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Swissotel Merchant Court - Singapore

Posted by Carambs

My husband and I only decided to extend our stay in Singapore last Sunday night. For some reason, we did not bother to call the reception to extend our stay in Albert Court until Monday, the day we were supposed to check out. By the time we decided to extend, Albert Court was already fully booked. Which was a blessing in disguise because we ended up in Swissotel Merchant Court.

We went online and looked for hotels and most of them were very expensive. We were very lucky to find Swissotel, which charged $400 SGD for 2 nights. The location, Clark Quay, sealed the deal. We quickly made reservations online and transferred at lunch time.

Swissotel Merchant Court’s lobby was so much better than Albert Court’s. The receptionists were very friendly and accomodating, and we were able to quickly check in. The first receptionist that greeted us was a Filipina, but she was new so she was still trying to figure out things. Good thing her colleague came to the rescue, whom we found out was also Filipino. They were all smiles. When they told us they only had rooms with twin beds left, we didn’t mind at all.

The location was perfect. It was right beside Central mall, and right across Clark Quay. It was also right beside the Clark Quay MRT stop. So even if there were lots of available taxis, the MRT was our main mode of transportation the last 2 days in Singapore.

The elevators have a security feature where the guests need to use their keycard to go to their floors. The room was okay. It was clean, and it was big enough. I found the layout a bit weird because the desk was not against the wall, which is usually the case in most hotels. The layout of the bathroom was weird as well, and it was a wee bit too big for me. Though the room wasn’t perfect, it was cozy and the service compensated for it.

When we go back, Swissotel Merchant Court will definitely be one of our options.

Swissotel Merchant Court

  • Address: 20 Merchant Road, Singapore 058281
  • Tel. No.: +65 6337 2288
  • Fax: +65 6334 0606
  • Email: singapore-merchantcourt@swissotel.com

Ratings:

  • Service: 4.5/5
  • Amenities: 4/5
  • Value for Money: 4/5
Posted in: Accomodations, Asia, Hotels Comments(39) June 2008

Albert Court Hotel - Singapore

Posted by Carambs

I transferred to Albert Court Hotel on friday. We chose a more affordable hotel because we were going to pay from our own pockets. We chose Albert Court because my husband previously stayed there, and was satisfied with the service. Also, at $120++ SGD per night, it was relatively affordable compared to the other hotels. Well, all I can say is - you get what you pay for.

The bellhop who welcomed me was very friendly. But I think all the pleasantness went to him, as the receptionists were extremely unfriendly to everyone. They weren’t rude, but they did not smile AT ALL. Good thing check in was relatively fast.

I found it odd that I had to go outside the hotel and cross the “court” area to get to my room. Security was in place, as only those with keycards could enter the building. The elevator was a bit small, and uber-slow. It looked like an ancient elevator.

The room was spacious, and clean. But there was a certain smell that I can’t describe. It didn’t smell bad, but there was something in the air that I couldn’t pinpoint. (No, it wasn’t hints of body odor or anything else nasty.) The bathroom was okay. There was a bathtub, and the size was just right.

Because I was very tired from the day before, I decided to stay in that night and order room service. Of course it was pricey, but at least it was good. I ordered ham and bacon fried rice and I really liked it!

Because of the location, not a lot of cabs pass by. You have to wait for another guest in a cab to arrive, or call for a cab, which means you will be charged extra ($2.50-3.50 SGD, depending on the time). However for some the location of the hotel is perfect because it is VERY NEAR Sim Lim, where all your gadgets needs can be found, at affordable prices!

When we checked out, the receptionist was accomodating because I was polite. Still no smiles though. The same receptionist was very rude to the other guests. It was like she was scolding the guests. Granted, they had a lot of questions and they didn’t understand the check in time (the usual: check in at 2PM, check out at 12nn) - I don’t think receptionists should treat their guests that way.

Overall, though our stay was okay, I wouldn’t recommend Albert Court Hotel to my friends.

Albert Court Hotel

  • Address: 180 Albert Street, Singapore 189971
  • Tel. No.: +65 6339 3939
  • Fax: +65 6339 3253
  • Email: reseasy@fareast.com.sg

Ratings:

  • Service: 2/5
  • Amenities: 3/5
  • Value for Money: 3.5/5 *You get what you pay for!
Posted in: Accomodations, Asia, Hotels Comments(2) June 2008

Cebu Pacific’s All-domestic all-in seat sale is back!

Posted by Carambs

Don’t miss this chance to explore the Philippines! Fly Manila to Laoag, Legaspi, Naga, San Jose (Mindoro), Tuguegarao (Cagayan Valley) and Cebu to Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan and Iloilo for only PhP699; Manila to Bacolod, Caticlan (Boracay), Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Cebu to Caticlan (Boracay), Clark, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Zamboanga and Davao to Iloilo and Zamboanga for only PhP988. For only PhP1,499, fly Manila to Butuan, Cagayan, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, General Santos and Zamboanga from July 15 to October 15, 2008. This seat sale will run from June 27 to July 3, 2008 only!

Hurry, book a seat now at www.cebupacificair.com!

Posted in: Airline, Travel Promos Comments(8) June 2008

The Scarlet Hotel - Singapore

Posted by Carambs

After I found out that we were staying at The Scarlet Hotel, I immediately went online to check it out. It was the first time I’ve heard of a “Boutique Hotel”. According to Wikipedia, Boutique hotel is a term popularised in North America and the United Kingdom to describe intimate, usually luxurious or quirky hotel environments. Boutique hotels differentiate themselves from larger chain/branded hotels and motels by providing personalized accommodation and services / facilities. Sometimes known as “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels”, … Typically boutique hotels are furnished in a themed, stylish and/or aspirational manner. Although usually considerably smaller than mainstream hotels, often ranging from 3 to 100 guest rooms, some city-centre boutique hotels may have several hundred. Boutique hotels are always individual and are therefore extremely unlikely to be found amongs the homogenity of large chain hotel groups…

The experience was indeed different, starting with the very warm reception, to the elaborate beddings and pillowcases all around. Typically, the bellboy brings the guests to the room. At The Scarlet, the receptionist actually brings the guests to the room, then explains all the amenities.

I stayed at a standard room, so unsurprisingly it was small. The TV only has a limited number of channels, but HBO and CNN are included so I was happy. Anyway, in Singapore, there’s not a lot of time to watch TV, just at night before going to sleep. Days are packed with either conferences and meetings, or shopping. The first night was priced at around $220++ USD, and the second night was priced at around $180++ USD. I felt it was overpriced, given everything. But hotel prices really go up during conferences, and Communicasia is one of the popular conferences held in Singapore. So I’m guessing these are not the regular rates.

The bathroom was okay - also small, but big enough to move around in. However there was no bathtub, which a businesswoman or tourist would surely enjoy after a conference or long shopping day. There is a standard safety deposit box which is very easy to figure out. I was pleasantly surprised to find an umbrella in the closet, which the guest can borrow when it rains. It was very useful because it rained on our second day.

Overall, The Scarlet is okay.

The Scarlet - A Boutique Hotel

  • Address: 33 Erskine Road, Singapore 069333
  • Tel. No.: +65 6511 3333
  • Fax: +65 6511 3303
  • Email: enquiry@thescarlethotel.com, reservations@thescarlethotel.com

Ratings:

  • Service: 4.5/5
  • Amenities: 3.5/5
  • Value for Money: 3/5
Posted in: Accomodations, Asia, Hotels Comments(4) June 2008

Singapore - Transportation from Changi Airport

Posted by Carambs

I don’t commute here in the Philippines, mostly because it’s such a hassle.  But leave me in Singapore, and I’ll gladly commute and find my way around.   From the airport, there are 4 main ways to get to the city:

  1. Train ($2 SGD) - The airport is the last stop of the East West Line MRT (green line).   Very affordable, although it’s a bit of a hassle if your luggage is big.
  2. Public Bus - Also very affordable, but like the train, it’s a bit of a hassle if you have big luggage.
  3. Taxi (approximately $20 SGD) - Though expensive, this is definitely the most convenient way to get to the city.  You don’t need to deal with other passengers, and you will be taken straight to your hotel.
  4. Airport Shuttle ($9 SGD) - For me, this is the best option.  It’s relatively affordable, and more convenient than the train and bus because you are brought to your hotel.   There are 2 drawbacks though: the 10 minute wait in the airport, and the many hotel stops (unless your hotel is one of the first drop off points).  *Recommended by Happy Tripper
Posted in: Asia, Transportation Comments(12) June 2008

Uniquely Singapore!

Posted by Carambs

Greetings from Singapore! I’m here on a business trip but I made sure to extend my stay until the weekend so I can do some shopping as well. After all, The Great Singapore Sale is on-going! The Great Singapore Sale is from May23 to July 20. Will post more updates soon!

Posted in: Asia Comments(13) June 2008

Cebu Pacific permanently cuts domestic fares!

Posted by Carambs

CEB reduces domestic fares permanently and introduces the “all-in” fares with the lowest seat sale ever!

Not even the rising cost of fuel can make your number one domestic carrier in the Philippines raise its fares, in fact, we are bringing them down and making it even easier and affordable to fly!

The new lower All-inclusive fares will take effect on June 12, 2008. This includes the fuel and insurance surcharge, aviation security fee and 12% VAT!

The ‘All-in’ pricing format is introduced with a seat sale across CEB’s domestic network. The promotional offer will run from June 12 to 17, 2008 and is valid for travel on July 1 to October 15, 2008. There are more than half a million seats up for grabs for the seat sale!

‘All-in’ fares for short sectors such as Manila-Legaspi are at P699 one-way while a one-way Manila-Cebu flight would cost P999 and a Manila-Davao sector would cost only P1,499 during the seat sale.

With the ‘all-in’ pricing format you can compare CEB fares with other modes of transportation including ferries and buses, and you’d be surprise on how low our fares go!

After the seat sale, the one-way Manila-Davao would cost P2,499 ‘All-in’ while a one-way Manila-Cebu is sold at P1,499, while your out of pocket cost for one-way Manila-Legaspi is only P999 one-way.

Now, it’s time to fly all out with Cebu Pacific’s All-in fares!

Hurry, book now at www.cebupacificair.com.

Posted in: Airline, Travel Promos Comments(1) June 2008

The P0 and P499 fares are back on selected Cebu Pacific destinations!

Posted by Carambs

CEB offers P0 fare for Malaysia, San Jose, Laoag and Cebu hub flights; P499 fare to selected international destinations!

Something special is brewing because the ZERO fares are back! Fly Cebu Pacific to Kuala Lumpur (travel from June 15 to August 31, 2008) or Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia (travel from July 18 to August 31, 2008) at ZERO airfare!

Sounds good? This is even better, fly ZERO from Cebu to Bacolod, Iloilo, Butuan and Cagayan or Manila to Laoag (travel from June 1 to 30, 2008) or visit San Jose, Mindoro and dive into the waters of Apo Reef for travel beginning July 1 to August 31, 2008.

Fancy a holiday in China, Vietnam, Bangkok or Taipei? Take your pick and fly to Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Kaohsiung, Xiamen or from Cebu to Bangkok or Macau for only 499 pesos! This is good for travel from June 15 to August 31, 2008.

Now your only dilemma is choosing where to spend your holidays!

The promotional seat sale will run from May 30 to June 4, 2008.

Fare is non-refundable and is exclusive of surcharges and government taxes.

Hurry, book now or visit www.cebupacificair.com for more details!

Posted in: Airline, Travel Promos Comments(13) May 2008

Baguio Accomodations

Posted by Carambs

In June we will be going back to Baguio to attend my boss’ wedding. We didn’t think twice, we will stay in Hotel Veniz. We love this hotel - the room, the location, and the service. I highly recommend it! I hope our stay there will be as great as our stay in the past. The last time we were there was late 2006.

Here’s a list of Baguio accomodations that I’ve gathered the past 3 years.  I was able to stay in Hotel Veniz and El Cielito Inn already, and my stays were okay.  Next time I go, I’ll surely post about it.

1) Hotel Veniz

  • Address: 1 Abanao St., Baguio City, 2600, Philippines
  • Tel. Nos.: +6374 4460700 to 03
  • Telefax: +6374 4460704
  • Mobile No.: +63917 5060701
  • Email: hotelveniz@skyinet.net
  • Website: http://www.hotelveniz.com

2) El Cielito Inn

  • Address: 50 North Drive, Baguio City, Philippines
  • Tel. Nos.: +637 4434846, +637 4435272
  • Fax. No.: +632 2506020
  • Email: stay@elcielitoinn.com
  • Website: http://www.elcielito-baguio.com

3) Camp John Hay Manor Hotel

  • Address: Loakan Road, Baguio City, Philippines
  • Tel. Nos: +6374 4460231 to 50 local 1003/1004, +632 8450892, +632 8450911
  • Fax No.: +6374 4450420
  • Email: reservations@cjhhotels.com
  • Website: http://www.cjhhotels.com/

4) Microtel Inns and Suites

  • Address: Upper Session Road, Baguio City
  • Tel. Nos.: +6374 6193333
  • Fax No.: +6374 6193344
  • Mobile No.: +63927 5164129
  • Email: baguio@microtelphilippines.com
  • Website: http://www.microtel-baguio.com/

5) Bloomfield Hotel

  • Address: No. 3 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City
  • Tel. Nos.: +6374 4469112 to 15
  • Mobile No.: +63917 5100044
  • Email: info@bloomfieldhotel.com
  • Website: http://www.bloomfieldhotel.com

6) Golden Pine Hotel

  • Address: Corner Carino and Yandoc Sts., Baguio City
  • Tel. Nos.: +6374 4449965 to 72
  • Website: http://www.goldenpinehotel.com

7) Ridgewood Residence

  • Address: 17 Julian Felipe St., Barangay Lualhati, Baguio City
  • Tel. Nos.: +6374 4466295, +632 2996411
  • Website: http://www.ridgewoodhotel.com

8) Hotel Elizabeth

  • Address: #1 J. Felipe cor. Gibraltar St., Baguio City
  • Tel. No.: +6374 6190367
  • Fax No.: +632 4423940
  • Email: reservations@hotelelizabeth.com.ph
  • Website: http://www.hotelelizabeth.com.ph

9) Atenara House Baguio

  • Address: 40 Navy (CM Recto) Road, Barangay Saint Joseph, Baguio City
  • Tel. No.: +6374 4469808
  • Mobie No.: +63922 8824580
  • Email: atenarahouse@gmail.com
  • Website: http://www.atenara.com

88 PESOS seat sale to selected CEB domestic destinations!

Posted by Carambs

Just when you thought you’ve seen the last of our seat sales, here’s another one! Fly for only P88 to all domestic destination except for Cebu to Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro or Iloilo and Manila to Legaspi (which we are selling at P1.00)!

The P88 seat sale is from May 22 to May 25, 2008 and is valid for travel from June 1 to August 31, 2008.

Time to take-off and head for Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro or Iloilo via Cebu and Manila to Legaspi because seats are still selling for only ONE PESO! Sale and travel period is ongoing until June 30, 2008.

Now’s your chance to give your loved ones a special treat!

What are you waiting for? Hurry, book now at www.cebupacificair.com before seats are sold out!

Fares are non-refundable and exclusive of government taxes, fuel & insurance surcharges.

Posted in: Airline, Travel Promos Comments(10) May 2008

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