This summer when we were traveling in Europe I chose two distinctively different hotels for our extra days on each end of the cruise.
The first was in Lisbon Portugal. We fell in love with the pictures of Avenida Palace on the internet. It was so old world and looked like such a romantic spot to start our vacation. As exhausted as we were when we arrived I could not help wanting to look all around as soon as we got there.
The lobby at the entrance was glorious with a magnificent bouquet in the center of the room. The second photo was where you could have a cocktail in the afternoon while a piano or violins were playing. Our room turned out to be a living room, bedroom and bath. Outside of our room was a very glamorous staircase that spiraled up to the top. There was a sitting/reading area outside of our door too! In our room there was a writing desk in its own alcove. The second floor had large open seating areas perfect for meeting friends. There was a lovely dining room where breakfast was served and was included with the cost of our room. Far and away my favorite room was the bar. It was gorgeous and there was a friendly chatty bartender. There was a very helpful concierge who helped to get us reservations for a restaurant with a Fado show (this is a must when visiting Portugal) and got a guide for us for a morning tour. Without having to give it too much thought, I decided we could live happily ever after in this lovely hotel.
At the end of our trip we extended for a couple of days in Bilboa Spain. Bilboa is the home of The Guggenheim museum and the reason I wanted to explore this city. In looking for a hotel my mind switched to modern and a location that we could walk to the museum. I found Hotel Miro right down the street from the Guggenheim.
The hotel was very sleek and modern. There was total use of space, and you did not get much space in your room. At first I though there was no closet but then I found it behind a curtain that served as a room divider between the sleeping area and the sink/shower area. The toilet was separate and had a door off of the sink/shower area. You better not be too shy about sharing space! Breakfast was not included. There was a small bar that was geared to coffee and non-alcohol drinks, but you could have wine. Local restaurants and bars in the area were good. We had terrific pintxos and drinks in the afternoon and really good Spanish wines with dinner.
So, which would you chose? The Avenida Palace was about $100 more a night, but it did include breakfast for two. Cost aside, which would you go for? I like to mix things up when we travel so it was fun for us to experience both ends of the spectrum.