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Most people that love traveling as much as I do cannot really take too many expensive trips, as it will dry out any funds you have for future travels. Backpacking is one of my favorite ways to see the world, as it not only helps you save on money, but it also gives you a unique sense of freedom. That said, it is nice to indulge in a little bit of luxury once in a while – especially when you have spent way too long traveling on a budget.
When you visit Albania, you will probably be amazed at how cheap it can be to travel and live here. So, if you play your cards right, you might even end up with a few extra money to spare and buy yourself a little something special. For when that time comes, or for when you decide to treat yourself to a night of luxury, here are my top picks for lavish hotels around Albania.
The Hermes Tirana Hotel could not be more perfect for visitors looking to spend some time in the country’s capital. Located right in the heart of the city, it will serve as the ideal venue from where to walk to some of the city’s greatest attractions or venture out into the vibrant nightlife. It is close to the Palace of Congress, the Pyramid, and the famous Selman Stermasi Stadium, while it is also close to the National Art Gallery and the Ministry of Defence. Its premises span over three floors, with a laid-back lounge taking up most of the space on the ground floor. Here you can spend some time relaxing and drinking your tea before you walk out to face the hectic pace of daily routine in Tirana.
The hotel gives you a sense of luxury, yet it is not overburdened with kitsch decorations. Instead, it focuses more on providing a well-rounded experience to guests: it offers a 24/7 reception desk and a lavish breakfast buffet. What really sets it apart, is that its facilities include a restaurant, a coffee shop that serves a great cup of coffee, as well as its own nightclub and a casino offering some of the most popular games like roulette – where players bet on the outcome of the spin of the wheel according to number, color and odd or even numbers – blackjack, and card games. And if you get tired, you can always head to the top floor, where you will find a terrace to bask in the sun and a solarium to work on your tan if sunbathing doesn’t cut it!
There is a particular type of traveler that tends to rely on familiar brand names – admittedly, I sometimes do, too. If you recognize yourself in that description, then The Plaza Tirana is a great choice for you. Situated in an impressive 23-floor tower that hosts 190 rooms, it will give you a real sense of extravaganza by going the extra mile: you will find fluffy bathrobes and warm slippers in your room, while you are greeted with free valet parking. They can even arrange to pick you up and drop you off from the airport if you talk to them in advance.
The Plaza Tirana is all about offering you a choice: it houses no less than three restaurants with an impressive menu, and another three bar areas/lounges. If you find all that luxury a bit too much to take, head down to their “Oblivion Wellness Spa” or hit their gym that is open 24 hours. It is just around the corner from some of the most iconic places in Tirana, like the Et’Hem Bey Mosque and the stunning Palace of Culture, while the Toptani Shopping Center is just minutes away on foot.
Mak Albania Hotel is a true gem in the city of Tirana. A five-star venue, it has 151 lavishly decorated rooms – including a Presidential Suite if you are feeling a bit indulging. Its wellness facilities set it apart: here you can enjoy a Thai massage, swim in an indoor heated pool during winter time and plunge into the outdoor pool in the summer. It is minutes away from the Qemal Stafa Stadium and the famous University of Tirana, while the pyramid is also in walking distance. The cherry on top? Pets are allowed in the Mak Albania Hotel – ideal if you don’t want to be apart from your dog for too long.
If you care to leave the Albanian capital to pay a visit to what is widely considered the Albanian Riviera, then head over to Hotel Adriatik. As the name suggests, it is situated on the Adriatic coast in Durres – and is the only 5-star luxury hotel in the area. It underwent a major renovation in 2017, 60 years after Albania’s infamous dictator Enver Hoxha ordered its construction in 1957. It is considered a historic landmark and has hosted diplomats and heads of states from around the world. Beyond its variety of 70 rooms, you will also find two restaurants, a fitness centre, and an outdoor pool.
So, whichever venue you choose, whether for a night or for the whole of your holiday, make the most of it – but also remember to explore your surroundings, too!
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