Based on a recommendation from this site, we went to Ojo on a recce to look at the possibility of buying a flat in Buenos Aires.
Amongst the many flats and houses they rent out by the week, Ojo offered us an irresistible deal. At less than half any quoted price on the internet, we rented a fantastic room at the Alvaer Palace, unquestionably Latin America's grandest hotel.
Apparently they are in control of the only two privately owned rooms in the hotel, which only they can rent out on the hush. We all sometimes need a dash of luxury and this deal provided it in spades, not least because as we slipped between our silky sheets we knew we were in fact helping out the homeless (due to Ojo giving all its profits to the Red Cross). Enjoy.
Ojo, Serrano 1503, Plaza Serrano, Buenos Aires; Tel: 00 54 11 4832 4040
Roman Reference is a company that offers apartments to rent in the centre of Rome. I found them by googling 'Rome apartment rental'. I took an apartment in the Rione Monti area of the city near their office, which is right next to the Colosseum. The flat was excellent, accommodating four people easily. The staff all spoke English and were very friendly. The cost worked out to be almost as much as it would be to stay in a hostel. Being so central, all the sights are within easy walking distance. It really made the trip. They appear to have lots of apartments in the centre of Rome and I'll definitely be using them again when I go back.
If you do stay in Quito you must stay in this wonderful hotel. An old hacienda with beautiful individual rooms covered in murals - many have open fires, four-poster beds, Victorian baths, balconies - and delicious food including home-made bread and preserves. Worth staying in Quito just to stay here.
We got a very romantic apartment perched above the gossipy little streets of Trastevere with this company, and for only 75 euro a night. It was cheaper than a hotel and much better, because there are no hotels to speak of in this fabulously relaxed district. Frescoes on the ceiling, a great rooftop balcony and all the pavement restaurants below a short stumble away. It absolutely made the holiday.
Nest is a new hostel located in one of the most beautiful streets in Valencia and just a short walk to many of Valencia's most interesting sites.The historical appearance of the facade has been maintained, while creating a 70's Pop design interior in huge rooms with lots of natural light. Here I found backpackers from all around the world and could share experiences in a friendly atmosphere. There is a great common kitchen which is fully equipped, a dining area and a gorgeous top floor to chill out, listen to music, watch the TV or a DVD and play pool.
In Calle La Paz, 36 Valencia+34 963427168www.nestyh.com10 min. walk from the train station, bus number 8 from the bus station stops just at the front door.
A smart, centrally located hotel within the budget of most travellers. Situated opposite Malaga's bustling fish, fruit and veg market, the Atarazanas is in the heart of the city, walking distance to the Picasso museum, the Alcazaba and Malaga's many fine tapas bars. The hotel has been recently refurbished, with a bar, good restaurant and clean, modern, en-suite rooms. I went in October 2005 and a double room cost £34, via an online hotel discount company.
Calle Atarazanas 19, Malaga 29004, Spain;
tel: +34 952 12 19 10;
fax +34 952 12 19 11;
The hotel is opposite the main Mercado, just five minutes walk from Malaga train station (not the RENFE).
Modern, clean and friendly hotel - especially for families. Rooms around £60 per night accommodating a family of up to four. The hotel is approximately 200 metres from a surviving piece of the Berlin Wall. It’s in a central location about 5-10 minutes walk from Potsdamer Platz.
Anhalter Strasse, Anhalter Bahnhof S-Bahn; www.suitehotel.com
This hotel specialises in catering for Jewish visitors to Rome, but it's also great value for anyone who wants somewhere basic but friendly and well-located. In the middle of arty Trastevere, at the foot of the stunning Janiculum Hill, the Mamelli is surrounded by the some of the best bars and restaurants in Rome. Trastevere is a great base from which to explore the city because it comes alive at night; this allows you to spend the day on the other side of the river doing the tourist thing before returning over the Tiber for a night out within staggering distance of home.
Via Goffredo Mamelli
Right on the waterfront, this thin but tall hotel has great rooms and French cuisine only a couple of blocks from the Royal Palace and National Museum. The prices are a bit high for PP, but the quality is superb. No lift: stairs only. The top-floor suite with garden is wonderful, with a superb view and peace.
This is perhaps the best hotel in all of Cambodia. The new facilities and the local and international staff are nearly perfect as they move from soft opening to grand opening. The luxury duplex spa suites with breakfast and private pools are so good I never wanted to leave.
Sivutha Blvd, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tel: + 855 63 966 000
Fax: + 855 63 965 001
At the start of the famous Yarra Valley is the township of Yarra Glen and dominating the town is the famous old hotel... the Grand. Built in the late 1880s, the Grand is one of the most significant landmarks of the Yarra Valley.
Classified by the National Trust, and registered with Heritage Commission, the Grand has been restored to reflect the grace and elegance of the turn of the century while catering to the demands of the modern world with premium accommodation and fine dining. It includes a first class restaurant, Farrells, a cafe a bistro and a bar. It's an excellent place to start visting everything the Yarra Valley has to offer.
19 Bell Street Yarra Glenn, 3775 VIC, Australia
Telephone: 61 3 9730 1230
Facsimile: 61 3 9730 1124
A small family hotel with only 15 rooms or so and close to the centre of Ypres. It's quaint, not straight, but has charm. It has a great bistro with Belgium beer of course. You can park your car on a side street and walk there. Only a few hundred metres from the Menin Gate and a few metres from the (rebuilt) Cloth Hall, which today houses the 'in Flanders Fields' Museum. An affordable place to base yourself while in Ypres.
Situated on the north side of the main square (Grote Markt).Grote Markt 2, B-8900 IeperTelephone +32 (0)57/ 20 04 75; Fax +32 (0)57/ 21 78 96
Self contained apartments just off Bleeker Street. Soho, Greenwhich Village, East Village and LES all walkable. For the same price as the cheaper hotels we stayed in the Carriage House and got all the benefits of home from home comfort, with as much space as we needed and more bagels/bialys than we could eat. Used it on our first stay in NY and it helped us almost convince ourselves that we were living in the city.
Superb hotel in the centre of Riga in an excellent location on the edge of the old town. The hotel is perfectly located for nightlife as most of the liveliest spots are within five minutes walk. The hotel is a little on the expensive side with rooms priced at 100 Lats, but the location more than makes up for it with the freedom monument on the hotel doorstep
Guesthouse West is a small boutique hotel in Notting Hill. I like it because the staff are friendly (it doesn't lose intimacy as large hotels can) and its decor is both classy and comfortable. Being there simply makes you feel good about yourself.
The food and drink are a little expensive for my taste, but if you're in the mood to treat yourself, they are of high quality.
Very comfortable yet quiet small guesthouse set back amongst the bustling throngs of THE place to surf n party.
Lovely pool and agreeable price lets you spend extra bargaining for gifts and art in Ubud market.
poppies 1 kuta beach down an alley on your lefthand side sharp eyes needed to see a blue sign
This is a hostel, somewhat away from the tourist areas but still within easy walking distance of the sights. One of the main attractions was the free breakfast and dinner, with free wine, as well as free internet access. This forces the residents to mingle and make friends and creates a brilliant communal spirit. It is also very colourfully decorated, with decent bunk beds and big lockers (which is useful for backpackers). When I went it was almost entirely filled with Americans, whether that is a good or bad thing is up to you.
It is about 5 minutes from Termini station, on Via Principe Amadeo (I think). Details can be found on hostelbookers.com.
Theatre ship with bed and breakfast facilities and bar. Totally unexpected cross cultural place to stay. Tone Holmen, one of the owners, is a great cook and speaks perfect English and Spanish, the ambience is terrific and the price of a bed for the night is reasonable for Oslo. The beer isn't very expensive either. The fjord is usually calm and it's a delightful experience to sit and look out over the sea while enjoying a cool lager and listening to some Afro-Caribbean music. Very near the main shopping centre, kindly hosts and lovely views.
For live music, check www.livemusicvancouver.com
The best hostel in the city (during the summer) is the Jericho Beach Hostel. They organize all sorts of bar-crawls, vollyball and the usual BS. Plus it's a giant dorm right on the beach.
However, if you're coming here anywhere outside of summer, stay here www.samesun.com/vancouver_hostel.html or check out the Cambie Hostel/Bar. Both Hostels have good bars with cheap $6-10 pitchers of beer, full of ex-pats, and opportunities to go into the interior/Banff ect. The Cambie is a rowdy dive of a bar, so expect picnic tables, and lot's of beer being tossed everywhere by 19-23yr olds.
There are a few smaller hotels around Robson St. for about $90CAD a night. There's a million luxury hotels such as the Opus Hotel, and Hotel Vancouver (google for info).
For restaurants, you can either score $0.99 sushi on Davie St or check this www.straight.com/content.cfm?id=12744 (Best of Vancouver).
Contrary to popular belief, it's not 100% legal here. However use common sense and you'll be fine. There are a few cafes around town, and an actual store operating called 'Vancouver Connection'. Read this magazine: www.cannabisculture.com/ and ask around the forum.
Get on the skytrain and get off on Broadway St. Make your way down commercial drive towards the water and you'll come across a billion artist-run centres/cafes/bars galore.
If you really want to do something awesome, look for vacation cabins along Shushwap Lake, Christina Lake, or the millions of other cabins. Rent a boat and party till the sun comes up on the beach in Osoyoos or whatever. Not cheap :(
Finally, if you want to check out local punk/metal bands, meet awesome people and drink the cheapest booze on the planet go here www.thecobalt.net
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