I genuinely believe that accommodation should be an experience. A culturally immersive and authentic affair, that transcends the idea of being just a place to rest your head.
In Mongolia, that means staying in yurts (portable, round tents covered in skins and felt, still used by Mongolian nomads); in Tunisia, an ancient cave house. From reed houses in South America, to igloos in Scandinavia, and turf houses in Iceland, traditional living has never been cookie cutter.
So why should our hotels?
Hotels in Siem Reap are ridiculously cheap. But I wasn’t looking for something forgettable this time around. I had traveled more than 5,000 miles to immerse myself in ancient temples of the Khmer Empire, and I didn’t want to shatter the experience by returning each night to a bland, generic hotel.
But where do you search for authentic accommodation? Through Glamping Hub we found an eco lodge with Unique Bungalows near Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia, luxuriously refurbished inside, with perfectly preserved architectural heritage on the out.
Finding suitable accommodation is a huge part of travel, and choosing a hotel can be one of the more time consuming parts of our planning. And sometimes we don’t get it right.
But have you ever considered staying in a casino hotel?
Casino hotels have started popping up all over the world, though it’s quite easy to argue that Atlantic City has some of the best. With luxury rooms, cheap rates, and some of the tightest security, booking a luxury hotel attached to a casino is pretty sure bet!
Set on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, AC is famous for its spectacular beaches, iconic boardwalk and many stunning casinos. As such, these Atlantic City best casino hotels have well and truly become a trend!
Tucked halfway between the energetic Gold Coast, and the zen town of Byron Bay you’ll find a hidden paradise; a collection of small beachside towns that offer respite from the usual hordes of tourists.
Three of my favourite sleepy beach towns along the Queensland-NSW border are conveniently lined up just south of Tweed Heads. Kingscliff starts off the trio, and a bit further south you’ll encounter Casuarina and Cabarita Beach.
Setting yourself up in this part of northern NSW allows you to enjoy three delightful beach towns for the price of one, though only one of these towns is home to a lavish Balinese-style retreat (hint: it’s Casuarina).
Smack bang in the middle of these three often overlooked beachside getaways, Casuarina is quite the hidden secret … and we got the distinct impression that locals prefer it stays that way!
This is where Gold Coast locals come to escape the tourism that floods into their city; and as soon as you step through the colossal automatic bamboo doors at Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina, you’re instantly transported to Bali.
Chris Hemsworth. Matt Damon. Natalie Imbruglia. Pat Rafter.
The golden beaches, turquoise waters, and zen mentality are just some of the reasons celebrities from all around the world are drawn to the Australian town of Byron Bay.
Byron Bay overflows with both energy and beauty, while at the same somehow offering a place where a chilled out vibe takes centre stage. Though there are two very distinct and opposite experiences here: one backpacker, one luxury.
After the latter?
Situated far away from the backpacker chaos, yet just a 10-minute drive from the colorful boutique shop windows and trendy cafes, Byron Bay’s award-winning beachfront resort Elements of Byron provides the type of experience that draws the world’s biggest celebrities.
One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.
Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.
One such gem is Spring Beach.
Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.
Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.
When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping!
In recent years, timesharing (also known as vacation ownership) has become one of the most popular ways to take a holiday. Because ultimately, there are a huge amount of perks.
Yet for many intrepid travelers, a definite downside of investing in a timeshare is being locked to vacation in the same place every year, or, in the instance of a Points-based ownership (more about that below), locked to large resorts, and a specific set of destinations. Depending on the presence of your vacation club, you may not have the option of traveling too far off the beaten path.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that black and white. For those wanting to take advantage of the perks of timeshare accommodation without the long term commitment, timeshare rental sites provide a fantastic solution.
No longer a city defined by a dingy, industrial reputation, Liverpool has been well and truly reborn as one of Northern England’s hottest destinations.
While the city may have a manufacturing past, today, travelers from all over the world flock to Liverpool to experience an energetic hub of music, sport and art. Days are filled with museums, galleries, parks, and restaurants, and evenings offer an eclectic nightlife buzz.
The evolution of Liverpool into a thriving cultural hub is perhaps one of Britain’s greatest transformations. The city has truly re-invented itself into a modern city while preserving their maritime heritage.
But one of the key concerns when planning your trip to Liverpool will be deciding where to stay. If you’re in the mood for luxury, here’s how to choose accommodation.
Australia is a county shaped by migrants; it is said that one in four Australians were born overseas, and this rich, cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
While European settlers started the trend in the late 1700’s, Australia today sees migrants from more than 190 countries; from India, the UK, and, most notably, China. (Fun fact, Mandarin has become the most spoken language in Australia after English).
Australian cities have become a melting pot of cultures, and no-where is this more prevalent than the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. Home to Melbourne’s largest Chinese population, well over half the population of Box Hill was either born in China or has Chinese ancestry. And this is a fact that Melbournians are incredibly proud of.
One hotel that has embraced and showcased this beautiful ethnic diversity is the Art Series Hotel – The Chen. Named for the Chinese born artist Zhong Chen, who migrated to Melbourne as a teenager, The Chen is a boutique hotel that celebrates not only Chen’s abstract art, but Australia’s rich multiculturalism.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives. A 250 km route that hangs precariously on soaring sea cliffs along Victoria’s coastline, it winds between pretty towns and beaches, all set against the backdrop of Australia’s few temperate rainforests.
Though for one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, most visitors to the area sadly see very little, and most of that through a car window. But you won’t see the best sights from your car.
While the road can technically be driven in a day, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not setting yourself up in one of the lovely towns along the route and making that your base for several days.
Much more than a scenic highway, this region is home to a myriad of coastal tracks, rainforest trails, and hikes which connect historic seaside villages, taking in ocean views and dramatic waterfalls.
While there are several towns offering accommodation along the route, if you’re looking to stay directly on the beach, one of the best options is Mantra Lorne.
I often say that travel is an art. It’s not simply as easy as booking a plane ticket, hotel room, and tours. Art is how we express ourselves and showcase our creativity and uniqueness.
How we travel should be no different than how we paint, sculpt, dance, or sing. It’s not simply about finding a destination that inspires us, it should be an avenue for creating your own unique journey. And that’s what I love about Adelaide.
Yes, South Australia’s capital has many notable attractions, but this isn’t a city that defines itself by a top 10 list. I found Adelaide to be a city that prides itself more in offering unique travel experiences than pushing must see attractions down your throat.
Adelaide is a destination where expressing yourself is the focus, and that begins from the moment you check into The Watson Art Series Hotel. Australia is home to several Art Series Hotels; a brand which looks to provide travelers with artistic comfort to inspire a unique journey.
Oscar Wilde said that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. Art has the ability to alter our perception of life, so we were more than happy to let the The Watson Art Series Hotel alter our perception of Adelaide.
Growing up in Australia in the 90s, my knowledge of Broken Hill came about from the cult film Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Being only five years old I may not have fully understood the plot line at the time; of two drag queens who make their way across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs, but I do remember it being both comical and colourful.
Much like Priscilla, I had only ever passed through Broken Hill briefly en route to Alice Springs to witness Uluru. However, this year I decided that needed to change.
A town named by the early explorer Charles Sturt, for he wrote in his diary that the site looked like a Broken Hill, this year we based ourselves in town for a couple of days.
Made famous by mining, Broken Hill has become the capital of Outback Australia. While I had always thought of the town as a quick stopover, I would end up being pleasantly surprised at the many offerings the town has along with the beautiful landscapes that surround it.
Red Earth Motel proved to be the perfect luxury Outback base.
If there’s one thing that gives you a greater thrill than travel itself, it’s knowing that you got a great discount.
There’s nothing worse than getting to an exotic rainforest lodge and feeling gypped because someone else got it for hundreds of dollars cheaper.
That is of course the way business goes; there will always be someone who paid more for the same travel experience, and there will always be someone who got it cheaper.
But what if you could always be the one who got it cheaper? What if you could guarantee that you’re the one who paid less?
In my obsession to stay on top of cheap travel trends, the most recent website to catch my eye has been Club 1 Hotels. They guarantee massive discounts on over a million hotels, and accessing their deals is both free and ridiculously easy.
Here’s how you can find cheap hotels in 2019. I’ve vetted this quite thoroughly and can without a doubt say that their promise of massive discounts is true!
Whether you’ve recently been on a lucky streak or just turned 21, you may be looking to hit the Vegas Strip to see how far your luck can take you.
While most of Vegas’ grandest hotels and resorts are located along the Vegas strip, it can definitely be hard to know which casino hotels are worth your time.
Any trip to Vegas requires a bit of a game plan. From finding that perfect lavish hotel room at a great rate to knowing what casinos and bets give you the best odds of walking away a winner, it pays to do a bit of research before you take on Sin City.
So if you’re ready to test out your blackjack skills or simply want to strengthen your biceps by pulling some slot handles, here are three incredible casino hotels you can throw your dollars at.
This summer we spent a week in Brittany; a beautiful western region of France known for its delicious crepes and cider, as well as the impressive Mont-Saint-Michel.
Though unlike typical tourists who choose to stay in hotels, we chose a 5-star campsite located in Saint-Cast-le-Guildo, a charming village of the northern part of Brittany, also called the french Emerald Coast.
In a place where breathtaking beaches meet wild nature and rich history, you can explore the stunning Cap Fréhel, the picturesque Dinard or the medieval town of Saint-Malo.
Thinking of a 5 stay camping experience in Brittany yourself? This is an overview of our experience.
Having recently been named one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities for 2018, Canberra has been receiving a lot of hype and attention.
Rare among Australia’s large cities in that it isn’t situated along the coast, Canberra is instead flanked by wild nature reserves where iconic wildlife roams, surrounded by wine country, and picturesquely nestled alongside Australia’s highest alpine peaks.
The well thought out and completely planned city may be nearly a 2 hour’s drive from the closest beach, but we found Canberra to offer more than enough excitement within the city to keep us entertained and not needing sand beneath our feet.
With a perfectly positioned base for exploring Australia’s bush capital in Pacific Suites Canberra, go behind the political scenes and discover a beautiful city surrounded by the calls of bushland wildlife that easily drowns out the shouting of MPs!
Ask any resident or visitor to Tasmania about the biggest highlight of the island and most will say Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park makes up part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia. Home to a wide array of rare and endemic plants and animals, it showcases the best nature and wildlife Tasmania has to offer.
According to latest statistics, half of all travelers to Tasmania come to see its wildlife and many natural attractions. Most travellers place Cradle Mountain on their itinerary due to its ease of access and range of facilities available.
The Cradle Mountain Hotel offers the chance to take in this wild and rugged natural Aussie icon in comfort and luxury. Our own personal Cradle Mountain Hotel experience was one we will never forget and already has us planning our next getaway to this remarkable part of Tasmania.
Booking hotels via Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) like Expedia and Booking has become very easy and convenient. Meta search websites like Kayak and Trivago have become so mainstream that they’re household names.
Before the internet, being able to find any information about hotels was the problem, and the above mentioned websites emerged to solve this. But now, 20 years later, shifting through the information is the problem, and the same websites are doing very little to help.
In fact, a closer look reveals that they are doing the opposite. Actively working to make the booking process confusing.
From misleading claims about discounts, to giving a false impression of room availability, and rushing you into booking decisions; in some cases OTA’s have become so bad that government authorities have stepped in to take action.
Especially for those of us who are passionate about travel and booking our own trips everyday, booking hotels online has become frustrating.
Here are the top 5 frustrations about booking hotels online (don’t worry, there’s a solution!)
Clifton, Cape Town sits northwest of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula and offers visitors fantastic sights, sounds, eats, and incredible activities to engage the entire family or for couples looking for a unique getaway.
You can enjoy winter sunbathing along one of the four beaches that reflect brilliant African sunshine off their white sands, enjoy wine tasting events or go out to paddle with the penguins.
These and so many other adventures await visitors in what has been ranked second best spot to see by The Lonely Planet’s rankings. Not only does this beautiful city offer something for everyone to enjoy in daytime activities, also has some of the best holiday accommodation to match.
One of your toughest decisions to make when traveling to Cape Town is where to stay as there are so many incredible choices. Here are a few for you to consider.
Whether you’re travelling for business or for leisure, it’s important to know the best places to stay, no matter where your itinerary takes you.
For many travellers, accommodation is always an important factor to consider. And this is something that should involve a great deal of forethought, as your choice can really be an overall make or break.
With concerns over safety and comfort being top priorities, it’s crucial to take your time to find the best places to stay in any city or town. Follow these tips when doing so.
Travel is all about liberating yourself from stress and worry. So the last thing you want to worry about is not feeling safe.
One of the best ways to make sure your holiday remains carefree is to select a secure room in a hotel that can guarentee your safety. This becomes even more important when travelling solo since it obviously puts you in a much more vulnerable position.
Follow these helpful tips for selecting the hotel and room type on your next holiday.
I won’t lie; I wasn’t originally keen on the idea of visiting Bali. I wasn’t interested in nightlife or beach parties, and mistakenly believed that Bali’s fun was limited to the beer cans of the Australian party travelers.
And it’s true that Bali is not exactly a secret paradise – it’s one of the world’s most popular island destinations, and while fifty years ago there were only a very small handful of hotels available, nowadays there are over 5,000 to choose from.
So imagine my surprise when I was told adamantly that being packed into a hotel or resort with a large number of tourists isn’t what Bali is about; when I was told that Bali is actually rich with culture and pristine landscapes that are worlds away from the hectic nightlife and commercialism I had assumed all of the island had become.
Surely we were talking about two different Bali’s. Because what she was describing wasn’t anything close to the drunken Facebook photos I had seen.
But we were. And there are in fact, two very different worlds available for tourists to Bali.
It continually amazes me that Hobart manages to draw all the attention when it comes to Tasmanian travel. Yes, the city boasts the famous Salamanca Market, but try finding a parking spot on a Saturday morning and navigating around the masses of people.
Launceston on the other hand is a hidden gem located in the state’s north that has only recently begun gaining the attention it deserves. As one of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston oozes historical charm, but blends it harmoniously with modern style and technology. Even a trip to the local post office becomes a treat.
Bringing history alive is central to Launceton’s identity, and the recent launch of Pepper’s Silo Hotel is a great example of this. A luxury hotel on the banks of the scenic Tamar River, the Mantra Group has converted the Kings Wharf grain silos into a work of accommodation art, while keeping the character and heritage of an iconic 1960’s landmark.
For those who aim to see the world but have limited funds, hostels are a lifesaver. These budget accommodations offer a good night’s sleep to those on the go, offering a variety of rooming options at various price points.
London is an expensive city, in which a hostel can make a significant impact on your travel budget. Here’s some expert advice from Safestay London for choosing the hostel of your dreams and avoiding the horror stories that deter so many from this great travel option.