JB X Five Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru Executive Room

Taking a reprieve from my America and European adventures, lets bring it closer to home for a while. A couple of weeks ago I took a trip over the border to Johor Bahru for a little short trip right before the start of school. I stayed in the Doubletree Hilton, as per the usual and I also need to clock some stays right before december. I am just so close into retaining Gold status for next year. Why not ya? This time around I will also like to share about my staycation at the doubletree. You will also see how worthwhile the Gold Status is! I have actually already shared extensively on this hotel previously, you can check it out here, rather, this time around I will just point out the differences in the executive rooms, lounges as well as the breakfast.

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The Bucket List: Rudy’s Pizza

Writing this post with the same emotions that I encountered when I had that very first bite into the pizza as along the amazing sensual feeling of having it together with the most amazing chilli infused olive oil. I never knew how good a pizza could be especially given that we are in Manchester and not Naples in Italy. It is definitely unexpected that the most recommended restaurant in Manchester is Rudy’s Pizza! In fact, I guess the close to 2 hours wait in Manchester cold probably should give us an insight in what we are about to have. I went to Rudy’s, right at their Ancoats branch. Located in the northern part of the city, surrounded by office buildings as well as residential areas lies Rudy’s along with all sorts of pubs around this square, where you can certainly see that the office crowd are getting into it. Come along with me and check out Rudy’s Pizza.

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The Bucket List: Liverpool

Seeing that I had 4 nights in Manchester, I took the opportunity to take a short day trip to Liverpool. It is only like 30 mins away with trains from Victoria Station. It was easy enough. I am also super impressed with the trains since they cost like 2 pounds each. Furthermore you even get a seat reservation as well. That is very impressive. Trains to Liverpool arrive at Lime St station which is right in the city centre. Liverpool is also small enough that you are able to walk around anywhere.

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The Bucket List: Trof Restaurant

Another one of the more impressive meals that I had in Manchester was at Trof. I was there for a lazy brunch. Trof if one of the most recommended place in town. As they say on their website, Trof, a dandyish den of indulgence in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. In the day you can find the most amazing creations of egg dishes as well as the finest roast in town. In the evening, the whole place turn into a chilling bar with nice vibes. Of course, maybe, it would be a good pairing, beer and full english breakfast.

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The Bucket List: Bills Restaurant

Bills is British Chain restaurant that you can find in most places around the UK. For example, they have more than 21 restaurant in London. I am sure you will not miss it. They serve up pretty good western dishes at a fair prices. The quality is pretty good as well. Sometimes, it is really awesome, especially when you are looking at the set lunch or something. It might be a good spot if you are looking for a balance between quality and price. Furthermore they are also prized for using local produce. I had the chance to try it while in Manchester!

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The Bucket List: AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre

Immediately after arriving at Piccadilly Station from London. We took the Metrolink to the hotel which the nearest stop is Shudehill. The AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre is located just out of the main shopping district of Manchester. The location is not too bad, given its price point. It is just 5 mins from Arndale Centre, the main and largest shopping centre in Manchester. In fact you can literally walk anywhere in Manchester. Although I won’t want to walk all the way from Piccadilly. Victoria is a short stroll away! This is one of the newest hotel in Manchester, only recently built in 2018, located right in the Northern Quarter. Surrounding the hotel are a couple of renovations site since I guess this is an upcoming area. I am alright with it. The hotel does have a super fresh exterior, heck, in fact everywhere in the hotel looks new, clean and fresh. It is a 4 star hotel under the Marriott group. This is also my first time staying in an AC Hotel, for the 4 nights that we were here, the rate was 223 SGD for a family room, although with Citi Prestige 4th night free, that brought it down to 176 SGD. It is one of the cheapest in town. I was actually considering the Crown Plaza as well given the similar price point, but the ability to earn Marriott Points as well made the decision.

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The Bucket List: Virgin Trains London – Manchester

This is gonna be a rather short post, also one of the rarer ones where I share about my train journey rather than a flight experience. I always like to share about my very first experience on a particular train product so that people can get an idea how it is like. Especially since in Europe there are so many different trains, the ICE, Railjet, etc etc. Furthermore this time around, it is my very first time taking a train in the UK. The funny thing about trains in UK is that there is no unified national rail operator like the DB or SNCF in other European Countries. Rather, the National Rail just regulate operating companies, for example in this case, Virgin Trains. Comparing my options, it does seems that taking the train would be the most efficient and cost effective way for me to get to Manchester. Bus is out of the equation since it take such a long time. Virgin Trains also seems rather quirky and fun.

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