Range of accommodation from studios and two/three bedroom apartments with sea views on the beachfront. Three or five bedroom villas in Nice or Cannes for all budgets for your summer holiday or winter break on the French Riviera. Personal and friendly service with airport pick-up on arrival with guided drive to your holiday apartment.
Having used the been there to plan a short trip to Belgium I thought it only proper to note down my experiences for the reference of other visitors.
We travelled to Bruges in our own car via ferry from Dover to Calais – for our trip we found that this was the most cost-effective means. The drive from Calais to Bruges is not arduous and took less than 1.5 hours - sat nav makes it all the more simpler and brought us to the door of the Anselmus Hotel in central Bruges.
We found that this was a very comfortable, friendly family-run hotel that we could heartily recommend. It is ideally located close to the central area.
The city is fabulous – we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Take the canal tour and get a view of the local Flemish architecture, visit the Chocolate museum, watch the demo and sample the goods. Have hot chocolate and waffles in one of the street cafes as a mid morning snack or maybe grab a portion of chips and mayo from the mobile frituur in the market square, browse the unique shops – not too much sign of globalisation here!
For our meals we found excellent mussels and frites at Breydel-de-Coninck just off the main square at Breidelstraat 24 and for an alternative evening we could recommend the Grand Café de Comptoir with their excellent selection of international dishes, warm welcome, elegant décor and reasonable prices.
Then there’s the beer, you can visit a local brewery but if it’s the business end of the operation that you are interested in you will not be disappointed by the selection of bars and pubs and the variety of local beers on offer – close your eyes and take your pick.
The following day we visited Ypres (Ieper), about 70 km away, where you cannot fail to be stirred by the tragedy of the first world war. The museum named ‘In Flanders Fields’ in the main square of the town and only a short walk from the Menen Gate really puts a subsequent driving tour of the battlegrounds and cemeteries into vivid perspective.
Near Hill 62 you can view the trenches and let your imagination construct what it must have been like to fight in these conditions. The largest allied cemetery at ‘Tyne Cot' has over 12,000 graves regimentally aligned plus a wall of remembrance with thousands upon thousands of names of those who fell but have no known grave.
Bruges and the locality have much to offer visitors looking for a city break with a difference – I look forward to going again at some stage.
Check out the hotel at en.venere.com/belgium/hotels_brugge/hotel_anselmus.html?fe1&ref=682988, Breydel Restaurant site is www.breydel-deconinc.be/
On our visit to Buenos Aires we stayed at the Casa Bolivar and it was excellent. The apartments are nicely presented with a kitchenette and are very clean. Breakfast and internet access are available in the main area.
The apartments are located in San Telmo, a 5 - 10 minute walk from the main area of San Telmo (Avenida Defensa) and a 15 - 20 minute walk from La Boca.
The country is small so you can reach any place in Israel (well almost) in a few hours drive from Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv by far has the best services, entertainment, hotels, and restaurants compared to any other Israeli city. Even if you don't like the hustle and bustle of a large city (the Tel Aviv metropolitan area has more than two million people) you should still consider the convenience.
And if you are into cities that never sleep (like Madrid and New York) then there are few that can compete with Tel Aviv.
The people are friendly and helpful, most speak English, crime is low (so you don't have to worry about walking at night), and the weather is warm and sunny most of the year.
Another tip: Don't miss historic Jaffa (located in southern Tel Aviv). Great shops, clubs, food, and the biggest outdoor flea market I've ever seen.
My daughter loves Tel Aviv (and I do too).
Check out some photos at: www.pbase.com/gilazouri/telaviv
Tel Aviv is on the Mediterranean coast, more-or-less in the centre of the country.
The Secret Garden is a wonderful place to stay. The rooms are comfortable, very clean and set within a beautiful tropical garden. The Inn is located a five-minute walk away from the main centre of Puerto Iguazu and a two-minute walk to the end of the road to get the public bus to the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls, Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay).
The proprietor of the Secret Garden is John Fernandes, an incredible chap who makes you feel welcome and is extremely interesting to talk to. Every night John hosts a 'Sundowner' with scrumptious caipirinhas and bruschettas, a fitting end to each day after seeing the beautiful Iguazu Falls. Its also a pleasant way to meet other people and pick up good tips on seeing the falls.
John will also sort out any transport that you need and has some very good recommendations of local places to eat and drink. He arranged for us and another couple to visit the Brazilian side of the falls, a brilliant wildlife park and Ciudad del Este!
There is no better way to stay and see the falls!
Six new eco accommodation cottages set in two hectares of award-winning subtropical gardens. A nontoxic printmaking studio and gallery onsite and interactive garden tours available. Three championship golf courses within half an hour.
190 Kerikeri road, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, Northland.
Just walking distance to the boutique town of Kerikeri or the historic Stone Store Reserve. 7km from the Bay of Islands airport. 20km from Paihia and Waitangi
I stayed in Meribel with these guys and had an awesome time. Everyone was just desperate to get out on the mountain and there’s nothing like crowd-surfing at Ronnie’s in the afternoon! Food was hitting the spot after some pretty incredible days of powder (OK, in my case more like a hard day of pretending to know what the heck am I doing on skis...)
The Ostello (Hostelling International) is a few miles from the old city but has good transport links and great views over the valley. All the rooms are ensuite and a maximum of 8 people.
Coming by train to Bergamo station walk out of the station and straight up the road towards the funicular (about 10 mins walk) take the funicular up and the bus to Ostello stops right outside the station, the bus will then take you right to the Ostello's door. This by far the easiest way to do it believe me!
One of the best hostels in Europe I have ever stayed in. High standard on a budget. Great location, no curfew - allowed me to enjoy nightlife to the maximum. Great facilities. It is not the cheapest hostel in town, but you get a lot of freebies, like breakfast, laundry, maps, lockers and wi-fi.
I stayed there on a Thursday and came right on time to have a piece of the usual Thursday afternoon cake. Glorious.
Mama's Hostel - Old Town
Zyblikiewicza St. 9
Stylish but moderately priced hotel situated in quiet location near the western fringe of the Tiergarten. For Euro 110 per night we had a huge and very comfortable double room with a view of the River Spree. Breakfast (included in price) is superb. The staff are friendly and helpful and there is someone on duty 24 hours a day. The hotel is small enough to feel personal, and full of interesting modern works of art by various local artists. 3 minutes walk from S-bahn; 10 mins from Zoo Station.
Hotel Hansablick · Flotowstr. 6 · 10555 Berlin-Tiergarten · Tel.: +49-(0)30-390 48 00 · Fax: +49-(0)30-392 69 37
A fantastic luxury lodge at reasonable price, on a deserted private beach with white sand and blue sea. Food is amazing and the pool, bar and restaurant areas are great. Huts you stay in are beautifully furnished with breathtaking views of sea and sand. It's quite new I think, so not many people have been there yet - now's the time to go! Also went swimming with whale sharks (awe inspiring!) and picnicked on desert islands.
I stayed there with my family, and found it very relaxing - especially as we knew the kids were safe around the private pool. As it is difficult to choose a villa from the many on offer, I think it is worth mentioning the good ones.
I quite liked House Sandra in Split. Accommodation was really nice and cheap. Location is in the centre of Split. Very close to the historical core (Diocletian's Palace), sandy beach Bacvice, museums etc.
Hosts were really helpful. They gave me some very useful advice and info.
+385 (0)98 98 64 163
Not in Lonely Planet (why?).
Cheap, very safe (staffed reception and safe boxes), clean with hot water 24/7 hotel in downtown Delhi.
Check out the eaterie opposite the hotel for a veg Thali for less than a pound.
Only hassle is taxi drivers may be reluctant to come to the Main Bazaar, Pahar Gange (very narrow and crowded streets). Make sure you tell them that it's in PG and print off the map for directions - the last three times I have been to PG the taxi driver managed to get lost...).
If you are sick of the heat, dust and general aggravation that accompany travelling around India; or if this is your first trip and you fancy somewhere which is a gentle introduction to the sub-continent, then Darjeeling is the place to be.
May I reccommend Hotel Dekeling as the place to stay.
It's centrally located (10 minutes' walk from the toy train station and five minutes from Chowrasta). Clean, hot water 24/7 and run by the wonderful Mr and Mrs Norbu, who guarantee a warm family welcome.
What I particularly liked about it was:
Whilst I had booked in advance, I turned up a day early. The staff bent over backwards to sort out an alternative room for me. Whilst it was in the attic and had a shared bathroom, the price they gave me meant I could stay as twice as long as I planned.
They don't hustle you, come knocking on your door every five minutes looking for tips or try to sell you overpriced trips (which plenty of other top price hotels will do).
I wanted to go to Ghoom for the day. The staff gave me detailed instructions on how to get a shared jeep, how much I should pay , where to find the temple and how to get back to DJ again.
In all, a half day out cost me 25 pence.
There is a common area complete with books you can borrow and a stove. Great for just relaxing.
Topping it all, on the street level there is the attached cafe (Devakas) which serves delicous Tibetan food - cooked fresh in front of you.
I would suggest booking well in advance, it's pretty popular and was full during my stay.
I have just returned from Marrakesh with two friends. We had gone for my 40th birthday. The Riad was the most relaxing place I have ever stayed in and immaculate. The staff were fantastic and sorted everything for us from one lost suitcase (left at Gatwick), trip to the Atlas Mountains, restaurant bookings and taxis etc. They were very patient and had great humour. I thought that the Riad offered a good price and would definitely like to use it again, all the guests were English and one had gone on the recommendation of another previous guest. For my birthday a beautiful floral arrangement was presented to me whilst having breakfast on the roof terrace! They do wonderful dinners and the staff are a real asset, hotels in the UK could learn heaps from them. If and when we go back when finances permit, I wouldn't even investigate any other Riads. It was in the heart of the medina and just 20 minutes by taxi from the airport (all transfers included) and less than five minutes' walk from the souks and restaurants/bars. You can also buy wine in the Riad which was a bonus! We were given unlimited complimentary mint tea and mineral water. Breakfast is included. There was an iPod docking station in the room, internet access downstairs and free Babouches (moroccan slippers) to use and then take home with us. Definitely worth a visit.
The place I stumbled upon is the little town of Mahilpur in East Punjab, India. I came across Mahilpur by accident when I was on the way to the Kangra Valley in Himachal. It is a small town of about 10-12,000.
When I arrived it was getting dark and I was tired, lost and hungry. One of the locals suggested the grandly named "High Commission", I thought he was advising me to go to Delhi for help. After the mix up was sorted out he took to me to a large house owned by a British Indian family.
My host Satpal spoke only broken English but was very helpful - although he could have arranged a cook he advised me to go to the local restaurant.
I had the house to myself, a room with a balcony and a good view of the sun setting in Punjab.
Satpal arranged cabs for visits to the Baba Balak Nath Temple in Bilaspur and also to the Hamirpur area in the Kangra valley, famous for its old temples.
I went by cab to Dharamshala for several days and my host also arranged a cab to Ananpur Sahib, where the Sikh faith was founded. There is a Sikh temple, Gurudwara Shaheedan in Mahilpur, that is well worth a visit.
The beauty of Mahilpur is that it is away from the crowds, pollution, dirt, smells of large Indian cities. You can get close to people. One of the neighbours was an army officer with a very very impressive moustache - he served with the grandly named "Rajputna Rifles".
And the house? It really does look like a "High Commission".
High Commission (Powar Cottage), Phagwara Rd, Ward No11, nr BDO Office, Mahilpur Dist Hoshiarpur, Punjab
Brand new hostel in central Berlin. Ideally located, five minutes' walk to Alexander Platz and 10 minutes to Mitte. The rooms in are spacious and nicely furnished, so they are just perfect for temporary living as well.
The building is a former factory and represents for me a typical Berlin atmosphere. The mixture of old and new in a city where ideas have space to grow. The centre of the building is the enormous atrium, where, as well as in the lounge, you will meet other backpackers and can make new friends. The owners made a private dream come true with this hostel and you'll have a warm welcome in this place.
Singerstraße 109, Berlin, 10179
Five-star rated and pet friendly - very rare these days. With a two-acre garden, tennis court and only 15 minutes from Windermere it is close enough to explore but not too close as to be suburban!
Burneside Railway - 5 Mins
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