Okay where the hell has 2015 gone?!?  I feel like I’ve blinked and missed half of it…I do have sleeping beauty tendencies so maybe that’s what has happened!  So Where Did the Wind Blow Me in 2015 and I’ve added a few other reflections from the year…let’s go for a quick ride back in time.

The Staycation

Emma and I took off to Bath for a romantic weekend…be warned she does steal the covers!  We had a great weekend discovering the delights of Bath and eating the most amazing gluten free savoury scones for breakfast at the Pump Rooms.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Bath

This years ANZAC Day service was a rather special one, so I made the effort to attend the dawn service in London which meant we stayed over night at the Intercontinental Park Lane…a fabulous hotel in London and even better when you can use your IHG points for a free night!

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I was very lucky to get invited to Sting and Paul Simon concert at the O2 with SPG and stayed the night at the Aloft beside to the Excel centre…this is a really good base and the rooms are extremely comfy, just don’t put your neck out like I did while drying my hair…a Charlie’s Angels hair flick that went wrong, doh!!  I had a great evening especially as I got to catch up with Anna again at the concert!

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G and I spent a weekend in Oxford and I really really really tried to love Oxford however I’m a Cambridge girl at heart.  We still had a great weekend even though it was soggy and I ended up with a soggy bottom AGAIN!

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Day Tripping

Buying a car has given me a huge amount of freedom to explore England so I try and do a day trip every weekend to explore the English countryside (there’s something about going exploring to relieve the stresses of a week at work).   Cambridge is super close to me and even with my Dory tendencies I managed to remember to get tickets to the Cambridge Open Weekend…I’m still surprised that I was that organised to get tickets!  Bluebells in springtime, heading into London to go on Yannick’s gluten free walking tours (Macarons and Mews plus his new Piccadilly and Petit 4’s), visiting the cute village of Elstow in Bedfordshire, taking a million photos of the cute little beach huts at Wells Next the Sea and the super gorgeous Lavenham (I’ve yet to blog about this cutie pie town!) were some of my favourite day trips of 2015.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-England-Day-Trips

Castle Hunting

I castle hunted like a ninja in 2015 and my castle hunting list continues to grow for 2016!  I’ve got a few memberships however for me the best one was definitely the Historic Houses Association membership, this has saved me more than a few pennies.  Definitely some of the highlights of 2015 were discovering Deene Park (my favourite castle!), Rockingham Castle, Dover Castle, Woburn Abbey, Kirby Hall and Burghley House plus many many more.

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Passport at the Ready

G and I popped off to Brussels for a few days in February for our birthdays…and of course we ate afternoon tea and a lot of chocolate and I mean a lot…we were definitely Master and Miss Piggy.  There are more photos of food then Brussels!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Brussels

May called for a tier point run to Marrakech for G so I tagged along as who wouldn’t…it’s not a bad place to head too for a few days…Marrakech has definitely changed a lot since my first visit way back in 2003 and I was told that I saw the real Marrakech not the touristy Marrakech that everyone sees today.  We had what you would call a mixed kind of holiday in Marrakech but we still enjoyed it thanks to staying in a hotel that Winston Churchill loved.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Marrakech

Pretty much right after Marrakech, I flew to Croatia to see my family for a few days…it’s a hard life…it did take Easyjet three attempts to land at Split airport and an overnight power cut due to an electrical storm left me with 3% battery life right before I was due to leave for the airport so it did have it’s moments!

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We popped over to Hong Kong and then onto Malaysia for two weeks, flying in First Class with British Airways…it was nice to actually switch off properly and it was my first two week holiday since 2012…it was during this trip that I realised that I was really taking this blogging business way too seriously and pulled out of the game in a big way.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Hong-Kong-Malaysia

I managed to tick Strasbourg off my 2015 Travel Wish List back in October and I wasn’t disappointed…what a truly fantastic part of France and I would happily return to the region again…the Alsace Wine Route made me a rather happy little bunny!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Strasbourg

December saw me flying home to New Zealand (you’re currently getting spammed on instagram) and as my Cathay Pacific flight left from Paris, I managed to have 24 hours in the city to explore (a post still needs to follow…I will pull my finger out on that one soon I promise!).

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-New-Zealand

Scoffing Gluten Free Afternoon Tea

I’ve eaten a number of gluten free Afternoon Tea’s this year and I’ve got the rolls to prove it.  My personal three favourites of 2015 are definitely Brown’s Hotel, The Lanesborough and of course Claridge’s…you can’t go wrong with either one!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Best-Gluten-Free-Afternoon-Tea

Lessons Learned from Blogging in 2015

I learnt a few big lessons from blogging this year…some good and some pretty shit.

The good – I made some great friends through blogging and found them extremely supportive in times of need or when I needed a bit of blog advice.  I really love the interaction with the community that follows along in my journey, especially the non-bloggers that take the time to email me, thank you!  The opportunities that have come my way thanks to this blog have always being appreciated but once again a big thank you to the brands that I’ve worked with in the past.  I had a blog refresh this month and it feels great to have a new look…a bit like finding a new pair of really comfortable knickers that actually look a tad sexy, that’s how I’d sum up my blog make over.

The shit – I will be brutally honest and say that I fell out of love with the blogging community this year (not all but a lot); there are some unkind people in the blogging community, the blagging seriously needs to stop (and one of the reasons why I almost quit twitter – if you want something, pay for the bloody stuff yourself!) and the reviews that aren’t honest.  I value my community so if I find out that a blogger has lied then I never share their posts with my community EVER AGAIN…I’ve worked hard to gain peoples trust and don’t fancy throwing it away with one tweet.  And don’t get me started on the whole follow and unfollow crap way of building social media stats – seriously getting followed and followed by the same blogger three times in a week was beyond annoying…more annoying than the DM on twitter asking to follow them on Facebook…if you want me to follow you then please show me some personality and give me a reason to follow with some interaction rather then spamming me with links to your blog (and I’ve being guilty of this also so I know it’s not easy!).

Going forward, I am no longer accepting anything complimentary on my blog as I want to receive the same experience that my readers will be getting rather than a “blogger experience” and I don’t fancy getting involved in the competitive nature of blogging; I find it fascinating to watch but don’t fancy participating…I think they should do a “I’m a blogger…get me out of here” youtube show, it would be so bloody hilarious.   What you see is really what you get…a blog all paid for by me and all about me me me me me!

My weight

Well I got fatter…what else can I say but since I’ve come home to NZ for Christmas my body confidence has improved hence why you’re seeing photos of me on instagram now.  Weirdly I feel people are more judgemental in the UK especially when it comes to looks while in NZ, the casual laid approach to fashion and life is a lot less judgemental…I’m sure people will disagree with me here but that’s just my opinion on things and you know what they say about opinions…they’re like arseholes, everyones got one.

So that’s my 2015 in review…I do feel like I’ve blinked and missed things but hey ho that’s life and you don’t have to be out exploring every second of every day…there’s nothing better than having a day of rest to recharge those old batteries and never feel guilty for doing so…it’s your life!

xx

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So as promised, I’m starting my Luxury Travel Masterclass posts on how to get yourself free or cheap luxury hotels and have decided to start with my favourite hotel chain, IHG.  I want people to understand that the holidays that I blog about are actually all paid for by me and most of the time I’m using my points to stay at luxury hotels for free….means more money for shoes…that’s the way I roll.

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^^The view from the Presidential Suite at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Fran!

I think a lot of people don’t like using a hotels within a brand as they think they’re lacking personality and the rooms are tiny…trust me this isn’t the case!  Some of my favourite hotels are part of a huge hotel chain.

What brands do IHG cover?

IHG has a great selection of hotels starting with the very basic Holiday Inn Express Hotels (great for budget travellers and your stay includes a free breakfast), Holiday Inns, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and the very luxurious Intercontinental brand.  There are a few additional brands within the group but these are the most recognisable.

I’m very fond of the Intercontinental brand…who doesn’t want to stay in a five star hotel but I also like their Holiday Inn brand as the beds are comfy, locations are fabulous, the rooms are tidy and they’re great value for money.

What properties have I stayed at? (Putting my money where my mouth is!)

I’ve stayed at a lot including (in no particular order)…

Intercontinental Hong Kong

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Intercontinental Marseille

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Intercontinental London (including partaking in afternoon tea at the hotel a number of times!)…

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Intercontinental Porto

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Intercontinental Berlin

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Intercontinental Vienna

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Intercontinental Dusseldorf

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…and a number of other properties!

G and I may have made it our goal to stay at all the Intercontinental properties in Germany a few years ago (we did it!) and trust me this isn’t a full listing of the hotels we’ve spent the night.

Locations of their Hotels

There are over 4,900 hotels scattered all over the world and for me the winner is that they’ve got a number of properties within the UK to stay at…making it super easy to earn free nights overseas from spending a night or two away from home on staycations.

I’ve noticed while researching for my Peru trip that IHG haven’t got a great selection of hotels in Peru but my first night in Lima is going to be spent at their Crowne Plaza property; all paid for with our points hence I’m not paying a cent!

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How good is the IHG loyalty program?

The IHG loyalty program is definitely my favourite and it’s free to join!  You can join up here.  It has some great little perks like free wifi when staying plus the ability to collect points easily to use for free or cheap hotel stays at a later date.

If you stay at the Intercontinental branded hotels frequently then I would highly recommend purchasing (either with cash or using your points) the Ambassador Loyalty Membership as it gives you late check out (perfect for city break weekends!), a free welcome gift, a free movie, a free night voucher and some pretty grand upgrades.

The Levels of the IHG Loyalty Program

Club Membership

The benefits of a Club Membership include no black out dates when booking reward nights, complimentary newspaper and internet.

Gold Elite Member

This will be awarded if you have stayed a minimum of 10 nights or earned at least 10,000 points during a calendar year.

Benefits of a Gold Elite Membership include the above plus Priority Check in and a 10% bonus on base points earned during stays at an IHG property.

Platinum Elite Member

This will be awarded if you stayed a minimum of 40 nights or earned at least 40,000 points during a calendar year.  Or you can take the easy route and apply for an IHG credit card to gain instant Platinum status (more information shortly on this travel cheat).

Benefits of a Platinum Elite Membership include all of the above plus a 50% bonus on base points earned during stays at an IHG property, guaranteed room availability and upgrades subject to availability (we’ve always received an upgrade since becoming Platinum members).

Spire Elite Member

This will be awarded if you stay a minimum of 75 nights or earned at least 75,000 points during a calendar year.  I’m rather close to this level now…I can almost touch it….!  This is also just a new level that IHG have added to their loyalty program.

Benefits of a Spire Elite Membership include all of the above plus 100% bonus on base points earned during stays at an IHG property and having the ability to share some of these benefits with family and friends.

Is it easy to earn enough points for free or cheap luxury hotel nights?

Yes!  From our three nights in Hong Kong, I managed to earn 37,510 points which is a lot…I only need 50,000 points to redeem a free night at the Intercontinental Park Lane in London…so well over half way there.

50,000 points is the highest value you will pay for a hotel room and this is within an Intercontinental hotel but you can get some pretty great deals on hotel rooms paying as little as 5,000 – 10,000 points.

The points that you would earn at a Holiday Inn properties do add up quite quickly as well and IHG are always running point acceleration promotions…meaning more points and getting yourself into an Intercontinental property quicker…hello free luxury hotel room!

Other ways to earn IHG points

As we as earning points on stays; you can earn more points by applying for a IHG Premium Points Credit Card.  The credit card is through Barclays and offers instant Platinum Elite status within IHG which means you get some nifty benefits (see above).  Here is all the info you need to know about the card; including that you will earn 20,000 IHG reward points for just making a purchase.

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I have this card, along with my British Airways American Express which allows me to travel in First Class with BA for only £500 (yes you read that right!).

The biggest benefit that this credit card offers is that if you spend over £10,000 within a 12 month period that you will receive a free night voucher that you can use at any of their hotels…so make sure you use this voucher at the most expensive hotel…I’ve got my eye on the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes in France…oh lala but without paying a penny!

If you treat the credit card like a debit card, you can hit the £10,000 limit quite easily…just make sure you pay it off in full each month and never get into debt just to get a free hotel room (this is Kelly speaking with her accounting hat on!).

Is it easy to redeem your points?

Yes!  Actually it’s so easy that I’ve booked a free night the morning of us arriving at a hotel once and you can do it easily on line by just picking Rewards Night as your payment option.  I’ve yet to run into a problem with booking myself a free night.

You can also pay with points and cash; handy if you don’t have enough points in your account.

Does IHG offer good upgrades?

We’ve had some great upgrades over the years including staying at the Presidential suite at The Mark Hopkins in San Fransisco…this was pre-blog just in case you were wondering!

Each hotel offers different upgrades to it’s loyal guests.  If you’re an Ambassador staying at an Intercontinental property then you can expect at least one level above what you’ve booked…some hotels (Intercontinental Dusseldorf) offered two levels above the room I’d booked.

Customer Service

For me, customer service makes or breaks a hotel – I’m not going to say that I’ve had a perfect stay every time as that’s a giant fib but overall I have to say I’ve had some pretty great customer service moments at IHG hotels over the years and I’ve always felt welcomed.

A hotel is your home away from home and for me, if I don’t feel welcomed then I feel uncomfortable in the hotel – I’ve always been greeted with big smiles on every stay and even been greeted with a glass of bubbles while checking in.

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The Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna was definitely a stand out for me…an eye sore from the outside but inside the hotel is gorgeous and the customer service is impressive from the great concierge right through to the staff at breakfast who knew as soon as I gave my room number that I was gluten free and was shown around the breakfast buffet.  A customer service win and I would quite happily return to this hotel over and over again!

Social Media Prowess

On the weekend we stayed at a Holiday Inn in Ashford and received our upgrade which was the disabled room however it wasn’t the nicest and it smelled (thanks to a air conditioning unit blowing out musky air).  I tweeted my disgust (as you do rather than calling the front desk…within minutes I was chatting to the Duty Manager and offered a different room).  That’s what I call fabulous customer service via social media…the twitter team had contacted the hotel with my concerns.

Instagram is my social media crack and unfortunately I think IHG have fallen behind on Instagram as the account is slightly boring and uninspiring – I booked 3 nights at the Intercontinental Marseille after seeing a photo of Instagram a few years ago!  I would love to see the return of great photos on this account at some point in the future.

Price Guarantee

As I’ve stayed a lot at IHG properties over the years and booked directly via their website, I’ve never worried that I’m not getting the best price.  The Price Guarantee that IHG offer is the best of any hotel chain…get this…if you can find the hotel cheaper on another website within 24 hours of making your booking (with the same terms and conditions) then IHG will give you your first night free…that’s how sure they are that you’re going to get the best price on their own website!  None of this 10% or 20% discount that almost every other hotel chain offers…you get your first night free…it doesn’t matter if you’re staying one or ten nights!

So have I converted you to signing up for a free IHG membership and trying out their brand of hotels?

Since this is my first Luxury Travel Masterclass, is there any other information that you want me to add?  I hope this post will help you get some free or cheap luxury hotels for your next holiday.

xx

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After spending a pretty relaxing 9 nights in Malaysia, we were spending one night in Hong Kong before heading back to London.  We had a few things planned and I had a few places I wanted to visit that we didn’t have a chance to see on our previous stay in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

We left a relatively dry but humid Kuala Lumpur and landed into a rather wet and humid Hong Kong…and that weather stayed with us…don’t wear a long dress in this weather otherwise you will end up having to tuck it into your knickers and then endure odd looks from the locals.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

After our Rolls Royce transfer from the airport to The Peninsula Hong Kong…we were checked in and then after a quick chat with the concierge (who was fabulous), we were off exploring Hong Kong.

I love kooky things and the Goldfish Market sounded weird and wonderful…it was pretty weird in that we only found two shops selling goldfish…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…but I found a cat that reminded me of myself…weirdly I found her inside a goldfish shop and she looked like she had overindulged once too often in goldfish…plus she looked like she didn’t give a damn about anything…after a few stern words she looked up and grimaced for the camera….totally me as a cat…having a fat day…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

Our next stop was the flower market and guess what it sells flowers….

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…and plants….

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…and bouquets!  The bouquet of small teddy bears actually freaked me out somewhat!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

After getting our second themed market out of the way I thought we might as well visit the Bird Market…for a person that is petrified of birds, I’m not sure that this was my smartest move ever so I let G walk through the market…I asked him what it was like…he said there were birds…no way, really!  Yes really!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

G and I found this highly amusing on our walk between the various markets…we may have got slightly lost when we ventured across the stadium!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

G had a real fascination with the markets and buying tat while I on the other hand didn’t enjoy the markets at all.  Maybe the 10 strawberry keyrings that I purchased in Cameron Highlands was my wake up call…stop buying tat…anyone want a keyring?  I had to remind G that having an umbrella with The Peninsula slapped all over it wasn’t going to get him the best deal in town.  I ventured back to the hotel to read my book while G bought tat in the markets.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

Waking up bright and early the following morning to find that it was still raining we ventured out sightseeing in the rain…much to the disgust of G who just wanted to spend the day in the creche i.e. the spa!

The one place that I hadn’t ventured too in Hong Kong was Man Mo Temple and I wasn’t leaving Hong Kong without visiting and I’m so glad that I sloshed my way through the rain as the temple was just stunning and everything that I hoped it would be!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

I loved how the locals and the tourists mingled together in the temple and if you only have a day in Hong Kong then I highly recommend you make the time to visit Man Mo Temple.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

When the concierge at The Peninsula Hong Kong gave us tips on places to visit in Hong Kong…she came up with the suggestion of riding the longest escalator in the world and of course we instantly wanted to ride it…it’s not continuous but when in Hong Kong you need to ride it just for the novelty factor alone!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

The views from the escalator are rather cool as you get a great birds eye view of the streets below…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…all the crazy signs are in your face…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…more signs…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…and you can spot all the taxis that you couldn’t find yesterday when you needed one!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

After riding the escalator like small children, we wandered down to Hollywood Road as the concierge said it’s a great place to take photos of buildings….I may have told her I like taking pictures of doors…she didn’t judge!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

You could get slightly carried away…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

…ok I may have got carried away taking photos…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

G realised it was better for me to take photos of the gorgeous buildings rather than heading into dangerous little shops like these dotted around Hollywood Road!  I would have been lost inside that shop for hours.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

We headed back to The Peninsula for Afternoon Tea and then packed our bags ready for our flight back to London.

Only having one night in Hong Kong meant that we focused just two different areas to explore to make the most of our time.  If you only have 24 hours in Hong Kong then make sure you visit Man Mo Temple as it won’t disappoint.

I loved Hong Kong; the vibrancy, the craziness and the grubbiness just appealed to me!  It’s hard not to fall in love with Hong Kong.

Travel Tips for Hong Kong

  • The underground is easy to use however we preferred using the Star Ferries to cross the harbour due to the fantastic views and history to this way of travel.
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable as you will do a bit of walking around Hong Kong
  • For our one night in Hong Kong we stayed at The Peninsula Hotel (full review here) which is Hong Kong’s most iconic hotel, it will set you back a few bob however it’s a gorgeous property and the service is just incredible. If you are looking for a hotel with great views over Hong Kong then I would recommend The Intercontinental Hong Kong (full review here), great hotel and you can redeem your IHG points at this property if travelling on a budget.
  • We loved our afternoon tea at The Peninsula Hotel and they served up a respectable gluten free version as well; this is where the locals head to for afternoon tea.  We also tried the afternoon tea at The Mandarin Oriental if you want to try somewhere different.
  • If you have more than 1 night in Hong Kong then would recommend checking out my post on what we got up to for 4 nights – albeit a typhoon bought Hong Kong to a standstill and our travel plans!
  • Hong Kong is a great destination and I would recommend either using it as either a stop over from Europe to Australia or New Zealand or tagging it onto the beginning or the end of another Asian adventure like we did – we spent over a week exploring Malaysia.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia, let me show you what you can fit into a one night visit to this incredible city including a posh afternoon tea that the locals visit to a number of other fantastic places to visit   Click through to the blog for more travel tips and things to do for Hong Kong.

xx

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Hong Kong is one of those places which just oozes luxury so I thought I would create a little Luxury Hong Kong Travel Guide of places to stay, shop and eat if you’re ever planning on visiting.  There is so much to do in Hong Kong that I think many travellers under estimate the amount of time required to explore Hong Kong.

To Rest Your Head

The Peninsula Hong Kong

Definitely the King of Hotels in Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hong Kong is opulent and elegant with fantastic service so you won’t be disappointed and you can arrive in style by booking yourself a Rolls-Royce airport transfer.  One of Asia’s most iconic hotels and famous the world over, this is the place to stay if you’re ever visiting Hong Kong and even starred in a James Bond movie!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

Intercontinental Hotel Hong Kong

If you’re not a fan of beautiful old hotels then the Intercontinental Hotel Hong Kong is the place for you!  Booking a Harbour View room is a total must as the hotel has the best location in the whole of Hong Kong; trust me you won’t be turning on the tv as the views are fantastic.  If you’re a foodie then you will be spoilt for choice and there are so many incredible restaurants located within the hotel itself.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

To Fill Your Tummy

High Tea at The Peninsula

If there is one place to go for High Tea in Hong Kong, it’s The Peninsula and customers have been queuing for decades to enjoy it’s fancy cakes.  And yes you have to queue, they don’t take bookings however if you’re a resident of the hotel then you can normally jump the queue.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

Dining at The Intercontinental Hong Kong

We ended up with Club Lounge access and had many light meals within this area however my favourite foodie, Angie from Silverspoon London did try fancy restaurants within the hotel which you can read about here.  This is the famous ice cream burger which is a total must do just for the novelty factor alone!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

Sunset Cruise on the Aqua Luna

I can’t recommend this sunset cruise enough, the views and of course the sunset are gorgeous but there is just something seriously luxurious about this vessel!  You are provided with a free drink on board.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

Hong Kong Travel Guide to Shopping

The Peninsula Arcade

If you want to make your credit card cry then you just need to wander through the shopping arcade inside the Peninsula Hotel.  It has so many diamonds sparkling away under the lights that you will need to put your posh sunnies on just to stop the diamond glare.

Yue Hwa Department Store

Hong Kong offers great diversity but there was something that I wanted more than anything and that was a traditional Chinese Style tea set.  One very helpful concierge suggested the Yue Hwa Department Store and let’s just say it’s a visual feast.  I ended up leaving with some of the most beautiful silk material I’ve ever seen but with no tea set…oops!  It has everything you could ever want under one roof from chinese herbs to shoes.

IFC Mall

If there was a shopping mall that G and I kept visiting it was the IFC Mall in Hong Kong (it had great air conditioning!) – the mall has every luxury designer under one roof (danger danger!) and of course an Apple store which was blooming heaving!  Located right beside the Star Ferry, it’s pretty hard to miss.

SOGO

Within a few easy steps of The Peninsula Hotel, SOGO is a small department store which offers a great selection of beauty products.  The department store itself is definitely on the small side by Hong Kong standards however it means you can find most things quickly and with ease.  If you are looking at stocking up on beauty supplies then make this your first stop.

Made to Measure Clothes

Hong Kong is famous for it’s made to measure clothes however we were slightly disappointed with the prices and I found that it was possible to buy a designer clothes for less!  Just be warned, you will be hassled when shopping on the streets of Hong Kong – ask your hotel concierge for recommendations.

Hope this little Luxury Hong Kong Travel Guide helps your out on your next big adventure!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to Hong Kong on your next vacation then why not check out this luxury travel guide to Hong Kong from places to eat, Hong Kong shopping tips and the most luxurious hotels.  Which Hong Kong Luxury hotel starred in a James Bond movie...find the answer in the post!  There are plenty of Hong Kong travel tips at my website www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com

xx

If you liked this post on A Luxury Hong Kong Travel Guide then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

After our jolly little holiday around Malaysia, we flew back to Hong Kong for one night only and we were staying in the lap of luxury at The Peninsula Hong Kong.  This hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in Asia and for good reason.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

If you’re a James Bond fan then you know that The Peninsula Hong Kong has the iconic green Rolls-Royce fleet…all the green Rolls in Hong Kong belong to The Peninsula.  G loves James Bond…and well I love Sean Connery’s sexy accent…so we booked the most expensive airport transfer of my life and not just one way to arrive in style!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

^^G needs to work on his selfie skills…2 weeks away and we were still bloody useless at them…I think we may be some of the only tourists in this world that don’t own a selfie stick!

On arrival at The Peninsula Hong Kong we were escorted from the Rolls-Royce and taken directly to our room where the check in took place.  G and I loved this personal touch offered to it’s customers arriving by the private transfer.  We were provided with a room tour which we needed…it was pretty high tech.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

I had booked us into a Grand Deluxe Kowloon View Room so we had a city view which I was pretty darn happy about as it was nice to have a different view of Hong Kong…we had a Harbour View room at the Intercontinental Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

The room was spacious and well thought out in design…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

…the room was rather calming but reminded me slightly of a Shangri-La hotel…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

…with a super comfy bed to relax on (I may have checked out how comfy the bed was before I took a photo hence the squished pillow)

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Now as far as hotel bathrooms go…this one was pretty impressive…spacious and everything that you ever needed or wanted in a bathroom!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

You could even watch tv in the bath!  You could probably even order a burger and chips to be delivered to your bath while you watched telly…we didn’t do this though!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

The room is rather high tech and even had a nail dryer…I kid you not and I should have given myself a manicure but red nail polish and cream carpet = a kelly disaster waiting to happen (bottom left)!  The pull out drawer beside the bed on both sides was impressive…you could charge your phone with ease…possibly the best room for power sockets that I’ve ever come across in a 5 star hotel.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

While the check in was happening a lovely pot of jasmine tea arrived in our room and I’ve become obsessed with the tea ever seen.  G was happy with his coffee…and well I just wanted to pinch both these tea sets.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Our welcome gifts included good quality fruit…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

…and chocolates!

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Our room rate included a three course dinner in the lobby (and I will apologise for the slightly dark photos now…blooming mood lighting!).  On informing the staff that I was gluten free, all my options were pointed out to me and nothing was an issue.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

We started with soups and as I couldn’t have the mushroom soup as it contained gluten, they whipped me up a lovely Tomato and Basil Soup and bought me out toasted bread…love toasted bread.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

G and I both ordered the beef…the potatoes where changed as they weren’t gluten free plus the sauce contained a tiny bit of gluten so they bought the sauce out in a separate container so I could make a decision to eat or not.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

We finished the meal with a lovely dessert; I had the poached pear which was divine…unfortunately the photos are just too dark and blurry to use.

Thankfully the rain stopped for a bit so I could take some photos of Hong Kong at night time from our room.  The Ritz Carlton is located at the top of the building on the right.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Waking up the following morning we made our way down to breakfast…there was a great buffet to nibble our way through…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

…and nibble I did…I may have pinched all the strawberries…the coffee action shot wasn’t planned…G and I aren’t that clever…

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

…and this is how we like our eggs in the morning…the gluten free option is on the left obviously.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

I’m not going to lie…I found it extremely hard to eat gluten free in Hong Kong so we had many meals in the hotel including high tea at The Peninsula Hong Kongyou can read my full review here.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

As we had the Rolls-Royce transfer back to the airport we were granted a late check out…our flight was at 2300 hrs so we had the room until 2000 hrs which was great as it meant we could shower before leaving to catch our flight back to London.  We were totally impressed that the room was cleaned as this normally doesn’t happen on a late check out.

One last pic of G and the Rolls-Royce…we were greeted at the airport by an employee whom helped us check in at the airport and then took us to security.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

What does The Peninsula Rolls-Royce Transfer include –

  • You’re greeted at the gate at the airport and escorted to immigration
  • After immigration you’re escorted to the baggage carousel to pick up your luggage
  • There is a short walk to the lounge where you wait for a few short minutes (if that!) for the Rolls-Royce to swing around
  • Once in the Rolls-Royce you are provided with Evian water and also told about the free wifi onboard (yes…you can holiday spam everyone from inside the Rolls darling!)
  • You will practice your royal wave a lot as everyone stares at the famous green Rolls-Royce in the hope of spotting a celebrity.
  • The service level from this transfer is perfect…you don’t have to think about anything at all!

Would I recommend The Peninsula Hong Kong – yes and I can’t recommend it highly enough; it’s one of the worlds most iconic hotels and definitely worth the money for the old world charm and fabulous service that it offers.

The service at The Peninsula is truly incredible…it’s actually faultless and remember I’m a rather fussy traveller.

Hong Kong Travel Inspiration - Thinking of visiting Hong Kong on your next vacation to Asia then why not check out my hotel review of this iconic luxury hotel in Hong Kong famous for it's afternoon tea and also it's fleet of Green Rolls Royce vehicles which featured in a James Bond movie.  Click the link to read more of my hotel review of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

I booked our room via Propeller Travel and this meant we received a few extra benefits like late check out, a free dinner voucher and extended spa treatments (which we didn’t use, doh!) included in our room rate as they have a total understanding of hotel loyalty schemes.

xx

If you liked this post on Luxury Hotel Review: The Peninsula Hong Kong then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!