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A few weeks ago, Sebastian wrote here about a new “micro” type hotel concept at Dubai airport.  I had the chance to try a similar concept that’s been around for a bit longer at London’s Heathrow airport last week , the Yotel.

Yotel-main

The Yotel brand is somewhat unique in itself, as it has 5 locations in total, but 4 of these are similar limited service airport locations in London (LHR and LGW), Amsterdam, and Paris, and the fifth is a full service larger hotel near Times Square in NYC.

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It has been my second time staying at an Element Hotel of the Starwood brand yesterday and I was truly shocked by the uncomfortable and unpractical room design at that property.

Element YVR

A month ago I looked over my accounts and figured that I will require one Element stay to complete the Starwood Eleven Brands Promotion so I booked the Element Vancouver Metrotown. [click to continue…]

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This week, the China Daily (access online article here) wrote in it’s weekly ASEAN Edition about the rapid growth of salaries in Asia and the associated effects this has on the ability of companies to attract and retain employees.

China Daily JUL 10I have been to China during the last week and John was there a week earlier. We have already discussed the deteriorated staff performance at length and it seems like the author of the article comes to the same conclusion as we did. [click to continue…]

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Park Hyatt Zanzibar (the only Park Hyatt in Africa) had its grand opening on March 8th and allowed bookings on Hyatt.com starting March 12, 2015.

Hotel Check Park Hyatt Zanzibar

As I was going to be in the Zanzibar island on its opening week, I decided to squeeze in a stay on the opening night on March 12. The hotel had brought up the opening date from March 30th to March 12th. The hotel was not originally accepting reservation for the dates that I was going to be in Zanzibar. [click to continue…]

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Marriott has a newly affiliated Autograph Collection hotel in Edinburgh called the Glasshouse hotel. This hotel has been open for more than 10 years, but went through refurbishment this past spring and joined Marriott in mid-June.

the-glasshouse-edinburgh-autograph-collection

The reception are of this hotel is located in an old building that used to be a church. The rooms/suites are on the top floor of the adjacent building that houses restaurants and a cinema. This is a relatively small hotel, as it only has total of 65 rooms/suites. [click to continue…]

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Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral opened in early March and I stayed there for a night in May during an overnight transit.

aloft-kuala-lumpur-sentral

Aloft is Starwood’s limited service brand targeted towards the W crowd. The slogan of the hotel is “A Vision of W Hotels”. There are quite a few Aloft hotels in North America and they seem to be slowly spreading to other parts of the world as well. [click to continue…]

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This was my first ever stay at Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. I am not 100% sure what this hotel brand stands for, but I would imagine it to be  something too different and bold to be branded as Marriott or Renaissance.

the-stones-hotel-legian-bali

There is another Marriott chain hotel in Bali – Courtyard that is located in the most southern part of the island called Nusa Dua. [click to continue…]

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Starwood certainly is well represented in Bali. There are two new properties (Sheraton and Le Meridien) and four older ones (St. Regis, W, Westin and Laguna). I have now stayed at all of them. There are two more properties opening in the next 12 months.

sheratonn-kuta-car-entrance

I had eagerly waited for the opening of this hotel that has been under construction on my previous couple of visist. I finally had a chance to stay there in March. [click to continue…]

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There are currently six Starwood properties in Bali (St. Regis, Westin, Luxury Collection Laguna, W and Sheraton) including the new Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran. There is a new Westin hotel coming in Ubud and Sarasvati in the Seminyak area in the next 12 months.

le-meridien-bali-jimbaran

There used to be a Le Meridien Resort in Bali previously, but it has been reflagged as a Pan Pacific property. This brand new property, although it has been open for around 4 months, won’t have its grand opening before May 9, 2013. [click to continue…]

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Back in March, I wrote about this Tune hotel concept that is closely related to AirAsia. Basically everything is unbundled starting from the air conditioning of the room. I was intrigued by this and decided to check out the concept by staying at one of their properties when I would have an opportunity to do so.

tune-hotel-bangkok-asoke-reception

I had a noon flight yesterday (Tuesday) out from Bangkok and hada very late check out on Monday evening from the full service hotel I was staying at. I was contemplating checking out this Tune-concept or Accor’s Ibis and chose the former. [click to continue…]

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For the past couple of weeks I have been in Bangkok and I had the opportunity to stay at the newest Marriott branded hotel on its opening day, March 18th, 2013. The opening day of this property was moved up couple of times and I was able to book it for an opening day arrival just a couple of days before.

marriott-bangkok-sukhumvit-view-of-the-building

I like to check out new properties when they open while, at the same time, being fully aware that it usually takes a few months to get everything going smoothly. This Marriott was still a work in progress, mainly building wise, but the service was very good however. [click to continue…]

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Last month I spent half day at this property. I had a very early morning flight out on Emirates and decided to check out this brand new Marriott property that hadn’t had its grand opening at the time.

The hotel will have two towers once it is completely ready. Only one tower is operational right now. The second tower is expected to open sometime in 2014.

jw-marriott-marquis-dubai-tower-1

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W Bangkok has now been open for less than a month. The grand opening is currently scheduled for March, 2013. The hotel only has part of the final room inventory available right now i.e. suites are scheduled to be available starting from February 1, 2013. You can read more about my booking dilemma of this hotel here.

I always advise my friends to stay away from newly opened hotels for at least 6 months. Typically, it takes a while for the employees to get up to the SPG program standards and also get to know the property. I was actually surprised how smoothly everything went during my brief stay. Quite frankly, I was expecting the absolute worst. [click to continue…]

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Right now Yangon and Myanmar are going through very fast growth period once few countries such as United States eased or completely withdraw the trade embargo after successful open election earlier this year. Foreign companies are trying to establish themselves to the country and the hotel availability haven’t kept up. And this shows on the prices.

There are only two or three Western quality hotels in Yangon; Governor’s Residence (where I stayed earlier this year), Traders and Strand. All these three were very expensive for the date in early December I was looking at. The Governor’s Residence had their daily rate exceeding $600. [click to continue…]