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Our Best 2001 Newsletter Tips

Terrific hotel value in London -- writes Margo Classe in Los Angeles, USA -- I want other Journeywomen to know that The Rhodes Hotel (five floors, no elevator) in Paddington is great value for the money. It's a charming, newly refurbished two buildings-in-one modern, pretty hotel located in a noisy, vibrant neighbourhood. I paid 55 British Pounds (about $US78) for a nice size single room including private toilet, bath, minibar, tea/coffee maker, TV and telephone. This rate was a 10 Pound reduction because I stayed in the hotel annex which wasn't air-conditioned and I had to walk to the main building for my continental buffet breakfast (both certainly not hardships and perfect if you are on a budget). Bonus: It was a 5 minute walk to Paddington Station where Journeywomen can catch the Heathrow Express back to the airport. Website:

Going to be in Paris? -- asks Catherine S. in Ottawa, Canada -- You might want to be in touch with Patricia Laplante-Collins who hosts soirees at her Paris home. For 100 FF, Pat serves you dinner, gives you a glass of wine, and entertains you with a guest performer -- perhaps a writer or academic, painter, singer, or dancer. It's always an excellent way to meet other English speakers in a safe environment. I met people in Pat's apartment who became good friends of mine when I lived in Paris. Pat is African-American and many of her featured guests focus on African-American-Parisian culture. A wonderful evening especially if you are a solo traveller. P.S. Reservations are a must. Tel: (33) 1 43 26 12 88 E-mail:

We found a wonderful guide in Costa Rica -- writes Karen from Toronto, Canada -- My roommates and I just returned from Costa Rica and wanted to pass on contact information for a great guide we met in our travels. Juano Marin was born near the Manuel Antonio national park and spent most of his formative years chasing snakes in the bush. He's translated that background into 14 great years as a freelance guide, splitting his time between his native Costa Rica -- where he treks around the bush and teaches surfing -- and guiding for a company in Vancouver, where he teaches skiing and snowboarding. He's got a great attitude toward guiding, makes learning about the country fun and entertaining, loves meeting new people and is an incredible encyclopedia on all things Costa Rican and anything with scales. Plus, at 32, he's not too hard on the eyes. Contact him at and arrange a daily rate that will include transportation, food, fuel, gear and the answers to any of your questions.

Use your film wisely -- writes Ginny in Lakewood, Colorado -- When taking travel photos it's fun to pick a theme that you'd like to explore rather than taking random shots. This heightens your perception of the world around you, it's an interesting activity when travelling solo, and you have a wonderful body of work when you get home. When I travelled in China, one of my themes was, "The Things the Chinese Carry on Bicycles." Guaranteed your friends will look forward to sharing your themed photos when you return.

A charitable hotel in Cusco, Peru -- writes Kelly in Toronto, Canada -- When I travelled in Peru, I met Jolanda van den Berg and Titus Bovenberg, a couple who run the Hotel Ninos in Cusco (located a 10 minute walk from the centre square). The hotel rooms were lovely and showers hot. Guests felt like part of their big family; their cafe served very nice cakes and coffees, all with terrific jazz playing in the background. It was, for this female traveler, an oasis in the city and I recommend it highly. But the best part of this place is that money earned at the hotel goes to the Nin's Unidos Peruanos Foundation founded by Yolanda to support street children in Cusco. To learn more about the foundation or to reserve a room, visit their website: E-mail:

Finally, delicious designer clothes at delectable prices -- writes Roberta Kedzierski from Milan, Italy. This is a tip most visitors to Milan would not know about. In my city of Italian fashion, the best designer outlet spot has to be Salvagente. Let's face it, getting that top-name designer gem in your size, in your color, exactly when you want it, is not an everyday occurrence -- but it does happen here sometimes. And, if you end up not finding the Versace of your dreams, console yourself with keenly-priced boutique-level clothes. You can't go wrong at this spot. Via Bronzetti 16 (tel: 02 76110328) on the 60 bus route. Open 10-12.30, 15.00-1900 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; Wednesday and Saturday 10-1900, Closed Monday AM.

The e-mail that made our day this year ...

Recently we received a cyber message that was so charming we wanted to share it with all of you. It reads...

"Hi journeywoman. accidentily I crashed into your very nice site. dont ask me from where. just surfed in and ... bookmarked it immediately and within whole last week I enjoyed every day your storys. I call it rather brilliant ! Usually I take a short glance and surf on, but it is so entertaining and informative, not only for journeywomen but as well for men [which I am]. Keep on gathering such precious information.

Kind regards from Vienna / Austria.
Excuse my terrible expression in your language, but reading your site teaches me a lot for sure."

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