Tag Archives: Hotel review

Hotel review: Hotel Indigo Paddington, London – UK 4*

2014-12-26 22.58.57Hotel Indigo is a brand I have stayed at only a few times and I think I like it. It’s usually small’ish, “cool”, colorful, boutique-hotels.

Hotel Indigo Paddington is located only 50 meters from the Paddington tube- and trainstation. Heathrow Express goes to this station, so if you arrive at Heathrow the train will take you to the hotel in 15 min. Unfortunately the Heathrow Express didn’t go the day we arrived (the 26th. of December, boxing-day in UK), but we used the train when we left. The price is 36 GbP for a return ticket and 21 for a one way fare. If you take the tube from Heathrow, use Piccadilly-line to Piccadilly and change to Bakerlo-line, Northbound. The journey will take around an hour.

When we arrived at the hotel we were welcomed by a nice, but somehow confusing, receptionist. We were told he wanted to upgrade us, but that the former guest had reasently left, but the room was ready and we could have a look at the room. I didn’t understand the problem, nor did Mr. No-Backpacker. In the end we got the upgraded room.

Entering the room I understood the problem. It was reeking of cheap perfume, with an underlying odor of sigarette. We thought about chaning the room, but becasue we were tired and wanted to go to bed we opened the windows and went to bed. (The smell didn’t disappear until the last day….)

Before I booked this hotel I read that the rooms are tiny. I don’t know what room-category we got an upgrade to, but I didn’t find my room too small. The only complaint must be that there were not much space in the closet. For 3-4 days I would say it was ok though.

Our room had a Nespresso-machine. The only drwaback was that we got only 1 pod with normal coffe and 2 with defacc. I would say mot people drink normal coffee so I don’t understand this… Maybe they wanted to save some money… Well.. The good thing was that there were also a kettle and instant coffee! (Not the same, but still caffein… )

The mini-bar, with soft-drinks, are free for all the guests and it will be refilled every day. (2 Pepsi, 2 Diet-Pepsi, 2 small bottles of still- and sparkling water and 1 orangejuice.) There is still some space left in the fridge, perfect for those of us who need to bring our own food!

2014-12-26 22.57.42The bathroom was smallish, but nice and clean. The water-pressure in the shower was very weak, but there were plenty of warm water!

2014-12-26 22.58.15The toiletries were ok’ish. In Liverpool they use Aveda and I was hoping for that here too…

We didn’t have breakfast included. There are lots of places to either eat at or just grab a sandwitch in the same street as the hotel, so didn’t pay for the breakfast at the hotel. At the railwaystation there is a Marks&Spencer and Saintburys too. I bought eggs and ham and cooked the eggs in my egg-boiler for breakfast!

The last night we had dinner in the restaurant. Mr. No-Backpacker had a hamburger and fries, I had a steak and fries. Not exactly gourmet-food, but perfectly fine! There are lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby the hotel, I’ll come back to that later!

Located so close to the tube, connected to the Bakerlo, Central and Circle-line, I would say this hotel has a very good location in London. Although I do like Intercontinental Park Lane, I think I prefer this location, both because of the tube, but also because there are cafes and restaurants at the door-step.

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel review: Holiday Inn Gare Montparnasse, Paris – France, 4*

Reception-area

Reception-area

Many days before we arrived I could see, through the internet, that our room had been upgraded from a standard room to an executive. Although I am  a Platinum member of the ICH brand, I never even hope for an upgrade at Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, so this was a pleasant surprise.

The surprise was even bigger when the friendly woman at the front-desk told us that the mini-bar was free at the exectuive room AND when we entered the room and we realized we had a huge balcony (at least compared to some very tiney once we have had at other hotels, I think this must have been  at least 2*10 meter), at the top-floor! The room was double the size of the standard-rooms (I had a sneak-peak into one when I walked past and the door was open) and had a jetted bath-tub.

Free mini-bar: Not exactly like Intercontinental, but good enough!

Free mini-bar: Not exactly like Intercontinental, but good enough!

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Toiletries

Toiletries

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We didn’t have breakfast included in the rate, so I never saw the breakfast. There are plenty of bakeries, cafes, restaurants and even a grocery-store close to the hotel, so there is no need to book a rate with breakfast!

The good things:

  • An excellent upgrade
  • Friendly front-desk staff
  • Very good location, close to several metro-stations
  • Lots of pubs, bars, shops etc… in the area
  • Lively area
  • Free WiFi for members in their loyalty program

The not so good things:

  • A strange noise coming on/off all day. It’s not very loud, but if you have heard it once, you will not forget it
  • Houskeeping do everything in steps, so if you use the room at day-time you will have 3 visits: First when they clean the room. Second when they deliver clean towels and third when they replenish the toiletries and the mini-bar
  • The water-pressure in the shower was very weak
  • The WiFi denies you access to some pages, for instance, my blogs

How to get to the hotel from Charles De Gaule airport:

The easiest would be to take a taxi, however that would also be the most expensive (around 40-60 Eur. I think). Instead you can take the train to either Gare de l’Est or Denfert Rochereau and change to metro number 4. to Montparnasse Bienvenue. The hotel is located 10-15 min. from the metrostation.

If I would go back?

Yes, this is a decent hotel in a great area. Not exactly in the middle of the touristic area, but not in the middle of nowhere either.

 

Hotel review: Intercontinental Paris le Grand 5*, Paris – France

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This hotel defines everything I like with a luxury hotel: The old glamour (it was built in 1862) combined with refined and gracious service, a nice and cozy – but still elegant clublounge with excellent food-offerings, the best location and a bed and linens to die for. I have been to Intercontinental Paris le Grand once before, and I really loved it then. This time we had only one night, but a night I will remember for a long time. 

IMG_6796We knew we would have an early check-in and I had informed the hotel in advance, via Twitter. When we arrived we were taken care of immediately by a very charming bell-boy. He sent us to the check-in area where we met the front-desk manager. We were told we had been upgraded to the Prestige Suite, but since it was not ready  we could wait in the club-lounge or we could get another room. As I was eager to see the club-lounge (rumours said it was fantastic) AND I of course wanted to stay in the prestige suite, we chose to go to the club-lounge.

And yes, it was extraordinary! I have been to many hotel club-lounges, but this must be among the best I have ever been to. Everything, from food (offering and qualitywise) to the staff, was excellent.

After a delicious breakfast (served until 11) we were taken to our room, the prestige suite.  It’s not the biggest suite I have been to, but it had the same old granduer feeling as the hotel, and I loved it. The fact that the table in the living-room was filled with fruit, macaroons, luxurious juices and small, sweet treats, didn’t impress me the less.

As a Royal Ambassador (the highest level in the Intercontinentals bonus-program) the mini-bar drinks are free. A big plus for two bottles of real Champage!

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The only thing that disappointed me, just a tiny little bit, was that we got the same Agara toiletries as they offer in the standard-rooms. Last time I stayed at this hotel I got L’Occitane toiletries, which feels more luxuious.

More facts about the club-lounge:

07.30 – 11: Breakfast. Lots of different cold-cuts, Champagne, scrambeled eggs, bacon, etc… etc… You can also order fried and boiled eggs. Mr. No-Backpacker loves eggs Benedict and asked for that. Originally they don’t serve it, but the club-manager made it as a special order for Mr-Nobackpacker! According to him, this is one of the best eggs Benedict with home-made Hollandaise-saus, smooth as silk!

 

12.30 to 14.30 Finger-food, fruits and soft-drinks.

15.30 to 17.30 Afternoon-tea with the most delicate pastries and cakes.

18.30 to 21.00 Open bar, canapes and sweets. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures, but it was all in the same league as the other meals.

IMG_2331This must have been some of the best hotel-experiences I have ever had and I loved every minute although I was not able to eat most of the food because of my food-allergies. I didn’t want to make “a fuss” about my diet, so I didn’t ask for something special beforehand. However I asked for some cold ham when the other ate canapes and sweets, and was told there were a lot more if it wasn’t enough. To be honest, I am sure they would have made something nice for me if I had asked, but I didn’t. Maybe I’ll do that next time?

 

We are going back to Paris next week and will then stay at a less luxurious, not to say mediocre, Holiday Inn (mostly because Mr. No-Backpacker is going to work close to that hotel) so we decided to enjoy the hotels facilities this time. Next week I will do the exploring while Mr. No-Backpacker is working. For more about Paris, please come back next week!