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Van Riper’s Resort (Sekiu, Washington State USA)

3 Case Rating
Location Van Ripers resort motel is in the idyllic fishing village of Sekiu. Located just beyond Olympic national park of which is 30 minutes drive away to the edge of it. Unless your fishing one of the few reasons to be here is if you are enroute to Cape Flattery - amazing spot (45 min drive) of which is the most northern western point in mainland USA. About 1.5hr drive away is Ruby beach, also stunning. Port Angeles, the closest main town with ferry service to Canada is about 1hr 15 drive & Seattle is around 4 hours. There is a diner in the village but not much else except relaxing scenic view of the coast and Vancouver Island. Chilled spot & from the room you can hear the seagulls & enjoy fresh sea air. Room The motel room consisted of two rooms, a simple bedroom with quite a firm smallish queen bed along with one bedside table, lamp & a random chair. Facing bed is a non-flat screen cable TV on wall. The bed was ok but bedding was felt old along with everything else, however it was clean, slept ok but wouldn’t describe the bed as initially comfortable. The other room is a kitchen area with a table for 2. An old style electric oven with utensils and tableware. In addition a microwave, filter coffee pot, a fridge & two sinks - one for kitchen & other to use for bathroom. Bathroom was tiny with simple shower cubicle & toilet. They offer just a small soap. However water was hot and worked well. Since you are in the middle of nowhere & mainly for fishermen who have their boat here, it’s ideal for self catering. Despite the age & lack of amenities in bathroom, the room had a great ambience & character with a somewhat Twin Peak vibe going on. Especially enjoyed listening to the seagulls & sea air thru the bedroom window as I fell asleep. Facilities The motel is simple but does offer adequate working WIFI. The reception is in a store shop where you can buy coffee, some snacks but it is mainly supplies for fishermen & Campers etc. The staff mentioned they can arrange rental boats out but stated the guest mainly bring their own. Plenty of space with free car parking. Staff Staff impressed me with their relaxed and flexible attitude. Despite check in closing at 8, I called them & explained that due to delayed flight & 5 hour drive that I wouldn’t make it until 1130pm. The guy kindly left my room unlocked for me to enter when I arrived & we did the check-in in the morning before I departed. It is unlikely I will stay here again since I saw the nearby sights I had planned. However I would recommend those looking for a cheaper place to stay closer to Neah bay & also Ruby beach. Seems like a great fishing spot as well.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 280 Front St, Sekiu, WA 98381, USA
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Park Inn by Radisson Davao (Davao City, Philippines)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located around 10 minutes drive from airport. To the centre of Davao it is around 15 min by taxi. The location is right next to a large mall and has a dedicated walkway tunnel to get to it. There are various fast food places & shops in the mall. However lacking any interesting stores or places to eat. Room The room was superior on the highest floor. It was a more spacious room that included a large king size bed that was quite firm. Either side bed side tables and one local plug socket. Reading lamps above plus a telephone and an alarm clock. Facing the bed is a large TV in which has limited cable channels with many channels on system but unable to access since they were not tuned in or someone forgot to pay bill. The room also offered a small sofa, large desk and chair, a mini bar fridge with items such as kit kats and drinks. Within the wardrobe is a laptop size safe and includes a robe and complimentary slippers. The bathroom was spacious but the shower cubicle is quite filthy and has dispenser dove soap as well as small amenity items. They include two complimentary bottles of water. I was presented with a room with no towels and had to call housekeeping with no apology offered. Overall the room has Park Inn decor with the signature nice lighting but unfortunately there were noticeable scrapes on the walls, poor paint job in some areas especially the bathroom and in generally disappointing in comparison to other Park Inn I have stayed at. It is ok value for money though and the room is functional for the business traveller but the room is not luxurious. Facilities The hotels offers secure WIFI for free and generally worked ok. There is a restaurant in the lobby but I didn't use. Breakfast though was provided and was quite nice. A pool is offered and gym but again didn't use. Parking is available. Staff Staff as everywhere in the Philippines are very nice and welcoming and had no complaints about the service.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] J.P. Laurel Avenue next to SM Lanang Premier Mal, Agdao, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur, Philippines
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FM7 Resort Hotel Jakarta (Tangerang, Indonesia)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located less than 10 minutes drive from airport, just off the main airport road. They do organise complimentary shuttle service, but you must book ahead via email at hotel website. To get to airport, they have various times to get there & you book via reception. There is nothing really to walk too outside of hotel. However it's great for needing to be close to airport and avoiding the nightmare of Jakarta traffic. Room The deluxe room was slightly disappointing. It is very large but feels like a former office building made into a hotel. Large but soulless empty space. One feels it needs a rug or something on the hard floors. Since it is quite cold looking and with dull lighting. The queen bed was sufficiently comfortable though and each side there are bed side tables with lamps. However no nearby power sockets, only one against wall below TV. The flat screen TV faces the bed and has 46 channels including HBO, BBC & other international channels. A large glass desk is offered and is suitable for working from. Plus a small coffee table with wooden chairs, luggage rack & large wardrobe also in the room. There is a very small safe, not suitable for laptops. A fridge also exists with some small mini bar items & above a basic kettle hot drinks facility. The bathroom was also spacious but again a little characterless but is was clean. A basic looking shower is offered with a small sample of hotel branded amenities. One of the main gripes with the room, is the old AC unit. Possibly due to size of room, it doesn't get that cold despite cold setting of 21C and is quite noisy. Overall though it is quite good value for an early morning flight but it's quite a bland un-functional bedroom that isn't that comfortable. Facilities Facilities are certainly the highlight of this hotel. WIFI worked well in all areas and is complimentary and secure to two devices per room. Leisure facilities are fun, there is a large indoor pool area that has a hot very large steam room & sauna with large hot or ice cold dipping pools great after the sauna. The area is clean and the changing rooms gives at least men - flip flops, shorts to use and towels with your own locker. It's great, open from 6am until 10pm. There is also a spa with comprehensive menu of reasonably priced massage treatments. I tried the unique Tibetan Steam Bath and was impressed. Other leisure facilities include a karaoke lounge, a hair dresser and a convenience store right in the lobby. There is also a pool table in the bar. Catering includes two 24hr restaurant - Thai & Indonesian cuisine with western meal items. Tried room service which was reasonably priced. Breakfast is complimentary but was quite limited in choices and with unusual items such as Cajun chicken. There is also a cafe patisserie healthy tea place with cakes plus a pool bar. Quite good ambience. Overall impressive facilities are offered here, they are clean but do look quite dated. Staff Staff are an asset to this hotel at the spa and bars. Really friendly, kind and upbeat. Check-in however was a bit inefficient, initially checked me in as someone else but check out was fine. Overall not a great hotel for Jakarta but fine for airport. The facilities are fun and the strongest reason to stay at this hotel.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jalan Perancis No. 67, Benda, Kota Tangerang, Banten 15125, Indonesia
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Bastion Hotel Eindhoven (Eindhoven, Holland)

3 Case Rating
Location The bastion Eindhoven is located about 2.5 miles from the Eindhoven city centre, about one hour walk away. Brand new hotel in a pretty dull business park but close to the major highways. There is nothing to walk to as the area is mostly residential, just a supermarket down the road. The hotel was visited in June 2017, and was brand new. Room My room was on the first floor. I requested a higher floor due to building site below but told was only 1st floor operating as hotel was only 6 days old. However the room was quite spacious & due to being new was very fresh and clean. Two twin beds with small tables either side. Lighting good with lamps & flexi reading lights attached to bed frame. Plus a back wall light that creates a good mellow atmosphere. There is a old Dutch photo picture behind bed that looks a little haunting with people at the turn of the century. TV faces bed, nice flat screen with various channels from region including BBC tv. Small magimix expresso machine on slim desk in front. A relaxing arm chair with foot stall is to the side. Open wardrobes and small safe is offered but not sufficient for a small laptop. The bathroom is quite spacious with a powerful shower. The hotel only offers a small tube of shampoo simple hotel brand. Towels are quite thin as well. Overall room is comfortable and new but AC was not working despite digital display so felt warm throughout my stay in Summer, plus windows cannot be opened. Being new the main door awkwardly screamed like a dying cat every time you close it creating quite an embarrsing noise heard loudly down corridor. It's a business hotel room but is not that functional, not enough desk space to work on a computer etc. Facilities The brand new hotel is still being built, the car park has not even been properly finished. Lots of building mess gets on your shoes and resulting in dirty public areas. Obviously this will be resolved but perhaps they opened too early. Free working WIFI in which worked well. There is a bar and restaurant. Breakfast is fourteen euros in which I felt was extortionate compared to other hotels I have stayed at on his trip so didn't try. They also have a smoking lounge, a pool table, a sort of gym offering only two cardio machines. A pricey vending machine for drinks is offered in lobby where a bottle of water costs nearly three euros. Staff Reception staff were mixed, male staff welcome was little unenthusiastic. When asked how far to walk to city, simply told I have no idea I don't live here. One expects staff to know basic knowledge of how far the centre of city is. The housekeeping staff are also poorly skilled. Both days got woken up at 8am. First by staff simply walking in room (they don't have any Do not disturb signs on doors) then 2nd day by shouting down the corridor and hoovering. So one doesn't need an alarm clock! Saying that female staff on check-out was concerned about how my stay was and seemed to care by noting these issues down.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Laan van Diepenvoorde 30, 5582 LA Waalre, Netherlands
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Gasthof Pass Lueg Hohe (Golling an der Salzach, Austria)

3 Case Rating
Location Located about 5 minutes outside of the town of Golling, a very scenic town with a famous waterfall and valley. From Salzburg or Berchtesgaden it's around 30 minute drive & under one hour to Hallstatt. Very quiet location, just off a misty mountain road near a picturesque church. Room The room was quite spacious with decor of flowery style Austrian bright decor. Two single beds pushed together to make a double, with quite a soft mattress. Good lighting on bed side tables either side plus plug sockets. A small desk in the corner is offered. Spacious wardrobes. There is also a flat screen but very small TV with various channels from around Europe. Windows can be opened with bars on the outside. Large bathroom is quite modern a with shower cubicle. Minimal amenities just dispenser soap is offered. Facilities The hotel has fast free wifi throughout. There is a restaurant but is not used for dinner, only breakfast. Continental breakfast offering is fairly good, fresh and good selection. There is a sauna and pool, though did not use either. Also a kids play area. Car parking is available and free. There is also a drinks vending machine outside. Staff Staff are welcoming, helpful with informative guide to area. Overall a nice little chalet style hotel with the location being the main reason to stay here. In terms of room comfort - bed is too soft for my liking but the room was cosy. Would stay here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 82, Paß-Lueg-Straße, 5440 Golling an der Salzach, Austria
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Kaifu Jianguo Hotel (Zhengzhou, China)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located right across the street from Zhengzhou airport, however you cannot walk it and need to take a shuttle bus. The city is over an hour drive away. There is very little to do outside of hotel, its just convenient for the airport. Room The room on the 4th floor had two twin beds but quite large size. Quite comfortable with easy to access plug sockets in between beds where a phone is also located plus switches for all lights. The room is quite spacious and offers a large workable desk with lamp as well as a small curved sofa and glass table. There is also a luggage rack, basic coffee making facilities and large wardrobe with safe. The room decor is ok, not spotlessly clean though and the wall paper is quite grubby with stains noticed. Light is good with large windows with view of airfield. Bathroom is of good size with a large shower cubicle - issue is the water doesn't drain very well the cubicle gains a bit of a puddle for a long while. Amenities are all hotel branded and simple. They offer 2 complimentary bottles of water. The main issue with this room is that it was very hot, the digital AC doesn't seem to go below 25C despite setting lower. It meant sleeping was hard in April when it was quite hot outside. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI and worked well enough- multiple devices with no issue regarding VPN. There is also a business centre in the lobby. Catering includes a buffet and normal restaurant, also a lobby bar but was never open. There is according to map a SPA and also a chess room but did not see these. The building is quite nice from outside, like forbidden city style. Staff Staff seem ok, but lack much standard of English. Check-in took a while though. Overall its the best hotel closest to the airport but its not of an international standard. However convenient for airport.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Xinzheng, Zhengzhou, China
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Pullman Hotel (Guiyang, China)

3 Case Rating
Location Right in the centre of Guiyang. From airport it takes around 20minutes by car or 12km. On road outside are local shops and banks. Room Room on 20th floor is quite spacious but unusual room for pullmans. Suffering from wear and tear and grubbiness around edges of room. There is a large king size bed, comfortable with bed side tables either side that include lamps, telephone and alarm clock with old style Apple connection. Unplugging lamps allows plug sockets built into bed frame in which are two pin. There is a nice comfortable reclinable chair with a small table. Large double windows with a nice view of the city. Facing the bed is a large unit with desk & lamp, large TV (with 70 channels including BBC, CNN and NHK) and luggage rack. There is also a kettle and some hot drink items. Large wardrobes with Pullman amenities such as yoga mat, safe, slippers etc. The bathroom is most unusual with an open plan set up with two frosted rooms, one with toilet and one with a separate unusual square bath and shower. This has a glass window into room but electronic blinds come down if you wish. In the middle is the sink plus a TV for I guess watching if you are brushing your teeth but poorly positioned to actually see, you are not able to watch from bath. Amenities are all mini bottle Co Bigelow. There is digital Ac unit as well & black out drapes. Overall the room is spacious and interesting but chipped desks and stains on walls & floor makes it not feel up to Pullman standard of cleanliness. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI that multiple devices can be connected to and also VPN's work. A connectivity lounge or business centre is on ground floor. Catering includes a buffet restaurant and another one. Food is ok at buffet. Leisure facilties include a large olympic size indoor pool, good for lengths. A modern gym, hair salon and a spa. There is also a garden you can walk around which is quite nice outside of buffet restaurant. On the ground floor are some Chinese shops and ATM machines. Staff Staff are ok but don't speak much English. Check-in wasn't exactly warm and welcoming and not really the expectation of an international hotel like the pullmans. Overall a hotel well located if you need to be in Guiyang, however probably the most worn out Pullmans I have ever stayed at. In need of a clean. Would stay elsewhere if came again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Gong Ming Nan Huan Da Dao, Baoan Qu, Guiyang Shi, Guizhou Sheng, China, 550007
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Crowne Plaza Madrid Airport (Madrid, Spain)

3 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located on the side of a motorway about 25 minutes or so from the airport. Its about few miles further out than the Marriot. There is nothing in the area and it feels like a industrial business park. There is a free shuttle in that website states it is every 30 min, however I ran to the bus and the guy looked at me and drove off. Not a good start. However after calling reception, he re-turned up about 15 minutes later. Be ware the bus can only carry possibly about 8 passengers, so if it is busy well your stuffed and have to wait till next one. Saying that you book one back to the airport in the morning in which guarantees your slot. Room The room I was given on the ground floor did not feel like a crown plaza room, more like Crown plaza had just taken over from say a best western standard of room (not premiere) however they charged a reasonable rate so it makes sense- but there is nothing innovative or modern about the room other than the TV. Saying that the room was spacious, clean and very wooden decor, sightly cold & old etc. The bed though was large and quite firm. The most disappointing aspect were the pillows that felt cheap quality and very long, not comfortable and more what you expect at an Ibis. However large bed side tables either side with a phone. Light controls were easy as next to bed and there are lamps either side, each has a spotlight that assume you can use as a reading light - but they didn't work despite many attempts at all the switches. There are multiple light options. There is also one plug socket on one side. The room offers two red felt arm chairs - great for an old couple. A large desk does face the bed and was of good size but looks like it is from the 80's with some obvious wear and tear- opening one of the door is very loose so its certainly not well maintained. This where the fridge is- full of mini bar items and on top sweets and everything chewing gum, halls etc, must be a big income for them. There is also a kettle and some teas and coffee with water bottles though it doesn't say if they are complimentary. The desk though has a lamp & a large mirror- it is pretty spacious to work on a computer from. There is also a luggage rack. Tall wardrobes exist that contain a laptop size safe, iron and board. Plus a robe. The bathroom also felt quite old with a combination shower and bath. No temple spa amenities here like every other C Plaza I have stayed a, instead they have in house 'crown plaza' branded mini bottles shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, x2 of everything except the most important item- shower gel whereby you only get one. However they do offer a dental kit & shoe polish. The washroom does offer a bidet and is clean though- it just looks as dull & clinical. The highlight of the room is the relaxing sleeping kit, different from the temple spa version but has a pillow spray and roll on pulse relaxer. This was nice. Overall the room was disappointing and not really representative of at the all the many crown plaza's I have stayed at globally. The pillows were the item that disappointed me the most. This room you also can not open to get some fresh air, just stuck with sealed windows and AC though that is digital. Facilities WIFI is free and secure worked on two devices. There is a premium option though. They have a business centre but the cheekily charge for internet access on it. I noticed a bar / restaurant and 24 hours room service but didn't use any. There is also a gym but didn't see it. The hotel seems to be a car hire place as well, similar to the Marriot but it is more prominent in reception so expect the bus fills up as a result of this. Staff Starting with the van, other than looking at me and driving off from airport which in itself was rude since i banged on door. But when he did finally return after I complained 20 minutes later, the driver put stuff on top of my bag which concerned me because it had a fragile sticker on it and only noticed this after he removed a large item on top of it. Was not impressed as wanted to put on my lap anyway which he wouldn't allow. Lucki the china items inside didn't break but they could of following this negligence. Reception staff was very unenthusiastic, no welcome no smile, demanding a 50 euro deposit which is fine but I stayed in the Marriot down the road a few days earlier and they did not require this- they just gave me the option. Perhaps I was 'sensitive' because of van issues but I didn't get a warm reception or feel the brand's reputation of service and product is being maintained in line of the reputable standards of the IHG hotels. Definitely the weakest one I have stayed at. However to be fair she did ask when I cud be leaving and booked me in for a van and then offered a wake up- perhaps keen to get rid of me! They also don't read the room requests with pre-booking since when I asked for a high floor which 95% of hotel honour or say sorry they don't have. It felt this hotel just ignores requests. Overall I would say the Marriot down the road is a much better option if its the same price. That hotel has tons of facilities including free use of business centre, vending machines shops and a fantastic spa, pool area & gym polite and warmer staff with a much more modern arty room. Crown plaza honestly felt more 3 star & I got the impression they took over a former lower quality hotel so its in need of an update to meet the global level of the brand. However the sleeping amenity kit they give is very nice and relaxing which aids one to get to sleep on the uncomfortable pillows and destress from the frustration of the hotel. Probably why they have it.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Calle de Lola Flores, 1, 28022 Madrid, Spain
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Le Passage Cairo (Cairo, Egypt)

3 Case Rating
Location Le Passage is about 5 minutes away from Cairo Airport, very convenient for flights and very secure. If you feel like venturing out, 10 min drive or 10km is Heliopolis, a wealthy district with stunning archietcture with great dining and clubs such as Ayadina or Sachi. And see the famous Baron Empain Palace. The Pyramids are about 60km away or 1 hour by car. Room The charcterless room on the executive 4th floor is quite small offering a comfortable double bed with wooden glass top bedside tables on both sides with a phone and touch pad lightning controls (the only thing that is innovative otherwise it feels like your visiting your granny in her retirement home). A single two pin Euro plug is under one of the tables. Facing the bed is a decent size TV with DTV channels in Arabic, French, Italian, Russian,Chinese,Indian, English movies and Regional Gulf and African countries. Caters for almost everyone. Glass top desk, more ideal for women doing make up than working on a computer. Though a UK plug socket is close by plus an arm chair and small side table. Though not particularly comfortable or new. Plenty of space for clothes in a large wardrobe with amble amount of coat hangers as well as cupboard that contains a laptop size safe- though credit card swipe system is the function to use it, in which I didn't really like the idea of, so didn't use it. There is a mini bar fridge in corridor and offers soft drinks, beer, some chocolates and nuts and a ... random white t-shirt. The bathroom offers a combined bath and shower but with very basic unbranded amenity bottles of shampoo, shower gel and conditioner. Bring your own toothbrush, shower gel and body lotion as the products are not attractive to use. The bathroom looks quite dated and grimy around the edges. There is a digital AC unit that worked well. Overall the room feels clinical with an ambience that feels like it might be main stream in the early nineties. It also lacks functionality for the business traveller with only two plug sockets which differ. However it is fine for a night between flights but you will feel depressed if you want to experience an authentic Egyptian hotel experience. Facilities The hotel has free open WIFI and worked ok, not super fast but sufficient. There are 4 or more catering options that includes an Italian , Chinese and international Ala carte plus a lobby bar. I had breakfast and it was disappointing not so much the food but the chaos in the buffet restaurant at 6am. It was so busy that all tables are taken on my first day, takes ages to queue up to even use the basic coffee machine with hundreds of people and the cleaning standard is slow and poor with one having to ask staff to clear tables. Perhaps I was just there are wrong time but it did have an overly congested buffet and then searching endlessly for somewhere to sit and eat. The bar to be fair did look more chilled out in the lobby but like the room feels like it might be exciting if it were 1992. This hotel has a casino, discotheque, and whole load of other things none of which I visited as tired between flights but it looks like there is plenty to do looking at the endless signage. There is also a large swimming pool and kids pool, in which was heated. I believe there is a business centre & gym as well. In the lobby there are some shops from jewellery to souvenirs. FOR NON - SMOKERS, be wary this hotel has ash tray everywhere though they are cleaned frequently, the lobby can be smokey depending if there is a Chinese tour group all smoking, there are even ash trays in the corridors for rooms, its seems like a smokers paradise here as ash tray is every 10 metres but this is Egypt where everyone appears to love good smoke. My room even had an ash tray but I couldn't smell smoke, though didn't have that clean fresh smell one expects. Staff Staff seem ok, quite friendly and hospitable in all areas. They do make effort and acknowledge and wish you a good morning which is a nice effort. Slightly pushy in the shops though. Overall though they make some effort. Check-out took a while with only one staff handling a line of guest despite 4 or 5 other desks open. In terms of value for money in which is around 150USD with breakfast (02/2017) I would say the room even on executive floor feels over priced but it is quiet and clean. The only reason to stay here is to be close to airport and is perfect for a smokers that love gambling but its not an interesting hotel experience for someone that travels unless its your first time out of jail. Saying that the staff are nice but breakfast is just chaotic and almost not worth it with mediocre buffet and stress (if you go in rush hour pre 7am). I would only stay here if I had to but wouldn't choose it- the room is just dull and smoking is everywhere.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Cairo International Airport (CAI), Sheraton Al Matar, Qesm an Nuzhah, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
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ITC Hotel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 30 min walk from central station or 10 euros by Uber. Less than 10 minute walk is Rembrandt Plein. Lots of bars, restaurants and coffee shops are. In the immediate area is some shops, souvenir, clothing, restaurants nearby hotel. The walk to central station is quite easy to get to. There is also a tram stop very close to hotel in which goes to central station but choose to walk. The canal outside hotel offers a nice view of boats and canal houses. Room The small pokey room; 11 is located at the final frontier of this hotel from reception in which require 3 flights of challenging steep creeks staircases to get to it. Forgot it if your not healthy and have heavy bags, it's a work out getting up & down. However this is a traditional Amsterdam canal house. The room is pokey with single but quite comfortable bed is placed under a leaning roof face. Those that are claustrophobic might find room intense. There is a small bed side table with a phone and a mellow light behind bed. The only accessible plug by bed is occupied by this lamp or if you have along lead the above the sink is a plug. There is also a small wardrobe that has a small safe inside. 13' TV feels small but faces bed and offers various local TV. The room also offers its own sink around corner from bed but no bathroom or toilet. These are just down the hallway outside of room. They are sort of clean but obviously shared facilities so not after a the occupants of a few rooms have had a shower. It's quite creaky inside and outside of room but gives the authentic canal house vibe. The highlight is the view from window across canal and the window is presented open as you enter room, since room gets hot from pipes. It's still felt quite warm despite nice breeze in -1 temperature in February. Summer I wouldn't reccomend as must be very hot as no AC is offered, though I am sure other rooms are less pokey and better ventilated. Main concern of the room is if there is a emergency of fire, if wouldn't be a easy to get out of building from this room. Facilities The hotel offers free secure wifi for multiple devices. Worked well. There is a small cafe / restaurant by reception which offers breakfast at around 7 euros, after reading another various review of breakfast on google decided to just go and eat a nice croissant at a bakery. The area around reception has a vending machine for beers to snacks plus a small computer exists. Staff Guy at reception was friendly and helpful with directions with check-in and was helpful with maps Check out was also fast. Overall one of the lower price bracket hotels for Amsterdam in an lower noise level area. However it takes a good 20 min walk to where most of the main action and attractions are. If you like a view and have heavy bags then expect a challenging stair case walk (rooms 9 and above) and don't worry about things like fire escape then go for top floor it does offer you a good view but since I'm not that healthy it feels like a full work out from the ground. Just popping out is a right mission. Price & view is attractive but comfort is a miss with shared bathroom and pokey rooms. However you do get to experience a canal house. Next time I will look elsewhere.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Prinsengracht 1051, 1017 JE Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Sazani Beach Lodge (Nungwi, Tanzania)

3 Case Rating
Location Suzani lodge is located in Nungwi but on the west coast side. The main area of Nungwi is 25 minutes walk down the beach or 8 minutes by car. From the airport it is about 1hr 30 min drive or $50 by taxi one way. If your stay is not extended hiring a car is a preferable option since it's $30 a day in mini 4x4 & roads are ok. Nungwi is the main beach village place on northern tip of Zanzibar, sunrise is on one side (where Savani lodge is) and sunset is where most the hotels are. The location of Sazani has its positives and negative. If you after absolute seclusion and peace the beach is very nice with fewer locals hassling you on the actual beach. The sunrise is beautiful and it is set on a hill facing the Indian Ocean, you will hear the waves breaking even in bed. The sea itself requires shoes due to rocks un-seen due to the cloudier water. I cut myself thinking it would be fine without shoes. Bring sea shoes. The main area of Nungwi village is where the action and energy is at, bars, restaurants and market shops, this comes with people hassling you slightly but unless your prepared to walk 25 minutes each way to get there, which at times you can't do due to tide quite close to shore, it's better to stay there. The restaurants on the beach are fantastic, the beach there is more clearer, placid with an incredible sunset; a must see. The village is quite interesting to walk around to witness Zanzibar village life. Sazani on the other hand is a relaxing location but very much confined to the lodge unless you hire a car. There are taxis though but unsure how much they cost. If you purely don't wanna see anyone, chill and read books and eat at the hotel restaurant and bar then Sazani is a good option. Room The room at Sazani lodge is very simple since it's an eco-friendly lodge. They don't offer AC in which whilst a sea breeze comes thru the open but netted windows, it does get a bit hot at night. They do offer a fan above but it feels like it's just circulating the warm air. The double bed is of an artistic antique style traditional wooden frame with mosquito nets all over & a small cosy lamp inside. The remainder of the room consists of a open wooden wardrobe and a wooden box safe with padlock. The curtains blows in the wind and therefore it can be quite open at night privacy wise if you have the light on. But the breeze and sounds of the waves aids in a restful sleep. The bed is a little too firm for my liking but it was adequate. The bathroom offers a shower and bath combo in some rooms or a simple shower in the other, since I changed rooms. My 2nd room, due to wanting to be closer to reception to get better WIFI has only a shower. It is understandable not up to standard of most places, the water is mainly hot and cold just dribbles in my room. They offer home made soap in which is nice but nothing else so bring shower gel if you prefer that. There was no hooks for the towels in my bathroom in which means you have nowhere to hang your wet towel in the bathroom, though you can do so in room or outside. The room in general is very local and authentic, the traditional African style huts but has ceilings inside & kind of wooden padlock bolted doors to a degree representing the famous Stone Town doors of Zanzibar . My only main discomfort was that without AC it's pretty hot at night even with sea breeze. But I can imagine you get used to it. Outside of each room are seating to listen to the sea & observe the incredible view. They give you a warm 2 litre bottle of water as an amenity. Facilities Wifi is only available if your by reception or room 2. Despite this the speed is still excruciatingly slow so if WIFi is important bear this in mind. Catering includes a restaurant with set menus. I only had breakfast and you get a fruit plate and egg product with bread slices. There is no juice or water but tea and coffee. The breakfast was edible but not particularly amazing and dinner being $10 set menu vs a standard entree menu with fresh fish BBQ on the beach (in main area) at $6 made me go there. If your a fish lover it's exceptional. The lodge is overcharged and other guests I chatted were unimpressed with food when compared to restaurants in the village. There is a bar with a lovely view on top of a rock cliff, the bar tender Omar made that place with his welcoming friendly attitude and it's quite an ideally relaxing spot. At night it was dead when I was there in January, great for a couple but much better bars with energy in the main village that offer some degree of energy. The lodge offers a spa, where the lady charges $25 for an hour ranging from local to Swedish massages. It's nice because you get to hear the sea waves during your massage. There is also an old style gym in corner using cement blocks as dumbell and barbells. They also offer some water sports but overall it's almost half the price to book in town if insurance doesn't matter to you. The highlight though was the hammocks & sleeping beds under a nice shady tree, perfect for listening and watching the amazing Zanzibar sea with a cool breeze for pure relaxation and mediation. Staff Staff throughout this lodge are by far the highlight, they make you feel very welcome and at home. From the managers and reception staff to chef, massage lady and their greatest asset; Omar the bar tender. Simply mentioning where is a good spot for sunset he is willing to take you and sincerely looks after you as a guide. It was liking hanging out with a best friends and I was only there under 48 hours. Thanks to him and rest of staff is what gets the higher rating. Overall though staying at Sazani made me realise I like AC especially when dealing with sunburn from the powerful Sun. Therefore I didn't find the room overly comfortable plus the shower function is poor with things like no hooks added to this. I do realise it's an eco lodge but other than the bed it doesn't seem well maintained. In that regard I think it's slightly over priced for say staying in another secluded part of Zanzibar on the beach like Paje. At the same time Nungwi is a cool place to be with nice energy and stuff going on, it is only slightly cheaper than the main hotels in Nungwi which in my opinion is better place to stay if you like to explore and have some night life, especially if you don't have a car. Yes you can walk but its quite far and the tide can come in. The beaches themselves are both good in both areas but given you don't get a pool, the beach is more swimmable friendly in Nungwi. However the Sazani offers a memorable setting & ambience with really nice staff.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Sanzani Beach, Nungwi, Tanzania
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Andaman Pearl Resort (Krabi, Thailand)

3 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located down a side road amongst other accommodations about 5 minutes walk to main road down to Ao Nang Beach. The beach itself is a good 20-25 minute walk but tuk tuk charge 50 thb each person one way. The hotel also offers a shuttle service every 2-3 hours dependant on time of day. The area itself is close to a great limestone cliff back drop view from hotel. As you enter the Main Street there is a colourful Mosque and then some market stalls at night. A very good standard but expensive Spa of offered at end of road. From Krabi airport it takes about 30-45 minutes. The later if you take the public bus in which is 150 thb per person and the cheapest option plus the bus driver will directly drop you off at the hotel. Room The spacious but somewhat empty room located on the 3rd floor offered a comfortable king size bed. Bed side tables each side with a mellow lamps on each and left side offering a local plug socket and telephone. The room offered a mini bar in small fridge with a mixture of reasonably priced snacks & non alcoholic drinks. This is a Muslim hotel. Kettle is offered with simple powdered coffee and teas. Above all this at a left angle to the bed is the flat screen TV offering a guide of 40 channels, Local, US and Russian choices. Worked well. The room offers a table and stool with mirror and some further plug sockets. There is also a wardrobe offering a few coat hangers and a small safe, not large enough for a laptop but ok for smaller items. They offer no slippers or robes but a umbrella is in wardrobe. The bathroom is quite spacious but poorly thought out. For instance the open plan shower without curtains means water covers the floor so can be very slippy- there is no dedicated mat. A door mat is offered outside of entrance like for a house, very unusual. The shower has a seperate rain head and detachable with a heater unit you must set otherwise you will end up with cold water. Amenities are very poor, whilst towels are ok, they offer no soap to clean your hands and just basic mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner bottles of hotel brand. I think they would be better off offering a dispenser of shower gel (& soap) since most people prefer there own shampoo and conditioner. Bring your own tooth brush as well since nothing else is offered. One discerning factor is the fact they want you to place used toilet paper in waste paper basket. Not the most comfortable thing to do at a hotel and my previous stay in Ao Nang at another hotel did not require this. The room however does offer a nice balcony with pool views and a nice cliff back drop, it has some plastic chairs and great place to have a drink and watch the sunset. Overall it's a 2 star room standard but it was clean just lacking in functional amenities. Facilities The hotel operates free wifi but very frustrating since they seem to have about 20 different connections requiring login way to frequently since it consistently drops. Catering is very much limited to breakfast only and I was told room service only offered until about 9pm. Breakfast is pretty poor there are some hot dishes all halal but overall standard is terrible. OJ for instance is that powered kind and milk was not well refrigerated just like the melted butter - they should consider placing in ice. We stuck to toast but they do offer some nice cakes. Two of us in our group got food poisoning and we both ate the same breakfast, not previous nights dinner with same symptoms so was more than coincidental, we decided not to eat breakfast for remainder of our stay. Since it is a Muslim hotel there is no bar or any beer available unless you walk to local store. You can get water or cola at the reception. They also offer a pool of good size for laps but no other leisure facilities. No public computer either. Overall pool was nice with sun loungers and umbrellas. Wifi though requires frequent login especially with iPhones as experienced with all 3 of us. Laptops didn't seem to be a problem. Staff Staff overall are the strength of this hotel and the higher rating is based on them. Very kind reception staff, sincere that will go out there way for you. From front desk and cleaning staff all smile and seem sincere and enthusiastic. Overall we got a special rate on third party website which worked out just over 12kthb for 2 room for 4 nights. Still quite pricey but this was high season and the cheapest option for area the than hostels. However it is quite a trek from beach and main bar restaurant areas, saying that a chilled picturesque location with really nice staff. They just need to improve their wifi and functionality of amenities.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 754-754/1, Soi Aonang 11/1, Moo 2 , Aonang, Muang, Krabi, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
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The Arista Hotel Palembang (Palembang, Indonesia)

3 Case Rating
Location The Arista Hotel is located right in the centre of Palembang, very close a large shopping mall. The airport is around 45min-1 hour drive away. As the mall is across the road there are many shops and restaurants in the mall. Room The room is very spacious brown wooden finish room of walls and floor, offering a very large low level but comfortable king size bed. Bed side table drawers each side that include mellow lamps plus alarm clock radio and telephone on one side. The light switches are all controlled from one side however there are no power plugs- directly next to bed. Facing the bed is a large long wooden desk that includes sufficient space to work from with lamp and a comfortable office chair- two pin socket is offered here. To the right is a TV and some mini bar items. The TV offers 38 Channels of which most are local but some American channels such as Nat Geo, Star, Fox Sport etc, plus Russian TV, Japanese NHK & Al Jazeera. Below this is a mini bar with a small number of items such as drinks and Tobelrone. They are also offer in-house snacks as well. The desk at furthest end does have a kettle and bottle of water etc. There is a built into unit luggage rack as well. Facing this is a wardrobe that has a praying mat, Ironing board and iron plus a small safe. The room also offers some armchairs and a coffee table. Overall offers ambience from lights and has a large glass to floor window with a view of swimming pool. The main weakness is plug accessibility - which are limited to the desks area but nothing close to the bed say to charge phone etc. A large mirrored corridor at entrance is also where the smallish bathroom is. Quite a simple bathroom in comparison to the premium look of the room but still clean. A bath/shower combo is offered and amenities do include generous mini bottle hotel branded shower gel. shampoo & body lotion plus dental kits etc. The shower is not great as the water easily gets all over the floor. Overall the room is very quiet and comfortable, AC is quite dated but worked ok with dial system. Facilities The hotel offers secure WIFI in which worked at varying speeds, sometime quite slow, other times acceptable. There is a business centre and various computers around the lobby area. Catering I did not use but appears to show one Restaurant possibly Chinese, a Coffee shop with Indian food as well as bakery items and a lobby bar. I believe there is one other restaurant. In terms of leisure facilities there is a swimming pool of ok size to carry out lengths and some sun bathing chairs. Plus a mini pool as well perhaps for kids. There is also a gym facility offered which appears to have mostly cardio machines. Staff Staff are ok, initially at check-in asked for a non-smoking room (since only two floors are non-smoking) which was confirmed non smoking yet was given one anyway. However changed it but meant a hassle of having to go back to reception for a 2nd time, which was annoying. However staff were polite and seemed friendly. Overall an adequate quite a comfortable hotel with good ambience close to centre of city.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Jln. Kapten A. Rivai | Komplek Taman Mandiri, Palembang 30129, Indonesia
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Ramada Frankfurt Messe (Frankfurt, Germany)

3 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located in a suburb of Frankfurt with a view of the city skyline in the distance. There is very little close to the hotel other than a wood maybe to walk at across a main road. The hotel operates a free shuttle bus from Frankfurt airport at Terminal 1, pick up is outside of arrivals exit B5 but you have to call them in advance. 15-20 min drive away. From hotel they have a small bus every hour in the morning but you have to book as soon as you check in as availability is limited. It's a business hotel convenient for the airport, but not for visiting city without your own car as transportation links do not appear to be close by. Unless you go back to airport and get train from there. Room The room on the 7th floor offered a double bed fairly comfortable but if your solo, they only offer you one pillow. It's a big pillow and not that comfy if you are used to two small ones like 95% of hotels i have been to. However either side are bed side tables with plug sockets and nice mellow lamps, with one side offering a telephone & some German magazines. Facing the bed is a decent size desk to work from, again with a lamp and local plugs. They offer a small complimentary bottle of water with two glasses, like having a double shot each. Above the desk directly in front of bed is a flat screen TV with you name and hotel services displayed on home menu. It offers around 65 channels. Satellite TV from Germany but does have RT, BBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazera , lots of French channels, some Spanish, Chinese, Korean, some US and the odd Turkish. It's a smart TV so you can use it as an Alarm clock and woke me well- TV doesn't come on but the alarm from it sounds. Next to this is a luggage rack. Large wardrobe in the corridor offer a lap top size safe and faces the small ibis standard of bathroom. Shower only with just fixed soap dispenser offered as an amenity. For Ramada brand seemed a bit cheap. Later I learned I didn't have my toothbrush and upon calling reception to find a shop, they said they offer one for free at reception along with other items but didn't see. Its a shame they don't display a sign in bathroom saying amenities on request etc. The room also offers a central AC/heater unit controlled by the wall and a curved chair not particular comfortable to say watch a movie. Better in bed. There is a balcony in all rooms I believe in which is good for smokers not wanting a smoking room, some views as well but no where to sit. The room overall is very clean & quite colourful with flower pictures and mirrors, think Park Inn style. Functional and clean. Facilities Wifi is free and requires no password for multiple devices, it worked ok but struggled to stream videos on Facebook- perhaps during high traffic hours. There are some conference centres but no public computers. Catering includes a small bar by reception and opposite a restaurant. I had breakfast and thought it was ok, good selection of nice fresh breads, meat and cheeses plus some hot western breakfast items, cereals, yogurts and fruits. There is also a snack shop by reception that has a free coffee machine, water table, and buyable sweets and savoury items. Randomly they also sell Jewellery. Leisure facilities include a gym with basically has a few but very modern cardio machines. The hotel is redeveloping its pool and sauna with signage suggesting it will be complete in November. A sign at reception also showed massage services. Parking is offered at a fee, I think 15 euros per day. But self parking on main room is available for free so long you find a space. Staff As others have mentioned check-in did take a while and it's not the most warmest of welcomes but that is Frankfurt vibe in general. My booking was a double bed booking but I was presented with two twins. I then asked to change and was told "but their system showed twins", so I showed them my receipt which clearly showed a double. They were reluctant to change initially until I said I would call hotels.com where the booking was made and then they rectified it. Despite being solo I can't deal with a single bed as I sleep much better in a double. The staff in restaurant looked a bit surly but they cleared plates and maintained the buffet efficiently. Overall for £80 with breakfast, free WIFI, free transfers somewhat close to Frankfurt airport in between flights -the hotel served its purpose. The room was cosy just a weird pillow and tight on amenities but clean and colourful for a businessman on a budget. Breakfast was also ok if you like good standard of continental style.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Oeserstr. 180, 65933 Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
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Rodeway Inn Encinitas North (California, USA)

3 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located in the town of Encinitas which is around 25 miles to San Diego and 100 to LAX airport. The beach is around 15 minutes walk away and on the immediate vicinity is some restaurants, bar and many surf shops- along a main road. The beach, at least moonlight is about 5 Minutes drive away and is very scenic and clean beach with cliffs etc suited more for surfers and families. US1 is about 2 miles away. Room Room was presented with door open in which concerned me as it was 5pm when I arrived but when returning back to reception told by staff they leave the doors open to air them, which seemed a bit odd since the place is a open motel so anyone could of just gone in and damaged or removed something. First place to stay which leave their doors open. The motel room is quite spacious with a soft double bed. Only one side has a bed side table, which has a lamp with a convenient plug socket. However to actually power the light initially you have to use a wall switch by the door. There is also a phone. In front of bed is a large set of drawers with a medium sized fridge and microwave on top. A smart TV faces the bed and includes a full cable. There is a open wardrobe and ironing board in corner of room plus a table with two chairs, say for eating. Above the bed is a large fan and also seperate AC / heater unit. The bathroom has a combined bath shower and separate area for the sink. Amenities include x2 small bottles of shampoo and soap. Tiny towels are offered as well. The pull switch to run the main bath tap requires quite a pull, the hotel need to oil it. Overall the room was ok & the bed was comfy, the carpet & bathroom taps just gives it this dated feel. Facilities The main facility is car parking though it does get full. They have placed a smoking area in the car park away from everything with no chairs. There is free wifi for multiple devices that is secure. In reception is some hot drink machines are offered which I believe are complimentary. Staff Staff were friendly but odd, when asked at reception, if an in & out burger place is nearby (a friend told me to try it) was kind of told your in the wrong town "people here are into mediation & cycling not fast food". Confirming that I probably have to drive to nearby city. However there are two in & out burger places in Encinitas & funnily enough the one I went to was so full all seats were taken - so I guess he is a in & out hater, though my short time in Encinitas did appear it's a holistic type city. I guess they have had prior problems but you have to sign a form for the plastic key card, agreeing to a fee incase you loose it and signing a $150 fee if you smoke in room. Overall and I stayed here over a weekend on a trip to LA as everywhere was so expensive & full. This was only reason I ended up here so unlikely I would come back - it doesn't offer great value for money.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 1444 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024-1443
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Hotel La Reine (Eindhoven, Netherlands)

3 Case Rating
Location Located within s short walking distance of city centre (5 minutes) where shops, bars and restaurant even next door to hotel.Though they advertise self parking, its a public car park about 5 minutes walk away at €4.50 all day until 9pm- 9am when its free. It is quite open and not really near the hotel so when you have a lot of baggage its a bit of hassle unless you park very close for a few minutes but the streets are resident zone parking. So be quick. Room Room is quite a simple but is an interesting Dutch hotel room with a lot of character to it. The proud Dutch orange fabric head board radiates the kitsch vibe in the room above two twin beds placed together. The room though had a relaxing ambience. Partly because of the overhead hanging light that has slated wooden lamp which radiates this lines of light round sort of like a sick ball but with lines. The bed was of adequate comfort, prefer not to have two beds together as essentially it is a single bed but I slept ok. Each side of the bed had convenient plug sockets & a small ball shaped lamps again creating this relaxing 1970's vibe. One side had a telephone but its not for outgoing calls only reception to get hold of you. Thick brown curtains and a dark wooden desk is offered that is adequate for working. Kettles also presented there with a bowl of teas and coffee. A convenient luggage rack and tall mirror is offered to the side of desk. Above is the TV with over 40 channels all satellite that included Dutch, International cable channels that are in English plus French channel TV monde. There is a thin tall wardrobe in the room with a small safe inside, good for phone but not for small laptops, coat hangers and spare pillow is also in there. The bathroom is entered thru wooden sliding doors on one side of bed, quite small with open shower- offering both rain and separate shower head. Amenities are the absolute minimum with two dispensers for combined Hair/Body/hands both at sink and in shower. its a push dispenser and quite annoying as the room I had the lid kept falling of. Overall the disappointing aspect of the hotel as even the towels are small. Overall it is a relaxing room quite cosy and feels slightly 1960 - 70's but re-birth furniture not from that time. Large windows are offered and offers good natural light and view since I was on the top (4th) floor. Facilities The hotel does not offer parking but they do advise at a public car park 5 minutes walk away. Free WIFI in which worked well for multiple devices. There is a vending machine by the reception for chocolates and drinks. I was offered breakfast at 12 Euro for buffet at their sister hotel a block away but did not try it. Staff Only met one staff, a very nice lady whom was very clear about where to park and where to walk into city centre. Every times came in was greeted, didn't meet any other staff but she presented a good standard of staff service welcoming and efficient. She even offered help me with my bags which was very kind but I was ok. Overall a nicely positioned hotel for Eindhoven with good value for money if you just want a simple but interesting room with a unique ambience and not concerned about other facilities. I would stay here again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Wilhelminaplein 3, 5611HE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Days Hotel & Suites Hillsun (Chongqing, China)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 5 min walk or a few minutes by car from Chongqing airport- it's right opposite the hotel. The hotel is in a busy area, right next to hotel is a star bucks but also a large mall in which includes the likes of Walmart and Burger King plus many Chinese restaurants. About 5 minutes walk away is the stunning Bijan park , a lake with a traditional Chinese tower that you can go up, boats you can hire and a museum. A walk around takes about 40 minutes. Plenty of banks, shops and some massage places and pharmacies so location is fairly good if you want to avoid down town area. Which I am told is about 45 min - 1 hour drive away. Room The room on the 9th floor (only floor that is non-smoking) was of good size, very grand typical Chinese luxury decor such as gold fabric headboard and flower imprinted carpet. The room offered a large and very comfortable double bed, not a king but sufficient for a couple. Either side are bed side tables offering lamps that had a dimmer switch plus above ceiling lights for each side - good for reading. A classical clock is offered and telephone with pad. Facing the bed is a wide screen TV that offers 60 channels of which looking at guide 8 are non- Chinese. However BBC did not work and discovery / HBO kept freezing, so basically don't rely on TV if your not Chinese. Below the TV is a cabinet that offers the free mini bar - a few beers, soft drinks like 7up and Pepsi & water. In the corridor leading to room is another cabinet that offers beef jerky , potato chip, nuts and cards with a chargeable list, so whilst they promote a free mini bar, they are only referring to drinks. Above these snacks is a kettle with days hotel tea bags and Nescafé coffee sachets. Some digital luggage scales are also offered to the side. The wardrobe is right by the door and includes sufficient amount of coat hangers, robes , ironing board and slippers. A decent sized laptop size safe is offered, plus a shoe polishing service. Back in the main bedroom a glass top working desk is offered with a comfortable leather chair. International socket and LAN cable plus a lamp and phone. Decent space to work from. The room also offers a small sofa and glass table with a plant. Very large windows offering good natural light but not double glazed so you can hear some of airport noise but not significantly. The bathroom is of adequate size for one person offering both a bath tub (with TV at front - that didn't work) shower cubicle. This has option of automatic venetian blinds to main room. There is a Japanese wash let toilet - all well automated with a handy telephone next to it. Full drawer of amenities plus mini bottle of body lotion, bath foam, shampoo & conditioner - days hotel branded. Overall clean with marble design. Whilst the room is a clean, comfortable and functional product. The weakness I found is the digital AC. It's hard to use, I found the room cold when on even when upping the temperature (which didn't seem to work well) or hot when off (was here in September). The annoying thing is it is quite noisy that and the non double glazing will make some difficulty for light sleepers. Facilities The hotels offers free unsecure wifi hotel wide for multiple devices. VPN worked fine if say you need to use gmail or Facebook. There is a business centre with a few computers that is staffed. The Windows computers didn't work when I attempted to use them. The hotel does Leisure facilities include a gym , adequate equipment, a medium sized indoor pool that you must wear a shower cap- never used it so cannot comment on water. There is also a night club called Mirage- but never visited it. There is also a SPA but was closed when I was there due to Chinese holiday. Pool table is offered near the leisure facilities. Catering facilities include a buffet where breakfast is held. It's ok in terms of selection but quality of food was disappointing. There is also a piano bar that offers drink and food - both western & Chinese plus 24 hours room service. Used this twice, wood oven pizza tastes like the microwaveable kind you find in the west. Burger was ok but staff don't speak much English so can be a challenge explaining that you don't want say onions. Next door to hotel is Starbucks. Parking is also offered on lower levels. Staff Staff are as usual in premium hotels main land China really don't speak English very well. Only one could at reception. However they do make an effort overall and are not rude. Overall the room was comfortable it just has a poor level of maintenance with TV's plus AC was an issue. Also if your a light sleeper bring ear plugs.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 18 King Mall, Jiangbei District, Chongqing 401120, China
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Cotton Bay Hotel (Pointe Cotton, Mauritius)

3 Case Rating
Location Cotton Bay is located on the east coast about 30 minute drive from Rodrigues airport. They offer a free shuttle based on flight times of Air Mauritius. Within area is a public beach which is well known for its octopus fishing, though a lot of other areas are also noted for this. There is a small hut with snacks etc by the public beach. For all major sight other popular beaches it's no more than 20-30 minutes by scooter as its a small island, most of the road are very well developed. Room My room which seemed to be the closest to the pool and main area is a spacious room, 3 star resort room (of Indian Ocean standards) standard but could do with some improvements. The bed is very large but quite firm- not that uncomfortable but not exactly soft. Each side are wooden bedside tables but no drawers. Lamps are on top & they are the main source of lighting, since the ceiling just offers a ceiling fan- making the room quite dark overall. One of the side tables has controls for the hallway light and the fan but to have a plug by the bed requires unplugging the lamps. There is a small straw sofa which is basically good for placing your bag on, since it only faces the bed - not the TV. The room also offers a dressing table/working desk with 2 UK plugs and 2 Euro. The chair is just a straw stool so ok for make up but not really for any length of time, such as working on a computer (then again this resort is not a business hotel). The desk drawers offers a bunch of candle sticks but no holders, so not functional unless you stick them to their desk, in which I am sure the hotel don't encourage (covering everywhere with wax). There is a pointless fold up luggage rack that the straps are broken, not sure why they don't remove it or repair it since it look bad. To the side of the bed at the beginning of the hallway is a flat screen TV, but no guide is offered. 8 channels, of all sorts, some very grainy picture, all but one is in French, BBC news though it has no sound when other channels did (an ongoing issue I am told by the management) . Above the TV, in a badly thought out position is a kettle with free teas and coffee but no bottle water, why it is above the TV and electronics makes no sense since surely it's a health and safety issue incas you spill the kettle and there is plenty of room on the desk. Below was an empty mini bar filled on request. Two large wardrobes one with umbrella & (shocking for resort) only 4 clothes hangers are offered. They offer no slippers or flip flops, or even robes - first I have seen at a beach resort which even 2 star ones do in Asia. Small bathroom is offered with a shower only, worked fine, only two towels one big one large and mini bottles of hotel branded shower gel, shampoo and body lotion only, no dental kit, annoying because I lost my tooth brush thinking a resort might offer one but only if if you buy. There is a patio outside with two straw chairs and table - the highlight of the room. Overall for the price they charge (200plus euros a night) and it is the number 2 hotel on the island, I'm afraid to say in my experience of resorts and beach, it was shockingly disappointing in how badly thought out everything is and lack of basic things like a safe and one free bottled water at the least. The broken luggage rack on display really makes the hotel look even worse, plus no guide to anything- TV, facilities, nothing. Hotel rooms I have stayed at In Reunion and Mauritius offer at flip flops and the Reunion one was only 2 star small hotel. Cotton bay should get their act together and consider the degrading standard of room but perhaps they are either broke or just don't care to fix these issues. It's seems like they are complacent being one of the first resorts. You can also hear the TV in the adjoining rooms and guest chatting, lucky didn't have any annoying 'noises' but the room 102 (the receptionist room) had constant stream of phones ringing thru the evening which as you trying to get to sleep became annoying. Facilities The hotel offers free wifi at the bar and reception only, it is very slow and painful but this is Rodrigues in general and not the hotels fault, though I do think a resort should have wifi across the board (such as in rooms) since even 10 metres from the lobby it won't pick it up. Especially considering how much it costs. The hotel offers a large pool full of sand but seemed ok very central to the hotel. With bar opposite and restaurant and lounge room which turns into a club at about 9-11pm playing local and international music like your at a 1990's wedding. The restaurant offers a buffet service which was fairly basic run of the mill, overall Mauritius suffers from bad food at resorts when at buffets but the barbecue fish was nice on the night I stayed. They have a guy waking around playing an accordion. I think it differs every night. There is a shop that sells some souvenirs including a map of the island at 200 rupiah in which seemed a very cheap that the hotel don't offer a free map anyway- similarly a postcard of the hotel, you even have to pay for. There is one computer to connect to Internet Windows only but is still painfully slow despite LAN connection. The hotel is right on the beach, outside room is a nice kind of garden of Aloe Vera plants and a few cabanas to sit in. They have plenty of deck chairs around the pool in which were comfortable so long mattress are on them. The ones on the beach are horrendous almost left angle design offering zero comfort but the odd upright chair is ok. However I noticed these on all the beaches i visited in Mauritius so must be public, it seems though worldwide the chairs of Mauritius including the airlines are some of the most uncomfortable I have experienced in the world. They have a boat house that advises on sea- subs diving and free snorkel hire, but when i went you are not allowed in the sea after morning due to its high tide. They do rent out snorkels, and advice of scuba and snorkelling trips plus there is a concierge desk for tours in which staff are very informative of. They also rent out scooters at 800 rupiah for day only (not 24 hours) and 4x4 at 1600 which staff try and push but I found the scooter fun to drive over this hilly mountain making stopping for the fantastic views easier to as the roads are a acceptable, even the ones with pot holes down lanes etc. There is a kids play area and SPA in which offers a sauna and steam room but you must book to use. Massages are also offered close to 2000 rupiah. I didn't see these facilities. It's again odd they offer those but not a gym. Overall the facilities are ok but dated in general its- there is no promotion of their facilities or guides so its hard to find out. Plus they don't seem to provide much in the way of entertainment other than the evening disco. I mean like most resorts such as day trips etc or things included in your package. Staff Staff here are actually much nicer and more warmer service orientated that you find on the mauritus island. Overall they were the strength of the hotel, easy to chat to but they do try and get as much money out of you as possible with excursions and car hire etc.. but that is Mauritius in general. Overall this hotel was paid for me but looking at the prices it is well over charged for what you get- especially the standard of the room. I mean the price is more than say a Shangri La in Oman but this is a 3 star hotel. The staff are nice and the location is really relaxing especially at night. Rodrigues is likely not a competitive market for hotels so a degree of complacency exists but hopefully cotton bay will reagin its former glory to the top spot with some work on the rooms and details of the facilities.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Pointe Cotton, Rodrigues Is, Mauritius
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Paradise Bay Resort (Oahu, Hawaii)

3 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located in the Kahaluu Bay Area. It is around 40 minutes drive from HNL airport and around 45-1hr drive from Wakiki. It is just located of the Kamehameha highway which is the main road up to the north shore where in my opinion are the best beaches in Oahu. Nearby around 10 min drive is a the town of Kahaluu where you will find shopping outlets such as of Macy, Sears, etc. The hotel is located on a lagoon that is not a beach and low non-moving water so for beaches you will need a car. However the location is very idyllic and relaxing. Room The room was basically a one bedroom apartment offering three rooms plus a balcony with seating. The living room offers a large sofa, old wooden style but comfortable with a lounge glass table plus a high table with stools presumably for dining. On top they offer a free large bottle of water - but don't take it home otherwise it will cost you $25. However they also offer a complimentary eco friendly branded bag, perfect for the beach. Plus delicious Hawaiian macadamia nut chocolates plus large decaf and regular coffee but no tea. The room offers a large wooden TV cabinet with a medium sized TV offering time warner cable. There is a large wardrobe with an ironing board, iron and huge set of drawers. There is an overhead fan and the room is dimly lit giving a romantic feel for both dining & relaxing on the sofa. The next smallish room is a full functional kitchen offering electric stoves, microwave, coffee machine, toaster and medium size refrigerator. All with pans and plenty tableware/cutlery for 4 people. The bedroom is spacious offering a soft and comfortable king size bed with clean soft linen. Bed side drawers & lamp on each side, one with a alarm clock that offers the old style iPhone/iPod plug, which I doubt is used much. There is no phone in the room or TV. Another large set of drawers is offered and in front of bed is large sliding door wardrobe with at least 10 coat hangers. Two branded robes are also offered and luggage rack. Sliding doors in bedroom lead to the balcony with my room - 15 a view of foliage. Though heard other rooms do generally offer views. Two chairs are offered. The bedroom also has an Separate AC unit - old style which unfortunately blows to one side of the bed. Though there is an overhead fan. The bathroom is quite simple with the typical motel shower bath combo. Worked well but shower head is covered in limescale. Amenities include dispenser shampoo/body wash & conditioner plus body lotion, all hotel branded. Overall the room is self catering apartment, cosy & romantic for a one looking for simple cosy than luxury or anything innovative. There is no safe and no working desk but this is really for couples or friends on leisure travel. Overall a spacious apartment just quite an old creaky wooden property. Facilities The hotel offers free parking something hard to find in Oahu at any hotel that is less than $500 a night. Rooms are set up in 4 or 5 buildings so you park according to your building. Free wifi is also offered, which worked adequately until abut 11pm then simply couldn't even load my email but then worked fine at 530am next morning. This is a self catering hotel but they do offer free breakfast but had too leave too early to catch a flight to try it. There is a small pool with jacuzzi & sun loungers. Also on floating docks to sit & enjoy your drinks. Plus a barbecue. They also have a dog garden as well as the hotel is animal friendly. In addition because of the $30 resort fee (everywhere charges this) they do offer free beach towels, kayaks and snorkel rental. Various activities are offered thru the week. Dinner is only offered 3 nights a weeks but includes a set menu of various courses and includes Hawaiian entertainment at $40. There is no bar unless it's a dinner night. However in the sheet guide they give you, staff can arrange any activities etc. Staff Staff are the highlight, they were very helpful and hospitable. The only issue that I experienced was that they double charged me the resort fee and after numereous phone calls and emails they eventually refunded me. Other than that though, they were friendly staff.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 47-039 Lihikai Dr, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
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Hoogenweerth Suites (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

3 Case Rating
Location The suites are located near the Maastricht marina in a beautiful green riverside setting, lovely gardens to relax in. Maastricht is around 2km or 5-10 minutes drive to the centre of the city. You could walk it but its good half hour walk. However they do rent bicycles out as well- so would probably take 15 minutes bike ride say directly to the centre square of the city. Room Quirky, artistic and interesting. A room like no other. I stayed in the Adam love suite, which is one of their ground floor suites- this includes a very comfortable (slept like a baby) double bed with very small tables each side. There are two tolomeo desk lights soon each side of the bed, which can be flexible to move down up wherever etc. In fact every light, except one wall, in the room is a Tolomeo desk lights, this is same in the toilet (the only seperate room with door to close). Also by the bathroom sink is the same light and the kitchen area. A small TV faces the bed in which has cable channels many are in English plus local Dutch. The kitchen area to the side of the bed offers an expresso machine, kettle with various teas and coffee. Plus a medium size refrigerator below in which contains some mini bar items- immediately you will notice the empty fake Veuve Cliqueot bottle to add to the quirkiness. The room offers no seating or desk and the open bathroom is right next to the bed, which includes an oval bath with detachable shower head (though found the controls hard to use for the shower head). A large leaning board is the sink which gives an innovative feel to the room. Amenities include mini bottle soap, shower gel, shampoo and body lotion by the brand Paul Schulten. Decent products. There is an shelf with coat hangers for clothes, a small safe (not for laptops) and a pull out luggage rack. Other than that no seating or desk. There is no air conditioning either, but a radiator is available. The room is quite airy but in mid summer I would hope they would include a fan etc- didn't see one though. Overall the room has this kind of 'love hotel room' vibe going for it. Nothing to suggest this in terms of amenities but the open bathroom and bed etc, has the quirky boutique love hotel feel to it. Certainly not seedy but a place for lovers, definitely. Not for business travellers or those with young families. Facilities The suites offers free WIFI multiple devices and is secure with password. Rather confused about what is offered at the premises, such as the main building house appears to be for private events though it does include a bar, i tried to check-in there and was escorted to the side building where the line of suites are located. Told building is used for private events only. There do offer breakfast, at a cost, but due to leaving early I declined. There is some kind of restaurant next to the suites which I assume is where breakfast is and dinner is offered- but am not sure if this is part of hotel. When you book, I didn't see an option to add breakfast but was offered on check-in at a fee. The hotel does hire out bicycles and the grounds are nice spots for walking with some wooden loungers and benches to relax and enjoy the scenery. Off course the hotel does offer free parking in which is why I choose this setting. You can park your car, if space is available directly outside of your room, so long you have a ground floor suite. Staff Only staff I met was a girl that checked me in, she was welcoming and escorted me to room- explaining the room etc. Friendly and gave me a map for directions. Overall a nice place to come for younger couple, definitely be careful coming out of the bath as the floor is shiny and slippery. The free parking and WIFI was the bonus for me. Located in nice setting but the facilities are confusing, its not really a hotel but more of a well organised bed and breakfast. I would come back.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] Hoge Weerd 2, 6229 AM Maastricht, Netherlands
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