Hyatt 48 Lex (New York)

Room 2201: Bed by the WindowRoom 306: Facing 48th StreetRoom 306: View of the Bed from the Window AreaRoom 306: King-size BedRoom 306: Room 306: Work Area
Room 306: Porcelain Throne CornerRoom 306: VanityRoom 306: Shower StallRoom 306: View from the EntranceRoom 306: KitchenetteRoom 2201: Squeezed-in Crumpled Tissue
Room 2201: Desk Area and WindowRoom 2201: Wardrobe Armoire and Desk AreaRoom 2201: View from the Entrance

Hyatt 48 Lex, a set on Flickr.

A new baby Hyatt is recently born in New York’s Midtown East. Barely three months old in mid-December 2011 when I visited it, Hyatt 48 Lex is meant to be a boutique hotel in the vein of W, except with much less luxury. The tower has a very tight footprint, having been built on a little plot where a convenience store used to be. With 24 floors, 116 rooms and suites, each floor has 6 rooms that face either the Lexington Avenue or the 48th Street, but corner rooms are lucky to see the intersection of those two streets. The rooms begin on the 3rd floor.

Room 01 and 06 are isolated from the other rooms in the floor, while rooms 02, 03, 04 and 05 are clustered together. The façade of the lobby and ground floor restaurant, as well as the 3rd and 4th floors jut out from the rest of the tower. From floor 5 until floor 24, the Continue reading

The Four Seasons Jakarta

Thank goodness for our experience at the mediocre Alila Jakarta (read the REVIEW) we moved to the once-again, well-proven, time-tested luxurious and comfortable Four Seasons Hotel, this one located in Jakarta.

Four Seasons Jakarta Lobby by bloompy
Four Seasons Jakarta Lobby, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

The unassuming façade and entrance of this former Regent Hotel belies the understated elegance within. Lacking from the lobby area is the decadence found in some Asian hotels. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recalled that the former Regent Hotel was owned by, Continue reading

Alila Jakarta

Alila Jakarta by bloompy
Alila Jakarta, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

A few years ago a couple of friends were heading for Bali and asked for recommendations on hotels. I gave them the Amanresorts, which had three properties in Bali (Amanusa in Nusa Dua, Amankila in Candi Dasa, and Amandari in Ubud), but eventually they settled for a hotel chain that at that time I was not aware of: Alila. There were two in Bali: Alila Manggis (close to the Amankila in Candi Dasa) and Alila Ubud (near the Amandari).

Fast forward to 2005 when I found myself taken by my cousins to the lobby and the lounge of Alila Jakarta after dinner elsewhere. At that time the hotel seemed to have just been opened: minimalist in its approach, but with a certain je ne sais quoi that was a bit off. Two Continue reading

The W Hotel San Francisco

W Hotel San Francisco by bloompy
W Hotel San Francisco, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

I have wanted to stay at this place when it opened a few years back, but I was living in San Francisco at the time; and although it was not uncommon for anybody to stay in a hotel in a city where they lived, it was difficult to get a reservation because the hotel became really popular, not only with the younger crowd, but also with the attendees of the nearby Moscone Convention Center.

Having had my first ever W experience in Seattle only a week or so before, I was curious to see how this San Francisco branch would compare to its Seattle counterpart. W succeeded in creating similar ambients in at least these two locations: each having a dimly-lit lobby area with minimalist décor and a thumping beat of house music that got Continue reading

Vertus Marais (Paris)

Vertus Marais by bloompy
Vertus Marais, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

Since my earliest Paris sojourn in the late 1970s, I have long wanted to stay in an apartment in Paris, but that wish was never fulfilled as I never had a friend who resided in Paris. Or if I did have a friend living there, it would be too much of an imposition to stay with that friend because I was sure the apartment was going to be smaller than a walk-in closet in a New York Park Avenue apartment. As a result, I ended up staying for most of the time in a small hotel in the Quartier Latin in the 5th arrondissement. This time around, I decided it was time to change that old habit and to explore other options.

While searching for a short-term rental apartment, an agency was recommended to me: Continue reading

The Park Hyatt Saigon

Park Hyatt Saigon by bloompy
Park Hyatt Saigon, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

The Park Hyatt Saigon opened just this past July 2005. I checked in four months later, staying in 3 different rooms (2 standard and 1 suite). The prime location in District 1 (considered most desirable in Ho Chi Minh City [or HCMC], the city formerly known as Saigon) makes most of the landmarks available within walking distance. The hotel is next to the Opera House, close to the “Hotel de Ville” (French for “City Hall”), and not too terribly far away from the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Independence Palace. In addition, the Continue reading

The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Westin Detroit Airport by bloompy
Westin Detroit Airport, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

Too bad that I did not get the pictures of the lobby of this spartan hotel; otherwise, I could convince you even more to stay here when you need the quickest access to the Detroit Wayne Airport. A few days ago, to avoid traffic at a highway that was undergoing a construction work, we spent the last night in Michigan at the Westin Hotel at the Detroit Wayne Airport. We did not expect much, really, because hotels by the airport are usually Continue reading

The Dharmawangsa (Jakarta)

The Dharmawangsa Hotel Pool by bloompy
The Dharmawangsa Hotel Pool, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

The Dharmawangsa’s location in a tranquil, residential neighborhood of south Jakarta, its setting amidst a thick lush of greens, and its low-rise architecture (it was only 5-floors high) were qualities that proved to be appealing. A visit to their website and the ease of online reservation made it even easier to book a room in this posh hotel in the capital of Indonesia.

The treatment started at the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport, where, as advertised, someone was stationed at the arrival gate, not only to greet us but also to aid us in the Continue reading