Casa Carlita is a casa particular with the feel of a B&B - a set of three guest rooms with an immaculate shared bathroom.
The casa is located right next to Havana University and within a short walk of Havana Libre and The Nacional, two big hotels where you can change money, hire a car, book excursions or top up on food/drink.
The Casa offers good food whenever you want it, though it is located in the Vedado area, which also has a range of alternatives. Vedado is supposedly great for nightclubs, though we hit it while jetlagged on a Monday, so can't vouch for this.
It is a 30 minute walk (or $2-4 taxi ride) along the Malecon (sea wall) to Old Havana. We stayed in Old Havana later in our trip but would be happy to stay in Vedado again.
This was a great first stop on our tour of Cuba. It was also good value. I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
Avenida San Lazaro no 1207
entre Mazon y Basarrate
A beautiful Edwardian building in the Nob Hill area of town The Golden Gate Hotel ticks all the boxes. The hotel is wonderfully original with an amazing old fashioned lift to take you to the upper floors. Homely doesn't even begin to describe this small family run hotel, from the morning croissants and juice, to the complimentary tea and home baked cookies every afternoon, not to mention Pip the curious ginger cat and Cookie the aging Golden Retriever who lend their images to the hotel's logo. The Golden Gate Hotel is what all B and B's should aspire to be and John and Renate are kind and informative hosts. They were even nice enough to post me my dressing gown back to the UK after I left it behind post check out! Located right next to Chinatown and the main shopping districts of San Francisco and on the beautiful cable car line one could not wish for a better location.
775 Bush Street, San Francisco
Powell Street Station
An historic Inn 15 mins from downtown San Francisco across the Golden Gate bridge with stunning views of the city and the Bay. Just a five minute walk to the ferry crossing through streets of funky boutiques, museums, eateries and scented gardens. Finely furnished historic Inn with wonderful touches of detail.
This is the absolutely ideal place - as originally recommended by the Guardian. Perfect and funky attention to detail, great and helpful service, the right balance of privacy and community if you want it, easy access to the best of both worlds - old and new city; stunning views, no traffic noise as it's in the middle of the UNESCO world heritage pedestrian zone of the Arab old city, the Albaicin. And it turns out to be the absolute cheapest option in town - if there are more than two of you travelling together, it even works out cheaper than a bunk in a backpackers dorm. So with the individual kitchen in each apartment this is an ideal budget location, too. Or use it as a hotel, don't even bother cooking, and dine out in style in the fab tapas bars and restaurants all around.
Fatima is a fantastic landlady. Very helpful, her breakfasts were the best I have ever tasted at a hostel and we even joined Fatima at the local Carnival Bloco. Due to another hostel canceling our booking at the last minute in carnival weekend, Fatima kindly found us a temporary room, for which we are eternally grateful.
Located in quiet, safe part of Leblon district and very close to banks , bars , supermarket , restaurants etc.. Cleanest beach in Rio only about five minutes walk away. Excellent transport links to rest of Rio.
I highly recommend this place.
Fatima Macintyre Guesthouse, Rua General Venancio Flores, 555 Ap. 101, Rio de Janeiro, 22441-090, Brazil
I took my kids camping during half term and we spent an afternoon catching crabs. And then put them back.
We stayed at the only campsite open in this part of the New Forest called solent view camping.
Andorra to snowboard or ski, it is very cheap and has fantastic resorts with good snow. The best thing after a day of full exercise snowboarding is a spa session in Caldea, it is another experience. Highly recommend to go there and have a go. You will go back.
Haight Street - legendary. The Red Victorian - legendary. So where else to stay in San Francsico? Great, quirky B&B, think peace and love people! The decor is weird to eclectic but I think it gives you that 'authentic, hippie feel' if that's not a contradiction in terms.
In the mornings you eat brekkie and have 'conversations' with other guests on a wide range of topics, you can drink coffee in the peace cafde or just chill out. Best thing is it's slap bang in the middle of Haight St (ignore the gap on the corner of Haight and Asbury - what a travesty.) Head to Amoeba Records for discount CD's or to trade yours for new albums. Seriously, it's the best store in the world.
Lovely B&B near Point Reyes which is a little way out of San Francsico (oh ok, about an hour's drive) but worth it for the absolutely stunning views.
The Inn looks like a giant treehouse and set in a forest it feels like one. Big open fire, huge windows and fantastic breakfasts. I stayed in the Lupine room which was beautiful - slanted ceilings, peaceful and the sort of place you felt the impulse to write a best-selling novel in!
No, not cheap - if you want that stay in a crusty motel. But a real experience.
Take a hike at the late season in Aviemore (Scotland rocks for snowboarding - don't listen to the fairweather types) and session a kicker. You never know, you may even see the sun and be able to session in a t-shirt!
Stay for the night in Aviemore and have a nice tip of whiskey at the end of the night.
Aviemore, Scotland. At the Cairngorm mountain resort
When shopping or booking a trip, discounts and special offers are always welcome, especially nowadays. This summer the coolest travel deal seems to come from Marrakech, Morocco where Riad Kniza, a high end boutique hotel, is proposing to its guests a “Pay What You Feel Fair” offer. It’s very simple: at the end of your stay you decide how much you wish to pay depending on your level of satisfaction. As advertised in Riad Kniza’s website “can’t get fairer than that”.
A little way away from Keystone but there's is a ridiculously attentive bus service which makes not having a car no problem. I booked a one bedroom condo with a loft room expecting it to be compact but it was massive. The condo was serviced every day which I hadn't expected in self-catering and it had access to an outdoor heated pool and hot tub. Because of its location it was much cheaper than any place in River Run village so if you can handle the bus these condos are a great deal.
We stayed in this apartment during a recent trip to Italy and wished we had been able to stay longer. It's in a lovely little village called Loro Ciuffenna and is a perfect base for anyone wanting to live the Tuscan experience. Best for longer stays (a week or more) and for people who have access to a car to be able to get around to all the fabulous tiny places that nobody gets to see. Run by an American woman, Barbara (she lives in the apartment below), who took such wonderful care of us and knew all the best places to see and things to do. Fabulous hiking and nature experiences if you tire of all the antiquity. Generally, just a wonderful place to recharge the batteries and forget the world for a little while.
Loro Ciuffenna, Arezzo
It sounds like a romantic way to cross the vast open spaces of Russia, leaving Moscow one evening and awaking to the Romanov's splendid Baroque capital. However the beds are cramped and uncomfortable, the train rattles far too much to get much sleep, and the toilets are disgusting. There was a certain charm to watching snow-covered fields and forests pass by in the half-light, but I suspect the view (particularly of a vast lake at one point) would have been all the more stunning during the day, and I wouldn't have felt like a zombie the day after.
Leningradsky Station, Moscow
If you're looking for a super cheap but clean place which has little character but is next to the train station in Delhi then this budget chain should do. It's a sort of an Indian Travelodge but concentrates on being cheap as far as I can see. The Metro is within a minutes walk as is the train station and if you can live with the small windows and the depressing view then it's just fine. I paid about £14 a night for a double bed on the fourth floor.
Very picturesque village at the confluence of two rivers. We stayed at an excellent good value four star B&B called Mairlys. We googled them from friends who stayed five weeks ago. Breakfast wassuperb. Spent Saturday climbing Snowdon via the Miners track. Leave your car at Penygwryd and walk to the YHA where the walk starts.
Five miles through fabulous terrain to the summit - icy, cold and clear. we could even see the Wicklow hills in Ireland, Dined that night at Bryn Tyrch Inn at Capel Curig where there was a male choir in residence. Great food and really good atmosphere. A mere two hours from Manchester but what a fabulous weekend.
16 Miles south of Conwy.
Three pubs in village.
During the day it is great as you are crawling distance from the beach. At night is gets a bit noisy because it is between the road and a pub with loud music. The cafe has decent food with awesome views. In fact more then once I had breakfast in the cafe as the waters of the ocean came right up to my ankles.
The bungalows are basic with great air con. Nice thing are the floors are easily swept to get rid of all the sand you bring in from the beach.
Hat Sai Kaeo, Koh Samet
Ko Samet, Thailand
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