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The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #10

by cadetbush


Don’t spend your holiday in a tent! Read a review from your buddy, Brent! Well, this is it, my loyal fans and readers. The last article. Stop #10. I can hardly believe that I’ve been on holiday for nine months now, and that at the end of these four weeks, I’ll have to go back to my usual job. Many of you have followed me from day one, in which case, thank you so much! I appreciate having fans like you! However, there may be some of you who are just joining us, so I’d like to give you a simple summary of what you can expect from this article. (Also, it’s in my contract and I don’t have a choice.)

My name is Brent. I am a blue Ixi with fantastic hair and I live in a little flat on Market Street. (That’s in Neopia Central, in case you don’t know.) I work for the Neopian Times. Normally, that doesn’t involve a lot of action and excitement; I just cover local stories for the most part. However, my manager decided that it was time for me to take a vacation; a long vacation. A really, really long vacation. Ten months to be exact. My manager decided that they wanted a Neolodge Review series, where an entire article was devoted to each of the ten Neolodge Resorts. The Neopian Times would cover all expenses; I just had to stay at each hotel for four weeks, experience everything that I could there, and write all about it for my readers. At first it was rough, but each hotel got progressively better. In fact, some of them were so great that I don’t think four weeks was really enough to do them justice.

I like to keep things simple, so my review is both organized and straightforward. There are traditionally a total of five categories, however, this particular article features a sixth category, which I will go on to explain later. My first category is entitled “About the Hotel”. In this section I share some information about the hotel, like where it’s located, what type of hotel it is, how many stars it has, how much it costs, and what I may have heard about the hotel. My second category, called “First Impressions”, is where I talk about my first day at the resort. My very first impression. The third category, “Second Impressions”, is where I talk about my impression of the hotel after having stayed there for two weeks. In the past, these have been very different from my first impressions, but lately they have been similar. Then, I have my “Final Impressions” category, where I talk about my impressions of the resort on my last day there. My fifth category, “What to Bring”, is where I make a list of things I would recommend bringing to the hotel in addition to the usual tourist stuff. In the past, this has included things like neopoints, opera glasses, pots, cleaning supplies, and yooyuball gear. I’m excited to see if anything is needed at today’s resort. That is usually where I end my review. However, my manager has asked me to add another category to this particular review. “Ranking the Resorts” is what it will be called. I know! It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? In this category, I will rank my resorts from least recommended tourist destination to most recommended tourist destination, in order to help the average traveler make their travel plans. Sigh. That was my last recap. But everyone is really more interested in the articles, so I guess it’s about time that I get this show on the road for the very last time.

About the Hotel:

AstroVilla is very different from the other hotels. For one thing, it’s a giant sphere paneled with enormous wall-to-wall glass windows. Another thing; it’s in space. It’s actually in orbit around Neopia. That explains why it is so expensive. It costs five hundred neopoints a night, five hundred and sixty for an all-expense paid night, and for my four week stay it costs a whopping fifteen thousand six hundred and eighty neopoints. I’m sure that I can hardly imagine what a hotel like this will have in store for me. Rumor has it that this pricey resort is the top tourist destination. I can’t wait to see if the rumors about this five star deluxe hotel are true!

First Impressions:

I don’t believe I’ve ever talked about my transportation to the hotel. Normally, I take a train or a boat, and the trip is pretty unremarkable. Besides, I’m not here to review transportation; I’m here to review hotels. But this time, the transportation is a part of the hotel experience.

Since AstroVilla is in space, you can’t take a train or a boat. You have to take a rocket. And as you know, local rockets travel to Kreludor and the Virtupets Space Station. You can’t just take a rocket to AstroVilla. They have specialized rockets that only launch from Neolodge HQ, the brown building in Neopia Central where you make your reservation. Once I said that I was going to check into AstroVilla, made my reservation, and showed that I had the money to pay for it, I was escourted to a rocket that was set to launch in thirty minutes. I have never seen a rocket quite like it.

The first thing that I noticed was that the walls were purple, and that the carpet was dark blue. Crazy, right? Who puts carpetting in a rocket? It looked really cool though! There were neat rows of squashy purple chairs with cup holders. Stitched on the back of each chair was a large pocket, and just above the pocket was a fancy folded tray table. Once I found my seat, the first thing I did was go through the pocket. I found a flight safety manual, a star map with cool constellations charted on it, a paperback copy of Kreludan Facts, a colouring book, a box of crayons, an electronic copy of The Threat Outside, a green lined notebook, a basic pen, a package of dried chokato, a package of dried grapefruit slices, a package of dried lemoran, a package of dried teal juppie (how hungry did they expect me to get?), a bottle of water, an anti-gravity yoyo, a blue kazoo, and an assortment of magnets that you could stick to the tray table. I couldn’t believe how much stuff they had crammed in there for a two hour flight. Needless to say, I wasn’t bored for those two hours. If this was a preview of the amount of entertainment at the hotel, this was a very good first impression.

We docked on the lowest floor of the hotel. Then everyone filed out of the rocket, and I noticed another crowd settling in. I suppose the rocket goes back and forth between Astrovilla and Neopia Central. Once the crowds passed through, I could see the walls. They were made of glass so that you could see the stars. I found myself glued to the view for a while, and when I turned away, I was surprised. The room that I was in was very plain. The floor was made of polished industrial steel, and there was very little furniture other than the check-in desk and a big glass tube with an arch. Next to the tube was a panel with lots of buttons. I guessed that it was the elevator.

I waited my turn in line, and before long I made it to the front. I handed them my neopoints, and they handed me a silver key with my room number engraved on it. I was very surprised; they didn’t call a bellhop. Instead, they pointed me to the glass tube. An attendant was waiting there.

“Are you the bellhop?” I asked, a little unsure.

“This must be your first visit to AstroVilla,” the Grarrl replied.

“Yes, it is,” I replied. “Is it that obvious?”

“You thought I was the bellhop. I’m the elevator manager. May I see your key?” he asked.

I handed it to him.

“You’re in room 13B,” he said. “The keyhole is right here. Place your key in the slot, turn it to the left, remove it, and then step inside the tube. It’s the elevator… sort of.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, realizing that what I had previously assumed were buttons were actually keyholes.

“You’ll find out,” he replied.

I did as he instructed and soon found out what he meant. The glass tube was really more like a suction tube. Turning the key activated some kind of air current that pulled me off the ground and whizzed me through a series of tubes with some impressive velocity. In a matter of seconds, I was standing in a different glass tube, this one in my room. The landing was gentle, but I wasstill a little dazed after the elevator ride. It was a few minutes before I could really get a good look at my room.

The elevator seemed to be in my sitting room. Along the wall next to the elevator was a long green couch, at least five cushions long. A matching armchair was against the adjacent wall, and there was a highly polished coffee table laid with enough newspapers and gazettes to cover the walls and floors with paper mache. I also found a metal cabinet filled with snacks; packages of blueberry gateaux, tubes of chocolate eclair paste, stacks of cosmic cheese stars, a box of double chocolate surprise, containers of freeze dried sprout soup, six tubes of Garthroxian goo, green tea capsules, rolls of intergalactic chewy stuff, packages of lime and orange sherbert, a bottle of orange space drink powder, protein bars, packages of space coffee and cocoa, and strawberry milk packets.

To the left was my bedroom with a giant bed, a spacious study desk, more closet space than I knew what to do with, and a fantastic view of the stars. To the right was my bathroom, complete with bathtub, shower, two sinks, a toilet, fluffy towels, a bathrobe, and complementary soaps, bubble baths, shampoos, conditioners, and scented candles in twelve scents. On the second floor was my very own observation deck where I could look out at the stars.

I did all of my unpacking and after that I decided to look at the panel by my elevator. Unlike the panel in the lobby, this panel was actually covered with buttons, not keyholes. Each button had a label by it. After some careful consideration, I decided to try something called the Anti-Gravity floor. It turned out to be an entire deck that they turned off the artificial gravity on. I was flying! Highly recommended.

After a while of floating and bouncing, I was hungry, so I decided to go to the food court, thinking I’d stop by the restaurant and see what’s on the menu. That proved to be harder than I thought it would be. As it turned out, the food court was really a food court, complete with eight different restaurants, a snack bar, a juice bar, a slushie bar, a salad bar, a burger bar, an omelette bar, a neocola vending machine, an achyfi vending machine, and an ice cream vending machine. I must have looked around for an hour before finally deciding that I was going to walk into a restaurant and order something, no matter what they served. As it turned out, the place that I walked into served Kreludan food, and I ordered a lava latte, a bowl of moon soup, a meteor meat pie, some fruit in a tube, and a gooey Kreluberry pie. It was really quite delicious, and I’m sure that I’ll come back often. There are a lot of dishes I haven’t tried yet.

After dinner, I realized just how tired I was. I figure the rocket ride really took a lot out of me. I decided to take a hot bath and turn in for the night. My bed was very soft and comfortable, and I fell into a deep sleep very quickly.

Second Impressions:

After having stayed here for two weeks, I’ve kind of designed a routine for myself. Every morning I wake up, take a hot shower, get dressed, and take the air tube down to the fitness center. (By the way, I’m really getting used to these air tubes. They’re efficent, not crowded, and just plain fun.) I usually stay in the fitness center for about an hour or two, getting lots of exercise. It’s not hard; AstroVilla’s fitness center has a pool, tennis courts, a rock climbing wall, free yoga classes, a jogging track around the whole room, and tons of exercise equipment. I still haven’t used everything yet! After my morning workout, I sit in the sauna for a while. Their fitness center has its own sauna, did I mention?

Once I’ve had my fill of hot, steamy air, I take the air tube to the food court where I head to the breakfast restaurant and order something. I highly recommend trying the chocolate Chia pancakes at some point. They are outstanding! After breakfast, I try to do something new. One day, I went to the pool. Not the one in the fitness center. This is a different one, featuring sixteen deluxe water slides, four diving boards (all different heights), a wave pool, and a hot tub. Another day I went to the gardens, featuring exotic plants from all over Neopia and a few choice fountains. On another day I visited the golf course. They have lots of different golf clubs that you can use. I’ve tried using all of them, but I still have yet to get a hole in one. I’ve also been up to the observation deck where I can see all of Neopia. I’ve even made it up to the grand ballroom, when they weren’t hosting an event in there. You should see the chandelier in there! I’ve never seen so many crystals in one light fixture, and I spent four weeks at Faerie Castle!

After trying something new, I head back up to the food court for lunch. I usually have that at the pizza place or the burger bar. Lately, I’ve been leaning towards pizza. The burger bar here is truly magnificent, but I spent so many hours at burger bars over the last nine and a half months (especially last month) that I seem to have quite lost my taste for them. Once lunch is over, I head up to Game Central, an entire deck devoted to games. They have a yooyuball court, a zurroball court, a laser tag arena, and all kinds of great games like Gormball and Time Tunnel. That reminds me, I have a zurroball match with a few of the hotel guests this afternoon. Everyone here seems to be so friendly. I guess it’s because we’re all having the time of our lives on this holiday.

After an active afternoon of games, I like to calm things down a bit. Sometimes, I have a snack in the Food Court. (There’s a pastry shop there that makes the best peach galette and a chocolate shop that serves some really excellent chocolate coconut bars!) Other times, I head to the Observation deck to gaze out at the stars for a little while or take a stroll through the gardens. Sometimes, I do all three, or none of the three. When I get hungry, I head back to the Food Court for dinner and order something delicious from a gourmet restaurant up there. The Grundos House Special is a favorite of mine there. And when I’m finished with dinner, I take the air tube back to my room and read as much of the news as I can. They are constantly delivering more. I think they deliver every possible kind of news there is. When I can’t take any more, I go to bed.

I’ve never developed a routine like this at any of the other hotels I’ve visited. I’m not sure why I have one this time. Maybe it’s because I am so used to this job and I know how to manage my schedule so that I can make sure that I get everything done before my four weeks are over. I can hardly believe that two have gone by! I still have a lot left to do; this hotel has fifty decks of fun and excitement, and that’s not including decks for hotel rooms and services. There are still a lot of things that I’m planning to do in the next few weeks. Gruundo is going to give a concert on the theatre deck (I have a front row ticket!), the activities deck is going to be teaching a class on cooking with queela fruit, and there’s going to be a bouce-off on the anti-gravity deck. I don’t know what that is, but I can’t wait to participate!

Final Impressions:

Wow! I can’t believe it. My last day of my last holiday. Well, all good things come to an end. It has occured to me that there are still a few hotel facilities that I need to discuss in this article, so I’ll get right to it.

The laundry service here is very efficent. I have a bunch of laundry bags in my room and they all come with tags. When I fill out the tag, place the bag in the air tube, and press the “Laundry Room” button, my laundry is automatically transported there and within hours is returned; cleaned, steamed, and pressed. I don’t have a single complaint about it.

The maid service here is different from any other maid service. You see, they don’t actually have maids. Just about everything is automated here, and when I’m out, the room is cleaned and sterilized by the computer. I think the process involves steam, but I’m not quite sure.

It also occurs to me that I haven’t once talked about or really mentioned the spa. To be honest, I’ve been too busy to visit the spa deck, and it hasn’t been a priority. But I have encountered the lovely Miss Olivia, a charming camouflage Kougra, who is a frequent visitor. I’ve decided to interview her.

“Good afternoon, Miss Olivia. Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed.”

“Oh, it’s no problem, Brent. I have plenty of time.”

“How long have you been at AstroVilla?”

“I’ve been here for about two weeks now.”

“Have you been enjoying your holiday?”

“Of course! It’s every Neopet’s dream here!”

“How many times have you visited the spa?”

“Oh, I couldn’t give you an exact number. But I’ve been there several times!”

“Could you tell me about it? What’s it like?”

“It’s… incredible, like everything else around here! When you walk in, you are greeted by beautiful flowers and the scent of honeysuckle and jasmine. Then you can go over to this little station and pick up a bathrobe. They have some that are light pink, some that are light purple, some that are spring green, some that are white, and others that are sky blue. Once you have a bathrobe, you can start doing things.”

“What kinds of things does the spa offer?”

“All kinds of things. There are all of the usual things, like hot tubs, mud baths, cucumber masks and facials, a sauna, makeover stations, manicure stations, and there are also a few bonus features that aren’t offered at any other spa.”

“Like what?”

“Like a gift shop where you can buy some things to make a spa in your hotel room. Scented candles, fancy soaps, bubble baths, that kind of stuff. I bought some of this really excellent herb infused soap using the neopoints that I earned at Game Central. I’ve also bought some of this seabreeze lotion. It’s a really great moisturizer.”

“I’ve noticed that your nails are very sparkly. Like, Faerie Castle sparkly.”

“Oh, thanks! I just had them done yesterday. They have this super sparkly red nail polish there.”

“All right. I think I’ve used enough of your time. What are you going to do next?”

“Now that I’ve talked so much about the spa, I’d really like to go there. Maybe I’ll get a nice cucumber facial.”

“You do that. Have a nice day, Miss Olivia!”

“You too, Brent!”

So, now you’ve heard all about the spa. Before I conclude my final impressions, I’d like to discuss the air tubes. When I first used one, I was really dazed and confused. They were a completely new concept. After about two weeks, I started to think that they were fun. Now that it has been a full four weeks, I can’t ride one without screaming “WOOHOO!” at the top of my lungs. They are a lot more fun than your standard elevator, which I think really describes everything at this hotel. Everything is fun, relaxing, and unconventional. So, if you’re looking for a truly unique holiday that goes beyond any and all previous expectations, start saving your neopoints because AstroVilla is your dream resort!

What to Bring:

This is the part where I list off all of the items that I would recommend bringing with you if you are planning a trip to AstroVilla. I have been waiting ten months to give you a list like this one. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Yup. That’s right. AstroVilla has absolutely everything. You don’t even need to bring neopoints, because the service is automated and you can earn quite a nice pile of them at Game Central. I think I’ve earned enough to pay for another holiday or two. My manager probably won’t let me take one for a while, but I’ll keep it in the bank. Hey! Maybe the interest will help me pay for another holiday!

Ranking the Resorts:

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the new category!

I’m sure that after reading my reviews, many of you will be planning holidays for your own Neopets. To lend you a hand, I am going to give you my personal rankings for each resort, starting with number ten and working my way to the number one resort. Are you ready for Brent’s top ten countdown? I hope so!

10. Cockroach Towers - Obvious reasons. It’s dirty, dusty, grimey, and serves questionable cuisine. I’m sure many of you remember the review. Not recommended.

9. Fleapit Motel - I doubt that you are surprised by this one. While the hotel is clean and the food is decent, there isn’t a whole lot to do, and what there is to do gets old after doing it sixteen hundred times.

8. Cheap Hotel - I know what you’re thinking - Is this review going to go in order? Answer: No. No it won’t. This hotel just happens to be number eight because it is cheap, poorly decorated, and perpetually overcrowded.

7. Faerie Castle - I know that it has five stars and rightly so, but this particular resort has far too much pink, purple, and glitter to please me.

6. Ye Old Ship Inn - This one was a tough decision for me. I really did enjoy my stay here, but I couldn’t trust the staff or the guests for that matter. Remember the watch that I threw into the wash for some reason? Also, the wicker bathroom furniture and the canvas sheets were terrible. However, there is never a dull moment at this inn, and I would recommend it. Just don’t bring your valuables.

5. The Royal Neopian - This hotel was extremely well maintained and I loved all of the reading material, but the people weren’t as friendly here as they were at other resorts. You might have more lasting memories elsewhere.

4. Hotel Opera - The staff here is friendly, the rooms are comfortable and neat, amazing is basically a standard when it comes to their shows, and if you get bored at the hotel, Altador is a pretty fantastic place to visit. Plus, free reading material from the archives.

3. Mountain Lodge - While the weather outside is bitterly cold, things are always warm and cosy here! They serve comfort food and Neopia’s finest borovan, offer as much activity and excitement as the top resorts, and they have the friendly, jovial service that you can only get at a middle class hotel. It’s also very affordable. Highly recommended for people planning a vacation on a budget!

2. Presidential Palace - This resort has activities round-the-clock and offers some of the most delicious gourmet cooking I have ever tried. Highly recommended.

1. AstroVilla - Was there even a question? This hotel is like a never-ending fun house! It is the resort of a lifetime!

Well, that’s it everyone. I have reviewed my last hotel and given my official recommendations list. In just a few minutes, I am going to hand this in to my manager and then go over to Coffee Cave for a cup of flavour-changing coffee. I can hardly believe how quickly the time has gone by. It’s been fun, everyone! I’d like to give a big thank you to all of my loyal readers who have followed me since day one. My fans have always meant a great deal to me, and if we ever cross paths, give me a shout-out. Maybe we can have lunch. I love lunch! It’s a great meal!

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun reviewing these hotels for you, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I hope that my reviews help you to find the perfect hotel so that you can have your best holiday yet. You all deserve it! This is Brent, setting down his quill for the last time.

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