Every year I head to London with Friends and have done so for the past few years, with 2015 being the 5th year. Initially we stayed in budget hotels and quickly found that for a few extra pound per night we could stay in a very nice and comfortable hotel. In 2014 we chose the Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria.
Located only 5 minutes walk from Victoria Station, the Park Plaza Victoria was ideal for us as we flew into Gatwick Airport and the Gatwick Express terminates in Victoria.
Check in was very good and we were advised of the facilities on site including fitness centre, bar, and restaurant. and a Big Plus from Shane’s Travel Reviews … Free WiFi (it always annoys me when hotels charge for WiFi).
Park Plaza Hotel, London – Hotel Lobby & bar area
The room was very nice, bright, clean and comfortable. The room had a view overlooking the city and you could see the Shard and other landmarks in the distance. Another plus in the room was the very well provisioned bathroom which was of a decent size. Also in the room are tea/coffee facilities and a flat screen TV with a multitude of channels. At night there is no noise and a sound sleep can be guaranteed.
Park Plaza Hotel Victoria, London – Room Photo
Having stayed 2 nights here we all agreed that we would return to the Park Plaza as it was so good. So in Mid May 2015 we will be heading back to the Park Plaza Hotel Victoria to enjoy yet another relaxing break in London.
The Park Plaza is located only 5 minutes from the Apollo Theatre where the show Wicked is running, and is only 10 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, St. James Park and Green Park. If you enjoy walking you can reach Piccadilly Circus in only 30 minutes walk from the Park Plaza.
If you are looking for a very nice city centre hotel in London, check out the Park Plaza Hotel Victoria, London.
Hotel Address: 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ, United Kingdom
Hotel Phone:+44 844 415 6750
Hotel Location Map
This is a B&B review of the Hampton’s luxury B&B in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Kaikoura was the first stop after visiting the very friendly city of Christchurch. We spotted The Hampton’s Kaikoura on the Booking.com app which is one of my first-calls when booking accommodation online. The pictures looked amazing and the reviews were very positive.
On arriving we met Patrick the owner and he showed us to our room. Wow…. When I saw the room and view on checking in I was blown away. Patrick brought us through the features of the room plus advised us on the route for the local peninsula walk.
The Hamptons, Kaikoura- The Room
The room was amazingly comfortable with cable TV, free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities plus fresh home-made cookies.
The bathroom included a very nice power shower and was well maintained.
The views from the room were of the beach area and were amazing. A very comfortable place to stay in Kaikoura.
The breakfast was delicious and more than enough for me. Overall a wonderful place to stay and worthy of such praise. Thank you again to our hosts Patrick and Marie Claire.
The Hamptons, Kaikoura – The View from the room
Overall Rating : 10/10
The Hamptons Location Map:
Hotel on Davenport was booked as our 2nd last stop in New Zealand. The area around Tauranga is wonderful and we should have spent a bit more time here and also around Mount Maunganui which is very scenic.
We arrived at Hotel on Davenport around 4pm on a Saturday. The check-in was quick and friendly and we got a free WiFi code. We were given a room in Harbour-view wing with great views.
The hotel compendium states that Hotel on Davenport is a boutique hotel with a big heart and that is true – we were only in the room 10 minutes when we got a welcome drink and some snacks which was very nice.
The room was very comfortable with really plush carpet and great bathroom which included bath and shower as separate installations – Always nice to see this. The bed was very comfortable and overall this was a very pleasant stay and had we more time we would certainly have extended our stay in this wonderful part of New Zealand.
I would certainly recommend Hotel on Davenport and next time we are in this part of the world we will be back.
Products in Bathroom : Hotel on Davenport – Hotel Review
Overall Rating : 9/10
Address: 72 Devonport Rd, Tauranga, 3110, New Zealand
Phone:+64 7-578 2668
If you intend visiting Gisborne when in New Zealand then I highly recommend La Frontiere, a luxurious modern self-contained studio, set on an avocado orchard and farmland, and is about 5 mins drive to Gisborne city centre. This was one accommodation which we were very lucky to get at the last minute.
We booked the accommodation via the AirBnB mobile app, our last resort as all hotels and motels in the area were booked up on the day of our visit, due to a Maori event.
Jennifer was the most wonderful host. On arrival we got a tour of the villa which was decorated superbly and had wonderful colours and quality furnishings make this villa compete with 5 star hotels when it comes to comfort and making you feel at home.
The villa has an excellently fitted and provisioned kitchen which ideal for whipping up some dinner of your own. The bathroom is very nice with a power-shower. The villa also comes with a private spa hot tub and swimming pool.There is fast and free Wifi, radio and a wonderful smart TV also available.
The bed is very comfortable and it’s very easy to oversleep and miss your check-out time. La Frontiere is like a home away from home.
We had a wonderful time and would certainly return. It was great to also make the acquaintance of the dogs and cats on site – it is such a relaxing place to stay. Thanks again to Jennifer for her hospitality. We look forward to returning if we are lucky enough to get back to New Zealand again.
Overall Review : 10/10 all round
La Frontiere Location & Information:
1 Main Road , Makaraka, Gisborne, New Zealand
+64 6 8684931. +64 274412876
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LaFrontiereBoutiqueAccommodation
Information on Gisborne : http://www.gisbornenz.com/
Having flown 12 hours from Hong Kong to Sydney in business class with Cathay Pacific, we arrived at Sydney airport for an unavoidable 8 hour layover before flying to Christchurch. Unfortunately our flight was delayed by about 90 minutes and we didn’t arrive in Christchurch until about 11:50pm.
Our hotel for the stay in Christchurch was the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square. Having already stayed in the Novotel Century Hong Kong we knew Novotel had a good reputation. We eventually got a taxi from the airport and managed to get checked in about 12:40pm.
We had a very quick checkin and got a nice room on 10th floor of the hotel with a nice view of the city suburbs. The room was very nice with a comfortable bed and a nice bathroom (however the bathroom was a little strange in that the washhand basin was outside the toilet and it doubles up as a sink for tea and coffee preparation. I would prefer that such a sink be located in the bathroom).
The sleep quality is very good and Novotel must invest in quality beds as our Hong Kong experience was also very good. The rooms are quiet and also have good entertainment options with cable tv and large flat screen TVs.
Location & Sightseeing
The hotel is very central in the city and is very near to a lovely shopping mall which houses the ticket centre for the tourist tram. The tram itself is very much worth going on.
The city was very badly damaged in the earthquakes which hit the city and many areas are still blocked off with much of the citys buildings having been demolished or in repair. You might ask, why visit? – In one answer “Because it we met THE nicest people in Christchurch and it has a wonderful atmosphere amongst the rebuilding”. The people of Christchurch were warm, chatty and welcoming. We went to one convenience store near the bus station and there was a girl serving – we ended up chatting there fore 45 minutes. Next evening we met people very near this location and chatted to them for nearly 30 minutes.
Christchurch is just a wonderful location and I look forward to revisiting again in the future.
I am going to have a follow up post to this which will focus on ‘Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand‘.
Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square – Conclusion
Overall a lovely the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square is a very nice hotel.
Plus points : Great Staff, Lovely Room, Laundry on-site is very good and great value
Negative Points : No Free WiFi – I had to sign up to the Novotel loyalty club just to get a very limited free WiFi access. (I try to restrict my booking of these types of hotels as I do like free WiFi)
Recommended : Yes
Hotel Location :
Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square , 52 Cathedral Square, Central City, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
The Novotel Century Hong Kong is a hotel we stayed in back in 2010 en-route to New Zealand. We decided to return in 2014 based on our past stay there.
After a speedy and helpful checkin we went to the room to drop the bags. The accommodation was a very nice large room on 17th floor with excellent air conditioning – the view was towards the inner city nothing to write home about but it’s not a big issue since you will probably be in the room just to sleep, since Hong Kong is so amazing to visit. Bathroom was good with nice shower and bright clean layout and good products.
On the first night we enjoyed a swim in the roof top pool which was great with helping with the effects of a 13 hour flight. The gym is also excellent – visit the InBalance gym and pool via the lift with towels and lockers available.
The breakfast buffet is stunning – you might just stay here for that alone. An amazing array of foods from all over the world. Everything from Congee and Dim Sum to fresh fruit and western style breakfast. I always chose the asian steamed dumplings! The breakfast is served from 6 most days even though I am sure it incorrectly mentioned 6:30 in our in room brochure.
Breakfast at the Novotel Century Hotel Hong Kong
There is also an Italian Restaurant and a bar. However get to the bar before the stated 1am closing time as it should really state that last orders is 12:30 closing at 1am.
Beds are very comfortable and you can be guaranteed a good nights sleep.
The one thing I have a problem with is that you don’t get free wifi in your room. You must pay €4 or HK$40 for 30 mins. I don’t like that when you have paid for your room that extra fees are incurred for Wifi. However you may be able to get limited connectivity for free in your room by joining the Accor Hotels Loyalty Programme (Which I only discovered when staying at the Novotel Cathedral Square in Christchurch)
Overall it is a lovely hotel within walking distance of MTR and Trams and about 15 mins walk to the Star Ferry terminal. I just marked it down a few points due to the WiFi charge.