This post is a little different to the usual, as the trip was undertaken for work. It involved driving from Madrid to Amsterdam, stopping off in various cities in between. I won’t give a complete run down of the work trip because that is unlikely to help anyone (plus I didn’t really see any of the actual cities because thats sadly how it goes on a work trip) but I would like to take the opportunity to talk about some of the amazing hotels that I stayed in. Some were not that great, so I’ll leave them out but if you’re ever in the following places, I highly recommend the below. I didn’t book them myself but I did like them:
MADRID – ROOM MATE OSCAR (Boutique)
I’d never been to Madrid before so I don’t know much about what was on offer, but I would say in comparison to a lot of large European cities, this was a nice hotel. The room size was generous (even had a bath in it), the bed was comfortable and big. There was a big TV, plus magazines and other little touches to keep you occupied.
This hotel didn’t change my life but it did serve a purpose very well (retiring there after working) and I enjoyed staying there. They have little design touches, like cute signs and I want to say sculptures but that could be the wrong word for it.
There is also a rooftop bar, which I didn’t manage to frequent, but sounded pretty good. Apparently there is a pool up there too but you have to pay for that separately, which is a bit random considering it is on top of the hotel.
BARCELONA – ROYAL RAMBLAS HOTEL (4*)
Sadly we were absolutely knackered by the time we got here so we didn’t manage to wander round the area much. I do understand the location is rather excellent if you would like to though. We only managed to walk out of the front of our hotel and into the restaurant right next door, which turned out to be a part of the hotel meaning our lazy bums walked an upsettingly further 5 metres than necessary. We only learnt this was part of the hotel at breakfast when we walked through the hotel to eat there in the morning by the way.
Thankfully the interior of the hotel made up for our inability to do tourist activities – I got upgraded to a suite which almost definitely helped my positive opinion but honestly, it was pretty nice. Its modern, spacious enough and to my joy, have baths in the room. I do love a good bath.
My only negative comment would be the parking but I’m not blaming this entirely on the hotel. Parking in big cities is generally pretty bad because there just isn’t enough space. This one kind of took the biscuit though, to get to it you had to drive down a tiny alleyway (full of people walking) and then down into an underground car park just large enough for our car (which I admit, was kind of long).
LYON – OKKO HOTELS (LYON PONT LAFAYETTE) (4*)
We arrived quite late on to this hotel, then had to leave early and I’m still upset about it. I can’t tell you much about this location because of it but I can tell you the interior is lovely. Really soft sheets, a beautiful shower room (with lux toiletries), really good breakfast and swimming pool/gym facilities I never got to enter. There’s also a fridge in the communal areas stocked UP, so you can help yourself whenever you want. A pre-requisite for all hotels, in my opinion.
The only thing to warn the eagle eyed about, that I did text my mum about, was that the sheets on the bed are very creased. Its highly unlikely many people will care about that but as I expected, it was not to my mum’s taste.
PARIS – CITIZEN M GARE DE LYON
I had never stayed at a Citizen M hotel before and didn’t have a clue about the concept before turning up, but I would stay again. If you haven’t been, I would describe it as quite futuristic and modern with some luxury touches. If you’re a technophone, this place isn’t for you. Everything from the check in to the TV/light system in your room is done via technology.
The rooms aren’t huge – obviously it was just me in the room and it was a good size but I think I would get a bit frustrated being in a room of that size with anyone else. Mostly because the bed backs up into the corner, so if someone wants to get up they have to clamber over you.
For me though, it was great. I had fun playing with the tablet that controlled the TV – you could do everything in the room with it, including sending videos from YouTube to the TV. A simple luxury but enjoyable.
Also, the size of the room isn’t that much of a hang up if you don’t plan on spending a lot of your time there. Downstairs is a huge, cool living space with a bar and food available.
AMSTERDAM – SIR ADAM HOTEL
This hotel is 100% in the running for the best hotel I have ever stayed in, with Chateau Soucherie in the Loire Valley (write up coming soon) and Oak Bay Beach Hotel on Vancouver Island (post here) also high up my scoring table.
I had been to Amsterdam a few weeks prior to this with my boyfriend (post here) and we happened to get the ferry across to the EYE and wander along outside it. At this point I had no idea this hotel was even here, never mind that I would get to stay in it.
Upon arrival, I got upgraded to a corner room, with views out across Amsterdam and of the EYE film museum. The room was insane – huge windows, huge bed with soft sheets, a record player (with a record library in the hotel) and an all round modern but homely vibe. I did look up the price and it is not cheap but I can see why – I would say its worth it.
It also has a bar downstairs, a rooftop bar, a swing on the roof (at an additional cost), a gym and amazing breakfast. Its a bit we-worky, so if that’s your vibe, you’ll love this place.
What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in?