As 2015 comes to a close, I would like to reflect on some of the most memorable hotel stays that I have had this year. Not only did I check out one of the most haunted hotels in Asia, I also went to the most opulent one (in my opinion). 2015 was also the year that I managed to bring my toy poodle (lawfully) to a weekend staycation that I enjoy so much (on a far-too-regular basis). In addition to all that, I also had the opportunity to experience living in my very own Serviced Suite (even for a night) in the heart of Singapore while having some time to check out one of the most beautiful beach resorts in Phuket (which serves excellent Thai food) on a separate weekend.
1. (Allegedly) The Most Haunted Hotel in Taipei isn't actually Haunted - Grand Hyatt Taipei
Most people think I am crazy when I tell them that I was disappointed that the Grand Hyatt Taipei isn't actually haunted (well, at least not when I was there). I mean if you go on Google right now and type in 'Grand Hyatt Taipei', autocomplete shows up with 'Haunted' and 'Ghost' as useful search predictions. Surely there is no smoke without fire?
2. A Weekend with my Toy Poodle at a Luxury Hotel - Regent Singapore
Even though there is no lack of pet-friendly hotels in Singapore (yes, that means you can bring your furry friend on a staycation!), the Regent Singapore is the only luxury hotel in Singapore that does not charge extra for cleaning or for simply bringing your fur kid. In comparison, the Conrad Centennial Singapore charges a hefty S$120 on top of the room rate for cleaning. In all seriousness though, the Regent Singapore is truly about service and not just from head-to-toe - even your pet gets greeted and acknowledged by hotel staff!
3. The Most Opulent Hotel I've Stayed in This Year - Mandarin Oriental, Taipei
Featuring a ginormous 1,400KG chandelier in the lobby, the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei takes home the most opulent hotel this year for me. The rooms were all beautifully finished and the bathrooms are all clad in gorgeous marble. Diptyque bath amenities were provided and the Oriental Club served up delicious canapés which incorporated caviar and foie gras. In the evening, enjoy free-flowing "R" de Ruinart at the club lounge as you wind (or should I say 'wine') down for the night ahead.
4. A Perfect Marriage of Thai Food and Resort Life - Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort
It isn't always easy to find good food in a beautiful resort but the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort gets it right. Sure it was off to a bumpy start with wrong room information online and inconsistent Diamond upgrades but towards the end, the resort gets everything right. Apart from having the most amazing sunsets from the property and one of the largest pools in Phuket, the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort offers the best of resort life without being too close to the action at Patong.
5. The Perfect Serviced Suite Experience in Singapore - Pan Pacific Orchard Road Serviced Suites
Imagine having a massive Living Room where residents can come together to get coffee, play the XBOX, watch the TV, read or even enjoy a massage. While it does sound like life back at my college, it actually isn't! Well for starters, this Living Room is actually tastefully done, especially clean and incredibly peaceful to waste a lazy afternoon away. Located in the heart of Singapore (which is arguably Orchard), this serviced suite offers short to long-term accommodation options to travellers looking to spend a little more time in this little city.