Tag - Hotels

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A Night Less Ordinary: Prison Hotel
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A Night Less Ordinary: Maison Moschino
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Purple 10: Best hotels in Dubrovnik
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Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes
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Purple Tips: Corfu Hotels
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Purple Tips: Best Hotels Crete

A Night Less Ordinary: Prison Hotel

Our semi-weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we have a night less ordinary at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya. This week, check in a the Karosta Prison Hotel where your inn jailbird can shine and we advise you to go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

If you’re a monopoly addict or you simply get a bit excited about the idea of a night behind bars, then Latvia’s Karosta Prison Hotel will be right up your street. But, this place is more 50 shrieks than 50 shades, so beware!

The former KGB prison hasn’t actually changed all that much since it stopped taking prisoners. You can simply tour the former Soviet military jail, or you can do the real deal and go for an ‘Extreme Night’ package.

Once you get there you’ll get the full treatment; finding out what it was like to be an inmate, you’ll get handcuffed and escorted to your cell for the night. You won’t find any home comforts here with some stale rye bread and Russian tea for room service. After that you’ll have to haul your own pallet, laid with a thin mattress before you can lay your head down. And that’s after you’ve dressed it to military standards. You’re given four minutes to use the bathroom (a hole in the ground) while the rusting tap leaks just enough water to brush your teeth. It’s all done in the spirit of good fun (I think) and is meant to be a real experience and something different.

If that’s not enough to freak you out a bit, the former prison is known for its ghostly, mysterious activity. Lightbulbs unscrew themselves. Doors open and close, seemingly of their own free will, and footsteps echo throughout the prison halls. Yikes!

So, don’t say I didn’t warn you! For a real night less ordinary, this place takes no prisoners (groan) but at the bargain price of around £7 per night, it’s hard to beat for value. If that sounds like your cup of tea, (maybe you’re part of a particularly intense Stag party group!) the hotel is always ready for their next victims… I mean guests!

You should read… A night less ordinary | Giraffe Manor

All pictures courtesy of Karostas Cietums

A Night Less Ordinary: Maison Moschino

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected.

What’s the gimmick? Maison Moschino is the converted terminus building of a neoclassical railway station opened in central Milan in 1840. Its exterior façade, the original Viale Monte Grappa 12, retains the station’s original grandeur. But inside, the bustling commuters and handkerchief-waving lovers have vanished and a new world has been created. Adding 65 contemporary hotel rooms and suites across four floors, the building has been completely reinterpreted in a quirky, yet elegant style that extends the Moschino brand. Inspired by a visionary and contemporary fairy tale theme, the rooms are sensuous visions of surreal diversity. Akin to falling down a rabbit hole or opening a wardrobe into another world, entering the Maison Moschino is an unforgettable experience.

You should read : Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? If you’ve ever wanted to live inside a fairytale then this is the hotel for you.  Maison Moschino offers an alternative to the mundanities of real life, creating a world built by imagination and surrealism. From the lamp in the shape of one of Moschino’s dresses, to ivy covered wallpaper and bedspreads made from red petals, Moschino has applied its fashion flair to the hotel industry, and pioneered a new era in hospitality. While mass-tourism destinations promote only quantity and mediocrity, Maison Moschino has built a space where fairy tales, come to three-dimensional life.

The Wow Factor: Alice’s Room, Life Is a Bed of Roses, Little Red Riding Hood, The Forest and Gold are just some of the names of Maison Moschino’s impressive rooms. Arranged in 16 different designs, one room sees rose petals dripping down from the lights to cover the bed, while in another, guests sleep upon an enormous ballgown that flows down from the bed board. In The Forest room, even the bed posts are made from mystical looking trees, echoing the enchanted forests of fairytales. The hotel also features an ART SPA with beauty and wellness treatments from PEVONIA and a gym with equipment by Technogym.

You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Dog Park Park Inn

The Maison Moschino is located in a vibrant district in central Milan close to Corso Como and Corso Garibaldi. The hotel is within easy reach of Milan’s most famous landmarks including the Santa Maria Delle Grazie, the Pinacoteca di Brera and Pinacoteca Ambrosina art galleries and the Royal Palace. The hotel is a five minute walk by foot to the Garibaldi train station and underground. Prices start at £141 per room a night.

Purple 10: Best hotels in Dubrovnik

In Dubrovnik, there is nothing better than long, lazy days lounging in the sunshine, strolling around the Old City Walls, enjoying a gelato or a cool beer or tucking into some amazing fresh seafood. You’ve already read all about what to do in Dubrovnik, now we fill you in on the best hotels in this gorgeous city.

Dubrovnik rooftops

Affordable Luxury: Grand Hotel Park. The design hotel is in a great location right in the heart of the city and has lots going for it. Surrounded by vibrant gardens and with lovely views of the Lapad Cove Promenade and of course the sparkling ocean, the Grand is a mix of Italian design and Croatian hospitality. We definitely like the look of the Taverna Marikin Dvorac which specialises in fresh fish and grilled meats. Vegetarians steer clear!

Rock the Kazbek: The Kazbek. This one really deserves its spot on the 10 best hotels in Dubrovnik list. It started as a castle, built in 1573 by noblemen so you know you’re in for a bit of luxury here. Fully renovated to its former glory, this boutique hotel has just 12 beautifully designed rooms, a restaurant with courtyard and balcony terrace and even boasts a library. You can literally become king or queen of the castle by renting out the whole property for something really special.

Bed to beach and back again: Komodor Hotel. This 3* is a great example of the famous old Dubrovnik architecture. This small hotel has a cosy atmosphere and offers the simple pleasures to make your stay unforgettable. And just minutes from the water, you can go from bed to beach in no time.

Water baby heaven: Orphee Hotel. Right in the middle of lush gardens and woodlands, so it offers that real get-away-from-it-all experience. It’s just a few miles from Dubrovnik, the pools are just what the doctor ordered; while the PADI approved dive school on the beach means you can learn a thing or two while you’re there too.

Naturally beautiful: Valamar Lacroma. Archinature, yes that might just be a made up word, but there’s no better way to describe this secluded hotel. Combining the natural environment and lush greenery of the Croatian countryside, with mesmerising style and architecture the Valamar Lacroma is a dream to stay in.

Unforgettable views: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. In a truly fabulous location, just minutes from the Old Town, this is the place to go for breathtaking views overlooking the ancient city walls and the gleaming Adriatic. Although it was renovated recently, it has that lovely old world feel and plenty of original architectural features.

A regal choice: Hotel Excelsior. Well if money was no object this would definitely be one of our faves. It’s literally where royalty go to holiday. Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, King Olaf have all stayed in this pristine hotel as well as super celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Hey, if it’s good enough for them, we wouldn’t mind it!

Family run fun: Berkeley Hotel. A really family friendly, family run hotel, the Berkeley is ideal for a relaxed summer get away. Run by the Vicelic family since 2007 who offer the warmest of welcomes, a really great breakfast and lots of insider knowledge on where to go during your stay.

Cosy cottage: Vesna’s Cottage. We absolutely fell in love with Vesna’s Cottage. From the lush gardens that surround it, to the blue timber ceilings, Vesna’s is so laidback it’s horizontal. The brightly coloured walls will make you smile and kids will love the feeling of countryside right in the city.

Feeling flush: Hotel Pucić Palace. Now this one is for the serious luxury hunter. The 5* boutique hotel is right in the middle of the city and prides itself on its exclusive feel. It’s got ancient stone walls and parquet floors which combine with all the modern stuff you need – in room DVD and CD players. It’s even got a yacht for hire! If that doesn’t impress in your holiday snaps, nothing will.

If you fancy a stay in one of the best hotels in Dubrovnik, call Purple Travel now on 02079939228.

Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Slowly, slowly the Dutch are beginning to appreciate a good ol’ cuppa. If you’re over the brownies, hate the smoke of the coffee shops and just want to enjoy a proper cup of tea, then let Purple Travel help you out.

True tea rooms are hard to find in this, ahem, coffee focused country. Too often do the Dutch serve up some questionable green concoction in place of your well-deserved PG Tips. While tea in Amsterdam is may seem like the boring option, we can safely say that the below venues are helping to polish tea’s image and finally set it free from its dull reputation.

GREENWOODS
What:
A traditional English tea room offering a selection of Grand cru loose leaf teas from De Eenhorn.
Don’t leave without: Ordering Eggs Benedict, just because you can – Greenwoods are responsible for Amsterdam’s first ever cooked English breakfast.
Best bit:
Greenwoods can provide picnic baskets for customers on request. Either take out on a hired boat for the day or impress a date in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. All freshly made on the day and with a choice to suit your tastes.
Price:
Pot for one is €4,95, pot for two is € 7.95.

TEA BAR
What:
A cute spot in Haarlemmerdijk serving up real deal teas, all arranged in transparent boxes where you can scoop the tea of preference in a little bag.
Don’t leave without: Trying at least three of their 60 flavours, which range from the standard Earl Grey to the spiced grandma’s apple-pie. This place puts England to shame.
Best Bit: The organic cookies to dip in.
Price: Reasonable – but depends on which tea you would like.

English: The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, the Ne...

The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AMSTEL HOTEL
What: A royal setting to enjoy a proper high tea.
Don’t leave without: Getting a slice of cake too.
Best bit: The beautiful setting, the handmade shrimp croquettes and the excellent explanation provided about each of the teas.
Price: High tea will set you back a small fortune and even just a tea is pretty pricey at €7,50, but you do get a full pot..

HILTON HALF MOON LOUNGE
What: A large, traditional English-style living room that overlooks the Hilton Marina and garden.
Don’t leave without: Giving into the burgers – they’re something else, seriously.
Best bit: Proper tea with actual leaves and large sofas – a perfect place to relax, read or catch up on emails.
Price: It’s the Hilton, need I say more?

Purple Tips: Corfu Hotels

Purple Travel takes a look at some of the best hotels in Greece: this week we’re looking at the Northern Island of Corfu. We chose these hotels because of their high quality standards of service and the great feedback we get from you – our customer – on any budget. These properties are really something to get excited about, especially with the great prices we have on offer. If you like what you see, take a look at our website to get the holiday from your local airport. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give our expert travel advisors a ring on 0207 993 9228 and find out more about Corfu hotels Greece now.

Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa, 5* This beachfront hotel has everything you need for the perfect escape. Set just outside of Corfu Town, and right on the beach, you can have your ideal escape without giving up the wonders of Corfu Town just around the corner. A beautifully finished hotel, it has the stunning views of the sea in front and a secluded woodland surrounding.

Customer Rating: 5/5 Restaurants: Beach front restaurant, fish taverna style and buffet style. Bars: Beach bar and piano bar in the lobby. Activities: Tennis Court, horse riding, water sports, Spa centre, hammam, private beach, free wifi. Children: Family rooms, children’s playground.

Louis Kerkyra Golf 4* The Louis Kerkyra Beach all inclusive hotel  is the essence of a perfect family holiday. Located right on the beach in Gouves, the hotel has something for everyone. With complete dining, entertainment, and relaxation facilities, you’ll never want to leave!

Customer Rating: 5/5 Restaurants: Greek & International Buffet Restaurant, Main Restaurant, Chinese Restaurant, Lagoon Restaurant Bars: 5 Bars Activities: Entertainment, Varied Sports, Jacuzzi, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Mini Golf, Watersports Children: Kidzone Mini Clubs, Children’s Entertainment, Waterworld Lagoon, Children’s Pool

Seafront Apartments Kavos Set right at the foot of the Kavos strip, the Seafront Apartments offer the perfect combination of a being in the centre of the lively resort without giving up the peaceful beachfront location. This family-owned, friendly and basic accommodation offers exactly what you need for the perfect Kavos holiday.

Customer Rating: 4/5 Restaurants: Beach Snack Bar Bars: Beach Bar Activities: Water Sports, plus the infamous Kavos Strip is just two minutes walk away.

You should read… Great Hotels in Rhodes

Purple Tips: Best Hotels Crete

We came up with a brilliant list of hotels in Crete, the southernmost and largest island of Greece, to discover with your favorite travel companion(s). We chose these hotels because of their high quality standards of service and the great feedback we get from you – our customer.

These properties are really something to get excited about, especially with the great prices we have on offer. If you like what you see, take a look at our website to get the holiday from your local airport. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give our expert travel advisors a ring on 02079939228 for more of the best hotels Crete now.

Crete beach
Image via @ Michalis Polakis

Porto Elounda De Luxe Resort 5* Elounda

The ultimate in luxury, set in the stunning resort of Elounda, the Porto Elounda Deluxe Resort is the place to spend an unforgettable holiday. Exceptional service is combined with an array of high-quality facilities just steps away from the most beautiful resort in Crete.

Customer Rating: 5/5
Restaurants: Buffet, Mediterranean & Cretan, Seafood & Greek Tavern
Bars: Piano Bar, Beach Bar
Activities: Spa, Golf, Water sports, Tennis, Gym, Indoor Heated Pool, Entertainment
Children: Kids Club, 2 Children’s Pools, Children’s Entertainment, Babysitting

Louis Creta Princes 4* Chania

Right on the beautiful beach of Maleme Bay, the Louis Creta Princess offers bright and elegant rooms positioned around its lush gardens and pool, all with sea views.

Customer Rating: 4/5
Restaurants: Show Cooking Buffet, Italian, Chinese
Bars: Lobby Bar, Beach Bar, Disco
Activities: Entertainment, Varied Sports, Tennis
Children: Children’s Pool, Mini Club, Playground, Mini Golf, Kids Buffet, Mini Disco

Aegean Sky Hotel & Suites 5* Malia

Get away to the lively resort of Malia without compromising on great quality service and fantastic facilities. Just a short distance to the nightlife and to the beautiful beach, the Aegean Sky provides the ultimate accommodation for your lively holiday.

Customer Rating: 5/5
Restaurants: Snack Bar
Bars: Pool Bar
Activities: BBQ Nights, Pool Parties

Minos Hotel 4* Rethymnon

Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Blue Flag beach, the Minos Hotel offers tranquility and excellent service that’s right next to the historic centre of Rethymnon.

Customer Rating: 4/5
Restaurants: Buffet, Mediterranean
Bars: Lobby Bar, Pool Bar
Activities: Entertainment, Varied Sports, Water Sports*, Tennis

Amazones Village Suites 4* Hersonissos

This boutique all-suite hotel is the perfect setting for any type of holiday you are looking for. Set in a good location with easy access to all the favorite Cretan resorts, the Amazones Village Suites offers you incredible service and luxury.

Customer Rating: 5/5
Restaurants: Main Restaurant
Bars: Main Bar
Activities: Fitness Centre, Tennis, Golf, Excursions

Marni Village Hotel 3* Hersonissos

Set just off the main area of Hersonissos, the Marni Village Hotel offers the ultimate combination of relaxation and great entertainment for the entire family. Enjoy the splendid sea views from the pool area or head over to the bustling town of Hersonissos for the sandy beaches and shopping.

Customer Rating: 4/5
Restaurants: Poolside Restaurant
Bars: Pool Bar
Activities: Sauna, Tennis
Children: 2 Children’s Pools, Playground, Playroom

Alantha Apartments 4* Agios Nikolaos

Located a few meters away from the city centre, the Alantha Apartments offer the ultimate in style and functionality. Featuring all the room facilities you need for an incredible holiday, the Alantha Apartments are not to be missed if you’re looking for a great place to stay in a central location.

Customer Rating: 4/5
Restaurants: Snack Bar
Bars: Pool Bar
Activities: Roof Terrace Swimming Pool, Games Room

You should read… Corfu Hotels Greece

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