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Where are you going next?

Where are you going next?

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Old Sep 22, 18, 4:15 pm
  #3541  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post

Sept:

StR Florence

Oct:

La Bandita Townhouse Pienza, Design
Atlantis by Giardino Zurich, Design
SLS Beverly Hills, Luxury Collection (already upgraded to SLS Suite, leisure/work)
W Los Angeles (work)
StR Bal Harbour (Ft Lauderdale Boat Show)

Nov:

W Hollywood (work)
RC San Francisco (work)
Fairmont Grand del Mar (Thanksgiving)

Dec:

RC Dallas (work)
W Austin (work)
StR Houston (work)
StR San Francisco

Jan:

Amangiri (birthday)

Feb:

RC Coconut Grove (work)
StR Bahia Beach PR (work/leisure)

Mar:

RC Washington, DC (work)
RC Boston (work)

Apr:

RC Georgetown (work)
RC Boston (work)
RC Chicago (work)
RC Bacara Santa Barbara (anniversary)
Ventana Big Sur, Alila (anniversary)
RC Half Moon Bay (anniversary)

May:

Calistoga Ranch (anniversary)
StR San Francisco

Jun:

RC Georgetown (work)
RC Boston (work)
StR New York
Enjoy all those RC! Hopefully you post reviews for Georgetown and Coconut Grove (I haven't been to either). I've stayed at 26 RC properties so far (13 North America, 2 Central/South America, 2 Europe, 8 Asia, 1 Middle East), and while they maintain a high standard across the world, I have to say that they truly stand out in China. Hong Kong, Shanghai Pudong, and Chengdu are all spectacular properties (both Beijing properties are lacklustre, but I digress) in a perfect location and with great service, not to mention the views. Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong are my #1 and #2 favourite RC hotels, respectively.

If you're ever in Hong Kong/Shanghai/Chengdu, be sure to stay with them!
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Old Sep 22, 18, 4:25 pm
  #3542  
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Originally Posted by MicSanToro View Post
Enjoy all those RC! Hopefully you post reviews for Georgetown and Coconut Grove (I haven't been to either).
You can be sure I'll post reviews for them all. I'm most curious to see if the RCs treat me as well as the many StR and Luxury Collection properties have in my SPG days.

If you're ever in Hong Kong/Shanghai/Chengdu, be sure to stay with them!
I'd almost always take a StR over a RC since I love StR butler service. But I did love the RC Kyoto in May and liked the RC Boston a lot in April. I think the RC Kyoto is clearly world class.

In Hong Kong, my challenge always will be The Upper House. I loved it. And there's a new StR coming. I don't like the location of the RC.

In Shanghai, my challenge will always will be the Peninsula Shanghai. I loved it. The RC is nice but a bit more feminine in decor than I prefer. But I don't read good things about the service at the new StR, so the RC has a chance.

In Chengdu, there's a StR, too. So tough call for me.
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Old Sep 22, 18, 5:02 pm
  #3543  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
You can be sure I'll post reviews for them all. I'm most curious to see if the RCs treat me as well as the many StR and Luxury Collection properties have in my SPG days.

I'd almost always take a StR over a RC since I love StR butler service. But I did love the RC Kyoto in May and liked the RC Boston a lot in April. I think the RC Kyoto is clearly world class.
Don't get me wrong, I love StR. So far I've stayed at their properties in (ranked from favourite to least favourite) Bora Bora, Bangkok, Shenzhen, Vommuli Maldives, San Francisco, Florence, New York, Osaka, Rome, Mexico City, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Houston.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
In Shanghai, my challenge will always will be the Peninsula Shanghai. I loved it. The RC is nice but a bit more feminine in decor than I prefer. But I don't read good things about the service at the new StR, so the RC has a chance.
The StR style is far more my style than RC, but I appreciate that RC has some amazing properties. RC Hong Kong/Shanghai Pudong/Abu Dhabi/Kyoto are up there alongside the best StR properties.


Peninsula Shanghai is a great property, and was where I stayed during my first visit to Shanghai. I am glad I tried RC Shanghai Pudong on my second visit and I prefer it. If you haven't stayed at Peninsula's Hong Kong or Bangkok properties, you definitely should.


Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
In Hong Kong, my challenge always will be The Upper House. I loved it. And there's a new StR coming. I don't like the location of the RC.
The insane height of RC Hong Kong, the view, the service, the great club floor, and the restaurants make it my favourite Hong Kong hotel, despite the location in Kowloon. I've heard once about The Upper House but had never looked into it. I just looked it up and my god, I can see why you loved it. Looks like I'll have to give it a go next time I'm in Hong Kong.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
In Chengdu, there's a StR, too. So tough call for me.
RC Chengdu was really amazing, so I could easily see it being better than the StR. I hope to be back in Chengdu in the near future as my fiancé has never been and would love to see the pandas (I wouldn't mind seeing them again, how could I resist?!). If we go, I'd love to stay at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain as it looks stellar, but I'm sure we could fit in a couple nights at the StR to see how it compares to the RC.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 1:01 am
  #3544  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
I will be carrying so much camera equipment that they'll think David Attenborough is back. It is the property above all else I am looking forward to, but the one where the property is the least relevant part of the experience. A review will definitely be forthcoming.
I'm interested to know what equipment you will be taking. Personally I've become a bit fed up with lugging those high-end, full-frame Canons and associated lenses around - my camera bag always weighs more than my luggage. For my forthcoming Galapagos/Amazon trip I'm downsizing massively to match my wife's camera - a Nikon5300 with just two lenses (10-20mm/18-200mm) because the wildlife just sits there begging to have their pictures taken. I think the same applies to gorillas - they just sit there, gurning, munching and farting, and all you'll need is a 35mm lens.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 1:05 am
  #3545  
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On the Chengdu point (and Shanghai), there's also Upper House's sister properties there. Middle House (Shanghai) is quite new but the excellent Kristina Snaith who was with Upper House before is now there, so the guest services team will be expertly run. Temple House in Chengdu is well regarded too, and is a couple of years old now.
Opposite House (Beijing) is the only one I don't hear great things about.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 3:01 am
  #3546  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I'm interested to know what equipment you will be taking. Personally I've become a bit fed up with lugging those high-end, full-frame Canons and associated lenses around - my camera bag always weighs more than my luggage. For my forthcoming Galapagos/Amazon trip I'm downsizing massively to match my wife's camera - a Nikon5300 with just two lenses (10-20mm/18-200mm) because the wildlife just sits there begging to have their pictures taken. I think the same applies to gorillas - they just sit there, gurning, munching and farting, and all you'll need is a 35mm lens.
This is the area I get in the most trouble with, as my camera equipment is also significantly heavier than my luggage. I suffer fear of missing out....on a photograph, so feel the need to take almost everything with me - LEE filters included. Every time I mention a new lens, I can feel the glares from across the room slowly forcing me into backtracking, as often there is overspill and she needs to help carry something. So now I just throw stupid ideas out there and we compromise by going with my originally intended plan.

I was thinking of renting a 600mm as we're in Tanzania before and heading to Kenya afterwards, and on previous safaris I've found my 100-400mm not capable of bringing enough detail. Seeing that the 600mm weighs more than me, that idea was vetoed, but I managed to get onto the packing list: 16-35mm, 24-70mm (my default these days), 100-400mm and 70-200mm. I'll probably take the 24-70mm and 70-200mm on the gorilla trekking. I've also decided to try the 1.4 Extender for the other safaris. Reviews are very mixed, but only one way to really find out, and it does mean I don't have to spend 6 months non-stop at the gym to hold a 600mm.

FYI we are heading to the Galapagos just before you (mid December, I believe you're in January/Feb), so I can let you know how the photography went.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 7:25 am
  #3547  
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
I was thinking of renting a 600mm as we're in Tanzania before and heading to Kenya afterwards, and on previous safaris I've found my 100-400mm not capable of bringing enough detail. Seeing that the 600mm weighs more than me, that idea was vetoed, but I managed to get onto the packing list: 16-35mm, 24-70mm (my default these days), 100-400mm and 70-200mm. I'll probably take the 24-70mm and 70-200mm on the gorilla trekking. I've also decided to try the 1.4 Extender for the other safaris. Reviews are very mixed, but only one way to really find out, and it does mean I don't have to spend 6 months non-stop at the gym to hold a 600mm.

FYI we are heading to the Galapagos just before you (mid December, I believe you're in January/Feb), so I can let you know how the photography went.
What equipment to take depends on where you're going, what your shooting interests are, as well as the amount of pain you're willing to suffer. I'm not obsessed with birds (especially shooting birds-in-flight), so 600mm is not relevant for most of my shooting needs. There are occasional moments where I wish I had brought my 500 or 600 lens, but I've resigned myself to sticking with 400mm as my longest focal length lens. It gets 90% of the shots I want, and doesn't take up half of the allotted weight allowance on bush flights.

Gorillas can be tricky. There have been times when little ones have walked right up to us, meaning a wide angle can come in handy in some situations (and even 70mm is way too long for such an instance.) They can also be farther away (especially babies up on trees), where something between 300 and 400 can come in handy. And if you're trying to get head/face/eye shots (which are awesome to take of such charismatic creatures), then you'll want to take the 100-400.

For the Galapagos, Iguanas, Boobies, Sea Lions and Rays will be pretty close, so no need for a super long lens. And you'll want a wide-angle lens for landscape and scenery. Just as important, make sure your camera can handle underwater shots (or, better yet, get yourself a cheap underwater camera) since most tours allot time for snorkeling and/or diving.

For Kenya/Tanzania - since you will be staying in Conservancies/Concessions, the vehicles are permitted to go offroad. If you were doing game drives in the main Masai Mara reserve or the Serengeti (such as Namiri Plains), then something longer than 400mm would definitely come in handy.

My solution for longer reach... my Nikon D850 supports up to 45.7 megapixels, so I can easily crop. There's also a DX crop mode if I really want to hone in on a subject (and would prefer not to crop later.) Shooting in crop mode still gets me 19.4mp, which is comparable to Nikon's flagship DX wildlife camera (the D500.)

My recommendation... bring 2 bodies (one full frame and one crop-factor), put the 100-400 on the crop camera (or a high-res, full-frame body that can be shot in crop mode), and go with either the 24-70 or 70-200 on the FF. And swap them out for the 16-35 for landscape photos.
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Last edited by KI-NRT; Sep 23, 18 at 11:09 am
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Old Sep 23, 18, 8:20 am
  #3548  
 
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Thanks, Macmyday and KI-NRT for all that info. Those 600mm lenses will need a hefty tripod as well as a jumbo jet.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 8:06 pm
  #3549  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Headed to the St Regis Bahai Beach for a week at the end of Jan for a much needed break.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 8:13 pm
  #3550  
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Originally Posted by 1readyset2go View Post
Headed to the St Regis Bahai Beach for a week at the end of Jan for a much needed break.
Guess we’ll just miss you. We’ll be there Feb 5-10. Looking forward to seeing the new look and improvements.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 9:14 pm
  #3551  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Guess we’ll just miss you. We’ll be there Feb 5-10. Looking forward to seeing the new look and improvements.
Wow that's too bad. Everytime I have met up with an FT'er its always been great. We check out on Feb 1st. I can't wait to see what they have done as well.
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Old Sep 28, 18, 3:24 pm
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Hi Erika,

How did you like Hiramatsu? I'm considering going there in December. Thank you!
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Old Sep 28, 18, 3:25 pm
  #3553  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by Erika_Tokyo View Post
2018
Mountain Lodge Station (Abisko, Sweden)
Cheval Blanc (Courchevel, France)
Four Seasons Paris
Hotel de Crillon Paris
Ritz Paris
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Hotel Maria Cristina (San Sebastian, Spain)
Grand Hotel Ibiza
Shangrila London
-----------(Below upcoming)------------------------
Villa d'Este
Saxon Hotel JoBurg
Singita Lebombo
Singita Boulders
Toba Kokusai Hotel (Mie, Japan)
Hiramatsu Hotel (Mie, Japan)
Four Seasons Kyoto
Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand)


Just to give you an idea of where/what I like;
2017 My best 10
River Retreat Garaku (Toyama, Japan)
Four Seasons (Firenze, Italy)
Aman Sveti Stefan (Montenegro)
Baumaniere (Les Baux de Provence, France)
La Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)
Il San Pietro (Positano, Italy)
Aman (Venice, Italy)
Villa Feltrinelli (Gargano, Italy)
Bella Vista Sakaigahama (Hiroshima, Japan)
Cheval Blanc (Maldives)

Could someone tell me where I should be going next in Europe...(except for Amans)!!
Hi Erika,

How did you like Hiramatsu? I'm considering going there in December. Thank you!
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Old Oct 3, 18, 7:13 am
  #3554  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
Just two trips for us planned at the moment:

Four Seasons Tunis (Tunisia) for a short break in May
Royal Mansour (Morocco) for a short break for our anniversary in June

Havent given a thought to our other dates yet.
How did you end up liking the FS Tunis? Thinking of going next summer to cap off an Italy trip.
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Old Oct 3, 18, 9:13 am
  #3555  
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Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
Royal Mansour (Morocco) for a short break for our anniversary in June
How was RM?
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