hotel

Mercure Beijing Downtown, CHINA

The Mercure Beijing Downtown is a great place to stay. Although out of the way from the city centre, it’s within walking distance to shops and the subway. We felt outside the hustle and bustle which was a little disappointing, but it did give us space to unwind. There’s a pool (although we went in winter so no swimming for us) and a restaurant. I recommend the breakfast buffet for value and variety, and I was able to have my Chinese delights, like congee and pork buns. Fast wifi and a good bar, this is was a home for us in Beijing.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

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Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square, CHINA

The Grand Mercure is a fantastic hotel to stay at in Xi’an. It’s central to most of the sightseeing landmarks around the city centre and is within walking distance from the Muslim Quarter, Bell Tower and night markets.

The hotel staff spoke limited English which made transactions a little confusing; we had trouble confirming the logistics of a deposit using credit card. We also had miscommunication around how many beds were available in our room.

However, the language barriers aren’t a reflection on the service or the hotel, just keep in mind that Xi’an is less cosmopolitan than other Chinese cities like Shanghai.

We were very pleased with our room and we’re warm and comfortable through snowy winter nights. Would definitely stay here again.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Oaks Club Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand

I had a strange stay here. There were several really positive experiences and a few negative ones.

We stayed for about a week at Oaks Club in Queenstown.

The hotel offers a shuttle service to the city Centre, however we didn’t make as much use of it as we would have liked to is it came on the hour, didn’t run through the middle of the day and was often fully booked.

We also had a day tour booked (through an external agency) who tried to contact us that there were complications. The resort did not leave any messages on our room phone, no notes under the door- nothing to notify us of this. So, we sat in the foyer for over an hour waiting for the tour pick-up, and the receptionist said nothing to us. A simple conversation would have saved a lot of grief.

Our last concern is that it’s so far removed from the city centre that dinner is an issue for late international arrivals. There was no one to greet us when we checked in, and we had a lot of trouble trying to find dinner after a long day of travel. The partner restaurant, Shores, had closed for the evening and we didn’t have our bearings yet, so we had to figure out how to order a pizza. Thank goodness for delivery!

On a lighter note, the room was spectacular. The views were really special, the living area was spacious and the beds heated. There’s a lovely walk along the lake that takes you to the city and is absolutely worth the stroll. The vista from our balcony was truly breathtaking. Waking up to views of Lake Wakitipu every morning really made up for all our woes. Autumn is the best time to go. Golden leaves pepper the waterline and the Remarkables are lightly dusted with snow.

I don’t think you should be scared by our stories- by no means are our accounts ‘traveler horror stories’. Just a reflection of the undertraining of a transient staff, an issue I hear occurs often in Queenstown.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Holiday Inn, Shanghai Downtown, China

The Holiday Inn was everything we needed. Close to the subway so we could sightsee through the day. It’s located in the Downtown area so it’s not central to the major tourist sights, however the subway is easy to navigate. We found it difficult to find somewhere close by to eat out, but I guess we didn’t know where to look. The hotel has fast wifi, a good restaurant and reliable facilities. A solid recommendation.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Hoi An Beach Resort, Vietnam

Hoi An Beach Resort is a perfectly relaxing stay. First of all, Hoi An is a lovely part of the world and is a must-see when traveling through Vietnam. It’s a different pace and this hotel really helps you relax into the groove of the area. 

The hotel is a ways out from the Old Town, but has regular complimentary shuttles through the day and night to help you get there. The location is far enough away to be its own little paradise, situated between a river and a beach. I took a walk along the beach at dawn in the cool of the morning and watched fishermen cast their nets. 

The hotel offers quite a few experiences. The nightly lantern show is serene and dinner at the restaurant makes for a great night. In fact, the restaurant produces excellent food. Breakfast is different every morning, with local delights and Vietnamese delicacies. Lunch (by the pool of course!) is delicious; rice paper rolls, papaya salads, burgers. If you choose Vietnamese dishes for dinner, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t, however, get too excited about the desserts as an Asian take on a western Brulee leaves much to be desired. 
The rooms are lovely, wifi and aircon work well. The pools are warm, and the infinity pool overlooks the river.
You must treat yourself to the Waterlily Spa. Absolutely must. The Hot Stone Spa treatment is excellent value for money and one of the best massages I’ve had, ever. 

‚ÄčDisclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Ibis Wellington, NZ

The Ibis in Wellington is right in the heart of the city. It’s in a great location, it’s close to everything, and it’s reasonably priced. 

There was a hiccup when we arrived late- the hotel didn’t have the beds split like we had asked. However, they were very accommodating, handled the situation with ease and offered us drink vouchers and free wifi. They were also very helpful when we asked about the city, the concierge seemed to have good local knowledge. 
The hotel is what you’ve expect from a standard Ibis, however we were quite happy with the location and customer service. 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Heritage, Hanmer Springs NZ

The Heritage is a lovely hotel. The building is majestic and the grounds well maintained. The rooms aren’t modern necessarily, but I feel it adds to the character and charm of the hotel. The views were lovely and it sits in a central location in Hamner Springs. The views are picaresque – I highly recommend this place for a short stay.

Side note- I needed after hours medical assistance and struggled to get through to the local area nurse. This is no reflection on the hotel, just a cautionary tale for travelers through the area that Hamner Springs is quite a sleepy little town with few support services. The staff were helpful in trying to accommodate my needs, so credit to them.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.