My Favourite Luxury Hotels – Olympic National Park

The hotel:
Lake Crescent Lodge

  1. Fly to Seattle
  2. Ride the Link train to Stadium Station
  3. Take the delightful Dungeness Line bus from the Greyhound station to Port Angeles
  4. Hire a car and drive 21 miles to the lodge
Luxury hotels Olympic National Park
Lake shore in front of the Lodge

Located in Washington State’s wondrous Olympic National Park (designated by President Roosevelt in 1909), Lake Crescent lodge is perched on the edge of this large lake, with pine forests and mountains all around.

Lake Crescent Lodge
View from the cabin…wow

This lodge was built just 6 years after the Olympic peninsula became a national park, and as soon as you enter the main building you’ll realise you’re somewhere special. Fireplaces keep you warm, and the view across the lake from the Sun Porch is breathtaking. If you’re in need of fresh air then you can sit at the end of the pier, hire a kayak, or go hiking in the nearby woods to a waterfall.

Although the lodge is listed as a 3*, stay in a Roosevelt Fireplace Cabin and you’ll see why I think this lodge deserves its luxury title. However, there is a large range of accommodation for all budgets.

In addition to the fine accommodation, the lodge also offers fine dining, with fresh salmon served up on cedar boards being one of my favourite dishes here.

Rustic cabin with fireplace

Prices start at $138/night for more basic accommodation, rising to $301 for those indulgent cabins. Combine this with a ยฃ311 return flight from the UK, $49 for the return bus journey, and car hire for 4 days from ยฃ177, you could have a 3 nights in this incredible lodge only ยฃ825 (although I do recommend those cabins, and staying in the area for much longer, maybe even taking the train to Canada!).




Luxury Hotels – Olympic National Park

Looking for luxury hotels (Olympic National Park), or other hotels in this area? Take a look here >


Holiday home rental prices

How to save money on holiday home rental prices
The Cotswolds countryside

I’ve recently taken the step of investing in the UK domestic tourism market. I have been running a holiday cottage in a gorgeous Cotswolds town since September 2020, and so far it’s proving to be a popular place to go. My experience of running this cottage has also informed myself as a traveller and the differences in holiday home rental prices.

If you’re looking for a home rental for your holiday, then you should be aware that the main platforms are charge small businesses a large range of commission:

Note that this commission is taken out of all fees that you may pay too. So, for example, if as a holiday home owner I charge my customers ยฃ80 cleaning fee, Booking.com will take ยฃ16 of that – if I need to pay my cleaner ยฃ80 then I have lost ยฃ16 because of Booking.com’s commission. I will therefore increase my cleaning fee on this platform accordingly.

Because Booking.com take the largest commission, I will charge the highest holiday home rental prices on this platform. Because AirBnB and Tripadvisor charge the lowest commission, my prices are cheaper on those platforms. I doubt that I’m alone in adjusting my prices this way.

My advice, therefore, would be that if you are looking to rent a holiday home, compare the price on Booking.com and on AirBnB as the owner may well have also decided to increase their prices on Booking.com in order to receive the same income. You may pay, for example, ยฃ400 for your holiday on AirBnB, but ยฃ480 on Booking.com, with the owner receiving exactly the same income.

Even better, of course, is booking direct. Neither you nor the owner will pay fees to a third party, and the owner may also be able to give you a discount for your next stay if you book direct – this is what I do, anyway.

Oh, and if you’re interested in my place, contact me – I’ll give you an excellent price!

USA in Spring

USA in spring
USA in Spring

If you’re lucky enough to be in the USA in spring you may notice that, as the pandemic slowly recedes, the country is starting to open up to domestic tourism again. Some states are understandably remaining closed to visitors from both home and abroad, but of those which you can now visit I’ve found some springtime inspiration.

Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire

USA in spring - New Hampshire

We’re coming to the end of Maple Sugaring Month in New Hampshire, which means there are loads of sweet treats to be found throughout the state. You’ll also notice all the trees coming into bud and flowers popping up everywhere – the perfect time for a cycle or walk.


Texas Hill Country

USA in spring - Texas

Gentle hills studded with trees and threaded with serene rivers, Texas Hill Country comes alive in Spring with vast blooms of Bluebonnet – the state flower.


Michigan’s Lower Peninsula

USA in spring - Michigan

By late spring temperatures here begin to average 68ยฐF – perfect for exploring Michigan’s great outdoors. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous this is a wonderful time for camping.


Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park

Virginia

Hire a car and marvel at the spring foliage and flowers along the Skyline Drive – 105 miles of picturesque road running through the Blue Ridge Mountains


Wyoming Wildlife

Wyoming

With spring comes new born animals, and Wyoming is full of fluffy frolicking calves, cubs and other assorted cuties which you can see throughout the state, including in Yellowstone and Grand Teton.


Please note that this USA in Spring post features states which are listed as being open to visitors on CNN at time of publishing.



#ShareTravel – top travel content Mar 2021

A tiny light of future travel is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel. Throughout this pandemic I’ve been really impressed at how travel bloggers/writers/sites have continued to publish engaging content, and in March I saw a huge variety of articles and posts. I’ve no doubt that some passed me by, but here are a few which caught my attention this month:

A ghostly town in Utah – @HHLifestyleTrav

I’m intrigued by ghost towns, but haven’t really been to all that many (or any, come to think of it). I’d never heard of Grafton, but Hannah’s post was full of useful and interesting information, not least the amazing history of the town, as well as some enticing photography. The fact that one of the most famous Westerns ever made was filmed in Grafton really makes me want to visit.

Chile National Parks – @GreenMochila

‘Chile National Parks’ – just those three words are enough to cast images of vast landscapes into my mind. The collection of travel bloggers on Green Mochila’s post have put together clear and concise guides to 9 of their favourites. This is a really useful resource for anyone thinking of visiting Chile.

Sean Villanueva O’Driscolโ€ชlโ€ฌ – @FergalTravel

Fergal chats with Sean about his recent solo ascent of Cerro Fitz Roy, which has received worldwide recognition. I spent my 40th birthday staring out the window, Sean spent it on this impressive mountain having been ‘stuck’ in El Chalten for 13 months. This is a fascinating listen about the six 6am-midnight days that Sean experienced when climbing – I particularly like that he played a tin whistle on every summit, and as someone who loves Patagonia but can only stare at those summits in awe, I particularly enjoyed hearing about how strange it is to return to ground after spending up to 20 days on rock faces.

Tokyo budget – @char_x0

Japan isn’t exactly famous for being a budget destination and, having been to Tokyo, I think I’d find it a challenge to write an entire post about how to visit the city on a budget. And yet Char has done just this. Reading this post (and any of Char’s writing) was fun – lots of humour and personal views mixed with handy tips. I’m also grateful for the reminder of the Klook app.

Che meets Fidel – @NomadicBackpac1

With a title like ‘Che Guevara meets Fidel Castro in Mexico City’ how could I resist reading? Sure enough this post by Nomadic Backpacker lives up to the headline, with some useful background info as well as a fair few fascinating facts that I’m sure many of us had never known before. In these times I appreciate more than ever the ability to travel via other people’s words and pictures, and the images here do a great job of transporting me into Mexico City streets and cafes.

Seat 61 at 20 – @seatsixtyone

Today (21 March 2021) this wonderful website turns 20. I’ve used it on my travels through 6 continents and never fail to be impressed by Mark’s passion for rail travel. Whenever I take the Eurostar service I always think of Mark’s favourite seat 61 – many congratulations to him, I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years has in store for rail travel.




๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ EGYPT

Egypt itineraryThis Egypt itinerary is packed full of places and sights that you just have to see to believe. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Egypt itinerary:

Luxury
1 โœˆTo Cairo (Book >) Dep: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2 Arr: Evening ๐ŸจKempinski Nile (Book >) All hotels >
Relax after your flight in the stunning rooftop pool of your hotel.
3 A great place to start any visit to Egypt, the Egyptian Museum is bursting with ancient artifacts which help you begin to understand the vast and fascinating history of this nation. From the serenity of the museum to the cacophony of Cairo’s streets, where I recommend you do a walking tour of the Old Coptic City. To avoid the crowds try to get to the museum early and start your visit as far away from the entrance doors as possible.
4 ๐Ÿš„Cairo to Aswan flight (Book >) Evening Evening ๐ŸจSofitel Legend Old Cataract (Book >) All hotels >
For the first half of today you’re going to visit the Pyramids of Giza. If you’ve time, take a walking tour of Khan el-Khalili Market. Take cash for the market, and be sure to haggle.
5 Hop on a flying tour to Abu Simbel. Your hotel is in the perfect location for sunset.
6 โ›ด๏ธAswan (Book >) Dep: Morning ๐Ÿจ5* ship
Start your cruise to Luxor with a visit to Aswan’s High Dam and Philae Temple. Board your 5* ship and take in the views over the Nile. Cut down on plastic bottle by bringing a filter water bottle.
7 โ›ด๏ธAswan to Kom Ombo cruise
โ›ด๏ธKom Ombo to Edfu cruise
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ5* ship
This afternoon your cruise will set off to the 2,200-year old double temple of Kom Ombo. Evening sail downstream to Edfu. Ask about using a private guide for your temple visits.
8 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐Ÿจ5* ship
Your day will begin with a tour around Edfu. This temple has an imposing entrance and dates back to 237BC. In the afternoon you’ll sail to Luxor where you will see the Luxor Temple and temple complex of Karnak. Summer here can be brutally hot. Take sunscreen and a hat, wear loose clothing, and drink plenty of water.
9 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐ŸจHilton Luxor Resort & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Included with your tour is a visit to the famous Valley of the Kings. The tour will end back in Luxor where you will disembark and spend one more night in a hotel (not included in the tour). If you’ve time then seeing sunset from a felucca is a magical experience.
10 ๐Ÿš•Luxor to Hurghada transfer (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 ๐ŸจThe Oberoi Beach Resort Sahl Hasheeshย (Book >) All hotels >
Take a private transfer across the desert to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Remember to tip service staff.
11-13 Spend a few days on Hurghada’s magnificent beaches. While you’re here you should absolutely go snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea. If you’ve never learned to dive then this is a great value place to start.
14 โœˆHurghada to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Egypt itinerary with the Jordan itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Luxor, Egypt
1 โœˆTo Cairo (Book >) Dep: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2 Arr: Evening ๐ŸจKempinski Nile (Book >) All hotels >
Relax after your flight in the stunning rooftop pool of your hotel.
3 A great place to start any Egypt itinerary, the Egyptian Museum is bursting with ancient artifacts which help you begin to understand the vast and fascinating history of this nation. From the serenity of the museum to the cacophony of Cairo’s streets, where I recommend you do a walking tour of the Old Coptic City. To avoid the crowds try to get to the museum early and start your visit as far away from the entrance doors as possible.
4 ๐Ÿš„Cairo to Aswan train (Book >) Dep: 21:10 ๐ŸจTrain
For the first half of today you’re going to visit the Pyramids of Giza. If you’ve time, take a walking tour of Khan el-Khalili Market. Take cash for the market, and be sure to haggle.
5 ๐Ÿš„Cairo to Aswan train Arr: 11:10 ๐Ÿจ5* ship (Book >) ย 
Emerge refreshed (hopefully) from your train journey and start your cruise to Luxor with a visit to Aswan’s High Dam and Philae Temple. Board your 5* ship and take in the views over the Nile. If you’d like to visit Abu Simbel then you’ll need to add an extra day in Aswan (I recommend the Philae Hotel).
6 โ›ด๏ธAswan to Kom Ombo cruise
โ›ด๏ธKom Ombo to Edfu cruise
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ5* ship
This afternoon your cruise will set off to the 2,200-year old double temple of Kom Ombo. Evening sail downstream to Edfu. Cut down on plastic bottle by bringing a filter water bottle.
7 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐Ÿจ5* ship
Your day will begin with a tour around Edfu. This temple has an imposing entrance and dates back to 237BC. In the afternoon you’ll sail to Luxor where you will see the Luxor Temple and temple complex of Karnak. Summer here can be brutally hot. Take sunscreen and a hat, wear loose clothing, and drink plenty of water.
8 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐ŸจSteigenberger Nile Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Included with your tour is a visit to the famous Valley of the Kings. The tour will end back in Luxor where you will disembark and spend one more night in a hotel (not included in the tour). If you’ve time then seeing sunset from a felucca is a magical experience.
9 ๐Ÿš•Luxor to Hurghada transfer (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 ๐ŸจSteigenberger Pure Lifestyle Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a private transfer across the desert to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Remember to tip service staff.
10-13 Spend a few days on Hurghada’s magnificent beaches. While you’re here you should absolutely go snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea. If you’ve never learned to dive then this is a great value place to start.
14 โœˆHurghada to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Egypt itinerary with the Jordan itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Hurghada, Egypt
1 โœˆTo Cairo (Book >) Dep: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ In flight!
2 Arr: Evening ๐ŸจNour Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Arrange for a taxi or minicab to take you from the airport to your hostel.
3 A great place to start any visit to Egypt, the Egyptian Museum is bursting with ancient artifacts which help you begin to understand the vast and fascinating history of this nation. From the serenity of the museum to the cacophony of Cairo’s streets, where I recommend you do a walking tour of the Old Coptic City. To avoid the crowds try to get to the museum early and start your visit as far away from the entrance doors as possible.
4 ๐Ÿš„Cairo to Aswan train (Book >) Dep: 21:10 ๐ŸจTrain
Grab a taxi and visit the Pyramids of Giza. If you’ve time, walk 15 mins from your hostel to Khan el-Khalili Market. Take cash for the market, and be sure to haggle.
5 ๐Ÿš„Cairo to Aswan train Arr: 11:10 ๐ŸจAunati Guesthouse
(Book >)
All hotels >
Emerge refreshed (hopefully) from your train journey and take an afternoon tour to Aswan’s High Dam and Philae Temple. If you’d like to visit Abu Simbel then you’ll need to add an extra day in Aswan.
6 โ›ด๏ธAswan to Kom Ombo
โ›ด๏ธKom Ombo to Edfu cruise (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon ๐Ÿจ5* ship (Book >)
This afternoon your cruise will set off to the 2,200-year old double temple of Kom Ombo. Evening sail downstream to Edfu. Cut down on plastic bottle by bringing a filter water bottle.
7 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐Ÿจ5* ship
Your day will begin with a tour around Edfu. This temple has an imposing entrance and dates back to 237BC. In the afternoon you’ll sail to Luxor where you will see the Luxor Temple and temple complex of Karnak. Summer here can be brutally hot. Take sunscreen and a hat, wear loose clothing, and drink plenty of water.
8 โ›ด๏ธEdfu to Luxor cruise (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning
Arr: Evening
๐ŸจBob Marley Peace Hotel (Book >) All hostels >
Included with your tour is a visit to the famous Valley of the Kings. The tour will end back in Luxor where you will disembark and spend one more night in a hotel (not included in the tour). If you’ve time then seeing sunset from a felucca is a magical experience.
9 ๐ŸšŒLuxor to Hurghada bus (Book >) Dep: 08:05 Arr: 13:00 ๐ŸจMarina Square Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Take a bus across the desert to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Remember to tip service staff.
10-13 Spend a few days on Hurghada’s magnificent beaches. While you’re here you should absolutely go snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea. If you’ve never learned to dive then this is a great value place to start.
14 โœˆHurghada to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Egypt itinerary with the Jordan itinerary
Take a taxi or minicab to the airport.

My Favourite Luxury Hotels – Tatras

The hotel:
Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras

  1. Fly to Poprad Airport
  2. Take a 10-minute taxi to Poprad-Tatry train station
  3. Ride the spectacular Tatra Electric Railway to ล trbskรฉ Pleso
  4. Walk 5 minutes to the Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras
View from the bedroom balcony

You are now in one of my favourite luxury hotels in Slovakia. With a Lake View room you can sit on your balcony and marvel at the ล trbskรฉ Pleso lake and Tatras Mountains, which rise up to 2,655m.

Large rooms with a view

After a day of following well-marked trails mountains (many of which pass close to the hotel), you can ease your aches in the chandelier-strewn spa. Here you can enjoy views over the mountains through which you walked, while soaking in a hot tub, sweating in a sauna, or swimming the 16-metre pool. This spa is worth the journey here alone and I must have spent many hours here gawping at the view.

Meals – including breakfast – are served in the elegant Grand Restaurant. There’s something very special about enjoying Champagne with your breakfast in a large room warmed by a massive fireplace at one end and furnished with pale wood beams above.

I particularly liked how I could stagger into the pristine reception, covered in dirt from scrambling up rocks, and the staff didn’t even bat an eyelid.

Luxury Hotels Tatras
Looking back to the hotel

I’ve seen prices for as low as ยฃ159/night. Combine this with a ยฃ30 return flight from London, a ยฃ12 return taxi journey, and a return train ticket for just over ยฃ3, you could have a 5* ultra-luxurious 3 day spa/hiking break in the mountains for only ยฃ522.




Luxury Hotels – Tatras

Looking for luxury hotels (Tatras), or other hotels in this spectacular region? Take a look here >


#ShareTravel – top travel content Feb 2021

As I hope you know by now, this site curates the best that travel has to offer, and makes it easy for you to simply get up and go. With this in mind, and with the vast amount of travel content out there, I thought I’d start the occasional post to share the very best that I’ve seen, which this month (but not necessarily written this month) includes:

Simon Calder interview

One of my personal travel faves, Simon Calder, appeared on Travel.Radio. It was fascinating to hear more about how Simon first found his way into travel and then into journalism. He describes how “I’ve also come to realise that my greatest joy is pacing the streets of a new city” and that “London isn’t exactly new but there is still enough to be discovered and I’m walking two hours every day” (something I’ve also been doing!)

He doesn’t hold back on criticising the catastrophic response of the UK government to the pandemic, and how the travel industry has been particularly effected. “Government has shown time and again that it has no interest in the sector”. Well quite. He finishes with how travel is going to eventually bounce back. I particularly enjoyed hearing about how he loves the Alhambra, Cuba (and the terrible food), and Uzbekistan. And it helps that he has good taste in music.

Scroll down to Flight Deck With Paul Charles on 21/02/2021.

Prague to Split overnight train

Ever with his finger on the railway pulse, The Man In Seat 61 drew my attention to the new RegioJet overnight service Between Prague and Split, and how this journey can easily be booked online. Keep an eye on Seat61 for further updates and full details of this new route.

On this same subject, Mobilettre featured this article about the expansion of France’s night trains. And then there’s the possible Barcelona to Frankfurt night train, and Brussels to Malmรถโ€ฆnight train’s really do seem to be having a renaissance.

The less fun bits of travelling solo

This felt like a really brave post from Emilys Eyes Explore, which recounted all those times when travelling solo wasn’t all that fun. A lot of the situations she found herself in felt very familiar, but handily she’s included some tips so that you can hopefully avoid these misadventures.

Demonising travel

This excellent article by Pรณl ร“ Conghaile describes what a lot of us in travel are feeling; the fact that our industry has been shamed and torn apart for no good reason. Pรณl hints at how ridiculous it was for a certain government minister to state that no-one is going travelling until the whole world is vaccinated, and finishes with a nice summary about how incredibly important travel is to us all.

Transnistria

Transnistria is one of those places that I’ve always been aware of, but never really knew much about. Mind Of A Hitchhiker’s guest post by Heidi Koelle goes into great detail about this unrecognised state, including what it’s like to visit, as well as useful information if you want to see it yourself. So good to read travel content about somewhere relatively unknown by someone who clearly is an expert on the subject.

Lansallos Bay

RJOnTour has been doing a great job of piquing my interest in hikes here in the UK – a country which I will no doubt do much more exploring of once we’re allowed. His post on Cornwall’s Lansallos Bay has everything you need to seek out this particular highlight of the South West Coast Path.




I was robbed

I’ve just roughly estimated that I must have so far spent almost 3 years travelling (in total, not all at once). It’s no surprise, therefore, that I have had a couple of minor incidents along the way. There have been several accidents too, but we’ll get into those another time. This post is about the one occasion on which I was robbed, plus two near-misses.

Held at gunpoint

In late spring 2000 I’d been in South America for about 5ish months (I forget how long exactlyโ€ฆit was a long time ago!). On the day before I was due to fly home I was walking along a street in Quito, Ecuador, when we were approached by several men. They briefly stopped to talk about football – a common conversation wherever I go – and then abruptly asked me to give them money.

“Que? No!” I replied. This was clearly the wrong answer.

One of the gang made a grab for my sunglasses and, when I tried to stop him, another held my arms behind my back so that his friends could take sunglasses, watch and money. When one of them showed me his gun I knew that I should just let them take what they wanted (including from my money belt – useless!)

Apart from that this was a non-violent robbery. We all knew what was going to happen, it happened, then after it happened a car pulled up and the driver explained that this gang had robbed the other people in his car and would I like a lift to the police station. My faith in the kindness of Ecuadorians immediately restored, I made my report to the police and received a paltry sum from the insurance company.

Quito’s Old Town, which felt slightly safer 20 years later

A common scam

As with the previous story, this robbery happened on the day before I was due to leave for another country. Unlike the previous story, this happened in Ethiopia, and I actually managed to stop the robbery from happening.

A slightly friendlier welcome to Ethiopia

Bored on a flight from Lalibela to Addis Ababa, I was reading the Lonely Planet guide on Ethiopia’s capital. I even reached the end, where it lists some common risks. Apparently people will approach you with a tray in their hands. They will hold the tray above your arms to better show you the items on it. As they’re doing this, they’re using their other hand to remove your wristwatch.

When two young children approached me in the street and started to do just this, I immediately remembered that warning, and caught one of them in the process of trying to remove my watch. I’m annoyed with myself for getting angry with them, when it was obvious that they were both desperate. If I could run that moment over again I would instead react more kindly.

“You have been poisoned”

Back in the days when I went on fam trips* I was lucky enough to be offered one to Kiev. It was an amazing trip and all was going well until one evening when many of the group went out to a nearby nightclub.

The nightclub was open air and situated in a massive courtyard – it was spectacular. It was my round and, at the bar, I got chatting to a friendly couple of locals. They kindly bought me a vodka shot and, together, we toasted and drank.

Soon after I began to feel very peculiar. I hadn’t yet drunk enough to feel this way (I was old enough to know my limits), and so knew that something wasn’t right. Through a blur of confusion, I managed to let the other people on the fam trip know that I was returning to the hotel. I also, luckily, managed to catch a legitimate taxi.

Back in my room, and still feeling not at all well, I called reception, asked for a doctor, then blacked out.

I woke up with two paramedics taking my blood pressure. “You have been poisoned,” I was told, “We must take you to hospital”. They insisted I call my insurance company, who answered immediately and simply told me to go to hospital, get receipts, and don’t worry because everything will be covered – excellent service.

Having been given the choice of the public hospital or “the American hospital” I quickly chose the latter. It took a while for the hospital staff to find someone who spoke English, and who could explain my situation. I was subjected to a large number of tests, and the next morning, feeling much better, I was keen to resume the fam trip.

It was when they told me that they’re going to intubate me that I decided to discharge myself. I suspected that the tests were becoming unnecessary, but were just a way for the hospital to make more money from me. With a HUGE bill in my hand, I re-joined the fam trip having lost only a few hours of sightseeing.

*In case you don’t know, ‘fam’ or ‘familiarisation trips’ are often run by tourist boards, cruise companies etc. and offer travel employees a chance to visit a destination/ship/etc. for free so as to expand their knowledge and better sell the product when they’re back home).

5 Top Ljubljana Hostels

Top Ljubljana Hostels
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana has a wealth of wonderful hostels. The ones I’ve chosen below are all central and have been picked based on this, as well as their excellent rooms and facilities. Here are my 5 top Ljubljana hostels recommendations:

Vila Veselova

Vila Veselova - Top Ljubljana Hostels

๐Ÿ“ Adjacent to Tivoli Park, 11 minutes walk to Preลกeren Square
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Spacious rooms, most with sturdy bunks with private reading lights
๐Ÿšฟ Adequate number of bathrooms, some brand new
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Small, basic kitchen. One dorm has private kitchen. Lovely outdoor terrace
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ One beautiful private double with its own bathroom


Hostel Celica

Hostel Celica - Top Ljubljana Hostels

๐Ÿ“ Across the road from train station, 14 minute walk to Preลกeren Square
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Amazing rooms located in old prison cells. Custom-designed bunks or single beds (dorm rooms are not in cells!)
๐Ÿšฟ Free towels. Utilitarian bathrooms, but plentiful. Don’t drop the soap
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Relatively small kitchen, but loads of large, well-designed common areas
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ All of the cells are private 2-bed with shared bathrooms


AdHoc Hostel

AdHoc Hostel - Top Ljubljana Hostels

๐Ÿ“ Old part of the city, at the foot of the medieval fortress and steps from the main square
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Well-designed rooms with good storage
๐Ÿšฟ New, stylish bathrooms
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ No kitchen, just a few common areas
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Private rooms with shared bathrooms


Turn Hostel

Turn Hostel - Top Ljubljana Hostels

๐Ÿ“ 4-minute walk to Preลกeren Square – very central
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Superb, new bunk rooms with plenty of space, private reading lamps and sockets
๐Ÿšฟ Brand new hostel, brand new, modern bathrooms
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Basic kitchen, few common areas
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘No private rooms


Hostel Tresor

Hostel Tresor - Top Ljubljana Hostels

๐Ÿ“ Steps from Preลกeren Square and the Three Bridges
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Range of dorms with either single beds or sturdy bunks
๐Ÿšฟ Clean and plentiful bathrooms
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Basic kitchen. Small laundry. Fun common areas including in old bank vault. Breakfast from โ‚ฌ2.50
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Basic private rooms with shared bathrooms


7 Top Berlin Hostels

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

In Berlin you’ll find some terrible hostels, some OK hostels, and some amazing hostels. I’ve picked through them to find the best, based on location, value, common areas, bathrooms, and even bunk bed sturdiness. Here are my 7 top Berlin hostels recommendations:

Pfefferbett Hostel

Pfefferbett Hostel - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ 20-minute walk to Alexanderplatz
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Sturdy dorm beds with private reading lights and power points
๐Ÿšฟ Smaller dorm rooms come with private bathroom
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Free coffee, but no kitchen. Plenty of lounge areas, plus a garden
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Double rooms come with private bathroom and TV


EastSeven Berlin

EastSeven Berlin - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ Between Prenzlauer Berg and Alexanderplatz
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Large choice of well-designed rooms with dorms that include a reading light and power points
๐Ÿšฟ Clean and spacious bathrooms
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Tidy kitchen, garden with hammocks and BBQ
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Simple but great value private rooms with shared bathrooms


Circus Hostel

Circus Hostel - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ Just across the road from Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn
๐Ÿ›๏ธ All dorm rooms come with en-suites and private powerpoints
๐Ÿšฟ Basic but clean bathrooms
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Stylish common areas, including a microbrewery plus a cafe which offers all-you-can-eat breakfast for just โ‚ฌ5
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Private penthouse room with its own kitchen and ensuite


MEININGER Tiergarten

MEININGER Tiergarten - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ 20-minute walk to the Tiergarten
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Well-designed bunk rooms with plenty of space, reading lamps and USB points
๐Ÿšฟ Each room comes with its own superb bathroom
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Spacious kitchen and super-stylish common areas
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘Comfy and light private rooms with en-suite bathrooms


The Cat’s Pajamas

The Cat's Pajamas - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ Kreuzkoelln neighbourhood, just steps from Hermannplatz U-Bahn
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Dorms with plenty of room and sturdy bunks
๐Ÿšฟ Each dorm has its own bathroom with separate toilet
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Large kitchen with communal table
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Private rooms are small but perfectly formed, most with en-suite


Minimal Hostel

Minimal Hostel - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ Also in the lively Kreuzkoelln neighbourhood, 5 minutes from Schรถnleinstr U-Bahn
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Well-designed dorm, but not much privacy
๐Ÿšฟ Spacious bathroom for the dorm
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Basic and small kitchen (but hostel only accommodates 9 people)
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Small double rooms with shared bathrooms


aletto Kudamm

aletto Kudamm - 7 top Berlin hostels

๐Ÿ“ In the heart of west Berlin, steps from the Tiergarten and many top sights
๐Ÿ›๏ธ Sturdy bunk beds with privacy curtains
๐Ÿšฟ Clean, modern bathrooms, with each dorm room having its own showers
๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Large kitchen, ample seating and common areas, laundry, terrace
๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘ Choice of private room types, all with private bathrooms