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Can Tho - Vietnam

Can Tho – Vietnam

Can Tho,  the heart of the Mekong Delta, is a bustling market community of  200,000. The central Mekong Delta is the richest, most prolific  agricultural region of Vietnam. It covers some 67,000 square km and  is one of the nation’s most densely populated areas.

The Mekong  Delta is comprised of small villages that dot dozens of ribbon-thin  arroyos meandering under a thick canopy of papaya, mango and  jackfruit trees. Some are reachable only by longtail boat, and then  only at high tide. Tiny bicycle paths cut off innocuously from  Highway 1 barely noticed by the tourists who whisk by in minibuses.  Deep down these trails are wonders which will delight even the most  “‘Nam-ed out” tourist. The adventurer can simply choose one of these  rutted paths and follow it, sometimes many kilometers, to the end.

Be prepared to stumble upon Buddhist funerals, tiny cafes, pool  halls and sows the size of water buffalo that might only be coaxed  out of your path by a less-than-gentle kick to the rump. If you’re  backpacking Vietnam, you’ll be invited into villagers’ homes for  freshly-slaughtered sow and chickens, and vats of that volatile  concoction called Ruou Gao, or homemade rice whiskey, which is  distilled from rats, snakes and apparently virtually everything but  rice.

Floating  markets are the Delta’s prime attractions. Unlike those found in  Bangkok, these markets aren’t for the benefit of camcorder-toting  tourists. Early each morning the Bassac River and its tributaries  swell with vendors in sampans, houseboats and longtails jammed with  fresh Delta produce: jackfruit, mangosteen, durian, papaya, mango,  bananas, pineapple, guava, fresh vegetables and smuggled sundries  from cigarettes to shampoo. The best market to visit is about 30 km  south of Can Tho in Phung Hiep. There, hundreds of watercraft weave  in and out of this congealing maze of boats, their owners shouting  to advertise their wares. A little closer, but no less exotic, is  the Phong Diem floating market. Closest is the smaller Cai Rang  floating market, just across the Cai Rang bridge about 6.5 km south of Can Tho.

Another  worthwhile trip, best made at dusk, is to the Bang Lang Stork  Sanctuary just outside the village of Thot Not. A hour’s drive from  Can Tho, then another 15 minutes by longtail boat, the sanctuary is  home to literally thousands of storks that return each evening to  roost. Even those who aren’t crazy about birds will appreciate the  intimate glimpse of Delta life along the waterway to and from the  sanctuary. Back in town, check out the 1852 Binh Thuy Temple and its  100-year-old stuffed tiger. Other attractions include the Ho Chi  Minh Museum, the Central Market and the Cantonese Congregation
Pagoda.

Can Tho is rapidly taking on the trappings of Saigon.Each  month, the city seems to creep farther and farther into the  neon-green landscape of the Delta. Its mishmash of cultures –  Vietnamese, Khmer and Chinese – gives the city an almost  cosmopolitan feel. A brand-new, 4-star resort property is testament  to Can Tho’s surge in popularity, both as a business and tourist  center. The best time to visit is during the dry season from  November through April, as the delta is virtually underwater the  rest of the year.

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Hong Kong Island

China is a big and beautiful country and you will definitely want to come visit here at least a few times during your lifetime. One of the most popular places in China is Hong Kong. Whether you are going to Hong Kong for business or just trave.ling fun, there are so many things to do and places to stay.

A truly underrated aspect of Hong Kong has to be Hong Kong Island. This is truly considered as one of the best area to stay in Hong Kong no matter who you may be. Hong Kong Island is an island  that makes up the southern part of Hong Kong and has a population itself of over 1 million. Enjoy the popular attractions like “The Peak”, which is an oceanic park, and go hiking along the island’s mountain ranges.

Hong Kong Island beholds so much natural beauty and has a ton of shopping areas for people just like you visiting. You will find the view on the island to be amazing and simply breath taking. There are many options when it comes to choosing a hotel or residency during your visit to Hong Kong. And don’t forget about the many restaurants featuring the tasty Chinese cuisine.

As always, make sure to plan everything ahead of time and make sure you are fully packed and prepared for your trip to Hong Kong. Make sure to leave room to bring home souvenirs as this is a common mistake travelers will make! Your visit to Hong Kong is surely going to be a memorable one. Enjoy your stay on Hong Kong Island and it is guaranteed you are going to have a great time!

The Dummies’ Guide to Hotels in Manhattan

“I’ll go back to Manhattan…,” crooned Norah Jones not without a reason because there is no place like Manhattan in the entire world – a city that never seems to sleep. Anyone who travels to the US will not miss a chance to visit Manhattan.

It is the cultural and financial capital of the entire world; home to several conglomerates and media moguls. The real estate here is one of the most expensive in the world. It is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park are attractions that draw millions of people each year. If you are one of them then you need to know about the top hotels in Manhattan. While in the city where Carrie Bradshaw lived and loved, live like her for a few days – indulgently and with no compromise for the finer things!

1. Four Seasons Hotel New York

This is a sleek, ultra chic five star hotel that offers spectacular views of the Hudson River especially from the top floors. Built in 1993 this 52 storied 208 meters building is nestled between the shopping and business district of Park and Madison Avenue; staying at Four Seasons is an experience by itself.

Towering ceilings, pristine marble flooring and mammoth pillars do not take away the warmth and intimate feeling of the place.

It feels good when the doorman seems to know your name. The hotel offers excellent service and amenities to match, a double room costs around $ 600 sans the taxes and breakfast. There is a complimentary Wi-Fi for two devices which can be topped for additional cost. It is family friendly and has access for disabled guests.

The in-house restaurants offer Asian as well as American cuisine in Ty Lounge and The Garden Restaurant respectively.

To know more about the Four Seasons Hotel here

2. Crosby Street Hotel

Located in Soho this hotel with its brick and glass facade belies the elegant interiors in grey and mauve and wooden floors that gleam. Each of the 86 rooms are one-of-a-kind; the upper floor suites are luxurious and offer spectacular views of the New York Skyline – a sight to remember for eternity.

In addition to the decor, friendly and attentive staff make your stay comfortable; it makes you feel special when the staff greet you by name (is it a New York thing? I don’t know; but loved the feel). When not outdoors you can hot the well equipped gym or snatch a quick movie in the impressive 99 seat cinema.

Be it the perfect English breakfast in the morning, tea in the evening it’s all available here; The Crosby bar in fact serves some of the best cocktails and burgers to quench any hunger pangs that might surface.

Standard double room costs a little over $600; it is pricey but well worth the service and the location. Breakfast is not included.

For bookings click here

3. The Refinery

To experience the gothic charm, one must check out the Refinery which has retained its high ceilings and wooden floors. Vintage furniture and interesting artwork is on display. If you can afford it do not miss staying in a room with a view of the Empire state building.

Located conveniently close to the Grand Station, Times Square and Empire State Building you are well connected with the rest of the city. Museum of Modern art, Rockefeller Center and Observation Deck are also easily accessible.

This 197 room twelve storied hotel exudes charm quite unique to itself; dark hardwood floors, 12 feet ceiling, mosaic tile bathrooms all tell a story of yester years. Though the look is retro all rooms are well equipped with a mini bar, flat screen TVs and iPod docks. 24/7 room service is available too.

The staff is friendly and efficient; the bartenders polite and the front desk has multilingual staff. There is valet parking too though at a fee.
The hotel is disable friendly but might not be too suitable for families with young kids because each evening the lobby quite literally transforms into a party scene.

Book your room now.

4. The Greenwich Hotel

Now this is one of my favorites because it has a mix of the Orient, Morocco and Europe; reminds me that I will always remain a citizen of the world. Owned by the Famed Robert De Niro there is a seamless blending of culture; the carpeted drawing room with a hidden garden, a reminder of Marrakech.

I love the location of this wonderfully welcoming hotel set on Greenwich Street just a walk away from the Hudson River; you can also walk to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum – a stark reality of what our world has come too.

This boutique hotel has bedrooms that are different from each other and unique in their own way. Tibetan silk rugs, morocco tiles, English settees have all been used stylishly to add to the charm of the place. Some rooms come with a private sauna even; high floored rooms have a view of the Hudson River.

The rooms are fitted with WiFi mini bars, flat screen TV and IPhone stations. Some even have a cozy fireplace, reminiscent of good old days.

The highlight of the hotel is the Japanese Spa where you can relax and let all your worries melt away.

Finally, taste Chef Andrew Carmellini’s special Italian dishes like ink linguini with Clams, Pomegranate glazed duck and fire roasted garlic chicken. Their kid friendly brunches are quite popular with the local crowd.

This is an upscale Manhattan hotel and the price reflects it. A double bed costs around $550. For more details click here

5. Andaz Wall Street

This Chic and modern hotel is for those who want some quiet at night and if a pinch of history is added to their stay then it is welcome. Ideally located, the Andaz is close ti all the major attractions in NY – Brooklyn Bridge, ferries to Staten Island and Ellis Island, Central Park, SoHo are all walking distance.

The rooms are spacious and well ventilated with great views. Complementary free local calls, Wi Fi, snacks and non alcoholic beverages are all tiny extras which makes you feel at home. This Lower Manhattan hotel is fashionable with staff wearing designer uniforms and checking you in with an iPad in the lobby itself; truly ultra chic.

The actual show stopper here is the Andaz Spa where guest can get massages, facials and aromatherapy; you can either go the spa or schedule a therapy in your room itself. There is a well equipped fitness centre too where you can work off all your indulgences at the Dina Rata restaurant cum bar. Local craft beer, German brews, mushroom burgers and cocktails galore make this place a local favorite.

For the service, the extra perks and location a double which costs $ 375 is definitely worth; check it out.

6. The NoMad Hotel

Situated in the middle of Broadway in the Flatiron District, this retro style hotel boasts of a 200 year old fireplace, mahogany desks of by gone days and faded Persian rugs that add character to the place. You are close to subways and Madison Square Park is walking distance.

The top floors of this 168 room hotel have great views of the city’s skyline. The tapestry, tiled floors and white walls bring alive European Elegance in this very American hotel.

The staff is friendly and attentive. As regards the food, you can try their knick knacks in the library and the Nomad Bar characterized by a 24 ft long mahogany counter. And when there do not miss the suckling pig apricots arugula and bacon marmalade; absolutely lip-smacking.

Like all hotels in this region a double is price a little over $300. Find out more.

7. The Conrad New York

Finally the best of all, the Conrad with a view of nature amidst this concrete jungle, and that is not the sole reason for its popularity. The art fiend will admire the painting called Loopy Doopy of Sol LeWitt adorning the lobby atrium; the young geek will be glad to use the hotel app and be done with the formality of check in without having to interact with the front desk( why are the present gen so socio-shy?); in fact the app can be used even for room service and wakeup call – I love technology that makes life so simple!

The hotel gets full marks for its location. Planked on one side by the Central Park and the Hudson River it also overlooks the true strength and charm of Manhattan – the skyscrapers that define the New York Skyline. The subway is five minute walk from the Conrad; the 9/11 just is also close by; further down are the ferries to the Staten Island where you can go for a picture with the iconic lady – The Statue of Liberty.

On the style quotient the lobby can be a little cold and lonely especially during day time; though by evening it comes alive. The staff is friendly and quick to respond.

The rooms are spacious but have a business look with the beige carpets, work desk and separate seating area.

The restaurant Atrio is where all the action is; right from 6.30 in the morning to well past midnight you can enjoy the warm ambience and dishes that appeal to your sense of taste and smell. Though the restaurant is Mediterranean, you can enjoy your pizza and steak too.

The price is reasonable for the view and the location at $239. The hotel and all its services are disable-friendly; in fact the hotel also provides assistive listen devices to needy guests. A family friendly hotel which in fact has a package for two adults and two kids which includes breakfast and tickets to the water taxi tour and the Children’s museum for arts; check out all the latest deals here.

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https://www.hotelgods.com/north-america/hotels-in-manhattan/

Times Square Hotels Reviews

Times Square is located at the junction of Seventh Avenue and Broadway, stretching from west 42nd to 47th streets and is a major commercial intersection and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is sometimes referred to as “The Great White Way” or the “Heart of the World”. It is a major center of world’s entertainment industry and a hub of Broadway Theatre. It is known as one of the most visited tourist attractions with over 50 million visitors swarming the pedestrians annually. If you are planning to visit this magnificent place, here are some of the great hotels where you can stay.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel

This is the most top rated placed to stay and is located in the heart of Times Square. All the tourist attraction are literally a few steps away from this hotel. A couple of steps from two subway train stations, and walking distance from McDonalds and Starbucks, this hotel has the best location. The staff is polite and very hospitable and the rooms are quite comfortable and spacious. They strive to provide top-notch convenience and service to their guests.

New York Marriott Marquis

With incredibly perfect location, comfortable rooms, wonderful staff, an unbelievable gym, a magnificent rooftop bar and restaurant, New York Marriott Marquis is a first-class place to stay with the best food quality and room service. Moreover, the view from the rooms is breathtakingly beautiful. The staff is welcoming and very cooperative.

Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza is the top choice among Times Square hotels. The reception staff is extremely polite and helping. You can literally walk in and get a great room at a very reasonable price in no time. It is a calm oasis in the heart of New York City’s most vibrant area. All rooms and suites offer a great birds-eye view of the New York City. The hotel’s location is near the major public transportation hubs of Times Square making it very conveniently accessible.

Hotel Edison

With 1930s architecture, newly renovated Hotel Edison is just awesome. Located amidst the energy and excitement of the latest in Broadway Theatres, nightlife, fine dining and shopping, Hotel Edison is within steps of Midtown Manhattan’s premier business and leisure destinations. It is a very safe and secure hotel with clean, welcoming and well-equipped rooms.

The Pearl Hotel

With helpful and accommodating staff, modern rooms and most adequate services for your perfect stay, The Pearl is a great choice. The hotel’s location is central to all the places you want to visit and easily accessible on foot.

The post Times Square Hotels Reviews appeared first on HotelGods.com.

https://www.hotelgods.com/north-america/times-square-hotels-reviews/

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Dubai?

Dubai is a glamorous and unique locale which is renowned for its futuristic architecture, bustling nightclubs and impressive, world-class shopping, so let’s talk about the best place to stay in Dubai. If you’re planning a trip to this gorgeous and lively city, you’ll benefit from our comprehensive guide to Dubai’s best neighbourhoods.

We’re going to provide you with details about some of Dubai’s premier neighbourhoods, in order to help you find the neighbourhood of your dreams. The best place to stay in Dubai will vary from person to person. Each neighbourhood has its own features and “look” and attracts certain types of tourists (and residents). When you read our guide today, you’ll be able to find out what each popular neighbourhood has to offer. We’ll also recommend a few hotels in each neighbourhood.

Once you’ve chosen a neighbourhood, you’ll be able to focus on other elements of your Dubai business trip or vacation, such as planning your itinerary. This city has so many wonderful attractions, including the majestic Burj Khlalifa Tower, which rises eight hundred and thirty metres in height, as well as the beautiful Dubai Fountain, which features a light and sound show which corresponds to the movement of the waters.

Dubai is also home to a man-made island which features a resort with dazzling amenities.

Currently, this popular tourist destination, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, has a population of 2.4 million people. It features average temperatures of thirty-six Celsius, with seventeen percent humidity.

What are the Different Dubai Neighbourhoods?

Now, let’s look at some impressive Dubai neighbourhoods which earn rave reviews from tourists. The area has a lot of neighbourhoods, so we’re going to narrow the field by focusing on the places that tourists tend to flock. First, let’s give you a little overview, so you understand the layout of Dubai a little better.

Dubai is divided (roughly) in half by Dubai Creek and it features a north region known as Deira and a south section known as Bur Dubai. The city has one hundred and thirty communities which fill nine sectors spread out between both “halves” of the city.

In terms of impressive neighbourhoods for tourists, some Dubai neighbourhoods definitely stand out and we’re going to showcase these neighbourhoods today. It’s possible to access a full list of all one hundred and thirty neighbourhoods – check this link if you’re interested. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_communities_in_Dubai

Dubai isn’t the biggest place, so you should be able to explore easily.

Downtown Dubai

If you want to stay in a neighbourhood which features one of Dubai’s most famous and beloved attractions, which is the majestic Burj Khalifa Tower, be sure to consider Downtown Dubai. Since this tower is the tallest on the planet, it’s definitely a sight to see! However, this amazingly high tower is just the beginning in terms of what this vibrant neighbourhood has to offer. It also features elegant sidewalks crafted from marble, wonderful shopping and dining and plenty of fun places for kids to frolic. Downtown Dubai is really pretty glamorous. It’s world-renowned for its vibrancy and beauty and it’s a shopping Mecca. Glitzy and super-modern, it’s loaded with things to see and do and it attracts tons of visitors each and every year.

The neighbourhood is accented by a range of sculptures from notable artists and it is also the home of many shows and exhibitions. You’ll also find some lovely and striking water fountains in this area. Lots of residents live in Downtown Dubai and plenty of tourists hang out there during their stay. This mix of residents and tourists makes this area incredibly vibrant and appealing. If you want to get out and meet people who actually live in Dubai full-time, doing it downtown will be a great idea.

If you want a budget hotel in the neighbourhood, consider the Rove Downtown Dubai. For mid-range accommodations in Downtown Dubai, check out the Vida Downtown Dubai. For the ultimate in luxury, opt for the Armani Hotel, which take up eleven floors of space in the Burj Khalifa Tower.

Al Quoz

If you’re the type of tourist who thrives on art and culture, you’ll find that the thriving arts scene in Al Quoz is very appealing. This bustling Dubai neighbourhood began as an industrial region filled with warehouses and is now home to lots of cool coffeehouses and interesting galleries.

The industrial roots of the area are still very much in evidence and they give the neighbourhood lots of charm. The development of the area is pretty organic, so it has more individuality than other sections of the city, such as Media City, which was designed with business in mind. In-the-know developers consider Al Quoz to have the same potential as the Big Apple’s eclectic Soho neighbourhood.

Highlights of this neighbourhood include the Carbon 12 Dubai modern art gallery, a  museum known as the Salsali Private Museum and the Green Art Gallery.

If you want affordable accommodations near Al Quoz, you should take a look at Noon Hotel Apartments. For medium prices, think about the City Stay Prime Hotel Apartment. If you want something a bit more deluxe, you’ll probably like the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel.

Jumeirah Beach & Dubai Marina

If you love a bona fide resort vibe, you’ll find it at Jumeirah Beach/Dubai Marina. This gorgeous neighbourhood is really popular because it’s a great place to soak up the sun at the beach or go for a sail. However, its appeal extends beyond sugary-pale sand and turquoise waters. In this neighbourhood, a host of architectural styles collide in order to offer a unique vibe. Homes and buildings tend to be low in height and very different from one another, so this area has lots of visual appeal.

At the bottom of this neighbourhood’s slope, you’ll find Jumeirah Beach and Dubai Marina. This area is upscale and offers lots of exciting dining and nightlife, as well as access to some luxurious hotels. One highlight is Jumeirah Palm Island, which is made by man and dotted with high-end homes.

If you want to stay in a budget hotel in Jumeirah Beach, try the Ramada Jumeirah. For mid-range accommodations, you may want to investigate the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. If you want luxury, you’ll have lots of choices. One extravagant hotel to consider is Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Dubai.

The Creek

If you want a taste of authentic Old Dubai, you’ll find it at The Creek. This area is fragrant with frankincense and brought to vibrant life by the overlapping sounds of market trader’s voices. Originally, The Creek was a hub for pearl fishermen, who docked their vessels in the creek waters. Today, the Creekside Al Fahidi District is a great place to experience a host of heritage attractions. While you’re exploring old world architecture, be sure to drop by the Dubai Museum. Also, we encourage you to catch an abra which will carry you over the waters to the aromatic spice souks.

One good budget hotel in the neighbourhood, consider the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek. For mid-range rooms, consider staying at the Royal Creek Hotel.

If you want to stay at an elegant hotel in the area, consider the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights.

Sheikh Zayed Road

This road is actually a highway which features ten lanes and stretches from the shore across almost every part of the city. It connects Dubai’s World Trade Center (to the west, in Bur Dubai) with an array of fun attractions, beaches and swanky resorts/hotels. Along this road, you’ll be able to gaze at towering skyscrapers with ultra-modern design and check out a host of eateries and nightclubs.

You may liken this linear neighbourhood to the Las Vegas Strip. However, it’s not so gaudy, although it offers plenty of luxurious glitz. Key attractions on or bear this famous Dubai Road include the Dubai International Finance Centre, the Emirates Towers, which offer great shopping and eating and the Burj Khalifa Tower (in the downtown Dubai section of the highway).

If you want a cheaper best place to stay in Dubai, consider the Holiday Inn Dubai. One mid-range hotel which is a bit more upscale is the Warwick Hotel Dubai. If you want all of the bells and whistles and are willing to spend more on a hotel, think about the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai.

Media City

If you want to stay in a business hub which is very modern and which was designed in order to attract some of the world’s premier publishing firms, you’ll love Media City, which is situated beside Internet City. This area may not be as beautiful as some others, but it’s filled with energy and it is home to some fine eateries and hotels. One neighbourhood attraction is the Media One Hotel, which is located across the street from another popular attraction, the Media City Ampitheatre, which is home to plenty of awesome concerts.

It’s an outdoor amphitheatre, so you’ll be able to enjoy some live tunes in the warm desert air. Also, Media City is renowned for its Mazaj Restaurant, which offers superb authentic Dubai cuisine.

In terms of hotel options, a cheaper one is the Fraser Suites Dubai. You’ll be able to find mid-range accommodations at the Media One Hotel that we discussed earlier. If you want something more deluxe, think about the Arjaan by Rotana Dubai. It’s not that much more expensive, but it’s a bit more upscale.

Which Neighbourhood is Right for You?

We’ve done lots of homework and research, with a mind to showing you which Dubai neighbourhoods offer the most potential to tourists. We’ve checked out reviews, looked at polls and found authority resources which pinpoint the most popular and beloved Dubai neighbourhoods! Our hope is that we’ve made the process of deciding where to stay a bit easier for you.

Since we all have different personalities, there’s no one answer to the question, “Where is the best place to stay in Dubai?” The best place to stay in Dubai is one which offers you the most benefits, based on your personal preferences. For example, if you like things traditional, you’re better off in The Creek than you would be in Downtown Dubai. Conversely, if you want action which is ultra-modern, Downtown Dubai will be the best place to stay, as older sections of Dubai may feel too traditional for your tastes.

Hopefully, our hotel recommendations will also help you to find the type of accommodation that you need. Naturally, there are way more hotels to choose from, so you’ll be able to browse around and find more if you want to. We focused on hotels at different price points, which earn very good reviews or better from real-life guests.

Now is the right time to plan a Dubai adventure. While typically perceived as a playground for the rich, Dubai is actually perfect for people from all walks of life. It’s a great place for middle-class families, for backpackers on shoestring budgets or for decadent billionaires. It’s a world-class destination with impressive attractions of the natural and man-made variety. As well, it’s nice and warm, so it’s a pleasant place to soak up some rays and laze on the beach.

Since it has so many great neighbourhoods and a lot of charm, Dubai is a place that dazzles. By showing you the different neighbourhoods, from artsy/industrial to old world to sleek and futuristic, we hope that we’ve also helped you to learn more about the wonders of this United Emirates city.

These days, more and more people are discovering Dubai. They love its malls, restaurants, sculptures, beaches and hotels/resorts. Whether you live close to Dubai or plan to travel a long distance to get there, you’ll find that it’s well worth a trip. There is so much to see and do. Dubai is a sort of glittering oasis in the desert and it’s definitely one of the coolest and trendiest vacation destinations in the world. It’s also a great place to do business.

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5 Places to get back to nature

5 Places to get back to nature

PODERE CONTI – TUSCANY, ITALY

It’s not easy to pull off a romantic retreat that’s also child- friendly, yet this 80ha farm has double rooms and family apartments, as well as outdoor activities for kids and grown-ups alike. Go horse-riding and trekking, or simply lounge on a daybed by the pool.

 Doubles from €95 a night. Tel: +39 348 268 1830, www.podereconti.com  

FINCA EL MORO – NEAR ARACENA, SPAIN

A 30ha hill farm growing sweet chestnut, cork and olive trees, Finca el Moro lies about an hour north-west of Seville, close to the Portuguese border. While away the hours by the pool, ride Andaluz cross-breeds through the Sierra de Aracena National Park or book yourself on a yoga week.

Two-person cottage from €500 per week (shorter periods by arrangement). tel: +34 959 501079, www.fincaelmoro.com 

CAN TALAIAS – IBIZA, SPAIN

A hilltop finca near San Carlos, this was once the home of British 1960s comic actor Terry-Thomas, and is now a wonderful six-room B&B run by his youngest son. One of the island’s first farmstays, its greenhouses hold a beautiful range of plants, while wood floors and fireplaces create a cosy feel. Enjoy expansive views over pine forests to the sea and beyond.

Doubles from €140 a night. tel:+34 971 335 742, www.hotelcantalaias.com 

POT-A-DOODLE DO – NORTHUMBRIA, UK

Don’t be put off by the silly name, this 20-strong wooden wigwam village on the wild Northumbrian coast is ideal for lazy campers. Basic yet cosy wigwams sleep five, and hot showers and a well-equipped shared kitchen mean you won’t have to go without home comforts. Activities like ceramics painting and quad biking are great for families.

Two adults £40 (€47), each child £10 (€12) a night. tel: +44 (0)1289 307107, www.northumbrianwigwams.com 

TIPI ALGARVE – ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

This friendly eco-retreat offers “glamping” (glamorous camping) within easy reach of the beaches around Portimão and Ferragudo. Stay in North American teepees, or a luxury Mongolian yurt with wood-burning stove and clear roof panel for stargazing. They also offer fun working holidays to help with jobs like cooking and organic vegetable growing.

Doubles from €200 for minimum three-night stay (€50 thereafter). tel: +351 282 471535, www.tipialgarve.com 

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5 Pads Decked Out by Fashion Designers

Hotels to go with your handbag

THE G – GALWAY, IRELAND

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Can being a hat-maker equip you for interior design? Well, when you happen to be milliner Philip Treacy (responsible for some of Lady Gaga’s headgear), you are more than equipped — as is evident from this ostentatious yet equally charming hotel.

DOUBLES FROM €150 A NIGHT. DUBLIN ROAD, TEL: +353 (0)91 865200, www.THEGHOTEL.IE

SCHLOSSHOTEL IM GRUNEWALD – BERLIN, GERMANY

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Built in 1912 as a residence for one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s close friends, this magisterial, modern and funky hotel was redesigned by Karl Lagerfeld. Aside from the 53 rooms, the Vivaldi restaurant combines Mediterranean and Berliner cuisine, after which you can walk it all off in the elegant and sprawling garden.

DOUBLES FROM €239 A NIGHT. 10 BRAHMSSTRASSE, TEL: +49 (0)30 895840, www.SCHLOSSHOTELBERLIN.COM

 

MAISON MOSCHINO – MILAN, ITALY

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The good people at Moschino have kept the exterior of this gorgeous 1800s neoclassical railway station the same, transforming the interior into a whimsical labyrinth.

The 65 rooms and junior suites follow a fairy-tale theme, with excellent touches like rose-petal bedspreads and ballgowns for headboards.

DOUBLES FROM €270 A NIGHT. 12 VIALE MONTE GRAPPA, TEL: +39 02 2900 9858, www.MAISONMOSCHINO.COM

 

CLARIDGE’S – LONDON, UK

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Exclusive hotel Claridge’s threw its haute couture hat into the ring in June with the opening of the first of a series of 20 rooms and suites by Belgian fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Each is unique and boasts her famous floral and animal prints complemented by bold Olivier Gelbsmann furniture.

DOUBLES FROM £299 (€359) A NIGHT. 49 BROOK STREET, TEL: +44 (0)20 7629 8860, www.CLARIDGES.CO.UK

 

CASA CAMPER – BARCELONA, SPAIN

casa-camper

If you love this Mallorcan shoe brand, you’ll love this hotel. Fun, comfortable and in the heart of the central Raval neighbourhood, Casa Camper features plants, free bicycles, a free 24-hour buffet, a top restaurant and 25 cosy rooms and suites – it’s as eco and stylish as it gets!

DOUBLES FROM €200 A NIGHT. 11 C/ ELISABETS, TEL: +34 933 426280, www.CASACAMPER.COM

 

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5 Places to enjoy a vintage vacation

5-places-to-enjoy-a-vintage-vacation

CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL – LONDON, ENGLAND

Fit for the 1920s Bloomsbury set, high tea is heavenly and every hour is cocktail hour at this hotel just north of Soho. The art deco Oscar Bar and Restaurant sets the mood for decadence.

DOUBLES FROM £240 (€273). TEL: +44 (0)20 7806 2000, www.FIRMDALE.COM

CA MARIA ADELE – VENICE, ITALY

Get all loved-up in Venice in Ca Maria Adele’s baroque beds. This 15th-century palazzo features 12 rooms and suites with a dream-like, vintage-inspired decor. Best of all are the concept rooms, like Sala del Doge, decked out in blood- red with gold-edged chairs and elegant chandeliers. Depart on your gondola after starting your day in the 1950s-inspired breakfast room.

DOUBLES FROM €320. TEL: +39 041 520 3078, www.CAMARIAADELE.IT

BELREPAYRE AIRSTREAM AND RETRO TRAILER PARK – PYRENEES, FRANCE

Whether you go for the Californian dream of the Naïa 1949, or Studio 54 with its eight-track stereo and tapes, these gleaming Airstream caravans are accommodation to fulfil your vintage fantasies. Boogie nights begin at the Apollo Lounge Airstream, where Bobby Lotion DJs as you swing your kitten heels at the 1950s bar.

TRAILERS FROM €85. TEL: +33 (0)5 6168 1199, www.AIRSTREAMEUROPE.COM

THE MERRION – DUBLIN, IRELAND

Live like Georgian gentry at this superb city centre hotel, set in listed buildings near the National Gallery of Ireland. Careful renovations saw its intricate plasterwork of birds, flowers, and fruit remodelled by hand, using the same techniques that would have been used 200 years ago. And with an infinity pool set in French limestone and original 18th-century wine vaults, it’s a five- star vintage fantasy come true.

DOUBLES FROM €230. TEL: +353 (0)1 603 0600, www.MERRIONHOTEL.COM

KUBE HOTEL – PARIS, FRANCE

If Barbarella were to abandon her intergalactic mission to find the groove, and go somewhere to nap, this hotel would be a good fit. Set at the foot of Montmartre, a 19th-century exterior hides 1960s space-age insides, with 41 boutique rooms where you might find a bed suspended from the ceiling, faux fur and glowing cubes of white light.

DOUBLES FROM €198. TEL: +33 (0)1 4205 2000, www.MURANORESORT.COM

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5 Cozy Stays For Winter

5-cozy-stays-for-winter


THORNBURY CASTLE – NEAR BRISTOL, ENGLAND 

The sumptuous rooms at this Tudor castle in Gloucestershire have metre-thick walls, heavy oak doors and open fires to keep out the winter chill. As a finishing touch, every bedside table is stocked with a decanter of sherry.
DOUBLES FROM €175. TEL: + 44 (0)1454 281182, WWW.THORNBURYCASTLE.CO.UK

 

BLAUE GANS ARTHOTEL – SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

A 600-year-old inn in the heart of the old town, rooms here combine period pieces – antique marble, baroque doors and original brass fittings – with low-slung futons and modern art. Splash out on the Maisonette, which has thick olive rugs and exposed beams. The vault-like restaurant does a nice line in restorative winter food such as beef broth and red cabbage soup.
DOUBLES FROM €145. TEL: +43 662 842 4910, WWW.HOTEL-BLAUE-GANS-SALZBURG.AT

 

NIMB – COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

There’s no exact translation for the Danish concept of hygge – it refers to a sense of cosiness and wellbeing. Winter is the high season of hygge and there’s no better place to head than the Nimb in Copenhagen (only 35 minutes from the Ryanair destination of Malmö). Almost all of the 14 rooms have four-poster beds, deep ovoid baths and wood- burning fireplaces.
DOUBLES FROM 2,400DKK (€322). TEL: +45 8870 0000, WWW.NIMB.DK

 

ODETTE EN VILLE – BRUSSELS, BELGIUM 

Everything about this charming eight-room hotel conspires to make you feel cosy. The sloping eaves, the thick-pile carpets, the velvet curtains. The shared lounge is complete with a roaring log fire, Chesterfield chairs and a chessboard. Even your dog will be made to feel welcome; the hotel supplies canine guests with extra cushions and dog bowls.
DOUBLES FROM €250. TEL: +32 (0)2 640 2626, WWW.CHEZ-ODETTE.COM

 

STORY HOTEL – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN 

A combination of snowy winters, world-class interior design and warm customer service make Stockholm the ideal city to snuggle up in. At this hotel even breakfast has a cosy atmosphere. Sit on a banquette upholstered in crushed velvet, at a candlelit table, and your morning will never feel gloomy.
DOUBLES FROM 1,190SEK (€130). 6 RIDDARGATAN, TEL: +46 (0)8 5450 3940, WWW.STORYHOTELS.COM

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Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Not the most high end option available among Mumbai hotels, but a luxury accommodation nonetheless.

French themed

Due to its French connection you will find a lot of quirky French references everywhere during your stay, from the French themed rooms, to the Bonjour-Namaste! greeting from the staff. Some of the guests find it a little corny perhaps, but definitely makes for a different experience.

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Very courteous staff

Simply because it’s a luxury hotel does not mean the staff are snooty and disinterested in your petty problems, a complaint lodged often against other high end places. We haven’t come across a single instance of complaint against the staff from a guest. They are very eager to please and to help make you as comfortable as possible. This is quite ironic, because the French aren’t exactly known for their warmth!

Other features

· Swimming pool
· Free parking
· Restaurant
· Free wifi
· Gym
· Room service
· Bar/lounge
· Spa
· Concierge
· Laundry
· Dry cleaning
· Wheelchair access
Customer reviews and scores

Out of 1537 reviews on TripAdvisor, Sofitel got an average rating of 4.5 stars. The staff got excellent reviews, many of them mentioned by name. The only minor irritants were the gaudiness of some of the French themed rooms and the strictness of the security check-in. while the first is a matter of personal taste, the second can’t be really grudged against a hotel in Mumbai really.

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Conclusion

As good as any luxury hotel in Mumbai, it’s a good choice close to the airport and highway, making it ideal for businessmen who are in the city for a conference or a meeting. Or even for travel weary tourists who can’t take a long drive to their hotel in the city after a long ride on that bumpy plane.

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The Best Hotels To Stay Outside Of New York City

the-best-hotels-to-stay-outside-of-new-york-city

New York, The Big Apple, however you want to call it, is the place to be if you are in America. Every year, millions of tourists descend on this city to take in the sights and sounds and experience a city like nowhere else in the world.

Though there are plenty of hotels to stay in Manhattan and New York city as such, travellers on a budget don’t have lots of options. This is where our list of the best hotels outside of New York City will help you.

Find great places which offer the same deals and amenities at much lesser prices. Budget travelling to New York city therefore entails answering the following questions:

  • How convenient is it for a family to focus on the traditional tourist attractions that NYC has to offer and avail of the best hotel deals that are available in the suburbs?
  • What is the commute time to the various tourist hotspots and what are the various commute options available?
  • What is the budget for a hotel and what amenities and deals to look for?

Affordable accommodation options outside of NYC:

Families or couples looking for a budget-friendly trip have the options of good bed and breakfast hotels or the choice of a wide variety of luxury service apartments that are available for short and long stays.

Hotels in New Jersey:

Travellers often look for convenient options in nearby New Jersey, Newark and Hoboken. There are five different modes of commuting from NJ to NYC and these are taking the train, the subway, ferry, shuttle or bus. Hotels are numerous and diverse in location, price and amenities offered.

Hotels in Jersey City/ Hoboken: There are various hotels here that offer amazing skyline views of Manhattan. Though hotel prices are on the higher side here because of the location, there is the big advantage of a lesser travel time to NYC. Subways and ferry options are best suited for commuting from here to NYC.

Hotels in Newark and Fort Lee/ NJ: Hotels in Fort lee are a good option because they use regular shuttle services to ply tourist into Manhattan and back. Whereas, hotels in Newark provide travellers with the option of relying on the subway and a convenient ride time between 20-30 minutes.

Hotels in long Island outside NYC: Tourists arriving from JFK or LaGuardia airports can avail of any convenient hotel deals in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx all part of NYC. The NYC subway is a very convenient option to commute and several hotels in these areas stand out for their short commute times.

Hotels in Connecticut: Travellers driving from the north have stay options in Connecticut, which has a Metro-north new haven line. But the disadvantage here is the long commute time and high prices. A stopover is convenient, but stay and travel from here to NYC may be avoided. There are more convenient hotel options in NJ, or Long Island.

The bottom line here is that hotels outside of NYC offer good value for money deals provided one knows where to look for it and also depending on the duration of stay and holiday budget.

 

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Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness & Spa

Overlooking Ronda’s spectacular Tajo Gorge, the renovated Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness & Spa offers an outdoor pool, a spa, extensive gardens and an à la carte restaurant with panoramic views. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

The Victorian-style Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness & Spa was built in 1906 and fully renovated in summer 2012. It was once the home of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

Decorated in a sleek contemporary style, the air-conditioned rooms feature an LCD satellite TV with Canal+, a minibar, safe and modern bathroom with a hairdryer and toiletries. Many rooms have a terrace with views of the gorge.

Available at an extra cost, the spa includes a hydrotherapy pool, a Turkish bath and hydromassage showers. There is also a gym and a relaxation terrace with panoramic views. A range of health and beauty treatments are available.

The Azahar restaurant serves Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine and offers stunning views of the surroundings. The hotel also features a breakfast room and a café-bar.

The Reina Victoria & Spa is just 500 m from Puente Nuevo Bridge and Ronda Bullring, the oldest in Spain. Ronda Train Station is a 10-minute walk away.

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