Tag Archives: travel

Review of the Hilton Cocoa Beach Hotel in Florida, USA

Hilton Cocoa Beach Hotel Review

Review of the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel, Florida, USA

We have now stayed twice at the Hilton Cocoa Beach and have found it a great place to unwind before heading off on a cruise. Located right on the beachfront, you can either hang at the beach or let the kids swim in the pool while the adults relax by Longboards or the Beach bar.

Pool & Fitness Center

While it’s not a huge pool area, it is enough to cool down and keep the kids entertained.

The fitness center has a few cardio machines and some weights for those that like to work out while on holidays.

Longboards Tiki Beach Grille

If you’re looking for an outdoor bar with a great atmosphere to sit back, relax and have a few drinks with a bite to eat then Longboards Tiki Beach Grille is the place for you. They have a real good happy hour menu from 4.00pm to 7.00pm (daily except Saturdays). The staff service is excellent and the meals were pretty big. The bar has big screens which always have sport playing and at night there is live entertainment.

Next to Longboards is a sun deck with plenty of deck chairs and at night there are a couple of fire pits for the cooler nights.

You can watch our YouTube Video of Longboards and the Pool Deck area here.

Note: the video was taken before the Castaways Beach Bar was built.

Castaways Beach Bar

The latest addition to the Hilton Cocoa Beach is Castaways Beach Bar. Opened in July 2017 this bar is situated along the walkway from the hotel to the beach. Great if you are hanging out and the beach and fancy a quick drink.

Salt Restaurant

The main dining area inside the hotel is Salt Restaurant. We only ate here for breakfast but it is open for dinner from 5.00pm to 10.00pm featuring modern American cuisine. Breakfast is served between 6.00am to 11.00am and you have the choice of the buffet breakfast or you can dine a la carte. We chose the buffet as the selection was quite good. It had an egg station, bacon, sausages, potatoes, scrambled eggs and waffles. There was also plenty of pastries, bagels, cereals, fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Cool Beans Coffee Shop

If it is a quick bite to eat you prefer or you may just want a Starbucks coffee on the go, head to Cool Beans which is open 24 hours. Cool Beans serves a variety of foods including sandwiches & wraps, cookies, sweets and other convenient snacks.

Our Room

Both times we have stayed at the Hilton Cocoa Beach we have stayed in a two queen room with coastline views. The rooms are good-sized and features included a desk, coffee-making facilities and empty bar fridge. The bathroom is on the small side with all in one bath & shower and has the usual Peter Thomas Roth amenities.

You can watch our YouTube Room Tour video here.

Cocoa Beach

Just a few steps from the pool area is the very nice Cocoa Beach. Through the hotel you can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards, bodyboards, kayaks, wetsuits and even a volleyball. You can book in for private surfing lessons as well.

If you like walking you can wander up to the Cocoa Beach Pier which takes about 30 minutes if walking along the beach.

Conclusion

The Hilton Cocoa Beach is a really nice hotel, not fancy but great for relaxing on the beachfront. It has really good features including an on-site laundry so you can do a load of washing if needed for those that are travelling on an extended vacation.

We also took advantage of a shuttle service provided to the nearby Port Canaveral cruise terminal which is only $5 per person. We would definitely stay at the Hilton Cocoa Beach again before leaving on a cruise out of Port Canaveral.

For more information on the Hilton Cocoa Beach go to: www.hilton.com

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Cathay Pacific Flight CX105 Hong Kong to Melbourne

Cathay Pacific Flight CX105 Business Class

Trip Report – Cathay Pacific Flight CX105 Hong Kong to Melbourne travelling in Business Class on an Airbus A350-900

We were really looking forward to our CX105 flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne to try out the new Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 Business Class seats.

After checking in our bags we headed off to one of the Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounges. Our lounge of choice was The Bridge, located in Terminal 1 near gate 35 which made it a short walk down to gate 50 where our flight was departing from.

We enjoyed dinner and a few drinks in the lounge then headed down to our gate to wait for boarding to begin.

Once on board we were greeted by our cabin crew and served a glass of champagne. It was then time to get comfortable in our business class seats.

Compared to the older A330-300 seats we travelled to Hong Kong in, these seats were much sleeker and better designed. It has more storage compartments and we really liked that the headphone compartment comes complete with mirror and pocket for storing valuables.

Flight staff then brought around menus and amenity kits. The amenity kits feature Jurlique Skin Care Products – a Rosewater Balancing Mist, Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum and Lip Balm Care. Also inside the kit were a pair of socks, an eyeshade, earplugs, mouthwash and a dental kit.

As our flight departure was around midnight, it didn’t take too long for the flight crew to serve the supper meals.

The meals were quite tasty and a good size to eat just before heading off to sleep. After supper the lights were dimmed so we could get some of that much-needed sleep in our fully lay flat beds.

Breakfast is served before landing – a nice mix of hot and cold items.

After breakfast we turned on the plane tail camera to watch our smooth landing unfold.

In conclusion we really enjoyed our CX105 flight, with the much quieter A350-900 providing a smooth, comfortable journey back home to Melbourne.

For more information on Cathay Pacific go to www.cathaypacific.com

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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Cathay Pacific Flight CX602 Malé to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Flight CX602 Business Class

Trip Report – Cathay Pacific Flight CX602 Malé to Hong Kong Business Class

We departed the Maldives aboard Cathay Pacific Flight CX602 travelling in Business Class from Malé to Hong Kong.

After checking in our bags, we got through customs fairly easily due to a late night departure time. We then headed to Cathay Pacific’s contract lounge – the Leeli Lounge.  This was a fairly basic lounge which had a few hot food options, a few cold food selections and some cold drinks available (no alcohol though). Nothing here was very enticing, luckily enough we had already been in the Conrad Lounge at the Seaplane terminal for a few hours beforehand for dinner.

Once though the boarding gate a bus took us to the tarmac for boarding. Our aircraft on this flight was an Airbus A330-300.

Upon settling in our seats, crew members came around with our pre-departure beverages – water or orange juice only. No alcohol is permitted prior to take off due to the Maldives strict no alcohol laws. Once the plane is safely in the air and the seatbelt sign comes off then the crew can start serving alcohol.

We also received our amenity kits which features Jurlique Skin Care Products – a Rosewater Balancing Mist, Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum and Lip Balm Care. Also inside the kit were socks, eyeshade, earplugs, mouthwash and a dental kit.

Supper was served on this flight fairly quickly (see food & beverage menus below).

All selections on the menu came out at once so that once you had finished eating you could wind down and head off to sleep in the fully lat flat beds.

While this flight was aboard an older A330-300 which is staring to show its age, it wasn’t too bad for an overnight flight of 6hrs 20 mins.

To discover more about Cathay Pacific Business Class go to: www.cathaypacific.com

While in the Maldives we stayed at the Conrad Maldives (read review here).