The Ellington is one of the hotels that wants to be it all at once, but conceals it so well that it achieves harmony, after all. Here a little art deco, there a little modernism, and a lot of 50s in between: What might be confusing elsewhere is hardly worth noticing in the Ellington. The lobby: Heavy chandeliers, playful staircases, glass ornaments. The rooms: Everything different, once trendy, other times African, then Scandinavian or Louis XVI, some with, some without balcony.The breakfast: Classic croissants, but also ham, cheese and orange juice. During Happy Hour at night they serve Duke Ellington and Ray Charles, in line with the atmosphere of the 50s and the old leather sofas, the images of jazz stars on the walls, the piano at one end and the fireplace at the other end of the rooms.Finally, in the courtyard: Southern Spain, cast iron chairs and beige cushioning. Too much? Not for world and time travellers. If you prefer to travel linearly, you should sleep somewhere else. Doubles start at 180,- euros per night.
HI says Hi! and that's it. If you look for the stiff concierge with the lifted eyebrow, you are definitely at the wrong address. If you need help, you are as well. In the HI hotel the young but inexperienced personnel welcomes you in the pink light of the design hotel.The advantage: You are at eye level and don't need to deal with odd arrogant glances so common in other luxury hotels. The disadvantage: It doesn't go much beyond the casual Hi! You are expected to develop a lot of your own initiative. The champagne dispenser is self service, and you can decide between whole food and whole food breakfast buffet. You may take your food to your room or into the garden, which, with its coconut palm trees and bamboo, makes a very nice impression. Matali Crasset, a student of the unavoidable master Philippe Starck, is responsible for this design wonder and she thought up quite a storm for her first project: For example the stand-alone bathtubs, that are separated from the bed only with a screen, which simultaneously works as a video beamer. Doubles starting at 269,- euros per night.