Hotel Photo Story | Intercontinental Sydney – Luxury and history combine at the harbour’s edge

Luxury and history combine at the harbour’s edge – Intercontinental Sydney

A short walk to the famous Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, The Rocks and Harbour Bridge, the Intercontinental Sydney is built around the restored Treasury Building of 1851.

The hotel has 509 rooms all with views of the harbour, city, parks and beyond. The hotel’s collection of 28 suites have been home to world leaders and celebrities from across the globe for more than two decades.

Upgrade to a Club InterContinental guest room and receive access to the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge, positioned on the rooftop high above the city with incomparable panoramic views across iconic Sydney Harbour.

Located at the hotel’s heart is the Cortile Lounge. Enjoy High Tea or cocktails in the stunning sun-lit atrium style courtyard.

There are two choices for dining at the Intercontinental Sydney.

Cafe Opera on Level 1which has a seasonally inspired, interactive buffet with live cooking stations and theatrical dessert displays or sample the delights of the restaurants French-inspired à la carte menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Etch Restaurant on the Ground Floor serves simple affordable modern European food created by Chef Justin North and follows the same philosophy as sister Restaurant Becasse. Open for Lunch and dinner.

For more information:

For more information about > Intercontinental Sydney

For more information about > Etch Restaurant

If you have stayed at the Intercontinental Sydney and would like to complete one of our review questionnaires please email us.

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us  email the details and if we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

5 luxury hotels around the world you will never get to stay in.

1. Hollywood Sign Hotel – Los Angeles, California

Designed by Danish Architect Christian Bay – Jørgensen, of Bay Arch, The Hollywood Sign Hotel will stand 105 feet tall, 60 feet taller than the original Hollywood Sign. There will be 308 rooms across 10 floors, an observation deck, conference room, movie theatre, pool area, restaurants, and a Hollywood Sign museum. With construction due to finish never, you may be waiting some time before being able to make a reservation.

2. Helix Hotel – Zayed Bay, Abu Dhabi

Designed by American firm Lesser Architecture, The five-star luxury Helix Hotel partially floats in the water and adjacent to the Serpentine Sheik Zayed Bridge currently under construction by Zaha Hadid. The 208 guest rooms and suites are arranged around a helical floor which constantly shifts in width and pitch as it rises to the top floor, keeping public spaces always in flux. No two rooms positioned across from each
other have exact views to the other side. As mentioned the adjacent bridge is currently under construction, however there is no information about when the hotel will be completed, or even if it has begun. So it’s unlikely you’ll be staying here any time soon.

3. Pazhou Hotel – Guangzhou, China

Designed by architecture firm Aedas. This is a mixed use building, with a hotel and shopping arcade. The lower floors, which houses shops and the lobby of the hotel is in a translucent body 60 meters in height and consists of overlapping prisms, in no apparent order. To me it kind of looks like a Chinese freight ship with the cargo containers piled up on top of each other. The Pazhou Hotel is sure to be one of the not to distant future icons of downtown Guangzhou as it’s expected to be completed this year. So maybe you could get a room there, if you’d want to.

4. Henn Haikou Towers – Haikou, China

The mixed use building consisting of office, hotel, conference and commercial was designed by Henn StudioB from BerlinHaikou Towers are to become the heart of the new Central Business District of Haikou, the capital city of Hainan, a tropical island in the in the South China Sea. The Masterplan comprises an ensemble of 10 towers ranging from 150 to 450 meters height with an overall building area of 1.5 million square meters. But you can’t stay there because it won’t ever be built.

5. South West Hotel – Beijing, China

The site of the five-star South West Hotel is a multi-functional building complex, integrating the hotel, commercial and office spaces also designed by Henn StudioB. From the distance the ascending curves of the building exterior creates a clearly identifiable landmark. The internal courtyard shields from the noise and the hectic city life creating a retreat for guests and customers. The outer facade is a double layered multifunctional skin serving as a screen for media and light installations and displaying commercial content day and night. Based on the room picture below, we get the feeling this luxury hotel has been positioned squarely at the unhappy hipster market.

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

Cheap flights and hot deals on overseas holidays on offer at the Sydney Travel Expo

Cheap flights and hot deals on overseas holidays on offer at the Sydney Travel Expo Feb 2012

The Sydney Travel Expo was advertised as the don’t miss event for exclusive travel deals. Not really knowing what we were in for, we decided to check it out to see if it lived up to the hype.

Organised by Flight Centre Limited, operators of Flight Centre travel agents all around Australia, it was clear from the moment we walked in The Travel Expo was a massive Travel Sale. The 2 exhibition halls at The Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour were packed with about 90 exhibitors ranging from all the major local and international airlines, as well as most of the major tourism boards from Asia and The Pacific and huge number of tour operators.

The more interesting and creative stands were consistently the busiest, with the airlines being the most innovative in their approach to being noticed. Virgin Atlantic’s first class seating and Korean Airlines giving us a glimpse of their in-flight store were among the best.

The biggest buzz was definitely around the cheap flight deals being offered by the airlines. Discounts advertised were around 20% to 30% off the usual fares, quite a substantial saving if you were booking on the day.

Flight Centre had a massive booking counter and consultancy area where you could walk up, talk to a Flight Centre staff member and book your cheap flight, holiday package or tour.

The Travel Expo is not quite up there with the world’s top travel exhibitions, like last month’s Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show, but if you are after a cheap holiday or discounted flights, it’s probably worth a visit. It is worth noting that there were no Hotel or Resort stands or representatives at the show.

There are only a few more stops left for The Travel Expo this year, Newcastle NSW and Cairns QLD on Sunday 26 February, then Darwin NT Sunday 11 March.

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us, email pictures and information to: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on our RoomCritic blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

A curated collection of the best of hotel architecture and design from around the world.

A curated collection of the best of hotel architecture and design from around the world.

Design Hotels  have been releasing hard cover books featuring their member hotels since 2009. Our RoomCritic collection of the Design Hotels books started as a Christmas gift last year.

Edition 2011

The Design Hotels 2011 book is a beautifully designed and presented as a 424 page hard cover. The book is visual portfolio the 200 member hotels and resorts in 119 destinations across the globe. Combining striking photography with brief reviews you are given a glimpse into the individual experience each of the member hotels offers.

Edition 2012

Launched just last week, this year’s annual edition is a massive 424 page hard cover, featuring 220 inspiring hotels worldwide with 21 new member hotels and including new destinations like Sydney, Bogotá, Portobello and Nairobi.

The new book is conceptually based around neighborhoods. They are the places of color, flavor and that much-needed personal connection. Readers can explore the gateways to some of the most creative neighborhoods around the world. Whether it’s the little street of old-time weavers or an area where a new generation of “urban artists” express themselves on walls, furniture and whatever else they can find, each locality is unique and each one tells a special story.

Again beautifully designed, with stunning photography, the 2012 edition features a cover and illustrations designed in collaboration with Chicago-based designer Jenny Beorkrem. Jenny’s unique graphic view of neighborhoods and communities distinctly brings the pages to life.

“A hotel should be much more than a beacon of creativity and hospitality. It should be a member of the community. At times it’s a valued partner standing alongside other businesses in a local scene. But it can also be a leading figure, helping a neighborhood transform itself as it takes on an exciting new shape and purpose,” says Design Hotels™ Founder and CEO Claus Sendlinger.

For me the books are all about the architecture, the stunning interior design and the relatively affordable experience you can have staying at one of these unique hotels or resorts.

We’ve stayed at a handful of the xxx design hotels. As their list of member hotels grows so does our list of places to stay.

Where to Buy

The books are available to buy at www.designhotels.com/shop, member hotels and selected book retailers worldwide.

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us, email pictures and information to: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on our RoomCritic blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

Hotel Review | Executive Suite Room 516 – The Royce Hotel Melbourne

RoomCritic Review | Room 516 The Royce Hotel Melbourne

Room 516 is one of the Executive Suites. It’s not strictly a suite as it does not have a separate bedroom and living area. The layout of the room could be better with a lot of under utilised space, the seating area and coffee table are small, however it does have a desk area as well. The bathroom is massive and features a separate spa bath, shower and toilet all in their own enclosed areas. However the biggest let down of this room are the toiletries offered. They are no brand and cheap. For a room that is all about the bath, this doesn’t seem right. They should be a beautiful luxury brand that makes you feel great. I think The Royce Hotel Melbourne has missed something here.

Room 516 – The Royce Hotel Melbourne

RoomCritic Review | Room 516 – The Royce Hotel Melbourne

Room Type: Executive Suite

1. The size of the room felt… Tiny | Ample | Spacious | Palatial
2. The view from the room is of the… Wall | District | Garden | City | Water
3. The comfort of the bed was… Too hard | Too soft | Just right
4. The hotel room decor is… Dated | Boring | Modern | Swanky
5. The size of the bathroom was… Pokey | OK | Roomy | Massive

6. The bath was… NA | Small | Normal | Large | Big enough for 3

7. Storage space in the room was… Poor | Average | Plentiful | Walk Ins!
8. Wi-Fi access in the room was… Not Offered | Pricey | Slow | FREE!
9. Noise from outside the room was… Like Central Station | Bearable | What noise?
10. The mini-bar was… Not offered | Well stocked | Demolished

As with the other renovated room at The Royce Hotel, there are some really nice design touches. The patterned glass door to the bathrooms and the embroidered leather sofa cushions are great.

Comparing Executive Suite Room 516 to the Superior Deluxe Room 313, which is a similar size and layout, its easy to see the difference is the bathroom. If you will spend most of your time at the hotel pampering yourself in the bathroom then this room will be perfect. However, bring your own toiletries. Below is the video of The Royce Hotel from our previous post.

Related Posts:

RoomCritic Review | 5 star boutique hotel The Royce Melbourne

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us, email pictures and information to: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on our RoomCritic blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.

RoomCritic Guest Post | The Five Lands of Italia

The Five Lands of Italia by Charlotte Baillie

As Italy is an absolute favourite destination of my own, take one piece of advice from a travel enthusiast who has previously discovered the area: book your stay for at least a week (La Spezia suited perfectly for my sojourn). That is, if you wish to take the time to immerse yourself in the coastal ambience of Cinque Terre following the adventure that you’ll have embarked on.

La Spezia

Five, beautiful painted villages stand upon coastal cliffs, composing what is known as Cinque Terre. With a rustic trail linking these communities, this is the route to take instead of the crowded tourist train.

Monterosso, the first village, delights from initial glance; cafes buzz with commotion, markets sprawl in the main square fronting onto the beach. The sand is bedecked with multihued umbrellas and beach chairs being lapped by gentle waves.

Vernazza, also built to sea level, is satiated with colour. Don’t be surprised then, when you find arts, crafts and other handiwork – from ceramic tiles to sculptures of the town itself – overflowing from the little shops. Rowboats patiently wait in the piazza longing to be sailed out into the Ligurian Sea.

Corniglia

Corniglia

Corniglia, perched on hillside, is adorned with vineyards. Composed of intricate alleyways, the winding village rewards its visitors with gorgeous views along the coastline from the highest lookout. A giant staircase proceeds vertically back down the hill, much like a slinky, leading to the next town.

The walk to Manarola

Manarola. The view of this village from afar defines immaculate, Italian culture. Strolling through its centre, the hum of its social atmosphere flows from restaurants and villas overhead.

The most beautiful walk, along Via dell’Amore, an admired location for engagement proposals to be made, leads to the final village. It is only ideal that a couple, signifying their new promise of love, leaves behind, a lock.

Riomaggiore simply perfects a very unique, Italian experience. Known for its delightful mural mosaics, by this point, the serene ambience has you completely immersed in such a beautiful country and its fascinating culture.

That, I can say, is why I longed to never leave.

Charlotte

Hotel Firenze e Continentale - La Spezia

There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in La Spezia. Charlotte chose Hotel Firenze e Ccontinentale. See the video tour of the hotel below.

Hotel Firenze e Ccontinentale –  La Spezia
Via Paleocapa 7, 19122 La Spezia, Italy | Tel. +39 0187 713210/713200

Many thanks to Charlotte for contributing this story to the blog. She is very busy writing for a number of travel sites. including Exclusive Resorts. Follow Charlotte and her travels on Twitter.

Please follow our RoomCritic blog for more information about the best places to stay around the world. Receive our travel stories and hotel links direct to your own Facebook wall, just ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page or follow RoomCritic: @roomcritic on Twitter. If you have a hotel review you’d like to share with us, email pictures and information to: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on our RoomCritic blog, we’ll make sure you get the glory.