Saranda is a popular tourist resort around a large sandy bay. It is a modern town which was built after the fall of the Communist regime when a lot of high rise buildings built during the 1990s construction boom. Hotel Brilant is one of these. The hotel is set back from the beach and a short walk along the promenade into the centre of the town
I found it rather a uninspiring hotel. This may not have been helped by the fact that the lights in the room I was originally given on the third floor didn’t work and I was moved to a room on the first floor. This wasn’t such an attractive room and didn’t look like the rooms shown in the brochure. There was a fair bit of dust and noise during the day as workmen were renovating the other rooms on that floor. There was no sea view or balcony, but a rather an uninspiring view out over the side street at the front of the hotel.
It was a large room with two very low single beds – only about 12” above the floor. The mattress was soft and probably in need of replacing. The pillows were unforgiving too. There was a fleece blanket rather than a duvet, which only just covered the bed. The low chest of drawers which doubled up as a suitcase stand. It had a small fridge which was empty and not switched on and a small TV. As in many hotels in Albania, there was no kettle. At least the lighting was good with four spot lights in the ceiling.
The bathroom had bidet, toilet, wash basin and shower and I found it very cramped with little space for you knees between the toilet and the shower. Towels were large but a heavy hand with the fabric conditioner meant that the towels didn’t dry very well.
Perhaps the best bit of the hotel was the large lift with windows giving views across the town as you went up and down.
The restaurant is on the fifth floor, and breakfast was self service. There was a reasonable choice of cereals and fruit juice with fresh fruit salad as well as tinned peaches and plums. The plums went very well with the homemade yogurt. I avoided the cooked breakfast with its small frankfurter style sausages and stuck to the cold meats and cheese. There were rolls as well as bread and a very good choice of jams.
Breakfast is served from 7.30 and if you are in early there is also a very good choice of sweets, including a tart with confectioner’s custard and sliced apple. This is very good, but if you arrive about 8.30, has all gone. The sponge and shortbread biscuits were a bit dry but the pancakes with chocolate filling were good.
I think I may have been unlucky in the room I was given as it didn’t look as nice as rooms on the web site. This is reflected in the star rating.
There is also an enthusiastic cockerel to wake you up in the morning.
To find out more about Albania, what we did and my pictures, look “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/albania/index.html