Palmers Lodge is amazing. First of all, it's an old mansion that has been converted into a hostel. They have private rooms available, but I only stayed in the dorm room and it was unlike any dorm room I've been in. The beds were SOLID wood (no creaky metal), and had curtains which was great for privacy. FREE wifi! FREE breakfast! There's a bar and restaurant downstairs and the staff are pretty helpful. By chance I booked into Palmers Lodge on my first trip to London (they were the top rated hostel in my searches), and I've been back six times now in the last two years. I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else in London and I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for a place.
Budget hotel a short stroll from Plaka and Monastiraki metro stop. It's certainly no frills but also clean and friendly. Double rooms start at 57 euros (in season).
29, Eolou Street, Athens
Nearest metro: Monastiraki
We stayed at the 79-year-old Brock Hotel that is now a Crown Plaza Hotel but it retains all the charm that it had back in the day when Marilyn Monroe stayed there while making the murder mystery," Niagara" with Joseph Cotton released back in 1953. Marilyn's room was in a back corner of the hotel for her privacy, but the view from that room is now blocked by the casino so we stayed in a room exactly like it on the same floor on the frontside of the hotel facing the falls.
I think it is the only hotel in town where the windows open so we enjoyed the sound of the falls all night long and even from our in room jacuzzi.
Before our trip we watched "Niagara" several times and during our three days there, we visited each of the filming locations and made a real adventure out of it. Kinda romantic, don't you think? It was our 30th wedding anniversary and we have always travelled to England or Ireland or the Continent so this was a big change for us.
Don't miss the bell tower! Try it... you will like it.
I know you can only take a 10kg bag plus handbag on the six-seater planes (my stuff wasn't weighed), but be aware that anything you need to buy in Canaima i.e. booze is amazingly expensive. Beers 10Bs a can. I paid 80Bs for two rum & cokes...
Do a bit of research into where you will be staying in Canaima. There are a couple of very swish places with fantastic views, but the rest are more basic. I overheard some European people in a group who were very unhappy with their accommodation taking into account the price they had paid."This is just NOT good enough..."
If you go up to stay at Angel Falls expect things to be basic. There will be food and "some" water. Take any booze but also take some extra water for cleaning your teeth etc. Don't forget the guide companies have to lug the stuff up there.
(Ear plugs are a must... snorers...)
I also recommend taking the tractor & trailer option on the way up; the walk is a bit of a slog. In the canoe our guide allowed us to spend some of the trip sitting on our life-jackets, but other groups were not allowed to, the nearly three hours sitting on a small hard wooden bench is not much fun... Shoes get wet...
I went to Canaima in August 2009. There were lots of mozzies. We didn't have to portage on the river trip up to Angel Falls but the boat was bottoming a lot. I can imagine that in drier times of the year there would be considerable scrambling up through the rocks. I was told that earlier in the year tourists were arriving with no idea that due to the lack of river flow it was impossible to get up to Angel Falls. The locals in Canaima had to put up with a lot of criticism when, in their opinions, the European travel agents should have been informing their clients.
We arrived in the afternoon and trekked up to the viewpoint (me 50 mins, my wife 1.30 hrs) - sunny and clear. The next morning the falls were covered in mist... tough on the group that had stayed the night with the plan to trek up then.
Of the gift shops the one nearest the airport was the most reasonably priced.
All in all we had a great visit. We had a great time.
A lovely home in Lima where Gloria and Victor host travellers, volunteers and students from all over the world.
This welcoming home is suitable for anyone who wants to live the local experience. By this I mean, being surrounded by locals and paying local prices as if you were a local too. However, assistance with the language and other services are provided such as; airport pick-up, tourist information, Spanish classes etc.
It's also close to all facilities (transport, shops, cafes, restaurants, the Inka market, etc).
The reason I strongly recommend "mi casa en Lima" is because my friends from Australia, Europe and US loved staying there and encouraged me to spread the word.
As a matter of fact, Gloria and Victor have had a great feedback since they opened their home three years ago. They offer nothing but personalised service and make sure you have a great time in Lima.
A beautiful cottage retreat to relax in near the Alentejo coast two hours south of Lisbon. You could spend the whole week reading books in the garden, enjoy the views and the wildlife on nearby walks or horse rides or go to the local beaches- popular with the Portugese over the summer, but otherwise you'll probably have them to yourself.
The Taylors are great hosts and will help introduce you to this beautiful part of Portugal having lived in Cortinhas for over 20 years.
Taormina, like the rest of Sicily, is unreal whether you're looking at it from a five-star perspective or sleeping in a makeshift tent on the beach... or relaxing on your hotel's own private beach, which I must say was definitely the feature that won me over about the Mazzaro Sea Palace.
Of course that isn't its only outstanding feature, just one of many in a structure that compliments the natural beauty and tranquility of the surrounding area so completely that de-stressing is actually possible here (but contrary to popular belief I DO manage to get quite a bit done on these business trips).
Not to mention that the staff is again kind and happy to arrange massages and such for guests, which is a perfect end to a hard day's work or even just walking around taking in all the breathtaking scenery. The staff is also really great about organizing outdoor activities, which made me incredibly happy since lovely as my room was, Taormina is not a place to enjoy indoors by any means. It's a sparklingly hypnotic gem and as always, I can't wait to go back.
Thanks Mazzaro Sea Palace for being the icing on top of my last stay!
Via Nazionale, 147 - Taormina Mare (ME)
And they did prove themselves to be 3 times lucky:
In stark contrast to the grandeur of old I experienced at the St. Regis in Rome, is the Premier & Suites, which I liked just as much for being as opposite as possible of the heavily antique style I'm usually drawn to. Minimalistic, yes, but this hotel truly does not skimp on the details, and puts comfort first. In fact, I'd describe it as a perfect fusion between design and comfort. I've always preferred the Adriatic coast anyway, and this really reminded me why (the city itself too).
The restaurant serves some superb dishes and is a nice break from strictly Italian cuisine (we all need variety, right?), and you can even get breakfast served on your own private terrace.
The rooms are absolutely lovely, and I adore the outdoor jacuzzi tubs that some of the suites have. I know it sounds strange to describe a hotel bathroom as beautiful and get transfixed by one you've rented... but I have to admit, I was transfixed... by everything else in the room as well! So now it looks like I'll have to find more excuses to do business here. Although I don't think you ever need an excuse just to enjoy a view of the sea :)
Traversa Settima 15 - 48015 Milano Marittima (RA)
Booked through the same headache free company:
For the first five-star hotel in Rome, the St. Regis sure has stood up nicely! Absolutely gorgeous, elegant, and everything one could want. I loved the butler service, it really made me feel pampered. I travel quite often for work and when breezing through amazing cities sometimes I just want to take a load off and let someone do the thinking for me. The exceptional service provided by the staff here, as well as the company I booked through, and the care, concern, and personal attention with which it was delivered definitely made me feel at home.
Travelling so much I hate leaving my dog at home, and they even accommodated him too, which I think was a very special treat :)
What really struck me upon entering is the sheer elegance, and the whole feeling of being transported to another century, with all the modern comforts I've gotten used to of course. And of course the central location was fabulous since I try to avoid public transport when I have to and this let me do so, while still being well connected enough that I wasn't obliged to walk everywhere (yes, you wonder if I can afford a five-star luxury hotel why not a taxi? I hate traffic and genuinely like to walk... so my dog is a good travel companion!).
People often knock the area around Termini, but it can be fabulous if you know where to go, and hopefully now some of you know :)
Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando 3
And my lovely booking agents with their site and photos: www.italiancollection.com/en/st-regis-grand-hotel-rome.html
This is a gorgeous boutique hotel close to town centre. It has great staff, a pool and if available book the suite with a jacuzzi as it has fantastic views across town. Tip: hotel is fairly new and taxi drivers didn't know it nor the street its on so show them a map of where it is.
Las Higueras 104 - Tres Cerritos. Salta
Offering of short term apartment rentals in Rome is enormous. Many apartments can be booked directly other by rental agencies. I recommend like Mid-range apartments "BHR" distrct "Tiburtina": near underground B "Monti Tiburtini" street "Via dei Durantini"; good choice, not far from the city centre and "Tiburtina Station and Termini station", the price of accommodations varies from month to month and amount of tourists.
Via Dei durantini,www.bestholidayinrome.com,nearest Tiburtina station and underground B
An intimate boutique hotel, in the rice paddies, yet at walking distance from the centre of Ubud, Bali's cultural capital. Eastern hospitality and Western standards. The best of both worlds!
Jalan Pura Gunung Sari 4, Banjar Ambengan, 80571 Peliatan (Ubud) - Bali
Intl airport: Denpasar
tel:+62 361 976586
Four houses - modern, neo-Classical, Baroque and neo-Renaissance - make up this elegant riverside hotel. Luxuriously appointed modern rooms, state of the art business facilities. Modern fine dining restaurant, softly lit and stylishly understated.
We just came back from our yearly trip to Europe. This year we visited friends in Amsterdam and hopped over to the UK.
Our friends in Amsterdam recommended an apartment not far from were they live: Prince Martin on the Prinsengracht or, easier to pronounce, Princes Canal. The location was great and not only because it was so conveniently located in relation to our friends. The apartment is close to the 'nine little streets' (9-straatjes) a cute shopping area with great boutique shops and also not far from Dam Square: the centre of Amsterdam.
We were greeted by a hostess who showed us round the apartment and also gave us lots of useful information about Amsterdam. We were also very charmed by the beautiful welcome pack which contained tea, coffee, nuts, cereal, wine etc. We felt very spoiled and very welcome.
Must do's in the nine little streets:
- Shop at Butler's on the "Runstraat": a small but great shop in bath, bed and table stuff
- Have lunch at Mocha on the "Berenstraat"
- FOAM on the Keizersgracht: photograph museum
Wurttemberg Palace is a jewel in Vienna's architectural crown. Lavish, luxurious room decor plus fine antique furnishings breathing the spirit of the 19C. Exclusive ambience and traditional food in the Imperial. Delicious cakes in the Café Imperial.
Kärntner Ring 16, www.hotelsresidences.com/austria-osterreich-vienna-wien-c-4_1.html
I wanted to make sure the apartment I was booking had a private parking as I went to Italy by car and I know what a mess Rome is with parking!
I've visited a number of websites, but I really like feelhomeinrome's facilities section which is so comprehensive: this way you can compare much better and make sure you don't miss any of the requirements that are important to you.
We went here for our honeymoon and despite the recent problems with Sri Lanka, this was the best holiday I have ever been on. We felt very safe in our hotel complex and didn't really need to leave it the whole time.
This is by far the coolest and friendliest Riad. Oliver is a cool host and the staff are great and can not do enough for you. When we arrived we received a warm welcome and offered many tips about the local area plus they gave us many suggestions of trips to take and places to see.
The rooms are spacious and nicely decorated. 5 minutes from Place Jeemaa el Fna.
I would definitely return to Marrakech and the riad - a great place.
First off, it feels good to be able to rant about something I did on my trip aside from laze about Tuscany.... not that I would ever give up lazing about Tuscany for the world. But it's not the only region in Italy with breathtaking views, and Ravello did a great job of reminding me of that fact. It's also a good spot for daytripping up and down without the actual bombardment of tourists you'd get in say Sorrento (not that Ravello is tourist free, but Sorrento can be as bad as Venice with that).
Anyway, Palumbo is DeLuxe to the nines and the views are absolutely majestic. My room even had a lovely view and waking up to the sea and my own little balcony was absolutely divine. So I splurged again.... it was worth it for the service I got, the relaxation I enjoyed, not to mention the fabulous restaurant suggestions from the staff (including the hotel's own) and of course SEAFOOD which I love :).
Another thing that caught my eye aside from the general elegance is that a lot of the little knick knacks and antiques really are personal touches, and have been passed down through, I guess the proprietor's family, over the years. I like little touches like that and it definitely separates it in my mind from "just another luxury hotel."
Via Giovanni del Toro, 16 - 84010 Ravello (SA)
And so you know, I stayed in the "Persiana" room:
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