Review: Emonec Hotel, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Emonec Hotel met our Number One requirement for a visit to lovely Ljubljana – a central location.

In fact, the hotel’s location is amazing: squarely in the centre of the Old City, surrounded by cafes, shops, restaurants, museums and churches.

Regardless of your age, it is a simple, flat walk from this hotel to just about all of Ljubljana’s many attractions.

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If you are thinking of going to Ljubljana, here’s our review and Age-friendliness rating:

Q: Was the booking process simple and problem-free?

A: Yes, online booking of Emonec Hotel was straight-forward. After comparing prices and location, we used the hotel’s website to book.

Q: Does the Emonec Hotel have street appeal?

A: The hotel’s entrance is not on a main street. It is down a small thoroughfare off main pedestrian area Wolfova 12 in the Old City. However, it is clearly marked, well signposted and easy to find because of its central location close to Ljubljana’s famed Presern Square.

Q: Is the hotel close to facilities etc?

A: Certainly. Just about every attraction, including  Preseren Square, is close at hand. Ljubljana is particularly pedestrian-friendly and vehicles are banned from the Old City. Ljubljana’s railway station and coach terminal are a few kilometres from the hotel, but are well serviced by taxis. We walked the distance with ease on our way out of the city.

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Photo courtesy Edmonec Hotel

Q: How did check-in go?

A: Promptly and smoothly. The reception staff were professional

Q: How was the room?

A: Emonec Hotel has been refurbished in recent times and our room was modern, well fitted-out and roomy. It was close to the reception area down a wide and level corridor.

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Q: Was the room big enough?

A: The room was spotlessly clean and large, with ample room either side of the bed. There was plenty of wardroom space and a writing desk.

Q: Was the bed comfortable?

A: It was particularly comfortable and, as the room was free from traffic and other street noise, we slept soundly. We’re not big fans of separate quilts, but these were warm and snuggly.

Q: Did the room have adequate charging points?

A: We had seven electronic devices, but our Emonec Hotel room catered for them all. Power points close to the bed allowed us to use our phones as alarms.

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Q: Were other facilities adequate.

A: Yes. We didn’t use them, but the room had a big screen TV and airconditioning. We did, however, make good use of the hotel’s self-service laundry to wash and dry a load of clothing.

Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?

A: As with the rest of the Emonec Hotel room, the bathroom was spotlessly clean and equipped with adequate toiletries.

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Photo courtesy Edmonec Hotel

Q: Did you get breakfast?

A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a well appointed and modern eatery adjoining the main part of the hotel and the food couldn’t be faulted.

Q: How was the hotel’s service?

A: The Emonec Hotel staff were friendly, efficient and professional.

Q: Was there anything you didn’t like about your stay?

A: No. The Emonec Hotel was exactly what we wanted – central and close to attractions, food, coffee, markets and transport. The hotel was the perfect fit.

Duration of visit: three nights

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Our Age-friendliness Rating

A: 8/10: From our experience, the Emonec Hotel caters well for all ages – at least in the part of the building that we used. The hotel’s website is easy to follow and it is a straight-forward process to book a room. Once there, the entrance is level and our room was close to the main door and simple to enter. Inside the room, the floor was level, there was ample space for luggage without tripping over bags – and the bathroom was easy to navigagate. The walk to the breakfast area was only a few metres and, again, there were few steps – if any.

The location, off the main thoroughfare, might initially confuse some, but there is adequate signage, which we followed with ease.

Ljubljana is undoubtedly one of the best kept secrets of Europe – and the Edmonec Hotel allowed us to explore the city’s charms without a vehicle.  It worked well.

See more about our Ljubljana visit.

Main photo courtesy Emonec Hotel.

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Review: The Rubens at the Palace, London

We had our first taste of a Red Carnation Hotel during our most recent visit to London.

In such a grand city, competition is particularly strong at the top end of the market.

And that’s exactly where Red Carnation Hotels sit!

lodge-2438655__340.jpgIts collection of 17 family-run luxurious hotels are situated across the United Kingdom, South Africa, Switzerland, Ireland and the United States of America.

Each hotel has become a landmark, with a reputation for exceptional location, high quality service, fine dining and sumptuous surroundings.

There are six Red Carnation Hotels in London – and we booked into one of the best known, The Rubens at the Palace, in Westminster.

This majestic four-star hotel is located in Buckingham Palace Road, almost opposite (you guessed it) The Buckingham Palace.

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It was a fleeting one-night stay on our return from spending time in a charming village deep in rural Hertfordshire.

We knew the story of Red Carnation Hotels, an iconic brand that emerged from South Africa in the 1970’s and carved a name for itself as a leading provider of boutique, quality hotels world-wide.

So, we were delighted to be able to experience the brand – even if it was briefly – at The Rubens at the Palace.

And here’s our opinion:

Q: Was the booking process simple and problem free?

A: Yes. We used a few comparision websites to find the best price, then booked online directly with the hotel. The process was straight-forward and easy.

Q: Did The Rubens at the Palace communicate after the booking?

A: Yes, the hotel checked by email that everything was okay several weeks before our visit. This was appreciated. The hotel also has an active social media presence.

Q: Does The Rubens at the Palace have street appeal?

A: Certainly. The hotel is a grand building in a stately area. The hotel frontage is impressive, with an understated look of quality. It’s also easy to find, as we were on foot from nearby Victoria station.

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The hotel also features a striking ‘Living Wall’.

Standing at 350 square metres and with a total of 10,000 herbaceous plants, the wall is designed to provide waves of blossoming plants throughout the year; help keep the hotel cooler in Summer and warmer in Winter; and attract wildlife.

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Q: How did check-in go?

A: Briskly and smoothly. Both door staff and those on reception were friendly, helpful and highly professional in their appearance and manner. The process went smoothly indeed.

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Q: How was accessibility, particularly for senior travellers.

A: There were only three small steps from the footpath to the front doors – and the lifts were located close to the check-in counter.

The lifts had adequate space, the corridors were wide enough and our bags were able to be wheeled on the carpet with ease. This was important to us, as a wheel on our Travelon bag had somehow come adrift at Heathrow airport.

Although there were two steps in our room, there was also a hand rail should you need it.

Q: Was the room big enough?

A: There was plenty of space in the room, which featured a king-sized bed and a luxurious bathroom, plenty of wardrobes, and sufficient room alongside the bed for a writing desk – which was put to good use.

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There was also complimentary high speed wifi, tea and coffee-making facilities, plush bathrobes and slippers, indiviidually controlled air conditioning and bottled mineral water.

Q: Was the bed comfortable?

A: Extremely. The room was quiet and we slept soundly.

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Q: Were other facilities adequate?

A: Although we didn’t use them, there was a big flat-screen TV with cable channels and movies on demand, an iron and ironing board, and a laptop safe.

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Q: Did the room have adequate charging points?

A: The Rubens at the Palace room easily catered for our seven electronic devices. There were plenty of charging points, including two on either side of the bed, ideal for using mobile phones as alarm clocks.

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Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?

A: There was a large en-suite bathroom with either a bath tub with overhead shower or a walk in shower. The bathroom featured fluffy towels, robes and luxury toiletries.

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Q: Did you get breakfast?

A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. The breakfast room was luxurious and the food to die for.

Q: Were there any problems with the hotel?

A: No. The Rubens at the Palace is a remarkable hotel that recalls the grandeur of a past age while also providing the utmost in luxury, technology and outstanding service

Duration of stay: One night

Location: The Rubens at the Palace is located in Buckingham Palace Road, central London, opposite the Royal Mews.

Our Age-friendly rating:

8/10. From our experience, The Rubens at the Palace caters well for all ages.  We used the lifts for our luggage; found the lay-out simple; the halls wide-enough; and the room entry straight-forward. There were a few steps inside our room door, but they didn’t worry us.

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Review: The Pan Hotel, Athens


The old real estate slogan “Location, location, location” attracted us to the Pan Hotel, in Athens.

We decided to review the Pan, after discovering that it was in one of the Greek capital’s most central locations, right in the heart of Athens.

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The hotel is only metres from Syntagma Square, with its famous Parliament building and colourful guards; on the fringe of the old Plaka and Monastiraki districts; and within easy walk of the Acropolis.

It is also close to museums, the central metro station of Syntagma Square, restaurants, coffee shops, archeological sites and ancient churches – and adjoins the high end shops and boutiques of famous Hermou Street.

We were in Athens reviewing the Scoot Airlines service between Australia and Greece – and a central location in Athens was particularly appealing.

Full review

Q: Was the booking process simple and problem-free?

A: Online booking of the Pan Hotel couldn’t have been easier. After comparing prices and location on several rating sites, we used the hotel’s own website to book.

Q: Did the Pan Hotel communicate after the process?

A: After we booked online, the hotel kept up an email conversation to see if it could help further with arrangements.

And, when we sought information about late night transport from the port of Piraeus, Pan Hotel staff were extremely helpful and efficient, communicated promptly – and arranged for a driver and car to meet our ferry.

The Pan Hotel is also active on social media.

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Q: Does the Pan Hotel have street appeal?

A: The hotel is in a busy street, but looks modern, clean and appealing from the street.

Q: How did check-in go?

A: Smoothly. The reception staff were professional and fast. We’d travelled from Santorini – and were exhausted. However, we were quickly shown to our room without hassles – just what we wanted.

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Foyer, Pan Hotel

Q: How was the room’s accessibly, particularly for seniors?

A: Good. We could reach our floor by lift. Hotels in Greece have a reputation for small lifts. This one was narrow, but more than adequate.

And, there were stairs if we wanted to use them.

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Lift and stairs, Pan Hotel

Q: Was the room big enough?

A: The room could not have been better. It was contemporary, spotlessly clean and large.

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Beds, Pan Hotel

There was also plenty of wardroom space; complimentary high speed wifi; and a large and well-equipped bathroom.

We had been given a balcony room with a nice view over the beating heart of Athens. The acropolis was obscured, but there was still plenty to see and we didn’t notice undue street noise.

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Balcony view, Pan Hotel

Q: Was the bed comfortable?

A: It was particularly comfortable and we slept soundly.

Q: Did the room have adequate charging points?

A: We had seven electronic devices, including phones and camera equipment, but our Pan Hotel room catered for this with ease. As well as plenty of power points, there was one placed on either side of the bed, ideal for using mobile phones as alarm clocks.

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Q: Were other facilities adequate.

A: Yes. Although we didn’t use them, there was a modern flat-screen TV and a minibar.

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Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?

A: Certainly. There was a large, modern shower recess and a roomy vanity area. As with the rest of the Pan Hotel room, the bathroom was spotlessly clean and equipped with luxury toiletries.

Q: Did you get breakfast?

A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a well appointed and modern eatery – and the food – which included lots of Greek cuisine – couldn’t be faulted.

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Although there is no restaurant within the hotel, its central location places the Pan Hotel squarely in the centre of the city’s eat street.

Q: How was the hotel’s service?

A: All the Pan Hotel staff we encountered were friendly, efficient and particularly professional.. Nothing was too much trouble for the hotel – and staff certainly looked after us. Reception is particularly important in a hotel experience, as it is a guest’s first and last impression.

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Q:Was there anything you didn’t like about your stay?

A: Nothing. We decided to review the Pan Hotel after readers told us about its high standard and awesome central position.

They were right. We could not fault the Pan Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

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Sue on fashionable Hermou Street, Athens

The hotel’s central location kept down our costs for visiting the attractions of Athens and getting to our plane for departure. We simply wheeled our bags the few hundred metres to the metro station and caught a local train to the international airport.

Duration of visit: three nights

Address: The Pan Hotel can be found at 11 Mitropoleos Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

Our Age-friendly rating:

7/10. From our experience, the Pan Hotel caters well for all ages. The relatively narrow lift was adequate for our luggage; the lay-out was simple; the door entry was straight-forward; and the room was easy to negotiate.  The bathroom was no challenge and the central location of the hotel meant that it was easy for us to find and reach on foot.

Note: The writer was flown to Europe courtesy of Scoot Airlines

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Review: Hotel Aethrio, Santorini, Greece

The ‘first impression’ can be particularly important for a hotel.

Our reaction on arriving at Hotel Aethrio, on the Greek Island of Santorini, was an unrestrained “Wow”!

White stone fence, blue gate, white-and-grey cobblestones, blue window surrounds, white stone buildings, blue sun roof – and a sparkling blue swimming pool.

Now that’s what you call street appeal!

We couldn’t wait to enter the hotel, perched high on an escarpment amid the scenic beauty of Oia village.

And we weren’t disappointed! The warmth of the welcome we received was matched only by the Santorini sunshine.

Our host led us to a fully equipped, two storey cave apartment in a prime position overlooking the pool and sunset deck. A wonderful few days had started.

Here’s our full review of the Hotel Aethrio:

Q: Was the booking process simple and problem-free?

A: Yes, online booking of Hotel Aethrio couldn’t have been easier. After comparing prices and location, we used the hotel’s website to book.

Q: Does the Hotel Aethrio have street appeal?

A: The hotel is off a narrow laneway, but Martin greeted us at the bus stop and carried our bags to our apartment. All we did was marvel at the beauty of the area and the hotel itself.


Q: Is the hotel close to facilities etc?

The Hotel Aethrio is within easy walking distance of the heart of Oia. As we had a fully equipped apartment, we walked to local bakeries and supermarkets to buy ingredients for our meals, coffee etc.

The location is less than one block from the bus terminal where coaches run regularly to the island ferry port, airport and the tourist shopping and restaurant hub of Fira.


Q: How did check-in go?

A: Smoothly. The reception staff were professional and fast – but thorough.

Q: How was the room’s accessibly for seniors?

A: Unfortunately, there are no lifts in a cave apartment. However, if you are able to cope with a moderate number of stairs, the atmosphere makes it all worthwhile. The curved cave roof and cool walls need to be experienced to  be fully understood We loved it all.



Q: Were the rooms big enough?

A: The rooms could not have been better. They were spotlessly clean and large. There was plenty of wardroom space, and the downstairs area had a stove, kettle, plates, cutlery, lounge and TV.


Q: Was the bed comfortable?

A: It was comfortable and, as the cave apartment was completely insulated from traffic and other noise, we slept soundly

Q: Were there adequate charging points?

A: We had seven electronic devices, including phones and camera equipment, but our Hotel Aethrio apartment catered for this with ease. As well as plenty of power points, there was one either side of the bed, ideal for using mobile phones as alarm clocks.


Q: Was there free wifi?

A: Yes. There were strong wifi signals in our apartment and in the pool area. Top marks for this.

Q: Were other facilities adequate.

A: Yes. Although we didn’t use it, the living room had a big screen TV  –  and the pool was beautiful.

Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?

A: Certainly. There was a large shower recess and a roomy vanity area. As with the rest of the Hotel Aethrio apartment, the bathroom was spotlessly clean and equipped with luxury toiletries.

Q: Did you get breakfast?

A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. There was a well appointed and modern eatery and the food couldn’t be faulted. It was first class.


The breakfast area, bar and, in fact, much of the main part of the hotel was a former sock factory that had been beautifully rebuilt for its current purpose.  There was plenty of space and some of the factory’s former machinery was on show, which gave an interesting touch to the room.


Q: How was the hotel’s service?

A: The Hotel Aethrio staff were friendly, efficient and particularly professional.

We were given valuable information on local bus routes and the best places to view the famous Santorini sunsets.

Nothing was too much trouble for the hotel – and staff certainly looked after us.


Q: Was there anything you didn’t like about your stay?

A: No. We decided to stay at Oia, rather than Fira township and review the Hotel Aethrio after readers mentioned its great location, facilities and service. They were right. This is a hotel that is doing everything right.

Duration of visit: three nights

Q: Would we return?

A:  Without hesitation.

Special mention: the hotel’s swimming pool and sun area is superbly presented and looks awesome.

Our Age-friendly rating

7/10:  From our experience, the Aethrio Hotel caters well for all ages. Our  shuttle was met by a hotel employee, who carried our luggage and helped us negotiate the narrow laneways of Oia.  The hotel itself had a simple layout;was close to bus transport and shops; and boasted easy-to-reach sunset decks and pool area. Our apartment had a number of stone steps inside, but these didn’t challenge our level of fitness.

 

 

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