Hotels (Part 2)

September 29th, 2018 § 0 comments

De luxe. (HG loves that phrase. Very reminiscent of the 1930’s). Super luxury. And, that’s what HG/BSK experienced on some of their trips abroad. (Of course, there were some clunkers). An HG/BSK favorite is La Mamounia in the colorful city of Marrakech, Morocco. Splendid lobbies and lounge areas. Beautiful bedrooms overlooking the lush gardens where Winston Churchill once painted. HG/BSK breakfasted on their room’s terrace. Exquisite. Exercised with personal trainer, Abdul. Swam in the giant pool. Poolside lounges were occupied by attractive Frenchwomen in topless bikinis. Eye candy for HG. Savory Middle East buffet in the pool area’s dining section. Spectacular. Vacationing at Mamounia is expensive. Worth it. Another de luxe establishment is the venerable Savoy in London (never liked the equally sumptuous Dorchester and Claridge’s). Wonderful bedroom with super mattress on bed and linen sheets. Giant tub in bathroom, perfect for pre-theater bath. HG/BSK were very fond of the Savoy Grill. Glamorous art deco interior and superb food. Never slept at The Connaught in Mayfair. Decades ago, HG/BSK often dined at the hotel restaurant. HG can state, without reservation, this was the best restaurant in the world. Beautiful antique decor with comfortable seating. Gentle lighting. Nicely spaced tables. Impeccable, warm and professional service. The food was beyond superlative. Great French dishes (critics said the best French restaurant wasn’t in Paris, it was London’s Connaught). HG/BSK concentrated on the English classics: Oysters, smoked salmon, Dover sole, mixed grill with souffle potatoes; steak and kidney pie; boiled silverside with pickles and hot mustard, etc. Restaurant “modernized” its cuisine in recent years with unfortunate results. Too bad. London’s Hotel Wilbraham near Sloane Square was HG/BSK’s home in their frequent visits to the city long ago. Not luxe at all. Just comfy, inexpensive and shabby genteel. As expected, it has been refurbished and is now very expensive and posh. The old character has been lost. HG/BSK have forgotten the names of two hotels –one in Berlin and one in Tokyo–that were very memorable. Both super modern hotels with dazzling upper floor views. The breakfast buffet at the Berlin hotel was dazzling and extensive. Every variety of egg dishes.. Pancakes. Waffles. Jams, jellies and syrups. Numerous yogurts. A multitude of cereals, hot and cold. Fruits, both fresh and cooked., Salads. Breads, rolls, croissants, brioche, muffins, crackers. Smoked salmon and other fish. Scores of cheeses. Bacon. Ham. Many sausages (some, German specialties). Cake. Cookies. Pies. Pastries. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, wine and champagne; Bloody Marys and Mimosas. All available. HG/BSK would begin their day with exercise in the hotel gym and swim in the pool. Shower. Then, with raging appetites, attack the buffet extravaganza. Worked off the calories with long bike rides through the Berlin streets on the way to museums and landmarks. In Tokyo for the marriage of SJ and Exquisite Maiko, HG/BSK occupied a high floor bedroom with panoramic views of the city. Made New York look like a small village. The bathroom had the usual Japanese wonder toilet. Excellent gym and soothing hot baths. Thankfully, breakfast was English/American. HG loves Japanese cuisine but doesn’t fancy the traditional Japanese breakfast of grilled fish, miso soup, rice and pickles. Bleakest hotel room ever was in Prague soon after the Czech liberation. Didn’t matter. Prague was a glory.


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