Tag Archives: #accommodationreview

Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel

Have you ever stayed at a Best Western Hotel? When we associate Best Western Hotels in Australia, we remember those country roadside motels with nothing around but a petrol station and salt bush. Well that memory has just been shattered! We headed into Sofia and stayed a couple of nights at the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The Best Western Premier Hotel Range

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After spending five days in the seaside city of Varna in Bulgaria we awake early to the news of a 37-degree Celsius day and the knowledge of a 7 hour train ride to the capital of Sofia (such a pretty name). The train ride is no problem! We’ve done longer ones. Unfortunately, the issue is Bulgarian regional trains don’t have air-conditioning. Hence, when we finally get to Sofia, we are exhausted, and not looking forward to the public bus trip to our next hotel stop, the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel.

How did we get to the Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel?
The non-air conditioned wagons of the Bulgarian railways.

So, I break with tradition and we take a taxi to the hotel. I know we overpaid but I just didn’t care at that point. We paid 20BGN to get to the hotel. The normal price should be between 10BGN and 15BGN, so paying an extra 5BGN was no issue and the driver was so happy to make the extra money.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel

From some quick research, the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel has 155 luxurious rooms available, a bar and restaurant, a fitness area and six conference rooms. It is about 12 kilometres from the city centre and within 1 kilometre of both terminals at the Sofia International Airport.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The courtesy bus shuttles guests between the airport terminals, Metro station and the hotel.

Being a brand new hotel it is located on a new road with not much around it. Therefore, it is not the easiest hotel to get to public transport wise. Fortunately, the hotel is aware of the transport limitations and has a courtesy bus available. The hourly run bus transports its guests to and from the airport’s terminals. With a Metro station located at Terminal 2, it is easy to catch the courtesy bus to and from the airport. But make sure you book in your times. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay in for the day at the hotel, you can entertain yourself using the available facilities.

Plane spotting from Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
If you like planes and are lucky enough to have a room on the right side,. You can watch them land at Sofia.

On arrival at the hotel you enter its large lobby area, with the reception desk to the left and a lounge area to the right. Alongside the reception desk they have a business area, where you can sit and do some work in peace, if required. Additionally, further along the lobby hall are the elevators and the Barillon 1909 restaurant and bar.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The friendly staff is busy working behind the reception desk.
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The business centre office is located right next to the reception desk.
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Relax in the lobby lounge area.

The friendly reception staff promptly check us in and direct us to our Premier King Room. The Premier Room is spacious and clean, with a comfortable king-sized bed, a day lounge, a television, coffee facilities and a good-sized desk/workstation. As you can see below, the room is neatly decorated with large windows letting in the afternoon sun. Our room was on the eighth floor which had a pleasant view of Sofia airport, where it was nice to sit and watch the planes landing and taking off.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The King-sized bed in the Premier King Room. It was very comfortable 🙂
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The reverse photo of the Premier King Room

The rooms separate bathroom is a descent size and in pristine condition. There is plenty of room in the shower and the water pressure and temperature are easy to control. A large bench area allows room for your additional toiletries and make up. The rooms are cleaned daily with the hotel honouring its environmental promise, by only changing the towels when required by the guests. Best Western Hotels also supply a good range of bathroom toiletries if you happen to forget or run out of something.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The bathroom is clean and has a large bench area to store your toiletries
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
The bathroom toiletries available at the Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel

For those of you that are fitness conscious, the hotel has a 24 hour, unsupervised gym located on the 1st floor.  The gym boasts a variety of exercise equipment that will provide you with a descent workout. They also provide change room facilities and lockers if you would rather change or shower there instead of tracking back through the hotel or are there for business.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
There is a 24 hr gym on site with a variety of exercise machines.

Talking about business, the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel, is an ideal place for local and international businesses to hold functions or meetings. The hotel offers 6 conference halls with the ability to cater for 450 guests. These facilities would be ideal for events, conventions or weddings in Sofia.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Looking for your conference room? Just follow the signs.

Breakfast is served daily at the Barillon 1909 restaurant and bar from 7 a.m. They also provide continental breakfast options from 4 a.m for those guests with early morning flights.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Breakfast is served daily from 7 a.m in Barillon 1909

Whilst there, spend your evenings at Barillon 1909 with a cocktail at the bar. It’s a welcome place to meet some fellow travellers. Otherwise, let Ivan Dmitrov and his team entertain your taste buds by having a delicious meal in the restaurant.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Have a cocktail and mingle with other travellers at the Barillon bar
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Let Ivan Dmitrov look after you with his delicious food in the Barillon Restaurant.

Head Chef, Ivan Dmitrov has created a quality menu for customers to the Barillon 1909 restaurant and bar. His menu has a good range of Mediterranean and classic European dishes and a superb balance of local and international wines. During our time at the hotel, we tried some of the dishes available, from their standard and seasonal menus. The restaurant is comfortable and the staff are pleasant and attentive to your dietary needs. In my opinion, the quality of the food was above average and would rate Ivan’s food better than most other hotel restaurants.

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Parmesan chicken with vegetable risotto
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Traditional Bulgarian Lamb Shanks
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Chicken Risotto with mushrooms, spinach and blue cheese
Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
Penne with “Calabro” spicy salami and meatballs

Overall, our stay at the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel has shattered our misconceptions of the Best Western Hotel brand. This hotel is worth the stay and the use of the shuttle bus to transport you to and from the Terminal 2 Metro station means that you aren’t too far from the centre of Sofia. The rooms, facilities and restaurant are impressive and the staff are friendly and helpful. The hotel gets a big tick from me. It would be especially good if you happen to have a layover in Sofia. The quality of service in addition to the comfort level is just what you desire when you want to have a good rest between flights.

This experience has opened our eyes to the Best Western Brand so forget those roadside motel impressions and stay at a Best Western hotel today. Therefore, when you’re next in Sofia, and looking for a place to stay, why not try the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel
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Additional Information for the Best Western Premier: Sofia Airport Hotel

11 Brussels, Boulevard, Sofia, 1592, Bulgaria
Ph: +359 2 905 1313
Website: www.hotelpremiersofia.com

Book your stay at the Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation per night at the Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel:

Ranging from €71.00(AUD$106) – €93.00 (AUD$140) per night

Barilion 1909 caters for breakfast daily

  • from 7:00 a.m. daily

Barilion 1909 Restaurant and Bar opening times:

Main Dishes prices range from 18.00BGN (AUD$14.00) and 81.90BGN (AUD$62.00)

Opening hours 07:00 – 23:00
Reservations by phone at: +359 2 905 1313

*Post Contains Affiliate links

Heavenly stay at the Holiday Inn Brno

So you have some holiday’s coming up and are looking for options that are historically interesting, have a night life and hopefully won’t break the bank. Then have you considered the Czech Republic? It has an impressive history. I’m sure you have heard about King Wenceslas. He is the King mentioned in a popular Christmas Carol. The capital, Prague is a usual stop for many tourists, but I also encourage you stay in the beautiful city of Brno.

Holiday Inn Brno
The beautiful city of Brno with the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul

Brno, is a vibrant university city about three hours from Prague with some quirky stories and hidden intrigues. After a few hours exploring the sights, you will soon become invested in this lovely city. Brno is mainly known for its conferences, festivals and being the current home of the Czech MotoGP race. Each week there is usually something going on in this happening city. For our four days stay here we are at the impressive Holiday Inn Brno.

Holiday Inn Brno
The front entry into the Holiday Inn Brno

Located outside of the old town the Holiday Inn Brno is situated alongside the largest convention centre in the Czech Republic. Although approximately 2.5 km’s from the city centre the city has a good public transport system. Hourly tickets are available from reception for Kč25czk each. Therefore, this proximity to transport easily alleviates the distance from the city centre.

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A courtesy bus to and from the old town is provided on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between the times of 7 p.m -11 p.m. This is handy as you can have dinner in the city and then have the bus transport you back to the hotel. As we don’t mind a walk, it was only 20 minutes to and from the centre. This allowed us time to casually enjoy the walk and discover the surrounding areas. Don’t worry if you’d prefer a car. Europcar have an office onsite so you can book a vehicle prior to your arrival at the hotel and have it waiting for you in the car park.

Holiday Inn Brno
Trams are available from Mendel Square and the bus stops just outside of the Holiday Inn Brno

The Holiday Inn Brno is a part of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), and offers quality four-star service and accommodation to its guests. When arriving at the Holiday Inn Brno you are immediately impressed by the outdoor eating area attached to the superb Prominent Restaurant and a lawn area used for general relaxation and yoga. Entry through the automated turnstile brings you into the hotels immaculate lobby.

Holiday Inn Brno
The outdoor eating area of the Prominent Restaurant. It’s also a great place to rest and have a coffee.

The hotel lobby is quite large area. Comfortable chairs and tables and a business area are available to meet people and catch up on work. The reception desk is manned 24 hours with the friendly staff always there to assist. Other areas accessible from the lobby are the Restaurant Brasserie, the incredible Prominent Restaurant with its remarkable food and the Lobby Bar for enjoying a drink and a game of billiards.

Holiday Inn Brno
The Lobby Bar of the Holiday Inn Brno

The Holiday Inn Brno offers three core types of accommodation, a standard room, an executive room and an executive suite. All option are available from their website or through Booking.com.

Holiday Inn Brno
A standard room with twin beds.
Holiday Inn Brno
An executive room with a king bed. One of the most comfortable beds I’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in.
Holiday Inn Brno
An executive suite comprises of two rooms a large bathroom and walk in wardrobe.

The Holiday Inn Brno, prides itself in taking care of its guests and the rooms are no exception. Each room is elegantly decorated with one of the most comfortable beds I’ve been in. They either have a single, queen or king bed depending on your booking with a well stocked mini bar.  Each room also has a safe, coffee facilities, ironing board and SMART television. The SMART television controls the rooms Wi-Fi, multiple television stations in various languages and the hotels guest directory.

What's in the mini bar at a hotel
A well stocked mini bar…. Hmm. I wonder what I’ll have?

Each room has a good-sized bathroom which is stocked with various toiletries and accessories. The rooms are serviced daily, so as expected the bathrooms are clean with excellent water pressure.

Holiday Inn Brno
The bathroom in the executive room. A lovely clean and well maintained room.

Being so close to the exhibition centre the hotel offers visiting business groups excellent accommodation option. Meeting rooms are also available daily, for workshops, functions and business meetings. Additionally, if you are considering organising an event, then the 400-person Congress Hall with reception area and bar would be the ideal place.

Holiday Inn Brno
The meeting rooms are located on the ground and first floors.
Holiday Inn Brno
The lobby and bar area of the Congress Hall
Holiday Inn Brno
Seating available for 400 people, makes the Congress Hall an excellent place for a work or personal function.

For the health and fitness conscientious the hotel has a small but modern gym on the sixth floor open from 06:30hrs. The health spa called the Relax Zone is open from 17:30hrs with free access to the sauna. Massages, and the whirlpool spa are available via bookings at reception. Access to the gym is via the stairs from the fifth floor.

Holiday Inn Brno
The modern mini gym with a view over Brno. Access to the gym and the Relax Zone is from the fifth floor.

The Brasserie Restaurant caters for breakfast daily. If you desire, fruit, cereal, toast, cold meats, salads or a hot breakfast the Holiday Inn Brno will not let you go hungry.

Holiday Inn Brno
The breakfast buffet available in the Restaurant Brasserie
Holiday Inn Brno
The colourful table setting in the Restaurant Brasserie

For your evening meal, I encourage you to eat in at the Prominent Restaurant. Everything about this restaurant is impressive, from dining areas, service and especially the food. It is so good, I cannot do it justice with a brief description here. So, to give it the exposure it deserves, we have opted to give the Prominent Restaurant its own separate review. So, stay tuned!

Holiday Inn Brno
A fine dining experience at the Prominent Restaurant in the Holiday Inn Brno

Overall the Holiday Inn Brno is an excellent option to stay at when visiting Brno. The hotel staff are professional and if you need any help they will go out of their way to ensure you enjoy your stay. The rooms are extremely comfortable, the breakfast is abundant, and the health and fitness areas are welcome encouragement to keep fit. The lobby bar is a good place to chill out and have a drink and if you appreciate decent food then the Prominent Restaurant is a must.

Brno is a fantastic university city, full of culture and history. In my opinion, you’d be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t visit whilst in the Czech Republic. So, book your holiday today and stay at the Holiday Inn Brno and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Holiday Inn Brno
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Additional Information for the Holiday Inn Brno

Křížkovského 20, 603 00 Brno-střed, Czechia
Ph: +420 543 122 111
Website: www.hibrno.cz

Book your stay at the Holiday Inn Brno now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation per night at the Holiday Inn Brno:

Ranging from  3744 czk (AUD$211)  5472 czk (AUD$309) 

The Brasserie Restaurant caters for breakfast daily

  • from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on weekdays
  • from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at weekends and on holidays

Prominent Restaurant opening times:

Opening hours 12:00 – 23:00
Reservations by phone at: +420 543 122 002/4

*Post Contains Affiliate links

Remarkable value at the Red Trees Apartment Budapest

Budapest is a city that I feel at home in right away. I don’t  know why, but everything seems easy. After an overnight train from Krakow and a solid night’s sleep, I awake refreshed looking forward to this remarkable city. There’s something about train rides that puts me at ease. They seem to rock me to sleep like a baby. Of course, without the screaming and hollering in the middle of the night.

Red Trees Apartment, Budapest
The overnight train from Krakow to Budapest.

Urban Adventure Tours

For our four days, we are booked into the Red Trees Apartment. The apartment complex is a little hard to locate at first but it runs off the main tourist strip of Váci utca (street). Transport to the apartment building is easy from the Budapest train station. Public transport tickets are easily purchased from ticket machines at the train stations and bus stops.  Ferenciek Tere is the closest metro train to the Red Trees Apartment with the exit concourse within metres of Kígyó utca. Due to an early arrival into Budapest the agent Attila, is happy to meet us so we can store our luggage in the apartment whilst it is being cleaned.

Historically, Budapest is two cities Buda and Pest separated by the mighty Danube and today there is still a friendly rivalry between the two sides. The main reasoning behind booking the Red Trees Apartment was its incredible location. Right on the tourist strip and so close to transport and attractions the Red Tree Apartments was perfect.

Red Trees Apartment
The view of Pest from the Buda side.

The apartment itself is big. It consists of two large sleeping areas, a bathroom, toilet and kitchen. Coffee and sugar were supplied on our stay and the small shop next door is handy for everyday items. If you’d like a larger shop for groceries an Aldi, Spar and Tesco are close by.

Red Trees Apartment, Budapest
The large main bedroom has three large windows overlooking Kígyó Utca.

The main bedroom has three large windows each with a roller shutter to stop the morning sun waking you up too early. The large double bed is comfortable with a sofa and desk. The second living area, separated from the main room by double doors, has a double bed, and dining table.

Red Trees Apartment Budapest
The second bedroom is also the dining area.

Compared to the two main living areas the bathroom is small. It has a small bath tub with a shower head. With no ability to hang the shower head on the wall bathing is better sitting down, unless you appreciate water everywhere. The bathroom also has a good working washing machine but you will have to supply your own laundry powder. With four of us staying in the apartment, hot water was no problem.

Red Trees Apartment Budapest
The small bathroom with bath, basin and washing machine.

The apartments kitchen would not be considered as modern, but it is functional. With a gas stove, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle we could make it a little like home. The kitchen has sufficient utensils, cutlery and plates. The only issue we discovered was that there was no igniter to light the gas stove. Thankfully the shop next door stocked lighters.

Red Trees Apartment, Budapest
The kitchen in the Red Trees Apartment, with stove, fridge and microwave.

As mentioned above the bathroom was small, but possibly the surprise of the large apartment is the toilet is tiny. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a large person. I’m about 176cm tall and weigh about 85kgs. However, I struggled to fit in the toilet. If you happen to be a bigger person, good luck shutting the toilet door.

Overall, the Red Trees apartment was comfortable. The location is perfect, you have access to restaurants, shopping, attractions, bars and clubs. The area is safe, and the people are friendly. The apartment is located on the second floor but there is a lift so you don’t have to lug baggage up any stairs. We did notice their apartment has no television, but the Wi-Fi had good connectivity. The beds were comfortable and with the roller shutters closed, you could silence any outside noise. So, book your stay at the Red Trees Apartment today, and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Red Trees Apartment Budapest
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Additional Information for the Red Trees Apartment

Kígyó utca 4-6, Budapest, Hungary
Website: www.red-trees-apartment.go-budapest-hotels.com

Check-in:from 16:00 hours
Check-out:until 12:00 hours

Book your stay at the Red Trees Apartment now.

Prices of accommodation:

Approximate Cost per night   €70 (AUD$107)

Available tours in Budapest by Urban Adventures

Red Trees Apartment Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Location = 10
Comfort= 8
Cleanliness = 8
Price = 8
Facilities = 7

Overall = 8

*Post Contains Affiliate links

Lovely Lucca and the Terrace of Perfumes

Urban Adventure Tours

Since the girls left we have been travelling around Italy with no real plan. I know it sounds a bit unusual, living and organising accommodation on the fly. We always knew we were going to wing it and see where the tide takes us. This way we are not tied down. If we meet someone on the road who says “You have to go to this…. place”, then we could book it the next day and we’re on our way. The beautiful town of Lucca was just one of these places. A good friend said since you’re in Italy, you must visit Lucca. So, we did. In doing so we had to organise a place to stay and luckily for us we stayed at the Terrace of Perfumes.

Terrace of Perfumes
Lucca was the home of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini

The Terrace of Perfumes is an agent run apartment available through Booking.com and AirBNB. Located just outside the old city the Terrace of Perfumes is close to supermarkets and local restaurants.  Being an apartment they do prefer stays 3 days or longer.

Terrace of Perfumes
The tree-lined walking path on top of the old town walls.

We were met at the apartment on check in by the apartments owners Mauricio and Valeria and their apartments agent Alessandro. The apartment is situated on the first floor and upon entry you notice how clean and beautiful the apartment is.

Terrace of Perfumes
The bedroom

This one bedroom apartment consists of a large bedroom which overlooks the street, a lounge area, a fully functional kitchen, bathroom and a balcony area which has that all important washing machine and clothes line. They have thought about everything to make your stay as carefree, relaxing and enjoyable as possible.

Terrace of Perfumes
The fully functional kitchen, is stocked with everything you need for your stay.
Terrace of Perfumes
The long thin bathroom with shower cubicle in the middle of the room. Surprisingly water is well contained between the shower curtains.
Terrace of Perfumes
The private balcony with washing machine and clothes line. It’s a good place to have breakfast.

Mauricio and Valeria are exceptional hosts and ensure we are settled and welcomed with a basket filled with some produce and a bottle of delicious Chianti. They have a compendium about the apartment and helpful information about Lucca and its must see places and things to do.

Terrace of Perfumes
Mauricio and Valeria’s welcome basket.

We really enjoyed our time in Lucca, walking the thin cobbled streets surrounded by hundreds of year old buildings. Visiting the home of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini and indulging in some of that Italian cuisine. International tour hosts, Urban Adventures offers four incredible tours around Lucca for you to try. So, take a trip to Lucca, experience a tour and book the Terrace of Perfumes. Don’t forget to tell them Simon from Ourworldineview sent you!

Looking for accommodation in Lucca? The Terrace of Perfumes is the ideal place to stay.
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Additional Information for the Terrace of Perfumes

Via Borgo Giannotti 389, 55100 Lucca, Italy
Website: Nil Available

Check in: 15:00 hrs
Check out: 10:00 hrs

Book your stay at the Terrace of Perfumes now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation:

Ranging from AUD$90 – AUD$110 per night

Terrace of Perfumes Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Location = 8
Comfort=10
Cleanliness = 10
Price = 10
Facilities =10

Overall = 9.5

*Post Contains Affiliate links