Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 192,927,879 Issue: 670 | 21st day of Storing, Y16
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The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #4


by cadetbush

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Hello, Neopia! Brent here! I'm sure you all know who I am, a fabulous blue Ixi with great hair and a successful journalist for the Neopian Times. I am a celebrity after all, having been published four times in the Neopian Times. I haven't made the front page yet, but I will. Just you wait. Maybe not with this article series, but something. I'm sure you all know my story by now. I've been hired by the Neopian Times to review the different Neolodge hotels. As a part of my job, I receive an elegant all-expense paid stay for four weeks at each hotel. I have to review it properly, you know? I handle this review in five simple, cleverly titled categories. First there is my "About the Hotel" category, where I tell you, well, about the hotel. What kind of hotel it is, where it is located, how many stars it has, the reputation of the place, that sort of stuff. Next is my "First Impressions" category, where I talk about my observations and thoughts upon entering the hotel, as well as my experience on my first day. After that is my "Second Impressions" category, where I write a bit about my experiences after having stayed at the hotel for two weeks straight. Then I write my "Final Impressions" category, where I voice my final opinion of the hotel after having stayed there for a complete four weeks. In my final category, "What to Bring", I detail what I would recommend bringing to the hotel should you be planning a holiday. That's enough explaining, I'm sure that you all know exactly who I am by now. Time to start telling you about Mountain Lodge.

About the Hotel:

Mountain Lodge is a cosy wooden establishment located in Happy Valley. It's a three star hotel (Hooray!) meaning that it is a luxury hotel (Double hooray!), the first one that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. It's relatively cheap, costing only a mere ninety neopoints a day (an all-expense paid day, naturally) for a total cost of two thousand five hundred and twenty neopoints for a four week stay. I don't know if you've ever been to Happy Valley, but it's a cheerful little village filled with ice skating Bruces, charming stores, snowballs fights, and beautiful winter scenery. It's also right next to Neopia's largest winter sports center! I'll be able to go there every day! Best of all, everything there is free if you are a guest at Mountain Lodge! How cool is that?

First Impressions:

After trudging through several feet of snow, I finally made my way up to the glorious lodge. The walkways were all neatly shoveled, and I could see that nearly all of the chimneys had smoke puffing out of them. I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but the roof is pretty much nothing but chimney pots. They probably need them to keep the rooms warm. It's hard to maintain a good heating system on Terror Mountain.

I walked inside and found myself in a neat and cosy lobby. It had been carpeted with plush red carpeting, and the walls were without any kind of wallpaper, letting the natural wood show through. It was insulated though. A big stone fireplace was in the center of the room, and the walls were all lined with plush couches. In each corner was a side table, set with its own borovan press and disposable borovan cups. Over the backs of the couches were knitted blankets of all colours. It was much warmer than I expected, though a bit small.

I walked up to the reception desk and handed a cheerful Wocky a bag of neopoints. I told her that I wanted a room for four weeks.

"You must be that reviewer from the Neopian Times!" she exclaimed. "What is your name? Brandon?"

"Brent," I replied. "And yes, I am."

She grinned. "We don't get many reporters up here. I hope that you enjoy your stay. This is a key to room 12B, and here is your pass for the athletics center next door. If you need anything, just call room service."

She then whistled for the nearest bellhop, a blue Lupe dressed in a spiffy woolen uniform. He picked up my suitcase and offered to show me to my room. I gladly accepted.

As we walked, he told me a little bit about my room. I would have my very own fireplace with plenty of logs to throw onto the fire if it gets too low. If I needed more wood, I could contact room service. I could also contact room service for unlimited borovan. How nice!

He then explained the problem with the hot water. It's not easy to have it on Terror Mountain. The water has to be specially heated in a room in the basement, and there is a limited supply. So if I wanted to have hot water in my room, I would have to pay extra. I was a bit disappointed, but it sounded fair. I was on Terror Mountain, after all.

We finally reached my room, and I slowly unlocked the door, curious what a luxury hotel room looked like. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't very big, but it was very comfortable. I found a large holly print bed in one corner, with a thick red and green quilt and two plump pillows. Next to it was a side table with a small goblet of cinnamon potpourri. The room had its own fireplace with wood piled up next to it as described, as well as a large bronze bedwarmer to put between the sheets when it got too cold. I found a supply of warm blankets in the closet, as well as two ceramic mugs that could be used for holding hot drinks. There was a window in my room, but it was masked behind heavy velvet drapes to keep drafts from blowing through. I even had my own overstuffed couch with a coffee table in front of it. On the coffee table was a copy of the Neopian Times, a copy of the Happy Valley Report, and a copy of Ice Fanatics Monthly Issue 5. I love free reading material!

The bathroom was nice too, made with a plain white bathtub, sink, and toilet. A rack of hot towels was on the wall, and I was delighted to find complimentary soap and bubble bath next to the sink. There was also a sign reminding me that I would have to pay extra for hot water, twenty neopoints per gallon. If I wanted a proper hot bath, I would have to spend more than two hundred neopoints. Maybe I can rough it for a month.

After seeing my room, I was eager to look around at the extras. My first stop was the restaurant, not only because I was curious about the food, but because I was hungry. I was seated at a table with a long white tablecloth and promptly brought a menu. The menu had two sides, one for hot foods and one for snow foods. The hot side was filled with different kinds of soup, bread, coffee, tea, borovan, cocoa. The cold side was filled with different kinds of snow food shaved ice, iced coffee, iced tea, iced borovan, and even iced cocoa. There was also a breakfast menu insert with things like smiley pancakes and chocolate peanut butter bagels, but a quick glance at my watch and I knew that breakfast wasn't being served right now. I just looked at the dinner menu. I had had so much soup at the last hotel that I was eager to try something different. I ordered a snow pizza and a glass of iced cocoa, simply because I had never had either before. Soon after, I received my food and wolfed it down. I was shivering so hard that I had to go back up to my room and thaw before I could continue exploring.

After recovering from my first taste of snow food, I continued exploring. I discovered that this hotel also didn't have a burger bar (that must be a thing with the lower hotels), but it did have a slushie bar with twenty-five flavours. I couldn't help but get one, even after my recent experience with snow food. I chose a nice, safe chocolate mint slushie and I sipped it slowly. It was outstanding! I had never had such a good slushie in my entire life! I took it with me as I continued exploring.

I found the swimming pool. It was an outdoor pool, complete with a small waterslide. Of course, being on Terror Mountain, it had completely frozen over. However, no one seemed to mind as they brought out their ice skates and skated across the pool. The indoor tennis court was nice too, but a bit drafty. I reminded myself to wear a sweater in there in the future.

There were a few places that I didn't have to wear a sweater. The sauna was nice and steamy, and I had a feeling that I would be using it often. The Jacuzzi was nice too, and it was filled with actual hot water that I didn't have to pay for. I spent most of my day in these areas.

After a long and relaxing day, I went back to my room, ordered a mug of the delicious Mountain Lodge borovan, and picked up some of my reading material. I even saw my latest article on page two, which was rather exciting for me. Once I finished reading, I tossed several more logs onto the fire, curled up under my covers, and fell asleep.

Second Impressions:

I absolutely love this place! The hotel is nice, but it's right next to this awesome sports center. They have everything there: sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hockey, snowball fighting, rock climbing, and even hang gliding! And since I'm a guest at Mountain Lodge, I don't have to pay for any of it. I do, however, have to pay for rental equipment to use, since I don't have my own, and for instructors to teach me how its done. I also have to pay for any food or drink from the Snow Lounge, this cosy little coffee shop off to the side. And when I say coffee shop, I mean coffee shop! Every kind of coffee, tea, borovan, cocoa, crumpet, scone, biscuit, tart, pastry, and finger sandwich can be purchased and enjoyed there. The prices for the sports center aren't cheap, but they are completely worth it! I've learned a new sport every day!

I also found a solution to my water problem. A guest in the hotel gave me a tip: to go into town and purchase a big black pot. I can then fill it with cold water from the sink and heat it to whatever temperature I wish, and I won't be charged a neopoint for it. I have definitely enjoyed a nice hot bath at the end of every busy day, even if I do have to heat the water myself.

I really like my room as well. It's a bit drafty on cold nights, but I have a warm fireplace, unlimited borovan, and plenty of warm quilts, which is plenty to whether any storm. So long as I dress warmly, I don't have a problem with the temperatures around here.

I also learned something interesting about the hotel. There is no electricity. The power lines keep freezing, so everything in the hotel is run with non-electrical power sources. The stoves are all wood burning, the ceiling lights are candles, and the water heating is managed with fire. An interesting solution to the problem.

Lastly, I'm proud to say that I have gotten used to snow food. A tip for you all if you come here: eat all snow food slowly and order a hot drink with dinner. It helps a lot, and I have actually started to like it. I've even ordered the occasional slice of snow cake for dessert, which tastes a lot like ice cream cake.

Final Impressions:

After spending four weeks at Mountain Lodge, I am pleased to say that I had a wonderful holiday. While the hotel was a bit drafty at times, lacked immediate hot water, and had no gift shop, it was cosy, with delicious food and friendly service. The prices are completely reasonable for a hotel of this caliber, and I might even go as far as saying that this hotel deserves a fourth star. It's not perfect, but a lot of those issues are based on the climate. The hotel staff has done an excellent job of combating these issues, and they are well equipped to thaw chilled guests. Vacation isn't all about relaxing, it's about having a good time. And I've had a great four week holiday at Mountain Lodge. If you have a pet who loves winter sports and doesn't mind the cold, this is the perfect place for them to spend an extended holiday. Highly recommended by Neopian Times reviewer Brent himself.

I'd also like to share a little something with you. One day, it was a Neopian holiday and the sports center was closed, so I spent my afternoon walking around in Happy Valley. It was actually very nice. I went ice skating on a public rink, had a slushie, played with wintery petpets, got tied up in a snowball fight with a bunch of kids, then bought ice cream for myself and the kids. Mr. Chipper gave me a double chocolate ice cream. I think he likes me. Either that or he was amused by a celebrity spinning in circles for ice cream. I'm not sure which. It's a great community. Just another reason to plan a vacation. Like I said before, this place is highly recommended.

What to Bring:

If you have decided to take my advice and plan a trip to this magnificent resort, then you should take a look at my list of things to bring. This list is merely a list of essentials if you are planning a holiday here.

-Warm clothes- I mean warm! The warmest clothes you have. You want Babaa wool coats, heavy, waterproof boots, a warm hat and gloves, thick socks, scarves, whatever it is you have that is warm.

-A big metal pot- To heat cold water with so that you can have some free hot water.

-Your own sports gear- Not a requirement. You can rent this stuff at the sports center if you have the money, but should you have your own equipment, you ought to bring it to save money.

-A package of postcards- You'll want to tell your friends about this holiday!

-Neopoints- Of course you need these. For renting sports equipment, for private instructors, for a snack at the Snow Lounge. It never hurts to have a few on hand.

That's about it. If you bring these things, you are guaranteed to have a magnificent time at Mountain Lodge. It's not like you wouldn't anyway, it's a great resort. Great location, great entertainment, great service. It has everything. I'm sorry to be leaving, but hey, hotels don't review themselves. I have to get on my way. I hope that all of my devoted fans have a marvelous four weeks, and I'll see you all soon. This is Brent, setting down his quill.

 
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