Europe

  • Thon Cecil Hotel – Oslo

    Stortingsgata 8
    0161 Oslo, Norway 
    +47 23 31 48 00

    Hotel Website

    Rate: Starts at $175 USD per night 

    Booked Via: Thon Hotels Website

    Reviews:
    TripAdvisor

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    Oslo can be a tough city to find reasonably priced, great accommodation. Would we stay at the Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo again? Probably. Next time though, our pick would probably be the Hotel Saga. While it’s located a few blocks outside of the core downtown area, the hotel looked very nice as we passed by one evening. If money is no object, The Thief would also be worth a try, based upon some of the spectacular reviews.

    Location:
    Location, location, location.  Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo is the perfect centrally located Oslo hotel. While there are several other Thon hotels in the downtown core (Sentrum) of Oslo , we found the Cecil to be one of the more updated Thon hotels.  The Thon Cecil is located less than a block off of the main square in Oslo. You’re within a block of Parliament, less than five blocks to the National Theatre, Culture Museum, City Hall, waterfront and more.  Public transportation is close by (bus or metro) and most things are an easy walk to almost anywhere.

    Rooms:
    Standard rooms at Thon Cecil Hotel Oslo are on the small side, even by European standards. They’re basic, with smaller sized beds, a TV, small desk area and complimentary internet.  Closet space is a at a minimum, but an iron and ironing board are included in the room. Bathrooms are simple, with a single sink, toilet and smallish shower.  All rooms are non-smoking. The most disappointing item was the lack of a safe in the room for valuables.

    Rooms overall were very clean. Ventilation in the rooms isn’t the best. During periods of extremely warm or cool weather, may result in the room being a bit stuffy or cool. Individual control over heat and cold are not possible in the rooms. Rooms facing the interior atrium have limited opening windows. If you want to control the temperature in your room, ask for a room on the street side of the building. The street in front of the hotel has a small amount of traffic, so street noise is reasonable.

    Two elevators handle all of the traffic for the 111 room hotel, which means during busy times, you may wait a bit longer than normal to access your room. If you get a room on the second or third floor, it’s an easy walk up the stairs.

    Facilities & Service:
    Service here is very friendly  and the staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the area. There is a computer and printer available for guest use in the in the lobby, as well as a Nespresso coffee machine.  While the hotel does not have a restaurant, a nice European style breakfast with both hot and cold food is available on the second floor in the hotel atrium each morning. They’ll even pack a take away lunch for you if you ask.

    Pros: Location, location.  Easy access to everything in Oslo Sentrum.  Clean rooms, great staff.

    Cons:  As the seasons change, finding adequate heating or cooling in your room can be a challenge.

     

  • Hilton Reykjavik Nordica – Reykjavik

    Suðurlandsbraut 2,
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    +35 4 444 5000

    Hotel Website

    Rate: Starts at $232 USD per night 

    Booked Via: Icelandair

    Reviews:
    TripAdvisor

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    The Hilton Nordica is one of the nicer hotels in Reykjavik and receives generally high marks on most travel review websites. The hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating, more so than at most Hilton outposts.

    Location:
    The Hilton Nordica is located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, about 1.5 miles from the city center.  The Hilton sits right on the local bus line, so it’s an easy 5 minute trip to the city center, or a 20-25 minute easy walk.

    Rooms:
    Rooms here are of a typical modern “Scandinavian minimalist” style. Each bed has multiple pillows as well as a nice down duvet to keep you warm during the chilly Icelandic nights. Each room has large picture windows that run the length of the room, so you can take advantage of the sun if it peeks out during your stay.

    Oversized rooms (called “Plus” rooms) are located on the ends of each floor. These rooms run the entire width of the hotel and feature two queen beds plus a single. If you like lots of room to stretch out, ask for one of these rooms. Another advantage is that they have windows facing both directions. One drawback to these rooms is that Wi-fi access is spotty, due to being the farthest distance from the hotspot.

    Large wardrobes and safes are included in each room, as well as a desk with working area. There are club level floors at the hotel on floors 8 and 9. Club access is by keycard and features mini-breakfast as well as drinks and small snacks throughout the day.

    One of the best things about this hotel is that one side has almost unobstructed views of Mt Elsa from one side. If you love a great view, make sure to ask for a room on this side of the hotel. If you’re not fortunate to get a room on that side, there are “sitting lounges” on each floor in the center, where you can enjoy the view from floor to ceiling windows. There’s even a map on each floor that identifies all of the mountains and glaciers you can see.  You’ll want to check out the view from the top of the circular stair case from the 9th floor.

    Facilities & Service:
    The Hilton Nordica is one of the nicer hotels in Reykjavik and receives generally high marks on most travel review websites. The hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating, more so than at most Hilton outposts.

    There’s a large bar area, as well as a restaurant and small gift shop on site. A small snack and coffee bar is located right by the check-in desk to purchase small snacks at any time of day.  The Hilton provides a free multi-use bus pass that you can use during your stay to visit central Reykjavik or any of the surrounding areas. The bus stop sits directly across from the hotel. You can also walk about 20 minutes to the city center on a wide walking path.

    Special Things to Know:
    Being one of the more popular hotels in Reykjavik, it is hard to get early check-in or late check-out, unless arranged for far in advance of your trip. The restaurant here has one of the most popular Sunday brunches in town, so if you have an interest in that, make your reservations long before you arrive, especially during high season.

    About 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel, just across the street likes the Laugardalslaug Thermal Pools and Sports complex.  Here’s you’ll find the a wide variety of hot thermal pools where you can relax.  It’s much cheaper than the Blue Lagoon and close enough you can visit everyday.  The hotel will supply extra towels, so you an save yourself an extra charge at the pool complex.

    For some of the best rates at the Hilton Nordica, check packages on the Icelandair website. Many times, you can find airfare and lodging packages that can make your stay in Reykjavik, almost free. You can also find special rates on Travelzoo from time to time.

    Pros: One of the nicer hotels in Reykjavik with great service and modern rooms.

    Cons: A bit far from the city centre, but is easily overcome by bus lines and leisurely walk during nice weather.

  • Hotel Cervo – Zermatt

    Riedweg 156,
    3920 Zermatt, Switzerland

    +41 27 968 12 12

    Hotel Website

    Design Hotel Website

    Rate: Starts at $349 USD per night
    Our Rate:  Special Seasonal Package Rate for Multi Night Stay

    Booked Via: Hotel Cervo

    Reviews: 
    TripAdvisor

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    Hotel Cervo is one of the top hotels in Zermatt.  It’s location is perfect, the rooms are exquisite and the staff, phenomenal.

    Location: 
    Hotel Cervo is located towards the south end of town, right at the Sunnegga lift train.  The ski run empties out right in front of the hotel as well.  It’s super convenient.  If you’re skiing or mountain biking, you’re less than 5 minutes to the ski train.  You can be in the center of Zermatt in less than 15 minutes, to the train station in 10.  Walking is simple and easy, although you can also take a taxi.  Expect to pay around 10 -20 CHF during peak times one way for a taxi ride into town.  It’s slightly cheaper to catch the taxi in front of the Sunnegga ticket office.  Taxi’s tend to take advantage of the fact that you’re staying at the Hotel Cervo.

    Rooms:
    Rooms at Hotel Cervo are amazing.  Rooms are spread out amongst five chalets across the property.  Each chalet has 4-5 floors.  On the lowest floor on the least expensive rooms, as well as the wellness area consisting of a spa treatment room, relaxation area, steam room, sauna, bucket shower and outdoor jacuzzi.  There are around 7 rooms per chalet, with the better rooms being on the upper floors.  For the best, completely unobstructed views of the Matterhorn and Zermatt, you’re best bets are either the Owner’s Lodge or Chalet 5.  All chalets have views of the Matterhorn, but can be somewhat obstructed by trees, especially during warm months.

    During our stay, we had the fortune of being able to stay in the Owner’s Lodge for one night and a Junior Suite for the following four nights. 

    Hotel Cervo Owner's Lodge
    Looking from the living room of the Owner’s Lodge into the kitchen and out onto the west deck.

    The Owner’s Lodge is unbelievable.  It shares it’s own chalet building with the Spa Suite.  You can rent out both rooms and have an entire building to yourself.  The Owner’s Lodge portion of the building has an elevator that accesses all four floors.  Stairs are also available.  Regular bedrooms are located on various levels, with the mater bedroom and bath on the top floor.  There’s also a small game room on this floor as well.  The master bedroom is outfitted with a king size Hasten’s bed and a large deck with wide open views of the Matterhorn.  The master bath has a large soaking tub, two person sauna, and large shower.  The same deck in the bedroom wraps to the bathroom with the awesome views.  One floor down is a large, full size kitchen with all appliances, including an espresso maker.  There’s a small office area with another large patio/deck facing the Matterhorn.  Outside on that deck is your own private jacuzzi.  There’s a dining room for 12 and large living room with premium sound system and large flat screen television.  You could live here.  And live comfortably.

    Hotel Cervo Junior Suite
    The bedroom in the Junior Suite at Hotel Cervo.

    The Junior Suite is also nice.  They’re located in almost every chalet.  The have large decks on two sides and face the Matterhorn.  The bedrooms are good sized, with king size beds, a TV and plenty of underbed storage for ski clothing, etc.  There’s a double-sided fireplace between the bedroom and living room.  The living room is also large, with a large sectional, espresso machine and huge closet that can store all of the clothing and gear you can throw at it.  A large safe for valuables is also included.  In the bathroom, there’s a soaking tub, single sink, separate water closet and another large closet for hanging things, as well as storage drawers.  Oh, and the most important thing, radiant heated floors are throughout the entire room.

    Rooms are cleaned daily, followed by turn down service in the late afternoon/early evening.  Towels are refreshed, curtains drawn and the bed turned down.  You also get a small gift each day, along with a list of events and weather coming up on the following day.

    Facilities & Service: 
    Facilities at Hotel Cervo are everything you could want.  A great, well respected restaurant helmed by the owner’s wife.  Reservations are required, even if you’re a guest during high season.  Breakfast is also served here as well.  A large year-round bar area outside, both slope side and above that on the patio.  Large wool blankets, pillows and a large fireplace keep you warm, even in the coldest of weather.  There’s a small inside lounge as well, with a separate small bar area.  You can order tapas as well as drinks in any of the bar locations.

    If you’re here to ski or bike, there’s a large heated storage room that secured by card key to keep your gear.  

    As mentioned above, there’s a wellness area on the lower floor of each chalet.  It’s open from 3:30-11PM daily.  Massages and spa treatments can be arranged as needed.  Since each chalet has its own wellness area, you’re never fighting for the jacuzzi, sauna or relaxation area.  We hardly ever saw anyone in the area every night we were there and the hotel was booked to capacity.

    Staff here are amazing.  Nothing is too much trouble. They’ll handle anything you need.  And I mean anything. The hotel is allowed to sell lift tickets, so you can avoid any lines at the ticket office.  They’ll make reservations at other spots in town to eat as well. Daniel, the owner, spoke with us several times during our stay to make sure everything was satisfactory.

    Pros: Everything.  Your right on the ski run, as well as 5 minutes from the ski train.

    Cons: None, really.  Other than this is one of the most popular places in Zermatt.  You need to reserve months in advance if you want your choice of room.  It would also be nice if the wellness area opened earlier, especially for those days when you didn’t choose to ski. 

    Owner's Lodge and Spa Suite building.

    Kitchen and Living Room in Owner's Lodge

    Master bedroom in Owner's Lodge with Hasten's bed

    View of the Matterhorn from the Master Bath in the Owner's Lodge.

    Bedroom in the Junior Suite with decks on all sides.

    Typical chalet buildling.

    Relaxation room in the Wellness area of each chalet.

    You can see more photos of Hotel Cervo and Zermatt by clicking here.

    Hotel Cervo runs special packages in summer and winter that are inclusive of skiing, biking, etc.
  • Yotel London Heathrow – London, UK

    Arrivals Mezzanine Landside 
    Terminal 4 
    London Heathrow Airport 
    Hounslow

    Middlesex UK
    TW6 3XA

    +44 207 100 1100

    Hotel Website

    Rate: $50 Single 4 Hours
    Our Rate:  FREE – Airline Discount

    Booked Via: United Airlines

    Reviews: 
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    We happened upon the Yotel London Heathrow, completely by accident.  United Airlines offers a free two hour stay at the Yotel on certain flights arriving at LHR Terminal 4.  We had a five hour layover on our way to North Africa, so we took advantage of the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Heathrow and rest for a couple of hours.

    Location:
    Yotel is located in Terminal 4.  To find Yotel, you immediately turn to your left after you pick up your bags and exit the UK Customs area.  You’ll see a large escalator at the end of the hall.  Follow the hotel signs to the top of the escalator and make a left at the restaurant.  Directly ahead, you’ll find the entrance to Yotel. Yotel also has locations at Gatwick, Amersterdam Schipol and New York Time Square.

    Rooms:
    Yotel is basically a small collection of “pods” where you can spend a few hours napping, relaxing and freshening up.  Pods are staggered along the hallway, some a couple of steps up, some a couple of steps down, to maximize space efficiency.  Most pods are 1 person pods, however, they do have a few “2 person” pods as well.   Since each pod is fairly limited in size (think 8 feet wide by about 9 feet long) you could fit 2 people in a small pod, but it would be tight.

    Inside each pod is a single sized bed, that’s really pretty comfortable.  There’s a TV that gets 8-10 channels (mostly BBC and ITV), a small collapsible table, electrical outlets, internet connection, toilet, sink and shower.  You can also choose you’re style of “mood lighting”, from a serene purple, to calming yellow or basic white.  You can also shut lights off altogether.  

    The pods are amazingly quiet and amazingly work very well for a short rest or just simply to relax and shower after a long international flight.  You can book the Yotel for overnight stays as well.  

    Facilities: 
    Yotel has no facilities to speak of, however, they do offer coffee, tea and a select group of snacks via a room service menu.  Free internet is included during your stay and there is a TV with limited cable stations in each pod. 

    Yotel is a great alternative to more expensive hotels near or around Heathrow if you’re only going to stay over for a short amount of time.  

    See if your airline offers discounts or free stays at Yotel when booking your Business or First Class ticket.

     

     

         

  • Sofitel London Heathrow – London, UK

    Terminal 5
    London Heathrow Airport
    Hounslow
    Middlesex UK
    TW6 2GD

    +44 20 8 757 7777

    Hotel Website

    Rate: $230 USD per night
    Our Rate:  $185 USD 

    Booked Via: Sofitel website

    Reviews: 
    TripAdvisor

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    The Sofitel London Heathrow is the perfect place to stay if you arrive late in the day and are connecting to a flight early the next morning. The Sofitel also has rooms available for day use (non-overnight) stays.

    Location: 
    Located in the newer Terminal 5 (where most BA flights arrive and depart), you can go directly to the Sofitel without taking a shuttle.  It ’s about 10 minutes of elevator riding and additional walking once you reach the arrivals area of Terminal 5. One thing you do have to keep in mind is the Heathrow train system, when you depart.  Trains to other terminals at Heathrow run fairly far apart in the early to mid morning hours, To make it worse, sometimes they are cancelled.  We checked out at 5:15AM for an 8AM flight.  It took almost 1 hour to get to Terminal 1.  Trains at that time of morning run 20 minutes apart and one train was cancelled.  There is alternate transportation between terminals using the bus, but those also run around 20 minutes apart that time of day. 

    Rooms:
    Rooms here are very nice.  They’re about average size, feature a nice work area, as well as plenty of storage.  A nice addition is a comfortable leather recliner, so you can kick back and relax.  The beds were very comfortable.  Lighting for the entire room can be controlled from either bedside, as well as at the entrance of the room.  The bathroom shower is a bit on the small side, but it’s separate from a decent sized soaking tub.  There is only one sink, so if you have a traveling companion, you’ll have to share.

    Wi-fi is free, but it’s low speed (128 kbs).  You can purchase a faster connection if you need it.  There are oodles and gobs of outlets, so charging things won’t be hard.  An added bonus is they have a standard US 110v outlet on the desktop, as well as in the bathroom.  Since this hotel was built in 2009, the rooms are more than adequately soundproofed.  We never felt like we were at an airport.  Never heard a plane, nor anything else for that matter.  

    Facilities & Service: 
    The hotel has a bar and restaurant, as well as room service for anything you may need during your stay.  Check-in was efficient and we were on the way to our room in less than 5 minutes.

    Pros: Even though the rates are on the high end of reasonable, you don’t need to shuttle to an off-site location, which means you can sleep a bit longer before your flight.

    Cons: Rates are a bit on the high side.  See our review on the Yotel as a cheaper alternative. 

     

    Prepay rates may be available if you book a significant time in advance of your arrival.
     
  • Erletxe Casa Rural – Laguardia, Spain

    Rua Mayor de Peralta, 24-26 
    01300 Laguardia (Álava), Spain

    (+34) 945 621 015

    www.erletxe.com

    Variable rates: $78-$100 per room
    Our Rate:  N/A – We rented the entire house for a negotiated rate.

    Booked Via: Direct

    Reviews: TripAdvisor

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    If you’re planning a multi-day trip to the Rioja region of Spain, this is where you want to stay.  In fact, you’ll probably never want to leave!  And what about the name?  Erletxe is Euskerian (Basque) for “Bee House”.  Maria raises bees a few miles away at the foot of the Santa Cantabria mountains.  She has a “honey room” just off the courtyard of the house and you can sample fresh honey at breakfast each morning.

    Location: Erletxe is located in the village of Laguardia.  The three story house is built along the exterior fortress walls that date back centuries.  Laguardia does not allow cars into the village proper, so access is by foot through one of the city gates or via a garage door on the exterior.

    Casa Rural Erletxe Sample RoomRooms: Every room here is fantastic. You’ll feel like you’re in your own home.  Some have more room than others and most have an ensuite bath.  Some face the interior courtyard, some into the village and a couple overlook the vineyards of Rioja.  Most rooms are simply furnished and have large beds.  There’s ample closet space in each and most have desks, nightstands and windows to let in the fresh outside air.  One thing to be aware of is there is no TV, no clock radios or any other items you may be used to in a regular hotel room.

    Casa Rural Erletxe BathFacilities: There’s a large common area living room on the second floor that’s furnished with lots of interesting things from the families worldwide travels.  There’s a large TV with DVD player along with Wi-Fi to access the internet.  The Wi-Fi signal does not reach all the rooms, so you’re best chance for access is here.  Downstairs, there’s a large breakfast room with a small library of books you can read during your stay.  There’s also a one-person elevator, which will make getting your luggage to the top floors a lot easier than climbing the stairs.

    Casa Rural Erletxe Common AreaEach morning there’s a home-style Spanish breakfast served for a couple of hours.  Outside, there’s a large enclosed courtyard with outdoor tables and chairs where you can unwind with a glass of wine.  Restaurants in Laguardia are all less than 3-4 minutes walk from Erletxe.  If you’re driving, be aware that since cars are not allowed inside of Laguardia, all parking is outside the exterior walls of the village.  Parking here can be brutal, as you’re competing with residents and there’s only so much parking at the top of the hill where the village sits.

    Casa Rural Erletxe Outdoor CourtyardStaff:  Maria is the ultimate host.  She’s lived in this area for many years and knows just about everything there is to know about the area, Spain and beyond.  You’ll feel like you’re spending time with your family while you’re at Erletxe.

    Pros: If you want to experience Spain like a local, this is how and where you do it.  

    Casa Rural Erletxe External City WallCons: The only downside is it may be a bit noisy inside the house with other guests.  Many of the rooms on the 2nd floor, open out into a central hallway.  If you want a bit more privacy, rent the bedroom on the first floor.  It’s close to the entrance and it’s the only bedroom on the main floor.

    Book early. Erletxe is a top-rated place to stay in this area on TripAdvisor so it books up months in advance. Also, if you’re traveling with others, consider renting the entire house.
  • Hotel Lusso Infantas – Madrid, Spain

    C/ Infantas, 29
    28004 Madrid, Spain

    Chueca Neighbohood 

    +34 91 521 28 28 

    Standard Double Room:
    Rack Rate: $130 per night + tax
    Our Rate: $100 per night + tax
    (PrePay Rate)

    Reviews: TripAdvisor

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    Hotel infantas is a clean hotel in a great location in central Madrid. It may be a bit more three star than four star as it’s advertised, but will work great for most travelers.  Plus, it’s a great value, especially if you’re not spending much time in your room.

    Location: Hotel infantas is located just a block or two off of Gran Via, one of the most famous streets in Madrid. Almost everything you can see in central Madrid is less than 10-20minutes walk from the hotel. Some great restaurants and bars are just steps away eliminating the need for taxis or taking the metro.  It has a corner location in a trendy neighborhood with considerable nightlife.  Noise can be a factor here, no matter what floor you’re on.  Two metro stops are within a five minute walk giving you easy access to the rest of Madrid.

    Rooms at Hotel Lusso InfantasRooms: Rooms are fairly well appointed, clean and have plenty of storage space. Infantas is in a typically old European style building, so most rooms have double, floor-to ceiling narrow doors that open out onto the street below. Luckily, there are two sets in most rooms to cut down on outside noise, but noise can still be an issue. The neighboorhood of the hotel has a significant night life,  so noise on the streets can last well past the early morning hours. You may want to consider an inner-courtyard room, however, book early as there aren’t many in this hotel.  Bathrooms are also good sized for European standards and some include tubs a well as showers. There’s plenty of storage For your gear as well as safes in each room to store your valuables.  

    Bathrooms at Hotel Lusso InfantasFacilities: The hotel has a small bar and separate small restaurant. Each morning, breakfast is served in the restaurant and consists of a small buffet with hot and cold items, including eggs made to order. Food selection changed slightly each day which was nice. We didn’t eat here for dinner, however, the restaurant appeared to be quite popular.  Free wi-fi is offered throughout the hotel, but the signal is very weak in most areas, including the lobby.  If you need fast internet access, you’re best bet is Starbucks across the street.

    Street in front of Hotel Lusso Infantas

    Staff: Service at the hotel was very good. Front desk personnel were very familiar with the neighborhood and we able to make recommendations and suggestions for most places in central Madrid.

    Pros: Clean rooms in a great part of the city.  Lots of things close by and within easy walking distance.  Great value for the money.

    Cons: Street noise can be an issue, even though it’s not on a busy street.  A/C doesn’t work all that well in rooms and Wi-Fi signals are weak in all spots of the hotel.

    Book an interior room if possible, to have a quiet nights sleep. Street noise here can be quite loud throughout the night.
  • Hotel Viura – Villabuena de Alava, Spain

    Calle Mayor s/n
    Villabuena de Alava
    Alava 01307. Spain

    +34 945 60 90 00

    Viura Room:
    Rack Rate: $275 per night + tax
    Our Rate: $172 per night + tax
    (PrePay Rate)

    Booked ViaHotel Website

    Reviews: TripAdvisor

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    Image of Hotel ViuraHotel Viura is one of the most unique boutique hotels in the Rioja region of Spain.  While there’s the Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal in nearby El Ciego, you’ll pay half the price here and still be close to everything Rioja has to offer. 

    Location: Viura is located in the tiny town of Villabuena de Alava, a small town of just 317 people, yet boasts over 43 wineries.  Laguardia is less than 10 minutes away as are many small villages in this area of Rioja.  The main facility in town is the hotel.  There is a small taverna just off the church square less than a two minute walk from the hotel, but there aren’t any other services here, so be aware.

    Hotel viura RoomRooms: Rooms here are unique.  And that’s unique in a good way.  Very few are exactly alike and all furnishings are very modern.  From mood lighting in various colors, to faux fur rugs, if you like modern, Viura is your place.  Rooms are very well sized for European hotel rooms and furnishings are minimal.  Some may not like the “colder” feel of polished concrete floors and walls, but rooms still feel cozy.  Some rooms only have showers, so if a tub is you’re thing, make sure to ask when making a reservation.  Some rooms have an “open bathroom” concept, with only a curtain separating the bath/toilet areas from the room.  There’s plenty of storage for bags and your gear, including a nice sized safe in each room.  Rooms have a simple color palette and the beds are very comfy.  Almost every room has a great view of the town and rooms on the third floor, actually have small outdoor patios.Hotel Viura room bath area

    Facilities:  The hotel has a very large bar area with comfy couches and chairs.  It also boasts an extensive outdoor patio area, great for those warm Spanish nights.  The bar serves drinks as well as a wide array of appetizers.  There’s a large open meeting area and computer lounge, just past reception, along with various seating areas throughout the lobby.  On the lower level, there’s a large restaurant.  It’s decor is unique with dozens of wine barrels suspended from the ceiling.  In addition to al fresco dining outside, there’s also a very unique wine cellar featuring hundreds of wine from throughout Spain and the world.

    Hotel Viura restaurantStaff: Front desk staff here were very helpful and knowledgeable about the surrounding area.  Housekeeping was quick and efficient and included turndown service each day.  Breakfast service wasn’t the best.  On a couple of days during our stay, the restaurant was full and the staff overwhelmed.  Even on non-crowded days, service took longer than it should for a continental breakfast with eggs to order.  Our advice is go as soon as the restaurant opens.View from Rooftop deck of Hotel Viura

    Pros:  A completely unique hotel in an unbeatable setting.  Wine on the rooftop deck during sunset overlooking the village and surrounding countryside makes for a truly special occasion.  Unobtrusive service with just the right amenities to relax and enjoy your stay in Rioja.  

    Cons: Once you’re here, you’re here.  No small markets, grocery or other places to dine other than the hotel.  Very slow, inconsistent breakfast service.

    Since this hotel is very unique, you’ll want to make reservations early as its limited rooms can fill quickly during busy times.