I've been here in this brand new building with my boyfriend and our stay was nice. Design Self Catering Flats with private parking very close to Barcelona main Train Station (Barcelona Sants) and Barcelona Trade Fair (Fira). You can easily leave the car in the park and get to the city centre on Metro or Bus.
A lovely villa, right in the city centre of Granada. It actually shares its garden wall with the Alhambra. It is a big place, with gardens and a swimming pool (quite rare in any city centre).
Bars, restaurants, shops and the magnificent Alhambra palace all in easy walking distance. Most of the terraces have fantastic views over the Albaicin (old Arabic quarter). It may seem a bit on the expensive side, but really isn't when you take a reasonable sized group and see the price per person.
We used the villa for a joint family holiday, it was perfect as it catered to all of us - adults, teenagers and the smaller kids. Definitely one of our top three family holidays.
Chain of 91 government hotels, usually in castles, palaces and monasteries, but also in some modern buildings.
Lots offer "Five nights", "Two-night Special", "Golden Days" (30% discount over 55 years old), "Young Persons" and "Special Offers".
We just went to Prague and wanted to stay in a nice area. We got a great deal for June at the Castle Steps Hotel.
We originally booked one of their cheapest rooms. The pictures looked great and we got free internet and breakfast. When we turned up the hotel wasn't full and they automatically upgraded us - we got a bedroom, living room and small kitchen!
Best thing was we had a small balcony overlooking a park and to say we were in the centre near the castle it was so peaceful. Wonderful.
Valencia manages to be both super chic and cheap, with a glut of boutique hostels and budget accommodation in the city center.
But the ABC B&B is no backpacker's crash pad; me and my partner stayed in this small bed and breakfast run by a young couple, and the rooms are minimalist and super modern - all whitewashed brick walls, futuristic furniture and plasma TV screens on the wall. There was even a mini Apple Mac in our room!
Despite the super-cool exterior, the owners have just returned from travelling as a couple, and so offer a load of homely extras perfect for a budget romantic break, like breakfast in bed and a bottle of Cava in your room. The original building is also a beautiful old apartment with huge balconies overlooking the city.
It can be difficult to find somewhere cheap and romantic, but the ABC more than delivered. There are only a couple of rooms, so it's easy to get to know the other guests, and you're just around the corner from one of the main squares.
Calle del Taquígrafo Martí 10, Valencia, Spain 46005
Five star hotel located out of the town. Cool, contemporary design, fantastic spa and rooftop (undercover) pool and jacuzzi were the highlight. Rooms were spacious and relaxing. The only down side was the distance to town and the local area is not attractive, however step on a bus or into a taxi outside and in 5 -10 mins you can reach everything you need.
The service felt a little strained, but it served its purpose. I would highly recommend this for a relaxing stay of around two or three nights on the way to somewhere else!
A beautiful and recently refurbished five star hotel, with the best location in the city. It was built to serve the Orient Express customers and the decor and ambience reflect this.
It was one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in, oozed luxury and relaxation, beutiful rooms with L'Occitane toiletries, lovely massage in the spa downstairs, gorgeous terrace bar and great service. Zagreb is a gem of a city and felt friendly from the moment we arrived. This hotel made it the highlight of my holiday. I loved it.
Two minute walk from the station
Riad Dar Najat is a beautiful riad in a great location near all the souks and the main square. The best thing about this riad is the wonderful, helpful and friendly staff who even take you to the square themselves (thanks Amin!) as it is hard to get your bearings at first.
Also the riad itself is beautifully decorated and in ideal surroundings to relax in after a day's touring and shopping.
Oliver, the owner, is also very helpful on the emails beforehand and he is great at recommending things to do and places to eat when you get there. An amazing experience!
Saint-Omer is a fine town in northern France some 40km south-east of Calais. Although it has some unattractive industrial quarters, chiefly connected with brewing, it is well worth visiting in its own right and not simply as a convenient break before leaving or returning to the channel ports.
The main square, Place Foch, flanked by a magnificent Hotel de Ville (1840), contains many good restaurants and bars. The adjoining small streets also offer good places to eat and drink, and the individual shop fronts are beautifully preserved (or restored) from the early part of the twentieth century.
There are a number of small hotels in the town centre, an Hotel Ibis, and other inexpensive chain hotels on the edge of town.
The abbey church, Notre Dame, has recently been cleaned and restored, and its white limestone exterior gleams over the nearby ramparts. Abbot Suger (architecture buffs will know of him) was born in St Omer, and Lord Roberts (of Boer War fame) died here in November 1914, and so missed most of the First World War.
Saint-Omer is 40km south east of Calais on the N43. The Office de Tourisme can be found online at www.tourisme-saintomer.com
I am recommending a way to find Budget Accommodation in Spain.
The economy in Spain has been hit very hard and now one in six Spanish are unemployed. The result of this is that many Spanish have had to move back in with their parents in order to save costs.
This means that this summer there are a lot more properties available on the rental market.
How does this benefit you? Property owners need to rent their properties out in order to pay their mortgage. Consequently now is a great time to book a self-catering apartment or villa in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca.
Villa and apartment owners advertise their weekly rate, but they would rather take a reduced rate than not fill their apartment or villa at all.
So if you know where you would like to stay in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca then I recommend contacting the property owners directly and negotiating with them.
There are several ways to contact the owners directly. A number of owners now advertise on www.ebay.co.uk. Another website is www.ownersdirect.co.uk which lists a huge number of properties for rent in Spain and allows you to contact the apartment or villa owner directly so that you can negotiate with them.
We booked a three-centre holiday through Naturally Morocco and thoroughly enjoyed it. Transfers etc were incredibly smooth and well-organised and going on guided treks and staying in small riads made us feel that we'd seen things we certainly wouldn't have seen if we'd been travelling independently. For first-time travellers to Morocco, like us, who are a bit nervous about what to expect, the people at NM are incredibly knowledgeable and reassuring and ensured that we had an amazing time.
The Hotel Argentina in Luarca, Asturias, is a mini palace, a box of delights, a supremely charming villa built in 1899 and still owned by the same family. Described as being in the "Indian" style, this merely refers to the fact the family were returning from South America with the money to build expansively - in fact think stained glass windows, high ceilings, balconies, exquisite china, rugs and paintings. Outside, a pool, and an extensive, well stocked garden to explore.
We were overwhelmed by the courtesy of the staff, two constantly smiling, sweet natured brothers, descendents of the original family, who came out to the car to help us with our cases, suggested we view the four available rooms to choose one, and allowed us to romp around taking endless poser shots draped over the chaise longue, and in the beautiful light through the stained glass. We walked into the harbour town of Luarca to eat, but kicked ourselves later when we realised we could have eaten in a small dining room in the garden, where we joined an Irish/Canadian and a German couple for drinks that lasted into the early hours. Both couples return year after year.
When we left we heard the Irish man playing his banjo - he belongs to an Appalachian band - it's that sort of hotel, you feel like hanging around all day and know you'll be welcome. The food is second to none, the ambience relaxed but efficient, and choosing one from those four themed rooms, all different but all utterly enticing - large and spotlessly clean with dream bedding and towels - was so, so difficult. When we stayed, the exchange rate was better than it is now; but the prices are per room, not per person - and what you are getting for that price, I have never experienced anywhere in England.
A great find! A beautiful family run beach front hotel in a small Turkish village. The warm welcome lasts all week! If you are looking for a taste of Turkish culture and spectacular food then this is the place to be! Bodrum is only 15 minutes bus ride away but we only visited once, there was always enough to do nearby. Local markets, horse riding, live music.
The Mandalya Hotel
Our visit to Cambodia was made the moment we walked into Mom's Guesthouse in Siem Reap because of Chhay, who runs Mom's with good humoured professionalism and is interested in ensuring his guests see and experience Cambodia from multiple perspectives.
This building has very recently been converted into the Almina Hotel. The rooms are tastefully modern and extremely comfortable. The breakfast is excellent. The hotel is within easy walking distance of most of the major attractions of Istanbul. But best of all are the staff - nothing is too much trouble and they all go out of their way to make your stay memorable and perfect. I strongly recommend the Almina Hotel.
Seville is a great weekend away on budget with both Ryainair and Clickair flying daily from London. A group of three of us stayed at Pension Vergara for €20 each per night. The location was right in the old quarter, close to all the major sights. For a great cheap eat, head to the local market where locals stand around eating freshly cooked seafood and sipping beers from the market bar 'La Cantina'. The food was much better than most of the tapas bars in town.
Pension Vergara c/ Ximenez de Enciso, n0 11 | Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville 41004, Spain www.pensionvergara.com/
La Cantina - Mercado calle Feria
This hotel is a real find, tucked away in the leafy suburb of Charlottenburg. It is 10 minutes walk from Savignyplatz station with its direct link to Schoenfeld airport. The room was large, very comfortable, clean and had a useful folder with loads of information about the hotel, the area and Berlin itself. The staff were courteous and friendly, the breakfast immense (it will keep you going til mid afternoon just in time for kaffe und kuchen!) and it was quiet. I think there is a suite of rooms which would be ideal for a family or a group of friends. I really recommend it.
Knesebecke Strasse 10
+49 30 54 71 00 80
near Zoo, Savignyplatz and Tiergarten stations and Kurfurstendamm for shopping
My family and I recently visited a brand new apartment complex on the Costa Del Sol, near Malaga, called Terrazas Costa Del Sol Holiday Village. It only opened this year, so there are some really good deals on one-bedroom apartments – ours slept four people and was about £300 for the week. We have young children, so the kids’ clubs were great. It also has a gorgeous infinity pool that has views of the Rock of Gibraltar. The kitchen in our room also meant that we were able to cook food cheaply and make meals that we knew the kids would like. We will definitely be back!
The place is a small guest house, but newly renovated and with character. It is right in the centre of the city, pretty cheap, the owner is a real character, very friendly, as well as a qualified (and Napolitan) pizza chef.
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