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hotels

Tips for Picking a Hotel That Is Safe and Affordable When Traveling

When you’re on the road in a location you aren’t familiar with, choosing a hotel can be difficult. You are unaware of a myriad of details that could lead you to picking just a good or a great location to stay. How do you know which ones are safe and which ones are bug-infested rats nests? Knowing where to get the details and how to interpret them can be a science. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect hotel while away from home.

Consider How Long You’re Staying

The duration of your stay should be high on the list of things that go into your decision. If you’re just passing through, a lower-end hotel is perfectly acceptable. You can handle one night on a less than comfortable pillow. However, if you’re going to be there for an extended period of time, you’ll want to find a safer, more affordable hotel.

Ask for Recommendations

If you have a contact within the city you’re visiting, ask them for recommendations for a hotel. Avoid asking people on the street; many hotels in foreign countries will give kickbacks to people who recommend tourists stay there. If you want a truly unbiased source, check with someone you trust.

Look at the Location

You’d ideally want to find a hotel that’s in a central location to the rest of the city. However, keep an eye on your surroundings. Are there a lot of people, or does the area seem deserted? Is it well-lit? If your place is robbed during your stay you may consider getting a lawyer as it might be to hotel’s fault. Issues including inadequate maintenance can be preventable by quality operated hotels. Knowing whether the area you’re in is safe or not can help you decide whether to book the hotel or not.

Consider Family-run Hotels

Rather than going for a major chain with all of the luxuries, look for a smaller, family-run hotel. These are similar to bed and breakfasts. While they may not have all of the amenities you’ve come to expect at a hotel, they can provide a comfortable bed and a safe place to sleep for the night. Isn’t that really all you need?

Avoid Party Hotels

If you’re trying to find a safe place to stay, avoid hotels (or hostels) that are home to a lot of parties. These places are difficult to get any rest in, and the number of drunken shenanigans can get tiring quickly. These hotels are obvious at first glance, usually because they cater specifically to the tourist crowd. If you look for a locally-run hotel that serves business travelers within that country, you can find cheaper deals.

Follow these five tips to save money and get a good night’s sleep. Best of all, most of these are applicable whether you’re within the US or abroad.

Boutique Hotels in and Around Sydney

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Sydney is a city that is filled with many interesting activities. From chilling on a beach, to sailing, dining, cultural events or shopping, the city has got you covered. You can also find great quality accommodation options, and the number of boutique hotels in Sydney is getting bigger and bigger. What follows is a list of 5 beautiful boutique hotels in this magnificent city.

Establishment Hotel

Establishment is a luxurious hotel in the very center of Sydney. It is conveniently near the Sydney Harbour, the botanical gardens and the Opera House. Establishment is an award winning hotel as it won the Best Boutique Hotel award in 2013.

Before it was a hotel, the Establishment was a warehouse in the city centre. Now, it has 31 guest rooms, 2 Penthouse suites and 3 restaurants with Asian and Australian cuisine and three bars. You can also enjoy a fine breakfast in the elegant garden terrace.

The Darling

This is the first 5-star hotel built in the 21st century. It is rather young and very luxurious. It boasts cutting edge technology and modern design, combined with aesthetically pleasing interior and exterior. The Darling is a redevelopment of the Star complex, located near the Sydney Harbour.

What is another benefit of staying here are the stunning views of the Blue Mountains and the Harbour Bridge, other than the amazing view of the Sydney’s skyline. Furthermore, the hotel offers a pool which scented with eucalyptus, rooms that are equipped with Egyptian cotton sheets and a Japanese restaurant.

Avonmore on the Park

This hotel is in a close vicinity of the University of NSW, the Royal Randwick Racecourse and the Prince of Wales hospital. It is a beautiful historic property, built in 1888 as a Victorian mansion. Right now, Avonmore on the Park is a charming building renovated into a 4-star boutique hotel.

The hotel has 23 luxurious heritage rooms, 1 large meeting room and 7 suites. What radiates with historic flavour is the hotel’s grand terrace, but it also features pressed metal and wood carvings and stained glass which gives it a specific elegant touch. This is one of the best accommodation options in the Randwick area.

QT

This is a hotel with staggering 200 suites! It is located in the center of the town in a building that was once the State Theatre. If you want to go stay somewhere unique, this is definitely the place to be. It is designed in the art deco and Gothic style and the staff that will welcome you is matched to the interior. They wear high heels, red wigs, berets and stockings, so you can go back in time and feel this special 18th century vibe.

QT has its own traditional barber, a coffee parlour, a chic cocktail bar and many other interesting features. You can indulge in quirky food such as chocolate covered bacon, and drinks that follow suit. This will definitely satisfy your need to get away from the ordinary world.

Sangoma Retreat

If you wish to stay further away from the city, then the Sangoma retreat in the Blue Mountains is the perfect option. In the Zulu language, sangoma translates to ‘healer’, and with a good reason. Here you can rest your soul and body and regenerate your overall physical and mental state. You will be close to nature in all of its calmness.

This is an ecological retreat with a proper certification and it boast a sauna, an infinity pool, and open plan lounge and five suites that are surrounded by nature. Some of the suits have beautifully designed window walls and charming fireplaces which make it ideal for a stay with your loved one.

There are a lot of boutique hotels in and around Sydney, so you can find literally anything that your heart desires. If you prefer something more modern or luxurious, an artsy place or a historic mansion, even a nature getaway, then Sydney will definitely meet all of your criteria. Enjoy yourself, immerse yourself in the parallel world of reworked buildings turned hotels and find a peace of mind in this hectic world that we find ourselves in.

Photo credit: By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

How to Entertain Yourself in Paradise – Things to do in Bora Bora

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Bora Bora is a honeymoon hideaway that travellers have to go to great lengths to get to. Flights aren’t cheap, but as a special destination location, few places can compete. You’ll fly in from Taihiti, the French Polynesian capital, on a tiny plane that’ll make you never want to step on another jumbo sized aircraft again, before circling the island and getting glorious glimpses of the green Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu.

It’s all well and good planning a getaway to paradise, but eventually everyone gets tired of sighing at sunsets and admiring the blue hues of the lagoon. So what to do when you touch down?

Things to do in Bora Bora

One of the most loved options on the island is underwater safaris. You can snorkel up and swim down to watch rays feeding, and admire the brightly coloured fish in their natural habitat around the corals. Even if you’ve done it before, the type of fish you’ll see in this exotic paradise will definitely top that. You can sign up for full or half day safari tours, most of which can be arranged through your hotel (if they look like the trustworthy types).

If you’ve got a reasonable amount of time on your hands and aren’t simply popping over to the island for a day trip, you could get yourself diving certified. Bora Bora has an abundance of diving centres that will take over even the most half-hearted, amateur paddler. You’ll be amazed at just how close the reef sharks and manta rays will get as you descend deeper below into the darker blues of the Pacific Ocean.

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For something that’ll mark your holiday snaps out from the rest, you could also try underwater scootering. This involves getting inside an individual submarine/hoover-like contraption and being lowered into the water before driving around in its depths. It’s by far the most unique way to see the underwater wildlife of French Polynesia, and because of the protective head bubble, it means you don’t even need to get your hair wet. (Not to mention, this is one of few locations in the entire world where you can do this activity). Make sure you take along underwater cameras!

Other options for the active traveller include kite boarding along the beach, parasailing over the lagoons, or if you’re really into fitness and working out, sign up for liquid training. (This involves long distance swimming, paddle boarding and other water based activities to burn off those indulgent meals out).

It is not necessary to sign up and pay for activities before you go, as you can simply sort your accommodation and then check what deals your hotel is offering. Depending on the hotel you choose, you might be able to get a package discount if you want to try a bit of everything. (Check out certified reviews of hotels in Bora Bora with Holiday Check before you book so you’re not disappointed. Although as many of the hotels on Bora Bora are 5/6*s it would be hard to!)

Featured photo credit: By Sba2 at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5).

Second photo credit: By Tomsmail55 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0).

Wonders Of The County Meath

Despite the current economic turmoil, Ireland still has a lot going for it. In recent years, the agricultural exports played an important role in the economy of the country. However times have changed and Ireland is changing as well. The country has evolved into more of what is known as a knowledge economy – meaning, that there is a greater emphasis on technology, trade and modern services. The economic upheaval of 2008 has hit Ireland hard and it was the first EU member to declare that it has officially entered into a recession.

Evidence of the country’s rich history can be seen by the number of ancient relics dating back to the Dark Ages period of pre-Christian and Christian, and in no county in Ireland has more evidence of this than the County Meath. Why would this be considered important in modern times? The fact is that these relics are important so that understanding our past is vital to our future.

Throughout all forms of media and entertainment stories of knights, heroes, villains and noble courts abound. What’s in this period of human history that captures our imagination and inspires us? This alone would fill a completely different article, but it’s worth pondering. There is something that captures our hearts and reminds us of a simpler time that immediate action delivered immediate results. Meath County has dozens of spectacular ruins and historical sites to instantly transport you to past times, when warrior kings fought tyrants (often warrior kings or warlords themselves) for land, power or religion.

The Hill of Tara is an ancient and sacred site, which was in the performance of rituals to crown the kings of Ireland. This beautiful hill is located near the River Boyne and setting foot on its ancient slopes takes one on a journey of the imagination. Modern archaeologists are far from revealing all the facts of what the Hill was actually used for.

Around the Hill are monuments, a ring fort (where ancient Roman artefacts were discovered, burial mounds and tombs). Trim features its famous Norman castle (largest of its kind in the country) and the impressive ruins of an ancient monastery. Kells, also located in Meath and famous for its round tower and monastic history. These proud and ancient historical sites are sewn into the fabric of our imagination; this and many other reasons make Ireland and the county Meath a popular holiday destination.

Nathan Johnston:  Exploring Ireland with my family was truly mind blowing. The Tayto Park hotels were definitely one of the highlights.

Boutique Hotels In Palm Springs -Scenic Beauty With Facilities

The whole idea of the boutique hotels are bit different from the big chain of hotels. The difference is in the services and facilities they provide. Mainly these kinds of hotels are found in the region of North America. Each and every boutique hotel has unique identification feature. Now they are different from each other due to their different kind of ambiance they provide to the customer. These kinds of hotels always have themes and the hotels are decorated as per the theme. The specialty of these hotels is that they have guest rooms and the count of the rooms can be anything ranging 3 rooms to 100 rooms. Now each and every room is different from others. They have the all the facilities that other hotels have like the telephone, internet, TV, air-condition and the room service.

Where to go

Now if you are planning for a holiday then you must try the boutique hotels in Palm Springs. Now the question is why Palm spring? The answer to the question is you will be able to find good weather all around the year along with the natural beauty. For these reasons the Palm Spring has become a popular place for the tourists. Palm Spring is considered as the best place and many people have spent their time there just to relax and rejuvenate. The people who want their holiday to be unique, they should visit the boutique hotels as they have the kind of modern architecture.

Options available in the town

There are several options available in the town. They have all the required facility a hotel should have. All the boutique hotels in Palm Springs have a very good scenic beauty. In these hotels they have different kinds of decoration like fountains and swimming pools etc. The swimming pools have the facility of supplying hot water and they have the facility of Jacuzzi as well. There are some hotels that mainly provide the ambience of house party. The transportation to the hotels is very much connected from the airport.

Other Facilities

Boutique hotels in Palm Springs do provide the facilities of the

  • Restaurant
  • shopping centers
  • nightclubs
  • pubs

The restaurants do have the multi-cuisine food availability. The first and foremost criteria we look for while booking a hotel is the rates of the hotels. Now the rate of the hotels at times is directly related to the luxury or the facility they provide. Now if you are wandering how to book the hotels, the solutions are you can always opt for the options of local tour operators or you can always book the hotels online. When you choose to do the advanced booking, you might get discount on the rates and that will help you get the hotels at the best rate. The rates also depend upon the season of the year. This is a very common business strategy that the rates are also reduced at times. This actually enhances the profit margin and it maximizes the count of the visitors.

Lisa used to live in Palm Springs and loves to write about the area and all the great things to see and do there. 

Best Places In Mykonos

Mykonos

Mykonos is an idyllic island which is a part of the Cyclades and is home to long sandy beaches, a great nightlife and some great historical places. The area attracts visitors from all walks of life and from many different ethnic backgrounds and is known as one of the most cosmopolitan holiday destinations anywhere in Europe.

Beaches on Mykonos

The biggest and most popular beach on Mykonos is Paradise, closely followed by nearby Super Paradise. Both have areas set aside for nude sun bathing and both attract many holiday makers from the gay community. By day they are ideal for sunbathing and swimming and by night they play host to all night beach parties that are famous throughout the world as being one of the best party spots around.

Platys Gialos is more family orientated and is lined with loads of hotels, restaurants and bars. The beach also provides a boat to get to other beaches on the island and is situated around 6km from the main town.

Kalafati is another favourite though as it is not on the south coast, it is affected by a strong wind that makes it no good for sunbathing. However the wind and climate provide the perfect opportunity to indulge in some water sports, in particular jet skiing and windsurfing.

Mykonos Town

The best places to visit in Mykonos Town vary depending on what you need. If you want to shop, you won’t be disappointed as there are many high street names to found alongside local shops and boutiques. Little Venice is full of rustic restaurants with balconies overlooking the Aegean Sea which are beautiful any time but really come alive with colour at sunset.

The town also has many places to drink with bars and clubs that cater to all tastes. Some places offer a bohemian atmosphere while others are more geared towards the party crowd. The place really gets going in the evening when you are likely to meet interesting people from all over the world.

History sites on Mykonos

There are a number of historical attractions on the island that are well worth visiting during your stay. A set of 16th century windmills offer a look at the wheat making facilities the island had and nearby is the Agricultural Museum which is testament to all things agricultural from Mykonos’s past.

The Folk Law Museum has an intact 18th century sea Captain’s house and a 19th century middle class home and the Archaeology Museum has artefacts from the nearby island of Delos. From there, Delos itself is easily accessible which has been home to a number of Archaeological digs down the years that have revelled everything from temples and other ancient building to vases, pottery and funeral and grave goods.

Mykonos is one of the best holiday spots in the world because of the wide variety of great places to visit. The beaches, clubs, bars, shops and historical attractions all have something to offer everyone and add up to make a perfect holiday.

This article is provided by Makis Itsios, who is a travel blogger and mykonos lover. Makis also works for Hotel Palladium, a hotel in mykonos.

The Top 5 Hotels in Singapore

Singapore

People chose hotels for different reasons.  Whether it’s fine dining, or the spa, this list compiles 5 of the best in Singapore.

Fine Dining

Shangri-la hotel

An all day restaurant buffet?  Well when the buffet consists of 16 different live cooking stations featuring a wide range of international cusine, then this can hardly be considered a standard buffet.  With stylish décor and premium wine to accompany the fine food, and the fact that this is only one of seven incredible dining options at Shangri-la, makes this hotel a delectable choice.

Service and Style

The Fullerton Bay Hotel

Named ‘Best New Business Hotel Worldwide’ by Business Traveller 2012 and ‘Singapore’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel’ in the World Travel Awards 2012 and ranking third on Trip Advisor, only narrowly being edged out by Raffles (below), and the newer newer, less reviewed Forest by Wangz, it appears there is a lot of love for the Fullerton Hotel.  Situated minutes from many of Singapores top attractions, with gymnasium, swimming pool, a plethora of restaurants with service at unbeatable standards, this hotel offers character and quality in abundance.

Best Spa

Winner “Best Luxury Hotel Spa 2011″  by World Luxury Hotel and Spa Awards, St. Gregory at Pan Pacific Singapore is a top choice for those looking to indulge in the ultimate in relaxation on their stay in Singapore.   With a fitness centre, tennis courts and luxury swimming pool also available in this 5 star business hotel, it is another top choice in Singapore.

Best Pool

Marina Bay Sands

It’s not often you get a pool with a view, but this pool provides a simply stunning view of the city from a pool that appears to just drop off the side of the building, hence the name ‘The Infinity Pool.’  Located at the top of three 55 story towers which are joined by a one hectare sky park, this is one of the most incredible views you will ever have from the comfort of the hotel pool.   With a super casino below, with a variety of restaurants and theatres, this hotel offers an incredible overall experience.

Historic

The Raffles Hotel

If money is no object, or at least not a huge concern, then why look any further than staying in one of the most iconic places in Singapore?  Synonymous with the country with over 100 years of history, it began life on the coast, but due to land reclamation from the sea it now stands over 500 metres from the sea.

Declared a national monument in 1989, the Raffles hotel has had symbolic significance for Singaporeans.  During the war it was the scene of the last stand against the Japanese invasion by the British colonials.  It was subsequently renamed  Syonan Ryokan by the Japanese upon its capture.  After the war and the Japanese occupation, it was used as a transit camp for prisoners of war.

The world renowned Singapore Sling cocktail, which is mostly comprised of gin and pineapple juice, among several other ingredients, was created in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel.  The hotel’s rich history can all be found in the museum which the hotel houses.  Along with more modern features developed from its $160 million renovation in 1989 such as the theatre, shopping suites and swimming, the Raffles Hotel is a reason in itself to visit Singapore.

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Whether you’re visiting Singapore for business or fancy a trip to one of the most developed places in the far east, make sure you have enough insurance coverage to cover any issues that may arise while abroad. There are a number of travel insurance companies to choose from, so choose wisely.