Buy the welcome card - you can purchase it in advance (and pay a hefty shipping fee) or buy it at the airport at Gate 13. It provides 50% off of attractions and free subway transportation for the time period that you select.
Don't hesitate to try the bus system or subway. Both are inexpensive, intuitive, quick, and user-friendly.
Full report at www.travelmusings.net
We've just spent four nights at Five Acre View and it was simply wonderful. A big kitchen/communal area, a sun trap garden with views to die for and recently refurbished rooms (also with the view).
Very family orientated, dogs welcome (they get a sausage each for breakfast) it is the perfect place to explore the North York Moors.
Guesthouse run by a sweet and friendly lady called Catherine. Rooms are colourful, clean and spacious.
A delightful breakfast is provided. Catherine will go out of her way to make her home your home.
Pitchounette et Olives
11, bld Tellen - 13007 Marseille
00 33 (0) 04 91 54 38 35
Clean, cheap and basic accommodation within the town centre just next to the Cours St-Louis. Perfect for those on a budget just wanting a base and roof over their head in the evening. Double room was €40 a night with a breakfast of coffee, croisants, bread and jams, included.
0442 381177 Centre Historique
69 boulevard Carnot, 13100 AIX en Provence, France
+33 4 42 38 11 77
Casina di Rosa is a great holiday rental in this tiny village south of Siena. A fantastic base for daytrips to most popular sites. We loved it. Civitella Marittima still retains the true essence of Italy and has not been spoilt by tourism. The people are friendly, from the owners to the shopkeepers and the lady who waved each morning from a nearby window.
Civitella Marittima is also well located for visiting other places in Tuscany. The villa has lovely town and countryside views (particularly from the bedroom window) and the glow of the rising morning sun on the surrounding buildings, with the swallows circling overhead, is not to be missed. The village is very friendly - after a week we almost felt like locals.
Amada Carlota is a gorgeous, quiet, small hotel in rural Asturias. It is modern and beautifully designed and sits on top of a hill overlooking hills and mountains on all sides. Amada Carlota has a small number of elegant and comfortable rooms, and a welcoming living space downstairs with a fireplace and, once again, wonderful views of the valley where early morning fog is replaced by bright sunshine or dramatic, thundery clouds.
You could just stay in this room all day and have a wonderful time, eating delicious food prepared by the owners, Carlos and Yolande, and conversing with them. Of course Asturias has so much to offer, with its lush green hilltops and mountains, that you do want to go out but Amada Carlota is a lovely place to come back to at the end of each day.
We felt it provided excellent value for money, and are looking forward to visiting Carlos and Yolande again before too long.
Finisterra offers great delights at small prices in the warm and informal atmosphere of the classic Argentinean resto-bar.
Cuba is great and part of the fun is discovering places to stay by yourself - we stayed in many casas particulares (private homes) - some better (and friendlier) than others, but none were dire. A great way to meet locals, especially if you find ones where you can communicate with the owner (ie if you speak Spanish, or they speak English).
When travelling around, taxi drivers (some licensed, some not) hang around bus stations to offer shared rides - which can be cheaper and get you to your destination much quicker.
Remember to take cash - cards don't work in ATMs and changing money on a card, or buying anything on a card is punitively expensive - around 12% charge.
Avoid Varadero if you can - you may as well go to the Costa Del Sol.
We've just spent a superb weekend in wonderful Autumn sunshine here in Le Marche staying at lovely Villa San Raffaello with its great apartments, amazing views and free organic vegetables.
On Friday we visited the lovely medieval town of Sarnano, ate at the excellent Le Clarrise ristorante in the Centro Storico and then dressed up and joined the locals at L'ex disco for Halloween.
The next morning we had to blow away the cobwebs using the local maps of old mule tracks walking in the fantastic Italian rolling hills, past the heady scent of locals making vino cotto (a cooked wine that was first made by in Roman times), past 13th century churches and a 15th century mill.
On Sunday, fuelled by a desire to eat something local and unpretentious, we hiked into the Sibillini mountains and ate at the rifugio (refuge) at Monte Amandola. This is one of a chain of mountain refuges at around 1500 metres, which walkers can eat, drink and stay at. The food was really tasty and included many seasonal dishes, including strozzaprete (literally priest strangler) pasta with truffle and sausage, and succulent lamb cooked on coals. The bill, including wine, coffee and home made tiramisu, was only €13 a head.
I did a four day long weekend with Skiweekender which was brilliant. I was met at Geneva after work on Thursday, taken straight back to the chalet, settled in, then taken to their on-site bootroom to have my skis fitted straight away – all sorted before dinner!
Optional guiding with the chalet staff was offered which was a god send. I didn’t pull out a piste map all day and got in a fab day’s skiing with some of the other guests and got great advice on the best restaurants and ‘vin chaud’ stops.
This chalet is actually situated between two resorts, so, although guiding and transport are on offer, you’re left to chose between them, or you can go back and forth during the day on the 15-minute ski bus.
The staff are friendly and helpful, the chalet is warm and inviting, and totally relaxed. The food was lovely (especially the Sunday night cheese board and afternoon tea everyday) and my vegetarian diet was absolutely no problem. I really couldn’t recommend Skiweekender highly enough.
01202 661 865
Great campsite just north of Alghero old town. It's an easy 20-minute walk along the beach into the city centre/port.
Staff are helpful and the loos and showers are clean and well-maintained (with the added luxury of loo roll!) Oddly, there is a big communal barbecue in the midst of all the showers/loos/sinks etc - looks well-used but I'm not sure about the location!
The campsite has a well-stocked shop, which has fresh bread and pastries every morning, and a bar/pizzeria. There's also direct access onto the beach and a little windsurfing centre which offers lesson and board hire.
We camped here in low season when prices were very reasonable but I think it pretty much doubles in high season, when to be honest it would probably be too crowded (as it's the only campsite in Alghero) to be fun. There's space for camper vans and mobile homes and you can also hire little wooden cabins and breeze-block bungalows (which look very basic but fine).
There are slighly battered outdoor chairs and tables dotted around the campsite, for anyone to use. I suspect that in high season these are the subject of fierce wars of possession but in low season they're fairly easy to find. We preferred setting up our meths stove on the beach and eating there, anyway - definitely recommended.
Wouldn't hesitate to return.
This lovely little family-run hutted camp is a true oasis of calm on the West Bank - perfect for independent-minded souls who want to be close to all the monuments but avoid the brutal commercialism of the mainstream Luxor scene. Your money goes straight to the local economy, not tour companies, and you'll meet friendly local people who can help you arrange any trips and activities for a fraction of the price on the East Bank.
The Peppermill is possibly the best-value eaterie in Vegas. I've been using it for twelve years and it never disappoints! It isn't haute cuisine but then where in the USA is? It has good food, quick service and pleasant waiting staff. Oh, and reasonable prices - what more do you need?
North on The Strip almost opposite Circus Circus.
When visiting Las Vegas, most people worry about how to get there, where to stay and where to eat. Vegas has an abundance of hotels and restaurants, but eating out can be pricey. The place to eat in Vegas, and get a lot for your buck, is a buffet. The food is good and very reasonable. Almost every hotel and casino has a buffet and most meals are priced under $20 for all-you-can-eat.
Well-kept three-star place on a quiet street under the Table Mountain, three blocks from Company's Garden and two from Gardens shopping centre.
3A Gordon St., Gardens, 8001
My account of a 2008 tour of the Capes (west, east and south) and critique of South Africa's three-star tier of accommodations may be found at www.pilgrimswanderers.blogspot.com
A great place to find cheap accommodation in Tokyo. They have a great hostel in Asakusa overlooking the prettiest fairground I've ever seen, and for longer stays, they have apartments all over the city (we paid £550 for a month for a place in a fab location!)
There is so much going on and it’s all free. See the old forty-something rockabillies dancing to rock’n’roll and the young kids dancing to northern soul. People practising their tap-dancing or tai chi, not to mention the new bands hoping to be spotted by a record company giving it their all. Take a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere, that seems to be what most of the rest of Tokyo does!
It was my first time in Japan, and I was looking for somewhere cheap to eat that wasn’t a burger joint. I happened upon Yoshinoya (they’re everywhere, look for the bright orange signs). The menu is mainly rice-based: the dishes include pork, beef etc. with ginger, curry etc. The dishes cost from 360 - 630 yen (approx. £2-4) including rice and miso soup - fantastic value for money. I ate there four times in a 10-day holiday, and every time we were the only westerners there; as they say, if it’s where the locals go it must be good!
Everywhere in the major cities
A small company that offers B&B accommodation and flats to rent. We rented a small central studio flat for 850SKR a day, not bad for Stockholm and with the advantage of being able to cook for ourselves occasionally.
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