The Savvy Traveler :: Charles

[trip style = urban + weekend getaways + staycation]

Charles Yap is an influencer, traveler and tea drinker. He talks the talk, walks the walk and lives up to his snazzy title as the Director of Global Brand Communications for InterContinental Hotels Group. His position is a tall order, heading up the social media strategy for each of the group’s seven hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo. It's no wonder he's a top-ranked online travel influencer who's built his loyal following with dedication and smarts---and as a nice guy. For all of these reasons {plus his awesome street style}, we're ecstatic to feature him as this month's Savvy Traveler! Charles tweets at @HotelPRGuy.

1/ What are your top 3 trip styles and why? 
[trip style = urban + weekend getaway + staycation] I am very much a city guy and I've been living in London for three years. During weekends, I try to take short trip style = weekend getaways to neighbouring European capitals. I also love trip style = staycation exploring London---you can live here for an entire lifetime and still find new things to discover. Whether traveling or at home, I'm a fan of photography, architecture, exploring museums, going to the markets and checking out new restaurants and bars.

2/ What items are always on your packing list?
I travel light and avoid checking my bags, so packing wisely is essential. I never leave home without:
- My jeans by 7 for all mankind
- Dunhill reversible belt
- Chinese travel tea set from Teanamu
- Elemis Men SOS Survival Cream
- An extra BlackBerry battery

3/ Hometown Saturday must-stops?
My two favorite markets in London are Broadway Market in East London and Borough Market near London Bridge. Both are foodie markets and great places to stop for lunch and coffee. I also like exploring the historic pubs of London; my top three are The Grenadier in Belgravia, Windsor Castle in Notting Hill and The Dove in Hammersmith.

4/ Favourite destination, hotel or resort in the world & why? 
My love of big cities and amazing architecture draws me towards destinations like Paris, Prague and Rome. I also love historic hotels and one of my favourites is InterContinental Paris Le Grand, opened in 1862 by Empress Eugenie. During the hotel's opening, the neighbouring Opera Garnier was still under construction. I recommend one of the 82 rooms or suites overlooking the Opera, and ordering the Fashion Pastry at Cafe de la Paix. This year, the focus is on fashion designers from Brazil, India, China and Russia, and the current pastry is by Indian fashion designer Manish Arora.

5/ Best trip you've ever taken? 
My visit to Hanoi in January 2008 is probably the best trip I've ever taken. It was extra special because it was a reunion with friends who had moved to other parts of the world. We spent our time exploring the old city, navigating the busy traffic, eating where the locals eat and watching the sun set over Westlake!

6/ Best way to secure a fabulous stay with an InterContinental or IHG Hotel online?
Follow @IHG_Deals on Twitter for special deals and fun giveaways. We also offer a best price guarantee on, which means that if you can find a lower price elsewhere online, you get your first night free.

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

More Savvy Travelers
Rachel, The Suitcase Siren
Tiffany, The Luxury Travel Inspector
Lora, The BC & OR Family Travel Expert

[photo of Charles by @jennkol]