Subject: Hotel reviews: London, Norway, Paris


1. Thistle Kensington Gardens, 104 Bayswater Road, London Booked through: Cost: 42 pounds/night (US$81.81)including breakfast

Location Just north of Kensington Gardens. Two blocks from the Queensway

Tube. About 60 meters from a bus stop. Airbus A2 stops there.

Facilities Quite good. Extremely clean. Bed slightly lumpy. Heated towel rack perfect for drying clothes. Large and deep bathtub. Temperature control actually switches between heat and air-conditioning. I used the safe at Reception.

Food Excellent full English breakfast. Buffet has several kinds of meats, eggs, juice, rolls, fruit, etc. Coffee and toast brought to your table.

Nearby On Queensway is everything one needs, multi-ethnic restaurants, fast food, supermarket, shopping mall, hardware stores, and internet cafe. At the corner of Queensway and Bishop Bridge Road is Brookford Laundrymat, as given in Rick Steves's book. Wash 3 pounds, 1-2 pounds to dry.


2. City Hotel, Skippergaten 19, OSLO, Norway Booked through: Cost: 520 NOK (US$76.91) This is the FjordPass price. I joined

FjordPass for 125 kroners.

Location About 8 minute walk to Oslo's central station. A strange neighborhood with prostitutes and drug dealers at night and the nearest shop is a 7-11 one block away. It is safe, I think. The girls help me find the entrance to the hotel, which is not on Skippergaten but Prinsengate.

Facilities Minimalist. I understand the building is over 100 years old. No tub or shower enclosure, only a shower curtain. Instead of a top sheet and blankets, there is a quilt in its own bag.

Food Breakfast is a buffet with 2 kinds of cold cut and three kinds of cheese, several kinds of bread, juice, yogurt and coffee from a machine.

Nearby A small city, one can walk to most places in Oslo from the City Hotel.

3. Grand Hotel Terminus, Zander Kaaesgt. 6, Bergen, Norway Booked through: Cost: 525 NOK (US$79.23) This is the FjordPass price. I joined

FjordPass for 125 kroners.

Location About 8 meters from a side entrance of Bergen's railway station.

Facilities Rooms are small but extremely well designed and clean. Bathroom

floor is heated. TV has BBC.

Food Huge breakfast buffet with hot and cold dishes, including smoked fish, pate, eggs, fruit, cereal, several kinds of spreads with flavors. Strong coffee.

Nearby On the other side of the station is a multi-story shopping mall with supermarkets and restaurants. Most of Bergen is within easy walking distance.

4. Hôtel Louvre Forum, 25 rue du Bouloi 75001 PARIS Booked: direct Cost: 75 euros (US$92.59), breakfast 9 euros

Location About 10 minute walk to the Louvre, 6 minutes to Beaubourg, 5 minutes to Les Halles Metro, 2 minutes to bus stop on Rue de Louvre.

Facilities Rooms are small but for a single I had a double bed. The bathroom is modern. There is air-conditioning.

Food Breakfast is in the cellar which is air-conditioned and bright.

Three kinds of cold cuts and three kinds of cheese. Hard-boiled eggs. Of course croissants and baguette. Coffee is made when you ask for it. I suggest on Tuesdays through Friday you skip the breakfast at the hotel and go on Rue Coquillière where at the bars coffee is 1 euro and croissants are 1.1 euros. There are also several small markets and a patisserie on Rue Coquillière. These places are NOT open Saturday, Sunday and Monday!

Nearby The famous kitchenware store E. Dehillerin is across the street. The famous wine bar A la Cloche des Halles is also across the street. Au Pied de Cochon, open all-night, is about one block away. Laveries

Lincoln, a laundromat open 7 to 7 seven days a week is between No. 15 and No. 17 on Rue Herold, 2 minute walk. Wash is 3 euros, 35 minutes. Dryers are American made and 1 euro for 20 minutes.

5. Thistle London Heathrow Hotel, Bath Road Booked through: Cost: 63.45 pounds/night (US$119.96), no breakfast

Location The Hotel Hoppa H4 picks up at Heathrow Terminals and deposits passengers directly at the hotel; 3 pounds each way, every 12-15 minutes, 30 minutes travel time.

Facilities Like an American motel. Very clean. Dark hallways. My room had two twin beds. Large and deep bathtub with rubber ducks supplied ( TV had CNN.

Food I did not try the restaurants this time. The breakfast is 13 pounds so I walked two minutes to a McDonald and had breakfast for 2.19 pounds.

Nearby This is the suburb. The nearest pub is the White Horse, eight-minute walk to the left as you exit the main parking lot. At the McDonald there is a gas-station convenience store.