The Sydney Opera House from the Park Hyatt

Down Under

I just returned from the most wonderful trip to Sydney, Australia! I also just celebrated my 40th birthday so I wanted to go someplace special that I had been putting off. I fly quite a bit, so I also had a wonderful surplus of Airline Miles to book a 1st class award ticket so logically Australia fit the bill! I had the wonderful fortune to get to stay right across form the Sydney Opera House at the Park Hyatt Sydney! The team at Hyatt is generally fantastic, but everyone at the Park Hyatt Sydney went out of their way to make my stay special.

Good Lines

I think I took 2000 photos of the Opera House alone. It’s not too often that a piece of architecture is SO spectacular you can just keep taking photos of the same thing and keep getting something different! Did you know the entire surface of of the exterior is actually cream and white tiles? I didn’t until I stated researching the trip. Don’t worry, there are plenty of detail shots in all those photos I took!

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Supertrees and The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

Supertrees are Back!

I am not sure I will get enough of the Supertrees. From early in my travels, my friend David said…I want to see an HDR picture of the SUPERTREES! It took over two years to make it to Singapore. I ended up loving the country! There seems to be a LOT happening there!

Marina Bay Sands

The hotel looks like a giant cruise ship was delicately placed on top of three skyscrapers. I really wanted to get to the upper decks of the hotel. I understand there is an amazing cheese and chocolate buffet that happens nightly…I am not sure how I kept myself away honestly!

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Bar of the Hotel du Louvre in Paris

Never Enough Time in Paris

If I had to pick…it would be Paris. There is some…I don’t know what, about the city. I was headed down for breakfast at my hotel during my 24 hours in The City of Light when I walked past this luxurious red velvet draped room. It serves, somewhat obviously as the bar of the hotel, and perhaps the liquor displays on the wall are over the top, but I just LOVED the space. Immediately I went back for my camera and was taking in all the lushness.

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Shinjuku Washington Hotel

Random Fun Things

One of the things I loved most about Tokyo is the random fun things you find just wandering around the city. Most of the time there is too much competing for your attention…neon blazing, sounds, smells, barkers, etc. Occasionally though you will find something in the raw that sort of makes you stop and wonder…why is this built like this. The Shinjuku Washington Hotel is one of those things. In a neighborhood of skyscrapers, it stands proudly and sleekly against the contrast of modern highrises. In a way it didn’t really belong, but within that I found myself feeling that it belonged more, as if the new towers were out of place. That probably sounds odd but than again, to an American, so is Tokyo.

Hotel Greeters

Ni Hao!

A quick photo for today, but I just loved these guys. The greeted me every time I entered the elevator area of the Park Hyatt in Shanghai, China. It’s probably a silly little thing, but this little art piece somehow made me feel welcome and made me smile every time I saw them.

Welcome to Palmer House

Grand Hotels

I love a grand old hotel. There is a detail to the construction that is often missing in today’s glossy lodging. When I think of luxury, esteem, indulgence, I think of some of the nicest old hotels I have visited. Sometimes when you get all the small details right – the right location, outfit, company etc – you feel elevated (I always thing of James Bond). This always leads me to these grand old temporary residences when I travel. The problem is, as with people, often they aren’t too thrilled for someone to be taking their picture.

Architectural Paparazzo

I have found that if you ask, and people are unsure, often the answer is, “No Pictures!” I tend to not ask and if challenged, apologize profusely while making a quick exit. On my visit to the exquisite lobby of the world famous Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois, no one seemed to care that I was there. I of course try to be an unobtrusive as possible on my visits. Palmer House is a wonderfully located hotel, if you are in the area, absolutely check it out!