All posts by luxe miles

How to “cook” / do laundry properly in hotel rooms

I will tell you my “secret” how to do laundry in hotel rooms, while making sure it is the same standard as a commercial laundry washer.

First, you need to buy the purex laundry sheets: they pack the same amount of concentrated laundry soap in a carry on friendly format. Do not bring powder soap or liquids, they are either too heavy, and they all tend to spill.

purex laundry sheets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second, make sure the bathtub is clean and can be plugged so then water does not drain.

Third: use 1-2 sheets (3 maximum for extremely dirty clothes), put laundry in the tub, pour HOT water into the tub directly onto the puex sheets.

make sure it is HOT water, and of course you should only bring “travel” friendly clothes by now ( the ones  that are fast drying, wrinkle free, and can tolerate heat without shrinking)

stir the tub as if you are cooking ! for at least a few minutes, then repeat a few times during the next hour.

leave the clothes to “cook” for at least 30 min to 1 hour, while stir it

Fourth: drain the water

then rinse with clean warm water for 1-2 times by filling the water into the tub, and stir it while rinsing.

what is important is  : use proper laundry soap + heat + (stir )friction = same principles as your home or commercial laundry. You will be surprised how much dirt you can clean with this method. You can add the hotel’s perfumed soap and shampoo if you want it to smell a certain way.

How to dry? by now you should always travel with small packable dryer line. The advantage of drying clothes inside the room: you have an automatic humidifier (hotels rooms are always so dry, putting you more at risk of catching a cold because of the dry air)

The best way and cleanest way to dry the clothes is: under the SUN. It is extremely clean with the sun drying, as the UV will also sanitize your laundry. (even cleaner than your home dryers)

Unless you are extremely wealthy, can afford $10 per piece of clothing for the hotel to clean for you ( $200 per load), then it is just faster, simpler and CLEANER to do your own laundry (you really do not want them to touch or clean your laundry, as they will clean it with very low heat, and very quickly as they do not have time and do not want to ruin any guest’s clothes. Only bed sheets and towels etc that the hotels may clean properly and use bleach)

so next time, do not be surprised to see this in a fancy suite costing $1000 and up :

:-)

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TG first class PRIVATE 747 flight, syd-bkk, video

Once again, we flew “private” in first class, from syd-bkk. There were no one else booked on that first class cabin. We were the only ones. We ate at one seat, watch tv at another one, sleep on another bed already pre made, with 2 private bathroom just for us. This award redemptions is turning to be one of the best, as we ended up with so many private flights!

service: 9/10. good consistent service.

food: from Sydney, the food seemed to be less good than a flight from Bangkok. We pre-ordered the lobster noodles dish this time.

videos of tg first class 747:

 

pictures:

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SYDNEY SQ Singapore first class lounge, hidden lounge 2015

we booked thai tg first class from SYD to BKK. but as a first class star alliance passenger, we have access to the SQ  lounge.

Normally, the staff will tell you that you have access to the new Zealand lounge NZ (which is older, noisier, not as good). We prefer to be outside than inside the old NZ lounge.

The sq first lounge is actually closer to the boarding gate that Thai normally use.

 At the check in desk of sq lounge, the lounge” dragon” ( verify and authorized access), checked our boarding pass and then … Just press a button. Suddenly, a hidden door right beside her slide to open up and she tell us to go into the SQ first class lounge. There were no sign, no mention ANYWHERE that it is a door or entrance to the SQ first class lounge. 

 the lounge is quite nice, good food, good décor, showers clean and big:

 

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Tetsuyas restaurant Sydney, 2015

After many disappointing  and expensive experiences at supposedly top rated restaurants in Sydney before (especially quay’s) we were reluctant to book tetsuyas, especially since it is the same owner as waku ghin in Singapore.

however, the price is much cheaper than Singapore, with much better food. It was ranked as high as # 9 in the world restaurants.

décor: informal relaxing atmosphere (not snobbish), view of a Japanese garden

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the restaurant is located in a private mansion right in the heart of Sydney CBD.

You have to book with a credit card guarantee long before. Dinner is a set menu at $220 pp.

The waiter give you options regarding water : still, sparkling, bottle, or tap water… I love the option of free tap water ! expensive bottle water does not mean better taste or better quality control. There are actually a lot of people ordering simple tap water.. which surprised us.

The bread is actually excellent, warm, crunchy when it should be. soft where it is supposed to be. The taste of the bread here is even better than 3 star Michelin in paris (!), according to the unanimous consensus of luxemiles group.

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Food: 9/10. very good. Raw ingredients and dishes are nicely prepared: you do not taste or smell any “fishiness”.  The main signature dish is very good:

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other dishes:

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dessert are nothing special. this is one area where it could be exceptional instead of just  average

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conclusion: is it worth the recommendation and price? YES, unanimous vote from luxemiles eaters

 

 

 

 

 

westin Sydney 2015: executive one bedroom suite upgrade

Westin Sydney:

We usually do not prefer to stay here, as in the past the staff is quite snobbish. We prefer to stay at the park hyatt Sydney (same price as westin, with hyatt points), or the Sheraton Sydney (as they are a lot nicer to platinum guests and upgrades us every time. Sheraton also have a nicer lounge)

But this time, the price was even cheaper than the Sheraton Sydney.

cost: $110 + 5000 spg points for cheapest room. (compared to $400 cash relatively cheap for westin Sydney for this period)

At check in, we were automatically upgraded to the executive suite, without us even mentioning anything about it…. In the past, even to get just a normal simple better room (not suite), people had to fight for it. Even if they had rooms or suites available, they did not upgrade us in the past.

This hotel had a “reputation” with frequent fliers (FT) that is not as status friendly as the Sheraton. To be fair, westin Sydney have fewer suites, and is usually more busy, so getting a suite upgrade here is extremely rare.

Westin lounge is basic, with full service where they will bring you your drinks.

Sheraton Sydney lounge is MUCH better (see later post)

BED: 8/10 very comfy

bathroom: 9/10. the suite water pressure and view from the bathroom is very good

space: quite big considering westin brand

service: this time is quite good. luggage service was fast, check in fast and efficient.

maybe they got a new management?? !

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Park Hyatt Melbourne, suite cathedral 2015

unlike other hotels (westin, grand hyatt, Sofitel etc) that are located closer to downtown, park hyatt Melbourne does not seem to jack up their prices too much for the Australian open.

Usually, we book the cheapest room, and ask to upgrade to a nice cathedral suite, with view of the cathedral and fireplace, by using the hyatt diamond suite upgrades. The suite upgrades save you around $200 per night compared to a normal room.

This year we did not stay enough at hyatt, and hyatt dropped the status match program, so we did not ask for a suite upgrade, we booked (and paid !) for a suite, which is extremely rare for us to actually pay for suite.

Normally, we do not pay for a suite, just the cheapest room. But when I saw that park hyatt Melbourne offer very good rates for their suites, ($600) with free full breakfast, AND $100 dining PER night, especially when the price is much cheaper than other hotels in town for a normal room (westin and grand hyatt are at $700 per night around that time for the cheapest room), we booked the suite with amex FHR directly.

The best part is the $100 credit for dining: you can use it for in room dining, which we did. We order late late night dinner (1am) after the tennis.

The staff seem to have an extensive notes on you. They are prepared. they know right away we stayed many times there before, and which room we liked.

Last year we saw stan wawrinka in the lobby the night before his big match with nadal.  Instead of sleeping, he was in the lobby drinking at midnight. We took pictures with stan, and wish him good luck.

Conclusion: hyatt diamond status this year is not worth it. You can usually book suites for cheaper than trying to maintain status at hyatt.

 

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park hyatt lounge: one of the ONLY park hyatt that have a lounge. And what a lounge ! they serve good canapé and drinks selection before tennis at around 6:30pm

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Melbourne Australia dessert and restaurants 2015

melbourne Asian dessert : we usually order this mango bubble tea to bring it into the Australian open: (same restaurants as last year)

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Melbourbe pho: Melbourne have good pho restaurants, they are everywhere.  Pho nam: This one is located centrally in the basement of the shopping centre (emporium melbourne, same building as uniqlo store)

Have your tried WAGYU pho?? !! they sell it there. we had to try the wagyu beef pho.. for $15 !!

wagyu pho:

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Malaysian: cheap good fast. they even have Singapore chili crabs !

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quantas business class SYD-MEL, quantas business domestic lounge

quantas flight syd-mel business class:

cost: booked with avios, ? cheaper than paying economy. Lots of availability Avios is great for booking flight inside Australia, as the cost cash is always much higher than the points award redemptions.

quantas business class lounge is actually hidden at the back of their normal “CLUB” lounge, accessible ONLY for business and high tier frequent flyers. The “club” lounge is accessible for anyone holding a quantas club paid card.

view from lounge:

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quantas flight and meal for a short 1 hour flight:

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Flight TG first BKK-SYD 747, PRIVATE flight

once again, we were the ONLY ones booked for first class flight from bkk-syd, on the tg 747 airplane.

We had the whole first class cabin to play with, eat at one seat, sleep on another one. The thai crew always seemed to love serving us when we are the only ones in the first class cabin. I think maybe because we are not fuzzy or demanding: no alcohol (even with all the free dom perignom), no caviar for my travel partner. They always had to make sure to ask many times that we do not want caviar or champagne… Sometimes, we wish we can just randomly ask someone in the economy cabin to come and dine with us to enjoy the dom perignom and caviar (send me a PM next time !)

cost: part of the 140000 points usairways round the world australia trip

food: 8/10 surprisingly good. we normally do not expect much when flying on an older 747 airplane. Maybe the food was good because it depart from bkk airport, their main airport?

we also PRE-ORDER the lobster. You have the option of pre-ordering special food at least 48 hours prior the flight to get meals like lobster, thai set meals etc. ONLY for thai first class passengers. When the flight is not full, if you do not like the meal you pre-order, the crew have no problem cooking you the pre set meal in the menu.

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service: 10/10 exceptional crew this time. Before, the past few year, TG thai first was very variable, sometimes good, sometimes blah. So far this year (2015), the service on the first class thai was quite consistent across the airplane (747 to a380 flagship)

seat: even if older than their new a380 mini suites, I really like this seat (when it is private flight with no one else), as this seat is quite roomy width wise when you sleep. The IFE entertainment is older. There are 2 bathroom just for us.

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