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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

Urban Adventure Tours

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.

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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

Staying at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Urban Adventure Tours

After a busy schedule in France the girls were so excited to be heading to Berlin. A city that has had to rebuild most of their buildings due to the devastation of World War II. So, although a city rich in history, good and bad, it is still a new. It is intriguing how Berlin has rebuilt many buildings to match the elegance of their past. For our time, here we are staying at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm hotel.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel
Someone was very happy to be in Berlin.

The Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm is a lovely 4-star hotel near the shopping district of Kurfürstendamm, and quite close to many popular attractions.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The reception desk at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Upon arrival to the hotel we enter through the automatic turnstile and are met by a friendly reception desk. To the right of us is a lounge with a business area. And to the left is the stairway down to the Scandic restaurant and an alcove with a Foosball table. Additionally, past the reception desk is a small self-serve shop, stocked with essentials and hotel souvenirs.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The Foosball table to the left of the entrance.

The desk clerk allocates us two rooms and we ride the elevator up to our floor. Bright clean white corridors decorated with well placed commissioned street art, this hotel exudes a modern elegance.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm has commissioned artist to produce street art at certain locations within the hotel.

The rooms are a nicely decorated spacious area with a king sized bed, a comfortable lounge seat, a desk, fridge, cupboard, safe and television. Each room also has a separate bathroom.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
Our double room at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The desk, fridge and television in the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Our bathroom is also a well maintained clean. It is a large room with a large shower cubicle for that well deserved relaxing hot shower.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The bathroom at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Now, if you talk to my family, I have no patience when travelling, I like to keep moving. So, a relaxing evening lounging around a hotel doesn’t really suit me. Luckily, the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm has a gym on the sixth floor. Therefore, I didn’t pace around twiddling my thumbs, because I could always go to the gym for a couple of hours and burn off some excess energy.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
Some of the cardio equipment in the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm gym.

With treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and rowing machines, I could burn up that extra energy. Additionally, the gym also has some free weights and a multi-faceted nautilus machine. After the workout, you can take a shower and use the sauna to sweat out those toxins.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The weight area in the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm gym

The hotel is mainly focused on the conference market and has meeting rooms available on the seventh floor. Please ask the reception for more information. Breakfast is also available in the restaurant for €12 per person, per day.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The Breakfast buffet area the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

The restaurant is open for dinner and has a descent sized Scandinavian inspired menu. It has a satisfactory range of quality wines from around Europe. So why not be bold and try something you’ve never experienced before. We had the pleasure of dining in the main dining area for a night. They also have a winter garden and courtyard area for those nice days.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The comfortable dining area at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

We ordered their Weiner Schnitzel, a vegetarian Caesar Salad with roasted pumpkin and their aptly named Scandic burger. All the meals were well cooked and quite large servings.

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The classic aptly named Scandic burger with a side of fries.
Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The Weiner Schnitzel with some fries. Not the most eye catching of meals.
Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm
The vegetarian Caesar Salad with roasted pumpkin.

Overall the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel is an excellent choice for your stay in Berlin. Perfectly located with easy access to Berlin’s sensational public transport system, and major shopping outlets. The hotel can look after all your needs, with luggage storage available before your check-in and after check-out. If you decide not to eat breakfast at the hotel we found the Clave Cafe on Augsburger Straße towards Kurfürstendamm an excellent option. So, book your next stay below, and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Augsburger Straße 5 Berlin, Germany
Ph: +49 30 212 42 0
Website: www.scandichotel.de

To get there catch the Metro to Augsburger Straße

Book your stay at the Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation:

Ranging from €98 – €164 per night

Breakfast is served daily for €12.00 per person

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm Restaurant opening times

Breakfast: Mon-Sun 06: 30-12: 00
Dinner: Mon-Sun 17: 00-01: 00

Scandic Berlin Kurfürstendamm Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Service = 9
Comfort=10
Cleanliness = 10
Price = 9
Facilities =10

Overall = 9

*Post Contains Affiliate links

B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette

After a three-day stay in Amsterdam we are back on a plane and travelling to Paris. Ah, Paris, the city of love! We arrive a week before the 2017 Presidential election and tensions are meant to be high. Although we haven’t noticed it as tourists. We even walked into the middle of a peaceful protest one evening, with French Police calmly directing us away from the area. Our accommodation for our time in Paris is the 2-star, B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette.

Located in the 19th arrondissement the B&B Hotel Paris Port de la Villette is a short walk from the Porte de la Villette Metro Station. Now, although we were safe walking the streets, the 19th arrondissement can be a bit intimidating to first time travellers as it is more a poorer working class area. It is a mixture of cultures with small market stalls on some streets.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The Metro in Paris is a very good public transport system

As we enter the hotel we notice the security guard overseeing the foyer area to ensure guests aren’t harassed. This is also done to stop unwanted visitors into the hotel. The foyer area has some tourist information, four vending machines, a microwave oven, some tables and a computer with internet access.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The foyer area in the B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette

A lady receives us at the reception desk and we check into a four person room. As none of us are smokers we ask to ensure we are in a non smoking room. The B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette allows smoking in their rooms, so you must stipulate if you need a non smoking room.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The reception desk of the B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette

We are given the security code for the door and make our way up to our floor. The elevators are small so we made a couple of trips due to my large backpack. The floors are an olive-green colour so they are a little dark.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The olive-green hallway of the 5th floor are a little dark.

The four person room is quite small. It has a double bed and a bunk to accommodate us. All the beds were comfortable, so no complaints. Being a small room, bag storage is limited, so you will be climbing over your bags daily. The room has a small desk near the door and a television on the wall.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The double bed in the four person room.

Each room has a separate bathroom which again is small. There is no ventilation and no hairdryer available, but the shower is quite good. No issues with hot water here. Rooms are serviced daily, with towels and bedding changed over.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
The small bathroom in the four person room

Possibly the biggest improvement would be to make the hotel a  non smoking hotel. Because even though we stipulated for a non smoking room it was evident that other rooms on our floor had smokers. Our room even had an ashtray, so I’d say smoking and non smoking rooms depends only on if you actually smoke. It does become a little overpowering for non smokers. We placed a towel on the floor across the door which helped a little.

B&B Hotel Porte de la Villette
This non-smoking room has an ashtray…That’s a bit confusing.

The hotel offers a buffet breakfast for its guests at an extra cost in their dining area in the basement. Its buffet spread is very limited and you may have to wait until their small supply of bacon and eggs is ready. My recommendation would be to try it one day, and if you are happy with the range and quality then eat there. Otherwise go somewhere else.

B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette
The breakfast buffet selection is a little limited.

Overall the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette, is what it is. This 2-star hotel, is clean and comfortable. It is in a rougher part of Paris and they do allow their guests to smoke in their rooms. I wouldn’t think it is appropriate for young families for this reason. It has potential to be a lot better than it is. The breakfast range and quality could be a bit better. The bacon was under cooked and rubbery, but this is all easily fixed. The staff are friendly and the security guard is a large imposing figure, so we felt safe.

If you are a seasoned traveller and are on a budget than this may be the place for you as the rates are reasonable. The hotel is close to public transport which is easy to use. There aren’t too many restaurants around the hotel area, so you may need to travel into the more frequented areas to find one.

Personally, I wouldn’t stay here again, only because of the smoking issue. If they are going to continue to allow smoking in their hotel than they need to work out a better way to accommodate this. By allowing their guests to smoke in their rooms increases the risk of a potential fire occurring within the building. My advice would be to stop smoking in the hotel, as you will then increase your customer market. If they don’t want to cease smoking in the hotel then a designated smoking area away from the rooms would be beneficial.

Additional Information for the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette

4 Rue Emile Reynaud, 75019 Paris, France
Ph: +33 892 70 75 50
Website: www.hotel-bb.com

To get there catch the Metro to Porte de la Villette station.

Book your stay at the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation:

Ranging from €50 – €89 per night

Breakfast is served daily for €6.50

*Post Contains Affiliate links

King’s Day and the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South

After our time spent in Norway we are on a plane heading for a whirl wind tour of Amsterdam. We are only here for a few days to celebrate King’s Day and to meet up with two other travel bloggers. For our accommodation stay we are at the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel. From the airport, we catch a train to Amsterdam Zuid, then take the Metro to Kronenburg. It’s then a short walk to the hotel which you can see from the Kronenburg Metro Station.

IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
The reception desk of the IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel

The Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South hotel is rated as a 2.5-star hotel, but is a new, modern and at a reasonable price. The newness of the hotel is evident as soon as you walk into the foyer. On entry, you have an internet station and storage lockers to the right and a refreshment area to the left. We are warmly greeted at the reception desk and promptly checked in.

IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
The Cool Service refreshment area. Items are available for purchase from the front desk

We are given a family room for four and take the elevator to our room. The room is approximately 15 square metres and contains three single beds and a single cupboard bed. Our two large windows present a pleasant view of the surrounding area, which is mainly residential. A television with a range of local and international channels is also located on the wall.

IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
Our family room, contains three single beds and the cupboard contains the fourth.
IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
View from our room in the IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel

Each room has a small clean bathroom, with sufficient space to store your toiletries. The hotel supplies linen and towels for their guests use and rooms are serviced daily. Additionally, a hairdryer is available from the reception desk for a €20 deposit.

IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
The small clean and serviced bathroom

The hotel is a 100% non-smoking hotel and has available parking facilities for its guests. It also boasts a games room with table tennis tables and various electronic games. It’s a great safe place for the children to hang out when you have finished exploring for the day.

IBIS Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
The games room contains table tennis tables and various electronic games

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the whole hotel and they offer their guests an all you get eat breakfast buffet for €7.50 per person. This fee is payable at the front desk, when required. Unfortunately, the breakfast range is a little limited for choice, but we were able to find something suitable.

Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel
A section of the breakfast area. There’s plenty of tables available.

Overall the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel is a cool modern hotel. It’s clean and has enough activities available to entertain the average family. Rooms accommodate 1-4 persons so if you have a larger family two rooms may be needed. We found it handy for public transport and was easily able to purchase tickets from the automated machines at the stations. The hotel does have some tickets available at the front desk so be sure to ask them if they can help. They have an arrangement with a local Pizza shop for room deliveries for those days you just want to stay in. Just make sure you notify them if you are going to be paying by credit card when ordering. Pizzas can be ordered using the hotel receptions phone if required.

We enjoyed our time at the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel. So, book your stay today and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel

Prof J H Bavincklaan 1, 1183 AT Amstelveen, Netherlands
Ph:  (+31) 207154333
Website: www.accorhotels.com

To get there catch the Metro or Tram to the Kronenburg station.

Book your stay at the Ibis Budget Amsterdam City South Hotel now with Booking.com

Prices of accommodation:

Ranging from €67 – €149 per night

Breakfast is served from 7:30 – 10:30 am

*Post Contains Affiliate links

Away at the Anker Hotel – Oslo, Norway

Once again, the love of books has prompted us to tack on a stay in Oslo to meet up with our international book club. Every year a city around the world hosts the annual Bookcrossing convention and this year happens to be our friends in Norway. I know it may sound unusual to some of you, to fly halfway around the world to talk and exchange books. However, it’s become more than that. The lifelong friendships you make, the catch up conversations, and the shared meals together are at the heart of these overseas journeys. Yet we do it in the name of books.

This year’s convention was being held at the Markus Menighetshus building in the St Hanshaugen district. Therefore, our accommodation needed to be in walking distance of the venue. After some close examination of the area we opted to stay at the Anker Hotel in nearby Storgata street. The Anker Hotel is a part of the Foundation Anker that supports students in Norway and all profits go back to those students.

Anker Hotel
A bridge over the Akerselva River, near the Anker Hotel

Located right alongside the Akerselva River the 3-star Anker Hotel has no fancy facade to make it stand out. It’s just a plain-looking building with a quick automatic turnstile entry. It’s funny how people try to time their entry into these turnstiles. Too fast and you hit the revolving door, yet go too slow and it hits you.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
The front foyer lounge area in the Anker Hotel. A coffee machine and hotel computers are located in this area.

Upon entry, the reception desk which is manned 24 hours is to the right. Check-in time is from 3 pm and all passports are required to be shown so the hotel can register the names of the guests staying in the room. The reception also has safety deposit boxes available for your valuables and some tour guide information about Oslo. Check out the Visit Oslo website because they run, tourist in your own city (Turist I EGEN BY) on selected Sunday’s. These passes give the holder free access to the major tourist attractions in Oslo.

the Anker Hotel Oslo
The reception desk at the Anker Hotel

We are greeted by the friendly hotel staff and quickly checked in for the night. We are given a family room overlooking the Akerselva river on the 7th floor and head on up. The floor corridors aren’t richly decorated so there are pretty plain-looking which reflects the same styling within the room.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
Plain corridors along every floor

The room is quite large and has four comfortable single beds lined up along the wall in that dorm room style. There are a couple of chairs and a side table next to the window and a desk and chair closer to the door. A small flat screen television is mounted above the desk which plays local Norwegian channels. However, we could find some English-speaking shows when we had it on. Each bed has its own bedside lamp if you’d like to read at night. The entry foyer has an inbuilt cupboard to hang jackets on, and the door to the right is a bathroom.

The Anker Hotel Olso
The Anker Hotel’s family room can accommodate a family of five.
The Anker Hotel Oslo
Small desk and chair with the rooms television mounted on wall.

Now, the bathroom is quite small, and contains a toilet, wash basin with a small amount of space for your toiletry bags, and a shower cubicle. It is fully tiled from floor to ceiling and is your basic white colour. Although small I must say the shower is fantastic. Instant hot water, wonderful water pressure and the temperature control is excellent. There’s nothing worse than having to adjust a shower because it switches from going hot to cold. Furthermore, as an added bonus the tiled floor is perfectly heated. So, no freezing tiles and cold feet. Another pleasing aspect is that they have a hairdryer mounted to the wall and a good supply of toilet paper if you’re staying for a while.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
The family room’s small bathroom, but that heated floor and water pressure were marvellous

Unfortunately, the room does not have coffee and tea making facilities in them. But they are available to be borrowed from the front desk if required. Wi-Fi is available in every room on a public network, so no password is required. Internet is a bit static and drops in and out often.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
One of the two eating areas for guests at breakfast

The Anker Hotel stay comes with a complimentary breakfast in their large dining area. The buffet style service has a broad range of quality food available and as it is all you can eat, you shouldn’t leave hungry.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
Buffet style breakfast. The perfect start before a long day of discovery.

Other facilities available at the Anker Hotel are a fully licensed bar, luggage storage, laundry service and four different meeting rooms. Wake up calls are also available as your room does not have a clock in it.

The Anker Hotel Oslo
The licensed bar within the Anker Hotel. Stay up for a nightcap and mingle with other guests

In conclusion, the Anker Hotel is a clean, no frills hotel. The rooms are warm and comfortable and in my opinion the shower was perfect. At a reasonable price with breakfast included, the Anker Hotel is a good option for active families on a budget who would use the hotel as a base for their daily activities. So, book now and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for Anker Hotel

Storgata 55, 0182 Oslo, Norway
Ph: (+47) 2299 7510
Website: www.anker-hotel.no

To get there from the OSLO Central station catch the 11 or 17 tram to Hausmanns Gate stop, then walk 200m towards Akerselva river.

Book your stay at the Anker Hotel now with Booking.com

Types of accommodation:

Single room: 1 persons AUD $170 -$232

Twin room: 1 -2 persons AUD $216 -$278

Double room: 1 – 2 persons AUD $216 – $278

Triple room: 1 -3 persons AUD $262 – $309

Family room: 1 – 5 persons AUD $309 – $386

Breakfast is served from 6 – 10 am Mon-Fri & 7 – 11 am Sat – Sun

*Post Contains Affiliate links

Heading out for a night at the Hilton Adelaide Hotel

I know I might be biased but the city of Adelaide and the surrounding wine areas are a fantastic place to visit and live. This has been endorsed by travel reporting mega giants the Lonely Planet with Adelaide and South Australia being ranked number 5 in the best regions to visit in the world (woo hoo, home town pride).  This fabulous endorsement means additional visitors to Adelaide and with many good hotels in Adelaide, where should you stay? Our team headed into town to see what the Hilton Adelaide Hotel has to offer.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Hilton Adelaide Hotel

When you know where you’re going and are considering booking a hotel, what are the things you look for? Do the hotels need to offer other facilities like, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, health spas, business centres or bars? Or are you just looking for a clean room to sleep in free of those pesky bed bugs? Are you a hotel shopper, looking for the best price, or are you loyal to a particular hotel brand?

Hotel loyalty may be new to many of you, but like airlines, hotels offer their customers the option of joining their loyalty programs. If you tend to spend a lot of time in hotels, then remaining loyal and amassing your stays or nights within a certain hotel chain is the way to go. The Hilton Adelaide Hotel is such a hotel that offers its customers earned benefits when staying at any Hilton branded hotel. Their Hilton Honors program allows qualified customers chances for room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, and access to their executive lounges to name a few.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
Victoria Square Water Fountain

As recent Hilton Honors Gold members, we thought we’d experience the benefits for ourselves. We decided to book a King Hilton Guest Room and made our way into the city. The Hilton Adelaide Hotel overlooks Victoria Square in the heart of the city.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
Reception Desk – Welcome to the Hilton Hotel Adelaide

Upon entry into the hotel the reception desk is located to the left and the Collins Bars is down a short corridor on the right. On check in the hotel staff were very friendly and we were immediately upgraded to a King Hilton Executive room.

King Executive Room at the Hilton Hotel Adelaide
King Executive Room

We were soon in the elevator and making our way up to our room. The King Hilton Executive Room are quite spacious with plenty of room to swing a cat (no animals were harmed during the review of this hotel). There are complimentary magazines and water available in the room and the Wi-Fi is easy to access and free. The King sized bed is very comfortable with your choice of pillows, based on your preferences.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
The usual hotel room amenities

Rooms offer the usual features like a television with local and paid channels. There is also a selection of in-house movies available. Coffee and tea is also provided and the extremely old bar fridge is fully stocked. The room also has a safe for the security conscious, an iron and ironing board, and a hair-dryer for the large bathroom.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
This would be the oldest fridge I’ve seen. Carbon footprint! What carbon footprint!

The bathroom is large and contains a bath tub and a separate shower cubicle. Bathroom amenities and towels are refreshed with the room serviced daily.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
Nice large clean bathroom with separate bathtub

By booking the King Hilton Executive room or having enough hotel status provides access to the executive lounge on the sixteenth floor. The comfortable lounge is a good place to relax, catch up on some reviews on your laptop or at the desktop computers provided. You can help yourself to the complimentary drinks or snacks like these beautiful macaroons.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Executive Lounge located on the 16th floor
Hilton Hotel Adelaide
These Macaroons were sensational.

The Hilton Adelaide Hotel offers many other facilities for their customers. Their small Swimming Pool is located on the first floor balcony. Amazingly, this balcony area is a little stark, one end of the balcony has the pool and the other half is just a large empty space.  This large area could be utilised a lot better to give the hotel added value, something like a balcony bar or outdoor dining area.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
The hotel swimming pool, a bit cold and rainy today for a dip.

The Gym is also located on the first floor which looks out across the pool. This fully equipped gym with an attached spa and sauna area is immaculate, well presented and everything you want from a gym.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Fully equipped gym overlooking the swimming pool.

If you don’t want a full gym workout then the hotel also has a tennis court and small running track.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Tennis court and small running track.

If you are getting hungry or thirsty then head to the ground floor and get comfortable in the popular Collins Bar, or feast at Coal Cellar + Grill the Hilton’s on site restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Coal daily. We decided for breakfast at Coal and with an enormous selection of food options, you will not go hungry eating here.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
The Breakfast Bar in Coal Cellar + Grill
Hilton Adelaide hotel
Lounge bar area next to Coal

Overall the Hilton Adelaide Hotel provides good service to its customers, with comfortable well maintained rooms. Some of the furnishings and facilities like the tennis court and pool area are out-dated but the hotel is working to rectify this. The hotel has an excellent restaurant in Coal Cellar + Grill and the popular Collins Bar is always good for a relaxing nightcap.

The Hilton Adelaide Hilton experience was definitely worth it, and they have rooms available from the standard guest room to executive room and suites. So book a stay today and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
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Additional information

233 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph: +61-8-8217-2000
Website: www.3.hilton.com

Rooms available from approximately AUD$150 – AUD$400 per night

Restaurant bookings and menu for Coal Cellar + Grill

Book your stay today at the Hilton Adelaide Hotel

Join Hilton Honors Loyalty Program

Hilton Adelaide Hotel Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Service = 9
Comfort=9
Cleanliness = 9
Price = 8
Facilities =8

Overall = 8.5

*This post contains affiliate links

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