Oaks on Collins: Melbourne, Australia: Furnished apartments on Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD directly across from the Intercontinental and Rialto. Great location-short walk to Spencer Street station, tram stop out front, two blocks from the Yarra and great access to the city-parking available. Delicious and affordable food court with many options downstairs open on weekdays, gym & pool available and wonderful front desk staff. Ask for higher floors with outside windows-incredible views all the way to St. Kilda.
Oaks on Market: Melbourne, Australia: Serviced apartments on Market Street in the center of the CBD. Easy walk to Flinder’s Street Station. Gym, pool and laundry available along with fun bar and friendly and helpful front desk staff and managers. Ask for higher floors with big windows and incredible views of the city, Southbank and beyond.
Mantra on Little Bourke: Melbourne, Australia: Good location, great rates, nice spacious furnished apartments-parking also available.
Breakfree Aruba Beach Resort: Gold Coast, Australia: Good affordable apartment accommodations in area. Public bus stop easily reached from hotel to take you anywhere in area (Sea World, Pacific-Fair, Surfers Paradise). Walkable to beaches and complete
Twin Palms: Phuket, Thailand: Small Luxury Hotel of the World-Gorgeous! Located short walk to quiet beach with cafes and eateries. Rooms are spacious and filled with amenities-luxurious showers, jasmine scented lotions/candles and all white and bamboo decor. Luxe pool with lanais and lounges available. Good breakfast buffet which you can get included in the room rates. For less expensive eats walk down to the beach to eat at hotel bar/cafes or local places while your toes rest in the sand.
Cosmopolitan: Happy Valley, Hong Kong, SAR: Great location in Happy Valley. Directly across from public transportation, short walk to race track and clubs. Surrounded by various eateries, parks and shops. Affordable accommodation in the heart of Happy Valley providing easy access and good information to all Hong Kong sites and locations.
The Oakwood: Bangkok, Thailand: Located just off of the main shopping street in Bangkok with great access to public transportation, this beautifully designed furnished apartment is awesome. Great breakfasts, laundry services/machines available and full service apartment with DVD access and free WIFI in rooms fits all needs. Beautiful, modern and clean rooms with knowledgeable staff in a great location.
Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel: Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Gorgeous! Beautiful rooms, rooftop bar and pool, excellent buffet breakfast (complete with western and eastern fare including Pho bar). Free WIFI in rooms and computers available for use in lobby. Great location-highly recommended!
Ashton Sarovar Portico: New Dehli, India: Looks can be deceiving-the outside is not much to see and in a bit of an interesting area (good location-just a block from train station), but beautiful hotel with great rooms. Good restaurant in hotel (delicious food, service is sometimes slow). Free WIFI.
Hanoi Old Quarter Hotel: Hanoi, Vietnam: Older hotel with palatial rooms. Good breakfast and great location-a very short walk to markets, individual streets lined with shoes, shops, restaurants, ribbons, clothing and a sundries.
Cua Dai Hotel: Hoi An, Vietnam: Beautiful boutique hotel-white rooms complete with four poster beds with mosquito nets that make you feel like you’re a princess in your own castle. Good location; laundromat next door and short walk to restaurants/market.
Asia Ruby 3: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: clean, modern, Free WIFI and use of lobby computer, great location.
Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Private beach, nice pool with affordable bar/food access and good Brazilian buffet (a decent variety of vegetarian options as well); Nice rooms (although be sure to be specific if you want an non-smoking room and ask for it on a non-smoking/allergenic floor) and considerate front desk staff. A short walk/inexpensive taxi ride down a steep hill will take you into Leblon filled with restaurants/bars/clubs/cafes for less expensive eats and a taxi or long walk will get you to Ipanema/Copacabana beach to explore the famous public beaches of Rio.
Villa Blanca: Los Angeles Cloud Forest, Costa Rica: Incredible find! Boutique greentique hotel in the cloud forest (much more remote and local than others). Available walks, yoga and animal watching tours. Organic food; own dairy farm and vegetable/herb garden; heaps of vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch and dinner-food is delicious. Individual cottages have everything you could possibly need. Hotel staff is wonderfully welcoming and caters to every whim and able to organize many day tours at a decent rate. Music, games and drinks available for happy hour as well at hikes on your own any time of the day.
Zamora Estates: San Jose, Costa Rica: Welcoming owners who treat you as family in this palatial vineyard that has been transformed into individual cottages complete with canopied beds and decks over the lake. Lovely pool, wonderful food and feathered friends that visit the lake in the evening. This happy family-owned establishment couldn’t have been more welcoming if they tried. The owners even took us out to dinner in town for a night. If you’re in San Jose and want to be away from the city-life, check them out!
Villas Caletas: Jaco, Costa Rica: Gorgeous resort with incredible sunsets. There are a variety of rooms, a gym, a pool, and endless gallo pinto and watermelon/pineapple smoothies. Great food at affordable prices-try to work in breakfast coupons upon booking accommodation. Access (car/walk) past monkeys to a private beach with lounges and bar/grille. Short walk/taxi ride into Jaco for local cuisine, shops and beaches. A nice treat while still being in a local area.
Sunborn Yacht Hotel: London, United Kingdom: Secluded yacht in the center of the Thames. About an hour by public transport outside of the city; elegant accommodations on a renovated yacht turned into hotel.
Wilson Boutique Hotels: Barcelona, Spain: An incredible find! This small boutique hotel is just off of Las Ramblas and filled with kind, knowledgeable and friendly staff. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy street, this spot (with free WIFI in the rooms) is perfect for short or long stays. Easily walkable to public transport or Barcelona’s sites, the hotel has easy access to local restaurants, is walkable to the shops/surprises of Las Ramblas and has clean, modern-designed, beautiful rooms.
Suites Vienna: Madrid, Spain: Clean lines and modern hotel rooms/furnished apartments. Good location, WIFI free in lobby and largest vending machine I’ve ever seen in the lobby. Kind and friendly front desk staff.
Citadines: Berlin, Germany: Great furnished apartments on Berlin’s highly acclaimed shopping street Kurfurstendamm. Lush apartment complete with all amenities. Breakfast available and wifi access as well as laundry service in hotel and machines available with tokens in the basement. Great location and well-advised front desk staff.
Hilton London Tower Bridge: London, United Kingdom: Perfect location (just outside tube station), Huge rooms, great bathrooms/shower and Free WIFI in lobby. Cafe Nero and Tescos within less than a block’s walk. A short walk to Borough Market.
Melia White House Hotel: London, United Kingdom: Great location, gorgeous hotel, nice rooms (slightly tiny and limited air flow in bathroom) with a great gym.
Hilton Brussels City: Brussels, Belgium: Excellent hotel in great location! Free WIFI in lobby, fabulous buffet breakfast and very friendly and helpful staff.
Hilton Dublin: Dublin, Ireland: Very nice hotel, good location.
Holiday Inn: Portland, Maine, USA: Excellent location and great value for money. Clean, pristine rooms; good location for hotel and easy parking available. Complete with free continental breakfast and easy WIFI access, this hotel is in a great spot and easy walking access to much of Portland’s hot spots.
The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter: San Diego, California: filled with great staff, those dreamy white Westin beds and in a great location (in the heart of the city)-easy access to all roads.
Hilton San Diego/Gas Lamp District: San Diego, California, USA: Gorgeous hotel, great location and very friendly staff. A few short steps away from the seafront and within a five block radius of heaps of restaurants and evening entertainment.
Wingate by Wyndham: St. George, Utah: Beautiful hotel, friendly staff, great location (walkable to restaurants and Walmart) and an hour to Zion National Park
The Lodge at Jackson Hole: Jackson, Wyoming: Beautiful, luxurious lodge with gorgeous rooms, great included buffet breakfast and friendly staff. Say hi to Erica and Smith at the front desk if you’re visiting.
Isis Hotel on the Nile: Aswan, Egypt: Well-kept, clean resort on the Nile River. Nice white rooms, pretty pool and entertainment available. Excellent access to day trip/overnight trip on feluccas on the Nile.
Felix Unite: Gareep River, Namibia: Fabulous introduction to Namibia; small yert-like cottages set overlooking the Gareep/Orange River. Bamboo build large structures house an immense dining lodge and entertainment/bar area. Excellent food (vegetarians well looked after) and river activities available. Small store on premises containing general merchandise and shirts reading “Sand Lover” (completely apropos for entrance into Namibia.
Nubib Nature Camp: Nubib, Namibia: Lovely accommodations with individual cottages; set on many hectares of land. Family owned; guided tours of the property with intense detail of surroundings, history, politics and knowledge of animals living off of the land.
Bullsport Lodge: Namib Desert, Namibia: Best shower in all of our African travels! Beautifully designed rooms, access to pool and heaps of wildlife. Family owned and good food provided.
Toro Safari Lodge: Chobe National Park, Botswana: Nice cabins, good food with restaurant overlooking the Chobe. A good stop for a night or two in the midst of game drives in morning, noon and night.
New Fairmont Hotel and Casino: Livingston, Zambia: Good accommodations and great concierge service. Just next door to a small craft/arts market and on the main road with a few bakeries and small supermarkets. Laundry services available; good restaurant on site (not too expensive) and a good variety of tours available-highly recommend the Makuni Big Five Safari Experience (walk with lions).
Boma the Bush Campsite: Polokwane, South Africa: Great spot! Wonderful showers and great campsite equipped with pool table, pool and entertainment space.
Sandunes Safari Lodge: Greater Khalahari Desert, Namibia: Locally designed rooms that look out onto the spacious land. Access to San People living off of native lands and access to great walking spaces to view wildlife. Run by kind hearted people who will easily accommodate for vegetarians and food issues.
Intercontinental-Tahiti: Tahiti, French Polynesia: a vision! Beautiful rooms and over water bungalows.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa: Moorea, French Polynesia: Incredible! Breathtaking over water bungalows with views of stunning sunsets. Complete with all amenities, breakfast delivered by outrigger canoe, beautiful location, great food, water activities and very friendly people. Best buffet breakfast I’ve ever had! For more affordable dinners/lunches: eat at pool bar or beach grill.
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa: Bora Bora, French Polynesia: Incredible! Most amazing over water bungalows -pure perfection. Gorgeous grounds, beautiful scenery, great service of boat shuttle into Vaitape for the day. Color-filled sunsets from the pier. Endless pool with rattan chairs floating inside-feels as if you could stay for days. Lessons on pareo wearing/coconut shucking. Cookies available at the pool in the afternoon. For more affordable dinners/lunches eat at the bar/grille-same food just not as fancy/expensive.
Kurumba, Maldives: Maldives: Absolutely sensational! Gorgeous island that you get to via boat pick up from the international airport on the mainland of Male. Pristine water, wonderfully friendly staff, picturesque scenery and gorgeous beach bungalows complete with outdoor shower, air-conditioning, and wifi. Your reservation includes a buffet breakfast and a discounts to the gorgeous spa. Each bungalow has their own numbered chaise lounges (two are provided but more available upon request) so there’s no rush to get a spot by the ocean. With eight restaurants available as well as room service and a variety of bars there’s plenty to eat and drink. Celebrating a milestone-just let them know and they’ll hand deliver a complimentary cake (mine got delivered straight to the beach) and floral bed decoration for the room. Our trip was PERFECT…we can’t wait to return.
Rose Rayhaan by Rotana: Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Tallest hotel in the world; beautiful rooms, great location-just outside public transportation; fabulous buffet breakfast and beautiful gym and pool area with very helpful staff. Fee for WIFI.
Hagia Sophia Hotel (Old Town): Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey: excellent location; steps away from the Basilica Sistern, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Nice sized rooms with good shower, clean and good buffet breakfast. Free computers near rooms.