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Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China; 1* Michelin)

Entrance to Yong Yi Ting Yong Yi Ting was my final dinner destination while in Shanghai. This restaurant sits 21 feet underground at the basement level of the luxury hotel with floor-to-ceiling views of a specially created sunken patio that bathes the dining room in natural light during the day.Opulence greets you as soon as you step through the floor to ceiling glass doors of this fine dining restaurant. Ceramic lanterns shaped like Chinese wine jugs float along the eight-foot ceilings and complement the extensive wine cellar behind the elegant bar. The local chef Tony Lu, the celebrated mastermind behind..

PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel (Shanghai, China) – 1* Michelin

I’m straying from the Mandarin Oriental Pudong for a moment and briefly talk about my dinner at the 1* Michelin restaurant, PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel. This restaurant has Chef Pierrick Maire at the helm who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in France like the 3* Michelin chef Yannick Alléno. His dishes deliver on flavor without being overly complicated and come with rustic touches and subtle Italian influences.  The eatery has been divided into two dining rooms, split in the middle by a bar area, which smartly creates a sense of arrival. Taking..

Fantastic Stay (Humbled, Really) at Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China)

Street view of Mandarin Oriental Pudong before heading up the driveway The hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. If you ever talked to anyone who lives and/or works in Shanghai and you mention that you’re staying at the mentioned hotel, its reputation preceded it, whether or not he or she stayed there. So when I rolled in my bags and arrived at the door, we were treated like VIPs. My reservation was an Executive King room so we were escorted to the second floor (you need a special key swipe to access that floor) and checked..

French Opulence at Le Pavillon Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Grand staircase from the lobby to lower level Part of Cachette 1907 looking toward the lobby and reception desk This Romanesque white stone building is one of the most architecturally dramatic hotels in the city. The lobby is no less elegant, with towering ceilings, marble columns, and large crystal chandeliers. Marble floors and gilded ceilings surround a lobby covered in art and sculptures. The hotel’s original owners had grand plans, and stated them clearly with the construction of the striking, 15-foot monumental limestone pillars that frame the entrance. A refurbishment in the 1960s had artifacts and interiors sourced from Europe,..

Excellent Stay at Windsor Court Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Entrance at Courtyard When I was in New Orleans, I stayed at The Windsor Court Hotel. It’s a very elegant hotel just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, making it accessible to the main touristy neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the overall stay didn’t make me think I’m that close to the boisterous crowds of Bourbon Street. The ornate decor (British 19th-century antiques, furniture, and artwork) is courtesy of the hotel’s original Anglophile owner, and would be over-the-top if it wasn’t so consistent. A full gym, heated outdoor pool, high tea service, and delicious food all add to a decadent..

Comfortable Stay at Boxotel (Montreal, Canada)

Reception /lobby area called Box Office” My Studio Queen Room Kitchenette inside the Studio Queen I was invited to a press trip to Montreal last week to explore this charming city that has both the Old World and modern. It has been about five years since I’ve been to this city and even though it’s generally familiar in terms of where are the popular neighborhoods are but life always moves on and certain trends pick up or went away since I last visited. I will write a general overview post of this trip soon but I’ll start with the individual..

Staying at the Legendary Shangri-La, Bangkok

Lobby area at Shangri-La wing Lobby lounge View of Chao Phraya River from outdoor terrace at Shangri-La, Bangkok My last hotel stay in Bangkok was at the legendary Shangri-La, Bangkok. This property is locally famous since it’s the second luxury hotel brand to be in Bangkok and to sum up the stay: it was grand to be there.  The Bangkok Shangri-La is the largest hotel property along the Chao Praya river, stretching a quarter of a mile north from Saphan Taksin bridge. It’s a short hop by boat to the city’s historical sites and a two-minute walk to Saphan Taksin..

Dinner at Celadon at The Sukothai Bangkok

Celadon Restaurant – Exterior Interior of one of the dining rooms Coconut water Celadon at The Sukothai Bangkok is its signature upscale restaurant offers a calming ambiance of teak, ceramics, and Thai silk. The restaurant is separate from the hotel and is surrounded by a picturesque pond full of beautiful lotus blossoms.  The restaurant takes its name from the green ceramic glaze (meant to resemble jade) for which Thailand is known. Celadon’s food is primarily based on Royal Thai cuisine. (more…)

Praya Kitchen and Yao Rooftop Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse

If you are looking for a place that has phenomenal 360-degree views you should head to Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse rooftop at Yao Rooftop Bar, which I will get to later on this post. This fairly new hotel (it opened Spring 2018) is situated on Surawong Road, Bangkok’s bustling thoroughfare that runs from the Chao Phraya River to Rama IV Road, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse is surrounded by cultural attractions including Neilson Hays Library and Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. This property is the perfect jumping-off spot for travelers looking to explore Bangkok’s past and contemporary art scene. (more…)