Archive for the ‘Hotel Reviews’ Category

Grand Hyatt Melbourne Collins Kitchen– Mouth-watering dishes from the Burn City Pop Up

[Media Invite]

During our holiday in Melbourne, we had the opportunity to check out Collins Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt. The name Collins Kitchen might bring about a rather casual restaurant image in your mind, but it is actually a pretty contemporary looking restaurant with an ultra high ceiling and an enormous kitchen in full view of the restaurant.

While we were there, Burn City Smokers was helming the kitchen and they will be there until the end of November. Burn City Smokers, as their name suggests, are experts in the art of smoking with wood, combining traditional techniques with modern flavour and style. Their menu for Collins Kitchen include Tasmanian free range baby back pork ribs, smoked lamb rump, pork scratchings, corn bread and popcorn ice cream sandwiches. Basically all the good stuff that will leave you feeling like you’ve just been to a traditional Southern American barbecue.

Grand Hyatt Melbourne Collins Kitchen (20)

The 3 of us were very impressed with the food, the ambience and the service. We managed to get a nice booth seat next to the windows so we felt like we were in our own little world, even though the restaurant was packed since it was Melbourne Cup day. Speaking of which, all the ladies were dressed to the nines, with their fascinators and all. Aside from the spring salad which was a little difficult to eat (too many long stems), we enjoyed all the dishes that we ordered. The meats were fabulous as expected. The hanger steak had beautiful flavour while  my 8 hour smoked beef short ribs was bone tender and very rich tasting. It might actually be a good idea to share this, because a little goes a long way!

Collins Kitchen Burn City Pop Up

More than once during the meal, and during the course of my holiday, I mentioned to the Partner that we should plan another visit to Collins Kitchen. Great pricing (this meal would probably have cost much more in Singapore!) and a great experience, alas we just didn’t have time during our trip!

Scroll down for more pictures!

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[Margaret River] Smiths Beach Resort – Humongous apartments next to the beach!

Margaret River Gourmet Escape will be happening on 18 – 20 November 2016 and I have been inundated with gorgeous pictures of the beautiful places in Margaret River, reminding me that I ought to share with the world pictures of my holiday in Margaret River instead of leaving them to fallow in the confines of my computer. It’s no secret that I love Margaret River, having been there twice. I spent 2 days in Margaret River during my 1st trip and 5 days during my 2nd trip, and even then it wasn’t enough!

Smiths Beach Resort (4)

Look at the clear blue sky and sea! It was fantastic to have the sea breeze blowing in our faces.

Smiths Beach Resort was one of the accommodations I stayed at when I was in Margaret River. If you’re looking for accommodations in Margaret River, especially one that is right smack next to the beach, Smiths Beach Resort would be one of my recommendations. The apartments are humongous, and if there are more people staying, two apartments can be combined into a villa of sorts. It’s also part of the Small Luxury Hotels chain, so you are assured of quality. I’ve stayed at a number of SLH hotels and I’ve loved each and every one of them.

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Afternoon Tea at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort

When in Margaret River, wine is not the only beverage available. One can partake in the fine activity of sipping a spot of tea and having a few nibbles to go along, if you visit the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort near the Naturaliste Lighthouse. In fact, from now until 20 December 2015, you can enjoy their limited edition High Tea while enjoying a natural spectacle, the migration of the whales. They have a cute name for this too, it’s called Humpbacks and High Tea at the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort. Makes me wish I’d bought a humpback whale soft toy to cuddle while writing this piece.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort - Swimming Pool facing the ocean

The views!

If you’re wondering, yes I did spot quite a number of water spouts in the distance, which does indicate that the whales are out there. I didn’t even have to use the binoculars thoughtfully provided by the hotel to spot the water spouts. Unfortunately none came up close during the 2 hours that I was enjoying my afternoon tea. Not that I spent 2 hours watching for whales though, I quite forgot about them after the decadent 3 tier afternoon tea set was served.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort - Three Tier Afternoon Tea (1)

Tadah, the 3 tier afternoon tea set

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[New Zealand 2014] Almyra Waterfront Lodge

Ever since my honeymoon in France where I was pampered to bits staying in 5 star luxury hotels, I’ve found myself wanting to replicate the experience again when I was looking for accommodations for my trip to Nelson, New Zealand. The inevitable question, do I go for a cheap motel lodge in the heart of Nelson city, or do I splash out on a luxury B&B with great views but located in a more idyllic and further away spot?

I searched through a great number of hotels in Nelson, but the website that I kept going back to was Almyra Waterfront Lodge. It was really love at first sight looking at the pictures of the property. Almyra Waterfront Lodge is perched on a slight hill, overlooking the Kina Estuary and Mount Arthur Ranges in the distance. Imagine, waking up to such views, while sipping coffee and having breakfast?

Well, to cut the long story short, book with Almyra Waterfront Lodge we did. It cost about NZ$400 for our room which was the Tasman Suite, for the 2nd week of December. We had to change our itinerary a little, cutting short the time spent in Marlborough and making full use of our location north of Nelson by visiting the Abel Tasman National Park as well as the small towns of Motueka and Mapua.

Almyra Waterfront Lodge Montage 2

It’s a pity we were out for the greater part of the day for the 2 days that we were at Almyra. Otherwise, I would loved to have enjoyed the grounds a little more. There is tiny pond which Almyra has installed. It’s a nice spot to have afternoon tea or just relax as demonstrated by the Partner above.

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Cour des Loges, France

Day 9 of 365days2play’s Honeymoon in Luxembourg, Germany & France

After spending quite a number of days in the Alsace region of France and 2 days in Burgundy, we finally made our way towards Lyon for a 1 night stay. On hindsight, we really should have catered at least 1 more day in Lyon. Lyon is a huge city, and it is quite a joke we spent only 1 day there, but due to certain limitations, it was either 1 day in Lyon or none at all. I chose to still savour the 1 day, and the Partner and I agreed it was the right decision.

Cour des Loges (26)

I don’t even know how to describe the look. At some parts, it kinda looks some medieval castle don’t you think?

For one, our 5 star hotel, the Cour des Loges was amazing. It is located in the Old Lyon part of Lyon, where everything is quaint, historic and cobble-stoned! Cour Des Loges comprises 4 restored Renaissance buildings set around a glass-roofed courtyard. You feel like you are in an artwork when you are in the hotel. The rooms are all different-themed, but all so stylish and modern, yet retaining the historic air of the hotel. Unlike the tiny lanes of Old Lyon, the hotel rooms are surprisingly spacious.

Cour des Loges (4)

We had a lovely room facing the inner courtyard. Room number 5 if I remember correctly. The room is slightly darker than the picture, but I’ve enhanced it for you to see clearly. I really love the use of wood in the ceiling and floor, which gives it a kind of Scandinavian feel, yet it is unmistakably not when you study other details in the room.

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