PEr FYI

March 10, 2013

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, New York City…like Disneyland for shopaholics!

An outdoor (so wrap up in winter) village with more than 220 freestanding “high end” names. Stores include a mega-Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, Nike, Nine West, Michael Kors, Longchamps, Bose, Swarovski, Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Toryburch and so many more that it’s staggering. Be prepared to spend the whole day here and have an early night as you will be tired. Better wear comfy sneakers there will be alot of walking to do. I walked around for 7+ hours going thru various stores that I was interested but most of them were disappointment.   Items looked cheap.  I am not sure if they have the 2nd grade items or all tourists got the good stuff.   I didn’t get as much as when I was in Vegas. Remember you do have to pay sales tax.

I’d signed up online as a VIP member (sign up is free!) and printed our my free coupons prior to arriving  in New York.  These coupons offer more discounts than the VIP coupon book which you can pick up at Woodbury! None of my coupons were use, by the way. And get a copy of those handy maps and store listings while you are there.  Woodbury Premium Outlets occupies a large area, this is very useful to locate the store you want.

The food court is very basic eats, nothing exciting. Although I go there to shop not to eat.

As to be expected, outlets are hit or miss.  Maybe I’ve just missed on my visit here but I would say…for the shopaholics… it is like Disneyland! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 3, 2011

Reliance Optical Centre, Kuala Lumpur…I love the selection and the price of the eyewear. I’m a customer for life!

Buying a pair of glasses is all is all about the helpful service with reasonable price. Reliance Optical  is a warm, friendly family business and the people here are friendly, reliable, efficient and fast. Larry the owner has always been really helpful in picking out a few styles that suited my face shape and style. He actually knew how the size of the bridge and all that jazz affects the fit, which is refreshing when I compare it to my experience at other optical shops, where all you hear is, “Oh, that looks great on you!”, when I KNOW it doesn’t because I look like some bug-eyed fly walking down the street on a sunny afternoon.

They have great stocks. Unique selections…not cap ayam or no-name brands. If you’re serious about investing in a great pair of shades that will a) not cost you an arm and a leg and b) be a pair you’ll love and cherish for MANY years to come, this is your place. Everything here is on the reasonable side, with brands like Oakley, Tag Heuer, Armani, Ray Bans, Prada, Gucci, CK, etc., but here, you do tend to find a much bigger and unique selection than at most other places, so I think it’s worth a visit

One downside: it’s a hell of a job getting a car park in Bangsar. So it’s quite common to see cars double-parked along the entire stretch of the road.

This is a fantastic optical shop.  He’s got a great selection of frames at a very competitive price point. I’ve been going there several years now and I’ve only received excellent service there and they haven’t let me down. I’m a customer for life! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

June 7, 2010

Yeoju Premium Outlets, Seoul…a disappointing trip

I have mixed feelings about this place. The place is sprawling and carries the major designer brands such as Burberry, Coach, Lacoste, Gucci, Armani,Zegna, Dunhill, Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Salvatore Ferragamo. Yeoju also carries Korean brands such as Kuho, Kim Young Joo and Hazzys

A little more information would be helpful for us to find our way to the outlet. Other than the shuttle which leaves at 11am and arrives at around 12.15pm, there is not much of information for other early morning shoppers who want to maximise the opening hours of 10.00am. We eventually found our way there the hard way: we took a subway from Anguk to Express Bus Terminal station, hopped onto an express bus on the gyeonggu line headed for Yeoju. The buses depart every 30 minutes. There at the bus stop in Yeoju, we took a taxi to the outlet. 

The return shuttle from the outlet to Seoul was scheduled only for 6.00pm. Neither the information counter staff nor the bus driver was proficient enough in English to tell us how to book the tickets in advance. So, not wanting to risk waiting till 6.00pm (and not getting a seat) when all our shopping’s done by 3.00pm, we took a public bus to Yeoju town and hopped onto an express bus headed to Gangnam, Seoul. From there, we taxied to our hotel.

Two of us came away with only one (yup, you read it right…1) item. I’d noticed many customers go home empty-handed as well. That’s because most shops have stock that is limited in size. Discount-wise, it’s only so-so. Nothing to rave about. At the end of the day, it was a disappointing trip. Hopes were high, wallets were heavy, but there just wasn’t anything to buy. This is still the true truth and I am still saying it as it is…

January 17, 2010

The tipping point at The Grand New Delhi Hotel

It is customary to tip service providers at hotels in India. You can tip the bellman, the room service in-charge and the person who brings you food in the room. Giving Rs.20-50 is ideal. However, the staff of The Grand New Delhi Hotel take “asking for a tip” to a new art level.

I stayed in the hotel in Delhi for 2 nights with 4 other colleagues. We all had the same experience. The bloke who brings in your stuff to fill up your minibar (one wonders why they don’t fill it up BEFORE we checked in as is the practice of most hotels) keeps going on about “I have filled up your minibar,” “I have finished,” “I’ll be leaving” without moving a single muscle in his body to leave the room. Another colleague had a problem with his room key card and requested a housekeeping staff nearby to help him get into his room. Upon doing so, the housekeeping staff took three eternities to leave the room, while waiting for a you-know-what. Long story short, every encounter we had with a hotel staff in our room waas the same. We figured it must be some kind of effective training program the hotel put the staff through. They were so competent…waiting for their tips.

We are natural born tippers who wouldn’t hesitate to leave 10-15% for good services rendered. But for helping a guest get into his room when the key card didn’t work (it’s the hotel’s mistake) and filling up the minibar (when the minibar is supposed to have been filled)??? At the rate they were going, it made me wonder if I should start tipping my everyone who does anything for me, including my mother. Perhaps I should tip the postman for delivering my mails. Should I tip the guy who signs my paycheck?

Tipping aside, the hotel is a stunner. Great spacious lobby, a sprawling landscape, nice rooms with even nicer beds and a fantastic wonderful set of staff in the restaurant. They were so attentive, cheerful, accommodating. The chef and kitchen staff were great too. I’d requested a dosa (thosei) made in a way they are not accustomed to, but they produced it and did a fine job with it too.

Location wise, the hotel is located within a whisker of the DLF Promenade which houses designed boutiques like LV, Gucci, etc great food outlets like Zest, Smokehouse Deli, HRC, Italia  and leisure outlets like cinemas.

Stay at this hotel but don’t get pressured beyond the tipping point. This is certainly the true truth as I am still saying it as it is.

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