Category Archives: Marriott

Hotel openings I’m excited about of 2014

A few hotels are opening this year and early next year, so I’d just share some I’m particularly excited about:

Westin Ubud (December 2014)

love Ubud (from Google Images), and I think there are much too little luxury chain hotels in Ubud (the Four Seasons is one of the only ones) – all the other Bali chains are by the beach. I’m particularly excited about the Westin because it has a confirmed opening, so I look forward to staying there sometime.


W Beijing (July 2014)

I generally associate Asian Ws with the best hotels (though there are flukes now and then), so since Beijing is generally lacking good chains (though I’ve heard good things about the Fairmont and Hilton Beijing Wangfujing), I’m particularly excited about this launch. I’d return to Beijing sometime if I could.


The Ritz-Carlton Nanjing

love Ritz-Carltons (I’ve enjoyed my stay at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore and I regularly visit the facilities at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong), and I’ve always wanted to visit Nanjing. So I think the new hotel will open up the best of both worlds.


Continue reading Hotel openings I’m excited about of 2014


Why I’ve never stayed at a Hyatt, Hilton or InterContinental, and my quest to stay at some of them very soon

I’m having a hard time starting a blog though only having stayed at three out of the six major hotel chains (Starwood, Marriott and Accor). And there’s a reason I can summarise in, say, one blog post.

I’m not that old. As mentioned in the About page, I’m in my early teens. I’m not obsessed with loyalty, yet only want to review hotels linked to a loyalty program like Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt or Sofitel so my reviews appeal more to people who cash in miles instead of, well, cash. But I’ve only started choosing hotels since this year, so I still have my “try-more-than-half-of-the-hotel-program-chains” virginity (but in August that’s subject to change).

I mean – when I tried my first stay in each of these, I didn’t really get an impression of the hotel chain that stuck. I mean, I’ve only got into hotels this year (mostly since I started reviewing them here), so hotels were no big deal. That said, I did enjoy my W Koh Samui, W Taipei, Ritz-Carlton Singapore and Sofitel Dongguan stays, and that’s the most important part, right?


W Koh Samui – SPG, 2013

The truth is, before I started (knowing how to be) choosing hotels, the hotels were either recommended by friends or by my parents from previous stays. Take the Century Southern Tower Tokyo, which I stayed at once (my parents had stayed back when I was a small kid – with me but of course I don’t remember) – I stayed once and was hooked to it. I think it was the high quality breakfast spread that got me, but every time I went to Tokyo I insisted on staying at the Century Southern Tower because I didn’t have a blog wanted to experience what I had experienced before.

As you know, I’ll be trying my first Hyatt – the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, in August. Now, it’s almost shameful to say that, since I’m half the source of the blog. I plan to try a Park Hyatt property too – but I’m 95% sure we won’t be staying at one in Seoul, so I guess I’ll wait until I can to grab at a Park Hyatt.

So my quest is to try each hotel chain (with my parent scheduling) whenever I can pick a hotel. Then I’ll try to stick to hotel chains so I can review them (Four Seasons and Shangri-La – and of course Club Carlson hotels – are included).

I accidentally signed up for Marriott!

Today I was doing a dummy sign up process on Marriott. I entered my details – including the address – and boom, I’m signed up. Now I’m concerned if I have to pay, since everything seems completely confirmed.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 6.34.09 PM

Looks free, but if it’s not, I’m completely screwed. My mom does the paying most of the time for my travels, so I’m really concerned about this.

Does this hotel lobby bathroom make you cry?

I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore last week, and while the hotel was phenomenal in the most part, there’s one thing worth pointing out.

The hotel lobby bathroom was quite nice, although not nearly as nice as the club lounge or room bathrooms. There were marble walls and wooden touches, including the doors with nice handles.


The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore hotel lobby bathroom

Open the doors, and you get this:


I mean, seriously?

Review: Blingapore – The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore

CX 739 HKG – SIN 333 W
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Terminal 1 Singapore Changi
CX 734 SIN – HKG 333 W

Ranking: Location 5/5 Service 5/5 Modernity 5/5 Little things 5/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 5/5

We decided to book the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore for all four nights at Singapore (I’m the only one in my family who likes the idea of switching hotels, by the way). The Ritz-Carlton doesn’t participate in Marriott Rewards, so I couldn’t collect any points from this stay. 😦 The paid rate for the One Bedroom Suite was between HK$6000 – HK$7000, but seems to be HK$10000~ in the websites now. My rate was quite nice (for what the suite is worth), but the current rate is ridiculous.

After a nice ride on Cathay Pacific we took a taxi down to Marina Bay, where the Ritz-Carlton was located. The exterior isn’t all that nice, but the octagonal windows sure made up for that.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore exterior (the tallest building)

As you can see in the above photo, the Ritz-Carlton is surrounded by many other hotels. This creates competition, and while the Ritz-Carlton is more highly regarded on TripAdvisor than the Pan Pacific, Mandarin Oriental, Marina Mandarin Hotel, the Conrad or the Marina Bay Sands (behind me as I was taking this picture), it does make choosing hotels a hardship, especially when I return next time, assuming my mother isn’t so glad with this hotel she would refuse to return to Singapore with a different hotel. 😉

The lobby was much more aesthetically appealing, and was spacious enough.


Looking at the hotel from the roundabout


Blurry picture of Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore lobby


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore lobby seating area


Idea of how high the ceiling is

Upon knowing that we were elite members the associate escorted us up to the club lounge on the 32nd floor for check-in, where it was much quieter (though not necessarily as spacious).


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore snazzy lift lights

The club lounge was quite cozy – but not too incommodious, and featured quite comfortable seating. I didn’t take photos, but I’m happy to say that the Ritz-Carlton’s website neither added snazzy special effects or took a picture from the wall so it looked much more spacious. They took a legit picture, which is rare for hotels. (However I did take the pictures of the buffet room, don’t ask why.)


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge

The afternoon spread was mostly limited. On the upside, they had Moët and Chandon champagne! Children were not allowed in after five, which means 12 years old or under, but they gave us an exception when we said we were just getting drinks.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore afternoon limited spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore afternoon limited spread


Views from Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore club lounge


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore club lounge bathroom


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore bidet style toilets

Soon we were sorted and after a cracker and a glass of iced tea we went to our room, 2806. It’s worth noting that rooms 2801 and 2817 (I think) are closest to the lifts, and the room numbers increase as they go down the hall. So room 2806 wasn’t that far from the lifts.


Outside of lift (taken from ground floor, sorry)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Entrance

Although the suite looked like it had double doors, only one door opened. However they do have double doors for the Ritz-Carlton Suite, which is much bigger.

The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
Check-in: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Room Type: One Bedroom Millenia Suite
Room Number: 2806
Stay duration: 4 nights
Check-out: Monday, April 21, 2014

Anyway, the room blew us away at first, and the colour scheme was borderline gaudy. As much as I love the colour scheme, I slightly prefer the more modern W style (OK, I’ve never stayed at a US W property before, so if I do it might change my mind).

First there was a huge entryway (or, maybe, entry room) full of faux wood finishes and mirrors.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Entryroomway


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Entryway

Connected to the entryway was the living room (well, I guess that would make most sense), which was well designed (the sofa was perpendicular to the television, but since the sofa was hard anyway, we used the sofa as a daybed for lounging, which meant we faced the TV while on the sofa).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Living Room Sofa (and my mother’s handbag)

We had welcome amenities, which included sticky cakes for us – which I’m a huge fan of – and a rubber ducky and two jellies for the little one staying with us. The welcome amenity was a nice touch and kudos to the culinary team for making the black sticky rice cake, which was phenomenal (the others were great but nothing special). Compare that to Lucky at One Mile at a Time’s welcome amenity at the Hyatt Regency Mainz! (For the record, since I’ve just started this blog and Lucky has blogged for already six years, I’ll be using his posts/pictures for reference until I get more of my own.)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite welcome amenity


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Living room (full view)

Connected to the living room were two rooms, the bedroom and the study room. The study room was pretty well appointed, but the only flaw was that it faced the main flatscreen TV, which could be annoying when one tries to do work when hosting a party (not that it’s going to happen in most cases, but it’s just not that well appointed). Well, given that the room fits 2-4 people, this shouldn’t be that big of a problem (not like at the Waterfront Suites Paihia).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite study area

The half bathroom was pretty stylish and the walls were 95% leather capped (I guess this is the thing that made this whole trip report earn its name), and didn’t have a locking option, which is borderline annoying if you’re not staying with family.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite half bathroom


Leather capped half bathroom walls and door


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Half bathroom sink


Hideous lack of locking function

Connected to the living room on the other side was the bedroom, which was bigger than the room I had in the Geosciences International Conference Centre Beijing (I’m not complaining about the GICC – I’m just marvelling at this hotel).


Looking at the bedroom from the door

The beds were Marriott beds and were super comfortable, though the comfort factor was slightly winded down for me since I had to sleep on a roll aboard (though I did try out my father’s bed sometime during the stay, which was really comfortable). Though the roll aboard was nowhere as comfortable as the actual beds, it was just as comfortable as the bed I have at home (well, at least slightly better than those beds at the Hyatt Regency Seoul Incheon). I’ll cover the beds later in the post – stay tuned!


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bedroom


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bedroom

The master bathroom, connected to the bedroom, was much larger than the half bathroom.


Looking into the master bathroom (and as you can see the doors fold into the walls, but they don’t have locks)

There was a decent sized walk in shower.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Walk in shower

There was a huge tub, separate from the walk-in shower (which is part of AusBT’s key to a great hotel bathroom).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bathtub

There was a large double sink, which somewhat reminded me of the one in Treetops Rotorua. Unfortunately I was so picture-happy with even more exciting things of the hotel 🙂 that I forgot to take an overall picture with both sinks in it.


One of the sinks


The other sink

(For evidence that this is a double sink, you can see the middle wooden tray in both pictures; the picture of the first sink has the wooden tray on the left while the picture of the second sink has the wooden tray on the right.)

Lastly there was a bidet style toilet (but the bidet was manual – you had to turn a knob on the bottom of the toilet bowl in order to activate the bidet. Odd).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Second toilet


More leather walls (*sigh*)


More wooden finishes

So exploring each place in detail, the entryway had a cupboard that had lots of storage space.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Cupboard and minibar contents


Wines and spirits in cupboard


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Nespresso machine capsules


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Glasses (the two empty racks had cylindric glasses that we consumed from before I took this picture…on the last night!)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Hediard branded yummies


Pots and pans and water


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Storage


Champagne and reds (?!) in minibar

I didn’t really get the purpose of the minibar. Yes, I know, all hotels have it, but only a few have a club lounge. And club lounge members usually get the drinks for free. Why get the drinks here (especially refrigerated red) if we can just take the lift up four floors and get drinks? Well, true, the minibar is mostly for lazy people anyway. 🙂


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Service/Do not disturb buttons

Moving on, the television was flat screen and featured Bose speakers. Nice touch.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bose speakers


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Flat screen TV

The cupboard was just another load of storage space but not as stable/sturdy, in my opinion.



loved the fact that the study room had an iPhone 4S charger – great for my iPhone, which was low on juice when we arrived (too many pictures, perhaps).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite iPhone charger

Blinds were electrically operated, which was nice as well.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Blind operators

There were many decorations in the study room, including the TV (I guess that’s good for watching documentaries from your iPhone, but I’m not sure what it’s there for).


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Decorations


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite TV

There was a notepad and stationery.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Notepad, stationery and storage

There was also a postcard.



The bedroom’s beds each had a reading light (except the roll aboard of course), which was a phenomenal touch. It was bright, too, so was one of the most well-designed touches I’ve seen in a bedroom (well, maybe not as thoughtful as the bathrooms at the Wu Kwai Sha Self Service YMCA hotel Hong Kong). The pillows were of high quality as well.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Reading light and high quality pillows

The bedside table had a drawer with power plugs (and more storage space), and I especially found the placement of the power plugs to be amusing.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bedside tables


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Power plugs (?!)

Though I didn’t take a picture, in the middle was another place to charge a phone.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Air conditioning controls

The walk-in closet had a huge design flaw – they do label it as a “walk-in closet”, but the light automatically goes off as the door closes. I’d much rather have a light switch.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Closet


Storage in closet


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Iron (maybe for people like Lucky)

The safe wasn’t functional the day we came. So we immediately called the desk, and the desk, knowing that we would have dinner shortly (we made a reservation via the hotel), asked when we would come back, and arranged a time to fix it. Amazing.

Well, they did come at that time to fix the safe (reminds me of the toilet plunger at Geosciences International Conference Centre Beijing), and they were fast. It was fixed in no time.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Safe

It’s worth noting that their bathrobes are really comfortable.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Bathrobes

I liked the touch that they gave bedside chocolates, though they seemed to do it only on the first night and the third night. I wonder why.


Presumably Godiva Ritz-Carlton branded bedside chocolates

This also is an excessive touch, as when our little one went up to the club lounge she was presented with a whole cup of them.



The property uses Asprey toilet amenities, which I’m a fan of.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Asprey amenities


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Asprey amenities


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Asprey amenities (and unbranded bath salts)


Fluffy face towels

I was surprised to pull out a transparent plastic comb and toothbrush from the packs – due to the colour scheme I was fully expecting a wooden comb with a gold handle and a wooden toothbrush with gold bristles. 🙂


Other amenities

The toilet door had a mirror from the outside (it was leather capped from the inside). So when the door was closed people can still do their touch ups. That’s a nice touch, though incredibly impractical since there are already mirrors above the toilet sink. Also, this toilet was the only one with an actual lock.


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Full bathroom toilet door (and lock, yay!)

Views from the study room, living room, bedroom and bathroom were pretty much identical but equally nice. Nothing better than looking at Marina Bay and Marina Bay Sands from your bed, right?


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Views from bedroom/living room


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Views from bedroom/living room

The octagonal windows were actually practical. Lounging on the sides of the octagonal windows are actually really comfortable. The rinds weren’t that deep though, so I had fun watching views and falling off afterwards. I didn’t actually take a picture of the octagonal window though.

It was nice to look out the window from the glass panes of the walk-in shower. Speaking of the shower, it actually had three functions; there was a traditional shower head, an overhead shower head, and a rainforest shower. The overhead shower head’s water pressure was just okay, but the pressure of the other two shower functions were phenomenal.


Counterintuitive shower controls (which I did eventually get used to)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Traditional shower (with Asprey amenities and our own shampoo – the latter proved to be useless)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Overhead shower (the one with slightly less ideal water pressure)


Ritz-Carlton One Bedroom Suite Rainforest shower (best of the three in my opinion)

The only really disappointing aspect of the hotel was that it was hard to go up to the hotel itself. There’s a huge roundabout to the hotel, but when walking up you have to go up the roundabout as well. It takes about a minute, which isn’t that long but it gets slightly tiring (especially after walking the stunning Helix, where at least there are views). The walk doesn’t have anything great to see either.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Roundabout

The other amenities of the hotel were great too. We decided to have breakfast in the club lounge the second day, and I can’t say I was impressed.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast Spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast Spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast Spread

The omelet station was actually separated from the rest of the buffet section, which I liked.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast Spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Club Lounge Breakfast Coffee

On the third morning we decided to have breakfast in the Chihuly lounge (where the non-elite members usually eat), and the night before the associate commented that while the spread was more extensive, it was more crowded, so he didn’t recommend us to eat there. We tried going down, only to see that it was relocated to the ballroom. The ballroom was more crowded, but surely there was space to move. The food spread seemed much more extensive as well (but my mother suggested it was actually the things in the club lounge cupboard unreeled into a line). Well, great chance for pictures, at least.


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread (sorry there, kid)


Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Chihuly Lounge Breakfast spread

We also had a look at the other hotel facilities. I don’t normally bring my camera to the pool so couldn’t take pictures of the pool or the gym (which was next to the pool), but I do have a nice enough picture of the pool by the hotel (which, again, didn’t emphasise its beauty).




Seating lounge


“Greco-Roman” style pool

This hotel has free WiFi, which is all it takes for me to be happy in life. All you have to do is click the button “enjoy the complimentary Internet service”. Take that, Treetops Rotorua!

We were blown away by the service. It was polished and not too mechanical. While we were escorted to the room, the escort, Zhi Han, tried to engage in small talk with us, asking where we came from, etc. The club lounge allowed exceptions for our little one into the lounge when we requested, and were very happy about it too. Even “allow me” is a too much unused word these days, so I was actually surprised when we were leaving, as the bellman said, “Allow me,” and hauled my luggage into the taxi trunk.

On the whole I think this was a phenomenal hotel. Apart from the awesome suite and hotel facilities, we were also blown away from the service. Speaking of that, next time if it was my choice I’d try a different hotel, since there are so many hotels in the Singaporean market that may impress me as well. Stay tuned! 😉

The Ritz-Carlton Singapore Hotel – Fabulous!

While my Renaissance experience (before this blog) went as a “NO LIKE” on our (I guess it’s mostly his) hotel list, we wanted to see how other Marriott products comparead. So, while I didn’t choose the Ritz-Carlton Singapore (my parents did), I wanted to see how it compared. (Surprisingly I’ve never stayed at a mainline Marriott before.)

This property, while not really so aesthetically pleasing from the outside, is a stunning property. The lobby is grand without feeling too uninspiring, which seems to be the issue with many “grand” hotels:


Speaking of the room…I really have to sit down and wonder how to do it justice. The colour scheme was borderline gaudy…but awesome.




The room also featured a working space (where I am now, and I’ll try to find photos from my photo stream later) and a bedroom. This compares with most standard hotel rooms alone, does it not?




The room also featured blingy toilets with leather walls (at least 95% of the walls were covered with beige-gold leather).


(Just to clarify the beige top part of the wall is made of leather.)


Signature octagonal windows

By both hard and soft product, I’m…left speechless. The full report will be coming soon (hopefully in April but I can’t be sure with that), but here’s some pictures I leave you with.

For now this goes as my favourite hotel room in the world, because it had free WiFi… (Take that, Treetops Rotorua!)

P.S. I changed the name of the trip report from “Winging to Merlion” to “Blingapore”, since this hotel really deserves it.

Middle of the road day for me…

1. I’ve got tomorrow’s flight all mapped out!

I’m going to Singapore tomorrow (would be nice to see what has happened to it after three years, and staying in the Ritz-Carlton for the first time, excited, EXCITED, EXCITED!), and it would be my first time in Premium Economy (excited, EXCITED, EXCITED, EXCITED!). I’ve planned tomorrow’s flight already. I’m going to work for the first hour, watch Brother Bear, then fool around with StudioCX until landing. With Google Drive Offline enabled and no work elsewhere to do, I’m all set. (Yay!)

2. I’m writing an exciting trip report in exactly a month!

I’m going to Kaohsiung in May, and I’m going to experience the pain of the Toong Mao hotel chain. I’m taking Dragonair (well, in Economy, it’s part of a school trip), and will be around Kaohsiung or Kenting in May. (I’m coming back in exactly a month.)