Crete, this wonderful Greek island, is actually only 200 km away from Africa. It is a very beautiful island with its burgeoning verdure. Flowers with delightful fragrance and orange trees filled with fruit. Crete covers an area of 8,300 km2 (3,219 sq mi) and it is sometimes referred to as “The Great Island”.
Tourists who want to relax and enjoy life pilgrim here. Just unwind, take it easy and bask in the sun. In the summer Crete has 15 hours of sunshine a day. If you don’t want to sunbathe you can rent a Vespa scooter or a car and drive about exploring the island. Crete has a strikingly hilly terrain and there are lots of sights to check out in the island.
Among other things Crete is famous for its beautiful beaches. Although Crete is invaded by tourists in the summer season, you can still find desolate beaches where you won’t have to fight for space and loungers. To me Crete is a paradise. Beautiful beaches, nice people and lots of good food. Those are the things I seek more than anything when I’m on vacation.
Every time I go to Crete I want to visit the lovely city of Chania. It is the second largest city of Crete and has a population of around 65,000. Chania is situated in the northern part and it is well worth a visit. The Venetian Port attracts tourists, and here you leisurely stroll back and forth. Tourists mixed with residents. Along the waterfront there is an abundance of cafés and tavernas. It’s a wonderful feeling to sit down for a good meal, preferably newly caught seafood. For instance, test the “Taverna Mathios” serving a sea urchin speciality .
Personally I love “dining around the world” and that is still another reason for Crete and Greece having a special place in my heart. I really do like the Greek cuisine and its dishes. Moussaka, tzatziki, dolmades (rice and vegetables in vine leaves), feta cheese, sheep cheese etc. Something I find tasty is “saganaki”, i.e. fried feta cheese. Feta cheese is something of a Greek speciality, and edible Greek snails are also much coveted. Greek snails are in fact so sought after that they are exported to France.
Part of the pleasure is trying the national wine, Retsina, which is flavoured with resin. This wine goes well with Greek dishes and it has a very characteristic flavour, which you either like or dislike. I for one prefer a chilled Mythos, which is a domestic beer with much bitterness. It’s a really good experience to sit by the waterfront watching the ships while sipping a well chilled good Mythos.
Just today I long extra strongly for a return to Crete. I yearn for the heat and the sun. I long for the good food. I crave for “the simple life” where the most bothersome task is to choose the right colour for the bikini. I wonder when I will be able to come back next time ….
Popular hotels to book:
Oscar Suites Village
Family run apartment hotel in the area of Agia Marina, 11 km from Chania Town and 100m from the beach.
Apartment complex 300 m from the beach in Maleme, 100 m from center of Maleme and 14 km from Chania town.
Pilot beach Resort
The resort is situated by a private sandy beach approximately 900m from the fishing village of Georgioupolis.
Sonio Beach Apartment
Sonio Beach Apartments is a Greek-Swedish family hotel situated in Platanias, 10 km west of the city of Chania and 24 km away from the airport.
In the center of Platanias just outside the town of Rethymnon, and only 300 meters from the sandy beach.
Beijing, or Peking as it used to be called, is the capital of China. The Chinese word Beijing means “Northern Capital”. This metropolis has approximately 20 million inhabitants, that is more than three times as many people as in Greater London. This is easily noticeable when you arrive there, people are literally everywhere. The traffic is strikingly different from that at home. Cars are all over the place and rapid breaking combined with pedal to the metal is the style of driving. People everywhere, people alongside the road and people in the middle of the road. People riding bicycles or old mopeds. People pulling carts and people with other vehicles. Yes, people everywhere. So what’s important here is to be alert.
Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and at that time quite a number of buildings in the city were freshened up. There are may fine buildings to watch, and quite a lot of historic architecture is to be found here, like Hutongs and Siheyuans. Beijing is vast and there are lots and lots of sights, so it’s a good idea to have a discussion at home regarding what to devote time to. Many people come here to watch the historic buildings, visit the “Forbidden City” or “Tiananmen Square”, while some of us will spend most of the time shopping. What is not for sale here is not worth shopping. That’s the simple explanation of shopping in Beijing, and that’s what I am going to tell you about now. So make yourself prepared and come along!
In Beijing there are various markets where you can go shopping, and the Pearl Market is one of many. There is a sound basic rule when it comes to shopping, and it is known as bargaining. Bargain, bargain, bargain. The equipment you require is patience, time and some money. Figure out how much you are prepared to pay for an object and let that be your starting point. Sometimes you might have to act as if you were totally uninterested and walk away, and then they would often call you back. They want to sell to you, for they know that if you don’t buy from them, you will simply go to the next stand and make a deal there instead. Be smart. Offer a very low price, and then you can finally meet somewhere halfway and be content both of you.
Hongqiao Pearl Market
This is an indoor market, which will suit us well if it’s wintertime. For in Beijing the winter can be very cold and then an indoor market is very convenient. This market comprises 5 floors. The ground floor contains mostly watches, cameras, earphones and other electronic appliances, but also silk shawls, stockings and green Chinese tea. On the first floor you find Designer Clothes, shoes and what we girls love most of all: handbags. Take your time and walk around, test the quality, and if you buy a jacket be sure to test the zipper of the jacket you are going to buy. Try all clothes on, size Large isn’t always a large size. Finger the fabric, sense the quality. On the second, third and fourth floor you find jewellery and pearls, hence the name of the market.
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and used to be the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its interior comprises more than 8000 rooms. You enter the palace from two directions, and be prepared that it takes some time to walk around and explore the site.
After a whole day of shopping and visiting palaces your feet will start aching, so it’s a good idea to have a quick shower and go out dining. In Beijing I often have teppanyaki, which is a type of Japanese cuisine that I really love. Every table has its own chef who prepares the dish on an iron griddle in front of the guests. A marvellous experience, tasty and cheap. You eat and drink as much as you can for about 15 Euros.
If you prefer Chinese dining, there is a small restaurant directly opposite one of the entrances of the Pearl Market. We call it “The Hole in the Wall”. This is a good place to charge some energy before continuing the shopping.
Popular hotels to book in Beijing:
Grand Mercure Beijing Central (x Xidan), Beijing
Well-kept hotel in a great location in Beijing, within walking distance from Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City.
The Peninsula, Beijing
This hotel is located 2.5km from the Forbidden City, 3km from the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong and 4.5km from the Temple of Heaven.
Days Inn Forbidden City, Beijing
Hotel with great location in Beijing only 500 meters to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
Jade Palace Hotel, Beijing
5-star business hotel located in Zhongguancun area.
Radisson Blu Hotel Beijing, Beijing
Located in the Chaoyang district, approximately 7 kilometers from the Forbidden City.
Marvellous Bangkok. I do love this city. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, and 7 million people live here. And if you add the greater city area you must take into account a population of 12 million. There are cars everywhere, lots and lots of people and a wonderfully fantastic experience all together. There is so much to explore and see here. A wealth of restaurants and street stalls. Best of all: Bangkok gives you an opportunity to add extra luxury, since staying and vacationing here is really affordable for Europeans.
Most people associate Bangkok with shopping, and so do I. Endless opportunities of making bargains exist here, but you have to be on guard, for you could easily be fooled. And as always, stay calm and laugh a lot. That is Rule #1 in the jungle of shopping and haggling. There are hawkers in the streets, in the alleys, at the hotels, in the shopping arcades, in fact practically everywhere. A good idea is to walk around a bit first observing how much other people pay, and calculating how much you are prepared to pay yourself. If you can’t stand the sun and heat when shopping, you can head for the MBK or ‘Ma Boon Krong Center’ as it is called. Here you have as much as seven floors to go shopping. Just make sure you sharpen your elbows before entering the mall.
MBK Shoppingcenter, Bangkok
There are lots of sights to admire in Bangkok, and one thing you must not miss is the Golden Buddha statue. In the Buddhist Temple of Wat Pho there is a golden Buddha, 46 metres long and 15 metres high. This is an enormous reclining Buddha richly encrusted with gold leaf. Wat Pho is also said to be the birthplace of Thai Massage.
Golden Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok
If you want to try something different and upscale, you should go to the Crystal Lounge in 28 Sukhumvit Soi 20. This is a stylish lounge for having a coffee or a lighter meal. Also to be found here is a Harley Davidson covered with Swarovski crystals. If your legs are too tired you can be picked up by the Crystal Lounge’s own tuk-tuk, likewise bathed in Swarovski crystals, of course.
The Crystal Lounge transports their guests in a tuk-tuk covered with Swarovski Crystals.
My unparalleled favourite venue in Bangkok is the State Tower, a skyscraper in Silom Road. Go there, take the elevator up to the 63rd floor and walk out into one of the coolest sky bars in the world, the Lebua (located beside the Sirocco restaurant). It is 240 metres up and offers marvellous views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Just remember, dress code applies here, so neither flip-flops nor shorts are welcome.
After visiting the sky bar for an aperitif you can move along to the trendy Bed and Supperclub restaurant, located in 26 Sukhumvit Soi 11. This restaurant resembles an UFO from the outside. Well inside you ‘dine in bed’. Everything is white, even the waiters. You enjoy a three-course dinner an in between meals you’ll have a chance of getting some massage. Surprises are always afoot in the Bed and Supperclub and there is always some kind of performance during the evening. Sometimes somebody making candy-floss and another time a limbo contest. This is an extremely cool restaurant. When you have finished dining you simply continue the night at the Bed Bar, located on the other side of the large white sliding doors.
Taxis in Bangkok
Bangkok has much to offer. Stay updated with Timeout, not to miss anything in this fantastic city. Try travelling by tuk-tuk, though it’s much easier and cooler taking a real taxi. Ask the taxi driver to start the taximeter, and thus it will even be cheaper than going by tuk-tuk, and on top you will have air conditioning in the taxi.
I promise, Bangkok will not let you down. Bangkok, the city I will always come back to.
Popular hotels in Bangkok:
The Landmark Bangkok, Bangkok
Convenient located on Sukhumvit Road in central Bangkok, close to the Nana station of Bangkok`s Sky train system.
Narai Hotel, Bangkok
Conveniently located in the city’s main business, shopping, and entertainment area of Silom Road.
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Bangkok
With panoramic views of the Chao Phraya – River of Kings.
Prince Palace, Bangkok
In the centre and located in Bo Bae Tower, a good shoppingmall.
Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
5 star hotel located at the corner of Silom Road and Charoen Krung Road and about 10 min walking distance from the Chao Phraya River.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, with over 1.8 million inhabitants. It is strategically situated in northern Germany, on the river Elbe. Hamburg is an important seaport, much so thanks to its location in the country. During the time of mass emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries Hamburg was the departure port for many people, and thus it became known as “The gate to the World”. Today Hamburg has the second largest port in Europe, after Rotterdam. Hamburg is also recognized as a centre of the world’s aircraft industry, close after Seattle and Toulouse, since one of the Airbus plants is located here.
This is the world’s largest model railway exhibition, with 4,000 m² of model railroad. Every 15 minutes night falls in the “Miniatur Wunderland”. My favourite was the model of Hamburg Airport where you can see planes taking off and landing. You can hear the fire brigade’s turnout and sense the low rumble of an Airbus starting up. This is a museum that requires time and an open eye. All the small models are made to perfection, and you will always find something new to watch.
Airbus Factory Tour
This is a must for the aviation fan. Here you can go on a 2½-hour tour. Unfortunately you cannot yet see the mighty Airbus 380, but the Airbus 318/A319/A321 are there. You must be 14 years of age to join the tour, which has to be booked on the Internet. You’ll have to leave your camera behind, since one is not allowed taking pictures within the site.
The Shopping Heaven
Hamburg welcomes with open arms anyone who feels like shopping. What you can’t find here is not worth shopping. Here you’ll find the posh boutiques, the second hand shops and the gigantic department stores. Only in Neuer Wall (the Designer street) and Mönckenbergstrasse there are 12 great shopping arcades. Personally I prefer the smaller and more genuine stores. Those who have articles that you won’t find anywhere else. Try “Kauf dich glücklich” (meaning “Buy Yourself Happy) in No. 4 Susannenstrasse in Sternschanze! You will feel a bit happier when you walk away from there.
The Soccer Heaven
The Imtech Arena (formerly Volksparkstadion) is located in the outskirts of the city. It has a capacity of approximately 50,000 spectators. There are two major teams in Hamburg. One of them is the Hamburger SV and the other FC St Pauli (with the Millerntor-Stadion as their home arena). Hamburger SV is the team that always wins, and FC St Pauli does the opposite. HSV plays in the Bundesliga, that is the top league in Germany. FC St Pauli plays in a lower division. In spite of that FC St Pauli has a great crowd of fans. The club has a raw and tough appearance. Studs and skulls. Soccer in Germany IS something special. There is an enormous intense atmosphere and go in the arenas. Even if you don’t like football, it can be an exciting experience with everything that happens all around you. For me it’s heaven. Have a try you too. The cheapest tickets are around 10-15 Euros.
Empire Riverside Hotel and The Sky Bar 20UP
End the day like a real air stewardess, that is “up in the air”. Try the cool sky bar on the 20th floor of the Empire Riverside Hotel. This shining pearl is located 90 metres above the roofs of Hamburg, and it is definitely nothing for people suffering from fear of heights. The view is breathtaking, to say the least. Sit down, have a drink and let yourself be carried away by the marvellous view of the Elbe and the harbour. Let your feet have a rest from a hectic day in the city, but not too long … for soon a new day is dawning and there are lots of things you must have time to see in Hamburg: Reeperbahn, the Fish Market, the Christmas Markets, Beetlemania, Sternschanze, the Hamburg Dungeon, The City Hall, Hafen City, Altona. The list is a long one.
How to get back home from Hamburg? I don’t know. I think I’ll stay here. See you in Hamburg then?
FACTS AND USEFUL TIPS
• Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice put together.
• Hamburg Airport is very popular among plane-spotters. Since Lufthansa has its entertainment division here, you can – if you are lucky – see a great number of unusual flights landing here.
• Air Hostess tip: Buy nylon stockings here. They are affordable and of high quality.
• Jil Sander opened her first boutique in Hamburg in 1967. At that time she was only 24 years old.
• Pack up your picnic basket and head for one of the observation decks at Hamburg Airport. Spread out your blanket and sit down for one of the coolest and cheapest entertainment in the world right in front of you.
Popular hotels to book in Hamburg:
Terminus am Hauptbahnhof
Small and comfortable hotel located in the heart of Hamburg, right next to the main railway station and a short stroll from the river Alster.
AO Hamburg Reeperbahn
Located right on the Reeperbahn, approximately 2 kilometers from Altstadt.
Steigenberger Hotel Treudelberg Hamburg
The hotel is located 3.5 km from Poppenbuttel railway station, 10 km from Hamburg Airport and 12 km from Planetarium Hamburg.
Zleep Hamburg City Hotel
Situated 100 m. from the lively Reeperbahn Street and 5 minutes from the harbour with its world famous fish market.
Maritim Reichshof Hotel
Traditional hotel built in classicist style, conveniently located between the Art Gallery and the German theatres, opposite the main rail station.
Sharm el-Sheikh is a fairly new Egyptian coastal resort situated on the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Sinai has since long belonged to the Arab nomadic people called the Bedouins. It is not until lately that we tourists have found our way there, largely because of the magnificent marine life to be found in the azure waters of Sinai. Nowadays divers go on pilgrimage to explore the beautiful coral reefs of Sinai.
Wonderful Beach of Sharm el-Sheikh.
This is where you travel if you want to go diving, sunbathing or just to exist. Since 90 percent of Egypt is desert land, this has become an attractive destination for many people who want to get away from the hectic city life. Here sunshine is guaranteed, it’s cheap and you’ll find a wide range of water activities. However, one must remember that Sharm el-Sheikh is not an ancient city, but constructed solely for us tourists. But if you are looking for sun and hot climate Sharm el-Sheikh is a perfect destination. Many fine beaches filled with activities are available here.
As much as 90 percent of Egypt is desert.
A popular tourist attraction is taking a camelback ride. If you are willing to go on a tour you can make an excursion to Cairo and go camel-riding among the Pyramids, but this activity can be found at practically all tourist beaches in Egypt.
Camel Riding on the Beach.
As tourism is growing in Egypt the number of international restaurants increases on the market. Most restaurants are to found in Naama Bay. If you want your food like back home in Europe, you will find an abundance of various traditional dining. But if you have an adventurous mind, like me, and want to try the local cuisine you are not likely to come away empty-handed. Abou el Sid is my favourite restaurant in Sharm el-Sheikh and there they serve an array of various mezze, which might be described as Egyptian tapas. The story behind the name of the restaurant is about Abou el Sid, the poor breadwinner, who was engaged as a cook with the Sultan. And the he longed so much for his family that in the end he ran away. He was captured and had to spend his last years in prison.
Something typical of Egypt is visiting a market, of course. In the historical city centre the “Old Market” bazaar area is located. This was once the original centre of Sharm el-Sheikh. It is the right place to go bargain-hunting for most anything. Here you’ll find lots of various spices, like saffron for chicken and cakes, or you might prefer buying hibiscus flowers to make tea. Poufs, wallets, papyrus can be found here. The list is easily a long one. Bear in mind to allocate plenty of time for a market visit, especially if you have made up your mind to buy something. For when you have once made your choice, that’s when the fun starts, to bargain. Make sure you are equipped with your biggest smile, lots of time and endless patience. A good hint and starting point is to make up your mind on how much you are willing to pay, yourself, for the object you are going to buy, and after that there’s nothing to stop you any longer. Good luck!
After a long day of sweating and bargaining in diverse markets some diversion might be welcome. Perhaps you want to experience a relaxing evening with a stunning sunset!? Then you can head for my second favourite venue, located at the El Faraa´na Hotel. The Farscha Mountain Lounge is a marvellously wonderful place, which really has to be experienced on site. You can arrive there just as you are, directly from the beach and preferably before sunset. Pleasant lounge music, tasty drinks and an incredibly beautiful view. Here you can unwind, gaze on the sea and watch the big boats heading home after the day’s tours. This is a place I long to go back to.
View from Farscha Mountain Lounge.
Some useful hints and tips:
• Don’t drink the local water, but buy bottled water.
• Bring a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel, the bottles are not bulky and don’t take much space in your handbag.
• Bargain until you are ashamed of yourself, and then bargain still more.
• Remember to make a deal about the taxi fare before the trip. Most taxi drivers don’t use taximeters.
• A smile makes most things easier.
Popular hotels to book in Sharm el-Sheikh:
Domina Coral Bay Oasis Resort and Casino, Naama Bay , Sharm el-Sheikh
Situated in the Sheikh Coast Bay, 8 km from the International Airport of Sharm El Sheikh and 5.5 km from the center of Naama Bay.
Noria Resort, Naama Bay, Sharm el-Sheikh
Located in the center of Naama Bay with 400m to the beach and only 14 km from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport.
Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort, Um El Sid Hills, Sharm el-Sheikh
About 10 min walking distance from El Merkato shopping mall.
Falcon Naama Star, Naama Bay , Sharm el-Sheikh
Situated in the center of Naama bay, 750 m to the beach. Distance to Sharm El Sheikh airport is 12 km.
Tiran Island Hotel, Ras Nasrani Bay, Sharm el-Sheikh
This Hotel is located 550m from the beach, 16 km from Shopping Mall and 16 km from the Casino.
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles. Approximately 2,853,000 people live here. In my opinion Chicago is an incredibly delightful city. Here you are close to almost everything. The cultural options in Chicago are plentiful. If you are interested in music there is an abundance of various clubs and music bars to visit. Chicago is recognized for being a center of Blues Music. A good and traditional blues bar to start the night with (moreover, it’s one of my favourites) is “Blue Chicago”. A visit to a blues bar in Chicago is something one mustn’t miss. It is an amazing experience. Built in 1921, the Chicago Theatre is a marvellous building. In many American movies shot in Chicago, you can watch the well-known “CHICAGO” sign sweep by.
The 1,451-foot Willis Tower, or Sears Tower as it is also called, with its 442 metres from ground to roof, is recognized as the tallest building in the United States. Between 1973 and 1998 Willis Tower was ranked as the tallest building in the world, but in 1998 it was surpassed by the Petronas Tower (located in Kuala Lumpur). The view from the top is breathtaking. For the brave ones there is the possibility of stepping out on “The Ledge”, a glass balcony, and enjoy the marvellous view from there.
The Ledge, Willis Tower
Moreover, free Wi-Fi is offered at the top, which allows you to make a Skype call to some friend back in Sweden who is afraid of heights. This tour is worth the whole trip and can be highly recommended.
Willis Tower, Chicago
Cloud gate, or “The Bean” as it is referred to in popular speech, is a work of art found in Millennium Park. It was built of stainless steel by Anish Kapoor in 2004-2006. Anyone fond of taking pictures can play with the camera here and accomplish genuinely amusing and interesting photos. You can walk freely underneath and through this work of art.
Cloud Gate or “The Bean” as it is referred to.
Personally I find Chicago a wonderful summer city. Since one often gets, in my case at least, some jet lag and wakes up early in the US, my advice is to buy a good cup of coffee and walk down to the beach. Then you can have a morning stroll while the city is awakening. You can sit down in a small cafe and watch all morning joggers running along the beach. If you are alert enough you can of course hang on and run, but for me I prefer watching and dreaming away. Watching the sun slowly rising above the horizon and making plans for sequencing the items of my shopping list. I’m slowly realizing that time moves on in Chicago, too. So long for a while, then. I’m off shopping.
Popular hotels in Chicago:
Four points by Sheraton Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago
Hotel with great location, just one block from the popular Magnificent Mile surrounded by Chicago´s best restaurants and shopping.
Chicago Essex Inn Grant Park, Chicago
Good situation opposite Grant Park and overlooking Lake Michigan.
Silversmith Hotel and Suites, Chicago
Historic landmark hotel in Chicago, with great location in the Financial and Theatre district.
Travelodge Chicago downtown, Chicago
Located 1 km from Millennium Park, 1.5 km from Willis Tower, 1.5 km from Field Museum of Natural History and 6 km from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Best Western at O´hare Airport, Chicago O´hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago
Hotel located 1,5 km from O´Hare Airport.
Want to come along travelling?
My name is Jenny, and I come from the town of Nora, The Pearl of Bergslagen, Sweden. Since the last 12 years I’m a resident of Malmö, Sweden. In the near future I will let you accompany me on my travelling, here at zleepinghotels.com. In this blog I will write about various places I have been to, various places that have meant something special for me in one way or another. I hope you want to come along with me. I have studied to be a teacher of Swedish/English, but since 12 years I have been working within the airline business. Since I was a little child I have loved travelling. Every summer my parents packed us, that is 3 sisters and 1 dog, into the car, and away we went. Sometimes we just took a weekend fishing out in the forest, and sometimes we hooked on the caravan and went south in Europe. For me it’s not the length of a journey that is of importance, it’s what you experience travelling. Since I love skiing I have been seeking ski resorts; for instance I have been working in Nebikon and St Moritz in Switzerland, I have studied for one year in Göttingen, Germany and spent six months in Vancouver, Canada. All this to have a chance to experience and taste new cultures at close quarters. I am very happy and thankful for my job within the airline business, which all the time gives me the opportunity to discover new places and new food.Happiness for me is to find a new cafe or a hidden away trattoria in Italy. Want to come along travelling with me? Welcome aboard .. here we go.
Tourists that want to see London from the above will soon have the possibility to enjoy the view from the 95-storey glass skyscraper the Shard. The view from the Shard, London’s newest tourist attraction, will most certainly be extraordinary since its the tallest building in the European Union.
View from the Shard. Picture: The View From The Shard
The View is situated at the top of The Shard, on floors 68, 69 and 72, and almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London. At level 69 “you’ll experience an astonishing 360 degree” and at level 72 “You’ll be exposed to the elements with sounds of the city around you”.
The pyramidal shaped skyscraper The Shard will open to the public on February 1 2013. More information here!
Popular Hotels to book in London
Travelodge London Central Waterloo Hotel
Just one kilometer from the Big Ben and next to the Waterloo Station and the vibrant South Bank
Excellent location close to Oxford Street and Covent Garden
Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot
The Travelodge Kings Cross Hotel is centrally located close to Kings Cross station with easy access to both central London and the City of London.
Hyde Park Hotel
Located close to Hyde Park, shopping, restaurants, cafes and theatre.
Well-dressed men and ladies represent Rome, where fashion and designer names are essential for the life-style. The Italian capital Rome, also called the Eternal City has attracted tourist throughout the years with its Italian charm and romanticism. Among the many ancient historical monuments, tourists have plenty of places to choose as a background for their holiday pictures. The numerous restaurants and bars provide endless opportunities to try the Italian cuisine. Add a cappuccino and a creamy ice cream to the meal for dessert. Rome is also famous for having two Premier League football clubs: AS Roma and SS Lazio,
The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, St Peter’s Square, Spanish Steps, Colosseum are some of the options to considerate when visiting Rome. But one can’t go to Rome without visiting one of the Italian squares, Piazzas. The most famous square is probably Piazza Venezia, in the roman city centre. This is the location of the Palazzo Venezia and also the Monument of Victor Emanuel II. Discover the Baroque triumphant architecture of the Spanish Steps, situated on Piazza di Spagna.
Piazza del Colosseo holds one of the most important monuments of the italian history, the Colosseum. This is where Gladiators faced their bloody destiny. Close to the Colosseum, another historical monument is the triumphal arch or the the Arch of Constantine. This arch was built after the Battle of Milvian Bridge to commemorate the victory of Costantine I over Maxentius. The temple Roman Pantheon is another must-see. This temple was built as a dedication to the pagan gods.
Important Renaissance artists settled in Rome. Explore part of the culture history, watching the work of one of the most out- standing men from this period. Painter, sculptor, poet, engineer and architect are some of the titles of Michangelo. Michelangelo’s Pieta is one of the masterpieces and the most studied works from the High Renaissance. The representation of Mother Mary holding Jesus after the Crucifixion was ordered to the tomb of French cardinal Jean de Billherest to be the most beautiful marble art in Rome. The artist delivered more that what was expected and came part of the history himself. Today this piece of art can be seen in the St. Peter’s Basilica. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican museum might be the most famous of Michelangelo’s work and also well worth visiting.
Popular hotels in Rome
Domus Romana Hotel
Hotel located in the historic centre of Rome, between Piazza Barberini and Via Nazionale, close to the most important historical and archaeological sites.
H10 Roma Citta
Situated in the Marconi area, 3,5 km from the area Trastevere that is famous for its narrow streets, restaurants and night life. There is approximatley 1 km from the Trastevere.
Centrally located only a few meters from well known Via Veneto and approximately a 5 minute walk from Piazza di Spagna.
You look a bit tired. Are you stressed by the work that is getting piled up on your desk? Don’t worry, take my hand and close your eyes. Let your mind travel to a very quiet and relaxing place. You seem to like the idea since I can’t hear you protesting. Come on, close that window and turn off the computer. We’re going to enjoy a sensational Spa experience in Budapest!
Your eyes are closed. Suddenly your feet sense something wet. Water? It’s a strange feeling with your eyes closed. It feels warm to the touch. As your feet are entering the “water” you feel like letting your whole body be surrounded by these liquids.
- Mmm, that smells good! It’s something sweet, maybe honey!
- Yes, you’re partly right.
You notice how the liquid covers your ankles and how it keep rising.
- Where am I?
- Now you can open your eyes.
Your business suit has been changed to a navy blue swimsuit and you find yourself in a large bathtub that is now filled with something white. Its sweet aroma gives you an idea of what it can be.
- Yes, well guessed. Cleopatra bath is just one of the treatments you can enjoy during your stay in this wonderful Spa.
You gaze down at your legs and whisper:
- Hey, I didn’t have time to shave my legs.
- Don’t exaggerate, no one will pay attention to your hairy legs. Get into the water and no one will see you. Close your eyes and recover your soul and body with the healing power of water. In addition, there are spa treatments of many kinds, for sure they will also do waxing.
- Ok, I will relax, but I have to know where I am.
- I already told you that you’re in a Spa in Budapest.
- That’s true, you told me. The capital of Spa, I know, I read about this place.
- Yes, you stay a week, with all treatments included. But since I don’t know which hotel you’ll like to stay in, I’ve listed some of the most popular Spa hotels in Budapest. I propose 4 options. You choose where you want to go, and I’ll take you there. :)
1. Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget
This hotel with Spa is located on the quiet Margarita Island, between Buda and Pest, in a harmonious and tranquil oasis. This world-class Spa Hotel is considered one of the best in Europe. In its aquatic therapies the hotel is using water from three of the springs on the island.
The Spa section has an indoor and outdoor pool, thermal baths (32-38 ° C), sauna, Jacuzzi, aromatic steam bath, solarium and gym where you can enjoy activities such as spinning, yoga, stretching, step, fit- ball and aerobics.
There are several types of treatments, including relaxing and refreshing massage with aromatic oils, foot massage, Cleopatra bath and clay treatments.
There is also a salt cave built with rock salt from the Dead Sea. The salt cave offers excellent natural therapy for relaxation, to stimulate the immune system.
2. Danubius Health Spa Resort Helia
The Hotel Danubius Health Spa Resort Helia is situated 15 minutes from the historical center, which opened in 1990 and was renovated in 2007. The hotel has all the advantages of being in the center of Budapest, with easy access to theatres, operas, museums and all the main tourist attractions. Famous for its high quality medicinal effects and relaxation, this hotel has a spa that takes water from one of the springs in the nearby island of Margarita. The proximity to the Margarita Island offers its guests other opportunities such as tennis, cycling and rowing.
The Spa section has an indoor pool, thermal baths, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and an infra-sauna, and offers a world of numerous water treatment services and wellness treatments such as Cleopatra bath, relaxing and invigorating aromatic baths with traditional massage, but also Tibetan massage and Thai massage with honey.
3. Danubius Hotel Gellert
The Danubius Hotel Gellert is located on the banks of the Danube River at the foot of Gellért Hill, a 10 minute walk from the market and the center of town. This hotel shares its facilities with the popular healing bath, the Gellért Bath. The Gellert Hotel was built decades ago, but it took until 1918 to open its doors.
In the spa and wellness center guests can enjoy an indoor pool, thermal baths, outdoor swimming pool with wave pool (closed during winter), outdoor thermal pool, Jacuzzi, steam bath, solarium, sauna, Beauty Salon and Spa. Some treatments are the slimming and beauty packages and even post-surgery rehabilitation.
4. Corinthia Grand Royal Hotel
Corinthia Grand Royal Hotel is located in an Art Deco building in the heart of Budapest. The hotel was inaugurated in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, a center for the elite of society in the nineteenth century and then restored to its original splendor.
The Spa facilities distributed over 1000 m2 has a 15 meter pool, but also a fitness room, saunas, steam bath and Jacuzzi, as well as several areas of rest and treatment.
In order to maintain a relaxed atmosphere in the Spa, you should know that children under 16 years only have access to it between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, always accompanied by an adult who is able to swim.
Situated on the border with Thailand, “The Jewel of Kedah” is a peaceful tropical paradise known for its incredibly white beaches spotted with palm trees, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. Here tranquillity reigns alongside with the magic of the rainforest and the beaches making the island a perfect destination for a relaxing dream vacation. Its beaches are the perfect setting for creating sand castles, reading a book, watching the sunset, watching people, running, practising yoga, swimming or any other activity that may be related to a beach. With all these circumstances taken into account it is not surprising that this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malaysia. But the island is not only known for its extraordinary natural beauty and tropical climate, you can also utilize your holiday on this exotic island to go shopping. Since 1986 Langkawi is a duty free island.
Langkawi is in fact an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 kilometres from the mainland coast of north-western Malaysia. Only four of the 99 islands are inhabited – Pulau Langkawi (the main island), Pulau Tuba, Rebak Pulau and Pulau Dayang Bunting. It is easily accessible by ferry or plane from Kuala Lumpur – Penang, Singapore, Hat Yai and from Phuket. Its name originates from the abundance of eagles on the island: Helang (eagle in Malay ) and kawi (marble in Sanskrit).
Some tourists are surprised by the rusticity and slow pace of life in this area. A visit to the island is like being transported to the times of folklore and fascinating legends. For a brief period during the 20th century Thailand had control over Langkawi. Although this was only for a short period of time, the Thai culture is still very prevalent in the area. There are many Thai restaurants and architectural monuments influenced by Siamese culture. Most of its inhabitants still maintain their traditional ways of life and make their living from fishing and farming. The development of tourism has led to a contrast between hotels from the lowest rank and modern complexes of five star luxury hotels with spa facilities, but the island is not as “invaded” by tourists as nearby islands such as Penang or Phuket.
Pantai Cenang is the most famous beach and the only one that in reality has developed tourist infrastructure. Here you can enjoy water sports like parasailing, water skiing and banana boat rides. It is also the area that offers most entertainment both day and night on the island. Combine this beach with other more peaceful beaches like Pantai Tengah and Kok Pangtai
A marvellous way of enjoying the archipelago is to cruise around the islands. If you want to see the island itself, what better way is there than combining the trip with pedalling? The total length of roads is between 80 and 100 kilometres depending on the route you choose. If you are not afraid of heights, one option is to hop on the cable car to get to Mount Mat Cincang, the second highest peak in Langkawi. Other alternatives are visiting the Crocodile Adventureland, which has more than 100 crocodiles and alligators, going hiking to spectacular waterfalls, diving in a marine underwater park or sampling the local cuisine at night markets.
The city of Kuah is the administrative centre of Langkawi. This is where most of the ferries to the island land. Although it is only a transit point for most tourists, it is worth a visit, especially if you are looking for shopping.
Langkawi offers a sunny, hot and humid tropical climate with an average temperature of about 32 degrees. The best time to visit is from mid-November to mid-April, because during this time of year there’s a lot of sun and little rain.
Popular hotels in Langkawi
Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa
A picturesque resort situated on one of the island’s finest stretch of beach, Pantai Tengah
Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort
This hotel has a lovely beach location and beautiful tropical gardens, located on the west coast of Langkawi.
Berjaya Langkawi Beach Resort
This hotel is in beautiful surroundings directly on the fine sandy beach in Burau Bay on the southeast coast of the island.