Hotel Travel Reviews

Jet Lag Causes And Cures For Travelers

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is the season for traveling. During this time of year, more and more people are taking to the air, leaving town for extended vacations. Cross-country travel is common, and crossing time zones can cause your body rhythms to malfunction. This is more commonly known as jet lag. Travelers all over the world will spend at least a couple days of their vacation recovering from this uncomfortable feeling. Your body will take time to adjust to the new time zone you are in. There are some common causes and cures for even the most professional of travelers.

There are a number of things that can occur aboard commercial and private jet charter planes when crossing into a different time zone. Before you even get onto a plane, your physical state can set you over the edge when it comes to suffering from jet lag. You never want to travel out of country when you are exhausted from lack of sleep, hung-over or even stressed or excited. A common problem in all commercial or executive jet charter planes is the dry, stale air. This dryness typically causes travelers headaches, dry noses, throats, and dry skin. It is a germ phobia’s worst nightmare, as it is an easy place to catch a cold. Depending on your airline, you may get a constant supply of fresh air, but it is usually too costly for most airline companies. Cabin pressure alone can cause tiredness and lethargy long before you even land, and alcohol when flying is always just a bad idea. The impact of alcohol in general is more potent when in the air, which usually means a meaner hangover when landing.

There are a number of natural ways to counter the effects of jet lag. Be sure you are prepared before you get on your flight. Alleviate any extra stress by having all your paperwork, travel, and accommodations handled before you land so that you are not worrying about it on the flight. Get enough rest and plenty of exercise and fly at the time of day that is best for you. If you have the ability to sleep well on a plane, night flying may work best. Although for some flying during the day is more suitable. Drinking lots of fluids that are non-alcoholic is vital. Staying hydrated while flying will cure a number of problems. Dehydration is common with jet lag symptoms. Also, so your body does not suffer from any unnecessary physical problems, get up and move around as much as possible during your flight. Walk up and down the aisles and stretch from time to time.

There is no certain way to avoid jet lag when crossing time zones. Being prepared and taking the advice mentioned above will help when you are on your flight. Taking it easy the first couple of days you are on vacation, letting yourself rest, eat well and have a few naps, will make the rest of your vacation time fantastic.

Find out more about Private Jet Charters.

Unhappy with Carnival Cruise Experience

May 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Article Written by Pierre Zarokian
Couple of weeks ago, my family and I went on a Carnival Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. While the whole trip was fun and relaxing for us, I did have some negative experiences with Carnival Cruise lines that I wanted to post about so maybe I can help some future travelers make better decision before signing up with them.

1) Slow Internet: The onboard internet was slower than a 14.4K modem. If you ever used internet before mid 90′s, you know how slow internet used to be. We were charged $100+ for internet access for approximately 4 hours of use, which we only used 2 hours . By the 4th day of the trip I had experienced so much slowness and several disconnections that I decided it was not worth using it anymore. I spoke to the internet manager and asked for a refund for at least my unused minutes. However, I was declined and instead provided with 30 minutes of free credit in my last day. Needless to say, this was not useful to me.

2) Automatic Gratuity: We were charged $70 a person for gratuity. I was not ever that gratuity was added additionally to our bill afterwords. I had assumed that it was part of the bill when I heard a mention of it being included. However, as everybody knows it is customary to leave you waiter(s) a tip when you eat, so we always left tips for our waiter(s) on board.

3) Bad Choice of Islands: The Eastern Caribbean trip included 4 islands, two of them I really liked (San Juan Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands). However, the other 2 islands were not worth the money we paid to see. One was Half Moon Cay in Bahamas, which is actually an island that Carnival Cruise owns and the other was Grand Turk, part of Caicos and Turk Islands. Both these islands were very small and not that interesting to see. My expectations of an island vacation is to go to an exotic island with lot’s of exotic trees, birds and beautiful nature scenery such as water falls, but you won’t find any of these on the two islands. Next time I should do my research little better.

4) Kid friendly or not? When me and my wife initially viewed the pictures of the cruise line (Liberty) and asked the rep over the phone if it was kid friendly, we were told about the kid camp and playground. However, we were not told that that you cannot stays long with your kid while he plays. So turns out the camp is like a baby seating service. Our kid being only 2.5 years old has never stayed in presence of stranger and were not going to do so. We were very disappointed that the parents were not allowed to stay with their kids while the kids play at their play rooms.

5) On Board Photo services a rip off: On board on the Cruise there are photographers all over taking your pics. There are also specific professional photo areas setup with nice backgrounds. You are encouraged by the cruise staff to take as many pics as possible, because at the end you only buy and pay for what you like. The photos turned out to be $22 each for 8×10 photos and ended up costing us around $700. This was an unforeseen expense. Many of the pictures came out really nice. Personally, I would probably have not bought so many of the photos, but my wife insisted on buying many of them. Since we also bought many of the pictures on different days, turns out that when we came home and reviewed them, we had actually also bought doubles of 2 photos in black and white. This was an unnecessary expense, as we could have easily scanned them and reprint for much cheaper. My complaint on this issue is that Carnival charges too much for these photos and should also reward their guests that buy multiple pics. “Buy 2 get one free,” would have been a great offer, but nothing like that was available. They also do not offer the photos in smaller sizes such as 4×6. This would have been another good option to save some money.

I want to say that I am very upset with Carnival Cruise and would not recommend it to anyone, unless the above items do not bother you. Besides the regular cruise fare, which was about $800 per person, my family spend about $2400 on on board services such as spa, food and photos. I consider myself a VIP customer. I have asked for a refund from Carnival Cruise lines for the internet access and the gratuities again after my trip via emailing their customer support and just today I was declined again. I ask Carnival Cruise lines that if they are reading this to make it right and provide me these refunds, so then I can tell everyone how good their customer service was and would be glad to revise this article to say that they care about their customers.

The Sanyas Suite Hotel

April 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Sanyas Suite Hotel is located on Jl. Cendrawasih No. 9, Peti Tenget, Seminyak-Kuta. A hotel of absolute peace and contemplation, it is a hotel designed from the ground up for rest and relaxation. This is the hotel to go to if you want to escape your everyday lives and live in the lap of  luxury. Every suite has its own swimming pool and dining area and kitchen. 

Review 1:

“I felt so pampered staying there! It is certainly one of the great value for money accommodations i’ve stayed at! For a price lower than The Samaya (Seminyak) or the usual Banyan Tree Villas, what we got is a huge villa with a gorgeous pool – a great place to relax! Just look at the pics – they speak a thousand words – awesome!

We were given their Executive Villa (their best) and the staff were awesome – they surprise my hubby with a cake, and singing him bday song ( i must say this is quite typical at luxury villas eg. Banyan Tree). 

I’m rather impressed with the “mini library”, mineral water dispenser, fully equipped bar and kitchen. However due to the ‘closeness to nature’, it is inevitable for some creepy crawlies to appear in the open-air bathroom, and into the pool. I have a caterpillar falling on me while soaking in my bath, and dragonfly-like insects drowning in the pool. It’s not the fault of the staff – they have cleaned the pool and bath immaculately. This just happens when you stay close to nature.

What is slightly lacking is the location – it’s hard to find and off the main belt so we need to take a cab everywhere. Also skip their bfast – pay for yours at La Lucciola instead ( we didn’t take the risk to dine in Sanyas also). Samaya’s restaurant is more appealing. 

Overall it’s a great base to be at – but do travel out for food. If you just want to laze all day without going out, stay at Samaya instead. But if you’re looking at a hidden gem at great value – here’s the place!”

Review 2:

“I’m just updating my earlier review after I visited the Sanyas Suites in October 2008.

My wife and I are back home today after spending another week in Bali.

The previous review focussed pretty heavily on the villa hotel and its facilities.

This time I’d like to point out the incredible level of service that we were afforded. I’ve had great service in hotels before but never anything approaching that offered by the Sanyas Suites.

The staff there simply go above and beyond what you could ever hope for.

Other reviewers have commented on being ferried pretty much wherever you desire in their spotless, new vehicles – for free.

We wanted to buy some glasses whilst we were there so the Assistant Manager, Ariana, took us to a shop he recommended in Denpasar. He then translated for us and returned us back to the Sanyas Suites – total trip was over a couple of hours – all part of their service.

If I could upload more photos I would have submitted a photo of Ariana as his level of service to the hotel guests cannot be rated highly enough. All the other reviewers who have made mention of Ariana will understand just how amazing he is.

We had a wonderful time and will be returning in July for yet another visit. Normally we’d look at staying at different hotels but the Sanyas Suites is just so good, that we don’t even contemplate anywhere else.”

Review 3:

“Private,high walled very quiet beautifully decorated villa with outdoor living room,second toilet/sink off of kitchen, dining room,kitchen with a full sized refrigerator,microwave, toaster,stove.(No need to cook since they have 24 hr room service, with very reasonable priced items). Two showers (one outdoors) plus Jacuzzi tub. Large free standing bottled water unit with cold/hot taps.A/C bedroom with access doors on either side of bed to a very large bathroom.TV with 10 channels of English stations.Free DVD’s available. Breakfast delivered when you want it with a large menu to select from. Free shuttle service to Kota. Convenience store 5 minute walk from hotel. Amazing service and staff that just wants to make your time at Sanya Suites special.”

The Samaya Hotel

April 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Samaya Hotel is located on the Seminyak Beach in the southern coast of Bali. There are 46 Villas which are extremely beautiful and private. You even get your very own private swimming pool. Of these Villas, 24 have a prime location on the beach and for those who prefer a bit more peace and quiet, there are the 22 villas located in the Royal Courtyard. This is a very peaceful and serene location but with the nightlife just a short walk away.

Review 1:

“I have to say we had a hard time choosing our accomodation between all those Bali’s top rated hotels. Moreover we had a trip to Maldives 6 month ago to another great place and we were still under impression how paradise should look like . So we had a very high expectations and we never regret that we choosed The Samaya.
The place itself is beautifull, gorgeous swimming pools, lovely gardens. Villas are big ( we stayed in Royal Courtyard , the one across the street ) , nice swimming pool in villa with a little waterfall, sundesk, daybed…everything you ever need to relax, spacious bathroom, nice modern interior. Very clean
The food . Breakfast .We had only in villa breakfasts, they have a great choise for every taste. Lunch and dinner. Big choise drinks, cocktails , snacks and salads..we always had lunch infront of the beach….yammi… I would highly recommend The Breeze restaurant for dinner , great food, fresh, tasty, very well presented, good selection of wine.

We had also dinner at KuDeTa and Gado Gado, would preffer “the look” of KuDeTa and food of Gado Gado.
The Spa. We had several spa treatment, loved it.

And of course i have to say how great was the service. Everyone starting the driver who did assist us in the airport , reseption and villa host who showed us around and did help you with anything we ever needed during our stay, the staff on the beach who was always here to bring you fresh drink and help you with the beach umbrella, all the team, were just extremely nice and helpfull. We felt that they do really care to make your vacations wonderfull. They payed attention to every detail of your stay and it was great .”

Review 2:

“We have just returned for the Samaya Bali. We had 10 wonderful nights is the Royal Courtyard Villas across the road from the Main building. The Villas are immaculateand have a huge private pool cleaned twice a day. The service was far superior than anywhere I have stayed before. The staff always greet you by name and were absolutely wonderful, professional and friendly. Management should be and are proud to have such a wonderful team.Breeze resturant was AMAZING. You must have cocktails along the front and watch the beautiful sunsets over the water. I will be recommending this hotel/villas to everyone travelling to Bali. It was my first visit back after the bombings and I have never felt safer. Thank you to the whole team at Samaya for giving us one of the best holidays we have had. Well Done!!”

Review 3:

“We were curious why The Samaya had such a high rank in Trip Advisor that’s why we booked it for a 1-night stay online. Quite pricey for my budget but I felt it would be a nice gift to my wife for our honeymoon. The moment we stepped in the resort, we were so awed by its beauty. We were then guided to our villa which fortunately was upgraded (for free!) to the royal pavilion. Their villas were extremely nice! It was very stylish and elegant. Couldn’t stsop taking pictures of the place. We didn’t want to waste out day so we immediately went to the beach which was just in front of the resort. It was very clean and not too many people like what we saw in Kuta. There were also very few vendors peddling their goods, but they didn’t pester us to buy their stuff, unlike other vendors in other places. The food in their resto was also very delicious! We also love their infinity pool. They also provided us free shuttle to go to Seminyak town and back. The pool and jacuzzi in our villa was very well maintained and the water temperature was just right. They also provided free champagne in the minibar. Was it worth the money spent? Definitely YES! The only thing disappointing is that we had to leave the next day already. Will definitely come back to this magnificent place and I hope that when we come back, it will be just like when we left it.”