Sugared & Spiced

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Archive for the ‘hotel’ tag

[Kyushu] Garden Terrace Miyazaki

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Garden Terrace Miyazaki

Add: 247-18 Shimoharacho, Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture
Tel: 0985-73-8888
Price: 37,000~57,000 yen/night
Visited: Oct 2016

Please note that this was a complimentary stay arranged by the hotel.

Our last stop in Kyushu was Miyazaki, where we stayed at a most beautiful and serene hotel designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Located on the site of a former factory, Garden Terrace Miyazaki is sheltered by a timber canopy, and entering its bamboo premises automatically imbues one with a sense of tranquility. How did I find out about this low profile hotel, you ask? Well, a friend had stayed at Garden Terrace Nagasaki (also designed by Kengo Kuma) on a recent trip and really loved it, and after doing some research I found out that it has a sister hotel in Miyazaki, and decided to give it a try…




Upon entering the hotel, we were first left upstairs to the second floor lounge for check-in. This space also functions as a club lounge for hotel guests, with complimentary snacks, drinks, and a small library.


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December 12th, 2016 at 12:09 pm

[Hong Kong 香港] The Upper House 奕居

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The Upper House

Add: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2918 1838
Price: from 5,000 HKD/night
Visited: Aug 2016

Please note that this was a complimentary stay arranged by the hotel.

It’s been a while since I last went to Hong Kong, so I couldn’t help but feel a little excited on my flight over – especially knowing that I will be staying at The Upper House. I have heard so much about this hotel and was already quite charmed by it after a lovely lunch at Cafe Gray Deluxe five years ago, so naturally I was looking forward to the stay. 4 days and 3 evenings after, I’m a believer. Let’s see how the experience unfolded.


八月底,去了一趟香港。由于在巴黎這些年幾乎都沒回亞洲,上次到香港玩也是快六年前的事了,去程的飛機上不免有種鄉巴佬要進城的興奮感(是真的)。這次住宿選擇在The Upper House 奕居,四天三夜下來除了滿意還是滿意 - 方便的地點、優雅的設計、舒適的空間、細致的服務,無一不讓人傾心。


It all started at the airport. Thanks to The Upper House’s limousine service, I didn’t have to wait in the long queue for taxi. I hopped on a Lexus Hibrid (Mercedes also available) and 40 minutes later I was at the hotel. Smooth.

感謝酒店的機場接送服務,不用大排長龍的等出租車。Upper House 用的是 Lexus 混能環保車(也可以選擇Mercedes),車裏設有wifi,連水都很貼心的准備了不容易灑出來的嘴吸裝水瓶。香港小旅行,完美開始。


The hotel sits on top of Pacific Place, a glossy shopping complex at Admiralty, which is one stop from the Central business district and one stop (across the harbor) from Tsim Sha Tsui, and also within walking distance to Wanchai. Perfect location.

從機場出發一路順暢,和司機先生聊著天,大約40分鍾抵達酒店。Upper House 位于金鍾太古廣場,是港島非常中心的地段,到中環、上環、灣仔都非常近,以地點來說沒有比這裏更方便的了。


The hotel entrance is cocooned inside a thick wall, entitled “Stone Curtain” by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, a understated yet solid facade that separates the hotel from the outside world. As The Upper House is renovated from an apartment building, its design is unlike that of a traditional five-star hotel – there is no grand lobby, but instead, it feels more like a (very stylish) home. At the reception, hotel service staff are all smiles and know the guests by name.



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Written by sugarednspiced

September 8th, 2016 at 9:00 am

[Tainan] Old House Inn 謝宅

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Old House Inn 謝宅

Add: Tainan city center
Tel: +886 0922-852-280
Price: 7000-8000 TWD/night
Visited: Jun 2016

Luxury hotels are nice, but especially for an old city like Tainan, staying in a historical house seems like a much more attractive option. For our two-day trip, we checked in at Old House Inn 謝宅 (literally Hsieh’s House), a charming space renovated from owner Kyle’s old family house. He currently has 6 properties dispersed across the city, the one we stayed at is “Inn #4”, a small house of two stories, tugged away inside a hidden alley located in the center of Tainan. For privacy concerns, the address isn’t publicized, and there’s no sign at the door – the staff will personally lead you here when you arrive in Tainan.

這次台南兩天一夜的小旅行,選擇住在由老房子改造而成的民宿 - 謝宅。同行的朋友是這裏的常客,托她的福,有老板小五親自來接我們吃飯喝果汁,也因此有機會和他聊了聊。小五是台南人,從 2008 年開始將自家老房子修建成民宿,到現在已有六間。我們住的 “謝宅四” 是一棟兩層樓的小屋,隱藏在台南市中心一個不起眼的小巷子裏。


Since 2008, Kyle has been refurbishing his family properties while preserving their nostalgic charm.The door, for example, is pieced together using old woods recycled from temples, a material which we will see over and over again inside the house. Side note: the house we stayed in originally belonged to Kyle’s grandma, and became the dowry of his mother when she got married.



Upon entering, we were greeted by a small patio with a pond. It’s a such a lovely set up with the chairs and trees and fish and turtle, and if Tainan weren’t so hot and humid in June, I could really sit here all afternoon.




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July 7th, 2016 at 4:01 am

[Porto] PortoSense

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Add: R. dos Mercadores 3 Ribeira, 4050-375 Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 939 809 828
Price: [studio] from €75/night, [apartment] from €120/night
Visited: Jul 2015

When traveling, I prefer renting short-stay apartments for more room, more flexibility, more autonomy, and sometimes at an even lower price than hotels. In Porto, I found PortoSense apartments, conveniently located on Praça da Ribeira, literally a stone-throw away from River Douro. We stayed at its duplex apartment (€120/night) located on the 4th floor, close enough to the  hustle and bustle of the Praça da Ribeira but quiet and calm once all the windows are closed. It has a full kitchen, two bathrooms, double bed, sofa bed, and daybed…yes that’s a lot of beds, with enough space to accommodate up to 6 people. Let’s take a tour.


View from the window looks right out to the river. We could hear the market actions even from four floors up and we quite enjoyed this convivial atmosphere. The best part is that whenever we got tired of the noises, all we had the do was shut the windows.


They’ve got Port wine for us. That’s what

Written by sugarednspiced

August 25th, 2015 at 11:38 am

[Hong Kong] Grand Hyatt

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Address: 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2588 1234
Visited on: 2011-12-24

Grand Hyatt needs no introduction. There is nothing bedazzling about the hotel in terms of architectural design, but if you are looking for consistent quality and attentive service, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong would be it.

Christmas decoration 


Our Grand Deluxe Harbour View Room, furnished with a King bed with cozy duvet and feather pillows, also came with killer views of the Victoria Harbour. Business travelers would like the spacious workstation and the selection of magazines in the room – The Economist, Forbes, Newsweek, TIME…etc.

The room 

Work station

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January 15th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

[Hong Kong] Ritz-Carlton: Checking Out

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The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Address: International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon,  Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2263 2263
Visited on: 2011-12-23

Good morning Hong Kong! After we reluctantly wriggled out of our ultra comfortable bed, we made our way to the Club Lounge for breakfast. Floor-to-celing windows, soft velvety morning light, jazz in the air, and the sweet smell of fresh pastries and coffee – a fine way to wake up.

Note: for those not staying at the Club Lounge levels, breakfast is served at The Lounge & Bar on the 102nd floor. 

The buffet features a selection of cold cuts, fresh fruits, yogurt, pastries, hot dishes, fresh juices, and eggs made to order. I’m also guessing the kitchen can conjure up whatever you fancy at the moment, but I was very happy with what was already on the table.

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December 27th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

[Hong Kong] Ritz-Carlton: Checking In

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The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Address: International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon,  Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2263 2263
Visited on: 2011-12-22

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, currently the world’s highest hotel, is quite literally taking luxury to new heights. Perched between levels 102 and 118 at the International Commerce Center (ICC) in Kowloon, the hotel sits majestically atop floors of bankers, a train/metro station that directly links to the airport, and an upscale shopping mall called Elements. Needless to say, it all comes with unrivaled views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic Hong Kong skyline as the backdrop.

The arrival lobby is located on the 9th floor, and from there we zoomed right up to the 103rd floor reception in a mere 53 seconds. That would be 9 meters per second. Pop!

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[Taipei] W Hotel night visit

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W Hotel Taipei

Add: 10 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 5, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市信義區忠孝東路五段10號
Tel: +886 (2) 7703 8888
Visited: Mar 2011

After a tour of W Taipei during day time, I dropped by again to see it after dark.

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March 27th, 2011 at 11:13 pm

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[Taipei] W Hotel

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W Hotel Taipei

Add: 10 Zhongxiao East Road Sec. 5, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市信義區忠孝東路五段10號
Tel: (02) 7703 8888
Visited: Mar 2011

W Hotel is the new hot spot in Taipei City. The 39th W Hotel globally, W Taipei opened just shy of 2 months ago, on Valentine’s day. What is the big deal? Described as “a sensational swirl of high-energy interiors, vivid design, cutting-edge technology and uniquely modern amenities to fulfill every wish”, W Taipei is also the only hotel in the city with a panoramic view of the Taipei 101, the 2nd tallest building in the world.

Let’s roll the pictures.

The 1st floor features a dramatic installation of metal sticks as “clouds” and the blue dots on the floor as “raindrops”, inspired by the rainy weather in Taipei. On the wall is an interactive installation, “To Light You Fade” created by rAndom International, which lights up according to your movements in front of it.

The reception located on the 10th floor.

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 23rd, 2011 at 8:25 am

Posted in taipei

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