The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #6
Don't spend your holiday in a tent! Read a review from your buddy, Brent!
I think we have a winner. This could very well be my opening from now on. Let me give it a try.
Don't spend your holiday in a tent! Read a review from your buddy, Brent! That's right ladies and gentlemen, I have returned from a long holiday and I have yet another spectacular Neolodge review for you! You all know me, the dashing blue Ixi who has written outstanding reviews for Neolodge hotels appearing in a number of issues of the Neopian Times. You can hold the applause, but I would be happy to sign autographs for any of my loyal fans out there.
Now, I know that all of you know exactly who I am and what my situation is, but I am required to introduce myself at the beginning of every article. In case you haven't been reading, my name is Brent. I am a handsome blue Ixi, and a journalist for the Neopian Times. I have been given a special assignment: to review Neolodge hotels. I am doing this by visiting each hotel for a period of four weeks, starting with Cockroach Towers and ending with Astrovilla. The Neopian Times is funding this all expense paid vacation for me, extras included, because I am the best journalist they have, not at all because they think I need a vacation. A long vacation.
There are five different sections of my review, all equally important. The first section is titled "About the Hotel" where I talk about the hotel. How much my trip costs there, where it's located, what I've heard about it, what class of hotel it is, how many stars it has, that kind of stuff. The second section, titled "First Impressions", is all about my first day at the hotel and my first impressions while I am there. The third section, titled "Second Impressions", is a collection of what I think of the hotel after having been there for two weeks. Then I write my fourth section, "Final Impressions", where I detail my impression of the hotel after having stayed there for a complete four weeks. Lastly, I create a list of "What to Bring" to the establishment, all the things that I would recommend bringing should you be planning a holiday. That's about it really. Anyway, I'm sure that you're all bored with my introduction, as you all know who I am. I'll skip ahead to the article.
About the Hotel:
The Hotel Opera... The name itself suggests prestige and elegance. It certainly doesn't let down. It's one of the few places in Neopia where there is an outdoor opera each evening. The Hotel Opera is an unusual building, crafted from white and orange marble, like most buildings in Altador. It's just down the road from Illustrious Armoury, a store selling marvelous battledome equipment. You can't miss it. It looks kind of like an enclosed courtyard, except enclosed by a building instead of a fence. What most Neopets don't realize is that that courtyard is no ordinary courtyard... It's an opera stage. The building is the hotel, where guests and performers stay. Opera has a long and proud tradition in Altador, so it's no mystery that they have decided to open a hotel so that every Neopian can enjoy it. It doesn't cost much for a luxury hotel, just a mere fifty neopoints a night, one hundred and ten neopoints if you wish to include extras, and a total cost of three thousand and eighty neopoints for the entire trip. A decent price for a four star hotel. Only time will tell if it is worth it.
The Hotel Opera makes a very good first impression. They strive for elegant surroundings to make the hotel feel like a proper opera house. They succeed in doing so. The ornate marble construction of the hotel is enough to make anyone feel that they are entering a palace. The grass and hedges in the courtyard are manicured to give it a look of absolute elegance. Once I stepped inside the air conditioned hotel, I was greeted by a very friendly Gelert who showed me right to the front desk, where a Tuskaninny quickly checked me in and gave me a beautiful bronze room key. Abby (the Gelert) summoned a uniformed bellhop to carry my suitcase to the room while she gave me a proper tour.
First, she showed me around the comfortable lobby/welcome area and explained that the fountain in the center had been donated to them by Marak the Wave himself. Apparently, he's a big fan of the opera and often visits the hotel. She told me that he wasn't staying there at the moment, but there was a good chance that he would check in at some point during my trip. She even offered to introduce me. I gladly accepted.
After that, she lead me out into the courtyard and told me all about the operas that have been performed there. The official operatic cast of the Hotel Opera alone has performed fifty different operas, and there are a number of traveling acts that have also performed at the hotel. It's a very popular stage.
Then she showed me the swimming pool, a massive indoor pool that had been sunk into the marble flooring. It was filled with nice clear water. All around the pool was an arrangement of beach loungers that looked extremely comfortable. Next to the door was a rack laden with fluffy towels. There was a small fountain in the center of the pool, causing all of the water to ripple serenely.
We walked under an ornate marble arch and found ourselves in the room with the Jacuzzi, which had also been sunken into the floor. Next to the door was another rack of fluffy towels, like the ones by the pool. The swirling, bubbling Jacuzzi was lovely. Through the room with the Jacuzzi was a small room; the sauna. It was nice, hot, steamy, and it looked so relaxing. I was looking forward to trying it out.
After that, she showed me the hotel spa. There, any guest could receive things like cucumber facials, seaweed wraps, and mud baths. There was also a special chamber for meditation. I've never been a big fan of spas, but I have to admit, this place looks pretty relaxing. I got the feeling that if I had liked spas, I would like this place.
Abby then showed me the restaurant, which was an elegant dining space with a big glass chandelier and lots of tables with long tablecloths. Each seat had its own place setting, complete with a placemat, a plate, a crystal glass, a teacup, a saucer, a soup/salad bowl, a bread plate, three forks, two knives, and three spoons. It smelled delicious inside, like roasted ham, cheese, and baked potatoes. I was glad that I brought my tuxedo here. I might need it for a fine dining environment.
She also showed me the burger bar, which was much more casual. It was organized like a buffet table, with a number of choices. There were plain buns, sesame seed buns, and whole wheat buns to choose from. You could also choose between a juicy hamburger patty or a tofu patty if you were a vegetarian. Then there was an assortment of cheeses, vegetables, and sauces that you could add to your burger. At the very end you could get chips, crisps, and nutty chocolate brownies.
She then proceeded to show me the grooming parlor, the tennis courts, the Yooyuball courts, and the fitness center. All very impressive, I can assure you. She even showed me the laundry facilities, where they wash clothes in cold water, warm water, and dry clean. They even press clothes for you. Bonus!
At last Abby showed me to my room, which looked exactly like the picture used for the sample room of a luxury hotel. One wall was a window, and there was a thick green velvet curtain to cover it with at night. There was also a large blue and yellow silken canopy bed with a neat side table. Two matching armchairs were in the other corner with a coffee table in front. Off to the side was a lovely bathroom with a very clean plain white bathtub, sink, and toilet set. Over the sink was a shining mirror. Next to the mirror was a shelf holding fluffy white towels. There were also complimentary soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and bubble baths, which were a pleasant surprise.
Abby showed me that my copy of the Neopian Times as well as Altador at a Glance was sitting on the coffee table for me, as well as a glossy opera ticket. She proceeded to explain that with my stay came one free opera ticket each week. This ticket was good for any of the operas that were performed in the courtyard. If I wished to see more of the shows, I would have to pay an additional four hundred neopoints per ticket. Normally it was five hundred, but since I was staying in the hotel, I got a twenty percent discount. I was surprised to learn that you didn't have to check into the hotel in order to see the shows, but I suppose that it's a great source of income for them. They are also permitted to dine at the restaurant, but they have to pay for their food. Who knew? Actually, guests have to pay for the food as well because the restaurant is so high class, but like opera tickets, we get a discount. Twenty percent off all food purchased.
Abby allowed me the rest of the evening off to do as I wished. I mostly just relaxed in my room and read the news. When I got hungry, I grabbed a quick but extremely delicious burger at the burger bar and returned to my room for a hot bath. After that, I retired for the evening and slept extremely well in my big, soft bed.
Well, I've been here for two weeks now, and I have a few things to say. First, I would like to thank Altadorians for being excellent watchmakers. I was easily able to find a replacement for the watch that I had lost at Ye Old Ship Inn. It works very well, and it is a rather stunning piece, a golden plated pocketwatch set with crystal. It's much better than the one I lost in the wash. (That's a really awkward sentence...)
Secondly, I want to talk about the hotel's main feature; the opera. I used my first ticket to go and see Lady Carmariller, which was absolutely outstanding! The music, the costumes, the actors, everything was wonderful! I even spent some of my hard earned neopoints from my last holiday on additional tickets. Tomorrow night, I am going to see Le Altalaphus, and I couldn't be more excited.
After spending a long evening at the opera, I like to head to the restaurant to have dinner. Altadorians sure know how to feast! Once I am seated, a waiter comes by and brings me a glass of Altadorian nectar to enjoy while I decide what to order. First I choose a soup or a salad for my first course. I usually go with the Altadorian cobb salad or the Altadorian lentil soup. After that, I am brought my food along with a basket of Altadorian bread and a fancy cheese platter. Once I finish my first course, the waiter brings me a selection of ripe fruits to enjoy, and I order my main course. I usually pick something like fried fish, but I do choose the well decorated meat with pomegranate jelly when I'm in a particularly extravagant mood. For dessert, I like to have the lemon sun cake or the chocolate rose petal ice cream. Yeah, it's rather fancy. But I'll take the fine dining environment over Cockroach Towers' signature "mystery lump" any day.
The extras are pretty nice. I have enjoyed myself at a number of the different facilities, especially at the swimming pool. The swimming pools really haven't been that great at the other hotels, and this is the first hotel that has a perfectly lovely pool. If you like swimming in your downtime at hotels, I would definitely recommend a holiday here.
I've also had a bit of fun playing Yooyuball on the courts here. They don't use actual Yooyus here, just the rubber balls, but it doesn't take away from the fun. I've gotten pretty good, and I have three matches scheduled for tomorrow with other guests at the hotel. You'd be surprised how many Altadorians come here looking to play Yooyuball. Actually, you probably aren't.
I've also found some time to do some sightseeing. The Colosseum isn't far from the hotel, and neither is the Hall of Heroes. I was even able to get a library card for the Altadorian Archives. I get all the free reading material that I want!
It finally happened. I met Marak the Wave.
He wasn't at all as I expected him to be. I expected that a hero of Altador would be more arrogant and prefer very high class dining and entertainment. Someone noble and honest, but someone to be feared and intimidated by. The kind of guy who rides on floats in parades and has confetti thrown on him, then proceeds to complain about it with his fellow heroes as he brushes pieces of bright paper out of his mane. The kind of guy who signs autographs and takes pictures with fans in an irritated fashion, wishing that he was back in his home sipping Altadorian sun tea by his personal pool on his balcony.
Marak wasn't like that at all. He was much more of a modest, down to Neopia kind of guy. The sort of guy who enjoyed high class entertainment, but had more fun with the low class stuff. The kind of guy who could sit in the restaurant of the Hotel Opera, know what each fork, spoon, and knife were used for, then start a water fight in the pool. A calm, cool kind of guy that you wouldn't want to meet in the Battledome, but would love to meet at the opera.
Anyway, enough about my buddy Marak. I'm here to discuss the Hotel Opera, not underwater Yooyuball, which Marak invented. Final impressions of the hotel. Well, I had a really good time. My room was absolutely wonderful, my Neopian Times and Altador at a Glance deliveries were always prompt, the laundry service was great, the maid service was excellent, the food was tantalizing, the entertainment was well beyond satisfactory, the athletics facilities were well maintained, and I asked a lovely young Acara named Barbara what she thought of the spa and the grooming parlor. She said that they were wonderful. Overall, this hotel is excellent, and I think that it may be well deserving of another star.
What to Bring:
I actually didn't find much that one would need to bring to this hotel, as it has most everything that you could need. However, there are a few things that you should bring.
- A pair of opera glasses (Neopian Philharmonic glasses will do)- This makes it a lot easier to watch the opera performances.
- Yooyuball gear- If you have any, this is a good place to bring it.
- Neopoints- To purchase more opera tickets.
Believe it or not, that is all. Everything else is pretty much accounted for at this hotel. Like I said, I think it deserves another star. If you like taking trips to the theatre, you'll absolutely love a long holiday at the Hotel Opera. If you run into my pal, Marak, tell him the Brent says hello and that I dare him to challenge you to a game of Yooyuball. You'll have a great time! Have an outstanding four weeks! I'll see you all again soon, with a new review from the Royal Neopian, the last luxury hotel. After this it's on to deluxe hotels. Hooray! This is Brent, setting down his quill.