I've spent three days in Split last summer and found this little accomodation in the very center of the city and near the port. The view from my room was amazing: my window was just in front of Peristil. This area of Split city center is very busy even during the night so you can experience a little bruit, but if you like nightliving you are in the right place. My room was simple and ikea-style, but anyway elegant and very clean, featuring air conditioning and even free internet access. These rooms are cheaper than hotel's ones, but more expensive than a hostel room. A sort of B&B without breakfast.
Poljana Kraljice Jelene, 2
Split 21000, Croatia (HR)
Tel: 00385 21 879140
Situated on the sloping streets of Montmartre in the heart of the largest flea market in the world, is Chez Bertrand, surely the most original Bed and Breakfast in Paris. There are three rooms to choose from, each utterly unique and designed and decorated by Mr. Bertrand himself. ‘Le Studio’ welcomes you to the moon with its lunar likeness, ‘L’Appart’ provides a disco ball and giant Haribo dispenser, but the pick of the bunch is certainly ‘Le Loft’. In this former fireplace shop you can sleep in a circular bed, or … a Citroen 2CV converted into a bed! Whichever room you choose, each comes with a complimentary 'French Survival Kit' that includes a baguette, a saucisson and a bottle of Bordeaux.
The eccentric Bertrand is both a friendly and informative host, having written a guide to Paris he can tell you everything there is to do. He makes a pretty mean breakfast too.
It is a B&B run by two women from Firenze for women travellers. It is in the heart of Firenze - and from my room I could see the Duomo and a little garden. It is small, cosy, extremely clean and you meet interesting women there. They were kind enough to put me up for free for a night as I was on a tight budget as I was travelling from India. Extremely warm and hospitable women offering a great service to women travellers. They also welcome pets.
B and B for women only
Borgo Pinti 31, 50121 Florence, Italy
Tel : 0044 203 027 7155
Santa Maria Novella station
Google map: tinyurl.com/ydmodtb
It's easy-going and easy to get around, with everything, bars, restaurants close at hand. This village house is good: well-equipped and attractive, although there are quite a few to choose from.
Boutique bed and breakfast in Prague.
If any European city goes out of its way to make the British feel welcome, in our experience, it has to be Prague. And the Golden Wheel, despite being sleek, stylish and thoroughly modern, has an extremely welcoming atmosphere. All members of the hotel staff were helpful and friendly, with nothing being too much trouble.
The conversion of a building with a history going back 500 years has been carried out tastefully, providing unique bedrooms – ours was more like a suite – very different to the standard chain hotel rooms.
The small coffee shop on the ground floor was a real bonus – we stayed in winter and the hot chocolate was a warming treat on returning the hotel.
The location is ideal for exploring Prague – the Golden Wheel is situated in the Lesser Quarter, squeezed between the cobbled Nerudova Street and the castle walls. It’s also only a short walk to Charles Bridge and then across to the Old Town.
Tucked away in a quiet courtyard in the heart of the city, this wonderful B&B offers large bedrooms with an art deco theme. Our room was huge with an additional dressing area.The buffet breakfast was a real treat, and could be eaten outside on the large terrace. We filled our plates with fruit, cereal, toast, yoghurt and after some encouragement- Tourteau Fromage. This is a cake unique to the Poitou-Charentes region, made with goats cheese and with a burnt black outer crust, apparently to keep the freshness. Despite its unappealing appearance, it's delicious and became a firm breakfast favourite! Le Grand is situated right in the heart of Poitiers and among a range of excellent restaurants and near to the theatre.
This place is just wonderful - peaceful and perfect in just about every way you could ask of a bed and breakfast!
Excellent and responsive service from the owners before you arrive.
Clear instructions on how to get to the property. Fantastic room accomodation which is immaculately clean. Exciting and varied breakfasts served with quiet friendly service (the best homemade muesli I ever had.)
Life lived with a Viennese family - at its best.
Five minutes walk, at most, from the metro (come down the stairs at the very far end of the platform, go out the left door, down a path, turn right, second on the left) and then only nine minutes to the city center.
One of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on.
I selected the Pension Vysehrad because of its quirkiness and size (only five rooms), its location (a quiet residential neighbourhood 20 minutes’ walk from the city centre), its exceptionally reasonable room rates and its charming website. Guests are invited to help themselves to whatever they want for breakfast in the well-stocked dining room, which opens out onto a lush garden with patio. Hana, the welcoming owner, had lots of helpful suggestions about how to make the most of my time in and around Prague. And pets are welcome to stay free of charge. I wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere else.
We stayed at Bob's Bunkhouse because they are the darling of the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree for hostels in Johannesburg, South Africa. The place was nice enough for a hostel (we even had our own bathroom) - but it's also in the middle of nowhere - and to get anywhere in Jozi expect to pay very hefty taxi fees. Bob and his wife are very nice, and they try hard to provide a safe and social environment - but the reek of cigarettes is everywhere, the place is filthy, and there are no local restaurants, either in walking distance or for delivery (except for very average pizza). With that said, Bob's has quick DSL, a coke machine that dispenses beer, and loads of hot water.
What makes a good hostel in Africa? If it were just the fact that it was clean and the prices fair, we would have been content with our stay at the Mufasa Lodge in Lilongwe, Malawi. Add on hot showers, friendly staff, Wifi internet, and a fun lounge bar in the back, and you have the best hostel we’ve seen so far.
After more than 30 hostels in 100 days on the road in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda - the Mufasa Lodge stood in a league of its own. Starting at fifteen US dollars a night for a dorm bed, it’s the best value in the city.
Kamuzu Procession Road, PO Box 7 Lumbadzi, SS Rent a Car Building, Lilongwe, Malawi
Overall, the Aponye Hotel in Kampala, Uganda is a very good budget option in the heart of the bustling city center. It is in walking distance from restaurants, markets, ATMs, the bus station and more. Approximately $40/night, the room was very simple, clean, with air-conditioning and hot showers, and Wifi in the lobby.
Apollo House, Plot 17b William Street, Kampala
Though they originally wanted $90 USD a night, when we showed them that the Lonely Planet 2009 guidebook said they only charge $46, they matched the price. From the moment we walked in the door to the time we left, we felt like they were trying to hussle us. The cable TV they advertise is actually one channel and it wasn’t in English. They advertised Wifi, and it worked, but only sitting behind the reception desk. And every request – from an extra towel to a fan (also advertised) for the room - was a major burden to them. After three months on the road in East Africa, the Okapi gets the award for the worst value.
BP 1775 Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda
Best way to enjoy Tuscany is by staying in the countryside - maybe near Siena or Florence, better Maremma or Arezzo. Good deals are on top of hills around Lucca - search for agriturismo, but most B&B are farms that rent rooms or self catering flats.
Search www.traditional-tuscany.com for real authentic farm staying. I know Loli personally - she is a lovelly lady and will find exactly what you need for your stay in Tuscany. Call or email her.
We’ve just got back from a wonderful trip to Australia and I have to say Pethers set deep in the Queensland rainforest is simply stunning. You feel as though you are truly in the heart of the jungle with all the bird sounds around you plus you are totally private enough to take a double jacuzzi bath overlooking the foliage with no chance of being overlooked! The treehouse room was bigger than our London apartment and we enjoyed our daily breakfast (delivered to the room each morning) on a huge balcony in the midst of the trees. We loved watching the parrots swoop overhead! It’s run by a great couple Tim and Ilena who were really friendly and made us so welcome. We had dinner one night and it was the best meal of the trip and reasonably priced. It’s not far from Brisbane -probably an hour and a half but you really feel as though you are miles from civilisation.
A wonderful rustic lodge situated on the banks of a lagoon which forms part of a flooded forest in the Cuyabeno nature reserve, this is a truly special location offering visitors a unique chance to sample life in the depths of the Ecuadorean amazonic region. It's an eight-hour drive from Quito (or a short flight and three hours by minibus) followed by three hours in a motorised canoe to arrive but the trip is well worth it and the journey itself affords incredible scenery and the chance to see anacondas, many different species of monkey, alligators and myriad butterflies in their natural habitat. It's also a must for bird watchers.
The guides are highly knowledgable about the biodiversity of the region and there are also local guides from the nearby Siona indigenous community.
Activities include day and night walks, piranha fishing, a visit to an indigenous village to make cassava bread (you dig up the root and then help them prepare it - from the ground to the table in under an hour and absolutely delicious!) as well as swimming in the lagoon with fresh water dolphins. The cabins are comfortable and the food simple but fresh.
The real find is that there are no mosquitoes! The flooded forest and the subsequent rotting vegetation below the waterline means the ph of the water is slightly acidic and so mosquito larva cannot survive. The cabins are therefore open and cool, and really give you the feeling of being in the jungle.
Swimming in the lagoon while watching the sunet remains one of the highlights of my time in Ecuador. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Cuyabeno Nature Reserve
Oficina Neotropic Turis
Pinto E4-360 y Amazonas
The breathtaking view alone is worth the trip to this cabanas shangrila eco lodge! Built on a cliff, 100m over the lazy Rio Anzu in the Amazon jungle, the view of the rainforest stretches to the snow capped volcanoes in the distance. After a day of white water rafting, canyoning, or visiting the local Quichua tribes in the Amazon jungle, sipping on a cocktail or relaxing on your balcony in your hammock, is the perfect way to watch the sun set. Our trip was booked in Tena with local tour guides, Amarongachi. It was definately a trip tailored for the adventurous traveller, but was by far the best we took on a year of travelling the world. Other highlights included the tasty traditional Ecuadorian food, jungle trekking, floating in tubes down the lazy river and discovering baby bats sleeping in the jungle caves.
Av.15 de Nov. 438
Tena , Napo, Ecuador
In the NE of Cambodia, in the Ratanakiri province, just outside of Banlung, is Yaklom Hill Lodge. There are 10 bunglalows, on stilts (like all Cambodian houses), set in beautiful jungle. The bunglalows are basic, but clean, with electricity only in the evening and hammocks outside for relaxing surrounded by the noise of the jungle, huge butterflies and birdsong. The lodge can arrange treks into the jungle or to nearby hill tribe villages. The lodge is also only 2km from Yeak Laom lake, an exquisite crater lake set in protected forest, perfect for swimming and chilling out!
This must be one of the most authentic rain forest retreats that you’ll find. About a 1.5 hour drive from San Jose you have to get to Las Horquetas to pick up some wellies and wrap your bags in bin bags to protect them from what’s to come. The journey then begins. The lodge is 15km away, but to get to it is like a world away. The only way to get there (unless you rent a horse from a local) is to get taken up in the trailer pulled by a tractor. This takes about four hours along a very bumpy track that you even wonder whether the tractor will make it – at one point we had to get out while the tractor got pulled up a steep slope. This journey is not for the faint hearted and on the way back down we and our bags got completely soaked – but that was part of the fun. As it's so cut off you really need two days here at least. We stayed three but could easily have stayed longer.
The ride up gives you your first glimpse of pristine virgin rainforest with velvet and feathery leaves of various patterns and textures. The final few kilometres you can get out and walk up to the lodge and the guide points out frogs and snakes and identifies trees and flowers. The forest gets thicker and deeper and then you come to a grassed clearing where the wooden lodge of Rara Avis sits.
You really are in the middle of the rainforest here, completely cut off in a pristine green wilderness. The ethos of this place is to conserve the rainforest in a truly natural environment. There is no electricity, no mod cons, the rooms are basic but clean with hammocks on private balconies, there’s no need to lock the rooms and a convivial atmosphere is encouraged with communal eating in the main lodge building. The food is plentiful and there’s an honesty bar. When you’re not walking around the forest you watch in amazement at the hand sized butterflies and moths in the butterfly house, look at the orchids in the orchid house, swim in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall or play football, Guests Vs the Rara Avis team or just hang out chatting to guests whilst trying to photograph hummingbirds or bats at the feeders or just relax to the sounds of the forest in your hammock!
The naturalists are knowledgeable and friendly and the lodge is even used for biological research, with much more of an array of flora and fauna than we saw in any of the other rainforests we stayed at, including stained glass palms – only found at Rara Avis, walking palms, 250 year old mahogany tree, bromeliads, leafcutter and bullet ants, eyelash vipers, frogs smaller that a one pence piece, coati’s and loads of birds. There are walkways through the forest but again these aren’t like the cleared wide pathways in other rainforests reserves such as Monte Verde. They are natural and very muddy (hence the need for wellies) and on one walk our guide was having to hack his way through the forest with a machete – this was a truly magical and authentic rainforest experience and nothing compared at the other places we stayed at in Costa Rica.
It’s not for the faint hearted though – this is a truly wild experience where you feel at one with nature.
This small B&B is only a few minutes’ walk from the heart of UNESCO World Heritage town of Bruges. It has three simple but stylishly decorated rooms with ensuite bathrooms on the second floor of a character town house complete with mosaic flooring. The host is friendly and helpful with numerous insider tips on where to eat and drink, and the breakfast - served in the separate breakfast room - is everything you would expect from a continental breakfast and more! Clean crisp bed linen, fresh pastries at breakfast, a warm host and cosy rooms - it’s everything you’d want from a city B&B so we keep going back to romantic Bruges to stay at this lovely place. Prices very reasonable too from £55 (single) - £105 (family room) - recommended for anyone looking for bags of chocolate box charm in Belgium’s self proclaimed ‘chocolate city’!
Cars can be left at the conveniently located long-term car park served by frequent free buses into the town centre, or if you’re brave enough just get the Eurostar into Bruges.
BED AND BREAKFAST
LUT EN BRUNO SETOLA
TEL. +32 50 33 49 77
FAX +32 50 33 25 51
Google map: tinyurl.com/y9ggxup
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