Here are reviews of the three hotels we stayed in during our trip to Europe to attend the World Track & Field Championships.
Vienna Hotel: Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof
We had a deluxe room, which included breakfast (which we never took advantage of due to my “best strudel in Vienna” quest). The hotel has several restaurants, a bar, fitness center, spa, conference rooms and business services. Our room had a king bed, full bath, mini-bar with coffee/tea, desk, safe and free wifi.
Pretty staircase (don’t worry, they have a lift)
Room 426 – Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof, Vienna
Pros: Our room was large, clean and quiet. The “king” bed was two twins pushed together and we had individual duvets. The bed was really comfortable. Our mini-bar was stocked daily and there was no charge for still water, sparkling water or beer. Wifi was included in our room charge and blazing fast. The safe was extra-roomy and we had three closets. The staff were super friendly and kudos to the amazing bartenders who would make a vacuum-sealed ice pack for Dave’s knee twice a day! The young concierge did something to help us every day and his twinkling eyes were a joy to behold.
Cons: Lobby area is quite small and quite busy and not always tidy.
Yes or No: This hotel is perfectly located for a tourist visit to Vienna. On a quiet street, but easy to walk everywhere and I would definitely stay here again.
London Hotel: London Marriott Hotel West India Quay
This hotel is very modern and very convenient to the stadium. We had a Deluxe King Quayside View, with a king bed, full bath, mini-bar with coffee/tea, desk, safe and free wifi.
London Marriott Hotel West India Quay
Room 402 – London Marriott Hotel West India Quay
Pros: Perfect location for a quick train ride to the Olympic Stadium, and a short walk to the Underground station, with access to all of London and beyond. The area is filled with shopping (a massive mall with supermarket) and a zillion restaurants and bars. Our room was quiet and the bed was comfortable. Wifi was really fast and safe was large.
Cons: This room was just a basic hotel room, with prices rudely jacked-up through the roof due to the World Championships and a captive crowd. The bathroom was small, and more typical of a budget hotel chain, with shower/tub unit and little counter space, though closet/dresser space was adequate. As seems to be true once again… even though a hotel knows they are completely sold-out every night with 99% of their guests attending the same event, they seem surprised that hundreds of people arrive every night after the event (ten nights in a row!) crowding the hotel restaurants and bars. Worst thing? We paid extra for a “water view” room and this was our view:
The windows were disgustingly dirty! I complained downstairs and I complained to the manager. They sent up a bottle of crappy wine. I asked the poor girl to take it away, unopened. (It was so awful, Lisa would have pronounced it mer-LOT, instead of mer-low. I refused politely, of course – we would never drink it, so why waste it?) The next day, they sent up a fruit plate, and about four days later (we were here for 11 nights), sent up a bowl of snack mix from the bar. Sorry, this did not compensate for the up-charge for a water view that was not viewable… not to mention quite gross in a room that was charging twice the usual rate.
Yes or No: No.
Paris Hotel: Hotel Regina
The Regina is located between the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens. We had a beautiful corner room on the fifth floor with a view of the Eiffel Tower! The room included a king bed, full bath, mini-bar/coffee service, in-room safe, free wifi.
Hotel Regina Paris – our room circled
Hotel Regina Paris – lobby
Hotel Regina Paris – 5th floor hallway
Chambre 515 – Hotel Regina Paris
Chambre 515 – Hotel Regina Paris
The view from Room 515
Pros: The Regina is a beautiful old property. You will find nothing shiny and sleek here. It’s all old-school marble, chandeliers and chintz. Guests are treated like royalty. The location is ideal for a Paris tourist. The staff ordered a car to fetch us from the train station when we arrived and for a taxi to the airport the day we left. We visited the lounge off the lobby every evening and the staff were so friendly – four bartenders impeccably dressed (they are French!) in trim suits – and would make tidy ice packs for DT’s knee twice a day. They serve enough “free” bar snacks with a cocktail, it would be possible to skip dinner… but we never did, so after day 2, asked the bartender to forgo the snacks. The bar has a decent selection of English-language daily newspapers as well, so it is a cozy spot to linger. Our room was huge, with high ceilings and crown moldings, ample storage (coat closet in entry way, armoire for clothes, one large dresser and another built-in cabinet with drawers near the bathroom). Nightly turn-down service, with bottles of water on the nightstands. The bathroom had a towel heater and a stained glass ceiling. Wifi was very fast. The room was very quiet. The windows opened to a teeny step-out balcony (typical of Paris) and the views over the city to the Eiffel Tower were fantastic. We truly splurged on this property. It was our third visit to Paris, but our first without a child in-tow. Enough said.
Cons: There was basically no counter space in the bathroom and the in-room safe was so small, it wouldn’t even hold DT’s tablet. The desk chair was incredibly uncomfortable and creaked and squeaked.
Yes or No: Yes, but only if I win the lottery.
Until my next update, I remain, your unpacked correspondent.