Miracle Istanbul Asia

The bed was very uncomfortable for my back, to the point that after 8-9 hours of sleep I was still tired and waking up with a strong back pain.
The background noise level was significant due to the nearby highway: likely the rooms not facing the road are better in this respect.
To top up the bad experience the room had a shower with a strong smell of mold every time I opened the water.

Overall it was not a miracle for me.

Thistle City Barbican in London: just a bit better than sleeping under a bridge

This week I had to be in London for the second time in one month and my experience was to some extent even worse than the previous one.
Apparently the city was packed and room availability scarce so I had to deal with a hotel that I would normally not pick up on the basis of the reviews: Thistle City Barbican.

The first night I was in the Thistle Kensington Park: my room was facing the HVAC cooling section that produced a continuous hum during the night and the bed was fairly uncomfortable: for 226£ expectations were higher.2013-05-22-095[1]

The very bad experience was the second night with the City Barbican: the room needs a major renovation for at least 10 years now.
In the bathroom a tile was missing from the floor and the chrome of the tap (two separate ones) was just a distant past.

Wood panels and water don’t play nicely together and it is was clearly a bad decision to heavily use them in a bathroom.


Tapestry on the wall was bulging, the desk finish was of low quality wood-like hard plastic and some large patches were missing altogether.



No need to say that the carpet has made his time and the rest of the furniture was not in great shape either.

I was lucky to be very tired and able to fall asleep without thinking of the cleaning.

226£ for a room that would be just ok for a free emergency shelter is absolutely a shame even if the personnel was very kind: in the end it’s 20 minutes dealing with them and 8 hours dealing with the room.

Stay away from the Barbican.

Auditorium Hotel near Madrid

Last week I’ve spent 5 days in this hotel.
While the bed linen were showing some indication of excessive use the experience overall was positive:
1) fairly comfortable bed
2) fairly large room with no carpet (uncommon, but great to keep under control dust mites and related allergy)
3) fairly good food in the restaurant buffet
In several occasions the wi-fi bandwidth was insufficient for a voice-only Skype call, but a huge conference was ongoing hence is understandable even if it was unpleasant nonetheless.

The hotel is far from the city center (about 45 minutes by public transportation, 7€ round trip to plaza del Sol) and has a free shuttle bus to the airport every 30 minutes. Cab is about 20€ to the airport.

Given the price paid (90€/day with breakfast) it was a good deal.