Monthly Archives: January 2014

Hotel Carter, New York City, U.S.A

I had the ‘pleasure’ of staying at Hotel Carter, New York City, from 4th to 7th November of this year. The weekend of the New York Marathon. Situated right next to Times Square, you really can’t get a better central location for tourists. What you can get, though, are much better hotels. But wait, it’s not as simple as that. Because for much better hotels, you pay much larger sums of money. MUCH larger sums. Three nights at the Hotel Carter cost a total of £211.53. In comparison, the next…

Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Brazil

Location - Casa do Amarelindo is perfectly located right in the heart of the UNESCO world cultural heritage site of the Pelourinho area of Salvador. The taxi from the airport took around 45 minutes and cost R$90 after a bit of haggling as the stated price is R$107. The hotel can arrange airport transfers for approx R$80 so its worth taking up the offer of this service when you book. Some streets (or Ruas) of the Pelourinho area are pedestrian for part of the day and this was the case for…

Hotel Isola Di Eea, near Rome, Italy

Location - This boutique hotel in San Felice Circeo built by the architect Piero Sartogo is wonderfully located on a peninsular in the Circeo national park where according to Homer the legend of where the Ithacan hero Ulysses was entrapped in a long romance with the siren Circe who bore him a son Anteios, mythical founder of Anzio. After about an hour and 20 minute walk from the Old Town along a coastal road that then turned into a track we followed the signs for the hotel. The hotel entrance was…

Planet Traveller Hostel, Toronto, Canada

Mostly, Toronto is a very fine place indeed. But there’s one thing that took me a while to get used to, and that’s the local habit of adding tax to a price on top of the price quoted. It wasn’t much fun when I arrived at the Planet Traveller Hostel, having reserved my pricey dorm bed (my dorm bed in Budapest the week before had been £9, and here in Toronto it was £20, yet Budapest is arguably one of the first world’s great cities) via the very reliable www.hostelworld.com…

The Holiday Inn Downtown, Toronto, Canada

The Holiday Inn, Downtown (30 Carlton Street) The Holiday Inn is much nearer the marathon race start and finish point than the Planet Traveller Hostel that we’ve also stayed at and reviewed, and if there are 2 of you sharing a room it doesn’t actually work out much more expensive. A very cramped double room at Planet Traveller, and every other hostel and cheap B & B in Toronto (I checked every one recommended in Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and Rough Guide), is around 85 dollars, whilst for a large…

The Goat Hostel, Budapest, Hungary

This was much cheaper than the Benczur Hotel that we’ve also reviewed (about a quarter of the price), but you have to share your room, dorm style, and more importantly, it’s much further away from the marathon event start line at Heroes Square (about an hours walk, although there is a good public transport system in Budapest so you could get there in 20 minutes if your connections went well). The Goat is very convenient for sightseeing though, as it was just 5 minutes walk from the River Danube, and…

The Benczur Hotel, Budapest, Hungary

This hotel is 3 star and very, very near to the Budapest Marathon race start and finish line at Heroes Square (where the event expo is also held on the day before the race). In fact it took us just 10 minutes to walk there, to pick up our race numbers and visit the pasta party. Now, you can read all about the hotel on Trip Advisor, so we’ll just give you a very brief look at it here. Most importantly, apart from location, the Benczur is located in a…

Devi Bhawan, Jodphur, India

Before we go into details, here’s a short film that I made on arriving at the hotel. It’s not meant to be a glossy film showing the accomodation at it’s best, just an honest first impression on what the average visitor might encounter on arrival. Location – Devi Bhawan is located a 10 to 15 minute tuk tuk taxi ride from Jodhpur train station, and about half an hour from the town centre and the fort. The tuk tuk costs around £1 one way and you don’t need to hail…

LSR Hotel, Bentota

LSR are a tour company operating in Sri Lanka. They specialize in activity tours; sporting (I did a very good hiking based tour with them – their guides are excellent), bird/animal watching and cultural. The hotel they’ve got in Bentota is worth a mention here, as you probably won’t find out about it anywhere else, and I think you’d enjoy staying there. It’s a little way out of the main town centre of Bentota, about a fifteen minute walk from the bus and train stations I guess, and then you…

Sandy Lane Hotel, Unawatuna

I wanted a few days on the beach after a hard week of marathon training in Galle, so I caught a local bus for about 5 miles down the coast to the backpacker hangout of Unawatuna. It’s not too well signposted and the bus driver overshot the turning, so I had a bit of walk back down the main road before I could turn the palm gardens and the Unawatuna area. The guidebook map was very basic and I soon lost track of where I was so couldn’t find the…