Home > At Play, Post A Week 2011 > The View from the Cheap Seats (Part One)

The View from the Cheap Seats (Part One)

Twelve days. Five flights. Three trains. Two countries. One coach bus, not counting all of the private car, taxi, local bus and tube rides. Welcome to travel a la Me. Usually my challenge is hotels. I have discovered that other travellers stick with hotel chains for good reason—they know what to expect at the end of the journey. Choosing an unknown hotel, motel, or other accommodation strictly from the virtues proclaimed on a website could land you in the room next to mine, not something for the spoiled or privileged traveller. Example one, the room in a boutique hotel, booked for triple occupancy but with barely enough room for one college student. Prepayment guarantees your reservation but allows precious little recourse if the room the hotel gives you is not satisfactory. Need another example? Consider the bed and breakfast in a great location, but the room was, well, how to describe it? Chock full of odds and ends from other rooms, making it look like a storage space rather than a room that people are actually paying for. My all-time favorite hotel debacle was arriving at a hotel and finding the front desk clerk sitting behind bars. Checking in? What kind of guests do you have anyway?The odd thing is that Hubby still allows me to make the travel arrangements as if I had any talent in this area, that and the fact that I’m not put off in the least. I boldly continue to fire up my computer and conduct multiple online comparisons to decide which hotel offers the best rate for my stay, airport shuttle (preferably free), on-site restaurant or close proximity to reasonable choices and a clean, comfortable room.

My hotel choices this year were uncharacteristically uneventful. Selections based on convenience of location led me to safe, hotel chain choices. Since I have an unconscious penchant toward the unknown, two wild cards dotted my otherwise predictable itinerary, The Chesterfield Hotel and the Holyrood ApartHotel.

Pleasant. Hospitable service. The Chesterfield Hotel

Stopping off in Chesterfield en route to Edinburgh (I’ll get back to this), The Chesterfield Hotel seemed to be the logical choice; it’s named after the town in which it’s situated and is close to the train station. Had we had more than an overnight stopover in Chesterfield, I would have been pleased to explore more of the town and enjoy the Chesterfield’s hospitality. Good choice, but we still have one other wildcard in the mix.

Convenient. Apartment away from home. Holyrood ApartHotel.

The Holyrood ApartHotel was recommended to me and became my one splurge on the trip; the rate was out of my usual price range. Just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the hotel provided a great base for exploring this beautiful city. Our apartment was bright, spacious and well equipped. Tourist attractions, transportation, and Tesco are all the proverbial stone’s-throw away. Again, we were loathe to leave, especially after surviving the Battle of the Cheap Seats to get to Edinburgh in the first place. No, the hotels weren’t the challenge on this trip; it was the train.

Train tickets

[stay tuned]

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