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

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. 

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, PORTO, PORTUGAL

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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. 

view

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/porto/prtha/hoteldetail

 

 

 

DAVID INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

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The hotel’s massive lobby is anchored by two chandeliers of floating brass tubes and features Israeli art work behind the check-in counter and along the walls.

I arrived in the middle of the night was given a warm welcome. The agent was super-friendly and explained all features of the hotel including the different breakfast options due to the late arrival.

My room was on the 22nd floor and had a nice city view. The room was decorated in shades of brown and beige and seemed to be a clean standard business traveller room. However, it offered plenty of thoughtful perks for the frequent traveller such as USB ports and power outlets on both sides of the bed, as well as on the working desk. There was a water kettle and I missed my Nespresso maker. Minibar was empty and only filled on request.

The bathroom was of a good size with modern lighting, a separate bath tub and a large shower including a rainfall type shower head.

The bed was equipped with ample pillows and a comfortable blanket for a good night’s sleep. 

The gym seemed to be small at the first glimpse but it was well equipped and was nicely illuminated by a blue light. There is a large pool area with plenty of loungers, a pool bar and plenty of tables to sit and sip a coffee or have a drink and overlook the beach.

The David Intercontinental Hotel is located at the southern end of the beach which makes it easy to go out for a stroll along the sea which I enjoyed very much and made my stay very pleasant and relaxing.

https://telaviv.intercontinental.com/

GRAND HOTEL KEMPINSKI, RIGA, LATVIA

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The Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga was originally built in the 19th Century situated in the heart of Riga. The National Opera house is opposite and the world heritage history centre (Old town) is in comfortable walking distance.  

The hotel offers 141 rooms and suites, a rooftop restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating, a bar, a cigar lounge and an all-day-dining restaurant on the main level. The hotel features the Kempinski Spa with 6 treatment rooms, a full gym and a swimming pool and sauna.

I booked a deluxe room which offered a generous size of 44 sqm with a separate walk-in closet which could be fully closed. The room was tastefully appointed and everything was still very new. A minibar, a coffee maker and water kettle was available.

The large bathroom was equipped with a separate toilet, a bathtub and a shower which had a rain-shower option. The usual luxury amenities were available and a nightly turn-down service was performed. I found the bed super comfortable and I slept very well. 

The breakfast was wonderful with a wide choice of breads, cereals, fresh fruits, cold cuts and salmon, a hot section and a chef who prepared fresh egg dishes daily. A daily “healthy-shot” was offered as well as all the usual breakfast drinks and juices including sparkling wine. 

The hotel is pet-friendly and offers special features to guests which travel with their little loved-ones. (Pic of the “hotel-dog”)

I tried the gym and the swimming pool and found the facilities very modern and chic. Unfortunately, I did not have to time to do any spa-treatments or massages.

The best asset of this luxury hotel (beside the location) are undoubtedly the staff members. Everybody that I have met from the check-in agent to the concierge, the breakfast team and even the housekeepers were all very friendly and helpful. I felt like I was staying with friends and I can only praise them. I highly recommend this hotel and already look forward to staying there again.

https://www.kempinski.com/en/riga/grand-hotel-kempinski-riga/

ANDAZ by HYATT, MUNICH, GERMANY

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Andaz by Hyatt is an upscale lifestyle boutique-style hotel chain intended for cosmopolitan travellers. The Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor is strongly connected to the heart and soul of Munich.

The hotel features the city’s highest rooftop bar, a full-service spa with swimming pool, event and meeting areas, and four food/beverage outlets. The M’Uniqo is the hotel’s trendy rooftop bar which offers a stunning view over Munich and the nearby Alps. The Lonely Broccoli restaurant is the hotel’s main dining restaurant where breakfast, lunch and steak-house style dinner is served. The Andaz Lounge Bar is more than a classic hotel lobby bar. There is a classic bar, a lounge type seating area which invites guest to sit down, unwind, have a drink, charge their mobile devices  or use the golden brezel for Instagram photo shots. (I found the lower lobby restroom to be the most popular Instagram hotspot). Bicicletta is a coffee bar where healthy smoothies, bowls and other savory snacks and coffees are served. The is a small outside terrace available for smokers or people who prefer to get some fresh air.

My check-in at the Andaz Munich was smooth and efficient. My 9th floor room was large, bright with a fantastic view over Munich and the nearby Alps. The decoration was contemporary and stylish. There was an openly designed bathroom with an oversized shower sporting a rainforest showerhead. The toilet was separate and a small walk in closet was provided. Flat screen TV and a complementary minibar with local drinks and snacks were also offered.

I found my stay at the Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor very pleasant. This new lifestyle hotel concept, when combined with the hotel’s super-friendly staff, made me immediately feel at ease and at home.