Category Archives: Hotel Reviews

Review of Fairmont Beijing, China (2017)

Fairmont Beijing
Stay: 5 nights (February 2017)
Room: Fairmont Gold Junior Suite with Gold Lounge access

Reviewed by: Andrew Chan (Professional Film Critic and former global luxury hotelier)

Our stay at the CCTV style pink modern building structure of Fairmont Beijing was a lovely and luxurious one. As we celebrating a special occasion, we made a request to the hotel prior to the stay to arrange for a memorable stay. On arrival, we were escorted by the hotel reception to the 20th floor Fairmont Gold Lounge. As we were upgraded to the junior suite of Fairmont Gold, we had a separate and private check in desk and managers.

 

As we walked into our spacious and elegantly designed junior suite rooms, we were gratefully surprised for the lovely gesture of rose petals in a heart shape and red roses in a vase to celebrate our occasion. Tiny touches are paramount to a luxury hotel experience, especially for someone who have worked in the industry on a global management level.
The bathroom is extremely large and well furniture with an oversized bath tub with gold plated handles. Rose petals and bath salts are beautiful combo for the luxurious bubble bath experience.

 

 

Adding to this, the clear glass view from the bath tub to the bed is a modern idea. There is two separate wash basin and a huge mirror much to the delight of a romancing couple experience. The shower heads are comfortably big and plenty of space and the Japanese style toilets are nice touches.

The king sized bed is comfortably sized and elegantly placed within the room with a beautiful view of Beijing skylines. The separate luggage and wardrobes compartment adds a layer to the luxury. There is a separate sofa and coffee machine to complete the relaxation process.

Now we get to the key point, the beautifully located and complementary access of the Fairmont Gold lounge and without doubt made our experience a hugely romantic, satisfying and relaxing. The lounge access provides daily continental and Chinese buffet breakfast of which is plentiful of choices and quality. Nespresso machine coffee, tea, freshly squeezed juice and Norwegian sparkling water is available throughout the day. There is also the choice of freshly made eggs, hash brown and wonton noodle soup in the breakfast menu.

Afternoon tea is filled with small canapés and dessert, while evening cocktails, red and white wine and sparkling wine finishes off a wonderful lounge experience. The service must be complimented as it is seamless and first class as we are treated like VIP guests. I can assure that the Gold Lounge experience definitely adds to the level of service and overall experience.


Of note of mention is the special arrangement of flowers on Valentine’s Day to surprise my partner and this was done with absolute discreet and appreciation to the Fairmont Gold team for their efforts. We also took time out to try out the spa on Valentine’s Day and the private room was spacious with a huge spa. The body scrub and body massage that followed eased to our sleep and relaxation.


All in all, this Fairmont stay was quite memorable and adding to the sudden and rare nice blue sky weather of Beijing, the five days was almost perfect. From the beautiful in-room experience to the personalised services of the Gold Lounge personnel, thank you for the luxurious experience.

Service – 5/5

Room – 5/5

Cleanliness – 5/5

Experience – 5/5

Overall – 5/5

Disclaimer: We paid for the entire hotel stay

Review of The Royal Hotel, Oban, Scotland (2016)

The Royal Hotel, Oban, Scotland

Stay: September 2016 (2 nights)

Reviewed by: Andrew Chan (Professional Film Critic and former global luxury hotelier)

The seashore quiet Scottish town of Oban is a hidden gem of seafood, whiskey and retirement lifestyle. We choose to stay at the centrally located Royal Hotel and arrived on a rainy Scottish afternoon. Unfortunately, the car park was full and we were lucky to find parking opposite the road. Rest assure, the reception advised that we should check with them tomorrow morning for a parking spot. You don’t really need to drive in Oban as every where is within walkable distance.

The hotel is one of those oldies and heritage style with staircases available if you do not wish to wait for the ancient lifts.
The rooms are on the small end and with two twin beds tucked in cotton blue. The view was nothing to look at as we were given a room at the back of the hotel which literally takes around 5 minutes to walk from the lifts or staircase. Luckily the small bathroom looks decent enough with a bath to relax after a long drive. The decor is old and amenities are rather basic.

We dined on both mornings at the complimentary breakfast buffet which was plentiful and full of variety. The bar downstairs is also cosy and great to mingle with a tour group of retirement couples on a game of Scottish Premier League. Another issue is that Wifi is not included and we are forced to use it at the lobby area. Given the age of information, this is really a basic need.


All in all, it is the kind of hotel where you spend only your sleeping hours within as the city of Oban is very beautiful to endure and experience. Go on the Oban whiskey tour, walk on the seashore and a lovely lobster and oyster feast to finish off are ideal way to fully enjoy this amazing city. This is a decent hotel within expected laid back services and plenty of retiring couples along the way.


Service – 3/5

Room – 3/5

Cleanliness – 3/5

Experience – 4/5

Overall Rating – 3.25/5

Disclaimer: We paid for the entire hotel stay

Review of Intercontinental Hotel Group operated Staybridge Suites Newcastle, England (2016)

Staybridge Suites (Operated by Intercontinental Hotels Group) Newcastle, England

Stay: September 2016 (1 night)

Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Professional Film Critic and former luxury hotelier) 


During our road trip journey to Edinburgh from Manchester, we stopped by the city of castles in the name of the beautifully historic town of Newcastle. We stayed one night at the Intercontinental operated Staybridge Suites where 24 hour parking was available for 10 pounds. It is located within 15 minutes walk from the city centre of Newcastle in a quiet back street. 

The room as you can imagine is spacious and lovely as they are all Suites within a bigger hotel room. The small kitchen next to the entrance and the small bar table are useful additions for those that intend to stay longer. The bed is comfy and provides a good enough size for a couple. The toilets and shower facilities are adequate with nice touches.


The service of Staybridge Suites is utmost friendly and feels like a family run operation than the luxury Intercontinental brand, which is a plus in many ways. The complimentary breakfast buffet is full of variety and automatic machine coffee is available 24/7. There is a mix of business and leisure travellers in the hotel. 


All in all, Staybridge Suites is a lovely hotel that feels like returning to home after a long night or road trip. The staff service are extremely friendly and complimentary non alcoholic drinks were provided as part of Our Intercontinental Club membership. It was a lovely one night stay and memories were good for this one.


Service – 3.75/5

Room – 4/5

Cleanliness – 4/5

Experience – 3.75/5

Overall – 3.9/5

Disclaimer: We paid for the entire hotel stay.

Review of Hilton Hotel Canary Wharf, London (2016)

Hilton Hotel Canary Wharf, London

Stay: Oct 2016 (4 nights)

Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Professional Film Critic and former luxury hotelier) 

As a film critic and former global hotelier, I travel the world often and in the process we get to stay in the most luxurious hotels in landmark locations. It is timely that as a film critic, reviewing my stay should just be a blessing in disguise. Our trip in UK was finished off in the hustle and bustle of London and away from the busy streets of Central London, we opted to stay at the Canary Wharf. 
We stayed 4 nights at the Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel and checked in as a Hilton Club member. The room was spacious, clean and business-like, but largely lacking in quality furniture and personal touch. The bathroom is rather basic with a crowded bath tub and wash basin. Given the size of the room which can literally fit another king size bed within the double space, one would have expected the bathroom to be bigger. 

The bed is also on the small end and with the room size wasted with emptiness and space. We didn’t use a lot of the services of the hotel, given that it is very basic and convention centre like and probably more fittingly for business travellers that a young couple romancing around the country. 


We requested for late check out and was given till 2pm. Which was a nice gesture and we proceeded to use the express check out, only to find out that they charged us for in room mini bar costs that we did not procure. This was cleared upon our request when leaving the hotel. They also did not offer postal services for post cards, which was another minus point.


All in all, this is really a basic Hilton hotel that will not satisfy most demanding or younger couples looking for a romantic night. The location is lovely along the Canary Wharf and located in the business district area of investment banks and trendy Friday nights drinks. Still, with the Hilton brand name, we probably expected more personalised services, nicer quality furniture and overall experience. 

Ratings:

Service – 2.5/5

Room – 3/5

Cleanliness – 3.5/5

Experience – 2.5/5

Overall Rating – 2.8/5

Disclaimer: We paid for the entire hotel stay.