The Complete and Comprehensive Guide to the Neolodge
Dedicated to Serena, my awesome guild, and all the kind strangers out there who have helped me out.
I’m sure you’ve been in this situation: a smiling receptionist asking you to pick the Neolodge you’d like to stay in for the night—then handing you two pages of itty-bitty fine print. With this article in your suitcase, there’s no need to pull out the reading glasses. You’ll know which hotel you’d like to stay in, and which Neolodge you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, thanks to my 1337 research.
Actually, the term “Neolodge” is misleading. The full name of this ubiquitous group of hotels is the Neopian Lodging Affiliated Group, sworn to stand by each other in good times and bad (namely, the recent stock meltdown—we’ve all seen enough of Kacheek and Sons Landscaping). Since “Neolodge” is the name most are familiar with, however, we’ll stick with that. But I digress.
The first, and sleaziest, lodge is
1) Cockroach Towers
I arrived at the scene with a gas mask and plenty of Noob-B-Gone in my luggage. That’s how bad this place is. A cracked, drooping skyscraper dropped haphazardly in the worst neighborhood of Moltara, Cockroach Towers is full to the brim with thieves (definitely not as chivalrous as Hanso), ancient Skeiths slumbering in the sewers, and, well, cockroaches. I checked into the Towers without having to hand over more than a meager handful of Neopoints—and that got me a deluxe room. Unless you are truly suffering in the depths of poverty, you will always get a deluxe room at the Towers. This room has peeling wallpaper, groaning furniture, and dirty bedsheets, not to mention the, well, cockroaches. But I managed to have a decent night’s sleep, as long as I kept a small bag of NP with me for bribing the thugs. With the rock-bottom prices at the Towers, it’s not hard to get a good deal.
2) Fleapit Motel
The Fleapit, a squat, decrepit three-story chunk of brick near downtown Neopia Central, is little better than the Towers. The gangsters are there, the Skeiths are still there, and the cockroaches have been replaced with fleas, who will inevitably devour your Neopets’ fur. (A good bottle of Flea-Spray solves the flea problem, at least temporarily.) The Fleapit has several amenities on the ground floor, like the Fleaurg Café. I stumbled into the café one morning and ordered a hamburger, only to be offered the ‘special’ for that day: steak. More to the point, Blumaroo steak. While the food itself is remarkably well-prepared, it is also beyond gross. (The swimming pool is disgusting as well. It is an unpleasant shade of green and has small creatures swimming in it.) The Fleapit charges a little more than the Cockroach Towers, apparently owing to its larger staff and guest services. The Towers is probably a better choice.
3) Cheap Hotel
This seemingly uncreative name is not indicative of the CH’s success. A median between the blatant squalor of the Fleapit and the excessive luxury of the Presidential Palace, the CH, located in Brightvale’s minuscule business district, sales are almost always booming. But the robust revenues don’t seem to do much in the way of amenities. The lake smells strongly of algae, the food is mushy and mediocre, and the bathrooms reek of dung—I learned that the hard way. However, the lobby is clean and air-conditioned and even has a creaky chandelier on the ceiling. The many cracks in the walls have been quietly covered up with overly bright wallpaper, although the occasional cockroach still crawls in through them. Indeed, the CH isn’t a bad place to stay if you don’t mind dungy restrooms and have a rather tight wallet.
4) Mountain Lodge
I personally hate the Lodge, even though it’s earned a passing three stars. The “rustic” wooden floors are left unswept and windows are too often propped open, so all kinds of snow, leaves, and cold Happy Valley air finds its way into the damp, uninsulated rooms. The Lodge claims to offer the experience of being in a lonely, remote cabin where the only thing to do is sit by the (admittedly cozy) fire and drink some (admittedly delicious) Borovan. My stay at the Lodge got very boring, very quickly. Aside from board games, hot chocolate, and skating on a pond covered in unsteady, splintered ice, there is literally nothing to do in the hotel itself. The lobby, far from being awe-inspiring, is a stuffy, drab little room. The suites are quite the same, and the cheaply made beds groan at every toss and turn. Unless you really enjoy the experience of being in a lonely, remote cabin, this isn’t the place to go.
5) Ye Olde Ship Inn
The Ship Inn is currently docked at the prestigious Krawkin’ Boat Launch. Yes, docked. Although the Dark Skull is no longer fit to roam the high seas in search of booty, her owner started an odd new style of hotel in hopes of getting a legal kind of treasure—profit. The Ship Inn’s rooms are small and cramped, only offering enough room for a bathroom and a bed. The inn’s services, however, greatly compensates for that. Nightly games of Bilge Dice and Tyranu Evavu (started after a Tyrannian JubJub joined the friendly, swaggering crew) send laughs echoing throughout the ship, and the food is homemade and delicious. There is no swimming pool—you coat yourself with Salt-Protect and dive into the roiling bay. This unconventional hotel received a mere three stars from reviewers, probably because of the tight space, relatively high prices, and Pawkeet dung scattered around the deck. I believe the Ship Inn deserves a much higher rating.
6) Hotel Opera
Built inside a renovated opera house that still echoes with every step, Hotel Opera is a Altadorian four-star delight for the highbrow opera lover. Weekly performances by stunning performers (M*YNCI and Branston the Eyrie are rumored to be appearing onstage soon) and scrumptious dinners were enough to pull me in for far longer than my scheduled stay. The staff is polite, if somewhat haughty, and ready to answer to every beck and call. The rooms are fancy, the furniture is comfortable and appealing. However, the guest services are few and far between. There is a small pool and an underwhelming hiking course in the nearby forest that consists of a single asphalt path. That’s pretty much it. Clearly, the Hotel Opera is equipped to deal with opera fanatics, who won’t long for extra amenities anyway, and no one else. Even so, this hotel is one of the few truly unique options out there. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, opera enthusiast or no.
7) The Royal Neopian
This fancy-shmancy hotel towers over the competition in Roo Island, and shows none of the (at times unbearable) fun-loving spirit of the place it is situated in. Instead, waiters in coattails and stilettos elegantly set mouthwatering plates on spotless marble tables, and every employee, from bellhop to manager, wears pristine uniforms and probably come from overly affluent families. The rooms vary in size, from a lackluster economy room—too bad, because that’s where most Neopians’ budgets lie—to an enormous penthouse with a 360-degree panoramic view of King Roo’s palace. It all adds up to a vastly amazing hotel. I do have to nitpick one thing, though: the price. It’s far and away the most disproportionate rate in all of Neopia. The penthouse, while beautiful, is a jaw-dropping three hundred Neopoints per night—and that’s not counting the extras. While three hundred doesn’t seem like much, compared to the fees of other, more prestigious hotels, which have far larger rooms, it is wildly pricey. This one small problem ruined the whole experience for me.
8) Faerie Castle
No, this hotel is not situated in Fyora’s private abode. But judging from the appearance and staff, it definitely could have been. This gorgeous pink-washed hotel does indeed resemble a miniature castle, with turrets and flags waving in the wind. The Castle is currently the most popular hotel around, because it has surprisingly low prices for its five-star rating and dream setting—an enormous deciduous forest, a glistening lake, an ivy-covered garden—not to mention the fact that several luminaries, like Illusen, Taelia, and even Fyora herself, have been spotted out and about near the Castle. The food, which can be either a casual plate of Faerie Pancakes or an extravagant kelp-imported meal, never fails to please, and the rooms are to die for. There is literally nothing wrong at all with this place, unless I’ve missed something big.
9) Presidential Palace
This is the pinnacle of any Neopian’s life: to even check into the Palace. Its prices are exorbitant, but that’s to be expected when the rooms and service rise above all expectations. Here, even an economy room is decked out in silk curtains and bedsheets, top-of-the-line wallpaper and carpeting, and toilets that really deserve to be called thrones. It gets better. There are tennis courts, saunas, two massive ballrooms, and a spa. The staff wears perfectly pressed uniforms and is always courteous, no matter whether you’re talking to a janitor or the CEO. The food is always fresh, faultlessly prepared and expensive (we’re talking boiled Draik eggs on special occasions). Everything seems almost too good to be true. That’s the one thing I don’t like about this place—there is nothing unique about its unfailing flawlessness. A more out-of-the-way choice, like, say, the Ye Olde Ship Inn, might provide more lasting memories.
This green satellite orbiting Neopia can sometimes be seen from Neopia and is even mistaken for Kreludor—that’s how big it is. Although AstroVilla, run by NotSloth Inc., is very large, it has relatively few rooms, which keeps the prices at a premium. The cold steel walls and bored/boring Grundo employees are off-putting to visitors like myself, who prefer a warm, comfortable environment. My waiter, a Darigan Grundo (what else?) who introduced himself as Grundo_SlaveX1132847 and proceeded to serve me freeze-dried space meatballs, was definitely not the kind of service that I would expect from a pricey five-star hotel. And the rooms are little more than metal barracks with an unconvincing flower here and there. Presidential Palace, although it is considerably cheaper and has a few blemishes itself, is a far better alternative when it comes to an enjoyable place to stay.
So, there you have it. The complete guide to the Neopian Lodging Affiliated Group. Do you have to follow my suggestions? No. You may have an intense passion for roaches and therefore stay at the Cockroach Towers every weekend to huggle them, and that’s okay too. Just... don’t come within ten feet of me, ever. Seriously.
Enjoy your day!
Search the Neopian Times
|The Return: Part Four|
It was true, I was sending off a pretty clear, "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON’T CARE" kind of vibe, but inside, I did want someone to hang out with.