The paperwork we received before the holiday described this as a stylish boutique hotel. I’m not quite sure that it merits this description, but then I’ve never been quite sure what the definition of boutique is…
The hotel is down a narrow street with no coach access and little parking for cars and surrounded by what are now rather scruffy Communist era blocks. It isn’t the easiest of places to find, but it is an excellent location and in walking distance of most of the attraction in Tirana. It was also very quiet when we stayed.
From the outside it is rather an uninspiring building and I found the inside bland too. Be warned there are steps into reception and no lift or porter service, although staff are very willing to help with suitcases. There was some confusion over rooms as the 100 rooms are in a separate block reached across the small courtyard.
It was a large room but rather spartan room overlooking the street, with rather uninspiring pastel decor and although it as spotlessly clean, it was getting a bit scuffed in places. BUT it did have a KETTLE! The first I’d found in Albania.
There was a minibar, small work area, small wardrobe and glass fronted hanging area with a safe. There was nowhere to put the suitcase off the floor, so I put it on a shelf in the glass fronted cupboard. There wasn’t a lot of space to put belongings either.
The bed had a firm but had a rather unforgiving mattress and pillows. The bathroom was large but the only place for the sponge bag was a small shelf by the door. It did have a hair drier and a range of toiletries. There was a walk in corner shower. The shower surface could get slippery when wet and I found the water very slow to drain from the shower tray. The bath towels let them down. They were not over generous and got wet very quickly.
All in all, although there was nothing wrong with the room, it was unexciting and rather bland. The rooms do vary. talking to others, I was the only one with a kettle. Someone else had a huge jacuzzi.
Breakfast was a self service buffet in the separate building I was in. It was the usual selection of cereals, fruit juice with home made natural yogurt and bought fruit flavoured yogurts. There was also a big bowl of fresh fruit which I appreciated. There were the usual small frankfurter sausages and eggs along with cold meats and cheese with tomatoes, cucumber and olives. There was a good selection of bread and rolls although the small pats of butter were left out all the time and did taste slightly rancid. I enjoyed the homemade jams (fig, cheery and apple). Sweet stuff included croissant with chocolate sauce filling or a slab of marble cake which tasted a lot nicer than it looked. Staff were on hand to keep the breakfast topped up.
I can’t say I particularly liked the hotel but staff were very good and it is an excellent location. I think the hotels we stayed in at Gjirokastra and Berat had spoilt me…
to find out more about Albania, what I did and my pictures, look “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/albania/index.html