Arrival/Check-in: After a four-hour fog delay on a redeye flight, I arrived disheveled and exhausted at the Fiesta Americana Grand Chapultepec. The taxi door opened at the curb to reveal a bellman already in possession of my bag, ready to assist me out of the cab. The lobby was small but the desk staff efficient, and checking in was effortless. The bellman showed me to my room and explained every detail to insure my enjoyment and comfort. (30/30)
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Arrival/Check-in: The hotel offers check-in service at Cairo International Airport (CAI), allowing the jet-lagged traveler to head straight for the shower upon arrival at the hotel. But to the hotel’s credit, this service doesn’t save much time; my check-in at the front desk was swift and painless. Besides, I wanted to soak in the atmosphere of that lobby — a marbled hallway opens up into a light-filled, high-ceilinged space with soaring columns, sleek furnishings and an imposing obelisk flanked by four sphinxes. The lobby, populated with Westerners in suits and Cairenes and Saudis in their dishdasha and checkered head scarves, is busy yet relatively hushed, the noise never enough to disturb a conversation. The hotel is adjacent to the Middle East’s largest retail and entertainment complex, but the location doesn’t take away from its exclusiveness; and the hotel’s security is reassuringly tight, with guards and metal detectors at every entrance. (30/30)