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skywalkerbeth
05-20-2011, 08:13 PM
I am egged on by a few people who complimented me on my hotel choices here on the ED board (you know who you are). You didn't ask for this, but, I feel I must reward such flattery with some hotels I have really, really liked. Are these the tops ever hotels anywhere? Well, no (maybe a couple of them arguably could be). But they are really nice places and some are downright special. I will try to include photos where I had the foresight to take them. I usually forget until the room has been trashed by luggage opened, clothes on the chairs, etc. This thread is a work in progress and I will edit this top post so that you don't have to go searching around.

Each of the below are from my various vacations, I have yet to ever be sent to Europe on business. Please check out the websites for photos, they do a better job of capturing the rooms than I do.

London

Renaissance Chancery Court. This five-star hotel is a Marriott property housed in a huge Edwardian building in High Holborn. The building, in fact, is a Grade II English Heritage building. Fantastic location - you are near the City as well as the West End, and just around the corner from a tube stop. The entrance is not right on the street, you actually walk/drive through a carriageway into a courtyard which adds elegance. Said courtyard is full of Very Expensive Cars by the way! I only took a few photos and none of the Grand Staircase. I had a standard room, which, according to the fact sheet was either 291 SF or 377 SF. It had a huge bathroom, of course - no, you aren't going to be climbing over bidets in this hotel, never fear.

Number 38 on TripAdvisor.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/loncc-renaissance-london-chancery-court-hotel/

The courtyard - and the BMW/ Mercedes you can just barely see were the cheapest cars in the courtyard.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5245/5270567425_34f470f9f4.jpg

The room, and this photo doesn't do it justice because the space behind me was at least as much as the space in front of me. This was a big hotel room.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5168/5270567651_b02c66178a.jpg


One Aldwych. I stayed here for a few nights in either 2000 or 2001 and I don't believe I took any digital photos of it. It's a pity because I would find it very hard to choose between this one and Chancery Court above. The location is arguably even better than Chancery Court because you are on the Strand - across the street from Courtauld Gallery, near Covent Garden, a stroll to the City and the Thames. The rooms are sleek and modern (as opposed to Marriott above which is more traditional and corporate) and the bathroom has heated marble floors - oh bliss. Also set in an Edwardian building, the building was designed by the same team responsible for the Ritz in London and Paris. Like Chancery Court, at one time it also housed an assurance company. I guess insurance companies like to be near the City!

It's number 49 on TripAdvisor.

http://www.onealdwych.com/home.aspx

Paris

Hotel des Grandes Hommes. This is a small, charming boutique hotel directly across from the Pantheon. You have the Luxembourg Gardens just up the Rue, and, down the hill and across the Seine is Notre Dame. I've stayed here four times now. Expect a double to hover in the neighborhood of 200E a night. Large bathrooms. The room is very traditionally French - wallpaper and beams - and the double is "big enough" but could use another foot on either side of the bed. I've seen three different doubles and some configurations are larger, though. The last time I requested my same room again (number 34) because the bathroom was not only huge it had a French window opening on to the courtyard (as opposed to a bathroom on the interior wall, which would have no window). It is so pleasant to have natural light in the bathroom. This hotel is NUMBER TWENTY FIVE on TripAdvisor - out of 1800 some hotels in Paris - so you know it's a winner.

http://www.hoteldesgrandshommes.com/


Provence - St. Remy
Hotel sous les Figuiers. Hotel under the fig trees. This was home for two nights (en route to Domaine le Vallon for another five) when we arrived in France mid-July 2009. Had we not known what delights were in store down the road we would have happily stayed here the entire week. This "hotel de charme" is just outside the ancient Roman ring road of St. Remy - just a few minutes walk to indulge in your foie gras, rose, and lavender needs. They offer art workshops at different times of the year which means a return visit eventually. The path to our room was indeed under a fig tree with figs strewn on the path (which path was assiduously hosed and scrubbed each morning and probably during the day as well because figs attract BEES). We did not take advantage of the pool, in part because we spent the second day at Pont du Gard, in part because the blistering heat didn't arrive until we left for our next stop. Our room was huge as was the bathroom - as in, the bathroom was easily 15x8 if not more. Breakfast was... wait for it... under more fig trees. The property is gated so your car is off the street and in a locked courtyard at night (naturally it's easy to get out).

http://www.hotel-charme-provence.com/en/index.html

Our porch
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2738/4394785931_599334ce77.jpg

View FROM our porch
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2778/4394790103_a94594a22a.jpg

Reception
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4067/4394784041_9f18221568.jpg


Provence - Aubignan
Domaine le Vallon. This "Luxury B&B" ranks in my top 10, maybe even top 5. It is an estate near the Cotes du Rhone wineries, and, less than an hour's drive from the lavender fields of Sault. I will fill in more blanks later, for now, this is worth 4 photos. This is one where I forgot to take photos until we had trashed the room. I need to remember to take them before we unpack everything! We had a top floor suite with huge bathroom and sitting room. Because we were on the top floor we had a skylight with a motorized shade so that we wouldn't have light coming in at 4 AM or whatever time the sun rises in the summer in Provence.

http://www.vallon-provence.com/ check out their gallery for better photos than mine.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/4447883456_a4dbc3e9ea.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4447107279_2cb323852d.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4030/4614593133_97630e1bd6.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4447109461_c0fb4f0a83.jpg

Provence - Mausanne les Alpilles
Moulin de Greoux. This gets a special mention even though the B&B no longer exists. The owners moved and it's possible the new owners continued on but I've no idea. This was the first place I stayed in Provence in 2001 - just days before 9/11 as a matter of fact. I remember this entire trip especially well because of that. This was actually a home first and a B&B second, really. Massive home - a former olive mill which they reconstructed into an amazing property. The kitchen had to have been 800 SF alone - with a half inside/half outside pool just through the archway from the kitchen to the pool. The owners were wealthy Americans who moved to Europe eons ago. I remember landing on Friday morning in Paris... TGV to Avignon... picking up the car and driving to Mausanne (half an hour from St Remy if that, so not far) and STILL dragging myself to Uzes and Pont du Gard - in the same day! It was September and the Mistral was fierce that night - the pretty shutters you see on their buildings? Fully functional - she pulled them closed before I went to sleep telling me not to be worried about the loud wind noises.

http://www.welcome2worldholidays.com/france/provence/16-12-2005_15-22_MoulindeGreoux/

Provence - Althen les Paluds (near Chateauneuf de Pape)

Bayeux (Normandy)

Audierne (Brittany)

Vannes (Brittany)

Venice
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo. We stayed here July 2010 in a junior suite (I was traveling with my parents). LOVED this hotel - definitely my new home in Venice. Big wow for the room - the size of the room, the furnishings, the massive bathroom. It is number ONE of Venice hotels on TripAdvisor. I only paid 200E for the junior suite which handily beats out the Wildner for 220 for a large double. Don't get me wrong, the Wildner was just fine - but Al Ponte Mocenigo was superb. They serve breakfast in a pretty little courtyard. Photos to come up later.

http://www.alpontemocenigo.com/rooms.htm

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2404/5759549603_e77cb7c213.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3443/5760092662_0967d20bf6.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2028/5759550379_a6835237c6.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5101/5760093398_3aa48f846d.jpg


Pensione Wildner. This hotel in San Marco gets a wow from me because of the stupendous view from the front-facing rooms. I've stayed here twice (May of both 2006 and 2007), in a double which had the VIEW for 220E per night. Parquet wood flooring, amply-sized tiled bathroom. The location and view cannot be beat. This not a luxury hotel but rather a typical old-European hotel. The view is what gives it the wow, otherwise it would just be a pleasant hotel in a good location. For comparison it is a few doors down from the Danieli - same view at a quarter of the price. It is number 52 of 444 hotels in Venice on TripAdvisor.

http://www.hotelwildner.com/rooms.htm

Here is the view from my window both times:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3319/5742994243_a4bdc94dd9.jpg



Pensione Accademia. This is a charming boutique hotel very near the Grand Canal and the Accademia (of course). Just lovely. I would definitely stay here again but APM has my heart now. Any of these three listed here I'd happily return. This was is in the Dorsoduro section of Venice. A mere bridge away from Taverna San Trovaso, which has the BEST Sgroppino we tried (and believe me, we tried many in Venice). This hotel is number 29 on Tripadvisor.

http://www.pensioneaccademia.it/



Lake Como

This is a tough choice. I've been to Lake Como three times, staying at two different hotels. The second and third time we split our time between the two hotels (we were there nearly a week both times) which sounds crazy but it's hard to choose. I will say that we will probably continue with the Albergo Lenno and let the Eremo Gaudio drop... but it's still tough. The view from the Eremo Gaudio will make you weep. Stand on the balcony at night and watch the ferry boats ply the waters... or perhaps the boat you are watching is the 100-year old-lady which they have beautifully maintained (all wood and brass inside). You can certainly visit the Eremo Gaudio's terrace for a limoncello or even reserve a place for dinner and take in the studendous view. The lower terrace isn't as high up as the upper part of the hotel and of course there is just something special about sleeping, and waking up, that high above the world and watching the quiet peaceful Lake Como world unfold before you.

Albergo Lenno. This is a four-star hotel in a fantastic location and it has a pool (vital in July). The lower part of Lenno is on the water and is quiet and idyllic. Few cars, as the only ones that drive down the one way street in front of the hotel either live on the waterfront, or, are guests at the hotel. And speaking from experience once you park you really don't need your car so it's unlikely to have a lot of daily traffic - mostly people arriving for their stay or departing for their next one. The hotel is BANG on the water and directly in front of the ferry stop. Stroll down the peaceful waterfront lane and you'll arrive at a small restaurant serving the best spaghetti bolognese you've ever had. I feel my blood pressure drop at least 20 points upon arrival. Life is good.

http://www.albergolenno.com/eng/

Some photos:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3151/2772220640_53c95bf657.jpg


Eremo Gaudio. The second hotel, formerly a hermitage, is much simpler but the views are simply out of this world. This was our first introduction to Lake Como. It's quite easy to find but an interesting experience driving up the narrow, one-way (or darn close to one-way) road to reach the hotel. Once you are there you really don't need your car - but you do want to be in decent shape because it's a good walk into town and back home after dinner. The beauty of the walk just adds to the exercise you'll get during your stay here. Look on the bright side, you do want to walk off all the good food and wine, right? There are two levels to this hotel. The main level is fairly high up and you will get some grand views from the covered terrace. To reach the upper hotel a funicular ride is necessary. There is a path which you can walk up (or much easier, down) but if you have luggage forget it, take the funicular.

http://www.eremogaudio.it/inglese.htm - click on rooms for photos.

The below are some views from the Eremo Gaudio. The last photo is larger because it's harder to see detail in the smaller photo. To see the hotel, look at roughly the middle of the photo then look down partway. See that building stuck in the side of the mountain which looks like there is a string of some sort hanging from it? That is the upper part of the hotel, and the string is the double funicular. It takes two funiculars to reach the upper hotel. The lower part of the hotel is at the bottom of the "string" and is terra cotta colored. For perspective, even at that height the views are out of this world so imagine going twice as high! Here is an interesting tidbit: Looking along the lakeshore below the hotel you will see the Villa Monastero. It is almost the entire length of this photo! It has that much lake front. Almost but not quite the entire length of the photo. From the photo, perhaps an inch on either side is NOT Villa Monastero. That's a big slice of prime real estate. Any guesses on who used to own it?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3182/2771450097_8083f36e10.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1419/704088957_05572e3ec0.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5107/5800910143_420ec2f023_z.jpg

Florence
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni. I've stayed here twice, once with my Mom. What makes this hotel ultra special is the rooftop terrace! You can get rooms with or without a private terrace, and we got the terraced room both times, but we never spent time on our own because the rooftop was so enticing (in other words your own terrace isn't needed but I always like to have one if it's available). You can see San Miniato al Monte from up there, and Fiesole. The Duomo looms large of course - check out the photo I took from the roof (I think I may have zoomed a little). Via Tornabuoni is "the" chi-chi shopping street. Ferragamo's flagship store, located in a former palazzo, is directly across the street (damage was done there) and further up even more spendy designer stores. 2006 and 2007 visits - 250E each time (I may have even had the same room each time). The bedroom is large and the bathroom is as well. But really, go for the terrace. I'm not sure if the terrace is open to the public. I suppose it's worth asking.

http://www.tornabuoni1.com/site/en/index.php

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2458/5761569390_1b49e92e4e.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1030/704106815_468ff8c8ea.jpg


Hotel Albergotto. I have no photos and in fact only stayed here one night. The Antica Torre, on my first visit, had a snafu the day I arrived (AC was down?) and they had to move me the one night. At first I was annoyed because I highly anticipated the hotel, however, I really liked this place! It was on the same street a few blocks away and in fact I liked the room itself better (it was even larger than the Antica Torre, and had hardwood floors versus carpet in the bedroom - both bathrooms were tiled) but there was no terrace, private or not. So the Antica Torre still wins my vote.

http://www.albergotto.com/


Pienza (Tuscany)

Il Chiostro di Pienza. Pienza is in the Val d'Orcia, a particularly scenic part of Tuscany. The town, originally called Corsignano, was the home of Pope Pius II (ne Enea Silvio Piccolomini). After he became Pope in the middle of the 15th century Piccolomini undertook an "urban renewal" program for this little village including some Palazzi and a Duomo (Cathedral). This hotel was a former cloisters (hence the name). The rooms are spacious, as are the bathrooms. If you cannot get a room with a view over the valley, no matter, the terrace dining has plentiful views, or, you can have your views from the pool. I've stayed here twice. This is a great location for visiting Montalcino or Montepulciano, and, the Val d'Orcia is the place you want to be if you crave views of the famous cypress trees. If you do stay here or nearby, you must dine one night at La Porta in the nearby tiny village of Montichiello. There are many cheese shops in town (follow the smell of feet) where you can find Pecorino di Pienza, among other cheeses.

http://www.relaisilchiostrodipienza.com/en/index.php

Oriveto

Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini. There's that Piccolomini fellow again. According to their website it was built by the Pontifical Piccolomini family in the late 16th century, which makes me think it was built by either (i) another Piccolomini Pope (was there another one??) or (ii) his descendants. OK, that was a joke (get it??). I'm not sure. I did hear, when we stayed there, that the Palazzo used to be a "safe house" for the Pope(s). I find the concept of "safe house" interesting because the Pope decampment to Avignon would have been a good 200 years earlier. I guess the Popes were still unsure of their place in this corporeal world while they were on the throne. OK, another joke. At any rate, Orvieto is an hour by train from Rome, not sure how long on horseback - so that was a long ride to safety.

The Palazzo is a nice hotel is in a great location, but, Orvieto is pretty small and if you are in the upper town as opposed to down near the train station I imagine all locations are good. This hotel has four stars. It also has an Etruscan well in the basement!

http://www.hotelpiccolomini.com/default.asp

Dolomites - Bulla/Pufels (near Ortisei)

Amsterdam

Bruges

Brussels

Vienna

Munich

Coimbra (Portugal)

Lisbon (Portugal)

Engadine Valley in Switzerland (Guarda and Pontresina)

Wengen (Berner Oberland, Switzerland)

Geneva

dandanio
05-20-2011, 08:55 PM
We still owe you SWB for Pensione Wildner in Venice. Extremely convenient, clean and ultra affordable (for one-night stay in Venice). Thank you, thank you, thank you. So when will you claim a glass of a liquid of your choice? To be delivered in CT, or vicinity. :)

skywalkerbeth
05-21-2011, 10:22 AM
Dandanio, glad you liked it! The two times I've stayed at the Wildner I stayed in the front with windows that overlook, directly, the Bacino San Marco. The room was 220E if memory serves (May both times). What rate did you manage - did you have a view, or not?

dandanio
05-25-2011, 08:56 AM
I got the rear facing one, although above the roof line, for ***8364;95 (May 2009). Perfect for a one night stay in Venice.

(I had a question for you SWB, but you can't receive any more PMs. Can you clean your Inbox?)

b-y
05-25-2011, 12:38 PM
I wanted to post photos of our room and the pool at Le Vallon in Aubignan, but I can't find them. :cry: Betsy (my spouse) even has me questioning whether they exist. But I did find this photo of the covered parking, which is also an important part of the Provence experience. Keep those reviews coming!

adrian's bmw
05-25-2011, 01:05 PM
I second Eremo Gaudio in Varenna (Lake Como). Spectacular views from up there. The elevator ride is crazy.

On my second trip to Lake Como, I thoroughly enjoyed Borgo Le Terrazze: http://www.borgoleterrazze.com/borgo.php

In Florence, I loved Riva Lofts. http://www.rivalofts.com/ http://www.youtube.com/user/RivaLofts Found that spot in the book "World's Coolest Hotel Rooms" by Bill Tikos. One of the cool things they provide is bikes to ride around the city. I found that invaluable! Oh, and it was featured in BMW Magazine in 2007: http://www.rivalofts.com/public/press/BMW%20Magazine%203-07.pdf

admranger
05-25-2011, 01:27 PM
Renaissance Chancery Court

+1

Stayed here for three nights in 2005 (right after the bombings...). Exceptional hotel and staff. Security guy looked like ex-SAS, except for the faux-hawk. Thickest towels I have ever used in my life.

skywalkerbeth
05-25-2011, 04:41 PM
Looks like I've hit a chord! When I'm done there are going to be a lot of hotels listed. This isn't even going back to the beginning of time either.

Dandanio, sorry, I will delete posts right now...

skywalkerbeth
06-05-2011, 09:24 AM
Kirk recently asked me which of my two favorite Lake Como hotels I would choose if it were during the heat of summer.

Hands down, Albergo Lenno. Why?

The western side of the lake has the mountain behind it which means at some point in the afternoon it's going to help block the sun.
Albergo Lenno has a pool.
It has a strong AC system. We were quite cool in the room.
The Eremo Gaudio is lovely, but, it's on a side of a mountain facing the western sun. Full blast. Even with the AC it's not as cool.
Repeat: it's on the side of a mountain facing the western sun. And you have to walk up that path, on the side of the mountain, with little or no shade. Hot sun, radiating on you...

mrkurz
06-07-2011, 11:05 AM
Skywalkerbeth, excellent post! I'm planning ED and will visit Como. Albergo Lenno sounds great. It seems like you don't have secure parking though? How did that work out? You had street parking but no problems?

Someone also mentioned Borgo Le Terrazze, how's the parking there?

thanks!

adrian's bmw
06-07-2011, 02:25 PM
Skywalkerbeth, excellent post! I'm planning ED and will visit Como. Albergo Lenno sounds great. It seems like you don't have secure parking though? How did that work out? You had street parking but no problems?

Someone also mentioned Borgo Le Terrazze, how's the parking there?

thanks!



At the Borgo Le Terrazze that I linked, there's garage parking below the building for guests, so you don't have to worry about being on the street.

Wine-O
06-08-2011, 06:52 AM
Skywalkerbeth, excellent post! I'm planning ED and will visit Como. Albergo Lenno sounds great. It seems like you don't have secure parking though? How did that work out? You had street parking but no problems?

Someone also mentioned Borgo Le Terrazze, how's the parking there?

thanks!

Albergo Lenno does have self-park underground parking. You don't have to park on the street -- at least that was the case when we were there a few years ago.

If you stay there, be sure to make a reservation for dinner at: http://www.comacina.it/isola/isle.htm
The don't take credit cards -- cash only.

mrkurz
06-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Thanks again. This is all perfect information. It's strange to plan a vacation around parking, but then again I am planning a vacation around buying a car.

skywalkerbeth
06-08-2011, 06:36 PM
I am glad this is a helpful thread! I lost some steam this week (trying to put together a photo-book) but I'll pick up again by the weekend.

The Albergo Lenno does indeed have garage parking. I would see if it's possible to ask them to reserve a good spot for you though - one that is easy to get in and out of, with ample room. I got lucky when I drove the BMW, thankfully. Last summer (in a rental car - station wagon) I was not so lucky and came very close to scraping the door. You will be issued a parking spot when you arrive, it's not first come first served IIRC.

skywalkerbeth
06-13-2011, 04:40 AM
I added a few more hotels, but not photos just yet.

I am simultaneously working on a 350 page portfolio book of my various photos, which is taking some time.

Andrew*Debbie
06-13-2011, 06:13 AM
This thread should be a sticky. :thumbup:

skywalkerbeth
06-23-2011, 05:50 AM
Hi

If Jonathan actually would like to sticky this, great!

I haven't forgotten - just slammed at work (and gone last weekend). Plus I'm heading to Norway in one week, so I'll have some new ones to report on.

AggieKnight
06-23-2011, 07:08 AM
Beth, Wow! Thank you!
(not sure how I missed this since you've had it up for a month)

Gotta send this thread off to my wife as she is already plotting next year's adventure and your taste looks like it matches hers.

skywalkerbeth
07-11-2011, 05:35 AM
And now I am back from Norway! What a beautiful country. We had a great time - I'll post some other "fave hotels" soon...

Andrew*Debbie
07-18-2011, 02:52 AM
Any recommendations for Brugge? We are going in November. I'm hoping to book early and save a few Euros.

skywalkerbeth
07-19-2011, 05:46 AM
Hi Andrew!

In Bruges I stayed at the B&B Verhulst. Fantastic location (is there a bad location in Bruges?) and the owners were so so nice. The room was large although the bathroom was kind of small. Lovely "terrarium" dining room (not sure what you call it - with the glass on the ceiling as well as the sides? Glass all around?). They are popular: Tripadvisor has them at number 4 of 149 B&Bs in Bruges! They said there were few seasons when they were not full - this was late November which apparently is slower - but it picks up beginning of December for the Xmas season. I paid under 100 euros for a very nice room.

http://www.b-bverhulst.com/

Andrew*Debbie
07-19-2011, 06:01 AM
Thank you!!


That is the nicest B&B I've seen for under ***8364;100. We will report back in November. Either here or I will resurrect the ancient Bruges Hotel thread.

mrkurz
07-23-2011, 10:34 AM
Looks like I waited too long to book at Albergo Lenno (my top choice) , but there is still a room at Eremo Gaudio in the lower section. What was parking like at the latter? I'm still searching for any alternatives with nice parking options...anyone have another recommendation? All the hotels except for Eremo Gaudio mentioned in this thread are booked 8/26-8/27. I admit I screwed up waiting this long.

skywalkerbeth
07-24-2011, 06:44 AM
There is a lot of parking at the Eremo Gaudio. You might have to jockey for a spot, but, I didn't have issues on three visits.

One thing I did was to linger waiting for a prime spot to come open the morning after arrival. I snagged it, nestled her in, and then didn't move her.

skywalkerbeth
07-29-2011, 05:46 AM
"edited at op's request"

Norway

Bergen

Stalheim

Solvorn

Mundal/Fjaerland

Oslo

Just added a few more hotels.

skywalkerbeth
07-29-2011, 05:46 AM
I just added a few more names, if not reviews.

skywalkerbeth
07-29-2011, 05:49 AM
To the powers that be: I can't edit my original post for some reason... why is that? I hit what I thought was edit and it turned out to be quoting it... which is pointless I'm not done.. help?

skywalkerbeth
10-04-2011, 05:40 AM
Thanks Bee!

This post isn't dead, I've just been either traveling, or working. Will get some more hotels up soon. I have a two new ones: one in Annecy, and one in Paris!

HWF
10-16-2011, 08:07 AM
Thanks Bee!

This post isn't dead, I've just been either traveling, or working. Will get some more hotels up soon. I have a two new ones: one in Annecy, and one in Paris!

Hi Beth. I'm looking forward to reading your write-up on the hotel in Annecy. I've reserved a room at the Hotel Allobroges for my ED I'm planning in April/May.

skywalkerbeth
10-18-2011, 08:07 PM
Hi HWF!

I stayed at the Splendid. It's not far from the lake (you can clearly see the lake, the only thing in between the hotel and the lake is the street and a park) I really enjoyed the Splendid and thought it was in a perfect location. Quai Eustache Chappuis. Near the Hotel de Ville, too (good parking).

Annecy is pretty small, stay near old town and you are in a good central area. It looks like yours is near the train station. That won't be a very scenic area but it should be safe - I didn't get the sense, in my 4 days there, that the train station area was unsafe. I didn't loiter after dark of course.

skywalkerbeth
01-18-2012, 05:03 AM
I just got back from Madrid so soon I will update this list.

Bee, Muchas Gracias for your patience.

machiavelli9988
02-02-2012, 09:49 AM
I'm just planning the Switzerland leg of my ED this May. I would love to hear your recommendations for Wengen and Geneva!

Cheers

skywalkerbeth
02-02-2012, 07:14 PM
Hi!

I have started the editing process. Because I cannot get into my original post, I have to edit it offline and then email it to the gracious and helpful Bee for inclusion. Because I don't want to drive him crazy with tons of edits, I am trying to get a lot more done this time so that it is useful. I will continue to make edits as time goes on (so many new hotels!) but I don't want to overstay my welcome so to speak.

So you can look it up while I am doing that:

Wengen:

Hotel Silberhorn. Easiest hotel to reach from the train "station": it's right there. Good if you have small kids or luggage to lug. Remember: NO CARS. Leave your car in Lauterbrunnen down in the valley. We had a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment (top floor) with a balcony. I seem to remember it came to 500 bucks a night but we ate dinner there three out of four nights (three people) and nothing is cheap in CH. I'd probably stay here again although I'd consider looking around if I wanted "lap of luxury". It seemed geared for big groups and hikers/skiers (duh!). It was comfortable and clean, though the decorations were rather dated. The apartment was quite spacious. It even had a doorbell. We visited their spa which was quite nice but we didn't use it. Overall the hotel could use a refurb but I thought it was fine - and I really liked having a large apartment with two bathrooms. The people running it were very nice I thought.

Geneva:

Hotel Tiffany. Four stars. Double around 300CHF, triple 380 CHF. Excellent location in Geneva, close to "old town" and not far from the waterspout either. This hotel is decorated in the Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau/Jugendstil style. Tiffany, get it? I didn't take any photos, we were only there half a day and then flew out the next morning. I would stay here again if I were to stay in Geneva though to be honest, if you are going to be on Lake Geneva for a while, why not stay in Vevey or Montreux or something. We stayed in Geneva because of the airport.

skywalkerbeth
02-03-2012, 04:18 PM
For anyone who has stayed at the same hotels I've listed (and more to come!), what were your thoughts? Andrew, how was Bruges?

gehmjc21
02-28-2012, 02:29 PM
Hi HWF!

I stayed at the Splendid. It's not far from the lake (you can clearly see the lake, the only thing in between the hotel and the lake is the street and a park) I really enjoyed the Splendid and thought it was in a perfect location. Quai Eustache Chappuis. Near the Hotel de Ville, too (good parking).

Annecy is pretty small, stay near old town and you are in a good central area. It looks like yours is near the train station. That won't be a very scenic area but it should be safe - I didn't get the sense, in my 4 days there, that the train station area was unsafe. I didn't loiter after dark of course.

Hi Beth - where is your Annecy review? Your PM box is full :) Let me know when I can PM you, thanks!

gehmjc21
02-28-2012, 07:40 PM
Hi Beth. I'm looking forward to reading your write-up on the hotel in Annecy. I've reserved a room at the Hotel Allobroges for my ED I'm planning in April/May.

I just booked Allobroges for July, Splendid was sold out. Please let me know how it is!!

HWF
02-28-2012, 08:47 PM
I just booked Allobroges for July, Splendid was sold out. Please let me know how it is!!

Will do. Mid-April for my ED still seems like it's pretty far away.

skywalkerbeth
03-04-2012, 05:39 AM
Hello

Sorry for the delay, lots of work stuff last week. I have made progress on the overall hotel thread but until I fill in all the gaps I don't want to bug Bee.

The Splendid was fantastic. Huge room, huge bathroom. The main part of my room was hardwood, as was the foyer (foyer probabably pergo? can't tell if the whole room was) and the bathroom was tiled. When I say foyer I mean when I entered the room, the bathroom was immediately to my right and the area before you enter the main part of the room would be the "foyer". It was a good area to take off your shoes (very wet on the first day - downpours) and hang coats, etc.

Parking in Annecy I felt was really easy but I was there in September. There is an enormous parking garage at the Hotel de Ville. It had to have been no less than 6 stories deep and I bet more. Even if you aren't at a hotel nearby, I'd consider parking there. Unload your car at the hotel and then park at the HdV.

The nice thing about the Splendid is that they pay for overnight parking at the Hotel de Ville! From 7 PM to 8 AM is on the hotel. I can't remember what that worked out to, but has to be around 25E I bet. Maybe more. Don't remember.

Here are some photos.

Keep in mind I didn't get photos of what was behind me! I wasn't standing at the far tip of the room. I still had a desk and chair behind me.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7041/6951926475_e5783e5b0e_z.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6951926261_3965e8fcc5_z.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7208/6805811454_abfb4b1e49_z.jpg

HWF
03-08-2012, 10:45 PM
Thanks for the review, Beth. Luckily, I was able to book a room at the Splendid for late in April. (When I originally set up my itinerary, the Splendid had no available rooms.)

skywalkerbeth
06-12-2012, 05:21 AM
Hi

I promise I will update the first part of this thread, enough, so that I can finally submit it to Bee!

For now, here are my thoughts on a hotel in Madrid:

Spain


Madrid I stayed at the AC Palacio del Retiro. 5 star luxury only ten minutes walk from the Prado, and, across the street from the Parque del Buen Retiro (Madrid's central park). I really loved this hotel! It is a former palace, and was owned previously by the family who owns Spain's high speed rail system. This is a Marriott property and is part of their Autograph Collection. I was only in Madrid three nights (long weekend in mid-January) but I packed a lot of sightseeing in. I had a regular room but it and its bathroom were huge with very tall ceilings - at least 12 feet high. Plenty of closet space (not even pictured - my pictures below are not of the whole room, I was standing about 1/3 of the way into the room when I took the photo. It's 5 stars, what more can I say.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6809627881_6b788f2cb3.jpg

The bathroom. I have got to remember to take photos before I trash the room. The toilet is behind the smoked glass you see to the right and that part of the room is spacious itself because it's the entire length of the bathroom. BIG COMFY ROBES.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7025/6809628545_0fc7af0c4d.jpg

When I left my room, this is the hallway leading to the reception area:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6809627317_0008f64b26.jpg

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/madre-ac-palacio-del-retiro-autograph-collection/


ps and here is my blog post for that trip:

http://skywalkerbeth.blogspot.com/2012/01/home-from-long-weekend-in-madrid-watch.html


Enjoy.

640GC
07-09-2012, 12:02 AM
Any recommendations for accommodations in Burgundy.

Should we head to Tuscany instead? Wife is interested in seeing beautiful churches.

Sept ED pickup in Munich and then drop off in Paris, Frankfurt or Nice. Still trying to figure out where to go as we only have 5 days. I would love six months and to go in every direction!

Nice was moves down on the list as CDG and FRA have direct flights to DFW, NCE does not. Kids are in School so trying to not be away as long.

b-y
07-09-2012, 05:30 PM
Any recommendations for accommodations in Burgundy.

Should we head to Tuscany instead? Wife is interested in seeing beautiful churches.

Sept ED pickup in Munich and then drop off in Paris, Frankfurt or Nice. Still trying to figure out where to go as we only have 5 days. I would love six months and to go in every direction!

Nice was moves down on the list as CDG and FRA have direct flights to DFW, NCE does not. Kids are in School so trying to not be away as long.

I have an alternative suggestion. Consider the region around Cuneo (south of Turin), especially near Mondovi. You'll want to visit the Commune of Vicoforte.

First, your wife will find the Sanctuary of Vicoforte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santuario_di_Vicoforte)(formally, the Basilica-Sanctuary Regina Montis Regalis) to be fascinating. It has the largest elliptical dome in Europe. Second, the area has many small inns and hotels as well as agriturismos.

This is truly the type of location that lets your enjoy having complete freedom with your ED car. The are reasonably-priced restaurants featuring local foods, not only in and around Cuneo and Mondovi, but also at the nearby towns such as Monforte d'Alba, Cherasco, Bra, etc. Another option is to stay in Alba, which is a bit busier and also nearby to the NE.

I just noticed that the Piazza Duomo (http://www.piazzaduomoalba.it/index_eng.php)in Alba has two Michelin stars, but is closed for either two weeks or all of August (depending on the source). Personally, I'd plan my trip around a meal there!

PS: This is the type of discussion that belongs in its own thread so that others can find it.

skywalkerbeth
01-03-2013, 06:06 AM
Whoops, it's been three months since my last visit to the forum and apparently 6 months since I touched this. Where does time go?

The latter half of my 2012 wasn't great. Lots of sadness and preoccupation, although I did manage to get a bit of traveling in.

skywalkerbeth
04-27-2014, 03:36 PM
I thought I'd top this for the spring travelers.

I have a lot of new hotels to add to this.. I hope Beewang is still amenable to how I add to this...

dandanio
04-28-2014, 07:53 AM
Speaking for myself only: add it away! I am interested in seeing your recommendation as it already saved me a lot of grief before. :)