This is a fab lodge about four hours drive from Hanoi in a beautiful valley. Very few tourists, good four-star accommodation and great food. We went cycling around local villages, saw different hill tribes, went to a cave and visited a local market. There were so few tourists compared to Sapa.
The lodge is in Hoa Binh area but we booked through Buffalo Tours www.buffalotours.com as their rates were the cheapest we could find (they actually own the lodge)
We stayed in this pousada (guest house/B&B) for three nights in January 2009. It's a charming family run hotel very well located in Sao Paulo (Jardim, near av Paulista). There's a taxi stand right outside and there's shopping and restaurants in walking distance. The staff are friendly and speak English. The restaurant and lounge area are very well kept and they serve a very good breakfast (with homemade mango jam). Our room was clean and had AC. We had a room in the back (#11) which was very quiet. Our friends who were also staying in the pousada didn't have AC and they ended up in a room in the front of the pousada which was not that quiet. I would recommend asking to be in the back.
The pousada is one of the cheapest options in that area so you shouldn’t expect much. For me, what’s important was to have a clean room in a good location (therefore security). But for instance, there’s no shampoo, the shower doesn’t always have hot water and the bed was quite hard.
Alameda Franca, 1621/1633
Tel: + 55 (011) 3062-1444
After staying in a fabulous place in Florence (see our other tip about Il Ghiro) we thought it couldn't get any better. How wrong we were. The Beehive is extraordinary. A beautiful, warm, clean, friendly hostel with free internet and the most incredible vegetarian cafe downstairs (you can also eat at the cafe if you are not a guest). We can't believe our luck and we are wishing we could stay in a place like this everywhere we go. By far, the best hostel possible. The term "hostel" doesn't remotely do it justice. It's home, in Rome.
Via Marghera 8
It's right in front of Bolshoi theatre in Moscow. This hotel is like 100% pure Russia. It's decorated by the famous Russian painter Vrubel, and they also house one of the best restaurants in Moscow. Once this was the place where Rasputin made his famous Moscow's "pir" - big "out of rules' party.
1/4 Teatralny proezd, Moscow, Russia,
Il Ghiro is a wonderful little guesthouse situated very centrally, near the main train station in Florence. It is absolutely fantastic. Reasonably priced, clean, great staff, free web access (and that is a real gift here in Italy) and lots of help available finding anything you want to see, great places to eat etc. Run by Francesco and Paula; we have only met Francesco but he is fantastic (and so is Paula, if the recommendations on the wall are anything to go by). Best place yet. Stay here!
Via Faenza 63, 5013 FIRENZE
The delightful Kingfisher Lodge, near Pakse, is a lovely place. For once, it's an eco-lodge which isn’t just a case of greenwash – they really do everything possible to minimise their carbon footprint, from using low-wattage light-bulbs to installing their own rainwater storage tanks. The lodges look out over flooded paddy fields, with hammocks so you can lie back and enjoy the scenery.
From there, you can take an elephant up Mount Phou Asa, a forested outcrop standing up above the plains where black columns of flat stones are all that’s left of a former temple. After gently swaying up a forested track, we descended from the elephant to explore the smooth rock summit, amongst rain-fed pools and tranquil groves and the temple pillars. Birds flit back and forth and, looking outwards, the plains stretch far into the distance.
The Sala Savanh is a former colonial building pleasantly converted into an atmospheric small hotel, with time-darkened wooden floors and chairs on balconies round the upper-floor rooms. I stayed two nights here in September 2008.
There’s also a surprisingly good choice of restaurants in the town, perhaps a legacy from the French colonial period: we ate at a charming restaurant on the main square one night and on the next at a floating restaurant on the Mekong, outlined in coloured lights and bobbing gently with the swell of the river.
Savannakhet itself is one of the former ports along the mighty Mekong, which flows north to south through Laos. These provincial towns are just emerging from the somnolence of post-colonialism and the economic straitjacket of Communism, and – as with Luang Prabang – retain many of their fine, French-era buildings.
It's a small, boutique style hotel right on the Mekong. The rooms are invididually decorated - very individual in some cases, with the bath/shower right in the bedroom. It has tea and coffee and a fridge, the rooms are spacious, and it's all very comfortable, with free wifi access. It's just a short walk from the centre of town and from lots of riverside cafes.
A smart modern hotel, in the Cite Internationale development by the river. It's a 10 minute bus or tram ride from the centre of the city.
If you book an executive room you get access to a fitness suite, jacuzzi, and Executive Lounge for breakfast, refreshments all day, evening free drinks (alcoholic) and free food from 6pm to 8.30pm
Hilton Lyon, 70 quai Charles de Gaulle, 0478 175050
Loch Ness is a short drive from the city centre of Inverness and a cruise offers you a chance to relax and enjoy some breathtaking scenery.
There are plenty of beautiful towns and villages around the area such as Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit that are worth a detour and Inverness offers a perfect base for exploring the area.
www.hotelsininverness.net - Great for finding a place to stay in Inverness
I stayed at the GLO in July 2007. I went to Helsinki with my husband for a wedding and most of our friends stayed at the Palace Kamp but we decided to stay at its sister hotel, the GLO. It’s next door to the Palace Kamp so probably the best location in Helsinki. Unlike the Palace Kamp, GLO is a modern hotel and we really liked the room: big room, brand new, very stylish and modern for an extremely reasonable price. Breakfast was also included - a big buffet with plenty of food. There’s a Spanish restaurant in the hotel where you can enjoy tapas.
If you want to visit Rome and indulge in superb accommodation for the price of a hostel, then you should certainly stay at the Auditorium Di Mecenate. A modern hotel that has fantastic styling in both its bedrooms and bathrooms, you almost feel like the owners have misunderstood the exchange rate and will come bounding into your room asking for more money.
The private bedrooms have elegant high ceilings and long glass windows and drapes and the bathrooms are decked out in very modern black tiles and white units. The staff are always very helpful and the location is convenient, being close enough to the city center and just around the corner from the main train station. It’s a brilliant place to stay when trying to save money on your trip.
Auditorium Di Mecenate, Via dello Statuto 44, Rome, 00185, Italy.
My partner and I chose this hotel because of its location in Santa Teresa, the bohemian neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. It's a lovely property with clean and well sized rooms, beautiful public spaces inside and out and a breathtaking view from our room and from the pool. The owners were happy to suggest places to eat and enjoy the Brazilian night life and gave us all the advice we needed for exploring the city. Highly recommended!!
A great hotel based in the centre of Reykjavik. I was worried it was going to be more of a budget hotel, but it's nothing of the sort!
Ask for a room at the back and you'll get a large room with its own fridge, television and Wi-Fi.
Very comfortable and warm - just what you need when in from the cold!
Volcano National Park - Halema'uma'u is currently erupting and is quite
spectacular. Nearby is the Thurston Lava Tube and the Chain of Craters
road, really reminds you of the power of the volcano. Stay in Volcano
I don't ski, but visit the area. Beware of being trapped on fells or roads by blizzards and be aware temperature can fall very sharply with altitude and wind chill here, even if the hills are not high by continental standards.
A number of local pubs, shops and eateries are closed between 5pm and 7pm. But don't get me wrong, it's a fine part of the world!
If open for staying, inns in Westgate and St. John's Chapel in Weardale are well-placed for Swinhope, and the Langdon Beck Hotel and Langdon Beck Youth Hostel in Teesdale for Harwood Common and Yad Moss.
Singapore already has the best airport in the world - huge terminals, clean toilets, a rooftop pool and spa, free internet terminals and an efficient Skytrain to whisk you between terminals. Now it has a top class hotel right by T3. The Crowne Plaza is perfect for a quick stopover, though not cheap. I arrived at the airport late at night with a morning flight to London. Checked into the hotel, changed and packed, strolled into the terminal to check in (Singapore Airlines does 24hr check in - no queues), back to sleep then an unhurried morning exit straight through to departures.
The BAA and everyone involved in UK airports should visit Changi, learn some lessons then hang their heads in shame.
A good value, solid two star hotel in a good location with the nearest metro station only 10 mins walk away. Cheap and easy.
Address: Via Tiburtina 30
Area: city centre
Nearest station: Termini station
The most beautiful lake side village in the world and not far from the greatest off piste ski area in Europe We stayed just down the road from Bad Goisern in a hotel I would happily recommend - the Alpenhotel Dachstein
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