Restless hotel experience in Amsterdam

Long time back when I visited Amsterdam, around in the middle of the previous decade, I chose myself a hotel from the center of Amsterdam, as close to the known attractions as possible.

I ended up booking my hotel room from The Albus Design Boutique hotel by the Vijzelstraat street, and the first impression outside the hotel and lobby was quite good.

Lobby of the Albus hotel in Amsterdam

But when I got into my hotel room, it was a room on the lowest, second floor, and there was a noisy street right outside my room window. Foam earplugs provided by the hotel were waiting for me by the bedside table.

While the view of the lively Amsterdam street was undoubtedly interesting, it did not compensate for the hotel’s thin window glasses, which did not keep the noise at night.

View from the second floor hotel room window in the Albus hotel
View from the hotel room window

During the weekend, the buzzing and partying people mumbled loudly on the street, and the noise continued almost till the morning. On top of that, some kind of a taxi station had been invented just under the hotel room window and there sure were enough customers there.

I did not eat breakfast nor other meals in the hotel restaurant, as there were several interesting places within walking distance, such as an Indian restaurant I wrote about earlier. In addition, there were plenty of lovely cafés in Amsterdam that served fresh and healthy food and had morning sun on their terraces.

The Albus Hotel seems to be receiving lots of four and five star reviews, but I think those reviewers have slept on the top floor of the hotel. My experience in that hotel was very restless even though the room was in good condition. Fortunately I didn’t have to spend many nights there, even though I otherwise like Amsterdam.

The Albus hotel in Amsterdam
The Albus hotel in Amsterdam

Find your own hotel in Amsterdam

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Good hotel experience in Puducherry, India

A few years ago I traveled to the East coast of India to discover a small town called Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry. Puducherry is located some tens of kilometers south of Chennai along the East coast of India.

Hotel Sunway Manor and entrance
Hotel Sunway Manor and entrance

I chose to stay in a hotel called Sunway Manor, which was a four-star hotel located by a main road called Hundred Feet Road.

Double bed in Hotel Sunway Manor
Double bed in Hotel Sunway Manor

My room was spacious and tidy and there were two chairs and a table in addition to the bed, TV and the desk. From the window I was able to see the tops of the palm trees further in the horizon and also the sun rising from the East.

The hotel room service was impeccable and on some afternoons one could find an elephant folded of towels on the bed.

Hotel neighborhood
Hotel neighborhood
Sunway Manor hotel swimming pool
Sunway Manor hotel swimming pool
Hotel swimming pool
Hotel swimming pool

There were two swimming pools in the inner yard of the hotel: a large pool for adults and a small pool for children. There were also a few sunbeds with shadows around the pool, and the shadows were really needed as the sun was shining hot almost all day.

However, in the indoors the climate of Pondicherry did not bother as the hotel was fully air-conditioned.

South Indian and French breakfasts come together
South Indian and French breakfasts come together

Puducherry’s common history with France was evident only in the hotel breakfast, where the morning buffet menu included traditional South Indian breakfast along with French delicacies such as pancake, croissant and toast. Fresh papaya, watermelon and fruits along with pongal were also served.

South Indian buffet dinner
South Indian buffet dinner

The hotel’s buffet dinner was a wonderful discovery trip to South Indian meals, but a few Indian dishes common even in Finland were also served, and the dishes were not too spicy.

Masala Dosa alà Hotel Sunway Manor
Masala Dosa alà Hotel Sunway Manor

For a small hunger one could order masala dosa from the room service, and it was brought with coconut and other chutneys. My experience was that masala dosa may look as modest as in the photo attached and still taste good.

Bodhi statue at Hotel Sunway Manor in Pondicherry
Boddhi statue at Hotel Sunway Manor

I was very pleased with the hotel, and if there was something to improve, it would have been having a roof terrace and the sea near by. However, the location was by a major road, and one could have an air-conditioned taxi from the hotel, or even pick up a yellow rickshaw in front of the hotel if one wanted to get to the beach. However though, for cultural reasons, sunbathing was only possible by the hotel’s swimming pool.

The best thing about this hotel in my humble opinion was its SPA, which refreshed the tired and flabby Finnish skin totally. Ayurvedic facial treatments and massages given at the Bodhi SPA, together with high quality ayurvedic SPA products, alleviated the prickly heat problem which is often experienced in them tropical climates. And the customer was able to continue her journey with good memories.

Here’s a short video by me of the Sunway Manor hotel in Pondicherry:

Find your own hotel in Pondicherry, India

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Video: Holiday in Goa and the menu for tourist

Here’s a video I made of the trip to Goa, India, in January 2019. The video focuses on the good Indian food I was happy to experience. It will tell you the good foods to try out in case you’re travelling to Goa. Take a look –

My flight was through Delhi, so delicious hints from the Delhi domestic airport and Delhi international airport will also be shared.

The restaurants from South Goa featured in this video were Portofino, Sagar Kinara and German Bakery, in addition to some beach shack restaurants on the Goan beaches.

The video visits also in local shops and fruit stalls in South Goa and even a sweet shop in Margao, the capital of South Goa.

The Indian sweets mentioned in the video are milk cake, imarti and an extremely delicious velvety smooth Gulab Jammu from Kolkata that practically melts in your mouth when you take a bite. See, so that you know what a tasty Gulab Jammu looks like.

I was happy to notice that in some local shops in South Goa one was able to find some organic products also. Especially some nuts and atta. And also gluten-free atta made from quinoa. Combined with psyllium, one was able to make gluten-free rotis out of quinoa atta.

Another thing I was happy about was a South Indian dish poha, which was sold without unhealthy preservatives in the Indian domestic flight from Goa to Delhi.

Notice that this video comes with subtitles, which will give you more information in either English, Finnish or Swedish. 

You can choose the language you prefer from the Youtube settings.

This video is also part of the Travel Opus to Goa – do check it out as well and subscribe for the new updates!

Travel Opus to India will tell you more about travelling in India itself.