It is a very popular hill station, some 1 and half hour drive from Islamabad. I recommend it because Islamabad, during summers, can become hot and bad. So you need to run away from that heat. Murree is a fine option. NOTE: Avoid going to Murree during summer holidays as it is full and dirty. So many people rush there that its usefulness becomes void.
It is 1.5 hour drive from Islamabad.
Yes, I'm sure Islamabad and many other Asian cities are "charmimg" if viewed from a delightful hotel with wonderful food and a lovely pool.
My experience, staying at a mid-price hotel, was that it was dirty, smelly, soulless, alcohol-free and with crap food unless you were invited to the home of a seriously rich family. I found it impossible to walk anywhere without attracting a crowd of gawping men (I was a modestly-dressed 40-something at the time). I saw virtually nothing of any cultural, architectural or historical interest AND I came back with galloping dysentry!
If I had to say something positive, it would be get out of the place and up into the Murree Hills where at least it's cooler.
This is an exquisite hotel, listed in The Best Small Hotels in the World. Service is excellent, no tips allowed, and the food is generally very good.
The website for the Serena Hotels is: www.serenahotels.com/pakistan/islamabad/home.htm
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