Archive for the ‘Hotel Review’ Category

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.

holiday-inn-beijing-reception

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

holiday-inn-beijing-4574768370-4x3

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.

forbidden-city-over-view-beijing-china-1288484584

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

 

L’Amandier Hotel, Marrakech, Morrocco by guest author Amelia Walker

This review of L’Amandier, Marrakech, Morrocco originally appeared on 1 August 2016 in http://hoteldesigns.net/latest-hotel-review/miniview-lamandier-marrakech/ written by Amelia Walker.

The long-awaited launch of the five-star L’Amandier hotel has finally been unveiled. It is nestled in the Ouirgane Valley and only an hour from the city.

L'Amandier (Anthony Craddock)

“My brother and I discovered this place some years ago when it was a scrub of land, with a few dying almond trees and nothing else. This was the start of a colourful journey of new friendships, discovering water, running water, sowing seeds, laying brick on top of brick, bring in power…and now we are here,” says Founder, Anwar Harland-Khan.

Well, for those of you in need of inspiration for an international destination, be it for incentive travel, a private party, a conference, a holiday, team builder or celebratory venue, this gem-like haven is a beguiling place.

L'Amandier (Anthony Craddock)

“L’Amandier has been quite a journey,” says Anwar. We are sitting on one of the villa’s expansive sun-warmed terraces, within 12 acres of citrus groves and almond trees, surrounded by a patchwork of valleys and mountain peaks. The panoramic views over the surrounding Toubkal National Park that we’re looking out on are spectacular. Aside from the gentle hum of the call to prayer that I can hear in the distance, it is peaceful, quiet and wonderfully still. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve felt this relaxed. ‘Landscape therapy’ here is instant and you immediately give in to the pace of life. Calm trickles down from the top after all – and Anwar is warmth and charm itself.

I am one of the lucky media guests invited to the hotel’s soft launch (before it officially opens its doors in Autumn 2016), to join his friends and family to celebrate this 12-year project coming full circle.

L'Amandier (Anthony Craddock)

L’Amandier is an environmentally sensitive venture that has remained sympathetic to its surrounding environs. The property has been designed by London-based architect, Nick Gowing, who has juxtaposed the contours of the surrounding landscape with the buildings geometric lines. His aim? To ensure that the beauty of the vista was incorporated into the living and communal areas where possible, through floor-to-ceiling windows (light and space are recurrent motifs throughout), and buildings rendered in the same colour as the rich, red earth of the L’Amandier Plateau, merging it as part of the landscape, in form and function.

L'Amandier (Tara Panchaud)

The premises accommodates up to 46 guests in the six suite boutique hotel and the 13 estate villas. All villas have been sold to private investors but are available to rent (each owner has full use of the hotel’s facilities and access to In-house Catering with Private Chef). Each boasts a vast roof terrace with frame pergola style seating area, swapped with deep cushions and white cotton drapes, and showstopping vistas – the perfect backdrop for sundowners.

The architecture is cubist in form yet embraces the characteristics of a Moroccan riad – whereby the rooms are built around a central courtyard. Each villa accentuates L’Amandier’s philosophy of uniting a contemporary European design aesthetic with traditional Moroccan artistry and sustainable materials, think tadelakt walls, bejmat tiles and local walnut wood for the furniture.

L'Amandier (Anthony Craddock)

Elsewhere there’s a 50-cover restaurant, a blinding 25m-infinity pool, tennis court and a vast 40m2 terrace perfect for alfresco soirées.

Elegant interiors represent a timeless grace and come courtesy of Michael Kopinski. His descriptions of “Zen-like” and “raw” are spot-on, nodding to the country’s past and championing the skill of the Moroccan people, through ethically sourced local products. It’s all in the detail right? Well the subtle intricacies do not go unnoticed. I’m referring to the change of light throughout the day, and how the colours of the bespoke handpicked tiles dotted around the resort flicker between cobalt aqua and silver depending on the positioning of the sun. “The feeling inside the hotel is of shimmering water,” explains Michael. “The colour palette reflects the beautiful rich greens of the surrounding lush valleys and the baked clay colour of the sunsets… but toned down, subdued, an echo.”

L'Amandier (Anthony Craddock)

I felt a shift at L’Amandier. At one point I did nothing but stare at the view for 40 minutes – no need for emails, or phone. It is a heady mix, this seamless blend of indoor-outdoor living and the combination of culture, creativity, spirit and vision.

Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

My husband and I recently had a wonderful vacation in Washinton DC, USA. We met up with friends who live in a different part of the country and we all met up in Washington DC and stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. The hotel is nice and central. It is situated equi-distant between Du Pont Circle and Macpherson Square metro centres.dc-coffee-table

This Double Tree by Hilton is adjacent to Scott Circle Park. My husband and I took a junior suite on the 7th floor. It was to the front of the hotel, so it was a little noisy, especially at the wekends, however, the room had pretty views over the park. This was clearly, once, an upscale hotel in downtown D.C. and is near the White House. However, the Hotel would now benefit from investment.

The carpets are a bit worn, the colour schemes are dated and the furnishings have seen better days. However, our suite offered really good value for money and our friends, who took a standard room, were also satisfied. The rooms all have large, flat-screen TVs and WiFi (for which there is a small fee if you are not a Hilton Honours member) The beds are large and comfortable. All suites add separate kitchen and living areas and ours also had a granite wet bar and a large bathroom.dc-bed

The bistro is disappointing. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it is dark, dull, dated and understaffed. It offers contemporary American cuisine which is tasty, but the menu never changed the whole period we were there. There is a bar which has a “Happy Hour” lasting around 4 hours! It serves signature drinks and is busy and clearly popular. Unfortunately, it too suffers from dated furnishings and understaffing.  The amenities of the hotel also include a fitness center, valet parking (for which there is a fee) and a business centre. The rooms are clean and the bathrooms spotless. I did like the big, fluffy bath towels.dc-tv

Having said all that, this Double Tree by Hilton benefits from the most charming, helpful and dedicated staff. The majority of them could not do enough for us. Only one or two seemed to be going through the motions. The staff of the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC is a great asset. We were all made to feel welcome and valued. At present this is a good hotel in a great situation with great staff. With some investment and modernising it would be a great hotel too. I will use it again, and recommend it.

Valerie Penny