Évora Inn ★★
Rua da República 11, 7000 - 656 Évora, Portugal, Tel: 266-744-500
The typical white and yellow on the exterior of this little hotel belies what you'll find once you step through the door. Quirky design and vibrant colors, a low-key atmosphere, and roof top terrace with sweeping views.
Location: B. Right in the heart of the old city, within walking distance of the main sights. The central location does come with some street noise (at all hours).
Property: A. The very spot where the Portuguese Republic was declared in 1910, this is a classified building that was completely renovated in 2010. Note that the building has five floors, and there is no elevator.
Rooms: B. Colorful and playful decor. Very simple furnishings. Everything is clean, and well maintained.
Hotel Style: B&B; Area: Town Center; No. of Rooms: 9; Singles: €45, Doubles: €55 to €75; Credit Cards: MC/V
Schwöbber 9, 31855 Aerzen, Germany, Tel: (0)5154-7060-0
Germany has, by some counts, more than 20,000 castles and palaces, so it's no surprise that some of them have ended up as hotels.
Schlosshotel Münchhausen is an elegant palace on the edge of a lake, a fairy tale setting for the Fairy Tale Road. Two in-house dining rooms: one posh and seriously expensive, and one more moderately priced in the cellar.
Location: A. If you're seeking a quiet country escape, this is the perfect place. Located a couple of miles from the Pied Piper village Hamelin.
Property: A+. The 16th century palace was beautifully restored in 2002, and includes many period antiques. Set in beautiful parkland, surrounded by a moat, and with an 18-hole golf course.
Rooms: A+. Rooms perfectly capture the elegance and history of the castle, while providing completely modern fixtures and amenities.
Hotel Style: Castle; Area: Off the beaten path; No. of Rooms: 68; Singles: €130 to €300, Doubles: €160 to €300; Credit Cards: MC/V/AX
Château d’Audrieu ★★★★
Rue de Tilly (D82), 14250 Audrieu, France, Tel: (0)2-31-80-21-52
Remote, beautiful, and yet with easy access to the D-Day beaches, the d’Audrieu is a great luxury option for touring Normandy.
Location: B. In an idyllic setting, less than five miles from Bayeux and about a 30 minute drive to the American Cemetery. The only downside is having to drive if you want to eat somewhere other than the hotel.
Property: A. An 18th century chateau in the countryside, the public spaces and parkland look the part. The restaurant is a gourmet extravaganza. Expect dinner to run €75 to €100 per person.
Rooms: B. Standard rooms are on the smallish side, and not as elegant as I would expect from a chateau at this price. Once you move up into the Junior Suite the rooms fit the property.
Hotel Style: Castle; Area: Off the beaten path; No. of Rooms: 29; Singles: €320 to €485, Doubles: €320 to €485; Credit Cards: MC/V/AX
Danubius Hotel Gellért ★★★★
Szent Gellért tér 1, 1111 Budapest, Hungary, Tel: (0)1-889-5500
Connected to Budapest's most famous baths, this beautiful Art Nouveau building was built in 1918. For the budget-conscious traveler who is willing to overlook some maintenance issues, this hotel can be a good option. Even if you don't plan on taking a dip in the spa, it's worth wandering through the lobby of the hotel and peeking into the entry of the baths.
Location: B. At the foot of Gellert Hill, it's a short walk from the Market Hall and the southern end of Váci ut. Good transport connections to the M4 metro line, and trams.
Property: B. Best described as faded glory, the building itself is beautiful, and many of the rooms offer panoramic views of the river and Pest.
Rooms: C. Maintenance suffered under years of Communist neglect, and unfortunately not much seems to have been done since. Cheap, tired furnishings, and stained carpets are the most obvious things that need to be brought up to date.
Hotel Style: Business; Area: Gellert Hill; No. of Rooms: 234; Singles: €60 – €75, Doubles: €110 – €195; Credit Cards: MC/V/AX
Hotel am Dom ★★★
Goldgasse 17, 5020 Salzburg
Tel: (0)662-842-765, Fax: (0)662-842-76555
Just steps from the cathedral, the Hotel am Dom underwent a change of ownership and complete renovation in 2009 that changed it from a budget dive to a stylish boutique hotel. Each floor has a different theme, and rooms are nicely decorated in a modern design style. There are limited things you can do with an old building, though, so room sizes are still rather small and don't have much in the way of natural light.
Singles: €129, Doubles: €169 to €209, Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted.
Hotel Style: Boutique; 14 Rooms
Grades: A+ (Location), B (Property), B (Rooms).
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