Category Archives: Hotel or Restaurant Reviews

It’s become a kind of ritual for me to film just about every hotel room I stay in, and some people find it boring, others quite informative for their holiday, if not family, planning. I do it so as to remember where I’ve been and also as it is something to do when I get there. It helps me do this wandering kind of lifestyle when I have this sort of ritual. So these days I even tend to feel more at home in a room once I’ve caught it on film!

I’ve extended the category to include Restaurants as well as Hotels, and also HTL related posts without video can appear here.

Snippets from various performers (South Africa Series 5/10)


Playout date: 19 November 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Cape Town conference centre near the Arabella
Other people featured: Conference goers, performers
Genre: Conference
Music used: Several performances by Cape Town groups
Languages used: English
Animals featured: None

If there’s one thing I miss about the old firm’s conferences it is the amount of music and entertainment they laid on. The ones done by my current group are a bit more low key in that regard. Here’s an example of what the opening ceremony of the Cape Town conference looked like.

 

Hotel Room & Lost Luggage Kit (South Africa series 1/10)


Playout date: 12 November 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Cape Town Arabella Sheraton, South Africa
Other people featured: None
Genre: Hotel Room Review
Music used: “This could be heaven for everyone” by Queen
Languages used: English
Animals featured: None

This is a video you might like to watch if you are interested in the sorts of things that might happen if they lose your luggage on an intercontinental flight.

We have a look at the room I got at the Arabella Sheraton in Capetown. They managed to lose my luggage (that was my first time so far for lost luggage, first of many) and so we have a look at KLM‘s so-called “care collection”. I had lost luggage with Lufthansa and with KLM and both of those companies behaved properly. I had lost luggage with SAS and they were hopeless and impossible. When the luggage finally appeared it had been plundered and no compensation was available as it was only one day before the 14 days they say.

The upshot is I never flew SAS again, but I still fly Lufthansa and KLM with confidence.

Spanish food


Playout date: 5 October 2006
Camera: Video by my friend Krzysztof
Post Production: None
Location: Seafood restaurant in Madrid
Other people featured: Adam Ciuhak, Ivan Mier Moran and his wife
Genre: Food film
Music used: None
Languages used: English
Animals featured: None

A nice memory of a happy evening. Ivan kindly took us out to one of his favorite restaurants in Madrid. We had lovely fish dishes and finally this meat sizzling away on hot volcanic rock plates.

The Spanish know how to have fun. If something is fun, then they do it, and if it stops being fun then they stop, and do something else.

I only regret that right now I cannot recall the restaurant. I could for a good while but 5 years have elapsed and it is gone.

Review of Hotel Centralny, Kedzierzyn-Kozle, for Google.


Kedzierzyn-Kozle - aleje JPII

Kedzierzyn-Kozle on a good day.

(Published to Google Hotpot earlier this evening, and it also gives me my post for the day here. I think that’s fair.)

I’m sitting here writing this actually in the hotel room having found it on the road in Google on my Android phone when I discovered that the place I was really supposed to be going was unexpectedly booked up.

I had a bit of a nightmare getting here from where the GPS said it would be only 9 km. The main bridge in Kedzierzyn-Kozle was shut, the next bridge up on the Oder per the GPS turned out to be some seasonal ferry that wasn’t there, and when I finally found the new road that wasn’t on even google maps and still isn’t, it turned out that there had been a nasty accident so I got caught in the road over the middle of the Odra waiting for the emergency services to do their bit. Read the rest of this entry

This Evening’s Table


image

This evening I’m back in the Hotel Amber, in Olesnica, a place which has featured in videos in my Youtube channel for two years running. This would be the third year, but no film this time, as there is really nothing new to show, that can’t be shown by an atmospheric pic of the table with the pot of rooibos tea, the Polish barszcz with crocquet, one of the icons of Polish cuisine, the candle, the fabrics, the slightly incorrectly presented cutlery. . .

Tonight, my musician friend Krzysztof whom you may remember from videos of this place can’t meet me as he is preparing a group off musicians down in Walbrzych, which is a pity, but the food is still good, the atmosphere still great for what is essentially just a glorified roadside motel.

Aquarium in Hotel Irbis Moscow


 
  
 
 

Video number in my collection 74
Production date:    3 September 2006
Playout date:    7 September 2006
Camera:    Fuji Finepix
Post Production:    Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location:    Hotel Irbis, near VDNKh, Moscow
Other people featured: None
Genre: Fish
Soundtrack info:    Oy, tvetyot kalina (The snowball tree in blossom) V. Golovtsova
Languages used:    Russian 
Animals featured:    Leporinus, Notopterus, Labeo, Scatophagus, Monodactylus, Ancistrus, Puntius
Date added here: 16 October 2010
Number of days this video was up at time of posting: 1 500
Number of views at time of posting: 2 560
Number of views per day: 1,7
Number of comments at time of posting (don’t forget to click through to read the comments!): 11
Comments per thousand views: 4,3
Likes at time of posting: 4
Dislikes at time of posting: 2
Likes to dislikes ratio: 2,0
Votes per thousand views: 2,3
Ratio of comments to votes: 183%

 

 The hotel I stayed in last weekend had this fishtank in the lobby. It had many technical things wrong with it, being overstocked, underfiltered, underlit, and with many issues in the mix of fish, but quite a pleasant film came out of it, with the vocal efforts of V. Gotovtseva singing “Oh snowball tree in blossom” as a makeshift soundtrack, mixed with the sounds from the lobby bar.
 
 The Irbis Hotel in Moscow is quite well placed, and was quite cheap. I used it just for the one night after getting back from the Russian Far East. I was getting pressured to fly straight on, back to back to Warsaw to go to the baptism of my old boss’s new child, but I would have been ridiculously tired after the trip back from the far east and I wanted to go into Moscow and debrief the colleagues on the audit anyway, so this hotel was just the place.
 
 “This tank is doomed” comments quite rightly one commentator you can click through to see. It is a text book example of people buying fishes and not understanding what they are doing. Some of these fishes will become seriously large, and they will be the only ones left.
 

Arty-farty hotel room


Production date: 9 June 2006
Playout date: 16/6/2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker with various effects
Location: First Skt Petri Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

I found this hotel overpriced at the time, although probably everything in Denmark is and so in retrospect I blame the country and not the hotel per se. This was four years back and these days you can pay as much if not more for less good hotels in less interesting places. And this despite the recession! There was some pleasure in the arty-fartiness of it. I still took very little footage at that time because of the memory card situation. I regret I didn’t buy a bigger memory card earlier, as I really got very little footage of Copenhagen, in fact what I filmed was really only inside the hotel room!

Winter Wonderland



Still this is pretty much “juvenilia” as far as filming is concerned, but it shows the start of what KenBank was to christen “environmental video” on my channel. Taking the camera out to wherever I am and moving around with it. This is probably one of the first like that, and it turned out to be one of the most common ways of taking film.

So far, all the YouTube offerings were all done on my Fuji Finepix, and this is no exception.

There you go, this here hotel, if you want to find it, is, I believe somewhere on that map. Don’t ask me where exactly, but it was signposted from the road. And a very welcome sight it was on the road up to Gdansk as the snow started to fall heavily. I arrived here in poor visibility at the end of a long drive, and I didn’t see anything out of the window until the morning – when I opened the curtains and saw this pretty scene and immediately wanted to film it. But I couldn’t resist contrasting it with the mess I had made in the room by hastily going to sleep the night before and not bothering about anything…

On that note, be a little bit careful choosing hotels in Poland and East Europe generally from the road in winter if you haven’t pre booked them – not all of them (in fact only a minority of the country ones) pre-heat the rooms. When its cold, the first question you want to ask is whether they have any heated rooms free. In case of not finding any pre-heated hotel rooms, you should travel in winter in Poland with thermal underwear to sleep in under your pyjamas. I have even had occasion to sleep in socks and jumpers!

This is also my first ever hotel room film. There must have been dozens since then!

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