Rosewood Yangon Opens as a Centre of Culture and Style in Myanmar

Since the country’s military rule ended in 2011, Myanmar has seen an unprecedented boom in tourism. Places like Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay are now popular tourist hotspots, and businesses – whether high-end restaurants or luxury hotels – are following suit.

The latest addition to the landscape is Rosewood Yangon, which opened its doors recently in the bustling city of Yangon. Showcasing a fusion of contemporary Burmese style and old-world grandeur, it is housed in one of the grandest and most expansive buildings from the colonial era: the former New Law Courts that were built in 1927. The hotel’s location in the heart of the historic district by the banks of the Irrawaddy River make it the perfect base for traveller’s looking to explore the heritage side of things that the city has to offer.

Rosewood Yangon - Building Exterior Bank Street

Guests arrive at the hotel’s majestic portico, lit by three immense 1920s chandeliers, before stepping through two sets of grand iron-framed doors into the lobby. Above the reception desk, a stunning mural by famed local artist Than Kyaw Htay immediately evokes the charm of Myanmar with sunset-bathed pagodas atop peaks floating over a rugged landscape. Every step throughout the hotel showcases the hotel’s transformation – one that preserves the architectural past while offering the ultimate in contemporary comfort.

A wide range of facilities available under one roof includes five distinctive dining venues; recreational options including a spa, a rooftop infinity pool and a fitness studio; extensive meeting facilities featuring a grand ballroom, bridal suite, event studio, Heritage Salon and three meeting rooms; and a sophisticated retail gallery and barber shop.

Unparalleled Stays

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The hotel’s 205 stylishly designed rooms and suites are carefully crafted to highlight the architectural beauty of the building. Along with high ceilings and abundant natural light, most guest rooms feature patios and balconies with view overlooking the city or beautifully landscaped internal courtyards.

The refined Executive Rooms, starting at 45 square meters, are thoughtfully conceived to create comfortable, residential-style living spaces that are equally suited to business and leisure stays. The property’s suite collection boasts the 90-square-meter Rosewood Suite, which includes a separate enclosed bedroom and a spacious terrace that is ideal for afternoon tea or in-room dining experiences.

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The Suites have been tastefully decorated using a combination of the old world and the new. Dazzling lacquerware and papier-mâché objets d’art from upcountry Bagan, along with handwoven bed-throws and cushions created by artisans from non-profit Turquoise Mountain, evoke a sense of place. Paintings by Nyein Chan Su lend a contemporary ambience to the elegant guest suites with his bold use of color in semi-abstract compositions. Meanwhile, Pyayt Phyo Aung’s stylized portraits of young Myanmar women wearing traditional thanaka paste on their faces, displayed at guestroom entryways, create a warm and welcoming touch.

High-Concept Dining and Entertainment Experiences

Each of Rosewood Yangon’s five dining venues possesses a distinctive character, with an accent on local producers and seasonality.

Vibrant and fast-paced NOVA European Brasserie features an open kitchen and a huge skylight for natural daylight dining. Seasonal vegetables and herbs are sourced directly from farms in the Shan State of northern Myanmar and fresh seafood comes from the Andaman Sea: at least 70 percent of all ingredients are the bounty from Myanmar’s land and waters.

NOVA Brasserie - Crudo Dessert Bar

The menu boasts European dishes such as Salmon Pastrami and Roasted Porchetta, along with contemporary Burmese fare. A well-balanced wine list with an excellent mix of international labels complements the menu. Conveniently located near the entrance of the restaurant, a crudo bar serves the freshest oysters, seafood and more.

Destined to become a popular Yangon gathering place, Living Room & Patisserie is the perfect venue for a cup of local artisan coffee or premium quality tea paired with chocolates and homemade French desserts, while at CourtRoom Bar, an impressive heritage décor featuring restored dark teak wall paneling creates a luxurious, intimate experience. Here the city’s best whiskey selection takes centre stage, along with bespoke cocktails, a curated selection of fine wines and sophisticated bite-size snacks. The Judge’s Chamber, a separate lounge in CourtRoom Bar, offers a world-class variety of premium cigars amidst faithfully restored wood parquet in a space where the New Law Courts’ judges once deliberated. A large-scale portrait of a cheroot-smoking Pa-O grandmother, painted with acrylic on canvas by Zay Zay Htut, presides over the lounge.

When it opens later this year, the rooftop Y Bar will be the jewel in the crown of the heritage building. The only luxury bar in the city offering a panoramic view over Yangon River, it will undoubtedly become a prestigious evening gathering place for Yangonites, expatriates and international guests – with a live DJ at night and a selection of cocktails inspired by Yangon’s eclectic streets.A Chinese restaurant is also set to open late 2020.

Rich Cultural Experience

To showcase the richness and dynamism of Myanmar culture, Rosewood Yangon has created a suite of bespoke experiences to provide guests with an insider perspective including its “Rosewood Limited Edition” package, available from April 2020.

It consists of a one-of-a-kind arts and history experience in which visitors both preserve and help make history at this turning point of Myanmar opening up to the world. Guests have the exciting opportunity to discuss the Yangon’s preservation efforts with Dr. Thant Myint-U, Myanmar’s leading historian and writer, and founder of the Yangon Heritage Trust, in a rare private audience.

Guests also get a hands-on experience with Delphine de Lorme, artist and co-founder of Yangon Walls, and see how the city’s burgeoning creative community is responding to its modernisation. Together with de Lorne, guests will get the opportunity to rejuvenate Yangon’s back alleys with colourful murals. These and more rich experiences, plus three nights accommodation, are also included.

Relaxation & Recreation

The Fitness Studio offers a complete line of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, available 24 hours a day.  The resident fitness trainer is available for assistance on request. An infinity swimming pool is also located at the rooftop level.

Additional facilities will be opening later this year, including a sophisticated retail gallery offering gifts and collectible souvenir items inspired by the hotel’s rich heritage and the local Burmese culture, while a classic barber shop will offer a premium grooming experience.

When it opens in late 2020, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Rosewood’s award-wining, signature spa brand, will offer guests a sanctuary of simplicity and purity. Time-honoured Burmese practices will be perceptively customised to guests’ needs, and paired with natural ingredients that are sustainable, carefully cultivated and thoughtfully sourced.

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For Special Occasions

Rosewood Yangon boasts prestigious event spaces, including the Grand Ballroom, the Heritage Salon and the Terrace Suite for hosting exclusive private celebrations. The hotel’s majestic and capacious Grand Ballroom offers one of the most distinguished and elegant event venues in Yangon with its lofty, coffered ceilings and custom-designed crystal chandeliers. A movable partition allows the 1,400-sq.m. ballroom to be divided into two spaces. Meanwhile the Heritage Salon, formerly Parliament’s Chamber of Nationalities (1948-1962), has been meticulously restored and modernized to become, in late 2020, one of the city’s most impressive and unique venues with its double-height ceiling and decorative frieze, renovated to all its past glory.

Introductory offers are available from now until 30 June 2020 and include personal butler services throughout the stay, roundtrip airport transfers and breakfast at NOVA European Brasserie. “Heritage Discovery” with rates starting from USD320, and “Enchanting Yangon” from USD350 for a minimum two-night stay, include selections of hotel signature experiences.

Hotel Review: Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, Thailand

Hey, guys!

I recently had the pleasure of staying at Movenpick Resort and Spa Karon Beach, a leading luxury resort in Phuket, ie Thailand’s largest island. They were kind enough to host me for several nights in exchange for a review (while I ran around the island sniffing out stories for work), so a big thank you, especially to the marcomms team!

PS: Since I’ve already published the hotel review for my magazine, this will be an honest review of my experience in my own style of blog writing + unfettered by print limitations like word count or whatnot. Let’s hop into it! 🙂 

CHECK-IN 

1 Hotel Lobby

Checking in at the lobby, N and I were welcomed by a warm and inviting space – modern with an open layout but with Thai touches. As most of you might already know, Movenpick is a Swiss brand, and the Karon Beach resort prides itself in “Swiss efficiency, with Thai hospitality”. Check in was seamless, and we were given welcome drinks to cool off from the sweltering Thai heat, then shown to our room, which was a short walk away from the lobby.

ROOMS & AMENITIES

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There are various configurations to suit different budgets and needs, from Family Suites to Deluxe and Superior rooms, all furnished in a modern, contemporary style. Despite it being high tourist season, they managed to get us a Plunge Pool Villa (thank you, Ryatt!), which was extremely spacious and cosy.

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I loved that they used lots of wood, from the lanterns to the work desk, walk-in wardrobe and furniture, which really added to the tropical resort vibe. Do note that because there are so many trees and plants within the resort grounds, there are also lots of mosquitoes (!) An electric mozzie repellent device is provided, but I recommend closing the blinds and doors when you’re in the room. The bathroom features a window that you can open and close for privacy, making it perfect for couples and honeymooners (winkwink).

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A bathroom that’s larger than my bedroom at home, lol. Shower aside, there was an extremely large stone/marble tub that could easily fit two people in it, and a closet on the right.

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Luxury shower amenities.

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We also got a welcome basket of tropical fruits, and Movenpick’s signature chocolate cake. PS: If you don’t already know, Movenpick started off as a chocolate company, and they are world renowned for their exquisite chocolates!

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And then of course I made a beeline for the outdoor plunge pool. This became my go-to place throughout the stay – whenever I wasn’t exploring the island, I’d go back and take a dip with a book (yes I brought a book with me into the pool). I think N got tired of having to call me to get out so we can have lunch/dinner or whatever, lol.

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Is this not the life?

DINNER AT ORIENTASIA

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Food options aplenty at Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach, most of them facing the beautiful Karon beach front. On our first night, we dined at OrientAsia, which serves authentic Thai and Indian cuisine. Warm shades of red and beige, coupled with low ambient lighting made for an elegant and intimate setup.

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Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but it’s hard to find good shrimp pakora back in Malaysia. The version here was nicely battered and seasoned, with large, juicy and sizable chunks of fresh shrimp which went well with the mint dip. Despite being deep fried, it was not greasy at all – perfect appetiser!

 

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Stuffed crab shells with a sweet and sour dip was excellent as well.

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Chicken Vindaloo was a tad too oily for my liking.

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The star of the night was the Tom Kha Gai, ie chicken in coconut milk soup. Milky and savoury with a spicy kick, the flavourful broth paired really well with rice. The lemongrass flavour stood out to give it a sour note which was very appetising. The fact that N and I finished it to the last drop is testament as to how delicious it was. 11/10!

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Finishing off the meal on a sweet note, we tucked into a scoop of Movenpick’s signature chocolate ice cream. Just the right amount of sweetness and creaminess to end the night.

BREAKFAST AT EL GAUCHO 

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By night, El Gaucho serves up hearty cuts of steak and grilled items, but they also serve buffet breakfast for resort guests during the day. The restaurant’s outdoor seating offers beautiful views of the beach front, so you can dine with a view.

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Sandy white beaches and swaying palm trees – a scene straight out of a postcard.

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A respectable selection of breakfast items, with local and intercontinental dishes: Salads, fresh fruits, cereal and juices, cold cuts, pastries, and Asian staples of rice and noodles.

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Cheeses and cold cuts.

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Malaysian hotels have to adhere to halal standards, so whenever I’m travelling overseas, I load up on the bacon! PS: I like mine soft rather than crispy. 😛

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FACILITIES

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Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach spans a hefty 9 acres, with beautifully landscaped grounds that take luxury resort living to heart. Tropical palm trees line the paved avenues, and there are lovely gardens at every corner, interspersed with buildings featuring traditional thatched roof designs. In total, the resort boasts 362 rooms, suites and villas. It’s also kid-friendly, with facilities such as a Little Birds Club that has a large play area and a range of programmes and recreational activities to keep the little ones entertained.

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The grounds are so massive it takes a good 15 minutes to walk from the lobby to the beach front! Fret not though – they’ve got buggies at the ready to take you where you need to go.

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For those who want to go swimming, the resort has three pools. The main one is near the lobby and comes with a waterslide for the kids and a swim-up poolside bar. The Coconut Grove Pool (pictured above) is exclusively for Villa guests, but it’s also super deep and does not have lifeguards on duty so I’d suggest going only if you’re a strong swimmer (I’m not. lol). Alternatively, you can work out at the well equipped fitness centre next to the lobby, where there is also an area with a pool table.

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Garden Villas. 

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For an indulging experience, head on to their spa for top-to-toe pampering. N and I were ushered into a couple villa for our one-hour full body massage. The couple villa was beautifully furnished, and our skilful and professional therapists were so good at kneading out our tired muscles that we both fell asleep during the treatment.

MOVENPICK CHOCOLATE HOUR! 

 

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A fun signature activity at all of Movenpick’s hotels and resorts is the Movenpick Chocolate Hour, where guests are invited to indulge in a free flow of snacks and chocolates at the lobby. It was just what we needed after our massage. It’s a small gesture, but such a significant one as it shows their brand of warm hospitality.

LIVE MUSIC, DRINKS AND FOOD AT MINT 

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There is no shortage of things to do at night in Phuket, but if you’re not looking to explore, you can wile the night away at MINT, which serves drinks and dishes such as pizza, pasta and snacks. The atmosphere is relaxing, as the resto is located just steps away from the beach and they have a live band playing music.

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One does not simply say no to wood-fired pizza, and they had my favourite – parma ham with arugula. 

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The buffalo wings were nice, but the scallops were overcooked and rubbery.

All in all, we had an awesome time at Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach – at times, we didn’t even feel like leaving the resort at all! Ideal for families and leisure travelers alike, it’s a great place to unwind and conveniently located just across the street from one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches. Service is warm, friendly and personalised, the food is good and there are plenty of top notch facilities to enjoy.

MOVENPICK RESORT & SPA KARON BEACH 

509 Patak Rd, Tambon Karon, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83100, Thailand

Reservations: Website or call +66 76 683 350. 

Prices start at RM440 (USD100) per night.

 

 

 

Review: Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

Tucked along a quiet stretch of Jalan Kamunting and surrounded by heritage buildings, Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is a luxury boutique hotel – ideal for business people and couples who enjoy the convenience of being close to the city centre, minus the chaotic hustle and bustle. I’ve been eyeing to stay there for some time now, and Mother’s Day felt like the perfect reason to splurge on a treat for the Moomins! 🙂

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Parking is limited, but guests can opt for valet parking service for a flat rate of RM10 per night. The hotel’s unique facade features brick fixtures, paired with a classic colonial-style frontage. Wood, as well as a black and gold colour scheme, are dominant themes throughout the hotel, giving guests a sense of warmth and modern elegance.

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Our Deluxe Room came with a comfortable king-sized bed, fluffy pillows and duvet, a sofa and a cosy worktable. There was a large black and white photo of Jalan Kamunting in the 1940s hanging over the bed. I felt it offset the otherwise modern furnishings quite well and lent the space a sense of nostalgia.

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The workstation had a Bible in the drawer, and there was a glass jar with complimentary candy. The candy was the kind one would be familiar with from one’s childhood – traditional suan mei tang (sour plum), coconut sweets in colourful clear plastic wraps, hawthorne flakes – so it was a nice surprise.

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Floor to ceiling windows meant the room was well lit with lots of natural light. I liked how the sink was designed to be outside of the bathroom, which made it more convenient for us to wash up, in addition to saving space.

Shower was pretty spacious, and there was a bench where you can sit – good for the elderly like the Moomins who can’t stand for long periods of time. Rather than shower amenities in tiny plastic bottles, the bathroom had a wall mounted dispenser, which is better for the environment and reduces wastage.

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The TV had a good selection of channels, and there were also a few in-house magazines showcasing the YTL brand of hotels around the world.

Guests will also find must-have amenities that you’d expect from a five-star luxury hotel, such as a safe, bathrobe and slippers and tea and coffee making facilities. The canned drinks in the mini bar are included with your stay, rather than chargeable as it usually is in other hotels.

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Went up to the rooftop to take a dip in the small but beautiful pool, which offers gorgeous views of the Kuala Lumpur Tower. Its a saltwater pool, which is better than chlorine and is purported to have stress-relieving properties. The deck chairs are limited, so I suggest coming in the late afternoon (if it’s not too sunny) to avoid the crowd.

The rooftop also houses a bar called Man Tou (their specialty is – you guessed it – mantou buns) which is open during the night. The Moo wasn’t feeling well in the evening so we decided to just stay in.

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On the same floor is a small but well equipped 24-hour gym accessible by your room card key.

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Chillin’ in my comfy bathrobe

BREAKFAST 

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The next morning, we headed down to breakfast at Brasserie 25, the hotel’s French-style restaurant. The breakfast selection was not extensive, but what they had was fresh and tasty.

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Salad counter had a couple of cold cuts and cheeses.

 

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Baked goods section offered a selection of bread and pastries.

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Typical Western fare like sausage links, cherry tomatoes and hash browns.  Next to these were Asian breakfast favourites such as porridge, samosa, spring rolls and fried noodles.

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French toast, waffles and pancakes, which diners can pair with various jams and condiments.

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Cereal station

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I recommend the hash browns, which were super crunchy and addictive! The mee goreng (fried noodles) was good, as was the poached egg in cream and spinach.

Overall, Hotel Stripes impressed with its warm and friendly service, good facilities and nice little touches (like the free mini bar and the complimentary candy)! If you’re looking for somewhere close to town but away from the flurry of activity, this might be a place to consider for your next staycation.

**I paid RM285++ (final total RM330) for the Deluxe Room, inclusive of breakfast for two. This is the Marriott Member price.

HOTEL STRIPES KUALA LUMPUR 

25, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: +603-2038 0000 or visit stripeskl.com.

 

 

Hotel Review: Sheraton Petaling Jaya – Perfect For Staycations

Gone are the days when staying at hotels and resorts only happened when you were travelling somewhere. Today, more and more city dwellers are opting for ‘staycations’ as a lifestyle – that way you avoid the crowds of tourists, and can still get in some much needed R&R. One of these places is Sheraton Petaling Jaya.

Relatively ‘new’ on the block, having just celebrated its first anniversary, the hotel is close enough to Kuala Lumpur for an easy commute, but just far enough to offer a quieter, more relaxing environment in a suburban district – perfect for families and couples looking for a quick getaway.

 

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We checked in to our Sheraton Club King Room, which also offers guests exclusive access to the Executive Club Lounge. The room was spacious, cosy and welcoming, which is one thing I love about the Sheraton / Marriott brands – they’re luxurious but not intimidating. There was a work table near the window, a couch for lounging and a wide flat screen TV with a good selection of channels. Beds were super comfortable, what with the high linen thread count, fluffy pillows and soft but firm mattress.

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The bathroom had a shower area + tub, luxury bath amenities and lighted make up mirror. Shades can also be lowered for privacy.

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Welcome gifts ! Look at how cute that elephant towel is ❤

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Gift box with pampering goodies – candle, soap, loofah and bath bombs (which I immediately put to good use).

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Embarking on a tour of the hotel, we were taken to the function halls and spaces where business meetings, events and weddings are held. There are a total of 14 event rooms, boasting a total event space of over 21,000 square feet.

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The well-equipped glass walled gym, which is open 24 hours. As Sheraton PJ is the tallest building for miles around, guests are guaranteed panoramic views of the surroundings. Nothing like working out to a view! Towels and water are also available.

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If you prefer swimming, the hotel has a small pool on the rooftop, just next to their bar, Sala. While the limited space means you won’t be able to do laps or anything, it’s still nice to take a dip while taking in the sights. Right beside it is a smaller pool for children.

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Meanwhile, the executive lounge is an excellent place to unwind that’s quiet and cosy.

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When it comes to dining options, diners are spoilt for choice, as Sheraton PJ has several restaurants, such as Feast, which offers local and international flavours. The bright, cheerful space was also where we had our lunch, with the lofty ceiling giving it a sense of room.

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The Chinese section, which offered fried oyster mushrooms in oats, Kam Heong mussels and clams, as well as braised mushrooms.

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Seafood on ice. Overall, the food was fresh and tasty, and there was a good variety of choices. For non-staying guests, they are also open for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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If Chinese cuisine is what you prefer, then head on to Yue, which specialises in classic Chinese dishes. For lovers of Japanese dishes, there is Miyabi, serving authentic options such as teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi. (Separate reviews for each up soon, so stay tuned!) 

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Evening found us at Sala Bar, where the hotel had arranged for a special create-your-own-cocktail session for us with the bartender. Not a big alcohol drinker, but it was fun putting together the different ingredients and mixing them in the bar shaker. Recipe as below if you want to try making your own! 🙂

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Crisp – a refreshing concoction with spicy, tropical flavours.

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View as the sunsets.

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A toast to a great stay!

SHERATON PETALING JAYA 

Lorong Utara C, Pjs 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Reservations: 03-7622 8888

Website

 

Review: 9 Reasons Why Dash Resort Langkawi Is The Beach Holiday Of Your Dreams

Langkawi – the ‘Jewel of Kedah’ of Malaysia –  is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and amazing tropical scenery. While resorts and hotels are a dime a dozen on the island, those looking for the beach holiday of their dreams will find it at Dash Resort Langkawi – a four-star boutique resort that’s quirky, laid back and endlessly fun.

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Part of the Ri-Yaz Group, which also manages the Dash series of hotels in Cyberjaya and Bali, design plays an integral part at Dash Langkawi, with the entire setting inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. True to their tagline ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’, a stay here will take guests on a whimsical journey.

Here are nine reasons why I think you should book a night (or two. or three!) at the resort:

1 ) Insta-worthy shots EVERYWHERE. 

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It is clear from the get-go that this is a hotel designed for the young and young at heart, with Instagram photo opportunities at every turn. Bright, colourful and cheery, the outlandish designs feature everything from oversized furniture to gold-framed portraits of superheroes in Victorian-era costumes. The lobby itself has polished marble floors, soaring pillars, an opulent chandelier and mismatched (but not clashing) sofas, puffy couches and cosy seats.

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CatWoman reimagined. See if you can ‘collect’ photos of all the different superheroes within the resort ! There’s Captain America, Batman, Spiderman and a bonus Chewbacca (it’s pretty hidden).

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The centrepiece of it all ? A giant 9-metre tall blue Dash rabbit, the resort’s mascot.

2) The beach looks FANTASTIC 

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When our group first approached the Beach Club area which faces part of Pantai Cenang, a collective oooh was heard. White cabanas, sun deck complete with glittering DJ booth, endless blue skies over the azure blue waters of the Andaman and soft white sand –  the scene looked more akin to the beaches of Mykonos or Crete in Greece. Who says you need to travel far to experience natural beauty?

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3) The food is pretty awesome. 

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The quirky, fun design extends to the restaurant / bar area, aptly dubbed Dash Beach Club. Instead of buffet-style which is the norm for many resorts/hotels, dishes are ordered ala carte, and are an eclectic mix of East Meets West with flavour influences from around the world. Afternoon fare is more burgers and pasta, while night offers heavier, more substantial meals and local dishes. What you can’t miss is breakfast:

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Nothing like waking up to a gorgeous spread of pancakes and toast, or ham and sausage with a side of mushrooms! The real winner though, is this:

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Eggs Kejriwal. Would honestly travel back just for this. Originally an egg, cheese and toast snack from Mumbai which features grated cheese and green chillies, red onion and cilantro on a piece of toast, Dash’s version switches it up with a crunchy fried filo pastry with crisp layers. Works really well, especially when you cut into the egg and it oozes golden gooey goodness. Not too spicy either!

Fun fact: The Beach Club is open to the public (for a fee) so you don’t necessarily have to be a guest. Still feels plenty exclusive though.

4) Their rooms are spacious and comfy 

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Still with the Alice in Wonderland theme, rooms follow the same quirky concept with fun patterns and unique pieces of furniture. Stayed in a Deluxe Room, with a comfy queen-sized bed, dressing table, TV and a Dash bunny to snuggle with. No bathtubs, but there is a nice shower, a wardrobe with bathrobes + slippers, as well as coffee and tea making facilities.

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5) You can unwind at the spa

What’s a beach holiday without a good massage? Unwind at the Rabbit Hole Spa, which offers a variety of pampering treatments and luxurious pick-me-ups. Granted, the space was a little bare/basic and prices are steep, but I enjoyed my quick 30 minute massage to smoothen out tired knots and muscles.

6) They’ve got an awesome infinity pool + ‘sunken’ cabana area

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The pool has got to be one of the resort’s highlights, as it is right by the beach and looks out to the sea. There’s a pool bar for when you need a drink after the swim, and a cosy ‘sunken’ cabana area right in the middle of the pool, so you’re literally surrounded by water.

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7) You can get (cute) limited edition merchandise

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There’s a shop within the resort called Dashoppe, which sells cute resort-themed merchandise you won’t find elsewhere. There is the blue bunny mascot native to Dash Langkawi, but they also carry the green and red ones from Dash Bali and Cyberjaya. Other items on sale include designer clothing, swimwear, bathrobes, shoes, and souvenirs.

8) The sunset is GORGEOUS 

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One of my favourite things to do at the resort was just sit by the beach at sunset with a cold glass of smoothie and watch the sun set. Nothing like the sight of islands amidst a backdrop of cotton candy sky, listening to the sounds of waves lapping against the shore.

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9) It’s a great place to chill at night 

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Unlike other island places like Phuket in Thailand, Langkawi is pretty quiet at night – so if you’re expecting crazy nightlife with booze and bars, then it’s probably not the place for you. If you want a quiet place to relax, however, it’s perfect. The pool at Dash is not open at night, but guests can still chill on the patio with some drinks and finger food. Occasionally you get local performers putting up a fire show by the beach – just remember to tip them!

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DASH RESORT LANGKAWI

Jalan Teluk Baru, Jalan Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah

Phone:+604-955 7171

Website

**Note: I was invited to DASH Resort Langkawi for a hotel review for work. Views here are entirely my own. 

Hotel Review: Manila Marriott Hotel, Manila

Has it only been a month since my Manila trip? It feels like ages ago :’D

Maybe it’s because I can’t wait to go back so I can gorge on Frankie’s buffalo wings spend quality time with the Boy again. LDR isn’t an ideal arrangement, but fingers crossed that we won’t have to do this for much longer.

But I digress.

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While in town recently, the Boy and I stayed for two-nights at the Manila Marriott Hotel, a five-star luxury accommodation located in Pasay, just a stone’s throw away from Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Convenient location aside, the hotel boasts a slew of facilities, including 570 modern guest rooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, a rooftop pool, and the brand’s signature Quan Spa.

One thing in common with many Marriott hotels all over the world is their modern yet elegant decor, as well as connectivity. Apart from having ballrooms and meeting spaces, most of these establishments are linked to malls and/or entertainment centers. Manila Marriott Hotel is accessible via a covered walkway to the Resorts World Manila shopping area and casinos.

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Our premium room was extremely spacious, with a king-sized bed complete with fluffy duvets and pillows, large TV with good selection of channels, coffee-making machine, complimentary tea, mini bar and work table. Furnishings were sleek and modern, employing use of white marble countertop surfaces paired against dark wooden flooring and furniture and grey carpeting.

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What I really liked: international sockets – so you don’t have to bring a travel adapter along! You can also charge your devices using the USB port, without the three or two-pronged charger head.

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Stocked mini bar.

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Bathrobes in the closet all fluffed and ready. They also have complimentary shoe-shining services.

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Another thing I really liked – the bathtub! There was a big glass window separating the bathroom from the bedroom, and a shade you could pull down at the touch of a button if you need privacy.

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Very spacious, branded amenities from Thann in the bathroom.

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Resorts World Manila is just a short walk away through a connecting passageway! Very convenient. Although, if you aren’t planning on dining at the hotel, food options are rather pricey/limited.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to try any of the facilities because we came back late on the second night after getting caught in a flash flood and conked out almost immediately after getting back to our room. There is, however, a nice pool we got to check out, as well as gym facilities.

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More on the breakfast buffet in a separate post!

Rooms start at PHP8,000 (RM612 – USD150) per night.

MANILA MARRIOTT HOTEL 

2 Resort Dr, Manila, 1309 Metro Manila, Philippines

Reservations: +63 2 988 9999

marriott.com 

*erisgoesto was invited as a guest to stay at Manila Marriott Hotel in exchange for a review in Going Places Magazine (goingplacesmagazine.com). Views here, however, are entirely my own.