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Tag-Archive for "Hotel"

Cyan Recolate Hotel Apr 29

We stayed at Cyan Recoleta Hotel for just one night in April 2017. We decided to stay here as we had stayed at the Urban Suites next door and we were happy with the area. I booked the room online on and check in was fast in the small lobby. We got room 202 on and when we came into the room it was on the small side but very light as there were white tiles on the floor, white walls, a couple of white barstools etc. The king-size bed was large and I slept well in it that night even if it was a bit on the soft side. There is a small table with a couple of barstools and a small kitchen which included an empty fridge (it was possible to buy various stuff in the lobby if I’m not mistaken), a microwave oven and some basic kitchen amenities. The room looks pretty fancy at first glance but you can also see that it is a bit worn out when you take a closer look. Wifi was included in the room and worked fine. We had a great view of the Recoleta cemetery from our window.

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The bathroom was tiny and there was a shower option in the bathtub – I’m not crazy about shower curtains and it would have been great to see a better shower option. There were basic amenities like soap and shampoo and the wardrobe included a small safe.

The breakfast was served in the basement and it was setup in a light modern room. It included the usually selection of sweet cereal, bread, pastries, various spreads and small glasses of fruit salad.

Location of the hotel is good. It is located right next to Recoleta cemetery and Recoleta mall and in the area you will find shops, restaurants and bars.

All in all we were happy with our stay at this hotel. The room small but it works great if you are only staying for a night or two.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Huentala Hotel Mendoza Apr 28

We stayed at Huentala hotel in Mendoza in Argentina for 4 nights in April 2017. We booked the hotel online and I’m not quite sure why I picked this hotel instead of the newer Sheraton next door but I think it was because I could get a larger suite room at Huentala compared to Sheraton. When we arrived we were checked in and got a glass of wine and we got room 116. I don’t think we got any information about breakfast and no information that they had a pool/gym – we only found that out a few days later when someone checked in and got all this info.

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The room was pretty big but without proper lighting I found the room to be a bit dark. The floor was in dark wood and walls in light colors. There was a desk/chair, a two seat sofa, table and chair in the first part of the room. The bed was big and comfortable enough for me at least. The window that we had did not provide any view apart from a courtyard of some sort. A flat screen TV was placed on a small table. We did have it on a couple of times but I don’t think we found any channels in English. There was a wardrobe with a few hangers and a small safe and a small fridge with some drinks. To give you an idea of the price level a bottle of water was 55 pesos and the same for a Pepsi. A similar bottle of water was 20 at the local kiosks.

The bathroom was tiled and had a bathtub with a glass panel to make it easier to take a shower without splashing all over the place. The amenities included shampoo, soap, conditioner, lotion, bath salt but also shaving kit, tooth brush etc. Wifi was included and worked pretty OK at times. But in our room it seemed like we only had coverage in certain spots in the room which was quite annoying.

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Breakfast was served a few steps down from the lobby. It was quite similar to the other Argentinian hotel breakfasts that we had. I was actually hoping for a bit more as this seemed more of a 4/5 star hotel. But the breakfast contained an option of bread, pastries,sweet cereal, scrambled eggs and bacon etc. The coffee was not great and came from a big container – but then again I prefer my coffee a bit stronger (e.g. double Americano). But what disappointed me the most was probably the fruit salad. At the other hotels we stayed at they had pretty good fruit salads that seemed to be homemade. At Huentala it seemed like most of it was just canned fruit in sweet syrup.

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The location of the hotel was great as it was only 500 meters from Plaza Independencia and it was easy to walk to restaurants, bars and there were shops and kiosks scattered around.

All in all I found this hotel and room to be a bit tired. Yes, the hotel lobby and room reminds me more of a classic Paris hotel with marble (or at least stone) tiles in the lobby, heavy columns etc but the lobby was also darkish just as the room. To make a long story short: if I head back to Mendoza I will probably try another hotel.

Gard – trip reports and pictures


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Mirador del Lago hotel Apr 27

We stayed at Mirador del Lago hotel in El Calafate in Argentina for three nights in April 2017. We took a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and check in was fast. We got room 110 located in the corner on the ground floor. The room was quite small and most of it was occupied by the kingsize bed. The room had a wooden Scandinavian feel to it with wooden floor in the entrance, wooden panels on some of the wall and the bed also had light wood details. There was a small step up from the wooden entrance to the bed area which was a bit annoying – I managed to stumble on it a few times.

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There was a flat screen TV on the wall but it seemed like all the channels were Spanish speaking and movies were dubbed. There was also a desk and a chair in the room. There were no international plugs but we did bring a converter so we were able to charge all our gadgets. The wardrobe included a few hangers and also a small safe. The small fridge contained some drinks.  A bottle of water was 40 pesos so it is cheaper to go to the local grocery store to buy water.

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The bathroom seemed to be newly renovated. It was small but looked great with greyish tiles. There was a small sink and a shower cabinet. There was even a heater for the towels. There were the basic amenities like shampoo, soap and conditioner.

Breakfast was good with a standard selection of bread, cereal, scrambled eggs and bacon. The town is named after the calafate berry and they had this jam so that we could try it out. In addition they had a good fruit salad – it seems like this is a standard at Argentinian hotel breakfasts. The coffee at breakfast was not very good. I don’t know if it was instant but it was served from a big container. They could make proper coffee for us but at an additional cost.

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The location of the hotel is good. It is located a bit in the outskirts of the city center but we could easily walk over to restaurants and shops. All in all we had a good stay. It would have been great of the room was a bit larger but the bed was comfortable and provided a good night sleep. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to family and friends.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Urban Suites Recoleta Boutique Hotel Apr 26

We stay 3 nights at Urban Suites Recoleta in Buenos Aires in Argentina in April 2017. I booked the room online ( and check in was fast in the small lobby. They did not have a room for us right away as it was 11 am but there is a workout room on the top level where we could change clothes. The workout room also has a terrace with a jacuzzi of some sort and there is a great view to the Recoleta cemetery.

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When we got back to the hotel later on we got room 73. The room was bigger than I had expected with a dark wooden floor and light walls with various art works. The king-size bed towards one end of the room was fairly soft and comfortable and side tables had space enough. There was a large sofa, chair and table in the “living room” and the small kitchen contained a table with 4 chairs, a microwave oven, water boiler, small fridge etc. There was a smaller flat screen TV on the wall by the bed but we could not find a lot of English speaking channels. There were no international plugs but we did bring a converter so we were able to charge all our gadgets. The wardrobe included a few hangers and also a small safe.

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The bathroom was also quite large and had a toilet, bide and a shower corner. For some reason there were not many hooks to hang clothing, towels etc. There were the basic amenities like shampoo, shower gel and conditioner.

When we were there it was not that hot so we didn’t get to test out the air-con capacity but it seemed to work fine. We had free wifi and it was only a matter of putting in a password the first time so this worked very well.

Breakfast was in the basement and had a standard selection of bread, pastries, some sweet cereal, juice etc. There was also some scrambled eggs and bacon. I enjoyed the fruit salad and it seemed like it was homemade. It was possible to order good coffee made according to your wish – the double espresso was good.

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Location of the hotel is good. It is located right next to Recoleta cemetery and Recoleta mall and in the area you will find shops, restaurants and bars. All in all we were happy with our stay at this hotel and I would not hesitate to recommend it to family and friends. I might even stay there again if I travel to Buenos Aires again.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Hôtel Waldorf Madeleine Mar 28

We stayed at this hotel for just one night after a visit to the Champagne area. We have been to Paris before and you can read a Paris trip report here. I guess this should not be confused with Waldorf Astoria by Hilton. We booked the hotel online and just took the metro to Opera and walked over from there. The check in was fast and we got room 103. We said that we wanted to take care of the luggage but we still got a porter that followed us to the room which was a bit weird. The room looked pretty new upon entering the room with a beige carpet and light walls – but it was quite small and for a second we were like “where is the bathroom”. Most of the room was occupied by the queen sized bed that was soft and to my liking. There was also a desk, a TV on the wall, a coffee machine and a small fridge (one Coke was 4.5€). Wifi was free but we had to get a username and password for each device. The internet was fast but it seemed to drop out from time to time which was annoying. The room was well lit up due to lots of downlights.


The bathroom was totally different from the room – it was very modern with all white tiles. And what is the deal with setting up a shower in the bathtub and with no glass panels? From the moment I walked into the bathroom I could see that taking a shower there would lead to splashing of the entire bathroom and I was right. And how can it be that we only got one robe when you have booked a room for two people?

The location of the hotel is quite good. It is a short walk to the Madeleine church and metro station and you can also walk over to Opera. There is a lot of shopping around but maybe not the best selection of restaurants.


All in all – a totally decent hotel taking the location and price into consideration. I would not mind staying there again. Read more about the hotel here.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Saint James Albany Paris Hotel Spa Mar 28

We stayed at Saint James Albany in Paris for three days in March. Taxi from the airport was 50 € flat rate. The check in process was fast and we got room 633. The room seemed a bit dated upon entering the room but at the same time it also has a pretty cool layout as they have kept some of the old wooden pillars and this was actually the center of the room! It might be a pretty fancy feature to look out but also dangerous at night as it was easy to walk right into it in the dark. The room had a large king size bed that was way too hard for me, lots of wardrobe space, a small safe, no ironing board or iron, a desk and a small fridge. The small fridge was stocked up quite well but when a Coke costs 6.5€ it is much better to buy it somewhere else. The room was a bit dark and I would have preferred if there was more lighting – even if there were two windows in the room with a view to a courtyard. A small flatscreen TV was mounted on the wooden pillars and were facing the bed. Wifi was included and worked according to my expectations.


The toilet was in a separate small room – again with some of the wooden pillars. Due to this there was only a tiny sink in the corner which was not very easy to use. The bathroom on the other hand was large, had two sinks and a large shower area. We got two robes and slippers and the towels were on a heating rack. There was a bad smell coming from the bathroom and maybe that is why housekeeping placed a towel over the shower drain.

The breakfast was pretty good for the price. For 14€ there was a buffet breakfast that was not totally epic but it contained all you need of bread, fruit, cereal etc.

In the basement there was a pool of decent size and a sauna.

The service at the hotel was good but we were a bit disappointed when we called housekeeping on a Saturday and said that we wanted to wash some clothing and we were told that this was not a service during the weekend. When we asked when the clothes would be ready they replied that they didn’t know and that we had to call the concierge!


The location of the hotel is excellent. Right next to Tuileries Garden, a few steps to the Tuileries metro station, short walk to the Louvre and with lots of shopping it the area.

All in all a good hotel – but with room for improvements. The smell from the bathroom was not that pleasant, the walls were a bit thin so it was a bit noisy and we were disappointed that we couldn’t get some clothing sent to laundry on a weekend. But we enjoyed the large room and the location. Read more about the hotel on the hotel homepage.

Gard – trip reports and pictures


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NH President in Milan, Italy Oct 22

P1070236I have been to Milan a couple of times before and I have stayed near Milan Central Station. This time I decided to stay closer to the city center and I booked NH President on an online hotel booking site. We took a taxi from Linate airport to the hotel as the airport is not that far from the city center. Check in was fast and we got a room even if we got there earlier than the official check in time. We got room 504 on the 5th floor and we were quite surprised when we walked into the room as it was quite big and it looked quite “fresh”.

P1070241The floors were in light wood, the walls were in pretty neutral but delicate colors and we had a view to the road Corso di Porta Vittoria. We were also quite pleased to see that our room had a balcony and when stepping out on it we could see over to the amazing Duomo. There were a bit of traffic on the road outside the hotel but we did not hear much of this when the door to the balcony was closed.

P1070247The king size bed was quite comfortable and contained a number of pillows with various shapes and firmness. Apart from that the room had a desk with a couple of chairs, a flat screen TV on the wall and a wardrobe (it would have been great with more hangers). In the wardrobe area there was also a small safe and a small fridge with various drinks – to give you an idea of the cost a Coke was 4.5€.  It was also impressive to see that there was a small coffee machine to brew your own coffee.

I think there must have been something wrong with the aircon in the room – we had it set to 25 degrees Celsius but it was still freezing in the room. But luckily the bed had a good enough duvet to keep us warm and being from Norway we are used to cold bedrooms.

The bathroom was also functional with sand colored tiles and a bathtub with a shower option in addition to the toilet and bide. The shower option in the bathtub worked for once as there was a glass wall to avoid splashing of water on the floor. There were also amenities like shampoo, conditioner, bath gel etc. 

It was great to see that the internet was included and login was with room number and surname. Breakfast was also included in our stay and it was not that memorable but it contained all that you need including bread, cereal, juice, coffee, fruit etc

The location of the hotel is very good in my opinion. It is only takes like 5 minutes to walk over to the Duomo so you are basically in the middle of town. All in all I was pretty happy with this hotel and I would not hesitate to recommend this to family and friends.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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Villa Zest in Cape Town–great boutique hotel May 06

We stayed at Villa Zest for 3 days in April 2014 – we booked it directly on the boutique hotel homepage and we choose it as the reviews were good and we wanted to stay at Green Point. When we landed at Cape Town airport we decided to take the bus into town as MyCiTi buses stops at Stadium (Green Point Stadium) and it is a short walk from the hotel.

This is a boutique hotel and there is only like 7 rooms. When we got there we rang the “doorbell” and the gate was buzzed open. The house seemed like just a large villa and we got a great welcome by the receptionist. Our room was not ready just yet but she used the opportunity to take us for a small tour of the hotel and to give us a welcome drink. It only took a few minutes for the room to get ready and we got a room on the ground level.

The room has white tiles on the floor with a furry carpet. The room and hotel seems pretty new so the interior is quite modern. The room was not that big but it included a pretty comfortable king-size bed, a tiny desk and a funky chair, wardrobe space and a tiny flat screen TV. On the desk we found all the stuff that you need to make some coffee and tea and also a couple of bottles of water that was complimentary even if you can drink the tap water. We also had a nice modern bathroom with a large shower, a bathtub and a sink with some amenities. My wife was quite impressed when she saw that one of the amenities was a makeup remover serviette.

Outside the villa there was a small garden with a swimming pool that we never got to try out – but it looked very inviting. There was also a corner with a sofa and a gas fire place and around the pool there were enough sunbeds. The lobby area had some funky decorations – apparently the owner is inspired by the 70’s and there were lots of old phones, 8 track players and some funky wall papers. A staircase took us to the next floor and that was used as a lounge area and breakfast area. The breakfast was pretty simple but we had all the stuff that we needed…bread, cereal, fruit and you could order eggs made your way. At night you could use the lounge area to just relax in the sofa and watch some TV and sit in front of the gas fire place – and the hotel also had free wifi in the room and in the lounge area. There was yet another staircase leading up to a small but wonderful rooftop terrace but we did not get to use that much as we were on the move most of the time.

The location of the hotel is great – it was possible to walk into the city bowl or to the V&A waterfront in like 20 minutes but it was also easy to get around by cab.

All in all we really enjoyed the Villa Zest experience. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful and chatted with us and helped us organize taxis at night (apparently the area is not that safe for walking at night). If you are going to Cape Town and want to stay at a small hotel, I can’t imagine that it can get much better than Villa Zest. Read more about the hotel on the hotel website.


Pumba Private Game reserve–a great safari experience May 05

It is a bit tricky to write about Pumba just focusing about the accommodation as the game driving is a part of the whole experience. But I will try to focus on the Pumba camp in this review.

We booked the Pumba safari online on their homepage and there was a bit of back and forth as I was not able to pay with my credit card so I had to fill out some forms and send this over to Pumba and that was of course a bit of a hassle. We also booked pick up at Port Elizabeth Airport and transfer to Gramhamstown after the safari. When we got to Pumba we had to wait for a few minutes before we were picked up by one of the rangers in a Range Rover – I guess it was a good thing as the road into the Msenge lounge is rather bumpy. But it didn’t take us long before we saw various bucks and a rock monitor and we were contemplating if the animals had been put there on display just for our viewing pleasure.

When we got to the Msenge lodge we were taken to the reception and a huge Blesbuck was feeding on some trees right outside the entrance. We had to sign some papers where we probably signed that we could not sue them if we were eaten by a lion and then we were taken to lodge H. The room itself was great –as you walked in we were met by a large bed surrounded by a mosquito net and the room was surrounded by large windows – this gave us access to a terrace and also a view to the surroundings including a view to the watering hole. The room also included a closet with a small fridge, a table and a couple of chairs, a torch, a pair of binoculars, a desk and a wood fired oven. It gets cold at night in South Africa and it was great to light the small fire place on the first evening and fall asleep to the sounds and sights of a fire place.

The next room was the bathroom and the walk in wardrobe – when we came to our lodge the suitcases had already been placed in the wardrobe and it also included a small safe. The bathroom was incredible – is included two sinks with various amenities (including SPF 15 and mosquito repellent), a large glassed shower that allowed us to take a shower while keeping an eye on what was happening outside and there was also a bathtub where you could take a relaxing bath while looking at the animals outside. There was a separate room for the toilet and also a door leading out to an outside shower. But there were several doors leading out to the balcony / terrace where there was a couple of sunbeds, a parasol and a plunge in pool. I jumped in the first afternoon that we got there and it was pretty freezing.

All out meals were included so in the mornings we had breakfast after the game drive. Lunch was a three course menu and it was possible to enjoy it on the lounge deck which included a view to the watering hole where giraffes, zebras, bucks etc came to drink. At night we also had a three course dinner with free wine and various other drinks but it was also possible to order special vintage wine if you were looking for something special. All the food was served in the main lodge and that included a small gift shop, a small PC room (there was free wifi in the main lodge),  a game room and the restaurant – there was also a fire place in the middle of this main lodge and it was great to sit around the fire place at night, look at the stars and look at the menu for the evening.

There were also a couple of other buildings that included a spa, a gym and conference facilities. We tried the gym one day and the treadmill was not the great and Nikki was not that impressed with her manicure. We were pretty impressed with the food –the dinner was a nice selection of salads, soups, vegetarian and meat so it was not a problem finding some good options.

The Pumba Privat Game Reserve is located right outside Grahamstown and about 1 hour from Port Elizabeth so the location is not that ideal. But the game drives were great and we got to see elephants, while lions, rhinos, hippos, bucks etc.

All in all we were very happy with our stay at Pumba. I think that the safari experience is probably better in the Kruger park area but this was also a great experience. If you are looking for a safari experience in the Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, Pumba is a great option.



Good hotel for a ski vacation Feb 19

P1040934We stayed at Cristal Palace hotel in February 2014 during a short ski vacation there. It was tricky to pick a hotel in Madonna di Campiglio but in the end we chose Cristal Palace hotel as the reviews were pretty good, the hotel looked pretty new and the location seemed pretty good. I used to book the hotel room and we had to pay a total of 1168 € for 4 nights including breakfast and taxes.

P1040997We came to the hotel in the afternoon in a rented car from Verona and we managed to find the hotel without too much trouble…thanks to Google maps and Google street view. Check in was fast and we got some vague instructions on how to get to the garage at the hotel – we did manage to find it and we were able to squeeze in the rental car. There were lots and lots of snow so the roads were lined by walls of snow. There is a lift straight from the garage to the hotel floors which is great. The hotel didn’t look that big from the entrance but the hotel has about 7 stories.

P1050063We got room 602 on the top floor and we were quite pleased with the room at first glance. The room was fairly big and was dominated by lots of wooden panels and fabric “wallpaper” with matching pattern on the curtains. There was a big bed with one duvet which was comfortable enough but Nikki was not that happy with the pillow. There was a small desk with a chair, a small flat screen TV that was mounted on the wall and a wardrobe that had a few hangers – P1050070but it would have been great with even more hangers to hang up wet ski wear towards the end of the day. There was also a small safe and a small fridge. The room had a small balcony with a couple of chairs but we didn’t use it. The room had a high ceiling that made the room feel more spacious. The bathroom included a toilet, sink, bide, and large shower corner. It was all tiled with some sort of marble tiles and it was an inviting bathroom. There were some amenities – a shampoo and bath soap in one bottle, a bottle with some liquid soap in the shower itself and a box with sewing kit, shower cap etc.

The internet was also included and it was easy to get online using some of your social media details (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc). The internet speed is not impressive but it did the job.

P1040994Breakfast was included and was served on the third floor. The breakfast area had big windows facing the center of Madonna di Campiglio and the view was breathtaking as the hotel is located on a hill above the city center. Breakfast was not bad at all with a selection of eggs, bacon and sausages but also some cereal, fruit, bread and of course lots of sweet pastries. And as you would expect in Italy – you can ask for coffee and they make it fresh for you. So I enjoyed some espresso, some espresso macchiato etc. We did not try the hotel restaurant at night but we did have a glass of wine there. I thought it was a bit much to charge 10€ for small glass of red wine.

P1050074On level 1 of the hotel there is a spa – it included a pool, a Jacuzzi but also a separate room with a sauna, steam room and showers. It was great to sit in the warm steam room and sauna after a day in the ski slopes so don’t forget to bring your swimwear. There were some rules about access to the sauna/steam room for kids but it didn’t seem like people paid much attention to the rules. 

P1050060The location of the hotel is not bad. Located on the hillside just north of the city center it gives you great view of the city and some of the ski areas. But it seemed like the only way of walking to the city center was to follow the main road and that can be a bit scary in the dark, with slippery roads and with the road being narrow due to all the snow. There is a hotel shuttle but it is not always convenient to wait for that to show up and it stops running at about 8 pm so you will have to walk back home at night. It only takes about 5 minutes to walk to Pradalago ski lift so it doesn’t take long to get to restaurants and the city center.

P1050082The service at the hotel was both good and bad. When we asked for info about where to rent skis we were told that the shuttle would take us to a place in the city center. The shuttle took a bit of time so I asked if the people in the reception could point out where the place was on the map but they did not seem willing to do this for some reason. We tried to call the reception one evening to ask if we could get an iron and ironing board sent to our room – it took quite a bit of time to explain this and in the end the answer was no. The room was a bit warm and we tried to adjust the temperature without success. One day the AC just said “Help” and there were some clicking sounds from the fuse box but it seemed like the hotel staff was able to fix it. But we were very happy with the service from the shuttle drivers and the personnel in the breakfast area.

Even if there are some things that can be improved we were overall pleased with Cristal Palace hotel. The room was large, bed was comfortable and the spa was great after a day in the slopes. The hotel is not far from the city center but you will have to walk along the main road which can be a bit dangerous in the dark. But all in all – we would probably stay at Cristal Palace hotel again if we return to Madonna di Campiglio.

Gard – trip reports and pictures

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