Sunday, 22 May 2016

Travel Hacking: Intercontinental New York Times Square, Only $160 per night by making good use of my Ambassador Cert

Intercontinental New York Times Square

Made me glad to have the Ambassador membership

Stayed Feb 2016
Published May 2016

After fulfilling my goal of seeing the Aurora Borealis in Iceland, it was time to go home.

Considering I would be almost on the other side of the globe (in terms of longitude), I was pondering if I should continue westwards through North America or back via Europe.

After looking at the flights and seeing Icelandair was offering a good deal at USD$215 (about SGD$300) on Economy to New York for a one-way, it was decided I would stop in NYC for a few days before heading home.

As a savvy traveler, I used my Ascend Card hotel voucher for a free first night at Millennium Broadway Hotel, which I also used at previously and got upgraded to a suite. This time, it was only a room but no less comfortable. Looking at my review then, it was really so dry.

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?