Already visiting the area in neighbouring Kosovo, we decided to drive to Tirana for the weekend. After a four hour drive through green mountains, the four of us arrived in town in the late afternoon and had not made reservations! Directed by locals to the Sky Hotel (next to the Swiss Embassy and near the quarter of government buildings), we walked in and got a pretty good deal: 100 euros/night for a luxury suite for two persons, breakfast, parking, internet included. (Regular price is apparently 300 euros/night)
We had considered The Prince hotel where you can get a room for two for 50 euros/night, but heard it was a bit out of town.
Our room was on the 15th floor, the top floor. We faced the back and the view the next morning was lovely, but there is a restaurant on the 16th floor that was having a dance party. It didn't seem to last all that long and we were so tired that we fell asleep despite the noise, but I would suggest that you keep this in mind. Our friends had a suite on the 1st floor and enjoyed that just fine.
The bathroom is clean and modern, all glass and chrome, with a rain shower shower head and bidet. There were robes, soap, shampoo and besides the usual shoe cleaning sponge and shower caps, there were spare tooth brushes with toothpaste, and plastic razors.
The AC was very efficient and ran on a digital thermostat. There was a safe in the closet.
The bar fridge was modestly stocked but the prices were really good to our North American minds. A 500 mL bottle of water was only 70 euro cents, although it is 15 euro cents from any corner store on the street.
Breakfast the next morning was on the 16th floor and included a good selection of pancakes, hard boiled eggs, cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, cheeses and meats, juice and coffee.
Parking is underground and and is quite secure. The elevator to the garage is key-controlled and only hotel staff have the key. Plus there are cameras in the elevator and the garage.
There is a spa/exercise area but we didn't have time to check it out. There is also a gift shop that has a good selection of not only trinkets, but embroidered traditional clothing, copper works, tea sets and statues and busts of the local famed Skenerboi.
There are many, many cafés and restaurants within walking distance, as well as pizza and burger joints. The hotel is right next to an "AFC", and yes, that stands for Albanian Fried Chicken....
Tirana was surprisingly more attractive as a tourist destination than I expected. It's not a pretty town but it has interest, including traces of the communist era. Beautification is on the municipal agenda, although the Lanë river is no more than a canal, the parks are not only neat and surprisingly garbage-free, and they are well-used by locals. There are even plans for a tram system. A warning though: traffic lights are considered merely a suggestion by most drivers despite the presence of at least 2 traffic cops at each intersection, and they say that the first thing an Albanian does when he looks at buying a car, is tries the horn...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sky Hotel is located in centre of Tirana and is just a few minutes away from any of the major government institutions of Albania. Our hotel offers the most convenient location and excellent customer service. Our staff is dedicated to making your stay a memorable experience by providing excellent service.The Sky Hotel Bar is located on the ground floor of the hotel. At the bar our guests will also be able to access wireless internet 24/7. Sky hotel is surrounded by the best cafeterias and night clubs in the city, so leisure is literally a minute walk from your hotel room. If you need further help for any additional service you may use our concierge facility at any time. Mirësevini në Sky Hotel. ... more less
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