I've been obsessed with cozy airport sleeping pods for years. I finally got my chance to try one when I stayed at YOTEL Paris. Here's what I wish I had known in before my trip.
For as long as I can remember, I've had one very specific, very peculiar thing on my travel bucket list: To sleep in airport sleeping pods. I bet you've heard about them before. They're teeny-tiny hotel rooms designed to offer airport based travellers a place to sleep - if only for an hour or two. Some are so tiny they really do resemble a pod, or perhaps a bunk bed-turned-bunker. They're not unlike the berths you find on overnight trains, albeit with solid walls, a door you can lock, and an external ladder that leads you to your perch. Other airport sleeping pods are a bit more generous. They're like micro-rooms, offering ensuite washrooms and a few feet of floor space. In every case, they're adorably, maddeningly tiny and cute and I'm just obsessed with the concept. They're cozy, in every sense of the word.
Maybe it has something to do with all those bargain basement overnight flights I've taken throughout the years which have been me walking around terminals like a little zombie. I've just always wanted to stay in a pod and, on a recent trip to France, I finally got my opportunity. After flying overnight into Paris, I had a suitably long layover before I had to board my plane to Bordeaux. My moment had come!
Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport is home to a branch of YOTEL, a UK based hotel chain that has airport sleeping pods around the world, as well as micro-hotels in cities like New York. After so many years of anticipation, I finally had my moment - and I learned a whole lot during the process. This post is a little bit of a review of the Paris YOTEL, but more generally it's about what I wish I had known before booking any airport accommodations. I hope it helps you have sweet dreams!
Wondering where to stay in Zurich? These are our favourite hotels in Zurich Old Town and there's something for everyone.
Lounging around in bed when you could be out exploring Zurich's streets and lane ways? Say it ain't so! Never fear - I walked A LOT while I was in Zurich. This restful moment was just a brief interlude of downtime. I just couldn't resist trying out my super cozy bed for just a few moments! And I was so lucky that I was staying in the heart of the old town so I could easily pop back home for a rest. As a sleep enthusiast, I know that there are a lot of options on where to stay in Zurich and for my money, the best choice is one of the hotels in Zurich Old Town. Here are my favourite places to stay, some great alternative options with different styles and price points, and a few things that I love about Zurich's old town.
Updated in 2021! 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:
Hotel Review: Mons' Dream Hotel
This hotel is dreamy in more ways than one.
If I told you I stayed at the dreamiest hotel imaginable, what comes to mind? Frills and lace? Lots of pink bows and frou-frou design? The Dream Hotel in Mons is a travel lover's dream come true, but there's not a bow or frill in sight! Instead you get an incredibly unique property, an ultra chic design, and the perfect base for exploring the city of Mons. This character-full hotel is the ideal compliment to the European Capital of Culture!
Housed in a centuries old former convent and chapel, the exterior facade melts into the city-scape. Inside, however, things are nothing but modern and chic. There's such a great marriage of the old and new and I especially loved the funky detail like the cool main floor bar, the bright red murals, and the funky black printed carpets and walls in the hallways.
Updated 2021! We've never had a hotel quite like this one. Would you stay at the EasyHotel Victoria in London?
As we stood basking in the neon glow of the electric orange paint, key card in hand, I shot Ryan a sharp look. “Promise me”, I said, “Promise me that whatever’s behind this door you’ll give me your usual, cheerful ‘Oh, now this isn’t so bad!’”.
With a whoosh, we slid the key card through the slot and stepped into our hotel room. Ryan’s face fell. “Oh”, he said flatly, “This isn’t so bad?” And with that dubious and doubtful start we began the first of four days inside an EasyHotel, the EasyHotel Victoria in London.
Legends, luxury, and John Lennon - all for the cost of a regular hotel suite!
Have you ever wanted to party like a rock star when you travel? Or live the life of a legend, sitting in the lap of luxury? Or follow in some of the most famous footsteps in the world? With a little luck, you can enjoy all three when you stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and have a slumber party with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
In late May, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrived in Montreal following their first Bed-In for Peace in Amsterdam and a one day event in the Bahamas. The Fairmont wasn't their first choice of location but many other hotels had turned them down.
As it turns out, I think the Fairmont was the perfect choice and a little bit of that musical magic is still felt in the halls today. The four adjoining rooms of the Bed-In (now configured as one large suite) were used to record Give Peace A Chance and played host to likes of Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and dozens of other visitors.
Hotel Review: The Omni Montreal
The Omni Montreal Gets Mornings Right.
How much money do you think you need to spend for a hotel to wake you up each morning with a silver carafe of homemade hot chocolate and fresh orange juice? Turns out, not nearly as much as you think!
I had never stayed at an Omni brand hotel before I visited their property in Montreal and it couldn't have come at a better time. I was beginning to think that all hotels were basically just about the same and it was time to shake things up. So when the Omni staff offered to register me as a senior loyalty member in order to more fully experience the Omni brand, I was appreciative but not necessarily overly enthused. That is, until I heard about the breakfast drink program.
Sometimes a chain hotel is the best idea. This is why we loved the Holiday Inn in Singapore.
Singapore is home to some of the most gorgeous and unique hotel properties in the world. They offer stunning views, amazing roof top cocktail bars, and the chicest of design. So why on earth did we opt for the Holiday Inn Express on Orchard Road?
In short? We didn't think we'd be in any hotel long enough to appreciate any special features. Arriving late at night from Bangkok, we'd literally be in the room just long enough to sleep before heading out to explore early the next morning. We needed something that was centrally located, close to public transit, clean, safe, convenient, and EASY. It didn't exactly scream hip Singapore style, but it included free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and rang in at around $150 - not our greatest deal ever, but still a respectable bargain for the city.
You've hit the travelling mother-load at Mother Land Inn 2
Have you ever been so happy to see a place that you nearly cried? In truth, it wouldn't have mattered what Mother Land Inn 2 looked like, or how friendly the staff were, or how comfortable the rooms were. We rolled into Yangon after the worst travel experience of our lives, 20 hours of pure misery on the overnight train from Bagan. It was a bone jarring, flesh bruising, filth accumulating experience and MLI2 appeared to us like a mirage, then an oasis.
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