It's getting close to Christmas and it was time for a luxury vacation on Koh Samui, one of the finest beach destinations in Asia. While researching online for a nice hotel with 2BR suites Kirikayan Luxury Pool and Villas caught my eye. It looked great. Luxury in a peaceful mountain setting away from main tourist hassle. It's exactly what I like, no compromise. The booking included free airport transfers to and from Koh Samui airport. There were various free shuttle services to a private strip on Mae Nam Beach and to Chaweng Beach, the island's central tourist strip with shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
Comfortable living room area with LCD TV and a small patio. The apartment contained two bedrooms, one with kingsize bed and another with twin beds, a kitchen and dining area.
Source for Discount Reservation at Kirikayan Villas.
It's a couple of years ago when I stayed at a serviced apartment rather than a hotel while visiting Thailand's capital Bangkok for a stopovers of several weeks. One must admit, serviced apartments offer a more residential feel while providing all the conveniences of a first class hotel. They don't rent out small rooms, but studios, 1 bedroom and even larger apartments for a fraction of the cost of a first class hotel. You can stay there by the day, week or month. Centrepoint Sukhumvit is one of the leading houses in Bangkok. They offer various locations around town including New Pethburi Road across from Panthip Plaza, Thonglor and Langsuan to mention just three of their prime locations. They recently added a new prestigious residence on top of Terminal 21 Mall on Asoke.
Party hotel chain in Metro Manila. Victoria Court motel branches offers large rooms with kingsize beds, large mirrors on the walls and ceilings. Some suites feature whirlpools and sauna. It's neither a business hotel nor a family place. It's a hotel you book for a party with friends, for karaoke feasts and other things. Some people say it's an discreet motel geared towards unfaithful husbands who spend time with their girlfriends.
New trip to Malaysia: time to try another first class hotel around KLCC with views of Petronas Towers: Sheraton Imperial. It's a little less modern than the Westin, but the old lady of luxury hotels offers superb service and very spacious club rooms. The gym is very nice with top shelf equipment, but the swimming pool is certainly a bit small compared to it's competing houses. It was fun staying here as the staff was very helpful. At one time when I had a technical issue in my room late at night they sent technicians up within minutes to replace a broken cable. Very attentive. Check-in and check-out were quick. It's hard to list all the good things about this place, so I just say: I had absolutely nothing to complain about in my KL Sheraton hotel room.
Spacious club room at the Sheraton Imperial in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This hotel is in Walking distance to KLCC and Petronas Towers.
It's been awhile since I first covered the Clarkton Hotel in Angeles City as my first hotel review. I have been visiting this hotel in the Philippines over and over again and there have been many changes to this establishment. First of all they have constructed a new 4-story annex with 30 spacious studio rooms. The new rooms are bigger than deluxe rooms inside the old building (and they are about twice as expensive). Older rooms were completely renovated in 2009 and 2010. An elevator for the annex was the newest addition in summer 2010. Overall, they do keep Clarkton Hotel in excellent shape. Most other houses show far more tear and wear.
My daytime schedules for this visit to the capital of the Visayas in the South of the Philippines was very busy. I was looking for a basic tourist hotel. Clean and cheap, but in central location on F. Ramos Street in downtown. A quick online search yielded various solutions and The Diplomat Hotel looked like a good choice. This hotel is very busy and frequented by individual tourists and large groups of travelers from Europe and Asia. For the low pricing there is not much luxury to be expected. It's simple and clean budget accommodation. The hotel is very guest friendly. Wifi internet coupons for 1 to 3 hours are available for a fee from friendly Cebuana receptionists. Considering price and locations, Diplomat Hotel can be called a good Cebu hotel deal.
Basic amenities with empty fridge (bring your own drinks). I booked a single, but received twin beds as the house was overbooked. F. Ramos Street is an excellent location close to Osmena Circle, Mango Square, Robinsons Shopping Mall and Volvo Thunderdome bars. Taxifare with Yellow Taxis from Cebu International airport costs around 350 Piso. When exiting airport arrival area follow signs to 'public taxi' up the stairs. It's a bit hard to find, but metered taxis are much cheaper than other transportation services offered by touts and baggage handlers.
It's been awhile since I stayed at Oxford Suites on Makati's nightstrip around Padre Burgos Street. Oxford Suites Hotel is in a very busy and noisy area, but I guess that's why most people want to stay there in the first place. It is located next to Royal Bellagio and Makati Palace Hotels, Bottoms Up and Billboard. The rooms are comfortable, but show a bit of tear and wear just like all other houses in this area that are in operation for a couple of years longer. Unfortunately, beds are just queen sized, a bit small for two people. Split type aircons keep the room cool.
Read more information on Burgos Street: http://www.burgosstreet.net/
Some units are rented out as part of a regular hotel operation, others are privaetly owned condominiums advertised by it's owners and agents for much cheaper rates in local print media and over internet advertising portals such as Craigslist.
It's one of the most recently build tourist hotels in Pattaya: the Pattaya Bay Resort. It's a basic tourist hotel in the second row of buildings behind second street, a 10 minute walk to Beach Road and Walking Street, the two main attractions of Pattaya daytime and nighttime activities. It's right next to Mercure Hotel Pattaya. The rooms are basic and clean. Internet access is available and they have a small pool on the roof top. If you bring Thai guests into the hotel they will insist on holding their ID on the reception. I am concerned about the lack of respect towards guests and their friends, but understandable concerning their location right next to the biggest night entertainment district in Asia. The room I booked was located on their top floor.
During my first stay in Cebu (a few years back) I was just looking for a basic hotel with a central location for two nights as I was traveling on to Davao by boat later on. I picked the Hotel Eddie, a smaller budget hotel in the center of town. It's clean and basic with a good location. At the time of my stay a night was just about 1300 Piso with a discount from Asia Travel website.
Located on Soi Nana Omni Tower Bangkok is one of the oldest serviced apartment buildings in Bangkok. A serviced apartment is basically a hotel that rents out furnished apartments for short and long term stays. I booked a 2 BR for me and my friends. The apartment was located on the 26th floor. It was nice and offered a lot of space. The furniture showed a bit of tear and wear compared to other competitors in that area like the newly renovated Centrepoint on Soi 10. The security is very tight and a bit annoying. They ask for IDs of Thai visitors, but foreign looking friends like Westerners and Japanese pass without the need to show an ID. Go figure! Maybe it's because the hotel is located close to Nana Plaza, one of the red-light districts of Bangkok. As long as they offer promos and reasonable pricing the Omni Tower is a good offer for people who want to stay close to Nana Plaza. The elevator ride on the outside of the building offers a great view of the city, but can be scary for people who are afraid of heights.
Omni is next to Nana Plaza: Nana Plaza Bangkok
Top Image: Aerial view from my bedroom overlooking Sukhumvit area with its high rise office and condo buildings. Bottom table of images: snapshots of my 2 BR apartment on the 26th floor.