Sheraton Imperial KL

I booked the stay over the phone. Awesome service through the phone. Professional yet friendly service by the reservation team (sorry I can’t recall the names). The nightmare started when I requested for a special arrangement for my stay, I’m celebrating my partner’s birthday. The housekeeping and concierge called me but I gave up talking to them. I dealt with the reservation team who handled my request. The reservation team communicated to the teams accordingly and ‘apparently’ it can be done. Phewww… My initial request with the mentioned teams was not ‘accepted’. How funny is that for a 5 star hotel! A let down if you ask me.

Anyway moving on to actual stay. Check-in was smooth as it was done at the executive floor. We had coffee and finger food while waiting at the executive lounge.

I was very surprised when we got to the room, which is an Executive Club suite. It was fantastic! It’s huge and looks really good. The bed was comfortable and so relaxing. A clear view of KL tower and you can also spot KLCC.  If you wondering what is included in the room; free breakfast, access to executive lounge, evening cocktails, 2 pcs of laundry per day.

They had the bed decorated with rose petals and decorations which were awesome and a nice surprise to my partner.

The executive lounge is a nice place to be. Relaxing set up and perfect to lounge. The staffs are attentive but some of them are just average. Could be better in the delivery of service as some of them don’t look very keen to ‘serve’. The evening cocktail session was nice, from 5-8pm. A variety of finger foods, fruits, yogurt, bread and drinks, basically bottomless. I enjoyed it.

I also had ordered food while staying here via the room service. It was handled well and food was good.

Check out was fast and smooth. Not much personal touch by the staff.

Overall I loved my stay at the hotel and love love the Executive Club Suite. I have stayed in other hotels’ executive room but this one is most outstanding in term on space, room feature and exclusivity which surpassed by expectation. I had stayed here previously (many years ago) and at that time, all facilities looked dated. Only comment is the service rendered by the staff. While it is sufficient it was not that memorable. No personal touch or I would rather say ‘service with an attitude’, good attitude obviously.

Visited in April 2017.

Lexis Resort Port Dickson, Malaysia

This is my first time visiting Lexis Port Dickson which is about one hour drive south from Kuala Lumpur. It is a popular get away location for most people who works in the city.

My stay was in April 2015(I know, apology for the overdue review). I booked an Executive water chalet by contacting their reservation line. The check in was smooth and fast. We were directed to our chalet via buggy ride. The chalets (Balinese inspired) that we had is not that far from main building. The chalet is quite spacious. The bathroom is separated from the bed area hence it is suitable for big family especially those with kids. Our room had a king size bed plus a day bed, balcony, shower, bathtub, mini fridge, TV with cable channels, coffee & tea facility, with air condition.  There is a panel of glass on the bath area which you can view the sea underneath. Nothing much can be seen other than some water.

Overall the room looks dated (apparently they have around since 1994!) however it was generally clean. We had one problem which was the day bed, it had damp smell. I contacted the hotel to inform on this and they send a housekeeping staff to change the linen on the day bed. Although that was done, the damp smell was still lingering. Since it was only two of us and no reason of using the day bed, we didn’t bother to make it a big deal. Nonetheless the hotel housekeeping should have spotted this when making up the room as the smell was apparent. I wonder how did they miss that?

We had our dinner at the coffee house which is at the main block of the hotel. We were the only people dining at the restaurant at that point of time. Actually if you drive out of the resort, there are plenty of seafood and local restaurant which offers decent meal at decent price. We were too lazy to head out. Back to the coffee house, the wait staff was efficient and friendly. We ordered ‘Nasi Tampi’ which cost us RM50 (inclusive of tax). We were told that this dish can be shared with at least 2 person and they were right. No complaints on the food.

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We didn’t use their facilities but they have swimming pool, archery, beach volley ball, bicycle for rent, gym, children playroom, Segway and so on. Since we were here on a weekend, the facilities were occupied by other guests. Do note that some of facilities are shared with Grand Lexis resort which is just next door (newer), under the same management.

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I had arranged for a surprise birthday cake for my partner which they had assisted accordingly. Overall, it is a nice place for some relaxing time with your family away from KL city. I dont think this will be the right choice if you want to have a romantic holiday.

Pretty awesome stay @ Holiday Inn Resort Batu Ferringhi, Penang

It’s been a while since I have stayed at Holiday Inn hotels. My last experience was at Holiday Inn Express Bangkok which was totally awesome. For now, I am sharing with you my experience with Holiday Inn Resort which is located in Batu Feringghi, Penang.

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Holiday Inn Resort Penang

Prior to my arrival the hotel made a courtesy call to confirm the reservation which was good.

I choose to stay at the tower wing with sea view room instead of staying at the main wing. Apparently the tower wing is newer and more spacious so I had to try it out. I am a regular visitor to Penang Island so I was expecting a hotel for a good rest and perhaps with a good view especially being in Batu Feringgi.

Aside of arriving late, around 10pm, the check-in process was smooth. The room was pretty impressive and it was in my favorite color scheme; blue. The room was spacious, looks new and well ventilated. The balcony is huge with a nice view of sea and part of Batu Ferringhi.

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Tower wing sea view room

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Coffee & Tea

One of my favorite thing about the room was the was super comfortable king bed, more of a super king! I wish I had more time to hang out int he room. There is a set of soft and firm pillows provided. The sheets was clean and smelled fresh.

The bathroom was spacious. Some part of the bathroom (the mirror frame and the area near drain hole) are not very well maintained. The normal toiletries are provided. For others, you may request from the hotel. There is coffee & tea facilities as well. There is a large lcd TV provided in the room with cable channels.

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All marble bathroom.. very luxurious.

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The toiletries.

We didn’t try out the breakfast so couldn’t comment on that. Being in Penang, there are so many choices for places to have breakfast. I did check out the pool and hang out for a while. This hotel (main wing) has been around for many years now. Perhaps a refurbishment on main wing would do the trick.

Anyway I enjoyed my stay at the hotel. The room rates are pretty decent for the area which is a very popular place. I would say the location is pretty good as you can discover all the happenings in this are by foot. The night market is just next door. I cant wait to be back! 🙂

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The view from our room! 🙂

Visited in September 2015.

Where at: 72 Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia

Absolutely fantastic! Review of Albergo Marin Hotel Venice, Italy.

To be honest, I had some reservation in choosing this hotel as part of our Europe trip in June 2015. Nevertheless it felt like a right choice considering its location which is close to the Grand Canal and easy to find. If you have never been to Venice, believe me it’s very easy to get lost here. It takes about 10minutes walk from the main train station (Santa Lucia) to the hotel. Follow the directions given on the hotel website which are accurate. Do not panic by how the hotel looks from the outside, nearly all buildings in Venice looks the same.

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Albergo Marin: Entrance.

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Albergo Marin: Room.

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Albergo Marin: Room.

We arrived at the hotel at around 9pm so it was rather late and quiet. The guy at the front desk assisted us with the check in. We booked our room through the hotel website (best rate!) and fully paid for the room prior to our arrival. The room that we got was on 1st floor. There is no lift facility hence you will need to handle your own luggage. The room size is average but it was clean and comfortable. You have access to free Wi-Fi, TV, air conditioner (fully functional), ceiling fan, towels, toiletries, hair dryer and free breakfast. The bed is a bit soft for me but I was able to sleep well. The toilet is compact but nothing to complaint about as most establishments in Italy are about the same. Most importantly everything was clean.

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Albergo Marin: Bathroom

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Albergo Marin: Bathroom

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Albergo Marin: Corridor on 1st floor

The complimentary breakfast are consist of fruit juices, milk, cereals, scrambled egg, boiled egg, crackers, cheese, butter, breads, bread toaster, coffee, tea and yogurt. I didn’t expect much but this was more than sufficient for us. Especially having a cup of fresh café latte in the morning is a plus thing for us.  Do note that breakfast starts at 8am.

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Albergo Marin: Breakfast room

You can find a laundry next door and few cafes next to the hotel. It would take about 20-25 minutes’ walk to reach St Marks square. Don’t worry, you will be passing through many canals, shop, souvenir store and eateries so it an interesting walk. A lot of photo opportunities along the way too.

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Albergo Marin : Breakfast

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Albergo Marin : Breakfast

The staffs are friendly and helpful. The lady at the front desk (the owner) was very kind and takes time to explain to you on what & where to go in Venice. You can know that she is very passionate about Venice and provides genuine recommendation. We tried few places as per her recommendation and it was worth it. We stayed here for 3 nights and loved it. It’s a small hotel run by lovely owners who cares for their customers. I would definitely recommend this hotel. Would love to come back.

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Albergo Marin : Reception area

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Albergo Marin : Front desk

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Albergo Marin : Map

Visited in June 2015.

Where at? Hotel Albergo Marin, Ramo elle Chioverete, Santa Croce, 670/b – 30135 Venezia, Italy

Aris Hotel Brussel… Good location and value but…

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Aris Hotel

Aris Hotel is a small hotel (I can’t find any star rating) which is located in the center of Brussels. It’s not a luxury or boutique hotel however I would say it’s more of a budget conscious hotel. In fact I choose it because of its location, price and TripAdvisor.

We arrived via train at Brussels Central station. We took about 5 minutes’ walk to reach the hotel which was convenient. Don’t let the outlook of the hotel to scare you off as it does look dated.

The check in was smooth and we got our room almost immediately. The staff during the check in was friendly which gives some good impression of the hotel. Anyway we got into our room and settle down before we could think what to do next.

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Hotel Aris, reception area.

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Hotel Aris, breakfast area.

The room (and the furniture) looked dated but clean and no funky odour. The bed was a little bit on the soft side but bearable. So what’s in the room other than the bed? Well you have a closet, writing desk, tv, air-conditioner, chair, safe box, bath towel, toiletries and private bathroom facility. I would say that the bathroom is big and spacious for such hotel. Although the furniture and fixing looks dated but they are functional. You have access to free wifi which was at acceptable speed.

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Hotel Aris, room.

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Hotel Aris, bathroom.

The only problem we had was the air conditioner which was blowing warm air instead of cold air. Initially we thought because of the hot weather and it was mid-day hence it could be it was generally warm. Unfortunately it was the same at night. We reported this to the front desk and 2 of their staff came to the room to have a look. The respond from the hotel staff was ‘the air conditioner is functioning well’.

The location of the hotel is pretty awesome. Right outside of the hotel is rows of shops, convenient stores, restaurants and branded stores. The Galeries Royales Saint Hubert is just next door. The Grand Place is just few minutes away.

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Right outside of the hotel.

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Right outside of the hotel.

So in summary, it’s a good hotel if you are considering the cost, location and easy of accessing the city.  The let-down was the dated look and poor air conditioning. Otherwise I am happy with my stay here. Most of the staff are friendly and helpful.

Visited in June 2015.

Where at? Hotel Aris, Rue Marche aux Herbes 78-80 Grasmarkt, Bruxelles 1000 Brussel

Brussels… often overlooked but you shouldn’t!

Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union (EU) and headquarters for NATO. A lot of people tend to skip Brussels when they are in Europe. I have made the same mistake too earlier. This time I was determined to see what Brussels has to offer.

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Map of Belgium.

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Travelling from London via Eurostar.

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The Brussels Central Station

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A short walk to the hotel.. beautiful sunny day!

We arrived at Brussels Midi via Eurostar train from London. From here you will need to take a train to get to Brussels Central which is a metro and railway station in the central of Brussels. The journey from Brussels Midi to Brussels Central only took a while (less than 10minutes) as it was only two stop away. After getting our directions right, we decided to walk to our hotel which is located pretty near from here.

We reached the hotel in about 10 minutes. It seems to be in a good location and I can see lots of eateries and shops nearby. Without wasting time we got ourselves checked in and ready to explore Brussels. The location of this hotel is just perfect, just a few street away from the Grand place. I will be posting about the hotel in another post soon.

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Walking around in Brussels.

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Walking around in Brussels.

So what is considered as a must do when in Brussels? Well, here is my take on that;

Discover the city on foot. There is so much to see when you are exploring the city on foot. The city is not that big and you can see most things in one day.

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The Grand Place, Brussels.

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The Grand Place, Brussels.

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The Grand Place, Brussels.

Grand Place.

This a must see buildings in Brussels. It’s a huge cobblestone square with amazing buildings from the earlier centuries (some reference say from the 12th century). Amazing architecture and if can, check out the view at night. The surrounding area are now occupied by many cafes and restaurants. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998.

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Enjoying our meal @ Fritland.

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This is one of their signature sandwich, chicken @ Fritland.

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Lots of waffle shops like this one..

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Waffle with dark chocolate dressing and fresh strawberry. This was really really good!

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Churros. What can i say it was good too! Drizzled with nutella & caramel sauce, whipped cream.

Waffles, Chocolate, Beers, Mussels and Fries.

These are some of the food which are very famous in Belgium. There are so many different shops/café who claims to be selling the best version so it all depends on your budget.  You can also check with your hotel on where to go to get these.

Do check out my review on Pierre Marcolini chocolate here: http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/ShowUserReviews-g188644-d2090796-r290614503-Pierre_Marcolini-Brussels.html

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All these people are here to see the little fella..

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Here is the little fella, The Manneken Pis.

Manneken Pis.

Its basically means ‘little man pee’ which is a small bronze sculpture and considered as a landmark. Apparently it has been there since 1619. The statue is located at the junction of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat.

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Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.

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Inside of Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.

This is a Roman Catholic Church. The church was given cathedral status in 1962. The patron saints of the church, St. Michael and St. Gudula, are also the patron saints of the city of Brussels.

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The entrance of Galeries Royales St Hubert.

Galeries Royales St Hubert.

Located near the Grand Place, the Galerie de la Reine is beautiful shopping mall. You will find lots of luxury boutiques, chocolate shops, watchmakers and restaurants in here.

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Hard Rock Cafe Brussels. A must place for me to visit in any country.

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Hard Rock Cafe Brussels. A must place for me to visit in any country.

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Brussels seems to be famous for their street art too..

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This is right in front of the hotel. So many shops, cafe and stores around. Very convenient.

To wrap it up, I loved Brussels. It was pretty easy going and quite laid back city. I do enjoy the food especially the chocolates!

Almost made it… Ibis Geneve Centre Gare

Ibis has been in my good book as they offer decent accommodation and affordable. This time, I was keen to stay at Ibis Geneva partially due to offers that I have receive for being a member with AccorHotels. Do note that there are more than 5 Ibis chain hotels in Geneva but I am referring to Ibis Geneve Centre Gare.

We arrived at Geneva Cornavin station (which is the main railway station). From my earlier finding, the hotel is located quite nearby to the station hence we decided to walk.  We took about 15minutes to reach the hotel with our luggage. It was easy to find. The hotel looks well-kept and clean. The check-in was smooth and fast. Probably because we have fully paid for the room at the time of the booking itself.

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The room was good and spacious considering a city hotel. Ibis seems to have same standard with their room which may room familiar with other ibis elsewhere. Anyway the amenities that you would enjoy is TV, air-conditioner, comfortable bed, desk, chairs, closet and toiletries.

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The only issue with the room was the air conditioner which was not cold at all despite choosing the lowest temperature on the control switch. It felt the same although after having it switched on for hours. It was pretty disappointing considering it was summer and it was warm.  Luckily for me, we were here only for one night. I don’t think I will be able to tolerate it if I had stayed longer.

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I have shared this feedback via Trip Advisor and Ibis has responded that ‘air conditioning is prohibited in Geneva’. Now, it’s a shock for me. Anyone knows why is it so?

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As for the location of the hotel, it was convenient for us to get around the city on foot. It takes about 15-20minutes to reach to the old town. The hotel is located on the quieter side of the new town which is fine with us.

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Overall good stay here at Ibis Geneva Centre Gare except for the air-condition issue which is apparently same applies to other establishments in Geneva. Furthermore, accommodations in Geneva is generally very expensive so choose wisely.