Hotel Opera Cadet, Paris, France : Paris Hotel Review

Hotel Opera Cadet, Paris, France : Paris Hotel Review

Hotel Opera Cadet, 24, rue Cadet, 75009 Paris, France : Hotel Review

Hotels in Paris are usually small and basic but the Hotel Opera Cadet is one notch above that. The hotel is ideal for the traveler who is looking for a friendly hotel, with good breakfasts and nice clean rooms. The customer service was excellent and the staff do speak English (although we always try to speak French when in France).

The Opera Cadet is located about 5 mins Metro ride from the Galleries Lafyette near the Opera district and the hotel is 1 minute from Cadet Metro stop down a quiet side street. Check-in is very efficient with the English speaking staff. The rooms are a good size (not huge, but adequate), with features such as TV, Air Conditioning (which can be very useful in July and August), a nice bathroom and some rooms have a small terrace which overlooks Rue Cadet. Rue Cadet is a small street with local traders, fruit shops and some very nice bistros at the end of the street which are enjoyable and cheap to eat in.

Hotel Opera Cadet runs a buffet breakfast service and breakfast is available from 7:30am to 10:30am with a wide variety of food to cater for all tastes. Friendly waiting staff are on hand to provide teas and coffees. A courtyard area at the back of the breakfast area allows for Al-fresco breakfasts – very Parisienne.

WiFi is available but WiFi costs €5 per hour and reception is limited to the main areas of the hotels, and was not available on 2nd floor.

Hotel Opera cadet, Rue Cadet, Paris, France : hotel Review

The Opera Cadet Hotel in Paris is one I will be returning to again, not only for the location, good breakfasts and nice staff, but also due to the fact that it is quiet, comfortable and great to come back to after a long day walking the streets of Paris.

Hotel Opera Cadet : Rated 3 star (continental rating)
Would Return: Yes
Would Recommend : Yes
Website : http://www.operacadet.com/

Hotel Location

[mappress mapid=”3″]
  • Service 94%
  • Breakfast 85%
  • Room 89%
  • Would Return? 90%
Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport – Hotel Review

Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport – Hotel Review

Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport, New Zealand – Hotel Review

We had originally planned on staying at the Copthorne Central in Christchurch, but following the Christchurch earthquake in February, we had to move our accommodation but still wanted to stay with the Copthorne group hotels – as we had great experiences when staying with Copthorne and Millennium Hotels in the North Island last year.

On arrival at the hotel, the Duty manager, Jaimie, sorted out our reservation and walked us to our room, as well as showing us the facilities in the room. I have stayed in many hotels and even in 5 star hotels I have rarely seen such a level of service and friendliness on check-in. We were well impressed with everything and were blown away by the welcome and the level of comfort at this hotel. Airport hotels are normally just a place to rest your head after a long flight but this hotel is actually comfortable and a delight to stay in.

The room was excellent, very comfortable bed, the room was large, bright, clean and airy. Air conditioning was very good with tea coffee facilities and a great bathroom. There was even a little welcome note on your bed welcoming you to the hotel – which was nicely done.

The breakfasts are served in Pattersons restaurant in the hotel and are very well presented with a lot to choose from. There is also a hot tub and covered pool (which we did not try on this occasion … but it looked nice). There is also a nice garden area with a fire where you can enjoy a drink in the open air if you so wish.

The complex is very secure and safe with key cards required after a certain time to access the main accommodation building and then again at your floor.

We actually stayed twice at this hotel, once on arriving into Christchurch from Singapore and again the night before leaving en-route to Cork via Bangkok/London.

Christchurch Copthorne Airport Hotel

The Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport, New Zealand is a great hotel within 5 minutes of Christchurch International Airport, ideally situated for you to start or end any trip to New Zealand. I would certainly stay here again and hope to visit Christchurch and the South Island of New Zealand again very soon.

Official Hotel Website : http://www.commodore.net.nz/

Imperial Gardens, Chinese Restaurant, Waterford – Review

Imperial Gardens, Chinese Restaurant, Waterford – Review

The Imperial Gardens Chinese Restaurant is located on the Cork Road about 5 minutes walk from the College Street WIT Campus at Manor Village.

I had been here twice before and decided to put a small review of the restaurant on the site, as its a very nice restaurant. The Imperial Garden offers an unrivaled selection of Chinese food prepared in what is claimed is “the biggest Chinese food kitchen in Waterford”.

Imperial Gardens, Cork Road, Waterford - Restaurant Review

My most recent visit I had the Early bird special which was four courses for only €18.50 which was very good value. I had the Crispy Wan Tan for the starter and the Roast Duck with Ginger and Spring Onion, perfectly cooked and tasted great. Portions are very decent but perfect enough that if you do finish everything you are not overly full. The staff are very friendly and give you plenty of time between courses to relax. Its also good to see that they stock some more unusual drinks including Aloe Vera drink which is very refreshing and if you haven’t tried it, give it a go.

The real traditional Chinese decor is very nice and they were playing Chinese Pop Music which is always a plus … I hate going to a Chinese or Indian and hearing James Blunt or Westlife. The traditional music really adds to the atmosphere.

Contact Details:

Imperial Gardens Chinese Restaurant,
Unit 1, Manor Village, Cork Road, Waterford.
Phone : 051-583690
Facebook
Web : http://www.imperialgarden.ie/

Wellington to Lake Taupo. Where to Stay, What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat

Wellington to Lake Taupo. Where to Stay, What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat

Going to New Zealand? This rough and brief travel guide will show you What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat and What to See traveling between Wellington and Lake Taupo in New Zealand.  Continuing on from Wellington on our way to Lake Taupo we were traveling along the N1 on the North Island of New Zealand visiting small towns such as Foxton, Bulls, Taihape on the way to Lake Taupo where we had already booked accommodation.

Driving in New Zealand - Amazing Scenery on the N1 New Zealand Roads


The first town we reached was Foxton. This is off the main road, but the guide book said it was a lovely town so we decided to take a look. Foxton is like a step back in time, not in a bad way or behind the times, rather Foxton has manged to keep the old town look and feel in a nice way.

Foxton New Zealand

Windmill and Tram in Foxton, New Zealand

The main feature is the Windmill which was brought over from Holland, bit by bit and build by people who had never built a windmill before – by reviewing the plans for the structure. There are horse drawn tram rides, an electric trolleybus, old style streets – I was told there are plans to make Foxton a hub of activity with kayaking, walks and other things to do. We enjoyed about 2 hours here before getting back on the road, taking a nice coffee and snack in the cafe near the Windmill.

From here we traveled back on the N1 again and on passing through a town called Bulls we just had to stop and take some photos. The shops are all BULL Oriented, e.g. the local realtor / estate agent has “live-a-bull” as his tag line, the town hall centre has “soci-a-bull”, and so on to Taihape where we had decided to take lunch.

The town of Bulls, New Zealand

Fun signs in the town of Bulls, New Zealand

Taihape is another very nice town, almost like small town America, worth taking an hour or so to enjoy, plenty of nice cafes to take a snack in.

The town of Taihape, New Zealand

The town of Taihape, New Zealand

On the last leg to Lake Taupo, back onto the N1 we go via the desert road, part of which is a military area, with an amazing landscape.

As soon as you see Lake Taupo for the first time you will have a few opportunities to stop into the left and enjoy many of the viewing areas, with incredible vistas of the lake. I’m sure there have been an accident or two with drivers looking at the nice view and not the road. Its still another good hours drive to Lake Taupo – so far its been about 6 hours since leaving Wellington.

Lake Taupo Viewing Point, New-Zealand

Lake Taupo, Viewing Point with Snow-Storm moving in

After about 45 minutes we enter into Taupo and arrive at the Millennium Hotel which sits on the waterfront with amazing views of the lake. The Millennium Hotel also has a really nice outdoor heated pool, no problems using it in winter as it is quite warm. The restaurant there is very nice and we enjoyed a buffet there on arrival – only $39NZ per person which was very reasonable.

New-Zealand Lake Taupo with Mountain Snow

Lake Taupo with the Mountains covered in Snow.

We later found out that the desert road was blocked by snow and we made it to Lake Taupo with 4 or 5  hours to spare before the snow trapped people on the desert road.

Lake Taupo – To Be Continued … ( Lake Trip to Maori Carvings & Craters of the Moon… )

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Going to Sydney, Australia? This rough and brief Sydney travel guide will show you What to Do in Sydney, Where to Go in Sydney, Where to Eat in Sydney and What to See in Sydney Australia. Sydney is a place to be savoured – enjoy Sydney when you are there as you will miss it when you leave!

Sydney is a place which is like a second home to me. I spent a year working here in 2003, working in both Sydney and Melbourne … but Sydney is by far a nicer city (no offense to Melbourne but there is much more to do in Sydney and winter in Melbourne is fffreezzzing). In Sydney, there is plenty to do, weather is always decent enough that you can get out and about.

Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Arriving in Sydney, you will be about 30 minutes drive from the city from Kingsford Smith Airport. Cabs and Airport transfers are easily accessible. A Taxi will cost between $30-$50 depending on where in the city you are going and what time of day it is. Transfers would be a bit less at between $13 and $20 depending on the company. We stayed in Sydney for 2 whole days, arriving late on a Monday evening in the middle of a monsoon and leaving on the first flight Thursday morning as sun was just coming up.

Sydney Harbour as seen from the AMP / Sydney Tower

Sydney Harbour as seen from the AMP Tower

One of the key things about Sydney is the sheer number of areas you can enjoy a walk, from Circular Quays, the Rocks and Botanical Gardens to Darling Harbour and Hyde Park. The Rocks is a really quaint area full of olde world charm and some olde worlde cafes. You can continue through to Circular Quays, perhaps catch one of the many ferries which service Balmain, Darling Harbour, North Shore, and as far a field as Manly. If you are looking for food, check out City Extra – their fish and chips is really good as is the chicken pie which is served with a hot baked roll. From Circular Quays, you can walk into the Botanical Gardens which hugs the waterline looking out over the bay, with excellent views of Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walkway extends around to Woolloomooloo Wharf … if you still haven’t eaten go straight to Harrys Pies (Harrys Cafe de Wheels), a small cart based pie shop with the best pies and best mashed potato in Sydney. If you haven’t taken the route to Woolloomooloo you can continue through the Botanical Gardens to the Domain and on to Hyde Park. This walk is easily followed but worth taking 3-4 hours over as the views are spectacular.

People Walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge

People Walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge

In the city you can enjoy the views from the Sydney Tower, formerly called the AMP Tower. The AMP logo is still displayed on the tower but it seems to have been rebranded. When we were there we almost missed the entrance as the whole area is being renovated. From the tower you can get views as far as the airport and beyond … some days you can see as far as the Blue Mountains. If you are really adventurous you can climb Sydney Harbour Bridge (not on your own please, don’t start scaling the bridge and telling them it was my idea – it is a paid guided excursion with safety equipment). The only disadvantages are that you can’t bring a camera, you can’t decide to take a bathroom break and once you start out its about a 2 hour round trip – also not great for those with vertigo. We didn’t do this, instead took a helicopter trip with Cloud9 Helicopters from Bankstown Airport (phone 02 9771-3654) – well worth the money.

The main shopping areas extend from Pitt Street down around Town Hall also don’t miss Paddys Market in Chinatown which has excellent deals and is great for getting some fresh fruit, great deals on t-shirts and holiday clothes. While you are in Chinatown, you could get a really nice Chinese meal. If you are looking for a nice restaurant, go all the way as far as the Chinese arch in Chinatown and look for the Golden Harbour – Maria and the staff at the Golden Harbour will look after you and the food is always really nice. Yum Cha is also served early in the day.

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Later in the evening there is plenty to do in the city. You can enjoy dinner in the AMP / Sydney Tower overlooking the city by night, the food is very nice, usually a buffet – however we found that The Summit Restaurant (http://www.summitrestaurant.com.au/) had nicer views (being that bit closer to the harbour) and also the menus were a bit nicer also. If you are looking for real class, try the Bennellong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Not as expensive as you would think – and the service is 5 star (bordering on 6) with the food being similarly as good. The experience of dining at the Bennellong will live long in my mind – not only for the food and service but for the views and thrill of dining at one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

Sydney Opera House - the Classic Shot from Sydney

The iconic Opera House – the Classic Shot from any trip to the city

Sydney is a place to be savoured, so if you are coming here for a holiday, spend as long as you can here – its one of the few cities in the world, where I can say I would be happy to live. Looking forward to going back already !

Recommended Links for Sydney

Bennellong Restaurant, Sydney Opera House : http://www.bennelong.com.au/

Sydney Tower : http://sydneytower.myfun.com.au/

Harrys Cafe de Wheels : http://www.harryscafedewheels.com.au/

City Extra, Circular Quays : http://www.cityextra.com.au/

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb : http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

There is much more than this – but I wanted to keep this blog post short … If you have any questions about tips on where to go, eat or stay in Sydney please drop me a comment.