A small independent hotel, restaurant and bar (open to non-residents). Wunderbar is a real gem of a place. The accommodation and food really is first rate and the bar is the best in the area. There is not much night life in Bentota but Wunderbar is my favourite bar in the whole of Sri Lanka. It can be lively when the boys play the drums but it is always friendly and is a safe environment to drink with a minimum of hassle. Like the hotel, the bar is well managed (not over-managed) drinks are cheap and it's locally owned so your cash goes into the local economy.
Walk along the beach, the bar is less than 1km to the south of the main resort, of an evening take a three wheeler from the railroad crossing.
A wonderful seafront hotel in beautiful Santa Monica, the Georgian is, on the outside, a powder blue art-deco classic, while on the inside the rooms are modern and stylish but with the old-world feel of the hotel preserved. Enjoy a drink at sunset at the hotelfront veranda bar and watch the world go by in style.
Ocean Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
A fantastic venue situated at the top of Le Meridien hotel, Henri's is the highest bar in Delhi. The floor to celing windows offer breathtaking views of Rajpath and India Gate. The bar staff are friendly, courteous and proud to point out the areas of interest below. A great place to get your bearings in Delhi and the 4-6pm happy hour doesnt hurt either.
Le Méridien New Delhi,
New Delhi - 110001
Tel : - +91 11 2371 0101
Imagine a converted Labour Exchange which brews its own multi-award winning beer on site, with a devoted all-age clientele in spacious, comfortable surroundings and place a wonderful Thai kitchen upstairs in its heart (you can see the chefs working as you savour a pint at the bar) - sounds almost too good to be true. It's very good value too and the service is excellent.
Situated in the basement of one of Madurai's larger hotels, this bar is definitely worth checking out. It's got Logan's Run-style space-age decor, which will make you feel just like you're in outer space...because it's so weird.
Tamil Nadu's not big on licensed premises, so the locals (invariably male) tend to nurse a soft drink and watch the tourists, but it's a fun place (if a bit loud when the sound system cranks up). And they give you yummy bar snacks with every drink!
In the basement of the Hotel Supreme, 110 West Perumal Maistry Street, Madurai.
Just 20 minutes by taxi from Old Havana there are perfect Caribbean beaches – fine white sand and inconceivably turquoise water — which are the perfect escape from the heat of city. There are a few beach bars serving decent fried fish, etc. Swimming pools are a rarity in Havana, but there is a good one in the lovely Hotel Sevilla — cocktails available.
A little off the beaten track. In the midweek it's full of locals, very cheap to get in and to drink, and amazing bands. Seems the place Cubans go to meet people of the opposite sex. Best thing we did in Cuba
Ave. 20 No. 3308 esq. a 35, Miramar, Havana, Cuba
The Parque Central area is the place to stay when visiting Havana. A cheaper alternative to the Parque Central Hotel is the adjoining Hotel Plaza, which was built circa 1905 and has since been renovated, with a marvellous entrance and lobby. Rooms are small and dark, but you only use them for sleeping. No pool but you can use the one down the street at the Hotel Sevilla for a few CUCs (1.08 $ U.S.) One should visit the rooftop dining room at the Sevilla, have a drink at the sidewalk cafe of the Inglaterra, and see what's happening on the Inglaterra roof, Friday or Saturday (all within 1 minute from the hotel). The roof of the Plaza gives the best view of the Bacardi building just to the east. The Sevilla and the Telegrafo are intermediate in quality and price, between the Plaza and the Parque Central. Also, it’s very close to the two art museums (don't miss the modern one of Cuban art, in between the Sevilla and the Museum of the Revolution).
Ingnacio Agramonte 267, Habana Vieja, Havana, in the north east corner of Parque Centrale, adjacent to Hotel Parque Central. Food, drinks, bottled water, bank just across the street
In the dodgy back street bars of Centro Havana, you can get two types of bottled beers. Unless, that is, they have the dispensada machine in for the night (basically a machine which serves draught beer in glasses). Not only is it way cheaper than the bottles, it's much nicer and you always get all the locals in for the night, until the machine runs out of beer. Next night, it will be in another bar - just ask where it is for the evening and you'll get pointed in the right direction. You'll probably see the same bunch of locals as the night before - good for striking up a few local friendships...
Because it's the best and the coolest and the classiest local jazz club in Montréal. Good menu with great ambience; jazz is always good, and always full of locals. Generally a cover charge, depending on the band, so you'll be among the non-student scene of the city. Size is fairly small, so while it's great to have a conversation and be able to see the musicians' actual fingers play (and both of these at the same time), you will risk not getting a seat if you show up after 22h30.
1254 Mackay (cross Ste. Catherines ouest);
tel: (514) 931 6808
Casa del Popolo is the very best venue for new music, and a lovely place to have a beer and some veggie food in the afternoon. (Try the back garden.)
And Dante Hardware, on Rue Dante near Jean Talon Market, is something you'll only find in North America: a store that is half fine cookware, half hunting rifles! Not to be missed.
Casa del Popolo: 4873 Boulevard St-Laurent; tel: (514) 284 0122;
Dante Hardware: 6851 St Dominique (on the corner of Rue Dante); tel: (514) 271 2057
A great little jazz club named after a congressional resolution passed in 1987. $10 cover but it's BYO with a $3 corkage charge and plenty of space to hang out. And being on 14th street, if it's not your cup of tea there are plenty of other places to hang out like Bar Pilar, BlackCat and others.
1610 Fourteenth Street NW Wash, DC 20009;
tel: 202 667 3700;
metro: Green line – U Street Cardozo Station; Red Line - Dupont Circle Station;
An oasis of calm for weary travellers in China!
Four Streets of hotels, bars, restaurants and budget travel agents.
An excellent, clean, air-conditioned room (with shower) cost me CNY 60 (GBP 4) per night. Beer is CNY 6 a pint! Internet use is free all over town in bars and hotels.
You can get an English breakfast and yes a sandwich. I was caught staring at one for too long because I have been away for a long time. I just about got away with it as the shopkeeper spoke good English.
You can also revamp your traveller's wardrobe as the shops offer clothes in Western sizes and most people speak good English here.
Come here by tourist boat (CNY 400) or bus (CNY 20.) Stay here and not Guilin as it is much cheaper (see above.)
Cool bar in a developing street scene. Airconditioned and with a great lady to run it - pool table and happy staff. Drinks are varied and reasonably priced. Open from 4.00 till 2.00am [or later if the customers want to keep on].
#82, Street 108 Phnom Penh - just round the corner from Street 51
Ok so its not exactly off the beaten path, however Hvar is beautiful nonetheless. For the best seafood ever and fun, friendly staff go to Palladini restaurant in the backstreets behind the main square. The beaches in Hvar are rocky, but for a £3.50 return fare in a taxi boat you can explore some of the neighbouring islands such as Palmizana and Jerolim for the nudists.
As far as nightlife is concerned, the main bar is Carpe Diem, which is fun but pretty expensive.
Find accomodation through the tourist office www.hvar.hr. The general standard of private accommodation on is very high; we stayed at apartments Konstantin and experienced true Croatian hospitality.
Located off Townsend between 3rd & 4th Street in the thriving South Beach /Soma area, 330 Ritch Street has been hosting events, receptions and club nights for over a decade.
Known for its underground appeal, hipsters flock to this club five days a week for it's various musical genres. Especially recommended is Popscene, a Britpop night each Thursday bringing you the best in indie, Britpop, mod and electronica.
We were staying for a week and in that time managed to see Jet (before they were big and who we ended up going out drinking with), The Libertines and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Zeitgeist is a must on a sunny day. They have giant cocktails, a good selection of beers and lovely barbecued food. Tamales from the Tamale Lady is a must if she comes in. Interesting people as well.
199 Valencia St (nearest intersection is Duboce Ave), San Francisco, CA 94103;
tel: (415) 255 7505
SF can be an expensive place, so if you want to get plastered on a budget, I recommend this place. It's a cheap bar - drinks for a dollar when I was living in SF a few years ago. It's not fancy, but it's not a total dive either, and you always get an interesting crowd in.
1535 Folsom Street in Soma (four blocks south of Market and 11th);
tel: 415 621 6087; www.theholycow.com
Out of town (an hour, maybe two) near the Napa Valley. Fantastic, friendly micro-brewery, really good restaurant plus reasonably priced and comfortable hotel.
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