SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

November 30, 2012

Get the Right Villa Rental for Your Bali Vacation

Filed under: Hotel,Indonesia — Alex @ 12:00 am

Though Bali is spread over an area of merely 4500 miles, it hosts some of the most luxurious villas of the world. Bali provides such a lingering experience to its visitors that they return again to spend their holidays here and thus are fully known where to look for good deals. However, if you are visiting this island for the first time, it may be quite difficult and consequently discouraging to find a suitable accommodation for you. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much. We are certainly here to help you.

The rental villas situated in Seminyak are the most popular among the local community in Bali. Seminyak is a beach town with multicultural community and thus provides accommodations suitable for almost everyone. You should remember that rentals in Bali are often booked in advance, and if you don’t find any appropriate villa for the first time, don’t be disheartened. Moreover, you should also keep in mind that sometimes certain villas provide common swimming pools and courtyards, so if you are looking for some private moments these type of villas may not be suitable for you. At BaliVillaRent we only offer villa accommodations that have their own private swimming pool.

If you don’t want to rent an entire villa, there are a large number of hotels in Bali with different rates. The cheap accommodations provided by these hotels range from about $35 for standard double room without any luxuries. The medium-range accommodations provided by these hotels charge around $75 to $100 and do provide some security and comfort. However, if you want to feel the comforts of your home while still staying in a hotel, you have to pay at least $150. While deciding to stay in any such hotel, whether low ends or five stars, you should keep in mind that these hotels and private villas don’t always provide comprehensive deals and charge extra for various luxurious services like spa treatments, food and beverages and personal tours arranged. Bali is also well-known for its delicious local and western food dishes. Especially in the popular area of Seminyak Eat Street, visitors can dine at the finest restaurants the island has to offer.

If you are not familiar with Bali and find it difficult to get a rental accommodation, you can take the services of a travel agent who will provide you all the information and help you get accommodation suitable to you. These travel agents are local people and have all the information, including the availability and services provided in the particular villas. However, they do charge for their services.

As an alternative to a travel agent, you can gather various information regarding holiday accommodations from travel blogs and magazines regarding particular destination. The first hand experiences of the tourists can help you decide the quality of services offered by these villas and hotels. However, you should be careful and distinguish the fake testimonials as many resorts also indulge in sales promotion by hiring people to give them a good rating.
Above all, you should choose a Bali villa that is suitable to your budget and provides almost all the facilities and services that you desire for your vacation. You can compromise on a few other things, but it is very important that when you or your family returns after getting exhausted from a day of sightseeing, your villa rental should provide a good relaxing of your body and mind.

This article post was contributed by Leoni.

December 16, 2011

La Cerise guest house in Soi Lengke Pattaya

Filed under: Hotel,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 6:53 pm

I had to come to Pattaya to meet up with my programmer friend to complete my Asian Food Social Network site. He suggested that I stay in a new guest house in Soi Lengke. I am not so picky when it comes to accommodation. As long there’s free Internet access and clean, I am all good.

I thought I would make a review of the guest house that I stayed for more than 2 weeks. The name of the hotel is Le Cerise and the owner is from France. La Cerise is pretty cool in my opinion as it’s a restaurant and a guest house at the same time. Everything is new and I opted for the cheapest room which is at 999 Bath a night. It comes with free breakfast and you can order up to your room at any time of the day.

My room has a tiny balcony that can accommodate 2 person and it is really breezy. I always eat my breakfast at the balcony during my stay there. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that La Cerise has a living room on the second floor. The living room is a common area that can be shared with all the guests. It has satellite TV and DVD player as well. Is cool to entertain your friends here when they come visit you.

I normally do not review hotels or guest houses but I had to with La Cerise because at one time, the manager told me that they also provide transport services with their special made “tuk tuk” around Pattaya City. So this cool service made me want to include this little guest house in one of my post of Spicegasm.A guest enjoying the Free Wifi at the cafe just outside of the guest house premises.

The lobby is also a restaurant where you can have your free breakfast here if you choose not to have it in your room. At the end of the restaurant is a counter where all the friendly La Cerise staffs that will attend to your needs. The restaurant has a big selection of Thai food and also French food. There’s also French pastries for those who has sweet tooth.

This is the living room for the guests and it has satellite TV. The bean bag chair is pretty comfy.

This is where I do my work most of the time. Sometimes I would work at the balcony too.

My bed is clean and comfy. Mattress is good, no complains.

Toilet is clean but I wish the shower would have stronger pressure.

Having my free American breakfast at my tiny balcony. Feeling really happy and contended. It doesn’t take much to make me to feel a million bucks.

Some days I would have the French breakfast instead. Still having it on the balcony though.

The guest house also has many bicycles for rent. I have the feeling the owner of La Cerise is into biking. Tour D’ France!

And finally the picture of the coolest “tuk tuk” in Pattaya City. Bad ass looking motorcycle taxi!



November 2, 2010

Four Seasons Place Hotel in Pattaya

Filed under: Hotel,Thailand,Travel — Alex @ 12:01 pm

We landed in Suvarnabhumi airport around 6 pm. We were traveling with Air Asia and the flight was perfect. Duration of the flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok was slightly over one hour. We went straight down to the public taxi area and booked a taxi to Pattaya. We managed to negotiate for price of 1200 Baht. We decided to take the taxi as we can share among the 3 of us. We could have taken the bus to Pattaya for 124 Baht each but we just want to get to Pattaya immediately without waiting for the bus. The taxi ride via the toll gate way will be approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Airport to Pattaya bus service

While in Phnom Penh, Zach has already booked a hotel via online. He told me that he got some points for using Agoda to book his hotel rooms all the time. He decided to stay in Four Seasons Place Hotel. The price of the room per night is USD96 and using his discount points he managed to get it at cheaper price. He told me the room is big enough and I can just sleep on the couch if I wanted to save money. I decided to have a look first at the room and decide whether I will sleep on the couch for free or book another room for myself. We dropped Dean at his hotel first before heading to Zach’s hotel. Dean suggested that we should meet up for a drink later and we promised to stay in touch by texting. When we reach Four Seasons Place, checking in was a breeze. We went to our room and this is how the Suite looks like.

As we enter, this is the dining area. It has a big fridge, oven and microwave

The living room with the big couch

Another angle of the living room of Four Seasons Place Pattaya

It also has a small working office area

Four Seasons Place bedroom suite

After seeing the suite that he booked, I decided to crash on the couch for free. After all we are only here for 2 nights. It has free Internet access and I like the idea of chilling at that little office space. The floor area is around 80 square meters and the room has 2 bathrooms. It also has a balcony for you to smoke as the room is non smoking type. You will never find a suite room anywhere else in the world that is less than USD100 except in Asia. This is the reason why I love Asia so much.

For more information on Four Seasons Place Pattaya click here

Note : Based on my experience, booking with Agoda and some other online booking sites will give you a better deal.

October 18, 2010

Phnom Penh here I come

Filed under: Cambodia,Hotel,Travel — Alex @ 12:00 am

I’ve been invited to visit Phnom Penh a few times by a very good friend. He is running a maid agency in Malaysia and he occasionally visits Phnom Penh to get his maids to be supplied to his customers in Malaysia. Since I’m in Bangkok and the duration of the flight is only one hour, might as well accept his invitation.

Zach and I decided to go 2 days earlier than my friend’s arrival. With so many information that one can get from the Internet, as long one is adventurous and willing to do some reading and research, visiting a new country will some how reduce our chances of getting conned by locals who prey on tourist. My friend, Eddie from Malaysia suggested that we stay in his favorite hotel. The name of the hotel is Cara hotel. I’m not very particular when it comes to lodging. I just need a bed to sleep and as long as it is clean, I’m all right with it.

Our room in Cara Hotel, Phnom Penh

The flight with Air Asia was on time and just within an hour we touch down in Phnom Penh International airport. Since I’m from the ASEAN country, I do not need a visa. Zach on other hand got to pay USD25 for his visa on arrival. The process was a breeze and no trouble with the immigration or whatsoever. We went out from the airport and saw many taxis offering to take us to our hotel. It cost us USD9 for the 30 minutes ride to our hotel. One thing very interesting about Cambodia is that the currency being used for daily transactions is the good ole US Dollars. Even they have their own currency which is known as Cambodian Riel, but the value is really low.

We did bring some US Dollars with us as we were informed by Eddie that the kingdom of Cambodia uses the US Dollars. I still have no idea how it would be like when I want to purchase some small items like cigarettes. Will I pay in USD and they give me back my change in Riel?

During the ride from airport to our hotel, I was observing the Cambodian lifestyle at a glance. There’s quite a lot of cars and surprisingly there are a lot of luxury cars like Toyata Lexus 4 wheel drive. I did not see any high rise building and definitely Phnom Penh is under developed compared to other Asian countries. I think I can call myself a season traveler but the feeling of excitement of visiting a new country  never dies. I’m eager to see what Phnom Penh gotta offer. I always believe that every country no matter how under developed has many positive and good things to offer. Upon arriving our hotel, I just gave the taxi driver a USD 10 note, with one dollar extra as a tip. He seem to be grateful with the small tip.

We book our room via the Internet and the room cost us USD44 a night. Breakfast are included in our double bed room. I was surprised to see that the bed are big compared to the normal double bed rooms offered in most hotels. We were welcome by the friendly staffs of hotel Cara. We got our key and went straight to our room to settle down. The time was 6.00 pm Cambodia time.

Hotel Balcony

Our room even has a balcony. So far everything is smooth and we loved our room very much. It can’t go wrong as it was suggested by Eddie and he stayed here many times. Another good thing is, the room comes with free wifi connection. The download speed is decent but the upload speed is surprising very high.

This is a picture taken from the balcony. This is how downtown Phnom Penh looks like. The petrol station has a mini mart and we frequent there a lot whenever we need to buy mineral water, cigarettes, snacks and most importantly, to withdraw money from the ATM that dispense US Dollars.

This is the view right opposite of hotel Cara. It has some old buildings and it looks like an old church.

More pictures around our hotel area

So far everything seems to be ok and we can’t wait to go walk around over area and look for some good food. For my next post would be our first night adventure in Phnom Penh.

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