An Absolute 5 Star Stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge in Lake Nakuru

When I first started planning my safari trip to Kenya, I’ve set my eyes on the Sopa Lodges, as they seem to be one of the most well known hotel chains there. Upon discussion with my tour operator Naomi, I was suggested to stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge instead for my visit to Lake Nakuru, and I’m so glad I took her advise!
Travel Kenya Lake Nakuru Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge Hotel 肯亞納庫魯湖公園五星級飯店

The Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is situated inside Lake Nakuru National Park along the Lion Hill, overlooking the panoramic view of Lake Nakuru. As it’s so close to the lake, you can expect to see all those water loving animals the moment you exit the lodge’s gate! The location of the lodge is excellent, as it’s only minutes away from the game drive area, so you can really maximize your safari time.

Since we arrived the lodge a bit later than anticipated (can refer to the last post entry about the incidents we had with the corrupted police),  we didn’t have much time to waste before our first game drive. I must say that the staffs here were extremely helpful! Understanding that we wereon a tight time line, instead of making us wait at the front desk while checking in, they urged us to go and enjoy our lunch first while they helped us to process our check in and spa request. Once we have finished our lunch, our room and spa treatment were all ready and booked, though unfortunately their spa is so popular that they were only able to book an appointment for one person, instead of for both myself and my aunty.

The environment of the lodge was amazing! It’s surrounded with acacia trees, greenery everywhere you go, and we can hear the singing of birds, which is very calm and peaceful. The room is a decent size, with chairs outside which you can relax on and adore the beautiful surroundings. The beds were very clean and comfortable, and there’s hot water running 24 hours a day, so you can have a hot shower anytime you wish.

The Flamingo restaurant has lots of natural lighting, and you can truly relax there and enjoy your meal with the picturesque scene of the lush ground surrounding. The restaurant provide a wide variety of food choices in buffet style, and complimentary afternoon tea is served in their tea house, so you can always enjoy a cuppa before or after your game drive.

There are three must dos at the lodge! Try their award winning spa, watch and participate at their exciting night show, and must visit their gift store Adia!

The Sarova Lion Hill game lodge’s Tulia spa is a 2018 World’s Luxury Spa Winner. The treatment is nestled in a tent by the swimming pool, and you can choose from a wide variety of treatment depending on your budget and time. Be sure to make a booking in advance, as this spa is quite popular amonst the guests.

Travel Kenya Lake Nakuru Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge Hotel 肯亞納庫魯湖公園五星級飯店_SPA MASSAGE

The Rift Valley Bar opens out into an amphitheatre where traditional dance performances are held each evening at 7pm. Unlike most other Masai performances held in the other hotels, the performance here is done by a Kenyan dance group, where they combine acrobats and traditional dance move together, which really is quite unique. It is advised to arrive the venue earlier, as there’s limited seating, else you will need to stand up for the whole show.

Lastly, before you leave the lodge, make sure you visit the gift shop Adia, where you will find gifts and souvenirs unlike any others offered outside. They partner with a lot of the local NGO and organisation, selling hand made crafts made by locals, ranging from toys to bags, helping the local community. I’ve bought a hand knitted giraffe plushie here, which I were not able to find anywhere else during my trip. Each of the plushie was signed by the creator, which really makes it unique and personal.

I would highly recommend anyone travelling to Lake Nakuru to stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

Useful Links:
Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge 
Heritage of African Jungles Tour Operator 
Lake Nakuru National Park

Luxury Boutique Hotel x Filmography Museum in The Heart of Seoul

Travel_Korea_Seoul_Myeongdong_Hotel_Stay_Hotel28_韓國首爾_酒店If you have ever read my previous posts about hotels/accommodations recommendations, it’s not hard to recognize that I usually like to stay in either boutique hotels, or places that have unique design elements to it. Location is also an important factor, as it will greatly affect the overall routes and trip planning.

This hotel review is a bit longer than my usual, as there’s just so much to write about this hotel! I hope you will find the information useful, and enjoy this hotel as much as I did!

I was so excited when I find Hotel28 Myeongdong in Seoul. Not only it is centrally located in the heart of Seoul, it is also a boutique hotel with a very special theme! So this little gem is in one of the busiest district of Seoul – Myeongdong, and is easily accessible by a direct limousine bus from Incheon Airport 6015, Being a part of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”, the design, facilities and services provided will not disappoint you!

Now, let me take you on a mini tour!

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My Check-in Ticket

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A Budget Stay in the Heart of Taipei – A Minimalist Boutique Hotel

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介>
Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介
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Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

The last post I have wrote about hotel stay in Taipei was a review of a 5 stare hotel (Palais de Chine Hotel). That hotel was a great stay, everything was perfect! Except… the price was still towards the higher end, and may not be my first choice when I want to go on a budget trip to Taipei…

I was staying over in Taipei for 2 nights before heading back to Hong Kong from a business trip in Japan. As this Taipei trip was only intended to be a lay over, so I want keep everything at a budget. I also want to stay in a location where a lot of actions take place, whether it’s food, drinks, or other form of entertainment… after doing some research, I have narrow down to hotel stays in the Ximending area (西門町).

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

A little background of Ximending – it is often being referred as the Harajuku/Shibuya of Taipei! It is the source of Taiwan’s fashion , subculture and Japanese culture; an area full of little boutiques, clubs and pubs, tattoo salons, local food stores and hawkers. Ximending was also the first pedestrian zone in the whole of Taiwan! This is an area highly recommended to those who wants to experience a bit of the local life here in Taipei.This area gets extremely lively at night time with all the food hawkers, just look at the video below and you will see!

So, this boutique hotel is at the edge of Ximending, and is only a short 10 minutes walk from the closest Metro Station. The name of the hotel is Art’otel, and is on the 5th floor of a semi-commercial building. Even though it is inside a building, they have big signage with the name of the hotel, so you won’t miss it.

Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介Travel Taiwan Taipei Ximending Hotel Stay Art'otel 台北西門町 飯店酒店 艾特文旅 推介

The hotel was opened in February 2015, and has a total of 30 rooms. There are a few different types of rooms available, with the most basic room being the superior room with no window, and the price is around USD$60/night for 2 people. A good thing about this hotel is although there are only 30 rooms, but they also offer family room for a maximum of 4 people (around USD$85/room), which is a great choice whether you are travelling with your family, or with a group of friends.

The decoration of the hotel and the rooms are very minimal yet with great details. The corridor tends to be a bit dark with very dim lighting. However, once you enter into the room, it’s completely the opposite – white is the main colour for all the rooms, with wooden furniture and black steel frames.

Continue reading “A Budget Stay in the Heart of Taipei – A Minimalist Boutique Hotel”

Affordable Drinks at a Luxury Hotel in Milan – Palazzo Parigi

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When I was in Italy, I’ve picked up this new habit – Italian Aperitivo!

As talked about in my last posts, the concept of the Italian Aperitivo is one where you meet up with your friends and social over a glass of drinks and some snacks. It is a simple idea, yet a great way to relax and to meet people. It is very similar to Happy Hour I’d say, just more elegant.

Talking about elegant, how can we miss the famous Palazzo Parigi Hotel and Spa in Milan? According to the hotel’s website, it is “re-constructed on the former site of the historical Palazzo Cramer from the 1600, the Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa is set in the heart of Milan, in the fashionable Brera District. Facing a private park and surrounded by residences, banks and offices, it is close to the glittering shopping district Via della Spiga, art galleries, bars and night spots. Designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, featuring a classic style of the ’30 with a private garden and fountain, the new palace hotel embodies the very best of Milanese style with subtle French influences.”

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Entrance to the hotel

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Hotel Lobby

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Pretty Decoration

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Stay in Milan with Style on a Budget

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Italy Milan Travel Where To Stay Residenza Delle Citta 28

What quality(s) do you look for when you are searching for a hotel for your leisure trip? Is it the comfort level? The size of the room? The facilities? The cost/value? Or maybe the location? I believe that different people will have different priorities while looking for a place to stay during their travel. My top 3 priorities would be safety, location, and value.

During my Milan trip, I’ve stayed in two different places. One is a hotel, while the other one is a service apartment. While the hotel was much cheaper, I find that the apartment was of a much better value.

“Residenza Delle Citta” is the name of the service apartment, and it’s run by the Planetaria Hotel Chain, which is an Italian local brand since the mid 1990’s, and now has 9 different hotels/residences thru out Italy at the moment. The group is well known for restoring their establishments with great attention to identity and specific architectural features of the property, so that each has a different atmosphere that is representative of the urban context in it is located.

This residence really surprised me, in many ways! Let’s talk about them one by one:

Location:

The residence is only one stop away from Milan Centrale station – this is the major station for all the trains from the different city of Italy, and is also where the Airport Coaches will terminate. From Milan Centrale station, you can either take one stop on the green subway line 2 and gets off at Caizzo station, and from Caizzo station, it will take you about 8 minutes by walk; or you can walk directly from Centrale station, will will take you approximately 15 minutes.

Bus and tram stands are just around the corner from the apartment, which makes it very easy for you to navigate around Milan. There are also supermarket and local restaurants within the block.

Checking In:

The reception of the apartment is not open 24 hours, so it could make checking in and out a bit difficult. However, before your stay, the manager will send you an e-mail to confirm your time of arrival to ensure a smooth check in. Be sure to let them know your approximate time of arrival, as arrivals outside their opening hours that have not been notified at the time of booking will incur a supplement cost, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want.

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Reception Area, very cosy

Our check in was smooth, my friend and I arrived the apartment around 8pm, and were warmly greeted by the manager on duty. He was very friendly, and explained to us about the facilities of the place and asked if we had any questions. His English level was very good, which made communication very easy.

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Hotel with Mount Fuji View for Under USD$100/person including MEALS!

Mount Fuji Yamadaya Hotel Review Japan Tokyo Yamanashi Travel COVER

Just imagine yourself sitting in an open air hot bathtub, having a glass of hot sake, and right in front of your eyes is the Mount Fuji sunset view surrounded by maple leaves?

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It’s the maple leaves season in Japan again, and one of the best place to see the leaves is at the Fuji Five Lake, which is about 2 hours drive from Tokyo. The five lakes are Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakaka, Shojiko, and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to view Mount Fuji from a close distance, and a great base for climbing the mountains.

Mount Fuji Yamadaya Hotel Review Japan Tokyo Yamanashi Travel MAP
Map of the Fuji Five Lakes area

There are many hotels around the areas of the Fuji Five Lakes, especially near Kawaguchiko, which is the biggest and the most touristic one. However, if you prefer something quieter, this hotel I’m going to talk about may just be the one for you!

This hotel is right in-front of Shojiko, which is the smallest lake out of the five. Comfortable rooms with Japanese traditional bedding, view of Mount Fuji in your room, private open air hot spring, and amazingly delicious meals all in one place. Better yet, you can get all these for under USD$100/persons! This is one you sure can’t miss.

Continue reading “Hotel with Mount Fuji View for Under USD$100/person including MEALS!”

WHERE to STAY in Taipei- Classy Hotel right next to Taipei Station

Classy Hotel above Taipei Station Palais de Chine Travel Cover

Guest first, no matter when or where!
This is the motto of the Palais de Chine hotel in Taipei.

Palais de Chine hotel is one of my favourite hotel in Taipei. (My other favorite is the W Taipei, but I’m sure there are already lots and lots of people that talked about it, so I have decided to write about this one instead)

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The main entrance of the hotel with a big sign you simply cannot miss!

Situated right above Q-Square shopping center, this hotel is basically next to the Taipei Railway Main station, and sits at the hub of five transport avenue – Taipei Bus Terminal, Taiwan Railway, Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Taoyuan International Airport MRT (opening in 2017)! So it doesn’t matter whether you are coming from the airport, or other cities in Taiwan; whether you come with just a backpack, or a huge luggage,  the location of this hotel makes it very convenient.

Staying in this hotel is really like a home away from home, as the staffs are very friendly and helpful, and they will assist you with all they can. Upon check-in, they will greet you with a big smile, and explain to you all the facilities in this hotel. The staffs at the concierge will happily give you suggestions on where to go, what to eat, what’s there to see etc. This is especially useful for visitors who can’t speak Chinese, or those who came to visit Taipei for the first time.

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Lobby

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Lift Lobby

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At check-in

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