Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco
The Queen Anne Hotel is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of San Francisco within walking distance to Union Square. It has a very impressive Victorian décor with antique furniture, fairy tale chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows. It almost feels like travelling back in time. The staff were very friendly and helpful.
The hotel was built in 1889 and used to be a boarding school for girls ran by a Head Mistress, Mary Lake who is now said to be haunting the hotel. Her favourite spot for manifestations is room 410 which used to be her office. You can read more about the hauntings here.
Half Dome Village, Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of America’s greatest wonders and the best way to experience it is by staying in the Yosemite Valley. Half Dome Village, founded in 1899 and located just below Half Dome and Glacier Point, offers several different types of accommodation: cabins with private baths or shared bathhouses, canvas tent cabins and standard motel rooms. We stayed in the canvas tent cabin and it was a great, close to nature experience. The tent cabins contain beds, pillows and blankets but I would recommend taking some sleeping bags with you as it can get quite cold at night. Outside of each tent cabin there is a metal box where you need to put any food or toiletries to prevent unwanted guests visiting you in the middle of the night (bears!). As you know I love quirky accommodation on my escapades and the tent cabin at Yosemite is definitely a place where I would stay again.
Nature’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, Ahwahnee
Nature’s Inn Bed and Breakfast is a Yosemite’s themed log wood lodge located 30 minutes from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. It has an outdoor hot tub and a swimming pool with stunning views. It’s a perfect place to relax. The owners are the loveliest people and they will go the extra mile to make your stay enjoyable. If you are used to a boring hotel breakfast prepare yourself for an extraordinary experience at Nature’s Inn. Breakfast is prepared using fresh, local and organic ingredients and the menu varies every day, you can expect things like blueberry stuffed French toast, Belgian waffles, Hawaiian French toast or pineapple sausage. If the weather is good, you can enjoy your breakfast on the terrace and admire the magnificent views. And for the cat lovers, one of the Nature’s Inn residents is an adorable friendly ginger cat called Peaches who loves spending time with the guests.
Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles
We stayed at the Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles for five nights. We wanted our accommodation to be fairly close to Universal Studios Hollywood as on our last night we were going to the opening of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. I am a big fan of horror movies and could not miss this. As we would not be back at the hotel until 3 am and we had a 10 hour flight the next evening, we made an enquiry through our travel agent about a late checkout. If this was not possible we were willing to pay for an extra night in order to be able to have a lie in after the Halloween Horror Nights and before our long flight. The hotel advised they had a policy where you could pay for half day but we would need to arrange this when we got there. Once we arrived at the hotel we asked about it and were advised they could not confirm whether it would be possible until the morning on that day and we would need to call the reception early in the morning to find out. This defeated the purpose of a late checkout as we would need to set an alarm early and we would have to pack the day before just in case they would not be able to offer us a half day. The next day we spoke to the manager who said we would not be able to get a half day because they had been fully booked for that day for the last two weeks. This brings into question why we were told the previous day to call in the morning if they already knew they had been fully booked for that day. Also, had we been advised a few weeks earlier that we may not be able to get a late checkout/half day we would have paid for an extra night. The manager was very rude and unsympathetic, we did not get an apology for being misadvised the day before. I must say this was one of the worst customer service experiences I have encountered. This situation had a huge impact on our plans and it made the end of our trip unpleasant and difficult.
Another example of appalling customer service you can expect at this hotel took place one morning I was not feeling well and did not go to breakfast. There is a tea/coffee machine in the room however the cleaning staff did not replace the plastic cups the day before so I was unable to make tea in the room. I therefore asked my fiancé to bring me a cup of tea in a plastic cup from the dining area. Unfortunately my fiancé was stopped by the kitchen staff and told in a very abrupt way he could not take tea back to the room.
The hotel itself was not great, the rooms were not cleaned properly and the area did not feel safe to say the least – the first photo below was taken just outside of the hotel premises where there were tents occupied by homeless people and the other two photos were taken inside our room. Based on my experience, I would strongly advise against staying at this hotel.
If you are looking for somewhere fairly close to Universal Studios Hollywood I would recommend Hollywood Celebrity Hotel where we stayed last year. It’s located in the heart of downtown Hollywood and close to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This boutique style hotel is decorated with posters of classic film and Hollywood icons. The staff are very professional and provide excellent customer service.
I hope you’ve found my review helpful, more photos from my trip coming soon 🙂