The Centara Hotel and Convention Centre Udon Thani was renovated and reopened in 2011 and plays host to Central Plaza Udon Thani, the city’s largest shopping and entertainment centre. The hotel offers a swimming pool, a spa and a gym. There are two restaurants, Ban Chiang and Luk Fatt, and the lively Lobby bar and a Deli Corner.(Karaoke-bar at sous-sol was closed).
I booked a junior suite with a floor area of 72 sq. m. There was a living room, a guest toilet, a good sized bedroom and a main bathroom with oversized shower, bathtub and another toilet. The room offered all the usual facilities, such as in-room safe, refrigerator, coffee maker, tea kettle, 2 flat-screen TV’s and more. Wifi was free and available at a good speed.
Check-in was efficient and CentaraThe1 members receive a special room rate and a welcome-drink voucher. The suite was generally in good condition, except for a small glitch with the air-conditioner (probably because the room had not been used for a long-time) but was fixed quickly. I also received a personal apology from a member of the management team which I highly appreciated.
The quality of the bed and pillows was very good and I had an excellent night’s sleep.
Breakfast was included in the room rate and included a large variety of food and beverage items. The hotel followed international Covid-19 regulations and hygiene procedures. I had a pleasant stay for a competitive room rate and enjoyed good service from the hotel staff.
HOW IS IT TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND DURING THE CORONA PANDEMIC?
This is a review about a trip that I made to Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic while the ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine) requirement was still in place. The state quarantine is mandatory for all visitors, including Thai citizens. (Thai citizens are also offered a “free” quarantine stay at a state operated facility such as a small hotel or a military camp). There are strict requirements for foreigners who seek to enter Thailand during the pandemic. These requirements include visa, Certificate of Entry, special insurance covering at least USD 100,000, negative Covid-19 test result 72h before arrival and a Fit-to-Fly certificate. Further information is available on the websites of the Royal Thai Embassies around the world.
The ASQ Hotel packages always include 15 nights accommodation (16 days), 3 meals per day, a 24/7 nurse on duty, 2-3 mandatory Covid-19 tests, and airport pick-up transportation. After the stay, guests are issued a completion of quarantine certificate and are allowed to travel freely within Thailand. Guests must also use a tracking app called Thailand Plus.
Pre-flight: Documents are thoroughly checked at the departure gate at the respective airline (only a handful of airlines are authorized to bring passengers to Thailand).
Post-flight: passengers are gathered in small groups and are guided to various check-points where temperature and documents etc are checked. Finally Immigration, as always, and then passengers leave the airport from designated area where the hotel staff pick up the guests and take them to their chosen ASQ facility.
I stayed at the Silver Palm Hotel which is a medium priced, 3-star hotel located near Rama 9 Road. As I had already pre-paid the hotel, check-in was smooth and fast. Blood-pressure and fever were checked and I was offered a breakfast before I was escorted to my room. I booked a Deluxe room and I was lucky to have a beautiful view of the pool and the garden. There was a big balcony where I spent most of my day from early morning to sunset. The room was spacious, there was plenty of water available, a microwave oven and a fever thermometer. Fever checking was required twice per day. All communications with the hotel took place via the LINE application. I sent photos of my temperature results every day to the nurse and ordered my food and booked my garden time, all with the LINE app. Garden time was allowed after 5 days after the first Covid test took place and for people with a negative result.
The food was nothing to write home about. The choice was very limited, sometimes with only 1 or 2 offerings. The food was usually delivered more cold than warm and the taste was ok but not more than that. I pimped it up with seasonings that I brought with me. The staff also offered to buy items from a nearby 7/11 mini-mart and would add 20% to the local price. Other deliveries were only allowed by family members.
The hotel staff which I met were extremely friendly and helpful. As I did not want to spend a lot of money I was happy with the service of the hotel. Check-out on the last day was possible from 6am and was completed swiftly and my departure certificate was ready.
There are many choices of ASQ hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya and shortly in Phuket as well. I would recommend everyone to bring plenty of snacks, good books, an HDMI cable to connect your devices to the TV and books, Netflix etc.. to keep you busy. A balcony was essential for me and I was very happy to have it.
With its corporate new builds, Puerto Madero can feel a bit soulless but it’s a good area to retreat from Buenos Aires’ pace. It’s a 10-minute walk across a messy building site – major roadworks are in place – to the downtown area and to the Leandro N. Alem underground station and buses. The international airport is an hour away by taxi, the domestic airport is 15-20 minutes away.
The hotel is not easy to miss: it’s a large silvery,glass box on the dockside, with the Hilton name in blue. The contemporary style of the structure is mitigated by plush carpets and a lively lobby/bar. The glass-walled lifts offer great views across the nine-floor atrium, which floods the building with natural light. Artworks are spread around the floors.
The hotel’s staff are multilingual and efficient; and check-in was done swiftly. The lobby is a bright airy space for informal meetings and a drink. The hotel has a good gym, pool, sauna, spa and solarium.
The room categories range from plain, spacious Deluxe rooms to large Executive suites, which have access to a dedicated lounge, evening cocktails and all-day non-alcoholic drinks. Deluxe rooms have queen-sized beds, soft pillows, ergonomic armchairs, walk-in wardrobes and large work desks. Rooms with river or city views are available. Bathrooms have powerful showers and bathtubs.
El Faro normally serves a buffet breakfast, including fresh pastries, a range of cereals, a good choice of fresh fruit and juices, and decent coffee. It was closed during the time of my visit and breakfast was served in one of the convention rooms instead. The evening à la carte menu looks interesting, but I didn’t try it. Sommeliers are available and they advise guests about the carefully sourced cellar wines. Croutons is a nice café-patisserie and Alberto’s lobby bar offers a good selection of cocktails and has charming bartenders.
I slept well even though there is a small area where youngsters play and dance but they did not stay too long into the night. I had a pleasant stay, enjoyed the spacious room, and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.
The Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport is directly accessible from Kansai International Airport via a short three minute walk using a pedestrian walkway. The hotel features comfortable rooms with free WiFi. Other hotel offerings include free luggage storage services at the 24-hour front desk and free on-site car parking.
Rooms at the Kansai Airport Nikko are a bit old-fashioned but not as small as typical hotel rooms in Japan. The rooms have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an electric kettle, and a refrigerator. Bathrooms are equipped with a shower and bathtub as well as a hairdryer and free amenities.
Facilities at the Hotel Nikko Kansai include a business desk, coin-operated computers with internet access, and a souvenir shop. Check-in was fast and was completed under the current Covid 19 measures.
Breakfast is served at the Brasserie restaurant. Room service is currently not available due to Covid 19 measures. The Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport features 4 on-site restaurants including a Japanese tempura restaurant “Hanazato”, teppanyaki-grill restaurant “Icho”, Chinese restaurant “Toh-Lee” and a Japanese-Western fusion restaurant “The Brasserie”. All restaurants were closed except The Brasserie.
Hotel Nikko is located within the Kansai Airport’s shopping mall Aeroplaza. It is a 5-minute walk to Kansai Kuko Station where connections to the JR and Nankai lines can be made. The hotel is a good place to stay for a short stay where the vicinity of the airport is important and when travel time needs to be kept to a minimum.
This Marriott Hotel enjoys an ideal location on Michigan Avenue – along Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile shopping and dining thoroughfare. The property is quite large with 1,200 rooms and suites that are outfitted in neutral decor and include beds with pillow-top mattresses, in-room Wi-Fi (for a fee) and HD flat-screen TVs.
I stayed at this hotel during the Covid19 pandemic and as a result this usually bustling hotel was almost completely empty with most guest service facilities such as restaurants, gym etc temporarily closed.
Check-in was smooth and the friendly check-in agent was working behind a plexiglass wall, similar to those used at airports and grocery shop check-outs.
My room was spacious, clean and offered a fantastic view. The bed was very comfortable with plenty of pillows. There were plenty of lighting and electric power outlets (incl. USB).
Despite Covid 19, there was a coffee maker in the room and the ingredients were safely packed.
The lobby featured “Rush street pantry” where groceries, drinks, bakery items and freshly brewed coffee/tea were sold.
I had a pleasant stay at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel and look forward to staying there again.
I visited the San Francisco Marriott Marquis during Corona pandemic and the usually busy hotel has become a very quiet place to stay. After a recent renovation, the hotel is stylish with a sleek minimalist design.
The hotel is situated in the industrial South of Market district, just a block south of Market Street, and within a few blocks of some of the city’s most renowned museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Just north of Market Street is the city’s main shopping district, Union Square, while transit lines to Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco International Airport, the East Bay and Golden Gate Park are all within a block of the hotel.
The hotel offers an artisan restaurant (B55 Craft house & Kitchen), a 39th floor cocktail-bar (The View Lounge) and MissionStreet Pantry (snacks, drinks and some groceries).
Rooms are contemporary in style and spacious—with large windows that actually open (slightly), an in-room coffee maker and a mini-fridge, the famous Marriott signature bed and a comfy living area with sofa. They’re nothing flashy, but comfortable—the type of room multiple generations can enjoy. There’s a table-top tablet for navigating both the hotel and the city, and the bathroom boasts a marble interior. A favourite perk: anyone with a Netflix account can stream shows and films directly through the TV.
The massive 2-storey Gym is normally open 24/7 but closed during the pandemic. The Marriott Marquis hotel offers direct App check-in as well as fast check-out via TV or the App. This enables hotel guests to avoid crowds in the lobby.
I had a very pleasant stay and look forward to a return visit in the future.
The hotel is located in the city centre, which makes it ideal to explore Stockholm’s many neighbourhoods, including visits to museums and high-end shopping in the area of Östermalm, the vibrant restaurant scene in Vasastan, the many coffee shops in Gamla Stan, and the trendy bars in the area of Södermalm. Beautiful view of the waters and everything is withing easy reach by foot.
With a rich heritage dating back to 1874, the hotel has seen many refurbishments and updates, the latest one including the façade of the building, now going back to the original lighter colour palette. The style remains classic, yet with a modern touch in the choice of colour scheme and furniture pieces . Don’t forget a visit to Spegelsalen (Hall of Mirrors), where the original Nobel Prize Awards took place from 1901-29, and the Winter Garden which is still used for performances. (During Covid-19 pandemic a great venue to serve breakfast)
The service is of high standard. My check-in was fast and I felt very welcome by the highly motivated and friendly staff.
The Nordic Spa & Fitness centre is a very busy and popular venue. The spa includes a sauna with the smell of pinewood, refreshing cold and warm baths and luxurious treatments. Although small in size, a calm atmosphere remains. There is also a well-equipped gym. For extra privacy book in the spa suites complete with a massage room, bath and sauna. The hotel is smart enough to pre-advise future hotel guests by e-mail to make a booking if necessary.
I liked the room very much. There were many small details which made me feel very comfortable. Luxurious bedding, plenty of towels, bathrobes and plenty of complimentary water and disinfection towels.
The Breakfast at the Winter Garter was great. Mood lights and plenty of space created a very special atmosphere which I liked very much.
I had a fantastic stay at the Grand Hotel Stockholm. Perfect personalized service along with classic chic style and a superb location.
I would go back any time despite the high-end room rates.
The hotel Nikko Düsseldorf is located within easy reach of the city center, the main train station and within a 15 minutes drive from Düsseldorf airport. (At the japanese quartier) The hotel has a capacity of 393 guest rooms and suites furnished in comfortable and minimalist style. Non smoking rooms are available and also specially equipped rooms for disabled guests. In 2018 the hotel Nikko was completely renovated. The fully equipped SKY SPA on the 11th floor of the first class hotel Nikko Dusseldorf is available to recover while you enjoy the view over Dusseldorf from the penthouse pool on the 11th floor. They are also offering massage or cosmetic treatments. (Closed at the time of my visit)
The culinary offer is multicultural. Japanese high quality cuisine is served at the Benkay Teppanyaki Restaurant. International and Japanese breakfasts as a buffet is offered in the Traveller’s restaurant. Cocktails and Drinks are available at the Lobby bar as well as self-service convenience store for the most desired products for travellers including coffee facilities. I visited the hotel during the Corona pandemic. Mask obligation in the premises of the hotel and the front desk was separated with a plexiglas wall, the like you find them at airports, pharmacies and other places with hight public frequency.
I stayed in a newer “deluxe” room which was spacious but minimal. Due to the Corona pandemics certain amenities were removed. For instance there were no glasses in the bathroom (not even plastic ones) no coffee pads, spoons, sugar or cream even though the coffee maker was still placed in the room. (Should have been removed completely or full stock it). However I have ordered a coffee maker and it was delivered promptly. There were no water bottles provided or any kind of personal touch. Everything seemed to be working on a very minimal recuded level. This made me decide not to try the breakfast at the hotel as I guess it would be minimal too. The price for the breakfast was not reduced, but the hotel overnight rates were very compatible and fair.
The staff that I have met were friendly, efficient but again no personal touch or feeling here. All in all my experience at the Nikko Hotel Düsseldorf was ok.
The five-star Intercontinental Porto lies in the heart of Porto’s historic centre and is the gem of the city’s accommodation choices. The hotel stands prominently at the end of Porto’s main avenue, Avenida dos Aliados, and is hence in the most central part of the city. The São Bento train station is just 100 metres away and the iconic Clérigos Tower is a three-minute walk. The lively large square is a hive of activity but the hotel’s soundproofed windows block out most of the noise.
I was welcomed by charming staff, check-in was done swiftly, and I was escorted to the room. The hotel’s neoclassical design was spectacular. Swarovski chandeliers illuminate the bright, marbled foyer and lobby; and velvet armchairs create comfortable seating areas with an elegant ambiance.
My room was of average size, facing the square, and was decorated in stylish but heavy dark colours. There were all modern amenities including a Nespresso coffee machine, minibar etc. The bathroom was spacious and bright. The bed was luxuriously comfortable and I slept very well. Plenty of power outlets were conveniently located on the nightstand and throughout the room.
The breakfast was my highlight of the morning. The hotel restaurant offers an enormous selection of international dishes. Local and international specialities are offered and, besides the buffet, the staff offer special egg dishes to be served at the table. I had a big pleasure to enjoy this and along with the wonderful service of the hotel’s staff throughout the premises I had an excellent stay.
The TAP Air Portugal Lounge is located one floor above the main departure hall with a panoramic view over the tarmac and runways. The lounge is open to TAP Air Portugal Premium passengers, Star Alliance partner airlines premium passengers and Star Alliance GOLD members.
I visited early afternoon and the spacious lounge was very busy but I was able to find a free table near the food buffet area. There is also a bar with chairs, a napping area, and restrooms with showers are also available. The bright green, white and red colour scheme is a bit odd in my opinion but easy to get used to. The Wifi was fast and there are electronic departure boards which display the boarding times of the flights.
The lounge offered a serviced bar, a self-service wine bar, a coffee bar, and hot and cold food items of a decent quality. The food items were restocked frequently but the tables were not cleared and cleaned adequately. I found this an OK place to spend some time before departure time.