The House Ribeira Hotel in Porto, Portugal

Last week, I was with my husband in Portugal for 4 days. This time we visited a picturesque city of Porto and stayed at the trendy House Ribeira Hotel which was transformed into a modern hotel from an abandoned ballet school and theatre.

Atmosphere:

As soon as we entered this trendy, boutique hotel we felt welcomed and the front desk staff were extremely accommodating. As we had a very early morning flight and arrived at the hotel at 10a.m., we dropped our bags and took some advice from the receptionist who recommended for us to take one of the bus tours. When we came back to hotel, around 5p.m. on that day we were welcomed with a glass of Port wine whilst filling in the paperwork-a really nice touch that made us feel appreciated and welcomed.

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The hotel is addressed to a modern, urban audience that seeks not only a great place to stay during their travels but also the authenticity of this marvellous city.

Location:

The House Ribeira Hotel is superbly situated in the centre of Porto’s downtown area. The river is only a minute away by foot and there are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby. The nearest station (Sao Bento) is only 700m away. The main square is only around 15 minutes walk from the hotel and the shopping district and the famous Rue Santa Caterina street is around 10 min walk from the hotel.  Most other key attractions (i.e. Alfandega do Porto, Luis I Bridge, Port Wine Cellars, Palacio da Bosa) are within walking distance making it a perfect place to stay whilst in Porto.

The Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport airport is around 20-30 min from the hotel and the taxi costs around 30-40 Euros.

Facilities:

The House Ribeira Hotel has only 56 rooms spread over 6 floors. The hotel’s design is meant to make you ‘feel like home’.

This theme is visible everywhere, starting from the reception, moving to the bar and breakfast area and ending in the rooms. If you like a modern, funky look then you will love the sitting in one of the multifunctional areas located at the opposite sides of the reception.

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They are furnished with a mix of bench seating, with some interesting cushions and colourful stools, which create a modern, vibrant and colourful look.

Next to reception, there is an open refrigerator stocking a selection of 24/7 ‘grab and go’ packaged sandwiches, snacks and fruit juices. Nice when you just need to get a quick snack on the go.

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Daily breakfast service is available from 7:30a.m.-11a.m. and the cafeteria is open from 1p.m. -11p.m.

Room:

We stayed in a premium room located on the forth floor . Our room was equipped with a private bathroom, interactive TV,  mini bar with a selection of soft drinks and wine, safe, air conditioning. There was a free Wi-Fi available throughout the property. Our bed was comfortable and the room had a simple, modern design. There was a walk in wardrobe as well as study desk with 2 chairs.

Our bathroom had a contemporary, open-plan design with glass-panelled toilet and shower cubicles. Some basic toiletries were provided.

Overall experience:

Although, we were in Porto for only 3 nights, we had a great stay at the House Ribeira Hotel. The hotel has a perfect location, staff was extremely friendly and our room was comfortable and  modern. I would definitely recommend it to any travellers who enjoy chic looking surroundings and like to feel like home whilst away.

If you consider visiting Porto then you can book your stay at The House Ribeira hotel through Booking.com. In addition, if you book your accommodation via this referral link, you’ll get £20 in cash.

Address:

Rua do Infante D. Henrique 26,

4050-492 Porto,

Portugal

Website:

http://www.shotels.pt/thehouse/home

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Bank Holiday stay at Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow, UK

2 weeks ago, we decided to travel to Shropshire for an extended Bank Holiday weekend.  We left London during the early afternoon and after a few hours drive we arrived at Fishmore Hall hotel in Ludlow.

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Atmosphere:

Fishmore Hall has a very informal atmosphere and from the moment we stepped in to check-in until the moment we checked-out we felt welcomed. All the staff were friendly and professional.

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Location:

Fishmore Hall is situated in Shropshire, around a 3 hour drive from London on the outskirts of Ludlow. The town is well-known for its food festival, interesting shops and historic castle. It is a great holiday destination with many walking trails and sightseeing opportunities to meet the demands of even the most demanding travellers.

 

The beautiful view of Brown Clee Hill and Titterstone Clee Hill can be enjoyed from some of the hotel’s bedrooms or its garden. We spent a romantic afternoon overlooking the fields and rolling hills whilst having a few drinks in the hotels relaxation area located in its gardens.

Dining in an elegant atmosphere may be enjoyed in the restaurant at Fishmore Hall, with views across the beautiful countryside through the large French windows. Afternoon Tea upon arrival may be arranged.
Within close proximity to the hotel are activities ranging from golf to fishing and horse riding. Fishmore Hall is just 1 miles from Ludlow, famous for its food festival, restaurants, shops and historic castle.

Facilities:

Fishmore Hall Hotel has been awarded 3 red star status by the AA. Red Star hotels represent the most outstanding examples in each star category and signify the best in the British Isles.

Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant offers classically based modern British cuisine and welcomes both residents and non-residents who can choose from 2 A La Carte Menus. We decided to have our dinners in there and we weren’t disappointed – both menus were delicious. For guests looking for a more relaxed dining experience, light meals and snacks are available in the elegant setting of the Brasserie. In addition, guests can enjoy a Classic Afternoon Tea which was recommended as one of the best afternoon teas in Shropshire.

 

All visitors can also relax at the guest lounge with and have a drink at the bar which offers a nice selection of drinks and cocktails.

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If, like me, you enjoy having a moment to yourself and a bit of pampering then you will love that the Fishmore Hall Hotel has a luxurious spa – SPA SHELL- overlooking the Shropshire hills.

 

The SPA SHELL features a sauna, steam room, and an outdoor whirlpool. A range of prestigious Elemis treatments and massages are available.

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I decided to have Elemis Garden of England Rose Massage whilst my husband had a classic Full Body Massage. We both really enjoyed the spa facilities and our massages.

 

Room:

Fishmore Hall Hotel is a privately-owned boutique hotel that offers a plenty of rooms to choose from. We stayed in the Executive room (no. 5) which was deeply comfortable, elegant and sexy.

It had a flat screen TV and a very comfortable king-size bed. In addition, there was a desk, table and chairs, and a complimentary Wi-Fi. Our mini bar was stocked up with some local goodies and some complimentary milk and water were given.

 

Our bathroom was spacious and walk in shower as well as a separate bath. Some soft towels, bath robes and slippers were provided. The bathroom was equipped with a selection of exclusive Elemis toiletries.

 

Overall experience:

Although, we stayed only for 2 nights, we had a very relaxing time at Fishmore Hall Hotel. It is a place where you could be assured of being personally pampered in beautiful rural surroundings in a modern SPA, in addition to being able to unwind in peace and quiet whilst admiring the surrounding nature. What’s more, if you are a bit of a foodie then the hotel’s restaurant will definitely meet your expectations as it offers excellent locally-sourced food.

 

If you consider visiting Ludlow then you can book your stay at Fishmore Hall through Booking.com. In addition, if you book your accommodation via this referral link, you’ll get £20 in cash.

Address:

Fishmore Road
Ludlow
Shropshire
SY8 3DP

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

De Vere Wokefield Estate, UK

I travel on business a lot and a couple of weeks ago, I stayed at De Vere Wokefield Estate.

Location:

De Vere Wokefield Estate is located 25 minutes drive from the Reading train station or 40 minutes drive from Heathrow Airport. It is set inside of a golf course in 250 acres of Berkshire parkland.

DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE entrance

Facilities:

De Vere Wokefield Estate has a 24-hours reception and a Business Centre.

DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE reception

Wi-Fi is available at no extra charge. The hotel caters for both business and personal events from weddings to meetings and team-building exercises. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a room service.

The restaurant serves a nice selection of buffet items for breakfast and dinner. The bar offers a nice selection of gourmet food but I wouldn’t advise to eat in there. Firstly, the service was extremely slow-I was waiting for my steak for 2 hours… Secondly, I was disappointed with the bar staff as they should have at least warned me and my colleague about the waiting time before we ordered. Food was reasonably priced but my steak was really solid and I ended up only having half of it.

In addition, if you like playing golf then De Vere Wokefield Estate is surrounded by an 18-hole championship golf course with 9 lakes. You can also buy some professional golf merchandise on-site.

Room:

De Vere Wokefield Estate offers rooms in either the sleek Executive Centre or in the elegant Mansion House. I stayed at the Executive Centre. My room had a  modern, stylish decor. My king-size bed was comfortable and room also had a study desk and a large TV.

DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE bed

The bathroom had a simple décor – bath, shower, hairdryer and toiletries were available.

Overall:

De Vere Wokefield Estate is a great place to unwind after a day of work or during the weekend. If you travel to Reading on business then I would definitely recommend it as it is much nicer then most hotels based in the city centre. 

Address:

Goodboys Lane, Reading
RG7 3AE

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Bristol, UK

Last month, my mum came to stay with me for a few days and we decided to go to Bristol for a couple of days. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre.

Location:

Hilton Garden Inn Bristol hotel is located 15 minutes walk from the Bristol train station in a quiet business area. In addition, it is only 5 minutes from Temple Meads Station and 10-minutes train ride from Bath Spa. The shopping centre is located barely 5 min away so if you are planning a bit of retail therapy then look no further. 

Facilities:

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel has a 24-hours reception, baggage storage room, restaurant and a room service. Wi-Fi is available at no extra charge. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day. The Races reception serves a nice breakfast to start your day with. During the evening you can choose from a range of International and British dishes but I wasn’t impressed with their quality.

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The hotel has 2 meeting rooms that can host a conference or private event for up to 60 guests and if you wish to make your stay extra special then you can request to stay in one of the rooms with a picturesque view of Temple Gardens.

Room:

We stayed in a Queen Guest Room had a nice, contemporary décor.

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Our room had a mini-fridge, work desk and a chair. I addition, there was a large 32-inch LCD TV. The bed which was comfortable and easy to fell asleep in.

The bathroom was small and had some basic toiletries were provided.

Overall:

Hilton Garden Inn Bristol hotel has simple yet comfortable facilities in addition to great location. I would recommend it to anyone who travels to Bristol on business or for pleasure.

Address:

Temple Way, Bristol, BS1 6BF, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

J W Marriott hotel, Washington D.C.

Last week, I was in Washington D.C. and stayed at the 4* J W Marriott Hotel.

Location:

J W Marriott Hotel is perfectly situated just a couple of minutes walk from the White House in the heart of downtown Washington D.C. . It has a perfect location as it is close to all the major sights and museums of Washington, steps from the U.S. Capitol and a short 5-minutes walk from the National Mall.

Service:

The reception desk is open 24 hours. The service was friendly, attentive and always happy to suggest the places to visit or restaurants to dine in.

Rooms:

I stayed on the 2th floor in room 225 which features some breath-taking views of downtown. The room was chic, comfortable and it was furnished with a spacious desk, modern armchair to rest on and a comfortable king-size bed.

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The room was also equipped with Air Conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a minibar.

There is Wi-Fi connection to Internet available throughout the Hotel at an extra charge of $12.95 per night.

Bathroom:

Our marble bathroom had a beautiful modern décor, a bathtub and a shower.

There was a selection of natural bath toiletries provided.

Facilities:

Breakfast is offered for a surcharge and provides a selection of cold and warm dishes to choose from and costs $26 per person per night.

All hotel guests have a complimentary access to the heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and fitness area. There are 2 restaurants available to dine in-Avenue Grill and 1331 Lounge. In addition, all guests can grab a coffee at Sturbucks located on a ground floor past reception to recharge their energy levels.

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Overall experience:

J W Marriott Hotel offers everything you need for a wonderful visit to Washington- a great location, friendly staff and comfortable rooms.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/wasjw-jw-marriott-washington-dc/

Address:

1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington  District Of Columbia

20004  USA

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Croatia

A few weeks ago, I visited Zagreb in Croatia with my husband. We decided to stay at the 5* Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.

Location:

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is situated just few minutes away from the heart of historic Old Town center of Zagreb. It has a good location for anyone wishing to do a bit of sightseeing as it is close to all its major sights.

Service:

The reception desk is open 24 hours. When we arrived we went straight to the receptionist to check in. We were welcomed by quite a grumpy receptionist… Throughout our stay, we were disappointed with the friendliness of the staff and none of them smiled. I was surprised as most of the exclusive hotels I stay in have extremely friendly staff which wasn’t a case in Esplanade.

Rooms:

Esplanade Hotel dates back to 1925 and is one of the most famous buildings in Zagreb.

It is famous for welcoming many distinguished gusts such as presidents, politicians, film stars and musicians. Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has 208 rooms and suites. We stayed on the 4th floor in room 404.

Our room was elegant, spacious and offered traditional art deco suroundings. It was furnished with soft carpets, spacious desk, modern armchairs and a comfortable king-size bed. The walls were decorated with some basic paintings.

Our room was also equipped with Air Conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a minibar. There was a free Wi-Fi connection to Internet available.

Bathroom:

Our marble bathroom had a classic décor, a bathtub and a shower.

There was a selection of natural bath toiletries from L’Occitaine collection.

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Facilities:

Breakfast is offered for a surcharge and provides a selection of cold and warm dishes to choose from. As my husband doesn’t normally eat breakfasts, we decided to skip it as it was around £20 per person per night.

All guests have access o the health club and the use of sauna and fitness area is free to all guests staying at the hotel. The Hotel doesn’t have a swimming pool.

Overall experience:

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has a great location, comfortable rooms and nice small relaxation area. There is also a couple of restaurants on site if you are too lazy to walk to the city centre. The only negative aspect of our stay was the service we received and I hope that it will improve as other than that the hotel has the facilities to enable anyone to have an enjoyable stay.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.esplanade.hr/

Address:

Mihanovićeva ul. 1,

10000, Zagreb,

Croatia

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Hilton Hotel in Reading, UK

Last week I was on a business trip in Reading and I stayed at Hilton Hotel.

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Location:

Hilton Reading hotel is located 2.5 miles away or 15 minutes drive from the Reading train station in a quiet residential area. 

Facilities:

Hilton Reading hotel has a 24-hours reception and Business Centre, guest laundry, a restaurant and a room service. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property at no extra charge. If you like to stay fit during your travels then the hotel offers complimentary 24-hour fitness center with a heated swimming pool. You can also relax in the sauna or steam room to rejuvenate after a day at work.

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During your stay you can dine in The Larder restaurant that serves a range of International and British dishes. I had some beef brisket for my dinner and it was better than expected.

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I stayed in a Queen Guest Room which was spacious and had a contemporary decor.

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My room had floor-to-ceiling windows, WiFi, mini-fridge, work desk and ergonomic chair. I addition, there was a large 32-inch LCD TV.

The room had one queen Hilton Serenity bed which was comfortable and easy to fell asleep in.

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The bathroom had a white décor and some basic toiletries were provided.

Overall:

Hilton Reading hotel provides a place to unwind or to catch up on work after a long day at work so if you travel to Reading on business I would definitely recommend it. Its amenities will to help you relax and rejuvenate during your stay. 

Address:

Drake Way,

Reading,

RG2 0GQ

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline