The trendily named Funky Guest House in Përmeti, is ideally situated on a quiet corner of the square in the middle of this small town in south east Albania.
We were welcomed by Avenir, the owner, who speaks excellent English and were invited to try the local delicacy, gliko or preserved fruit in syrup.
We were then led up a marble spiral flight of stairs to the first floor with its breakfast room and small balcony overlooking the square. Up a second wooden spiral flight were the eight named rooms. Both sets of stairs are narrow and unsuitable for anyone with mobility problems. Fortunately, Avenir and our driver carried our bags up.
Our room, Desidia, was on a corner with large French style doors on both sides making the room light and bright. The double-glazed doors looked new and were effective at keeping out street noises, although Përmeti was a genteel rather than raucous town. The room wasn’t a bad size with laminate flooring, double bed with only two pillows, a thick sheet (unmade on arrival) and two grey covers. There was air conditioning, unnecessary in September’s cooler temperatures, wall mounted TV, art on the walls, and a modern, open-plan metallic shelf and hanging unit. There were bedside tables and lights and a single chair, but no safe, mini bar, glasses or tea and coffee making facilities. Practical but simple is probably the best description. WiFi was available and was best accessed from the landing where there were a couple of chairs next to the router. However, even here the signal was intermittent.
The room had a small hall with tiny bathroom. The shower cubicle wasn’t the biggest, but the water was hot and powerful, and sachets of shower gel were provided. The loo was a tight squeeze between the shower and basin. However, as with the room, it was light and bright, and there was a good hairdryer next to the mirror. Rubber mules were provided.
Breakfast was served from 7.30am and as we found in Albania, even if you go down on the dot, there will be someone who has just finished their breakfast. This time, it was a German couple with a rather large son, who hogged what was a simple buffet laid out in a tight corner. There was a carton of orange juice, two cereals (neither muesli), fresh sliced bread, cucumber, tomato, a feta-like cheese, a basket of croissant type pastries a huge range of jams. We’d read about their famous home-made carrot jam and as the jams were not labelled, we went for the most orange coloured but found it was marmalade so gave up. A lovely friendly lady was on hand to provide tea and excellent freshly made coffee.
On the ground floor was the Funky Bar, with a few tables inside and more spilling out onto the pavement. It appeared to be very busy with regulars, as well as guests.
The Funky Guest House can arrange a variety of Funky Adventures including white-water rafting, hiking, fishing, camping etc, but thankfully we had our own non-funky driver and itinerary or I would have felt ‘funked out’.
Avenir and his father were always around in the Funky Bar which we had to pass through on our way out and, whilst I’m sure they were just being friendly, I found their habit of questioning us about where we were going and where we’d been a little irritating.