In the lobby of the Marriott Hotel is an 'all you can eat' dessert bar, which costs roughly £4 per head. The selection is fantastic (they had 3 different kinds of strudel the day we went). However, coffee, tea etc is extra.
· Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4, on the riverbank of the Pest side, just north of the Elizabeth bridge;
· tel: 36 1 266 7000, (or toll free 008 001 1998);
One of the nicest hostels I've stayed in anywhere in Europe and at a good price too. Run by the owners, who are exactly the kind of people who should be in charge.
I have just came back from a short break in Valencia and stayed in a studio flat right in the centre for 45 euros a night. Close to the cathedral, market, main square, restaurants, bars, night life, etc.
This colonial-era hotel in Aswan, about 80 miles south of Luxor, is famed for Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. The glamour has faded but it remains a lovely retreat from the heat and hawkers where you can take scones and tea on a palm-fringed balcony.
Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel, Abtal El Tahrir Street, Aswan;
tel: 00 20 97 316000
Small simple elegant hostel/hotel. Spotless with impeccable wooden floors everywhere. Very close to the action and with a tiny park in front - used by winos, but the police station is next door. On the bus route to the airport and close to the central station. Very reasonably priced. A real snip!
VIP Eden is an aparthotel at the Restaurdores end of Avenida da Liberdade. Prices vary for a single room with kitchen but can be as low as 60 euro (midweek) if you shop the internet. Location is very central and handy for the Metro. Best views right up the Avendide are from the ninth floor or from the roof top restaurant and sun area.
Praça dos Restauradores 24;
tel: 213 216 600;
A studio apartment in the fast-rising bohemian district 8, this is a great place to stay for couples. The apartment has been done up to a really high standard for Budapest and it is very good value for money. Close to tram and underground links.
Apartments in Krakow's Old Town with a bit of character. I visited the city quite recently, and have stayed in two of the apartments they have - the Polanski (where the film director himself used to live) and the Florian, which overlooks the medieval town walls. The great thing about the apartments, apart from fantastic locations, is the level of service. Even when we arrive really late (which happens when we come via Wizzair and bus from Katowice Airport) there is no problem getting our keys and getting into the flat. Run by a friendly and young team who are eager to help.
This hotel is run by a Japanese-Turkish family and is located in the beautiful and secluded Paradise Bay.
The hotel is just by the water with a stunning view, and you can relax on the long wooden jetty listening to the nature, without any disturbances. The sea is very clear - just like an aquarium where you can watch the fish go by.
The food is delicious, it is basically Aegean food: vegetables, herbs and mainly fish cooked with olive oil, and the Japanese menu cooked personally by the owners suited my taste.
The deluxe rooms are nicely decorated and are spacious, all with seaviews. The only
thing that might be negative is that the road leading to the hotel is unpaved and quite bumpy. They are waiting for the municipality to fix it, I hope that it works.
I would recommend the hotel to anyone who would like to have a quiet and relaxing holiday, enjoy the seaside and the nature plus a very friendly and comfortable stay.
Cennet Koyu n:48 Gölköy Bodrum 48400 Mugla Turkey
phone: +90 252 357 74 16-17-18
Cennet Koyu no:48 Gölköy Bodrum 48400 Mugla.
Tel: +90 252 357 74 16-17-18
I really suggest a visit to San Jouan Bed & Breakfast in Rome if you're looking to visit the eternal city. On the website the photos are not so good, but San Jouan is really better. This hotel is really lovely. The beds are great - so comfortable, the showers are great (OK, a bit small, but we're not very large so they suited us fine). I booked a couple of tours through the hotel and agree that it's more efficient to schedule them, especially, if you don't have a lot of time. However, if you prefer to sightsee on your own, ancient Rome is only a tram ride away. Public transport is excellent with a regular bus service just outside the hotel. We have had a wonderful stay in Rome, made all the better by this beautiful hotel. The hotel is in a relatively quiet area, which is nice, because there were crowds of people everywhere. I would definitely stay there again.
Via Francesco Berni 7, near San Giovanni Basilica;
tel: 06 700 8543;
My friend and I rented a duplex apartment in Barcelona for one week and were so happy with the decision to stay there. It was very clean and modern, and looked exactly like it did on the website. The people who work with this apartment were extremely helpful and easy to get a hold of. It is located on a narrow street in Barceloneta. I felt very safe in this area (which I was especially thankful for since my friend and I are both girls). It was a bit loud in the morning, but I felt like a local. Highly recommended.
Uluru is a large sandstone rock formation located in Uluru-KataTjuta National Park, some 475km from Alice Springs. Uluru is sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area (Pitjantjatjara). The park also houses Kata Tjuta, or “The Olgas”, literally meaning 'many heads' owing to its peculiar formation - this is another rock formation about 25km from Uluru and they make for two must-see features of Australia's Red Centre.
The local Aborigines request that you do not climb the rock as it passes an important dreaming track and can also be very dangerous. A free coach is at hand to transfer you from the airport to the nearby Yulara resort, where there are three, four and five-star rated hotels and also a youth hostel that has a very relaxed feel and live music with bring-your-own BBQs in the evening.
Accommodation is extremely pricey, as is food and drink, although the supermarket is reasonable. One must-have for Uluru is insect repellent. The flies will have you performing several “bush salutes” a minute if you aren't able to ward them off in some way.
Uluru is an amazing landmark, once referred to as the “remarkable pebble” by the explorer Ernest Giles. The many tours are informative and provide breathtaking sights of Uluru, especially at sunrise and sunset when the rock puts on a magnificent display, changing colour with the sun’s position.
Uluru is 475km by road from Alice Springs. It takes around 50-60 minutes to fly, and around 4.5 – 5 hours to drive.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mpddkq
Located in a beautifully restored old colonial house and centred around a lush courtyard garden, Macondo is a little haven from the chaos of taxis and buses outside. With friendly and informative staff, clean rooms, and even a kitchen (a real rarity in Ecuador), it’s the perfect place to relax for a few days.
Brilliant remote eco-hostel near Voss, surrounded by mountains, woods and lakes. Its own mini-hydroelectric plant powers a ski lift in winter and a heated swimming pool in summer. It even has its own riding school. Double/family rooms with ensuite bathroom as well as dorms. And you don’t need a car to get there — take the train to Newcastle, ferry to Bergen then train to Ørneberget, only 300m from the hostel.
tel: 0047 5652 3150;
These two cities might be easier to find accommodation in when Frankfurt gets busy. You can reach Frankfurt from them in 35 mins with the S-bahn, which is very practical. They are also very close to Frankfurt International Airport.
Mainz is a university town, well known for its Gutenberg Museum (with the first edition of the Bible ever printed) and for its beautiful cathedral. It is also set along the Rhine and is a good departure point for Romantic Rhine excursions.
Wiesbaden is a former thermal town, very pleasant and chic with beautiful houses and a great town centre.
This is one of the YHA's first Green Beacon eco-friendly hostels. It's a great place to go cycling across the North York Moors.
Spectacular setting at the top of the Imlil Valley, beneath Mt Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains (60km from Marrakech). One of the most special valleys I've been to. Food is great, the place is run by a local Berber guy, and there's a great hamman to soak in after walking in the mountains. Best time to visit is October and November when it's a bit cooler. The upmarket rooms are quite pricey but I went at New Year with four friends and stayed in the cheaper dorms, which were great.
With 2,200 kilometres of protected forest, 297 species of birds, tigers, gibbons and Asiatic black bears, Luang Namtha in northern Laos has some of the most diverse wildlife in South East Asia.
And the best way to experience it, while minimising the environmental impact of your stay? Try award-winning eco-lodge The Boat Landing.
Nestled on a quiet bend on the Nam Tha River, The Boat Landing combines luxury (think private thatched lodges with verandas overlooking the river) with community-based ecotourism. Solar power, locally-sourced materials and energy and water saving devices come as standard. They also have a seasonal menu in their fabulous restaurant, and run programmes with local schools and conservation projects. But by far and away the best thing about The Boat Landing is the staff: friendly, informed, committed, they work hard to ensure that tourism development brings social and economic benefits to the local community, without harming the environment.
The Boat Landing also supports Green Discovery, who arrange tours and treks into the forest and to hilltribe villages – with much of the money you spend going directly to the local community. The Boat Landing is more expensive than other guesthouses in Luang Namtha, but it’s money well spent – and the expense is relative: a few dollars more is all.
It is a budget hotel, yet very clean and with very helpful staff. Decent size rooms and good bathrooms, and it also has a breakfast room.
11, rue Juge, 75015 Paris;
tel: 01 45 78 2929;
Palatial! Stunning location at the top of the Imlil Valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains - one of the most special valleys I've ever been to. It's half-owned by Maurice - a local Berber guy and is run by his friends.
Fantastic walks in the mountains - including Mt Toubkal and great to soak in the hamman afterwards. Has upmarket rooms, but the cheaper dorms were good enough for me and four others.
Best time to go apparently is October or November, though was great at New Year.
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