Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Stay Report: SouthEast Asia in IHG hotels

I recently came back from a trip of SouthEast Asia - Singapore, Bangkok, and Tokyo.  After doing research, I ended up choosing an IHG brand hotel in each city.  Some of the experiences were better than others, but here are my reviews of each hotel.  Let me know your thoughts/opinions and would like to hear about your experiences.  Happy Travels :)

InterContinental Bangkok - September 2015
for pictures and additional comments on this hotel, visit my tripadvisor page  http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/0504Traveller

There are many hotels to choose from within Bangkok.  I choose the InterContinental Hotel for its location is its is centrally located within downtown Bangkok, with easy access to malls, restaurants, and transportation.  In addition to a great location, the rooms are very nice and the service is also great.

The hotel can be accessed either via taxi, car, or train and has connections to all three.  By train, there are signs on the walkway which lead you to the InterContinental exit, you walk down the stairs and there is the entrance to the hotel.  After you enter the hotel, you walk up the stairs to the lobby, which is very grand.  Check-in was quick and efficient and we got our key to the our room.  

Our room was located on the 17th floor and was very nice and big.  It had a window but the view was not great.  What was great was the size of the room, which was very large.  The room had two very large beds but the room size was also big so the beds didn't feel tight.  Upon entering the room, on the left had side was the the closet while on the right was the bathroom.  Straight ahead, on the left hand side was the TV stand and a long shelf along the wall which led to the desk, which was located next to the window.  Underneath TV where drawers, some of which were filled with the minibar and coffee information while others were empty. On the other side were the two beds which was very big and comfortable.  

The bathroom was also very big and housed both a shower and a tub.  The only negative about the bathroom was that is was all marble so it made the noise echo. The bathroom amenities were provided by Agraria line, which is one of the oldest and largest American luxury home fragrance company.  I didn't like the products that much and it was one of the negatives of the hotel.

The service at the hotel was great.  Each day, a fruit plate was left in our room and this was a nice touch.  Also, the concierge service was really fantastic and provided great information and contact, and this is especially important in a country where you may not know the language.  

Breakfast was included in our room and the breakfast spread was vast.  It seemed the hotel was trying to please everyone of their customers as they had Chinese, American, Middle Eastern, and Thai options available.  It provided a lot of options for breakfast.  

Wifi at the hotel was complimentary and was decent speed.  The fitness center was also very nice and extremely large as it took up most of the top floor.  On top of the fitness center was the rooftop pool.  While not large, the fact that it was on the rooftop with the sun and great panoramic views made up for the smaller size.  There was also a bar at the pool which could be accessed from either inside or outside the pool. The service next to the pool was also extremely good.

Overall, the hotel provided a nice big and comfortable room, in a central location and had great service. My experience was completely positive and there was nothing negative about the stay.

Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi Airport - September 2015
for pictures and additional comments on this hotel, visit my tripadvisor page  http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/0504Traveller

 We had booked two separate flights so need a transit hotel in Singapore, and since the flights were separate we could not take advantage of the post-security transit hotel so decided to check out the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.  The hotel is located in Terminal 3 and is easily accessible.  

You enter the hotel on the upper floor and then go down to the 1st floor for the lobby and check-in.  Check-in was quick and efficient and we received our keys and we went back upstairs for our room.  This is the only negative, that there should be a check-in desk on the same floor as the entrance from the airport.  We had booked a room with two double beds so headed to the 3rd floor for our room.  I had asked for a room facing the runway, but I was told those rooms only have king beds and fill up early

The hotel is designed very nicely with a lot of open spaces.  When walking from the elevator to the room, the hallway is open so you can feel the air and there are gardens and streams.  If provides a nice tranquil feel to the hotel.   On the way to my room, I passed a fitness center, a spa (operated by a 3rd party), the lounge, as well as crew lounge.

The room itself is a nice size and is very comfortable.  As you enter, on the right side is a closet with a safe and the left side is the bathroom.  Further ahead, there is a desk and a TV with a chest on the right side and the two beds are on the left hand side.  The beds were very comfortable and wide so it provided a nice sleep. 

In between the bedroom and bathroom was a window which was clear so either side could see in.  In the bathroom was a switch to make the window darker to provide some privacy.  The bathroom was also a nice decent size with nice amenities.

There was a window in the room with thick curtains which kept out the light, but I am not sure if we were next to the train or not but you could hear the train (that runs between the terminal).  Wifi was complimentary and was a decent speed. 

Overall, it was a nice airport hotel which provided a nice sleep and easy access to the airport.   

InterContinental Tokyo Bay - September 2015
for pictures and additional comments on this hotel, visit my tripadvisor page  http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/0504Traveller

When looking for hotels in Tokyo, I found a good deal at the InterContinental Hotel Tokyo Bay so I decided to check it out.  Overall, the hotel is decent with nice rooms and good customer service.  The rooms are a bit small and the additional hotel services are there but not great.  

The hotel is located right on Tokyo Bay so it provides great views from the room.  The hotel is about a 5-10 minute walk from the train station (they do have shuttles available).  Upon entrance, straight ahead is the check-in counter while to the left is the restaurant and sitting area.  

I had booked a Club Room so instead of checking in the lobby, I was sent to the Club Lounge on the 20th floor where check-in took place.  The service in the Club Lounge was very good and check-in was quick and efficient.  We then proceeded to our room which was located on the 23rd floor.  

The rooms themselves are small - and I know Tokyo rooms are generally smaller - but these small rooms had large furniture in them making them feel small and cramped.  We had requested a room with 2 beds and these two beds were placed right next to each other (literally no room in between the beds).  Right next to the bed was either a large couch or two large chairs (not sure why these are needed considering the small size of the room).  Upon entrance, on the left hand side was the bathroom while on the right hand side was the closet with an ironing board and safe (along with slippers and a robe).  

Beyond the bathroom were the beds, which were comfortable but too close to each other and big enough only to fit one person.  Across from the beds was a TV with drawers underneath and a full desk next to it.  Right next to the bed was either a very large couch or large chairs, and behind this furniture was the window.  The window provided great views, but the furniture faced the beds and not the views.  In addition to the large furniture (which made the room feel smaller) the decoration of the room was also...interesting.  The decor was not similar to other InterCon hotels I have stayed at, it was ostentatious and dark and made the room feel even smaller.

The bathroom was a decent size and had a japanese toilet plus a tub.  It also had a shower, which was on the small side (think European standard). 

In terms of hotel amenities, the hotel offered a 'business center' and a fitness center.  The 'business center' is located in the hallway leading towards the lobby restrooms in which two computers are placed were the phone booths used to be (not very convenient) and a login is required (which can be received from the front desk.  The 'fitness center' is located on the 8th floor next to other rooms and is two rooms combined (828 and 829) with treadmills and basic equipment.  It is not large fitness center and the room decorations are kept the same as all the other rooms.

The hotel also offers a Club Lounge and Club Floors.  The Club Lounge is very good and provides really nice breakfast, cocktails, and light dinner.  The service in the lounge is also very good.

The hotel also has a concierge service which was also decent.  They were able to provide good information and answered all the questions, but did not expand beyond the questions with any suggestions.

The hotel does not have an ATM machine.  The hotel does offer free wifi (login with your room credentials) and the speed was good.  

Overall, it was a decent stay at the InterContinental.  The rooms were decent and comfortable and the service was decent.  

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