The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #8
Don't spend your holiday in a tent! Read a review from your buddy, Brent! I'm back everybody, and it’s great to have another quality review for you! Now for the required introduction. My name is Brent, and I am an extremely dashing blue Ixi who adores maple doughnuts and flavour-changing coffee, which I may not have mentioned before, but is true. The Neopian Times staff has asked me to take a long holiday of sorts and review Neolodge hotels. In order to get the full experience, I have been asked to stay at each hotel for four weeks, an all-expense paid four weeks I might add. I'd like to give a shout-out to my favorite supervisor for recommending me for this exquisite holiday. Admittedly, it hasn't always been exquisite; four weeks at places like Cockroach Towers and the Fleapit Motel were more than I could take. But there have been trips where four weeks simply wasn't enough, like at Mountain Lodge. Overall, my trip has been a wonderful experience, and having visited all of these hotels, I'll know where my next holidays will take place!
My review consists of five very obviously titled sections. The first section of my review is called "About the Hotel". In this section, I tell you about the hotel; where it's located, how much it costs, how many stars it has, what class of hotel it is, and possibly some other background information. The second section is titled "First Impressions" and in this section I detail my first day at the hotel. Lately, the hotel management has been offering me a free tour upon my arrival, so you'll hear a lot about the hotel and its facilities in this section. Next, is my "Second Impressions" category, where I discuss my impressions of the hotel after having stayed there for two weeks. This section isn't as much about what the hotel offers as it is about how much I have enjoyed my holiday. Has anything gotten old? Has anything gotten better? What's the general environment like? You get the idea. After that is my "Final Impressions" category, which I write on my last day at the hotel. After staying there for four weeks, I sometimes have a great deal to say about my overall experience, and whether or not I would really recommend it to the ordinary traveler. My final section, "What to Bring", is a list of items that I would recommend bringing to the hotel if you are planning a holiday. I think that's enough of an overview, you all know how this works. You're much more interested in hearing about Faerie Castle, my very first five star hotel!
About the Hotel:
Faerie Castle is located in- you probably guessed it- Faerieland. It's quite an establishment; ornately crafted from lavender clouds and surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens in all of Faerieland. Surprisingly, it's not located in the city. It's located in a beautiful and peaceful part of the countryside, right next to a dazzling lake filled with crystal clear water that sparkles in the sunshine. The surroundings certainly outshine anything I have seen at the other hotels. It's the cheapest of the five star deluxe hotels, costing one hundred neopoints a day, one hundred and sixty for an all-expense paid day, and a total of four thousand, four hundred and eighty neopoints for an all-expense paid month. Expensive, but I'm sure that it's worth it. And since this is my first five star hotel, I am extremely excited to review it!
As I set foot through the silver gates and started walking down the even cobblestone path, I knew right away that this vacation wasn't going to be like the others. On either side of the path was a trickling stone fountain that was covered with emerald green ivy. The rich green grass was laced with vibrant wildflowers, and this may sound ridiculous, but you could, in a way, smell the colors in the air, the variety, the wonder. I strolled down the path, quite taken with the beauty of the gardens, and it wasn't long before I found myself in front of a palace of purple clouds. I realize that this is an awful lot of imagery to take in at one time, but the gardens in front of Faerie Castle are a lot to take in at one time, especially because colors always seem brighter in Faerieland. At least, they do to me.
After such a brilliant display outside the hotel, I was expecting something similar when I walked inside. However, the interior was mostly a very light purple with more prominent purple hues on the arches and door frames. Purple was everywhere in the lobby. Purple crystalline chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Plush purple couches were placed along the walls with a few purple side tables set with purple lamps. The front desk was even made from light purple clouds. However, the desk was right next to a fountain that was overflowing with rainbow water. The plaque said that it was genuine rainbow fountain water.
"Welcome to Faerie Castle," a striped Uni at the front desk said cheerfully. "Before you check in, I must ask that you fill out a personality test. It will help us determine which room you should be assigned to."
At first I was really confused. A personality test? But I took a copy anyway, along with one of the many Faerie Kougra pens that they had availible. I did want to make sure that I had the right room after all.
Question 1: When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you do? Stretch and take a deep breath, definitely. Question 2: Where would I go to relax? To the beach to lie in the sun. Question 3: Which of these words appeals to you most? Waves. Which ability would I like to be trained in? Invisibility, no doubt about that. Question 4: Others might describe me as...? Relaxed, probably. I am very relaxed. Question 5: If given the choice, which of the following drinks would I select? Black coffee. Where in Neopia would I live? Well, I have a lovely flat on Market Street in Neopia Central, but with these choices, I'd have to say Altador. I rather liked my stay at the Hotel Opera. And now for my score. I am most like an air faerie. I enjoy fresh air and have a positive attitude about life. I guess that describes me. I took my completed assessment up to the front desk.
"I'm most like an air faerie, whatever that means for my room," I said.
"Great!" she exclaimed. She handed me a glittery key on a poofy blue keychain. "This is the key for room G77. I'll call a bellhop to take your luggage for you. Once you're settled in, why don't you head back down here. I can arrange a tour of the hotel if you'd like."
"I look forward to it," I replied casually.
A cloud Shoyru dressed in a sky blue uniform took my bags and flew up the delicate cloud stairs. I had to pick up my pace in order to keep up. It's a good thing that the Royal Neopian had such a great gym! I had to climb a flight or two before we finally reached G77, where the walls were painted sky blue with clouds, like my bellhop. The carpet was a sky blue color as well, and at the end of the hall was a balcony. The glass door had been propped open, allowing gusts of fresh air to roll down the hallway.
"What was with that personality test?" I asked my bellhop.
"This must be your first visit," the Shoyru replied. "Here at Faerie Castle, we sort Neopets based on personality. Since you tested to be most like an Air Faerie, your room will be on the Air Faerie floor. But if you tested to be more like another faerie, you would be on another floor. Fire faeries are on the floor below you, and the floor above you is for light faeries. That's my favorite floor. The walls glow in the dark up there, and the ceiling is made from glass in order to allow natural lighting. The first floor is reserved for Earth Faeries, and each room has a view of the gardens. The basement has rooms located under the lake, specially for water faeries, and the sub-basement has been reserved for dark faeries. Of course, this is all based on personality types for Neopets, but we do get a number of faerie visitors."
"What's your name?" I asked.
"Jimmy," Jimmy replied.
"It's nice to meet you, Jimmy," I said. "And thanks for helping me with my bags. It would have taken me forever to take the stairs with my suitcase. You're really fast."
"Like I said, we get a number of faerie visitors. They don't always pay in neopoints. I've gotten a number of payments in faerie blessings."
I placed my glittery key in the lock and entered my room.
For the most part, it looked like the hallway, with the same walls and the same carpeting. The back wall of the room was an enormous wall to wall window. The most exciting feature of this room, however, was the amount of space that I had! It was as if I were staying in a converted ballroom, complete with white cloud columns. It was decorated well with a number of Air Faerie themed furniture pieces (some of them custom-made!), but there was still a great deal of floor space. The ceiling was exceedingly high as well, which is great for pets with wings. They can actually fly in their room, so long as the avoid the cystal chandelier on the ceiling. The bathroom, a smaller ballroom annex on the side, is very elegantly decorated. Princess Fernypoo herself would be satisfied with it, which is saying something. Have you ever met her? She is hardly ever satisfied!
Once I had finished unpacking, I strolled down to the lobby in hopes of getting that tour as soon as possible. I was promptly provided with an eleborate historical tour of the establishment. We started with a tour of the gardens and it was indeed spectacular. If you visit, I definitely recommend a garden tour! Fountains, waterfalls, flowers, trees, ivy, this garden has it all. There's even an outdoor tennis court lined with jumbleberry bushes. I can't wait to work on my game in the open air!
The next part of my tour featured the restaurant, which has two sections: First, there is an elegant indoor section, complete with long tablecloths and chandeliers. Then, if you pass through glass doors, you'll find that the floor extends past the walls to create an equally elegant outdoor dining area. The food there is said to be the finest faerie food in Faerieland, and if the scent can be used to confirm it, it does. It smells fantastic, and I'm looking forward to trying everything on the menu. They have more than fifty choices, and a number of them are vegetarian options. Each meal is at least three courses, meaning that this must be a very fancy restaurant.
The burger bar looks wonderful too, although it is not the kind of casual buffet that the others have been. It's more like a three star restaurant, where you are seated at an adequate table and given a menu. Then, you can choose from several options which burger you want, and it will be brought to you on a fancy platter. There aren't many choices though. There is a Faerieland gourmet burger, a rainbow fountain burger, a strawmelon jam burger, and a veggie faerie burger. With each burger comes a celestial salad, a faerie baked potato, a scoop of creamy cloud ice cream, and a drink of your choice. All of it looks delicious, of course.
After the dining facilities, my excellent tour guide showed me the fitness center, complete with swimming pool. The exercise equipment was high quality, which is important for pets who enjoy a good amount of exercise. The pool was excellent, and it was the first pool that I have visited that features a diving board and a waterslide. It's a small slide, and the diving board isn't even close to a high dive, but they still look like fun. They also have a little paddling pool for baby pets and petpets. The paddling pool has a small slide as well. And I've forgotten to mention the indoor tennis court! There's one in here too. It looks like a great place to get some exercise and stay active.
The last stop on the tour was the spa, complete with jacuzzi, sauna, grooming facilities, hot towels, coconut scented things, vanilla scented things, flower scented things, soap scented things, organic scented things, cucumber things, and a bunch of things that I can't even begin to explain. Each spa guest received a free bathrobe and a free loofah, making today the day I learned what loofahs are. (In case you didn't know, they are those spongey puffy netty things that make no sense at all but girls seem to really enjoy.) It looks nice, but I don't think I'll be spending much time there outside of the jacuzzi and the sauna.
After a wonderful tour of the hotel, I decided to get some dinner. Hoping for a healthy dinner, I decided to visit the restaurant and grab a bit to eat. I was impressed by the dinner hour. Each table was set with a faerie fondue fountain centerpiece, which was a nice touch. I started off my meal with a bowl of Soup Faerie soup, followed by faerie fruit salad, then heavenly roast turkey with pink mashed potatoes, Light Faerie sorbet as a pallette cleanser, and a blue moon sundae for dessert. Every course was a cullinary delight! Stuffed full of outstanding cuisine, I was very happy to retire for the evening.
Most hotels I can't really sum up in one word, but this one I can. Girly. That is the word I'd choose. I didn't notice all of the complimentary things in the bathroom until the next morning, but there was a mountain of bubble baths, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, hair brushes, combs, aroma beads, candles, toothpaste, cucumber mask cream, facial cleansers, lotions, towels, dental floss, tissues, bath salts, nail varnishes, gels, nail clippers, pocket brushes, and body sprays. I'm not sure if this is a hotel standard or if this is where Air Faeries stash the quest items that they need for their spells.
I'm also a little tired of this whole faerie thing. It's a nice motif for a hotel in Faerieland, but I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of faerie dust and purple. If you are a girl who loves faeries, this is probably a dream come true, but when you're not one of those girls, it's simply too much. I also don't like how floors are seperated by faerie type. It's a nice idea, but Jimmy the bellhop has told me about the other floors, and I wish I could visit them. The Earth Faerie floor is rumored to have an almost dirt-like carpeting, and there is a tulip boarder around each room and hallway. The walls are rumored to be covered with some kind of flowering ivy, and it has its own organic breakfast station. (Each floor has its own specialty area. On my floor, we have what is called a flight deck, where you can fly around. If you don't have wings, you can rent some and take lessons. I’ve tried it a few times, and it’s really fun!) The Fire Faerie floor is lit by torches, and each room has its own fireplace. On their floor, they have something called a fire pit room, where pets can prepare their own meals over an open fire. Of course, all of the fires have been enchanted not to spread in order to prevent accidents. The Light Faerie floor is painted with glow in the dark paint and has a glass ceiling so natural light can fill the space. On that floor, they have their own sun room, made entirely from transparashield and filled with relaxing lounge chairs. There are also a number of games scattered throughout so that no one gets bored. The Dark Faerie floor has a blacklight lounge, but I don't know much about the floor. I don't spend a lot of time with Dark Faeries in general. While not all of them are bad, many aren't good, so I find it best not to socialize much at all.
This hotel does have its features of acquired taste, but it is most certainly worth of it's five star rating. I have never been in a cleaner hotel room, and the food here is well beyond outstanding. The facilities are extremely well maintained, the staff is courteous and efficient, the scenery is lovely, the guests are polite and fun to be around, the laundry service is excellent, and my news delieveries are always on time. This hotel delievers both the Neopian Times and the Faerieland Gazette, and any other existing news source may be requested. To keep my reading material stocked, I have also requested Altador at a Glance, Brightvale Bi-Weekly, Battledome Digest, the Krawk Island Chronicles, Local Happenings, the Meridell Herald, Neopia Weekly, Mystery Island Monthly, the Happy Valley Report, and the Neovian Chronicle. It's not cheap, since I have to pay an extra ten neopoints for additional news source deliveries, but it's worth it. Being a journalist, I have always enjoyed reading news.
In short, I am having a good time at my first five star hotel, despite the fact that my experience has not been perfect.
I have now stayed at Faerie Castle for a total of twenty eight days, and I can’t think of much to say about the hotel that I haven’t already said in some of my earlier segments. Everything around here is excellent, neat, and well decorated, and I love that they offer so many complementary items to customers, just in case they forgot to pack something. The entertainment services are pretty good, but I wish that there were more people that I could talk to who weren’t concerned with spa treatments and Usuki dolls. In short, this hotel is an excellent resort, but maybe not for someone like me. It's a bit overwhelming. However, I feel that I should note that the food here is truly outstanding and even if you don’t like the faerie motif of this hotel, it’s worth roughing it for a few days to get a taste of the food. Also sleep on the pillows. They are unbelievably fluffy!
What to Bring:
A few notes on what I would recommend bringing with you to this hotel, outside of the usual traveling essentials like clothes and a toothbrush.
-Neopoints- As I mentioned before, this hotel lets you order pretty much any newspaper or magazine and even delivers it to your room. With reading material as easily accessible as this, how could you not want to bring neopoints? You’ll also need them for tipping bellhops and another staff members. You’ll want to tip a lot; the service is excellent!
-Faerieland Postcards 10 Pack- If you plan to tell friends about this holiday, you might as well have something appropriate to send messages on.
-Anything sparkly and/or glittery- It will fit right in here.
-Anything not sparkly and/or glittery- In case you want to do some major room redecoration.
Well, that’s everything that I can come up with. Faerie Castle may be excessively girly, but it provides very well for its customers, better than any other hotel that I have currently had the pleasure of reviewing. Now it’s time for me to head off to Presidential Palace, another spectacular five star hotel. I can't wait to review it for you! Until then, my loyal readers, this is goodbye. This is Brent, setting down his quill.
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