After being disappointed with small rooms in many other Buenos Aires hotels I decided to make reservations for club rooms at both Buenos Aires Sheraton Hotels by SPG. During the first days I spend at the Sheraton Libertator right in the middle of the city beside their famous shopping arcade around Libertador and Florida street crossing. After a long flight from Singapore to Buenos Aires via Frankfurt I was jet-lagged like an old dog and slept for at least 2 days. During this time I used their club lounge and room service very often and was very pleased. The lounge view from the club levels down to Puerto Madero and the river is awesome. Their food delicious. Well, you can't go wrong ordering meat dishes in Argentina, anyhow. Eeven McDonals burgers taste like a delicacy in over here.
My bedroom at Sheraton Libertador in Buenos Aires
The last 3 nights before my return flight, I booked into the Sheraton Park Tower and Convention Center across the street from their main railway station. Again, nice views from the club lounge. This place is more busy than the Libertator branch and I like it a bit more because hotel rooms are slightly bigger and brighter. It's much more comfortable than all the other hotels in Buenos Aires that I have previously stayed at. Unless I want to try out another place, I will come back to this Sheraton again.
My daytime schedules for this visit to the capital of the Visayas in the South of the Philippines was very busy. I was looking for a basic tourist hotel. Clean and cheap, but in central location on F. Ramos Street in downtown. A quick online search yielded various solutions and The Diplomat Hotel looked like a good choice. This hotel is very busy and frequented by individual tourists and large groups of travelers from Europe and Asia. For the low pricing there is not much luxury to be expected. It's simple and clean budget accommodation. The hotel is very guest friendly. Wifi internet coupons for 1 to 3 hours are available for a fee from friendly Cebuana receptionists. Considering price and locations, Diplomat Hotel can be called a good Cebu hotel deal.
Basic amenities with empty fridge (bring your own drinks). I booked a single, but received twin beds as the house was overbooked. F. Ramos Street is an excellent location close to Osmena Circle, Mango Square, Robinsons Shopping Mall and Volvo Thunderdome bars. Taxifare with Yellow Taxis from Cebu International airport costs around 350 Piso. When exiting airport arrival area follow signs to 'public taxi' up the stairs. It's a bit hard to find, but metered taxis are much cheaper than other transportation services offered by touts and baggage handlers.
It's been awhile since I stayed at Oxford Suites on Makati's nightstrip around Padre Burgos Street. Oxford Suites Hotel is in a very busy and noisy area, but I guess that's why most people want to stay there in the first place. It is located next to Royal Bellagio and Makati Palace Hotels, Bottoms Up and Billboard. The rooms are comfortable, but show a bit of tear and wear just like all other houses in this area that are in operation for a couple of years longer. Unfortunately, beds are just queen sized, a bit small for two people. Split type aircons keep the room cool.
Read more information on Burgos Street: http://www.burgosstreet.net/
Some units are rented out as part of a regular hotel operation, others are privately owned condominiums advertised by it's owners and agents for much cheaper rates in local print media and over internet advertising portals such as Craigslist.
Manual Antonio Park along Costa Rica's Pacific Coast is a very popular national park for tourists and locals alike. The park offers secluded beaches, trekking trails mixed with lush tropical forest and direct contact to wild animals like monkeys, reptiles and marine water animals. Watersports are widely available and swimming in warm Pacific salt water is a great treat.
There are plenty of expensive resorts with luxury decor, but many are booked solid for weeks and months in advance while other cater to adults, only. Many secluded beach resorts are for people who indulge in alternative lifestyles or target gay and lesbian couples. Since my friends had an 8-year old son, those places were off limits (I might try them on my next trip since I am so curious).
Make a reservation:
Best Western Hotel & Casino Kamuk
It's one of the most recently build tourist hotels in Pattaya: the Pattaya Bay Resort. It's a basic tourist hotel in the second row of buildings behind second street, a 10 minute walk to Beach Road and Walking Street, the two main attractions of Pattaya daytime and nighttime activities. It's right next to Mercure Hotel Pattaya. The rooms are basic and clean. Internet access is available and they have a small pool on the roof top. If you bring Thai guests into the hotel they will insist on holding their ID on the reception. I am concerned about the lack of respect towards guests and their friends, but understandable concerning their location right next to the biggest night entertainment district in Asia. The room I booked was located on their top floor.
During my first stay in Cebu (a few years back) I was just looking for a basic hotel with a central location for two nights as I was traveling on to Davao by boat later on. I picked the Hotel Eddie, a smaller budget hotel in the center of town. It's clean and basic with a good location. At the time of my stay a night was just about 1300 Piso with a discount from Asia Travel website.
Located on Soi Nana Omni Tower Bangkok is one of the oldest serviced apartment buildings in Bangkok. A serviced apartment is basically a hotel that rents out furnished apartments for short and long term stays. I booked a 2 BR for me and my friends. The apartment was located on the 26th floor. It was nice and offered a lot of space. The furniture showed a bit of tear and wear compared to other competitors in that area like the newly renovated Centrepoint on Soi 10. The security is very tight and a bit annoying. They ask for IDs of Thai visitors, but foreign looking friends like Westerners and Japanese pass without the need to show an ID. Go figure! Maybe it's because the hotel is located close to Nana Plaza, one of the red-light districts of Bangkok. As long as they offer promos and reasonable pricing the Omni Tower is a good offer for people who want to stay close to Nana Plaza. The elevator ride on the outside of the building offers a great view of the city, but can be scary for people who are afraid of heights.
Omni is next to Nana Plaza: Nana Plaza Bangkok
Top Image: Aerial view from my bedroom overlooking Sukhumvit area with its high rise office and condo buildings. Bottom table of images: snapshots of my 2 BR apartment on the 26th floor.
Buenos Aires is the South American hub for art, design and architecture. It's old style buildings are magnificent and a lot of new houses are build with great design and architecture. Wouldn't it be great to stay in such a fine building instead of a crammy hotel room? When staying for a longer period of time in Buenos Aires a stay in a rental apartment is a fine alternative to hotels. There are a lot of residential rentals available over the internet. During my first short stay in Baires I had a look at a couple of apartments in Palermo and decided to try out Apartments BA for a week's rental of a refurbished loft next to Salerno Plaza in Palermo. It was not cheap, but for the price of a small hotel room I got a huge 2 BR loft with great interior architecture and a lot of privacy. Most of their places feature exceptional interior design, but sometimes the looks are at the expense of functionality.
A view at a custom made media center with LCD TV in side a San Telmo apartment in Buenos Aires.
A smaller Bangkok hotel in central location on the crossing of Sukhumvit Road and Soi 19. The Grottino located very close to public transportation like MRT, BTS Skytrain and the Ekkamai bus terminal, taxi transport to the Suvarbnahumi airport lasts around 30 minutes via Asok and Rama 9 highway. The rooms are comfortable and provide a nice amount of space, but some of the hotel rooms are for smokers, be aware of this and ask for a non-smoking room if this is of concern to you. The owners are friendly Swiss people who are more than happy to assist in many matters. The restaurant offers Thai and Swiss dishes. My tip: Try their bread! They operate a bakery with some of the best bread in Bangkok.
Girlfriend and Mom came for a visit to Asia. They wanted to see the famous beaches of Thailand and there is no better place than Phuket in Thailand. I don't remember what website I used to search for hotels, but I found the newly rebuilt Sugar Palm Resort as a last minute offer for 1300 Baht per night. It's located 2 blocks off of Kata beach, one of the nicest and more quiet beaches on the tropical island. The room was great with a sliding divider between bedroom and bath. Everything was new and functional. Internet access for their WLan had to be purchased in 80 Baht denominations for 3 hours with very slow connectivity and poor signal on the third floor. But, hey: other than that it was a great Phuket vacation hotel with nice pool, easy beach access with a lot of touristy places and restaurants near by. I would come here again any time.
Online Booking: Agoda Phuket.
Most people looking for budget accommodation in the Golden City of Prague do the mistake to search for rooms in tourist places where prices are exorbitantly high during peak season. Prague has an excellent public transportation system linking it's suburbs and center by metro underground rail, street cars and buses for very low fares. It's possible to commute to downtown within 20 mins from remote places like Vysocany (Prague 9). There are a lot of cheap stays around like Arlington Hotel. This place is a very basic 2-star tourist hotel with bed, separate shower, a small desk and cabinet. Arlington offers a small breakfast buffet included in your bill. For people who spend all day sightseeing it's all you basically need. There is no luxury at all, but it's sufficient as a decent overnight stay for tired tourists who need nothing more than a bed to rest and a shower in the morning. This Prague hotel room is pretty peaceful with a small park inside the square.
It was my second visit to Kuala Lumpur. Because I arrived late night I was thinking about either booking the Pan Pacific Airport hotel or a hotel close to Sentral KL station. KL Sentral is the railway station in Kuala Lumpur that tourists arrive at via KLIA Ekspres, the highspeed train connecting KL international airport with the city, a 37 minute ride for the price of 35 Ringit.
Opposite KL Sentral there is a twin tower building that hosts 2 hotels: The Hilton and Le Meridien. The later is the cheaper of the two so I gave it a try. I booked a club room and was lucky to receive a complimentary upgrade to a jr. suite on one of the top floors as I am Gold SPG member. The room was very nice with a beautiful view of parks and the south of the city (the opposite side of Menara and Petronas towers). Very comfortable bed, good high speed internet and a wonderful bathroom with a corner view. On the downside they would not offer any late check-out and the complimentary water was 'hidden' on an upper shelf in inside the bathroom that made me buy the expensive Evian water out of the mininbar to satisfy my thirst in the middle of the night.
The location of the Kuala Lumpur Le Meridien is perfect when you arrive by air and take the KLIA Ekspres train into town. It's just a short walk across the street.