Cute, Americana-style (white picket fences) bed and breakfast and hostel pretty much in the centre of Breckenridge (it's a five/10 minute walk to the ski lift or the bus stops outside.) Run by an English couple who are certainly unique and who had a huge poodle that ruled the roost. I had a four bed dorm room which was cosy certainly but the folks I shared with were huge characters so it made my trip. There's a hot tub and a large living area with a big fire and huge leather sofas which were great for curling up in. Good for a hostel is the ski storage so you never felt too cramped with all your kit stuffed in your locker. The kitchen is basic - a sink and a microwave but there are a few options for cheap eating in town - Rasta pasta and Empire Burger kept me going a fair bit. Plus you can buy brekkie every morning in the B&B if you're on the hostel pricing and it's pretty good. Although there is a proper American cafe down the road the name totally escapes me but it's next to Subway(!) which does huge breakfasts for not very much. The walls are decorated with number plates from across the states and the coffee is so strong you won't have any trouble getting out on the slopes!
1114 N French St
Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
+1 (970) 453-6456
Google map: bit.ly/aZdJSh
The words Meribel and budget do not go hand in hand. Meribel is renowned for its luxury chalets and extensive ski area rather than budget ski holidays. However there is a wonderful way to stay in the Meribel valley for next to nothing. Club Alpin Francais is a refuge in Les Allues, in the Meribel Valley. It is not out of the way, not in some unknown area or small hamlet and offers excellent budget accommodation for skiers and snowboarders. There are two dormitories which cost just 16 euros per person per night which means you could get a week self catered for less than £100pp (at the current exchange rate.)
Club Alpin Francais, Les Allues, Meribel, 73550
0033 (0) 385 93 10 21
Nearest train staion - Moutiers
Nearest airport - Chambery
Nearest bus station - Les Allues
Nearest ski resort - Les Allues(3 valley ski region with over 650kmlinked skiing)
Nearest supermarket - Les Allues (5 min walk)
Nearest Bar - Les Allues (10 min walk)
Nearest Restaurant - Les Allues (5 min walk)
Nearest Lift - Les Allues ( 10 min walk)
Google map: bit.ly/cCCZuq
For NZ$820 (less than £400) you get a seven day liftpass, six nights accommodation, meals from Sunday night to Saturday lunch, NZ's highest hot tub, access to the fancy dress box and night skiing on a Tuesday when I was there in September. This was crazy, a whole day on the hill, a couple of beers apres ski by the fire while watching the sunset over the peak of Mt. Olympus, followed by a communal dinner, then out came the fancy dress box to much amusement and then at 8.30pm the massive floodlights came on and everyone headed out for a couple of hours night skiing in the main bowl with the tunes from the sound system echoing out across the mountains. Totally surreal and amazing!
A genuine club field experience like no other.
UCPA, with centres in most of the big name French ski resorts, provides amazing value, all inclusive, outdoor activity packages.
In winter, you can ski, snowboard or even learn to speed ride. In summer, you can try mountaineering and other activities.
Most packages include full-time coaching, the technical equipment you require, lift passes and full board accommodation.
The centres are basic, but clean and adequate as a base, while the food is outstanding and plentiful. Beer and wine is also far cheaper than in most bars or hotels.
As an introduction to an activity, the courses are ideal. Better yet, for off-piste guiding, nothing compares for value. A week will typically cost about £600 plus transport, but you needn't spend a penny more in resort.
The cheapest transport option for a group may be to drive from the UK, but bus operators also link up to London. Outside of school half-term weeks, flights to gateway cities like Geneva can also be obtained cheaply from the usual budget operators.
Highly affordable hostel which manages to still be conveniently located near the centre of town. A simple, but excellent, breakfast is included in the price. The bar (stocked with an impressive selection of scotch) is a seasonaires favourite, especially in spring when the enormous patio with breathtaking views of Mont Blanc really comes into its own. The New Years Eve party, the Boss des Bosses race weekend and the end of season party in early May are the best possible times to stay there and enjoy the atmosphere.
A Hostelling International hostel, in one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in the Alps, you can get a bed in peak season for less than €20/night.
AJ - 'Les Brûleurs de Loups'
34, Avenue de la Muzelle
38860 Les Deux Alpes, (Isère), France
Google map: bit.ly/awjsbU
Location, location! It overlooks English Bay, in the west end and has 120 rooms. Built in 1912 the staff make you feel at home and round the corner from Denman Street restaurants and a walk or jog on the beach. Rates from $129 Canadian and with a great bar and restaurant downstairs.
If you like your skiing without queuing, try cross country (Langlaufen) in Ramsau, a southerly alp above Schladming, crowned by the Dachstein massif.
And the best place to stay is Bacherhof, an organic farm hotel. Sigrid and Herwig welcome you like family, everyone has half board and soon makes friends. It is not meant to be luxurious but it is comfortable, there is a sauna ready as the sun goes down, and the food is fantastic.
Now one person's "budget" is not another's, but with prices from 53 Euros per person for half board (children under 2 free, 5-10yrs half price), it is excellent value.
We had a one of our best holiday memories in Bellevue in Agia Pelagia beach. The hotel complex is in the centre of Crete and is in easy reach of many attractions and archaeological sites such as Knossos which is 20 km away. Bellevue is run by a English/Greek family that help you any time you need info. Their son George is a very helpful and polite person and has a shop down in Agia Pelagia. During the first days we didn't have a car and George after serving Bellevue's super breakfast offered us a lift every day down to the village of Agia Pelagia and a couple of times to the lovely beach of Ligaria. Bellevue is a simple but a very good hotel/apartment complex. Our room was very big, simple but tastefully decorated. The view was one of the best we have ever seen or experienced. During our stay we explored the six beaches in and around Bellevue. One day we walked till the next mountain village and visited the monastery of Sebbatiano that was a super experience.
The Three Horseshoes Inn is a beautiful 400 year-old pub in deepest, rural Somerset. This pub has kept many original features such as the inglenook fireplace and the vaulted dining room ceiling. The staff are really friendly, serve a great pint of local ale and the food is simply incredible. I love this place and would thoroughly recommend you and the family make the trip. 10/10
Really lovely B&B nestled in the Wye Valley up a lane away from the traffic that constantly roars along the main road. Nice big room with spectacular view over the ancient woodland that covers the sides of the valley. Comfortable bed. The supper was delicious and made with vegetables from the garden. Breakfast was a lovely combo of fruits and nuts and welsh cakes. The extensive garden is amazing - acres and acres of flower beds, lawns, potagers, woodland, and orchards - all tended by the owners.
The first thing that stands out about the Helix is that it's in D.C. which at first glance doesn't exactly strike you as a kitsch and funky city. But for suits who want to show their wild side, it's the place to go. It's all very Sixties style, lots of multicoloured lights, mirrors, swirly patterns and egg chairs as in Austin Powers. In my room there was carpet on the ceiling, and Andy Warhol-esque paintings. But the best bit was the leopard print bath robes which had me poncing about like a diva!
Although Crescent City itself is pretty much 'Anytown, USA' - the Curly Redwood lodge is a decent, clean and kitsch motel apparently made from one redwood tree! A comfortable stay for a night or two. We can also recommend The Chart Room diner down on the dock, a good place to go to get a genuine local American experience, in terms of food and good company.
This raid is really great, a fabulous place to stay and the perfect place to relax after a day in Marrakech which can be very full on. The staff were friendly and attentive. They welcomed us in with mint tea and then gave us a map and offered us advice on what best to do and how to find our way around. We highly reccommend the dinner - we had a Moroccan salad, chicken tagine, beautifully spiced vegetables and a fruit desert with wine. Our room was charming, very comfortable with a good shower. It is a 10 minute walk to the main square but we liked this, because we saw a different side to Marrakech.
A secluded tranquil haven - almost taking a step back in time, except that the food and furnishings are modern and stylish. The hospitality directly from the owners is awesome, and the wine cellar is fantastic - a walk-in refridgerated room! Eat from the set menu every night and you will not see the same food twice and you will not leave an empty plate. Yum!
Hopelessly lost in San Luis Obispo, we call the Inn. "How do we find you?"
"You need to get on the 1 South and exit at the junction with the 227" comes the answer. The phone goes dead.
"And then what?"
Finding the 1 South is easy enough. The 227 exit road curls us slowly around 180 degrees and into a night sky lit garishly pink by a huge sign that instantly dwarfs us. "MADONNA INN" it screams.
And without a doubt, this is one of the kitschiest of US kitsch examples. Built in the mid 20th century, it's story goes something like this. At the time a deserty rocky outcrop in the middle of nowhere and bereft of any decent accommodation, a couple hit on the idea of building a motel incorporating those pesky rocks into its construction (no doubt cheaper than moving them away.) When it came to deciding on room decoration however, they couldn't agree on what to do. So in the pursuit of marital harmony, the couple hit on another idea. They would each be allocated rooms to decorate as they wished.
And from this was borne the 100 plus room tourist destination that this Inn has become. Each themed room is uniquely - indeed, often bizarrely - different. We stayed in the "Caveman". Described by the Inn as a "...rustic den of solid rock", we slept surrounded by tigers and showered in a cave under a rushing rock waterfall. Or something like that ...
The on-site restaurant is an assault on the senses and yet a strangely comforting nostalgic trip back in time to the 1950/60s. Huge pink leather booths, pink tablecloths, pink carpets and gilded gold chandeliers and lights wrestle for your attention with plants and a childlike doll with rosy pink cheeks that rocks eerily backwards and forwards above you on a swing hanging from the ceiling. Old time music plays on weekends, as aging couples - dressed in vintage as if for a Saturday night school dance - jive on a dance floor behind you, seemingly blissfully unaware that they are no longer teenage childhood sweethearts. Huge slices of multi-layer cream cakes (including Black Forrest available with or without the cherries?!) piled high with colourfully decorated frostings accompanied by an ice cream soda complete your step back in time.
Then there's the similarly decorated on-site bar, coffee shop, bakery, souvenir shop...
It's quirky and kitsch and odd and very probably not the best value for money, but it's fun nevertheless. A Californian institution that's worth a detour if you're in the area.
You can stay in an Airstream trailer.
They have a kitsch diner on sight - 'Dot's Diner'
You can stay in the 1947 Tiki Bus Polynesian Palace - in fact all their trailers and boats are kitsch classics!
Its brilliant and 100% retro!!!!
This is a very uniquely decorated 'hotel' which is more like a hostel, but is particularly cheap for New York accommodation and the artwork is like no other.
A lovely kitsch and cute classic films themed hotel with an in-house cat and lovely staff. Each room is named after a filmstar (we were in the Kim Novak suite) filled with film posters that they had starred in and even larger pictures in the lobby, halls and breakfast room. Feels like a home from home in the middle of the Big Apple - you're right on the corner of Chelsea, the meatpacking district and the west village. They post you a newsletter under the door every morning with suggestions of things to do and sights to see and they will book you tickets to anywhere you want to go. We went on honeymoon and they sent flowers to our room. Very very charming, free internet and business centre with compuetrs and printing, lovely breakfast and staff who would do anything to ensure you are happy in this lovely hotel.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org