Saturday, 29 October 2016
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Sunday, 23 October 2016
A big boxy building overlooking the busy Hawthorne Boulevard, the Torrance DoubleTree franchise is a typical soulless mid-market hotel. If you have a room at the front, you will have to put up with the extraordinarily noisy air conditioning units. Although they seem to quieten down as the night progresses, there can still be a steady hum from the nearby highway. You probably won't spend much time on your compact balcony. Still, the en-suite rooms themselves are quite comfortable and fairly plush, if predictably decorated in browns and beiges. It is a lengthy walk down to the ocean front (more than two miles), but the hotel is on several bus routes and there are coffee shops and restaurants within walking distance. And you get free cookies when you check in. 6/10
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Some of the quiet and comfortable rooms on the sixth floor of Hotel Plasky have fine views over the north side of Brussels. In one room, the basic and clinical en-suite bathroom even has its own balcony overlooking the suburbs below.
|The Mayor of Brussels at the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Bruls is credited by Wikipedia with protecting Brussels' historic heart from redevelopment by King Leopold II.|
The stunning interior of this 114-year old building is something of a shock after the fairly restrained stone exterior. Reopened in 1994, after extensive and painstaking restoration work, the centrepiece is a magnificent lecture hall lined with wood panelling, leather bound books, lead-paned windows and intricate wrought iron work, and sheltered by a soaring arched ceiling. Built as the Institute of Sociology and bathed in natural light, the Edificio - Bibliothèque Solvay is a sublime work of art in its own right.