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Posts Tagged ‘London’

The adventures of Turk

November 27th, 2013

Since Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season are here, we decided to send our traveling turkey, Turk (yes, just like Turk from the TV series "Scrubs"!) to check out hotels in some of the most popular destinations around the world to find the best holiday deals. Since Turk LOVES to eat, he also wanted an expense budget that would cover his sampling of the hotels’ special holiday menus. As we didn’t want Turk to get his feathers ruffled, we went ahead and approved his trip, as long as he prepared a trip report to share what he learned.

Starting right outside our front door

Turk started his "research" trip right here in suburban Orlando. His first destination was the luxurious Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The Hyatt is located next to the Orlando’s Lake Buena Vista theme parks. After unpacking his bag, Turk immediately went to test out his swing at the hotel’s Jack Nicklaus golf courses. Four hours later, and very much exhausted, Turk decided to treat himself to a spa treatment, which he then followed with an afternoon nap in his spacious suite overlooking gardens, waterfalls, and Lake Buena Vista. One of the perks of being a Last Minute Travel official hotel deal hunter, is that you get to sample hotels’ holiday menus well before the holidays! Turk’s restaurant of choice, one of several that operate at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress was Cascades American Bistro, which offers classics infused with new flavors. His favorite dish was the Grilled N.Y. Strip Steak, served with parmesan-glazed ricotta gnocchi; cilantro, thyme, and pine nut pesto; and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with sweet peppers. For desert, Turk packed away the S’more Brownie Sundae topped with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, hand-made marshmallows, and graham cracker cookie sticks. After this turkeylicious meal, Turk crashed to rest up for his next city. A quick morning coffee, and Turk flew off to his next destination - Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas!

After arriving in Las Vegas, Turk headed to the next hotel deal on his list, the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. Turk checked into his luxury suite, and took off to hit the casinos! Lady Luck was not with Turk tonight, despite trying all of the game tables, poker rooms, roulette wheels, and slot machines. Since Turk always keeps enough money aside for food, Turk set off for the best food the Venetian has to offer. The setting for his post-gaming dinner was AquaKnox, a newly opened seafood restaurant. For his main dish, Turk picked George’s Bank Scallops - black truffle creamed corn with apple wood smoked bacon polenta with a side of jumbo asparagus (Turk does love his corn!). After the night’s events, once again Turk retired to his comfy bed.

Rule Brittania

London for Thanksgiving?! Why not! Turk boarded the plane for his direct flight to Heathrow. Turk’s London hotel of choice is the Rosewood London. Even outside the U.S., Turk loves comfort and luxurious accommodations, so he booked himself the Premier Suite. After an extensive city tour that included some of London’s main attractions, including: Big Ben, London Dungeon, , the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, Turk was hungry as a horse after a race at Ascot. So it was time to check out the Rosewood London’s dinner menu. Turk’s decided on the Holborn Dining room, and after finishing a massive steak and an entire Shepherd’s Pie, Turk concluded that the British food is quite tasty! It was now time for Turk to head back to Orlando, and submit his travel deals report.

Back in the States

After a discussion about winning gaming strategies in Las Vegas, Turk finally finished his travel report. After reviewing the report with his superiors, Turk was dumbstruck to learn that he had saved 55% on his hotels by simply booking his hotels on Last Minute Travel Club. And yes, Turk has already booked his next trip back to Las Vegas! Book YOUR next trip on Last Minute Travel Club and save big. Turk’s even giving away a free year’s membership to the Club when you register on http://lmtclub.com with the promo code TURKEYSENTME.

OmerG Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide , , , , , , ,

The Hyde Park Hotel: What To See and Do During Your Stay

June 9th, 2013

Hyde Park Hotel

The Hyde Park Hotel, located in London’s West End, is a moderately-priced hotel offering high-quality service and standard-fare amenities. The hotel’s main draw – and the reason that it’s such a bargain – is its fantastic location amongst a trove of restaurants, museums, monuments, and other destinations.

The hotel’s rooms were completely refurbished in 2007, and each offers a refrigerator, flat-screen TV, and free internet access. Amply sized with high ceilings, the accommodations are high-quality and comfortable, but not lavish.

Getting around is generally quite easy from the hotel. Guests have an easy walk to both Bayswater and Queensway tube stations, providing access to a number of destinations in the city. For those with their own transportation, a private car park facilitates easy vehicle storage. The area is easily walkable as well with a number of restaurants nearby.

Culinary options near Hyde Park Hotel include a number of world-class eateries. Inside the hotel, patrons can try out the Mandarin Bar, which contains three sections – a French-style bistro called Bar Boulud, a historic-inspired British restaurant known as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and a traditional bar. Down the street, the highly-rated Al Waha restaurant serves Lebanese fare, regularly receiving accolades as a top Middle Eastern restaurant in London. For Indian food, Khan’s serves traditional dishes and is a local favorite. Feeling French? Try Chabrot Bistrot d’Amis, a hole-in-the-wall Parisian eatery. Just around the corner, world-class contemporary Japanese dishes are served up at Zuma – a favorite of such celebs as Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

For visitors interested in finding treasures to take home, numerous shopping malls and plazas are located nearby in Knightsbridge or Notting Hill. Centers include Selfridges, Harrods, Whiteleys, Oxford Street, and Westfield Shepherds Bush.

The hotel’s namesake, nearby Hyde Park, is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and is definitely worth a visit. A number of famous landmarks are housed within the park, including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Visitors can partake in a number of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, tennis, and cycling.

For sports fans, a number of monolithic stadiums surround the hotel within a ten-mile radius. These include Wembley, Chelsea Stadium, Arsenal Stadium, and Wimbledon. Even if you happen to miss the big matches, the stadiums are worth checking out on their own merit.

Other destinations – all a stone’s throw from the hotel – include the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, National Gallery, Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum. Boredom certainly will never be an issue in the area, and with such a luxurious launch-pad, you’ll certainly look forward every evening to returning to the Hyde Park Hotel.

Angie Picardo is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance site that helps travelers achieve retirement success and explore the world.

OmerG Hotels ,

Featured hotel - London Hyde Park Hotel

April 8th, 2013

Overlooking Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the 4-star London Hyde Park Hotel offers an elegant brasserie and modern air-conditioned rooms, a 3-minute walk from Bayswater and Queensway Tube stations.

London Hyde Park

The bright rooms at The London Hyde Park are decorated with modern art and have Hypnos beds covered with Egyptian cotton sheets and thick duvets. Rooms include a flat-screen satellite TV, internet access and a work desk.

London Hyde Park

With wall-to-ceiling windows, The Arts Brasserie serves modern cuisine in stylish surroundings. Guests can enjoy a drink in the welcoming Arts Bar, which has a sun terrace overlooking Kensington Gardens.

Nearby Paddington Train Station offers excellent access to Heathrow Airport via the Heathrow Express 15-minute service. Oxford Street and West End theatres are a 10-minute Tube ride away.

OmerG Hotels , ,

Eating your way around the world

March 10th, 2008

Food is my #1 passion in life and travel #2. However, sometimes I think the only reason I like to travel is to find different foods to fuel Passion #1 - I even keep a restaurant journal. When I travel, I research the restaurants and make someone else research everything else. I then record the details of the foodie-adventures in my journal.

Some lessons I have learned along the way:

  1. Ask locals for recommendations – obvious, but there are a few caveats.
    1. Your hotel front desk is usually the first place to start, but beware. If they recommend a restaurant with a business card and instructions to give it to the restaurant and “tell them we sent you,” DON’T GO. This happened to me in Barcelona, and we were so upsold at dinner it was the most unrelaxing part of the trip.
    2. Ask the right question. Don’t ask, “What restaurants do you recommend.” Ask, “Where do you eat with your friends/family?” and follow that one up with “What kind of food do you like” to ensure their tastes aren’t completely off from yours.
    3. My favorite people to ask are taxi drivers and locals working at bars or restaurants where you have had a good experience.
  2. If you are traveling within the US, the internet will be your best friend in pre-planning, but web sites aren’t as common among international restaurants. I like www.chowhound.com for national and international.
    1. One thing you can research online before is what is considered local cuisine and drinks. Research tipping practices while you are at it.
    2. If you go to a restaurant that you like, and there are a lot of other restaurants in that same area, grab a business card – that way, you can hand the taxi driver the card the next night instead of trying to explain.
    3. Look for restaurants that are already busy – it will be worth the short wait.
    4. Ask for an English menu, you would be surprised how many places have them – and they usually give you a good laugh with the spelling and translations.
  3. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone this – but try to avoid chains. However, some local chains, are usually pretty good.

So actual recommendations in random locations?

Tokyo: Garlic House – order the garlic French bread for the appetizer, amazing!

Madrid: La Finca de Susana (chefs in training, so great, inexpensive food), and ENE (funky posh, a little pricy)

Dublin: For me, the food in Irelandtastes as dull as the weather, but I managed to find one good place: Chatham Brasserie (Chatham street Dublin– try the burger and chorizo brushetta). Diep Noodle Bar (Ranelagh Dublin 6) is also good.

Madison, WI:I know, not very ‘jetsetter’ of me, but this is an all time favorite and easy to miss and there is only a small black sign hanging on a grey door: Muramoto (106 King Street; Asian fusion)

Barcelona:Barceloneta (L’Escar, 22 moll Dels Pescadors) – pricey, but the view is to die for! Try the cod Carpaccio and don’t skip dessert.

London: Too many great restaurants to count, but Ping Pong is great. All Dim Sum! Order Jasmine tea for a nice surprise too!

Berlin: KaDeWe is a department store in Berlin – like Harrods in London, at least when it comes to the food. Take a few hours to wonder around the upstairs section and sample oysters and champagne!

Santiago: Nau Kana - unbelievable Asian, Middle East fusion! Try their version of the Mojito - vodka & basil.

lvolcheff Dining Reviews, Travel , , , , , , ,