There are loads of backpacker hostels in Brisbane, especially in the Fortitude Valley with its buzzing nightlife.
But this award-winning hostel really goes the extra mile, with free pick up from the train station and a 'travel agency' for booking tours and surfing trips at cheap rates. The super-friendly staff will even help with finding a job on your travels!
The private rooms are like trendy loft apartments, but the amazing bar and cafe 'Birdee Num Num' comes as standard, with Sunday BBQ 'sessions', live music most nights, and an outdoor heated pool for late-night pool parties.
The best bit about this hostel? The on-site spa for a spot of pampering - a welcome to weary backpackers everywhere after weeks on the road.
Best place to book your accommodation in Lisbon. Their website allows you to search and book from their vast array of apartments all situated around the city centre. They suit all budgets and needs and also have lots of photos of each apartment so you can choose the perfect one for you.
They will also send someone to meet you on arrival who will give you the lowdown on what to do, where to go and how to get there. A truly excellent service.
They go out of their way to please, from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
Slottsskogens Vandrarhem is the greatest youth hostel I've ever been to. It's pretty much central to Gothenburg, and it's immaculately clean - from the huge, friendly communal kitchen to the airy, wood-furnished bedrooms. The staff are an absolute pleasure (and handily all speak perfect English), there's free internet and free bike hire, perfect for exploring the city and its glorious coastline. Although we didn't try it, there was a spectacular looking traditional Swedish breakfast on offer for a few Kronor. The atmosphere inside was brilliant too - we went as two girls just visiting for fun, and we met Erasmus students waiting for term to start, people backpacking across the world, and most days and nights we ended up doing stuff with them too. Honestly, I can't recommend it enough. It's also really near the Haga district of the city, the traditional old beautiful town with gorgeous cafes, and it's across the road from a frequent main tram line.
Just on the road to Humahuaca Gorge, Yala is a small village, famous for its lagoons, surrounded by the amazing landscapes of Las Yungas.
By the Yala River, La Casona del Camino Real offers lodging in comfortable private rooms and the services of Gourmet restaurant.
Adress: Pedro Ortiz de Zarate sn , Yala, Jujuy .
+54 388 4909263
13 kms fron San Salvador de Jujuy
Riad Maizie is a friendly, relaxed and comfortable place to stay. Although it's only a few minutes walk from all the bustle it's beautiful, calm and quiet. We were made so welcome by James, Abdulillah and Amal and would love to go back.
95 Derb al Kadi
This is the real thing - an authentic traditional riyad beautifully presented with courtyards orange trees fountains and tiling and best of all tranquil even though it is in the heart of the old city. The staff were the most attentive and friendly we have ever encountered and nothing was too much trouble and their advice on trips was excellent. The breakfast and lunch were unmissable and yes they really were included in the price as was the afternoon tea properly made in a china pot. Try the mint tea.
This is definitely a memorable place to stay.
This is a great auberge (hotel-restaurant) just above Nice in a cute little provincial village just one hours drive. But it's worth it. The view is magnificent and so is the food. The french chef really makes you feel how he loves what he does. Everything is homemade with fresh produce, which in the summer, comes from the organic farm which he runs with his english wife. Good value too! Menu 31 and 36 euros. But you must reserve as they're very popular on the weekend and during the summer.
Take the RN202 Route de Digne to Puget Theniers and then turn right across a new suspended bridge. In the centre of the village of La Penne just 13kms from Puget Theniers
This is a very old castle, with beautiful frescoes, enormous wrought iron chandeliers hanging by ropes from the ceiling, stone staircases and shutters on the windows that you can wander in and out of as though it were your own home. You don't need to take a book, you'll discover a new writer in the library or a classic you always meant to read or something someone once told you about, then you can take it and settle in a hammock under the magnolia trees with a glass of something delicious that will have appeared as if by magic. Or, if you're feeling more energetic, Clark might let you help him in the garden, weeding, planting, trimming and designing. After dinner, if you are not still in the thrall of the good company you have shared it with, you can take a walk round the gardens lit by candles in the trees, see the owls swooping overhead and identify plants by their smell.
Castello di Galeazza, Via Provanone, 8585, 40010 Galeazza di Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy
Tel. (+39) 051 985 170
Chateau Gauthie is situated deep in the wine growing region of Perigord, surrounded by charming medieval villages. The Chateau which dates back in parts to 15th century is set in beautiful grounds of about twenty acres with mature trees and a lake. Here down a small path overlooking the lake is a treehouse nestled in the fork of an old oak tree. Although it may evoke memories of childhood this is not something put together over a couple of weekends of DIY. It combines all the romanticism of a treehouse with up to date modern facilities. The workmanship and quality of the interior is superb and includes an en suite shower room and a balcony overlooking the lake. It is accessed by a spiral staircase and sits eight metres off the ground. A scrumptious breakfast is delivered in a wicker basket and tied to a rope at the bottom which you then haul up on a winch. Visitors have free use of the nearby hot tub just up the lane and a swimming pool. The Chateau, which is also a B&B serves an evening meal should you want it but it is nice to experience eating in a local restaurants in one of the nearby villages. This is the perfect intimate getaway.
Prices from 120 euros.
Chateau Gauthie. Monmarves, 24560
Tel 0033 553273033
When doing a road trip on the South Island of New Zealand, plan a stopover at Pah Road - a self-catering straw bale studio only 5 minutes from Kaiteriteri - the gateway to Abel Tasman Park. At NZ$120 it's much more affordable than B&B's in Kaiteriteri itself and much closer to Abel Tasman than accommodation in Nelson. Included in the price is a delicious organic breakfast, anything you can eat from the organic veggie garden and orchard, a bottomless bowl of organic eggs, milk in the fridge, real fair trade coffee, but best of all: the unique New Zealand "fire bath" experience (don't ask - just go do it!). Pah Road also provides kayaks and bicycles. Close-by are numerous boutique wineries, a brewery, New Zealand's highest flying fox and a refreshing fresh water swimming spot. Do not miss this friendly and romantic place when next in New Zealand!
Coco Loco is nearly five years old and is one of the best backpacker hangouts in Canoa. Owned by a friendly Alaskan woman and her Mexican partner (and his georgeous son mini-Mao), this is the friendliest hostel we encountered in Ecuador.
With a happy hour every night, small snacks restaurant and palm-fringed hammock garden, the Coco is a communal, friendly place that seems to be the hub of activity in this otherwise quiet surfing beach 70 km south of the Equator.
Beds from US$5, awesome breakfast, 24 hour hot water, great staff, hammocks, book club, trip organisation including an awesome totally organic eco-farm/school nearby, happy hour and overall atmosphere make this the place to be!
Just gorgeous place to stay for a vacation: beautiful, romantic interior, all the amenities you may need, great grocery shop just around the corner, nice neighbours, and of course the magnificent city of Valletta around you! But note: it seems you often have to book it well in advance (and no kids or pets are allowed).
Asha is a family owned and run boutique hotel with a socially responsible heart in Diani Beach, Kenya. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, where you totally relax in an intimate setting (only five rooms), eat great food, read loads of books, and pamper yourself. But of course if you really must do something more active snorkelling, diving and safari are also very close at hand.
Mesmear is a farm with a number of barns which have been converted to the highest standard. It is tucked away down a little lane close to Polzeath, Rock and Padstow so an ideal location if you love walking, the sea and great food!
We stayed at The Barn and it truly was a home away from home. So much thought has gone into this property that every detail if not forgotten - the decor is very comtemporary and luxurious and here are some nice touches such as local produce waiting for you for your first breakfast, an honesty bar, yummy toiletries and underfloor heating.
Mesmear also runs cookery courses which you can do in your property which was a lot of fun!
My husband and I found it was the perfect couple retreat, whether it be in the winter when you can stay in and enjoy the wood burner, or in the summer when you can make the most of the location...but it would also be great for families or groups of friends. Try it!
Family owned and run - Madame Papillon is the stuff of legends - this little gem is situated in the tiny village of St Jean du Bruel about30km from Millau. It lies in the Dourbie valley with views of the surrounding hills. Come here if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy swimming, walking and cycling. It's a warm, friendly establishment but its real selling point is its fantastic restaurant (which is worth a visit regardless of whether you decide to stay here - try the trout). Remember to book in advance as it is extremely popular.
12230 Saint Jean de Bruel
Tél : 05 65 62 26 04
Fax : 05 65 62 12 97
The hotel has the most wonderful location, stunning views, and is in the middle of no where - the only traffic is sheep! Food locally sourced and all furnishings modern, natural and luxurious.
Monachyle Mhor Hotel :: Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Perthshire, FK19 8PQ :: Tel: 01877 384622 :: Email: monachyle @ mhor.net
This must be the best I have stayed in. I walked up from the nearby beach looking for a cheap lunch. I stumbled over this place with views over the bay to the front and an ancient greek ruined temple to athena on a mountain to the left. The owner - 'el capitan' - is the son of a converted oxthodox monk who escaped to mount athos after the death of his wife. El Capitan offered me a free lunch if I would transcribe the lyrics of his daughter's song so he could read them - his spoken English is not so good.
I went back to the beach and suggested to my friend that we might stay at El Capitan's that evening for dinner, some drinks and a bed. We could not afford his rooms so we slept in his small-holding, underneath an olive tree and surrounded by tomatoes on two double beds he keeps out there for such occasions. We showered in his outdoor shower - a hose head held aloft by wire and surrounded by vines for privacy.
That cost us €5.00 a piece.
A great guy with a fascinating mistress and wife. All three of whom are full of stories, anecdotes and souvenirs. His wife keeps a collection of ancient miscellany from the neighbouring temple that she finds on her walks.
Kali Art Inn is an idyllic rural retreat in Hungary, near Lake Balaton. Nestled between rolling poppy fields you could be in Tuscany, but for half the price. Activities aplenty are on offer and I divided my stay between painting in the art studio, horse riding, cycling, and lazing by the pool. The owners homemade truffles and garden-grown dinners rounded off each day to perfection. Although the hotel is completely secluded, it is a stones throw from the healing sulphuric waters of Lake Balaton, well worth a day trip.
Káli Art Inn
H-8274 Köveskál, Fö u. 8
phone: (36) 87 / 70 60 90
or: (36) 30 / 92 28 715
fax: (36) 87 / 46 84 12
The hotel is incredibly easy to get to from the ludcriously cheap low cost airport of Balton, which Ryanair flies to. Alternatively the hotel offers transfers from Budapest.
I fell in love with this place for the beach, the food, the hospitality and the location.
Calgary Hotel is 300m up the road from the beautiful white sands of Calgary Beach, in a small green valley banked with mature deciduous woodland. The hotel has been converted from farm steadings but still retains the friendly farmhouse atmosphere and character, while creating comfortable and attractive accommodation.
The owners are artists and put on fabulous exhitibitions by local crafts people.
Finally, the food is to die for - local produce cooked to perfection.
Calgary, by Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Scotland, PA75 6QW
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