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I stayed at the Malmaison in Oxford on February 8th 2009 as part of a Christmas present for my boyfriend, and I would just like provide a little bit of feedback.
I booked the room through laterooms.com in November 2008. I communicated with the hotel a bit prior to my arrival, with regards to champagne in the room on arrival. The hotel was fairly efficient to responding to my requests, however the initial enquiry was quite slow, and I had to send my original e-mail twice.
Upon arriving in Oxford, we searched for the hotel by road, and I think we must have driven past four times, before we finally saw it, then panicked as to whether we could drive up the driveway, as it looked like a pedestrian only walkway.
We arrived earlier than the check in time, and we did not expect our room to be ready, but we wanted to drop off the car. The receptionist was extremely friendly, and informed us that our room was not ready, during our check in our room became available, and we were pointed in the direction of our room.
We found our room, which was really nice; I immediately fell in love with the bathroom with its roll top bath. However I did notice that the champagne and strawberries that I asked to be in the room were not in there. I telephoned down to reception, and asked that the half bottle of house champagne to be bought to the room as we were just on our way out and I wanted it as a surprise for my other half.
The room itself was very clean, and I was most impressed. The only little downside, was the recycled pencil in the room, which had been chewed at the end, resulting in no rubber and a very badly dented metal top that you would expect to find in a primary school.
We spent a few hours looking around Oxford centre, and then returned to our room, finding that our key card would not work, so we had to go back to reception, get our key reset so that we could enter the room. Not a huge problem, however the lift was not working.
Once back in our room, we found the champagne in a ice bucket (with not a lot of ice), however it was a full bottle of champagne, instead of the half asked for, I didn't want to send it back and request only a half, due to the embarrassment factor I thought I might receive, it wasn't so much the money point of view, more to the fact that we were going out shortly afterwards and didn't want to waste it, and an extra £20.00 or so that it cost does soon add up.
Upon our return to the hotel in the evening, we settled down for the evening, however we couldn't sleep for a while, due to loud music being played, we were not entirely sure where it was coming from, possibly from the restaurant downstairs, but it was around 11.30pm, which I thought was a bit late.
The next day on check out, we awoke; unfortunately we didn't experience breakfast as we woke up too late. We went to reception and checked out, this was all very smooth. I did not want to mention the champagne to the receptionist, as I know we had drunk it, and thought it would be easier to pass the comments directly via an e-mail.
All in all a very pleasant stay, but I just feel that in the future, any requests that have been made by a guest should be completed before the guest is shown to the room.
I plan on returning to Malmaison later on this year, hopefully in the Mallard Suite at your Reading hotel, and I hope that any requests that I make will be fulfilled.
Finished Daddy's Girls a couple of days ago. It was a prettygood book, I've had the book a little while, and only really got into reading it when on holiday two weeks ago.
Great plot of the book, and you really start to know the four sisters in the story, and in the end really sympathise with them.
The Balcon sisters all lead a very glamorous lifestyle, and there is plenty of references throughout the book reminding you of that, including one sisters Bentley, Hermes, Chanel, Dior etc collections that they own.
The book starts off with their fathers murder, and then goes on to about a year prior to that and what went on, then back to the murder investigation and finally to the funeral and life after.
I found it quite difficult to start reading, as it wasn't really gripping me, but once I got a bit of the way through i didn't want to put it down (mainly becuase I wanted to find out if it was an accident or murder). There was quite a bit of reference to sex throughout the book.
Wasn't a badly written book, but I think that the writer probably could have used more imagination in her style of writing, without the constant references of Designer shops etc.
I'm keen to read other books by Tasmina Perry, and would recommend the book if you are on holiday and want an easy read.
We stayed at the hostel-cum-hotel Colors, located near the Vatican.
Had a three night stay at Hotel Colors, location was fantastic, only trouble was not a very big sign outside saying where it was, completely walked past it, and carried on to the end of the road. Whoops.
Arrived before check in time, and the room was ready, which was great considering we'd been up since 4.30am.
We stayed in a private room with our own facilities. Room was clean, except for a few stains on the bed cover, from what looked like someone having a nice 'romantic time' in the room! To our suprise the room was made up by housekeeping everyday, even folding my clothes and putting them under the pillow. Maybe this is normal, but i've never stayed in a hostel before.
Room wasn't too noisy, except for the internet access being in the same corridor, and you could actually hear the tap-tapping of the keyboard, and people talking.
We didn't experience the breakfast, as we had early starts and decided to get something outside.
It was about a 15 minute walk to the Vatican, and about an hours walk to the Colesseum, which luckily enough for us the weather was perfect. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to the Metro line (except on the way where it was about 30 minutes!)
We payed 75Euros a night. All in all, a very pleasant stay, and would definately recommend to others.
Ok, so this is a fairly biased review, on the principle that I adore Reese Witherspoon, and again she doesn't fail to disappoint.
The film begins with Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), a blonde, pretty, head of her Sorority, from LA, who seems to have it all, the looks, good looking boyfriend, was Homecoming Queen (and a cute chihuahuha Bruiser). She is preparing herself ahead of her big date with Warner (Matthew Davis), she believes that tonight is tonight and that Warner will propose to her. Little does she know that Warner has other ideas on his mind, and believes that he needs to concentrate on his career on becoming a lawyer and breaks up with her.
Elle then has a brain wave, and realises that Warner needs to see her as serious, and believes that if she joins Warner at Harvard, then he will see her as this and will want to get back together with her. Elle then works her butt off, and studies, making a hilarious video admission essay of her proving that she can become a serious law student, and also passes her LSATs with flying colours.
Elle then sets off to Harvard, determined to win back the love of her life. Once there, she discovers how little she has really prepared herself for the school, and also discovers that Warner has already got engaged to someone else, Vivian (Selma Blair).
She's now even more determimed to get Warner back, and along the way meets Emmett (Luke Wilson), and the hilarious Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge)
Elle starts to prove herself at Harvard, and is hired as an intern for Prof. Callahan's (Victor Garber) law firm, the case being Brooke Windhams murder trial. Elle knows that Brooke didn't do it, but will she prove it?
Reese Witherspoon .... Elle Woods
Luke Wilson .... Emmett
Selma Blair .... Vivian
Matthew Davis .... Warner
Prof. Callahan .... Victor Garber
Jennifer Coolidge .... Paulette
Ali Larter .... Brooke Windham
All in all, this is a great feel good movie, maybe a little bit more appropriate for girls ages 14-18, but I'm 23 now and still love it.
Reese gives a great perfomance as the ditzy blonde, and Jennifer Coolidge is great as the supporting friend Paulette
BUZZ! What a great game, this is certainly a game for anyone, I bought it for a laugh, and thats exactly what I got.
I'm finding it best played with some wine!
I'm yet to play on the 8 player round, I need to buy another set of Buzzers, and also get 4 more players.
Some of the questions can actually be quite difficult, and I like the quick-fire rounds, as I tend to not read correctly and buzz in correctly to some silly answer.
Buzz! the presenter can get kinda irritating, as the Rose the surgically enhanced assistant.
I feel that it recaps on peoples scores to much, and I just want to get on with the game.
There are different rounds, and many different characters to play, as well as different Buzzer sounds (my personal favourite being the Chipmunk!)
I don't feel that there are enough sometimes enough questions per round, and that the game can sometimes end pretty quickly. Also I don't feel that there are really enough questions, sometimes they can be repeated when you play again (which is good if playing with a different set of people, not so great if they're the same)
All in all, I'd say that this is a great game, probably aimed at people 16+ as some of the questions are quite difficult. Would recommend buying.
So, I saw this at the cinema a few days ago, had seen the trailer on TV, and wasn't really sure if I'd like it, and I'm glad that I was pleasantly suprised.
The plot is about 16 year old Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts), a spoilt Malibu child, who seems to like rebelling against her father (Aidan Quinn). She pushes her father too far, and he sends her to an English boarding school, something which seems to have been threatened a few times before.
Poppy arrives at Abbey Mount boarding school for girls, where her headmistress (Natasha Richardson) who then introduces her to Kate, her mentor.
Poppy doesn't really know what to do, she has no mobile phone, no internet access, and has to wear a hideous uniform (although I remeber something similar, but mine included a red beret!), Kate tells Poppy that the only way of leaving Abbey Mount it to get herself expelled, where she would have to do somoething so bad she would have to face the honour court. Her room-mates (Josie, Kate, KiKi & Drippy) then offer her the help she needs to get expelled.
I won't go into the things she does, otherwise it may ruin it.
Obviously along the way, Poppy learns a lot about herself, and who her true friends are, an accident happens, and all fingers are pointed at Poppy.
Overall, the film is a real feel-good movie, I think it hilarious the way that Americans portray English people and their boarding schools.
The cast in the film were extremely good, especially Freddie (Alex Pettyfer) as the headmistresses son. Not sure how guys would feel about the film though.
I found the hotel using lastminute.com, and paid £64.00 for the night, which I thought was very reasonable.
The hotel was easy to find, well it was for me I had Sat Nav.
I parked my car, and headed for reception, which seemed to be a fairly long walk from the car park.
Check in was not so smooth, I arrived at the hotel around 4.30pm, and said my name, there was no registration card, and I had to then proceed to explain to how I had booked it etc, which I think is completely unnessary, working as a hotel receptionist myself for a leading hotel, I couldn't believe the check in, there then seemed to be a bit of a struggle from the receptionist behind the desk when showing me to her room, I'm sure she just wanted to get back to her desk and play solitaire on her computer. I also felt that she was a bit offish with me when I informed her that my boyfriend would be joining me later on, and could she point him in the right direction when he got there.
The room itself was very nice, the bathroom had modern fixtures, and the room itself seemed fairly clean, the bed was very low which I myself was not a huge fan of. And also it was an open wardrobe which I did not like, I don't like looking at clothes and luggage when I'm away.
Once my boyfriend had arrived, we decided to order room service, the menu seemed ok, but also very basic. Once the order was placed, about 10 minutes later I was telephoned to say that part of the order was unavailable, which seemed an extremely long time to find this out, do the departments of the hotel not communicate?
The food arrived, and it was ok, not great, and fairly pricey really.
My boyfriend got a call, and had to rush off urgently, leaving me, I had to check out early the next day as I had a long drive back and had to get to work.
My wake up call which I'd asked for upon check in was a knock on the door, which being by myself scared me. I then went to check out, where the night porter was behind the desk, and paid the remaining balance on my bill, I felt that the night-porter gave me a filthy and cheap look as I was leaving early.
Then on leaving the hotel, I had forgotten the code for the gate, and then had to telephone the hotel to get this again, which the night porter then gave me, but seemed very offish with me that I had disturbed him yet again.
I left a customer comment form about the room service standard, and a couple of weeks later recieved a fairly standard letter from a manager at the hotel.
I don't think I'd stay here again when on business in the area, and would look for a hotel closer to Stratford centre.
Abso-fuckin-loved it! Great film, and not just cause I love the series. Was so nice to be in the cinema, with everyone laughing and cheering at the same time. Did shed a few tears though, which is so not cool, glad I had my sunglasses to put on for when I came out of the cinema.
Samantha was as fabulous as always, and her cute little dog! OMG, I just wanted to pick it up and put it in my bag!
Carrie is still as needy as ever though which is just annoying (why didn't she just stick with Aidan instead of Big?!)
Miranda, great one liners as ever.
Classic scene with Charlotte and the dodgy stomach, almost wet myself crying with laughter.
Jennifer Hudson was so cute in the film, and can really act, not suprisingly from her Oscar win a little while back.
The movie was all about friendship, and to be honest it made me go home and call a friend who I hadn't spoken to in about 6 months.
Being a fan of Reese Witherspoon, I just had to sit down and watch it, and I was glued to the TV all the way through.
Reese plays the reinvented Melanie Carmichael, who has moved to New York, and is becoming one of the leading clothes designers, she is dating Andrew Hemmings (played by the lovely Patrick Dempsey), who is the mayor's son, and one of New York's most eligible bachelors.
As predicted Andrew proposes to Melanie, but there is a minor problem, she's still married to her childhood sweetheart, Jake Perry (the adorable and sexy Josh Lucas), so she has to return back to her roots of Alabama and get Jake to sign the divorce papers.
The only trouble with the film is the predictable ending, but then what girly feel-good movie doesn't have a predictable ending.
A great cast throughout the film, and Reese just shines throughout the film.
A fantastic book that dives into the world of a big shot lawyer, who has a heart attack. This then makes him think more about his life and he embarks on an adventure.
On his way he discovers more about life, and upon meeting a gentleman who has a similar life as him, he then goes in search of the mystical sages, who will teach him even more.
One promise that he makes to the sages is to spread the word of what he has learnt during his time with them. He returns to tell his stories to a work colleague, who before too long would have ended up like this.
The book is fantastically written, which teaches you more about the spiritual life. It's one of those books that you don't want to stop reading, as of the lessons it teaches you, but it is also a book that you can put down, and start re-reading with out getting lost.
I would recommend this book to anyone, I like to read it after a long day at work.