I've visited BA six times, and this is one of the nicest hotels I have stayed in. It's made up of two "sausage houses" which have been refurbished, to provide a friendly, calming ambience - ideal afer an exhausting day of looking around the city. Nice "homely" breakfasts too. The bars, restaurants and parks of Palermo are moments away; the subte (subway) or a bus will get you into the city centre.
Many of the taxi drivers at the airport are on comission from the hostels in Hanoi. They may agree to drive you to the city centre and then tell you your hostel has closed down once you get there. Don't listen to them and insist that they take you to the correct hostel. If they don't, just pay them and get out of the taxi, walk to the nearest bar, and figure out how to walk to your hostel.
It may be worth emailing your hostel and arranging an airport pick-up in advance, most of the larger hotels and many hostels provide this service.
Simple, clean, friendly and obliging hotel. It’s central, just along from the Casa Rosada. Doubles are around £17 a night including breakfast, although that should be taken next door at the fantastic Café Tortoni.
Godzilla hostel is the only hostel in Moscow located inside the Garden Ring (the avenue that circles the centre of Moscow). Not many people know about it, but it's quite a nice place with dorm rooms, kitchen, shared bath and toilet. A bed is $25 (£15) per night.
Bolshoy Karetny 6, ap 5; nearest metro: Tsvetnoy Boulevard or Tverskaya; www.godzillashostel.com
Le Meridien is a fabulous five-star hotel a very short stroll (downhill) from the Grand Place. With very attentive (but not overbearing staff) and a fabulous (although you may want to 'treat' yourself one night as it can be a tad pricey) restaurant, you will leave feeling relaxed and spoilt.
If you call the hotel direct and not via the call centre you will get some fabulous deals.
Although a business/diplomat hotel at heart, our three children, aged four, eight and 12, are always welcomed.
Le Meridien Brussels, Carrefour de l'Europe 3, Brussels; brussels.lemeridien.com
One of many luxury hotels in Hong Kong but this one is just that bit special. Extremely well located on the Kowloon side, it’s just a few steps from the Star Ferry terminal and the malls of Ocean Terminal. Opposite it is the Hong Kong space museum and it is not too far from the Hong Kong science museum – both great venues for children. And of course the hotel has a shopping mall of its own.
Rooms are spacious and elegant and the service is as you would expect. However the best part of it is that the hotel does relatively affordable helicopter rides. A fab way to see Hong Kong or to buzz yourself to the airport.
It also has Rolls-Royces to transfer you to the airport – very comfortable and only a fraction of the price of what you would pay for a car transfer from Narita to Tokyo.
Situated on a small square in front of the Celestins theatre, this is a ridiculously good-quality two-star hotel for the price (66 euros for a superior double which has rooms overlooking the quiet square and a really big bathroom). It’s been recently decorated and rooms have comfy beds, nice furniture, individual décor and period features like fireplaces and exposed stone walls. Breakfast is served when it suits you for 6 euros, the staff are friendly but unintrusive and it’s slap bang in the middle of the central Presque-ile district.
Hôtel du Théâtre, Place des Celestins, Lyon;
Close to the cathedral in a quiet back street. Lovely luxury hotel in an old house with big rooms and good service. Approximately £100 a night for good size double.
Zand 13-19, 2000 Antwerp; www.hotel-sandt.be/ENG/home.htm
The ancient capital of Siam, it's the same distance north of the airport as Bangkok is south.It is everthing Bangkok is not - rural, relaxing, peaceful, hassle-free and the only choice if you have small kids. You can even breath the air.
Once there, choose from a range of lovely, cheap family run guesthouses within walking distance of the crumbling golden wats, some over 1000 years old, that dot the canal girt plain. Built by the Khmers and destroyed by the Burmese only a couple of centuries ago, they make an ethereal sight as the dawn lights the mist through the banyans.
Just catch a train in the opposite direction from the front of the airport. On arrival, a tuk-tuk will take you round to the hotels on the opposite side of the river for a few baht.
The Ivy Guesthouse is next to the central market and has an excellent restaurant (try the stilton burger) and bar with Angkor beer on tap. The rooms have modern air-conditioning and the ones at the front have a balcony to watch the bustling marketplace in action. Rooms have hot showers ensuite. The best place I have stayed in south-east Asia.
On the south-west corner of the central market place.
A chilled out and cheap backpackers guesthouse built on a pier over Boeung Kak lake. Angkor beer on tap and hammocks in the lounge upstairs for lazing around in, internet access and food available too.
On Boeung Kak lake. Go to the mosque and continue down the dirt road, it's second to last on the right, the internet cafe out front is the entrance.
An oasis of calm just off the Sukhumvit Road and minutes from a monorail station where you can hop onto the Skytrain and glide effortlessly above ground level chaos towards the mighty Chao Phraya River
before boarding one of the many river ferries to take you to the sights.
From the hotel's pool and breezy restaurant/bar on the seventh floor you get a sense of what Bangkok is about.
It is set in a garden of peace and tranquillity, shadowed by cloud-touching skyscrapers, lavish Buddhist
temples and gleaming shopping malls. It seems to float above the traffic jams, the crush of people and foodstalls below, but is high enough not to be veiled in fumes.
Arriving straight off an overnight flight the delightful reception staff, face cloths and fruit punch are a refreshing welcome to the country.
The supermarket food bar directly opposite the hotel can be thoroughly recommended and watching your steaming
sweet and sour dish being prepared makes it all the more tasty.
For dessert take a walk around the fruit section and gawp in wonderment at the shapes and colours of the tropical produce. Then select a “pick and mix™” bag of the most exotic and outrageous stuff you see - cheap and healthy.
2 Soi 5 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110; www.amari.com/boulevard; Tel: 66 (0) 2255-2930
Bangkok has a huge amount of hotel accommodation, at all levels.
Rather than settling for a travel-agent 'package', consider the following options:
1) Use an internet resource, such as Expedia.com, for a flight and hotel deal. These can be extremely good value.
2) Consider booking your flight on the internet and using an internet hotel provider for the hotel.
3) Think about booking the first night's stay in Bangkok and then finding your own accommodation, at a cheaper rate, in the city itself. Don't be afraid to barter for a rate.
4) Rather than automatically booking a room with a hotel chain, consider a small, one-off, boutique hotel: the Tartawan Place, in Surawongse Road, is an excellent example: beautiful rooms and suites for about £35-£45.
Finally, remember that hotels, on their web pages, often have a 'special internet rate', which may be very much under the regular rack rate.
An old colonial building, it's now the best place to stay in town. US$120 is a bargain for stylish rooms, a great pool and the best food in town. Good ambience, great service ... can't be bettered.
On the river in the old part of town; www.fcccambodia.com/angkor
If you are in Bangkok for two or three days there is no better place to stay than the Shangri-La. It's right on the river, so there is always something going on.
The transport links are also excellent - Saphan Taksin Skytrain terminal is next door and there's a riverboat station nearby, from where you can get straight to the main temples, the grand palace, Wat Arun and Wat Po.
Take a riverside room in the main building and book through the hotel website as there are usually good value packages.
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, 10500; Tel: (66 2) 236 7777; www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangri-la/en/index.aspx
There's a great selection of restaurants here; Vietnamese, Japanese, Isaan (north-eastern Thai food), Western at Tee Sud Isaan (if you don't get insulted by Doug the drunken American co-owner) and a good quality (if a touch pricey) Thai restaurant called Baan Ajarn's at the lower end of the street. You can also find some reasonably priced hotels/apartments down the street.
Get off the Skytrain at Victory Monument and walk away from the monument, it's the first left.
Suk 11 is a charming and quirky backpacker guesthouse in downtown Bangkok, among all the posh hotels.All wooden and higgledypiggledy, you walk along a series of plankways to get to your room! About 700 baht for an air-conditioned double room with balcony and simple breakfast.
Sukhimvit Road, Soi 11. Two minutes from Nana skytrain station.
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