GT Tested
2016
Jun 1, 2016

Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur by Shangri-La

Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at Traders Hotel on a Friday evening after a full day of meetings in Kuala Lumpur. The hotel, recognizable from all angles of the city, is quite grand. The location is perfect for business travelers, convenient to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the Petronas Twin Towers and Merdeka Square. Suria KLCC shopping mall and other shopping districts and tourist attractions lie within walking distance. Check-in took about 10 minutes; it was a busy time to check in, especially on a Friday night. Otherwise, I’m sure it would have been faster. The front desk attendants were helpful and walked me through all the amenities and options available for dining — a warm welcome indeed. Guest Quarters: As I walked into my room, I was immediately blown away by the view of the Twin Towers literally staring right at me. The KLCC Park surrounding the towers also made for a beautiful view. I felt grateful in this moment. As night came on, the towers lit up like diamonds, and they were truly mesmerizing. To the left of the entry, a large closet offered plenty of space and a roomy safe. To the right, the up-to-date bathroom featured a separate bath and shower. Straight ahead were the executive writing desk and flat-screen TV, followed by the bed and sitting area. I was glad Traders Hotel made U.S. and major international news channels available. Guestrooms also feature free WiFi. My room was incredibly comfortable and modernized. Exhausted after my first week in Southeast Asia, all I wanted to do was rest. I melted into the comfy king-sized bed right away and enjoyed a great night’s sleep. Services/Amenities: The property includes two chic restaurants. Breakfasts at the all-day buffet Gobo Chit Chat were delicious and featured international cuisine. Other amenities include a rooftop infinity pool with a poolside bar, a fitness center and a spa with a sauna and steam bath. Business guests appreciate the meeting rooms, business center, complimentary local area shuttle, laundry and valet service and limo services with WiFi. After checking in on Friday, I stopped at SkyBar for a drink and an even cooler view of the infinity pool overlooking the city. What a trendy vibe! On Saturday morning I indulged in a 60-minute Freedom massage at theSPA, located on the rooftop and offering views of KL’s urban skyline. The spa attendants were incredibly thorough and made sure I was comfortable and relaxed. The massage was heavenly — exactly what I needed after bouncing around the world and sleeping in different beds each night. Each day I also hit the state-of-the-art, 24-hour gym overlooking the city and KLCC Park. I was impressed with the health center; it had everything a fitness junkie like me needs on a business trip — free towels, water and fruit included. The Experience: I enjoyed a wonderful weekend stay at Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. This luxury 4-star hotel has everything a business and leisure traveler can ask for. Traders Hotel definitely knows how to cater to the luxury business traveler. I would absolutely stay at this property again.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

2016
Jun 1, 2016

Lotte Hotel Seoul

Arrival/Check-In: I flew into Seoul from Taiwan on a Tuesday evening and stayed at Lotte Hotel until my departure Saturday. Lotte Hotel is located downtown in the heart of Seoul near Myeongdong, Seoul’s Central Business District, among other business and tourist attractions. I had a good feeling about this 5-star luxury property from the minute the Mercedes-Benz car service approached the hotel. The outside was beautifully decorated with white lights for the holiday season — a delightful effect that got me into the holiday spirit. I was escorted to the front desk, where check-in took less than 10 minutes, and then guided to my suite. Guest Quarters: My Club Floor deluxe suite in the Main Building featured views of the city. I knew I’d be staying in a suite, but I had no idea it would be bigger than most U.S. apartments (at least those in Santa Monica, Calif., where I live). Needless to say, this suite comfortably accommodates more than one person. Lotte Hotel knows how to deliver a massive, newly renovated and stylish luxury suite. It impressed me at first glance. The grand suite entrance opened on a hallway leading to the living space, with the first small bathroom to the right. The living space included a sitting area with a couch, chairs, a coffee table and a flat-screen television. A dining table with seating for six provided ideal space for those traveling with family or hosting a business meeting. An executive writing desk along the windows included all things necessary during a business trip. I found all the office supplies quite useful during my stay. The bedroom, a completely separate room, featured another sitting area. The spacious closet included some laundry amenities. Lotte Hotel uses he:on brand bedding, which is becoming popular among global markets. I slept well on the king-sized bed thanks to the bedding and pillows. If I could replicate the bathroom in this suite at home, I would. The layout of the double vanity sink, makeup area, separate shower, bathtub and toilet was just right. Services/Amenities: The hotel features two establishments: the Main Building and the New Wing. The New Wing offers a 3-Michelin-star restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul. There are six restaurants on property, including a tasty bakery. The Club Lounge on the 31st floor of the Main Building lays claim to the largest exclusive business lounge in Korea. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast here nearly every day during my stay. Room service dining offers diverse options of Korean, American, Japanese and healthy cuisine, appealing to most international travelers’ taste buds. Other on-site amenities include a business center, a salon, a fitness center, a sauna, the Sulwhasoo Spa and an indoor pool. All guestrooms include free WiFi. Meeting and wedding venues are available. The staff speaks Korean, English, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. Tourist attractions in walking distance and accessible by public transportation include Lotte Duty Free, Namdaemun Market, Insadong, Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung. The Experience: Lotte Hotel Seoul is perfection. I did not want to leave my suite. I was beyond comfortable and content during my stay — I was ready to move in! The design of the suite screams luxury and clearly caters to VIP clients. The Lotte brand is globally recognized for its luxury, class and sophistication. Lotte Hotel Seoul represents this world-renowned reputation well. Staying at Lotte Hotel made my first trip to Seoul even more memorable.