Hotel Review: DoubleTree Yerevan

DoubleTree Yerevan

Elite Status: Hilton Gold

The DoubleTree Yerevan is an 4-star Hilton property in downtown Yerevan, within walking distance from Republic Square. I spent two nights here using Hilton points rate, using 60,000 points for two nights.

DoubleTree Yerevan

Check In/Check Out

I showed up at noon, and was given a room immediately. Check out was fast, too.

Room

As a Hilton Gold, I was given a high floor room. The room is of a decent size, with the King bed occupying majority of the room. There’s a long table by the wall, and a mini-fridge. Interestingly, the contents (3 bottles of soda) of the mini-fridge was complimentary according to the front desk. The wardrobe has a safe and ironing board.

DoubleTree Yerevan

DoubleTree Yerevan

There are power outlets by the bedside, and the wifi worked fine during my stay.

DoubleTree Yerevan

Bathroom

The bathroom is fairly standard-sized, with a rain shower, toilet/bidet, and single sink vanity. It also has something that you don’t see often – towel warmer! While the weather wasn’t cold during my stay, it’s always nice to have a warm towel.

They stock CrabTree & Evelyn products.

DoubleTree Yerevan

DoubleTree Yerevan
Food

I chose breakfast in lieu of points as my Hilton Gold amenity. Breakfast has a large selection, but it didn’t vary much over the two days I was there. You can get a substantial breakfast.

DoubleTree Yerevan

DoubleTree Yerevan

Amenities

There’s a 24hr gym at one of the top floors, but I didn’t check it out when I was there.

Overall

Although it is located in downtown Yerevan, DoubleTree Yerevan is located ~10 min walk from Republic Square, i.e. some ways from tourist attractions vis-à-vis other major chains like Marriott. However, it’s a perfectly functional hotel. I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay at it, but also have nothing bad to write about it.

Advertisements

Hotel Review: Hyatt Place Yerevan

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Elite Status: Hyatt Globalist

Hyatt Place Yerevan is a 4-star Category-2 Hyatt limited service property centrally located in Yerevan’s Republic Square. The 8-story building is a standard Hyatt Place, with a very solid breakfast.

I spent one night here using points, paying 8,000 Hyatt points.

Check In/Check Out

Check in was a little bit delayed, because they were having some trouble coding the card, but beyond that, standard brisk check in and check out.

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Room

As a Globalist, I got a standard King room, but on a high floor. It didn’t have views, since it looked into the building opposite the Hyatt Place.

The room is of a good size, with a large sectional couch by one wall, and a large King bed. There’s a long work desk by the wall, wardrobe with safe/ironing board, and a mini-fridge as well.

While welcoming elite members is not the standard procedure, Hyatt Place Yerevan actually delivered a small platter of cheese, honey and bread sticks, along with a bottle of wine. The gift was appreciated.

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Bathroom

Hyatt Place Yerevan

The bathroom is a bit small, but they packed in a lot – single sink vanity, and a tub with shower.

They stock Barney Kenet MD products, which is okay.

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Food

The breakfast is a surprisingly good spread. They have an egg chef who made cooked-to-order eggs. The breakfast area was also well-stocked with breakfast pastries, fruit, and there were several hot selections as well.

Hyatt Place Yerevan

Service

Friendly and professional.

Amenities

There’s a 24hr gym on site on the second level, but I didn’t check it out.

Overall

Hyatt Place Yerevan’s location works both ways. Its Republic Square location makes it excellent, but when I stayed, there was some construction. The windows are also not completely soundproof against the festivities that might occur in Republic Square. The property is very much a standard Hyatt Place, but it has good breakfast, and goes beyond for elite recognition.

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Baku

Hyatt Regency Baku

Elite Status: Hyatt Globalist

Hyatt Regency Baku is a 5-star category 3 Hyatt property that is located some 3 miles from downtown Baku. The grounds of the property are lovely, and they have the most amazing service staff there.

I spent two nights here on a cash rate.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Check In/Check Out

Both check in and check out was fast. I also requested a 4pm check out, and that was honored with no issues.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Room

I was upgraded to a lovely Regency Suite, which is generously-sized. Upon entry, there is a guest bathroom to the right, and a closet. Beyond the entryway is a living room with a 5-seater sofa and a large coffee table. There’s also a four-seater rectangular dining set. Atop a little console are coffee/tea-making amenities.

Hyatt Regency Baku

The bedroom is of a good size, with the king-sized bed in the middle. There’s a work desk and lounge chair by the window, and a mini-fridge by the TV console.

Hyatt Regency Baku

There are power outlets by the bed, and the wifi is decent.

Additionally, I also received a welcome amenity of a box of chocolates and a bowl of fruit.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Hyatt Regency Baku

Bathroom

Hyatt Regency Baku

The large bathroom has a double-sink vanity, toilet, bidet, tub, and shower.

Hyatt Regency Baku

They stock Portico amenities, which is fine by me.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Food

Breakfast for globalists is served in their ground floor restaurant, and the spread is generous. They have an egg station, and at least six hot options. Their pastries selection is also amazing. More incredibly, the hotel actually has a section for special dietary needs, e.g. diabetic, gluten-free, etc.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Their outdoor terrace is really lovely.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Service

The service in this hotel is outstanding. Ms Aziza at breakfast gave suggestions of a local egg dish to try at breakfast, and I’m glad I took her suggestion. Mr. Nizami at the club lounge also provided really attentive service.

Club Lounge

Located on the 7th floor, the club lounge has evening cocktail service from 6 to 8. They serve an excellent array of canapés. The double-story lounge is also a lovely space to sit in.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Amenities

They have a lovely lap pool, and a large gym.

Hyatt Regency Baku

Overall

Although Hyatt Regency Baku is located some ways from most tourist sites, it has a lot going for it. It has lovely grounds featuring a garden, excellent pool and gym, and above all, they have amazing staff.

Hotel Review: Nish Palas Istanbul

Nish Palas Istanbul
Elite Status: Hyatt Globalist

Nish Palas Istanbul is part of the Unbound Collection in the Hyatt portfolio. Located in Nisantasi district, it is a category-2 Hyatt hotel with just 45 rooms. I spent one night here on a long Istanbul layover using 8000 Hyatt points, and liked the boutique-hotel feel of Nish Palas Istanbul.

Check In/Check Out

I showed up at around noon, but was checked in immediately and given a room.

Check out was fast as well.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Room

As a Hyatt Globalist, I was upgraded to a View room, which is a corner room with some views of the Bosphorous and the surrounding area. The room is quite lovely, with a small sofa set by the window, and a beautiful wood console by the wall with a Nespresso machine, excellent tea selection, and a well-stocked mini-fridge.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Nish Palas Istanbul

Nish Palas Istanbul

The King bed is quite unique, as it has built-in room controls by the headboard, so you can flick the master switch on the headboard. There are power outlets by the bedside, and I appreciated their special charging cord by the bed with all charging outlets imaginable. The wifi worked well.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Nish Palas Istanbul

Bathroom

The bathroom is on the smaller side of things, but is beautiful with dark marble accents. It has a shower stall with a rain shower and hand wand, and a single-sink vanity.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Nish Palas Istanbul

They feature their house-branded shower amenities, namely Nish Palace. I thought it was fine.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Food

Breakfast is served from 7-10 am at their ground floor restaurant Glens, although when I rolled down at 7 am, they informed me that they will only be ready at 7.30.

Nish Palas Istanbul

The breakfast was very continental, i.e. cereals, pastries. Although the selection was limited, the croissants were nice, and the orange juice was very fresh. They didn’t have lattes when I asked, but they did have a tea.

Nish Palas Istanbul

Service

Friendly and efficient.

Amenities

According to their booklet, they can direct you to a gym nearby. I didn’t enquire. They do have an inhouse spa/hamman, but I didn’t try.

Overall

This is my first stay in an Unbound Collection property. I really liked the boutique hotel experience. The Nish Palas Istanbul is almost like a regular apartment in a nice Istanbul neighborhood, and the unique touches in the room made for a memorable stay. The Nisantasi neighborhood is very lovely, with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants. It is also within walking distance to Taksim, and just a 10 min walk to Osmanbey metro station. I recommend staying here to experience a different part of Istanbul.

Hotel Review: Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Elite Status: Marriott Gold

Le Meridien Cairo is a 5-star Category-1 Marriott property located across the street from Cairo International Airport Terminal 3. It is connected by an elevated walkway, which you can access within the terminal.

I probably stayed here for 4 hrs as I wanted a place to lie down for a few hours and shower. I booked it prior to the August 26 Starwood/Marriott merger, and paid 2,000 SPG points, because it’s a weekend stay.

Check In/Check Out

They only had one check in counter at 2 am, though one of the desk managers stepped up and processed my check in.

Same with check out, but it didn’t take too long.

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Room

I was given a King bed room. It is a decent size, with King bed, work desk and lounge chair with a table. On the table, there was a nice little welcome amenity of petit-fours, welcoming me to Le Meridien Cairo.

There were no power outlets by the bed, so I charged my electronics on the desk. The wifi worked fine.

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Bathroom

A little on the small side, it has a long rain shower and single vanity.

They stock Le Meridien shower products.

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Service

Friendly and efficient.

Overall

Le Meridien Cairo airport checks the list for a good hotel airport – proximity, speed and comfortable rooms. The location is excellent, you can access the hotel from the terminal, so if you have a short layover and don’t want to deal with the horrors of Cairo traffic, it’s an excellent choice.

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Hotel Review: Marriott Kigali

Marriott Kigali

Elite Status: Marriott Gold

Marriott Kigali is a 5-star category-2 Marriott property. Located in the new downtown near banks and government buildings, this modern hotel is very secure.

I stayed here for two nights. I booked it prior to an increase in points on August 26, and paid 20,000 Marriott Rewards Points for two nights (10,000 each night)

Marriott Kigali

Check In/Check Out

I arrived at around 12.30, so some time before their official check in time. Front desk did find me a room, and gave me keys. I was also pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to the executive floor, and was given access to the executive lounge.

Check out was fast, no problems.

Marriott Kigali

Room

I was given a King room on the executive floor (first floor). It is a modern and good-sized room, featuring a King bed, a long work desk by the wall, and a chaise lounge by the window. There are no views from the room.

They have one power outlet (British) by the bed, and wifi was decent.

The counter by the wardrobes has a kettle, and instant coffee/tea alongside two bottles of water. There’s also a mini-fridge and a good-sized safe.

Marriott Kigali

Bathroom

It is a standard-sized bathroom with a tub, single-sink vanity, and a shower stall. The drainage of the shower stall was a bit slow, and because it’s not set much lower than the rest of the bathroom, there was a bit of water overflow if you left the shower on too long.

Marriott Kigali

Marriott Kigali

They stocked Acca Kappa shower products, with Green Mandarin scent. I found the scent to be rather lovely.

Marriott Kigali

Food/Executive Lounge

Marriott Kigali

The Marriott Kigali’s executive lounge is lovely. On the first floor, its windows overlook the hotel’s expansive and grand lobby.

Marriott Kigali

Breakfast and cocktail are served in the lounge (sorry, forgot to write down the hours). The breakfast selection is decent, and they also offer eggs made-to-order (inform the wait staff). The evening service spread is very generous, and it’s easy to use it to substitute dinner, as their buffet features a lot of mains, like lasagna, meatballs, etc. There are also vegetarian options.

Marriott Kigali

Marriott Kigali

Marriott Kigali

Service

Friendly, professional, efficient.

Amenities

There’s a 24hr gym on site, and also a pool. The gym is of a decent size, and has all the equipment you would need for a workout. The pool looked nice, but with my luck, every time I wanted to go swim, it would start raining. Oh well.

Overall

The Marriott Kigali is a modern, full-service hotel. I had a comfortable stay in their Executive King room. They also have an excellent executive lounge, and great amenities.

Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Elite Status: IHG Platinum

Crown Plaza Nairobi is a 4-star hotel located on Upper Hill. With some luck, the Crowne Plaza Nairobi was on this session’s point break, and I snagged two nights at Crowne Plaza Nairobi for 15,000 IHG points per night. It is a solid option with plenty of facilities.

Check In/Check Out

Fast on both ends. I was asked the welcome amenity I wanted, given a key, and I was off. Check out took all of a minute, with the front desk agent nothing, “you’re all set”.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Room

I was upgraded to an average-sized room on the club level, and given club access as well. The room has a large King bed, a small lounging set with a table and two chairs, and a long work desk by the wall, which also features a universal power outlet. There’s also a mini-fridge in the room, and a good-sized safe deposit box.

There were no outlets by the bedside, so it was a bit annoying. Wifi worked well during my stay, though.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Bathroom

The bathroom is average-sized, with a tub, single sink vanity, and an enclosed shower. The shower worked as expected, so no complaints there.

They stock Ekyeanda amenities, which was fine by me.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Food

I had breakfast and evening service at the club lounge. It was nice, with good variety.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Service

Service was good. Sometimes, it’s the little things, like putting out a pots of coffee and tea in the morning (6 am) and cookies for people who have to leave the hotel before the restaurant is open.

Club Lounge

The club lounge isn’t large, but despite its size, they managed to provide a nice club experience. The buffet area is actually quite small, but somehow, they squeeze in a chef who makes crepes and eggs to order. The evening spread was also varied, and substantial enough to turn into a dinner.

They have a strange little system whereby you have to sign drink receipts for drinks ordered. I was presented with a $0 receipt for the coke light I ordered during evening service.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Amenities

Crowne Plaza Nairobi features a heated outdoor lap pool, and a good-sized gym. It’s not 24 hrs, though. I think opening hours are around 7 am to 10 pm.

Despite the large size of the gym, the equipment probably could do with some maintenance. Both the treadmills I used were a bit “sticky”, so it was actually hard to use it because the speed varied throughout the workout.

Crowne Plaza Nairobi

Overall

Although there is not much around the Crowne Plaza Nairobi aside from businesses and other hotels, it’s a solid option and I really appreciated the upgrade to a club room.