Elite Hotel

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota

I think one of the most fun things about traveling is finding interesting hotels and lodging to stay in. We had really good luck with our lodging for our recent Europe trip. All the places were unique and had interesting and unexpected features. I mentioned the Merrion Hotel in Dublin in a previous post about Bruce Springsteen. Here is some information about some other hotels we stayed at.


In Bremen we stayed at the Design Hotel Uberfluss. I love the name. (It was hard to find a place in Bremen the week we were there due to an international conference on the medical management of open wounds. Just what I would want to learn about!) The Uberfluss is situated along the Weser River in central Bremen near the old city. It is ultramodern and decorated in white and black with funky looking light fixtures. The rooms have enormous windows that open like French Doors if you turn the handle one way, and tilt open from the top if you turn the handle the other way. During construction they discovered a section of the original town wall of Bremen, circa 1300, and preserved it in the basement. Artifacts like medieval shoes and jewelry, also excavated by the wall, are on display in the lobby. I found that fascinating.

We were in another, similar hotel called the Varsity, in Cambridge, England. It was located on the River Cam, and we could see people in punts with poles on the river. It was very peaceful.

Glasgow brought us to a lovely restored Georgian town house called the Glasgow 15 Bed and Breakfast.  It was beautiful and more like a hotel than a B and B. The breakfasts were huge. Two doors down was a plaque on a house where Sir Joseph Lister, the father of antiseptic surgery and the namesake of Listerine, lived and did research. Glasgow was full of memorials to scientists. Kelvin, he of the Kelvin Scale of temperature, has many statues and things named for him.


In Scotland’s western highlands we stayed in a very old hotel 6 miles out in the country near Oban. It was called the Knipoch Argyle. In 1592 a Campbell, then the Thane of Cawdor, was brutally murdered in the dining room. We had a great meal there.


The Wiechmann Hotel in Amsterdam was probably the quirkiest place we stayed. It is in a narrow, three-story,  19th century building on the Prinsengracht Canal a couple of blocks from the Anne Frank house. Our room was on the top floor. There were 46 narrow and winding steps to our room, and no elevator. Those stairs were killers, and once I got downstairs I didn’t want to go back upstairs. There was a large German Shepherd who slept near the front desk. On the wall behind the front desk was a gold record, a gift to the owner from Emmylou Harris. It is the gold record she received for her second album, Elite Hotel. I guess she stayed at the Wiechmann and really liked it. Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols also stayed there too,  but I can’t think what they would have brought the owner except mayhem.

What is the most memorable hotel you’ve stayed in?  



63 thoughts on “Elite Hotel”

  1. I have stayed in 100’s. Most that are memorable are infamously memorable, which we will ignore. B and B’s in Barrow Alaska stand out for location and accommodations. Hmm. None come to mind.

    OT: Sat on the patio just now, on the verge of shivering in only light clothing, enjoying the end of the last 8-10 wonderful days we have had before it gets up to 90 today.


  2. The most memorable pure hotel (not B&B) I’ve stayed at is probably the American Club in Kohler, WI. Stayed there as part of a bonus my wife got from her then-employer. Rooms were huge, the bed was underlit around the frame for a romantic ambiance, and the bathroom–my God, the bathroom! Mirrored ceiling, state-of-the-art gold plated Kohler fixtures, a shower with about 6 showerheads, steam, heated towel racks, tub I’m sure had a whirlpool.

    Complete overkill for us middle-class folks, but it certainly was jaw-dropping.

    The memorable B&Bs we’ve stayed at are too numerous to mention. All unique and had something that stood out from the crowd, be it service, the room quality, the food, the owners, the views.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I stayed at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing once. It had charm rather than swank, but it was quite lovely. I was there about thirty years ago, so it has probably gone through some more upgrades since then.

    At about the same time I stayed at a small historic hotel in McGregor Iowa that was being fixed up after having gone through a decline and a closing. It was a little on the shabby side in a genteel way. I think I remember that the bathroom was in the hall. My traveling companion and I were the only guests at the time, so that wasn’t much of an issue, though. It has probably gone through some extensive remodeling since.

    Most recently, I stayed at the Madison Concourse. A very nice location with a view of the capitol. Madison is a very pedestrian-friendly city.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the Concourse! We used to go every Memorial Day weekend to WisCon, a feminist science fiction convention, which was held in that hotel. I haven’t been able to afford to attend for several years (plus, the convention committee has now changed completely, so it’s not the same con I knew and loved), and I miss Madison immensely. One of the best parts of having a convention in that town was the veg-friendliness–I could walk down from the hotel to pretty much any restaurant on State Street and find a decent meal. Rare luxury!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice job, Renee. Did you take the photos? I bet vs will have stayed at some interesting places in all her travels.

    A couple of hotels spring immediately to mind. Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa is probably near the top of the list. It’s an old hotel that has been exquisitely restored. Each of its forty rooms is individually decorated. Original paintings are hung throughout the hotel, and it has a three lane bowling alley, a gym with all kinds of exercise equipment, and a large whirlpool and sauna on the lower level. Despite the fact that there’s really no good reason to drive to Perry, we’ve been there three times, each time staying in a different room. It’s not terribly expensive, and has a reasonably good restaurant. I recommend it for a weekend getaway. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.hotelpattee.com/

    Another memorable small hotel is in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. It’s an old, rather worn, hotel and could use some sprucing up, but had a lovely courtyard, and a small pool. We remember it mainly because when we went to bed the first night there, our headboard unprovoked clattered to the floor. I swear, we weren’t doing anything that should have caused that, but it fell off nevertheless. And the small refrigerator in our room didn’t work, but hey, we weren’t in New Orleans to be spending time in our hotel room. It’s main attraction was that it was within walking distance of everything.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah is similarly elegant, comparably priced and close to the Vesterheim, Spillville and Seed Savers. The thing is, we tend never to hang around in our lodging, so most of our time there, we are asleep. The elegance is superfluous.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The manor house we stayed in near St. Pere en Retz during our France trip last year was wonderfully old and charming – they had created a suite in what had been the original large kitchen, and the original fireplace was there, filled with antiques. I had meant to do a blog post about the place… maybe later this summer!

    But for memorable, I think I’ll have to go with the Galaxy in Hatch, Utah, between Zion and Bryce canyons. Not only was it inexpensive and handy, the rooms were decorated Biker style, and you can get some of the flavor of it here: http://www.galaxyofhatch.com/rooms/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t have much time to post today. In about 1990 my erstwife and I stayed in a grand old turn of the century hotel in Montreal. I believe the name was Belle Epoch, and it fit every expectation you would have for a sumptuous hotel from that time.

    While I traveled a great deal as a roaming journalist, I mostly inhabited small town motels where the rent was $30 a night or even less. Some of those places were memorable in their way, and their way had nothing to do with the kind of travel Renee enjoyed!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The most memorable hotel where I’ve stayed is one I call Hotel Duluth. Set just within the city limits of Duluth, a mile or so from Jay Cooke State Park, this little jewel has a deck with comfy seating and potted plants overlooking the St. Louis River. There is a spring with cool water bubbling out that rivals any fancy bottled spring water for refreshment. All meals are served free of charge, although if I want to pick up something to donate to the cause from Super One Foods, that is also welcome. Grilled beer can chicken, fried fresh fish, fresh veggies from the large garden are typical meals. There is a friendly dog, but the cats have gone on to cat heaven. The place has undergone extensive remodeling since the Flood of 2012; not only was the place raised a few feet, but it’s all new flooring, walls, etc., since flood damage gutted the place. (Luckily the kitchen and bathroom cabinets were salvaged with very little water damage.) You can see beautiful sunsets out the dining room window and once you sit on the deck on a sunny day, you never want to get up again. We won’t mention the fact that when I stay there, my bed is in the same room as the washer and dryer, because the other amenities far outweigh any negatives. Best of all, the price is free. I think I need to go up there soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. So many memorable (some pleasing, some not so pleasing but that make for good stories) hotels (and B&Bs), so little time to describe…France, Norway, Wales, England, etc. etc. etc. But then again, there’s no place like home….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Our room at the Wiechmann had a large post sticking horizontally right outside the window, used for hoisting furniture when moving. The stairs are too narrow and steep to bring up large items, so you hoist them up with rope and pulley on the post and bring the objects in through the windows.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Years ago we stayed in the hotel in Sauk Center where Sinclair Lewis had worked as a night clerk. It was old and sort of shabby genteel. I remember imagining Lewis sitting there at the desk at night, writing or reading.


  11. The most significant hotel in my life was the one I didn’t stay at.

    My parents loved their home (now Crystalbay’s home) and hated travel. When they were forced to travel for business once, they stayed at the Marriott in London, for in their eyes the more a hotel seemed American the happier they were. In spite of themselves, they loved London, and that convinced them they would send my erstwife and me to London if they ever fell into money.

    A year later, they did. We were summoned to visit them at the Crystal Bay cottage to receive a surprise gift: an all-expenses paid vacation for two weeks in London. We were dirt-poor grad students at the time. My folks even paid to board our dogs.

    My mother calculated the size of the check she gave us by basing each day’s expenses on what we would have to pay at the Marriott. Two weeks at that hotel amounts to a sizable pile of money. We stayed in much cheaper (but lovely) British hotels in London. We used the money we saved to rent a Mini-Cooper that we drove all over England and Wales. Thanks to all the money we did not spend at the Marriott we were able to stay in a charming Cotswold Inn along a trout stream, a 17th century farmhouse near Canterbury, many friendly B&Bs and an old castle.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Evening–

    I can’t think of fancy hotels.
    Kelly and I went to Seattle for our honeymoon and stayed a nice hotel downtown. We had told them it was our honeymoon and we sort of expected flowers or something nice in the room for us. What we got was a box of dried fruits with a name that appeared to be Japanese on it. We sent it back to the front desk.

    A few years ago I attended a funeral out in PA. Traveling with my sister and her husband and she found a cheap hotel nearby figuring ‘we’re only sleeping there’. Oh My.
    Talk about a dive.
    I wouldn’t dare use the shower.
    And from the sound of the footsteps, the room across the hall was rented by the hour.
    The free breakfast was cereal but I sure wasn’t about to trust the milk.

    My sister said it all looked better on their website.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. couldn’t you just use your rhyming dictionary?
        get your creative jusices flowing

        it all looked better on the website
        when i saw it in person it didnt look right
        the stuff that attracted me to see it in person
        once it was ok but had started to worsen

        Liked by 1 person

  13. my brain lights up thinking about the hotel rooms i have stayed in. china, indonesia, italy germany england scotland ireland prauge budapest, insbruck, amsterdam hong kong hawaii alaska florida montana dc nyc taos toronto banff new orleans (ahhh norleans) boston san fransicso (what a town) and al the little back water towns i love to visit and savor while traveling. they are so rich in their flavor and variety that they often make up the richest memories. i used to keep a file of a picture out the window of my hotel room in various cities. the picture would trigger memories of the trip and the surrounding and the culture. i am not very good at backing up my computer files so it may have been lost it certainly has been misplaced but even the meories of the memories makes me smile. cologne hong kong, jakarta, steves mentioning the cotswalds brings bak the crabby old lady who hated her weird litle cottage but it was wonderful the lake district with shee outside the wndow, the isle of skye was a fairy land of crags with the best assortment of scotch whiskey ever assembled. lake of the oarks, backwoods alabama, looking out the hotel room window at the firetrucks in portland from the 25th floor and realizing they were pointing at us as the location of the fire (it was the room above me) door county wiscnsin, and maybe my favorites were the ones in downtown chicago and new york my dad used to find for the conventions we went to when i first started sales. they were the hotels downtown that people used to live in with a fireplace and a living room adn two bedrooms and a kitchentte. they often times would be condemned the next time we wanted to stay ther but they were great old windows to the era recently gone by. card games and hot dates good food museums and to much to drink leading to interesting evenings and mornings. hotel rooms…. gotta find that file of pictures. thanks renee

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Daughter and family are at Old Fort William, in Thunder Bay, a very good living history site. Which now features free WIFI. Kind of humorous.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I recently watched a DVD of the movie Ex Machina. It is set in the most remarkable hotel I’ve ever seen, although I’ve only seen it in images.

    I’ll try to post an image.


    If that fails, just Google Juvet Landscape Hotel. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pal, dear pal. David Sedaris tells a hilarious story about the stadium pal, a contraption involving a condom-like device that is attached at one end to the penis, at the other to a long plastic tube that leads to a plastic jug. May make you smell like a nursing home after a while, but could save you some trips to the bathroom. As the name implies, invented for use in places like stadiums where large volumes of beer are consumed, but might come in handy on long flights as well. Then there’s Depends, but those will make you smell like nursing home even faster, but they’re less complicated.

    Liked by 2 people

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