Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fashionista's Hotel Review: The Town House 50

For those who know me, you'd know that I have always had a penchant for boutique hotels (and backpacker hostels too) and in all my travels, I've always tried (if possible) to stay at one. Someone once commented to me, why go for these, why not go for a 5 star hotel (where you'll be pampered to your hearts content)? The thing is, to me, these places (be it boutique hotels or a backpacker hostel) have a distinctive charm and since we've first stayed at our first backpacker about five years ago in Beijing (to read all about the trip you can click [here]) we've never looked back. We love the atmosphere, the staff are most of the time very friendly and accommodating of our needs, you always meet other like minded travellers and sharing (and comparing travel experiences with them are always fun and exciting) and last September (2014), our trip to Ho Chi Minh is no different, we chose The Townhouse 50 due to the same reasons why we'd pick a hotel to any place that we'd travel, a fun, quirky place to stay and meet new people =). 

So here's a photoblog review of The Townhouse 50:

The entrance is located somewhat in an alley (about maybe 10 - 15 meters from the main road) which is not very convenient for travellers, because the taxi would drop you off at the main road and you'd have to walk through the alley to get to the hotel (and sometimes it might rain so you'd likely to get wet). Otherwise, we didn't really mind the alley.

The reception counter. I love, love, love their deco =).

House rules. 

The lobby and breakfast area. Breakfast is provided every morning from 7 am - 10 am consisting of fruits, spring rolls (which we call popiah here in Malaysia), breakfast set meal (usually with toast/ french bread, peanut butter/ butter etc), coffee and tea. I must say I absolutely love the breakfast provided by this hotel, it's an absolutely healthy breakfast with endless supply of fruits (bananas, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and watermelon), the bread is delivered fresh everyday and the coffee (Vietnamese coffee) is absolutely delish!

However, one word of caution, it's a non-halal hotel, therefore bacon is also served thus (if you're a Muslim) you might want to skip their meat and fried food. 

One of the best highlights of this hotel is, whenever we'd come back in the afternoon (after a full day exploring and being tourists in Ho Chi Minh) the staff (usually we'd be meeting Johnny who's an absolutely cool guy and the most helpful staff we've ever met) would give us a few slices of fresh fruits and a cool drink (or two).

Need internet connection? WiFi is provided for free and the access speed is superb!

Rows and rows of fresh fruits. I absolutely adore their passionfruit. Yummeh!

The staff busy preparing breakfast. We're usually the first one there and the last one to leave =). 

Our room. 

We absolutely love our room. It's huge, with plenty of space for Alexa to explore and enjoy herself. The bed is comfortable and is big enough to fit our tiny family (including Alexa because we're still co-sleeping with her). On our third day, we encountered a plumbing problem in the shower, there was a blockage which caused the water to spill from the shower to the bedroom. The staff were extremely efficient and they managed to resolve the problem (and mop the floors) in less than 10 minutes. 

We were extremely impressed!

Tea and coffee making facilities are available in the room. 

Another view of the room. 

Changing area.

The toilet/ shower room. 

Alexa, who's busy planning our itinerary for the day =).

So what can we say about The Townhouse 50? We absolutely recommend the hotel due to its excellent service, warm and incredibly wonderful staff ( Johnny and Tracy who were on duty are absolutely friendly and extremely hardworking), we love the breakfast spread, fast internet connection and the room that we stayed in was fabulous. However, please take note that this hotel is a bit far from Ben Thanh market (about 20 minutes walk) and there's no elevator so you might have to walk up the stairs a bit to get to your room. But besides that, we enjoyed our stay in Ho Chi Minh and wouldn't mind staying here again =).

xoxo Mrs Fashionisa

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Uh oh, hullo there!




Oh well, I haven't been active lately, and there are many reasons for that. And there are a lot things that have happened the past year (2014 I mean) for me to share, so I am at lost on which news do I share first...

So just a brief update on what's been happening in 2014:

We cancelled our trip to Japan last April due to my father-in-law's passing just a day before the trip and we weren't able to reschedule our trip to another date due to many other events that happened in the second half of the year.

Our last family photo together during Eid 2013.

We traveled to Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) at the end of August (until early September) and got robbed by a cab driver (a fake cabbie, actually). I will definitely update a blog on that so that all you out there will be able to recognise the signs of a fake cabbie. That is the first time we've been robbed on our trip overseas and it got me spooked because Alexa was also in the cab with us and I was afraid that the cab driver would harm her. However, on the bright side, inshaa Allah I will post a blog on halal food in Vietnam soon =).

I've enrolled as a student again! Weehooo! It's always been my dream to pursue a PhD and I've enrolled at an institution called INCEIF (will do a review on INCEIF soon) and have been approved to pursue my studies full time by my organisation (the institution at which I am employed) and inshaa Allah will be at INCEIF until September 2016. Do wish me luck in my studies ya!

With Prof. Zubair Hasan after our final class for Islamic Economics.

I've bought another apartment (I don't know what is it with me and real estate, but I do love owning properties and the rental in Kuala Lumpur is so high that I guess buying an apartment is a better alternative for me). So this apartment (it's nothing fancy, just a studio apartment that suit my current needs as a student) is for me to stay while I'm doing my PhD and unfortunately for privacy reasons, I won't be able to disclose the location of this apartment until it's ready to be rented out in the future =).

Attended the Divine Speech seminar by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan. His talks are even more impressive live and if given the chance, I would love to attend future sessions with him as the speaker (the only other speaker that I would love to listen live would be Dr Zakir Naik, inshaa Allah).

The venue, PICC, was filled to the max, wow!

I have also enrolled as a student of Al-Maghrib Institute and this is one of my personal development goals and one of the ways I would be able to enhance my knowledge in Islam. Considering Al Maghrib's courses are only conducted once every three to four months, I don't think this course will in any way interfere with my PhD inshaa Allah. Here's a post on the first program of theirs that I attended [click here].

Me, mum and my sis-in-law, Izzah attending our first Al-Maghrib seminar =)

We got our paper published in a journal, a collaboration effort of three academicians, my friend Erimalida aka Ayon, yours truly and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Song Saw Imm. All praise be to Allah for the opportunity =).

So in a nutshell, 2014 have been a very interesting year and am looking forward to an exiting 2015. Here's a sneak peak of what's in store:

So far my plans are only up to January and February so I still don't know what's in store for the other ten (10) months in 2015...

January - a short trip to Penang to visit my Pakistani friend Azima followed by attending Al-Maghrib's Fiqh of Chillin' course the following week. Then a weekend trip to Singapore to attend another of Al-Maghrib's course: Deception, Study of Shaytaan. This month will end with a much-anticipated holiday to Xi'an, China with hubs and lil' bub, Alexa =).

February - we'll be back from Xi'an in early February and I've bought tickets to attend a Marriage Conference on the 14th of February (which I'm excited to attend due to the impressive line up of speakers who are scheduled to speak in the conference).

So here's my plan for 2015. There's not much activities/ events planned out as I plan to focus on my studies and would need time for my coursework and research. But I am hoping (if possible) to present (my papers/ research) at two conferences this year, one in March and another in June, inshaa Allah =).

Here's to a fantabulous 2015! *clink*


xoxo Mrs Fashionista