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.

HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, ZURICH-AIRPORT, THE CIRCLE, SWITZERLAND

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Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle is located within The Circle at Zurich Airport, and comes with a restaurant and a bar featuring The Circle views and Swiss-inspired cocktails. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and fitness centre, a spa with sauna and relaxation area and room service. The hotel also offers free WiFi throughout the property.

Guests can directly access the hotel from the airport via a protected walkway, not exposed to the weather. The walking time from the airport is approximately 5 minutes.

With Swiss design, rooms at the hotel are equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, a 65″ flat-screen TV with satellite channels and tea and coffee-making facilities. The bathroom includes a walk-in rain shower. Simple design, but all looks neat and clean. There are “garden views” which you can see on my pictures. 

Guests at Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle can enjoy a full American breakfast buffet at Restaurant Babel, which specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine. There is Bar Iris with blue sofa’s overlooking the lively Circle Square. A little 24/7 take-away “zum Mitnäh” is available too. 

A concierge service and luggage storage space are available at the Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport Circle, which also has several terraces and a Regency Club Lounge with park views. Guests enjoy direct access to the adjacent park and The Circle Convention Centre with state-of-the-art meeting space.

A fully equipped gym is available, including a sauna and a rest area. 

The Zurich Exhibition Hall is 3.7 mi from the hotel, while Zoo Zurich is 5.6 mi away. The Zurich Airport tram station is 2 min walkaway and the airport train station can be reached in 5 min.The train station offers direct connections to most cities in Switzerland, including connections to downtown Zurich which is a quick 10 min away. 

I was greeted in a very friendly matter and all the staff that I met were in a good mood and helpful. There is going to be a Hyatt Place sister hotel nearby which will be opened shortly. 

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/switzerland/hyatt-regency-zurich-airport-the-circle/zrhrz

HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, DELHI, INDIA

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The Hyatt Regency Delhi has been a high standard hotel for many years. It is particularly famous and popular for its restaurants which have a good reputation and are very busy every day. From my experience, I can say that all meals that I had at the Hyatt Regency Delhi were delicious and the staff were always friendly and polite.

I stayed in a standard room which was very clean and well kept. The best asset was the mobile air purifier which was placed in the room. With temperatures of more than 45 degrees Celsius outside and generally bad air quality, this gadget is most welcomed. It can be set to purify the air, it can humidify the air, or it can be put into “aroma therapy” mode which is intended to diffuse aromas such as eucalyptus, ocean breeze or lavender. I have tried all features, I guess it worked all right, while the aroma therapy was not really noticeable. But I like the idea of having it in the room.

Rooms have the usual amenities and housekeeping did a good job to keep the room tidy and even a shoe shine service was performed during the room cleaning which I felt was  a nice touch.

https://www.hyatt.com

CENTARA HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTRE, UDON THANI, THAILAND

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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.

NIKKO HOTEL, KANSAI AIRPORT, OSAKA, JAPAN

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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. 

https://www.nikkokix.com/en/

MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN MAGNIFICENT MILE, CHICAGO, USA

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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.

GRAND HOTEL, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

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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. 

Breakfast at the Winter Garden:

SPA:

https://www.grandhotel.se/en

NIKKO HOTEL, DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY

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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.