Superb value spa high in the hills far from the madding crowd. A slightly fantastical collection of buildings set in sunny valley a bit like a mini Port Merrion. We paid 178 euros for two nights B&B with two treatments included each. Large room with antique furniture looked over a beautiful courtyard. Excellent buffet breakfast in 1692 restaurant and deal included wine with dinner one night. Rooms with spa access can be had from 50 euros per night (not per person) and we extended our stay!
We spent four nights at Riad Dar Zaman and had such a fun, fabulous time. Hassan is the best! He was so helpful, kind, and really made us feel at home and comfortable. Always smiling and friendly without being intrusive. The rooms were small, but the beds were comfy and the entire riad was spotless. The location was great, and it was so fun getting lost in the maze and trying to find 'our door'! Breakfast was lovely and I really wanted one of those fantastic croissants this morning. It was nice to meet Peter, who is a pretty amazing guy! If we have a chance to go back I would definitely stay here. I highly recommend Dar Zaman!
29 Derb Bouelilou, Sidi Ben Slimane, Marrakech Medina, Morocco
+212 611 266 998
Grado is a sunny, sandy peninsula between Venice and Trieste. It has several campsites, but the best is Villaggio Europa, with its own stretch of beach, a water park and chalets sleeping six from €62 a night
This is a perfect base from which to explore the Nelson region and Abel Tasman National Park. The lodge and cottages are set deep in a bush clad valley a short distance from Kaiteriteri Beach, Marahau and the start of the Abel Tasman Track. You are surrounded by bush and bird song, the accommodation is spacious and comfortable and Clare is renowned for her fabulous dinners. If you are looking for unpretentious but luxurious seclusion this is the place to stay.
A delightfully small five-room lodge on a riverside farm just outside Wanaka resort town. The lodge is set high on an escarpment and enjoys fabulous views across the valley towards the Southern Alps. Good food, wine and architecture, professional service, free wifi and comfortable rooms. You can choose from a selection of walks and running trails on the property, bike along the river and lakeside tracks into town, embark on a more adventurous day hike into Mt Aspiring National Park or book a guided excursion from one of the many activity operators available.
Torre Del Benaco is a prettier, more relaxing microcosm of the lake's larger, more expensive resorts. Situated half way up the eastern shore, it has a lovely little harbour, the centre for the low key cafe bar night life and the sedate early evening 'passegiata'.
Daytime delights include the lively lido and the castle and its small museum.
Stay at the family run Hotel Belvedere with lake view doubles with ample breakfast from €43 per person. For something authentic and unique locals head to Don Diegos (situated just off the cobbled main street at the harbour end) a bar that serves a heady, inexpensive sangria to a soundtrack ranging from indie to jazz fusion. Cool!
Cruising the steep southern shores it appears that Lake Como is the preserve of the Clooneys, Bonds and Bransons of this world. Head north of Menaggio, however, and the millionaire quotient drops to nearly nil, the opulent villas and five star hotels metamorphosize into campsites, B&Bs and agriturismi, and the price of a holiday tumbles accordingly. At the tip of the lake (the area known as Alto Lario) the panorama opens up and here the serious Alps begin. The best bases in the area are Domaso, Gravedona and Colico, although the surrounding hill villages do offer accommodation options too. It is a region beloved of outdoorsy types from all over northern Europe, especially windsurfers, kite surfers, mountain bikers and hikers. Pick a road leading uphill from the lake and meander up it to discover ancient churches, alpine meadows, stone hamlets, superb food and incredible views of forest, lake and mountain. Such a beautiful area and yet still very reasonable. And not a movie star in sight.
The local station is Colico, buses and ferries run all around the lake. Better still to travel by car: 1.5 hours from Milan airports.
Google map: bit.ly/13kYoSI
Between the Marais and the Bastille, the Hotel De Neuve is in a great location for both sightseeing and nightlife. The area around the hotel is actually very quiet, but it only takes 5-10 minutes on foot to get to the busy neighborhoods. The hotel itself is a contemporary style boutique hotel with a stylish decor, the room we had was elegant and comfy. We had a lovely stay, we enjoyed every minute of it.
It’s an elegant 3-star boutique hotel in the heart of the trendy Saint Germain district. Not exactly cheap, but the standards are high and the location is just superb, minutes from the center of the district, the Orsay Museum, or the Louvre Museum across the Seine. We had a Classic room with a balcony, which was a wonderful to have. Another great feature of the hotel is the relaxed bar with a bit of a retro feel – it was nice to relax in the evening. It’s a pitty they banned smoking in all Paris hotels, a fag would have been nice with the drink. Anyway, we had the balcony. I can recommend the hotel.
9 rue de l'université 75007 Paris
Reading the reviews after I’ve booked the hotel, I became a bit worried as they were quite mixed. But all turned out well, the hotel actually is very pleasant, and the location is great. The room was nice, internet worked in the room, bed was comfortable and big, bathroom clean. I’ve only had little contact with the staff, but they were friendly. The hotel is a few minutes from rue Cler, which is a cute little market street (Rick Steves loves it and so did I), and the Eiffel Tower is about ten minutes walk. It’s a quiet area, but definitely not dead, there are quite a few restaurants (one right on the corner with very cheap set lunches) and cafes. All in all, it was an excellent choice, I wholeheartedly can recommend the hotel.
32 rue de l'Exposition - 75007 Paris
Stayed here in 2003 and it cost €39. An absolute bargain. Went back this year and it was less than €60 a night for the two of us. Despite not looking like the photos on the website I would still wholeheartedly recommend this hotel. This hotel is a three-minute walk from Avenida Metro Station on Avenida de Liberdade. Within easy reach of Rossio. We found four restaurants in the area in one week all of which were really good. Would recommend it to anyone wanting a cheap Lisbon hotel.
Two summers ago I travelled the length of Italy on my Honda motorcycle. Because I was on my own and wanted company of an evening, I elected to stay each night in a youth hostel. This turned out to be a great idea and, besides having a wide variety of different people to chat with in the evening, I stayed in some splendid buildings and ate authentic Italian food (altho' not at all hostels). And of course, they're incredibly cheap!
Just be aware that some of the hostels can be tricky to find - I'd no satnav with me so spent a good deal of time asking passersby for directions; very basic Italian got me by.
Family run farm house that you'll only find after walking up 100 or so very steep steps - the view, the warm welcome, the beautiful apartments and the spectacular food (freshly-made by Mamma from produce grown on site) is well worth the exhausting climb!! I only paid about £100 per night, bargain in expensive Positano - so want to go back!
For the design conscious traveler on a budget Campeggio Fusina, designed in 1959 by the modernist Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, offers stylish, inexpensive camping with a stunning view across the lagoon to Venice (prices range from €8,50 for a tent to €92 for a four-berth static caravan).
The deep water channel just offshore treats you to a close-up of passing ships en route to Porto Maghera, Venice’s industrial secret. There’s a regular Vaparetto service from Fusina to Zattere that takes just 20 minutes, and there’s no better way to arrive in this city than to watch its majestic decaying architecture gradually loom out from the surrounding turquoise lagoon.
Once you’re there, be sure to visit the 55th International Art Biennale, on till 24 November at the Giardini and Arsenale. The Arsenale buildings housed the rope works and are worth seeing for the architecture alone. But be warned, the centre of Venice is not a cheap place, so to save money take lunch with you and enjoy it, and the visual feast that Venice offers, all’aperta!
Self catering with a difference in beautiful, unspoilt Abruzzo. Bring your own tent, rent one of the gorgeous resident canvas bell tents, sleep in Rosemary the retired WV camper van, or select one of the in-house self catering options: the choice is yours. Climb, walk, bike, swim or chill amidst the spectacular foothills of the Apennines, with the Adriatic's undiscovered beaches less than 40 minutes away. Two hours from Rome and easily accessible by rail www.bootandbike.co.uk/2013/05/by-train-to-kokopelli/ Ideal for solos, couples, groups and families; all from 16 euros per night.
We are just back from two weeks “island hopping” in the Sporades. The price of flights being so high, we bought a two week package including flight, transfer and accommodation on Skiathos for little more than the cost of a flight, but absconded from the package tour accommodation and backpacked for part of the two weeks to Alonissos and Skopolos. Alonissos is an unspoilt island: one road, one bus (no service in school term time), and three taxis!! Village rooms on both Alonissos and Skopelos were easy to find, and we stayed at Maria’s house on Alonissos: situated in a quiet side road (they all are!), 50m back from the port in the only town Patitiri. We had breakfast every morning on our terrace in Maria’s lovely garden under the lemon trees. We paid 30 Euros a night for a spotless en-suite room. There is superb walking and swimming on Alonissos: but to get the best you will need to buy the guide “Alonissos Through the Souls of Your Feet” by Chris Browne available at www.travelleur.com. Although there’s only one main road, car hire is available which will get you to the start of walks and also secluded beaches at 25 Euros a day from Albedo Travel (abbedotravel.com) who also organise sea kayak trips.
Pension Gioula: e-mail email@example.com +30 24240 65301
Stayed at Guludo with my husband for a week earlier this year. It's barefoot and eco and simply gorgeous. If you're looking for something a bit different and you love culture, snorkelling and responsible travel, then Guludo's perfect. It doesn't have all the mod cons of a flashy resort but it does have heart and soul and we fell in love with the place.
We opted for the road transfer from Pemba (about three hours), mainly because it was cheaper than the air option, which was fine. A day trip to Ibo Island is a must - a fascinating place, steeped in history. We almost stayed here before Guludo but quite pleased we didn't as there isn't a decent beach and it only takes a couple of hours to walk around.
South Pelion has everything to offer at all seasons. Walk on ancient stone paths under plane and olive trees with glorious views of the Pagasitikos gulf or the Aegean. Swim at deserted pebbled coves or beaches with swathes of fine sand. Select from a range of reasonably priced places to stay and enjoy food in fish restaurants, small tavernas that offer regional cuisine, or more international eateries such as Casablanca in Horton. Visit traditional hill top villages with quiet, plane tree shaded cobbled squares, little fishing harbours, historical sites, tiny fresoed churches or the market in Argalasti for local produce including home brewed local spirit tsipouro. In addition you can take a trip to nearby Skiathos on board the Africana from Platania for a day or two of partying. You will certainly be glad to return to the peace and beauty of South Pelion.
Campsites include Louisa at Platanias (www.camplouisa.gr/en/draseis.html), hotels include Kima and Des Roses in Platanias and accommodation includes Katerina in Pelion and Valtoudi in Milina.
This eco-friendly finca (estate) is on the Rio Tatin, a branch of the Rio Dulce and a mere 20 minutes boat ride from Livingston, Guatemala.
It's a place to become one with nature by setting off for a luscious hike through the rain forest or a sense-inspiring canoe trip to the Agua Calientes (natural hot springs).
The laid-back vibe is a great way to hear real-life travel stories from globe trotters themselves or settle into a hammock and swing your way into a good book.
Cabins are set both on the river and in the jungle and are like nature turned inside out.
+(502) 4148 3332
My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon staying in one of the branas. So romantic, so welcoming, so beautiful. Great little restaurant onsite. Wonderful walks and only a short drive to the coast if you want to combine this with the mountains.
Valle de Lago s/n Somiedo Asturias 33840 España
+34 985 763 776
Google map: bit.ly/10PkNUQ
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