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hotel review

Asia/Pacific Cambodia Eating Abroad Featured

Phnom Penh – A First-Timer’s Guide to the Cambodian Capital

May 18, 2018
Entrance to Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

When we landed in Phnom Penh, we knew nothing more than the name of our hotel and a rough idea of how much the taxi would cost to get us there. Many of you will know that pre-trip planning and research is not our strong suit. This was the case before we decided to hit the road for months on end, but is even worse now that we’re constantly on the move. Cambodia also had the added misfortune of being the last country on our South East Asia adventure; we were a bit travel worn by the time we arrived and in no mood for extensive days of sightseeing yet we didn’t want to waste our short time in the country.

Much to our delight, Phnom Penh turned out to fit our requirements perfectly – this vibrant city has enough to keep you occupied, but its compact nature means it’s not at all overwhelming. Visiting in April also meant that it was suffocatingly hot. I thought I had acclimatised to the soaring temperatures of Asia but landing in Phnom Penh pulled me back to reality. And so our days took on a comfortable routine of action-packed mornings and lazy afternoons in the poolside cabanas at our hotel – it was bliss. For first time visitors, I think three days in the city is ideal to get around the main attractions, enjoy some of the fantastic restaurants, and still have some down time. Here’s what you should do on your first visit to Phnom Penh…

Market stall in Phnom Penh

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Malaysia

G Hotel Kelawai – A Stylish New Icon in Penang

April 5, 2018
G Hotel Kelawai Penang Hotel Review

When you are living in hotels for months on end, the last thing you want to do is stay in more than one in the same city. I have to pack my bag enough times already, thank you very much. So you can imagine the amount of convincing it took for us to leave our sleek haven at G Hotel Gurney to spend the rest of our time in Penang at their sister hotel, G Hotel Kelawai. It was just a short buggy ride round the corner, but I didn’t see much point… surely they would be the same? They’re similar but definitely not the same. As an elder sister, it’s not really in my nature to admit this but sometimes our younger sisters are much cooler than we are. It is true for me, and it seems, for G Hotel Gurney too. At Kelawai, there is a distinctly different atmosphere – the focus is less about business and more about leisure!

G Hotel Kelawai opened its glossy doors  only a couple of years ago and brought another level of style to the Gurney area. Its location is just as good as its sister property, with easy access to popular malls and food outlets, however it is far more intimate with fewer rooms and cosier spaces. The team said we would like it better and while it initially felt disloyal to G Hotel Gurney to admit it, we did… the more relaxed atmosphere and laid back vibe at Kelawai was more in line with our travel style, and as a result we felt more at home here!

G Hotel Kelawai Penang Hotel Review

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Malaysia

Rosa Malacca – A Boutique Malaysian City Break

February 19, 2018
Rosa Malacca boutique hotel review Melaka

Since being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the little city of Melaka has seen itself transform into quite the darling of the Malaysian tourist scene. The people are coming in droves to explore the history, culture, and cuisine of Melaka and as a result more and more hotels seem to be popping up all over town. In the midst of the old stalwarts, international chains, and boutique guesthouses, is Rosa Malacca. This new property is a rare gem that provides both the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of a cosy boutique hotel and the stylish, modern design of the larger chains – the perfect combination, if you ask me.

Rosa Malacca is located away from the busy streets of Jonker Walk, which we found to be more of a blessing than a curse. It’s only a brisk fifteen minute stroll or short Uber ride away, but once you step through their huge double doors, you will feel like you’re in another world. After a day of sightseeing in the hot Melaka sun, we were grateful for this oasis. The industrial chic look and feel of the hotel is quite striking, and it’s obvious that Rosa Malacca has been designed with a lot of care and attention to detail. I loved that every inch of the hotel looked beautiful, but also felt casual and comfortable – this new kid on the block is definitely not just a pretty face!

Rosa Malacca Boutique Hotel Melaka Review

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Sri Lanka

Anantara Peace Haven, Tangalle – A Sri Lankan Paradise

January 22, 2018

By the time we pulled up to the gates of the Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle, I was more than ready to step into this small slice of paradise. We had been travelling around Sri Lanka for close to a fortnight and had experienced some spectacular highs and very frustrating lows, but regardless of which end of the spectrum they sat, each day was exhausting! We wanted nothing more than to put our travel-weary feet up for some proper rest and relaxation, and we could not have chosen a more luxurious place for it. From the moment we were warmly welcomed through the gates by a traditional Sri Lankan folk song, we felt right at home in this stunning resort where nothing was too much trouble and we were greeted by smiles at every corner!

One of the newest additions to the Anantara family, this haven has been created in what used to be a coconut plantation only a short drive away from Tangalle town. This location on Sri Lanka’s southern coast is quite breathtaking and Anantara Peace Haven have used this to their advantage, ensuring all their 152 rooms and villas face out towards the Indian Ocean. The property also has all the usual facilities you would expect from a luxury resort, but at no point did it feel too big or impersonal. There was a lot to love here, but what really stuck with me was their commitment to ensuring their guests’ comfort while also respecting the natural surroundings. I think they struck the perfect balance so come take a peak inside this luxurious property and see if you would agree…

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Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Norway

Grand Hotel Oslo – A Luxury City Getaway

September 8, 2017

I’m not one to succumb to any delusions of grandeur but when it’s practically forced upon you, it’s very hard to resist. The Grand Hotel Oslo welcomed me with the belief that every one of their guests has the right to feel grand, and because that sounded all too tempting, I happily obliged. As I said, I seemed to have left my backbone at their front door and resistance was futile… there was nothing wrong with being delusional and lapping up this life of grandeur for just a weekend, was there?  The lobby was all luxe and opulence, the staff were all smiles and agreeableness.; I was liking this place already and we hadn’t yet step foot in our room…

The Grand Hotel Oslo is a grand old dame of the city so it’s hardly a surprise that she likes to treat her guests like royalty too. Actually, since the doors opened in 1874, they’ve had real royalty, world leaders, movie and music stars making this their home during their time in Oslo… and now they can add a certain someone and I to their list. Though, I suspect we won’t make it onto their wall of fame! Aside from the old world charm, we also loved the location. With a view of the Royal Palace to the right and the rest of bustling Karl Johan gate, with its shops and bars, outstretched to the left, this was the perfect base for our weekend in the city!

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Dubai Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews

Dubai International Hotel – In Transit Airport Luxury

March 21, 2017

When we choose which hotels to book, we consider four main things: price, location, quality, and value for money. Not an exhaustive list but they cover our essentials, and definitely not always in that order. Ideally all four factors rate reasonably highly, but sometimes you want to or have no choice but to value one factor more than the others… Are you splashing out on a romantic weekend away where quality is everything and price matters less? Maybe you’re planning on sightseeing all day long and just need something clean and functional in the heart of the city?

Or what if you happen to be embarking on an over 30 hour journey to the other side of the world and want to sleep in a bed between your two very long flights? You book a room in the only hotel in the airport, that’s what! And that is how we ended up checking into the Dubai International Hotel for less than 10 hours. In any other situation, it would be absolutely ludicrous, but faced with that transit time sandwiched between two even longer flights, the lure of a comfortable bed and hot shower was just too great! Since location was the only factor that mattered, we had to trust that everything else would be just fine too…

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