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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Chateau Eza – an Eagle’s Nest Hotel

Chateau-Eza-IMG_8185Full Moon and a view on St Jean Cap Ferrat

Chateau-Eza-IMG_8198An excellent place for Super Yacht spotting, here the 90m Lauren L, built in 2002 in Germany

Last year we took a few days off from our hectic life as hoteliers to visit the south of France.

I was able to make a last minute reservation for one night in a suite of the magnificent Chateau Eza.

However, there are a couple of things to note:

  • Eza is the old name for Eze. It is a little picturesque medieval and hence car free village on a rock approximately 500m above sea level with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. It is the first village west from Monaco and not far from Nice and Nice Airport. It is draped like an Eagle’s Nest on a steep hill. Hotel Chateau Eza is situated on top of the village, about 20 minutes walking on a steep uphill path, partly with stairs. It’s an excellent place for Yacht spotting.
  • If you travel by car like we do, you should be aware that Eze village is a bit of a tourist trap with few parkings. On busy days it is hardly possible to park your car somewhere in the neighborhood of the entrance to the village. Many buses drop by. If you want to make a day trip by car to for instance Monaco or Nice, it takes about 1/2 hour before you reach your car and you have no guarantee you’ll find a parking spot when you return after your trip.
  • Eze can be foggy, even if the rest of the Riviera is sun blazed. Just be aware of this, if you booked for the view as we did.
  • They run an excellent restaurant, but they don’t give hotel guests a guaranteed seat for a session in the restaurant, what amazed me for a 10 rooms only hotel.
  • Checking in into the hotel is a somewhat peculiar experience, as there is a little office for the concierge in the main street not far from the car park, approximately a mile downhill form the hotel entrance itself. The hotel site is not clear about this feature. It should be in my opinion. The confirmation of the reservation gives some directions, but are not very clear. The porter does a good job bringing your luggage to the hotel. All in all it took us 2 hours from arrival by car until we were checked in.
  • Friends of us stayed somewhere in the not too distant neighborhood, and we would have liked them to meet us at the hotel for lunch, however when we were settled Eza had closed the kitchen, notwithstanding they advertise, even today, on their site: Tapas service and à la carte salads are served from 12h30 to 18h00. Moreover with a 5 stars rating you may expect 24/7 room service for tapas and salads. No flexibility at all and that annoyed me most.
  • As a final observation: The neighborhood is rocky. On the night vision photo above you look West and see the light glow of Nice behind the hill and the traffic on the secondary road. It means if there is no wind, there is a lot of traffic noise amplified by the steep rocks around. Traffic goes on all night.

All in all it was quite an, but not so quiet, experience which I won’t repeat.

Chateau-Eza-IMG_8207

After a wonderful, but bit hazy, breakfast on the terrace we left for the Burgundy region.

Bits and Pieces

I’ve Transferred the links I missed from the old server for the second time to here. After my ISP crashed two or three times I’m glad today there were no crashes.

I’ve deleted most content from the old server now. Finally I can concentrate on other things than going backward and forward. Especially on the enormous backlog of posts I want to publish here.

Nobody tells you that when you export and import a WP site the photos you’ve uploaded get resized. In itself that is not so much of a problem, but but but, all of a sudden I find photos in duplicate triplicate or quadruplicate, depending on when uploaded and at what size put here in the blog…when I moved to Thesis I was glad to be able to post photos of 600 pix width rather than the old 460 pix width that I used….and now all of a sudden I am using far more space on the servers than I used to do on the old server….darn another cleaning job to do.

I’ve been under the hood of the design and have removed the background photo of the garden, because I found looking at the blog as a whole it distracted too much from the photos and the content. In addition it seemed to load from the server as one of the last items which made loading annoyingly slow.

I’ve changed the logo to one that is simpler and where the name of the blog is a bit better visible and without the tag line

With the 1.6 Thesis theme it is very easy to change fonts, sizes and colors of characters and colors of backgrounds. All in all the design is a bit cleaner now.

The next step is to bring the links and archives to a separate page and bring back the number of posts to 5 rather than 10 on the landing page and remove some widgets as they slow up the site. But then I would like my pagination back.

Stay tuned.

Hot Michelin Star and Hotel Newbe: Niven Kunz

Niven-Kunz-_MG_2269

The new 2010 Michelin Guide has been published and this is Niven Kunz of Restaurant Niven in Rijswijk, a suburb of The Hague. Probably he is the youngest Dutch chef awarded with a Michelin Star, or does he only look very young? Anyway, he’s now also a hotelier with 2 rooms. Congratulations Niven with your star and welcome as fellow hotelier.

I took this bit dreamy portrait photo last week when he was showing off at the 2010 Food festival in The Hague which was very well organized.

You can congratulate him on Twitter as Niven Kunz

Apology for my ISP

If you tried to visit me today, there is a chance you did’t get contact. All servers of my ISP Yourhosting.nl were down between 2.15 pm and 4.31 pm. I’m sorry. Also I have to rethink my move from my prior provider to this provider….Last time this happened (when I catched them) was March 6

Here is the screen shot from the announcement in the Dutch language:

Your-Hosting-Down-Nov-23-2009

They claim always accessible in their footer or do they mean always up? Well today we missed 2 hours and 16 minutes. Added to the 7 hours of March 6 that makes 9 hour , 16 minutes of a total of 8,760 in a year. Not very significant, but very annoying if you are in full editing mode.

On the positive site is that they now have a twitter account that responds. My prior ISP has several twitter accounts that don’t respond.

Open – Railroad Bridge Bar with Restaurant in Amsterdam (Dutch Design 53)

Railroad Bridge Restaurant

When you are used to pottering canals in The Netherlands as I am, you know what a Railroad Bridge means: A place you usually have to wait for an awful long time. If you pass Amsterdam with a sailboat from which you cannot or don’t want to get the mast down, there is only one window to pass the railroad bridge that is located next to Amsterdam Central Station: Between 02.30 AM and 03.30 AM. You can have a pint of beer in the nearby Jordaan part of Amsterdam to have a bit fun during the waiting. If you are lucky there will be a folksinger in the café.
Open Amsterdam
Recently a railroad bridge that lost its function was permanently put in “Open” position.  Now Dutch architects have built a sort of glass conservatory on the bridge which got the combined function of a bar (café in Dutch who loaned that word from the French) with restaurant. Very aptly it was named Open

Cafe Reataurant Open Amsterdam

Via Architecten Web