Are hostel showers gross? No! Or, at the very least, usually not. This is what you need to know about showering in hostels.
I dare any traveler to come up with a better spa treatment than what I experienced in Italy. The country's polished marbles had nothing on my skin after a beautiful, yet breezy day at the beach in Finale Ligure. The salt spray, the repetitive layers of sunscreen and blown sand, finished with a hearty dose of sweat from climbing the 300 plus stairs up the hillside to my hostel made for the world's most powerful exfoliate. The hostel showers may have been humble that day but my skin has never felt so good!
I get why the issue of bathrooms and showers is a sensitive one to so many travelers. It's not just about being hygienic. It's also about the ritual of refreshment and relaxation that helps start and conclude a day. It can wash away a horrible day or, like my case in Italy, make a good day even better. And it just feels darn nice.
And that's probably why so many of my readers who want to try staying in hostels or budget accommodations for the first time (or are interested in giving them another shot after a long hiatus) are sheepishly and nervously asking...."Um..... How do I shower in a hostel?"
Looking for a hotel in Athens? Or maybe you're looking to hostel, Athens style? We've got some great recommendations! And we asked top travel writers to weigh in with their picks too.
Athens is one of the world's great cities and you'll want to make the most of your time here. Finding the right accommodations is a big part of that. You'll want a comfortable, clean, centrally located property where you can enjoy a good rest - and maybe even a great view. And you'll probably want to get a great deal too! Maybe you're searching for one of Athens' affordable hotels. Or perhaps you're keep finding the best hostel Athens has to offer. Either way - we're here to help!
We were thrilled with the property we stayed at, the Athinais Hotel, and would highly recommend it to others. But we wanted to include plenty of options in this post, so no matter your travel style or budget, you can find accommodations that are perfect for you. Thank you to the talented travel writers who weighed in with their opinions! I think you'll enjoy their reviews as much we did.
Hotel HHK is a heck of a deal - no matter how you get there!
Have you ever seen a series of funny TV ads that shows travelers coming to the end of an arduous journey, finally seeing their amazing resort and incredible hotel suite? The catch line is that they 'booking' got it right. Of course, "booking" is a sub in for another, less family friendly word (hint: it begins with "f") and the ads are promoting the hotel website... I bet you can guess which one.
They're cute ads and I can relate to that 'booking yeah' feeling. I had my own "booking" moment in Istanbul. Nope, it had nothing to do with Booking.com! (In fact, we actually booked through Expedia -here's a direct link to the hotel) but all the other components were in place, from the crazy journey to the gorgeous hotel.
HHK Hotel (aka Hayriye Hanim Konagi Hotel) in Istanbul is one property we absolutely got 'booking' right and, best of all, we got it for an absolute steal! Here's why we loved it, how we got such a sweet deal, and why we were so darn happy to finally arrive at their doorstep.
We broke some basic travel rules and learned our lesson the expensive way. Here's what we wish we had known about booking Calgary Airport hotels with shuttles. Don't worry - there's a happy ending!
Say hello to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel by the Calgary airport! This was our home for less than seven hours when we were cobbling together a series of inexpensive flights to make our way across Canada and eventually to Hawaii. Without enough time to visit friends or see the city, we nevertheless embraced our short stopover as an opportunity to get some much needed sleep on what was a very long voyage.
A quick look at a map told us that were many Calgary Airport hotel with shuttles that were so close to the airport, they were practically touching it and, even better, there were dozens of properties to chose from. That gave us an advantage when it came to online booking. We knew we were spoiled for choice and the Four Points won thanks to a combination of its price (under $100!) and its star rating (it was less expensive than some adjacent three star properties.) This was a chance for us to treat ourselves to some sweet stop-over sleep and we were very smug for being such savvy spenders.
Little did we realize we were about to make a big, BIG mistake!
Port Rowan's Palm Trees and Polar Bears is redefining the traditional bed and breakfast experience.
Have you ever liked a place so much you felt a bit reluctant to share the details because you don't want anyone else to go there? It's selfish, I know, but sometimes I can't help but feel protective about some of my favourite travel discoveries. What will happen when the word gets out and suddenly my secret hideaways are inundated with people?
One of those places isPalm Trees and Polar Bears Bed and Breakfast in Port Rowan, Ontario. Port Rowan is a small community on the shores of Lake Erie in southern Ontario. The region is famous for its provincial parks, beautiful beaches, and bird watching. I got to know the area first by camping at nearby Long Point Provincial Park, and then again on a repeat visit for kayaking. Year round camping isn't a possibility here - and for a lot of people I know, it's definitely not a summer option either! And for those who enjoy some creature-comforts when they explore nature, a B&B is a decidedly civilized option and Palm Trees and Polar Bears is definitely one of the best I've ever enjoyed.
We found a great place to stay just outside Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.
Value travelers will be familiar with this struggle. Sometimes it feels like there aren't many options between the realm of luxury hotels and bare-bones campgrounds, especially if you're searching for a property that comes with a bit of character, as well as great value. But when Ryan and I were exploring one of the 'hottest' spots in Hawaii, we discovered an inn that's decidedly cool. Kilauea Lodge, in the village of Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, is a beautiful property but that's not why we enjoyed it so much. We found some cool things here that you just don't discover every day.
You save money and meet locals - but is couchsurfing right for everyone? Guest author and world traveler Claudia weighs in.
Internationally acclaimed as a must for travelers on a tight budget and as great way to get an insider's perspective of the country visited, I decided to give couchsurfing a try for the first time when I left for my big trip across Latin America.
I heard some great stories, and was ready to find out what it was all about. I was ready for some bad experiences too, and those were not missed. Indeed, I have had my share of good and bad experiences, where the bad was so bad that I have even wondered if couchsurfing was for me at all!
Hostel Old Plovdiv has earned its reputation as Bulgaria's best hostel.
I fell in love with Hostel Old Plovdiv long before I ever went to Bulgaria. A glowing review from a friend piqued my curiosity and I couldn't read enough about this restored historic property with beautiful murals (some over 100 years old!) restored four-poster antique beds for the guests, and a common room that looks like an aristocrat's library. There was no contest - I could tell this was the place for me!
But once I arrived, I struggled with what I should write. It's so unique, it almost falls into the category of "you have to see it to believe it". But then I realized that what I loved best were the little touches, the things that any other hostel could do but rarely does. Phenomenal hostels are all one of a kind properties but they also all have a few things in common - things like this:
Look out England! London, Ontario is giving you a run for your money!
If I told you that one of the coolest, most chic, most stylish hotels I've ever stayed in - ever! - was in London, you wouldn't be surprised. Cool Britannia, right? But I'm not talking about London, England. I'm talking about London, Ontario, Canada!
London is a small-to-medium sized city in southern Ontario. The surrounding countryside is known for having charming inns and bed and breakfasts but my honest expectations for accommodations within the city itself were modest. I expected comfortable yet forgettable brand name hotels, but the Hotel Metro blew away my expectations. It easily cracked my top 5 list of the most stylish hotels I've ever been in.
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