My appreciation of the internet reached an all-time high, when we checked into the Tryp Hotel Oviedo last summer.
It had been discovered, researched and booked all online, and nothing disappointed.
1 Discovering The Hotel Tryp
My experience really started with the decision to use a no-frills airline to do a cheapie European holiday last summer.
The problem was that the cheap flights from Belfast were alll booked up and we could have got a package holiday for the flight costs to Prague, Barcelona and the like.
Suddenly, I came on Stelios's new Easyjet route to Asturias from Stansted. I had to get the maps out to find out where it was, and check online to see what the area could offer - it all looked good.
We were soon booked for this beautiful part of Northern Spain - reviewed by me elsewhere.
Where to stay?
Google searches for Asturias hotels
led me to the Tryp Hotel in Oviedo, and for reasons later explained, I booked.
Discovery number one, thanks to the internet.
2 Booking The Tryp Hotel.
I had some research to do next, before booking.
What was the hotel like, where was it situated, how much would it cost, could I trust it with a booking, - you can imagine, the questions going through my mind.
Online, I discovered that the Tryp Hotel in Oviedo is part of the Sol Melia
group of hotels. It is a chain that figures quite a lot in Spain, and USA
, in various European countries, in Africa
but with only one hotel in UK
- The White House in London. The hotels seem to be mostly in the 4 - 5 * categories
In fact, I was beginning to feel a bit of an ignoramus, as I discovered this is the biggest hotel chain in the world, the biggest in Spain and the biggest in Latin America - and I had never heard of it!
The Tryp section of the market are geared for business mainly, and this particular Tryp was brand new - in fact not actually open when I started the booking.!
What clinched the deal, was that here was a 4* hotel, brand new, in a good location, for 50 euros per room per night in the middle of summer - only bookable online!
Well done the internet - and booking was soon done, as straightforward as possible. Credit Card is used for booking and securing the room, but the cost is not debited from the card until the end of the stay.!
3 Finding The Tryp Hotel
We hired a car and picked it up at the airport. A bit confusingly, this can be referred to as the Asturias Airport, or Oviedo Airport or Ranes Airport.! It is in the region of Asturias, with the capital city being Oviedo and the nearest town being Ranes!
This was new territory for us, and the roads were under construction, which meant a little mistake or two before we got on the motorway for Oviedo City - which is about 35 minutes drive away.
First shock was the size of Oviedo - it is a big city! We had been given directions by the hotel and we soon picked up a direction sign for the hotel on the outskirts of the city centre.
These led us to the major road junction on which the hotel is located, but it took a bit of brilliant driving skill - (wife would probably describe the episode as manic, irresponsible, life-threatening traffic disruption by her husband! ) - to figure out how to get across the junction to the hotel's front door,
The hotel does have its own underground parking spaces, and after parking on the pavement for a while and speaking nicely to the receptionist, we got access through the beautiful gold-coloured shutter door, into the car park.
From there, you have direct lift access to the hotel reception - only problem? - the hotel charges about £8 per day for use of the car park! However, the receptioist did point this out AND gave great instructions of where free on street car parking was available, just a stone's throw away.
The hotel just looked great - glass and light-sandstone facade, desgined as part of a development which includes some offices and apartments
, which spans the road beneath. See the pics
4 Settling In To The Tryp Hotel
The internet had served us well, as far as the booking was concerned. The receptionist had all our details, had the room key ready and sent us up to the amazing room with the minimum of fuss.
If I was being very critical, I would say that the level of English at reception, was a little bit low! - but not near as bad as my Peruvian Spanish - and for the rest of our stay, we all got by with no real problems - that's what holidays are about.!
Most of our fellow residents seemed to be Spanish and most seemed to be on business during the week, and then the weekenders up from Madrid for a weekend break.
The room was amazing!
Bathroom with bath, toilet and shower on the left as you enter. Vast Kingsize bed
with bedside tables and huge lamps; Then along the left hand wall, still, a sofa, and then you had reached the windows - a vast expanse of glass that followed the curve of the building as it overlooked the square
below. Triple glazing meant that we never heard a sound from traffic at the front or trains
at the rear of the building.
Curtains and light-hiding blinds, meant that you could sleep in total darkness, unaware of what the time was... great for early-risers like me who get guilt complexes once sunlight becomes visible!
A couple of armchairs and a coffee table
were next and then a spare bed as you reached the right hand side of this vast room. Down the right hand side, there was a TV
, Minibar, reading
desk with another chair and another massive lamp, and then down to case storage, two large wardrobe areas, with combination lock
safe inside and so back to the door. I have never stayed in a larger room, even in 5* accomodation.
From what we saw, noseying around on our way downstairs each day, ours was probably one of the largest rooms, but none was small. The rooms at the back did not have such a nice view, but this is a business hotel.
Airconditioning was a bit of a complication for us to use at the start - it can be programmed by the client or left on default settings. Once I had figured it out, it was brilliant.
5 Assessing The Tryp Hotel
We had a couple of problems with the sink and toilet - but as soon as these were reported, they were fixed.
The room was cleaned every day, and cleaners got to know when we were there and when we weren't and so never disturbed us. We took a few days to catch on to the fact that outside each room there was a little light which shone when the keycard was being used inside the room.!
The usual washing and cosmetic goodies were left for us, and replaced if and when we used them.
The minibar was terribly abused by us - all its contents removed to the cupboard so that we could install our own drinks, cheese, salami, and desserts for lunch or evening snack purposes.!
Only once or twice did a cleaner undo our effort and reinstall the proper goods - there must have been a supervisor's check that day! - so we were really appreciative of their cooperation.
We had not ordered breakfast - we preferred the coffee shops in the area instead - and they were much cheaper. That meant that we did not use the restaurant
. We intended to for Sunday evening, but found it closed on Sunday evenings! - most strange.
Quite annoying as we had to settle for Lasagne in the snack/bar area - the most revolting Lasagne I ever had - it may have come out of Lidl's 99p frozen meal freezer, I reckon!
Their coffees and drinks were actually good and reasonably priced, but as I have commented in my other reviews of the area, eating out is generally very reasonable in the area.
A bit surprisingly, for modern 4* hotels, there was no gym, fitness room or pool - and I found none in the area either - hence my excuse for arriving home a bit less fit than I should have been! ( nothing to do with over-indulging on local cider
, cheese, fabada and suchlike!)
6 Enjoying The Tryp Hotel
Finally, I touch
on the topic of whether the hotel enabled us to enjoy our holiday.
Yes, is the answer on every count except the food end, as mentioned above.
It helped as far as car parking was concerned, because the car was safe thoughout the fortnight, parked as suggested. However, there were one or two nights which saw us driving around for a few minurtes before getting a parking place - minor irritation. Please Tryp, get your own customers free places in your car park!
It helped in terms of local location. There were cafes, shops and a shopping centre all within 2 minutes walk.
The main shopping area and park were only 10 minutes stroll away - that is so long as you did not have a partner with you who wanted to check the size, quality, style, price and colour of every pair of shoes on display! - reckon on 45 minutes then.
The cathedral , Old Town and markets
were an extra couple of minutes walk away, so really the location for seeing the city of Oviedo, was great.
It is well located for bus and trains - 50 yards away.
And if like us, you use a car, it is on the main ring road around the city centre, and so speeds you on your journey wherever you are headed.
It helped, therefore, in terms of broader location. The sea, the mountains and the famous cities were all easily accessed.
So this Tryp made our summer trip just about perfect. I would have no hesitation about going back again -other than the price which will probably be double what it was on our very special deal.
Thanks Tryp and thanks Internet which made it all possible