Hotel review: Barcelona Princess

6 02 2015

Hotel Barcelona Princess

The hotel Barcelona Princess boasts 363 fully-equipped rooms, a sun terrace with pool on the 23rd floor with a nice view of the city and small pool with gym on the 3rd floor.

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Located on the ’Avenida Diagonal’ just in front of the shopping center Fórum, this 4-star hotel is located less than 20 minutes from the centre of Barcelona with decent public transport alternatives available.

Interesting detail is Desigual Loft on the 23rd floor with decor, which takes care of every detail, patchwork rugs, lamps, wicker armchairs and low tables puff type created by artisans of different peoples of the Mediterranean.

Desigual loft - reijosfood.com

ROOM

Spent few nights in the double room on the 19th floor with sea view. Room was well equipped, bath robe and slippers waiting to be used. Free mini bar with soft drinks and bottle of beer per day and free WI-FI.

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Bath room was behind the glass wall, but it can be hided with automated screen, if you are shy. However, toilet and shower are behind doors, some relief?

Hotel Barcelona Princess room - reijosfood

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PUBLIC SPACES

Breakfast was generous compared to many other hotels in Barcelona. Something for everyone. Tried also room service once. Service was quick and actually room service price list is affordable.

On the first floor there is small bar and lobby but hotel is not actually place for dinners. Prepare to reserve table from “real” restaurants in the city or by the sea.

Two pools and new and well designed rooms are best part of the hotel.

Location from Plaza Catalunya is quite far, but walking by the sea to Port Olympico does not take too much time. Then it is up to you, if you want to continue to Maremagnum and then to Ramblas by foot. I actually walked that route, but with one pit stop in Tapa Tapa tapas bar or restaurant.

Hotel Barcelona Princess is for business travellers and for those, who do not want to pay higher prices in the city for lower standard.

REVIEW: ROOM 4/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

Hotel Barcelona Princess – Official Website | Barcelona Hotel.





Hotel review: AC Hotel Malaga Palacio

24 09 2014

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Hotel AC Palacio in Malaga is part of Marriot hotel chain. The location between the Málaga Cathedral and the Paseo del Parque, and its spectacular views of the port, make this hotel one of the must stay hotels. Hotel has 214 rooms and was renovated 2007.

Hotel AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

ROOM

We chose to stay at AC Superior Room with sea view and balcony. No doubt the view is spectacular.

Room was basically fine and decorated with wooden interior.

Had some trouble with bathroom, as we had to wait for light bulb change quite a long time, although lady in the reception promised, it would be done during the same afternoon. We even removed “Do not disturb” sign, as she said that no one would come, if it would hang on the door. So we called next day again as no one has visited our room. Then the pipe under the sink began to leak and it had to be replaced. Quite a lot disturbance for 4 nights stay….

imageView from AC Malaga Palacio room - reijosfood.comView from Ac Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comRoom at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comHotel room at AC Palacio in Malaga - reijosfood.comBathroom at AC Palacio - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

The fifteenth-floor Ático Bar & Restaurant on the terrace of the Hotel AC Málaga Palacio, is for use in both summer and winter times thanks to its panoramic glass space. A entity where you can enjoy a dinner or have a drink. From its terrace you can enjoy stunning views of the city, especially the port and the Paseo del Parque. Reservation is required and it can also be rented for private events. In this case, the catering service and bar located on the first floor will be available for our customers.
 Atico restaurant - reijosfood.com
Consequently, the restaurant and its terrace may be closed certain days. During our stay there were bachelor party and wedding party. Pool area is anyway available all the time and in the summer evenings it is quite noisy.
Atico terrace - reijosfood.comLunch at Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Outdoor pool at 15th floor is perfect place to relax after walking around the city. Atico restaurant & bar services can be utilized at the pool area, no need to starve.

Below you can also see La Piscina Lounge at 8th floor, which is part of Hotel Molina Lario. Last time we stayed in that hotel, see review by using search.

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Rooftop pool at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comPool at AC Malaga Palacio . reijosfood.com

La Piscina Lounge - reijosfood.com
Breakfast is at the 2nd floor. It is not so versatile as in many similar hotels, actually only tomatoes for vegetables.
Lobby area is to the right from reception. Same furnitures as in all AC hotels, for instance Barcelona chairs.
One hint concerning elevators; there are three main elevators which are often reserved during rush hours. There is one elevator, which is partly hidden. That is usually free, but it does not go to the 15th floor, where Atico Bar & Restaurant as well as pool are located. Take that anyway and use stairs from 13th to 15th floor. We used that elavator also during breakfast times.
AC Palacio - lobby reijosfood.com
AC Malaga Palacio lobby - reijosfood.com
If you like to keep-fit, you can of course jog along the beach promenade.
However, hotel has small gym, which is equipped with cardiovascular equipment and weights.
Gym at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

Mobile check-in and check-out is extremely customer friendly service. With Marriot apps you can check-in 24 hours earlier, choose check-in time and you get notification, when you can pick up the room key. As we arrived early at 11.00, we were able to get room with the help of this brilliant system.

Without two maintenance operations in our room, grade for room would have been 4. 15th floor Atico Bar & restaurant and pool area are definately worth to see and visit although you would not stay at the hotel.

View from Atico bar - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: ROOM 4-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5
 




Hotel review: Swissotel Tallinn, Estonia

7 09 2014

 

Room with a view at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Five-star hotel Swissotel Tallinn is the highest building in the city, boasting impressive views of the old town and the Baltic Sea. 238 rooms and the facilities of this hotel should leave nothing to be desired and it did not indeed.

Check-in and check-out are quick, one of the most comfortables we have experienced.

ROOMS

We always ask for room in upper floors and our 2nd visit was rewarded with room from 29th floor with quite nice view to Tallinn harbour. Hotel also brought to our surprise a bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne. What would be a better way to feel welcome.

We stayed at Swiss Executive room, which would had provided access to the Swiss Executive Lounge, which offers a range of special features like complimentary beverages, snacks & newspapers, as well as complimentary meeting space.  Unfortunately did not have time to enjoy the facility at all.

Room is spacious and elegantly decorated. And bathroom well equipped with shower and bathtub.

Laurent-Perrier at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Swissotel Tallinn room - reijosfood.com

Swissotel bathroom

PUBLIC SPACES

Public spaces are actually so exclusive that you could spend all the time at the hotel.

On the 11th floor there is heated indoor pool with Finnish sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Purovel Spa and Sport is the perfect retreat after a long day out, offering a wide selection of treatments, from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.

Unisex sauna was least attractive because it was quite simple; steam sauna’s suit better to spa’s. Maybe it has been there ealier as it was mentioned on hotel website. But would would be better to bathe in heated pool?

Purovel Spa

Tallinn’s “highest” culinary landmark is at the top of Swissôtel Tallinn, with views far out over the Baltic Sea and the medieval old town. Restoran Horisont and bar offer fine dining and drinks at 30th floor. Restaurant is ranked in 1st place on list of Tallinn best restaurants. Unfortunately we were not able to eat at the restaurant this time either because it was under renovation. Maybe 3rd time we are lucky.

Horisont bar

Cafe Swiss is at the 8th floor serving breakfast buffet (can recommend, lacked only sweet pastries), lunch and dinner. Service at breakfast was polite and professional. You could order extra goodies from waitresses which kitchen would prepare right away.

Cafe Swiss

Lobby includes reception, bar and coffee shop. Same waiters operated both places, service again thoughtful. Easy also just to drop, by if you want to take a peek.

LobbySwissotel lobby bar

Swissotel Tallinn is excellent place to spend long weekend. For 5 star hotel it is also quite affordable. Service is excellent and athmosphere relaxed.

Department store Stockmann is only 150 meters away from the hotel and walk to old town takes about 15 minutes.

REVIEW: ROOM 5-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5/5

Tallinn Hotel – Luxury Hotel Tallinn – Swissotel Tallinn

 





Hotel review: Regatta – boutique hotel in Hanko, Finland

23 08 2014

 

Moet Ice Imperial at hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Regatta Hotel is a modern boutique hotel located in Hanko in the Finnish architect Lars Sonck planned Art Nouveau building from 1898. There have always been hotel business in the famous cultural building and in 2012 the hotel opened again after a complete renovation.

Hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta has 49 different rooms, including 2 single rooms, 45 double rooms and 2 suites (Regatta Suite and Lars Sonck Suite). Each room has its own air conditioning, safe, LCD- TV film- and information-system, internal phone, kettle and hairdryer. The rooms are on the first to fourth floor and accessible by elevator or by one of the two staircases.

This was our 2nd visit to Regatta, so everything was already familiar to us.

ROOM

We had Superior Plus room on the 4th floor with a nice view to the sea. Room itself was modern and cozy. In the summer small fridge would be useful, as there was no mini bar either. Bathroom was small, too small for this type of room. But same room level last time and the bathroom was superb. Take a look at yellow bath tube, which we expected to see also this time.

Hotel Regatta Superior Plus room - reijosfood.comAnna Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.comRegatta room with a view - reijosfood.comRegatta room 403 bathroom - reijosfood.com Regatta bathroom - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

In the summer terraces are best part of the public spaces. Patio terrrace especially with cozy chairs tempts you for glass of champagne. Terrace by the street is also relaxing, but unfortunately had one of the worst rose wines ever.

Hotel does not have own dinner restaurant, as there are several nice restaurants nearby. In the winter time that might be deficiency, but in the summer you want to eat at some of the restaurants by the sea.

Hotel Regatta patio terrace - reijosfood.comHotel Regatta terrace - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta is the the best hotel or accomodation place in Hanko. Before it was renovated there was a big gap in that business. Only thing what I miss is the swimming pool, which was in front of the original hotel Regatta several years ago. The sea is 50 meters away but hotel swimming pool would complete luxury.

Hotel Regatta in Hanko - reijosfood.com

With fridge and same bathroom as last time, room would have been 5+. As there is only breakfast room and terraces, public spaces is close to 4.

But as the building is nicely built and athmosphere is luxorius with BMW test drive opportunity not forgetting local standards, overall grade is close to 5.

Must stay, if visiting Hanko.

REVIEW: ROOM 4+/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

Hotel Regatta | Ajatonta nautintoa – ympäri vuoden





Hotel review: Molina Lario – Malaga, Spain

10 05 2014

Drinks at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

Hotel Molina Lario is a 4 star superior hotel positioned in the centre of Malaga right opposite the Cathedral and just a short distance from the port, the Picasso Museum and the city’s pedestrian district. The recently built hotel is formed by two refurbished 19th century buildings retaining their original façade and a third completely new building.

Molina Lario - reijosfood.comMolina Lario lobby - reijosfood.com

RESTAURANTS

El Café de Bolsa Restaurant & Bar serves lunch and dinner, which you can enjoy either in the outdoor garden-terrace (between hotel buildings, no view to outside) or inside the restaurant. Only half bottle of Cava available was the worst can remember for ages. There is also small terrace which opens onto the pedestrian street, best place to observe by-passers and other restaurant terraces, but quite bald.

Cava at El Cafe del Bolsa - reijosfood.comMolina Lario terrace - reijosfood.com

Restaurant operates also as a breakfast room and is quite crowded during the busiest time in the morning. However, breakfast was excellent. You could order from the list glass of cava, toast or crepes, which we tried.

Brunch at Molina Lario - reijosfood.comCrepe at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

We had lunch (separate post) just to check the level of the kitchen and it was not at the level of hotel.

el Cafe Bolsa - reijosfood.comMolina Lario bar - reijosfood.com

Piscina Lounge is the bar on the eighth floor, boasting views of Málaga, and having become the meeting point in the city centre, where you can enjoy an after-work drink, (tapas) or midnight cocktails. The rooftop bar has added a new space and direct out door access to a terrace on the eight floor. These areas become more lively are more widely open in the summer time, of course. In the winter time 6th floor lounge/night club is only open during weekends.

But… there were only 5 sun beds at the terrace by the pool. They were big, but only 5. So, do not to expect too much, if you like sunbathing. However, late in the afternoon, you might have to wriggle between sunbathers in order to see the sea.

La Piscina Lounge - reijosfood.com

Molina Lario LaPiscina Lounge - reijosfood.comMolina Lario Night Club terrace - reijosfood.com

ROOMS

103 rooms are located in the refurnished 19th century hotel building or in new construction depending on the classification. We accommodated in DELUXE room which located in the old building at 2nd floor. As we arrived early, way before normal check-in time, we did not want to make complaint about the smell of cigar in the room. We also noticed that there was not so much storage for belongings. Otherwise all in place; bath robes, slippers, etc….

Deluxe room at Molina Lario - reijosfood.comBathroom at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

Whisky bottle in the room was unique detail; actually would have preferred cold Cava. Who can drink whisky every day, maybe for breakfast with few pistach peanuts? We preferred generous breakfast at Cafe de Bolsa.

Whisky at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

CONCLUSION

Hotel Molina Lario is stylish hotel and suitable for a few nights stay. Probably one of the best hotels in Malaga for business travellers. Because there are no drawers for clothes and only six coat hangers in the cabinet, you have to store them in suitcase, if you stay longer.

Because of location hotel is perfect choice for exploring old town/pedestrian district, museums and modernized harbour area. And it takes only 20 minutes to drive to Benalmadena Puerto Marina by taxi.

You could also just visit La Piscina Lounge bar in the afternoon or evening and have a drink, listen music and enjoy the harbour view. Elevators are close to reception, just go there!

http://www.hotelmolinalario.com/en

 





Hotel review: Fuerte Miramar (Marbella, Spain)

16 02 2014

Pool at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfod.com

As we shall visit Malaga early May, noticed that have forgotten to post one hotel review from last August.

4-star hotel Fuerte Miramar is located in right on the beachfront and close to the Marbella Old Town. Hotel is beside a pedestrian promenade (Paseo Maritimo) that links up in 5 minutes to the fishing harbour and the marina. You can also walk to Puerto Banus via Paseo Maritimo in 1 1/2 hours if you are sporty. Actually it is a nice way to observe Marbella from the beach side.

Hotel Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comFuerte Miramar lobby - reijosfood.com

Note that hotel is open only from March to November.

Hotel has three restaurant areas: Bar Noble, mainly drinks and light lunch. El Olivo, offering buffet-style dishes and breakfast. Beach Club Restaurante Grill that serves a large variety of fish and paellas beside the beach. Beach Club was open only during the lunch time.

Bar Noble at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comBar Olivo at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comRestaurant El Olivo - reijosfood.comRestaurant El Olivo - reijosfood.com

Hotel also has The Miramar Spa & Beauty, which is fully-equipped hydrotherapy centre that has sauna, Turkish bath, whirlpool bath and a wide range of treatments such as massages, algae wraps, etc.

There is also small pool available behind the hotel with sportive activities and free pool towels. Pool was quite occupied during the busiest season but one option was to go to the beach opposite of the hotel. Major shortcoming at the beach was that there was no showers.

Pool at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Rooms are quite spacious and most of them have a balcony with front and side sea views. All of them are equipped with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, minibar, desk and safe. We had Double Room with sea side view.

Doublre room at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com Sea view at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Best of all of staying at Hotel Fuerte Miramar was location; closeness to the Olf Town and by Paseo Maritimo. Hotel is excellent base for culture and shopping purposes. Also spa in the spring and autumn times sounds attractive.

Marbella Old Town - reijosfood.comMarbella Paseo Maritimo - reijosfood.com

When it comes to service e.g. at Bar Noble, there is opportunity to improve. Small pool and simple beach closest to the hotel do not encourage to sunbathing, if you are only looking for that. Fuerte Miramar has bigger sister hotel Fuerte Marbella which fulfills also this requirement. It is more expensive due to spacious pool area and better beach, of course.

However, hotel seemed to be favored by Spanish vacationers which is always a good sign of popularity and loyal customers.

Reviews of some of the restaurants we visited in Marbella, can be found at reijosfood.com (August 2013)

http://www.fuertehoteles.com/en/hotels/fuerte-miramar-marbella/





Hotel review: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone (Savonlinna)

4 08 2013

Room with a view

Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone is located in the centre of Savonlinna next to the Market Square and the Passenger Harbour. The medieval castle of Olavinlinna is few hundred metres away. Hotel has 84 rooms, 8 of them are Superior in which we stayed.

Sokos Hotel Seurahuone Savonlinna

Hotel has several restaurants and it specializes in night life as there are two night clubs, Night & Bar Tamino for younger adults and Dance Restaurant Mefisto for “grown ups”. We did not visit those places but usually there are quite crowded in the summer time; and the beats goes on….Be sure you do not get a room above restaurants on Friday or Saturday nights.

Dining is not in focus as there are two really modest restaurants, Muikku Terrace (in the picture, see separate review) and Restaurant Piatta where breakfast is also served. Piatta has small terrace and dining room which is really dark. There is also small Cafe Opera (in the picture) with terrace on the right when you come in. Seemed to be quite empty all the time.

All public areas would need some furbishing because they are worn. Problem of course is that July is the most busiest month and in the winter time hotel must be quite empty. But this summer has been more quiet for hotels because customers are seeking more affordable accommodation due to recession. First summer can remember there were free rooms available easily although Opera Festival tickets have been selling well.

Muikku TerraceCafe Opera

Rooms are modest compared to the price level during Opera Festival. Air conditioning seemed to be replaced with fan which we did not need because of cool weather. If there should be warm and sunny, fan would not be enough.

Superior roomSuperior room

Best part was the view from the room at 5th floor. You can watch steam boats taking passengers for short sightseeing cruises and by-passers on their way to Market Square or to Savonlinna Castle. First picture was also taken from the French balcony.

Superior room with a view

There are two hotels in Savonlinna, reviewed Sokos Hotel Seurahuone and Best Western Spahotel Casino which we have usually visited. From these two hotels would choose Spahotel Casino because it is closer to nature, it has great terrace and basically most of the rooms are with balcony + free parking. And it is not too far away from Savonlinna Market Square, just walk over the bridge between island and town.

http://www.sokoshotels.fi/en/hotels/savonlinna/








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