Photo Story | Zurich – A white Christmas wonderland

A real life fairy tale – Christmas in Zurich.

Having traveled to a few different countries over the years during the Christmas season, I’ve not found a city quite as beautiful at this time of year as Zurich. I can’t pinpoint any one thing about Zurich that makes it such a special place to be in December, there are so many. Of course everything is covered in snow, the busy trams weaving through the traffic, and the picture perfect streets lit up at night.

A passing city tram

Joining in the bustle of last minute Christmas shopping is a real buzz.

The beautifully lit streets at night

Being with family and loved ones is of course a big priority on anyones list. It was my first time eating the swiss classic cheesy Spaetzle, even better that it was home made. Of course you have to have a Schnitzel and it’s not Switzerland without truck loads of chocolate. Being in Zurich at this time of year is like being in a big fairy tale book. It really is an amazing experience.

Staying out of the cold

The stunning view from Uetliberg

We stayed at The Hotel Greulich which was beautiful. Our Garden suite room was perfect for the two of us. The split level room has a sofa and TV area on the top with bed and bathroom on the lower floor. There was plenty of space to keep bags out of sight and the frosted glass bathroom and shower made for some interesting adult fun. We won’t be sharing those pictures with you.

The garden after dark

The Garden Rooms

A real festive feeling

The beautiful courtyard tree

Breakfast was perfect… The pictures say it all.

Breakfast in the restaurant at Hotel Greulich

This winter you’ll find a re-vamped Hotel Greulich with five new suites and five new junior suites. Of course next time we visit Zurich we have to try the Penthouse Suite.

Hotel Greulich Penthouse

Hotel Greulich Suite

Restaurant Greulich has also been re-born with a whole new kitchen concept – small plates. Delicious little portions of fine food that you can combine together to match your appetite or desires. Matching wines are served by the glass.

Restaurant Greulich Small Plates Menu

This review of Hotel Greulich and the views expressed are our own and not influenced by nor has this story been sponsored by the hotel.

Tag your Instagram hotel photos with #roomcritic to add them to the RoomCritic hotel photo gallery. For the best travel stories, tips and info on the places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. Find us on Twitter and Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and lists Foursquare. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info (at) roomcritic (dot) com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

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Hotel photographs inspired by the cinema classic – The Shining

How to capture the perfect Kubrick – The Shining hotel hallway photo

Ever since seeing the 1980 classic film The Shining by Stanley Kubrick, hotel hallways have had slightly creepy feel about them for us at RoomCritic. If you’ve ever had to walk the length of a long hall in the middle of the night to get to your room you’ll know what we mean.

Photo by Matt Carr – @mrattcarr

But, the weird feeling of stranger danger behind each door, the deafening silence and the overly bright strip lighting can actually make for some awesome photos. Just scroll through the #roomcritic gallery and you’ll find quite a few from our Instagram friends.

We compiled tips from 3 insomniac travelling photographers on how to take the perfect Kubrick – The Shining hotel hallway photo.

Photo by Gary DelBianco – @garydb

Tip number 1

Scope out your hotel to find the best hallway, the longer the hall the better. Usually hotels with a plain interior aesthetic are most effective. If the hotel you’re in doesn’t suit change hotels!

Tip number 2

Head back to your chosen hallway sometime after hours to ensure little chance of interruption as possible. Remember, the late night hotel hallway is even more creepy when some strange person is outside your door taking photos.

Tip number 3

Stand dead centre at one end of the hall and focus on the centre at the other end. Take a number of shots from different heights but make sure you get the best vanishing point down the hallway!

Tip number 4

Once you’ve taken your shot, spend the rest of the night editing your image. Depending on the hotel you may have to give it some HDR treatment. Try to bring out the best colours in the carpets and walls while still retaining some shadows.

Tip number 5

Once you are happy with your edit, line your shot up so you get the vanishing point where you want it in your crop. Make sure the wall angles are nice and even!

Tip number 6

Have fun playing around!

Photos by Paul Lambert – @dgootshinz – Flickr

For more inspiration take a look at the tags #paulshalls, #hallway on Instagram.

Related Posts: Hotel hallway photos that are nothing like the original Overlook Hotel in The Shining

If you enjoy taking photos in the middle of the night of your hotel hallways, tag them to the #roomcritic and #hallway gallery so we can all check them out. For more Instagram photos of your favourite hotels, visit the new RoomCritic website. For the best travel stories, tips and info on the places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. Find us on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest plus we have hotel lists on Foursquare. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info (at) roomcritic (dot) com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

Get clean or dirty. Our pick of the best hotel and resort bath porn on Instagram

Get clean or dirty. Our pick of the best hotel and resort bath porn on Instagram.

Our top picks for best relaxing, romantic and retro hotel and resort baths from the #roomcritic tag gallery from our Instagram friends. This is hotel bath porn at its best.

Ambassador Suite Hyatt Regency – Tokyo

Ambassador Suite Hyatt Regency – Tokyo

Enclosed in it’s own glass fronted wet room with a separate shower against the wall the freestanding bath in The Ambassador Suite Hyatt Regency – Tokyo is stunning and would definitely make bath time fun again… Photo by @yoshida_101

Damai Lovina – Bali

Damai Lovina – Bali

Bath time in one of the Damai Lovina – Bali suites is all about relaxation. Open the doors, sit back and let you body soak up the vibe with your favourite book in hand… Photo by @grooviemary

Four Seasons Resort – Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort – Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort – Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort – Bora Bora

Slide open the doors and unveil your inner exhibitionist in an over-water bungalow at the Four Seasons resort in Bora Bora. These stunning baths are perfectly made for sharing the view with someone special. Photos by @melmc4

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel – Singapore

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel – Singapore

To make bath time awesome in front of the amazingly retro octagonal windows at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Singapore it has to be accompanied with 3 essential things. James Brown playing on your iPod, a bath full to the brim with bubbles and a glass of Moet firmly in hand. Photo by @anita_pvr

Hotel Puerta America – Madrid

Hotel Puerta America – Madrid

The super stylish boutique Hotel Puerta America – Madrid features a unique interior design for each room. This stunning bathroom has angular glass walls with stainless steel and glass bath. The perfect bath to create your own Damian Hirst art tribute. Now there’s a challenge to everyone on Instagram. This bath is also shown on the hotel website in photo 32/187. Photo by @mrsbehaver

If you’ve stayed in an amazing hotel room with a bath that beats any of the above we’d love to hear about it. Share your story or photos to our Facebook page or tag your shots with #roomcritic on Instagram. Our friends would love to hear about it.

Thanks

3 beautiful Phuket resorts. Which one would you choose?

Phuket: Stunning scenery. Sandy beaches. Great food. Beautiful Resorts. Tick. Tick. Tick and tick.

For years, the thought of partying through the night and shopping the day away in the world’s major cities New York, London, Paris and Berlin was my dream long-haul vacation. The slow, quiet and relaxing holiday wasn’t even on my radar.

Now with three kids my party days are pretty much over, all I dream about is a slow, quiet, relaxing days spent soaking up some rays on a secluded beach somewhere.

These days I find myself attracted to the beauty of Asia. There are certainly many destinations in Asia that meet my new found idea of perfection, but it seems Thailand has become my new obsession and more specifically Phuket.

I remember being a kid and watching the classic James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun amazed at the beauty of the scenery. And back in 2000 the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach showed off the beauty of the place as well. But only in the last couple of years have I really had a yearning to see it for myself.

Justine and I are definitely adding Phuket to our travel plans for 2012, and here are our favourite resorts (in no particular order) from the thousands of photos uploaded to the #roomcritic tag gallery by our Instagram friends.

Serenity Resort and Residences

A boutique resort nestled among lush coconut trees of Chalong Bay. The accommodation best suited to us are the H20 Suites and Residences. Over 2 floors with 2 bedrooms they look stunning and would be perfect for all of us. I love the thought of having the best of both world’s with amazing beach walks at sunset then cheeky adult night swims in our own private pool after the kids have gone to bed. More amazing pics can be found on Instagram at #serenityphuket.

Pictures by @nobriskov

Serenity Resort have their own pictures up on Instagram and you’ll also find them on Facebook

Sri Panwa

High atop Cape Panwa with breathtaking views of the South-Eastern tip of Phuket Beach, Sri Panwa occupies the whole Cape Panwa peninsula. Having drooled over their website, the best accommodation for us would be a 2br Luxury Pool Villa. The private infinity pools and sunset pavilions are simply stunning. Search the tag #sripanwa on Instagram for a look at more amazing pics.

Pictures by

@piminnnn_

@koongkokii

You can also find Sri Panwa Resort on Facebook

The Racha 

A deluxe island hideaway set on a pristine beach on Racha Island. The beautifully appointed and designed 2br Grand Pool Suite is our idea of pure heaven. The 10m infinity pool with underwater music system sounds amazing. Excuse the pun. We also like the thought of sitting back in the jacuzzi with a glass of wine at the end of the day. The pictures on Instagram are amazing check out the tag #theracha

I love these stunning pictures by @w00da_

You’ll also find more info from the Racha on Facebook

Now for the hard part. We have to do is decide which resort we want to stay at.

RoomCritic Traveller Profile | Kaysha – Rapper and Producer

Take a virtual vacay to the world’s best luxury hotels and resorts with Rapper Producer Kaysha

To most of us, traveling the globe staying in the world’s finest hotels sounds like an amazing, glamourous lifestyle. But when being a frequent traveller is just another part of your daily job, is it really all that much fun?

This month we caught up with french rapper and producer – Kaysha, known for his unique Candyzouk or Afro-electro sound blending the rhythms of Africa & the Caribbean with electronic beats. We’ve been following Kaysha’s travels on Instagram and Twitter for a while, his love of photographing the hotels, resorts and rooms he stays in, is exactly the kind of thing were into. So we decided to to hit him up and find out how he copes with living out of hotel rooms for weeks on end when he’s away on tour.

Kaysha in the studio

RoomCritic: Hi Kaysha, since your first release ‘Bounce Baby ‘ back in 1998, you’ve consistently released a new album every couple of years and produced many more. Your sound is quite unique and this is even more clear on your  new EP Funky Makaku. How easy has it been getting your music to the world?

Kaysha: Hey there… Longtime ago, I decided to take my conquest of the world thru music very differently from artists here in France. All the labels in Paris were telling me that they couldn’t do nothing for me because I was not singing in french and it was very frustrating. But one day I went to the US, in New York and understood by my own experience that it was not about where I was but how and what I was doing. That’s how I decided to take an international approch to things constantly. And I travel every week to different destination to conquer the galaxy holiday or not

RoomCritic: Being a frequent traveller is a huge part of your job as a performer, when you do get time off from work do you enjoy traveling for pleasure? Where is your favourite holiday destination to go and relax?

Kaysha: I gotta say that with all this travelling and all these beautiful places that I see, I’m usually just happy when I can stay in my home and compose, go to the movies and enjoy my family & friends. And you have to know that I live in one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. Paris. But from time to time, I enjoy relaxing in my fav cities that are New York, Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon. I plan to go to Asia and relax there but I know I’ll try to perform. That’s in my DNA

Paris Sunshine

RoomCritic: As a singer and musician your obviously write a lot, however we see you also have a strong visual side. Your website kaysha.com has a cool tumblr blog where you post pictures of all kinds of stuff, and you are also a big user of Instagram for showing your own photos. Is photography another one of your creative interests?

Kaysha: I’ve been a fan of photography since my first EOS back in the 90’s and yes, as you said, I’m a big fan of visual estetics. I’ve been designing all the covers from my first album to all my productions. I’ve always been good at drawing and digital artistry, but music takes me so much time that the rest can only be a hobby. But, I also direct my own smaller videos with my 5DmkII and my side hobby is designing t-shirts & iPhone cases that I sell on redbubble. The first time I used instagram, I was hooked. It is the perfect companion for visual people like us all. A way to share moments way better than words. I use it both to share personnal & artistic precious times. The fact that it share straight to my facebook page, flickr & twitter makes to a fantastic imersive experience to the life that I want to share. Combine that with my almost daily youtube videos of my travels and you’re all set to get into my world.

RoomCritic: Your instagram photos are great for your fans to follow what you are doing and see the places you go. You also have many great photos of the hotel rooms you’ve stayed in. Why did you start taking pictures of your hotel rooms? Is it like a personal diary to remember the places you have stayed?

Kaysha: Yes it is kind of a personnal diary to remember all my bedrooms since I stay in hotels almost 1/2 of the year. When I started my blog back in the wordpress days, I also started a hotel room galery in flickr because I loved some of these places. With instagram, it took another dimension but it is part of the same process. It’s all part of my digital diary.

Arc Hotel Ottowa

Chillin' in Toronto

NH Hotel Brussels City Centre

Flying to Hamburg, Germany

Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto Harbourfront

Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto Harbourfront

RoomCritic: With so many great hotels to choose from, how do you choose a hotel and what are the main things your hotel room must have?

Kaysha: It all depends. Most of the time, I’m not paying for my travel and hotel expenses because it is part of the deal we when we’re hired for a performance. So we get to be in the most sexy rooms without ever paying, ain’t that fresh? When we find a hotel that we like in a country, we ask for this specific hotel. My manager always ask for modern designed, 4 stars hotels with television, WI-FI , and we check on the internet if it is of our taste. But sometimes, we get ugly surprises when we go to some far far province of poor countries, but it’s all part of the fun… When I take my own holidays, I want the sexiest rooms with flat screen, design, a gym & a pool…

RoomCritic: From your Instagram feed we’ve noticed you’ve stayed in the same room a few times (not stalking). You obviously have your favourite rooms in the places you stay. Of all the hotels and places you have stayed, what is your favourite and why?

Kaysha: I’ve been in too much hotels to have one in particular but I got my little favorite places in every country. The Westin in Montreal, the NH in Brussels, the NH in Madrid, the Alvalade in Angola, the Dream in New York City, the Murano resort in Paris, etc etc… All because of the same sense of aesthetics… I’m the Steve Jobs of hotels lol.

RoomCritic: Thanks so much for your time, we know you’ve been real busy. What projects can we expect to see next for you and your label Sushiraw?

Kaysha: I have a brand new best of coming in december and a new song coming out every week on itunes so that will be massive. I’m also finishing the albums for Vanda May, Aycee Jordan, Lynnsha & Soumia who are all part of my label Sushiraw.

Kaysha - Works of Art

Links to Kaysha

Kaysha.com

Follow @kaysha on Twitter

Like Kaysha on Facebook

iTunes

@kaysha2201 on Instagram

Flickr

Links to featured hotels

Arc Hotel Ottowa

NH Hotels

Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto Waterfront

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

All images © Kaysha 2011.

Hotel Photo Story | Hilton Hotel Sydney

At the heart of Sydney’s central shopping district

The Hilton Hotel Sydney is centrally located in the heart of the CSD… Sorry CBD. From the moment you walk outside you’re surrounded by some of the best shopping the city has to offer. The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is just across the road on George Street and The Galleries Victoria next door. The brand new Westfield Sydney around the corner in Pitt Street Mall.

The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lounge 2 The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lounge

There are a number of restaurants and bars within the building. Glass Brasserie is the definitive Sydney dining experience by celebrity restaurateur Luke Mangan, and interiors by esteemed New York designer Tony Chi.

The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lobby 2 The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lobby 3 The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lobby

The a cafe located conveniently on the ground floor with many other sofas and lounging areas in the adjacent lobby. The ceiling is four or five stories up and the entire space greets you as you as you walk in. The reception staff are super friendly and helpful.

The Hilton Hotel Sydney Atrium The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lobby The Hilton Hotel Sydney Lobby The Hilton Hotel Sydney Cafe The Hilton Hotel Sydney Restaurant The Hilton Hotel Sydney Interior

Every level has quiet areas to enjoy the bright open space, perfect for business meetings, or some quiet time to yourself.  The beautifully calming vertical wall garden outside is viewable from every floor and makes you forget about the bustling taxis coming and going below.

We’ve not yet stayed at The Hilton Sydney, when we do we will add pictures of the room along with a review of the hotel and room. If you have stayed at The Hilton Sydney, let us know what you thought of your stay.

Thanks RC