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Complimenti a Villa Fanny

Villa Fanny located just outside of the heart of Caglieri is filled to the brim with design excellence. Finding a more gorgeous boutique convenient to everything in town would be impossible.

We stayed in suite ercole which is about as far from a hamster cage as you can get. The spiral staircase that dominates the ground floor is as beautiful as it is functional.

Suite Ercole Staircase

And just up the stairs is a comfortable space.

View from the stairway

Of course, the shower is not plastic.

And there is a huge tub likely to remain unused.

The room also shares a beautiful balcony overlooking the grounds.

In fact, all of the common spaces are thoughtfully designed, right down to the lighting.

Front desk

A group dinner at Ristorante Sa Schironada was much better than expected. Tasty and very fresh seafood, excellent cheese and charcuterie, and a house wine which was as mysterious as it was delicious.

Cocktails at American Bar Biffi are delicous. The space is interesting too (though a bit warm when we visited).

Caglieri is worth exploring on foot. There are many sights to be seen. Make sure to visit the Museo Archeologico and the Orto Botanico. See more pictures from the Museo Archeologico. See more pictures from the Orto Botanico.

Orto Botanico

Caglieri

Five showerheads and high hopes for a speedy return to Villa Fanny.

Hotel Christiania Teater

We’ve been here before at the Hotel Christiania Teater, even in this very room (number 620), so we knew what to expect. And it was good.

Room 620 is a large suite with an interesting layout that takes up the cupola of the building. The shower does not suck.

620 sitting room

The cupola

Oslo in the distance

Large comfortable bed

A view out the back cupola (yes, there are two sets of windows)

The extensive bathroom with multiple sinks and heated floors.

One of the best parts of the hotel is the breakfast. A generous spread with fresh squeezed orange juice. Sadly the espresso grinder broke down on day 2.

Breakfast buffet

The orange juice machine

The bad downstairs from reception is very capable. Many good cocktails thanks to Barbara and Martin, including this variation on a Hanky Panky.

A Norwegian Hanky Panky
3 cl gin bareksten
1 cl sweet vermouth mancin
1 barspoon bitters Gotlands “fernet”
2 dashes angostura
stir down. serve on a large cube.

And of course Oslo is a great city to visit. The Vigeland Sculpture Park is striking at night.

Two dinners out could not have provided more contrast. The first was a family run fish place with home style recipes and local beer. The second, Om Restaurant Klosteret, was world class food and wine. Both were delicious.

Om Restaurant Klosteret

Cocktails at Himkok were great, even if we did have to leverage ourselves in the door and into a proper booth.

Mezcal or aquavit? Why not both

Himkok back bar

The still at himkok

Five showerheads (and a new espresso grinder) to Hotel Christiania Teater.

Of course, the best was yet to come:

 

A view from the trail

On the way out of Japan, NPS spent one last night in Tokyo at the Peninsula Hotel. The Peninsula is situated near Tokyo Station right by the high fashion (and expensive) Ginza district.

Check in was a bit chunky when we arrived, because the front desk was understaffed, but we were eventually serviced and upgraded into a city view suite. Room 1712 had not only a spacious set of rooms, but also chauffeur services and breakfast in the room for 500 yen.

Peninsula common area

Sitting room features comfy couches and chairs

The bedroom sub suite is set apart from the living room. There is an extra toilet for entertaining.

Extra bathroom

Makeup desk

Bedroom

The window of the bedroom (by the desk) over looks the city

The spacious bathroom has multiple sinks and a non-plastic shower. The shower could use better water pressure.

Huge tub with city view

Shower

Luggage room and walk in closet

All in all this is one of the best laid out and most interesting suites NPS has ever stayed in.

A visit to the nearby high fashion mall cost us a pretty penny in designer clothing. And then it was off to dinner at the great hole in the wall Sake No Ana. Worth a visit!

Tokyo traffic

Sake no ana

Sake lineup one

The victor

Sake lineup two

The second victor

At sake no ana, dinner is Japanese pub food. You know, like waygu beef cooked on a rock.

The peninsula also provided airport transportation to Narita in a BMW which was well worth the price on the last day of a long trip. We were ferried to the airport in style and helped through the checkin process. Security was very very fast leaving time for sushi at Kyotatsu (terminal one near gate 34).

Five showerheads foe the Peninsula hotel. Very chic in the fashion district of Tokyo.

Hotel Kanra Kyoto common area

What do you do when a plan completely falls apart? You refactor. Even in Japan. As it turned out our second Ryokan reservation was not for Kyoto but rather a small town 2.5 hours away in Kyoto province. Not figuring that out until the afternoon of the reservation was a eensy little problem.

Nishiki Market

No worries, there are plenty of nice hotels in Kyoto. So we stopped in a cafe for an espresso and a weird bird sighting and we found the Hotel Kanra.

Check out this guy’s feet

Hotel Kanra is very chic and stylish with an art vibe. We checked out two rooms and chose to stay in the annex in a small double. Room 301 looks like this.

The shower is not plastic, though it does include a plastic chair.

After checking in and charging up out devices we headed out for dinner at an incredible French/Japanese fusion restaurant called Misoguigawa. This is haute cuisine at its finest with French ingredients and Japanese service. Just wow.

On the way to the restaurant we walked through the Gion, then crossed the river and found the Stardust Club. There was live music, cigarette smoke, and much fun.

Gion

The next morning, it was off to see the Bamboo in Arashiyama.

For more bamboo, see apothecaryshed.

Then the bullet train back to Tokyo. We left enough time post-bamboo for sushi at the huge Kyoto station. NPS really enjoyed the sushi train.

Fuji peeks through the clouds

Four showerheads for Hotel Kanra Kyoto. A reasonable place for a quick night in Kyoto.

The Screen Hotel Kyoto

September 15, 2017

A quasi-hipster hotel in Kyoto? Why not. Due to refactoring dates we decided to stay at the Screen during our first night in Kyoto. We were not disappointed.

The Screen Kyoto

We arrived by Shinkansen.

Shinkansen view on the mountain side

Lobby design is a strong point at the Screen. In fact, design plays a major role everywhere on the property.

Room 202 is a special category room with a nice layout.

Sadly the shower has a shower curtain. Alas.

For dinner, NPS decided to dine on some Italian pizza at Pizza Salvatore which has outstanding pies made the Italian way. Pizza has cheese. Cheese is good (as are truffles and prosciutto). The staff yells “Buona sera” when you walk in.

On our way back home, we stopped by a local bar for some Shochu. Yoshi and his bandmate were fun company indeed. Drink Local!

Shochu? Why yes please,

Our new friend Yoshi (also our server)

The next day, we visited Fushimi Inari. Japanese shrines are incredible, and this one is top of the heap.

Fushimi Inari

 

 

We also had some outstanding ramen near the Nishiki Market.

Four showerheads and a glass shower upgrade for the Screen Hotel in Kyoto.

When you’re working on your Ph.D. and you stop just short of the finish line, you get to say you’re “ABD” (which stands for “all but dissertation”). Though the graduate in Charlottesville is way better than any other hotel in town that NPS has visited, it’s not quite up to non-college town standards.

You see, college towns have this problem with good hotels. There aren’t any. NPS is unclear on why this is. Maybe parents spent all of their money on a college education for their kids and they can’t afford a decent hotel? Who knows.

Anyway, the graduate will do.

We were given hamster cage, er room 803. It had a bit more style than your usual Marriott, but its architecture was uninspired. And it was not quiet in the least. A concrete box for you!

803 bed

The TV shrine

high style? Style created while high? something

The shower was glass (which is NPS approved) but it was too skinny and the water pressure was piddly. Not a shower to inspire NPS reverie.

Yes but no.

The rest of the bathroom

So ABD on the sbower.

And there were these little problems too.

no no no. Where can we put our own bathroom stuff??

Hermetically-sealed paper cup?? LOL. Just absurd.

The staff was all very nice. We even scored some san pellegrino as we checked in. So that’s a plus. But the graduate needs to complete its dissertation to enter the workforce. Three showerheads and study hall for the graduate.

In other Charlottesville news, Citizen Burger remains delicious and worth a visit. And the Alley Light bar is top notch. Do both. And while you’re in town, make sure to catch the Punch Brothers show. Oh wait, that’s WHY you’re in town.

The Punch Brothers 8.9.17 Charlottesville

Though NPS does not fly in July or December, there is still stuff to be done. The solution? A working meeting at the Lorien in Old Town Alexandria. We’ve been to the Lorien a couple of times since Steph Vogel took over as GM. Sadly, Steph is in Switzerland this week. We’ll pretend that the ship runs just as well without Steph at the helm (though it’s really not true).

The Spartan balcony off 619

This visit finds us in 619, which is similar to 615 only slightly smaller and on the other side of the building. There is a very large balcony on this side too. Because it’s 100 degrees this week (with an overnight low in the upper ’70s), the balcony will be ignored due to weather. Strikes us that a remake of these balconies as a garden would make them both more inviting.

Look to the left

Look to the right

Our meeting room was cavernous and highly functional. We spent all day working.

A cocktail was in order after all that work. The bar is still very good, though barman and detail freak Phil Clark is no longer around. Phil has moved to Phoenix. You can tell. Damien is doing his damndest to keep things up.

Whey Sour
.75 cachaça (novo fogo)
.75 rye (copper fox)
1.5 whey
.75 honey
1 lemon
pinch of salt
Shake. Serve up.

Snacks at the bar took forever to arrive. That ended up making them free. Timely is better than free.

Dinner at The Warehouse was a massive disappointment. The crayfish were good. Or was that the crawdads? The wine list?
Unusable. Skip it. In other news from the evening, the bar at Restaurant Eve still holds its own, but Jackson 20 has slipped to skip it level as well. So sad that the old Alexandria Monaco is now a Marriott property.

On return from dinner around 11, we were greeted with a nice amenity. Thanks Stephani. The ice cold San Pelegrino is particularly welcome.

Sitting room 619

Sleeping room 619

The huge glass shower will do just fine.

Shower? Perfect.

Once the work was done, there were museums to see. First stop was the National Building Museum to see Hive. Well worth the visit.

Home of hive. At least for a while.

That was followed by another great lunch at Bistrot du Coin.

And a visit to the Phillips Collection. The old building is under renovation, so only half of the paintings as usual were out. But still fantastic. An NPS introduction to the stunning art of German artist Markus Lüpertz.

German artist Markus Lüpertz

The suit

Detail from Spoon

German artist Markus Lüpertz

A fantastic day. Followed almost immediately on its heels by a fantastic evening.

Roses Luxury is just as stellar as its incredible reputation. Just go. We showed up at 5:10pm and walked right in for a 180 minute dinner extravaganza.

Those poor “other people” had to wait in line

Caviar service

Yes, we took pictures of our food. We also had extensive conversations about it.

The best dish of the evening was a soft shelled crab served with Singapore-style chilli sauce (on the sweet side) over steamed buns with pickles. Delicious.

So really. Go to Roses Luxury as soon as you can.

Then there was the Columbia Room in the back booth (our usual NPS haunt), this time with the geek patrol. Excellent as usual, this time less for the drinks presentation than the company.

Columbia Room

Ice

Seaweed?!

Rum from 1857 always seems like a good idea after the tasting menu is complete.

The moral of the story is: get your work done quickly so you can spend some time being spoiled in DC!

Five showerheads and a real wish that Steph were around. We miss you Steph.