Thursday, 28 April 2016

Radisson Blu 1919: Iceland and the Aurora

Radisson Blu 1919

One of the best options in Reykjavik (for Winter)

Stayed Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016

Finally I reached my most important destination for this trip.

The great Viking settlement known as ICELAND!

Credit: Great Circle Mapper

Using the Great Circle Mapper, I had flown 8242 miles from Singapore's Changi Airport to Iceland's Keflavik Airport.

Why did I want to come to Iceland?

I hoped to catch the Aurora Borealis this year and also to experience the famous Blue Lagoon.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Radisson Blu Plaza Oslo: Good location, and a dirty cloth

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo

Good location, and a dirty cloth

Stayed Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016

After a great visit of Amsterdam and seeing the many attractions including the canals, museums and the buildings, I stopped in Oslo for the weekend before heading to Reykjavik.

The biggest reason I wanted to visit Oslo was to see the Opera House and the statue of Ms Kirsten Flagstad, the renowned Wagnerian soprano.

The search for hotels began with personal favourite Starwood, which turned out to be zero, and finally I found several Radisson (Club Carlson) hotels.

Since I was going to be in Oslo for just the weekend, I needed somewhere central and considering all the factors, the answer was clearly the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.

The hotel was affected by a strike by the time of writing.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam: Lukewarm feelings

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam: Lukewarm feelings

More Hits than Misses, but one expects more

Visited Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016

After great stays at Intercontinental Amstel and the Andaz, and not-so-great W Amsterdam, I arrived at the last and most expensive hotel of this trip to Amsterdam for one night.

This also meant I had the highest expectations.

In other words, I was setting myself up for disappointment.

So how much was it? 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Andaz Amsterdam: Deserves an A and no less

Andaz Amsterdam: Deserves an A and no less

Smooth from the Start to the End

Visited Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016


After the elegant (and missing George Clooney) Intercontinental Amstel, my next hotel was the Andaz which I was keen to try as a new Hyatt Diamond member.

There are 2 Hyatt hotels in Amsterdam and 1 of them is at the airport. I prefer to be able to return to the hotel to rest in the afternoon and hence, am not too fond of staying at the airport.

So the Andaz was my only consideration.

The name of the hotel in full is the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht.

The theme of the hotel is the 'Prince of Lost Dreams', which according to the Facebook of the hotel:

" The prince who gave his name to the Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal) is also remembered as the ‘Prince of Lost Dreams’.
This prince was known to answer questions of people in such a way that they were able to vividly remember their inner strengths and most exciting dreams.
The Andaz Prince represents this legendary personality.
The silent scream of the Andaz Prince also has magic powers of its own. "

The statues of the mystical Prince are scattered throughout the hotel and can also be seen in the picture of the entrance above.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Intercontinental Amstel: Sharing the hotel with George Clooney

Intercontinental Amstel: Sharing the hotel with George Clooney

Most Color Coordinated room ever

Visited Jan 2016
Published Apr 2016 


View of Intercontinental Amstel from the Bridge
This was my second hotel in Amsterdam, having moved from W Amsterdam (the previous review).

The original plan was to stay at the Intercontinental for a few days, but as mentioned in the W Amsterdam review, there was a drop in the rate and I cancelled my first night here at the Intercontinental for the W.

It was not the best decision, but it wasn't bad either.

The Intercontinental is a very old grand hotel with a history of more than a century and has its own wikipedia entry

Thursday, 7 April 2016

W Amsterdam: Not the Finished Product yet, January 2016

Not the Finished Product yet

Published 7th April 2016
Visited Jan 2016

It is now a year since I experienced my inflight emergency, and in that unfortunate (with reference to the elderly gentleman) event, I got a upgrade voucher from Singapore Airlines as a gesture of goodwill.

Unfortunately (again), when I was considering my return to Paris, the infamous bombing occurred (#prayforparis).

Thus, I contacted Singapore Airlines for alternative arrangements.

After some discussion, I was allowed to use the voucher to any destination in Europe (Thank you, Singapore Airlines!) and I chose Amsterdam as one of the stops on my way to Iceland to catch the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights.