Category: Hotel Reviews

23.05.2019: Review – Pensión El Portillo

⭐⭐⭐

Pensión El Portillo is located conveniently near the Mezquita-Catedral, one of the major tourist hotspots in Córdoba, in the old town. The alleys around the area are small and winding, thus making the place peaceful and quiet, even though there is a road just nearby (with bus routes).

When we made the booking via Hotels.com for the place, we didn’t have a car rented at the moment, so we thought nothing of it, but for future reference – one should inform them before arrival if you are coming with a car; they will try to arrange you a parking spot nearby. Otherwise, there is none. We ended up parking across the river before managing to secure ourselves a spot by the Pensión.

Check in was quick and easy, the lobby was furnished in a typical Córdoba style, very charming indeed. The hotel does not have any lifts as the building itself is believed to be over 100 years old. The lobby is your typical indoor patio and it is clear that the roof has been put in much later than the house itself was built.

The Room

The room was actually really small, however it was very cozy, clean, and comfortable. There was no noise coming from inside the hotel although our room was right next to the staircase, which was a definite added bonus as this was something we were slightly apprehensive at first.

The room has a wardrobe, air conditioner, a dresser, night stands on each side of the comfortable bed, and two chairs to sit on. We used the chairs to sit on the small Juliet balcony overlooking the small plaza just outside the front door, a nice, quiet time with a glass of vino.

As it is with many rooms we have stayed in, there is a lack of power outlets near the bed, so if you are used to charging your phone whilst sleeping, prepare to leave it further away, or have a longer charging cord so you can keep it nicely on either of the night stands.

But as the room was small, it posed logistical problems for our luggage as we had everything with us (including a big suitcase we just bought from Fuengirola), and for me this was a definite downside. Having wheeled the bag around before arriving to the hotel room and then having to place it on your bed is not exacly my idea of keeping the bed clean, but on the other hand, there was a bedspread, so you don’t have to place it on the bed linens.

The Bathroom

The bathroom was clean and quite spacious, but no bidet. The shower cabinet was cleverly designed to take about 1/4 of the whole bathroom space, giving you good space to have a proper shower. The Pensión also provided shampoo and shower gel in sachets, and bars of soap to wash your hands with. This is a small gesture that we both really like over the wall-attached dispensers that you can see in many places around Europe nowadays.

The Verdict

The next time we venture out to Córdoba, the Pensión El Portillo is the first place we are going to check for availabilities. The location makes it perfect base for the exploration of the old town, and the surroundings. Knowing that they have two reserved car parking spots nearby makes it even more enticing (even though I suspect that other hotels around the area offer same kind of service).

Even though the room was small, it didn’t feel claustrophobic. Instead, the size of the room allowed the air conditioner to cool down the room quite fast, and it was kept of a steady temperature even during the night.

Check-out time was convenient, as it is not too early in the morning, but instead allows time to wake up before having to rush out of the door. We, on the other hand, had to depart earlier than the check-out time was as we needed to drive back to Málaga airport to return our car before the flight but that posed no problems either.

 

21.05.2019: Review – Hotel Carlos I

⭐⭐⭐

We booked this two star hotel in Torremolinos through Hotels.com as it was perhaps the most hassle-free way to find a place to stay in a convenient location. As with our flights, we try to concentrate longer bookings (as this was a week) into companies, such as Hotels.com, which gives you benefits from making the bookings.

The Review

The Hotel Carlos I did offer us a very pleasant stay indeed. Locationwise it wasn’t hard to find the place, as it is a 10 minute walking distance from the Torremolinos Train Station at Plaza Nogalera. As we had prepaid the hotel during the reservation process, the check-in process was quick and straightforward. The receptionist was very professional and friendly, offering us the needed information concerning our stay, and also giving us handy tips for the surrounding areas as well.

The hotel itself is quite big with 7 floors, and we were given a room on the topmost floor, from where the views were spectacular!

(C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

The Room

The room itself was fairly big. Even with a mini-fridge, a writing desk, a double bed, chest of drawers, a couple of chairs, and a wardrobe the room didn’t feel crammed. Also, the room was clean and bright, which is always important to us. There wasn’t cleaning done every day, in fact the cleaning was done only once during our stay, but as we are not a family with children, it wasn’t needed as well.

(C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

The room didn’t have an air conditioning, but we had a tabletop fan, which proved to work just as well to keep the room cool for the night.

The balcony was wide enough to have a small table with two chairs there and it was partitioned from the next door balcony by a translucent partitioning. For me, the railing was a bit low, so I can understand some parents feeling a tad nervous for letting children into the balcony by themselves.

The Bathroom

Like the main room, the bathroom was spacious as well with a full-size bathtub, a sink, and the toilet bowl. Sadly there wasn’t a bidet, which would have been a grand thing to have.

To our amusement, there were some cleaning items (such as a brush and a mop) at the corner of the bathroom, but the brush proved to be a handy thing to have as there wasn’t cleaning performed every day; after a windy morning it was handy thing to have to brush extra sand from the balcony floor before going out to enjoy the morning sun.

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(C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

The Verdict

Even though it is clear that the hotel is not new and posh, the atmosphere is nice and quaint. Service level is what you expect on a two-star hotel, but at the same time the spaciousness does surprise in a positive way. Rooms are non-smoking, but the balconies are not, and if you happen to have a smoker in the neighbouring room, prepare to get the second-hand smoke drifting through the open door into your room.

As mentioned before, we were not bothered by not having a cleaning done every day – and let’s be realist, who cleans their house every day or changes their bedlinens every day anyway.

And as the reception staff (everyone we met there) were friendly and informative, it just added to the experience, and we can really recommend Hotel Carlos I for anyone who travels to Torremolinos area.

If you have problems with mobility, there is a good chance that you can still get a room in here as there are rooms on the ground floor as well. There is, of course, a lift, but it felt a bit small, and if you have to use a wheelchair it might pose a problem if your room is located on the upper floors. So, when making a reservation, remember to mention about this kinds of special requirements.

We definitely enjoyed our week-long stay in Hotel Carlos I and would definitely stay there again the next time we are in the area!

11.03.2019 /1: Review – The Tallink Express Hotel

⭐⭐⭐

The Tallink Express Hotel is a good option for those travelling with a budget, and to those who are willing to stay further away from the Tallinn’s beautiful Old Town.

The hotel is conveniently situated near the Tallinn Harbour’s A-terminal, which is not where the Tallink ships dock. If you are travelling from Stockholm or Helsinki with a Tallink cruise liner, you have to either walk about 15 minutes or take a taxi from the D-terminal. Continue reading “11.03.2019 /1: Review – The Tallink Express Hotel”

02.03.2018 /1: Sea & Wave Dos Aceras (apartment)

This time we didn’t book our accommodation through AirBnB, but found a good deal from hotels.com! When we book accommodations we tend to take a bit more time to see different options, and myself I haven’t yet learned how to use trivago.

So this time we stayed at Sea & Wave Dos Aceras, an apartment quite conveniently located near the heart of the old town. At first we were a bit apprehensive as the apartment we got was on the ground floor – fantastic for luggage, not so fantastic if you are not properly dressed and want to keep the curtains open. However, the main windows are not on that kind of level where it would be easy to peer in, so we wouldn’t have needed to worry about anyone peeping.

The apartment has a fully functional kitchen, which we hardly used, nicely finished bathroom and a shower, living room area and bedroom area. As it was a bit chilly at this time of the year, we used the air conditioner to give us a bit of a heat during the nights.

Next time we are going to stay here we do need to remember to get something to get rid of the mosquitoes!

Our rating: ****

The raining is based on the location, convenience of food shopping, and eating. Also during check-in, the lady checking us in gave us a ton of valuable tips, some of which you have seen realised in our blog texts!