Category Archives: HOTEL REVIEWS

Hotel Reviews by Wilson Family Travel Blog

Conrad Hong Kong Hotel

Conrad Hong Kong Hotel Review

Hotel Review of the Conrad Hong Kong

Located on Hong Kong Island the Conrad Hong Kong offers sweeping views of Victoria Harbour as well as The Peak. Both business travellers and holiday makers will love the elegance and charm that this hotel provides.

Executive Lounge

When we arrived at the Conrad Hong Kong we were escorted up to the Executive Lounge on the 59th floor for check-in (we are Hilton Honors Diamond). It was around 9.00am when we arrived and once we had checked in we were able to help ourselves to some breakfast and drinks.

One thing we have to say is that the staff in the Executive Lounge are amazing. We were checked in by the wonderful Gloria who gave us a map and planned a full day of sightseeing for us. As first timers to Hong Kong, her recommendations were extremely helpful.

There are some amazing views from the lounge overlooking Kowloon and the harbour. Seating however can become limited during peak times as it’s a bit on the smallish side.

The Executive Lounge is open for breakfast from 6.30am – 11.00am and it has a nice selection of hot and cold dishes. Afternoon tea consists of some savoury and sweet dishes served from 3.00pm – 5.00pm. From 5.00pm – 7.00pm it is time for the evening drinks and canapés. Sparkling wine, red wine and white wine is available to self pour while staff will happily serve beer and spirits. There was a good selection of canapés, both hot and cold and it varied each night.

Restaurants & Bars

While we weren’t staying long enough to try out all the restaurants, there is definitely a good selection of eateries and bars at the Conrad Hong Kong.

The Garden Café is made up of a buffet section as well as an outdoor terrace section. As we are a Diamond member we had complimentary access to the buffet breakfast which is very popular (we had to wait around 10 minutes to be seated). The food selection was quite good with a nice mix of western and asian foods.

Garden Café is also open for buffet lunch and dinner.

The outdoor terrace section of the Garden Café is more casual dining overlooking the pool. We stopped by to try the club sandwich which was delicious.

Also open for Curry Tiffin buffet lunch on weekdays is the Lobby LoungeIt offers an a la carte menu for lighter meals and cocktails. The Lobby Lounge is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

Serving refined Cantonese cuisine is the elegant award-winning Golden Leaf Restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner.

The Conrad Hong Kong’s signature restaurant is Nicholini’s which specialises in Northern Italian Cuisine. This Michelin Four Forks restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner.

Another vibrant restaurant where you can enjoy weekend champagne brunch, lunch or dinner is Brasserie on the Eighth. Also on the Eighth floor is the Pacific Bar where you can unwind with some specialty cocktails and drinks.

For a coffee on the go or a sweet treat you can also stop by the Cake Shop which has some amazing dessert selections.

Pool & Fitness Area

With an outdoor heated pool which is suitable for laps or just a quick dip, this is a nice area to just chill out. There is a Health Club featuring cardio machines, stretch equipment, free weights and complimentary group classes. After your workout you can relax in the sauna, steam room, whirlpool or book yourself in for a massage or body treatment.

Executive Peak View Room

We had booked a standard room but upon check-in were upgraded to an Executive Room on the 58th Floor. Even though we arrived at the hotel around 9.00am we were given a room straight away which was much appreciated. The room had nice views of the Peak as well as the Hong Kong Skyline.

The king bed was very comfortable and we found some nice tea waiting for us as our welcome amenity. There was a good-sized desk with easily accessible power outlets.

The bathroom had separate bath (with Conrad rubber duck), shower, double sink and TV. There was also a set of bathroom scales as well as a mini stepper for those that like a bit of exercise in the privacy of their room. An in-built hair dryer was provided but there was no power outlet in the bathroom which was strange.

When we checked in we requested the Shanghai Tang amenities which we received alongside the Aromatherapy amenities. Our guest service agent Gloria also recommended the Refinery for Men amenities which we received as well.

The room had a mini bar and an in-room espresso machine that you can find in most Conrad hotels. Plenty of complimentary bottles of water were also provided.

You can see our YouTube Room Tour here.

Conclusion

We really enjoyed our stay here at the Conrad Hong Kong. The location in the downtown financial district was great, easy walking distance to The Peak and surrounding Hong Kong Park. It is also a nice walk down to Central Pier to catch a ferry or ride the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. The nearest MTR Station is Admiralty Place which is interconnected with The Pacific Place shopping complex.

We would have no hesitation recommending the Conrad Hong Kong and based on the level of service, we would suggest indulging a an executive room.

For more information on the Conrad Hong Kong go to www.conradhotels3.hilton.com

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

Highlights of the Luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

For a true luxury travel experience, look no further than the Conrad Maldives. This little piece of paradise is surrounded by fifty shades of blue and is the backdrop for the most relaxing holiday you could imagine.

The journey all begins when you land at Male Airport and are escorted to the Conrad Lounge at the Seaplane Terminal (read our Conrad Lounge & Seaplane Transfer post here). After a 30 minute seaplane flight you arrive at the resort and are greeted by your personal guest service agent who looks after you for your entire stay. From there it is up to you to make the most of this exclusive resort.

Dining at Conrad Maldives

For a small Island resort there are a lot of different food & beverage options ranging from casual to fine dining. We didn’t get to visit them all but below are the ones we did manage to take a look at.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Ithaa is one of the main highlights of the Conrad Maldives and is the world’s first undersea restaurant. Located 16 feet below sea level, this is a truly unique fine dining experience.

This amazing restaurant is open for a four course set lunch menu at 12.30pm and a 7 course set dinner menu at 6.30pm (children welcome for lunch but not dinner). Be prepared to pay for this experience however as the dinner sitting will set you back US$325.00 per person plus taxes and service charge.

If visiting Ithaa is on your bucket list but not really in your budget range, there is a cocktail hour from 11.00am to 12.00pm which is a bit cheaper at US$75.00 per person and includes one glass of champagne or mocktail as well as a plate of canapés.

You can watch our YouTube video from inside Ithaa here.

Sunset Grill Restaurant

Open for dinner daily from 7.00pm, Sunset Grill is an open-air restaurant that specialises in seafood while guests can enjoy wonderful romantic sunset views.

Mandhoo Restaurant

Offering organically grown produce, Mandhoo is an over-water restaurant that specialises in energising, nourishing and detoxifying the body. Open daily for lunch and dinner (except Mondays).

Don’t miss the fish feeding sessions that happen daily at 1.30pm at Mandhoo (see our YouTube video here).

Atoll Market

Open for breakfast and dinner, Atoll Market is the only buffet restaurant on the resort. Atoll Market is home to eight different kitchens featuring Japanese, Asian, Italian, Western and Indian cuisines. If you are a Hilton Honors Diamond member the buffet breakfast is complimentary and we have to say it is probably one of the best buffet breakfasts we have experienced. There is a vast array of food choices and we always love a sparkling wine with breakfast!

Rangali Bar

Located beside the main pool, the sandy-floored Rangali Bar is the heart of the Conrad Maldives where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or a few cocktails during happy hour (half price drinks from 5.00pm-7.00pm). The extensive food menu will have something for everyone to enjoy while they sit back, relax and listen to some live music.

Vilu Restaurant 

Offering a Mediterranean inspired menu, Vilu Restaurant is open daily for breakfast and for dinner on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There is afternoon tea served at Vilu for all Hilton Honors Diamond members from 4.00pm to 5.00pm as well as a cocktail hour with complimentary alcoholic drinks and canapés from 5.00pm to 6.00pm.

The Quiet Zone

Nestled beside the adults only pool, The Quiet Zone is open for lunch daily and for dinner everyday except Saturdays. There is also a half price drinks happy hour from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.

Activities at Conrad Maldives

While you might just feel like relaxing when staying at the Conrad Maldives, there are a few activities you might want to try out.

Pools 

The main pool is located next to the Rangali Bar and was pretty quiet while we were there with hardly anyone using it.

Right next to the main pool is a little kids pool, only suitable for a very small child though.

Watch our main pool YouTube video here.

The Quiet Zone features an adults only infinity pool, but be sure to get there early in the day as this little area is quite popular.

Water Sports Centre

The water-sports centre is located near the Rangali Bar and it’s here that you can try out one of the many water based activities such as jet skiing, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing, catamaran sailing, water skiing or even explore the island by paddle boat.

For the thrill seekers, the exciting jetpack experience is also available.

Ocean Sports & Dive Centre

Visit the Ocean Sports & Dive Centre to organise any snorkel or scuba diving excursions where you can witness all that the beautiful Maldivian waters have to offer. There are also a variety of half and full day boat cruises available as well as day and night time fishing adventures. There is  a glass bottom boat if you would like to view the amazing under water coral and marine life without having to get wet.

Sports & Fitness

Fitness might not be the first priority for a lot of travellers but for those that like to keep up an exercise regime while on holidays there is plenty to do at the Conrad Maldives. With a fitness centre that is open 24 hours a day, you can hire a personal trainer or take part in one of the scheduled fitness classes.

You can also head to the beachside yoga pavilion for private or group yoga classes.

Other activities include table tennis, beach volleyball and outdoor tennis.

Spa Retreat & Over Water Spa

The Spa Retreat is an over water full service spa complete with hair salon and manicure room which specialises in holistic spa and beauty treatments.

Over Water Spa is home to glass-floored treatment rooms providing a unique spa experience. After having a treatment you can relax in a private pavilion featuring a jacuzzi out in the deck. Then it’s time to sit back and relax and finish the experience with a nice cup of herbal tea.

Relaxing around the Conrad Maldives

If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the Water Villas you will find it relaxing enough just by being out on your private deck. There is nothing more calming than listening to the sound of the waves gently lapping against the Villa. You can read our seperate post on the Deluxe Water Villa we stayed in here.

Even the Beach Villas give you direct beach access where you can relax and enjoy your own little piece of paradise.

When out wandering around the resort, you will come across more little hidden relaxation spots.

Of course sometimes a bit of retail therapy is a great way to relax and there are shops to cater for that as well!

Even if you don’t feel like walking around the resort (especially across the bridge between the two islands) you can call for a buggy which will transport you around.

An alternative way to cross the islands is hop aboard the Conrad dhoni which runs regularly.

When out exploring the resort it was always nice to find a few friendly creatures along the way.

For more information on the luxurious Conrad Maldives go to www.conradhotels3.hilton.com

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Deluxe Water Villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

Conrad Maldives Deluxe Water Villa

Deluxe Water Villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

When planning our recent trip to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, the hardest decision we had to make was whether to stay in a Water Villa or Beach Villa. While we were redeeming HHonor points for our stay which gives you accommodation in a Beach Villa, you do have the option of paying an additional set amount to get an upgrade to a Water Villa. As we were on a special romantic anniversary trip, we decided the upgrade would be worth it for us.

We paid for an upgrade to a Superior Water Villa but on arrival were upgraded to a Deluxe Water Villa which is slightly larger and has a bit more privacy as the Deluxe Water Villas are spread further apart.

The Villa was spacious with a nice big king bed as well as a large couch where you could sit and overlook the ocean. It also had the most comfortable side chair where you could just lay back and quite easily fall asleep. All Hilton Diamond members receive a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates on arrival which is a nice touch.

The bathroom was huge and had a nice deep bath that sat by the window with ocean views. It also had a good-sized shower as well as his and hers basins.

Complimentary bottles of water are provided and there is a mini-bar in the room.

The highlight of the Villa is of course is the outside decking which comes complete with spa bath. With two sun lounges also on the deck, this is the perfect place to relax while taking in the breath-taking ocean views and listening to the gentle waves lapping against the Villa.

The views are truly amazing and you could stay there all day and just keep looking out across the crystal clear waters.

Steps that lead directly from your deck provide instant access to the surrounding water for exploring  or snorkelling. At low tide you can walk around although there is a lot of dead coral on the sea floor, so would recommend snorkelling shoes. We didn’t see a lot of fish swimming around our villa, but there were a few small reef sharks.

Deluxe Water Villas also get fantastic sunset views and each night provided a different setting.

We received a lovely bottle of red wine and some beautiful anniversary decorations on our bed for our wedding anniversary which we really appreciated.

For a full tour of our Deluxe Water Villa you can watch our You Tube Video here.

You can also read our review of the Conrad Maldives Airport Lounge and Seaplane transfer  as well as the blog on our highlights of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort.

For more information on the luxurious accommodation options at the Conrad Maldives go to www.conradhotels.com

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel in Singapore

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Review

Review of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel in Singapore

After landing at Changi Airport around 11.00pm and with a morning flight the next day, we decided to try to get a few hours sleep at the Crowne Plaza Hotel located in terminal 3 at Changi Airport in Singapore.

Our flight arrived in Terminal 2 at Changi Airport so after passing through customs we just had to board the airport skytrain for the quick trip to Terminal 3. Once we arrived at Terminal 3 it was just a short walk to reach the hotel.

Hotel Room

After a quick check-in we were allocated a King Room on the top (9th) floor. The room was modern and spacious with a nice big comfortable bed.

The bathroom has separate bath and shower and also comes complete with floral featured switchable privacy smart glass panels – just in case you need a bit of privacy while taking a nice relaxing bath!

There is also a good choice of bathroom amenities, which you will need to freshen up if you have just arrived after a long flight.

Rooms also come complete with a mini-bar and coffee and tea making facilities. There was also quite a few complimentary water bottles provided in the room.

When we woke up in the morning we found our room had a nice view of one of the runways. Even though the hotel is surrounded by Changi Airport, you do not hear any of the plane noise from the rooms.

Hotel Pool

While we didn’t get to spend a lot of time exploring all of the hotel features, we did get to pop by the hotel pool to have a look around. This is a really nice area which has a very tropical ambience to it.  We didn’t have the kids with us on this trip but they definitely would have loved this large pool area if they were!

There is poolside dining available by the pool and the club lounge is located right alongside the pool area.

Buffet Breakfast

The buffet breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is at the Azur restaurant. It consists of a nice mix of western and local asian cuisines including both egg and noodle stations.

 

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel in Singapore

Lobby Lounge

For those that that don’t want the big buffet breakfast there is also a little cafe set up in the Lobby Lounge for a light bite to eat or a coffee on the go.

 

 

Conclusion

This is a really great modern convenient transit hotel at Changi Airport. After we checked out we took the link bridge back to Terminal 2 for our flight and it was only a 5 minute walk. Those that can’t walk that distance can take the skytrain to their departing terminal. We look forward to returning next time when transiting through Singapore, especially if we are travelling with the kids as we think they will also really enjoy it here.

For more information on the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport go to: www.ihg.com