I have stayed in B&Bs in other parts of the world but this has been by far the worst experience. Although I was there for only 4 days, it felt like an excruciating 4 days because of the host.
Firstly, the host placed her dog in the kitchen during the day time and added a barrier at the kitchen doorway to discourage me from using her kitchen. She even warned me not to be friendly to the dog!
On the second day, the host was displeased that she found hair in the bath-tub. She specifically told me that "your hair is falling out" and subsequently told me to clean up the bath-tub after use. I was too shocked for words when I heard her say that. Talk about hospitality!
On the third night, I had an emergency medical condition during the night and needed to get to the nearest Emergency Room. I told her about my problem and asked if she could call a cab for me as it was already past 12:00 midnight. She said,"We don't call for cabs in New York at night." I sensed that she was obviously not willing to help and asked her to write me the address of the nearest hospital. At that point, she actually said, "It's kind of late now. Can I look it up and give you the address tomorrow morning?" I was stunned beyond words by the cold-heartedness of this person. Then she changed her mind and said, "Oh, I think I'd better give it to you now. I need to go out really early tomorrow morning." She scribbled the address on a piece of paper and left the room.
On this fateful night when I most needed to use the shower, I saw an officious printed note left on my bed by her. She duly informed me that the shower was out of order and there was no suggestion of an alternative solution to the problem. After I came back and contacted City Sonnet, they told me they could not do anything to compensate me.
I would definitely not recommend this B&B to anyone.
Rental Agent : City Sonnet
Address : 152 Bank Street #5B
I had a most wonderful experience staying at this B&B in Upper East for a week. My host Madeleine was a most delightful and obliging lady.
Housed in a building serviced by a doorman, the 2-bedroom apartment was spacious and I had a bedroom with a private bathroom (minus shower facilities). The host cleaned my room daily and the bathrooms were regularly replenished with clean towels. The modern kitchen was well-stocked and I could do my cooking whenever I felt like it.
This B&B was ideal for me as there was a lot of privacy yet it had a warm, homey feel to it which truly felt like a home away from home.
The rental agent - New York Habitat - have many appartments on their website: www.nyhabitat.com;
tel: (212) 255-8018
The Bed & Breakfast is located in Palazzo Agostini, also known as Palazzo dell’ Ussero, with its fifteenth century facade and remains of the ancient city walls dating back to before 1155, when Pisa was an important Maritime republic. The facade is late-Gothic which in the 1400s alternated with the Renaissance style.
The name of the building comes from the coffee rooms of Cafe dell’Ussero, historic meeting place founded on 1st September 1775. The cafe was previously an inn, the Locanda dell’Ussero. Famous and distinguished guests have been - Carlo Goldoni in 1744, Giacomo Casanova in 1760, Count Alfieri in 1785, Filippo Mazzei in 1792, Gioacchino Belli in 1829 and John Ruskin in 1840.
The Relais dell’ Ussero is on the right bank of the River Arno between the Ponte di Mezzo and Ponte Solferino bridges, in the historical centre of Pisa and the oldest part of town. The Palazzo della Sapienza and Palazzo del Rettorato of the University are 30 metres away, Piazza dei Cavalieri, where we find the Scuola Normale Superiore, at 250 metres. Piazza dei Miracoli with the Cathedral, Baptistery and the famous leaning Tower is only 850 metres away.
It is in the historic centre of Pisa, 1 km from Pisa rail station, 1.5 kms (5 minutes) from Pisa Airport, 80 kms (50 minutes) from Florence airport, 20 kms (15 minutes) from Livorno port - all can be reached by taxi.
This is a five-star luxury hotel. Very friendly and non-snooty. Located in the Mala Strada district.
It has four guestroom floors dedicated to a different musical genre – jazz, opera, classical and contemporary - with each en-suite room or suite celebrating an individual artist or composer.
There is a music library open all day with books, CDs and DVDs for loan, based on all types of music. There is also a concierge in attendance to answer guests’ questions relating to their stay in Prague – where to go, how to get there, what to see, where to eat etc, and book it all for you.
Very new, very modern, and very reasonably priced hotel south of the Arno. About a 25 minute walk from the centre, but worth it for the cool bar, funky showers, and to get away from the tourists in the evening.
B&B on Piazza Duomo. Very central, comfortable and reasonably priced. The rooms at the rear are quieter.
Every thrifty (i.e: poor or stingy) traveller is - or certainly should be - familiar with these guides, which are the distillation of the experiences of many steerage class (mostly student) travellers.
There are several nice, clean, inexpensive pensiones on the Via Faenza - just a short walk from the cathedral. See op cit for addresses.
This place was absolutely fantastic with the type of service that really makes you feel at home. It has a great central location and loads of other features such as free internet, free national home phone calls and free CD burning! And the staff were very informative and helpful while at the same time very funny and quite charming.
Via Nazionale, 7, San Lorenzo Market, one block from central station
A word of warning. In my experience some branches of the local hotel industry have yet to adapt to (let's be polite) those with expectations beyond clean bedding. For expensive amusement, look no further than the huge Old Swan hotel near the Turkish Baths. In this hotel (part of the Macdonalds chain) staff seem engaged in a bizzare game of cat and mouse seemingly to frustrate your every requirement. It is a real gem which National Heritage should preserve for the nation. Very soon there will be no hotels like this left. If you aren't from England, however, or you are not a fan of 1970's sit coms, you may wish it a wide berth. (Stay in Leeds and visit by train).
The Swan hotel is off Ripon Road nr the train station.
A beautiful Pensione in a small square south of the river - it's on the 4th floor and has a fantastic loggia on two sides of the building. Very simple, basic rooms - clean but no mod cons, yet that's the joy. You really feel like you're staying in an authentic pensione, not a hermetically sealed hotel.
Piazza Santo Spirito 9, Oltrarno;
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.
My father and I just spent a pleasant 5 days in Ypres, at Camalou B&B. We found it to be a great base from which to explore both the salient and the surrounding countryside. Annette and Christian are great hosts - they treat their guests like old friends and they are a font of information about Ypres and anywhere else you would like to explore. Annette does great tours of the battlefields, but whatever you choose to do with your day, she will have some invaluable insider tip for you. The rooms are beautifully furnished and comfortable, the breakfasts hearty and family-style. Camalou is about 3.2 km from the center, which means you will need a car, but you are near roundabouts that will take you to any key towns in the salient, and you get to wake up to the sound of local roosters and dairy cows. At around 65 euros/night, Camalou is an ideal Ypres headquarters. I heartily recommend it.
Be wary when selecting property rental companies. Try to get as much information as possible about the property before you arrive.
We stayed in Nice for a week last year with accommodation organised by TotallyNice, a rental company. Unfortunately, the apartment was entirely unsuitable for us. It was located near the train station, which turned out to be one of the most dangerous areas of Nice, and the neighbours downstairs were a nightmare, playing loud music until 5am.
For anybody booking an apartment in Nice: the 'undesirable neighbourhoods' are the area near the train station, the port and Malaussena. Anywhere else in the centre of town seemed perfectly safe.
Personally, I plan to avoid using 'rental companies' in the future, and approach the property owner directly.
However, don't let my bad experience put anybody off Nice. I had a wonderful time there and I plan to return very shortly. It's a beautiful city.
The hotel has the established look and feel of an Edwardian mansion with its rich mahogany furnishings, soft luxurious carpets and the most attentive staff. In fact it was built only eight years ago and so benefits from all the modern technology necessary for guests’ comfort.
The rooms are spacious, each furnished with a safe and supplied with complimentary bathrobes and slippers. The bathrooms are a delight with huge soft towels and Gilchrist and Soames bath products – it is the epitome of luxury.
Our room looked out to Croagh Patrick and beyond to the ocean’s silver of Clew Bay.
In the morning, laze breakfast away over the second pot of tea or coffee after the fluffy poached eggs on slivers of toast or the grilled Dover sole or the creamed porridge with cinnamon…
Afterwards, sit in the foyer and read the morning papers while the world passes gently by. The foyer is one that immediately welcomes - there is a comfortable atmosphere with relaxing seating and lighting – a pleasant setting to do the crossword in the Irish Times - the easy one.
Hotel Nacional is well worth just the one night at least. The breakfast is amazing (all world cuisines covered in one room). Mojitos in the garden with bands serenading and the sea view in front - it's an amazing way to start (or end your visit).
A Casa particular in Vedado (Habana). We stayed with Horacio and his wife, and were made to feel very welcome. He speaks fluent English, is extremely enthusiastic about his city - making recommendations, made good (but simple) breakfasts, and as we were three (one couple) travelling, the fact that there were two rooms to hire was ideal.
However, the outstanding feature was the house itself, with (as the name suggests) antiques abounding, a lovely balcony, grand piano and huge four poster beds. We were stuck in the house during Hurricane Charley (2004) and despite this, it was such a memorable end to our month in Cuba. Highly Recommended.
Just 50 metres from Plaza Mayor, this casa particular has a nice room with ensuite bathroom, aircon and 24hr hot water. Outside is a small patio where you can hear music from Casa de Musica. Lovely family and great Cuban food. Owner happy to help with tours.
Calle Simon Boliviar 504, Trinidad
tel: (01419) 2343
Accordion music, fountains and a cheery greeting of “Bonjour” from the hotel staff greet you as you head towards the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.
The tower is not quite as tall as the original, in fact it is exactly half the size, however it has been reproduced with a superb eye for detail. An elevator whisks you to the observation deck, 460 feet above the Strip where there are fantastic views across Vegas, taking in a 360 degree panorama that includes the Strip, the city and the mountains in the distance and, in the evening, wonderful views across to the Bellagio fountain display.
The observation deck is quite small (holding about 30 to 40 people at a time) so you may have to queue to get in and, needless to say, it is not for those at all nervous of heights.
Cost of entry was approximately 12 dollars each when we visited. A little pricey maybe but worth it for the views
At the Paris Las Vegas, 3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd
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