Archive for the ‘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.

hilton towers in 1

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

 

 

 

The Canny Man’s 237 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland

canny man's 1 imagesOn a recent visit to Edinburgh, my daughter took me to the Canny Man’s Pub and Restaurant so that we could celebrate the forthcoming publication of my debut novel, Hunter’s Chase, by Crooked Cat Books. The Canny Man’s pub in Morningside is an Edinburgh institution established in 1871 and passed down through generations of the Kerr family. It is a free house therefore it has no connection with any brewery and only sells the best of each brewers produce.

We found a discreet table in a snug so that we could chat. There are lots of little nookscanny man's 2 and crannies in this old building. This small family run bar and restaurant in Edinburgh has catered to many dignitaries and celebrities over the years. With celebrated seafood chef Rick Stein calling the Canny Man’s “the best pub in the world”. We both ordered gin and slims and each of us had our preffered make of gin the snacks served with alcoholic drinks are complimentary and attention to detail here is second to none. There is even a free of charge buffet that runs Mon-Thurs 5-6pm!

canny man's bar-banner-3My daughter and I sat in the main bar it holds an impressive selection of over 250 whiskies and has seen no change in over half a decade. But there is another bar in the back of the premises is referred to as the ‘back bar’ or ‘lounge bar’, this is a great alternative to the main bar to ensure you will always be served. The Canny Man’s has good disabled access.canny man's restaurant-banner

The restaurant seating in the Canny Man’s is quirky, eclectic and deceivingly big. Dining tables can be found throughout the pub and there are certainly some very sought after seats available, including the Winston Churchill Room. The restaurant offers a selection of menus using fresh, local produce including a variety of tasty open sandwiches .

canny man's lounge-img1The Canny Man’s Bar and Restaurant is a little slice of Edinburgh that I highly recommend to you on your next visit to the City.

Valerie Penny

The Booking Office, 17 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Booking Office Waverley BridgeOn a recent visit to Edinburgh, I took the opportunity of meeting up with friends I have known since we counted our age in single figures. That is far longer than any of us need admit to. We needed somewhere central so that everybody could get there easily. As I was getting a train out of the city about 5pm, we chose The Booking Office which is a Wetherspoons bar and bistro near the Waverley Station, the main railway station in Edinburgh, Scotland.The Booking Office out

We met in the mid afternoon, and I thought the place would be relatively quiet. How wrong I was! As The Booking Office is so very near the station, it was extrememly busy. We did manage to get a table, but only because we grabbed it when other people left. However, the bar was well staffed. People ordered hot and cold drinks as well as food at the bar and an army of staff were kept busy serving the drinks at the bar and delivering the food to the tables.

The Booking Office in 2The Booking Office had a lively atmosphere and, as it was so busy, tables would have benefitted from being cleaned more frequently and more thoroughly. This was true of the restrooms too. However, there is good disabled access and service was quick. I was not particularly impressed by The Booking Office, however, as it is so inexpensive and conveniently situated, I may well use it again.

Valerie Penny

Il Caffe,San Lorenzo, Rome, Italy

Every trip aaway from home requires a little down time. On a recent visit to Rome, The Eternal City in Italy, my husband and I set aside one day for nothing more than relaxing, drinking coffee, eating cake and watching the world go by. It was most enjoyable.Il Caffe Rome out

After a lazy start to the day, when we had coffee and wrote postcards (yes, some people still write postcards)! We wandered about San Lorenzo, the area where our hotel was situated. The hotel was bitterly disappointing and is reviewed on this site, here: https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.com/2016/10/25/hotel-vibel-viale-dello-scalo-s-lorenzo-97-rome-italy/. However, we enjoyed our vacation and were happy to find Il Caffe for lunch.Il Caffe Rome in 1

We chose freshly made sandwiches, crisps and a soft drink. The food was very tasty, and the atmosphere at Il Caffe was relaxed and the staff were courteous and helpful. The place was busy over the lunchtime period, but there was no sense of stress or pressure that spilled over to the customers.Il Caffe Rome in 2

Il Caffe offers good value, has good access for disabled patrons and we very much enjoyed our lunch and the experience of visiting this unpretentious, clean, friendly little restaurant.

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

Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland

Imperial palace outIt was important to find a good restaurant for Mother’s Day. There were various requirements: Mother had to like the food, that excluded Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants, so Chinese it is. The restaurant had to allow wheel chair access: that ruled out restaurants Kowloon, Rendezvous and Lune Town (reviewed on this site 16 December 2013). However, step forward the Imperial Palace. Imperial Palace inside

The Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland is very close to one of the main Chinese Supermarkets in Edinburgh and is well frequented by patrons of Chinese heritage. The menu at the Imperial Palace is extensive and interesting. Many of the traditional classic dishes you would espect from a Chinese restaurant sit comfortably beside more unusual offerings including Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce and Tofu and Fresh Fish Head Soup Garnished with Colianders.

imperial palace foodWe were a party of five, Mum, my sister and I and ours husbands. We chose a variety of starters. Mum went with chicken wings, my husband with spare ribs and the rest of us chose vegetarian spring rolls. They were all delicious. Our main courses included Mum’s favourite, sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice, my tofu and vegetables with black bean sauce, my husband’s cantonese style duck and my sister and brother-in-law went with special fried rice, deep fried aubergine,  Singapore Thin Egg Noodles and Mixed Vegetable with Pickled Ginger and Pineapple. We all enjoyed our meals very much. The boys managed desert and my mother was encouraged to a little ice cream.imperial palace food 2

The Imperial Palace allows easy wheelchair access. The table we had was round, giving easy opportunity for everyone to chat. The staff are attentive but not intrusive and there is ample parking nearby. We all had a delicious meal at the Imperial Palace and will certainly use this restaurant again.

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