Located in a beautifully restored old colonial house and centred around a lush courtyard garden, Macondo is a little haven from the chaos of taxis and buses outside. With friendly and informative staff, clean rooms, and even a kitchen (a real rarity in Ecuador), it’s the perfect place to relax for a few days.
Brilliant remote eco-hostel near Voss, surrounded by mountains, woods and lakes. Its own mini-hydroelectric plant powers a ski lift in winter and a heated swimming pool in summer. It even has its own riding school. Double/family rooms with ensuite bathroom as well as dorms. And you don’t need a car to get there — take the train to Newcastle, ferry to Bergen then train to Ørneberget, only 300m from the hostel.
tel: 0047 5652 3150;
These two cities might be easier to find accommodation in when Frankfurt gets busy. You can reach Frankfurt from them in 35 mins with the S-bahn, which is very practical. They are also very close to Frankfurt International Airport.
Mainz is a university town, well known for its Gutenberg Museum (with the first edition of the Bible ever printed) and for its beautiful cathedral. It is also set along the Rhine and is a good departure point for Romantic Rhine excursions.
Wiesbaden is a former thermal town, very pleasant and chic with beautiful houses and a great town centre.
This is a wonderfully relaxed bed and breakfast set in the stunning Sierra Montanhchez, near Caceres. Just the place to chill out after getting all hot and bothered with the wonders of Caceres,Trujillo or Merida. The finca is within easy reach of all. Great decoration, atmosphere and lovely pond, set into the rocks of a mountain.
This is an unexplored area of the Castile-La Mancha region, with trekking areas, charming little towns around the Jucar River, great food and cozy B&Bs. Also has excellent local wine production, and it’s super cheap. Great day trips to Cuenca and the Mediterranean coast.
Lovely taverna on Perissa's beachfront with wonderful, reasonably priced food and lovely service. The best food on the beach - much better than neighbour Charlina's, yet always less busy for some reason.
While at Perissa, avoid the 'club' Full Moon as the music is dire and the dj is very unpleasant if you make polite requests. Cds skip etc.
Also, the Athina Apartments are wonderful, just lovely - in a very quiet part of town.
Perissa Beach is very small, East side of Santorini, you can't miss any of the places mentioned.
Famed for its Middle Eastern thali, the restaurant on the ground floor is generally packed - and for good reason. Despite the rather minimal decor, the waiters are turned out impeccably in smart bellhop outfits, and the food is very decently priced.
B1/107, Assi Ghat, Varanasi;
Nathan's Villa was one of the highlights of my voyage around Eastern Europe. Within walking distance of the sites, friendly staff, sociable and next door to a delicious Polish restaurant - it's easily the pick of Krakow's hostels.
The coolest place to stay in Ibiza. Art Deco building, super-stylish rooms and a decked pool area to lounge in with a cocktail bar close at hand. Utter bliss. Don't miss the Electric Cabaret Bar at night for some naughtier action.
c/Carlos Roman Ferrer
Södermalm is the place to go in Stockholm for nightlife, bars and restaurants and the place to see some live music.
Columbus Hotell Tjarhovsgatan 11 is in an historic building 5 minutes walk from Medborgaplatsen T-bana has reasonably priced economic single, double and triple rooms in a 3rd floor annexe which used to be part of a youth hostel in the building as well as more expensive rooms on 1st and 2nd floors for a special treat. Traditional Swedish breakfast is included. Friendly staff, informal atmosphere (www.columbus.se/eng/info.htm)
Pelikan is a traditional Swedish ale-house and restaurant serving home-cooked Swedish specialities. A lot of atmosphere in this historic bar - made even nicer since the smoking ban which came into force last year.(www.pelikan.se/)
Check out Sodrafot cabaret (www.sodrafot.se/). They have a special series of cabaret events coming up on Thursdays in September and October (Teaterhuset Skarpnäcksgårdsväg Hus 10) featuring a band called Lill-Britt-Siv (www.lillbrittsiv.com) and other local cabaret artists. Check out their other events.
We couldn't get on board here as it's really popular, but it comes highly recommended. It's a hostel on board a beautiful old sailing ship right in the middle of the city. Book well in advance if you want to get a room.
Flaggmansvägen 8, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
Athome are an agency renting apartments throughout Barcelona, and I recommend them for their friendly, professional approach. That, and the fact that they located the perfect apartment for us, just off Plaça Reial but with the bedrooms not facing the street.
We were delighted to be able to sleep comfortably without the usual noises waking us early, as has happened in every other place we've stayed in Barcelona (regular visitors!).
Small, reasonably priced and clean 1-star hotel (but deserves 2) in a very central location between the seaside and the railway station - and great value for money.
Recommended by lots of major guide books.
Kevin, the friendly British owner, has a blog with tips on visiting the Riviera on his website, which makes for an interesting read.
22 Rue de Russie, 06000 Nice. www.nicenotredame.com, email@example.com
Tel: 0033 (0)4 93 88 70 44
fax: 0033 (0)4 93 82 20 38.
Five minutes' walk from the train station and 10 from the seaside; just off the main shopping street (Avenue Jean Médecin).
Earthwalkers is a fantastic, friendly, buzzing guesthouse. Run by a group of young Norwegians and employing brilliantly friendly, happy and professional Khmer staff, they have clean, comfortable rooms and great service as well as a welcoming and sociable bar and restaurant area. Tours to Tonle Sap, Angkor Wat and other spots can easily be organised, as well as onward travel - nothing is too much hassle.
One of the best things about staying at Earthwalkers is the chance to make a genuine difference in Siem Reap and further afield - Earthwalkers runs a fund dedicated to helping underprivileged Cambodians, and also co-ordinates voluntary work, as well as holding regular Apsara dancing shows by local children.
Some friends and I spent a fortnight in Venice two years ago and shared a furnished apartment on the island of Giudecca. We borrowed the shopping trolley from the flat and bought fresh produce in the local shops and cooked our own delicious meals. We felt very much at home, sailing across to San Marco every morning on the vaporetta. A not-to-be-missed day out is to the islands of Murano and Burano; it is a chance to escape the bustle of Venice and it is another opportunity to explore the traditional Venetian culture of seagoing exploration.
Small Italian hotel, some rooms overlook small canal and campo S. Apostoli, close to Grand Canal and Rialto, reasonable price and very friendly and helpful.
Camp San Apostoli, Cannareggio, Venice.
A glorious, seen-better-days, art nouveau masterpiece amid the tourist tat of Wenceslas Square. The gound floor area is stunning and the pavement tables are a good place to people watch over a couple of cold ones, though a bit pricy for Prague. We stayed here in 2004 and got the room for less than £70 via a Czech website, so shop around. Though the rooms are in need of refurbishing this should not detract from the general ambience, or the central location. There is a metro station within yards and you are spoilt for choice with trams, including the night service.
The fast food kiosks all over Wenceslas Square are best avoided, a charming young lady gave me change for Kc100 when I gave her a Kc500 note, when I queried this she paid up without batting an eyelid, obviously not the first fat idiot from Gateshead she'd attempted to fleece.
Vaclavske Nam, just south of the junction with Jindrisska; nearest metro: Mustek
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