental, vanity kits etc. Towels and robes are very soft with Sofitel branding. Digital AC is offered in the room plus black out curtains. Though left them open to enjoy the splendid view below. Overall a very comfortable 5 star room that though not spacious was the most comfortable of the 5 star hotels I have stayed at in Bangkok- in terms of comfort sleeping due to Mybed bedding. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI secure with your name and password, with an ability to pay for faster speed, though had no issues with it. Catering facilities include the following: A premium french rooftop restaurant called L'Appart, a buffet breakfast in Viola- very nice buffet with western, Indian, Thai, Japanese choices,and also includes a nice selection of cheeses, breads, juices and egg station. A pool side bar, a Deli shop of cakes called Le Macaron- so a great selection of macarons. There is also a lobby bar plus an extensive selection of roof choices from eastern or western cuisine plus obviously Thai. Overall a very good selection of catering options. Leisure facilities include a nice pool with many lounger and double bed cabana's. At one end is a jacuzzi pool with waterfall- looks very nice, but did not have enough time to use it. There is also a L'occitane Spa at this level, which as expected is quite pricey. A gym is also offered with modern equipment. Other facilities include a salon, business centre with 2 Windows based computers and printer/copier. There is also a boutique shop selling what appears to be hand bags on lobby level plus a tour operator for Asia Tours. There is also a art museum display near lobby bar. Overall a decent selection of 5 star dining and leisure facilities. Staff Staff are fairly nice and professional - in all areas from reception, restaurant, and bellman. All etthustaic and friendly. Overall the king of Sukhumvit rd for hotels. A nice location, the most outstanding bed in terms of comfort and cosy room. A great pool and very nice staff. Could not find much to fault with this Sofitel hotel- just wish I could take the bedding with me.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 189 Road 13- Klongtoey Nua Wattana, 15 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
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The Fairmont San Jose (Silicon Valley, California)

4 Case Rating
Location Located t in the center of downtown right next door to San Jose Art Museum & Tech Museum across the way. Bars, restaurants and some shops are all within waling distance of this small downtown area. Abode is a few blocks away. From San Jose airport it is about 15-20 minute drive as is Google in Mountain View. Monterey and San Francisco are about 1.5 hour drive away in opposite directions. Room Room on 6th floor was clean and spacious, elegant lightly colored décor of beige and white wall paper and carpets. A comfortable high king size bed with nice cream leather back bed board with flexi-reading lights each side is offered- plenty of pillows and soft comfortable padding. One side of bed has a bed side table with a simple alarm clock and lamp which incidentally has some plug socket on it. The other side of bed is a glass top working desk with telephone & another lamp with power sockets. There is a comfortable leather chairs and overall a good work station for working on personal computers as plenty plugs and sockets within desk. There is a wide armchair that faces the bed rather than the TV with a lamp & side table accompanied by an offering of local magazines. Facing the bed is a large cupboard unit in which contains the mini bar (do not remove any items if you don't want it as its magnetized to weight so you get auto charged- meaning you cannot use the refrigerator for your own items) There is though plenty of items including all snacks items like M & M’s which Fairmont has cleverly branded as their own so you cannot replace etc. There is a coffee machine but no complimentary water is offered in this particular Fairmount- you have to use mini bar or use tap. A large TV faces the bed on top of this cupboard and has full US cable of over 100 channels plus pay-per-view movies and adult. It is not that user friendly when seeing what is available on the cable channels- there is no say guide like Direct TV offers, it shows a list of channels only. There is a separate corridor en route to bathroom that to the side has a make-up station with large wide stool in front of a mirror. Next is a small room that has open wardrobe set up with many hangers- the main place for clothes. This room also offers the easy to use laptop size safe. The bathroom was quite spacious and offered a small shower cubicle and separate bath. The decor is very clean with classic look but not modern- great for the older crowd. Le Labo amenities are offered in small mini bottles, shower gel, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower cap- hair dryer as well. If you forget dental kit, vanity kit, shaver set etc- you can buy it from mini bar, despite being a 5 star major hotel they don't offer a toothbrush which seemed quite cheap for amount hotel charges. Overall the room was spacious and clean but lacks anything innovative and overall had a dull feel. As mentioned the hotel is very tight with amenities and no bottle water. Facilities WIFI is charged at $12 per device in the room for normal speed, high speed is more (shocking!) but is free in lobby. Catering facilities include a Sushi place, Grill Restaurant, main hotel restaurant where breakfast is served (about $15 for eggs benedict), the main bar that offers some breakfast pastries. This bar is quite a grand open bar at night and was very busy. There is also 24-hour room service in which I had the burger which was presented well on your own laid table. Food was overall good. Leisure Facilities include a SPA, a modern and quite large Gym, a heated pool in which is outside and open sunset to sunrise- I swam here in the morning, while cold outside the pool was quite nice to do laps. In addition, the lobby has a Jewelry shop, Souvenir/Convenience store, Fed Ex, An ATM and a US Mail post box. I believe there is a business Centre somewhere but did not see it- there is a large conference facility though. Staff Staff at this hotel were ‘tired’ not that enthusiastic as you would expect at a 5 star. While some clear details such as pool are mentioned at reception- it felt scripted and robotic. They just say we don’t have free WIFI unless in lobby but simply brush it off as look at screen when you get to room, when asked how much it is. However, check-out they go thru bill and clearly my (own) Evian bottle which I wanted to keep cool for my exercise had knocked some of the mini bar items out of place- a list of items I did not use came up. However, she was able to remove them. It makes you wonder how much they make though on people that do express check-out but don’t actually use the items- like me that just’s want to put something in the fridge. Other staff were ok, not many smile and not as welcoming as you find in San Francisco union square hotels.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 170 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States
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India – The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (Mumbai)

UAE – Burj Al Arab Hotel (Dubai)

Mandarin Oriental (Taipei, Taiwan)

5 Case Rating
Location Located in downtown Taipei area, next door is TGI Friday plus a shopping street is close. 101 is also a few blocks away. Songshan Airport is about 5 minutes drive away and TPE airport is about 45 minutes drive. Room The Deluxe King has an interesting luxury elegant boutique design. Very much, but more, premium high end Laura Ashley esq decor. This forms the basis of the decor in general of this hotel grand, artistic & unique blend of dark and light colours. Outside each room is a nice glass lantern showing your room number. As you enter the room, smell of dark wood is the obvious first sense, the lights auto brighten in this reception corridor where an artistic contemporary painting face you. There is double sided closet with mirror facing you, this is where you place laundry & shoe's for the complimentary polish service is provided. You leave these here for staff to collect upon pushing a call button next on the outside so no interaction is needed. Within this reception entry area of dark, possibly pine wood, is a not so obvious door that when opened , a refreshing brighter blue flower wallpaper toilet room welcomes you- all finished in white marble with sink accompanied by a telephone & pad- volume control to listen to TV, plus a privacy button in case your main door bell goes. Back into the corridor area on walk to room, two sides open up with side rooms before the bedroom. To the right is an open large wardrobe area. Again dark wooden finish throughout but with a classic dressing table in the middle with grey marble top & glazed crystal lights either side, very nice for ladies to do make up. The wardrobe room is open (but does have sliding doors). Within - Left side has a wide leather fabric luggage rack with MO branded robes & slippers. Slippers very thick and cosy. The opposite has no rack but is top to floor hanging area for long dresses & suits, but there is plenty of room each side to hang clothes. On the opposite side, facing this wardrobe of the corridor is a bright grey marble finished bathroom with crystal lights & wooden furnishings. The marble finish bath is oval shaped & somewhat spacious positioned next to sliding pull aside French style shutters that overlooks the bedroom & enabling you to watch TV whilst in the tub. To the side of bath is a nice presentation of 3 kinds of bath salts: Eucalyptus, Juniper & lavender all MO branded. In addition also MO branded are dental &shaver kits, comb, lint roller, sewing kit & loofah. The luxury marble sink offers 'Diptyque' Paris branded body lotion, skin soap & also shower gel, shampoo & conditioner in which is offered in the large spacious shower cubicle. Also fully grey marble finished shower cubicle with grand taps offer 2 shower head functions plus an additional overhead rain shower. Mirror & marble bench are also in the cubicle. The bathroom offers dimmer lighting controls & the lavender bath salt was perfect to relax pre-sleeping. The main bedroom is large & spacious with a large kingsize bed - exceptionally comfortable with the finest bedding used. Bed side tables are on each side with various silver button control lighting system settings that include ambiance, night, reading & with a dimmer function. There is also an automatic drape function for the curtains- which offers a modern innovative functionality to the otherwise classical decor look. An international plug is offered on one side & a clock on the other. The bed faces a large marble wall unit with an oval working marble top desk, chess board printed into the marble, lamp & various AV & international plug sockets within. The leather desk chair was very comfortable to work from. MO branded stationary sets are also offered. A large smart TV faces the bed & offers 59 channels, x4 movie, 13 local channels, x8 international news channels such as BBC, NHK, CNN, other channels plus a mix of familiar branded cable networks, Discovery, Nat Geo etc covering documentary lifestyle, sports kids TV. Next to the TV is a large glass facing cabinet that contains the minibar in which is extensive -medium shelf liquor & champagne (Veuve cliquot) & wines plus snacks. Above is the tea making facility & expresso machine offered with gold rimmed chinaware on the shelves above. Lastly in front of the large arched windows, overlooking the French style MO courtyard is a light brown wooden love seat with small coffee table. The room is white, soft carpeted, bright with an overhead light that has large glass pipes design somewhat representing chandelier type light in the centre above the bed. A very grand room indeed & most elegant I have stayed in, the designers obviously spent much attention to the detail, comfort & functionality. Facilities WIFI is unfortunately not complimentary in which I think quite surprising for the price they charge and how almost all hotels these days are free. Its obviously a corporate decision. Catering facilities include a French restaurant where the breakfast is served and by far the best breakfast I've had in all of the 200+ hotels I have stayed. They offer an al la carte menu such as egg Benedict but also a very exceptional buffet full of fresh breads, pastries, fruit & various foods for Asians & westerners alike. In addition on this level is a branded French Brasserie & cafe with cakes and pastries, the Macarons were delicious. There is also a cantonese and michelin starred chef run Italian restaurant. By the lobby is the jade lounge which looked very nice for an afternoon tea but I did not try any other than breakfast and macaron. I did however visit the MO bar which is dark Whiskey themed bar, slightly pretentious atmosphere but that is expected. Some of the art work though was interesting at the bar and surrounding corridors. Leisure facilities include a v high tech gym equipment mainly cardio but they do give you headphones for your work-out. They had a pool but was being renovated in which was discounting when your a swimmer like me. The main spa area offers massages & they sell a comprehensive range of Aromatherapy Associates & Claris brands. Did not try any of these as my stay was short. There is also extensive business and meeting room facilities plus a shopping mall area but did not get a chance to visit these. Staff Staff overall were nice but quite uptight and stuffy, obviously this is a brand that maintains discipline but at times I was asked twice if I was staying at the hotel. Staff could do with smiling more and being more approachable. To have breakfast is like checking in for a flight requiring documentation etc and the bar staff are not so proactive- you approach them. The hotel is gorgeous and very comfortable but the staff really lacked the warmth the decor and facilities it offered. Overall would love to stay here again as it was an enjoyable experience with one of the best room's I have stayed at. Definitely best breakfast ever had in any hotel.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] No. 158, Dunhua N Rd, Taipei, Taipei City, Taiwan 10548
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Fairmont (Vancouver Airport)

6 Case Rating
Location Located right inside YVR airport. Just upstairs from the US check-in counters. To get to downtown Vancouver it takes about 25 minutes by the train or depending on traffic 30-40 by taxi at around $31. Room The Executive Fairmont Gold room on the top floor offers a large spacious bedroom with a very comfortable king sized bed- slept peacefully. The large windows offer a view of the airfield and the Fairmont even go so far as to include a telescope in your room plus a plane spotters guide- the first hotel I have ever this it. Enjoyable feature when exploring the view outside of the windows, the airfield and mountains beyond. The electronic drapes though do block out the light and double glazed windows for the airport noise. Next to the bed are two bedside tables- both sides are welcomed with bottled water and glasses, plus lamps. One side offers a complete touch screen tablet guide that controls the electronic window drapes, temperature of room, alarm clock and privacy without having to leave the bed. There is a cordless phone as well plus easily accessible US plug sockets. The bed faces a large smart TV that offers an extensive range of On demand TV mostly movies but also family movies, regular hollywood and adult zone. Live TV includes basically full cable for Canada but there is also an airport information page and your account review page. The unit where the TV is on itself has a whole plug socket centre point that has USB, AVI, HDMI etc. This is near to the wooden glass top wide oval working desk with lamp and comfortable chair- perfect for doing some work. On top is an extensive mini bar Fairmont branded snack selection that even includes hummus and crackers. Plus many drinks and a nes expresso machine plus teas. The room also offers a comfy arm chair with foot stool great for watching TV or view plus a magazine rack next to it. Large spacious wardrobes include a safe inside (though not laptop size) Fairmont branded robes and slippers are offered. The bathroom was the highlight though offering a spacious marble finish shower cubicle with an excellent 'pumping water' shower head. The highlight though was the main bath which offered one of the best Jacuzzi functions experienced in any hotel (& Ive stayed in a few with large multiple person jacuzzi's)- really functional and great for relaxing the muscles before sleep- they include some really nice bath salts. Be warned not to press the Jacuzzi function button too many times as this activates each cleaning cycle which occurs about 20 minutes after bath has been emptied. I got woken up on 2nd or 3rd cycle. The design of the bathroom also has shutter doors which can be opened so you can potentially re-position the TV and watch from bathroom. By the entrance door is also a dressing table. Le Labo branded mini bottles of shower gel, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner and body soap bars are offered-plus vanity kits but no shaver or dental kits is presented in room.- however they provide this on request (at least dental). Overall a very comfortable room and couldn't be more perfect for the premium 'plane enthusiast" that is also has a need for business facilities. Facilities The Fairmount Gold floor has an executive lounge that offers some sofas and a conference room. Complimentary WIFI for multiple devices on this level but not sure about rest of hotel- fast and worked well. There is a complimentary tea and coffee and possibly soft drinks but alcohol is chargeable. During the late afternoon 5-7pm there are some hot and cold snacks such as sausage rolls, Sushi, sweet and salad items. This is also where this floor has their breakfast served- which is buffet style offering some nice Canadian bacon, sausages and scrambled egg, plus many breads and cheeses, salmon and cold meats. Overall a fairly small but decent quality of variety. The hotel itself offers a modern gym, small pool, and hot tub- all in a open room on the 4th floor with glass windows that overlook the US check-in area's down below. There is also a SPA facility for beauty care and massages. On the lobby level is a bar next to a nice warm fireplace and restaurant that had fairly good standard of food, steak was good as was the Halibut. They had a good singer in the evening and the atmosphere was nice for an airport hotel. There are also a few computers in the lobby to use. Staff Dedicated concierge reception staff look after you on the Executive floor, blond lady was very nice and helpful with any requests such as information on weather in North Vancouver, assitance and guides etc. Other staff in restaurant are all polite. Overall one of the best airport hotels stayed at, the highlight being the jacuzzi bath (just don't press the button too many times) electric blinds and the telescope. Staff are very nice for North America.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Vancouver International Airport, 3111 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC V7B 0A6, Canada
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Shangri-La Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand)

6 Case Rating
Location Located on the riverside in Sathorn. Near the train station Saphan Taksin & right next to Saphorn pier & Taksin Bridge- hotel branded signage is clear coming from Thanon Charoen Krung rd. Hotel is close to the Asiatique waterfront, a boutique market with stores, bars, restaurants & even a big ferris wheel is to be ridden. It takes 5-10 Min via Shangri La very own complimentary junk boat, which rides every 30 minutes in the evening back and forth. From BKK airport it takes over an hour by car or via public transport. Room Room was of a cosy but decent size sufficient for a couple. Presented with classical traditional Thai decor which included a traditional Thai wooden art painting used as a back bed post. Very authentic, clean & romantic ambience thanks to the cosy multiple lighting. The room offers large windows that presents a fantastic view of the river & pool below both day & night. Conveniently next to it is a traditional Thai wooden artistic classical bench with a soft cushion so you can gaze at the beautiful scenery below and at night watch the luminated boats including Shangri La own go up and down the river. The room offers a nice functional desk with decent leather office chair. As normal a multitude of plugs- 2 international & one US plus AV sockets is close by. A nice lamp, diary and phone is on the leather finished desk top. Facing the bed is the wooden unit that has the modern large size Samsung TV offering 42 channels that included BBC, French, CCTV, RT, Japanese, German, Spanish, Italian , Hindi & Saudi TV- basically covering everyone plus extensive premium sport & movie channels. A DVD player & drawer is below that contained some colourful pillows. The king size bed was delightfully comfortable with lamps either side & granite finished bedside tables either side. A small clock, phone & lighting controls are also there with an international plug one side. The room offers a wide comfy arm chair with a glass table in front to complete the seating area by the window. This was next to a tall lamp & contemporary Thai style picture above. Carpeted floors are offered in half the room before the wooden floored section near the entrance where the mini bar & fridge is offered. This contains snacks plus many liquor items. A kettle on top with a drawer below offering cheap Dilmah tea & Nescafé sachets - the only weakness of the premium experience. However two glass bottles waters are offered. By the entrance door are large wardrobes with mirror fronts offering plenty of space to hang clothing, and here are presented your slippers, ropes, iron & ironing board. An easy to use laptop size safe is also offered. The bathroom was of good size with sliding doors offering a shower cubicle contained within a circular glass door dome with marble finish. Spacious enough for 2 people offering an overhead rain shower & detachable unit. Both worked well. In addition there is a separate marble finished bath also with detachable shower head. Plenty of towels plus full Shangri la mini bottles as amenities & dental kits. Even the soaps offered the distinctive smell that the hotel brand has established. Overall the room is authentic classical Thai, spacious, cosy and functional with a romantic appeal. Facilities WIFI is free- unsecure multiple devices hotel wide just agree to terms but of good speed. There are 9 catering facilities, 2 international buffets- within the hotel building where the extensive international breakfast is presented & the other on their dinner cruise boat. There is a Thai, Chinese & according to the hotel and Italian restaurant "voted the best" in Bangkok- did not try these other than breakfast. There is also a long bar outside near the pool that at night had a relaxing ambience that faces the river & boat dock with comfy beds, and sofas. This is where the shuttle wooden boats leave from. If it rains there is a bar in lobby, nice decor of classical large chandeliers overlooking the river that has a specialist chocolate boutique pastry place nearby. In addition a another artistic modern boutique bar cigar jazz type bar is also offered Leisure facilities include 2 pools, one each wing. The main wing had a nice outdoor pool decorative with palm tree in centre surrounded by the decking, right next to the river- there is a section of pool that offers a bubble jacuzzi bed, a sort of water massage in which was therapeutic after doing some laps. The other wing pool is more traditional and rectangular. A health club also includes a modern gym overlooking river, Sauna, steam room, whirl pool & two tennis courts. A SPA is also offered for massages. There is also a Shangri La gift shop, jewlerry store, fabric & textiles store, an art store plus hairdresser salon, foreign exchange & ATM. In adjoining building a leather store, tailor, gem stones & oriental art gallery are also offered. The business centre includes meeting rooms, computers, laptops, mobile phone hire & printer fax etc.. Overall full 5 star multiple facilities offered that covers everything needed and maximise your stay in this beautiful resort hotel. Staff Staff were very welcoming and offered true Thai hospitality, a proactive approach to personal service at least in lobby with bellman and reception staff. Some of the bar staff you need to get their attention and surprised some did not know what was in some of the cocktails where they needed to consult the bar man, some didn't speak that well English. However the staff at breakfast and at the pool were very friendly and proactive, many acknowledging you etc. Overall the best hotel I have stayed at in Bangkok, the room was very cosy, authentic Thai art with an exciting view. The facilities are exceptional and especially like the boat service and the pool. I would love to return here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu Bangkok 10500, Thailand
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Pullman Phuket Arcadia Nathan Beach (Phuket, Thailand)

5 Case Rating
Location Hotel is about 20-30minutes drive from HKT airport. If you are getting taxi upon arrival go outside of airport building to taxi stand where they will charge 600thb, inside stands it is 800thb. The immediate area Naithon Beach is very quiet, you can walk down the stairs from the pool in a few minutes. The beach is ok, clear but not so calm but it is not busy & mostly guest stay at hotel, it's quite nice but not amazing for say snorkelling, I saw more surfers than swimmers. There is a road along beach in every other store is a massage place & about 4 restaurants one Italian pizza place & some bars. It was vey quiet at night,and is not a party place- the hotel offers a better bar due to the ambience. There is also atm, pharmacy & mini mart. on the road. Seedy Patong is about 25 km away or over an hour drive which is where the main night life is. Room The rooms at this Pullmans are all over the side of a hill in maybe 20 different buildings with different categories of room. The buildings are all over the huge grounds up the hills with small roads etc but a 24 fast car service gets you to entrance, beach or lobby where catering facilities are via a phone call - they offer quick response.You can walk it as some short cut pathways exist. My room in building 6 was almost at top of hill near the 2nd swimming pool. The room was deluxe King that was very spacious & functional - boutique bright colours with excellent lighting, it reminded me of the W hotel brand with all open zones like bathroom but pull across shutters are offered if privacy is needed. The bed is huge, very soft & comfortable- easily enough room for 3 people. Either side offers international plug sockets, a huge alarm clock & phone on the bed side tables where below decorative small storage boxes are offered. A small soft chair with coffee table is next to bed & comfortable to watch the large TV that faces the bed. The TV offers many US movie, documentary & sports TV, many Thai & regional channels, plus German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, French & Spanish language channels etc.. The TV is on a large desk with plenty of space & easy to access plugs & so is functional for working on a personal computer. There is an extensive mini bar & modern kettle to make teas. The hotel offers a generous x4 half litres bottles of complimentary water. The bathroom offers a large sink area with stool for ladies to sit to do make up. A large bath & separate spacious shower cubicle that offers a nice rain shower as well as detachable head. The toilet is in a separate room. Full 5 star amenities are offered with generous size personal C.O Bigelow (as in all pullman's) that includes shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, vanity, shows cap & dental kits. All that is missing is a shaver set. Near the entrance to the room is a convenient open wardrobe though a slider door can close it. This small walk in wardrobe offered a large luggage rack, easy to use medium size safe, ironing board, hair dryer, robes & slippers plus a mosquito burning stick for the balcony. The only item missing is flip flops which Pullman in Kuta offer and strange for a beach hotel not to, also no shoe polish. All rooms offer a balcony which is very comfortable offering a bed with a pillows that a couple could both snug up to and listen to the sea and jungle noise oustide. Nice place to chill but be wary of the mosquitos (though they provide a stick to light and smoke to avoid any attacks). As all rooms are non smoking inside so a chair & table is offered with ash tray for smokers. Digital easy to use AC plenty of international plugs & decent lighting that include reading lamp & ambient settings. Overall very functional room - well maintained & clean with a wooden modern look that is 5 star standard with no fault, just some missing items, shaver set, flip flops etc. Facilities There is secure complimentary WIFI for up to 4 devices that worked reasonably well. There are two pools- both infinity design. One at the top of hill which is more for lengths as straight rectangular design that offers a small bar for drinks and snacks, 24 hour modern equipment gym, roof deck for doing early morning Yoga plus an impressive children's playground that even includes a mini climbing wall. I did yoga though at the sun deck and it was incredibly meditating experience, the yoga guy was well trained and relaxed so helpful with getting back familiar with breathing exercises. The main and large pool located by the lobby is the highlight though, very nice looking original design but not so good for lengths. It does though offer a superb view of the beach below, which new to has stairs going down to. This pool area offers plenty of sun loungers some in the pool some on a man made beach below & others along the cliff edge walk way to sun set deck, where some bean bags are located. The pool area also has a all day dining restaurant and pool bar for snacks and cocktails. Nearby is the hotel spa which is quite pricey in which you pay for the excellent level of ambience. I had a Balinese massage, which is their most popular but is over 3k baht for 60 minutes. In the nearby the bar I ordered a Pad Thai in which tasted lovely. Upstairs, above is the main restaurant & wine bar but did not visit. The lobby area has another cafe that offers live music in the evening during happy hour where the local singer sounding very uncanny to David Gray. Seating offers an excellent variety including a circular table with a water display offering a very nice relaxing view. There are also beds, pods, sofas- enough for the family or the romantic couple- with good levee of privacy. Other facilities I noticed included a deli for sandwiches, ice creams plus two shops- one for ladies boutique fashion & another which sells a lot of Pullman products as well as local items such as pillow spray & sun tan lotion. The resort is vast with many roads around it but frequent car service that you call offers no walking & arrive fairly quickly after requesting. There is also a meeting room and business centre and am sure there are ore facilities I did not see. Staff Staff offer a true Thai hospitable welcome, not just at front desk but at bars, spa's and even the drivers. The service approach is the 5 star Asian standard. Initially on my first nightI had some issues with the staff (all I say is if your allergic to chilli be wary of the peanuts complimentary snacks they offer in the cafe/lobby bar). However they were very helpful and the Australian GM wanted to meet me and resolve/repair the issues I experienced. He did so with care and understanding of my experience with a high level of professionalism that couldn't of been better resolved. Other staff such as the drivers (to the room), yoga instructor, pool catering staff and even house keeping are so warm and welcoming - Pullmans has a great approach to maintaining the original Thai hospitality, which is sometimes lost in Bangkok hotels. Overall this hotel is outstanding & the best Pullmans I have been to. It caters for everyone great facilities for kids, families, honeymoon couples and even single business travellers like myself. I found the whole experience so relaxing and therapeutic. I only say this is a hotel you essentially stay at most of the time as its in a nice idyllic quiet area.Its not for party goers or seedy travellers looking for girls. I cannot wait to return here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 22/2 Moo 4 Naithon Beach, Amphur Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
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Sofitel Plaza Hanoi (Hanoi, Vietnam)

“6
Location Right next to the famous lake in centre of city, on major road to airport. It takes about 30 minutes drive since new bridge has been introduced. There is also a train station nearby and within vicinity, various shops, the odd bar and massage place within walking distance. KFC for fast food lovers is opposite. Room Room on 9th floor offered a very nice view and was fairly cosy, whilst not as good as previous Sofitel I stayed at (In casablanca) the king size bed was comfortable- just does not offer that super comfortable European bedding, however still slept peacefully. Bed side tables either side with lamps controlled by a touch pad unit on side (that also controls A/C, all lighting, do not disturb and an alarm clock) & telephone. Plugs are conveniently international sockets for all. There is a large comfortable wide arm chair that face the samsung TV that offers 54 Channels, offering in addition to Vietnamese language channels from UK, US, France, Italy, Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Indian & Thai. Below the TV is a mini bar with snacks, soft drinks & liquor items. A wardrobe is close by that has inside an easy to use lap top size safe, two Sofitel robe's, hair dryer and slippers for two- all in Sofitel bags. A small luggage rack is offered next to a large glass top desk that has a convenient multi media plug unit: offering international plug sockets, USB, Audio and HMDI etc with and W -LAN cable with a decent lamp and some Sofitel stationary. This desk offers a window view of the city below. The bathroom is full marble cut that offers a separate bath and spacious shower cubicle. Plenty of Sofitel amenities and decent size bottles of the brand 'Les Notes des Lanvin". A telephone isbn the toilet as is the TV volume control to listen while you bathe- though not possible to watch TV from in there. Overall the room is very comfortable and cosy, it sort of tries the colonial white wooden look with brown furnishings and curtain but looked cosy and more or less suitable for the executive business man, the only item missing is an Iron & ironing board or trouser press etc. Though believe this can be requested from reception. Facilities The hotel offers free secure WIFI, that worked well for 3 devices only. Catering includes 2 restaurants, a pastry cafe and a lobby bar for which a welcome drink voucher can be redeemed at. I had breakfast and this was very nice, catering for both European, American, Asian and Japanese clientele. In addition the hotel offers a business centre, car rental. currency exchange, fitness centre (that includes a sauna, jacuzzi, all seasons swimming pool with retractable roof), massage and spa services. They also offer jogging amenities- such as a map, drink, energy bar and hand towel. For those interested in more premium rooms there is a club lounge as well. Overall I did not use any but had a look around and its a full 5 star offering. Staff Staff are very nice as always in Vietnam, hospitable and warm in service. Check-in/out was troublesome and smooth. Restaurant staff are also very attentive. Overall a very nice 5 star comfortable business hotel in Hanoi. Both functional and cosy, but not that close to old quarter say to walk to. I would stay here again though.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Road District, 1 Thanh Niên, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hanoi 010000, Vietnam
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Blue Sky Hotel & Tower (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

5 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 30 minutes drive from ULN airport & will cost around 20-25k mnt by taxi from airport, which are safe & fine. Hotel charge 40k+ for pick up. The hotel is perfectly located in heart of UB right on Peace Avenue. A 5-10 minute walk gets you to the state department store which has the best tourist souvenirs seen (not tac) . The hotel faces the Chinggis square which has the famous Genghis Khan Statue in facing the square from the Parliament Palace. Peace avenue offers many shops, pharmacies & salons. A famous monastery is about 25 minute walk away. Room Room on 10th floor is a deluxe suite, which offers a seperate living room & bedroom. The living room is the first room as you walk in & includes the bathroom. Living room has a large seating area with marble table that faces a family large sized LCD TV. The room also offers a workable desk, small fridge containing mostly drinks (but no chocolate!) & two complimentary bottles of water. A kettle also has few tea's & coffee. The bathroom is also located within living room with a separate shower & bath plus spacious sink area. Bath taps are opposite of what they say - annoying when you run a hot bath and come back and its freezing, but the cold sign on tap is actually hot water Full 5star amenities are offered of which shower gel, body lotion, shampoo & conditioner is mini L'occitane bottle set. Glass walls surround, one frosted & by bath with blinds which enable you to watch TV from bath - like one sees in China (it offers privacy with blinds closed). Bedroom has a large king size bed- very comfortable of medium firmness with lamps either side plus a control pad that has buttons to set alarm clock/fan/ac & all lights. Also a do not disturb button. Some chairs also exist with small table & ash tray. A medium sized TV & luggage rack face bed. TV offers 57 mongolian channels, 13 Russian channels, 16 mostly american documentary channels, 28 lifestyle & news channels from Uk, Japan, France, italy , China , Germany, Middle East & US. There are also 5 kids Tv, 17 sport channels & 7 movie channels - mostly American. The room has a spacious wardrobe with lap top size safe, slippers & robe. Lighting is ok, had no issues of lights turning on randomly in night (as some reviewers have pointed out) & AC has digital controls & worked fine. Windows offered a good view of Peace avenue but were not floor to ceiling. There are plenty of two pin Russian/Euro sockets including close to bed. Overall very comfortable room, agree with some reviewers is a bit tired look (lack modern furniture) but nonetheless very clean with everything one expects from 5 star in a place like UB. Facilities Wifi free & with multiple devices- had no issues in room or public areas. Catering facilities include 6 outlets, japanese, korean, chinese, all dining buffet, cafe with cakes & on roof lounge bar also with buffet & bar foods - offering a nice view of city. Food actually was impressive both dinner buffet & breakfast. Breakfast offers many hot & cold items such as full english, asian foods & salad fruit options. Dinner buffet is 27,000 mnt which includes beer or ice tea and also consists of salad & meat but lacks any sweet foods. However good freshness & flavour, in general UB lacks high standard restaurants in area so this was fairly good for price. Leisure facilities include a hard salon, swimming pool (that smelt not too great) but decent enough size for laps. There is also a dry sauna, hot tubs (Japanese style) and full gym with weights and cardio. The hotel also offers a business centre, 2 souvenir shops, conference centre and a night club on ground floor, but did not visit. Staff Staff are fairly friendly though initially felt cold, however far more hospitable than one finds in Chinese 5 star hotels. Don't expect early check-in before 12, even if room is available unless you wish to pay 30% of days value. Hotel seems slightly anal about some policies, and overcharge for a tour / hotel pick up etc when you can find it half the price with tour operator. In general some staff don't speak that well English but all are polite. Overall hotel is perfectly situated for business and tourists alike as everything is in walking distance. Room was comfortable and had no issues despite other negative reviews. It is 5 star but lacks the warmth and bling you generally get in Asia. However it is UB and unless you want to spend x3 times the price the Shangra La is the only true upgrade.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Peace Ave 17, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tangla Hotel Sanya (Sanya, Hainan Island, China)

5 Case Rating
Location Located about 15 minutes drive from Sanya Airport, located along the quieter beach front road of Sanya Bay, offers an excellent view. Beach is across the road & whilst it is adequate for sunbathing, there are signs saying don't swim in it. It didn't look that clean. Within area is just various hotels and I think the odd restaurant but not sure, it seemed no shops or much in the area. A 20 minute taxi cab will take you into main city area of Sanya where everything is located. Room Room was located on 16th floor with an amazing sea view and spacious balcony. Decked out with full art deco design combined with glamorous premium Chinese style with marble floors & tops, wooden furnishings & walls and mother of pearl and much lighting. The room as you enter contains a small inlet where the luggage rack is seen and this is where the main wardrobe is that contains slippers both inside and outside, robes and ironing board, also hair dryer. Below the small rack is a large laptop size safe. Whilst it was nice to keep bags & clothes away from main room, it seemed a walk away the slippery (presented wet) marble floor to get anything from bag. Back to the main corridor with nice reception table faces the open plan bathroom that offers a modern bath tub with TV in front in a mirror (though did not work) and separate very large shower cubicle enough space for two. Two sinks are offered and the toilet has a telephone in it in a separate room but see through glass door. The bathroom offers wooden french style shutters. Amenities include all hotel branded items - full 5 star set even loofah, plus mini shower bottles etc branded as French Connection. The bath offers a TV mirror style that faces it in there but despite maintenance coming to look at it was told it simply doesn't work. The main bed room had a large king size bed, very comfortable but way over the too on pillows (8). Bedside tables contained useful international plug sockets & telephone. The bed faced a large Samsung TV with 51 Channels, international included CNN, BBC, NHK, ESPN, Discovery etc..- below the TV is many cabinets & drawers all empty with nice premium pearl covers. The room contained a working desk, marble top and wooden finish with lamp and an alarm clock using the new style lightning slot- this is where the iPad is contained. Many plugs also existed here. There is also a armchair with leg rest nearby and next to this a cupboard that contains the extensive drink (but lacking snacks mini bar). There are double doors that lead to a large balcony with exceptional view of the South China Sea and downtown Sanya in the distance. A large shared cabana style bed is outside, nice for couple with privacy and two arm chairs. The room offers touch control A/C and the most exciting feature is the iPad that controls all lighting in room digital thru the WIFI (plus A/C), plus can use WIFI, weather, movies news etc all from this helpful device but other than lighting, the rest is in Chinese only despite English selection. The lighting was excellent especially the art deco tube lights by the bed plus the overhead reading lights. Overall a very nice room look and finish, only issue was facing the bed was stained walls which was a shame as it brought down the most impressive decor seen in China. Facilities The hotel offers WIFI which is free and worked well, unusually it was able to access FB and break thru the firewall. The hotel offers 3 dining facilities and 24 hour room service of which no menu is given out and they only tell you options by phone. Food is ok but a little over priced. There are two pools at this hotel, one is rather exciting with bed jacuzzi designs init plus some small slides for kids. The other is a wide spacious pool. There is also a Gym with a snooker table- looked nice & some dedicated kid area but never saw this. Hair salon and also KTV on ground floor- but did not see these. Staff Staff like most Chinese hotels are the issue but this is because one is staying at a non International brand. Very few can speak English, girls behind the reception giggle when you try to talk to them and run away. Room service staff refused to let me have the tray (never heard this in any hotel) just only allowed plate and cutlery. The broken TV in the bathroom was just laughed at that it is broken but no resolution or apologies. Overall my clients put me in this hotel, and whilst the sea view and room were impressive, this is not a place for non Chinese. Staff simply are not welcoming and verge of rudeness. To be fair I never saw any non Chinese during my stay, with loads of international brands in Sanya, there is no reason for international travellers to stay here. Despite a clear 34 excellent review, the staff unhelpful/welcomeness, dirt on walls and corridors on carpets, lack of room service menu, plus the price means I give this 3 stars solely for the room. The hotel is basically 4 star, room 5 star, staff service 2.5-3 star.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] China, Hainan, Sanya, 三亚湾 邮政编码: 572000
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Cedar Brook Lodge (Seattle, Washington, USA)

5 Case Rating
Location Located off the highway, 15 minutes drive from SEA airport. In residential but quiet cosy spot but there is not much about to walk to. Nearest pharmacy/store is 45 minute walk as it is in a residential area. Room Room was large, located in the Spruce building (various buildings in this hotel). The room offered two queen size double beds on floor level, each bed had a decent size moveable reading lamp attached to it. In between beds is a bedside table that has a alarm clock that can be used to charge iPods or old style iPhones but -a handy USB slot is included if you dont have an apple product but need to charge your phone. Plugs though are ready available under the bedside tables. Next to the bed by window is a soft comfortable armchair with foot rest. The view outside is on floor, if not lower, level to the exterior walkway outside. Two kinds of blinds, one can enable privacy but allow natural light, whilst another fully blacks out light. Facing the beds is a large long wooden table offering two separate desks each with two plug sockets & personal lamps with a phone located in between, very much suitable for two business people sharing room & needing to work. There is a large flat screen TV above that offers 50+ channels such as regular cable and like BBC and Telemundo. On the left side of this table is a set of large wooden drawers & personal coffee machine. On opposite end is two large wardrobes next to a soft leather bench used as a luggage rack. In one of the wardrobes is a large easy to use lap top size safe, robe's and ironing board with iron. The bathroom was spacious with large bath combined shower. Amenities included shampoo, conditioner, balt salts & body lotion. No shower gel but large soap. If like me you forgot your toothbrush they offer some additional amenities at reception. Lighting is quite nice and mellow with a A/C that has personal switch controls. Overall a very comfortable spacious room for the business passenger looking for the lodge experience outside of the city but near the airport. Facilities The hotel offers free non-secure WIFI throughout the hotel- it generally worked ok, good on phone but dropped occasionally on laptop - maybe an apple issue. Within each room building is a lounge area- it is unique as I am told the Silicon valley way of business offices. The lounge has TV sofa's and a fridge full of unlimited bottle water, fruits, cheese sticks & two kinds of yogurts in the refrigerators as well as ice cream tubs in the freezer. In addition potato chips and various chocolate raison type items and nuts in bowls on counter plus a microwave- a very nice touch and unique to me of over 170 hotels I have stayed at. It was great to have this and I guess this is the reason no mini bar was in my room. The hotel catering includes a very nice restaurant, fine dining style and slightly on the pricey side, i.e $55 for a steak but it is worth every cent- incredibly fresh and well worth it. The food is all local sourced and organic from a Farm I was told. Even the bread is fresh, service is the only issue. There is also an adjoining bar. Breakfast is included and has a few item such as bagels, bread, bacon, egg dish and some fruit, cereals and oatmeal etc.. overall nice but no green tea!! Breakfast dining is on large shared round tables so expect to share with other guests when busy, which was actually nice talking to other guests staying there. The hotel also offers a gym- quite modern and outside a hot tub, which was very hot. There is a small arts and craft store by reception as well. Staff Staff were nice at reception and clear with everything, though found the hotel bill pushed under the door at 6am a bit odd as it woke me up. They have a CC on file so did not know the point of this. The restaurant staff took ages to take order and then forgot about it, coming back to re-take it saying it had been lost in the system. They were polite and apologised but obviously lacked efficiency especially as this restaurant is fine dining. Other than that all staff like house keeping couldn't not have been nicer and more welcoming. Overall this was a super hotel choice by my clients, its aimed at the business traveler looking for that lodge experience- with the shared kitchen and free items was very nice touch. The location is convient for the airport but would not say so for Seattle but you will sleep beautifully in this quiet location. I hope to come back here when I visit Seattle again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 18525 36th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188, United States
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85 Sky Tower Hotel (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

6 Case Rating
Location Located in downtown Kaohsiung, around 20 minutes drive from the airport. Across the road outside is the new famous Library with night markets plus shops are all closeby including department store being only a few blocks away. Easy to walk to. Room Room was on 62nd floor- Deluxe floor, a corner suite that offered a living room and bedroom in separate rooms, both offering an amazing view. Bed faced harbour and Sea and living room faced downtown Kaohsiung, stunning day and night. The living room offered a decent sized desk with two international plugs, lamp and telephone- perfect for working. Telephone acts also a light control unit for all lights in room. Same as in bedroom. The large spacious living room had two long comfy sofa's and 2 arm chairs with large coffee table in centre, enough room for 6 people. Two additional chairs are offered next to a large TV cabinet with complementary mini bar and kettle tea making below. Mini bar only includes soft drinks but about 8 waters. It is a perfect setting for a informal meeting with a nice view. The TV had mostly Chinese and taiwanese channels but CNN, Tv5 Monde, NHK, Discovery, TLC, Fox, Star movies, Cinemax, Fox Sport and HBO were available. Some pay-per-view Children's movies and Adult is also available but does not specify price. The bedroom offers a large double bed and corner windows. There is a luggage rack, TV on top of two drawers (same channels as bedroom but also offers a DVD player). Two side seats facing the amazing view. A large wardrobe with huge safe that also contains a robe and branded slippers. An armchair and a suit jacket stand. The bathroom was large and spacious, fitted out in premium marble and offered a large bath and separate shower cubicle. Full set of amenities of which L'Occitane was the chosen brand along with drawer of amenities kits, like dental, shaver, emery board, vanity etc.. The best thing about the bathroom was the toilet- digital washlet which opens lid as you walk in automatically, a detachable digital pad although in Chinese explains all the functions, which included warming up the seat, aroma, dryer and various spray functions. Very high tech making going to the toilet total recall. The room was clean and offered digital touch pad A/C unit. Overall decor was conservative but spotlessly clean, it was so cosy and the view made you want to leave the curtains open all night, 63 floors up no-one will see you as you tower above the city. Enjoyed at night looking at all the lights and buzz of the city when cosy in bed. My dream room as love heights & views. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI, worked well and was fast- no password, multiple devices. There is a Gym, Sauna and large Pool but did not use. Catering facilities include 8 restaurants in building, one of which is a bakery and another is a lounge bar. I only visited the Japanese Teppanyaki which offered a superb meal with your own chef dishing up delicious cuisine again facing an impressive view of the city with large windows behind. I left too early for flight to try breakfast. There is also a business centre, conference centre and best of all - the 74floor view deck, which I believe is free to hotel guests. Excellent views up Taiwan fastest elevator. All around side view with telescopes and guides of what you are looking at above on pictures and a small bar to take a break & snack next to a gift shop. On the ground floor is also a fairly large jewellery store. Staff Staff could not be criticised in any way, the nicest staff I have experienced in the 4 hotels in Taiwan including the famous W in Taipei. Staff are just welcoming, helpful and really go out their way for you in a sincere manner. A special mention to Paula Huang whom personally took me to my room, and also assisted me with a wonderful guide to see view deck during day. I also visited at night but forget my wallet and wanted a souvenir magnet to remember my visit, helpful staff Austin Chen in view deck guide gave me my desired magnet as a gift not wanting anything, just wanting me to have a present - which was the kindest thing ever as he was sincere and wanted nothing from it but just happy to offer me a present- you don't find many staff doing that. Overall the staff exceed expectations and I can't wait to return back to this amazing hotel with the my favourite view yet.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] No. 1, Ziqiang 3rd Rd, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802
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Banyan Tree Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)

5 Case Rating
Location Banyan Tree is located in Sathon, about 40 minutes drive to BKK airport. There is not much in Sathon, other than Health land, the best massage place in Bangkok- 20 minutes walk on same road. Apart from offices, car rental places and Embassies the area felt a bit dull when compared to Sukhumvit. It is though easy to get around the city as within 10 minutes walk is the nearest BTS station- Silom. 4 stops to Asoke on Sukhumvit (for Terminal 21 shopping Centre) if you don't fancy the 10 minute taxi ride. The river seemed not that far though when seeing this on the roof. Room Room on 35th floor was a small executive style club room as two rooms were offered, an entrance room that offered a large sofa, coffee table and large working reception desk with closeby LAN cable- a luggage rack is also offered. There was a TV which offered a huge amount of English choices such as BBC, CNN, HBO, Fox Movies but also Russian, Arabic, French , German, Japanese and off course Thai choices. There is some hot drink making facilities and an extensive Mini Bar (of which all soft drinks - non alcohol were free) plenty of alcoholic drinks though & extensive snack food items (not free). A easy to use safe is also located next to fridge. In addition the room offers a incense stick and oil burner (in which oils are changed daily). Glass Japanese style sliding door link this room to the bed room. The bed room offered a comfortable cosy low bed with mellow lamps on each bed side table, a small clock and telephone. Two cabinets faced the bed in which a small Samsung TV is offered. Channels are same as in the living room. The other cabinet was a wardrobe was of decent size and offered x2 slippers. The room had large windows which offered an excellent view of the city. The adjoining bathroom was all marble fitted and included a separate bath and spacious shower cubicle. Amenities were all non branded in hotel large Thai style dispenser bottles, they were decent products & refilled daily. In addition full shaver sets, dental sets, detergent, shower cap and nail files are offered in little pouches. There is also plenty of towel, hair dryer and in a large wardrobe in bathroom are two Japanese style robes along with ironing board and iron. Overall the room is very comfortable 5 star standard but felt a bit aged, though more traditional Thai style but lacked any up-to-date modern decor of now most of the Bangkok hotels. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI in room and a public one which in general worked well except sometimes drops on the roof in the Vertigo restaurant. There is a nice pool on the 21st floor long but thin but good for doing lengths, they offer extensive amenities to the pool such as Sun tan lotion, Evian water spray, sunglasses and googles. On the same floor is the main SPA, steam room and sauna, juice bar plus a souvenir shop that offered excellent arts and crafts of Thailand, also a gym with modern equipment is offered. Catering facilities are extensive, the highlight is the top floor (59th) which has the vertigo restaurant and moon bar - al fresco that offers en exceptional view of Bangkok, the best I here. The dining is exquisite but expect to pay in excess of £100/$160 for two lower priced mains and two glasses of wines. Understandably you pay for the view. Food was good though and offers a mixed selection of food items not specific to Thailand or Western. If it rains, there is inside a Chinese restaurant. In addition on other floors is a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant, Thai Restaurant, sky lounge - not quite as high as Moon bar but also open outside. There is a lobby bar and international restaurant both ala carte and buffet on the ground floor, which is where breakfast is served. The breakfast was fairly decent. In addition there is a jewlerry store on ground floor and ATM nearby. Business centre is also offered plus parking facilities which are free of charge. Staff Staff service was meeting the expected standard of 5 star of Bangkok. Check-in staff are polite and process was smooth they even escort you to your room and clear explaining everything. The bed turn down service was a nice touch from housekeeping staff whom give you a little present on your bed and leave room nice and warmly lit after returning from dinner. The staff in the Vertigo restaurant were very nice and hospitable, you can see they get bugged all the time for photos but oblige and enthusiastic with your visit experience. Staff in other areas like pool and spa are also welcoming. Overall true Thai hospitality was offered. Overall loved staying at Banyan tree, its a cosy but dated traditional Bangkok 5 star with one of the best al fresco dining experiences in Asia. I would love to stay here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 21 S Sathorn Rd, สาทร Bangkok 10120, Thailand
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Miyako Hybrid Hotel (Los Angeles, California)

4 Case Rating
Location Located in Torrance, south of LAX about 30 minutes drive by taxi. The area appears to be the Japanese end of town, in terms of businesses- Honda, Toyota all located in area. There is not much more to Torrance and nothing in walking distance other than a Japanese supermarket. The sights and sounds of LA/Hollywood/Santa Monica are quite far- 45 minutes drive at least due to traffic. Room Room on 7th floor was quite comfortable, offering Japanese premium modern decor - white bedding, brown curtains and wooden cabinets. There were two single beds with flexible reading lights plus lamps, quite soft mattress with thick duvet. One bed side table in the middle- with a iHome alarm clock- suitable for charging those that still use the iPhone 4s and the old plugs on iPods. A cordless phone also but plugs are non existent near this table, only on floor away from beds- be careful charging your phone that you don't step on it as I did coming out of bed. The room offers a large circular desk with office chair with some plugs there next to a lamp, a small arm chair also exists. The TV is huge, one of the biggest seen in any hotel plus a DVD player is offered. The TV has two options- Japanese TV and Direct TV which had hundreds of channels. Believe there is some buy-per-view but found controls hard to use, also think you can rent DVD's in reception but did not try myself. Below TV is a subtly hidden safe - not large enough for a small laptop but ok for small items like passport and wallet. Some tea making facilities are offered as well a mini fridge with empty mini bar. They offer two bottles of water offered. A decent size luggage rack is also on the long wooden unit. In addition there is a wardrobe with an iron board, robe and slippers. The bathroom offers the typical as seen in Asia window design to room- so one can watch TV say in the very deep offered bath. A shower area is also offered with rain shower and detachable. As expected in Japanese hotel, a wash let is offered and amenities are all Aveda- with mini bottles of shampoo, body lotion and conditioner. If like me you don't like to use soap- bring your own shower gel. There is a mouthwash & vanity set offered but no shaver or dental set- but many towels, 4 flannels etc. The room also offers a thin balcony, which is nice to open for air but not much to look at outside and not enough room for a seat. The room has touch pad A/C unit. Overall the room is quite comfortable with a nice size TV and a decent bath product- just limited amenities when compared to Japanese hotels in Japan. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI, at times it was a bit sketchy and at times stopped working & cable in room to laptop was a better option. WIFI though was good in lobby. There is one restaurant, very Japanese style. Only had breakfast and whilst eggs are made on demand by chef, most of the choices are for Japanese guests, such as Japanese vegetables, Mackerel and Salmon etc- it made for a healthy breakfast. There is some bacon though but limited breads and pastries. However the food is of better quality than most US hotel breakfasts. There is a small business centre- two computers only and a printer. There is a shop as well- some what for snack items and some Asian souvenirs. There is also a SPA but chargeable, so for a wet sauna it cost $8 and dry about $20. I did not use as surprised they charge when in hotel. There is a 20% discount for guests having massages though. There is a though a free gym, but rather small with just some cardio equipment. Staff Staff were ok, you must sign a waiver on check-in that you wont smoke otherwise a expect a fine- I think this includes the outside balcony. I did call a few times at 6am to reception to find out when breakfast opens- nobody answered (opens at 630am). Restaurant staff are ok, I felt there is some expectation you should tip for the breakfast omelet made by chef with the dollar bill lying in front of ingredients. Quite unexpected for Japanese hotel since its not polite to tip in Japan. Overall this hotel is mainly for Japanese business men and Asian pilots from the airlines. To be non Asian felt very foreign in this hotel despite being in LA, only say this from the odd looks/atmosphere I got from the Asian guests in elevator/restaurant that exclusively this hotel is for Asians only. Its ok for a rest between flights but there is no reason to stay in Torrance if you plan to go to LA downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills or Santa Monica as quite far. The hotel was paid for by a client but I would prefer to stay north of LAX rather than south.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 21381 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501, United States
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Landmark Towers Hotel (Beijing, China)

3 Case Rating
Location From airport via taxi during busy times it takes about 45 minutes, but 25 when not. The hotel is located about 5 minutes walk to You Yi Lufthansa Shopping centre, where the subway station Liangmaqiao is located- offering good access to the city. The Lufthansa shopping centre is a large department store with boutique clothes and make-up, there are some German bar & food outlets and the shopping centres leads directly into Kempinski hotel. Four Seasons, Sheraton, and many other hotels are all located in this area, which apparently is where 100 Embassies are. Within the Landmark hotel complex, the budilings surround the area area shared with Landmark apartments which has offices and a small shopping arcade that includes some convenience stores, garment tailor and Starbucks. Room Room located on 9th floor (non smoking floor) was a mini suite as had an adjoining living room when you enter. The living room offers a guest bathroom, large samsung TV with many Chinese Channels but some English such as ESPN, CNN, HBO, Nat Geo MTV and NHK etc.. (this is the only TV in suite as none in bedroom- but can be angled to face bed room through door- ok for sleeper on left but on right - if you want to watch in bed). The living rooms offers a small sofa with coffee table - to watch TV and also a desk in the corner where almost floor to ceiling windows are offered. The TV is on top of a large cabinet that has a mini bar beneath- very few items and drinks only- no snacks. Plus a kettle which includes some tea and coffee sachets. The bedroom offers a comfortable (not rock solid as some reviewers have described), bed with bed side tables either side and above dimmer switches to say read a book. The room also offers a desk but faces a mirror and more for female guests to put on make-up as no plugs to work from. There is a wardrobe which offers a medium size safe- two shelves but wouldn't fit a laptop. Wardrobe also contains slippers and many coat hangers. There is a dated fan system but did not appear to have AC unless it is a internal system. it was hot in April so you can open windows- but the main road outside is noisy. The adjoining bedroom is very cramped and small and offers a bath and shower combination. A marble sink with a good amount of hotel branded amenities such as dental, shaver, vanity kits plus mini bottles of 'Gelaiya" branded bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. A decent amount of towels are offered but two people would not fit in this tiny bathroom. A robe is offered back of door. Overall room is comfortable in conservative decor, clean on counters and bed but the carpet is a bit stained (as others have described even grubbier in corridors) but plenty of plugs and good lighting. It is just rather unspecial - bland look, simple and lacks effort such as pictures on walls or alarm clocks etc that would be expected at other Landmark chain hotels. Facilities WIFI is secure and free, works well (but remember to change your search preference to not google - otherwise you will think it is slow/not work but its the general Chinese firewall against google rather than hotel issues) The hotels offers a Gym, SPA (quite pricey- 600 RMB for massage) and pool. Looked around and indoor pool did not look very clean, nothing floating the general floor looked a bit grubby. Gym had modern mainly cardio equipment though. There are various food outlets (main buffet, Shanghainese, x2 Shanxi cuisine restaurants, Hong kong cafe, Japanese restaurant, lounge bar). I only used main buffet for dinner and breakfast and overall was impressed with the food offered. It looked fresh and offered many choices for Chinese, other Asian such as Korean and Japanese plus Western guests - both hot and cold foods, dinner and breakfast. The hotels also has Starbucks in vicinity and a nightclub but did not visit. Staff Staff are disappointing at this hotel in both the reception and restaurant. Lacking English skills and welcome was poor- no smile/no effort to explain anything. They are very regimented, such as in restaurant- I asked to sit by window where out of 30 seats only one person was sat but they initially refused, I didn't understand and noticed they called someone and allowed it- most bizarre. Overall the food is the highlight but the hotel is well used in public areas and grubby, facilities and location though are good. Its 4 star and probably the weakest product in the area when compared to Kempinski, Sheraton and other hotels nearby.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 8 North Dongsanhuan Road, Chaoyang, China, 100004
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The Jayakarta Suites Komodo-Flores (Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia)

5 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 15 minutes from the local airport by car and about 5-10 minutes drive to Laboan Bajo Town & harbour. The hotel is on a long road that has various hotels in vicinity (but this hotel is only 5*) plus a snack store about 10 minute walk away. The beach is in the grounds past the pool Room Room was one of Jayakarta suites in which comes with a balcony with an outstanding sea view. All even numbered rooms I believe offer sea view but only suites have balcony. The suite is one large room with additional bathroom area. The large room has a very comfortable large king size four poster bed with white drape curtains either side and is very romantic. The bed has bedside tables with a phone and itself is very comfortable, not too firm, not too soft with nice soft bedding, I slept very well. Directly facing the bed is an door cabinet containing a small LCD tv with a mini fridge below . Tv viewing offers a good selection of international channels including: HBO, Russia today, Discovery, ESPN & regional Asian channels. The mini bar fridge contains a good selection of drinks but no snacks (& no snack items in hotel shop so best buy in town). There is a good size wardrobe adjacent to bed with laptop size easy to use safe, slippers, large umbrella & a robe plus few coat hangers. The room also offers a traditional local wooden carved seating area with some nice lamps plus a working desk & chair. There is also a kettle with some tea & coffee sachets. There is a single AC unit & worked well cooling room with no issue with a remote control. Lighting is good with various mellow lamps shades tall & small but somewhat limited plugs unless you unplug lamps. Decor is traditional Indonesian premium style. There are double doors that exit to a decent size balcony with superb view of pool and sea area, you can see Kalawi & other islands in the distance. The sunset is beautiful. However the metal chair is not that comfortable for extended sun set relaxation & better to take chairs from seating area. It is good spot if your a smoker that prefers to smoke outside. Along the corridor from entrance of room there is an original thick white drape used as a door that enters a generous size bathroom. This includes a large spacious shower cubicle and separate bath also with extendable shower. A large sink and also an area for females to do make up with nice seat facing a full mirror, hair dryer and vanity box. The marble finish is nice giving a fresh premium image to the room. Generous hotel branded amenities are offered that include bath foam, body lotion, shampoo, toothbrush, comb, sewing kit and in addition a lovely oil burner with jasmine oil (replaced daily) accompanied by various candles -great for chilling out after a hard day of Komodo dragon trekking. They also offer a natural soap in which they change every day from lemongrass to lavender. A generous amount of towels & two complimentary bottled waters are offered daily. Overall this room is five star for a Indonesian hotel beach resort, functional, relaxing, romantic with the romantic bed & balcony view being the highlight. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI but this is offered on lower floor rooms, I was on floor 5 (2nd level up & picked it up with no issues) but generally it is only available on floor level at pool and lobby. It sometimes works well & sometimes doesn't, it's more of an issue of the region as also had issues in town than the hotel. The hotels offers a very nice pool surrounded by Palm trees & roofed large Cabana beds surround the pool, but also enough loungers & seating in area. The pool was very clean and on one side is a giant chess set. Surrounding this is a well kept garden decorated with plants and clean walkways & a pathway that leads to the beach. The beach itself is short, bit dirty & nothing to get excited about, this is partly because a short boat ride to the Komodo national park offers some of the nicest & most natural white sand beaches in the world - perfect for snorkelling with lots of space & privacy. On one side of the pool is a bar area & a gift shop with some local items & convenient toilets. The lobby is all open & offers a buffet restaurant which had a fairly decent selection for this region of choices for both dinner & breakfast. Food is all fresh with good Indonesian flavours plus some western choices. Next to reception is some relaxing seating & a tour offices both of diving and boat tours- arranged a private speed boat one day to Komodo & wooden boat another to the flying fox island - both amazing experiences with very clear professional service offered with bookings. They use a Part time navy captain for the speed boat and so you feel very safe plus they offer nice lunch boxes & unlimited drinks. Overall whilst you do pay it is worth the money to do direct with hotel as the service is efficient & they look after you very well. Staff Staff really offer the true personal Indonesian hospitality of five star standard which is sometimes missed in some of the 5 star popular chain hotels in Bali. Service is personal, everyone from housekeeping, laundry dept, reception, tour desk & catering staff, smile & makes one feel special & welcomed every time you pass them or interact. Even the security guard has biggest smile ever & nice to talk to. It is true warmth & really left a positive lasting impression. As I result, the Jayakarta suite gets full 5 stars, I loved this hotel experience, very clean & very quiet and would not hesitate to book this hotel when I return to this beautiful destination. I just hope the large international chains don't invade this area because this hotel offers the most natural Indonesian hospitality & comfort.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jl. Pantai Pede KM. 5, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86554, Indonesia
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AC Hotel Paris Le Bourget Airport (Paris, France)

4 Case Rating
Location Right next to Le Bourget Airport- perfect for air show and guests needing to be in close vicinity (walking distance) of airport. Other than that there is not much in this area, the main street to CDG which passes La Bourget town but the town is a long walk away. The road to there though has the odd supermarket, pharmacy and a few simple restaurants such as Chinese, Japanese Sushi places and the odd Kebab and pizza place. About 15 minutes walk to local supermarket and petrol station. No sign of any transportation system in area. Room Very nice room, one of the best airport hotel rooms- very comfortable, very clean and very functional. The normal rooms offer a large king size bed, quite comfortable with featherless pillows which is the only disappointment of the room (unless your allergic to feathers).Next to bed with two bed side tables and drawers, one side with a phone and pen pad. Both sides of bed offer handy French plug sockets, Flexi reading lights and lamps, a master switch also exists. A modern arm chairs sits in the corner opposite a workable desk with a lamp and Ethernet internet connection. Next to this, facing the bed is a large very good quality Samsung Smart TV that has a wake up service plus multiple TV channels including Thai, Arabic, Japanese as well as BBC, CNN channels and obviously multiple French channels. Below there is an odd long bench with white mattress - it is suitable for laying a bag. Along by the entrance there is a small cabinet that offers a mini bar fridge, small laptop size easy to use safe, tea & coffee making facilities with kettle and complimentary Evian bottle. The smallish cabinet has many coat hangers and includes an ironing board. Sewing kit, ear buds, facial buds and shoe polish sponge are also offered in one of the drawers. The bathroom is fairly spacious with an open shower plenty of towels and modern fixtures. There is a good amount of hotel branded amenities including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel plus a golf ball soap. You can though request a toothbrush and razor at reception. Overall the room is very light, white & beige walls and lamps with many mirrors and plenty of suitable plugs located in various places. A/C also works well and the room offered dark out curtains but when open a nice view of the runway of the airport. Power sockets are suitably positioned and plentiful. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI although not sure if this is the case, since client paid for my room but it is fast and works on multiple devices. At the back of the door it is stated as 10 Euros per day as is parking which is offered in a secure area with only a barrier but no fence so not that secure. The hotel offers a restaurant on ground floor and bar on top floor. The restaurant offered a nice breakfast, whilst no egg appears to not be offered, nice croissants, pastries and bread offer a nice start to the day, all fresh but also hot sausages are also offered. The lounge bar on the top floor, has nice modern comfortable lounge like decor with a outside balcony offering a nice view. Dinner there was with a fresh burger but service can be slow. This hotel also offer a small but clean and modern gym and a pool. Nice size pool and looked clean as well. Plus at reception there is also a small shop with some sweets and snacks. Staff Staff offer an excellent service at this hotel, very warm & friendly and acknowledge you every time at reception. They all can speak very good English and are enthusiastic to offer a good service. Service is slow in top bar but staff are friendly. Overall I would definitely stay here again if I happen to be in Le Bourget.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 2 Rue de la Haye, 93440 Dugny Le Bourget, France
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