Archive for the ‘Hotel Review’ Category

Hilton New York, Midtown, 1335 6th Ave, New York, NY, USA

hilton towersNew York City is one of my favourite cities in the world. The skylines, the night life, the theatres and the shops are beyond compare, as are many of the hotels. Amongst those excellent hotels is the Hilton New York, Midtown, on 6th Avenue.

My advice is to request as high a room as possible so you can enjoy the views. This hotelhilton towers out 2 is centrally situated and is often the base for the major conferences I have attended in NYC. It is by the Rockefeller Centre, the theatres on Times Square and the shops on 5th Avenue.

 Hilton New York, Midtown, has courteous staff and a large reception area that makes checking in a pleasure. There is a bank of elevators so that access to rooms is usually swift. Whether conducting business, keeping up with a fitness routine or looking to spend quality time with your family, the Hilton hotel New York is here to make the most of your stay by offering the services you need, the amenities you expect, and the extras you deserve.

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hilton towers in 4The stylish NYC hotel rooms and suites are designed to exceed the modern traveler’s expectations. Business travelers, couples and families appreciate the array of amenities at this Midtown Manhattan hotel. During my last stay my room was on a high floor and I enjoyed the view over the New York skyline. The rooms have always been spotlessly clean and cleaned thoroughly daily. It was useful to have a desk at which I could work and the wifi is readily available.

The Hilton New York, Midtown, has various meeting rooms, a variety of restaurants tohilton towers in 2 choose from and pleasant bars and coffee shops to spend time. It also boasts a well-kitted out fitness room, so you have no excuse to give up on your regular routines and can stay active during your stay in the fully equipped fitness center.

There are lots of dining choices within this large hotel. You can start the day with a breakfast buffet and specialty coffees at Herb N’ Kitchen. Unwind with a few friends and a few drinks at the sophisticated Bridges Bar. Enjoy light fare or a late night snack at the Lobby Lounge. After a long day, enjoy a cool experience at the Minus5 Ice Bar where you explore handcrafted ice sculptures and enjoy even glasses made of ice, or a fresh meal delivered to you through the convenience of room service.hilton towers dining.jpg

I usually started my days with breakfast in Herb N’ Kitchen and as it features seasonal hilton towers in 5salads, artisanal sandwiches and brick oven pizzas, the kids enjoyed it for lunch. The hotel is so large that on days when I was working all day, the kids could find lots to entertain them, without leaving the premises. The barista zone offering specialty coffees to enjoy either in the restaurant or on the go is a particular favourite. Being able to relax in your hotel when you are in a city on business is vital. The Hilton New York, Midtown, is a hotel where I have always found it easy to do that. Partly because the service is so good and partly because there are places that allow for different types of relaxation.

Overlooking the reception, the Lobby Lounge is a great spot to rendez-vous with clients or colleagues. Enjoy exceptional wines, cocktails, light fare, as well as terrific people watching. Whether you are meeting for an end of the day debriefing or a late night escape, the Lobby Lounge never disappoints. Another favourite is the Minus5°.  It is an ice bar where you can touch, feel, and explore handcrafted ice sculptures and architecture made from Canadian ice. Everything inside minus5° is made of ice, even the glasses that you enjoy our famous vodka-based cocktails in. No matter what the event, you and your companions will be treated to the coolest experience in town. It is hilton towers out 3definitely worth a visit.

I have enjoyed the Hilton New York Midtown every time I have stayed there. I have no doubt I will stay there again and highly recommend it to you.

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

Apex Hotel Haymarket, 90 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland

Apex city-roomOn a recent visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, I needed an inexpensive room for an overnight stay in the city centre. The Apex Hotel Haymaket fit the bill. The hotel is situated at the West end of Haymarket Terrace and so there are hotles closer to the train station, however, The Apex Haymarket is of a higher standard but around the same price. The hotel, before it was extended, would originally have been an elegant family home with the servants’ room in the attic on the top floor.

The reception is around the corner from the main road and is on Magdala Crescent. The street-side entry to the hotel restaurant is from Haymarket Terrace. Reception is small, only one desk, but there was only one person ahead of me, so I did not have to wait long. The receptionist was courteous and efficient and complimentary maps of the city centre are readily available for those unfamiliar with the city.  Tha Apex Haymarket is also convenient for local transport. There is a bus stop directly outside; the tram and train station are just a short walk to the East. Apex room 2.jpg

I had booked a small double room as I was only in the city for one night and would not be in the room for long. The room was on the fourth (top) floor, so I was in the original servants quarters. How times have changed! This was a bright, colourful room with an en-suite showerroom and full, complimentary hostess tray. The room was small, but that was fine, it was advertised as small and the price paid was commensurate with that.

The bed was comfortable and, although the room was hot that night, I slept well. The shower was powerful and the room with en-suite was spotlessly clean. Access to the hotel and restaurant is disabled friendly.

Apex outside Breakfast was an extra charge, the price was £2.50 less if I booked it before midnight than afterwards! It was tasty, but service was slow. The coffee, tea and toast were brought to the table as were the cooked options. The continental breakfast was self service. Everything was freshly prepared and I enjoyed it.

I would definitely use The Apex Hotel Haymarket, Edinburgh again and recommend it as an economical, central Edinburgh hotel.

Valerie Penny

Aparthotel Adagio, Marne la Vallée Val d’Europe, Disneyland, Paris

Aparthotel Adagio Marne la Vallée Val d'EuropeWe arranged a family holiday to Disneyland Paris, Just a few days break during the school summer holidays. The Disney hotels themselves seemed expensive and we wanted extra space for the kids so decided on an apartment at Aparthotel Adagio, Marne la Vallée Val d’Europe.

The staff were very Parisian, and that is not a compliment! They were surly and unhelpful. That, would not have been tolerated by the Disney brand. Adagio Val d'Europe

However, the apartment was spacious and spotlessly clean and gave us the space we needed. The Aparthotel Adagio is located close to Disneyland Paris. Ours was a 3 room apartment for up to 6 people. It was very comfortable and fully furnished with a balcony. There was a car park, which we did not use but the heated indoor swimming pool was lovely to relax in. We also found the free shuttle linking the aparthotel and Disneyland very useful.

We very much enjoyed our stay at the Aparthotel Adagio and, weighing up the convenience of staying in a Disney Hotel to the space and cost of the Aparthotel Adagio, we would stay here again.

Valerie Penny

 

Cairo Pyramids Hotel, Alexandria Road, Giza, Egypt

cairo-pyramids-hotelThere are several hotels within site of the great pyramids, of which the Cairo Pyramids Hotel is one. It was an enjoyable stay and the view of the pyramids from the pool area is incredible. We were part of a tour group so took a bus from hotel to the pyramid sites, it is not far. Central Cairo is, however, quite a long drive.

cairo pyramids hotel room

Our room was clean and spacious. It was large and attractive, the bathroom was spotless. The air conditioner was running a lot but we feel the heat, so we were fine with that. The bed was comfortable.We found Cairo Pyramids Hotel a relaxing environment. The wifi was not good, but that did not impact our stay particularly.

cairo pyramids dining room

The dining room we used was buffet style and catered to tour groups. Many groups were there all at once, especially in the mornings. While the food selections were adequate, they did veer towards Asian taste. Also the service was slow with as there were only a few waiting staff on duty.

Cairo pyramids pool

The Cairo Pyramids Hotel was clean, spacious and met our expectations of a 4-star hotel. It has a large pool with a swim-up bar. I would give the hotel 4-stars for the view from the pool alone. You can see 2 of the 3 pyramids, a dramatic welcome to our first day in Egypt. I would definitely use this hotel again.

Valerie Penny

 

The Scotsman Hotel, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

scotsman entry

The original 19th century Scotsman building has been converted into a fashionable, 5* boutique hotel. The Scotsman Hotel, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, offers parking off site and limo or car hire for travel around the city. The hotel also offers bicycle hire to tour the city. Edinburgh has many hills, so I would advise against this! scotsman entrance

My husband and I visited The Scotsman Hotel, this month when we met her and a group of friends for a special occasion. It was lovely to visit such a marvellous venue. The entrance and grand marble staircase led us to the bar. Where the group gathered to chat and relax in tasteful surroundings with comfortable chairs. A wide selections of beer, wines and spirits is available.scotsman marble staircase

There are many different styles of room available over the 10 floors of the hotel. As it is an old building the shaes of the rooms are not always regular. This can make the rooms quite restrictive or, on other occasions bright and spacious.scotsman bar

The hotel offers wide choices for breakfast, consistent with providing for an international clientele. The Scotsman Hotel is licenced for weddings to take place there. It also offers several meeting and conference rooms for the business traveller, but there is little offered for the younger holiday maker or children.scotsman room 2

 

The Scotsman Hotel is a beautiful building with unique features. It is situated in the centre of Edinburgh near the Waverley Station, St Giles Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle.

scotsman diningroom

However, there are not the fitness facilities or other ancillary services that I enjoy at a hotel. I would not choose this hotel again, altough I know its situation and old world charm will suit many visitors to the city well.scotsman hotel view

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

Best Western Edinburgh South, Braid Hills Hotel, 134 Braid Rd, Edinburgh

braid hills hotel outsideThere are lots of hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland. On a recent visit to the city, to hear a recent gig by our nephew’s band, Thirty-three Connection, my husband and I stayed over after the performance at the Best Western Edinburgh South, Braid Hills Hotel. I remember the hotel from many years ago, and when Best Western took it over, they must have made a large investment in the property to bring it up to date. The result is very interesting. There is a cosy bar, a bright restaurant and a sizeable function suite.braid hills twin

When we booked our room at the Best Western Edinburgh South, Braid Hills Hotel, there was a price difference between rooms to the front of the hotel with views over Braid Burn Park and rooms to the rear of the hotel with no such view. Had we been staying longer, I would have chosen the view. It is lovely. However, my husband and I were only there for one night so we decided not to splash the cash. The website I used showed me a twin room or a double room at the same price. I chose the double room. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the hotel and found we got both!braid hills double

Downstairs, we walked into the twin room. Going through that into a corridor, we found the hospitality tray in an alcove. and further on was a large en-suite bathroom with a rain-type shower. At the end of the corridor was a fairly steep, but narrow staircase. (I wonder if it originally led to the maid’s room in the old house.) At the top of the staircase was the double bedroom. As we paid by the room, rather than per person, a family could have been very reasonably housed in the accomodation. braid hills bathroom

The Best Western Edinburgh South, Braid Hills Hotel, was spotlessly clean. The staff were polite and helpful and the beds very comfortable. The buffet breafast was fresh and extensive. We thought we had booked a room at the price we aid, but we got a suite. We were very pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend the Best Western Edinburgh South, Braid Hills Hotel. My husband and I enjoyed our stay.braid hills tea place

Valerie Penny

Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian,Building A, No. 89, Shuangqing Road, Beijing, China

holiday-inn-beijing-out-dayThe first time I went to Beijing, China, I stayed in the Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian. I was not a great Holiday Inn fan, but the price was right and I was very pleasantly surprised. After a slight hiccup with one of the rooms, which the reception staff resolved, Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian provided a marvellous base for hat trip. I would highly recommend it for busness and leisure travellers as Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian is only 30km from Beijing Capital International Airport and you can commute easily to other parts of the city with the nearby Wudaokou Subway Station.

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Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian guestrooms all feature flat-screen televisions, satellite channels, work desks with ergonomic seats and high-speed Internet access.

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During this visit to Beijing we often ate out at local restaurants, particularly when we were out and about visiting the sights of Beijing. However there are several available in the Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian.  I enjoyed that we could indulge our appetite at Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant or in our all-day dining, Fusion Flavors, which features authentic Indian cuisine with Indian chef in Ramayana and 24 hours room service.You can also treat yourself to a taste of the UK with a relaxing afternoon tea or start the evening with a cocktail at Melody Lounge and V-Bar at the Basement one.

summer-palace

However, I doubt very much that you will want to spend all your time in this fabulous city in the Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian, however good a hotel it is! Even if you are at a conference take time to visit the Summer Palace, Yuan Ming Yuan which is close by. The Summer Palace is beautiful and is the best-preserved imperial garden in the world. Views across he lake are stunning. Be sure not to miss Tianemen Square with the famous kite flying and The Forbidden City. The latter is the best preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world.

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Wherever you go, there will be a lot of walking and many photo opportunities. If you have any, you can burn off extra energy in modern Fitness Centre although  we did not use that, my husband did relax with a soothing massage while I enjoyed the  sauna and use of the indoor swimming pool.

I was fascinated by the Beijing hutongs are mazes of narrow alleyways linking old single-hutongstory traditional courtyard houses. Lying amid the secret streets and alleys of hundred year hutongs, is the modern pub hub built into an ancient fishing lake called Houhai. The traditional tea shops are fun too. Also, if you have a chance, go to the Beijing Opera. It  is regarded as Chinese cultural treasure.The make up, the face masks, the gorgeous costumes, the unique vocal style make Beijing opera a high-class performance entertainment.

holiday-inn-beijing-outside

The Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian is located strategically near to a subway station and restaurant hubs. The cleanliness of hotel room is excellent and we received good service from all departments including the front desk and concierge. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Holiday Inn Beijing Haidian and highly recommend it.
Valerie Penny