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Grab your friends and head to Seoul for a fun filled weekend of shopping, feasting, and exploring in one of Asia’s most quirky and modern cities. Check out my list of must do activities during your stay.

-Shop at the cute and stylish Stylenada Pink Pool Cafe.

-Grab the perfect cappuccino at Blue Bottle Coffee.

-Feast of on traditional Korean BBQ in Myeongdong.

-Buy a lot of kimchi and instant noodles to take home at Seoul Station’s Lotte Mart.

-Eat spicy Korean ricecakes at Gwangjang Market.

-See the changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace.

-Stock up on sheet masks and other K-beauty goods at Olive Young.

-Get Michelin recommended noodles at Myeongdong Kyoja.

Stay:

Fraser Place Central Seoul is ideally located for all of the hotspots on my list. You’ll be within easy walking distance of Myeongdong and Seoul Station as well as various subway stations to connect you to the city. Their modern serviced apartments offer all the amenities you would require including a large separate bedroom, fully equipped kitchen and washing machine, 24 hour gym, fun kid’s playroom, and the friendliest staff to assist you during your stay. We loved the city views from our cozy suite and the airport bus stops right outside, so you won’t lose your way upon arrival.

Getting There:

Hong Kong Airlines flies direct from Hong Kong to Seoul.

February 24, 2020 0 comment
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Treat yourself to a luxurious city break at Four Seasons Seoul, where you’ll be treated like royalty at the centre of the vibrant city. The palatial five star hotel is the ideal inviting space where you’ll be spoiled with fine dining, grand guestrooms, personal service, and unbeatable location. We were instantly greeted upon arrival and prepared with everything we would need to enjoy our time in Seoul. Only a few minutes walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace, we had plenty of beautiful and historical sights at our front step and a handy local map to lead the way. Our days were spent strolling through the nostalgic Buckchon Hanok Village, stopping for fragrant artisinal coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee before feasting on Korean BBQ at the highly recommended Maple Tree. Four Seasons Seoul is in close proximity to plenty of local markets and shops where we could snack on street food and buy souvenirs to our heart’s content. Cozy evenings were spent at their decadent Executive Lounge where champagne and delicate bites were always flowing, and dining at Four Seasons Seoul was true highlight. Boasting a variety of delicious restaurants, we loved the creative Japanese fare at stylish Akira Back and the traditional southern Italian dishes at Boccalino.

Our beautiful Palace View Executive Suite was fit for a king, with sweeping views, a grand lounge, dreamy marble bathroom, and an indulgently comfortable master bedroom. I couldn’t get enough of long baths gazing at the calming view and slept like a baby each night after the staff executed a detailed turndown service. One of our favorite evenings during our stay was spent at their ambient and stylish speakeasy, Charles H., enticingly hidden within the hotel. We couldn’t fault any aspect of our relaxing and luxurious stay and highly recommend Four Seasons Seoul to anyone who values consistent five star hospitality and true luxury at the heart of Seoul.

February 13, 2020 0 comment
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Indulge in the city’s famous bubble tea and onion pancakes, wander through quirky streets while visiting impeccably designed coffee shops, cycle around the lush green Daan Forest Park and check out their huge playground, and finish the day with a warming hotpot dinner. Taipei is one of our favourite family friendly destinations with amazing food, plenty of child friendly playrooms, parks, and museums, and unique culture in a variety of night markets and temples. Kimpton Da-an Hotel is a perfect choice when looking for luxury at the heart of the city. We loved the welcoming staff and modern yet cozy rooms. Upon checking in, we were immediately greeted with a detailed map entailing everything to do within the area and popular sights around the city. Their inviting lobby is perfect for work, socializing, and relaxing after a long day, with a daily social hour where guests can enjoy complimentary wine, beer, and canapés in an ambient setting. The Tavernist, their in-house restaurant, is one of our favourite date night spots with locally inspired modern cuisine and some of the best cocktails in town. Don’t miss the tranquil rooftop for a decadent breakfast spread each morning and the best part is everyone in the family is welcome, even your pets. Nestled in Taipei’s popular Eastern District, Kimpton Da-an Hotel is The Kimpton brand’s first location in Asia Pacific and was expertly designed by world renowned Neri & Hu. It’s truly an urban retreat at the center of one of our favorite cities and an ideal choice when looking for comfort and luxury in Taipei.

January 29, 2020 0 comment
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Tucked in a picturesque corner of Vietnam’s stunning Phu Quoc island is Green Bay Phu Quoc. The private and rustic resort offers anything you would hope for in a quiet and relaxing escape. We fell instantly for the spacious pool villas ranging from one to three bedrooms, including plenty of traditional charm alongside five star amenities. Imagine romantic outdoor bathtubs nestled in the trees, slanted wooden beams, sweeping sea views, and private pools big enough for a large family. The resort also boasts their own private beach with calm, crystal clear waters and easy water sports for the whole family. Their two main swimming pools are perfect for resting under the sun and are never busy at this tranquil resort. The two restaurants served mouthwatering fare and gave us plenty of opportunity to delve into local dishes and flavours. Green Bay Phu Quoc was a welcome introduction for our family to the beautiful island where we experienced a satisfying mix of fun, luxury, local charm, and welcoming ambiance.

January 28, 2020 0 comment
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Phu Quoc, a stunning tropical island set off the coast of Vietnam, is the perfect tranquil oasis for a family getaway.  Set in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc boasts pristine clear waters, white sand beaches, and an abundance of lush greenery.  The local reastuarnts serve mouthwatering fresh seafood at competitive prices and the idyllic island has yet to be overrun by over tourism.  Long Beach, the most populated area of the island, is a 20km stretch of sandy shores and vibrant water.  You’ll find high-end resorts, quaint beach bars, insanely cheap massages, and delicious local eateries.  We were shocked by the lack of crowds and were always able to settle on a patch of secluded beach all by ourselves.  Ever and River chased crabs and fish, built sandcastles, feasted on seafood fried rice,  swam in the sea while the sun set into the horizon, and made friends with a variety of locals (dogs and children included).  For unforgettable panoramic views head to their 8km long cable car, the longest in the world, and soar to Pineapple Island for fresh seafood and deserted island beach vibes.  For lovers of island hopping, hop on a private boat and explore the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters of the An Thoi islands in the south.  We truly enjoyed this travel gem and were excited to find an Asian beach destination boasting both great food and laid back vibes.  If you’re looking for a tranquil, non crowded side of Vietnam this is it.

Check out some of our tips below from our three week stay on Phu Quoc.

Where to Stay:

Best Western Premier Sonsea Phu Quoc

Novotel Phu Quoc

Sonasea Phu Quoc is a newly developed area boasting restaurants, resorts, and set on stunning Long Beach. Our favourite resorts in the area include:

Novotel Phu Quoc: We loved the modern and spacious rooms, variety of swimming pools including an infinity pool with sea views, and five star amenities.  Kids can stay in the fully staffed kids club where there’s a schedule of activities to suit all ages, while parents enjoy a relaxing massage at the luxurious spa.  The private beach is ideal for long days under the palm trees or watching epic sunsets with a cocktail in hand.  Wake up to mouthwatering breakfast buffets which include local and western specialities and a even dedicated kids dining area fo mini guests.  Seafood lovers can enjoy fresh local catch at Phu Quoc Seafood in the evenings, and you won’t miss a good nights’ sleep on the decadent beds and tranquil rooms.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc:  We couldn’t believe our large, spacious villa complete with three ensuite bedrooms, kitchen and dining area, and a refreshing private pool.  This resort is ideal for families, especially those travelling with grandparents or even groups of friends.  The beachfront location allows for stunning sunsets and dining by the water, and a daily shuttle is available for those who want to visit the night market.  The rooftop bar is spacious and airy while offering panoramic ocean views, and the staff are ready to go above and beyond for the guests.  They also have a small kids club if you need childcare for a few hours and the outdoor playground was a huge hit with our children.  We highly recommend if you’re looking for large modern villas at an affordable price point.

The Palmy Phu Quoc

Famiana Resort & Spa Phu Quoc

Long Beach: These resorts are located in a central area of Long Beach and more affordable than the five-star luxury of Sonasea.  You can’t beat the location surrounded by beach bars, cheap massages, plenty of local restaurants and street food, as well as supermarkets to stock up on necessities for the kids.

Famiana Resort and Spa: This rustic resort is oozing local vibes and hippy design.  The comfortable private beach chairs are great for long days at the beach and our kids loved the mini golf under the sun.  They offer both pool villas and rooms with terraces facing sea views.  Their restaurant is great for traditional Vietnamese fare, and you can’t beat the prices for their private pool villas.  The resort is slightly older than others but still very clean and comfortable.

The Palmy Phu Quoc Resort and Spa:  A classic boutique hotel, The Palmy Phu Quoc is perfect for couples or families looking to be near the action.  Each room is designed with stylish accents and feature private balconies.  Our sea view facing room allowed us a beautiful sunset view each evening and we loved the beach swing set at the front of the hotel.  Their affordable spa is a great spot for a relaxing massage and major bonus points for being surrounded by a variety of local seafood restaurants.

Green Bay Phu Quoc

Green Bay Phu Quoc:  If you are in search of seclusion and local charm alongside five star luxury this is the ideal choice.  We loved being surrounded by abundant greenery, uninterrupted sea views, and a peaceful calm that is evident throughout the resort.  The private cove beach is suitable for young swimmers and both pools offered a relaxing sanctuary throughout the day.  The pool villas are the absolute highlight featuring rustic stylish open spaces, large exapnsive patios, and generous private pools.  The one bedroom with an outdoor tub is perfect for romantic honeymooners, and families can’t beat the large three bed villa with full size private pool.  Make sure to check out their waterfront Vietnamese restaurant for local flavours beside the pristine ocean.

What to do: 

Phu Quoc Night Market

Sao Beach

Night Market: The Phu Quoc Night Market is a must for foodies visiting the island.  Choose your own lobsters, crab, red snapper, giant prawns and shellfish for a fraction of the cost in most other cities.  Select a cooking style and you’ll be served with a feast.  We highly recommend their seafood hot pots and no meal is complete without a few ice cold Saigon beers.  Stop by one of the ice cream stands afterwards for a sweet treat.  There are also souvenirs and a chance to buy the island’s famous local fish sauce and pepper while you’re there.

Phu Quoc Cable Car:  Phu Quoc boasts the longest cable car in the world, offering spectacular views of the clusters of islands from above.  Ride to Pineapple Island for a look at a smaller local island complete with white sand beaches and crystal waters.

Sao Beach:  Arguably the most talked about beach on the island, you’ll feel like you’re in Thailand surrounded by towering palm trees, powder soft white sand, and photo worthy turquoise water.  The beautiful cove offers postcard worthy views but has been a slight victim to irresponsible tourism.  This means only the beach directly in front of Club Paradiso is clean and swimmable.  Make sure to map to the entrance of Club Paradiso where you’ll be spoilt with friendly service, decadent sun loungers, and a yummy menu of relaxed beach fare.

An Thoi Islands:  Grab a private boat or hop on a tour and explore the small cluster of islands surrounding Phu Quoc.  There aren’t many facilities on these islands but if you are looking for unforgettable scenery and a castaway style experience this is the perfect way to spend the day.

How to get there:

VietJet now offers direct flights from Hong Kong at seriously affordable prices.  Otherwise the best way is to connect through Ho Chi Minh or a boat from Ha Tien.  Phu Quoc is near Cambodia and Thailand so it’s a great stop on a backpacker checklist if you’re in the area.

January 11, 2020 0 comment
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Amsterdam Marriott Hotel, Europe’s first Marriott, was recently renovated by famous Dutch interior designer, Piet Boon revealing a luxurious, upscale hotel at the the centre of the city.  We loved the cozy and welcoming ambiance and friendly staff ready to accommodate us during our stay.  The new family rooms are ideal for those travelling with young children, featuring plenty of sleeping space, a small lounge/dining area, and spacious bathroom.  We loved the central location, only steps to the beautiful Vondelpark and famous Rijksmuseum.  Their restaurant, Midtown Grill, is a must visit for those seeking the best steaks in town and we loved spending evenings in the comfortable Executive Lounge after a long day of sightseeing and exploring the city.  Our children were spoiled with welcome packs, plenty of treats, delicious kids meals, and smiling faces ready to guide them to the nearest playground.  We throughout enjoyed our time in the insanely lively and stunning city and loved our home away from home at trustworthy and luxurious Amsterdam Marriott Hotel.

December 24, 2019 0 comment
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Set at the heart of Amsterdam, surrounded by picturesque canals, lively nightlife, and romantic streets is W Amsterdam, your stylish home away from home.  Glide up in a sleek elevator to their modern lobby and you’ll be instantly greeted with a welcoming smile and glass of champagne.  Glittering floor to ceiling windows showcase the city’s historic architecture and helpful staff are quick to guide you through the check-in process.   We were instantly in awe of our spacious and decadent rooms, boasting plush king size beds, large warehouse style windows, and trendy decor and ambiance.  W Amsterdam offers everything you would need from a five star hotel.  Dine at their famous dining establishments and party into the early hours a the rooftop bar.  Families who visit in the summer can enjoy the refreshing outdoor swimming pool, and the location is unbeatable.  We walked plenty of the city’s attractions and found a plethora of local eats on our front step.  Staff ensured our stay was seamless from indulgent breakfasts in bed to directing us to the nearest shop for kids clothing.  A perfect choice for couples, groups of friends or families looking for a fun and luxurious stay in bustling and vibrant Amsterdam.

December 24, 2019 0 comment
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One of the most quintessentially British hotels in the city, London Marriott Hotel Park Lane is an amazing choice for the sightseeing family.  As soon as we entered the warm and inviting lobby we were enveloped with the delicious scent of pumpkin spice and pine.  Their welcoming staff were quick to ensure the kids had welcome packs and drinks while we started the smooth and easy check-in process.  Our stunning suite overlooked Hyde Park and an abundance of double decker red buses which excited both Ever and River to no end.  The classic British decor and luxury accents made for an amazing five star stay.  We loved dining at The Lanes London located within the hotel for a hearty full English breakfast or warming traditional dinners.  The Executive Lounge was a decadent and cozy spot for an evening drink and snack after a long day of shopping and our cozy room had plenty of space for the whole family to relax.  The hotel is located at the corner of Marble Arch which meant we were only a few steps from the bustling shops of Oxford Street as well as a plenty of iconic sightseeing buses if you are looking to explore famous landmarks and museums.  An amazing choice for families looking to soak up London charm, British culture, and value friendly five-star service and amenities.

December 15, 2019 0 comment
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Soho, one of London’s most lively areas is the perfect choice for shopping, nights out, and an abundance of restaurants during the holiday season.  With the shops and Christmas lights of Oxford Street and Regent Street only a short walk away and plenty of the city’s hottest restaurants on their front step, The Nadler Soho is an ideal home while staying in Central London.  We loved their spacious rooms perfect for families or couples who crave cozy ambiance, delightful staff, and boutique hotel charm.  Our room overlooked Soho’s bustling streets while being tucked away from the noise and action.  The small kitchen area was incredibly useful for preparing quick breakfasts or snacks for our kids and we found it so hard to choose between the delicious eateries surrounding the hotel.  We spent early evenings in their welcoming lobby and enjoyed a complimentary happy hour while staff helped us plan our dinner options or sightseeing ideas for the next day.  Make sure to check out Pizza Pilgrims just across the street and head over to Old Compton Street for a bustling area of London that almost never changes.  Piccadilly Circus’ bright lights were just around the corner and our kids loved visiting the infamous Rainforest Cafe before catching a show nearby.  Choose The Nadler Soho next time you are looking for a well priced yet stylish and friendly option at the heart of Central London.

December 15, 2019 0 comment
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Located in one of London’s most beautiful areas, Royal Lancaster London is one of our favourite hotels in the city.  The convenient Hyde Park location is not only perfect for families with children, but also incredibly romantic as the seasons change.  Our visit in Spring saw fluffy pink cherry blossoms surround us during each walk, and in Autumn we were in a sea of picture perfect vibrant orange leaves.  The Spires Suite is truly one of the most unique rooms allowing for panoramic views of the city and park, luxurious and stylish furnishings, decadent separate bedroom and bathroom, and enough space for those travelling with two children.  We loved waking up to London scenery before heading downstairs for their mouthwatering and indulgent breakfast buffet.  Afternoons were spent sightseeing and shopping, as everything was only a short ride away from the hotel’s front steps.  Their knowledgeable concierge was able to suggest exciting activities for our children and we couldn’t get enough of the local pubs in the area.  Everything from the friendly staff at reception to the meticulous turn down service and detailed children’s amenities ensured we had a seamless five star stay, making travelling with our kids an absolute dream.  For a taste of British charm and luxury head to Royal Lancaster London for your next stay.

December 15, 2019 0 comment
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