James, my husband and I love spending weekends in Paris and each time we have the opportunity, we try to experience different places even if it is sometimes difficult not to book into our favourite hotel in St Germain.
We decided to take 4 days off to celebrate Valentine's Day and Paul wanted to organise everything which was very romantic! He seemed so excited about it that I guessed it was something very special. After staying in so many charming places in Paris, we have both become very demanding.
After I insisted so much he gave me the following clues:
He said we would be in the very heart of Paris, with a view from the window of the Place de la Concorde, the Parliament Building and some of the most beautiful bridges on the seine, the Pont Alexandre III. I guessed what it might be but I did not say anything as I did not want to disappoint him.
In fact, during one of our previous stays, after a long walk we had actually stopped at the Hotel Crillon for a cup of tea and I mentioned that I would love to stay there at least once! On our arrival day after the Eurostar the taxi drove us to the Place de la Concorde where the Crillon is situated but instead of stopping in front of the Palace we continued on towards the quai where he stopped in the middle of nowhere as there were hardly any buildings let alone hotel.
When we walked down the steps to the river with our luggage, I suddenly realised that we were not going to stay in a palace but in a péniche which was situated exactly as Paul mentioned: our accommodation would be in between the Alexandre III bridge, the Parliament building and the Place de la Concorde and at my door the quais that I love so much to wonder along. We had a lovely stay at Alain and Rita’s home who live there all year. Paul found this fabulous place through www.paris-apartments-for-rent.com and we recommend you to experience it just for one day. Rate is 150 € per night including breakfast.
I am so so glad that we decided to stick to La Casa di Asa instead of somewhere closer to the centre of Rome.
It takes about 30 minutes to travel from the doorstep of La Casa to the closest metro station, but it's very very easy to do so.
The people there are lovely, the rooms are cleaned daily, there is air conditioning, the breakfasts are filling but very simple.
It's just a really nice place to stay and not too expensive. I would thoroughly recommend this place for anyone who is staying in Rome for more than three days, just because it's nice to be able to leave the city behind and be around true Romans instead of just tourists.
Basically, the rooms are fine, not fantastically great or anything, but very clean and serviecable.
It's the neighborhood that really makes La Casa di Asa worth the stay.
La Casa di Asa Via Achille Mauri 13
I've been to Bozcaada (Tenedos), a small island near to the Anatolian cost of the Aegean Sea. I recommend you to stay at Üzüm Boutique Hotel - you can find best wines of the islands and delicious pilchard wrapped by fresh leaves.
Tuzburun Mevkii, Bozcaada
Bozcaada is around 15 miles from Canakkale.
More McGonagall than Wordsworth, only one hotel in Grasmere seems happy to drag the latter poet's name through the sheep dip. Somehow awarded four stars (unless those are bullet holes in the signs), the Wordsworth manages to capture the essence of tired, floral hell in one of Cumbria's most beautiful villages.
Snootier than an English butler, the hotel keeps its Steptoe disdain for all but its most blue-rinsed guests. One can only hope it has aspirations to one day growing into a retirement home.
In its favour, the hotel does manage to incentivize even the laziest of walkers.
Get to Grasmere and you will only avoid it with great skill.
There's a cool looking toy shop and a well stocked Deli (oppo the Bookshop). There's also the narrowest hotel in the world...but otherwise a place badly in need of a kick up the noughties. No kids either and a horrible religious neo-con atmosphere in some places, culminating in the "singing potter" - bible bashing pot thrower who'll scare you to death should you venture inside - don't bother, the chintzy, dusty, drab earthenware visible in the window should be warning enough.
If I return it will be to enjoy the under-rated Southern Uplands (great walking & mtn biking, Grey Mare's Tail is a good spot for kids and adults alike, the waterfall stunning after rain and all set in a dramatic glacial U valley). As for the town itself, well it's all a bit disorientating. You're served by poor young blighters of Moffat, so prim and unsurly in serving you and so surely repressed by a ruling OLD order no doubt entrenched in cobwebs in the town hall - you want to offer em a free bus tkt to the bright lights of Glasgow (city, fun, music, dancing, sex) - honest - all these things are possible in the outside world. The Best Western hotel off the Market Place is all the proof needed that this is a town lost up its aged self - a fabulous looking building, inappropriately refurbished, externally at least, with a a garish perversion otherwise seen only in the axminster of the box room round your grans.
We stayed here last month. We were right in the centre, just next to the castle, and had lovely views over the Park and the city. The people who helped us to our room all spoke English and did everything they could to make us feel welcome.
Stylish hotel, excellently located in Mitte, within walking distance of many of the key sights; alternatively, seconds from tram, U and S-bahn. Room design is trendy, with huge floor-ceiling windows. Amazing price-quality correlation. Hotel's cocktail lounge has extensive range of drinks. Breakfast not cheap (15EUR per person) but great selection, including delicious crispy bacon.
Oranienburger Strasse 52
U-bahn: Oranienburger Tor
A hotel which has a lovely ambience and is extremely good value for money. We have been to Calvi on and off for about 10 years and stayed there whenever there were vacancies. You breakfast on a patio with views of the magnificent nearby mountains, citadelle and harbour (only slightly impeded now by a DIY emporium across the road). As far as we know, the same management and staff team is still there as was when we first went - not effusive with welcome but very efficient, typical of France in our experience - (although Corsicans like to think of themselves as a race apart, to us they seem as French as Parisiens!).
Route de Pietramaggiore
About 1 km, (easy walk), from where the ferry boats dock, a bit nearer the town centre.
The Somerset Hotel on Elizabeth Street is a brilliant place to stay. It has amazing views over Hyde Park and the Anzac Memorial. There is very good room service with people coming to clean your apartment everyday when you are out. It is near the centerpoint tower and not far from a good pool called Boy Charlton. It is salt water and suspended on stilts over the actual harbour so you get really good views. There is also a brilliant open air cinema on Lady Mcquaries Point. The screen apparently folds down (we didn't get to go there but i reccommend it anyway.)
There are two really good places to eat. One is called Sushi King - it is on George Street and it does the best sushi in the world. The other is the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place - it is really good and they do this great hot chocolate (you get this jug with hot milk in and a jug with melted chocolate in and you pour them in the mug at the same time the result is an amazing rich lovely cup of hot chocolate).
Of course I also reccommend the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (my dad conducts there.)
We wandered into the courtyard of the palace as a respite from the market over the road — and ended up staying. Some of the pavilions have been turned into hotel rooms, but like no other hotel room you’ve ever stayed in: huge carved wooden doors, pagoda roofs supported by gilt pillars, painted masks, brocaded chairs. Some of the Sukawati family, who own the palace, were lounging on daybeds in other salons, one surrounded by birds of prey. And you can hear the music from the traditional dances from the comfort of your room. Surreal.
Ubud Palace, Jl Raya Ubud, 036 975057 $65 a night.
Enjoy the hospitality of an Italian/English family. Negrar is well known for the production of Valpolicella wine, including top of the market 'Amarone' and 'Recioto'. It is only 10 km from Verona, with its opera season in the Arena (June to August) and its jazz festival in the Roman Theatre in June. It is also convenient for Verona’s Trade Fairs, including the world-famous Vinitaly and the International Exhibition of Marble, Stone and Technology; it is only half an hour from Lake Garda and is convenient for travelling to Venice by train.
We stayed here at the end of last summer and really had a great time. A small, friendly, hostel right in the centre of the old town.
The guy who runs the place, Al, is passionate about travel and has been all over the world. He's very helpful with info about Split, history, bars clubs, (even tho he's quite old), the islands or anywhere else he's been.
It was great having a truly international bunch of ppl staying (not just Aussie and Brits). There's a common area and kitchen and Al often gets everyone out for a beer at night so you get to know who you're sleepin with!
He also organises day trips to local sites some not so well known (we had a big day out at the caves).
We got his address from a Guardian article,
Can't remember street address but
10 mins walk from train stn BUT follow directions frm website or you'll lose it!!
Ph is on the website
Breathtaking views, superb food, perfect stopping point for driving the Great Ocean Road. Sleep in your own woodlodge with floor to ceiling windows listening to the sea and watching stars.
If you're looking for a special place to stay in the Greek islands, look no further. The Magic Hotel is ideally located and is superb in every way possible. Their rooms are luxurious, service is first class, food is scrumptious and the views are breathtaking. It is the perfect place to stay for a relaxing holiday.
Agia Paraskevi, 370 02 Skiathos, Greece
++30 24270 49453
There is so much to recommend about Lugano: the weather, the relaxed atmosphere, the view of the lake. When visiting this beautiful city, be sure to stay at Hotel Dante. One of the best hotels we have stayed at in Switzerland.
They have some good special offers on their site.
Piazza Cioccaro 5, 6900 Lugano
Tel: +41 (0) 91 91 05 700
A beautiful, gothic-style, top-class hotel which whisks you away to another world. It's luxurious, the staff are great and the Secret Garden restaurant serves fantastic food. You do have to book well in advance, but it's definitely worth it!
Right next to Edinburgh castle
The apartment is located in one of the best parts of Budapest, very close to everything, like the Mammut Shopping Centre (my wife was thrilled about that!), the Budapest Castle and other great sights, excellent restaurants (Grandma's Pancakes house is great and really close - highly recommended!) and close to all transportation.
The apartment is clean, bright, well stocked with towels and such, the 2 large bedrooms can be great for families, although it was only the two of us. Highly recommended to everybody who visits Budapest!
Citadines Bastille Marais is an apart'hotel centrally located in the interesting Bastille neighbourhood.
Its apartments are big and fully furnished, there's free high-speed internet in the hall and Place De Vosges in Le Marais is a five-minute walk.
Prices are, well, remember that you're in Paris! But they're not too high compared to hotels, and you can save money cooking meals in the kitchen.
37 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris France, www.citadines.com
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