Phuket – Avista Hideaway

Rooms at the resort are beautifully equipped with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and an iPod docking station. En suite bathrooms are spacious and offer a bathtub and complimentary toiletries. Air conditioning, free wifi and private balconies are in each of the spacious rooms. It boasts an on-site restaurant and 3 outdoor pools.



An extensive beverage service awaits guests at the resort’s roof top bar while offering views of the bay. The on-site restaurant offers a selection of Thai, French, Italian, Australian, Indian and Chinese favourites. There also is a barbecue terrace where guest can enjoy seafood delight. The staff at Avista are happy to assist with any special requirements- we actually had the terrace to ourselves one evening along with our own private chef. We designed the menu ourselves with a selection of our favourite dishes cooked right in front of us as we watched the sunset over the spectacular view. This was certainly something special that I will never forget!


Guests can enjoy the fitness centre facilities or relax with pampering spa treatments. Other facilities at the resort include a 24-hour front desk, a game room and a library and golf buggies to transport you around the building! Parts of the grounds are quite steep for walking but it isn’t necessary to tackle the hills by foot. If you have an injury or disability I would contact the hotel in advance to request a room with easy access. There is a tour desk on site to assist with any excursions or adventures that you may wish to participate in.


Patong Beach is a popular place to stay in Phuket. Avista Hideaway is approximately a 5-minute drive from Patong Beach with taxi’s easy and affordable.

Jungceylon Shopping Centre and Bangla Road are a 10-minute drive from Avista Hideaway and a free shuttle service is provided to Jungceylon. Phuket International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.


Phuket – Aleenta Resort and Spa

I knew that I loved Aleenta Resort and Spa from the minute I was greeted with a welcome drink and a cold refreshing towel. The friendly staff took the time to explain a little bit about our villa and gave us a brief discussion about what is happening around the local area.

Aleenta has a range of extremely luxurious villas with a stunning view over the Andaman Sea. While select villas include a private infinity-edge pool, most provide direct access to a common pool. They are all equipped with a sun deck and flat-screen television, as well as an iPod with a large music library and a docking station. I would advise booking directly through the hotel as you can request the front villa which steps straight out onto the beach.


The villas are decorated in a contemporary style with private pools, free wireless internet access and revitalising spa just steps away from the ocean. The experience at Aleenta is unique compared to other accommodations around Thailand, as you almost feel like you are on a private island hidden away from society. This is what I loved the most about my stay, as I could quite easily return to the crazy hustle and bustle that Thailand is famous for within minutes of leaving the resort. The absolute best of both worlds!


You can enjoy the view while having a swim or a cocktail at the open-air bar. You can also pamper yourself with a massage and a variety of body treatments available at Aleenta’s spa. Other facilities include a Yoga practice area, as well as a restaurant serving Thai and fusion cuisine, with a wonderful selection vegetarian options too.

Situated along the white sands of Natai Beach, Aleenta Resort is just a 20-minute drive from Phuket International Airport.


Shanghai – Crowne Plaza Century Park

Crowne Plaza Century Park Shanghai is located in Pudong Area, a 5-minute drive from Shanghai New International Expo Centre. It is close to many tourist attractions including Disneyland, which is only a 30-minute, drive away.

Century Park Crowne Plaza is an 8-minute walk from Middle Yanggao Road Station (line 9) and a 10-minute drive from Shanghai Science & Technology Museum Station (line 2). It is a 15-minute drive from Longyang Road Meglav Station and a 40-minute drive from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Other attractions close to the hotel include Shanghai Pudong Exhibition Hall, Science and Technology Museum and the Oriental Art Center.

The 5-star hotel offers an indoor pool, 2 restaurants and a beauty spa, free wifi and extremely helpful bi-lingual staff. With a large percentage of Chinese locals not speaking English, the concierge was extremely helpful while planning my trip around the city. He contacted local companies, made bookings and translated directions to my taxi drivers in order to keep my day running as smooth as possible.


My room had luxurious décor and elegant furnishings, featuring marble bathrooms and panoramic views of the city. I had a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar, a safe, tea/coffee making facilities and a beautiful selection of complimentary personal care including a toothbrush, toothpaste and hair comb.


After a busy day around the city I particularly enjoyed wrapping up in one of the hotel bathrobes and relaxing with room service and a massage. I had Spaghetti Bolognese which I’m convinced was cooked by an Italian chef. It was a wonderful meal.

Spring Spa features relaxing massage therapies, as well as a sauna and a hot tub, which is a great way to wind down, after getting caught up in all of the excitement the city has to offer. If you are visiting on business and plan on sticking to your daily routine then you can take advantage of the hotel gym or take a jog around Century Park. Secretarial services are even available at the business centre.

The Heji Chinese Restaurant serves authentic Shanghai cuisine, whilst the Park Café offers an all-day international buffet.

Pudong is a great choice for travellers on business and leisure. It is a district of Shanghai located east of the Huangpu River across from the historic city center of Shanghai in Puxi. The name refers to its historic position as “The East Bank” of the Huangpu River, which flows through central Shanghai.

Haining – Langham Place

This is my top pick in Haining. Following a modern decorating style, all rooms in the Langham Hotel are fitted with upscale furnishings. My room was complete with a flat-screen TV, a kettle, a minibar and impressive electric curtains. I took advantage of the complimentary toiletries, bathrobe, slippers and hairdryer, which were presented throughout the bathroom and walk in wardrobe. You can take your pick of using the large oval bathtub or the stand up shower, either complimented by the body hotel’s luxurious body scrub.


IMG_7828 copy

IMG_7826 copy












IMG_7820 copy

Additionally, the hotel offers a spa centre, fitness centre, free on-site parking and free wifi throughout the entire building.

The 24-hour front desk can help with luggage storage and ticket service. Joyce and Lance were particularly helpful during my stay. They assisted me with multiple tasks, which made my business trip much easier, efficient and pleasurable. I was delighted to be able to turn to either one of them for advice on my first trip to China. All staff at The Langham Hotel are well presented and extremely professional. The on-site restaurant serves buffet and delicious local cuisine with an appropriate menu. Selina, who works in the restaurant made my breakfast time extremely personal. By the time I had selected my buffet breakfast and returned to my table, she had already organised a pot of green tea and a freshly squeezed grapefruit juice to my table. I was very impressed.

Currency exchange and valet parking are also available. For business traveller’s convenience, a business centre equipped with meeting facilities and photocopying machines is provided. And after a day of meeting or travelling, guests can take a spa or a massage conveniently at the hotel.

The Haining Coach Terminal is a 6-minute drive from the Langham Place Haining. The Haining Railway Station is an 8-minute drive away. The nearest airport is Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, 38 km from the hotel. The concierge can arrange transport at your request.

I was extremely satisfied with my stay and would highly recommend the hotel to anybody visiting Haining.

Shanghai- What it did for me!

It’s hard to explain the sense of excitement that you feel when you walk through Shanghai – it’s a sensational city that makes you feel alive. For me, part of the excitement was because I knew exactly how easy it would be to get lost in such a big place- and this gave me a buzz to the point where I was purposely taking paths, which I had no idea where they would lead.

China is a country that is developing very quickly and playing an increasingly important role globally. So for visitors, Shanghai is a great place to get an understanding of modern China’s role in our global future.

The city also offers a great mix of old and new so the diversity allows you to experience both in a short period of time. One minute you can be staring up at a rapidly expanding skyline and the next minute you can be sat in a little back street eating traditional cuisine while witnessing how the locals ‘really live’. The wrong turns that I took while walking around couldn’t have been so right- I saw things that pulled on heartstrings that I didn’t know I had.

IMG_8626 copy

IMG_8166 copy

Things to Do in Shanghai

To me, a visit to Shanghai is more about people watching and observing what life is like in authentic China, rather than hitting up a series of typical tourist sites. With that in mind, here are a couple of activities I recommend for soaking up the modern city’s culture and atmosphere. View Full Post