The Bucket List: Dunborrodale B&B Portree

Let me just say that Isle of Skye is really super far away and remote. Almost to the northern edge of continental UK as well as Scotland. We constantly ask ourselves if we are there already and yet at the same time, the views keep getting better and more gorgeous accompanying us on this long journey. I will definitely share about my stay in Isle of Skye later on. But now I would just like to share on this equally pretty bed and breakfast that I stay in! The Isle of Skye is the highlight of this trip, the peak travel season is in summer, same goes for the accommodations. I actually book this place half a year in advance. Most of the accommodations here are self service such as cottages and houses from Airbnb or independent website. There are too many choices to choose from. From some that is smack in the middle of a mountain where you have the whole hill as your backyard or a herd of sheeps being your alarm clock. You have a choice. Popular areas includes Carboost, Claigan. I decided to stay in Portree, the largest town in Isle of Skye. Do note that Skye is a very seasonal place. Summer expect to pay more than double for accomodation and crowd can be double as well. Be prepared to book accomodations way ahead. More than half of the places were fully booked when book this places 6 months ahead. While in winter it is easy and cheap.

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The Bucket List: Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre

Coming from Manchester, we drove all the way up to Edinburgh, the very first city for our Scotland part of the trip. It is amazing to see how the scenery change little by little and once we head further up north into Scotland. You can see livestock such as sheeps greeting us. Well, the air also got much fresher. You know that you are going to have an amazing time in Scotland. This whole trip actually revolves around Scotland and Isle of Skye in particular. It was about a 4 hours drive from Manchester to Edinburgh. We had 2 nights in Edinburgh. Usually for hotels the first chain that I will go for is definitely Hilton and then Marriott. While there are a couple of hotels in Edinburgh, we decided to go for the Doubletree Hilton Edinburgh City Centre. Since the location is good and parking is easy.

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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: 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: Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington

Immigration was smooth and we were thru in mins due to the new policy that Singaporeans are now able to use the egates in UK. Kudoos to that. For my 5 days in London, I choose to stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington. It is actually a long term stay property but you can in fact stay one night as well. It is more like a aparthotel. Usually you can find a wet bar with cooking facilities as well. What really attracts me was its fair pricing. London is an expensive place to stay in with prices usually around 300-400 SGD for something decent and in the city centre. The hotel location was superb, right in the heart of Kensington, the most upscale area in London, Tube station nearby. You are right in the heart of the city centre and could walk anywhere, Westfield mall is just mins away on food. High Street Kensington is a stroll away. I also realised that there is a direct tube line from Heathrow to the hotel on the Piccadilly, so that is really affordable and easy to get to the airport. Best of all, a large Tesco is located right next door. I will shall more about this later on. I paid 309SGD per night, after Prestige 4th night free that brought it down to about 239SGD. Furthermore I get to earn some Marriott points.

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A Cathay Present: Hilton Da Nang

Since my ticket on Cathay First Class was from Vietnam to the States. I had choose to depart from Da Nang, since their ticket were the cheapest. Furthermore it does seem that it will be a new city for me. I have never been to Da Nang. I decided to do a one night stay both before and after my Cathay Itinerary. While I have at first plan to stay at different hotels as well as one near the Han River and another near the My Khe Beach. The Hilton Da Nang was also a little pricier than their counterparts. But I immediately jump on the opportunity when they had a flash deal. I book just the entry level room, which is a King Guest Room River view. It cost me about 127 SGD after tax. Furthermore, I will be able to earn lots of points and clock my Gold Status. I think this has been one of the best decision of my travels. I will be sharing on both of my stay. First was a stay without Status. Second was with Gold Status, it will be nice to see how they differ from each other.

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A Cathay Present: The Renwick Hotel New York City, Curio Collection by Hilton

For my second night in NYC, I decide to change hotel to another hilton properties since the rates are much cheaper if I book them separately, it is also a great opportunity to be able to try and review another property from Hilton as well as in NYC. The Renwick Hotel is also part of Hilton, under the Curio Collection, which are more quirky and unique, they have a certain flair that might not suit the normal hotels groups. It might be fun staying at such properties since they might be usually housed in a special rebuilt or renovated buildings. Previously, I have raved about the location of my previous hotel. The Renwick is awesome as well, for checking out midtown and uptown. Perhaps more suitable for the typical tourists since you are super close to Times Square, Empire State, Rockerfeller, Central Park and definitely shopping down the world famous 5th Ave. Heck, Grand Central Terminal is just next door. You are practically at the heart of everywhere! 

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