A hotel can make or break your holiday. There's nothing worse after spending a long day exploring a city than the unforgettable dread that you've got to go back to that place to get ready for the evening. Even worse, then you worry about how you're ever going to sleep tonight, because the air con doesn't work or because you're fighting over the one pillow that the hotel has so ever kindly provided between the 7 of you. Luckily I've partnered with Trivago and Hotels Combined to bring you the best and worst places I've stayed in throughout 2017/2018, they compare hotel deals from hundreds of travel websites to give you the best price. So don't be shy, check out the links I've provided to find the best deals for the hotels I love, and find better alternatives to those I didn’t...
Skylark Hotel - Hanoi, Vietnam
While the flights to Vietnam can be pricey, the accomodation in Hanoi is particularly cheap. Only £30 a night will get you a 4 star, enormous en-suite room with the biggest bed I've ever seen, a jacuzzi bath and a great view of the park across. This is the best value hotel I have ever stayed at. Not only are the bedrooms beautiful, everyone working here was so polite - even bringing me a cake for my birthday! The breakfast here has a great selection, the bar is reasonable (serving great Hanoi rolls) and the hotel is in a really great location. We also got facials in the spa within the hotel, which again, were really reasonable and relaxing! Located opposite Vườn Hoa Vạn Xuân park, Skylark is a small walk to hoan kiem lake and while outside of the busy, hustle of the city, the hotel is much quieter, while still being only a 10/15 minute walk from the centre. Not only that, this hotel feels extremely safe, with an attendant at the door all hours and extremely helpful receptionist staff.
I would 100% recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Hanoi.
Ibis Milano Ca Granda - Milan, Italy
Although slightly outside the centre of Milan, this Ibis hotel is clean, modern and reasonably priced for a city break. Whilst the metro facilities in Milan are amazing, the hotel is a short walk to an underground station and only a few stops away from the centre. Not only that, there is a small cafe/bar/shop nearby selling pastries and coffee in the morning, and a ample tapas buffet and beers at night. I would recommend this hotel if you were planning on visiting Milan, however if you would rather be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, it may be better to stay slightly more central. Of course, an advantage of being a few underground stops away is that it’s much quieter and peaceful in the suburbs.
Hotel Balmoral - Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona accommodation can be extremely expensive, especially during the summer season. Hotel Balmoral was a perfect option for us, as it was central, 5 minutes from two underground metro stations (Diagonal and Provenca), modern and luxurious, as well as reasonable for the period we stayed. Although staff may have not understood all of our requests, there was always someone in the reception and a doorman on duty during later hours, making this hotel feel extremely safe. In addition to the close proximity to the metro stations, the bus stop directly outside of the Balmoral provides a 25/30 minute bus to Barceloneta beach, an easier option than changing lines on the underground.
Grand Hotel Downtown - Amsterdam, Holland
Whilst Amsterdam quickly becomes a popular weekend city break, this is reflected in the price of accommodation in the capital of Holland. So I was somewhat dubious about this hotel, which seemed so such cheaper than any other options. I didn’t need to be, as the hotel was clean, modern, had comfortable beds and great customer service. Whilst it was slightly out of the centre (and slightly I mean a half an hour walk from Daam Square), it had great transport links, with a tram stop nearby. It was definitely worth us opening our search to outside of the tourist radius within the centre of the city, as the hotel was nearly half the price of its competitors that weekend, and the walk into the centre actually allowed us to adventure more.
DoubleTree Hilton Docklands Riverside - London, UK
Hotels in London are among the most expensive in Europe, something that often puts me off visiting our capital. London is also a very large city, and although the underground connects majority of the regions in this area, it can be lengthy to get to one side of the city to another. If you don’t mind staying in Canary Wharf, and not directly in the middle of the busiest tourist attractions in London, this DoubleTree is a good option. As a Hilton hotel, it is obviously gorgeous inside, extremely modern and clean, and our room was enormous with great facilities. At £100 a night during September, this was the most reasonable option we had, and although this is still extortionate, the service was great, the room and view was beautiful and we had a free ferry journey across to canary wharf.
Travelodge Central Queen Street - Edinburgh, UK
Edinburgh is a beautiful destination, with grand old buildings and picturesque parks. Whilst accommodation is often expensive in the Scottish city, this Travelodge was clean, functional with a great location, without coming with a hefty price-tag. Only minutes from Princess Street, the main shopping high-street in Edinburgh, this Travelodge is a quieter option, with charming views of Queen Street gardens. There are also hundred of cute and quirky restaurants offering lunch and dinnertime offers, such as set menus and lunch deals in this area, which is something different to try rather than the chain restaurants we can access at home.
Jury's Inn - Prague, Czech Republic
A perfect hotel for a girly holiday in the snowy winter months, the Jury’s Inn is quite literally across the road from a major metro station and tram stop. Spacious rooms, an excellent breakfast buffet selection offered, and easy communication with the staff means this hotel provides a really luxurious service, while being on the cheaper side. Again, if you’re considering visiting Prague in the winter months (it really is gorgeous over Christmas time), the hotel has a great bar to enjoy alocoholic and hot drinks by a cosy fireplace.
The Not So Great
Hotel L'Escale - Brussels, Belgium
Do not be fooled as I was, this is by no means a hotel. This is a hostel.
I travelled to Brussels alone, in hindsight probably a bad idea, but with even more hindsight I would have avoided this 'hotel' at all costs. What is perhaps even worse though, was that at no point during my booking was I made aware I would be sharing my room with 9 other people, and in fact, I was under the false pretences that I had booked a single bed (I guess a single bunk bed apparently still qualifies). Whilst the return flight to Brussels only cost me around £26, I stupidly thought that I could equally find accommodation at a low price. Evidently I could, however I would have probably been safer sleeping in a taxi for the night. Upon arriving at the hostel I was able to leave my suitcase in a unlocked back room next to the bathroom, which had no secure access for guests only. The reception was never manned during my stay, and when the receptionist did finally turn up, they were completely unhelpful and borderline rude. Aside the fact I had been hoodwinked into sharing my room with 9 other strangers, the rooms were dirty, the bathroom abysmal and the storage facilities pitiful.
Obviously other people seem to agree with me in this opinion as it only scores a 2.5 on TA.
Novum Hotel Gates Berlin Charlottenburg
This isn't to say that this hotel is awful and you shouldn't stay here. It's just that Berlin is so cool and trendy and modern there are alot of places that are perhaps better to stay. Having been twice to Berlin in the last 12 months, once with my sister in this hotel and the second time with a group of girls in a cool air b'n'b, I can definitely say that I much enjoyed staying in an apartment closer to the centre than this hotel. It's extremely clean and comfortable, the only thing that lets this place down is that it is near the Zoo and everywhere requires a metro journey to get to. If you don't mind this then it is a great option, but staying in Kreuzberg, a much more central location was much easier and had a younger vibe.