Archive for the Category »Hong Kong «

Nov
07th
  Travel Round Up: Escape Winter Cold W/These Deals!

Love finding travel deals to share with you.

Here are some that look exciting this week:

Business travelers, especially, may appreciate this one:

From Gatewayhongkong.com

From Gatewayhongkong.com

DEAL #1- Round trip from LAX to Hong Kong on luxury airline Cathay Pacific – $769!!! Cathay Pacific is one of the finest airlines… and this deal is good for next June. The reason? Cathay Pacific is adding another daily non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong in June, and this is a promotion for it.

June is a good month to go – it kicks off summer activities in the gateway to the East.

You must act fast the sale ends Nov.11. For more on the deal:

www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_US/latest-offers/flights/lax-hkg-offer.html?cm_mmc=BANNER-US-_-LAXPS-LAXMULTI-04NOV13-_-TZ-_-468899723-CUST

From Princess.com

From Princess.com

DEAL #2 – 7 night cruise to the Caribbean aboard Princess Cruises’s newest ship….for $599 a person!!!

This is good for certain dates in February 2014…. The ship sets sail from Fort Lauderdale and goes to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St Maarten.

For $49 more per person, you can get a balcony cabin and also a $200 credit per cabin.

Book by Nov. 8 – tomorrow!! Here’s where you go:

www.smartcruiser.com/promotion/33880255-5277-edc9-114a-e59806836455/

From applevacations.com

From applevacations.com

DEAL #3: A great deal to a tropical get-a-way…. A Mexico package deal. A seven night all-inclusive stay in Cancun starting at $979 per person, includes airfare, hotel, meals including alcohol, and ground transfers.  Prices vary a little depending from where you are flying.

Stay in what is described as a four star hotel – the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda.

This is good for January, for those of you who want to escape the snow, and this deal expires Nov. 13.

www.travelzoo.com/top20/87505246-1612884

Get booking!

 
May
11th
  Hotel of the Week: Girls Night Out in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

The gateway to Asia was my playground for one night with some girlfriends recently.. and we wanted to do it right. Should we stay on the Hong Kong side of Victoria Harbour.. or the Kowloon side (north of Hong Kong Island) ? What hotel would be the shortest trip from the airport to maximize our time out the night we landed? What about a hotel near good restaurants?

Middle class problems, I know. Cue the violin.

We ended up on the Kowloon side – which was my vote only because there are the best views looking back at the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island.  A stunning sight.

The hotel… was different. This is a lesson in how ads – and even websites can be misleading. Do your research!

Shangri-la Hotel, Kowloon

We stayed at the Shangri-la, which looked elegant on the website. Elegant can sometimes be code for “outdated” the same way “charming” can be translated to really small. I really find traveler reviews helpful to confirm (or not confirm) what you see on a website- where there is smoke, there is fire.

The Shangri-la is terribly outdated… and for a hotel in one of the most efficient cities in the world, I had to laugh when the “morning free coffee in the lobby” consisted of .. a coffee pot brewing ONE CUP at a time. Needless to say, there was a long line of Americans waiting. On the other hand, they had many cups of tea available. Tea IS Part of the Chinese culture after all, but management needs to know it’s audience better!

Anyway -…the people there were very nice, and I am able to share a lesson in hotel booking with you. Now I will offer other different Hong Kong hotels, since we drove right by two of my favorites on the way to the Shangri-la. One is high-end, and one is low…. I love giving options!!!

Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

High end – this hotel needs no introduction. The Peninsula Hotel. If you can afford it, it is truly one of the best hotels in the world for service.

The rooms are luxurious with insane views, and high tech touches, like buttons by your bedside to control everything.  I had an incredible view from my bath tub, as well as the living room. If you want to enjoy the view, ask for a room in the modern tower. Another high class Peninsula perk: Limo service to and from the airport in a Rolls Royce. Round trip is about $385.  The price tag for a king bed, Harbour view room? Get ready for sticker shock: $1005… plus tax. www.peninsula.com/hongkong

My other favorite – and SO SO affordable and family friendly is the YMCA Salisbury Hotel, just a stones’ throw from the Peninsula. This place is clean, pleasant, and totally family friendly. Some rooms have views – and yes you pay for that, but a 350 sq ft family suite with a king bed and separate living room with pull out couch goes for about $250 a night!

The activities include an indoor swimming pool and rock climbing wall. If you want a casual, family environment, this is the place. Because of Hong Kong’s tradition as the epicenter for business and international travel, this is really a rare hotel.  www.ymcahk.org.hk

Hong Kong may not be on  your tourist map… but with more travelers visiting Vietnam, Bali, and other areas of Asia, many times you will find yourself staying over in Hong Kong. Not a bad pitstop…especially for five girlfriends!

I

 
Jan
08th
  You should see the exciting new hotels opening in 2011…

Some seriously fabulous new hotels to check out – and there’s something for everyone. 2011 is looking good for travel.

Here is a sampling of a few new hotels:

1)  The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong… slated to open March 2011, it’s claim to fame is that it will be the tallest hotel in the world (Occupying the top floors of the ICC building in Kowloon.). That IS a big deal, but if you have any idea of how majestic the views are in Hong Kong, then you will completely understand the, ahem, “heightened” importance.

Prepare yourself: Hong Kong is very Western… only in key pockets did I feel like I was really in China.

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HongKong/Default.htm

2) I am delirious over the recent collection of hotels that have opened in Sicily, Italy. Not kidding. Just visit the below websites. Some of the most beautiful settings, and classically elegant buildings….These would be my picks for dream destinations…. not the typical Italian tourist place (Rome, Florence…) but so much to offer.

—The Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina :

Set right near the Greek Theatre…with spectacular views from the terrace. Bedroom balconies are nice, reminiscent of those at the Splendido in Portofino. Situated in the middle of the village, beaches are nearby.

The 72 room Grand Timeo dates from 1873 and features views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos from panoramic terraces and guest rooms. Sorry these photos are so small – go to the website – it won’t disappoint! http://www.grandhoteltimeo.com/web/oght/grand_hotel_timeo.jsp

The other noteworthy hotel in Sicily, another Orient Express hotel, is the Villa Sant’ Andrea. Right on it’s own exclusive beach, it is breathtaking..and 5-star heaven. If you want to leave for some culture and village life, a cable car whisks you away.

Villa Sant'Andrea, Sicily, Italy

Visit this website too. The best photos couldn’t be downloaded. http://www.hotelvillasantandrea.com/web/ovsa/villa_sant_andrea_hotel.jsp

And lastly, and great excursion for families – a new Disney cruise…The third ship in the Disney fleet, the Disney Dream will take it’s maiden voyage Jan. 26. The ship holds 4000 passengers and sails to the Bahamas. As anyone who has ever done anything with Disney knows, it caters to children – and boasts to have the largest water coaster at sea! There is always plenty of entertainment for all on Disney cruises, and even if you don’t love being with large groups, I don’ t know many families who haven’t had a good time on a Disney cruise.

DIsney Dream Cruise Ship - water coaster

My bags are ready to be packed!

 
May
07th
  Hotel of the Week: This one has the best service I have ever encountered…

Indulge me a bit. This week’s pick makes a luxury hotel look like a hostel. It is super high end and swanky….I know, it seems out of step to be talking about a super expensive hotel in this economic climate, but isn’t it fun to look at those anyway?

I am talking about the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. The reason I chose it is because my mother and I were there together once and it is one of her favorite hotels. So in honor of Mother’s Day, enjoy these photos of the oh so chic Peninsula.

It is Hong Kong’s oldest hotel, having opened in 1928. It is world renown for it’s first class treatment of guests, and beautiful, ornate surroundings.

The hotel has it’s own fleet of Rolls Royces to shuttle guests to and from the airport. Remember, indulge me.

High tea and dining are top notch here.

Hong Kong is an exciting city. If you can’t stay at the Peninsula there are other fine hotels…and if you want a really nice surprise for families, try the YMCA also in Kowloon. Totally inexpensive, nice digs, and plenty of activities for kids including a rock climbing wall. Have a great weekend.

www.peninsula.com/hongkong