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hotel review

Hotel Review: Radisson Blu Yas Island

There is rarely a week that goes by I don’t pass by a Radisson Blu and wish I was staying there at that moment. With so many popping up all over the world, even in some pretty remote places, I’ll always be down to try another location and that is just what I did in Abu Dhabi a couple weeks ago when I tried out the Radisson Blu Yas Island for a quick weekend getaway from my hectic life in Dubai.

Just an hour or so south, Abu Dhabi offers a ton of entertainment, dining and relaxation options many rarely experience as they stick to Dubai and dare not venture outside of the glitz and the glamour. Settled right on a beautiful golf course and right by the coast, the Yas Island location is not only in a scenic and serene setting, it is just steps from Ferrari World, one of the biggest attractions that Abu Dhabi has to offer.

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The hotel boasts an impressive lobby, a delicious restaurant with plush outdoor seating, a massive pool area and to top it off, an amazing Belgian Beer Cafe, which I was ecstatic to find – you’d be surprised how hard it is to find a good dark beer in Dubai!

The rooms are light, airy and offer huge balconies overlooking the golf course and pool area. With cast views the area is notably more silent, a welcome relief from busy city life. Rarely did I think how close I was to Dubai, I felt like I was miles away laying in the pool with a cold drink in my hand.

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As with all Radisson Blu hotels, the buffet options are absolutely world class, especially their ‘super breakfast’ which rivals any breakfast spread you have ever witnessed. That paired with the available late checkout, always friendly staff and stunning views made the short overnight trip feel like an entire week.

After prying myself away from the scenery and beer cafe it was an easy jump over to the Grand Mosque, one of the most truly stunning buildings I have ever witnessed – even more so than the Taj Mahal. If you are ever in Abu Dhabi forget Ferrari World and head for the mosque, it is well, well worth it – and if you need a comfy place to stay you know where I’ll be.

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jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

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Hotel Review: Opus Vancouver 

 

Opus_01When you’re on vacation you probably don’t want to spend too much time in a hotel, however you still want it to be comfortable and feel like your at home. Vancouver is a great city full of culture and many things to do. Whether you want to spend the day jumping from brewery to brewery or lounge at the park and see the sights, there is something for everyone. After a long day exploring coming back to the right hotel is key.

I had never been to Canada before, and although I grew up in Southern California I was excited to see all that Vancouver had to offer. Some friends and I drove up from Bellingham, Washington and went straight to the Opus Vancouver hotel in the Yaletown district. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Yaletown is a great little area to be in. The hotel was really close to the Vancouver Skytrain and we could get anywhere we wanted to go as well as close to dozens of great restaurants and even walking distance to a brewery. You can also walk down to the water and explore or lounge in the park.

Opus Vancouver

When we arrived we were greeted with a welcome drink and our room was all ready for us. The small boutique hotel is really modern with a twist of homely comforts. The room was a good size and the king bed was amazing! After a long drive, it was great to open the hotel room door and jump onto the cozy bed. The room even had an iPad that was ours for the duration of the stay, which was great to help us research and decide where we wanted to go. Even though we were there in March and it wasn’t too cold, the bathroom had heated floors, which felt great in the early morning!

Here is a video tour of the Opus Vancouver!

 

The Opus Vancouver Hotel is rated one of the best boutique hotels and I could quickly see why. They have a great coffee lounge which doubles as a bar at night and as an avid coffee lover, I approve! The staff was so helpful and eager to help with anything we could ever need and the valet even went to grab a bag we left behind out of the car for us and brought it to our room. They even have a turn down service at night and leave some sweet treats on the bed for you! Who doesn’t love a candy before bed?

Opus Vancouver

There isn’t one negative thing I can say about the Opus Vancouver Hotel. It was the perfect choice for my first trip to Canada and I can’t wait to come back! So if you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable hotel, look no further! The Opus Vancouver does it right and will not leave you disappointed!

Hotel Review: Phuket Arcadia Hilton

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There are many beautiful places around the world and after visiting many of them, Phuket, Thailand will always be one of my favorites. Nothing beats the beautiful ocean and island lifestyle you can find in Phuket, not to mention the amazing Thai food, one of Jeff and my favorites. And just because we lived in Phuket, doesn’t mean we didn’t also enjoy some of the best hotels the island had to offer. I will always treasure the days that we would spend poolside at the Phuket Arcadia Hilton.

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The Spa treatment Villa

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If you’re looking for a 5 star resort experience, look no further. The Phuket Arcadia Hilton is located in the beautiful town of Karon Beach in Phuket. Karon is a great family city in Phuket full of shopping, great restaurants and a gorgeous beach. It is very centrally located to many of the other popular beaches so you can just jump on a motorbike and drive down to Kata or Rawai in the south or head north for a nigh out on the town in Patong.

My favorite part of the Phuket Arcadia Hilton is the Ocean Beach Club Pool, which has the beautiful Andaman Sea as a backdrop. While you’re laying poolside drinking a Piña Colada you can oversea the beautiful ocean in Karon Beach. The pool chairs are extremely comfortable and there are umbrellas just in case it gets too hot. Some of the pool chairs are even in the sand or you can relax in a private cabana and watch the sun set. They play lots of fun music and it’s a perfect place to relax or get ready for a night out!

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King Deluxe Plus Garden

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If you’re looking for something more family oriented, don’t worry the Phuket Arcadia Hilton has something for everyone! They have three pools all together and the Garden Pool is perfect for families to have some fun and even has a great water slide! The third pool is the Seafarer Pool, which is a calmer pool for those looking to just sit back and relax. You can order food or drinks at any of the three pools.

If you’re looking for something else don’t worry there is plenty to do at the Phuket Arcadia Hilton! There is a golf course, a great fitness center, a spa, a jogging track, playground and plenty of activates you can join in on.

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Marquee Lawn

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After a long day of events and swimming, your guest room or suite will not leave you disappointed. Each room has either a ocean view or garden view and have everything you would need for your home away from home. They even have laundry services, childcare and cribs available for the little ones.

Phuket is a great place to visit and after living there for the past two years I have fallen in love with this little tropical island. Phuket is very diverse and really does have something for everyone and staying at the Phuket Arcadia Hilton will only make your experience better. The hotel has everything you would ever need and is located in the great little town of Karon, our home away from home.

Book your room now, as there are currently great rates across Asia Pacific with Hilton Hotels from as low as £28!

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Dinner at Ocean Beach Club

 

 

Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Hamburg

Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Hamburg .

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There are few places as beautiful as Europe during the summer, and while it was the tail end of August when we visited Hamburg, the weather was still magnificent as the last few beautiful days of the season passed by. Having loved every single Radisson Blu location we have stayed at in the past, it was a no brainer to head straight for the Radisson Blu Hamburg. While we drove from Berlin for a guys weekend getaway, I was amazed to see the hotel literally a stones throw from the train station, convenient for just about any traveler. We were immediately caught off guard by the beauty and elegance of the lobby area, as it is in stark contrast with the somewhat subdued external facade of the hotel. .

.Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Hamburg..

The hotel staff welcomed us warmly and we always feel more welcome in Radisson Blu locations as they have booths catering to more people checking in rather than one large check in counter, just another small difference that makes the entire hotel experience more enjoyable. Located in the heart of the city and just at the edge of Hamburg’s Central Park, there are endless possibilities walking distance from the hotel. In fact, we only took one cab the entire weekend as everything was a beautiful, short walk away.

Radisson Blu has done an excellent job of extending their comfortable, modern and elegant theme throughout all their locations and Hamburg is no different. Minimally decorated rooms match design elements with all the the amenities of home to give each guest, regardless of room type, a clean, comfortable and elegant stay while not giving up any of the comforts of home. .

.Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Hamburg

 

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As with all accommodations, it really is the little things that makes the big difference. Free wifi with no sign in, e-mail or login is always appreciated as well as one of Radisson Blu’s signature features, their Super Breakfast, which is always impressive and a welcome relief in a sea of subpar hotel breakfast offerings. I mean who doesn’t get excited when they can start their day off with a visit to a fresh orange juice machine?

Complete with a gym and steam room in their health club, an amazing lobby bar, massive outdoor seating area, world class restaurant “Filini“, an impressive rooftop bar and home to one of the hottest clubs in Europe, “The Room” located in their basement, the Radisson Blu Hamburg simply offers all you could ever dream of in a hotel and does it in the perfect location in one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Europe. .

.Hotel Review: Radisson Blu, Hamburg . .


.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast! 

Marina Bay Sands Media Center

Hotel Review: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

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Simply put, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is one of the most impressive hotels in the entire world. Opened in 2010, the hotel has welcomed over 100 million visitors and has a staggering 2,561 rooms and one of the most iconic and recognizable designs of any structure on Earth. Built on the water in the center of Singapore, the iconic structure towers over some of the most prime shopping real estate you can find in Asia and offers visitors a once in a lifetime experience.

The world famous Sands SkyPark is the highest swimming pool in the entire world perched 51 floors above the three iconic towers of the hotel. Comprising an area longer than the Eiffel Tower is high, the Sands SkyPark is only open to hotel guests, which keeps it exclusive and special for those who choose to stay there. However, since the hotel is such a popular destination for travelers from all over the world, there is an observation deck that anyone can visit for a price. One of the most memorable views in the world, you have most likely seen a picture from the Sands SkyPark at some point and dreamed about where in the world it was taken.

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Marina Bay Sands Media Center

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With the insane amount of rooms, the three towers offer different room layouts for every traveler including the most impressive hotel suites we have ever seen in the world, complete with home theaters, grand pianos, private kitchens and massage rooms that would make any luxury apartment pale in comparison.

The hotel contains some of the most impressive works of modern art in the world with huge installations in the entrance of hotel and beneath the different towers throughout the ground floor. The modern feel of the hotel extends itself into the rooms which feature classy furniture, comfortable design elements and amazing views over the city.

The Marina Bay Sands also boasts one of the most beautiful fitness centers in the world, high up in the tower just below the Sands SkyPark, the gym offers unbelievable views of Singapore, leaving those working out feeling as though they are truly floating in the sky. Attached to the gym is their amazing Banyan Tree Spa for those looking to take their relaxation to the next level.

The real intrigue of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the fact that absolutely anything you could imagine is probably available or attached to the hotel. The largest mall in Singapore is located right attached to the hotel, complete with the best high fashion stores in the world, a fully functioning river with Gondola rides and even an ice skating rink – with artificial ice, how crazy is that? The substance is just link skating on ice without the freezing temperatures.

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Marina Bay Sands Media Center

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What hotel would be complete without one of the most impressive casino’s in all of Asia? Just take a walk downstairs and visit the amazing casino which is simply another part of the Marina Bay Sands experience. While Singapore is very regulated, clean and has many laws, follow the rules and you will insure an amazing time.

If the casino and shopping mall isn’t your style, then you need to check out the amazing ArtScience Museum right outside of the mall which offers some amazing exhibits all year around. When we visited they were just opening a new dinosaur exhibit as well as a paired world class photography exhibit. Even the outside of the building is a complete work of art which stands out easily from an vantage point around the area.

Easily one of the most iconic structures on Earth, no visit to Singapore is complete without at least a visit to the world famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Make sure to take the time and explore the grounds, the shopping mall, the Sands SkyPark and surrounding areas. Sometimes you just need to let loose, book a fancy hotel and be treating like a king for a day, something a night at the Marina Bay Sands will do with flying colors.

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Hotel Review: Dusit D2 Phuket

Hotel Review: Dusit D2 Phuket

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Everyone knows how much we love Phuket, but even though we have lived here for so long, we still love being able to get away for a night or two and check out some of the fun hotels around the island. Phuket is known for its beaches and fun in the sun, but the island really does have a lot more than that to offer and there are some amazing hotels and different areas if you are keen to explore them.

Patong is without a doubt the epicenter of tourist activity in Phuket, and while we have been known to shy away from Patong at certain points, we thought it was high time we found a great hotel option in the middle of Patong to review for our readers, and we were very surprised and pleased after staying at the Dusit D2 Patong recently.

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Hotel Review: Dusit D2 Phuket

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Located right in the heart of Patong, Phuket’s busiest beach town, we found the Dusit D2 to be remarkably clean, quiet and elegant. Just a 5 minute walk to the beach, the massive and beautiful entrance is welcoming and the Thai staff are friendly and warm.

The lobby area is spread out and very comfortable with many areas to lounge and relax, complete with a beautiful modern bar area, their signature restaurant Flavours, and a handful of small boutique shops. Flavours is not only a delicious restaurant serving wonderful Thai and Western foods at a reasonably price, but also serves an amazing breakfast buffet with more options than imaginable. Complete with noodle soup, Asian favorites, Western breakfast staples, sushi and Korean options, there is truly something for everyone.

The main bar is very elegant and serves daily specials, happy hour discounts and seasonal deals based on holidays and sporting events. And if you want to get out for the night but don’t feel like going far, Dusit D2 might be one of the only hotels we’ve ever seen which has both a Hard Rock Cafe AND a Hooters attached to it, both give generous discounts to hotel guests.

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Hotel Review: Dusit D2 Phuket

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Don’t let the attached restaurants scare you from thinking the Dusit D2 isn’t a family friendly hotel, as they offer the most insane and impressive kids centers at any hotel. There is an entire downstairs level of the hotel complete with every single thing a child could imagine to keep them entertained. Kids can dress up like a princess, make arts and crafts, play video games in awesome pods, jump in the giant ball pit, watch a movie or play endless games. A vigilant staff keep the children entertained and the restaurants are happy to deliver food to the children’s center during the day and night. This is truly a fantastic option for any family traveling to Thailand to happily keep the younger ones entertained if the adults want to head out to Bangla Road and let loose.

The Dusit D2 has several different room options for every budget, from a basic boutique room to a specious 1 bedroom suite with the most impressive bathtubs we have ever seen. All rooms are centered around a large swimming pool with first floor rooms opening up right to the pool’s edge. If one pool isn’t enough for you have no fear, on the top floor of the hotel you can find a gigantic 24-hour fitness center as well as another swimming pool with great views of the beach and Patong.

Wifi is free and fast, the staff friendly, the food delicious and atmosphere much more relaxed and laid back then we ever expected to find in the hustle of Patong. While Patong might not be for everyone, don’t dismiss it because you think it might be a bit too crazy as the Dusit D2 provides a surprisingly elegant and comfortable stay.

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Hotel Review: Dusit D2 Phuket

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

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Any hotel which has the word “grand” in it has something to live up to, however we doubt many will live up to it as well as the Grand Hyatt Dubai. One of the most majestic and simply grand hotels we have ever visited. Sitting along side the Dubai creek, the Grand Hyatt Dubai is a gorgeous landmark on the Dubai skyline and an entire world within one of the most extravagant cities on Earth.

From the second you pull up to the front doors and are ushered into the gorgeous entrance, you know you are in for a majestic hotel experience. We felt like we were walking into a beautiful shopping mall and forgot for a second that we had to check in before excitedly exploring the grounds. After we checked in we were walked to the elevators and hurried up to our room.

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

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The Hyatt brand has some amazing hotels in Dubai, and something for every kind of traveler, from the Hyatt Regency to the Park Hyatt, just across the creek from the Grand Hyatt. While each has their own specific themes and offers different experiences, the Grand is by far the most luxurious and posh of the Hyatt brands. The rooms are simply beautiful, complete with everything to feel like royalty. From bathrobes to plush chairs, extra pillows to a spacious bathroom, the grand experience only begins when you walk into the lobby and follows you everywhere throughout the grounds. Our room had an amazing sprawling view over the amazing pool and leisure grounds.

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To put it simply, we weren’t even able to explore the whole hotel during our stay. The lobby, if you can even call it that, is a gorgeous mix of modern architecture mixed with constant flowing water and endless plant life. Tucked within the winding passageways are many boutique shops, lounge areas and restaurants, including Peppercrab, one of our favorite restaurants in Dubai

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Click to read our complete review of “Peppercrab”

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

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Now, most luxury hotels offer some kind of a spa experience, but again, Grand Hyatt Dubai takes the spa experience to a completely different level with their Ahasees spa. Elevators are available directly from your room floor to the spa as to offer a more private way to get to the spa, which is great. The friendly spa staff took the time to speak to Marina and I and to explain all of their options to us while letting us chose what spa experience we wanted to have. We chose to have a couples full-body massage, which was a great idea.

Neither Marina nor I have a long history with spa’s but this experience was amazing and while maybe a little hesitant at the start, we were made to feel very comfortable throughout our stay.

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

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We were taken up to a private waiting room and offered a variety of scented oils to chose which we each wanted. Some smelled of sandalwood, some of rose and had different affects on the body such as invigoration or relaxation. We were even given multiple choices of music to pick from for our session, we picked the Arabic playlist which was cultural, fitting and non cliche and minimal.

Paired in a couple room, our massage therapists were amazing and had hands of angels, sounds crazy but it was amazing. An hour melted by in no time and after our session was complete we were given fresh tea, mineral water and amazingly delicious nuts and figs. All in all the most amazing spa experience we could have imagined and simply the best way to relax whether after a long day or travel or during a holiday with family.

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Dubai

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One of the most impressive parts of the Grand Hyatt Dubai is their pool, and to call it a “pool” is not really fair. The pool grounds are vast and seemingly endless and no matter how many guests might be enjoying some fun in the sun, we never had a problem finding two private chairs close to the water. The wait staff was again very friendly and accommodating. The outside grounds also have tennis and basketball courts and a beautiful running track through the pathways around the creek.

If you have the extra money and want to make sure your stay is nothing but the best, make sure to book a room which gives you access to the business lounge, one of the best features of some of our favorite hotels. The lounge allows guests to eat their breakfasts close to their rooms and offers snacks throughout the day and a happy hour with finger food for a couple hours each evening. Extra hotel staff are available to help with any issue or problem and treat you like royalty, all without being overbearing or making you uncomfortable.

All in all the Grand Hyatt Dubai offered us the most complete luxury experience we could image and did it all with great pomp and grandeur. From the luxurious entrance to the kingdom of a room, the supreme relaxation of the spa, mouthwatering food and endless swimming pools, we simply didn’t want to ever leave, and we bet you will not either.

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Park Hyatt Dubai

Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Dubai

 

There are some hotels that just stand out and make you forget all about the stress of work, school and bills. The Park Hyatt Dubai takes that to a whole new level. Dubai is an amazing city with so much to offer including endless entertainment and once in a lifetime experiences. Dubai has set a new standard of what luxury means and the Park Hyatt Dubai is no exception.

 

Upon our arrival we entered what is probably the most beautiful hotel lobby I have ever seen. The Mediterranean architecture takes your breath away in this large, open, peaceful lobby. It was calm and there were no other guests, which made us feel like they were waiting just for us. The entire feel of the Park Hyatt Dubai is to create a harmonious feeling to give you the best holiday possible and to give off the feeling of exceedingly magical privacy around every corner.

While we were told the hotel was at 100% capacity during our stay, we rarely saw another guest anywhere in the hotel, it was shockingly peaceful and quiet. The pool always had loads of free chairs, private areas and was silent, amazing considering how close we were to the middle of the city. The winding walkways, rooms, plant life and subtle smells of incense and spices truly whisk you off your feet and take away the world outside.

 

Park Hyatt Dubai

 

The best feature of the Park Hyatt Dubai is the pool. Lets be honest, Dubai is a hot city so what better way to spend the day than relaxing pool slide in style? Jeff and I were happy to spend much of our time here at the pool soaking in the sunlight and enjoying the heat. The pool here was wonderful. It felt as though we were on a private island in the middle of the Ocean, for a while I even forgot we were in Dubai.

 

Park Hyatt Dubai

Our room was nothing but beautiful. I loved the layout of the room because the bathroom overlooked the bedroom with a big open window that can see directly out of the balcony, making the room feel large and open. The bathroom also had a great tub complete with bath salts and bubbles, making any girl feel like a queen plus a shower and two large his and her sinks. Jeff and I enjoyed curling up in our big comfy robes and relaxing.

 

The overall appeal of this hotel is unlike anything I have experienced on my travels. The entire property was beautifully designed and the restaurants were to die for! Jeff and I highly recommend Cafe Arabesque and The Thai Kitchen. Cafe Arabesque has amazing Middle Eastern cuisine and The Thai Kitchen has some delicious Thai food, and trust us, we know Thai food!

 

    Check out our full review of The Thai Kitchen! 

 

The Thai Kitchen

 

 

Overall, the Park Hyatt Dubai was one of my favorite hotels in Dubai. It was so clean and comfortable and made me feel like I was a celebrity on holiday and feel like I had the resort to myself. I can’t wait to come back and try out the Amara Spa, which was beautiful, private and just looked amazing!

 

Park Hyatt Dubai If you are looking for some actives to partake in during your stay, look no further. The Park Hyatt has so much to offer!  Like I mentioned the Amara Spa is stunning and definitely won’t disappoint you. And for those guys out there, they have a beautiful 18-hole golf course at your disposal! They also have a salon, fitness center and you can even take cooking classes with the Master Classes at the Park. Dubai is full of some of the best chefs in the world, so why not learn from the masters?

 

One extra bonus at the Park Hyatt Dubai is that the wifi is free and you don’t even need a password. Nowadays that is always a perk. Your holiday here will exceed all your expectations!

 

 

Bio Photo Marina 150x150 Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

 

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Singapore

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Singapore

Singapore is one of the most unique and fascinating cities in the entire world. If you are ever traveling through South East Asia and find yourself anywhere close to the city, you really cannot miss a visit. Chances are you will be in nearby Thailand or Malaysia, but very close geographically although they could not be more different culturally and socially. Singapore is a gigantic city with gorgeous skyscrapers, speeding trains and shining, magnificent hotels.

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“Walking through the lobby and main areas it is easy to forget you are in a hotel at all and not a beautiful mideival castle, a strange feeling knowing you are in the middle of a bustling city…”

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We sadly only had 1 night on this trip but spent it wisely at the Four Seasons Singapore, just about as good as you can get in hotel accommodation and we were not disappointed. Four Seasons has long been world renowned as one of the best luxury chains in the world but they don’t settle for just having the reputation of the best, the continue to boldly march into the future, a trend we were frankly surprised to see from such an old school luxury hotel chain, a fact that made us very happy.

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Hotel Review: Four Seasons Singapore

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Free wifi is available to every guest, and extra fast wifi available for an extra charge. We are still surprised at all the luxury hotels which charge for internet, and while the Four Seasons Singapore only offers each rooms complimentary access for two devices, we applaud them for offering a free option to all their guests, a service others in their class still charge for.

Hotel Review: Four Seasons SingaporeWalking through the lobby and main areas, it is easy to forget you are in a hotel at all and not a beautiful mideival castle, a strange feeling knowing you are in the middle of a bustling city, a feat they have somehow pulled off with rare Asian artifacts adorning the walls and an impressive Titanic-esque staircase, leading to the second floor which houses and unbelievably impressive and somewhat hidden feeling Chinese restaurant as well as their conference rooms, and one floor further up an equally impressive indoor lounge and gym and access to one of their two pools.

Back to the ground floor, both their signature restaurant, One-Ninety: Wood Fired Steaks and Seafood and their world famous bar, One-Ninety Bar by Javier de las Muelas are tucked into the layout while remaining inviting yet private at the same time. The restaurant serves up some absolutely delicious steaks and burgers, which we both devoured but the real surprise came at the restaurants breakfast, easily the most complete and stunning spread we have ever seen. With entire sections for different cuisines, different hot and cold areas there was simply nothing you could want for, something rare in a hotel breakfast.

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The One Ninety bar is really more than a bar, its an experience. Carefully and thoughtfully crafted Javier de las Muelas has designed the experience of the bar all around the Dry Martini and the experience of having one made expertly in front of you, it really is a unique and stunning bar experience.

Located close to the airport and walking distance to the Orchid metro stop, the location of Four Seasons Singapore is surprisingly secluded and convenient in the midst of one of Asia’s most impressive cities, and all while maintaining the quality, luxury and expectations you would expect from a Four Seasons hotel, while providing the modern touches you can’t live you life without these days.

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Hotel Review: Four Seasons Singapore

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Dubai

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Dubai

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One of the oldest hotels in Dubai, the Hyatt Regency has graced the coast of the city since for year while still maintaining its reputation as one of the most beautiful and complete hotels in the city. Located in the Diera area of the city, it is both walking distance to the metro as well as the cities most well known gold souk, which no visitor to Dubai can miss.

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“Hyatt Regency is definitely one of the best hotels in Dubai and the complete package for any guest looking to unwind, relax and be close to it all…”

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The entrance to the Hyatt Regency is nothing short of impressive and you really feel as though you are entering a hidden resort with high palm trees filling the light soaked lobby area. Attached on one side to a shopping mall, you can easily visit the mall just steps from your room and ever try your hand at some indoor ice skating in the mall and minutes later be swimming in their gorgeous outdoor pool, complete with shaded chairs and private lounge areas fit for a king.

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The Hyatt Regency offers a wide array of room options ranging from their classy sea view rooms to palatial two story executive suites. Which ever room you pick you can expect the same level of Hyatt hospitality and comfort. Our room was a standard ocean view room which was extremely comfortable, the bed was massively comfortable and there were electrical plugs on both sides of the bed, one of our biggest concerns when trying to stay connected and charged up all the time on the road.

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Dubai

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We enjoyed room service in the room for one meal, and while it wasn’t breakfast Marina can never turn down a chance to eat eggs benedict and Hyatt did not disappoint. The service in the room was second to none and we always had the room cleaned promptly upon request and were never bothered by early morning knocks from an over eager house cleaning staff member, the perfect mix of comfort and privacy.

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We like to stay fit on the road (or try) so we were excited to visit their on site gym, which we were surprised to find way more complete than the vast majority of hotel gyms we are used to finding. Besides nearly having the whole gym to myself, it was complete with a kind staff, free bottled water and seemingly endless cardio and weight training equipment. Nothing like getting a good work out in on the road, especially when you are eating amazing meals, and the Hyatt Regency Dubai has some of the best restaurants around, including Al Dawaar, Dubai’s only revolving restaurant, which is a not to be missed dinning experience. They also offer Dubai’s first true karaoke bar, a Japanese restaurant and The Kitchen, an incredibly homey and delicious restaurant which serves a wide array of food throughout the day from an amazing breakfast buffet to Thai, Indian and Western dishes done right during the day.

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Complimentary internet is available throughout the lobby and all floors, the hotel is walking distance to the metro and local cultural areas, the grounds are beautiful, the restaurants are to die for and you can even go ice skating in the attached mall, I mean what more could you ask for in a hotel stay? the Hyatt Regency is definitely one of the best hotels in Dubai and the complete package for any guest looking to unwind, relax and be close to it all.

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Dubai

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Hotel Review: Radisson Royal Dubai

Hotel Review: Radisson Royal Dubai

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Having a clean and comfortable place to lay your head is the most important thing when traveling, but sometimes you need more than that to be comfortable, and we don’t blame you. Sure, a simply bed and bathroom is enough to survive, but especially after many months of traveling like we have been doing, feeling like we are at home is our biggest challenge, one that our stay at the Radisson Royal more than accomplished.

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 “…feeling like we are at home is our biggest challenge, one that our stay at the Radisson Royal more than accomplished…”

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Located walking distance from the World Trade Tower metro stop, the outside of the building is honestly quite unassuming – no grand entrance, lavish fountains or golden statues as you might think of in Dubai, but believe us when we say they saved all the beauty and comfort for the inside. However, if you view the two towers from a distance, they are some of the more iconic buildings as far as design goes that make up the Dubai skyline and you can get an especially good view from their amazing pool, more on that later. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the amazing conference center attached to the lobby. To say it was a conference room would be an understatement, as it was more of a piece of modern art.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 3.48.32 PMThe Origami Meeting Rooms actually made me want to go to a meeting, but lucky for me, the rooms convert into a night club in the evenings o guest can still experience these awesome structures without having to be watching a power point presentation (however, is there a cooler place to watch one?).

The twin towers which comprise the Radisson Royal are laid out to accommodate a perfect mixture of business centers, restaurants, an amazing space, breathtaking pool and gym and while in the hotel you really feel like you are more in a resort than a high rise. I have to be honest and say that during our stay we never once left the hotel in almost three days, there simply wasn’t a single thing we needed outside of its walls, which isn’t to say there isn’t plenty to do in Dubai, but we were so comfortable and relaxed we had no desire to leave.

As we have mentioned in some other reviews, hotel restaurants are never high on our list of must visit places when we visit a new city, but as is the case with much in this city, Dubai does dining differently, and the Radisson Royal was no different. While they have a complete list of restaurants fit for any mood, there is hands down no better Asian restaurant we have eaten at which beats ICHO, their Japanese Sushi and Teppenyaki restaurant which sits perked on their 49-51st floors, high above the city skyline. One of the best restaurant we have ever dined at, the food is breathtaking, the service impeccable and the views as stunning as the meal, a true dining experience like no other and one we will remember for a long time.

So what is the most important part of a hotel stay? The rooms of course, and more specifically the beds! The Radisson Royal have room options for every budget and we chose to splurge a bit and get one of their suites, which felt more like an apartment to us and less like a traditional hotel experience, which was much needed after almost 150 days on the road. The bathroom with its floor to ceiling glass windows, window shades at the click of a button, spacious office space, comfy couch and cloud like bed all made for the homiest hotel stay we have had so far in 2014, and now you understand why we never wanted to leave.

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As for the amenities, good, strong, free WIFI is available throughout the hotel, no nonsense, just a password and you’re set to go. Breakfast is delicious and impressive, whether you eat in the business lounge, in your room or at their variety of restaurants. The pool is gorgeous with an attached bar which serves food. The spa is unworldly and the layout is flawless and the gym is more than impressive for a hotel, complete with complimentary cucumber/lime water, it really is the little things huh?

Radisson Royal is one of the most progressive hotels we have ever stayed at when it comes to adapting with the times and integrating social media into the experience of their hotel. Easily accessible information in the elevators and rooms make it super easy to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as how to share your photos for a chance to win various prizes including discounted meals at ICHO!

Their might only be a handful of Radisson Royal locations in the world but if you ever come close to a city with one (Quito, Moscow, Dubai), make sure to stop in for at least a night to recharge those batteries and relax, we know we will.

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel 

 

Hospitality has a whole new meaning in Dubai. Here, everyone is treated like royalty and the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel is no different. The Pullman is an elegant hotel designed with dignity and class. This isn’t just any other hotel, it has a sophisticated class about it and you feel that the second you walk through the doors.

Hotel Review: Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel The Pullman pulls out all the stops in Dubai. They have a great outdoor pool complete with a poolside bar, a full service gym and spa, meeting and conference rooms and free wifi, which makes it the perfect hotel for a holiday or for business.

If you are visiting on Business or just want something a little extra, be sure to book an executive room and get access to the executive floor. In my opinion, the Pullman takes the executive floor to a whole new level and provides a great escape from a busy city. The executive option really defines the way you experience your hotel stay. From the minute you walk in you will be ushered to your room, without the need to stand in line at the front desk to check in. Once on  the executive floor, all amenities are within an arms reach. A separate breakfast is served in the executive lounge with a wide array of foods at their classy buffet as well as made to order English, American and Arab breakfasts. The executive lounge is open all day and provides a special happy hour with complimentary drinks and finger food each evening. This is the perfect place to escape your room for a quiet place to work or as a classy location for a business meeting during your stay.

Pullman Dubai PoolThe Pullman is also connected to the Deira City Centre Mall that you can walk to straight from the hotel lobby. This mall is great and full of excellent shopping, restaurants and even a movie theatre so there is always something to do.  If you need a new dress for a nice dinner out, or forgot to pack socks it is really convenient to have a full mall at your disposal to get those last minute items while traveling.  The mall also has a metro stop so if you want to explore Dubai with the locals, the metro is a great (air conditioned) way to see the city.

 

Soma Spa 

Soma Spa

 

One of the best reasons to stay at the Pullman in Dubai is their Soma Spa. This tranquil spa is beautiful and relaxing and will help you truly experience the luxury Dubai has to offer. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and the massage therapists are very talented. No matter what treatment you choose you will not be disappointed with the experience.

 

“Welcoming you with a refreshing drink and a luxurious foot bath, your discovery to an exquisite indulgence for your senses with Soma Spa awaits.“

 

The Soma Spa was my first spa experience ever. I know, I know, it’s crazy! I’ve waited this long to go to a spa, but waiting for the luxury experience the Soma Spa had to offer was well worth the wait. I didn’t think I would like a massage, but boy was I wrong.
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When I first arrived I was greeted with a welcome drink and settled in. Then I was taken into the ladies changing room where I was able to get good and comfy in a big robe and slippers. After I was changed I went into the sauna for about 15 minutes which felt really nice to just relax and sweat out some stress. After I was ready the massage therapist showed me to my room to start the treatment. I was a bit nervous since I had never done it before and wasn’t sure what to expect.
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In the room I was eased with the sound of peaceful music and the smell of rich spices. The therapist choose a treatment that was right for me, since I didn’t know what would be best and during the whole massage made sure that I was comfortable.
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I never thought I would like getting a massage, but it really was a great experience. Everyone one at the Soma Spa was very helpful and explained everything to me so that I could understand. Whether you have had dozens of spa experiences or like me, never have gone before, I would highly recommend a treatment at the Soma Spa at the Pullman in Dubai.
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Pullman Dubai

 

I would highly recommend a stay at the Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel, one of the most complete accommodation options we have yet experienced. It is a great hotel that will leave you feeling rested and ready to explore all that Dubai has to offer. Rooms start at about $160 a night and airport pick up service can be arranged.

 

 

Bio Photo Marina 150x150 Taking A Chalkboard Around The WorldMarina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

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