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Unsubltle flag. - Asia

Unsubltle flag.

Rex Hotel, Vietnam: Saigon: Grand old lady still soldiers on... Rex Hotel Review
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A new glitzy hotels seems to appear in Saigon every other day, and the grand old lady can no longer compete on the same terms.

The rooms are well appointed, if not spectaular and for goverment run outfit it is surprisingly efficient and agreeable.

Apart from its excellent downtown location, what makes the place special is it's place in history.

Unique Qualities: The Rex Hotel was a regular hangout for American officials and Journalists during the Vietnam war. As they sipped drinks and looked down on the city from the rooftop bar they could see and hear the unrest in the city before their eyes.

The Rooftop pool, although small is still a great place to relax in Saigon and can be visited even if you are not staying at the hotel for a reasonable fee.

The hotel was also the setting for the daily U.S. military attach's press briefing , dubbed the 'Five O'Clock Follies'. The conference room may be booked out, but you should be able to arrange a peek.

Address: 141 NGUYEN HUE STREET, Ho Chi Minh City, VI 70000

Comparison: more expensive than average

Price: US$80-120

Theme: Hotel

Website: http://www.rexhotelvietnam.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 4, 2006
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What's that old boy ? - Asia

What's that old boy ?

Majestic Hotel, Ipoh, Malaysia: Ipoh : Back to the days of the Empire

If you are passing through Ipoh, in the middle of Malaysia then I feel I must point out the very interesting Majestic Hotel.

It's actually located on the third floor of the Railway station, an imperial pile that echos the Taj Mahal in its construction.

The superior rooms are very much worth the money - as they face out onto an impressive balcony littered with fraying leather chairs.

You can easily manage tall stories being told here of shooting tigers over a few G & T's

Unique Qualities: The lift is a museum piece with a little twee message in it pointing out that if the lift was a person, then it would be of a venerable age and would need to be treated with alot of care and respect.

Also liked the original Victorian post box near the entrance.

Address: Railway Sta, Ipoh

Comparison: less expensive than average

Price: US$20-40

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 4, 2006
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England ? ummm - Asia

England ? ummm

The Smokehouse: Cameron Highlands : a piece of England

Rupert Brooke said : "Some corner of a foreign field that's forever England."

In this case it was literally true. The Hotel is a mock-tutor concoction that shouts "ENGLAND" at you.

The public rooms have their collections of horse brasses, floral sofas and 'horsey' knick-knacks.

The rooms are furnished with antiques, Four poster beds and flowery curtains.

The gardens could have been lifted straight from a Devonian Village, complete with a wishing well and red Telephone box.

The place was built with homesick colonials in mind - and no concession was made to Asian culture at all.

I rather like the story that the first owner was so pleased with his creation that he regularly put up a "Hotel Full" sign, so that he could enjoy the place in peace.

Unique Qualities: Despite it's opulance, the place still has a feel of the "Fawlty Towers" about it - the roof leaks when it rains and the waiters have an interesting grasp of English at times.

What amused me most was the group of Germans in The bar one night, all decked out in their tweed jackets and pipes (not the women obviously) pretending to be English.

The following conversation tookk place :

Germans : "Good Evening, pleasent day old boy"

Me to Wife (in a semi whisper) "Don't mention the war"

Germans "What war ?"

Me : "Gulf, Gulf nothing to do with Europe"

Me to wife (behind hand) : "Mentioned it once but I think I got away with it !"

Wife : "Just don't do the silly walk."

Address: Tanah rata. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Comparison: more expensive than average

Price: US$40-80

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 4, 2006
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Ritz - KL - Asia

Ritz - KL

The Ritz, KL, Malaysia: K.L :All you could want on a plate...

The only catch is you have to stay at the Ritz!

The best hotel in KL can sometimes be available for less than 400 Ringgit - and this, when translated into western prices is an absolute bargain.

The service levels puts the Ritz in the Five-star bracket, by providing a Butler-service in every room.

"My Man" was available 24 hours a day to provide teas/ coffee (complimentary), run baths, iron newspapers etc. He also serves an impressive breakfast in your room, whipping away large silver domes to reveal your scambled egg on toast.

There is also a "club" which provides free drinks and snacks at various times of the day.

Unique Qualities: My favourite memory was emptying the contents of our rucksacks, and after 3 weeks it was not pleasant, and getting them washed for free.

Not only were they returned but the shirts cam back as new, duly packaged with plastic and cardboard wrapping.

Address: imbi

Comparison: more expensive than average

Directions: Use the monorail station at Bintang

Price: US$40-80

Theme: Hotel

Website: http://www.ritzcarlton.com

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 4, 2006
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Whatever floats your boat.... - Asia

Whatever floats your boat....

various: Tokyo : Love hotels

Very often the overnight price for love hotels is about the same as a mid-range business hotel. The problem is that you cannot check in until about 10.30 or 11PM. This means dumping your bags elsewhere until you are ready.

For one night at least it is something different. Some Japanese love hotels don't want foreigners staying and try to get rid of them. Others are OK about it and some are automated - so no problem!

Be careful about prices - make sure you get the overnight rate and not the hourly rate, or 'rest', which ain't cheap.

Unique Qualities: I could get into deep water here - so I'll be careful.

Basically wherever you mind can take you as regards furnishings - you will find it somewhere in a Tokyo love Hotel room.

One of the oddest I found (admitedly on a website and not myself) was a merry-go-round in the middle of the room.

I'll stick to something less kinky like a pink medieval dungeon decorated with inflatable models of large alien women with enourmous breasts.... in custard.

Comparison: about average

Price: US$40-80

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 4, 2006
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