Travel Tip Tuesday: 04.26.11

Chickennugget

Image via Wikipedia

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets taste the same in Toronto, Chicago, Paris and Hong Kong.

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Review: Crimson Beach Resort and Spa – Cebu, Philippines

Rating: 5 hugs/5 hugs

Crimson Beach Resort and Spa Mactan, Cebu

When we decided to book our trip to Cebu, everyone was asking us if we booked at the world famous Plantation Bay Resort. We were originally going to book at Plantation Bay, but we decided to give Crimson Beach Resort and Spa Mactan a try.

You never know what to expect when you book a hotel/resort. All you have is the pictures from the resort website and a few from trip advisor. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I didn’t get the best…it was even BETTER than the best, better than what I had expected. Let’s break it down:

Food

There isn’t a lot of restaurants at Crimson, but Saffron Cafe is all you need for your stay at this resort.  They offer buffet and a la carte options but I love me some buffet food.  The food was excellent!!  Not as big as the buffets as an all inclusive resort or Las Vegas, but it’s all about quality not quantity at this resort.  The selection of food was changed every day and the dessert options were just AMAZING! Dessert is my favorite part of the meal, and their dessert options did not disappoint.  One night they had this dessert called Yema with nuts (made with condensed milk and egg yolk) and I was in heaven!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I could go on and on about the food. But just trust me, you will not be disappointed with the food at this resort.

Crimson Beach Resort and Spa Buffet

Staff/Service

Where do I even begin?  Everyone working at Crimson is super friendly.  You are always greeted with “Good morning ma’am/sir” with a smile.  Everyone also always places their right hand over their heart as they greet you.  I’ve never ever experience this kind of service anywhere.  Even at the buffet, the servers are just amazing.  Now you might say that they are being nice because they want a tip.  There is just something different about how they greet you, serve you.  They genuinely want you to have a great time.  The customer service here is on a level I’ve never experience but want to experience again, and again and again.

The Rooms

Just like the pictures, the room was really nice.  Any hotel/resort that has a rain forest shower head, you’ve got me! Beds were comfy, wi-fi was great!  We stayed in the Deluxe Room.

Crimson beach resort delux room

Crimson Beach Resort Deluxe Room Bathroom

The Beach

Well, the beach isn’t as big as what I had expected. It is really really small.  But I wasn’t even fazed by it because the resort is so beautiful it didn’t really matter how big the beach was.

Crimson Beach

The Pool Area

Three different pools that are connected, one of which is an infinity pool.

Overall Experience

If you haven’t noticed, I’m in love with Crimson.  I would stay here again and I recommend this resort to anyone staying in Cebu for a few days.  It’s a great place to just relax, eat and enjoy the great scenery.

Crimson Resort and Spa at Night time


Lofty Living in Hong Kong for a week

image from Airbnb - I realized I didn't get a full shot of the apartment so here it is!

I love renting out apartments on my vacay as opposed to staying at a hotel.  You have more space and you get to feel like a local for a short period.  This was my second time renting out an apartment for my vacay (if you remember, I had rented out an apartment in Paris).  This time, I used the website AirBnb to book the loft in Hong Kong.  The process was smooth as Jiffy’s peanut butter, and I couldn’t have asked for a better host, Candace.

Candace is the owner of the loft and she was just amazing!  We were going back and forth with our emails for a few months, mostly me because I had a million questions since this was my first trip to Hong Kong.  Candace answered all my questions and was very quick at responding to my emails.  I didn’t think we were going to meet in person, but the universe made it happen and we finally got to meet face to face when we checked in.  She really helped make our Hong Kong experience amazing.

So let me tell you how beautiful this loft is.  Well just look at the pictures.  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to stay here!  It looks like all the pictures on Airbnb (all pictures in this post, taken by me except for the picture at the beginning of this post) and it looks like it’s from a design magazine.  Well it has been in a few design magazines, and I’m not surprised since Candace is also an amazing interior designer.

The Kitchen - I love the wooden ladder!

The open closet/Office Area

The details - the pile of magazines, the vintage luggage, the magazine pictures over the desk

I love the placement of the photos over the couch.

The Bicycle in the corner

I loved the black and white theme, the vintage luggage, the concrete floor, the big wooden table (I’ve always wanted one!), the bicycle, the huge black and white photo over the bed, the many black and white photos over the couch, the open walk in closet, the many design magazines on the floor that just go with everything.  I know if I were to do the same, it would just look like a pile of magazines on the floor, but the way Candace did it, it just goes and makes sense.  I loved it all…can you tell?!

I’m not also a lover of travel, I also love interior design and the way the loft was designed, has inspired me with some new ideas for our place.  So thank you Candace!

I really felt at home and didn’t want to leave.  Mr. Leung, the doorman was also great help.  We bumped into him on the street and it’s a good thing we did because we were going the wrong way!  He guided us to the right direction.

The location of the loft is close to Man Mo Temple and walking distance to Soho, Sheung Wan Metro, and Central.  You won’t go hungry in this neighborhood with all the restaurants around.  Plus, the world famous egg tart pastry shop, Tai Cheong Bakery, is 5 mins away from the loft.  We ate lots of egg tarts during our stay 🙂

Man Mo Temple

If you’re traveling to Hong Kong soon, I recommend staying at Candace’s loft. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!  Why wouldn’t you want to stay in a stylish loft?!


Boracay or Palawan?

Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan.

Boracay Image via Wikipedia

Hey everyone! I’m a very bad blogger. My apologies, been busy with a million different things and one of them is planning the second part of our Asia trip and I’m not sure what islands we should see when we go to the Philippines.

Our main place of stay will be in Manila but not sure what other islands to see.  The main tourist spot is Boracay but I’ve also been reading that some of the best beaches are in Palawan. Hmmm….what to do? what to do?

We only have 2 weeks in the Philippines, so we don’t have too much time.

I’ve also been researching on Cebu and I also wouldn’t mind checking out Cebu now too! Aiyah! What to do?  So much to see so little time. I’ll let you know what is decided.

In the meantime, I’ll just picture myself on the beach in the picture above…..ahhhhh…..

If you’ve been to Boracay and Palawan, which island did you prefer?


What kind of Traveler are you?

Hello fellow travelhuggers! I’ve been M.I.A for a while.  But have no fear, I’m back.  I’m starting to get the wheels turning for my trip to Asia next year and I started to think about the type of traveler I am.  I love to plan and research about where I’m going. It’s a long process for me when I’m planning a big trip. I tend to have an excel spreadsheet with my costs, and sometimes I create an itinerary.  I don’t think I’ll ever plan anything last minute, unless it’s a trip to Niagara Falls.  That’s just me.  So what kind of traveler are you?

1. The Last Minute Traveler – if you see a deal that’s is too good to pass, you will pack your bags right away and head to the airport
2. The Excel Spreadsheet/Itinerary Planner Traveler- You plan everything, even when you take a bathroom break (I’m obviously kidding about this one).
3. Deal Guru Traveler – you are a pro at finding wicked ass deals, your friends often come to you and ask you about deals
4. Take Everything I own Traveler – You hate traveling light, you need everything you own just in case!
5. The Go with the Flow Traveler – The only thing you plan is your flight and hotel. You don’t research or plan any activities ahead of time. You simply go with flow and see where your travels take you.

So what kind of Traveler are you?


Saving $$$ for your Dream Vacation

The summer is almost over and I didn’t travel anywhere, except to Niagara Falls.  My last “big” vacation was to Paris in 2006 –  four years ago! I’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Cuba, NYC, Chicago and Orlando between 2006 and now but I don’t consider those my “big” vacations. My next “big” vacation, if all goes well, will be to Asia next year. Fingers and toes crossed man! I’m excited to go there, and haven’t really started to plan anything yet because I still need to get my finances in order. If you’re trying to save money for your “big” trip or dream vacation, here are some tips you can follow:

1. Cooking at home – I love, love, love to eat out but as you know, if you eat out too much it can add up and you start to break the bank. Plus, it’s healthier to eat at home, ’cause who knows what kind of ingredients are going into your food.  This past weekend I went to a restaurant and ordered pasta and it tasted like they used ketchup as the pasta sauce with lots of salt. It was pretty nasty!

2. Have a separate account for travel savings – It’s just so much easier when you have a separate account for travel. It’s easier to keep track of and easier to see how much you’ve saved.

3. Borrow books and DVD’s at the library – I like to read and of course watch movies. The library near my house has a pretty good selection and if they don’t have what I’m looking for, I can always request it and they let me know when it’s ready for pick up. As I said in one of my earlier posts, it’s a great way to get all our travel guides..for free!

4. Smart shopping – Before I buy most things, I tend to have a conversation with myself “Do you really need this?” Most of the time I don’t, so I end up putting the item back. I’ve also started to buy things at garage sales and thrift stores. I bought a really cute black clutch purse at a garage sale for $1.00! Not only do you save money by shopping at thrift stores, you’re also being environmentally friendly! Think about it!

5. Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card – I still need to apply for one, but this is on my list of to-do’s. A travel rewards credit card is a great way to use your reward points towards hotels and flight costs. Click here to read more about it.

Happy Saving!