Jun 25 2018

South of Queens Blvd

Forest Hills

South of Queens Boulevard is a better neighborhood than the north, which has more apartmentents buildings. This photo is on Continental Avenue (is also the 71st Avenue) @ Bow Street. The LIRR track is under the trees.


Apr 21 2018

Sofitel Westlake

333 West Lake Avenue
Hangzhou, 310002
Zhejiang Province, China

Will return.

An excellent location – cross street from the Westlake. It’s not new but they try to make most out of it.

A couple of little situations – they’re cross board in China: long check in and out line; check in time the room isn’t ready; thick smoke in the public bathroom (lobby, etc.).

We got to the hotel at 1:15 for 2 pm check in; and our room is not ready when we returned at 2:39. I wasn’t pleased and ask them to serve us champagne while waiting. The joke is on me because we’re on the 5th floor with executive lounge privilege. They ended up giving me a bottle. Oh well.

The staff is helpful and pleasant. The 5th floor executive lounge is a perfect place to watch the sunset, without crowds. One of the red wines Perle is pretty good.


Apr 14 2018



This fabled hotel has a long history – since 1863. It’s built by an English missionary. There is a “museum” in the basement but I didn’t visit, the woman  huatily told me there is ¥50 admission, even for hotel guests.

After the afternoon tea at the O’Hara’s bar I wander in and out of the old wing freely – for this reason, not sure I want to spend a night or two there.


Apr 14 2018

The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin

167 Dagubei Road
Heping District
Tianjin, 300040

It is on the site of Gordon Hall, across the street (解放 Jiefang N Road) from  Astor Hotel. The main entrance is face the Jiefang Garden North 解放北园, a tiny green patch with a Chinese gazebo. There is rich history to this location and the hotel offers a short tour at 6 pm.

1976 Tangshan earthquake had damaged the building. They rebuilt and used as municipal government till 2010. Ritz began in 2013

The columns at their 2-level Chinese restaurant are salvaged from the American garrison, treated and preserved. Nice touch.

Abundant of paintings are hung throughout the public area. The stairs in the lobby somehow, remind me of Gone with the Wind, where Gable noticed his girl.


Apr 4 2018

Ahn Luh 安麓

27 Yangming Road 阳明路
Shaoxing, Zhejiang

Qinsen Group 秦森 is founded by Qin Tongqian 秦同千 (chairman of Qinsen Group) that manages this hotel/resort. The major investor is Beijing Tourism (?)北旅, also the founder of Anman (can’t remember the third investor). They were in red last year and break even this year so far. Summer months are their slow season. When it snows, the staff is to clean the flakes.

Battery car, old wood, my first impression is, it feels like Aman, which is, should be – Aman group approached Mr. Qin, as I was told by a staff, Jack. Qin is quite well known for preserving vantage houses and items. Jack is very courteous and showed me around the property. We stayed at the least expensive housing, ¥2,000 a night (abt $318). The house cost ¥4,000 and the new construction with a mini pool is ¥6,000. I like the house the best – but it’s one bed situation. All housing on the ground accommodates two people only.

They don’t accept foreign credit card (Hyatt in Qingdao did …).

All Day Dinning 全日餐厅 is where breakfast (6:30-10), afternoon tea (2:30-4:30) and dinner, of course, served. The terrace isn’t too impressive.

Smoking is allowed (terrible!), unfortunately. The painted shower stall is pilling – Mr. Qin insisted to paint, instead of tiles or other durable material. Given shower wasn’t available back then, not sure this would bring anything back from the past. The classical music throughout the property is very nice.

The staff is helpful and courteous. Jack even brought tea to me in the library – thanks J! – as I’ve two hours to kill (raining) before the evening taxi to the train station.

Mar 30 2018

Hyatt on the Bund

199 Huangpu Lu

Mar 28 2018

Hyatt Qingdao

88 E Donghai Road
东海东路88号, 近金狮广场

Check in and out need half an hour, it is the most terrible thing. And once you checked out, there isn’t WiFi in the lobby – very incomvient. The staff is friendly tho.

Over all, it’s a decent hotel: on the swimmable beach, next to Olympic sailing center, and I particularly like the fact they have a steam room and a pool (bathing cap is required). They open 6-10pm, the gym opens 24 hours a day.


The ocean view room on 10th floor


Buffet breakfast in the lower level has wide selections, ¥170. The  executive lounge is on the 21 floor has ocean view with limited food selections.


On the first night they send five mangos.



Feb 2 2018

Aloft Atlanta Downtown

300 Ted Turner Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

The location is pretty good: a block away, is the Children’s Museum, Cock Cola, Acquirum, Civil Right Museum, Centennial Olympic Park; at other end of the park is CNN headquarter, where you can take the tour of this news organization. The hotel is nicely run. Comfortable bed, pillows; but the water pressure is so so.


Feb 2 2018


My first trip to the city, Feb 2-4. Atlanta is rather small, hilly and perhaps my short time here, don’t see any rundown area, all good and sitting pretty.

Landing on Friday evening from Huntsville, I take MARTA subway to the city, quick, easy and convenient. My hotel Aloft is 5 minutes walk from the station.      Buckhead is a bit away. the Lenox shopping mall aand Phillp Aven … .


Feb 1 2018

Marriott @ Space Center

5 Tranquility Base,
Huntsville, AL 35805

A room with a view

It’s a short walk to the Space museum and the space camp. The staff is nice but the refrigerator wasn’t cleaned. The swimming pool is small and the water is extremely hot – obviously it is not for swimming, -:)