Journeywoman's Best 2015 Hotels Worldwide
Compiled by Evelyn Hannon
Each and every week our INBOX is filled with your interesting travel tips and advice from around the world. From those pieces of information we compile the most helpful and go on to include them in our monthly newsletter. At the end of the year we review all the BEST NEWSLETTER TIPS and then break those down into specific categories for you. These are the final 20 most helpful worldwide accommodation tips for 2015.
1. DELIGHTFUL HOTEL IN ST JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND -- writes Joy in Regina, Canada -- My tip is about the cozy, relaxed, 3-star Franklin Hotel in St John's Newfoundland. This establishment combines a small hotel with a tiny daytime restaurant filled with groups of women lunching and an bar (that opened in the evenings). The location is terrific - a block or so from the ocean, a few blocks from George St, and in an area with interesting shops (seal earrings anyone?). The hospitality is warm and wonderful, there is free WIFI and the staff will leap up the stairs with your two huge heavy bags while you tag along empty-handed. I believe that Newfoundland is an unsung treasure and the modest welcoming Franklin Hotel is a delight. Website: www.thefranklinhotel.net
2. THIS APARTMENT IN VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA SLEEPS FOUR -- writes Wendy in Vacaville, USA -- If you are more than two people looking for a central place to stay in Victoria, BC, check out the Bella Belvedere Apartment managed by Victoria Prime. This was our home for a week with another couple. We had two rooms with two full bathrooms. It offered fantastic service including WIFI, great location in the heart of downtown, and was reasonably priced. Our concierge, Sharon, was amazing. Check their website for photos.
3. A PARIS HOTEL RECOMMENDATION -- writes Marlys in Menton, France -- This is my review of Hotel Avenir (across from metro station Anvers) I will use a 5-star rating - 5 is best and 1 is least. 1. Location: 5 stars. 2. Price per night for 2 people w/ 2 single beds at 58 euros: 5 stars 3. Size of room (really tiny): 3 stars (but we've seen same sized room for 5x more the price) 4. Hygiene: a. Bathroom/toilet: 5 stars (which means it's clean and shows no signs of mould. b. Floor (carpeted): 2.5 stars (I don't feel comfortable walking barefoot on it.) c. Bed sheets clean/mattress comfy (checked for signs of bedbugs, nil): 5 stars 5. Hotel decor over all (from reception to the room) 3 stars. Very basic. No effort for aesthetics. 6. Amenities: 3.5 stars. No fridge (and on hot days you would want a fridge to have cold water at hand.); no hooks for towels, no free shower cap, no soap holder in shower cabin, no body lotions, no hair conditioner. Come prepared. 7. Internet: 5 stars free and fast Summary: If it's just a place to sleep you want you can't go wrong with this hotel. If you want more, you will have to pay more. I hope this review helps other women traveling to Paris. Address: 39 Boulevard de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris, France Phone:+33 1 48 78 21 37
4. RENTAL APARTMENT IN PARIS -- writes Sue in Melbourne, Australia -- I'd like to recommend Rosemary Allan's apartment in Paris. It's in the 9th arrondissement, tucked away in a local area just down the street from the Moulin Rouge and the way up to Montmartre. It is well served by public transport with buses outside the door and two nearby Metro stations. It is beautifully furnished, very well equipped, has excellent wifi, a phone enabling free landline calls to many countries including the US and Australia, and a thick folder of travel brochures. Despite all the busy life of Paris outside the door, the apartment was very quiet and no extraneous noise is allowed in the evenings and early morning. Rosemary was happy to provide information, advice and company as we wanted it, always responsive to our requests but also leaving us free to get on and enjoy Paris by ourselves. She is a thoroughly charming hostess. The apartment is very secure as you enter through the street door with a key code and then the building with another code, and the apartment with a key which deadlocks the door so there is no risk of intruders! Website: www.52clichy.com P.S. Rosemary also has a room available for bed and breakfast in her own apartment upstairs.
5. MY FAVORITE HOTEL IN PARIS -- writes Lorraine in Belleair, USA -- Grand Hotel De Champaigne is my favorite hotel in Paris. Just off Rue de Rivoli and near the Seine. In the first. It is just steps away from 3 metro stops. An easy walk to the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Left Bank. There is everything you would need to meet your needs within minutes. This hotel is not easily found, but it is worth seeking it out. It is hidden behind the major avenues. I prefer a balcony room where I can sit and look out on the rooftops of Paris. Their breakfast is a little pricey. Within steps are much less expensive options. Website: www.hotel-grand-dechampaigne-paris.com
6. TIME ON MY OWN IN FRANCE -- writes Hollie in Lexington, USA -- Inspired by Journeywoman, last summer I spent a delightful week vacationing on my own in the French Pyrenees. What made the week so special was staying at Tourné, a bed and breakfast in the small village of Castelnau Durban. Owners Paula and Ram moved to France from England and are wonderful hosts and cooks. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and I fell asleep each night listening to the burble of the brook that runs through their front yard. The house is within striking distance (by car -- the roads are easy to drive on) of many castles and cathedrals, caves, hiking trails, museums, charming towns, you name it. My highlight was a day trip to Carcassonne -- simply amazing! Website: tourne.eu
7. BUDGET HOTEL IN LONDON -- writes May Ann in Boston, USA -- I want other JourneyWomen to know about The Alhambra in London, a great place if you want a budget hotel in the Kings Cross/St. Pancras area. It's a three minute walk to the tube station that has many lifts--so it's great if your luggage is heavy. Also, KIngs Cross & St. Pancras is connected to many tube lines, the Eurostar and bus lines. If you leave from the St. Pancras station--take the Euston St. exit. My room was spotless and modern. It had ample lighting, storage and mirrors. Wi-Fi was good and my room had an ample desk for work. Breakfast was filling and prompt. (Go early between 7-8 AM). Staff was friendly & helpful. They kindly lent me an adapter since I brought the wrong one. There was a Coffee/Tea maker in the room. In my opinion, it's a perfectly safe area. And for the record, I'm fairly conservative when it comes to safety. Is it charming-no. Its hard to be charming when there's a Burger King at the corner. The distance from Tube station to this hotel is about two minutes (less if you didn't have to deal with crossing a busy street). Website: www.alhambrahotel.com
Milan offers a large amount of luxury hotels but they're very expensive, especially when the city hosts important trade fairs. Staying at a bed & breakfast is a good option for cheaper accommodation and an excellent way to get lots of insider tips from your local hosts. If you're a solo traveler and on a budget, the trendy Ostello Bello is a good choice. Centrally located, this hostel also offers private en-suite rooms, meaning that you can have a good level of comfort at a reasonable price in an environment where you can meet other travelers.