Tag: Review

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.

 

14.05.2019: Reviewing Norwegian for Holidays

⭐⭐

Norwegian at Malaga (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

Norwegian is one of the biggest low-cost airlines in Europe and we have flown with them many times in the past, before recently having moved to fly with another airline more and more. Because of this it was a refreshing change to come back and test a direct flight from Helsinki to Malaga. One of the biggest factors of course was the price of the flight.

The Price

One of the main selling points for us this time was the price of the tickets as we didn’t plan to take any cargo luggage with us and when it comes to current prices of putting luggage to cargo hold, Borwegian is still one of the most affordable ones there is.

A Norwegian Cabin (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

Check-In Process

Check-in for this flight was easy and convenient to do, as we did it online. One major hiccup for me was when I logged into my Norwegian account and didn’t see my flight there. Every time I had to go through a search to find the flight details (as the tickets were bought by my husband).

And one major turn off was that we were no longer allowed to pick our seats as part of the check-in process. Now one has to really purchase a seat, otherwise it will be assigned to you. It was a tad annoying.

Otherwise than that, the process went smoothly and might have been even smoother had I downloaded their app beforehand.

Services Onboard

It was the services during the flight that made us go “meh”. Had we pre ordered meals, it would have arrived without any drinks whatsoever and during the drinks sales service.

This would have been ok, if Norwegian accepted debit cards. Neither of us hasn’t got an Electron or an online debit card, but one of those with embossed numbers and letters, and this far Norwegian is the only airline that we have used in recent times where this debit card is an issue.

Which blatantly meant that it was a 4 hours flight without anything to drink or snack as the card wasn’t accepted and as a Finn, I hardly ever carry cash with me (which leads to situations in other countries…).

Another issue that was a definite worsening of Norwegian’s service is the introduction of “premium internet packages”. You still can get the free internet as before but Norwegian seems to have blocked all social media from it (apps and websites), as it is clear they want to charge people when using those. The basic, free, internet only allows web browsing with a very slow connection.

Spain From Above. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2019

The Verdict

As much as we prefer direct flights over layovers, and a good bargain, we still feel that heading to a holiday would warrant that something extra to be enjoyable. And sadly that is not what Norwegian provided this time around, and based on our previous experiences, it is quite clear that some of their services I have gone downhill.

And when it is already 2019 and you still can’t get a cup of coffee during a flight because of the sales system not accepting cards that the majority uses.. well, that’s a definite reason for me to keep paying a bit more for our flights.

11.03.2019 /2: What’s Up, Estonia?

Years ago, when I used to “blog” into a small, black diary much like we do nowadays over the internet, I usually ended my travel with a closure-type text where I would moan about having to go back home, back to the normal life. You know that post-holiday blues. Continue reading “11.03.2019 /2: What’s Up, Estonia?”

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”

10.03.2019 /3: Dinner Buffet at Tempo @ Tallink Express

As persons who don’t eat everything on the menu (mainly pork and its derivates), we are a tad sceptical when it comes to preordering a buffet. We did it already as part of our holiday package, as I thought it would be slightly cheaper at that time. Everybody knows how the hotel prices are, expensive. Continue reading “10.03.2019 /3: Dinner Buffet at Tempo @ Tallink Express”

09.03.2019 /2: Evening Meal at the III Draakon

The III Draakon, a small mediaeval tavern located at the Old Town Square is a gem in itself, and our favourite haunt whenever we are in Tallinn. Apparently, according to the staff, there has been a tavern there ever since the town hall was built, so it would be hundreds of years. And maybe it is so! A piece of living history! Continue reading “09.03.2019 /2: Evening Meal at the III Draakon”

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!

01.03.2018 /3: La Galeria @ Fuengirola

Spain145
La Galería (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2018

When one conjures up images of a touristy hotspot at the Costa del Sol, maybe posh dining isn’t something that springs to mind first and foremost. Enter La Galería, a food and drinks court in Fuengirola that is fresh and fairly decently priced. Continue reading “01.03.2018 /3: La Galeria @ Fuengirola”

01.03.2018 /2: Churros @ Hermanos Florez Churrería

Spain143
Churros! Nom! (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2018

One of the reasons we decided to pay a visit to areas surrounding Fuengirola was to try and find a British bar that we saw on a TV program. Have to say that luckily we didn’t find it. Instead we found this quaint churreria which is located just next to the Los Boliches train station! Continue reading “01.03.2018 /2: Churros @ Hermanos Florez Churrería”

28.02.2018 /4: Pepa y Pepe II

We had planned to arrive back to Málaga earlier (remember, we had a bus tickets booked at 18:00), but as our visit to the Alhambra’s famous Nasrid Palaces made us change plans, we arrived instead quite late (21:45) feeling hungry. After a brisk 30 minutes walk home from the bus station, we quickly freshened up and headed out to find some food! Good thing about Spain is that people tend to eat relatively late so restaurants, even at this time of year, stay open to late.

For some days now we have been planning to go test Pepa y Pepe II restaurant, as it is relatively close to our accommodation. There are actually two Pepa y Pepe restaurants in Málaga and apparently the one near our pad is not the original one. But foodwise, the quality seems to be as good in both the places.

We decided to test their tapas by ordering different portions and that is actually a much better idea than just stuffing ourselves full with one type of food. Even though the tapas is mostly meant to be a snack or something to have prior to your main meal, they can be combined to fill up your stomach as well. Besides, ordering several plates makes it a bit more social event as everyone at the table can share the food.

(C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2018

After carefully scouring the tapas menu, we ended up with: Patatas con tres salsas, gambas pil-pil, pimientos verdes fritas, and pulpo fritas. The three sauces with the potatoes were Roquefort cheese sauce, hot sauce (the patatas bravas style), and garlic sauce.

The quality of the dishes was good, even though it was obvious that we were the kitchen’s last customers of the evening at 23:30, and the dishes arrived in a quick succession, which was also a nice thing – it allowed us to actually taste each dish on its own before moving onto the next one.

The only let-down, at least for us, were the potatoes. Having travelled a lot to the Canary Islands, I expected more than French fries. But my expectations might rely on the Canary potatoes, and I think that messes up my mind a bit when it comes to foods like patatas bravas. And obviously, if you went to a more high-end tapas restaurant, the potato experience might be completely different.

The Verdict

We give this restaurant a whopping **** based on the quality of the food, the quickness of the service, the quality of the service, and the price level.

The service didn’t seem to be rushed even though we entered quite late and it was obvious that we were the last customers for the kitchen. Also, the lateness didn’t affect the quality of the food, which was pleasant as well.

For us, there was plenty of seats to choose from, but come summertime the place might be packed with people.