During the trip in Italy we decided to stop in a nice town in Liguria called San Remo for a couple of days.
We found Residence dei Due Porti, and let me say something, this is the most relaxing place in which you could ever spend your holiday in San Remo: quiet and comfortable room and a staff who kindly fulfills all of your needs and requests. But what makes Residence dei Due Porti particularly special is its location: it's near the town center and allows you to reach by foot the majority of San Remo's places of interest.
My family and I have a particular passion for bike rides and we had a lot of fun and entertainment doing our rides on the so-called pista ciclabile della Riviera dei Fiori: the path is straight and flat, easy to go; various bars and restaurants lying alongside the track makes the ride very enjoyable and relaxing, with some little help from the mild climate of the Riviera di Ponente, often offering warm and sunny days.
We also found many benches and little fountains suitable for having a little rest.
Stavroulas Studios is a charming hotel located in Agii Apostoli near Platis Gialos beach and just 2.5km from Mykonos town.
Halki is a small island five miles west of Rhodes but very far away from the hectic tourist activities of the larger island. There really is nothing to do there which makes it perfect for a relaxing holiday. Until recently there were no cars at all on the island and even now there are very few and the lack of traffic is wonderful. The island is very dry and water has to be imported from Rhodes which helps to explain the lack of major developments. There is one pretty harbour town and two small beaches which are served by traditional tavernas. Once you have walked to the beach of your choice the water comes in many shades of blue and green and is crystal clear. The beaches are never overcrowded as the island cannot accommodate many tourists, Most visitors stay in small apartments or villas in the town or in the new Hiona Art hotel.
If you're heading to Laganas (which you should only do if you're young and want to party), then THIS is the place to stay. A few minutes from the main drag, but completely peaceful. No blaring music at the pool, simple but spacious rooms, fantastic bathrooms. The place is family run - they make you feel incredibly welcome (as long as you treat the hotel and the staff well). The food in the hotel was also great - almost didn't need to eat out at all! Highly recommended; a piece of paradise in a typical party destination.
Laganas Zakynthos PC: 29100, Greece
(+30) 26950 52419
Naxos has everything. A headland marked by a temple ruin greets you as your ferry arrives.(There is also a small airport.) The harbour lies directly below the Old Town (Kastro), a maze of narrow alleyways on a steep hill and, at its foot, the new town (Chora) with plenty of shops and tavernas and a lovely sandy beach just beyond.
No need to hire a car; the island can be explored by bus and on foot to reach various small archaeological sites. For a whole island of antiquity take the day trip to Delos (with Mykonos thrown in).
The able-bodied should stay in one of the small hotels such as Anixis in the picturesque Old Town: plenty of steps but no traffic, not even bicycles!
A small hotel on the waterfront in the Geres National Park. The hotel serves the best Portuguese food. The owners are fluent in English. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Within walking distance is the lagoon with a wide variety of watersports or just sit on your balcony and take in the fresh pine air!
This is a great shabby chic hotel in downtown Manhattan that offers comfortable accommodation at a price you're unlikely to be able to beat in New York.
Woody Allen used the hotel in his film Manhattan Murder Mystery and the hotel claims that Madonna has stayed there at some point, though I have no idea if this latter fact is true or, indeed, if anyone could care less.
There are shared bathrooms on every floor and these are cleaned regularly and always in a decent state. The rooms, depending on size, have a wash basin and a TV.
Very comfortable all round and, although a fair way out of the centre of New York, the hotel is very close to the Union Square/14th Street subway station, which is the intersection of a number of subway lines, effectively making it very easy to reach anywhere in the city.
Vouniotis Pension is a charming family run hotel located in Mykonos town located close to the area little Venice.
A fantastic find but the taxi driver didn’t know where it was so we drove down Street 240 for some time. Look out for a red and white sign saying BOOKS and also a sign for Naturae which is the healthfood shop and café in the same building where you are served a lovely continental breakfast with freshly squeezed juice. We paid $50 which included a $5 per night discount at their suggestion as our room had suffered a leak from above so there was some discolouration on the ceiling. The design throughout the shop and rooms is funky and modern with bright accent colours. Our room was light and spacious with dark wooden furniture, flatscreen TV, free wifi, kettle and a big walk-in shower in the bathroom. We were delighted with the terrace area which was larger than expected especially the promised plunge pool which was a long deep trough easily big enough for two to stretch out and cool off. It felt like a real oasis after a hot day in the busy city. You can also use the pool in the sister hotel, The Pavilion which is just round the corner. This would be more suitable if you want a full hotel service and perhaps reception staff with better English but the 240 is ideal for a city break. The style of the property epitomises the street it is named after which is full of chic and contemporary boutiques and cafes with a real cosmopolitan feel which we were surprised to find existed in Cambodia.
This hotel cost more than other accommodation we chose while spending three weeks on holiday in Thailand and Cambodia at $110 per night but was money well spent and felt like a real treat. Any hassle or stress was taken away with careful thought and faultless customer service as our every need had been considered and included in the room rate. We were collected from the bus station by a driver with air-conditioned car and taken to the airport at the end of our stay. A tuktuk driver was assigned to us for the duration and we could call on him all day and throughout the evening for lifts into town or to visit the Angkor Wat temples. Dawud was friendly and attentive with good English, telling us to relax and enjoy our holiday and waiting for several hours at times while we went shopping or on a boat trip. On arriving at the hotel to check in we were given cold flannels and refreshing lemongrass tea. The outskirts of Siem Reap away from the main tourist streets are scruffy with lots of litter. The hotel is a short drive out of town but walking in through the gate you find a leafy calm oasis in colonial style with tasteful décor and attention to detail. The swimming pool is small and simple with a waterfall wall. Our room was large with a ground floor balcony, stylish furniture, a modern bathroom with rain shower, flatscreen TV and free wifi albeit with a low signal. The bed had a mosquito net probably more for romantic effect than genuine need and at turndown they left a bedtime story each night which was a sweet touch. It was a haven to return to after a hot day exploring. Breakfast was excellent with fresh fruit, yoghurt and gorgeous home-made chocolate brownies! They used lovely local crockery and the buffet was kept clean and refreshed throughout service with a further option to order hot food cooked to order such as an omelette. Each table was given a plate of four croissants daily which we always took with us for later as they made the perfect picnic!
This is a small resort overlooking the sea with white-washed villas set around gardens and a tiny but attractive pool. It isn’t as polished perhaps as some of the bigger corporate hotels but that is part of its charm. There are various villa types and prices but none are basic boring hotel rooms and they range from about £35-65 per night. They are minimalist in design but with quirky touches and individual character. All the rooms are named after starsigns and we stayed in Taurus which had real wow factor with huge floor to ceiling windows and a private roof deck and we also had a couple of nights in Libra which was a cosy seaview and had a balcony, small lounge area and a massive bathroom which was half inside half outside so you could shower in the sunshine or under the stars! The rooms have a flatscreen TV and DVD player and wifi is available but charged at around £2 an hour with pay-as-you-go cards at reception. The staff are friendly especially a girl called Moi and they can organise trips and tickets but don’t pressure with you any sales patter. They also looked after our luggage when we went away to Koh Mak for a couple of nights and arranged a breakfast box when we had to leave early to catch a flight. The restaurant is slightly more expensive than others in the area but offers a good menu and a lovely location on the water’s edge where you can hang out in hammocks or sit at tables. A good buffet breakfast is also served here and included in the room rates. Warapura is good value for money as it offers a little luxury without charging a fortune. The resort isn’t directly on the beach but you can take a kayak out or walk along the road and reach Lonely Beach in ten minutes. We were pleasantly surprised and impressed with the area which we knew was popular with backpackers staying in basic bungalows. Despite having a reputation for wild parties, the atmosphere was really chilled and laidback with a slightly scruffy hippy feel and plenty of cafes and bars to suit everyone.
4/3 Moo 1 Koh Chang, Tahi Koh Chang, Trat, Thailand 23170
Wuppertal is a midsize industrial city in the Ruhr, within an hours travel of Cologne Dortmund or Dusseldorf, with a large chemical factory as its main employer. Possibly this explains its absence from any tourist itineraries. But it does have the Schwebebahn - a 100-year -old monorail that runs along above the river and roads, while gently swaying 10 metres above the ground, linking all the town districts together. Spend a day or two here, riding the rail and then visiting Wuppertals excellent zoo. All inclusive tickets are available at the stations. The lion enclosure is particularly recommended. We stayed at the ArtFabrik hotel which although not centrally located has decor and a vibe that seriously added to the fun of the weekend.
Budget week end in Amsterdam? Sorted. This place is basic but spotless. Old Dutch art nouveau house with an Anapurna of stairs to climb and no lift. Atmospheric old building literally over the road from the Rijksmuseum. Beautiful breakfast room and splendid breakfast. Catch the 197 bus from Schipol and it stops outside the door. Friendly, attentive staff. If you just need a place to sleep and enjoy the sights, this is the one. I'll be back.
Lub D is a funky well-located well-appointed hotel in Silom district. The staff are young and hip with fair English and a helpful manner; the hotel is new and very clean; the other visitors are varied and well-travelled. Nice European breakfast, great bathrooms, free 24 hour internet, all very clean and secure. Email them if you want to stay seven nights or more, they'll do you a bespoke rate (I saved 33% with a single email this way). A local market with many fresh cheap eats is three streets away. You'll pay 500 baht taxi from the airport at 3am including tolls and tip; Lub D will email you a taxi map in Thai when you confirm your booking making it so easy. Note that some tour bookings can be achieved more cheaply from travel agent on Silom especially if there are two of you - we saved 250 Bt each on the floating market this way.
Choices are pretty limited in Srinagar. There's Butt's houseboats - and lots of others - but if you don't want to be on the water there's not much else. Green Acre Hotel is relatively central and run by a helpful Kashmiri family. Reasonable rates, big rooms, clean and a garden which is very welcome. Food isn't bad, especially if meals are taken on the lawn rather than in the slightly depressing dining room. Get a room in the old building rather than the new as there is much more local colour.
Rajbagh, Srinagar, J&k State, India. 190008
It's a newish hotel with a lovely par three golf course. We got the room including breakfast for 50 euros which was great value. There's a leisure centre included and it was only 20 euros to play the par three nine-hole course twice. Easily the best course I played around Lisbon in January. It was so dry and the greens were brilliant.
Largo Aldeia dos Capuchos, 2825-017, Caparica
Google map: bit.ly/gmaP39
A smallish hotel near Restauradores. Very central. Clean, friendly and safe. We stayed for six nights. The doubles are cheaper than the twins. The car parking is 15 euro a day. If you're lucky you'll find free street parking about 1km away. The breakfast is basic although one day we got croissants at the buffet.
Titanic City is an excellent four-star rated hotel located in the centre of Istanbul in the popular city location of Taksim square.
The hotel is in an excellent location next to the array of shopping areas and in close vicinity to the historical sights of Istanbul.
The staff are friendly and hospitable and put us in touch with relevant sightseeing tours which allowed us to visit all the sights of Istanbul in only five days! It was well worth the money and we really enjoyed our stay.
Titanic City Hotel, Lamartin Cad No 47 | Taksim, Istanbul 34437, Turkey
+90 212 238 9090
Google map: bit.ly/eUbw4P
Simply the most magical place I've ever stayed. We came off two longish flights from a cold UK to take a life-affirming short boat trip down the river that couldn't have been further from December London, and ended up in the suite with the terrace that faces directly onto Wat Arun.
The view, the sounds, the smells all what you go on holiday for. The small things (shower, bed, ipod music thing - I am 40:-)) all present. About seven rooms and a simple breakfast to the sound of the lapping of the river.
Not cheap, but this is what you save money for ...
36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
+66 2221 9158-9
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com