Inside one of New York’s finest Chinese restaurants located in the Waldorf Astoria

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.57.46 PMNext Shark (Laura Dang):

A new, glitzy Chinese restaurant has opened its doors in the renowned Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, New York, and the food looks fantastic. The restaurant, La Chine, is in the running to be one of New York’s finest Chinese restaurants, according to Luxury Travel Magazine.

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La Chine was a collaborative effort of Waldorf’s culinary director, David Garcelon, and executive chef, Kong Khai Meng.

Garcelon hand-selected a team of international chefs including famed Chinese culinary master Jereme Leung. The culinary director said:

“It was our primary focus to develop La Chine as a must-visit destination for high-end foodies, experientialists, New York City locals and international visitors alike.”

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2015 best Japanese hotels, based on their breakfasts

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RocketNews 24:

Soft beds, nice views, good location; sure, these are all important factors when choosing a hotel, but what really makes a hotel, or even a trip, memorable is the food, more specifically, the breakfast.

Everyone needs a good breakfast to start their day, so why not eat the best of the best? Next time you’re in the area, you should probably check out one of the Japanese hotels with the most delicious breakfasts.

When you think back to the last hotel you stayed at, does your memory automatically cut to what you ate for breakfast there? Do soggy eggs or undercooked bacon ring a bell? Even if it was a pretty good meal that left you with fond memories, prepare yourself, because you may never look at hotel breakfasts again. You may also be finding yourself booking hotels just to try the breakfasts.

The TripAdvisor Japan website compiled the 2014 opinions and scores of hotels (and their breakfasts) posted on the site in order to create this 2015 ranking of “Hotels with Delicious Breakfasts.”

While many of the hotels have managed to hang on to their 2014 spots in the top 20, there are plenty of newcomers on the list too.

1st Place: Hotel Piena Kobe (Kobe City)

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Holding first place for three consecutive years is kind of a big deal, but after hearing about their buffet breakfast spread, you’ll understand how they’ve managed to pull it off.

To start off with, there is the sweets section filled with all-you-can-eat, freshly made pastries, like seasonal fruit tarts and strawberry shortcake. If you’re more of a fan of  savory breakfasts though, there is also a selection of traditional French-style breakfast items and, of course, traditional Japanese breakfast foods. All dishes are made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients you could ask for and being in Kobe, expect some breakfast steak too! To wash it all down, there is a drink bar of coffees and teas from a variety of specialty shops.

Usually, the breakfast itself costs 2,200 yen (US$18.50) per person, you can sometimes find deals for a room and breakfast for under 10,000 yen ($85).

2nd Place: La Vista Hakodate Bay Hotel (Hakodate, Hokkaido)

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Hotel Piena’s closest rival has held their spot at second for another year and they offer some stiff competition. Their breakfast spread offers fish and vegetables grilled before your eyes, a plethora of fresh Hokkaido seafood, and a healthy selection of well-prepared Western-style breakfast options.

3rd Place: Sapporo Grand Hotel (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

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These guys have their eyes on the prize, rising 9 spots since last year’s ranking. The Sapporo Grand Hotel offers three different breakfast venues for their morning diners. One location offers a Western-style breakfast with an on-sight bakery and cooked-to-order eggs. At another site, you can choose from three traditional Japanese-style set breakfasts, overflowing with delicious seasonal dishes. Finally, there is the buffet of grilled meat and veggies, as well as their famous creation, “ramen salad.”

4th: Hotel Keihan Sapporo (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
[2014: 3rd]

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5th: Hakodate Kokusai Hotel (Hakodate, Hokkaido)
[2014: 5th]

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6th: Century Royal Hotel (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
[2014: Not Ranked]

hotel 6

7th: Hotel Shiroyama (Kagoshima City)
[2014: 9th]

hotel 7

8th: Hotel Rocore Naha (Naha, Okinawa)
[2014: 16th]

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9th: Hotel Nikko Alivila (Yomitan, Okinawa)
[2014: 4th]

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10th: Asahikawa Grand Hotel (Asahikawa, Hokkaido)
[2014: Not Ranked]

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11th: Mitsui Garden Hotel Okayama (Okayama City)
[2014: Not Ranked]

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12th: Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka (Osaka)
[2014: 8th]

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13th: Richmond Hotel Yamagata Station (Yamagata City)
[2014: 20th]

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14th: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa (Kanazawa City)
[2014: 13th]

hotel 14

15th: Sheraton Grand Tokyo Bay (Urayasu, Chiba)
[2014: 6th]

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16th: Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay (Urayasu, Chiba)
[2014: Not Ranked]

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17th: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Naha Kokusaidori (Naha, Okinawa)
[2014: Not Ranked]

hotel 17

18th: JR Tower Hotel Sapporo (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
[2014: 11th]

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19th: Laguna Garden Hotel (Ginowan, Okinawa)
[2014: Not Ranked]

hotel 19

20th: Dormy Inn Premium Otaru (Otaru, Hokkaido)
[2014: Not Ranked]

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Apparently, Hokkaido hotels are proving that they are not a force to be reckoned with, as they settled into nearly half of all spots in the top 20 and took six of the top ten spots! It must be all of that fresh seafood and dairy! On the other side of the country, Okinawa held its own this year too with four on the list. While it’s easy for us to give Honshu hotels a hard time, since they are few and far between in the rankings, we can’t forget that Hotel Piena Kobe has won three years in a row! That food must be out of this world!

A look inside a Capsule Hotel in Kyoto

 

Cost efficient robots will run a Japanese hotel

 

Courtesy of mnn.com and Huis Ten Bosch.

Audrey Magazine:

When I think of robots, the word “helpful” doesn’t exactly come to mind. Sure, they could be developed to take on simple tasks like vacuum your home, but that’s about as comfortable as I get with robots. Maybe Hollywood is to blame for my negative viewpoint, but I when I think of robots, I picture man-made machines that could possibly malfunction and cause problems rather than solve them. Lucky for me, other than simple household items or toys, I haven’t seen or experienced significant robotic interactions in the United States.

However, the same can’t be said for Japan where there is continuing development and use of robots. This summer, the Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki, will open its doors and guests will experience an ideally normal, pleasant hotel stay. The only difference? The hotel will be predominantly run by advanced robots.

Hui Bosch

According to mnn.com, guests will probably have no interaction with human hotel workers. These robots, or “actroids” will speak Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. Although this high-tech and high end hotel will have 90% of its operations run by robots, there will still be humans present should malfunctions in the system occur.

So why use robots when people would have to stand by anyway? It is cost efficient. Unlike human workers, robots have no salary, no sick days, no need for health insurance, etc. Ultimately, no humans, no human concerns for the company.

Technology is constantly changing in our fast-paced world and yes, technology is an essential tool for us today. Economically, I understand the Henn-na’s decision to use robots. However, doesn’t that take away from the human experience of being warmly welcomed as a guest? Wouldn’t you want an actual pleasant greeting into the hotel and the front desk telling you their opinions on what restaurants to try or what recommended attractions are close by? Lastly, can we say we trust those people that are running and controlling these robots?

 

Nagasaki theme park to open futuristic hotel staffed by robots

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RocketNews 24:

Once you’ve tired yourself out playing with your rideable 4-metre tall robot from Amazon Japan and experienced the neon assault to the senses that is Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant show, you’ll also be able to visit a hotel in Japan with robot staff once the new Hen-na Hotel opens this summer.

As well as robot receptionists, porters, cleaners and waitresses, the aptly-named Hen-na Hotel (literally meaning “strange hotel”) in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Nagasaki, will also feature a whole host of futuristic technology aimed at reducing energy consumption and human staffing levels, therefore keeping room prices down.

Huis Ten Bosch is a pretty unusual place already – a little slice of (theme-park) Netherlands that landed on Japan in the early nineties, it contains entire replica Dutch streets, a mock-up of its namesake royal palace in The Hague, and a replica of a Dutch ship that was cast ashore on Japan’s coast in the 17th century.

▼ Clearly, all it needs is a futuristic robot hotel! Welcome to Japan, folks.

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Upon entering the Hen-na Hotel, which opens this July, you’ll be greeted by robot staff at check in. Your bags will be carried to your room by a robot porter, and you can even be served coffee by another robot! Sadly, no press images of these myriad android staff members were yet available, so we’re just going to play it safe and assume they all look like Baymax.

▼ Artist’s impression of the hotel, which is scheduled to open in July this year.

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▼ Not pictured: robot receptionists, robot coffee-wallas. Pictured: apparently irrelevant robotic arm.

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Rooms in this self-styled “low cost” hotel will be rented on an auction system, starting from 7,000 yen (US$60) per room per night. With the cheapest rooms in the other three Huis Ten Bosch hotels starting at around twice that price, you could save some serious money at the park’s new “strange hotel”. Which should leave you with a bit of spare cash to spend on wooden tulips, postcards of windmills, and other authentic Japanese souvenirs.

The Guinness World Record-holding oldest hotel in the world – in Japan, and established in 705 A.D.!

 

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RocketNews 24:

Keiunkan Inn in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture is famous for holding the Guinness World Record for being The oldest hotel in the world. Established in 705 A.D., it boasts such notable former guests as daimyo Takeda Shingen, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and numerous emperors of Japan.

The inn itself is located in the southern alps of Yamanashi Prefecture, nestled in lush valleys in the very heart of nature. It’s the perfect location for escaping from the hustle and bustle of city life. What’s more, the inn is built upon prime hot springs ground, which means guests are able to enjoy numerous open-air and communal hot spring baths. Each room’s shower, bath and sink facilities are fed by pure hot spring water, which is neither treated nor heated by any artificial means. In fact, except for the toilets,the entire inn uses the hot springs water in its daily running, which makes it a very special and luxurious place to visit.

Our reporter, Yoshio, decided to book a stay in “the oldest hotel in the world” in order t oshare his experiences with the good readers of RocketNews24. Read on for many, many gorgeous photos of his trip!

Here’s Yoshio’s report on everything that Keiunkan Inn has to offer!

The baths

As we mentioned above, the entire inn is serviced by the natural water of the on-site hot springs, including of course the onsen baths and the open-air bathing pools. As you can see from the pictures below, they’re pretty much amazing. Yoshio reports that the quality of the water was top-notch, and the view of the valley from the baths was incredible. What’s more, every single one of the many baths is open for bathing 24 hours a day!

The accommodation

The ultra-Japanese building comprises a total of 35 guest suites. Yoshio was pleasantly surprised to discover that his accommodation consisted of two large Japanese-style rooms, giving him plenty of space to relax. They were also spotlessly clean and neat. The only potential issue for guests could be the price – at 32,000 yen (US$269) per night, it’s a little on the expensive side.

The cuisine

Dinner at Keiunkan is kaiseki style, meaning that your meal is brought to your room and served to you dish by dish. The cuisine included lots of fresh ingredients from the local mountains and river, and there was plenty to satisfy even the heartiest eater. There were also several unusual dishes that you don’t often get the opportunity to taste in Japan – like “acorn soba”. The only complaint Yoshio had was that his “salt-baked char” (a type of fish) was a little lukewarm. After all, when it comes to char, it’s gotta be piping hot, right?

Breakfast was similar to dinner in that it comprised a vast array of dishes which more than filled up our reporter’s stomach. Yoshio tells us that instead of serving the usual white rice, Keiunkan provides okayu rice porridge with breakfast, which is gentler on the stomach. Overall, the quality of both meals served was excellent.

The hospitality

Unfortunately, after all the piping hot onsen water, spotless rooms and delicious eats, Yoshio felt that the service failed to live up to his high expectations. Since Keiunkan is supposed to be famous for being the oldest hotel in existence, he was expecting there to be more information about the history of the hotel available. Even when he asked the staff, nobody seemed to know all that much about it. Sure, the hotel staff are rightfully proud of its reputation and its Guinness World Record, but they weren’t able to answer in-depth questions. Since the hotel almost certainly gets a lot of guests as a result of its fascinating history, it does seem a shame that there wasn’t really any opportunity to find out more about its past. Also, for a place with such a distinguished history, several of the staff seemed overly casual in their approach to the position, with some giving off an “I’m only here part-time” kind of vibe. Sure, that kind of attitude isn’t really a problem at budget hotels, but Keiunkan is supposed to be the oldest hotel in the world – costing over 250 bucks per head a night, no less – so our man felt that a little more effort would certainly have been welcome.

While Yoshio was left disappointed by the service, he still recommends a visit as the baths and cuisine were both excellent. Hopefully in the future Keiunkan will put up some signs and so on explaining the details of the hotel’s past, as well as educating their staff about its incredible history.

 

We’ll leave you now with photo-tour of the oldest hotel in the world! Enjoy!

If you’re interested in visiting the oldest hotel in the world yourself, the inn’s website is: www.keiunkan.co.jp

New ‘9 Hour’ Japanese airport hotel looks straight out of ‘The Fifth Element’

fifth element sleep

Next Shark:

Leave it to the Japanese to make the most high-tech and convenient solution for a problem we all hate — delayed and cancelled flights. Introducing “9h Nine Hourshotel, an accommodation found in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and downtown Kyoto that will make you feel like you are in a futuristic movie. 9h is as science fiction as you can get, with sleeping pods that resemble honeycombs and locker rooms and personal showers that can refresh any weary traveler.

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9h is also very practical, especially for delayed passengers staying for just short durations. You can stay anywhere from one hour to 10 days, according to the website. Booking ahead at Narita will cost around 3,900 yen ($32.92) per night, and last-minute deals reach up to 6,440 yen ($54.29). However, delayed passengers can also just stop in for a nap or quick shower, which can cost just a few dollars each according to time spent.

9h directions

When you check in, you receive a pod number, locker key, towel and a robe which you return when you check out. What 9h doesn’t offer or allow is food, however, so you will have to eat whatever is available in the airport.

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The term “nine hours” refers to the standard time for a refreshing stay — one hour to shower and get ready for bed, seven hours to sleep, and one hour to relax and prepare for your journey ahead.

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9h6

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Sections are separated by gender, and each sleeping unit is built with a Panasonic sleeping system to induce sleep and wake you up by adjusting the brightness of the light.

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If you are ever in Japan, you should definitely stay here. So far, the hotel has garnered positive reviews.

Gambling mogul Stephen Hung dropped $20 Million USD on custom Rolls-Royces for his casino in Macau

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

 

There is a certain level of opulence needed to be able to afford a Rolls-Royce. Buying 30 of them — two of which are supposedly the most expensive examples ever commissioned — is something else. Hotel and gambling tycoon Stephen Hung has done just that by dropping $20 million USD in one order of 30 Rolls-Royce Phantoms, thus holding the record for the largest single order from the automaker ever. The cars are to be used as part of a fleet for guests at Hung’s upcoming 2016 hotel venture in Macau China, titled the Louis XIII.

Themed after the hotel, the 30 luxury vehicles will be painted in crimson red throughout their exterior and interior trim, while the seats sport checker board patterning. Each one will also be outfitted with a bespoke clock from Graff Luxury Watches. As for the two most expensive Phantoms, they get all of the above plus gold-plated trims throughout. To top that all off, Rolls-Royce are even designing the fleet’s parking space and have thrown in staff training for handling the multi-million dollar chauffeur service.

 

 

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

Image of A Gambling Mogul Dropped $20 Million USD on Custom Rolls-Royces for His Casino in Macau

Link

A brand new capsule hotel just opened…in Malaysia

 

A brand new capsule hotel just opened...in Malaysia4

Capsule hotels were something of an anomaly when first introduced to the world through pictures taken in Japan. But it seems the compact rental sleeping areas are catching on abroad. If you thought Japan was the only place you could crawl into a compartment just longer than your body, you’ll be surprised to find that you can now have a similar claustrophobic experience in Malaysia.

 

Conveniently located in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2), “Capsule” by eco-friendly hotel chain, Container Hotel, is a capsule hotel designed for short overnight stays or quick freshen ups between flights. It is the very first of its kind in Malaysia and has a somewhat industrial feel to it.

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▼ It almost looks like a warehouse, complete with shipping crate-style walls.A brand new capsule hotel just opened...in Malaysia

RocketNews 24:

 

The official Capsule by Container Hotel website asserts that their hotel is “great for a short stay, and for people who are trendsetters, value-smart, and eager to experience a Capsule styled lodging without worrying about lengthy stop-over.”

Judging from the photos, each sleeping compartment looks pretty comfortable, with even a small “entryway” to place your slippers.

 

A brand new capsule hotel just opened...in Malaysia4

It has a very sleek, minimalist feel.reservation2

 

Each capsule comes with a few convenient amenities (though no TV like the capsule hotels in Japan)

•   2 Pillows
•   Foldable table
•   Hangers
•   Individual ventilation
•   Privacy blind
•   Personal locker / drawer
•   Reading light
•   Power socket
•   Phone (self-setting alarm calls enabled)

 

However, hallways and corridors of the hotel look like something straight out of a sci-fi thriller.

A brand new capsule hotel just opened...in Malaysia5

A brand new capsule hotel just opened...in Malaysia3

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But despite its somewhat creepy design, there are a number of other common-area features listed on the website to make you feel nice and comfortable:

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If you find yourself with a lot of time to spend in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the check-in process to start your “hassle-free, artful, and unique experience” is easy. Simply receive your access card, locker key, and amenity bag with towel at the front desk. Next, place your belongings in your locker and exchange your shoes for a pair of slippers. From there, you’re free to use the hotel’s showers, common areas, or crawl into your cubby hole for some rest.

 

▼ Washroomreservation4

▼ Showersreservation3

 

A three, six, or twelve hour stay is priced at RM45 (US$14), RM70 ($21), and RM90 ($28); a very reasonable price even considering the small size of the accommodations. Reservations are encouraged, so be sure to stop by the Capsule website prior to your stay. With clean facilities, convenient amenities, and a very reasonable price, we wonder if more international hotels will take a cue from Capsule by Container Hotel and bring this Japanese-original even further abroad.

 

Check out this link:

A brand new capsule hotel just opened…in Malaysia