Best of 2019 (3)

The Storehouse

This category is for the various types of accommodation I enjoyed over the year.

What a variety!

When I think back over the last 12 months, that is my impression of my accommodation choices.

I had several Airbnb experiences – Barcelona, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Reykjavik and Athens. I was very happy with all of them, and indeed I went back to the Tbilisi place for a second visit. In fact I would happily return to any of them.

Barcelona Apartment Terrace

When it comes to chain hotels, yet again Novotel was my preference. I used them in Sheffield and Brussels. I used an Ibis in Nottingham and the Sofitel at Athens Airport – Accor brands as well.

I stayed at Marriott’s AC Hotel in Belfast twice and would do so again – price, location, style…

AC Hotel

I stayed in quite a few airport hotels in 2019. I tried the Moxy brand at Aberdeen Airport – yes, I would use that one again. At Edinburgh Airport I stayed a Hampton by Hilton for the first time – I guess it is a budget/airport type sub-brand. It was OK, but nothing special.

Moxy Room-mate

Inter City Hotels seems to be a mainly German brand, part of the Steinberger group, and the one I used at Berlin Schönefeld Airport was ideal. It is a short walk from both the terminals and the railway station. It is great value for money – at least on a Sunday night.

Radisson Blu was my choice at Manchester Airport – it was good, but expensive. It is walking distance to the airport and the railway station, which was the attraction for me.

When it comes to independent hotels, my second visit to Georgia introduced me to several – 5 Rooms and Ilja’s in Tbilisi, Chateau Bruale in Tkhilitstskaro (in the Kakheti region) and Hotel Vache in Stepantsminda. I would happily go back to any of them – clean, comfortable, quiet, stylish and good value.


Chateau Bruale is a bit special because it is part of a vineyard, and I was there at harvest time. I also tried their 2017 produce. Zero air miles…

House Wine

Hotel Vache is also special, but for its amazing views of Mt Kazbeg and the horses running free in the street outside.

Morning Visitors

I loved my first visit to the Faroe Islands and whilst my hotel (the 62⁰N) in Tórshavn ticked all the usual boxes, it was never going to be good value for money. It is a very expensive destination.


Kirkwall was an expensive destination too – at least in accommodation terms. Maybe it is an island thing. I had 2 nights in The Storehouse. It is excellent, but not cheap.

In Köln I chose the Lint Hotel. It is a small family run place, and really good. For me, the location was part of the attraction, being in the Altstadt and a short walk from the main railway station.

Lint Hotel

Last but certainly not least – I was back in Istanbul and stayed a few nights in the Terrace Guesthouse. It has been on my list of special places for a long time, and it has been a “Best of” winner before.

Terrace View

No doubt I have forgotten one or two, but I suppose that means they were not memorable.

In the end for my favourite of the year I have gone for the Hotel Vache.

Mt Kazbek

In addition to the views and the horses outside my bedroom, the breakfasts were superb and the quality of the room was excellent.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2020


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