This is a terrific little bed and breakfast run by a really friendly and helpful couple. Dead quiet location in a village 10 mins from Alençon and the A28 motorway. The gardens are beautifully kept (and large, with plenty of seats and tables) with view of the forest.
There are shops and a little restaurant-bar nearby that is a throwback to the time when good country cooking at low prices was the norm in many parts France. Bikes, horseriding, walking paths and all that sort of stuff kept us amused, as well as sightseeing.
Alençon itself is a lovely town if you take the trouble to go into the centre instead of passing by on the route nationale.
La Basse Cour, Ancinnes.
Tel: 02 33 82 01 19
A fabulous environment rising above the predictable trend for minimalist chic to provide sumptuous luxury and impeccable service. The only flaw is the nightclub, which is more akin to a wedding disco with an appalling music policy.
The Merchant Hotel, 35-39 Waring St. Cathedral Quarter, Belfast BT1 2DY. Tel: +44 (0) 28 9023 4888 www.themerchanthotel.com
We stayed at the Cosy Nook on Palolem Beach which was fantastic - stilted
huts right on the beach. Admittedly, ours was by a rubbish heap which seemed to attract cows day and night time...
But the beach was clean and there were loads of good bars and restaurants with fantastic seafood. If a bar wasn't playing Bob Marley, you were treated to either a chilled Ibiza or Café del Mar compilation as you settled down for the evening. The soundtrack should give you an idea of the place!
Palolem Beach is about 2 km west of Chaudi, Canacona District. Cosy Nook is at the northern end of the beach.
Tel: 0832 264 3550
Situated in the heart of Palermo Viejo, this boutique style hotel offers comfortable rooms (more than 5!), friendly and helpful staff and a beautiful roof top with a small jacuzzi pool.
Lovely self-catering apartment in hill top village. Beautiful stone house recently renovated by English couple who live next door. Wonderful scenery close by - lovely area of Italy.
It's the only surviving Chinese mansion house outside of china. It is a great little boutique hotel for those fed up with the homogenous hotels of Asia. It is full of character, charm and a sense of grandure. Do check out the website and I am sure you'll agree!
They have a superb range of apartments, boats, and studios to rent for periods of 3 days or more. Great central locations, highly individual properties owned by locals, it's more like living there for a little while. It’s a great way to see the true Amsterdam. I have used them twice, and found the service excellent.
This hotel is perfectly positioned across the square from Hotel Inglaterra if you want to drink in old Havana, and viewing the town centre from its rooftop pool is worth the stay.
Great hotel located on the front with a good view out to sea. Friendly staff, nice cocktails, comfortable beds and nice touches in the rooms.
Close proximity to the centre, Lanes, etc.
44 Marine Parade, Brighton;
tel: 01273 696934;
I am writing this from The Cocker, having booked in for a few nights thanks to a Been there tip. What a wonderful, wonderful, place. And it is so rare, and so refreshing to stay in a place where the pictures on the website just don't do the place justice! It is so beautiful.
Aidan and Ian are a Godsend (my Spanish is limited and they have been so helpful) and Rocco is divine. I booked the room with a private deck, as the private garden suite was already booked, but my room is just fantastic. Quite possibly the best shower I have had in my life. And the location could not be more perfect. Everything about this place is simply perfect. Thanks again for the tip.
Worth the trip alone. The Pacific beaches are stunning and Tofino is a great little town - posh-hippy, laid back, with great restaurants. The Rainforest Cafe offers sublime high quality food. Walk through the temperate rainforests and the cathedrals of tall cedars and pines. You will probably see bears on your way too. In Tofino try the Wolf House bed and breakfast, a really great bed and breakfast with lots of character.
Tofino is on Vancouver Island;
Rainforest Cafe: 250 725 2215;
Wolf House: 250 725-2330
A great hotel with an outdoor swimming pool on the 7th floor and great views over the harbour. It’s on Hong Kong Island and above the amazing Pacific Place shopping mall. Really central and the staff were really helpful.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong Island;
tel: 852 2810 8366;
These are free publications with detailed listings of bars, restaurants, guesthouses, shops etc plus useful articles, maps and so forth. They are very handy for tourists and other newcomers to this rapidly changing city, where annually published guidebooks can be out of date almost as soon as they are published.
The guides are available at guesthouses, bars, restaurants and shops.
A real gem of a hotel with diamond staff too. Beautifully finished rooms offer an inviting and intimate experience. It's incredible value: a boutique hotel yet budget price.
15 rue le grimaldi, nice
If you want to stay at an eco-friendly resort that offers cheap, well-designed bungalows and some of the most beautiful views in the province then you should visit Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort. The enchanting gardens, natural spring water swimming pool and all the peace and quiet you’ve ever wanted, combine to make the mountain resort one of my favourite places in Thailand.
Depending on the time of year, prices at the Holiday Inn Express can be as low as £70 a night.
All rooms come with a double bed and fold down sofa, so four of you can cram in (this may involve two of you not technically checking in).
Obviously not a good option for families and people seeking a bit of luxury, but great if you’re looking to spend a cheap weekend on the town in London. The Express on Old Street is particularly well-located near the bars and clubs of Shoreditch.
275 Old Street, EC1V 9LN; tel: 0870 400 9093; nearest Tube: Old Street
Budget hotel located opposite the Albert Dock and five minutes' walk to the city centre - cheap and cheerful. You can have a single, double or triple room for £29.
25 Wapping, Baltic Triangle. Opposite the entrance to the Albert Dock
Located on Insurgentes Sur in the Condesa neighborhood, this hotel is conveniently near the fun in the Zona Rosa.
I shared a double room. It was clean, quiet, and had a large bathroom with a giant shower, TV, breakfast and coffee. This hotel is comparable to any moderately priced business hotel in the US. At the equivalent of $40 US per night it's a bargain. The staff were professional and attentive.
Insurgentes Sur 287, Col Hipodromo, Condesa, CP 06100
Access to Metrobus. Located south of the Glorieta Insurgentes.
The heart and soul of St Kilda's Fitzroy Street. Known for many things: its cool Art Deco exterior, posh wine store, internationally renowned live acts, eclectic mix of drinkers and take-no-sass barstaff. Best on a balmy week night - sit outside on the benches, order a pot of beer, chat to the locals and watch as the sun goes down over Port Phillip Bay.
29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda; www.theprince.com.au; tel: (613) 9536 1111; nearest tram: No 96 Light rail tram from the city centre. Hop off and head down the road towards the beach
I can recommend this hotel. If you book from the UK through a travel agent it is only £50-60. The Mandarin has an outdoor pool on the 11th floor, great views of the park below and is situated next to the Petronas Towers and close to bars and restaurants. If you want to go up the twin towers, make sure you go early to get your ticket.
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