8.03.2012

Hotel Fox - Copenhagen, Denmark


Hotel Fox
Jarmers Plads 3
DK-1551 Copenhagen V
Denmark
T: +45 33 13 30 00
E: hotel@hotelfox.dk

I stayed in two different hotels when I was in Copenhagen. The first was Phoenix Copenhagen (which I will review later) and the second was Hotel Fox. I loved Hotel Fox a lot more and regretted not booking my entire stay with them.

When I travel, I love to stay at luxury hotels as well as creative design hotels. Hotel Fox was the most unique hotel I've stayed at on this trip (but I haven't stayed at many design ones in the past). It is a boutique design hotel, with 61 different rooms by international artists. They do their best to accommodate your choice of room, but of course you're not guaranteed the one you want as they're quite a popular hotel. Here are all the rooms, which are categorized by size: small, medium, large and extra large.

I really enjoyed my stay here and would for sure come back again. The staff are so friendly..plus they have THE best buffet breakfast!




My room was an extra large. #206 - "Ecstasy". I didn't see how big the other rooms are but as an "extra large" it wasn't so big compared to other hotel rooms I've stayed in. So if you decide to book this hotel, I would recommend booking a large or extra large room if you're used to having a bit of space.


Now the highlight of my stay here: the breakfast!! If not included with your room rate, it is 155DKK ($25) and well worth the price. It was my favourite hotel breakfast. Probably not surprising, as the food in Copenhagen was also my favourite out of all the other cities I visited this trip.

This city is famous for their sandwiches (particularly smørrebrød) and they really are all delicious. Usually I'm picky with food but I tried almost all the different kinds of sandwiches they had here even when I wasn't always sure what was inside.

They also have a selection of Danish pastries..I don't know what this was but it was SO DELICIOUS! Scandinavian pastries are my favourite.




Most of their rooms are really cool. Here's my favourites:





Go here for all of them!

Prices:
Small: $232 (1395 DKK)
Medium: $322 (1936 DKK)
Large: $336 (2021 DKK)
Extra Large: $364 (2191 DKK)

Location: Very conveniently located across the street from a small 24hr grocery store, 5min walking distance to Strøget (the main pedestrian street), and about 10min to Tivoli Gardens (the famous amusement park).
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7.09.2012

La Bauhinia, Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France


La Bauhinia
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

10 avenue d’Iéna
F-75116
T: (33 1) 53 67 19 91

On my second last day in Paris, I went for lunch at La Bauhinia; one of the three restaurants inside the Shangri-La Hotel. My visit to the hotel left quite a lasting impression, and I must say this meal was my favourite of the entire trip. In addition to an excellent three-course meal, I was happy to be dining at one of my favourite hotel chains - the Shangri-La - especially their location in Paris as it's housed in a building of historic significance.

They were fully booked when I was there, but I'd love to stay here on a future trip to Paris. The hotel is located at one of the best areas; in the 16th arrondissement within distance of Trocadero and across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Most of the rooms/suites have AMAZING views!!

I was welcomed by very friendly and courteous staff as I walked into the lobby. It was so beautiful I remember the first thought that popped in my head was: "wow!!"

Before I go any further, here's a bit of interesting history about the hotel.
It was originally built in 1896 as the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grand nephew of Napoleon. Years and years later, Shangri-La acquired the building and spent four years to renovate and restore it. They ensured that the integrity of the original home was preserved. The hotel officially opened its doors in December 2010, becoming the first Shangri-La hotel of Europe.
The lavish interiors are reminiscent of the Bonaparte family. If you observe closely you can see their imperial insignias and ornate monograms incorporated into the details.



Located at the far end of the lobby, past this stunning staircase, you will find La Bauhinia. Decorated in Bordeaux reds and jade tones, the restaurant is directly underneath a glass cupola. This let in lots of natural lighting which, combined with music from a baby grand piano, created a perfect atmosphere for my lunch!

The executive chef is Philippe Labbé. The menu consists of both (southeast) Asian and French cuisines. I love French food and seeing as I was in Paris after all, I went for the French dishes. I started off with this amuse-bouche. I regret to admit I do not remember what it was exactly, but I do remember it being delicious.



THE FOOD: Here's what I ordered. All in all, a very satisfying meal. Everything was well-prepared, well-presented, and tasted very fresh. Once again, I regret not writing this review sooner as none of what I ordered can be found on the menu anymore (I was here one month ago). I am not sure how often their menu changes but you can view what they currently serve here.

THE SERVICE: As you can usually expect with any upscale restaurant, the service was excellent. The servers were very friendly, attentive, efficient and knowledgeable about the menu. The food also arrived very quickly.

BEST FOR: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, business meal, an anniversary, etc. Although I didn't get a chance to have dinner here, I think this place is better during the day (when it's bright thanks to the glass ceiling). If I was to have dinner at the hotel, I think L'Abeille would have a better evening atmosphere.

THE COST: €€€€
A bit on the pricey side, it would be difficult to spend less than €100 ($130) per person on a three-course meal; wine, tax, and tip excluded.

This post is already longer than I expected to make it, so I will end with a few photos I took during the small tour I got after lunch.


Le Bar; cozy and elegant. I LOVED the horse paintings.



Walking around the salons/ballrooms, I felt like I was touring a grand palace like Versailles.
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6.18.2012

Blakes Hotel - London, England


Blakes Hotel
33 Roland Gardens
London SW7 3PF
T: +44(0)2073706701 (or toll-free from US: 18009263173)
E: blakes@blakeshotels.com

Blakes Hotel was one of the hotels I was looking forward to the most during my trip, and it certainly did not disappoint. It was created and designed by Anouska Hempel, and considered the world's first luxury boutique hotel. The elegant designs of the rooms were inspired by Hempel's exotic travels around the world. Many film stars, musicians and top designers have stayed here in the past, earning the hotel a reputation as the "couture hotel".


London was the first city on my itinerary, with Blakes being the first hotel. I had quite a stressful flight - main reason being that my luggage was lost and delayed. I already had a problem with my first flight, so that was not the ideal start to my trip. I was told by the airline customer service that they would deliver my luggage to me once (if?!) it arrived. So since I didn't have anything with me, I attempted to take the Tube for the first time. I successfully arrived at South Kensington station, hopped into one of those famous black cabs, then arrived at Blakes after maybe a 5-min ride. The hotel is conveniently located in The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.


I walked into the hotel and was greeted by some friendly staff (as well as a very nicely scented lobby..)
Jet-lagged, exhausted and preparing for the worst case scenario (that I wouldn't be able to get my luggage back), I was quite happy to get an early check-in and this beautiful "Director's Double" room.


This is the bed. I can honestly say it was one of the comfiest beds I've ever slept in!!




Out of all other hotel washrooms from this trip, this was my favourite. It was very well-equipped: lots of towels, toiletries, a bidet and my favourite - heated floors!


The room also has a Bang & Olufsen flat screen tv and walk-in closet with a mini-safe inside.



Nice selection at the mini-bar and complimentary Blakes water


Room service breakfast! I had the continental breakfast included with my room. A juice, toast & tea or coffee (normally £16.50/$26 which I actually think might be a bit too pricey, although I did enjoy it)



Here is the lobby.
Oh I did eventually get my luggage back in the evening that day, and it was promptly brought up to my room by the porter. I enjoyed my stay at this hotel very much. The staff were excellent at providing directions and suggestions on where to go. If you plan on going to the Summer Olympics this year, or just visiting London in the future, I definitely recommend this hotel. The only minor issue I had here was the elevator. It's pretty small so you might have to take two trips if you have a lot of luggage, or if there are already people inside (as it can only fit a few people). But other than that -  Friendly staff, luxurious rooms and (in my opinion)...

One of the best locations: in a quiet street of South Kensington, a few minutes walk to South Kensington or Gloucester Road Tube stations, walkable distance to the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural Science and History Museum, Harrods, and many restaurants/cafes.

Prices (exclusive of tax or breakfast):
Parisian Single: from £259/$410
Luxury Double: from £319/$500
Director's Double: from £399/$630
Luxury Suite: from £549/$860
Corfu Suite: from £749/$1180
Top Suite: from £1049/$1650

Events:
The top suites are available for weddings, with other rooms available to be used for meetings or cocktail parties

Contact:
For any questions, requests, or to tailor your special visit, you may contact Jesus Sauri

Blakes Hotel is also considered a Design Hotel

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6.11.2012

Hotel Königshof - Munich, Germany



Hotel Königshof
Karlsplatz 25
80335 Munich
T: +49089551360
E: koenigshof@geisel-privathotels.de

I stayed at Hotel Königshof for three nights when I visited Munich a couple weeks ago. It's a 5-Star luxury hotel located right in the heart of Munich. I had a great experience here and it was definitely one of the best hotels from my entire trip. The service, room, location, amenities, food and bar was excellent. The staff were all really friendly. I have no complaints about this hotel, so here's some photos and my favourite things about it.


The welcome chocolates




I had one of the Deluxe rooms. It was quite large, very clean and beautifully furnished. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate but I loved finding truffles on the pillows every night after coming back to the hotel! The room comes with free satellite TV and Wi-Fi (with a good/fast connection; one of the most important things for me in a hotel room). If city noise is a problem for you, the windows here are all sound-proof.




From past experiences I realized the toiletries/personal care items that come with each hotel washroom are small but significant factors that influence my opinion of a hotel. The washroom here came with pretty much everything I needed and more. Bathrobes and slippers were complimentary, there were lots of (monogrammed) towels, heated towel racks and a wide range of Etro products - what you see in the photo + shower cap, soap, body lotion, sewing kit, shoe polisher, comb, etc..
If nothing else, I really love being provided a complimentary bathrobe. Personally I think every high-end hotel should provide them free of charge..as I stayed in a couple 4/5-star hotels this trip that charged for them.




My absolute favourite thing about this hotel was the breakfast. It was included in my room rate but by itself, it costs about €30/$38 which I think is well worth it. There's a wide selection of (delicious) food from the buffet, and there's also a lot of things on their a-la-carte menu you can order, which is also included in the price. Breakfasts are one of my favourite parts of any vacation. So naturally, a good hotel buffet breakfast is very important for a memorable hotel experience. To be honest I probably wouldn't stay again at any hotel where I didn't enjoy the breakfast..

I didn't get a chance to try it but if you're ever staying at this hotel or in Munich, you might want to try Königshof Restaurant, their Michelin Star restaurant. It also has 18 points in Gault Millau.



Here's their bar. I came here one night for a bellini. The service was really good and I loved the atmosphere. It was really relaxing and the perfect place to have a nightcap.



& lastly, some photos of their lobby in the evening.

All in all, it was a great hotel and I highly recommend it if you are visiting Munich.

Prices:
Superior Room: from €280/$350 per night(single) & €320/$400 per night(double)
Deluxe Room: from €310/$390 per night(single) & €350/$440 per night(double)
Junior Suite: from €455/$570 per night
Suite: from €650/$815 per night

Location: very centrally located; right on Karlsplatz/Stachus Square, a few minutes walk from the main pedestrian street, about 10 minutes walk from Marienplatz, a few minutes from the main train station, and right above Karlsplatz metro station.

Hotel Königshof is owned by Geisel Privathotels, whose other hotels (also located in Munich) include Hotel Excelsior, Cosmopolitan Hotel as well as Anna Hotel. It is considered a Leading Hotel of the World.
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