A rather wonderful family-run guest house, two minutes from the Assi ghats.
Clean and comfortable rooms (some with a balcony), hot water on demand and fresh home-cooked food.
Very, very friendly staff who will make you most welcome. Dr V.N Tripathi offers (advanced and beginners) yoga, meditation and Ayurveda lessons to guests.
I read the recommendations on the website and can vouch for them!
Buenos Aires is one of the most remarkable places I have ever been. It's clean, classy, safe, and dirt cheap. The leather bags are at least 400 pounds cheaper than what you would buy on the high street.
Also they have miles and miles of shops on Florida and Avenida Santa Fe where you can buy anything for one third of the price in the US or UK.
We stayed at the art hotel in Recoleta which was a boutique hotel with contemporary art in the foyer, free internet access, great rooms and wet room bathrooms.
Beware the fake taxis in Buenos Aires. Because we'd been there for four days we realised that if they don't have a proper meter in the right hand corner and photographic id on the back of the driver's seat then don't get in. We used a taxi which charged us three times the price of a journey from the airport. We refused to pay and threatened to call the Policia!
If this happens to you get to your hotel and ask the concierge to translate... avoid at all costs.
Otherwise, BA is one of the safest cities in the world and the people are very nice. Palermo is great and so is Recoleta. Avoid San Telmo if you have to. Use taxis rather than buses as they are very cheap and the metro is great for getting around centrally. In taxis from the Newbery internal airport it should cost you no more than $14 and to the international around $50.
Try and go to the best steak restaurant in the Palermo area called La Cabrera, it's economical but BOOK AHEAD as it gets very busy.
Various.. please email me if you want any tips email@example.com(no spam)
Beware some of the tango shows in Buenos Aires that are recommended by your hotel. Bar Sur in San Telmo and Mandera Tango in the port area of BA are a rip off and are tourist traps.
For example, they will try and give you a poor seat with a bad view for you to upgrade to the 'VIP' area. They include a poor dinner with horrible house wine then con you to have a photo taken with two of the tango dancers who they say appear in the show then you never see them again.
They'll also offer you a cocktail for 40 pesos which is three times the price of any cocktail anywhere else. Bar Sur charges 210 pesos per person for the dinner and show in one of the tightest floor spaces in BA. Then the drinks are double the price of anywhere else in BA. If you want to see tango choose very carefully.
Not a pub, but a bed & breakfast near the Colosseum. The rooms are beautiful, as lovely as we have seen in four-star hotels. The host couple is very kind. They helped us plan our time and suggested some great restaurants.
For weekend city breaks to Calais the Bonsai hotel is a good choice. Tiny rooms but ideal location and budget prices. Located right opposite the main station, a few minutes' walk from the centre of the town of Calais. Most important - free parking facilities for those who travel by car.
Quai Du Danube, Calais, 62100
Under its dazzling coloured tiled roof and ironwork is a huge array of specialty foods and preserves, liqueurs, caviar, berry jams, and some tourist tat. Wander round the many stalls, and if nothing else, at least buy a colourful string or two of chillies to take home. Take a little care of your possessions, but get stuck in.
Vamhaz korut, right by the river across the green Szabadsag Bridge from Gellert
Private rooms are the budget way to go in Budapest. Rather like a B&B without the breakfast. Sometimes they are separate apartments and sometimes relatively independent guest units attached to a larger apartment (rather like a granny flat). Private rooms are usually centrally located, operated by Budapest-based expats and locals alike. They are not only a cheap option but also provide instant access to local knowledge via your host who will have the insider lowdown on the best places to see/do/go in the Hungarian capital. Some are quite chic and full of character and make for a memorable stay. Private rooms usually rent from around 30 Euros a night.
Stayed in Budapest two weeks ago and stayed in a lovely self catering apartment. Classical old building but renovated really well, modern, spacious and truly of a 4* hotel equivalent yet €60 per night.
Exceptional value for money and unique accommodation to boot. Worth considering.
Andrassay Utca apartment. Check out www.budarentals.com
All I wanted was the five Cs
Cheap – in Venice that’s almost impossible, but this was very reasonable.
Cheerful – fabulous smile from the receptionist on arrival and every time we returned.
Cosy – ask for an attic room at the back so you can spy down into the locals' gardens below, and see the ocean liners berth in the distance. The breakfast room overlooks a local canal.
Clean – room was spotless and cleaned every day.
Convenient – 50 metres from Piazzale Roma bus station and car park, 250 metres from vaporetto number 1 stop, and 5 minutes from the railway station.
Close to Plaza de la Virgen down a very quiet alley is this unassuming rather dark restaurant. Excellent food, with a choice of either the €12 lunch of the day or a special Dégustacion menu (which everyone has to choose) for €18. Very good quality modern Valencian cooking.
C / Conquista 3
Tel: 963 910 364
Excellent bed and breakfast in the centre of Salta. Recently renovated townhouse with sizable and very comfortable rooms run by Silka and Ricardo. Their hospitality was exceptional and they are very knowledgeable on what to see and do in both Salta itself and Argentina's north-west region.
We stayed there at the beginning and end of our tour of the Salta and Jujuy regions and they arranged our car hire before we left for Argentina.
Delicious breakfasts with homemade bread, pcs with internet access in each room, lovely city garden and library.
This beautiful little chapel is well worth a visit as part of a coastal walk. You can approach it from Daymer Bay, or as we did take the ferry across from Padstow to Rock, walk along the beach and through the sand dunes and golf course, to reach it.
The chapel dates back to the 12th century but until 1864 it was virtually buried by the dunes that surrounded it, and to hold a service the vicar and parishioners had to descend into the sanctuary through a hole in the roof. In the 19th century it was finally unearthed and the church restored.
Today you can find everything you might hope for in an old Cornish church but in miniature; the cut-down medieval rood screen, the mellow wooden pews and the memorials to those who died at sea.
The former poet laureate John Betjeman lived locally and is buried here - he wrote a poem about the church 'Sunday Afternoon Service in St. Enodoc Church'
You can read my account of the walk to the church on my blog"
St Enodoc's church, south of the village of Trebetherick, Cornwall.
England grid reference SW931772
In summer the temperatures in Amsterdam, like in any city, can get quite unbearable. Hire a bike and head for the green Bijlmermeer in the south-east of the city, only half an hour from the centre.
On summer weekends there is the Kwakoe Afro-Caribbean festival, which makes Notting Hill look like a family picnic. Football, food and kaseko and no multicultural pretensions.
When you get really hot and even the ginger beer doesn't work, take a dive in the sparkling clear waters of the Gaasperplas.
metro 53 or 54: station Bijlmer/Arena or Gaasperplas
Cafe 100 Wasser is a good place to have a chilled out meal and a beer in the evening. The menu includes couscous, pizza and pasta at affordable prices.
Good service, relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.
This Friedrichshain bar has great atmosphere. Relax in the shabby chic surroundings (standard lamps, rugs, armchairs and wine-coloured walls) and enjoy whittling away the hours listening to the eclectic soundtrack, sipping beer for under two euros. Friendly staff and chilled out clientele. Look out for the wooden bowls of tea (bit odd and bitter).
Boxhanger Platz, Friedrichshain
The Bauhaus Archiv is a must see for any design/architecture fan. The collection is limited but of quality. They have a great range of Bauhaus posters on sale starting from five euros (a bargain) and the shop is full of gorgeous items classic and contemporary.
The cafe's good too - lots of healthy choices.
Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum of Design
D - 10785 Berlin
Wednesdays to Mondays, 10am - 5pm.
Usually the museum is closed on Tuesdays. On public holidays which fall on a Tuesday, 10am - 5pm
Bus 100 from the Zoo stops just along the street.
This DDR styled hostel is fantastic - it's kitsch, basic accommodation. It's affordable on a budget, clean, has friendly English-speaking staff and it doesn't feel like a hostel at all! Double and single rooms come with private bathroom with shower or there's the 'Stasi' apartment for up to five sharing. It's on the fringes of the Friedrichshain area with a 10-15 min walk to Boxhanger Platz/Simon-Dache Strasse area but there's a bus-stop outside the building where a 240 will take you straight there in a few minutes. Ostbahnhof Station is across the road where the Underground will take you direct to Warschauer Strasse Station (or anywhere else for that matter).
Avoid the breakfast (three euros); we were directed to a darts pub (?) and were served up a very strange mix of spam, boiled eggs and UHT milk all in the midst of an OAP coach party briefing. Bizarre.
If you have a taste for currywurst at three in the morning there's a take-away across the road.
Ostel – GDR the Hostel, Wriezener Karree 5, 10243 Berlin
Tel: 0049 030 25768660
From Ostbahnhof Station come out onto E.Steinfurth-Str.
Turn left onto Strabe der Pariser Kommune,
Turn right onto Wriezener Karree (5).
One of the best places to enjoy a good meal in the promenade of Aegina. Its specialities are grilled octopus, shrimps, grilled meat balls and of course Ouzo and wine. Huge portions and very reasonable prices.
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