Portik Hotel in Berat, Albania

The Portik Hotel, Lagjia 28 Nentori, Berat, Albania, is a four-star oasis of modernism just outside the ancient heart of this Balkan city.

Guest room, Portik Hotel, Berat, Albania (Photo by Susan McKee)There are 36 guestrooms with dark wood trim and large windows. My room had two twin beds, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen television with satellite channels and a mini refrigerator (with a complimentary bottle of water). In the white marble bathroom, there was a walk-in shower and a hairdryer plus amenities by Prija — shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner.

All guestrooms have a work desk, seating area, and closet. The windows framing excellent views have double-glazing, muting the sounds of the city right outside the door.

breakfast buffet, Portik Hotel, Berat, Albania (Photo by Susan McKee)The restaurant is on the rooftop which also has a bar and provides a panoramic view of the city. The breakfast buffet was bountiful, with lots of choices of fruit, vegetables, cold cuts, and bakery items.

Portik Hotel, Berat, AlbaniaColorful abstract art, hung in pairs, decorated the hotel hallways.

And then, the unexpected happened

I was staying at the Portik in Albania during a photography tour of the Balkans. It was almost time for our group of eight to head out for dinner when I heard a commotion at the other end of the hall. Of course, I had to investigate. Through the open door to her room, I saw one of the photographers with our tour leader. He was apparently picking pieces of glass from her arm! She was a bit bloodied but (fortunately) it looked worse than it was.

Seems that she had decided to take a quick shower before dining. As she slid the glass shower door shut, it inexplicably shattered — scattering glass shards everywhere. Of course she called for help, and the tour leader plus hotel staff quickly responded. (In case you ever wondered what that “emergency cord” you sometimes find in bathrooms — as in this one — was there for, here’s an example.)

Another photographer packed up her friend’s gear to help her move to another room (with, presumably, an intact shower door). There was no easy explanation for the accident — all the hotel rooms had the same kind of glass shower doors. The rest of us decided not to tempt fate, and resolved that we’d just do without bathing at this hotel.

History of Berat

Berat, Albania
Berat is in the center of the southern part of the country. It is the ninth largest city in Albania, with a population of about 60,000. One of the country’s main cultural centers, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

There’s an old fortified area of the city filled with churches and mosques, many with still-visible ancient murals and frescos. Housing architecture reflects the influences of many civilizations that have managed to coexist for centuries in Albania, but the classic white Ottoman style is dominant — giving the town the nickname of “The White City”.

If you stay at the Portik Hotel

Portik Hotel, Berat, Albania
Rooms at the Portik Hotel start at $41, including the breakfast buffet. You can make a reservation on the hotel’s website or via one of the usual booking sites like Booking.com.

If you’re traveling in Albania, you might want to check out the Sky 2 Hotel in the center of Tirana, the nation’s capital city.

Portk Hotel, Berat Albania

(Review and photos by Susan McKee)

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