ATW in 18 days..part2:W Seminyak,Westin KL,ICON HK

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by olmangsr, May 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    While sitting in the Thai lounge in Bangkok I received a welcoming email from the W Seminyak. A gentleman called Byan introduced himself.He was the room manager and just wanted to let me know that they upgraded me from my originally booked garden view room to an ocean glimpse one,and that they will leave a surprise gift in the room too…offered to let him know if we need anything and thanked me for being an SPG Gold(so thx amex….)I was expecting a higher floor room only since gold doesn't give you category upgrades so that was a pleasant surprise.

    Since there was no one neither at the Visa on Arrival booth or the immigration counters we were out of DPS within 15-20 minutes..After a short but adventurous cab ride we arrived at the W.
    The entryway was pretty long with a security check about midway.
    (They offer "buggy transfers" from the hotel building to the main entrance on those bad boys)
    First impressions of the hotel were great.We loved how open it was,basically from the entrance you were able to see both the pool/ocean and actually almost the whole property... IMG_0725.JPG Once "entered" the property we were seated and they brought us some mango&papaya juice.FYI you can self serve it free of charge next to the main bar area…
    During check-in Byan came by to meet us in person and apologized that they couldn't offer a full ocean view room only the glimpse but since it's on the top floor it features the moonlight/starview (or something like that…can't remember:) ceiling.Imagine a bathroom with a partial glass ceiling what's covered by a motorized awning that opened if you wanted to stare at the stars while taking a bath…sorry thats the best way i could describe it even that sounds a little weird :)
    I thanked him again for reaching out and we headed to our room.
    Entering it you basically found yourself it the bathroom right away:
    It was gorgeous and fully loaded with Bliss product from rose petal bubble bath to chocolate body scrub!
    "Hallway" with mini bar on the left:
    King size bed…. IMG_0733.jpg Couch & the surprise gifts:2 pomegranate martini kits and lollypops:) IMG_0737.JPG The balcony had a small table and 2 seats.
    About the view:
    In my opinion if your on top floor there isn't much difference between garden view and ocean glimpse.Yes I saw a the ocean but wouldn't say it was jaw dropping since you're in a different wing and the main building is kind of in your way…of course on lower levels its a different story. But honestly i wasn't there to stare at the water so i enjoyed my view a lot more:
    The hotel grounds:
    Whatever/Whenever desk

    Lobby facing the pool:
    Pool: IMG_0739.JPG Lobby at night: IMG_0912.jpg The hotel has 2 restaurants:Fire and Starfish Boo.I didn't try any of them,not only because it was pretty steep for balinese standards but I wanted to have more authentic experiences.
    Final thoughts on the hotel:
    Before the trip I was debating if we should stay at the W or just rent a 1 bd villa with a private pool.Honestly it didn't really mattered…Even that we enjoyed every single minute spent on the property i still wouldn't recommend it.It's stunning but lacks on local features and so does the area.It's full of expat owned italian restaurants,irish pubs and gelato places. While some people might enjoy that I'm one of those who rather have Babi Guling and Nasi Gorengs 3 times a day:)
    For the real Bali experience you should just head to the north and enjoy places like Ubud.
    As for the employees they were great but sometimes I just felt they are trying to be way too nice(aka too W trained).Balinese people are simply fantastic and don't need any of our western "education " in those terms…

    uggboy and violist like this.
  2. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    After an uneventful but still painful Air Asia flight(man those are not 6'2" friendly:) we landed in KUL around 9am.We were planning to drop our bags at our hotel and head to the city since we only had 1 day.
    I had the room at the Westin KL still booked at the old C&P rates for 2800 starpoints plus$45 .In the confirmation email i was offered a club room upgrade for $ brainer….
    We arrived around 10 am and headed to the club floor where we were seated in the check in area.Even that it was way to early they had our room ready and were offered to have breakfast in the lounge since it was available until 11:30 I believe .thank you!
    As for gold welcome gift they offered to send a box of chocolate to our room.I actually wanted a couple of extra starpoints but I didn't say anything since they were already very welcoming….
    (later on when the points posted i received and extra 250 points as elite gift so i guess the chocolate was just a nice add on)
    Club lounge:
    The lounge itself is newly renovated with great views!
    Breakfast(solid spread + live cooking station :) with Pavilion Mall and Petronas tower views:
    After breakfast we headed to our 34th floor room.It was a little dated but clean and spacious. IMG_0995.JPG IMG_0996.JPG After a full day of walking in KL we headed to the lounge for evening Hors d'oeuvres and some drinks (5:30-8:30pm)
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    Outside seating was perfect on that not so hot late afternoon: IMG_1042.JPG Ok so here's the thing.Even that we only wanted to go for a quick bite and then head for dinner but plans changed pretty quick…Every single person was there from the beginning to the end so we just rolled with it.After some beer,wine,coffees and 2 billion canapés we realized that our dinner plans should be canceled and changed for an evening walk and nightcap.
    Next to us there was 4 american businessmen who finished about 6 bottles of re(and I'm not exaggerating) just to give an idea of the atmosphere :)
    Next morning we decided to try The Living Room(the restaurant next to the lobby) that can be accessed as well for club floor guests.i worked in restaurants my whole life,its hard to blew my mind with a breakfast but it was INCREDIBLE!
    They had different stations:malay,indian,thai,live cooking,meat etc and even a little patisserie shop:)
    While trying to decide what to start with I was approached by a Chef who explained basically all the dishes.Started to recommend the favorites and followed up on us every time he passed put table.After politely asking him his position he told me that he's actually the Chef De Cuisine.How do those people always find me?:)
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    We had a great time and would definitely stay here again.The service was phenomenal,the property pretty nice and the location simply unbeatable .It was time to say bye to KL(will be back at one point cause my plans to go up to the Petronas towers failed now for the second time :) and boarded our Air Asia flight to Hong Kong….

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  3. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    At HKIA our AirAsia flight was assigned to a remote gate what I found a little annoying since who likes to bus around the tarmac at 7pm while HK awaits for you.After passing 2 Emirates a380 and couple of Qantas 747s the avgeek came out so that wasn't an issue any more:)
    Fortunately immigration line were basically non existent and we were on the Airport Express in no time.
    I went for the Icon HK since I really wanted to try them out(tripadvisor no. 3) and pointshound gave more miles than staying at any of the chain properties(plus the have free wifi and complimentary minibar in every room)
    They were running a Bed and Breakfast promo through their site but unfortunately it ended well before my travel dates.A couple of weeks before my trip I saw they extended the promo and emailed reservation if I could take advantage of it.The replied within hours basically that they will add breakfast for two free of charge to my profile.I was truly surprised on their flexibility and mostly because it was booked at an OTA.good sign!!
    The hotel is located on Science Museum road in East Tsim Sha Tsui.
    It was opened in 2011 and it's a teaching hotel for the School of Hotel and Tourism Management so I thought besides being spanking new and it will have great service.Well maaan I was right…
    The hotel is just amazing!Contemporary,sleek and some part of it even a little futuristic.
    Check-in personal was quick,polite and welcoming.
    We had a harbor view room on the 19th floor:
    The room itself wasn't too big but the decor was beautiful and the view was just fantastic.

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    The Hotel has three restaurants:The Green on the ground floor ,The Market on the 2nd and Above and Beyond on the top floor(club floor guest receive their evening cocktails there).
    Breakfast was provided at The Market:
    Comparing to the Westin KL's the selection wasn't as wide and the food was a bit more solid.
    It's great if you can get it complimentary wouldn't recommend to pay for since HK isn't short on good eats for about 20 percent of the price(See Tim Ho Wan-just a little foodie side-note :they moved to the IFC just next to the HK Airport Express station 2 floors underground.The new location has 100 seats so bye-bye 2hours wait but loosed a little on it's character)
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    The Green pre set up from the 2nd floor:
    The hotel has it's Spa, Pool and Gym area on the 4th floor:
    IMG_4246.JPG IMG_4247.JPG
    The only little thing that bothered me was its location.You don't really have any useful MTR stations next to it so you either have to rely on a the (complimentary) shuttle bus what runs every 20 minutes or walk about 15 minutes to Tsi Sha Tsui ….Felt like anywhere I was the city and wanted to go back there was no easy way to do it like at the W for example-even that its in a not so convenient location at least you have a good subway line just under the hotel..
    As for the hotel itself we had a great stay.It's a beautiful property with a great staff and would recommend it to everyone with mid-tier hotel status and under since you get basically the same benefits anyways if not better and enjoy a beautiful property for a reasonable price...
    Bonnie, Jimgotkp and uggboy like this.

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