Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, Thailand – Review of My Stay

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Hotel Muse is part of Accor’s MGallery collection of unique hotels. It was opened about six months ago and is very popular party spot among Thais. Last week, I was staying at the Grand Hyatt Erewan, and was staring at the Muse Hotel from my 16th floor window. I am always very eager to try out different brands and hotels. I had not experienced Accor’s MGallery collection hotel before, but I had heard that the Hotel Muse was very boutique and some might even call it a trendy hotel.

When I arrived to the hotel, I was welcomed with a very familiar smell. Apparently the hotel pumps the same fragrance to public spaces as the Hotel Victor, which used to be part of Hyatt, in South Beach.

Location

The hotel is located on the Langsuan road about 400 meters from the Chit Lom BTS station. The road is one way so it might make few turns to get there depending on the direction you are coming from. I like the location as it is close to the Central World & Siam Paragon shopping complexes. There are quite a few other hotels in the immediate neighborhood, and I have been to quite a few of them; St Regis, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Renaissance, Courtyard, Mayfair Executive apartments etc.

Cabs are not familiar with the hotel at all, but they do know the road well. It is probably worth saving the address in your smart phone or print it out on the paper both in English and in Thai.

 Check In

The lobby is very intimate and has only two desks. The overall decor is very dark, but I liked it. It gives a different vibe to the property.

Unfortunately things started to fall apart at check in. I had made my reservation couple of hours prior to my arrival, and apparently their system and Accor’s web reservation aren’t linked electronically as I could see my reservation printed out as an email sitting on the table.

They could see that I had a Le Club Accorhotels account, but they couldn’t see what my status is. I offered to log into my account online using my laptop and tethering through my cell phone. When I showed my Platinum status online, they were satisfied.

Then, I was inquiring what Platinum benefits I would get. Would I get a complimentary breakfast or wireless internet access? According to one of the front desk employees my rate was already so good that they couldn’t offer them. I really wasn’t interested in about the wireless internet access because I could tether on the 3G network using my cell phone, but would have preferred to check out their breakfast offerings.

One weird thing during the check in was that the hotel wanted to charge the room rate immediately and then hold an authorization for the incidentals. Normally hotels just block certain amount during the check in, and you settle both the room bill and incidentals when checking out.

Somehow the only non-Thai employee, who was from Mexico, was able to find me a 9th floor corner room and gave me a Platinum gift that turned out to be a nice Hotel Muse branded shirt. The room wasn’t immediately ready, and I had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in the lobby.

The check in process took maybe 20 minutes without the wait for the room to be ready. This is way too long.

Corner Room 902

As with the other part of the hotel, the decor of the corner room I had was dark. Some might say that the hotel over uses the Muse everywhere from the water bottles to the TV, but it didn’t bother me too much. I think that it rather proves that the hotel takes branding very seriously.

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The room was quite spacious for a regular sized corner room. The bathroom had a window to the bedroom as most of the newer hotel so, but you can easily close the curtain when soaking in the bathtub or taking a shower. I have no idea why, but there was no air conditioning in the bathroom. You had to have the door open from the bedroom to keep the temperature at the normal level inside.

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The minibar setup was one of the better ones that I have seen. The cabinet was well designed to house both the complimentary (Muse branded) coffee & tea as well as the beverages and snacks.

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Overall, the room was very functional and well thought. I really liked the decor as it was definitely trendier and thought than “normal” run of the mill hotel rooms. But, at the same time, I can understand that the concept that the Muse has probably isn’t for anyone.

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Fitness Center & Pool

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Both the fitness center and the pool are on the 19th floor. The fitness center was on the small side, but then this is only for the hotel guests. I was little surprised that they hadn’t bought the most up to date LifeFitness line of machines. I really like the ones that have imbedded TV on the console so that I can watch CNN/BBC while running.

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The pool was on the same floor as the fitness center. It was not huge, but enough to get you wet if that’s what you wish. There were some sun chairs around and inside the pool as well on the both ends.

Food & Beverage outlets

The hotel runs a very popular Speakeasy restaurant/bar on the top two floors of the hotel. The Thai restaurant that also serves the breakfast is on the 19th floor. They have another bar on the lower ground floor. Unfortunately, I was not able to check out these outlets as I had bit of a problem with my stomach from the food that I had the previous day at the Grand Hyatt.

Conclusion

This is a very nice designer/boutique hotel that caters to the trendier crowd. The price that I paid was in line with other hotels in the immediate area. I really liked the dark décor of the hotel, but it probably won’t work for everyone. They do, however, need to speed up the check in process and integrate the Accor’s reservation system with the in-house one. There is no place for getting reservation made at Accor’s website by email and then inputting them manually to the system that the hotel uses. Too many things that can go wrong with this manual approach.

Also, they need to make sure that they treat the Le Club Accorhotel Platinum guests better. Most of the other hotels in Bangkok give a complimentary breakfast & internet to their elite guests even when the benefit is not system wide i.e. Courtyard by Marriott. This is due to the competitive market in Bangkok. I think that the hotel should look into this. Claiming that they cannot provide certain Platinum benefits due to the low promotional rate I paid, is borderline ridiculous.

Le Club Accorhotels 500 Points for Free & Triple Points For Stays Including Weekend Night

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Earlier in the week I was writing about Le Club Accorhotels offer of instant Platinum status for Citi cardholders, but the offer appears to be open for anyone. Now, Le Club is offering 500 points just for inputting your Le Club number on to their Facebook page (no need to sign up for Facebook). You will also have a chance to win 1000000 points (one person) or 25000 (10 people).

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I just signed up for this and instantly received an email confirmation that I had been eligible for the 500 Le Club points, and that they would post to my account within 3 weeks after the end of the game. I am not in a hurry to get Le Club points, so if they post eventually, it’s all good.

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This offer also includes triple points for stays that include a weekend night that are booked from April 10to May 10, and consumed by June 10, 2012. You weekday nights will get triple points also IF your stay includes Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night.

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There is no separate code for signing up for this promotion. I would assume that signing up for the 500 points offer, which is available for the first 25000, will sign you up for the triple points offer as well.

Here are the terms and conditions that Accor has released about these two promotions:

Le Club Accorhotels (Accor A Club) Platinum Status for Signing Up

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Please note that Accor has disabled this offer. Please sign up for our email alerts to get notified when this offer is available again.

Last month Accor changed the name of its loyalty program from Accor A Club to Le Club Accorhotels. Not sure why the name change? Personally, I don’t think that the new name is any better than the old one.

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Accor has run multiple promotions of getting the Platinum status with its loyalty program instantaneously. Typically these promotions last for a week or so. If you are planning, or even if you are not, to stay at Accor property, it makes sense to sign up for the program. The benefits are somewhat hit & miss, but then you really don’t have to “qualify” for the program in the first place.

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I signed up for the Platinum status last year and have had few Accor stays. The Mercure hotel in Nadi was not great, but the Novotel hotel in Lami Bay was actually nice. During my latest Accor hotel stay at the Hotel Muse, an MGallery collection hotel, in Bangkok I even received a Platinum gift that was a shirt.

This latest offer is targeted to Citi credit card holders, but in the usual Accor fashion it is open for anybody. You can sign up for the program and get the instant Platinum status by completing the form here. The promotional code should be embedded. If for some reason it is not, just use the following one CITIBANKRLPLAT2012.

Accor A|Club Becomes Le Club Accorhotels

This coming Wednesday Accor is changing the name of its frequent guest program from A|Club to Le Club Accorhotels. Not sure if it sounds a bit too French, but I am normally happy with my stays at Starwood’s Le Meridien and Le Royal Meridien hotels.

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I hope that they have better integrated the new Le Club Accorhotels to their reservation system. Currently you need to plug in your A|Club number each and every time you make a reservation. Also, the web address for the A|Club has been separate from the Accor’s site for actual bookings. I guess that we need to wait couple of more days to find out. The new site should be up and running this coming Wednesday.

Novotel Suva, Lami Bay, Fiji – Review of My Stay

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The main selling point of this hotel is the close proximity to the capital of Fiji, but yet far enough away from the city to feel like a resort. I was on my way from Nadi to Suva and spent a night at the InterContinental Fiji resort, that was stunning, before continuing my way to Suva. As it was starting to be late I decided to spend a night here before continuing to the city, and to the Holiday Inn in the morning.

The drive from Natadola Bay and Nadi is long. This will take about three hours if you drive fast. I would not suggest driving during the night-time as there are rather large potholes at times. It is impossible to see them in the dark.

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There are numerous villages on the way and you need to slow down considerably when you are driving through them. They have at least two speed bumps in every village. Just before you enter one and when you leave.

Check in

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The check in was fast. I had made my reservation earlier in the day while logged in to my Accor A Club Platinum account. Not sure about this A Club because apparently there are no benefits for staying at Novotel hotels besides getting some extra points. Anyway, I was allocated a room facing the bay and on a wing that appeared to been renovated fairly recently.

Room

The room itself was nice but rather small. All was very functional, however. There was a lovely view of the bay from the balcony.

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Bathroom, again, was quite small but functional.

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Restaurant / Bar

Didn’t have a breakfast at this property so cannot comment about it. I did, however, have a soup, dessert, and couple of beers in the evening when I arrived. There was couple of musicians playing some Polynesian themed songs and the atmosphere was quite nice.

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What I didn’t like was the number of insects flying around in the bar due to the lights. This entire area is open and probably because it is so close to the water it is impossible to control these. It didn’t seem to bother anybody else than me so I am most likely just not used to it.

Pool / Fitness Center

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They had a small pool on the property and few chairs around it. There were more chairs on the deck very close to the water. As I was leaving early in the morning, I didn’t have time to check out the fitness center at this property.

Transportation

The hotel was offering a shuttle (not sure if it was free) to the city center of Suva and back three to four times a day. So it is possible to explore the city and still day at this hotel. I didn’t use the shuttle because I had a rental car and staying at this hotel only for a night.

Conclusion

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Nice and relaxing hotel that is located very close to the Suva city. I probably wouldn’t spend here longer than couple of days, if you are just planning to explore the city. I also stayed at the Holiday Inn hotel in Suva that is right in the city center. I will write about it tomorrow.

Accor A Club Rate Promotion “3 Nights For The Price Of 2”

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Accor is having a sale for stays between March 9 and April 15, 2012. You can get 3 nights for the price of 2. There are quite a few hotels participating to this promotion, but obviously not all. They just sent an email notification for their A Club members before making the offer more widely available.

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I was just looking for options in Kuala Lumpur, where I will be this weekend, and Novotel had quite decent rates. If you are looking for some stays that are 3 days or longer, it might make some sense to check out the Accor’s prices.

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There is still the promotion going to get instant Platinum status as well with the Accor’s A Club. You can access this sale using the link here.

Accor A Club And Getting Stays Credited Properly

As Accor has been running quite a few promotions lately to get folks to sign up for their frequent stay program and give them the Platinum status right away, I finally decided to check out couple of their properties when I was in Fiji.

I have already written about my disastrous stay at the Mercure hotel in Nadi and will do the write up about my Novotel experience tomorrow that was acceptable. The stay at the Novotel posted without problems to my A Club account, but the stay at the Mercure is apparently MIA.

Both of these reservations was done one Accor’s website while logged in to the A Club account. I can also see post of the stays on my reservation history. So, these are both linked to my account and my account number MUST have been on file.

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Decided to check out how the system of requesting a stay credit for a past stay that hasn’t posted to your account is working. Apparently they want you to scan a copy of your folio and attach it to the request. I didn’t have it on hand so attached a picture of the cockroach that I had in my room there.

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Just got the following reply back that this is a no go.

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Is this scanning of receipts and sending them to A Club worth of my or anybody’s time? Of course it is not and they very well know that. Hotels are paying for the A Club points awarded for A Club members, and they can simply remove your account number from the reservation so that they don’t have this extra expense. It would be the right thing to A Club to contact the properties and request copies of the past stays that have been reported through their website, and then post the missing points.

Complimentary Accor A|Club Platinum Status Just For Signing Up – CITIBANKPLAT2011

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Please note that this offer is not currently valid. Sign up for our free email alerts so that you won’t miss when this is available next time.

Accor has run number of promotion with various banks for giving Platinum Status for their customers. Apparently now it is Citibank’s turn. This promotion is supposed to run to May 31st, 2012 but these tend to end earlier. Last time Accor run similar promotion with HSBC.

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The terms and conditions indicate that you would need to reside in the United Arab Emirates to be eligible for this offer. I just signed up my brother, who lives in Finland, and all went through just fine.

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You can sign up for the Platinum status using the following link: http://bit.ly/accorplt

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Mercure Nadi Hotel, Nadi, Fiji – Review of My Stay

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I had spent the three previous nights at the Hilton, Radisson Blu, and Sheraton hotels in the Denarau Island. I wanted to have a look at the city and the bars on the Queens road are, and had arranged a car rental the following morning from the airport. As I had planned to only crash at the hotel for the night, I decided that Mercure should be ok.

To be honest, I am not very familiar with the Accor’s brands. I know that they have lots of hotels, but most of them are somewhat lower quality ones than Hyatt’s and Starwood’s. I thought that Mercure would be comparable to a lower quality Holiday Inn or maybe to a Holiday Inn Express hotel.

Location

This hotel is conveniently located to the airport in Nadi. It is on the Queens road very close to the night spots in the city. It is within a rather long walk from the Nadi town, but there is nothing really in the city worth seeing.

Hotel

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Not sure what is the official star rating of this hotel, but comparing to international standards it shouldn’t be more than two stars. It had a very motel like feeling. They do offer some sort of airport shuttle in certain times of the day. It probably makes sense to check how early these shuttles leave. In some hotels they were 3 hours before scheduled departure time that is way too early. From Mercure it takes 10 to 15 minutes to the airport. There is no need to check in earlier than 70 minutes before your scheduled international departure time.

Check in

I had just made a reservation for same day arrival. It didn’t take too long for them to pull it and gave me a key. Although I am an Accor Platinum member (due to a recent promotion), don’t think that there are any benefits when staying at Mercure properties. I had a bell boy helping take my bag to the room.

Room 120

This was a ground floor room that had a direct access to the courtyard/pool. The room was ok. Nothing good but nothing bad either. The TV was rather small. There was an empty refrigerator. Not sure why there was two beds – one bigger and one rather small one.

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At one point there was a cockroach on the floor. Took the picture before killing it.

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Pool

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The pool area looked rather nice compared to the room I had. They had two small pools and few hammocks in the garden.

Conclusion

This hotel is fine for a quick overnight. I would not, however, spend more than a night at this property.

(Again) Free Accor A-Club Hotel Platinum Status for New Accounts – Promotion HSBCPREMPLA11.

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Please note that this offer has now expired. There is another offer of instant Platinum status with Accor available, however. 

In late November, Accor hotels run a similar promotion where one could sign up for an account and get an instant Platinum status. The promotion lasted for few days. Again, this is going to be a time sensitive offer. There is an ongoing offer for Gold status as well.

You can sign up for the Platinum status using the following link: http://bit.ly/aclubplt

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You will get an instant confirmation of your new Platinum status:

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If you have an old A-Club account, you then need to make a decision whether opening a new account is worthwhile for you. Please note that you cannot use an existing email address that is on file with A-Club for signing up a new account.

Here is the quick look at the Accor A Club Platinum benefits:

A|Club Platinum status

With 60 nights or 25,000 A|Club points.

– 100% A|Club points bonus for every stay
Exclusive benefits at Sofitel*, Pullman and MGallery hotels.
– Welcome drink and gift
– Room upgrade**
– Late check-out up to 4:00 pm**
– A room always available if you reserve at least 3 days before your arrival.
– A Thalassa sea & spa Institute beauty and treatment product when you stay at Sofitel Thalassa sea & spa
– A welcome gift for any stay of 10 nights or more at Adagio, plus late check-out**
– Dedicated customer service

* Except Thalassa sea & spa
** upon request, and subject to availability

Free Accor Hotels A Club Platinum Status for New or Old Accounts – Promotion FFPAFS04C

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This offer has been discontinued by Accor. You can still get A-Club Gold status just by signing up. http://loyaltylobby.com/2011/11/25/sign-up-for-a-free-accor-a-club-gold-membership-using-promotional-code-aclubfrohmygold2011/

Here’s another offer for instant Platinum status:.

http://loyaltylobby.com/2012/01/05/again-free-accor-a-club-hotel-platinum-status-for-new-accounts-promotion-hsbcprempla11/

Couple of days ago I wrote about an offer from Accor that would give you an instant Accor A Club Gold status just for signing up. Apparently, they have even better offer going on right now. You can get an instant Platinum status using an offer code FFPAFS04C.

Accor Hotels A Club Platinum Offer

If you have an existing account all you need to do is to use the following link and just input your A Club number and an email address. You will shortly receive a welcome email welcoming you to Platinum status with Accor Hotels.

Sign Up For a Free Accor A Club Gold Membership Using Promotional Code – ACLUBFROHMYGOLD2011

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Accor A Club GoldIt never hurts to have a Gold status with Accor just in case you happen to find a great price at one of their hotels or to be in a place where you don’t have your favorite chain represented. Accor has pretty good coverage in South America, Europe, and in part of Asia.

Last year they run a promotion for instant Platinum status. Right now they have a promotion that gives you an instant Gold status with Accor’s A Club. All you need to do is to plug in the promotional code ACLUBFROHMYGOLD2011 when you sign up.

Accor A Club Gold Screen

Accor Hotels Super Sale Is Back – Save Up To 50% Off

Accor Hotels is having their end of year super sale. Accor A Club members can save up to 50% off and non-members up to 40% off the best available rates when booked by this Friday 25th of November for stays between December 11th, 2011 and 12th February, 2012. A Club, Accor Hotels loyalty program, is free to join. The link for this offer is at http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/promotion/specials/crazyprices.shtml.

Accor Super Sale 2011

Discount is not available at all Accor hotels. List of available properties can be found at http://www.accorhotels.com/pdf/supersales-november-participating-hotels.pdf. Super sale rates are prepaid and non-refundable. If your plans are firm, it makes sense to check if you can save using this offer from Accor.

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