RoomCritic Instagram Gallery Feature | The Dream Downtown Hotel New York

RoomCritic Instagram Gallery Feature | The Dream Downtown Hotel New York

A new week and a new feature hotel on the RoomCritic Instagram Gallery. This week we visit New York’s Meatpacking District and Dream Downtown. With 90+ photos on the Instagram Gallery App taken by people who’ve stayed there, you’ll be able to see what the cool vibe is like at this visually stunning hotel. Located downtown the hotel is in walking distance to the neighborhoods of SoHo, Chelsea, and the West Village.

By @joshdvegas

By @geminihousecat

By @love2snap

By @altdawn

By @joseramon269

Click on the #dreamdowntown tag to change the gallery to the #NYC tag, where 997,000+ photos show you what else going on in the big apple.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

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RoomCritic Instagram Gallery Feature | Serenity Resort and Residences Phuket

RoomCritic Instagram Gallery Feature | Serenity Resort and Residences Phuket

In the RoomCritic Instagram Gallery App this week we head back to Phuket and the stunning Serenity Resort & Residences, Phuket. There are just over 100 photos to view in the #serenityphuket tag, from guests who’ve stayed at the resort as well as a few from the people at Serenity themselves. From the photos you can get a great idea of where the resort got it’s name, it really is a stunning place.

photo by @cherylcharmain

photo by @te_p

photo by @cherylcharmain

photo by @cherylcharmain

photo by @eladkushnir

Click on the #serenityphuket tag to change the gallery to the #phuket tag, where 31,000+ photos show you what other travellers are experiencing on their Phuket holiday’s.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

Conversations between guests spark Swissotel Hotels and Resorts latest video campaign

Conversations between guests spark Swissotel Hotels & Resorts latest video campaign

Swissotel Hotels & Resorts have created 5 commercial length videos for their latest online social media advertising campaign. Each ad focusses on a different feature of the hotel and is based around the many conversations had between guests during their stay at the hotels and resorts.

Created by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland, the videos were distributed via social networks and internet media. The clips were originally middle of last year on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as on the Swissotel Hotels & Resorts website.

The videos are a clever way to showcase each feature of the hotel and they are beautifully shot. However the script writing and voice over does feel a little forced which means they are not as funny as they could have been. What do you think of the videos?

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

Hotel Photo Story | Hotel DeBret Auckland – A unique hotel in the heart of the city

Hotel DeBret Auckland – A unique hotel in the heart of the city

Tucked away in Auckland’s hip streets is the small boutique Hotel DeBret. Unfortunately they were booked out the weekend we were staying in Auckland, but we decided to take a look around anyway. For such a small boutique hotel, Hotel DeBret is set back on a large corner. Of course I managed to get a few pictures of the lobby, but without anyone around and given they were totally booked up we decided not to ask to see their rooms. We’ll save that for another trip to Auckland.

While the hotel itself is a true boutique with just 25 rooms, there is a lot on offer. Hotel DeBret has two bars, the Housebar is located within the main part of the hotel, and  the Cornerbar is just that, located on the corner. The Kitchen Restaurant is also tucked into the hotel. Also in the same building and next door to the Cornerbar is The Kapiti Store.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

RoomCritic Hotel Crush | Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania. When a hotel becomes the destination.

Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania. When a hotel becomes the destination.

For the most part hotels have a very rational purpose: A place to sleep when we’re away from our own home. Of course there are different levels to this function depending on the comfort and aesthetic you wish to experience. However, there is another type of hotel, one that exists in a much more emotional place. One where the hotel is the experience as well as the destination. Saffire Freycinet is one of those places.

Saffire is an ultra premium, boutique lodge on the Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast of Tasmania – Australia, overlooking the wide expanses of Great Oyster Bay. A truly stunning part of Australia, equally as secluded as the red desert interior.

The dominant view from Saffire’s every window is the pink-hued granite of the peninsula’s Hazards Mountains, providing a spectacular and ever-changing backdrop from morning to nightfall.

The 20 suites, are available in 3 types. Stunning, incredible and phenomenal with prices starting at A$1500 per night.

If we ever get to stay at Saffire Freycinet, be assured we’ll let you know all about it.

Photography: George Apostolidis.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

You’d Be Much Better Here – The Swire Hotels blog

You’d Be Much Better Here – The Swire Hotels blog

Swire Hotels - You'd Be Much Better Here

This week we’ve been featuring photos and posts about Swire Hotels property The Upper House. In a ‘related’ kind of way we thought we’d introduce you to The Swire Hotels blog: You’d Be Much Better Here.

The blog not only brings stories related to all the Swire Hotels properties, but it also fuses a mix of art, culture, travel and lifestyle from the region.

Their latest post, Vinyl Desserts, is a photo story collaboration from photographer Phillip Karlberg and Chef/ Food Stylist Mattias Nyhlin. Together they worked to capture the individual soundtrack that accompanies each dish they created. The results are stunning.

Keep up to date with the latest posts by email subscription.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

RoomCritic is now sharing tips and recommendations about our favourite places on Foursquare

RoomCritic is now sharing tips and recommendations about our favourite places on Foursquare.

At RoomCritic, we’re big fans of Foursquare and have been for a few years now.

If you’re like us and don’t have issues around telling the world where you are and what you’re enjoying, then you’ll know how it’s a great way to pass on tips to friends about the favourite places you love to visit.

The RoomCritic Foursquare page is where we’ll share tips and recommendations on the places we go. Feel free to follow us if you like, we’ll check into all the awesome places and let you know what we think of them.

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic on Pinterest and now Foursquare too. Boy, do we get around. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

Hotel Review | The Hilton Hotel Auckland, New Zealand

RoomCritic Review | The Hilton Hotel Auckland, New Zealand

RoomCritic Review | The Hilton Auckland

Hotel Type: 5 Star Luxury

1. The hotel is located…  Out of town  |  In the City  |  Near everything
2. During the day, the local area is…  Dodgy  |  Quiet  |  Buzzing  |  Hip
3. At night, the local area is…  Scary  |  Noisy  |  Dead  |  Buzzy
4. The hotel decor is…  Dated  |  Boring  |  Modern  |  Swanky
5. The vibe of the hotel is…  Family  |  Romantic  |  Business  |  Holiday
6. The hotel breakfast was…  Not tried  |  Pricey  |  Meh  |  Amazing
7. The restaurant/room service food was…  Not tried  |  Basic  | Pretty Good |  Epic
8. The hotel bar was…  Not tried  |  Quiet  |  Buzzing  |  Hip
9. The hotel pool was…  Not tried  |  Quiet  |  Busy  |  Hip
10. The staff at the hotel were…  Apathetic  |  Friendly enough  |  Wonderful

Right from the moment we arrived, we were greeted by the wonderful, Hilton Hotel Auckland door staff and reception. Being Hilton Honors members, we were told of our automatic upgrade to a King Bow Suite (of course J and I we were quietly hi-fiving each other at this point) and within no time we were given the keys and zooming up in the lift. When we arrived on our floor the sleek simple hallway, gave away little of the secrets behind door 304.

Of course we were blown away by our room, it was stunning. Read the RoomCritic review of Room 304 for all the details.

We arrived into Auckland on Friday night and straight away you could see the local harbour area is the place to be. This is a busy part of town with numerous restaurants and bars within a short stroll. Although the Quay Street area was heaving, the Hilton Auckland is located at the end of the the first pier on Quay St, built right over Auckland Harbour.

During the day, the area is still one of the busier parts of town. Apart from the restaurants around the Viaduct Harbour there is also the New Zealand National Maritime Museum opposite the pier. The centre of Auckland and other attractions are a short 5 minute walk away. Take a look at our Auckland Check-ins List on Foursquare for a few more suggestions of things to do in Auckland.

The Hilton Auckland Hotel mixes it’s use modern interior design with it’s surrounds perfectly, without feeling at all pretentious. The hotel has a romantic vibe, yet without alienating business travellers or families alike. We ate breakfast in the Fish restaurant, with was simply awesome. The huge array of fresh and cooked food was amazing. You have to try the unique local New Zealand Feijoa Juice, and have your eggs cooked to perfection by the chef out in the restaurant in front of you.

The bar on the ground floor made a nice quiet place for a night cap after dinner. It’s a great place to sneak away to, out of the bustle of Quay St.

Although we didn’t brave the lap pool on the cool breezy day we were in Auckland, I’m sure there are days warm enough to make it worth while. There is also a well equipped gym on the same level.

Related Posts

– RoomCritic Review | Room 304 – The Hilton Auckland

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic and Pinterest. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.

RoomCritic Tip | How Google Street View maps can help your search for the perfect hotel.

Outside the beautiful LUX 11, Berlin

RoomCritic Tip | How Google Street View maps can help your search for the perfect hotel.

At RoomCritic we’ll try everything and anything to help make our hotel searches a little easier. Here are our tips for how Google Street View can help you find your perfect hotel.

Is the hotel photogenic?

Yes, this is top of our list. As you may have seen, we love to photograph the hotels we stay in, and we’re not alone. If you too like to ensure you have the best looking travel shots and memories to keep for years to come, use Google Street View check out the outside of your hotel to see how it’s going to come up in your photos.

What is the local area like?

This is the most asked question of all. Use the little Google Street View guy to navigate your way along a few nearby streets, he’ll show you around and give you a pretty good idea about the local area.  If it looks dodgy, it probably is dodgy. If it looks quiet, it probably is quiet. If there are hoards of people walking around with shopping bags and plenty of shops and boutiques on the street, you’ve hit the jackpot.

A short walk from Hotel Union Square, San Francisco

What is the local shopping like?

Again, this is a job for the little Google Street View guy. Boarded up store fronts, liquor stores and strip joints nearby are bad. Fancy boutiques, cafe’s and restaurants are good.

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Plan your walks and tours.

If you’re like me and like walking, not taking taxis or public transport to get around your chosen city. Use a mix of Google Maps and Street View to maximise what you see. Take a note of interesting looking streets and architecture you want to check out before you set out.

The local marina near The Hilton Auckland

What is the pool really like?

Another extremely important question to ask. Sure the hotel website has some amazing photos of the pool. But don’t always believe what you see in the glossy shots. Use Google Maps in Satellite mode for a birds eye view of what it’s really like.

The pools at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, Palm Springs

For more of the best travel stories, tips and places to stay around the world, follow the blog by email or ‘like’ our RoomCritic Facebook page. You’ll also find us on Twitter, Instagram as @roomcritic and Pinterest. Share your hotel stories or reviews with us: info@roomcritic.com. If we post it on the blog, we’ll make sure you get all the glory.