Hotels: Hotel Hostalillo

I stayed at this lovely modern hotel right on the beach of Tamariu for a friend's wedding. I'd booked online and checked in with no problems despite arriving quite late at night. The staff spoke fluent English, so it was easy to communicate (never underestimate the lack of English speakers in Europe!). Our check out was also easy, no fuss at all.

 Image from www.booking.com (and it looks exactly as pictured!)

Image from www.booking.com (and it looks exactly as pictured!)

The room was comfortable, a double bed with a small balcony. There's an option to upgrade to a sea view, which in retrospect I wish I did. The mattress and pillows were nice and firm, with ample space for storage for a big suitcase. The room was quite comfortable, and I slept well that night, although you could hear a little bit of noise from the corridor outside if people were being a little bit noisy. The rooms are probably quite basic for the price, but they were clean and comfortable.

The breakfast was delicious, a nice spread of bread, fruits, meat, spreads and cheeses; although admittedly we were there for a wedding weekend so they may have upped the ante on the food options. They seemed fairly organized with the ongoing wedding though, and had recommended the most amazing celebrant for my friends.

The bathroom had responsive hot water, and toiletries.

The view was absolutely stunning! The sea was so incredibly blue, and so beautiful - although the water was still freezing at the end of May. There were some trails for walks on the cliffs surrounding the area, although it may not be the easiest of walks, and you can walk right down to the beach from the stairs on the terrace. There were also quite a few restaurants within walking distance, and a nearby convenience store.

Amazing views from the upper terraces.

CONS

  • The AC wasn't working (which I didn't figure out till later because the room never warmed up).

  • There was also a stale smell from the plumbing which was a little bit unpleasant, although I do feel it's something that can commonly happen with seaside hotels.

  • There also isn't a designated parking area, so you have to park on the streets and walk over to the hotel.

Overall I did enjoy the stay. I paid about EU230 for two nights - definitely a little bit pricey, but because if was for a wedding and it was a trade-off for being right on the beach itself.

Hotels: Riad Zamane Fes

We had booked an airport transfer which found the riad easily - the riad itself is fairly hidden down an alley and signage is a bit obscure, but we did find it with no issues as we arrived during the day.

We booked through Expedia. Check in was smooth, had to fill in some paperwork and we were served tea and biscuits while waiting for them to prepare our room, which did take awhile (about 40 minutes). Their staff had kindly taken our bags up to our room for us and we did enjoy the beautiful courtyard at the time, so it wasn't too much of an issue.

Riad Zamane Fes - Lounge

We booked the junior suite for the four of us, and it was fairly comfortable - a double bed and two single beds in a room with a good amount of space for us and our luggage. Beds were comfortable, pillows were soft and there were extra blankets (the nights can get a bit chilly). Our room overlooked the courtyard, which was a lovely view. Despite the open windows facing the courtyard, it a pretty quiet place.

Riad Zamane Fes - Bedroom

The water pressure was good, and plumbing worked fine. Towels were refreshed as needed (although we were initially only provided with three towels for the four of us, and two bathrobes, but that was easily rectified once we told the people at reception).

Riad Zamane Fes - Toilet

The hotel itself is beautiful, from the central courtyard to the rooms - the tiles, the colours and the decoration really made it feel very special. Breakfasts were delicious as well, a combination of local breads, spreads and juice and tea.

Riad Zamane Fes - Breakfast

Most of the staff spoke Arabic or French, so we did have some trouble communicating when it wasn't the manager, but they were so friendly and so helpful that we really didn't mind at all.

We also ended up doing some laundry (which was a little bit pricey as most hotels are - I think I paid around MAD35 for a couple of shirts and a pair of pants) once we figured out how to communicate, but it would have been nice to have had a price list so we could have known beforehand.

Location wise, it was close to the Blue Gate (about a ten-minute walk), and easy enough to get into the souks from there. There was a small telecommunication shop nearby so we were able to get some local sims, and several restaurants within walking distance.

If you're in Fes, consider staying at Riad Zamane Fes - with excellent service and beautiful interiors it feels like a little haven in the old part of the city nearby the main sights of the medina.

Riad Zamane Fes
Derb Skallia, Fes, Morocco
Tel: +212 5357-40440

Hotel: Pakasai Resort Krabi

We arrived at Pakasai Resort at 10 o'clock at night and headed in to check in. I had booked through Expedia, and despite the late arrival, reception was open and check in was smooth.

As you finish checking in, you enter the main gateway to be greeted by lovely landscaped greenery, a lovely walk through the resort to the rooms. Our room was a superior grand room, which was a good size with a little balcony to boot, which was convenient to hang up our clothes after a day of swimming. The room itself was well maintained and decorated nicely. As with a lot of Asian hotels, their king bed is actually two single beds lumped in together. Comfortable, but not ideal. Pillows were lovely and soft!

Pakasai Resort - Bedroom

Bathroom came with standard shower gel and shampoo and some toiletry kits. The water temperature and pressure were great, quick to respond to changes - as with some of the places in Thailand, you do get the occasional whiff of sewage from the toilets, but it wasn't persistent.

Pakasai Resort - Toilet

The breakfast spread was decent - good combination of cereal and bread, local fruits and hot breakfast options. We had lunch at the hotel once as well, but found the food at the restaurant rather average and a little pricey.

Pakasai Resort - Breakfast

Staff were always friendly and helpful, from organizing tours, to just any general enquiry about the room. You do have to keep your language fairly simple sometimes, but for the most part, communication was straightforward.

Pakasai Resort is just a little bit off the main stretch of road in Aonang. It's far enough that it's quiet, and about a 15-20 minute walk to the other end of Aonang Beach. Plan your trip to the town properly to avoid paying tuk tuks multiple times! There's a tuk tuk stand just down the road for those who want to get to places faster, otherwise it can be around thirty minutes just from the resort up to the further end of Moo 2.

There was also a 7-11 and a couple of massage parlours right across the resort, which was convenient for any last minute buys!

Great for those who want a bit of privacy, but still be able to be close enough to the main road.

Hotels: Tirant Hotel

We came in to drop off our bags at 930am as we got in earlier than we had planned and we were lucky that rooms were available. We were even upgraded to a couple of deluxe rooms, and the staff gave us a quick run through and explained to us that there were ongoing renovation works right next door and to let us know if we found it too noisy and they would help us change rooms or move to another hotel.

Tirant Hotel

The location was right in the middle of the Old Quarter, about a ten minute walk to Hoan Kiem lake and the nearby shops.

Our room was spacious with clean, classic furnishings - furnishings may have been a little bit dated, but otherwise well maintained. Air-conditioning worked well, and the room had the basic amenities including toiletries, welcome drinks and a well stocked mini bar. Our toilet had glass walls, but it wasn't see through - although it did seem a bit unusual at first! Hot water was responsive and water pressure was good.

Breakfast was up on the 11th floor, with a rooftop view. Spread was slightly above average, with a selection of fresh fruits, an omelette corner and a different selection of hot foods and average pastries.

Staff were definitely very helpful, from helping us organize local tours to always greeting us with smiles, to helping us post our postcards at the local post office to prompt room service. It was really fantastic service! Their staff were definitely the strongest asset to the hotel!

CONS: Because of renovations, the room is noisy during the day. Renovations stop at 630, so if you're out all day it doesn't make too much of a difference, but probably not for families with young children who need a nap. Also, in the lower rooms with the windows, you'll be directly facing the restaurants on the opposite side of the road, which can be noisy up to about 10pm.

Otherwise it was a good hotel base to explore Hanoi and the old Quarter, to walk down the winding streets and see the way the locals live.

Hotel: El Nazar Cave Hotel

I had pre-booked the El Nazar Cave Hotel online and communicated with the manager, Ilyas through e-mail prior to coming. We arrived late night due to a delayed flight but Ilyas had pre-arranged transport for us so we weren't stuck at the airport which was such a relief!, and he was waiting for us at reception at midnight when we arrived.

El Nazar is one of the many cave hotels in Cappadocia, and was located halfway up a hill.

The room was a good size and as pictured, with a spacious attached bathroom. Clean, heated and comfortable - was especially thankful for heating since it was freezing the first few nights we were there!

El Nazar - Bedroom

The bathroom was surprisingly large, with a jacuzzi abthtub and tiled floors. There were your bath toiletries and a hairdryer. Water pressure was good, and the hot water was responsive.

El Nazar - Bathtub

The breakfast spread was good and we were always offered a choice of omelette; and the view over the city was pretty good and you could actually see the balloons up in the sky while having breakfast!

El Nazar - Breakfast

It was an easy walk down to the city, probably about 5 minutes to the Main Street that ran through town. Location was great, really close by the bus station and restaurants.

Ilyas was also a wealth of information and helped us arrange our balloon tours and connecting tickets to Olympos and was ever ready to give advice with regards to directions, places to eat and things to do.

It's a nice enough hotel, but it's Ilyas and the staff that make the place all that it is.