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Paws for thought

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Paws-for-thought-30294696.html

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PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Small dogs or cats get a warm welcome at the pet-friendly Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Small dogs or cats get a warm welcome at the pet-friendly Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Small dogs or cats get a warm welcome at the pet-friendly Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Small dogs or cats get a warm welcome at the pet-friendly Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

Small dogs or cats get a warm welcome at the pet-friendly Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

Why leave your beloved pet at home when you can take Fido or Fluffy (or both) with you? Jetsetters with pets now have Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel as a second home thanks to an all-too-rare policy that allows small dogs or cats to stay with their owners in the guestrooms.

Opened in 2013, Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel took the structure of an old hotel and revamped the simple property with chic and vintage flair. This small city hotel is all about simplicity, functionality and convenience. All 177 guestrooms are compact, but fully equipped for easy-going travellers who want nothing more than a plush bed and lots of pillows, big screen TV with local and satellite channels and a spacious and sparkling clean bathroom. There are also five suites that offer more space and extra amenities. There’s free wireless Internet both in the rooms and throughout the public areas and the signal is good, a rarity in hotels where the slow connection forces many to pay extra for a higher speed.

Centrally located, Double Tree by Hilton Sukhumvit is a great starting point wherever you want to go in the city with Phrom Phong BTS station an easy stroll. And there are plenty of eateries, spas and nightspots in the area to suit every pocket as well as in the two nearby shopping malls.

But the biggest attraction for many is that the hotel is pet friendly. If you travel with a cat or a dog weighing less than five kilograms, you can have him stay with you at Bt1,500 extra charge per pet per stay. And up to two pets are allowed in one guestroom. You and your pet can stay in any room type you like, but the hotel tends to put you in a room at the end of the hall or in the corner unless you specify otherwise. We checked in with Panda, our two-year old cat who had never spent a night away from home. Large and fluffy but under the five kg limit, we quite expected him to be weighed at the front desk. That didn’t happen and we were not asked for vaccination records either.

You would think a pet-friendly hotel would have a pet toilet or perhaps a designated corner in the bathroom for the animal to use, but you still need to bring your own litter box and cat grit, although the room did have a small food bowl. We unpacked and let the cat out of his hamper to explore, hoping he wouldn’t start scratching the fabric armchair or the leather ergonomic chair – guests pay for any damage. Fortunately he seemed content to enjoy the view of bustling Sukhumvit at dusk through the floor-to-ceiling glass window.

The next morning we came down to breakfast at Dee Lite, one of the two F&B outlets of the hotel, leaving Panda in the room. No matter how well-behaved your pets are, they need to be in a carrier when going through the public areas and they are strictly not allowed in restaurants.

You also need to be careful when the maid comes in to make up the room. Make sure you are present to tend to your furry friend. The maid will not clean your pet’s toilet, though. That duty is still yours, even on holiday! And be careful when opening the door – some pets will see that as an opportunity to escape and could hurt themselves or other guests.

Once you check out, that room will be sealed for two days before accepting the next guest. Housekeeping will “deep clean” it thoroughly and call in a pest control service to spray the room. So if you’re checking in to a room, which has previously had a canine or feline guest, rest assured: it will be completely cleaned and safe to stay in.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Convenient location with BTS, malls, shops and restaurants within walking distance. The rooms are simple and clean. The hotel is pet-friendly.

Low point: Not much choice for entertainment or pampering within the hotel.

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deal.

Find it: 18/1 Sukhumvit Soi 26 Khlong Ton, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand

Call it: (02) 649 6666

Browse it: http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/thailand/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-sukhumvit-bangkok-BKKSSDI/index.html

 

High in the hills

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/High-in-the-hills-30294167.html

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Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Teething problems aside, the new Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa in Loei is a good place to while away a few days

Inspired by Taoism philosophy, Phurua Sanctuary Resort and Spa focuses on the idea of living in harmony with the natural flow to restore and rejuvenate life energy.

Located one hour away from Loei Airport, the resort offers an endless panorama of mountains, rice fields and a lush garden planted with herbs and organic produce.

“Loei province has rich soil. I might be biased that I think the produce grown here tastes better than elsewhere. All the food we serve at the resort comes right from our farms. We have our own organic vegetables, rice paddies and orchards from which we supply Phu Luang Restaurant, our sole eatery. We are also planting coffee and macadamia nuts for future use,” says the resort’s owner, Pornsin Tamsirichai.

In operation for less than a year, the hotel and its staff are new to the hospitality industry but meet any hiccups guests may experience with a friendly smile and a helping hand.

The lobby is small and not equipped to deal with mass check ins, as was the case for our group of 30 journalists. The staff got round the problem by setting up a special check-in table at the meeting room next to the main building and we are happy enough to take photos of the lush roses or relax around the swimming pool while waiting our turns.

Getting the key card for room number 1305, I realise I will have to wait a while for the only elevator to whisk me up to the third floor.

“There’s no need to rush once you are here. Take your time and get connected with nature,” Pornsin had told us earlier and so I take his advice and retreat to the garden to take more photos of the roses until the elevator is clear.

My room is spacious and clean with two queen-sized beds, a long writing table, flat screen TV and a balcony. Decorated in contemporary style in earth tones, it’s peaceful and cosy.

Having caught an early flight and with a busy day ahead, I take a quick shower to freshen up before the resort’s next activity. The bathroom has a bathtub on the left and a separate shower stall on the right. As I adjust the water temperature, the shower handle for the hot water falls off. Thanks to my dad, who taught me how to handle problematic household appliances from an early age, I shrug my shoulders, put the handle back on and continue my shower like nothing has happened.

Back in the lobby, the hotel staff offers to lead us to the organic farm to hand pick our dinner. Armed with baskets, we collect the vegetables under a hot sun though no one seems particularly bothered by the heat.

“Wow! I love string beans, and look at those papayas. We just need some chilli peppers and then we could have som tam,” says my friend.

It isn’t long before our baskets are brimming with red chilli peppers, string beans, lettuce, coriander and mushrooms. Assured that the baskets will be delivered to the hotel’s kitchen, we follow the staff to the rice paddies. Along the walkway, a row of Jamaican Cherry trees provide refuge from the sun. They also provide a snack, and we pick and munch the small red fruits until we reach the rice paddies.

A small airy shelter in the middle of the rice fields is like an oasis in the desert. We rest and let the wind dry the sweat. Some of us choose to get our hands dirty by transplanting rice seedlings while the rest remain in the shelter sipping cool water.

Later that day we sit down for dinner at Phu Luang restaurant where chef Bee turns our harvest into authentic north-eastern dishes like papaya salad, steamed banana blossom and stir-fried catfish with spicy herbs.

Even the most entertaining feast has to end. I walk back to my room planning to jump into bed. I fall asleep thinking of the shower handle and praying it won’t fall on me again.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Close to other natural attractions like Phu Ruea National Park and Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary. Helpful and friendly staff.

Low point: Some facilities need to be fixed.

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deals.

Find it: 216 Moo8 Tambon Nong Bua, Amphur Phu Ruea, Loei 42160 Thailand

Call it: (042) 810 890-2, |(042) 810 885

Browse it: http://www.PhuruaSanctuary.com or Facebook.com/phuruasanctuary.

 

Luxury that speaks for itself

Published August 13, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Luxury-that-speaks-for-itself-30291508.html

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Hilton Singapore King Deluxe Room

Hilton Singapore King Deluxe Room

Whole Sea Bass Roasted on Olive Wood

Whole Sea Bass Roasted on Olive Wood

Hilton Singapore Lobby

Hilton Singapore Lobby

Opus Bar, Hilon Singapore

Opus Bar, Hilon Singapore

With excellent restaurants, four executive floors and two levels of boutiques, Hilton Singapore will delight both the business and leisure traveller

Located in Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier shopping district, Hilton Singapore is not only a hotel but a shopping destination in itself. The hotel boasts two floors of luxury boutiques, allowing hurried and harried executives to pick up gifts to take home without even leaving the building.

A three-minute walk from Orchard MRT station, just 20 minutes from Changi Airport and 10 minutes drive from the Central Business District, Hilton Singapore is a fine choice for both the business and leisure traveller.

As my private taxi comes to a complete stop, the concierge opens the door, takes my luggage and leads me into the lobby. Worried that I’m going to be late for a lunch meeting, I tell the receptionist I’ll probably have to check-in after lunch. She clicks her mouse and tells me that as an Executive Floor guest, I don’t have to worry about queuing up for check-in.

“My colleague will guide you to the restaurant so you’ll be on time for your appointment. She just needs your passport and your signature for check-in,” she explains.

//

As we make our time to the award-winning Italian restaurant il Cielo on the 24th floor of the hotel, the officer tells me that the Executive Floors are on levels 19 to 22 and that guests enjoy such benefits private check-in, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, snacks during the afternoon and an evening cocktail at the Executive Lounge on the 22nd floor.

I find my group at the restaurant, hand my passport to the officer and in less than five minutes, she’s back with passport and my keycard.

Having eaten a snack for breakfast on the plane, being served authentic Italian food made with natural, organic produce is like going to food heaven. The cosy atmosphere of the restaurant and a few glasses of wine relieve travel tension and there is plenty of laughter.

An early morning flight makes for a sleepy afternoon and when lunch is over I walk back to my room on the 19th floor to freshen up and laze around before my next meeting in the late afternoon.

Open since 1970, Hilton Singapore underwent a contemporary makeover in 2007. All guestrooms were refurbished with light-hued sycamore furnishings to add a more welcoming and relaxing ambience. My room is compact but cleverly decorated with modern furnishings to make it look light and cosy. For a single guest, the room is a perfect size with everything within easy reach but I suspect a couple might find it crowded.

The comfortable king bed takes almost all the space in the room while a single-seat sofa at the corner next to the floor-to-ceiling windows is a nice spot to sit back and enjoy the city view or one of the channels on the 40-inch HDTV. A working desk with the Herman Miller ergonomic chair is pleasant space to work on any project.

The Nespresso machine on the counter beckons but I decide to pass, not least because I’m still pleasantly full. My aching muscles are pleading for exercise so I call the front desk asking for information about the Fitness Centre. But after learning that the centre is open for 24 hours, my lazy alter ego mutters that there’ll be plenty of time to work out in the evening so I decide to freshen up before my afternoon nap. The marble bathroom is small but well designed with a walk-in rain shower equipped with Peter Thomas Roth bathroom amenities.

After my nap, I head to the Executive Lounge on the 22nd floor to enjoy a cup of tea before joining my friends for dinner at Opus Bar & Grill. The keycard elevator makes access easy for Executive Floor guests and I’m soon heading to Opus for a delicious dinner of grilled sustainable seafood and prime cuts; dry aged in-house for 14 to 36 days in customised Himalayan salt tile cabinets.

My vegetarian grill and side dish go very well with the wine and the waiters, who are very attentive, suggest a perfect wine for the food.

The dim lighting and cosy ambience in Opus morph overnight into a bright and airy atmosphere as partitions are removed and space made for the international buffet breakfast.

As I sip my last glass of wine, I hear my lazy self whisper “exercise can wait”.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Prime location with helpful and friendly staff.

Low point: None

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deals.

Find it: 581 Orchard Road, Singapore 238883

Call it: (+65) 67 372 233

Browse it: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/singapore/hilton-singapore-SINHITW/index.html

 

Par for the course

Published July 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Par-for-the-course-30289857.html

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With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set.

With its easy access to the greens, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is an ideal getaway for the golfing set. Spa enthusiasts would do better to look elsewhere

Less than 15 minutes by car from downtown Hua Hin, Banyan The Resort Hua Hin is such a favourite among the region’s golfers that it was recently voted one of the best golf resorts in Southeast Asia.

Though not connected to Hua Hin beach, the resort offers a scheduled shuttle bus service to the beach and into town for those who prefer to sun and shop rather than teeing-off. For golfers, the spectacular 18-hole championship Banyan Golf Club is connected to Banyan The Resort by a private road, making for a quick and easy hop from bed to green.

Cars are not allowed in the resort area so guests are asked to leave their vehicles in the parking lot and either ride the resort bicycles or request a ride from the 24-hour buggy service.

The open air lobby is spacious with bowls of tropical fruits on every coffee table for guests to enjoy while waiting to check-in or check-out or for friends and golf partners to arrive. We take a seat on one of the sofas and within seconds are being offered cold towels and cool drinks.

//

Our villa 1009 is located at the far end of the resort close to the residence area. The tropical flower arch, which serves as the front gate is lively and welcoming while the green front yard with its flowering white Plumeria tree seems like a nice place to have a picnic.

Decorated in contemporary Thai style, the villa has two en-suite bedrooms, one with a king size bed and the other with twin beds, plus a living area, dining area, kitchen, terrace with four daybeds, outdoor shower and a private Jacuzzi connecting to a large common lagoon-style pool.

The front door leads into the living area with the master bedroom on the left and the second bedroom on the right. The king size bed dominates the master bedroom, which also boasts two small separate closets and a roomy bathroom with a connecting door to the outdoor shower. It suits me perfectly as there’s nothing I like more than a large bathroom.

The living area is generous with one long sofa and two armchairs. There are flat screen televisions in both living room and master bedroom but the signal is terrible yielding nothing more than a grainy picture. Switching off the TV, I try to connect to the complimentary Wi-Fi to check my mail. Here too there is a signal problem, and I am only able to use the Wi-Fi for 10 minutes before losing it. I smile at the idea that the resort might want us to spend our mini-break away from all kinds of screens and spend the afternoon on the daybed instead curled up with a good book.

Just before 4pm, I head to the spa and fitness centre, which is just a block away from my villa. The resort has turned one villa into the spa and another into a fitness centre. The practicality is understandable but I find it disconcerting to hear the phone at reception ringing and people walking in to book their spa treatments while lying almost naked on the spa bed. The therapist is professional and the products she uses are fine but the layout of the en-suite bedroom-turned-treatment room with two spa beds is too crowded to make the treatment really enjoyable. When the therapist leaves the room at the end of the session, I wait until she closes the door before getting up, preferring to protect my privacy and not reveal myself to the people in the adjacent reception area. Despite the fine massage, the ambience is more like that of a school locker room.

The atmosphere of the Coral restaurant, the resort’s all-day dining facility, changes according to the time of the day. In the morning, the restaurant is packed with families and people on company outings and is so busy that I see guests being led to the tables for two beside the main entrance, which offer a view of the line of columns leading to the outdoor hot meal station. In the evening, the place is more serene and is the best time to soak up the atmosphere.

At 7pm, the night is still young so we head to Hua Hin town to meet an old friend and return to the resort around 11pm. To my surprise, as we park our car in the parking lot, a golf buggy is slowing down and stops in front of us.

“Welcome back to the resort. May I have your villa number please?” says the friendly driver.

Now that’s what I call service.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Peaceful hotel with helpful staff. Great place for golfers with easy access to the 18-hole championship Banyan Golf Club.

Low point: No beach. Tiny spa and fitness centre.

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deals.

Find it: 68/223 Mooban Hua Na, Nong Gae, Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Thailand

Call it: +66 (0) 3253 8888

Browse it: www.BanyanThailand.com

 

Stairway to heaven

Published July 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Stairway-to-heaven-30289366.html

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STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

High on the hillside, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort offers superb views of the bay below

Perched on a mountain slope where monkeys still run wild and overlooking a private bay bordered by a beach that stretches for 700 metres, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is nothing short of paradise.

“Many guests wonder why our lobby is so small,” comments Mai Anh Du, the hotel’s director of PR & Communications, as she lead a group of reporters around the facilities. “The design is deliberate as it helps guests take full advantage of nature”.

Modest it may be for a hotel recognised as the world’s Leading Luxury Resort 2015, but the lobby is decidedly stylish and yes, Mother Nature in all her glory is breathtaking particularly when viewed from the terrace, which also looks out over the sparkling bay.

The oversized sofa beds in the balcony zone are so inviting that we stretch out and relax with a welcome drink while waiting for the check-in process to be completed.

//

I climb into a buggy for the journey down to my room on the Sky Level, one of four created by leading architect, interior designer and landscape architect Bill Bensley to mirror the theme “Myth Meets Luxury”. The highest level of the 37-hectare resort is Heaven, which is home to the lobby, while the other two are named Earth and Sea respectively. All are connected by funicular lifts designed to look like boats and manned by friendly and attentive lift operators dressed in Vietnamese costume.

The distances between the various resort facilities mostly require a long walk and thus buggies are available to transport guests. I called for buggy service several times during my stay at the resort, and on each occasion was told my transport would arrive in 10-15 minutes. If by chance the buggy could make it sooner, the front desk would call to make sure I was waiting in front of the building.

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort features 200 luxury rooms, suites, penthouses and villas, all characterised by classic Vietnamese decor and a bold colour palette of black and white. Every room is spacious, boasting at least 70 square metres of utility space.

My classic room featured a large double bed covered with pillows and, surprisingly, a mirror shaped like a vase above it. which makes you feel as though you are in a vase. Wood plays the dominant role in the décor with the desk, cabinets, wardrobes and balusters giving the space a warm ambience.

The wardrobe is cleverly deigned to be opened from both bedroom and bathroom. The bathtub is large and luxurious and you can open the curtains to take in the view while soaking or showering.

The balcony is the perfect place to chill out and admire the azure sea while listening to the waves lap against the shore.

But there’s plenty to be enjoyed outside the rooms including the Harnn Heritage Spa, which delivers soothing treatments inside private villas. The fine-dining restaurant La Maison 1888 is the only place in Vietnam to feature a three-star Michelin chef while Citron comes with private dining booths in the form of Vietnamese conical hats that appear to be floating over the hillside 100 metres above sea level.

Though InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is quite a distance from Danang town, complimentary daily shuttles ensure that gets can enjoy both the city’s bustling streets and the world heritage site of Hoi An.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Private bay with breathtaking view

Low point: No convenient access to other parts of Danang, except via private transfers or the hotel’s complimentary shuttle buses

Find it: Bai Bac, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Vietnam

Call it: (+ 84 511) 393 8888

Browse it: http://danang.intercontinental.com/

 

Heaven in a bowl of noodle soup

Published June 19, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Heaven-in-a-bowl-of-noodle-soup-30288213.html

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Sofitel Luang Prabang - Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang – Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang - Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang – Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang - Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang – Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang - Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang – Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang - Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Sofitel Luang Prabang – Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Gracious, elegant and friendly, Sofitel Luang Prabang is a showcase of the French art of hospitality

Originally built as a French Governor’s residence in 1900s, Sofitel Luang Prabang is located in Ban Mano, a quiet residential quarter of Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos and a Unesco World Heritage Site.

A mere 20-minute drive from Luang Prabang International Airport and just 15 minutes on |foot from the heritage Old Town, Sofitel Luang Prabang also offers easy access to the area’s silk weaving villages and waterfalls, which are less than 30 minutes away |by car.

Walking through the hotel’s main entrance, we arrive in a spacious and airy pavilion that doubles as the lobby lounge and looks out over beautifully tended garden.

The smiling hotel staff manning the reception desk greet us with the nop, a gesture similar to the Thai wai and a warm “sabaidee” before offering us a welcome drink and cold towel to freshen up.

//

Pookie, the hotel’s Guest Experience Manager, offers to walk my friend and I to our room.

“The traditional Lao wooden house on the left is Le Spa. At our spa, we combine ancient Lao healing techniques with local organic products and the international advances in skin care so our guests can enjoy the best from the east and the west,” Pookie tell us.

Walking down the stairs, we enter the lush inner courtyard with swaying palms and colourful wildflowers recalling the Lao countryside. Seeing pink water lilies float on the pond and the mini rice paddy, I am glad that our room is at this end of the hotel so we can enjoy all the beautiful courtyard has to offer. The 25 clay-roofed suites and the azure pool add an even greater sense of elegance and sophistication to the hotel.

After thanking Pookie, we explore our twin-bed room. The bedroom is on the left side of the door. Facing the two beds is a flat screen TV with a small wall counter where welcome snack and drink are waiting for us. The compact sleeping area is compensated for by a spacious powder room, huge closet and generous bathroom with separate shower cabinet and bathtub with a connecting door to an |outdoor oversized bathtub in the garden.

“The toilet is separate from the bathroom, but I don’t think I could use the restroom while you are having a shower because the bathroom door is clear glass,” says my friend with a laugh.

I spend less than 10 minutes in the shower because at this late hour, my mind can think of nothing but a soft bed.

The plush featherbed with |a fluffy, downy duvet is surely |an archenemy of an early |morning call so I decide to have a late breakfast.

At the hotel’s tented restaurant, the Governor’s Grill, I tentatively place an order for vegetarian Khao Piak Sen even though it is not on the menu and am over the moon when the staff reassures me that the chef would be happy to prepare it for me. This is my fourth or fifth visit to Luang Prabang and I have as yet been unable to sample Laos’ famous rice noodle soup as the food stalls and restaurants inevitably cook the popular breakfast dish with chicken broth.

The clear vegetable stock and |the chewy fresh noodles are |served with crispy rice cake, fried garlic, chopped spring onion, chopped chilli and a slice of lime. Enjoying this simple comfort food served in an elegant presentation in a manicured botanical garden is one of the nicest ways to discover the warm hospitality of Laos and French “Art de Recevoir”.

The birds are chirping, the |wind is whispering and the |warm sunlight shines through the leaves. My usual hectic schedule |is a world away. Sipping my freshly brewed coffee and sinking into |the comfortable chair, I hear myself saying, “A trip to the Old Town can wait”.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Beautiful and peaceful hotel with helpful and friendly staff.

Low point: None

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deals.

Find it: Ban Mano, Luang Prabang 00600, Laos

Call it: (+85 6) 71 260 777

Browse it: http://www.Sofitel.com.

 

Puttin’ on the Ritz

Published June 14, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Puttin-on-the-Ritz-30287662.html

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From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

From a chauffeur-driven Maserati to a high tea bar, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur offers the ultimate in good living

It’s not everyday day that you get to enjoy a ride in a Maserati but then it’s not every day that you stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, where they use the luxury Italian car to ferry you from the Malaysian capital’s international airport to the hotel.

Located within the prestigious Golden Triangle district, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur offers easy access to the trendy, upscale business, shopping, dining and entertainment areas.

Serving as a luxurious home away from home for well-heeled guests from over the world for more than 18 years, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur recently undertook a complete refurbishment of all its 364 guestrooms and suites, restaurants, spa and public areas.

The lobby’s contemporary design with a touch of the classical sets the mood for what is to come. Heading to the reception desk, I am surprised to hear my name being called by a petite young lady who is walking towards me.

//

“We are expecting you. I am Chloe, your personal butler. How was your flight?”

Chloe leads me to my room number 1223 and walks me through the kitchen, dining area, living room, reading room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and powder room. I joke that that I might get lost in this expansive space and Chloe cracks a smile.

I decline Chloe’s offer to book a table for afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge since I need a rest to stop my cold before it goes nasty and spoils the rest of my days at The Ritz.

I decide to nap in the smaller of the two bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom and save the master bedroom for the night.

Dinner at the Library, on the first floor, is a must-have, as it is prepared to the tradition of Cesar Ritz’s top chef, Auguste Escoffier, the legendary French chef who was referred to by the French press as “king of chefs and chef of kings”.

With wood panelled walls and floor, The Library has a relaxing and stylish ambience where good food, drink and books come together under the same roof.

Back in my gigantic room, a set of colourful sweet treats with a poem brings a smile to my face. Must be The Ritz’s standard service, I think, but realise that personal service goes a step further than standard when Chloe, rings my doorbell and brings a tray of hot ginger tea.

“I heard you’re coming down with a cold. This tea will soothe the illness. If you want more tea, please dial 13 and I’ll bring you a fresh pot for you.”

I find myself tap dancing like Fred Astaire performing “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in the film “Blue Skies” while pouring hot ginger tea in my cup.

Rising the following morning and feeling much better thanks to the ginger tea, I have breakfast at The Cobalt Room. The restaurant has both local and international flavours as well as diverse food-stations offering cooked-to-order dishes. I treat myself to a second round at Roti Canai’s station as I want to try all four vegetarian curries served with the flatbread.

A three-hour Rose Therapy treatment at Spa Village gives me a chance to enjoy the rose and lavender hair treatment, a rose petal body masque, steam, a milk bath with rose and a full body massage.

That’s followed by a very light lunch at Li Yen, the hotel’s award- winning Cantonese restaurant, which allows me to save some space for another highlight at The Ritz, the renowned afternoon tea at The Lobby Lounge.

I am spoilt for choice with 40 luxury teas from Ronnefeldt to go with cakes and pastries. Finally, I choose The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur Blend, which was created exclusively for the hotel. It’s made from green Oolong Tie Guan Yin steamed in boiling milk to produce a beguiling flavour. The delicate aroma and creamy flavour capture the essence of eastern and western tea drinking traditions.

As I savour my tea, I give a little giggle as I realise I now understand the true meaning of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

AT A GLANCE

High point: Spacious and well-equipped rooms and dedicated staff to cater to your every need.

Low point: None

Pay for it: Visit the hotel’s website for the best deal

Find it: 168, Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Call it: (+60 3) 2142 8000

Browse it: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/malaysia/kuala-lumpur

 

Sanctuary by the sea

Published May 30, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Sanctuary-by-the-sea-30286185.html

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THE NAI HARN: Perched on a hill right at the southern tip of Phuket Island, the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club is enjoying a renaissance as The Nai Harn resort.

THE NAI HARN: Perched on a hill right at the southern tip of Phuket Island, the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club is enjoying a renaissance as The Nai Harn resort.

THE NAI HARN: A tourist chills out at Yanui Beach in Phuket Island, Thaialnd.

THE NAI HARN: A tourist chills out at Yanui Beach in Phuket Island, Thaialnd.

THE NAI HARN: Rock Salt, a small beachside restaurant next to the Andaman Sea, is an ideal place to linger over a long lunch and a bottle or glass of rose or white wine.

THE NAI HARN: Rock Salt, a small beachside restaurant next to the Andaman Sea, is an ideal place to linger over a long lunch and a bottle or glass of rose or white wine.

THE NAI HARN: The suite is luxurious and stylish with a contemporary decor. The white walls, washed wood and simple furnishing give it a low-key yet sophisticated feel.

THE NAI HARN: The suite is luxurious and stylish with a contemporary decor. The white walls, washed wood and simple furnishing give it a low-key yet sophisticated feel.

THE NAI HARN: Tourists stroll along Nai Harn Beach in southern tip of Phuket Island.

THE NAI HARN: Tourists stroll along Nai Harn Beach in southern tip of Phuket Island.

Quiet, calm and fronting on to a pristine bay, |The Nai Harn redefines luxury

Perched on a hill right at the southern tip of Phuket Island, the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club is enjoying a renaissance as The Nai Harn resort. Following 18 months of renovation, the white-washed buildings overlooking the azure waters of the bay are reminiscent of the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos but Phromthep Cape and lighthouse quickly bring the mind back to Thailand’s best beach holiday destination.

“We’ve kept the structure and façade and focused mostly on redesigning the interior,” says sales and marketing director Daria Obukhova as we take the lift to the sixth floor.

The contemporary classic architecture of the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club, along with its 130 newly renovated rooms, make The Nai Harn a haven of chic simplicity.

All rooms feature an oversized terrace with four-poster daybeds beneath swaying shades and canopies. Design, space, view, a sense of holiday – all these come together at The Nai Harn.

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I’m in an Ocean View Suite on the seventh floor. The suite is spacious of course, but it’s the outdoor terrace that says the most about the space. It’s enormous. Equipped with one of those comfy four-poster daybeds (made for two to cuddle) and a couch, you still have enough space to host a private party.

“Between November and December the small bay is dotted with yachts,” says the attendant, who shows me around the suite.

I can already picture the beautiful bay with the yachts bobbing on the turquoise water. Luxury indeed. However, the bay without yachts is also beautiful with Phromthep Cape as the backdrop and ocean as far as the eye can see.

The suite is luxurious and stylish with a contemporary decor. The white walls, washed wood and simple furnishing give it a low-key yet sophisticated feel. The oversized bathtub with a stunning ocean view and the king-sized bed with its fluffy white linens and a large flat-screen television promise lazy nights and restful sleep.

And best of all, it’s all a few minutes from the beach. I set out early one morning in pursuit of the beachcomber life. Sunlight warms the back of my neck as I walk slowly along the beach line, passing a young couple gazing across the crystal-blue water to the distant horizon.

As the day is about to become night, the general manager Frank Grassmann together with head chef Kevin Jean Fawkes show us they know Phuket better than most when it comes to the sunset. While the crowds are heading to the Phromthep Cape for the “postcard” sunset, we pack bottles of sparkling wine and canapes and head to Yanui, a modest, low-profile beach opposite The Nai Harn.

“This is my secret place for the sunset,” says Grassmann. “Up the hill at Laem Phromthep Cape is touristy but down here is much nicer and private too.”

I cannot agree more, as does the young European couple, as we all sip our glasses of white wine waiting for the sensational sunset.

Fawkes worked with Gordon Ramsey, Jason Atherton, Rene Redzepi and several other well-known chefs before being appointed Culinary Director of The Nai Harn. His culinary journey across North Africa, Middle East and Europe ensures guests will be treated well at table.

One evening I opt for the grilled Maine lobster at rooftop bar The Reflections. It’s perfectly cooked and the flesh is firm and flavourful, Breakfast at Cosmo, the all-day dining restaurant, is also good with a broad selection of Asian and European food.

But my favourite is Rock Salt, a small beachside restaurant next to the Andaman Sea. Breezy and picturesque, the silence broken only the gentle lapping of the waves and the occasional laugh, Rock Salt is an ideal place to linger over a long lunch and a bottle or glass of rose or white wine. I have the sea bass in garlic butter sauce with 2014 Chateau d’Esclans Garrus Rose. Beautiful!

Quiet, luxurious and with second-to-none service, The Nai Harn is a wonderful place for a holiday, no matter how short.

AT A GLANCE

High point: A luxury resort with a great view and a beach of its own,

Low point: None

Pay for it: Bt6,320 to Bt24,000 per night, depending on room type. For the best deals, visit http://www.thenaiharn.com

Find it: Naiharn Beach, Phuket

Call it: (+66 76) 380 200

Browse it: http://www.TheNaiharn.com

 

Far from the madding crowd

Published May 30, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Far-from-the-madding-crowd-30285698.html

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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too. Nation/Phoowadon Duangmee

Ville De La Vie, a small resort in the heart of the Khao Yai countryside is blissfully peaceful and pet friendly too

Tucked away from the fast-developing valley around Khao Yai National Park, Ville De La Vie resort blends the faded colours of traditional Tuscan villas with the circular stone cottages of pre-Christian times. The welcome is amiable, with two super-friendly Labrador Retrievers and eight horses joining the owners, a couple of retired journalists, in treating guests like their long-lost friends.

“Once you step into Ville De La Vie, you leave many things behind,” begins Teerapaj Jonvong, a former reporter turned resort owner.

The valley around Khao Yai has experienced rapid growth over the last 10 years with well-heeled families snapping up the once bucolic farms and turning them into vacation villas and resorts. Weekenders regularly drive up from Bangkok and these days Thanarat Road is lined with hotels, restaurants and shopping malls, their car parks full of Porsches, BMWs and Ducatis.

Ville De La Vie is different.

//

“You won’t hear the bikes and cars from here,” Teerapaj says, “only occasional barking and neighing”.

Billed as the secret garden of Khao Yai, Ville De La Vie is tucked away in Wat Tham Khaowong district – halfway along the small thoroughfare that links Mittraphap and Thanarat roads.

We check into Ville De La Vie over a long weekend. Cars are not allowed at the resort – guests get around in electric buggies, traditional carts and on foot – so we leave our vehicle in the car park and follow the Labrador Retrievers, Mocha and Piak Poon, into the pet friendly resort.

Ville De La Vie – French for “City of Life” – might have followed the Tuscan village design so popular in this part of the world but the pretension ends there.

The resort has 10 private cottages and four en-suite poolside rooms for larger groups. The circular cottages – with high ceilings, tiled floors, small balconies, arched doors and wrought-iron beds – are attractively rustic and while I think they resemble the circular pre and early Christian abodes, my nine-year-old niece thinks otherwise. “Smurf house!” she shouts with pleasure.

“No two villas are the same when you look at the details,” says Teerapaj. From the wrought-iron door to the bedhead to the ceiling to the rooftop sculpture, they are different.”

As if to drive the point home, the villas have different names, among them Napoli, Istanbul, Marrakech and Provence. We check into the Venezia Villa for the first night before moving into Provence for two more nights, where we look out over a courtyard garden brimming with luxuriant plants. The circular-room, with fridge and flat-screen television on the wall, feels larger than the usual rectangular room. The king-sized bed is comfy and inviting.

The bathroom too is spacious with a rain shower and toilet. A steam room will be added to each villa by November, Teerapaj says.

The seminar hall, which resembles a church, is within easy walking distance of the villas. The restaurant is opposite.

“We partner with an organic farm in Khao Yai. From rocket salad to Portobello mushrooms, the ingredients are fresh and organic,” says Teeranuch Yodnoon, Teerapaj’s wife, who gave up hosting TV shows to pursue Italian cooking.

The restaurant is not fancy but it is very pleasant, the perfect place for swapping travellers tales while feasting on freshly baked bread, local dairy produce, organic vegetables, Italian dishes and terrific coffee.

Ville De La Vie is also equipped with a small saltwater pool. The four large poolside rooms easily accommodate four to six guests. Beyond the restaurant are the stables, home to eight small horses.

“If you come back to Ville De La Vie later in the year, the rain will have restored life to the meadows and wild flowers,” says Teerapaj.

AT A GLANCE

High point: A small, charming place far from the bustle of Khao Yai.

Low point: The Wi-Fi Internet connection is weak

Pay for it: Visit the booking agents on the Internet or call the resort for the best deal. Tell the owner that you read the piece about Ville De La Vie in The Nation and receive a 10 per-cent discount. The offer is valid through October. Ville De La Vie is a pet-friendly resort. Guests pay an extra Bt500 (per animal) to accommodate their pets.

Find it: The resort is tucked away behind Chokchai Steak House on Mittraphap Road.

Call it: (+66 95) 472 4526 and (+66 93) 824 8378

Browse it: VilleDeLaVie-resort.com.

 

In the shadows of Angkor

Published May 10, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/In-the-shadows-of-Angkor-30285242.html

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IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

IN THE SHADOWS OF ANGKOR: The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living. Photos/Le Meriden Angkor

The nearest hotel to the famed Siem Reap ruins, Le Meridien Angkor epitomises elegant living

Nestled along Charles De Gaulle Street, Le Meridien Angkor has been designed to mimic the temples of Angkor. An appealing mix of European and Cambodian styles, the hotel features four buildings set around a quiet courtyard that’s ideal for garden and social meetings. And, as guests will be quick to discover, Le Meridian Angkor is far more luxurious than the stone temples just down the road.

No other hotel is closer to the ancient monuments than Le Meridien Angkor. Presiding over a prime stretch of Charles De Gaulle, the main street that leads right to the Angkor War, its proximity means that guests need less than 10 minutes to travel to the much-visited Unesco World Heritage Site. In fact it’s so near that you can cycle from the hotel. Le Meridien Angkor is also an easy walk to Angkor National Museum – the hotel’s Unlock Art partner in the ancient capital.

An oasis in hot and dusty Siem Reap, the hotel’s grounds boast lotus ponds, palm trees and sprawling tropical gardens. Step into the spacious lobby and you leave the chaos of Siem Reap behind. The high-ceiling lobby area is comfy and appealing with the courtyard offering a view of the garden.

Le Meridien Angkor houses 213 rooms and nine suites. Guestrooms eulogise the colonial style with white-washed walls, wooden floors, exotic statues of ancient kings and wooden ceiling fans that lazily move the pleasantly cool air.

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My room is wonderfully spacious, which I know from experience is a much-appreciated feature of all Le Meridien properties. There’s a long table set against the wall – perfect for my laptop and cameras, as well as a king-sized bed and sizeable sofa and small table. I unpack in a hurry, promising myself I’ll tidy up though when I return to my room later in the day, I find there’s no need, as the housekeeping staff has already arranged the clothes I left lying around in a neat pile.

The restroom is also spacious, and the bathtub the best place to be after a long day exploring the temples of Angkor in the sun.

The pool too is a good place to chill after a day of sightseeing. Inspired by ancient Khmer architecture, it’s surrounded by delicately manicured gardens and lily ponds.

On-site restaurant, L’Angelo, serves up modern Italian cuisine paired with fine wines. The menu includes pasta, steaks, burgers, salads and steak stroganoff. But it’s the hotel’s all-day dining eatery, Angkor Royal Cafe, that earns the most praise, transitioning smoothly from breakfast buffet, to a contemporary lunch bistro and finally to a casual dinner spot.

With colonial sensibility and plenty of luxurious treats, Le Meridien Angkor is the best choice for anyone wanting to be closer to the temples of Angkor.

AT A GLANCE

High point: A luxury hotel with everything guests need to escape the heat and dust of Siem Reap.

Low point: Le Meridien Angkor might make Air France’s crew – who have traditionally stayed at Le Meridien – miss the artistic and fashionable statements at other Le Meridien hotels.

Pay for it: US$105 per night for on-line booking at http://www.StarwoodHotels.com.

Find it: Charles De Gaulle Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Call it: (+855 63) 963 900

Browse it: http://www.StarwoodHotels.com.

 

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