[Hotel Review] Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square

After redeeming my miles for Bangkok (25,000 miles on SQ), I decided to stay in Siam area for the 4days this time as interestingly, I’ve always stayed at other areas as Siam hotels are always super busy (and expensive!).

The hotel has been running for ages but they have also recently undergone a much needed refurbishment. The pictures shown online from late 2017 onwards seems to present modern Novotel touches all across, quite nice indeed.

ADDRESS – 392/44 Siam Square Soi 6 Rama I Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. Website. Tel: +66 2 209 8888.

PRICE – With the Accor Super Sale, I paid a total of SGD600 for 3 nights in a Junior Suite with Premier Lounge access. Not the cheapest option for Bangkok but for the value and space, I thought it was worth it. I also emailed to request for a renovated room as I researched online and saw that some rooms are not renovated yet.

LOCATION – the property is literally in the heart of the actions. 5mins walk from Siam BTS and along the way, there are also stalls to look at and you can choose to cut through the malls. Plenty if eateries and massage options around – at 300bht for 60mins foot massage, it is more than reasonable compared to what you pay for in SG. On the other side of the BTS, there is Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, and Siam Centre – all very conducive to burn your thai baht at. No lack of marni spending options really.
CHECK IN – we arrived at 12:30pm, was directed to the Premier Lounge to check in, and was told because I asked for a renovated room, it would be another hour before it will be ready. No problem – I headed to lunch and back.

ROOM – I was given room 1230 and I got a shock when I opened my door. The room was dated with old carpet and chipped furniture – looks super dreary and definitely not renovated. Granted that their website shows the correct room but the picture is heavily touched up. It felt like a room in the 80s.

So I called the Premier Lounge to request for a change of room and was told that there was no other room available. But not before he insisted that the suite I was in had indeed been renovated. I asked to speak to the Duty Manager and was referred to look for her at the front desk.

So I headed out downstairs, and was again told that suite 1230 had indeed been renovated. I ended up showing them pictures of what the renovated rooms should look like and was told that those belong to the Premier floors and none of those are available. I again reiterated that I actually emailed prior with my request and had to wait for a renovated room which ended up not being so, so there is no way I can make do with the current dated room. I even had to show them that one of their Premier rooms is still selling online at trip.com to justify my case – to which they said their reservations team insist there was no availability and ‘trip.com has closed down’. I thought the entire conversation was hilarious.

Eventually, they said another Junior Suite is available but still being cleaned. I asked if this room looks the same as 1230 and was told yes it is but “design is different”. So I asked to take a look – I understand that it is still being cleaned but at least I would be able to see if the room is indeed a renovated one.

……………And *drum roll* YES IT WAS! For sure it was not just a difference in design as how they put it across but an actually renovated suite. Thank goodness! You can actually see the difference between what they have on the website link and my pictures.

Kudos to the front desk manager who was all smiles all the way and patient with my request. I wasn’t rude as well but politely insistent.

So my new room 1826, was newly renovated, modern and super spacious. A queen bed in the bedroom, and a separate living room which contains the washroom. A work desk and a comfy couch. 2 TVs in total as well.

PREMIER LOUNGE – Located on the ground floor, the lounge was not too big but looked classy with its rich velvet colors. A smallish selection of bites and alcohol was available during cocktail hours of 5-7pm daily and was sufficient for a light dinner before heading out to the malls again. But the lounge was at times understaffed which meant used plates uncleared for some time.

BREAKFAST – We had choice of breakfast at either the Lounge of The Square. At the lounge: a small but adequate selection of the usual breakfast items accompanied by a made to order selection of eggs done multiple ways, waffles and pancakes etc. At The Square: more selection of food but packed with noise and mini chaos topped with waiting in line for eggs.

 

BAD SERVICE – unfortunately, I had to mark down the ratings for the property as the experience can probaby be improved. Apart from the room issue spoiling the arrival experience, housekeeping was also shoddy ie not replenishing the shower gel. I also had a hilarious experence at the Square’s breakfast where a supervisor asked if I wanted a coffee when I approached the coffee machine, I said yes, and he placed a cup at the coffee machine – so I naturally thought he was getting it for me. The next moment, a staff came to speak to him, they exchanged words, and the staff whipped out a “out of order”note, stuck it onto the same machine where my cup was, and they both walked off. and I was left just standing there wondering what just happened. No major damage as I just went over to queue for the next working machine but it was just funny how that all unraveled.

CHECK OUT – Fast and seamless as my room was pre-paid.

I would be hesitant about trying this property again as there are plenty more options in the siam area. And the stay would only be acceptable if you get an actual renovated room.

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[Hotel Review] InHouse Hotel Heritage 薆悦酒店

Imagine my surprise when I found a hotel in Ximending which I can actually earn points from! Taipei is notorious for not having chain hotels which causes hotel membership followers like me huge dismay when it comes to maximising our nights. I last stayed at Via Hotel and Westgate and while they were nice, I always thought it would be perfect if I can earn some points at the same time too.

So it was literally a no brainer when this property appeared in my Taipei Accor search – a partner hotel! Yay!

Continue reading “[Hotel Review] InHouse Hotel Heritage 薆悦酒店”

[Hotel Review] Hotel Dua Kaohsiung

I’ve seen this hotel while browsing non-Taipei Taiwan hotels and thought it looked really nice. Then I forgot about it and chanced upon it again when researching for Kaohsiung hotels for my 2017 family trip. So happy that it is also now a partner hotel of Accor – yays to earning status points while staying at a nice hotel!

Based on the pictures I saw on TA, the hotel seems like a superb choice for my 3nights’ stay and I booked the largest room available – a little splurge for 3 of us!

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[Hotel Review] Sheraton Towers Singapore

Thanks to my bro who had enough SPG points (12,000!) to redeem for a free night at the property so I took the chance for a 2D1N staycation. I knew the property is quite old but I also heard they have since refubished so I thought I’d give it a shot.

(Plus, Platinum members get free Executive Lounge access. Yay!)

LOCATION – Located just off Orchard Road along Scotts Road, nearest MRT is Newton station. But the journey from the station to the hotel is not fully sheltered so it’ll be tough if it rains. Otherwise, if weather permits, it is a nice 5-10mins stroll to Orchard Road.

CHECK IN – Checked in at the front desk – was surprised they were able to accommodate me at 8:30am. A very much welcomed gesture. The platinum member who booked was not able to check in til later afternoon so the front desk said they will only activate the lounge access for my keycards when the booking platinum member is physically registered.

ROOM – I asked about the platinum upgrade and was told the highest floor is already the upgraded room (2126). I actually thought Plat member should get at least a club room or even a Suite upgrade (according to SPG’s website) but I guess they were full. But it annoys me how hotels don’t actually follow through with tier benefits and you’d literally have to ask for it, sometimes sheepishly even though you are supposed to be entitled to it / them.

EXECUTIVE CLUB – Located on the 3rd floor alongside the function rooms. Access is via your keycard, which means you don’t have to report your room number to the club staff. The place was really nicely done up (refurnished?) with a touches of old school luxury eg rich velvety colors and materials. The “afternoon tea” from 2-4pm was a poor showing as there were only cookies, 2 choices of cakes, with coffee, tea, soft drinks etc. There were empty bread baskets and empty plates only the table which I later learnt was not because they ran out, but it was meant to be placed there for cocktail hours. Being ready ahead of time is not un-necessary but it makes the offerings look bad. There seemed to be only 1 staff around during these hours, which meant multiple tables left uncleared.

Cocktail hours was excellent for a change tho! It was quite crowded by the time we headed down at 5:30pm and seats were quickly filled up. There were hot bites, cheeses, breads, fruits, salads, and pastries. Selection of wines and baileys (yay!), and blended whiskeys. Service was excellent, with the staff informing of last call for food and offering alcohol right up to 8pm.

Breakfast at the club was also a cosy affair. There were made to order egg dishes but no menu cards indicated. You just request for them. Abit strange.

FACILITIES – I went swimming in the afternoon on level 5 and the pool was a good size with many sunbeds around. There were also a steam room, sauna, and a good size gym on the same floor.

CHECK OUT – Done at the lounge and fuss free.

The place was ideal for a staycation but perhaps not so much for tourists. Still, nothing much to complain for a free stay using points!

[Hotel Review] Sofitel Singapore City Centre

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One of my fav hotel logos!

 

I love checking out new hotels so this had been on my list for quite some time – and I snagged the chance to book it during the Accor Super Sale @ 30%. Not a lot but its still savings! A super lux staycation checked off my list finally.  So excited to see this new Sofitel as the other 2 are erm a little less interesting (either that or they’ve been around for too long).

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[Hotel Review] JW Marriot Hotel Singapore South Beach

This property (formerly known as South Beach Hotel) has intrigued me ever since it opened for business. Back then, it was such a breathe of fresh air for the local hotel landscape and it expectedly created a small rustle amongst hotel lovers. Room rates were not terribly affordable hovering around $400, but of course for a designer hotel.

Fast forward to now, its been re-branded as a JW Marriot (finally the 2nd Marriot in SG!) and still an iconic designer hotel which deserves a fair bit of attention.

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[Hotel Review] DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru

 

Finally got a chance to stay here for a quick 1 night over a weekend from Singapore! The property is seen to be the best intentional chain in JB and I was keen to try it out.

ADDRESSNo. 12 Jalan Ngee Heng, Johor Bahru, 80000, Malaysia. TEL: +60-7-2686868. Website.

GETTING THERE – the hotel is in a sort of hidden hilltop location 10mins walk from City Square but the reviews were right – the hurdle was getting across that multi-lane road with no traffic lights. For safety sake, just take a grab and it will cost you only MYR6. I took grab from a salon in Twin Galaxy Residences and got there in 10mins in the 6pm peak hour traffic.

PRICE – MYR522 (MYR448++) with the Hilton 30% flash sale: a superb deal for a club room especially if you compare it to the international properties in SG.

CHECK IN – Check in was smooth and they could pull out my reservation based on passport details. Front desk was very polite and patient and included a letter explaining the club room benefits which many hotels nowadays fail to deliver – but would have been better if its personalised though. But I was disappointed I was not asked to check in at the lounge.

ROOM – I was assigned a King Club Room 2911 and it was fairly spacious with more than sufficient room for 2pax to move around. Cleanliness was not an issue and the Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries were a bonus. Request for more water etc was done very quickly. Being 2 rooms away from the lounge is a plus for me!

 

CLUB LOUNGE – honestly quite small for the property size. Very crowded during cocktail hours of 6-8pm so do come early. Sweets and savories could make up a light dinner if you eat enough of them. But they seem to be understaffed, or made up of clueless staff. Plates were not cleared for a long time, and requests for eggs during breakfast were met with a puzzled ‘HUH?’ – then our orders were mixed up and I was asked to repeat my orders after I received them. Very strange indeed. The place itself was quite nice but because of the crowed, it does not feel very exclusive.

FACILITIES – the pool looked very small, but the gym was big and quite well equipped. Did not try any other facilities.

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SERVICE – Other than the poor showing at the club lounge, the other service was actually quite nice.

CHECK OUT – Efficiently completed as the room was pre-paid.

Will definitely stay here in a heartbeat due to its proximity and convenience but will look forward to some improvements at the Lounge.

[Hotel Review] Pullman Miri Waterfront

I’ve stalked this place ever since it first opened last year, waited for its teething problems to be over, and booked my tickets once there was a window for a 3 day trip to this town, which I honestly haven’t heard of until the Pullman news came up. And so we took that random 20-hour flight on Air Asia on a random Friday for this really chill short trip.

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