Saturday, 18 April 2015

REVIEW: The 4-star TRYP Munich City Center Hotel

Some people think travelling by yourself is weird. I am not one of those people. I am, however, someone who at the ripe old age of 22 (and 7/12ths) years old has realised she no longer wants to stay in grotty hostels, particularly if travelling alone.

Granted, some hostels can be really nice (remember this one?!), and when you're in a group that takes up a whole dorm, they're a lot of fun. But with a night in Munich on my own to play with, I didn't want to sleep on a bunk in a big dorm full of strangers, have to queue for a grimy, drizzly, cold shower, pay for stained bedlinen and squish all my things into a locker.

Although still a student, I think it's worth spending a little extra money sometimes for an experience you'll actually enjoy.

Enter, TRYP Munich City Center Hotel.

I arrived in Munich on a sunny day after a fun but busy week travelling round Germany (more on all those adventures soon!).

TRYP is only about five minutes walk or so from the main station, and super easy to find. The location is good - you can walk to the heart of the city (Marienplatz) in about 20 minutes, but of course there are other interesting things to see more nearby.


The hotel may not be the most beautiful of buildings from the outside, but then again I find hotels rarely are. And once inside, you find yourself in a stylish, clean, trendy lobby.

Although I arrived a couple of hours before I was technically meant to check-in, after just a five minute wait my room was ready, which was great.

And with free wifi throughout the hotel (although I think this may depend on your room), I was more than happy to sit in the lobby and catch up on life while I waited.

Up on the fifth floor, my room was fab.

It was delightfully clean and bright, and was really well-equipped with a big flat-screen TV, a full-length mirror, a desk and desk chair, armchair, lots of hangers and hanging space, slippers and a dressing gown, air conditioning, good black-out curtains and even a kettle complete with a few tea bags and coffee sachets.

That latter one really pleased me, even if there was no milk to go with (Germans, eh?).

From my window I could see the top of the church nearby and down into the hotel's garden patio area.

Unsurprisingly, everything in the mini-bar was super pricey, but that's always the way, isn't it? I loved that there were little packets of Haribo gummy bears on the beds (Germans, eh?). In my opinion it's these little touches that can make one hotel so much better than another.

And it only got better. Upon returning to my room after a long day exploring the city, seeing old friends and shopping, I found a tray full of goodies waiting for me, which was just what I needed.

My evening was perfect: I snuggled up in the crisp bedlinen and plump pillows, ate my treats while watching Germany's Next Top Model (basically exam revision), and pampered myself.

Hotel showers can be a bit hit and miss, but this one was great, ticking both the power and temperature boxes. It was also super spacious. In classic European style, the towels were tiny, but the hairdryer was powerful, and a shaving set, shower cap, comb, shampoo and shower gel were all provided too.

I crashed out and dreamed of the next morning's breakfast.

Yup, I love a good hotel breakfast - who doesn't? But breakfast at TRYP Munich, my friends - oh, this breakfast - was something else.

Without a doubt, the best hotel breakfast I have ever had the fortune of eating. 

The sheer amount of different foods was insane! So yes, I was basically in heaven.

And, with this review in mind and being the good journalist that I am, I took it upon myself to eat as much as I could.

Allow me to give you a bit of a flavour. There was:

  • Loads of different fruit - whole, chopped, in fruit salad, dried and in syrup. 
  • Loads of different breads, rolls and pastries, including my Germany faves, Laugenbrezn
  • Cakes and mini doughnuts (um, YES please!)
  • An array of cereals. 
  • A huge choice of yogurts, including pre-prepared pots of Greek yogurt and honey topped with walnuts. 
  • Bowls of seeds, nuts and dried fruits. 
  • About eight different homemade jams, as well as honey, Nutella and cream cheeses. 
  • Slices of Wurst, hams and cheese. 
  • Loads of cooked breakfast options including scrambled eggs, sausages (German-style, naturally), Bratkartoffeln (kinda like roast potatoes but not really), bacon frittatas and pancakes complete with maple syrup. 
  • Five different juices. FIVE! 
  • Sparkling and still water. 
  • Tons of different teas. 
  • Gluten-free breads and cakes as well as soya milk.  Shamazing.

You guys, I ate everything. And I do not regret it for one minute.

What's more all the food was super tasty. You might think that the sheer volume of different foodstuffs on offer would mean it was bad quality, but not so, my friends.

Thank goodness I didn't accidentally sit in the "express breakfast" area for those who plan on being in and out in 20 minutes. I'm fairly certain the staff were looking at me in shock at how many trips back up to the buffet I made, but hey, eating is one of my best talents.

Actually, the staff were all extremely helpful and friendly throughout my stay. I was even lent an umbrella for free before venturing out into the drizzle after breakfast.


So, to sum up:

Negative (if I'm being reeeeeaaaally picky): it could be a bit more central, but then that would be further from the station which would be annoying.

Positives: good wifi connection, THE BREAKFAST (I will probably dream of it forevermore), cleanliness, great shower, furnishing.

In short, I thoroughly recommend a stay at TRYP Munich. It was absolutely great and felt like such an indulgent treat for me. There are actually TRYP hotels all over the world, and I'm definitely keen to stay in some of their other locations too.

I was a guest at TRYP Hotel City Center Munich, but all opinions are honest and my own. Find out more about TRYP hotels on their website

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Skiing in Megève, 2015

The snow is sparkling in the sunshine as if covered in pixie dust. You're whizzing through the mountains, amongst the trees and past trickling streams, making your own tracks through fresh, untouched powder. The birds are singing and hot air balloons float across the blue sky in the distance. Snow-capped mountain-tops peak out from whispy clouds around you. 


Of course, skiing isn’t always like that. Some days it’s cloudy and snowy and you sit on long chair lifts with your teeth chattering and as little of your face exposed as is humanly possible. But those moments aside, I love skiing.

It’s like riding a bike really.

OK, it’s not actually anything like riding a bike. But what I mean is that once you know how to ski, you don’t forget. Like driving too.

I’m fortunate enough to have been skiing most years since I was about eight, but I ended up not going for the past two. Awesomely though, it turns out I can still ski, HOORAH!

Between you and me, the actual skiing is only part of the reason I love going on a skiing holiday: it’s just as much about the food, the chalet, the town, being in the mountains and the atmosphere for me.

So let me give you a flavour of our skiing holiday last week. It was such a treat, and just what I needed after a busy and stressful term. (Let's just ignore the fact that I have an even busier and more stressful term coming up, for which I should be preparing, mmm kay?)

This post will be a pretty picture-heavy one, but I figure everyone likes pictures, right? Who wants to read actual words these days, eh? (Says one of the most waffly bloggers in the blogosphere).

The Town

My fam love to ski in the ludicrously charming town of Megève in the French Alps.

Nestled between snow-topped mountains, picture cobbled streets and traditional wooden chalet-style buildings, complete with shutters with hearts cut-out. It's a living town as opposed to just a ski resort, and a very upmarket one at that.

Laaaaved these Longchamp bags!
The streets are lined with Porsches, Ferraris and Range Rovers, and they buzz with well-heeled shoppers spending their money in fur shops, designer stores (Hermès, anyone?), the town's little department store Allard, interesting independent boutiques, cute cafés, brasseries, crêperies and waffle stands.

Unsurprisingly I can't afford more than an over-priced waffle, but it's still fun to window-shop.

The town's traditional praline chocolates in a yummy sugar coating. 
Megève is also home to a number of amaaaaazing chocolateries and pâtisseries which, as you can imagine, are always extra enticing at Easter.

And come night, the town looks extra beautiful...

The Chalet

We stay in a wonderful catered chalet-hotel called Les Cimes, which is run by Ski Royale.

It's cosy, stylishly-furnished and perfectly-located too.

The atmosphere at Les Cimes is always so welcoming, friendly and relaxed, and I love getting to know the other guests too. The staff are the absolute best - Michelle, Adam and all the others make everyone feel super welcome and at home. It's almost like staying with friends.

The view from our balcony
There's always tea and coffee out which I of course love, but OH MY DAYS, the food at Les Cimes is always out-of-this-world. Like, super snazzy and tasty and in abundance.

Every morning we awake to a continental breakfast of pastries, bread, jams, nutella, fruit, yoghurts, cereals and the cooked dish of the day (we had everything from banana pancakes to bacon and eggs.)

And when you get back to the chalet after an exhausting day on the slopes, some sort of freshly-baked treat is always ready and waiting to be devoured.

A few hours later and it's pre-dinner nibbles time!

Often cheesy and often accompanied by something bubbly...

Pretty sweet, eh? Oh, and if you hadn't already realised, my vegan, refined sugar-free, gluten-free lifestyle pretty much went out the window for a week but what can ya do? WORTH IT!

After canapés it's time for what is always a spectacular three-course meal. I only wish I'd taken pictures on more than just our last evening. But here's a flavour for you...

Cream of asparagus soup with saffron to start
Steak and scallops with butternut squash purée and wedges for the meat eaters
Cauliflower and blue cheese quiche for me
Boozy tiramisu for pudding!
Or perhaps sticky toffee pud.
And all finished up with cheese and crackers.

Every night.


Good thing skiing's such good exercise then! Ahem...

The Skiing

I don't care what people say, it's definitely gravity powing me down the slopes as opposed to much effort on my part. Sure, a bit of toning occurs, but then you go and sit on a lift and have a long ole rest whilst admiring the view.

And when the sun's out, the views really are glorious!

It's just magical.

There are so many different areas to explore, and when skiing at Easter you basically have the mountains to yourself. Seriously, one day we must have seen about ten other people on the slopes, tops.

Casual private mountain
I have heard tales of people having to QUEUE for lifts earlier in the winter. How horrideously awful.

This year we also downloaded an app called Ski Tracks which (without internet) tells you all sorts of interesting things like your altitude and speed - the sister and I both topped 40mph which was faster than I'd thought!

And of course, we never go too far without a stop at a cute chalet restaurant perching on the mountainside.

On chilly days, hot chocolate is a must.

Oh, and a ginormous slice of the fluffiest, most awesome lemon meringue pie may have occurred too.

On warmer days, chilled Diet Cokes in the sunshine are on the menu.

If you're wondering, the jumper I'm wearing is one I absolutely love, kindly sent to me by Tokyo Laundry. It's cosy but not too chunky and the perfect cropped length for ski trousers... Or just high-waisted skinnies.

And of course, big, warming, carby lunches occurred on a daily basis too. I don't know whether it's the fresh air or the "exercise" or what but skiing is some hungry work!

I had an absolutely dreamy holiday and am so grateful to my parents for taking me, Les Cimes for being so wonderful, and the sun for coming out!

A less sunny view on our last morning
What are your thoughts on skiing holidays? Hope you all had lovely Easters too!