Friday, April 20, 2018

Stay Report: Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga (Canada, June 2014)

Stay Report: Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

photo courtesy of HGI
I was traveling to Toronto for a conference, which was housed near the airport, so was looking for a hotel close by.  By American standards, Canadian hotels can be quite expensive so I decided to use points to book the hotel.  Based on reviews, location, and points availability, I decided on the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West located in Mississauga.  I have stayed at Hilton Garden Inn’s before so knew of their product – they provide nice and clean rooms with free wifi but no complimentary breakfast.

The hotel was easy to book through the HGI website, and through my website I was able to manage my reservation and add preferences (as we were arriving late at night).  The hotel is located near the airport, about a 15 minute drive away, in an office area.  As it is mostly a business area, there are few amenities within walking distance; there are many amenities within a 5-10 drive but that would require a car.  While a bit secluded, the location does provide peace and quiet at night for a restful sleep.  The hotel does provide complimentary parking and has ample parking spaces available. 

I arrived late night at the hotel and was greeted as I entered the hotel.  The lobby was nice and contained the check-in desks, the restaurant/bar, the business center, and nice sitting areas.  Check-in was quick and efficient, and we were given a welcome bag of a bottle of water, chips, and chocolate bar (a very nice touch).  An explanation of the amenities of the hotel was not provided, but in the room key packet there was a sheet detailing all the amenities of the hotel and services provided (very detailed list, but I wish hotel staff would’ve pointed it out during check-in).
photo courtesy of HGI

I had booked a room with 2 double beds and the room was a good size, not overly spacious but not cramped.  As you entered, on the right was the bathroom while on the left was the closet with a safe, an iron, and an ironing board.  The bathroom was standard HGI and was a nice a size.  This bathroom had been upgraded so it had a nice sink, a toilet, and a bathtub; it did not have PeterThomasRoth products but instead had Neutrogena products. 

Further into the room, on the left was a little stand that contained a fridge on the bottom, the coffee maker in the middle, and a microwave on top.  This is a nice and convenient addition to the hotel.  Continuing on the left hand side was a chest with drawers on the bottom and a TV on top followed by a desk.  Across from these, on the right-hand side of the wall, were the 2 double beds.  The beds and pillows were nice and comfortable, and the bed had been upgraded so you could adjust the firmness to your liking.  The beds were relaxing and provided a good night’s rest.  In between the beds was a night stand, and next to the bed was a window that, although did not provide great views, did provide natural light into the room.  Overall, the room was spacious and contained a lot of amenities, but it did not feel congested at all.  There were also many available throughout the room, and the lamp also contained plugs and ports to provide additional outlets (a plus in today's digital world).  

The hotel featured a lot of the standard HGI facilities including a pool, not a big pool but a decent size; a decent size gym; a laundry room; a business center with computers and printer (you could print directly from your room or from the business center); complimentary wifi that was a decent speed; a convenience store to purchase snacks or items you forgot; as well as a restaurant/bar that served breakfast, lunch, and dinner (although not complimentary unless that is the rate you booked).  In addition to all this, a nice touch the hotel provided were complimentary snacks in the morning and evening.  In the morning, complimentary coffee and apples were provided while in the evening complimentary oat squares (a nice healthy touch) were provided.

photo courtesy of HGI
Another facility of the hotel was the free and ample parking.  The hotel’s location is good if you have a car, and they provide a lot of free parking spaces.  If you do need public transport options, there is a bus stand located across the street from the hotel and this bus connects with the subway system (about a 25m ride).  The hotel staff were somewhat knowledgeable about the transportation access, some more knowledgeable than others; this is one thing I would recommend, that hotel staff be knowledgeable about transportation access. 

Overall, it was a nice stay at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The rooms were spacious and updated, the hotel has a lot of facilities, and the service was good.  A nice security touch was that the back door, which was directly located next to the elevators, needed a key to enter -- and this key was needed all the time! At most hotels, the key is only needed at night, meaning anyone can enter the hotel. Having key access all the time was a nice security touch.  These small touches make the stay memorable and I would recommend the hotel, as long as you have a car.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Stay Report: Crowne Plaza Santiago (Chile, January 2010)

Stay Report: Crowne Plaza Santiago
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

photo courtesy of IHG
I was visiting Santiago de Chile for a couple of days, so when looking for a hotel I was interested in one that was central to key areas with easy access to interest points.  I picked the Crowne Plaza because it was a nice hotel that was convenient to various access points.  First impressions of the hotel are not that great, as from the outside the hotel does not look updated.  The hotel is very tall but not very wide and the entrance to the hotel is not grand.  The main entrance to the hotel is located up on a small hill, and once inside the hotel looks very nice and well decorated.  I made my way to the check-in desks, received my key, and went to my room. 

photo courtesy of IHG
I had booked a room with two double beds, and first impressions were that the room was spacious and had a nice, relaxed atmosphere.  As you enter, on the right-hand side was the bathroom while on the left was a closet that contained shelves for storage, an iron, and an ironing board.  The bathroom looked updated, was a decent size, and contained a sink, a bathtub, and toilet.  As you progressed further into the room, against the right-side wall were the beds.  The beds were very large and comfortable, and they provided a really good night’s sleep.  In between the beds was a nightstand.  Across from the beds, against the left-side wall, was a bench to sit/store your luggage, a chest with drawers on the bottom and the TV on top, as well as a desk.  The desk faced the wall but was also next to the window which went across the wall and provided really nice views and also let natural light in the room.  Overall, it was a nice and comfortable room.

photo courtesy of IHG
The hotel is a full-service hotel so there are many facilities available including a rooftop pool, the fitness center, a spa, a restaurant, and complimentary wifi.  I was able to try a couple of facilities including the pool – there was both an indoor and outdoor pool – and they were a decent size, not large but not too small either; the fitness center which provided a good workout; and I also tried the massage at the spa, which was good but the massage room was a bit small and oddly located.  In addition to the amount of facilities available at the hotel, another reason I selected the hotel was the location.  Walking distance from the hotel was a nice area of restaurants and bars, as well as some of the main attractions.  Also nearby to the hotel were shops and an ATM machine. 

Overall, the hotel provided a nice and convenient place to rest, with comfortable beds and easy access to points of interest.  While outside the hotel did not look like much, the updated inside as well as convenient walking access to many amenities made it a nice stay in Santiago.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Stay Report: Hotel Indigo Ottawa Downtown (Canada, March 2011)

Stay Report: Hotel Indigo Ottawa Downtown
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

photo courtesy of IHG
I had to go to Ottawa on business and was looking for a decent hotel in the area and noticed the Hotel Indigo.  This hotel is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and it is their version a of a boutique hotel.  I was intrigued by the concept so decided to check it out.  Overall, the experience was really interesting and it felt like I was staying in an apartment rather than a hotel room.

The hotel is situated in downtown Ottawa, which has negatives and positives associated with that.  The positive of the location is the close connection to various downtown activities, walking distance to food and other amenities, as well as access to various transportation methods.  The negatives of the location include lots of traffic (so it will take a while in a taxi) as well as certain areas of downtown can be unsafe at times (this is not just specific to Ottawa but many cities).

photo courtesy of IHG

From the outside, the hotel looks like an office building (as I believe Hotel Indigo likes to blend in with the neighborhood it inhabits).  When you enter the hotel, you enter into the lobby/sitting area.  On one side of the lobby was the check-in desks while on the other side were the elevators.  The lobby is designed like a huge atrium with high ceilings so it feels very spacious.   Check-in was smooth and quick and I took the elevators up to my room.  This was one odd thing about the hotel – the room that I was given faced the atrium so if outside the window you saw the lobby and the other hotel rooms.  This is one aspect of the design of the hotel that seemed odd to me.

The room itself was a decent size – not too small but not too big – and was decorated very nicely.  As you entered the room, on the left hand side was the bathroom while on the right was the closet and storage area.  The bathroom was also a decent size – not too small but not too big – and had standard amenities.  Further into the room, on the left hand side was a king-size bed with two nightstands on either side of the bed.  The bed was comfortable, large and offered a good night sleep.  On the right hand side was the TV, a chest with drawers, and a desk which faced into the room.  Behind the desk was a window, and this is the window that faced into the lobby/atrium (I was higher up so you had to look down to see the check-in desk, but it was still a bit odd).   As I said earlier, the way the room was decorated was very nice and looked more like an apartment rather than a hotel.  The furniture and the décor made it feel more like an apartment rather than a hotel.
photo courtesy of IHG

As I was on a business trip, I did not get to enjoy the other amenities of the hotel such as fitness center, indoor pool and spa.  I did experience the free internet which was a decent speed and a nice bonus.  Overall, the experience of staying at the Hotel Indigo was pleasant.  Staying in the hotel felt like staying in a boutique hotel room in a chain hotel.  The close proximity to downtown and the nice ambiance in the room were the positives.  The negatives were the odd layout of my room and the fact that some areas of downtown aren’t that nice.  I look forward to continue stays at the Hotel Indigo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Stay Report: ibis budget Brisbane Airport (Brisbane, October 2013)

Stay Report: ibis budget Brisbane Airport
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

photo courtesy of Accorhotels
I had overnighted in Brisbane many times and had stayed at different places.  I once spent the night in the airport (lots of noise and lights); while another time I went into the city (long transfer time).  This time, I decided to try and find a hotel which was close to the airport for a more comfortable sleep, but also wasn’t too expensive (as it would only about 12 hours and just to sleep).  The ibis budget Brisbane Airport is a perfect transit hotel as it cost-effective but also provides a comfortable sleep.  The only downside is the location as it is not connected to the airport, takes about 15-20 minutes by car, there is no shuttle, and there is not much around the hotel. 

At the time of booking, it was my first experience with Accorhotels and with the ibis brand so I was unsure of what to expect; I have booked the hotel solely based on price and location.  The hotel is part of the Accorhotel’s ibis brand which includes ibis budget, ibis, and ibis styles to suit travelers from the lowest price range to the highest.  With each brand, some items are complimentary while others need to be paid for.  The ibis budget brand provides the least complimentary items but they also have the lowest rates.  To get the best rates, its best to book online and well in advance (as better prices are available in advance online, and sometimes the hotel is sold out).  Booking online was easy and efficient and I booked myself into a standard room for one night.

As the hotel does not provide a shuttle, I had to book a third party shuttle from the airport to the hotel (or take a taxi).  When the shuttle arrived at the hotel, from the outside it looks like an old motel from the 1980’s so first impressions aren’t great.  Despite the older looking outside, the inside has been renovated and updated.  As you enter, on the left hand side is the check-in desk.  This is where you can collect your key as well as purchase extras, including breakfast.   Across from the check-in desk is the restaurant/sitting area where there are tables and chairs (decorated with Ikea-like chairs and tables) and this is where breakfast can be purchased. There are also vending machines available with drinks and food so these can also be purchased and consumed in the sitting area.

The hotel consists of two floors with a stairs in the middle and two long hallways on opposite sides of the stairs.  There is no elevator to get to level 2 so if you have a lot of luggage or do not climbing stairs, request a 1st floor room.  The hallways and the stairs also have the ‘outdated’ look as well, but luckily the rooms have been updated.

As I was transiting at two different times, I was able to try out two types of rooms – the first room had two single beds while the second room had a double bed underneath a bunk bed that was on top.  Both rooms are tiny, these are not plush rooms, but they are nicely decorated (again with Ikea-esque furniture) and looked updated.
photo courtesy of Accorhotels

For the 2 twin bed, as you entered the door on the left was the basic bathroom (more about that below).  Right next to the bathroom was the first twin bed, a night stand, and then the second twin bed (with very little room between the beds so I doubt both people could stand up in the middle of the beds at the same time).  Across from the beds was a desk and in the corner was a nice, raised TV that provided a lot of channels and in which you could plug your USB cable into.  Overall, while it was a plain and small room it provided all the basic amenities you could need.  What the rooms also provided were comfortable beds.  I did not expect the beds to be comfortable (given the price and size of the room) but they were actually very nice and very comfortable (in fact more comfortable than some of the American hotels I have stayed in).  The second room had the same basic set up but was arranged differently.  As you entered, on right was the bathroom and beyond the bathroom was the double bed underneath a bunkbed.  Next to the beds was the desk which faced a window that looked out onto a parking lot.  Against the other wall, across from the beds, was the TV.  The room size was only slightly bigger than the one with the twin beds.

The bathroom was very compact with a stand-up shower whose only separation from the toilet was a shower curtain - but you can touch the sink from the shower.  The hotel provides a bar of soap and a very thin towel, other amenities such as shampoo and conditioner need to be provided by you (also, bring a better towel if that is important to you). 

photo courtesy of Accorhotels
Ibis hotels usually do not provide many amenities other hotels usually provide, and the ibis budget provides even less amenities.  Even though they did provide breakfast in the morning (for a separate charge), there was no restaurant in the hotel so if you were hungry in the afternoon or evening then you had to get food from the vending machines provided.  There is no gym and no pool either.  The only other amenity I noticed was the wifi.  As with all Accorhotels, the hotel provides free wifi – it is basic but decent enough to check and send emails.  You can pay for faster internet speeds if that is necessary, and you can also pay to access the computers downstairs if you do not have a smartphone or computer.

Overall, the ibis budget provided a decent night’s sleep in an updated room at a low cost.  While the rooms were not lavish nor plush, they provided enough for a good transit hotel.  The downsides of the hotel are the lack of shuttle and the lack of amenities near the hotel (as there is almost nothing in walking distance – so bring your own food and water with you).

Friday, April 6, 2018

Stay Report: Hilton Makkah Towers (Makkah, Saudi Arabia - March 2014)

Stay Report: Hilton Makkah/Makkah Millennium Towers
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

I was coming back to Makkah for Umrah and had previously enjoyed my stay at the Hilton Makkah so decided to stay there again.  The Hilton has two properties in the area, the Hilton Makkah and the Hilton Makkah Towers.  The Hilton Makkah limits the number of guest per room to 2, and I was traveling in a group and we wanted to stay in the same room so we booked the Hilton Makkah Towers which is geared more towards groups and families.  Overall, in this hotel neither the rooms nor the service are good.  The only thing saving this hotel, in my opinion, is the location as the hotel is located right in front of the Masjid al Haram so provides easy access. 

The first negative of the hotel is the lobby.  The ‘lobby’ and check-in desks of the hotel are located in the parking garage – yes the parking garage.  In the same area where you you’re your car, that is where the lobby is located.  The lobby is extremely small and contains the check-in desks, a small waiting area, and elevators to the first tower.  The hotel has two towers and the lobby is located in the first tower.  The lobby is not well designed, and given the hotel caters to groups and families and there is poor and slow service, this led to a lot of commotion in the lobby.  I finally made it to the front to check-in, which definitely was not efficient, but I finally received my key and given directions to the room – I was in the second tower so to access that tower I had to exit the lobby, walk across the active garage and parking lot, and access the elevators to the second tower; it’s an inefficient way to walk and extremely dangerous.  
photo courtesy of Hilton

The room we had was part of a 3-room mini-apartment.  Each room could be booked and access individually, or if you were a larger group, you could book all three rooms and there was a main door you could close so it would be a mini-apartment.  While the setup was good for the group setting, it was a little close for the individual setting. 

The rooms themselves were large and contained a two double beds, a sofa-bed, a small bathroom, and a sink and stove; however, the rooms’ look and feel outdated.  The first room I was given was in Tower 2 and it smelled as if it had not been cleaned in 2 weeks. The beds were uncomfortable and looked worn out.  I immediately asked to be changed to another room and we got to Tower 5.  In this room, there was no smell but the room was still outdated and the beds were not comfortable. 

As you open the door, on the left hand side is the entrance to the bathroom.  Beyond that is the mini-kitchen - which is a cutout in the wall that houses a sink, a warmer (to warm up dishes), a microwave, and a fridge.  We had gotten a room with 2 beds so this room had 2 beds with a nightstand in between and then a sofa-bed couch between the bed and the windows.  While the rooms are somewhat big, the bathrooms are small.  There is a toilet, a standing shower, and a sink in the bathroom (along with PeterThomasRoth products available) but it looks like they diminished the bathroom size to increase the room size.  NOTE: We were three people so I slept on the sofa bed, which was extremely uncomfortable and the springs were poking me in the back (Hilton either has a roll-away with a decent mattress or sofabeds; the rollaways are way more comfortable).  Across the beds, against the other wall, was a chest with drawers beneath and a TV on top.  Next to that was a desk and next to that was a round table (small to medium size) with 3 chairs.  There was also a coffee table in front of the sofa bed.  All of the furniture looked really outdated and worn out.  Note: There is a lot of construction going on in Makkah.  You can hear the Azaan (call to prayer) and other items either through the TV or through your window and the construction noise is minimal, but it is there so be aware!

photo courtesy of Hilton
Breakfast was included as part of our room but to access the breakfast area was a little odd.  You took the elevator to the 3rd floor, and then followed the signs which pointed you through a maze to access the breakfast place.  It seemed the breakfast area was in a different tower, but to access it was very long and complicated.  Once you reached the breakfast area, there were two seating areas – in the main area and another overflow area.  Both provide the same breakfast and service, but it did seem odd that people were being sent to the overflow before the main seating was filled up.  We sat in the overflow which was big and spacious and could handle many guests, which was good since there were many guests.  Breakfast was standard with eggs, omelet, cheese, olives, and bread and the service for tea and coffee was efficient.  This was a plus point for the hotel.

A negative point of the hotel was the service, as the service inside the hotel and inside the room were slow and unresponsive.  When we entered the room, housekeeping had only put 1 towel in the room so I called down to request additional towels, and only after 8 hours and three calls later did we finally get the towels!  After our stay we needed to check out, but this process was a NIGHTMARE!!!  There were two lines to check people in an out and in each line there were at least 7 people, but people were cutting in line and the representatives were helping them instead of those in line.  It was utter chaos, and again it seemed as if the hotel had no idea there would be a crowd!  Furthermore, the hotel representatives could not control the line and were helping the people who were cutting the line first instead of those who were waiting.  Utter chaos! 

Overall, the hotel needs major refurbishment of their rooms and their service.  The only saving grace of this hotel is the location - the hotel is located in front of the Masjid.  On the bottom level of the hotel is a shopping plaza with many food and shopping options so that is also a plus point; however, these plus points do not outweigh the negative look to the hotel, the outdated furniture, the uncomfortable beds, and the bad customer service (also --- you cannot earn HHonors points as your stay; another ridiculous point).  There are many newer hotels being constructed in the same location and that provide the same ease of access so if I went back, I am staying at those hotels and not this one!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Stay Report: Hilton Makkah (Makkah, Saudi Arabia - May 2007)

Stay Report: Hilton Makkah
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

Note: As an FYI, there are 2 Hiltons in Makkah – Hilton Makkah and Hilton Makkah Towers.  The hotels are located right next to each other (literally in the same building) but are geared towards different clienteles and have different approaches.  I have stayed in both and below are both reviews.  **note note:  My stay at Hilton Makkah was a couple of years ago, but I did recently go back and visited the hotel again (this time staying at the Towers).

I was traveling to Makkah as part of Umrah and wanted a hotel that was clean, nice, and close to Masjid Al Haram.  Even though I had requested a nice hotel, I was originally placed in a local hotel that looked more like a hostel rather than a hotel; I quickly got out of there and moved to the Hilton.  The Hilton is one of the most recognizable hotels in the area as it located right across from the Masjid Al Haram; the hotel is located right in front of King Fahad Gate 76 so it provides easy access.  In addition to the easy access to the Masjid, you also have easy access to shops and restaurants.  The first two floors of the hotel area a shopping plaza with shops, fast food outlets, and a grocery store; and surrounding the hotel you can also easily access other shops and restaurants.  This is a major plus point that everything is conveniently located; it is also a negative as the shops and restaurants bring in a lot of people so sometimes you have to cross through the rush to get to your hotel!

The lobby of the Hilton is located on the 2nd or 3rd level (depending on whether you count the ground as ground or first level).  As I said, on the first 2 levels are shops and restaurants, and on the 3rd level is the lobby to the Hotel.  Even though there is a LOT of noise on the first 2 levels, you do not hear that noise in the lobby.  The lobby looks very big, bright, and airy and also very clean and modern.  Check-in was efficient, I received my key, and took the elevator to my room. 

The room was located on the 9th floor and overall it was a modern and nice, clean Hilton room.  As
photo courtesy of Hilton
you entered the room, on the right was the bathroom while on the left was a closet.  The closet contained a place for storage, bathrobes, slippers, and a safe.  The bathroom was very nice and contained a sink, a toilet, and a shower – all of which were nice and modern.  As you progressed further into the room, against one wall was the two beds with a nightstand in between.  Opposite from the beds was a chest with drawers on the bottom and a TV on top.  One of the best amenities of the room was the large window which faced the Masjid Al Haram, through which you could easily hear all the calls to prayer.  The windows did contain blackout blinds and curtains to block out the sunlight during the day.  Overall, it was a nice and comfortable room with beds that were extremely comfortable and provided a good night’s rest.

photo courtesy of Hilton
Free breakfast was included with the room, and the breakfast was offered on the 6th floor.  The breakfast room was nice and spacious; it was not a huge banquet room but also not a small dining area, it was somewhere in between that was a good size.  The breakfast was standard for the area with eggs, omelets, potatoes, Middle Eastern delicacies such as falafel and labneh, cheeses, olives, and bread.  Tea and coffee were also served.  Complimentary wifi was also available and the speeds were decent to check email and provide basic searches. 

Overall, it was a nice, clean, and restful stay at the Hilton Makkah.  The location in front of the Masjid was nice and convenient, and the hotel provided a good room with good service – and this complimented the location.  The only negative about the hotel is that you cannot earn HHonors points as part of your stay.  The stay will be posted to your account, but you cannot earn any points nor miles (that should be fixed!). 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Stay Report: AC Hotel by Marriott Cordoba (Cordoba, Spain - December 2011)

Stay Report: AC Hotel by Marriott Cordoba
comment below and let me know your thoughts :)

photo courtesy of Marriott
I was stopping in Cordoba after Malaga and Granada.  During my tour of Southern Spain, I had been staying at AC hotels throughout and had enjoyed the hotels, so when we were booking a hotel for Cordoba I continued with the trend and selected the AC Hotel Cordoba.  Unlike the AC Hotels in Granada and Malaga, the AC Hotel Cordoba is not located within the main part of Cordoba; it is a 5-7 minute walk to the main area.  The hotel is located in between the train/bus station and the main city center, so about a 5-10 minute walk or car ride away from either point.  Additionally, there are many shops and restaurants near the hotel.

When you arrive at the hotel, the first thing you notice is the architecture.  The hotel has a very
photo courtesy of Marriott
modern architectural design, both the exterior and interior of the hotel.  From the outside, there is a wall of metal rings that surrounds the entire exterior of the building. While it looks nice, it does block out some views (more on that later).  The modern architecture continues inside the lobby, which is tall but narrow.  As you enter the main entrance, on the right hand side is the restaurant and straight ahead, again on the right-hand side, is the check-in area.   There is a large lounge or relaxing area in front of the check-in desks where guests can sit and relax.  Also across from the check-in desks are large windows, which bring in natural light and make the lobby more open.  I went to check-in, received my key, and proceeded towards the elevators located beyond the check-in desks.   

photo courtesy of Marriott

As in the other hotels, we got 2 rooms – one with 2 twin and the other with a king bed and both were decorated the same.  You entered the room on far right side next to the wall.  As you open the door, there is a little galley with a closet and mirror.  This is the odd part – the bathroom is located in between the galley and the main part of the room where the beds are so you have to cross the bathroom to get from the main door to the bedroom.  There is a door that closes to block off the bathroom from the galley as well as another door that closes the bathroom off from the bedroom.  This would be fine if you are staying by yourself, but if you are staying with someone else, and they are in the bathroom and you need to leave or someone knocks on the door, and the bathroom doors are locked, then you are stuck.  It was an odd design.  The bathroom, designed in all black and silver, was modern, spacious, and nice and had many amenities provided including combs, shoe polish, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and lotion.

As you entered into the main bedroom, against the right hand side of the wall were the chest with drawers on the bottom and TV on top and a desk next to it.  Against the other wall were 2 very comfortable twin beds (or a king bed) and 2 nightstands for each bed (2 nightstands also available for the king bed).  The beds were comfortable and provided a good night’s sleep.  Along with far wall were giant windows that would’ve looked out onto the city and the streets and would’ve provided a great view, however the views were blocked by the architectural ring façade.

Facilities at the hotel included a restaurant, where breakfast and dinner were available; complimentary wifi, at that time only available in the lobby; and a fitness center.  The hotel does not provide shuttle service from either the airport or the train station.

Overall, it was a short but pleasant stay in a sleek and modern hotel.  The beds were comfortable, the staff were friendly and efficient (we asked staff at all the hotels questions about local landmarks and each took the time to answer questions and provide extra detail – a great plus!!), free wifi in the lobby and public areas, and the hotels were conveniently located to major activities.