La Villa is a converted colonial house on Battambang riverfront converted lovingly by its owners, a French-Vietnamese couple, into a gorgeous boutique guesthouse and restaurant.
Free-standing bath tubs in the rooms, art deco fans and a really beautifully-done restaurant and bar area make this well worth the 50 USD a night or so rate.
Just be sure to arrive here by boat from Siem Reap (you'll feel you've earned a bit of luxury!) and take advantage of the Smokin' Pot cookery school nearby, one of the highlights of our Cambodia trip.
A place to remember for the wrong reasons! A lesson learned... don't always trust your guide! This is the sole reason I decided to add a profile to the Been there travel site.
Where to start? Imagine, it's the final night of your holiday and you have an early flight the following morning...
What you want is preferably quiet accommodation with easy access to your chosen airport transport (in this case the shuttle bus). Something simple and clean is fine as it's only an overnighter.
We booked on the phone the night before from Cordoba based on the above needs following the review in the usually trustworthy TimeOut guide.
True, as most of these things are indeed facts, but in my mind this place should never have been recommended.
This is what they wrote...
"A friendly hostel with cheap, cheerful rooms. The best is number 15, with windows giving fine views over the port. There's also a communal balcony."
It should read...
"A friendly-ish hostel (on the 4th floor of an office block, with nighttime skinhead bouncer for the night shift who locks everyone in the hotel over night... eek), very cheap, cheerless rooms with paper-thin walls. The worst would be number 15, with windows giving fine views over the noisy/busy road. There's also a communal balcony (and lounge which stinks of fag smoke)."
What you get...
Communal toilets (communal showers if you're on a stupidly tight budget and really can't afford one in your room) - all complete with 80s plastic concertina doors. Super thin walls - chatty neighbours optional. McDonalds - on the corner full of local teens until the early hours with obligatory noisy Vespa.
Don't waste your cash... it should be turned into a museum; it's exactly what I imagine early 90s Malaga was like (which is perhaps when the review was written).
Frustratingly it's probably always fully booked in high season due to the volume of holidaymakers in the city, and therefore will never clean up its act.
Hostal Derby - "Don't forget your ear plugs, nose plugs..."
Slightly off the tourist trail situated just off the 'Plaza Trinidad' below the Cathedral (so no snappers on the doorstep).
Yes, the decor a is a little OTT including the large basket of faux fruit, (check the web link) but it made for an amusing start to the holiday.
We only stayed for two days (late Feb 2008) so didn't spend much time in or around the hostel but the location was perfectly within walking distance of the Cathedral (2mins), the Albaicin quarter (3/4mins) and the Alhambra (10/15mins to the ticket office); however, if your holiday party includes people not as fit as most then something a little closer to or in the Albaicin might be better as the city is sited on a gradiant with the hostel at the bottom.
Some of the rooms (and the one we stayed in) are situated in a building two doors from the main hostel with the reception.
We had the apartment, but looking back this was perhaps a waste of 20 euros per night as the only things (I imagine) we gained was a flight of stairs to reach our room on the top floor, a tiny 'kitchen' food prep area and tiny terrace with no view.
The kitchen wasn't much use due to the lack of pans (for the two-plate hob) or kettle so no night-time cocoa or early morning tea. Only coffee drinkers were catered for with a stove top coffee pot, but all they provided was clean etc.
Everything in the apartment was clean, tidy and hygenic however the notice in the bathroom reading 'Please do not flush towels, use the bin provided'; with a rather dubious looking open-topped wastepaper bin beside the toilet was a little offputting...
Overall, I'd recommend a stay because the owners are so nice and friendly, making no fuss over the fact we were a gay male couple... but perhaps not in the apartment as it wasn't much use in the end. Save those additional euros for some tapas or drinks in the bustling bar on the plaza instead or the fantastic veggie restaurant Botanico on C/Malaga round the corner.
Lovely small friendly and affordable 4* hotel, away from the centre but only 15-20 minutes walk to Schlossplatz and Königstrasse or 10-15 by bus. It feels like a real oasis in the city, there is a pool and 'wellness area' (sauna and steam room), balconies to some rooms and a delicious breakfast featuring home baked breads and cakes and local schwäbisch cheeses.
Seestraße 114-116, 70174 Stuttgart
This DDR styled hostel is fantastic - it's kitsch, basic accommodation. It's affordable on a budget, clean, has friendly English-speaking staff and it doesn't feel like a hostel at all! Double and single rooms come with private bathroom with shower or there's the 'Stasi' apartment for up to five sharing. It's on the fringes of the Friedrichshain area with a 10-15 min walk to Boxhanger Platz/Simon-Dache Strasse area but there's a bus-stop outside the building where a 240 will take you straight there in a few minutes. Ostbahnhof Station is across the road where the Underground will take you direct to Warschauer Strasse Station (or anywhere else for that matter).
Avoid the breakfast (three euros); we were directed to a darts pub (?) and were served up a very strange mix of spam, boiled eggs and UHT milk all in the midst of an OAP coach party briefing. Bizarre.
If you have a taste for currywurst at three in the morning there's a take-away across the road.
Ostel – GDR the Hostel, Wriezener Karree 5, 10243 Berlin
Tel: 0049 030 25768660
From Ostbahnhof Station come out onto E.Steinfurth-Str.
Turn left onto Strabe der Pariser Kommune,
Turn right onto Wriezener Karree (5).
As far as I know, this is a new York hotel (at least I've not seen it previously). It's rather small with around 10 rooms, but is extremely comfortable and luxurious. It has the feel of a guest house, rather than a hotel, and also benefits from being right in the centre of town.
2-4 High Petergate
This small hotel (about seven rooms) has a spectacular location on the Grand Canal, right by the Rialto bridge. Our room (junior suite) had a breathtaking view right onto the Grand Canal. Excellent service from the charming owner made us feel like royalty - a really special place.
It’s situated about 30 metres from the beach just in front of Peniche Kite & Surf Center and 300 metres from downtown Peniche, Portugal, where you have everything you need to have the holidays you’re looking for!
The surf camp has shared rooms, with bunk beds, perfect for groups, or private rooms, some with a panoramic view, sharing the living room and kitchen with the other guests. You can also rent a private apartment.
Avenida Monsenhor Bastos,
Praia de Peniche de Cima
La Sella is a really upmarket golf resort on the Costa Blanca. It's at a small place called Jesus Pobre, which is about half-way between Valencia and Alicante. If you're looking for a really luxurious resort that genuinely specialises in golf, then you wouldn't go far wrong with this place.
It's not cheap and it's full of Brits, but the standard of service you receive is second to none. It's got a five-star hotel, holiday apartments, lots of restaurants, and a course that was apparently designed by Olazabal.
c/Alqueria de Ferrando,
03749 Jesus Pobre,
+34 96 645 4054
Koycegiz (pronounced 'kur-y-jeez') is a wonderful off-the-beaten-track town near Dalaman airport, on a beautiful lake with its own hot springs and mud bath. My family and I stayed there in Villa Jasmine, and had an excellent holiday. We enjoyed its private pool, but also went on a fab boat trip across the lake to the Mediterranean sea. Really recommend it as a holiday spot away from the crowds.
Want to stay in a five-star B&B but pay for a two-star? Stay at Rose Lodge when in Cape Town! This gem of a guest house is run with immaculate care by its owner, Bruce, and it shows. Everything is perfect and Bruce is a wonderful host. He adeptly looks over every detail and expertly anticipates one's every need. He is always available for any request yet I never found him to be intrusive; he instinctively knows when to step forward when he is needed yet remain unobtrusive when one is looking for privacy. He is truly a professional and very pleasant in a quiet and subdued manner. My stay in Cape Town was made more memorable thanks to Bruce and Rose Lodge.
28 Rose St
I travel a lot and I like to stay in hostels, because you usually get better quality in a nice hostel than in a cheap hotel. Truly one of the best hostels in Europe is the Lisbon Lounge Hostel.
Stunning, stylish. Everything is brand new and you’ll enjoy your stay the most. Check the pictures and you'll see I'm not overstating!
The Go Hotel Shnelli is a modern hotel right next to the train station - with good views of the medieval town from the rooms. All rooms are reasonably priced.
Go Hotel Shnelli
10133 Tallinn, ESTONIA
Rana is a village homestay located just outside Kampong Cham. My boyfriend and I spent two nights here in February 08 and had a great time. We have been travelling the world for 11 months now and have stayed at homestays throughout South America and Asia and I have to say that Rana homestay was the best.
We learnt so much information about the culture of Cambodia and the Pol Pot regime and ate excellent traditional food. Don and Kheang are very friendly and have wonderful children, Ra and Na. I would love to come back to visit and I would recommend this for anyone, but please do not expect a luxury room, it is basic but comfortable.
For contact information and to learn more you can visit: rana-cambodia.blogspot.com/
Riad Alma is a great Riad situated away from the hustle of the main medina of Marrakesh. The Riad is at the end of a quiet alley in the Kasbah or fortified area of the old town. It has been recently refurbished and is built around two courtyards. Michelline who runs the Riad does a commendable job in ensuring the pleasure of the guests.
Derb Kbala, Kasbah, Marrakesh
Chalet Tissières is set in a spectacular location at the foot of the Les Bossons Glacier and close to Chamonix town centre and ski lifts. It has amazing views of Mont Blanc and Aiguille du Midi from the balcony and hot tub. Check out the photos on their website - the sunset is beautiful, hence the name Ice & Orange.
It's family-run with amazing service, modern luxuries/facilities and excellent cuisine and wine - I cannot recommend this place enough. Simply the best week's skiing my friends and I have ever had. Will definitely go back again.
159 Route des Tissières
Les Bossons, 74400
Tucked away in Cornwall's forgotten corner, the Rame Peninsular, just beyond Plymouth - a mere 3.5 hours from London - Westcroft B&B is a gorgeous, stylish find in a magical place, Kingsand.
Seaviews from many rooms, baths that look up to the stars, four posters and organic breakfasts - all in a quirky, eclectic and stylish Georgian coaching house. Owners Sarah and Dylan are friendly, interesting and run a fab art gallery in the barn next door. It's a perfect, arty bolthole for a weekend - or if going to a wedding at nearby Porlhawn Fort. They also have lots of experience of children and can arrange an interesting, fun break for a family.
Coastal suburb of Bilbao, great place to stay if you have a car, easy parking yet only 20 minutes on metro to centre. A lot cheaper than city centre places. Has lovely beaches and excellent base to wander further afield eg Gernika and beaches at Plentzia/Gorliz/Vizcayan coast.
Two town centres clustered around Las Arenas and Algorta metros, Pension El Abra is good place to stay near Arenas. Try out Ereaga beach and walk to cute whitewashed Puerto Viejo for eats at lunchtime. Get a Creditrans for the metro, almost halves cost of tickets and is also valid for city centre funiculars and 'hanging' transporter bridge across the river to Portugalete - worth seeing in its own right!
Getxo, Vizcaya, nr Bilbao. Metro: Las Arenas/Algorta
We originally found out about Bar Calce from local guide Angela Imperato. It is located directly off the main square in Ravello, just to the left of the church.
During the summer months, they have numerous tables in the piazza itself - the staff have always been friendly and helpful. Interestingly, above Bar Calce there are three hotel rooms, at least two of which offer excellent views of the piazza itself.
The rooms are spacious and clean, and very affordable - the one we stayed in was only 90 euros, and in a town like Ravello where five-star hotels abound, this is an extremely good deal!
2 Via Roma,
Tel. 089 857 152
Angela Imperato: www.aguideinside.com
A lovely hotel set on an island in the Nile, around 10 minutes from the centre of Luxor. The views are stunning - especially at sunset, unobstructed (no huge Nile cruise ships anchor there) - sit on your terrace with a cocktail and enjoy.
A welcome escape from the hustle (and hassle) of Luxor!
Crocodile Island, Luxor
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com