MÖVENPICK SIAM HOTEL NA JOMTIEN, PATTAYA, THAILAND

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Offering a pristine and private beachfront area along Na Jomtien Beach, Mövenpick Siam Na Jomtien Pattaya hotel features a large lagoon swimming pool and panoramic sea views from all rooms. Various facilities are available at this 5-star property, as well as free WiFi access in public areas.

A short walk from Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Mövenpick Siam Na Jomtien Pattaya hotel is a 15 km drive from Pattaya, where guests can find lively nightlife, shopping and a wide variety of restaurants. The Siam Country Club is a 15 minute drive away. Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport can be reached within a 2 hour drive.

Spacious rooms and suites at this hotel are equipped with air-conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV and a mini-bar. All rooms have sea views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, an indoor seating area and a furnished balcony. Private bathrooms have a shower, bathtub and free toiletries.

Guests looking to relax can enjoy a pampering treatment at the spa. (A COVID ATK test is necessary before treatments). The 24-hour front desk can assist with guests’ needs and the concierge can help arrange transportation. Free parking is available.

Both Thai and international dishes are available at the on-site dining options. Drinks can be ordered at the lobby lounge or by the pool. The hotel also offers a daily free “chocolate-hour” in the lobby and its own steak-house which is excellent. The breakfast buffet choices are plentiful and despite a full restaurant it was a pleasant experience. Food was fresh and delicious. Check-in was a breeze and all the staff that I met were friendly and efficient. Hotel was nearly full but everything was well organised. 

I recommend this hotel very much for people who are seeking a nice beach trip not too far away from Bangkok and who appreciate good food. 

https://www.movenpick.com/en/asia/thailand/pattaya/moevenpick-siam-hotel-na-jomtien-pattaya.html

ANANTARA RIVERSIDE HOTEL, BANGKOK, THAILAND

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This sprawling resort is a little off the beaten track, located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river, a few miles away from Bangkok’s main tourist sights. 

From 6am to midnight, regular boats whisk hotel guests to Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, from where it is just a few stops to downtown Bangkok. A boat to the Royal Palace takes 30 minutes and a taxi to either of Bangkok’s airports takes around an hour.

The hotel has six restaurants and bars, four of which were closed during my Covid-19 pandemic visit.

I stayed at the Anantara Riverside Hotel on a Test-and-Go scheme. A mandatory PCR test on arrival into Thailand was performed in a special area right after arrival from the airport and the check-in was done directly in the room. 

The staff were friendly and gave me all the necessary information about the hotel and the Test-and-Go procedure.

My room was spacious, with a large open bathroom  and a small balcony facing the pool and river. It featured everything that I needed.

I arrived early morning and received my PCR test results around 4 pm and then was free to roam around the hotel, or go out.

I had a delicious breakfast at Trader Vic’s restaurant the next day before I checked out. 

I can recommend the Anantara Riverside Hotel to anyone who does not seek a typical downtown high-rise hotel but prefers lush gardens and Thai style decorations rather than international hotel chain decorations. 

ALBION HOTEL, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, USA

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The Albion Hotel is a hip, 3.5 star, South Beach hotel and one of the coolest Miami Beach hotels located directly on stylish Lincoln Road Mall. The Albion Hotel location is considered the most central to shopping, dining, and nightlife of all South Beach hotels.

The Albion Hotel South Beach is ideally situated in the heart of flashy South Beach Miami, Florida. Miles of beautiful beaches and the Miami Beach Convention Center are just one block away. 

Guests at Albion enjoy convenient access to Miami’s tourist attractions, many of which are within walking distance to the hotel, including Ocean Drive and the Art Deco District. Miami International Airport is approximately 20 minutes drive from Albion Hotel South Beach. 

I had a pre-paid booking thus I was checked-in very efficiently. The friendly staff informed me about the small breakfast that would be served in the morning in a small breakfast area on the first floor. There is a bar, a small gym and a computer station available for guests to use.

The room was very clean. (deep room cleaning is available every other day on request). No coffee maker, nor complimentary water was provided but there was an empty fridge. (Walgreens and CVS are located just outside the hotel. Water and some groceries can be found there easily 24h)

The walls at the Albion are thin, but there was no outside or party noise to be heard. The elevators need maintenance soon and there could be a long wait if the hotel runs full occupancy.

Comparing the competitive rate with other South Beach hotels, I found this hotel good value for money and had a good and uncomplicated stay.

LEONARDO HOTEL ZURICH-AIRPORT, SWITZERLAND

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This brand new hotel is located in the immediate vicinity of Zurich Airport and offers close access to the airport terminals. The centre of Zurich can be reached within 15 minutes by public transport. The Airport can be reached by bus or tram (1 station) or UBER (about 2 min, CHF 7) or walk in about 10 minutes.

All 116 rooms are air-conditioned, have parquet flooring, are soundproof and offer amenities such as a work desk, safe, minibar, blackout blinds, flat-screen TV and a coffee maker. The bathrooms are equipped with a hairdryer and make-up mirror. 

The hotel offers daily breakfast (surcharge) and during the day an à la carte Restaurant as well as a Bar and Grab-and-go station.

The check-in agent was charming and friendly, jokingly offering a “good view” of the parking lot .. He informed me about nearby restaurants and grocery shopping options. 

With the numerous hotels which have recently opened around Zurich Airport, the Leonardo Hotel offers competitive room rates if booked online and great value for money. 

NH COLLECTION MARINA, GENOVA, ITALY

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The revamped Porto Antico Marina makes this hotel a perfect base to explore Genova and the Italian Riviera. It’s both an entertainment hub and a foodie haunt, with fish restaurants facing the seafront and Eataly, Italy’s finest food emporium. 

The room and the bathroom were spotlessly clean, simple but comfortable. The breakfast was served in the maritime-style restaurant and due to Coronavirus most food was pre-packed or available on request. This was not a problem as I had everything I needed and the service was friendly and helpful.

I had a pleasant stay at the NH Collection Genova Marina with nothing to complain about. 

HOTEL PLAYASOL ALGARB, IBIZA, SPAIN

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I booked the Playasol Algarb last minute for a short weekend break in Ibiza. The hotel is a typical party hotel but they have mixed-age guests which makes it comfortable for everyone. 

The hotel design is pure and simple. I had a small room, but it was fine and clean, with a small balcony and sea view. The hotel has a prime beachfront location and the design is fresh and mostly white (last renovated 2015).

There is a live radio station in the hotel lobby, a pool area with DJ, two bars and a chilling hammock area, as well as Bali beds and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. 

Vending machines are also available. Breakfast was included in my room rate but very moderately priced for people who enjoy last minute breakfast (EU 7.50). The breakfast room was huge.

I found the waiting times at the reception sometimes rather long as beach towels were picked up from the front desk (against a deposit of EU 10). I had a last minute change in my plans and the front desk staff was very helpful and friendly though.

The Playasol Algarb is a good place to stay if you like people and action. Playa d’en Bossa is the most “party beach” in Ibiza and it’s not far from Ibiza town.

https://www.vibrahotels.com/ibiza/playa-d-en-bossa/hotel-vibra-algarb

LUFTHANSA

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Lufthansa Business Class, Frankfurt-Ibiza, Airbus A321

Lufthansa has unveiled its new short and medium-haul business class menus which it says have been “inspired by German metropolises”.

The tasting “heimat menus” (heimat translating as “home” or “homeland”) was launched on September 1, and promised not only to change weekly, but also on the outward and return flights”.

According to Lufthansa, the menus have been inspired by the cities of Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Leipzig; and feature “German classics with unusual components”.

The carrier said that the dishes were created by “young star chefs” Julia Komp and Dennis Puchert, alongside the Gategroup culinary team.

Highlighting the menu’s sustainable attributes, Lufthansa said that the ingredients come predominantly from the regions around Frankfurt and Munich, adding that the dishes would be offered without the use of disposable plastics.

Earlier this year the carrier unveiled its new buy-on-board menu for short and medium-haul economy passengers.

The Aircraft was an A321-100 with a configuration of 36-150. European-style Business– Class means a standard economy seat with the adjacent seat (middle) blocked to offer additional personal space and located in the front section of the aircraft (most European Carriers use these curtain-type variable versions). I booked seat 11A which is probably the best seat in the “house” as there is plenty of space to stretch the legs and it’s convenient to get in and out of the seat without disturbing anyone. 

Boarding started a little late but the crew managed to catch up some time and we landed at Ibiza on-time. The meal comprised a cold fillet of salmon with egg salad and bread roll (one-round of bread and one-round of drinks plus coffee/tea). Flight time was about 1 hr 55 mins. An apple was served before landing as a special treat of the new “Heimat” meal concept. I found the meal and the crew ok, but nothing to write home about.

Lufthansa offers a solid, consistent and reliable product with a comfortable in-flight experience.

https://www.lufthansa.com/ch/en/homepage

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, BERLIN, GERMANY

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Right on bustling Potsdamer Platz, The Ritz-Carlton, is well placed for shopping, museums, nightlife and key attractions such as the Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate, both of which are within easy walking distance of around 10 minutes. There are malls, cinemas and museums all around (as well as small sections bits of the original Berlin Wall right outside the hotel), and the impressive, feature-studded Tiergarten park is right next door.

The hotel’s distinctive skyscraper-style design fits well into Potsdamer Platz’s cityscape. The interiors are classic Old Europe, with baroque chandeliers, marble staircases and Art Deco-inspired furnishings lending an aura of monied refinement throughout the public spaces; and the rooms and suites.

I checked in online and was particularly impressed by the “virtual-key” that was sent to my Marriott Bonvoy App when the room was ready. This mobile key gave me direct access to the lift and my room; and it worked reliably. It is a fantastic way of making travel easier and faster; and is linked to the Bonvoy App which has guest details and credit card information pre-registered.

The hotel ran very smoothly thanks to a well-groomed, professionally-trained, veritable army of staff. Aside from the restaurant and bars, the hotel has  a very comprehensive wellness area in the basement with pool, whirlpool tub, sauna and fitness centre.

I enjoyed my stay very much and would go back to this hotel any time.

https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/germany/berlin

INTERCITY HOTEL, BERLIN BRANDENBURG AIRPORT, BERLIN, GERMANY

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I was recently offloaded from an oversold flight in Berlin and was offered a hotel voucher from the airline for a one night stay, including dinner and breakfast. Check-in was very fast and I was informed that dinner would be served until 10pm. I was planning on a short night stay only, taking the first flight out the following morning so I chose to skip both dinner and breakfast. Hotel staff booked a taxi for the next morning and I was accommodated in a clean room with a comfortable bed. The hotel is located at Terminal 5 (currently not in service) and can also be reached by bus from the new Berlin Brandenburg Terminal 1. 

In the InterCityHotel Berlin-Brandenburg Airport at Berlin-Schonefeld Airport the guest will find modern comforts and a pleasant ambience. The airport terminals and the S-Bahn station are located in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Thanks to the FreeCityTicket being included in the price of your room, guests can travel comfortably and without further cost to the centre of the metropolis of Berlin or to Potsdam. 

The hotel has 198 rooms furnished in warm colour shades and offer to both city tourists and business travellers cosy and comfortable accommodation.

Recreation and rest is ensured by the wellness area of the InterCityHotel Berlin-Brandenburg with its fitness room, dry sauna, steam bath, relaxation area and wellness showers. In addition, the guest will find several jogging paths around the Berlin airport hotel. For all InterCityHotels concerned, the usage of the WLAN is free of charge up to 256 KB/s.

I found this hotel to be a good choice for a short overnight stay for a very reasonable rate.

WALDHAUS FLIMS WELLNESS HOTEL, FLIMS, SWITZERLAND

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The Waldhaus Wellness Resort Flims is one of Switzerland’s grand hotels and spas, nestled in the Flims | Laax mountains at 1,100 meters above sea level. It has a longstanding tradition of hospitality that combines the inviting charm of the Belle Époque with a thoroughly modern approach towards luxury. The Waldhaus Flims hotel and expansive park comprises three guest houses with refined accommodations that overlook magnificent views of the Alps or Waldhaus Park, four gourmet restaurants that draw culinary inspiration from around the globe, and the internationally acclaimed Waldhaus Spa, which offers the latest spa amenities and innovative treatments in an environment that seamlessly merges stone, water, glass and fresh Alpine air.

I visited the Flims Waldhaus Wellness Resort on a rainy Summer day and was impressed immediately by the warm ambience inside, combined with state-of-the-art contemporary luxury and design. There is a huge 3000 sqm. spa. The nice bars and award-winning restaurants and a very impressing Belle Epoque Museum featuring all kinds of hotel memorabilia from the early times impressed me very much (the hotel was opened in 1877). The huge garden and stunning views on nicer days make it a place to feel exclusive and spoiled. 

The resort has three buildings, the main “Grand-hotel”, the Villa Silvana and the Chalet Belmont. All buildings have been renovated in 2016 and feature refined design and, of course, all luxury amenities that a 5-star hotel offers from several restaurants, to room service and 24h fitness centre. 

The Flims-Laax area of Graubünden offers a wide range of sportive or relaxing activities for all seasons of the year. 

The Waldhaus Wellness Resort Flims is a stylish luxurious hotel in a beautiful mountain region and was added recently to Marriott’s Autograph Collection. It is only a 90 minute drive from Zurich and I can warmly recommend it to anyone who wants to indulge themselves.