InterContinental, Wellington, New Zealand

Had to head off over the pond to Wellington at the southern tip of New Zealand’s north island for a couple of days of work.

Stayed at the InterContinental on Grey Street. This is a great location, adjacent to wharf area that’s been done up as a recreational and dining area. It also a short walk, i.e. minutes, to the main shopping and business areas and probably a 15 minute walk to Cuba Street for food and nightlife.

Didn’t partake of room service on this trip as I was with colleagues so we went out for dinner rather than staying at the hotel.  However, we did have a couple of drinks at the bar in the lobby and also did have a nice dinner at the Arizona Bar and Grill that is adjacent to the hotel and offers TexMex style cooking. A very nice dinner.

When I travel to Wellington again, I will be staying at the InterContinental.

Note to Qantas… why is the flight to Melbourne at 6am on a Saturday morning??? That’s such an uncivilised hour.

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Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

Stayed at the Four Seasons hotel, George Street, Sydney last week as I could not get into my usual hotels.

I must say, that walking into the foyer of the hotel was impressive. Heaps of willing staff and foyer that would feel welcome in any 5-star hotel.

As for location, you couldn’t go wrong. Just across the road from Circular Quay, and just up the road from the restaurants and pubs of the Rocks.

The rooms are on the small side and feel a little claustrophobic and the bathrooms are downright small.

Give me the lobby and location of the Four Seasons and the rooms of The InterContintental, and I would be in heaven.

Would I stay here again… yeah, maybe, if my regular hotel, The InterContintental, was unavailable.

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Dragon Boat, Melbourne

What is it about Melbourne and good Chinese restaurants?

I headed off for lunch today with my parents, two of my sisters, brother-in-law and one of the munchkins (one of my nieces) to have Yum Cha at the Dragon Boat in Little Bourke Street.

The Dragon Boat has Yum Cha everyday from 8am unti 5pm.

When we got there at 12:30 and we were about 4th in the queue but it didn’t take all that long to get a table.

From the moment we sat down the Yum Cha trolleys were circulating and we soon had a table full of yummy treats.

You can’t fault the food at this restaurant. Due to the sheer number of people eating here, the trolleys are always being replenished so you’ll always get food that’s pretty much straight out of the kitchen.

For the 7 of us the bill came to about $110 which isn’t bad considering that we’d stuffed ourselves senseless.

For a great feed you can’t go past the Dragon Boat.

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Sydney Marriot Hotel

Not the one down by Circular Quay!

Back in Sydney for another week of work, and due to the QE2 and QM2 being in Sydney early on in the week hotel rooms were at a premium and the Sydney Marriot got to host me for a second time.

It was with trepidation that I booked at the Marriot again as I didn’t enjoy my first stay there last year, but in the end I’m glad that I gave this hotel a second chance as I came away with a much more positive view of the hotel than after my first visit.

Due to the ships being in Sydney I had to pay a little extra for the room than we usually pay, but seeing as work was paying I didn’t really care that I paid more than usual.

The room was very nice, 2 double beds and a great view of Hyde Park. Quite large bathroom with a HUGE bath.

The extra room rate somehow made me eligible to use the executive club on the 21st floor that gives you free breakfast, pre dinner drinks and a light dinner and desert.

Not being a morning person at the best of times, I didn’t take up the offer of breakfast, but I was able to utilise the club on Monday (for dinner and drinks), Tuesday for drinkies after looking at the QE2 and QM2 and finally for pre dinner drinks on Wednesday before heading off the Darling Harbour for dinner with a friend who was also in Sydney from Melbourne for the night.

Didn’t partake of room service this week.

Again, like the InterContinental last week, Internet access which I was under the impression would be chargeable didn’t make it onto my bill. Cool!

Only downside is that its a bit of a hike from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour if you wanted to head to those places. Though it is very close to Kings Cross, if you are that way inclined 😉

Would I stay here again, yes, but not as my first choice.

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Arun Thai, Potts Point, Sydney

Arun Thai is, as the name suggests, a Thai restuarant that is located in Macleay Street in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point.

We went to Arun Thai Thursday evening last week and had a supurb meal.

We choose three mains and a great bottle of Victorian Pinot and had a great meal.

The mains that we decided to try were

  • Goong pad pick king – stir-fried king prawns with chilli paste, green beans and kaffir leaves
  • Kae yang – bbq lamb fillet and served with spicy sauce
  • Musaman phetnue – slow cooked chunky beef curry with potato and peanuts

All the dishes were excellent but, if I did have to choose one as the winner on the day, then I guess the musaman beef would be the winner, but only by a very short margin. All three of the mains were of a very high standard.

Arun Thai is yet another great restaurant that you should eat at atleast once.

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