My Stay At The Shore View Hotel

I booked this hotel through Groupon on a travel deal which was a 2 night stay for 2 people with breakfast for £98, so I wasn’t expecting much to be honest but what I got was fantastic!

We arrived at about 9pm but there was a very nice man on reception that got us checked in very quickly.

I thought that there wouldn’t be a lift because the building has looked very old in the pictures that I saw online but was happily surprised that there was one.

The room was 117 on the first floor, a big spacious room with a nice sized bed, huge desk with the TV at one end, the tea and coffee tray at the other end and some shelves underneath with some more towels and a hair dryer. A wardrobe with hangers that didn’t have a door on it. Plenty of plugs around the room for us as well and a big radiator.

The room we had is at the back of the building but we could see part of the pier between 2 buildings so I guess that is kind of a sea view Haha.

The only niggles I had was that the bed was on wheeles, if one of us leaned on the bed a little bit, it would move. Not a lot but enough to make you lose your balance and our window looked out over the bins and pub. Nothing can be done about the pub of course and if you close the window, you cant really hear anything happening outside. You only get one pillow and it’s not very plump so I called down to reception asking if we could have more and a man came up about 5 minutes later with 2 pillows for us. Talk about super quick.

The bed is really comfy, definetily no complaints about sleeping. The TV was a good size, we could both see it find from the bed and it had freeview so we at least had a good amount of channels to pick from.

The bathroom is small but well designed so that it’s not cramped. There is a shower/bath, a toilet and a sink. Make sure you sort out the temperature of the water on the shower before you get in as it’s a bit cold at first and can get really hot very fast if you are just turning the nobs randomly.

The hotel is perfectly located on the seafront and about 1 minute to the pier.

Breakfast is buffet style so you can get a cooked breakfast of sausages, fried eggs, baked beans, bacon, mushrooms, omelette and hash browns. They also have a few different hams, cereals and breads for toasting. Everything was very nice except the sausages, I just couldn’t get on with them.

The hotel is very modern and stylish, always tidy and clean.

The wifi was really good, didn’t stop signal once when we used it in the hotel. You get a little card with the password on it when you check in and it stays the same the whole time you are there.

Parking isn’t all that great, they don’t have their own car park but you can get a parking permit from reception if you manage to find somewhere close by to park. I didn’t want to chance it and booked us in at the NCP car park half a mile down the road.

If yo arrive after the restaurant has closed, there is a very nice all-you-can-eat restaurant a few minutes walk away called which is where we went to as we had come straight from work so we were starving. Or, the nearest supermarket is a Tesco Express which is less than a minutes walk away round the back of the hotel.

 

I would love to stay here again, it was such a great stay.

Money saving tips when going on holiday in Orlando

Going to Orlando is an amazing holiday, but it can also be very expensive, here are a few tips to help especially if you are staying on International Drive.

Vouchers

Everywhere you go on International Drive, you will be given leaflets and books of vouchers with money off deals for restaurants, attractions and activities. They are in hotel receptions, on the iTrolly, there are people walking around giving them out. You will soon find out that a lot of the voucher books have the same offers in them but differs by one or two deals. The restaurant deals could be children eating for free, free drinks, 2 eating for the price of 1, one of your courses is free, money off the whole bill or money off.

All-you-can-eat restuarants

You will find these dotted around and are brilliant to make sure everyone eats their fill. There is a great one that we went to for breakfast called Black Angus Steakhouse. They do an all-you-eat breakfast for $4.99 if you pick up a leaflet and there is loads of food to choose from so we would fill up on breakfast and not worry too much about eating again until the evening. We went to a great one called Ichiban Buffet that had so much food to offer that it would take us 10 minutes just to walk around to see what we fancied eating.

Book online and in advance

I love doing this as it means that I don’t have to worry about paying for attractions while I’m on holiday as it is all done in advance. You can get some really great deals on the attraction websites for booking in advance like early bird tickets and group tickets. A brilliant website that we used for our trip to Miami was Orlando Ticket Deals, I honestly can not recommend them enough. For £341 we got transportation which was a minibus that had WiFi, air-con and comfy seat. Overnight stay in hotel a block away from the beach and everglade fan boat ride for both of us. This also included swimming with dolphins but I did that on my own, my husband was with me but stood at the side. We were picked up early Wednesday morning, on the way to Miami we had our everglade boat ride which also included a zoo were we got to hold baby alligators. When we got to Miami, we were dropped off at the Bayside Marketplace for a few hours to do some shopping before being picked up again to be taken to the hotel and we could do what we wanted for the evening. Early on Thursday morning we got picked up to go to Key Largo for the dolphin swim, which was AMAZING!! Something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. We then went back to Miami for a few hours before being picked up again and taken back to Orlando. We definitely got a good deal.

Supermarkets

We went to Walmart and Walgreens during our stay and saved a fortune as we were lucky enough to have a hotel room with a fridge, microwave and kettle. We bulk bought bottles of water, snacks, microwave meals, noodle pots and sandwich bits. We got a pack of 24 bottles of water for $4 from Walmart which was more than enough for the both of us, we saw the same bottles in a shop being sold indevidually for $1.50 so technically we saved $32 just on bottles of water. You can get packs of cereal bars very cheap which is great if you have kids. We got boxes of cereal for $1 and $2, big cartons of milk are quite cheap as well so breakfast was sorted. The noodle pots ranged from 50 cents to $1 depending on the size of the noodle pot as some of them could be quite big. To get a few loafs of bread, ham, cheese and some mayo only came to about $6 so we could make our own sandwiches for lunches to take out with us for a few days to save some more money.

Hotel Supermarkets

Although they are great for convenience, they can also be quite expensive. This is why it’s best to go to a proper supermarket to buy food and only go into the hotel supermarket for anything that is desperately needed.

You don’t have to eat out every night

If you are out all day at a theme park and don’t get back to your hotel until late, you aren’t always going to feel like going out for something to eat so microwave meals and noodle pots will be a god send.

Souvenir shops

Before buying any souvenirs at the theme parks, go to one of the many souvenir shops that you will find along International Drive. We got a lot of souvenirs for a fraction of the price in one of the shops compared to what we would have paid in the theme park. I got an official Disney 2016 baseball for $4 compared to $15 in the park. I also got a lot of Harry Potter key-rings and toys for a few dollars compared to $10 and upwards if I had got them at the park. They also do a lot of official t-shirts so everything is covered.

Outlet centers

Unlike malls, the outlet centers are where the big shops send their out of season or over ordered stock to be sold in sales. You will find a store for all the big shops like Nike, Reebok, Calvin Klein and loads more but everything is at a discount. I went to the Conserve shop and for any pair on Converses I brought, I could get a second pair with 45% off. If you sign up to their mailing list on their website, you can also get money off vouchers.

I hope my little tips help you, keep an eye out for more blog posts

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A day in Miami

As part of our holiday to Orlando, we booked an overnight trip to Miami with Florida Dolphin Tour through Orlando Tickets Deals. For £301 we got transport from Rosen Inn International Hotel on International Drive for the 2 days, entrance to the everglade park where we got to look around the zoo seeing all the animals and then have a fan boat ride around the everglade’s. We were taken to a Florida mall where we could walk around and do some shopping for a few hours. We got an overnight stay in a hotel that was a block away from the beach and got left to our own devices for the rest of the day. The next morning, we got up early to be taken to Key Largo so that I could swim with dolphins. We then got driven back to Miami to have some time walking around and then got driven back to Orlando.

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The stop in the everglades was brilliant, I love animals so seeing alligators up close was an experience. We also got to hold baby alligators after a talk, the mouths were tapped up so there was no chance of getting nipped. There was other animals like snakes, owls, lizards, etc so it was fun seeing those. The boat ride was for about half an hour and the driver was loads of fun telling us about the everglades. He didn’t tell us until we were out on the everglades that the sound of the fan was almost the same sound that a male alligator makes when they are defending their territory. He didn’t tell us this until we had stopped right out in the everglades and saw an alligator checking us out. It came right up my side of the boat, I had decided to sit right on the edge so I could see and I definitely got an eyeful haha.

The Florida Mall was great, loads of shops, bars and restaurants. We had great fun drinking cocktails in different bars, we had dinner and I got my favourite perfume, Paco Rabanne Black Excess for a bargain price even for Miami.

The hotel we stayed in was more like a night club but it was still comfortable and the bar was giving out free drinks for an hour in the evening. It was great how close to the beach the hotel was, it was just a block away from South Beach. We were lucky enough to see the sunset there and it was beautiful.

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The dolphin swim was out of this world. My husband could go with me but he wasn’t doing the dolphin swim so he got to stand at the side and take lots of pictures on my phone for me. There was lots of us there but we were separated into small

groups so we got lots of time on our own with the dolphins. The dolphins did lots of little tricks like jumping over a pole, pushing me across the pool by my feet, dancing and more. I absolutely loved it.

We had a tour guide called Madeline who was amazing, she knew so much, even when we pestered her with questions. She was a complete delight to talk to as well, she as so friendly and chatty. She was also the minibus driver so she was with us the whole time. She was also good at giving us recommendations for restaurants.

The minibus we were in was great, it had comfy seats, aircon, free wifi and a DVD player so they put films on for us to watch. It’s a lot of driving so you will need to make sure that you take a book, download some

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films or just take things to keep you entertained in case you don’t like the films that are shown.

So to recap, that’s transport, everglades stop, Florida mall stop and overnights stay with both of us and a dolphin swim for me, my husband didn’t want to do it. I think that was the most amazing bargain of our whole holiday. £301 for all of that.

 

I would recommend them to anyone and would gladly use them again and again.

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Top tips on booking a hotel

I love to travel and the planning part is always a great joy to me. The thrill of looking up destinations, the attractions I could visit, the restaurants and bars I would look forward to spending my evenings in but the important bit above all else is the hotel. In a restaurant you can leave and not go back if you don’t like the food or service, you can leave a bar once you finish your drink if you don’t like the atmosphere, you can even exit an attraction if it isn’t as exciting or interesting as first thought. It is a lot of bother to leave and find somewhere else to stay if you don’t like the hotel. Your room will be your refuge after a long day with a hot bath or shower before changing into your pyjamas and climbing into a comfortable bed to have what should be the best nights sleep you have ever had, this is why a hotel is so important.

Comparing Websites

Nowadays there are dozens of sites saying they will compare hotels for you, “all the prices in one place” I believe is the slogan of one, but at the end of the day, these sites also take commission if you book through them. They want you to use their site so that they get paid as well. I use these sites purely to see what hotels are in the area that I’m looking at, once I have an idea of the hotels I would be interested in, I then look up the hotel website. A lot of the time it is cheaper than the comparing websites and you will know that all of the money is going straight to the hotel.

Trip Advisor

 

My very best travelling tool that I have is Trip Advisor. I don’t book a hotel until I look on Trip Advisor to see what people have written because a lot of the time they are very honest reviews. Don’t just look at the star rating, read the reviews, especially the newest ones to see if there has been any recent problems at the hotel.

I remember one occasion that I found a holiday online that was £159 each for an all inclusive stay at a hotel for a week in Spain in 8 months time. Of course the post got my immediately attention but there was something in the back of my mind saying there had to be something wrong, why was a holiday so far in advance so cheap? I soon found out when I had a look at the hotel on Trip Adviser and not only did it have 1 star but the recent reviews were shocking. They had rude staff, bedbugs, bland food, dirty rooms, a swimming pool full of bugs and dirt. No matter how cheap the holiday was, the hotel was definitely not worth it.

Maps

I use Google Maps a lot, it’s another of my best travelling tools as it helps me plot out where I want to go as well as important places that I will need like transportation and attractions as well as the hotel. If you pick a hotel that doesn’t have an airport shuttle service, you will have to get a taxi or public transport to and from the hotel. Using Maps will help you work out how far and how long a car ride from the airport is to the hotel and Google Maps will also tell you how to do the journey on public transport. Maps will also tell you if you can walk to attractions or restaurants that you want to go to so that you can pick a hotel that is central or near to the things you want to see.

Be Honest With Yourself

Everyone is different, I have stayed in 5 star hotels and I have stayed in student accommodation which was close to being a hostel, I believe that it all depends on the reason for the trip. If I am going to London for a shopping weekend with my best friend and know that we won’t be in the hotel much, I don’t mind going cheap and cheerful seeing as it will just be a bed and possibly breakfast in the morning. If I am going on a much needed holiday, I like to spend that little bit extra to have real comfort seeing as I would be staying there for a week or 2. I like to make sure I will have a comfortable bed, I can get over 1 night in a slightly uncomfortable bed but a week or more would not fair well for my back and hip. Plus, I like to know that I will like the food, if I pick an all inclusive holiday and then find out that I don’t like the food, I would end up wasting all of my spending money on eating out.

Don’t Book For A Discount

Some hotels say they will give a discount if you stay with them, don’t let this be an immediate decider on your booking as it doesn’t mean you are getting a cheaper rate. Still check other hotels as they still might be cheaper even after the discount.

Don’t Always Return To A Previous Hotel

I have been burnt a few times by returning to a hotel that I had previously had a great stay at. One example that I can give you is of a hotel in London near Earls Court, my husband and I stayed there for a signing convention. We had stayed for the whole weekend and it was fantastic, couldn’t have been better. The next year we decided to stay there again but because we had had such a great stay the year before, I didn’t bother looking on Trip Advisor to see if the hotel had changed. The first night was fine but the second night, my husband and I were sat on the bed watching TV when the bed gave in and collapsed. My husband lifted up the mattress and it looked like the bed had been repaired several times as there was nails and odd bits of wood holding it up. The staff were great and gave us another room but seeing as it was late, we just got into the room and went to bed. I received a call at 3am from my friends, who were also staying in the hotel, saying that they were coming up to our room as they had moved out of their room. I woke up my husband and when our friends arrived at our room, they told us how they had woken up to being covered in bedbugs and when they checked the bed under the sheets, it was dirty and disgusting. My husband and I jumped out of our bed and found we had bedbugs too but not only that, my husband sat on the end of the bed and got his foot impaled on a nail that was sticking out the bottom of the bed. We also found that one of the bedside table drawers looked like it was stuck together with pink chewing gum, the hairdryer in the bathroom was melted, there was a huge stain covering most of the mattress that was dark brown, there was a rat trap under the radiator and when I open the curtains there was a dead pigeon that looked like it had been there a while. We all packed up our things and went down to reception. After a heated argument from the staff and waiting an hour and a half from the manager to arrive only to find out that he had been asleep in one of the rooms the whole time, we got our money back and managed to get another hotel. I was quite shocked that our amazing little find of a hotel had turned into a nightmare within a year. When we looked online for reviews, all of the warnings were there and I felt a complete fool for not looking before making the second booking.

Know The Ways You Can Pay

There are a number of ways that you can pay for a hotel now. You can save up and book a hotel with the full fee, pay with a deposit and then pay off gradually or pay when you check-in, make sure you know which method the hotel uses and which you want to do.

Some people find it less of a bother if you just pay the full fee so you don’t have to think about it again. Others like the idea of booking with a deposit and then being given time to pay off the rest so that they know that they have a booking. Making a booking and then paying when you check-in can be a weight off your mind too. All methods are perfectly fine but sometimes you have to pay a little extra if you want to pay over time so make sure you check that before completing the booking.

Travel Republic

I can not big up this website enough, I love using it as I can book hotels well in advance, it can be very cheap, some hotels let you book for £1 deposit and you don’t have to pay until 2 weeks before you are due to check-in. You can pay as little or as much as you want to as long as it is paid by the due date that they give you when you make the booking.

Booking.Com

This is one of the sites that I use to make hotel bookings but it is normally a last resort for bookings that I am making in advance. You need to make sure that you check every details of a hotel before making a booking, they take your card details for the booking and some hotels like to try the card either by charging £1 or a pre-authorised payment for the first nights stay where they don’t actually take the money, it is just earmarked with your bank like a pending payment but it is taken off after a few days. The problem I find is that some hotels don’t put in the listing that they do this, I have had it twice that I have made a booking to pay when I check-in and then get an email 2 days later saying the booking has been cancelled by the hotel as they tried my card and couldn’t take the money for the first night. I also had the unfortunate experience of booking a hotel, I cancelled the booking the next day as I found out that my husband had already made a hotel booking for me and a few days later, the hotel earmarked the money for the first night leaving me with £4 in my bank account. I called the hotel but they wouldn’t talk to me, my bank said they couldn’t do anything about it and Booking.com just wanted to tell me the payment processes instead of helping me. I had to wait a week to get the money in-earmarked and after I called the hotel and threatened them with legal action. Even after this mishap, I have had plenty of good experiences where I have had no trouble or any problems with the hotel.

 

I hope my little tips help you in your future hotel bookings.

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Top tips for after you check-in

I know it can all be very exciting when you get to the hotel and get your key or key card so you can check out your room but there are a few things that I do that I would suggest everyone doing before you get comfortable. After all, you have just paid to stay there.

Is The Bathroom Clean?

In large hotels, the cleaning crew or maid service might be short staffed or only give enough time to change the sheets, replace toiletries and have a quick sweep round. This means that sometimes they do miss things so always have a good look around in the bathroom. Take a look at the drains in the shower/bath and the sink to make sure it isn’t dirty or is clogged with hair. If you have a square shower, check the corners as they can sometimes be skimmed over. If there are lights over mirrors, make sure the lights all turn on. If you have a shower, make sure you check that the shower head is clean as well, the last thing you want is lime scale clogging the shower. The last things you need to check is the toilet, if it has been cleaned properly then the bottom of the toilet bowl should be clear.

Is The Bed Comfortable?

Not every bed in a hotel is the same, some hotels boast the bed nights sleep of your life so always check the bed but don’t just sit on it, lay on the bed in the position you know you are comfortable to fall asleep in at home. Move around into different positions and see if they are all still comfortable to you. If you have your partner with you, get them to lay on the bed with you, I had a bed once that was fine when I was laying on the bed but when my partner got on it with me, we found that the bed sloped down on my side.

Do You Have Enough Pillows?

Some hotels that I have been to have pillows that are as thin as paper and I had to ask for extra pillows because I am one of those people who likes lots of pillows so this is an important check for me. I’ve even had to get the towels out of the bathroom and put them under the pillow as there wasn’t any available. If there are spare pillows as a standard in the room, they will be in the top of the wardrobe so check there before ringing or going to reception asking for more.

Do You Have Enough Blankets?

This obviously depends on the weather and if you have air-con or just a radiator in your room. No one wants to wake up cold so make sure you have enough blankets to keep you warm. These are usually in the top of the wardrobe along with any extra pillows.

Does The Air-con Work

It may be there but does it actually work? Is it easy to work out how to use it? Make sure you know how it works and that you can hear it coming on. If you aren’t sure, check to see if there is an info folder in the room about the hotel or ring down to reception.

Is There Noise?

This one is good for anyone who is a light sleeper and the hotel is in a city. Most of the hotels will have soundproof windows so that you don’t get disturbed by the noise. Stand in the room with the window closed and listen, then go to the window and open it. Hopefully you will notice a big difference and know that the noise won’t keep you up in the night.

If any of this isn’t to your liking then you can call down to reception and ask them to rectify the problems, any good hotel will get onto it straight away. If it is for the pillows and blankets, check the wardrobe to make sure they don’t already store extra in there for you.

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My Birthday Trip To Brighton

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The first thing you really need to know about Brighton is that it is a student town. We went for a long weekend at the beginning of July and there were dozens of groups of foreign students taking tours of the town. There is normally about 20 in a group so they aren’t hard to miss haha.

Brighton is a very musical town, you will be hard pushed to not be able to find a pub or venue in the town that is playing live music. The big venues are The Brighton Centre, Brighton Dome and Concord 2 who regularly have gigs or live shows on.

The pier is great to walk along on a sunny day but he careful if it is a bit windy as there is not a lot of shelter. You get lots of 

 

shops doing souvenirs, sweets, jewellery and sea food. In regards to the sea food, my husband loves sea food and seeing as they are by the sea and it said fresh sea food, it turned out that it was frozen food. My poor husband was not amused. At the end of the pier you will come across the little theme park with rides for all ages and side attractions like the electric chair. There is also funny scenery for you to stand behind and poke your head through the hole to take funny pictures. They have 2 large domes that are arcades and some casino games. There is a restaurant and a bar but they are a little on the pricey side.

If you walk along the beach you will find lots of little shops, cafes and art galleries or you can just sit on the beach and relax. You can either sit on the beach, which is stones by the way, or rent deck chairs and parasols from the men on the beach. We spent the Sunday of our long weekend on the beach and had such a lovely relaxing day.  I am sorry to say that a few places along the sea front that boast fresh sea food also use frozen and it is not fresh at all so it’s always best to ask before you sit down.

The Lanes are a brilliant labyrinth of streets and alleys filled with shops for you to buy anything that your heart desires. I personally love the clothes shops, there are so many styles to choose from in the boutiques, book shops, jewellery shops Choccywoccydoodah have a shop in the Lanes as well.

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There are also some great restaurants, we went to the Harvester on the sea front a few times, especially for breakfast as it was all-you-can-eat for £8 and the food is lovely. We also went to Burgers And Cocktails which is absolutely amazing, the staff were all brilliant and when they found out it was my birthday, I got a free cocktail and they told us about an offer they were doing with Malibu to get more free cocktails. We went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant called Day’s Restaurant, the thing that we didn’t know was 

that you can take your alcohol. There wasn’t anything on Google and there aren’t any signs so we didn’t know until we were sat at the table, the food was nice though, lots to choose from.

One thing that Brighton isn’t short of is bars and clubs. The nightlife is electric and buzzing until the early hours. Everywhere you go there are drinks offers, dancers, foam, smoke machines and a drag act or two. You really are spoilt for choice.

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Top tips for staying in London

1. You don’t have to be right in the centre of London to enjoy everything. Most of the big sights are spread around so no matter where you stay, you will have to do some travelling. I recently stayed in London for a weekend and we stayed slightly outside the city in Ealing. It was a minute walk to the nearest tube station from the hotel and a 20 minute tube ride into Bond Street. The hotel was £84 for 2 nights with breakfast and the most I paid in 1 day was £6 for travel so it was just £102 for the hotel and travel cor the whole weekend whereas you might pay that just for one night in a hotel closer to the centre of London.

2. Use an Oyster or a contactless debit or credit card for travelling on the tube and bus. If you use an Oyster or contactless card to travel, London Transport will monitor your travels and then only charge you the cheapest rate at the end of the day. With the tube you will tap your card as you go in and out but the bus is different, a single fare is £1.50 but if you get off the bus and get into another bus within the hour, the second fare is free.

3. Travel light when you are sightseeing, you don’t need a lot of things with you when you are walking round London. I normally take my rucksack with me as I am always picking things up like souvenirs but I will have my purse, phone and print out of bookings that I’ve made if I have to have a print out. I use a small purse to just have some cash as I have Android Pay on my phone with my bank cards and loyalty cards saved on it.

4. Stay safe at all times. Always keep your phone and purse in the front pockets of your jeans or trousers and then cover your pockets with a long t-shirt or a jumper depending on the weather, don’t want you getting too hot. This will make it harder for someone to get into your pockets.

5. Book what you can in advance. From restaurants to attractions, if you can book in advance it will be save you a lot of time as some attractions have 2 queues, one for getting tickets and the other for going in once you have tickets. If you can, I would suggest spending a little bit more on fast track tickets for big attractions as I once spent over an hour in the normal queue for the London Eye even after we had our tickets, really wish I’d got the fast track tickets.

6. Try to go on weekdays if you have the choice. The weekends can be a lot busier so if you can, weekdays will be best and you may not need fact track tickets. My sister and I recently went to the London Dungeons on a Friday afternoon, we’d booked normal tickets and there was hardly any queue so we went straight in. We came out at about 5pm and there was hardly anyone there for the London Eye so we picked up our tickets and was getting in a pod within 20 minutes.

7. Stay overnight if there is lots that you want to do. London is a big place and no matter how many times I have been to London in the last year, I still haven’t done everything. Plus, going for the day can mean that you just do 2 or maybe 3 things in a day and it will be rushed. Staying overnight or for a weekend will mean you don’t have to rush as you will have more time in the day so you can get so much more done.

8. Pub food can be just as nice as a fancy restaurant for half the price. You are never far from a pub where ever you are in London so there are plenty to choose from.

9. Stock up on supermarket goods. There always seems to be a Tesco Express everywhere I go in London so instead of being charged £1.50 or even £2 for a small bottle of water in a shop, get a litre bottle that costs about 80p. It will last you longer and you can pick up snacks like cereal bars and sandwiches to keep you going.

10. Take your time. It’s all exciting running around and seeing the sights but try to remember to take you time and take it in or you will miss the other amazing sights. There is amazing architecture, statues of historical figures, beautiful churches and cathedrals, street art, street performers and so much more.

I hope this blog has helped you plan your next trip to London and that you have an amazing time 😀

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Staying At The Premier Inn In Hanger Lane

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This is a brilliant Premier Inn and one of the only ones that I know that has rooms at the promised low prices that you see on the TV. My sister and I stayed on the Friday and Saturday nights of the first weekend in December, we had the buffet breakfast each day and it was only £84 in total. A complete bargain.

It is located between two train stations, one is Park Royal on the Piccadilly line and is about five to ten minutes walk away depending on the speed you walk. The other station is Hanger Lane Station which is on the Central line and is about one minute walk to the hotel, you walk down into the underpass and the entrance to the station is at the other end. It takes about 10 minutes to get into London on the train.

When you walk into the hotel there are 2 little desks where there are sometimes staff if you need help or there are those big check-in machines to do it all yourself.

 

The staff were all really nice and chatty, ready to help out if we needed them and always had a smile on their faces.

We had a double room and it was huge, you could of easily got two more double beds in the room and still have room to move around. there was a desk with a chair, a spare chair in the corner and a big wardrobe that had a mirror and hair dryer already set up. The only thing I didn’t like about the room was that the TV sat on one of the shelves in the wardrobe and it was such a small TV that we couldn’t see it from the bed because it was about fifteen feet from the head of the bed. So when we were sat in bed watching TV, we couldn’t really make out what we were watching. The aircon was a big fiddly, we were really cold when we went in so turned it on a little but then woke up in the middle of the night sweating so turned it off. We kept it on 21 degrees the rest of the time so that we stayed comfortable.

The bathroom was surprising small when you think how big the room was but it had the usual toilet, sink and shower/bath. Like the room, it was cleaned everyday. Shower was easy to work out and the bath is a nice big bath that even I could get into for a nice soak.

The breakfast in the mornings was brilliant, so much to choose from food and drink wise, there was even smoothies which I really liked. You had mushrooms, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, has browns, bacon, baked beans, etc for the cooked breakfast. Then there was different cereals, breads, fruit, juices and yogurt. it’s best to go down to breakfast as early as you can as we found the breakfast room gets really busy at about 9am. It’s a big breakfast room but it became packed very quickly.

The wifi is free, it’s easy to connect to it and you get a strong signal no matter where you are in the building.

There is a little shop round the corner which is great for getting snacks and it’s not too expensive.

We didn’t use it but there is a car park round the back of the hotel which you have to pay to park in.

Would gladly stay here again and would highly recommend it.

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Staying At Isla Paraiso in Arenal en Castell

This hotel was both great and a bit of a let down, before I go on you need to know that I stayed here with my mum who is 72 year old and has trouble breathing at the best of times.

We went on holiday with Thomson so we got a coach from the airport to the hotel. There was only a few stops before our hotel so it took about an hour in total.

We asked for a ground floor apartment which is what we got except to get to it from the main road you either go down a set of stairs or a very steep ramp to get to the rooms. There are blocks of apartments all around the little complex with the swimming pool in the middle. Our patio doors were about 10 feet from the pool but this meant that the front door was round the back of the apartment block so when entering or leaving the apartment, we had to walk out the front door and along the back of the apartments. The apartments on the beach side of the complex would go downwards instead of up so the top floor was level with the pool. The apartments on the main road side went upwards. There are no lifts so if you have any problems with stairs, make sure they know when you book.

 

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The apartment was brilliant, it was very spacious, clean, tidy and everything we needed. the main bedroom is huge with 2 single beds put together to make a double bed and a big built in wardrobe that concealed a safe which you have to pay 14 euros to use but you do get that money back at the end of your holiday.

The bathroom was a good size but be careful of the rail that holds up the shower curtain as we found it was one of those extending poles so don’t pull on it. It has a big bath/shower that is a bit hard to work out at first but once you have it worked out, it’s fine. There is a lovely big mirror as well that has a light above it. The living room had a sofa bed, coffee table, chest of drawers, a dinning table with 4 chairs and a little TV in it. I found the sofa bed was more comfortable 

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than the bed in the bedroom so my mum slept in the bedroom and I slept in the living room. The little kitchen was great, we had a microwave, oven, toaster, cutlery, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, glasses, kettle, chopping board, everything that a kitchen should have. The apartment can get quite hot so you’ll be glad to hear that there is aircon, it’s only in the living room but if you keep the door to the bedroom open, the breeze will go in there as well.

The hotel offers half board and self catering options. We did self catering as there is a little supermarket right outside the hotel reception so if you pick self catering, you don’t have to go far for your food. The supermarket had a wide range of everything you will need including fruit, vegetables, drinks, bread, milk, etc.

The restaurant isn’t that great in my opinion. There isn’t much to choose from and then there is some English food which is pizza, sausages, chips, etc which tastes bland. We paid to eat there twice, once for dinner and once for breakfast and both times we wish we hadn’t. You only pay in the restaurant if you are self catering and you pay 8 euros per person. If you get half board then you don’t pay anything.

There are 2 restaurants that I would recommend going to. One is a very short walk from the hotel reception called El Mirador and we went there every other night for dinner. The staff, the food and the view is absolutely amazing, its not really expensive either. I would highly recommend going, they do a set menu as well which is cheap and still great food.

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The other restaurant is called Goody Goody and it is down on the beach. It is a huge outdoor restaurant which has trampolines, games, great staff and great food.

The hotel is a few minute walk from the beach, you need to walk down one of two sets of stairs to the road below the hotel and then down a hill to the beach. It really is just a few minutes to get there but it is steep on the way back so might take you a bit longer.

 

There are 2 big pools and then a children’s pool. The big pools are at each end of the hotel with the children’s pool in-between them. Both are regularly cleaned and have loads of sun loungers all around. as we had a little patio area, we were go and get 2 sun loungers to place in front of our room. The pool nearest the restaurant has a bar above it where you can get soft drinks, cocktails, beers, snacks and food throughout the day.

We ordered lunch one day from the pool bar as we were having a lazy day and I was surprised by how nice it was even though it was just a sandwich and chips, it all tasted freshly made and was cheap. We ordered the food at the bar and it was brought to our apartment.

 

They have a kids club and entertainment staff who put on something every night. There was bingo, karaoke, quiz nights, live performances like the acrobats we had one night. The entertainment staff put on shows as well, they worked really hard to keep everyone happy.

You can get wifi but you need to pay for it, I’ve put the costs for normal wifi and premium wifi below. The signal is best near the pool bar and reception.

For one log in

Time              Normal Wifi          Premium Wifi

1 hour            2 euros                   3 euros

24 hours        5 euros                   6 euros

3 days           12 euros                 15 euros

7 days           15 euros                 20 euros

For 2 log ins

Time              Normal Wifi          Premium Wifi

7 days            25 euros                 35 euros

14 days          45 euros                 55 euros

For 3 log ins

Time              Normal Wifi          Premium Wifi

7 days            35 euros                 45 euros

14 days          65 euros                 75 euros

There is a car hire shop right next to reception if you wanted to have your own car or there is a bus stop in front of the Apartmentos Sa Mirada and Sa Mirada hotels which is a few streets away. You walk up the road in front of reception which is a bit of a hill, turn right at the top and keep walking until you see the bus stop.

There is also a shop on the main road near reception where you can get clothes, swimming gear like goggles, arm bands, snorkels, etc, inflatables, shoes, towels, hats, bags, jewellery, novelty souvenirs and more. It’s well worth a look as a lot of people that had kids with the said they found it easier to get the swimming gear from the shop than take their own because they only cost a few euros each and then they could just throw them away at the end of the holiday.

All in all it was a good stay, there were just a few things that kept it from being perfect.

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My Brilliant Stay At The Mitsis Family Village

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Loved this place so much, I would highly recommend it to anyone as there was only 3 things we weren’t 100% on but there was plus sides to them as well.

The first being that the hotel is on a steep hill that we found difficult to get up, a few times we even ended up in little groups with people all just to get up the hill like a team haha. The 

 

hotel do run little golf carts up and down to the beach and other hotels so if you aren’t very fit, you just need to ask a member of staff to run you up the hill.

 

Our room was amazing but it was up another hill, the staff on golf carts helped out with that when we weren’t feeling brave enough to walk up haha.The last one was that the swimming pool is filled with filtered sea water so it can sting if it gets in your eyes, it can really sting and unless you want to be covered in little salt crystals when you dry out, you need to have a shower as soon as you get out the pool. On the plus side, it does help you get a tan quicker. It’s sea water for the kids pool as well.

This hotel is just 1 out of 4 in the Mitsis complex. The first hotel is Blue Domes Resort and Spa, Norida Beach, Summer Palace and then Family Village. This hotel is at the top of the hill looking down over the other hotels.

The room was just wow, it was huge, I’m pretty sure that you could put another 4 double beds in the room and we’d still have room to move around. The bed was 2 single mattresses on a bed that was made completely out of concrete. The bedside tables and headboard were also built into the bed. There was a huge wardrobe with loads and loads of room in it and a safe. There was a single sofa bed that was quite comfy to sit on, we didn’t sleep on it at any point. There was a little table next to it that had a small TV on it. There was a desk with a phone to reception in the corner. The bed bit about the room was that we had our own bar and kitchen! I loved it, it was just a shame that we were on an all-inclusive holiday or we would of had a few bottles in the bar haha.

One thing about the room you have to be careful about is ants. Do not leave any food out whatsoever, wrap it up and put it in the fridge. I took some sandwiches back to the room from the bar one night and fell asleep watching TV. I woke up in the night so a slight rustling noise, when I turned on the light, there was a line of ants coming from the front door, round by the wardrobe and up the side of the bed to the bedside table taking bits of my sandwiches away. It was amazing watching them but annoying, we thought about throwing the sandwiches in the bun but thought that the ants would just go in the bin so I put the sandwiches outside our front door and all the ants went back outside. We made sure to put food away after that.

The bathroom was a good size with a bath/shower, sink, toilet, hair dryer and a huge mirror. There is a window in the bathroom but it is about head height in the shower so if you open the window while you are in the shower, make sure you remember and don’t smack your head on it when you turn round….like I did haha.

It was the personal touches that really made this such a great hotel. We were checking in late, we didn’t get into our rooms until nearly 11pm and when we did there was a plate of sandwiches, some apples, 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of lemonade. I thought that was really nice of them as the kitchen was closed when we arrived. The bar only does beer in half pint glasses and my husband was finding it annoying that he had to get 2 drinks for himself each time so he asked the barman if there was an bigger glasses. There wasn’t anyone else at the bar so he said to hold on and went out the back of the bar. He came back a few minutes later with a hard plastic pint glass and said my husband could keep it. The few times that we attempted to climb the hill back to the hotel ourselves didn’t always go to well as it’s so steep, lucky enough, a member of staff came past us in a golf cart and stopped to give us a lift the rest of the way. A few times while we were eating in the restaurant, I’d finish my drink and one waiter would ask if he could get me another drink. Our towels were folded into fans on the bed every day when the maids had been in which was really pretty. You can not fault the staff here at all, every single 1 of them was really nice, chatty and a pro in their job.

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They have free wi-fi that only really works in the reception area, you get 2 hours sessions but you can just log back in once your session is over and it’s still free. You can pay for the better wi-fi which is faster and works around the pool as well but that can get pricy.

The restaurant was great, if you get a table near 1 of the windows facing the pool at dinner time, you got a beautiful sunset while you eat. There lots of room and lots of tables, I never felt like everyone was crammed in.

Meals times are:-

07:00 – 09:00 Breakfast

12:30 – 13:15 and 14:00 – 14:30 Lunch

18:30 – 19:30 and 20:45 – 21:30 Dinner

 

There are snacks in the bar in the afternoon which are sandwiches, little cakes, etc from 10:00 to 18:00.

The food was great, every meal we had something different but there was always plenty of salad, fruit, cold meats and bread. My husband and I really liked the omelettes at breakfast as you could ask them to make them fresh for you how you like it. We had meat balls one night and they were amazing, the sauce they used was so delicious. A tip for the English, don’t have the baked beans as you will be disappointed haha, they aren’t Heinz. They look like kidney beans in a tomato sauce.

There is a kids club and a little play ground right next to the pool. There was only a few kids in our hotel so only saw it being used a few times but the kids looked like they were having fun.

There is entertainment in the evening at the Theatre which is down the hill from the hotel and starts at 9pm each night. This is used by all the Mitsis hotels instead of Blue Dome so there is usually a lot of people there in the evening. It’s the kids club for an hour or so where they dance around and sing on the stage and then the entertainment staff put on shows, discos and themed nights. There is a bar up the back of the theatre on a platform, I would suggest getting there with the kids show to get a seat up b the bar, it’s the best view as you can see the whole stage. It does get really busy at the bar once the adults turn up so get a few drinks when every you go up to save yourself some queuing time. The best show we saw was when the entertainment staff put on a show showing off their talents, some danced, a few sung, some acted, 1 even used neon lights to do a dance, it was really good.

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There is a little water park that is used by all the hotels. The water is proper swimming pool water and not sea water. It is a small pool so it gets packed quickly and the sun loungers get taken super quick. There is a bar which is open all day but don’t serve snacks. There are also toilets behind the bar so you don’t have to worry about going back to the hotel if you need to use the toilet.

There is 2 slides but be careful going on the red slide as there is a sharp dip towards the end and I saw a few adults hit the back of their head on the slide. I myself hit my head because my I came round the last corner very fast, then my legs came up making me go backwards on the dip and hit my head.

There is a bus stop where you can get a bus into Kardamena for 1,80 euros each way or to Kos Town for 3,50 euros, make sure you always have the right money. You can get a timetable from reception.

There is a beach that is a 5 minute walk way or you can get one of the little golf carts down to it. The beach is still part of the resort so the bars and pizza hut are still included in the all-inclusive plan. The sun lounger area for this hotel has green parasols. You don’t have to pay anything for the sun loungers. The beach is manmade so it isn’t sand, it’s lots of tiny stones so it can be hard to walk on and when you go into the sea, you sink but it is still nice. There is 2 bars, one that has a glass front and one that is a little hut which also does hotdogs. If you want pizza from the pizza hut, you need to be quick because they can only cook a few pizzas at a time in the stone oven and everyone just jumps in when one is cooked.

My husband and I stayed here for a week in October towards the end of the season so there wasn’t loads of people there. In fact, when I saw that a lot of people left on the first Thursday we were there, I went to reception and asked if it was possible to be moved down the hill towards the main building. The lady on reception said she would see what she could do and to find her the next day, which I did and was told that because there wasn’t many people left in the hotel or expected to arrive, we were being up-graded to the next hotel, The Summer Palace the next day. I was a little sad as we had been having such a great time but was excited as we were getting an up-grade.

If you are going out the next day, you can request a packed lunch to be made up for you. Just go to reception the day before and they will put you on a list and the next morning, your lunches will be waiting for you. We had bottles of water, apples, bits of cake and sandwiches. I thought it was great as we didn’t have to worry about getting something eat when out for the day.

The bar doesn’t have a lot a of choice of beer but they did was soft drinks and a cocktail menu. There is a strawberry slushy machine in the bar as well which is lovely, especially on really hot days. I was asking for a bit of vodka in a glass and then filling it up with strawberry slushy, it’s delicious!

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My Stay At The The Istanbul Ev Guest House In Brighton

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We stayed here for 3 nights at the beginning of July and it was a pretty good stay. I booked through Travel Republic.

The location is great as it is a 2 minute walk to the beach and Brighton Pier. There isn’t much parking nearby so we arrived by train and then walked to the hotel, took a out 20 minutes.

 

The room wasn’t very big, it had a double bed, a big wardrobe, a desk and a small 

tv. Only one side of the bed had a bedside table, the other side was right up against the wall with the window so who ever is on that side of the bed had to slide down to the end of the bed or climb over the other person to get out of bed.

There isn’t any aircon so if it’s hot, you have to open the window and that is when you will get your own personal wake up call at 7am from every seagull nearby. It drove me crazy but it was so hot that weekend that it was a toss up between boiling in our room but have quiet or managing to cool down but hear all the seagulls.

The bathroom is a bit on the small side and takes up a lot of room in the bedroom. The shower is a good size but a little difficult to work out at first, once you know what’s what, it’s fine. The toilet it right in the corner between the shower and the wall, this was quite a squeeze for us to use but lucky enough there was a toilet on the landing as well that we could use.

The bed was super comfy, both me and my husband slept great each night as it was that comfy.

The view from our room was the back houses so not great but if you have a room at the front of the hotel, you see the front of the houses opposite. In order to see the sea, you would need a room at the front of the hotel and then lean out your window to look down the street.

There is no lift so if you have trouble getting up stairs, make sure you tell them when you book.

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The hotel offers breakfast, you can a tiny cooked breakfast, cereal, toast and plenty of tea and coffee. After the first day we actually opted to have breakfast at the Harvester at the bottom of the road as you can get an all-you-can-eat breakfast for £6 each.

When you check in you are given 2 keys, the first is the front door in case you are out late and they have locked up for the night. The other key is obviously your room key.

There is a Tesco Express a few minutes walk away so getting food and drinks if you need them isn’t a problem if you are on a budget.

The staff were all really nice, some of them didn’t speak much English but they were still nice.

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I don’t think I would stay again unless I was sure that I could get a room at the front of the hotel, with a bigger bathroom and on a low floor. I think that would definitely be better for us :-)

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My Stay At The Hilton In Kensington

Me and my best friend stayed here for a week while attending a film festival and had a totally amazing stay.

One thing that wasn’t made clear to me at the time of booking was that they try to take all the money for the booking the day before you check-in. Everywhere I looked on my booking said that we paid when we checked-in but the day before, I found that the first nights charge had been taken from my account. When I called them to find out what was going on, they said that they tried to take the full amount and when it was rejected, they took the first night charge so that I could keep my booking. I wasn’t happy at all as I was under the impression we paid on check-in, the man I spoke to said he was sorry that it wasn’t made clear to me before but that is the process. It was lucky that I had the money for the first night in my account or I could of lost the booking all together.

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The best way to get great room rates is to sign up to Hilton Honours to get emails about sales and offers. When I first went to book the hotel, I kept finding it for £140 a night which I thought was good considering it’s location but then I got an email saying they were having a sale. I logged in and found the same room for £99 a night, you can bet I booked it pretty sharpish to secure the cheaper rate.

One thing I will say about this hotel is that it is grand, I don’t think I’ve stayed anywhere like it, it was so luxurious. There was never a thing out of place, it was kept spotless the whole time that we were there.

Checking in was easy enough at the check-in desk, it was very quick. We could check-in on the Hilton app, could of picked our room as well which I thought was amazing.

Our room was a twin room with an en-suit bathroom. There was a small fridge, nice big TV, a desk, wardrobe, safe, small table and chair, kettle, a sideboard with storage space and a hair dryer. It was a good size with plenty of room to move around. The bedrooms were really comfy as well, we both took advantage of the extra pillows in the wardrobe. We went to the Morrisons nearby and filled the fridge up with our own fruit, snacks and drinks.

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The bathroom was big, nice big bath/shower, a huge big mirror as well, took up one wall above the sink. I did get stuck in the bathroom though, the door kept getting stuck until one morning, I couldn’t get it open again. My friend tried to open it from her side but no luck so we had to ring down to reception and they had someone from maintenance up to our room within 5 minutes. It took him a few minutes to get me out and fix the door.

 

The room was cleaned every day and left very clean and tidy.

 

The breakfast was amazing, there was just about everything you could want. It was buffet style so you just had to help yourself of anything you wanted. You could have a full English breakfast, cereals, waffles made exactly how you like them, lots of fruit juices, teas and coffees. There was loads of fruit, different types of breads, porridge and loads more. We could of had something different every day and still not eaten everything that was available.

You need to be seated at a table so when you go to the breakfast room, there is a podium where you wait and then a member of staff will take you to an available table. Then you can go up to get the food you want when you are ready.

There is always staff available to help you if you need it, we were getting back at 1am sometimes after seeing the last film and there was always someone on reception to greet us with a smile.

The wifi is free and it is an amazing connection anywhere in the hotel at any time of day. We never once had a connection problem or found it was slow.

There is a bar in the main lobby which looked very nice but we were out all day and back in the early hours so unfortunately didn’t get to go in there when it was open. There was lots of very comfy looking seats though, I think it would have been nice in there is the evening as somewhere to just chill out and have a drink.

We stayed there over August bank holiday so it was busy with people from all over the world. It was Notting Hill Carnival as well so that’s a big reason that it was so busy.

I would gladly stay here again, it was such a great stay.

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My Stay At The Mitsis Summer Palace

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We stayed here in the middle of October which is right near the end of the season.

This hotel is huge and besides a tummy bug that was going round the guests, we actually had a brilliant stay.

We were upgraded to this hotel from the Family Village because they were closing early due to there being hardly any guests.

Myself, my husband and a family were the only ones left so that’s why we got the hotel upgrade along with free minibar and a silver Mitsis wristband meaning that we could also go and eat at the next hotel up which was the Nordis hotel but we could go to the big expensive Blue Domes hotel. All we had to do was pack up our bags and leave them in the room as they would be collected for us. Then when we were given the ok, we walked down to the other hotel and checked it. Our bags were waiting for us in reception. Believe me when I say there was no complaints haha.

We had a room in the main building, there were lots of other rooms in the main building as well maisonettes and standard rooms that were out the front and to the sides of the building.

The room was smaller than the one we had at Family Village but it did have a balcony that overlooked the sea, it was a totally amazing view, loved it so much.

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The bathroom was huge with a lovely bath/shower, large counter with the sink and a big mirror and a toilet. You can’t put toilet tissue down the toilet as a lot of the plumping pips are small and old so the is a bin in the bathroom to put your used toilet tissue. It gets taken away each day with the maid service.

 

The only problem we had with the bathroom was the first day when I had a bath after being in the pool.

I pulled out the plug to let the water run away and we heard a gurgling noise. All of a sudden, there was water coming out of the drain in the floor next to the toilet. We phoned down to reception straight away and a maintenance man was up to our room within minutes to sort it out. Once he was done, there was no further problems.

There are 2 big pools at this hotel, there is the big outdoor one which is sea water and then the indoor pool which is normal swimming pool water. The outdoor pool has a little Italian restaurant next to it where you can get food, drinks and snacks during the day and then becomes a proper restaurant in the evening. There is a walkway and a lift to go down the beach from here as well.

The indoor pool is meant to be adults only but when there was no one in there, the kids would go in, I didn’t see any harm in it seeing as it had proper swimming pool water and not sea water. There is a bar, a pool table, a little stage, a little jewellery shop, a balcony, a shop and a lift down to the outdoor pool around the pool.

The souvenir shop and jewellery shop aren’t always open towards the end of the season so keep an eye out for signs in the windows. There is some lovely bits of jewellery that you can buy, my husband actually brought me a nice little keep-sake ring from here. The souvenir shop also does a few snack bits, towels, sun cream, etc as well as the usual souvenirs.

 

There is a laundry service but it is quite expensive so what we did was go down to the souvenir shop, brought a little box of washing detergent, washed our clothes in the bath and then hung them up or pinned them on things on the balcony. They dried so quickly and came out lovely and clean.

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When you come out of the lift at the bottom, there is a little pool that I think was a Jacuzzi and a few sun loungers. It was just a nice little area if you didn’t want to be around the big pools with everyone else but you do get the occasional person going in or out of the lift and there isn’t a bar.

 

The Summer Palace end of the beach has a lot more space but you still use the same bars and pizza hut if you want any food or drink.

Just like at Family Village, there is a bus that takes you into Kardamena but the bus stop is right outside reception so you don’t have to go far.

There are 3 restaurants onsite, the all-you-can-eat buffet as part of the all-inclusive option, the Italian one by the outdoor pool and then a Greek one which is down on the beach. The last 2, you can only go to if you have made a reservation at reception. You can eat at either as many times as you like but you have to make a reservation, they get booked up quickly so try to book yourself in as soon as you can. The Italian one was our favourite, we eat there twice and the food was amazing. The pizzas are cooked in a proper stone oven and all the food tastes freshly made. The Greek restaurant was really nice, it’s all glass so if you can be down there where the sun is setting, it is a beautiful view over the sea. The big main all-you-can-eat restaurant is huge and you can even sit out on the balcony if it is open. The food is all spread out and there is a lot to choose from but we noticed that towards the end of our stay, we were getting the same food every day. I think it was because they had made a lot of the food in bulk and as it was coming to the end of the season, they didn’t want to make anything else in case it was wasted.

The WiFi is free for 2 hours, then all you have to do is log back into it and you get it for free again. It works best in the reception and bar lounge but because of this, it is where everyone is and it can be very slow. We were lucky because we could sometimes pick it up in our room as it was directly over reception. You can pay to have the premium WiFi but this can be costly.

The architecture of the hotel is very luxurious, it was so lovely with lots of blues and whites.The light fitting where very grand, they looked like leaves and plant life.

 

While we were there, there was a really bad stomach bug going around the guests. The people in the room next to us had it when we arrived and it slowly went round all the other guests. I came down with it on the Thursday but seemed to get better by Friday night but then my husband came down with it on the Saturday which is the day we were leaving. We had to check out of our room at 12pm but we wasn’t being picked up until 7pm so I went to reception to ask if we could have the room for longer as I’d remembered seeing a posted saying you could extend your stay by a few hours but had to pay. My husband was so ill that I didn’t mind paying the charge so that he could stay in our room and sleep. When I spoke to the man on reception, I explained about my husband and he asked me to wait a moment while he spoke to the manager. When he came back, he said that we could have the room free of charge which I thought was so nice of them.

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The staff were always brilliant, we loved them all because they always went that extra mile for you. A little tip for you, learn some basic Greek, it will go a long way with the staff. My husband learnt a few bits for when he went up to the bar and one of the barmen actually started bringing us fresh drinks when we needed them instead of us having to go to the bar.

I would gladly stay here again, it was a lovely stay.

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My Stay At The Rosen Inn on International Drive

We had such a great stay here, we stayed here for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year and had no problems at all as the staff were all brilliant, the facilities were all in working order, absolutely nothing to complaint about.

We arrived late in the evening but we were checked in and up to our room in no time.We were the only ones checking in so I think they were waiting for us to make sure that everything was done quickly for us.

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RI pool side

As we are from the UK, the time different was 5 hours behind what we are used to so tried to stay up as late as possible so we were lucky as the bar was still open and doing food. It was nice to have somewhere to eat and chill out for a little while before heading up to bed.

There are 2 parts of the hotel, you have the main building which is the hotel side and then the West Wing that looks like a motel. We were in the main building on the 6th floor with our window facing down International Drive so we were quite high up and had a brilliant view. We saw Volcano Bay being built just across the high way as well.

The room is huge, we didn’t realise it was going to be as big as it was. There was a massive bed, it was so big that I had to do 3 full rolls to get across the bed haha. The bedside tables on both sides of the bed had laps, one had an alarm clock which also had USB points in the top and the other had the safe. There was a round table with 2 chairs, a wardrobe that also kept the ironing board and iron in it and a big side unit that had the TV on top, a microwave, a coffee machine, some drawers and the fridge in it. There is aircon in the room but don’t leave it on too much as it can really dry out the air in the room and there is no way of getting fresh air other than opening the main door as the windows don’t open in the room.

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The bathroom was a nice big size as well with a lovely big bath/shower, toilet, a mirror with a sink under it and a bin

The room and bathroom was cleaned everyday in the early afternoon unless we put the “do not disturb” sign on the door. We put it up every other day as we were hardly in the room so didn’t make a lot of mess and it would of just wasted the house keeping staffs time.

There is a little shop where you can get food, drinks, snacks, merchandise, etc but to be honest, it is a bit on the pricey side. We would only go in there if we couldn’t be bothered to go to the Walgreens that is a 5 minute walk from the hotel.

The swimming pool is great, it’s not very big but to he fair, when we were using in the afternoons, there wasn’t many people in or around the pool so a lot of the time we had it to ourselves. We had one day of the holiday which everyone was saying was a cold day but being from the UK, we were still really hot haha. We were the only ones in the pool for about 2 hours and got some funny looks from people who were walking round in fleece jumpers haha. They even turned on the heating in the pool which basically turned it into a lovely huge warm bath. There is a fence all around the pool and you will need your room key to open the gate to get in. Towels are provided in a storage container next to the fence by the pool so that you don’t bring down your room towels. You don’t need to pay a deposit for the towels either.

There is a little gym but we didn’t use it during our stay, the equipment looked well looked after and clean.

There is a small arcade with a few games in it if you need a little bit of time to waste or just something to do while waiting to go out.

The hotel has a breakfast room which serves all-you-can-eat breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, grits, pancakes that you make yourself, cereal, fruit, etc. It’s meant to be about $7 dollars but there was an offer on with a little vouchers so it was only $4 or $5 each. The food was great, plenty to choose from to start you on your way each morning. There are staff that walk around topping up your coffee, we loved them as they would always have a chat and give us good tips on what to do and where to go.

The wifi is free throughout the hotel and no matter where we were, we had great service, even by the pool. You are given a little slip of paper with the password when you check in so that you can connect to the wifi.

They have a launderettes on the 3rd, 5th and 7th floor in the main building and the 2nd floor in the West Wing. You need tokens to use the machines which you can get from the machine in the launderettes or from reception if the machine isn’t working. Make sure you have lots of $1 coins as it works out as $3 for a wash, $3 for drying and £1 for the soup. We used the launderette about half way through our stay one evening when we weren’t planning on going out and didn’t see anyone but the other machines were being used. It takes about 30 minutes for the clothes to be washed and then another about an hour for them to dry in the tumble dryer so we just set an alarm on our phones to go down every 30 minutes to swap the clothes from the washing machine to the tumble dryer and then an hour alarm to go take them out and back to our room

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3 of the pictures on this page are from the Rosen Inn Facebook page, they are not my own

There is a counter in the lobby where you can book days out, get park tickets and transport to attractions or taxis. We spoke to a few people on the counter over our stay and they gave us so much great advice on places to go and things to do. They have a free shuttle to Universal, Sea World and Aquatica from 7am to 11:45am every day. There is a return journey at times in the afternoon so make sure you check with the driver of the times. It’s first come first serviced so make sure you book transport the day before or get up early to see if you can get on one of the shuttles for that day, you can’t book a few days in advance. 

The shuttle only takes about 20-30 minutes to get to Universal as it stops at a few other hotels. Or you can walk to Universal, it’s less than a mile away and it’s a very straightforward route. It took my husband and I about half an hour to walk it. If you are going to Disney, you can book a taxi from the counter, a return journey is $20. We also booked a taxi to the local Walmart which was $35 for a return journey.

If you get a pass for the iTrolly, there is a stop directly outside the hotel so getting around isn’t a problem.

There is a restaurant called Shogun Japanese Restaurant, we didn’t eat there as we thought it was a bit pricey but other guests that we spoke to about it said it was lots of fun and the food was really nice

I would gladly stay here again and again

Please check out their website to book your stay

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