Following a rather raucous night at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (you can can immerse yourself in our sozzled experience here), James and I hopped on the bullet train and travelled a casual 504km to Osaka – a city infamous for its food and drink scene.
Which we were finally able to endure after what I would call one of the ‘top 10 hangovers of my life’. Hurrah!
Expect castles, street food and helpful morsels of information including how the bloody hell do you use a Japanese laundry?
I often get asked what I prefer when I go away – a hotel stay or a short term rental.
And whilst I love having a a full size fridge to store my 2 euro wine (what, that’s not the first thing you buy when you’re on holiday?!!), I’ve really started to appreciate a night or two at a super lush hotel.
That’s why when Booking.com asked if I fancied staying a night at the Sofitel London St James I had to enforce the ’10 min text back rule’ as to not scare them off by going ‘OF COURSE I BLOODY DO I’M OUTSIDE ALREADY CAN YOU LET ME IN PLZ BBZ’.
Being a mere 35 minutes from my usual place of residence, this was definitely more of a ‘staycation’ but a quick google summarised the hotel’s 5 star credentials (restaurant and bar – tick, spa – tick, Hermès toiletries – TICK) meaning that this mere jaunt across town warranted a full face of makeup, a coiffed bouffant and an IRONED TOP (huge feat).
On arrival, the doorman took our bags and I had around 3.7 seconds to come up with my new ‘I always frequent 5* hotels’ alias (Tamara, interior designer, wears jodhpurs on the weekend).
We were given a Luxury Room (the hierarchy of rooms goes Classic – Superior – Luxury – Premium Luxury) and all you need to know is that the bed was HEAVEN ON EARTH. James had to do a bit of a high jump backwards spring to get on and I thought I’d nearly lost him in the marshmallow folds at one point.
The next morning, we swanned down to breakfast and I was made up over the Veggie Fry Up (£14 – not too bad for a central London hotel) which someone had actually given some thought to. The sweet potato hash brown and overloaded avocado on toast were veggie brekkie EXCLUSIVE. Other breakfastaries (real word) take note.
Being INCREDIBLY CENTRAL (basically the Queen’s neighbours) and pretty plush, this hotel ain’t the cheapest. In fact, when I rang up reservations to ask what price their rooms start at, I unwittingly entered a volley of dead end questions and was told “unless you know the date, I can’t tell you a price”. Thanks love.
Booking.com, however, were a little more forthcoming and online it states that ‘prices for upcoming dates start at £331 per night’.
For someone who loves a good deal, that’s a lot of money (hell, I think I did three holidays for that last year) but more and more I’ve found myself planning getaways where I’m happy to stay somewhere less flash if it means that I can go all out for the last night or two.
So, what are my tips for staying somewhere glam AF without breaking the bank?
Stay on a Sunday – with the weekend tourists packing back off home and the business breaks yet to begin, Sundays can often be the cheapest night of the week.
Off peak – stay in a quiet period. For example, my Ma and Pa, always go away on the 1st January (it’s their anniversary the day after) and they always bag a great deal. Talk about starting the new year right.
Book cheap and blag an upgrade – heading to a nice hotel but got the cheapest room? Story of my life. If blagging an upgrade doesn’t work (I speak about how to do this here), then try asking at the desk if there’s anything available. I tried this on a recent work trip to Mexico and managed to get a suite with late checkout for just £30 extra.
Get a discount – if you haven’t used it already, you can still get £25 off your next stay at booking.com by using my referral link – I don’t get anything by you using the link, it’s just an actual, real life legit way for you to save money. As long as it’s over £50 and you haven’t used a referral code before (mine or anyone else’s), it’s an easy way to make your next luxuuurrrioussss stay that bit more affordable.
As always, let me know where you end up booking (or if you score any amazing 5* hotel deals) as I shall always endeavour to holiday vicariously through you all!
Booking.com gave me the room (THANX GUYZ!) and, having not written anything more than a YouTube bio in a while, I decided to blog about it. Therefore, here lie my honest thoughts, feelings and advice for you to enjoy your own luxury stay! 😄
Since I’m full on obsessed with cheap holidays, I see a lot of deals from the numerous newsletters, facebook groups and whatsapp groups I’m signed up to. However, since I can’t be on holiday 24/7 (alas!), many of these brilliant buys are totally lost on me.
Therefore, I’ve decided to collate the best deals I’ve seen in the hope that it may tickle the fancy of one of you lot instead.
Here’s today’s batch of fresh holiday talent:
UK to Orlando, USA for £219
Many UK cities to Orlando, Florida for only £219 roundtrip via Secret Flying Departing: London/Manchester/Birmingham/Newcastle
Dates: Availability in June 2018
UK to Dublin, Ireland for £19
Fly to Dublin for £19 return from 10 UK airports via HolidayPirates Departing: Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Newcastle Airline: Ryanair Dates: Availability in June 2018
Europe to Dubai for £55
Fly from European cities to Dubai for £55 if you’re a Wizz Air member via Secret Flying Departing: Cluj, Bucharest, Sofia, Katowice and Budapest Airline: Wizz Air Dates: Availability from June to August 2018
Wizz Air membership is €29.99 for a member + one companion and €59.99 for a member + five companions.
Without the discount of being a member, you can still find return flights for around £82.
Dubai will be hottttt in summer but remember, it’s a great place to fly to Thailand, Sri Lanka and beyond from!
This is pretty UK centric at the moment but leave a comment if you’re interested in flights from elsewhere.
And lastly, share the deals you’ve spotted with me on either @howmanyholidays or @chchchchelsea and I’ll make sure to give you a shout out on here!