Thursday, 21 April 2011

Travel diary

Active Hotels have just informed me that "Unfortunately the review process is no longer available for Active Hotels. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause".

This is such a shame. Though it remains my first-stop website for booking hotels (and I book an awful lot of hotels) it's just lost one of its major attractions, the ability to leave your own review and votes on each hotel. These aggregated votes, giving a final mark out of 10, and the reviews from various punters then enabled one to book hotel rooms with greater certainty of what was on offer. With this function removed, I am going to be reliant on what the hotel has to say about itself rather than the more honest views of people who've paid to stay there.

If anyone knows of a website where one can book hotels based on punters reviews, I'll happily try that and drop Active Hotels like a stone (until I discover some other reason they were so good, maybe the prices?)

But I've stayed in so many hotels in the last month, I must review them. I'll keep it brief.

Me outside my furthest flung venue of this season's tour, Woodend Barn, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Holiday Inn Express, Glasgow Airport. Meh. Short walk from airport, not a bad breakfast.

Hotel St George, Dublin. Good. Free wifi, good price inc breakfast, good location.

Aberdeen Douglas Hotel, good location....

And it's at this point I suddenly realise there's no point in reviewing these hotels. Unless someone is using these reviews to base their hotel booking on, the best I can say is that medium priced hotels in cities and towns in the UK and Ireland are about what you'd expect. Okay, the Grassmarket Hotel in Edinburgh may be pokier and a little less clean than some other places, and may cost more because it's a popular city, and I may have got a real bargain deal at Lawlors Hotel in Dungarvan (gorgeous view, free wifi, great breakfast, ideal location, good room, and all for 39 euros), but more than that I can't really add much.

Here, have some more holiday snaps and we'll move on. (But take the praise, in general, Ballantrae Hotel Edinburgh, Cabinn Hotels in Aarhus, Stansted Airport Lodge (crazy keys, odd breakfast), Charles Stewart Guesthouse Dublin, Hussar Hotel Margate, and anywhere I've forgotten).

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