All posts filed under: Stay

Adventure then rest

Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London

Early on a Shoreditch morning, the lobby of the Ace Hotel is simmering with creatives and travellers, drinking coffee, setting up laptops, checking in and out. Vinyl lines the front desk, there’s a photobooth, a fixie bike near the lift, and a mini exhibition by Tokyo-based artist Yu Nagaba in a glass cabinet along the wall. I’ve been looking forward to staying at the Ace almost as much as I’ve been anticipating arriving in London, and I’m immediately smitten. So imagine my delight when we are granted an early check in and an upgrade. And just as we are settling in, turning on the vintage radio, reclining on the window seat, the door knocks and we are presented with a bottle of champagne for our recent engagement. And then they bring flowers from the florist next door. Did you hear that? THEY BROUGHT US FLOWERS! It’s often the little touches that make a great hotel. And there were plenty of those – a channel on the in-room radio of stories being read to help you …

Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa, Ubud

We arrived in Ubud in the early eve, and while the darkness shifted my senses, sounds to the fore, we wandered into the Warwick Ibah to the soft flow of trickling water and the chi chak of local geckos. We were led along a stone path to our room, intermittent lights bringing into focus frangipani trees and foliage that had crept through the cracks of the wall. The humidity was high. Our room was the promised luxury, a four poster bed draped in a thick white mosquito net. Glassed bottles of water and air conditioning were welcomed. The room had a large balcony beside an outdoor dimly lit stairwell and peered into the tropical-sounding blackness in the other direction. We were above a valley of sorts that we couldn’t yet see. We ordered drinks to the room. It wasn’t until the morning, when we walked through the hotel grounds to visit a local fave cafe (Sari Organik) of my travel buddy Kel (who I think I mentioned in a previous post has been to Indonesia …

Festival Vibes at St Jerome’s – The Hotel, Melbourne

Laneway Festival (previously called St Jerome’s Laneway Festival) is one of the most-loved summer festivals in Australia – with a lineup this year including the likes of Grimes, Beach House, CHVRCHES, Japanese Wallpaper, Big Scary, Purity Ring, The Internet, Battles and more (I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it). So there was no second guessing when it was announced that the founder, Jerome Borazio, had started a pop-up rooftop glamping hotel in Melbourne’s CBD, which conveniently has coincided with the David Bowie Is exhibition at the ACMI. That’s right, David effing Bowie and a festival-themed glamping stay. Hello, Melbourne. Although slightly tricky to find – the hotel is on level 3 of the Melbourne Central station and shopping complex – once you step onto the astro-turfed rooftop, surrounded by views of the skyline, you suddenly forget how you got there anyway. Our friendly concierge treated us with cupcakes on arrival as he explained what’s on offer, which is a lot of very cool extras, like free ten pin bowls at Strike Bowling next door, a stocked …

Monks in Mountains: Koyasan, Japan

As you wind on the train from Osaka up towards Koyasan, a mountainous Buddhist sanctuary for around 1,200 years, the stations get smaller, the tracks begin to meander and the Japanese umbrella pines become more dense. There are lush green views opening between the track-side trees, allowing you to peer down on little villages with sloped brick roofs. By the time you reach the funicular railway towards the end of your journey, it’s easy to comprehend why this area is considered sacred. It draws you further up into the peaks… This was to be my first stay in a Ryokan – a traditional Japanese travellers inn. Through the wooden lantern-flanked gate I walked, past the manicured garden of auburn and green and the broom-swirled pebbles, under the curved roof, shoes off, slippers on…   STAY: Koyasan Fukuchiin is an inn, a temple (or shukubo – meaning temple lodgings in Japanese), an onsen (Japanese bathhouse) and more. Traditional Japanese rooms feature tatami mats, low dining tables and sliding shoji doors. It’s customary to wear the provided …

Alabama Hotel – Hobart

Hobart is defiantly breaking away from it’s sleepy capital moniker to become one of the coolest cities in this country. With the most crazy-curated gallery (MONA) in the Southern Hemisphere, a farm-to-plate ethos in many of the restaurants and hipster cafes, and even the annual Falls Festival just a skip away (priorities people, priorities!), it’s a wonder you’re not on Jetstar booking your cheap flight this instant. Further reason to just book your Hobart break immediately (that is if local Instagrammer LoveThyWalrus can’t convince you – in which case you must be dead), is that there is now a super awesome and very cheap hotel in the heart of town that will add some mojo to your trip and have you extending your stay, because you spent so much time hanging out there you almost didn’t get down to Salamanca for a sunset beer! The Alabama Hotel (72 Liverpool St) only re-opened in 2013 after being closed for almost a decade. A piece of history in itself, the building was constructed in the 1830s and …