7. WONDERFUL RYOKAN IN THE JAPANESE ALPS -- writes Lori in London, England -- I'd like to recommend Oyado Yamakyu -Takayama. It is a Traditional Japanese inn with tatami mat rooms, en suite toilet, and shared public bath. This larger ryokan is situated in the beautiful city of Takayama in the Japanese Alps. It is located a 15 minute walk from the station, but directly across the street from a string of beautiful shrines and temples. The food was unbelievable and the staff were the friendliest, most delightful people I have met in my four weeks in Japan. I was only able to stay one night but would have happily stayed for a week. For more information click here.
8. BIGGER SPLURGE HOTEL IN FLORENCE, ITALY -- writes Helen in Winnipeg, Canada - For a bigger splurge, I must recommend Hotel Alessandra in Florence, Italy. It was truly the highlight of our trip. Owned and operated by a mother and son team, this hotel has the most friendly and professional staff I have ever encountered. The rooms were huge, the breakfast (and breakfast room) spectacular, and the travel advice unparalleled. The hotel itself is situated in a beautiful building from the 1500s and is a stone's throw from the Ponte Vecchio. Website: www.hotelalessandra.com
9. A WELCOMING HOTEL IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA -- writes Tracy in New York City, USA -- Just wanted to say thanks for your newsletter and to offer my own tip to the mix. In Cape Town, South Africa I highly recommend the Rouge on Rose Hotel. It is centrally located so you can easily walk to attractions, shops and restaurants. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. My room had a well-equipped kitchenette, which had I been more inclined to cook, I could have easily made all my own meals in. (Breakfast is included in the room price and it was delicious!) The best part about the hotel though was the friendly and helpful staff. Ursula, who runs it, offered suggestions and help arranging tours via email before I arrived. The hotel is small so she would generally check in with each guest a t breakfast to see what their plans were for the day and offer advice and make any arrangements if necessary. She and the rest of the staff were always around to answer any questions or just to chat. Cape Town is an amazing place but I know I wouldn't have felt as confident exploring on my own if I hadn't had such a welcoming home base to return to each night. From the moment I walked through the front door I felt at home.
10. GREAT GUESTHOUSE IN NEW YORK CITY -- writes Robin in S. Hamilton, USA -- I'd like to recommend Chelsea Pines Inn on 14th St in NYC to other Journeywoman readers. It's located on the border between Chelsea to the north and the West Village to the south; a few steps to the closest subway line; and a block from the fantastic High Line and Chelsea Market to the west. In prior trips I'd always felt a little uncomfortable exploring areas around hotels (because the less expensive ones were more in business areas than in neighborhoods) but in this area we walked and walked everywhere. The owner and all the employees at the Chelsea Pines were fun, wonderful and helpful. The rooms are themed around old movie posters (the owner's father used to own a movie house and knew some of the old stars); they are up-to-date, comfortable and clean, and the toiletries are Gilchrist & Soames. Breakfast is in a sunny garden room (or in the garde n itself in good weather), and you can grab fruit or cookies in the kitchen around the clock. Best of all, for NYC the prices are quite good. Website: www.chelseapinesinn.com
11. I RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL IN ROME -- writes Pat in Minnedosa, Canada -- I spent some time in Rome last fall and stayed at the recently renovated IQ Hotel. The IQ is well located for getting around (it's about 3 blocks from the bus terminals for the city of Rome) and slightly behind the opera house. It has free WIFI, a coin-operated washer and a dryer, a weight/exercise room, excellent front desk staff and a modern sleek decor. I loved the vending machines in certain areas where you can buy coffee, water, sandwiches and snacks. I especially enjoyed their roof top terrace where I had my breakfast (not included in the room rate). Website: www.iqhotelroma.it/en/
12. JOURNEYWOMAN'S SAN FRANCISCO HOTEL TIP WAS A GREAT HIT! -- writes Margaret in Erin, Canada -- I just returned from a wonderful visit to San Francisco and I used the JourneyWoman site to plan my trip. We stayed at the suggested Inn at Union Square on Post Street. Breakfast was included. Fruit basket available all day. Evening wine and cheese and cookies and beverage at bedtime. Just a few metres from the cable car and Union Square. Friendly staff that arranged all our tours and gave directions. They suggested the 3-day all inclusive BART passport to allow us all transportation for a price of $21.00. An airport shuttle brought us directly to the hotel and picked us up for a price of $15.00 plus tip each way. Website: www.unionsquare.com Thanks again Journeywoman!
Affordable sleeps in Paris...
Paris is certainly home to many luxury hotels, but if you shop around, you can find some basic bargain sleeps. One of the oldest hotels, with a lovely and quiet prime central Paris location is the Hotel Henri IV on the Place Dauphine, which offers rooms from 60€ per night and includes breakfast. And if you don't mind attending mass or spending some time in adoration, some churches offer affordable, albeit bare-bones, guest housing. Try Maison Eymard, just two blocks from the Arc du Triomphe, which offers singles, doubles and even triples from 32 per night with breakfast! The Maison d’accueil Ephrem, the guesthouse of famed Sacre-Coeur Basilica in the charming Montmartre district offers basic rooms from 13€ per person, per night. Three meals per day are available at an extra cost.
(Submitted by Robin Locker Lacey Blog: My Mélange)
Female-friendly accommodation in Dublin ...
Kelly's Hotel South Great Georges St/Fade Street. Reasonably-priced boutique hotels with great locations are hard to come by in any city which is why this is such an excellent Dublin find. Kelly's Hotel is situated in one of the city's trendiest areas, The Creative Quarter, so-called because of its close proximity to Dublin's coolest restaurants, bars and boutiques. Look out for special offers on their website: www.kellysdublin.com
Suzy Guese, a travel writer from Denver, Colorado visited Dublin recently and told me about Number 31 Dublin. This charming B&B/guesthouse is located in a former architect's house and the building itself is considered to be one of Dublin's hidden architectural gems. Their website is www.number31.com
The Times Hostel on College Street is one of Dublin's most popular hostel locations, probably due in most part to its excellent location which is within easy reach of Trinity College, Temple bar and Grafton Street. Click here.
(Submitted by Fiona Hillard, travel journalist in Dublin)
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