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Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel (Boracay, Philippines)

4 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located on Station 3 - the quieter end of White Beach. The main clubs, bars, restaurant are all about 10-15 min walk at Station 2, though some are closer. For transportation - I used hotels own My Boracay guide to get to hotel from Caticlan Airport & is six hundred peso's. Very well organised pick up from airport via private bus, shared boat, private bus & small walk. Staff will carry your bags. It is worth it as there are many fixers trying to rip you off at the boat terminal. They also offer a private boat but costs nearly two thousand peso. I would suggest only if you have a family or group. The location is very chilled directly on the beach with complimentary chairs & towels. The odd local does come & try to sell you boat tour but it is done so politely & not pushy. The sea water is colourful but don’t expect to see any fish since many boats off shore nearby. In close proximity is some convenience stores & restaurants. I highly recommend Sunny Side up, 5 minutes walk away for a top breakfast. Room My room was a superior deluxe located upstairs near reception. Very comfortable room & this is what you pay for since the hotel does not offer breakfast or a pool. Large queen bed had nice soft mattress topper & soft pillows of which you can select different ones from a pillow menu. Either side are personal reading lights & large lamps, though one was stained. Light controls include a dimmer function. In addition to a phone there is an alarm clock with apple lightning cable charging capabilities but it was broken with wrong time displaying. Facing the bed is a large TV with about 150 channels at least via cable with viewing for every nationality including Sudanese! However controls are confusing since you need two controls, with no instructions or explanation meaning a call to housekeeping to come and explain. There is a large desk with mirror, kettle & mini bar items in fridge. They offer a nice chocolate bar but be wary its nearly 5 euros. A wardrobe contains a laptop size safe, a robe & slippers but no flip flops in which most beach hotels in Asia of this standard offer. The bathroom is modern & boutique with nice water flow tap & shower cubicle but does take a while to get warm. Amenities are a mix of hotel brands bottles, dental kits but also Dove shower dispenser & Dutch brand Rituals hand soap. The room is carpeted in which is initially odd for a beach room but it does collect sand well. AC is good but only issue I had is that it is not very 'beachy' because the window is frosted and tiny & therefore slightly claustrophobic. Obviously you wanna be at the beach, but when it rains it can be a little depressing just being in the room due to lack of natural light. Facilities The hotel offer WIFI & whilst slow at times it works fine for FB or emails. There is a restaurant / bar in reception but the food is not that memorable compared to other restaurants & is kind of pricey. They don't include breakfast in any room rate & one should therefore consider the additional expense of your staying for a week or more, since most hotels on the island do offer breakfast. The beach is nice & they do offer chairs & towels. But since the chairs are fixed curved upright, I found them a bit uncomfortable for more than an hour. Also the layout of the chairs means sun will not come over you, since you are under palm trees until about 12pm. However view is fantastic especially for sunset. Staff Staff are generally nice but not particularly special that others have described. If you have been around Asia & Philippines in particular, hotel staff are nice everywhere. I found the reception girls a little lazy and somewhat rude unenthusiastic when it came to tours, despite at the tour desk. After researching many hotels in Boracay & deciding on this hotel - I was a little disappointed. I found the vibe a little pretentious (talking about fellow Europeans as opposed to staff). If you are deciding and a room is important to you then it's a great place to stay but for the price you can get breakfast included & also a swimming pool included at the some great other hotels on this island. Perhaps I had too higher expectations reading other reviews but I would say it's feels a little over priced & underwhelmed.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] White Beach Path, Malay, Aklan, Philippines
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Park Inn by Radisson Davao (Davao City, Philippines)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located around 10 minutes drive from airport. To the centre of Davao it is around 15 min by taxi. The location is right next to a large mall and has a dedicated walkway tunnel to get to it. There are various fast food places & shops in the mall. However lacking any interesting stores or places to eat. Room The room was superior on the highest floor. It was a more spacious room that included a large king size bed that was quite firm. Either side bed side tables and one local plug socket. Reading lamps above plus a telephone and an alarm clock. Facing the bed is a large TV in which has limited cable channels with many channels on system but unable to access since they were not tuned in or someone forgot to pay bill. The room also offered a small sofa, large desk and chair, a mini bar fridge with items such as kit kats and drinks. Within the wardrobe is a laptop size safe and includes a robe and complimentary slippers. The bathroom was spacious but the shower cubicle is quite filthy and has dispenser dove soap as well as small amenity items. They include two complimentary bottles of water. I was presented with a room with no towels and had to call housekeeping with no apology offered. Overall the room has Park Inn decor with the signature nice lighting but unfortunately there were noticeable scrapes on the walls, poor paint job in some areas especially the bathroom and in generally disappointing in comparison to other Park Inn I have stayed at. It is ok value for money though and the room is functional for the business traveller but the room is not luxurious. Facilities The hotels offers secure WIFI for free and generally worked ok. There is a restaurant in the lobby but I didn't use. Breakfast though was provided and was quite nice. A pool is offered and gym but again didn't use. Parking is available. Staff Staff as everywhere in the Philippines are very nice and welcoming and had no complaints about the service.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] J.P. Laurel Avenue next to SM Lanang Premier Mal, Agdao, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur, Philippines
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Belmont Hotel Manila (Pasay City, Philippines)

4 Case Rating
Location Belmont Hotel Manilla is located just across from Terminal 3, walking distance. Coming from Terminal 2 it is quite a hassle with a group hotel bus going every hour but it stops at every single hotel enroute & can take up to one hour & half from airport - since hotel is last stop. If coming from T2, use Grab App instead of taxi since costs about 250 peso, taxi is 800 peso. Within the very safe area though is a large premium retail shopping mall with large casino & many restaurants and is less than 10 minute walk. Also McDonald's and a massage spa is less than 3 min walk away. Room Room was quite nice of good size with a comfortable queen sized bed & plenty of comfortable pillows, slept very well. Each side are handy international plug sockets above bedside tables and these each have mellow lamps. Facing bed is a TV and plays full cable channels that includes CNN, Fox movies, Al Jazera, BBC, CCTV, TV5monde, Korean, German and Japanese in addition to local channels. There is a small desk with a small mini bar fridge and a kettle - they have two complimentary bottles of water. There is also a stool and comfortable arm chair to watch TV or rest. Open wardrobes are offered with a laptop size safe, complimentary slippers & robe. AC is dial style and worked well, not to noisy. The bathroom is small & poky and has a large window to bed room from the shower cubicle though a pull down blind is possible. However shower was powerful & hot. Full hotel branded amenities of mini bottles of shower gel, body lotion and dental kits. Overall room is functional and comfortable presented spotlessly clean. Facilities The hotel offers free secure wifi for multiple devices. It's a bit slow & does drop frequently but it's ok for say emails. Catering includes a cafe restaurant downstairs and a bar on the roof. The bar is next to a swimming pool & is quite relaxing in the evening for cocktails. Despite being outside smokers cannot smoke there due to new government regulations. There is also a smallish gym with cardio equipment, sauna & business centre. Within the building but outside is a Starbucks, another restaurant and a Lawson convenience store. Staff Staff are really friendly and upbeat. They always acknowledge you and ask how your doing - a big good morning was offered by all. Service is overall very good. Overall would stay here again when in transiting thru Manila airport. The room was comfortable and the area has things to walk to and is very safe.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City, 1309 Metro Manila, Philippines
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FM7 Resort Hotel Jakarta (Tangerang, Indonesia)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located less than 10 minutes drive from airport, just off the main airport road. They do organise complimentary shuttle service, but you must book ahead via email at hotel website. To get to airport, they have various times to get there & you book via reception. There is nothing really to walk too outside of hotel. However it's great for needing to be close to airport and avoiding the nightmare of Jakarta traffic. Room The deluxe room was slightly disappointing. It is very large but feels like a former office building made into a hotel. Large but soulless empty space. One feels it needs a rug or something on the hard floors. Since it is quite cold looking and with dull lighting. The queen bed was sufficiently comfortable though and each side there are bed side tables with lamps. However no nearby power sockets, only one against wall below TV. The flat screen TV faces the bed and has 46 channels including HBO, BBC & other international channels. A large glass desk is offered and is suitable for working from. Plus a small coffee table with wooden chairs, luggage rack & large wardrobe also in the room. There is a very small safe, not suitable for laptops. A fridge also exists with some small mini bar items & above a basic kettle hot drinks facility. The bathroom was also spacious but again a little characterless but is was clean. A basic looking shower is offered with a small sample of hotel branded amenities. One of the main gripes with the room, is the old AC unit. Possibly due to size of room, it doesn't get that cold despite cold setting of 21C and is quite noisy. Overall though it is quite good value for an early morning flight but it's quite a bland un-functional bedroom that isn't that comfortable. Facilities Facilities are certainly the highlight of this hotel. WIFI worked well in all areas and is complimentary and secure to two devices per room. Leisure facilities are fun, there is a large indoor pool area that has a hot very large steam room & sauna with large hot or ice cold dipping pools great after the sauna. The area is clean and the changing rooms gives at least men - flip flops, shorts to use and towels with your own locker. It's great, open from 6am until 10pm. There is also a spa with comprehensive menu of reasonably priced massage treatments. I tried the unique Tibetan Steam Bath and was impressed. Other leisure facilities include a karaoke lounge, a hair dresser and a convenience store right in the lobby. There is also a pool table in the bar. Catering includes two 24hr restaurant - Thai & Indonesian cuisine with western meal items. Tried room service which was reasonably priced. Breakfast is complimentary but was quite limited in choices and with unusual items such as Cajun chicken. There is also a cafe patisserie healthy tea place with cakes plus a pool bar. Quite good ambience. Overall impressive facilities are offered here, they are clean but do look quite dated. Staff Staff are an asset to this hotel at the spa and bars. Really friendly, kind and upbeat. Check-in however was a bit inefficient, initially checked me in as someone else but check out was fine. Overall not a great hotel for Jakarta but fine for airport. The facilities are fun and the strongest reason to stay at this hotel.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jalan Perancis No. 67, Benda, Kota Tangerang, Banten 15125, Indonesia
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Fusion Suites Danang Beach (Da Nang, Vietnam)

5 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located right on Da Nang beach of which is right across the road. Situated in a quieter area area of the beach hotels. From Da Nang airport it takes about 20 minutes by taxi costs around 10 dollars. Within area are the odd fish restaurants but is not really near a major night life area. However across street on beach is a water sport facility such as hire of Jet Ski or Parasailing and costs about twenty five dollars for use. Room Upgraded to large suite corner of building room on the 12th floor, after some having issues with the air conditioner system in another lower grade room. The main room offers a large living room, bedroom and kitchen all in open plan design with a separate side room with bunk beds for say kids or other guests. Living room area offers a table with seating for four people with modern kitchen equipment such with electric stoves, large fridge, microwave, kettle, sink and various tableware items suitable for self catering. The bed is in the centre of the room and is very comfortable with easily accessible light dimmer switches, located on the side of bed. However there are no bedside tables and no plug sockets close by, so not so convenient for placing drinks or charging phones etc. In fact plug sockets are quite limited in this room as only by kitchen and close to window in living room area. On one side of the bed are large mirrors and a small bench seating offering large drawers underneath. Each side if the bench are open wardrobes for each person, but they only provide 2 coat hangers each of which seemed limited. At the end of the bed is the living room area and offers two arm chairs with a comfortable corner design sofa. These face the flat screen TV that offers 54 Channels of which 25 are international that include HBO, BBC, National Geographic etc. A large bathroom exists with both shower and bath tub offering large bottle shower gel, body lotion and shampoo. As well as dental kits and other items. Water is not that hot but Da Nang is very hot. There is a digital AC system and this had some initial problem due to some power outages before my stay but worked ok. The room is finished in contemporary light coloured decor and is very clean and boutique in design. The highlight of the room is the remote-controlled blinds that face the sea and the side view of beach road. I left these open at night and found it very relaxing to watch the city lights as well as waking up to sunrise with the ocean in front of you. Overall a very nice room and suitable for those that like self-catering and enjoy a splendid view of the coast. Facilities The hotel offers open WIFI in all areas including the pool located across the road and it is generally fast but does drop a bit in the room. There is a cafe downstairs and where the breakfast buffet is served. There is quite a good selection of items with made to order eggs and this is included with room rates. There is also a roof top bar but never visited it. The pool, as mentioned, is across the road and is of nice size and design right on the beach with decent amount of sun loungers, there is also a convenient pool bar with reasonably and decent snack food and drink items. On the 2nd floor is a small gym and yoga studio. Also this is where the SPA area is and it is expensive compared to street places but the quality of the massage was good. Staff The staff are meeting a five star standard of service at this hotel. I had an issue with room being presented very hot and not cooling down that quickly so complaining to one of the front desk staff, he came and offered me a choice of 3 more premium upgraded different rooms and even gave me a fan to borrow for the night. Issues do occur in hotels but this hotel did go out of their way to make the guest happy. I also found staff to be very friendly and helpful with advice for tourism places including in the cafe with general restaurant staff. Overall as normal in Vietnam the service is very high standard and thus contributed as to why I gave this review a high rating.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Võ Nguyên Giáp, Mân Thái, Sơn Trà, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
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Lasenta Boutique Hotel Hoian (Hoi An, Vietnam)

5 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located just outside (2km) of Hoi An. It's a good 10-15min easy flat road cycle ride (they rent bikes for free) to the centre. They also offer a free shuttle at specific times to both the centre and the local beach where they have a restaurant. Close-by hotel are a few coffeeshops, restaurants and bar. Room The 7th floor boutique suite is quite a spacious room with a high roof ceiling & balcony. The soft comfortable double bed is in the centre of the room and has bed side tables with warm mellow lamps either side with plug sockets. The bed faces a large double door leading to a balcony with a view of the city. Behind the bed is a desk area, some seats and the mini bar with another window that faces the rice paddies on other side of hotel thru the exterior corridor. To the right hand side of bed is a sofa, separate chair with a coffee table plus a large wardrobe containing an easy to use lap top size safe & soft towel robes. There is also a luggage rack with very comfortable flip flops to use but not take away. To the left of bed is a dressing up table with mirror The TV is located on the side of bed, of which can be moved between bed or sofa, on offer is 40 channels. These include international satellite TV from NHK, FOX to Discovery etc. The open plan bathroom offers two sinks with a separate room for toilet and the very comfortable bath and separate shower. A nice view of city and surrounding area is seen from the modern bath but the window is not tinted so be wary. Amenities are all hotel branded mini bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion plus dental and shaver kits. The AC worked well and is digital. Overall a very nice comfortable and cosy room. Facilities The hotel offers open wifi and works fast for multiple devices. Catering options include a restaurant on ground level and this is where breakfast and dinner is served. Breakfast has some good options and food tasted good especially local dish Cam Lau. Dinner I didn't have because they have a set menu but it's a minimum of two people to have it of which means single guests either pay double or go elsewhere like I did. There is also a bar on the pool level & room service of which is mostly western comfort food. The pool is really nice with sun loungers that has a very picturesque setting facing the rice paddies across the street. There is also a gym and on ground level is the spa. The spa is reasonably priced with good skilled staff. I had a traditional Vietnamese and it was incredible. There is also a clothes shop, an area for kids and some computers to use. Hotel offers free bicycle hire of which is a great way to explore this historic city. Overall very nice offering of facilities. Staff Staff are very friendly and enthusiastic in all area and offers a great service with a smile. I loved the Lasenta and if I'm back in Hoi An again, I will surely stay there again. Reasonably priced and it's actually nice to be slightly out of the town centre in a quieter area since it is a very busy in city centre with tourists.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 57 Lý Thường Kiệt, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000, Vietnam
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Philippines – Island Postcard (Boracay Island)

Philippines – Sandcastle (Boracay Island)

Coriacea Boutique Resort (Phuket, Thailand)

4 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located about 10 minutes drive north of airport. You can actually walk down the beach about 10-15 minutes and be located at end of runway, great for watching planes come & go. The only issue is the taxis don't do share vans like they do to Phuket town or Patong in which those places cost like 150baht. To get to Mai Khao is a extortionate fee of 600 baht for a 5-10min journey. About 10 times the price of Bangkok taxis. However after discussing with staff for return journey, I was advised to use grab app in which is about half the price, it's like Uber. Mai Khao is about 5-10 min bicycle ride, it is a small little village but does have a few restaurants, pharmacy, 7-11 & some massage places but don't expect a lively night life spot. The hotel location is quiet with a very clean and nice beach with great sunset, perfect if you need to be close to airport. Some people have commented on aircraft noise but this is only noticeable by the pool on the beach, where you can see take off but at a distance and certainly no overhead planes. Room The room is very nice and meeting a good standard. I found no such mould smell that another reviewer commented on. It's a boutique room with a comfortable mattress topped king size bed. Decent quality and well thought out comfort bedding. The bed offers flexible reading lights, bedside tables & US plug sockets either side. Nice coloured walls and a photo creating a relaxing beach-feel ambience. Facing the bed is a large long desk with a stool facing a mirror. Good for making up but not so much for working due to no plugs nearby. A colourful arm chair and large TV also faces you. Full satellite cable channels that has something suitable for all international travellers to watch. There is a nice luggage rack & mini bar fridge with various items. A large wardrobe with laptop size safe and robes are also offered. The bathroom is of adequate size, very clean and new (hotel is only a year old) offering a rain shower and detachable head. They offer some mini bottle amenities of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner plus dental & vanity sets. The bathroom like majority of new Asian hotels has a window that faces the bedroom but blinds are offered for privacy. The room also offers a large balcony with a comfortable bench suitable for smokers. My room was in lower price bracket and faced the lagoon. It was ok and quiet. The sea view would be nice upgrade though since the sunsets are quite stunning. Overall the highlight of the room was the soft bed in which reminded me close to the Sofitel beds but not quite, though very comfortable and has a warm boutique ambience. Facilities There is fast speed secure wifi for multiple devices hotel wide. For catering the hotel offers a bar and restaurant in which offered a full Thai menu and I enjoyed the tasty yellow curry priced around 200 baht. Cocktails are well made and would recommend their signature Blue Coriacea. They offer a happy hour during sunset hours of 150bt per cocktail. Breakfast overall was a better standard than many Thai hotels I have stayed at outside of Bangkok with three hot food options, eggs as you like it, pancakes or Thai soup made to order but also a continental buffet is offered with breads & fruits. There is a pool, smaller than expected on photos but is nice for a cool dip with fantastic views of beach in front, it's an Infiniti design and there is a swim up bar that didn't seem to be in operation when I was there despite hotel being full. They also offer a gym but the main highlight to me was the free use of bicycles to cycle around the beach, which has a dedicated pathway or road to village. They have lights and the village is quiet so not dangerous to cycle about in which I enjoyed. There is no spa but the hotel can arrange a massage at hotel from local spas in village. If your hiring a car there is ample parking spaces. Staff Staff are generally very friendly but not very proactive. It's not a hotel where you can expect to be offered a drink when on sun loungers by pool but you have to go to bar which means going into restaurant. Not a great option if you are wet coming out of pool. They are quite strict with check-in times and arriving at 10am was told check-in is not open until 2 said in a blunt manner & had to ask if ok to wait by the pool which was not a problem. However asked for a towel and initially told not available but then was offered after asking someone else. Some staff do not speak English that well either. The manager though is very nice and she does the cocktails in the evening. Overall though for Phuket in which is saturated in tourism the staff at this hotel do have an enthusiastic upbeat smile to make passengers welcome and they acknowledge you, which is lacking in many beach hotels in Thailand these days. I certainly would stay at this hotel again when needing to be in Phuket as I enjoyed this very clean boutique hotel. It offers with a decent beach and enjoyed cycling around the village both daytime and in the evening thanks to the great perk to include free bikes since various places in town charge.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110, Thailand
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Taiwan – Antique Curtain Flower & Birds (Taipei Museum of History)

Taiwan – Antique Embroidered Flower & Fruits (Taipei Museum of History)

Andaman Pearl Resort (Krabi, Thailand)

3 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located down a side road amongst other accommodations about 5 minutes walk to main road down to Ao Nang Beach. The beach itself is a good 20-25 minute walk but tuk tuk charge 50 thb each person one way. The hotel also offers a shuttle service every 2-3 hours dependant on time of day. The area itself is close to a great limestone cliff back drop view from hotel. As you enter the Main Street there is a colourful Mosque and then some market stalls at night. A very good standard but expensive Spa of offered at end of road. From Krabi airport it takes about 30-45 minutes. The later if you take the public bus in which is 150 thb per person and the cheapest option plus the bus driver will directly drop you off at the hotel. Room The spacious but somewhat empty room located on the 3rd floor offered a comfortable king size bed. Bed side tables each side with a mellow lamps on each and left side offering a local plug socket and telephone. The room offered a mini bar in small fridge with a mixture of reasonably priced snacks & non alcoholic drinks. This is a Muslim hotel. Kettle is offered with simple powdered coffee and teas. Above all this at a left angle to the bed is the flat screen TV offering a guide of 40 channels, Local, US and Russian choices. Worked well. The room offers a table and stool with mirror and some further plug sockets. There is also a wardrobe offering a few coat hangers and a small safe, not large enough for a laptop but ok for smaller items. They offer no slippers or robes but a umbrella is in wardrobe. The bathroom is quite spacious but poorly thought out. For instance the open plan shower without curtains means water covers the floor so can be very slippy- there is no dedicated mat. A door mat is offered outside of entrance like for a house, very unusual. The shower has a seperate rain head and detachable with a heater unit you must set otherwise you will end up with cold water. Amenities are very poor, whilst towels are ok, they offer no soap to clean your hands and just basic mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner bottles of hotel brand. I think they would be better off offering a dispenser of shower gel (& soap) since most people prefer there own shampoo and conditioner. Bring your own tooth brush as well since nothing else is offered. One discerning factor is the fact they want you to place used toilet paper in waste paper basket. Not the most comfortable thing to do at a hotel and my previous stay in Ao Nang at another hotel did not require this. The room however does offer a nice balcony with pool views and a nice cliff back drop, it has some plastic chairs and great place to have a drink and watch the sunset. Overall it's a 2 star room standard but it was clean just lacking in functional amenities. Facilities The hotel operates free wifi but very frustrating since they seem to have about 20 different connections requiring login way to frequently since it consistently drops. Catering is very much limited to breakfast only and I was told room service only offered until about 9pm. Breakfast is pretty poor there are some hot dishes all halal but overall standard is terrible. OJ for instance is that powered kind and milk was not well refrigerated just like the melted butter - they should consider placing in ice. We stuck to toast but they do offer some nice cakes. Two of us in our group got food poisoning and we both ate the same breakfast, not previous nights dinner with same symptoms so was more than coincidental, we decided not to eat breakfast for remainder of our stay. Since it is a Muslim hotel there is no bar or any beer available unless you walk to local store. You can get water or cola at the reception. They also offer a pool of good size for laps but no other leisure facilities. No public computer either. Overall pool was nice with sun loungers and umbrellas. Wifi though requires frequent login especially with iPhones as experienced with all 3 of us. Laptops didn't seem to be a problem. Staff Staff overall are the strength of this hotel and the higher rating is based on them. Very kind reception staff, sincere that will go out there way for you. From front desk and cleaning staff all smile and seem sincere and enthusiastic. Overall we got a special rate on third party website which worked out just over 12kthb for 2 room for 4 nights. Still quite pricey but this was high season and the cheapest option for area the than hostels. However it is quite a trek from beach and main bar restaurant areas, saying that a chilled picturesque location with really nice staff. They just need to improve their wifi and functionality of amenities.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 754-754/1, Soi Aonang 11/1, Moo 2 , Aonang, Muang, Krabi, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
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Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay (Batam, Indonesia)

4 Case Rating
Location Located in a central area in Batam not far from all the downtown area if not within. From the airport it takes about 30 minutes drive. Within area is a convenience store & reflexology across the road and some shops down a walk way. The harbour is also just down the road. Room Room was of decent size, modern with good lighting- very Chinese hotel design. The huge king size bed was very comfortable with a mattress topper offered. Bed side tables each side offering lamps and international plug sockets. No alarm clock but a phone is offered. Facing the bed is a clear TV with a good selection of channels not only local but some international choices. There is also a mini bar below with drink and food items. Plus a kettle on top for making hot drinks. The rooms offers an armchair, coffee table and glass top workable desk with lamp- next to international plugs. The room also has a luggage rack and wardrobe that includes a laptop size safe and slippers but no robes. The bathroom is also of good size offering a spacious shower cubicle but the water pressure seems to fade out now and then which you keep have to turn off and on again, Mini hotel branded bottles of body lotion, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are offered as well as a full set of amenities such as shaver and dental kits etc. Then only weakness of the room was the digital AC unit - the room was presented hot and it took a long while with AC on with no temperature change so had to call maintenance. They did repair it but then the room became too cold and the fan is quite noisy. This did disrupt my sleep overall which was annoying. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI which worked fine without any issue, it is not secure and multiple devices can be used. Leisure facilities include a smallish swimming pool but possible to do lengths- with sun loungers and some outdoor seating. There is also a separate male and female sauna and a gym with mostly cardio equipment. There is also a SPA and I had massage in which was quite average. Catering incudes a lounge bar, restaurant and cafe- did not use any of these due to late arrival and early departure. This is all in lobby area and is not that well ventilated - so found it quite hot even for check-in and check-out which is next to these facilities. The hotel does offer meeting and conference rooms as well. Staff Staff were ok but lacked efficiency, check-out took a while with only one staff in the morning, frustrating when you have only one car waiting to pick you up. Overall the bed was comfortable but the AC system let the room comfort down, and this seemed to be the case in the lobby and catering area's as well. It sort of wants to be 5 star but is obviously a 4 star hotel. However if I came back to Batam I would choose alternative hotel as sleep in the most comfortable and this was affected.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jl. Duyung, Sei Jodoh | Harbour Bay Complex, Batu Ampar, Riau Islands Province 29432, Indonesia
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The Arista Hotel Palembang (Palembang, Indonesia)

3 Case Rating
Location The Arista Hotel is located right in the centre of Palembang, very close a large shopping mall. The airport is around 45min-1 hour drive away. As the mall is across the road there are many shops and restaurants in the mall. Room The room is very spacious brown wooden finish room of walls and floor, offering a very large low level but comfortable king size bed. Bed side table drawers each side that include mellow lamps plus alarm clock radio and telephone on one side. The light switches are all controlled from one side however there are no power plugs- directly next to bed. Facing the bed is a large long wooden desk that includes sufficient space to work from with lamp and a comfortable office chair- two pin socket is offered here. To the right is a TV and some mini bar items. The TV offers 38 Channels of which most are local but some American channels such as Nat Geo, Star, Fox Sport etc, plus Russian TV, Japanese NHK & Al Jazeera. Below this is a mini bar with a small number of items such as drinks and Tobelrone. They are also offer in-house snacks as well. The desk at furthest end does have a kettle and bottle of water etc. There is a built into unit luggage rack as well. Facing this is a wardrobe that has a praying mat, Ironing board and iron plus a small safe. The room also offers some armchairs and a coffee table. Overall offers ambience from lights and has a large glass to floor window with a view of swimming pool. The main weakness is plug accessibility - which are limited to the desks area but nothing close to the bed say to charge phone etc. A large mirrored corridor at entrance is also where the smallish bathroom is. Quite a simple bathroom in comparison to the premium look of the room but still clean. A bath/shower combo is offered and amenities do include generous mini bottle hotel branded shower gel. shampoo & body lotion plus dental kits etc. The shower is not great as the water easily gets all over the floor. Overall the room is very quiet and comfortable, AC is quite dated but worked ok with dial system. Facilities The hotel offers secure WIFI in which worked at varying speeds, sometime quite slow, other times acceptable. There is a business centre and various computers around the lobby area. Catering I did not use but appears to show one Restaurant possibly Chinese, a Coffee shop with Indian food as well as bakery items and a lobby bar. I believe there is one other restaurant. In terms of leisure facilities there is a swimming pool of ok size to carry out lengths and some sun bathing chairs. Plus a mini pool as well perhaps for kids. There is also a gym facility offered which appears to have mostly cardio machines. Staff Staff are ok, initially at check-in asked for a non-smoking room (since only two floors are non-smoking) which was confirmed non smoking yet was given one anyway. However changed it but meant a hassle of having to go back to reception for a 2nd time, which was annoying. However staff were polite and seemed friendly. Overall an adequate quite a comfortable hotel with good ambience close to centre of city.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jln. Kapten A. Rivai | Komplek Taman Mandiri, Palembang 30129, Indonesia
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Elegant Angkor Resort & Spa (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

5 Case Rating
Location In an area that is remote and about 8 minutes drive to say Pub Street/Night market, 7km from Angkok Wat temple complex and about 20 minutes drive from airport. This initially put me off booking but this hotel is so efficient. For one they provide free airport transfers both ways in a Mercedes. A Tuk Tuk is on site that charges $3 to the town one way and for return they actually give you a card and their own mobile phone for other Tuk Tuk drivers to call and confirm location. The location itself is down a dusty road in the countryside with rice field each side. Its very quiet and relaxing. Perfect for a couple. Room Room was huge, open plan on two layers. As you enter, you are presented with the main bedroom, the double bed in the centre of the room is comfortable and large - it was very comfy for sleeping. Behind it is a large wooden built bedpost/very long large desk with a chair, if you do need to work plus wooden blinds inform of glass blind to exit to your porch. There are mellow hanging lamps on either side of bed. Bedside tables as well with telephone, lighting controls that have dimmer functions for those lamps. On opposite side is a clock and an international power socket. All very convenient. Facing the bed is a large 3 person sofa, kind of like the size of the bed with a wooden table and was presented with a fruit bowl and some delicious drinks. To the side of bed is a large TV, great clarity and offers about 49 channels, a clear guide is offered & from the satellite box attached this includes everything from Chinese TV, Thai, Al Jazera, Euro News, Sky News from UK, French TV to US Fox and National geographic. Basically something for everyone. On the opposite wall across the beautiful wooden floor is a two large wooden wardrobes with a luggage rack in between. On left hand side there is a mini bar (snacks and drinks) , a decent laptop size safe as well. On other side is an iron and ironing board plus robes & plenty of coat hangers. This area also has a digital Ac control that worked well and overhead bed fan- making sleep very comfortable. Down some steps to the lower level is the open plan ceramic finish bathroom- a sink either side for each person offers a full set of amenities such as dental kits, Razor sets and combs etc. Be wary with the taps when on as the hot the water is near boiling & burnt myself. The biggest bath I have ever seen is offered in between and you could easily fit 4 adults in there- its that big. There is a open plan cubicle with toilet and shower- they offer small ceramic bottles of shower gel, not take away kind but still nice. There are glass doors at the end where you will find your own personal garden. Its very nice with two chairs but nice effort of plants etc. Overall without a shadow of doubt the room is meeting a 5 star standard. It is so spacious, very cosy and nicely set up. They also include 4 complimentary water bottles by the sinks and the bed - so you never have a shortage of free bottled water. Slippers are also there at the side of your bed. Facilities The hotels is still at the early stages of opening and even one side they are still building an additional 12 rooms to the already 12 they have. I believe they will build a spa and possibly a gym in time. Do not worry though if you choose to stay here soon because the building noise cannot be heard inside the room as the current rooms are on the opposite side. The hotel offers Free WIFI for multiple devices and speed was good. This is throughout the hotel. There is a large infinity style pool with chairs all around very relaxing and decent size for laps. A pool bar exists as well. Catering is one restaurant and breakfast is included, you are given a clear menu that includes a course by course breakfast rather than a buffet. They offer any style of egg, friend rice with various kinds of meat with egg (had this and it was delicious) and fried noodles (also with any kind of meat), plus a nice fruit plate and bread basket, toast, rolls, pan au raison and pain au chocolate. All delicious. They do offer dinner but did not try it as only stayed here one night. The hotel doesn't currently have a spa yet but they do offer a massage service in room with a free 15 minutes foot or back voucher given- though I think you only get this if you have a massage. They offer various kinds on a menu but right now it is just Thai, relaxation massages- none of which really interested me for the price they are charging ($40). There is a model of Angkor Wat which is actually very impressive. Overall they haven't finished yet but so far nice facilities for what they currently have- pool looks nice and food is great. Staff Staff are just like everywhere in Cambodia - the nicest people ever. So polite, so sincere and so approachable. They make a lot of effort at this hotel such as from the driver explain the city very clearly to the restaurant staff whom are very attentive to detail. Even the reception staff will personally accompany you to the room (& they don't even want your credit card for expenses) and explain everything very clearly when room is presented. The level of enthusiasm and effort is better than most 5 star hotels I have stayed at. I certainly hope to stay again- its off the busy area but worth it. The room and staff are just exceptional. The price tag of around £50 in October really made this place great value for money but am sure it will go up once they complete everything.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Elegant Street, Tropang Treng Village | Sala Komrerk Commune, Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
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The L Resort Krabi (Krabi, Thailand)

4 Case Rating
Location L resort is located directly on Ao Nang beach with a street in between. From Krabi airport you can choose to have faster hotel service at 600bt or take the bus outside of arrivals for 150bt pick up/drop off outside hotel. The bus is fine , not uncomfortable. It is just takes a bit longer (over 1 hour) since it stops at other hotels enroute. The beach is literary 10metres across road. Whilst the beach is no Mauritius in terms of sea, the beach itself is lovely to walk at end of day with its scenic back drop of limestone mountains. Not a dirty beach (no boats) and is very chilled but the water is a bit brown and cloudy. The tide doesn't go out until about 1-2pm so not possible to sunbathe in morning and not a beach I would recommend for children. Also noticed some water streams from local restaurant going into sea, not sure if this is sewage so be careful. Overall Better to take day trip to Hong Island (600bt) where beach is stunning. Railay beach is also nearby at 100bt a long boat ride but they only go if there is 8 people so you may have to wait. I missed it due to bad weather. The sidewalk outside hotel directly has a Tuk Tuk stand. Its a busy street but wide walkways full of mostly tour companies, restaurants, souvenir stores with the odd pharmacy and Burger King. The hotel is about 5-10 min walk to the next beach along ,much longer (Nopparat Thara). At the other end of street is a hill where most of hotels are & mostly massage places and bars. There is an area on same beach street as hotel where lady boys on street try and force you to this area full bars, just bars didn't see anything seedy, but in my opinion it had annoying Edm music & loud so didn't stay for a drink. Be wary for light sleepers, you can hear the music especially when outside of your balcony and a thumping bass is heard lightly in room at times, even at 2am. During the day you don't really hear the street noise unless your dining which is right in front lobby facing road. Room The large Lite room with double bed was located on the 4th floor, like I think most rooms, the balcony faces the pool area. Exceptionally clean, innovative and modern room but lacking in warmth and anything Thai. All very boutique, white and purple with a cool but cold type of ambience. The double bed was actually very comfortable and slept very well. Either side are bedside tables with drawers and plug sockets - international and USB socket. One side has a very modern phone with a AV in so believe it plays music, its also Bluetooth connectable with alarm clock plus 3 plug adaptor wires , old Apple, lightning and mini USB. The master light switch is here as well. Lighting is interesting , a orange light built into bed post directly behind bed, creates a warm ambience and good for reading books. There is also a sort of blue / grey deco style lighting in ceiling again creates a whole different vibe. But overhead spot lights are also offered. Facing the bed is a large flat screen TV- it seems all are channels are the local cable network true vision. The guide is a challenge to find at back of full hotel folder - better they put it inside the remote holder. The TV though is good size with decent clarity. There is also a kind of Nespresso machine in which they include 4 complimentary pods each day. Other teas also available plus each day 2 water bottles above the mini bar & in bathroom. The mini bar only has drinks no snacks but family mart is only a few minutes walk away. If like me to put the free waters in the fridge, don't make the mistake of drinking a different water by accident unless you want to pay for it. Next to TV is a luggage box with place to put shoes below. There is also a working desk with mirror and plug sockets , quite basic but ok to work from and do say make up. A large wardrobe is offered by entrance , this has plenty of coat hangers, decent laptop size safe, iron and board, robes, x2 hotel umbrellas and some slippers.(slippers are not worth opening). The bathroom is of medium size but offers a large shower cubicle offering both rain and seperate head. Not sure if it's time of day I took (6-7pm) but found the shower to never be that warm though sink was. This was same in the free waiting room shower, room after check out- shower was freezing. The hotel offer a full set of hotel branded amenities box including shower gel, shampoo and body lotion mini bottles - don't worry if you forgot your toothbrush or razor it's all offered. In addition two beach towels as well as bathroom showers are good enough quality. The highlight of the room however is the balcony, nice comfy wooden chairs to eat out and look at the view of the pool area. In addition those that didn't bring a laptop or phone - the hotel provides a complimentary iPad with general wifi plus local information, weather and guide to hotel, very innovative initially. It be great though if they manage to do a CitizenM hotel and have iPad control TV, lighting and AC - but this iPad is just a guide and option to surf net without using Internet cafe. Most of the information in it is not that clear but web search resolves that. By 10am on my check out day (they check out at 12) they already had another guests name on it and while I was going thru menu - all areas were empty. Overall room is fairly good, AC worked well, exceptionally clean, comfortable and modern. Not very Thai authentic style but innovative and enjoyable. My complaint is that if your a light sleeper choose lower floor, on top floor I could here thumping bass from nearby clubs, that once you notice is quite annoying (buts not that loud like directly next door). To be fair I did request a high floor though. Facilities The hotels offers free open WIFI that for the most part worked very well. It just slowed down during a mega rain storm. There is a public computer in reception area as well that worked fine. Plus obviously iPads. Lesuire facilities include two pools, plus two elevated area pools sort of jacuzzi but without the function or it wasn't working. The pool is nice, not that big but ok in low season. Deck chairs are a bit grubby they could with having some towels on offer, say by pool bar, to cover the plastic sheets - rather having to go all the way back to room to get towels. They also offer a gym in which offered decent amount of equipment weights with one of each type of cardio equipment. In terms of catering there is one restaurant where breakfast and dinner is served. Breakfast was ok, they have some Thai dishes but also an egg station & good standard of breads and fruits. As others noted the fruit juice is naff in terms of quality. I tried dinner since the hotel & room service since the hotel offers 20% discount (perhaps a low season thing). Food was well presented but compared to other Ao Nang restaurants lacking in flavour - a spicy dish is not very spicy at all (highly recommend the Fisherman bar /restaurant at end of beach better value for money, amazing ambience watching waves crash, and fish is delicious). There is also a pool bar but wasn't in operation on my visit - perhaps due to low season in early October. The hotel does offer a lounge room as an alternative complimentary option for guests checking out later where this is not available. Nice option to have this room, which has sofas, TV and a shower and they will stow your luggage. There is also a tour desk at hotel but it's hardly worth it- they charge for example - Hong island tour 1500bt and you can walk 15 metres and tour office will charge 600bt.(All trips are the same just different tour operators) i asked about difference , told none with staff basically breaking and saying I was better off buying tour outside. Some other guests also commented on this when I did the tour. If they are not planning to be competitive then they might as well not offer a tour desk. Staff didn't seem too enthusiastic about it. They also offer moped for 250bt, again it's cheaper only slightly outside but hopefully the L uses reputable companies. They also play music thru the corridors very much cafe del mar type chill out music, it is quite a nice touch to the ambience. Staff Staff at hotel were some of the most sincere I have experienced in Thailand and this is after visiting 70% of the country and staying in a lot of variation of hotels. They naturally make you feel welcome and are somewhat helpful with any questions. Staff are reactive rather than proactive , meaning if you say hi they will respond but not before. Overall they were nice enough but the room was the strength. They don't go out their way even as saying so much as happy birthday. I liked the L resort because it's super clean, comfortable and modern. Value for money though is not that great, it's not really a resort but a boutique hotel, they charge same fees meaning it's slightly overrated for price. Next time I would rather stay more traditional Thai place, say the Krabi resort nearby which has its own garden with deck chairs facing the sea. L is all about location.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 31 Moo 2, Ao Nang Beach, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
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Thailand – Railay Beach (Ao Nang)

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Thailand – Koh Phi Phi (Ao Nang)

Tune Hotel KLIA 2 (Sepang, Malaysia)

3 Case Rating
Location Tune is quite a hassle to find when in you are land after 22 hours of flying in KL main terminal. Since the Tune is located in KLIA 2 , the terminal where the low cost carriers leave from and this hotel is part of Air Asia. To get there if your coming in on a standard airline at KL terminal 1, you need to pay 5 Ringits for return ticket by train that runs every 15-20 minutes but takes only 3 minutes to get to KLIA2. Then it took me much time to figure out how to get to level 1, but once there you have a 5 minute covered walk to hotel. As your right by airport plus 7/11 is literally next door as is a cafe. To get food is no issue. If you do return the 5 minute walk to the airport , there are many places to eat. There are many places to eat, mostky fast food but all kinds & places to shop like H&M as well as including pharmacies etc. Room Room first impression can only be described as Air Asia without the beautiful cabin crew to look at. Very red, white badly painted tired looking walls. Scrapes here and there & a sense a million people have stayed in the same room before you. However value for money is good especially for Air Asia flights & other low cost airlines as your on the door stop of the terminal. To be fair it did have some degree of functionality. The large bed was adequately comfortable a bit firm but did offer a adequate simple workable bed side desk with international plug- easy to do work. Other side is a bedside table with a laptop size safe inside. A fan is available overhead as is AC digitally controlled by key card slot at door. TV Faces you but no guide There are 18 channels, local , Chinese, News like BBC, National Geographic etc- all worked well and a jazz music radio channel is also offered. There is a open hanging wardrobe with about 5 coat hangers, with a fold out luggage rack below. Decor is very plane as well as large mirror above bed and by door. The bathroom is very small- offering a open shower cubicle with Tune branded shampoo and soap only , plus some quite thin towels. Overall the room was well used and tired. I had to change rooms initially as first one stank of smoke despite non smoking and 2nd one the light bulb didn't work in bathroom, but staff did change it. In terms of value for money- for Europeans this is the IBIS version of Asia but just not as well thought out, the Tune feels like crush attempt at creating a factory of rooms with bad paint jobs and lacks of maintenance. Facilities They offer free WIFI for 2 devices only, it was at times fast and other times very slow. Next door is a cafe and there is also a 7/11 within the building for your conveniences. The lobby has much seating. I don't think they offer any other facilities since no signage or information to indicate otherwise. The lifts are also painfully slow to wait since so many people stay here. Staff Staff were kind enough to resolve issues I experienced but failed to wake me after numerous requests for a wake up call. They do this by knocking on door, but luckily i actually woke up naturally when I was suppose to- since no clock or phone is in room. Check-in/check out though was smooth. Overall if I was staying between flights and flying into the normal Terminal 1- where all scheduled airlines fly to then I wouldn't stay at Tune. Tune is for Air Asia passengers or those using Terminal 2. When it states 15 minutes from airport on hotels.com when in reality it means from Terminal 2, which the majority of overnight passengers would not be using- therefore it is quite a hassle and somewhere i wouldn't choose to stay again unless i had to use Air Asia between flights.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jln Klia 2/2, 64000 Klia, Selangor, Malaysia
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