Tag Archives: ihg

Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Sathorn in Bangkok, Thailand

For this quick trip to Bangkok, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Sathorn. At the time, this hotel was on PointsBreak, so I was able to book it for 5000 IHG points per night. That being said, I felt like I still overpaid paying 5000 points per night, which is indicative of my overall sentiment around the hotel.

The biggest benefit of the hotel is the location. It’s very close to the Chong Nonsi BTS station, which is great. You can even see the hotel from the BTS station.

View of the hotel from the nearby BTS station

View of the hotel from the nearby BTS station

When I checked into the hotel, the first room I was given was not cleaned properly. There was lots of evidence that the hotel room had been used and not cleaned afterward except for the bed being made, so I told the front desk and switched rooms. More generally, even though the hotel is ostensibly non-smoking, the hallway often reeked of smoke.

Reception seating area

Reception seating area

The bed itself was decently comfortable, although the air conditioning didn’t work quite as well as I’d have liked.

Basic room

Basic room

TV and work area

TV and work area

Not a real closet

Not a real closet

One thing that I didn’t expect about the hotel is that the shower just had a single soap/shampoo pump. It was pretty terrible, and I should have brought my own soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Breakfast was edible. They had the expected variety of western and Asian foods (e.g. eggs, hashbrowns, fried rice).

Hot food at breafkast

Hot food at breafkast

Pastries at breakfast

Pastries at breakfast

Fruit and yogurt

Fruit, yogurt, and salad

More pastries and fruit

Muffins and bananas

Dining area at breakfast

Dining area at breakfast

The gym was pretty small and only had dumbbells and some cardio machines. But at least they had dumbbells? The gym also was a source of bottled water.

Hotel gym

Hotel gym

The hotel also had a couple of computers available for use in the lobby.

Hotel workstations

Hotel workstations

Overall, I wouldn’t stay at this hotel again. Even on PointsBreak, I felt that it was too expensive, especially since Bangkok has so many good and inexpensive hotels. The service wasn’t good, and the amenities were not great.

SEA 2014: Hotel Review Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay

For our time in Singapore, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay. As a category 3 IHG property, it’s 20k points a night.

I don’t have much experience with IHG hotels (I guess I don’t have much experience with hotels generally), but this was the nicest and hippest Holiday Inn Express I’ve stayed at. I generally don’t think of “cool” when I think of Holiday Inn, but the interior was designed to be pretty funky.

Outside of hotel

Outside of hotel

Tons of rooms (the hallways are technically open air)

Tons of rooms (the hallways are technically open air)

The rooms were small, but functional. The outside-facing rooms have interesting slanted windows, and there were warning signs to close the shades if you were doing anything private.

Rooms are small, but it's Asia

Rooms are small, but it’s Asia

The bathroom has sliding components to open up to the rest of the room, so they’re not noise-insulating at all. I don’t really understand the not-quite-separate bathroom concept in hotels. I’ve never thought to myself, “gee, I really wish I could look at my bed when I’m taking a dump”.

Bathroom is also tiny and opens up into rest of room

Bathroom is also tiny and opens up into rest of room

The fitness center was on the roof, which was decently sized. But the best part of the roof was definitely the pool. No, it’s not the Marina Bay Sands, but you can see the Marina Bay Sands from the roof, and the pool was surprisingly uncrowded whenever we used it.

Fitness center

Fitness center

Pool

Pool

Good views

Good views

Breakfast every morning was fine. But really, we only ate enough to appease our stomachs long enough to get to the real eating of the day.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Food was fine, but you should be eating out instead of a hotel buffet

Food was fine, but you should be eating out instead of a hotel buffet

The service at the hotel is limited, since it’s a Holiday Inn Express and not a full-service hotel. The location is convenient to Clarke Quay (obvi), but it’s actually a decently long walk to the nearest MRT station, which was inconvenient. I would stay here again given the right price (i.e. if it ever goes on PointsBreak), but I would choose lodging closer to the MRT in the future since this hotel isn’t anything special.

Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza Shanghai

Breaking Down Two Mileage Runs for 30,000 EQMs to get AA Executive Platinum
Getting a Chinese Visa
Planning a Mileage Run to Shanghai
Vegetarian Economy Meals on American Airlines
Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza Shanghai
Eating in Shanghai
Getting a Chinese Massage aka Tui Na
First Class Lounge (No. 69) Shanghai Pudong PVG
Concluding Thoughts on My Mileage Run to Shanghai


For my day in Shanghai, I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Shanghai, which I booked for 10k points when IHG was running one of their flash sales.

DSC03048

The Crowne Plaza Shanghai is about a 5-minute walk from the Jiaotong University metro station on Line 10, so from the airport, I took Maglev to Longyang Road Station, Line 2 to East Nanjing Station, then Line 10 to Jiaotong University. All told, this trip probably took me a little over an hour.

Lobby

Lobby

Check-in was quick and efficient, and the agent both humored my poor Chinese skills and spoke very good English. She gave me a free drink from the bar just for being a member of the IHG rewards program.

Gaudy hallway

Gaudy hallway

DSC03052

Welcome amenity

Welcome amenity

My room was on the 16th floor, and the room was plenty large for just myself. There were some free bottles of water in the bathroom (as well as an $8 bottle of Evian in the mini bar) and some fruit as a welcome amenity. The air conditioning worked well, although the fan in the bathroom didn’t seem to work.

Although I didn’t partake as I wanted to go out in the city to eat, breakfast looked like it had a decent spread, but I can’t judge the quality of anything.

DSC03082 DSC03085 DSC03086 DSC03087

Overall, I enjoyed my stay, as I think it was a pretty good deal at only 10k points for the night (~$60 as I bought the points through a Daily Getaway offer earlier this year). The biggest problem I had with the hotel was the internet, as even though they offered free wifi, it was incredibly slow, so I didn’t use it for much besides looking up directions. The location was decently convenient as it’s close to a metro station and there’s some interesting stuff within walking distance. I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay there again, but I’d be happy to return if the price were right.