Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy (III)

Tag: Accommodation

Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy (III)

Lodging is abundant in Venice, but tends to be expensive and frequently booked up, especially during high season – April to August. So plan ahead and book rooms well in advance especially between May and October.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Il Lato Azzurro


Situated on the garden island of Sant’ Erasmo (northeast of Venice), Il Lato Azzurro is a cultural center with lodging, and for those interested, themed retreats. Meals served, including vegetarian dishes, are made with local and fair-trade ingredients. Twenty bikes are available for guest use and kayaks can be rented. Breakfast is included. Packed lunches are available for 8 to 10 Euros and dinner is a 25 Euro prix fixe. 


Sant’ Erasmo is known as the green, garden island—producing fruits and vegetables for its inhabitants and Venice. You can buy fresh honey from the beekeepers. The sandy beach is far less crowded than those on Lido. 


You can reach the island by vaporetto from Venice—take Vaporetto Number 13 from the Fondamente Nove stop on the north side of Venice—almost due north of the Rialto Bridge. #13 stops in Murano, Vignole and then makes 3 stops on Sant’ Erasmo— Capannone, Chiesa and P. Ta Vela. For Il Lato Azzurro get off at Capannone.


Il Lato Azzurro's address is Via Forti 13—about a 15-minute walk from the Vaporetto stop, or call ahead and they will pick you up in a minivan.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: La Locanda di Orsaria


La Locanda is in a 16th century home formerly owned by a Venetian Republic Captain, but now a family-run hotel. The hotel rooms are all non-smoking and each has a private bathroom. 


Located near the train station, the small hotel is very convenient, but on a quiet side street. La Locanda offers free WiFi and breakfast, with two types of rooms—standard and superior.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Maison de Charme Balbi


Maison de Charme Balbi is housed in a 15th century marble palace with a private courtyard garden.


At the Maison de Charme Balbi there are four rooms reasonably priced with private bathrooms. 


Around the corner from St. Mark's Plaza, Charme Balbi is conveniently located and perfect if you like to be in the center of activity.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy (II)

Lodging is abundant in Venice, but tends to be expensive and frequently booked up, especially during high season – April to August. So plan ahead and book rooms well in advance especially between May and October.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Canonici di San Marco


About fifteen miles from Venice there is luxury camping at Canonici di San Marco. Here you will find tent sleeping for one to four people on a raised wooden platform with a terrace, private bathroom, and Wi-Fi. Bikes are available. 


You don’t need a car to stay at Canonici di San Marco. You can walk along a canal to Mira Mirano and hop the train to Venice’s Santa Lucia train station, only a twenty-minute trip.


Travelers wanting to do yoga on their trip can go to the Future Yoga school in Mirano for classes.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Foscari Palace


The Foscari Palace, a luxury hotel in a 16th century palace on the Grand Canal, in front of the Cà d'Oro, has twenty-three rooms with free WiFi.


This is lavish Venetian living with modern conveniences mixed with glorious old style.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Hotel Abbazia


Housed in a refurbished monastery near the train station with an internal courtyard garden, the Hotel Abbazia offers free Wi-Fi in its smoke-free rooms. 


Sleep like a monk, but in more luxurious surroundings and enjoy a respite in the inner garden.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Hotel Messner


In a quiet neighborhood in Dorsoduro, the Hotel Messner is within short walks of the Guggenheim galleries and the Santa Maria di Salute. Messner has forty rooms in the main building and annex—doubles start at 110 euros for the night, breakfast included. There is a restaurant in the hotel as well.


Started by Maria Messner in 1940 as a guesthouse for students, teachers and travelers, the hotel has grown through the decades into a full service small hotel. All rooms have private baths and Internet.


Hotel Messner is on the corner of Fondamenta de Ca’ Bala & Nuovo Catecum, Dorsoduro, 213/216

Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada (IV)

Toronto is the most populated metropolis in Canada and the regional capital of Ontario. It is situated in Southern Ontario upon the northwestern coastline of the famous Lake Ontario.  In this series we will review the best accommodation in Toronto, Canada.


10. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Le Meridien King Edward


The King Eddy, as it is fondly known, is a beautifully historic – surprise, surprise – Edwardian building, as resplendent as it was when it first opened as the city's luxury hotel. Its location is ideal, close to all the downtown essentials, and it's not as expensive as you would expect, especially given the excellent service you get. 


Useless Trivia: Guests here are in good company with Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and of course, the Beatles, whose fans squealed their way through the lobby and stopped street traffic.


Do try their afternoon tea service or the Sunday brunch with the succulent Beef Wellington.


Don't expect the hotel dining to be cheap.



11. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Four Seasons Center


Home to the Canadian Opera Company, it's the first and only building in Canada designed solely for this purpose. As a result, the acoustics are astounding regardless of where you're sitting in this 2,070-seat theatre. It's also the venue for the National Ballet. 


Overall, the design by Jack Diamond favors form rather than function, but the aesthetic glass staircase and five-story glass facade facing the bustling street add a sense of occasion to operagoers.


Trivia: The glass staircase is the longest free-spanning one in the world. It passed a load-test with 20,000 pounds of weights. 


Do enjoy free lunchtime concerts in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at noon most Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Don't sit in the back if you have vertigo. It's a long way up.



Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada


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Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy (I)

Lodging is abundant in Venice, but tends to be expensive and frequently booked up, especially during high season – April to August. So plan ahead and book rooms well in advance especially between May and October.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Ancient Venice Bed & Breakfast


The Ancient Bed & Breakfast offers basic rooms for very reasonable rates in the low-key Dorsoduro district.


The Ancient is newly renovated, but the floors are mosaic marble from 1826. Rooms are available with either private or shared baths and all rooms include breakfast, served in the tearoom on the first floor.


On the Campo St. Barnaba, the Ancient is within easy walking distance of the Galleria dell'Accademia and the Guggenheim Museum.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Ca' Riccio


Ca’ Riccio, by the beautiful marble church (pictured) in Campo Miracoli, is an old house renovated with tile floors. Rooms all have private bathrooms and breakfast is included. 


Ca’ Riccio also offers three apartments in separate locations for those wanting their own kitchen facilities.


Ca'Riccio is on the border of the Canneregio and Castello districts north of the Rialto Bridge and near La Dolfin restaurant.



Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Camping San Nicolo


There is no camping in Venice, except on Lido. There you can camp at San Nicolo using your own tent or rent one from them. They also rent caravans, mobile homes, and bicycles. 


There is no biking in Venice either. That you must save for the garden islands and Lido, the easternmost island that is a seven-mile long, narrow sandbar with a string of beaches. Two long main avenues run the length of the island. By the Santa Maria Elisabetta vaporetto stop is the Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, a nearly half-mile boulevard running from west to east. Look for bike-rental shops and enjoy the level biking. You can also rent kayaks on Lido and paddle between the islands.


Best Places to Stay in Venice, Italy: Corte Grimani


The Corte Grimani has fifteen apartments suited for two to five people ranging in price from 250 to 430 euros per apartment per night. 


Located in the heart of the city, the renovated 17th century palace has a private courtyard and rooms overlooking the canal.


Lodging in Santa Barbara, California (II)

Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, located in Southern California. If you’ve planned a tour of the Central California Coast, then Santa Barbara is definitely the best overnight destination. This articles series will reveal everything you need to know about lodging in Santa Barbara, California:


Lodging in Santa Barbara, California: Canary Hotel – A Spanish-Moorish nest in downtown Santa Barbara


In the early 2000s, an aging building in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara was demolished to make way for a luxury hotel. Hotel Andalucia rose from the ashes in this primo spot, with easy access to SB arts, culture and nightlife. 


In 2008, the folks who own Casa del Mar and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica gave the Andalucia a makeover and a new name to align it with its step-siblings down south. 


The Canary — named after the Canary Islands — is now a Kimpton Hotel. It looks like a Spanish-Moroccan island getaway, complete with African rugs, yoga mats and candles.


If you stay here, be sure to spend time up on the 6th floor Perch, where some of SB’s best views unfold in all directions. Finch & Fork restaurant and bar on the main floor serves locally sourced, bistro-style comfort food (think grilled fish tacos and sheep’s milk ravioli). If you’re a shellfish fan, don’t miss the fresh seafood raw bar, with lobster, crab, shrimp and ceviche.



Lodging in Santa Barbara, California: Chumash Casino Resort – Vegas without the glitz

Set within the Chumash reservation in rural Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort attracts visitors from all over the southland.


The casino (must be 18 years old to enter) has 2,000 slots and video machines, plus blackjack, poker and other gaming tables, and bingo. 


The resort's main draw is the Samala Showroom, where you view world-class stars up-close from the 1,400 riser-style seats. 


The adjacent hotel has a full-service spa, pool, hot tub and fitness center — a great place to chill while friends and family members hit the slots, or when you need a break from the action. Room rates range from $180 to $550. 


When hunger pangs hit, choose among three eateries: The Willows (dinner), an all-you-can-eat buffet (breakfast and lunch) and a casual cafe that serves quick meals round the clock.


The casino operates free shuttles from Goleta, Lompoc and Santa Maria — visit their website for schedules.


Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (IV)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Dona Camilla Savelli – Converted convent by Borromini


It’s not every day you can stay in a convent designed by Borromini. The Dona Camilla Savelli was designed in the 17th century for an order of nuns by the famous architect. It has recently been restored and converted into a luxurious four-star 78-room hotel in the heart of Trastevere.


Since this is four-star, it’s decidedly less expensive that it’s five-star colleagues located nearer to the Spanish Steps. The location, in a quite corner of Trastevere, makes it walking distance from nearby sites like Piazza Navona and Castel San Angelo. During warm weather breakfast is served in the romantic courtyard.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Duca D'Alba – 4 Star Hotel in Monti


This small four-star hotel is located in the trendy Monti neighborhood. This is a fantastic location, near many restaurants, small boutiques and enoteche, without the craziness of more touristy zones like Piazza Navona or the Spanish Steps. Walking distance to the Colosseum and the Forum and almost everything else. 


Even though the rooms are on the small side (especially the singles), they are beautifully furnished. The staff is extremely professional and helpful. A great choice for a four-star in Monti. (The only four-star in Monti as a matter of fact).



Best Place sto Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Forum Bar – Cocktails with view of Forum


Call me a romantic, but I like my cocktails with a view. Even if it’s nothing much more exotic than a gin & tonic, if I’m looking at the sun set over the Roman Forum, I’m happy. 


There aren’t a lot of places you can do this, so the terrace atop the Hotel Forum is a gem. Located just at the edge of the Monti neighborhood, the Forum Hotel rises up just where Via Cavour ends at Fori Imperiali. The smallish cocktail terrace is reached by taking the elevator up to the top floor, walking through the restaurant, and up a narrow flight of stairs. Once reached, the pocket-sized bar looks out over the Forum, and towards the Palatine and Campidoglio hills. As swallows swing by, order a Negroni or a Bellini – or even a Gin & Tonic – before you head on for dinner.


Location: Via Tor de' Conti


Best Places to Stay in Peru (I)

Peru, officially known as the Republic of Peru, is a fascinating country located in South America. It was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization – one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. Peru is a wide mixture of cultural traditions, worth visiting any time of the year. This is a review of the best accommodation options in Peru.


1. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Explorama Lodges – This is Iquitos’ largest lodge operator and their numbers cannot be ignored. They have several lodges in different areas, so you can combine stays at any of them and get the chance to see a number of different habitats, forests, and fauna.


2. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Muyuna Lodge – Muyuna is south of Iquitos, not far from Pacaya Samiria and in close proximity to stunning scenery and wildlife. The price is one of the most reasonable I have found for the quality of the lodge, the guides, and overall accommodations and tours.


3. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Explorama Inn – This Puerto Maldonado legend is the most conservation-minded of any jungle lodge I have ever visited. The amenities are not as luxurious as other lodges, but the real reason you come to the jungle – for wildlife viewing – is the best.


4. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Posada del Puruay – This country estate near Cajamarca takes every opportunity to get you to enjoy the hills and fresh air. Their land is great for horseback riding, hiking, cycling, fishing, and just plain relaxing. The friendly sheepdogs that run around the grounds act as tour guides as well.


5. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Casa San Blas – This new hotel hidden in a small side street in San Blas in Cuzco is one of the most charming. The rooms are quite affordable and suites with kitchenettes are just a slight bit more.


6. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Tambo Viejo – A restored Victorian style home about 10 blocks from the center of Arequipa is one of the best budget options I have found in the country. There is a long list of amenities, clean rooms, and a vibrant social scene.


7. Best Places to Stay in Peru: Hotel Taypikala – This hotel in Chucuito, near Puno, is rumored to be owned by an Aymara shaman. The décor here is quite strange and enchanting, which can also be said for the lake and its people.


Best Hotels in Milan, Italy (II)

A city like Milan offers hundreds of accommodations, ranging from hotels to hostels. Normally it should be no problem to find a place, except when a big fair is going on. In this series of the best hotels in Milan, Italy, we carefully selected a range of accommodations to meet your needs, and in general the not too expensive ones. We chose those that are rated by clients to be good value for money.


5. Hotel Aspromonte (Best Hotels in Milan – Libery style lodging)

The Hotel Aspromonte is considered to be one of the best 3-star hotels of Milan. It is located at the piazza of the same name, a little north east of city center, in a Liberty style building, in between the Loreto (MM1) and Piola (MM2) subway stop. 

The hotel has 19 rooms, elegantly furnished and decorated.

Facilities at Hotel Aspromonte include: Free Wi-Fi, cable radio, sat TV, Sky Pay-Per-View, telephone, air conditioning, newspaper, special agreement garage at 100 meters, special agreement laundry at 20 meters, interior garden.


6. Hostel Piero Rotta (Best Hotels in Milan, Italy – Youth Hostel)

The Piero Rotta hostel is situated nearby Monte Stella and it well connected with the city center via subway. The hostel offers up to 40 rooms for six, three, or two visitors. 

Services and facilities at Hostel Piero Rotta include: family rooms, assistance for wheelchair users, breakfast, TV room, common room(s), laundry facilities, Internet access, café / bar, lockers, basic store, garden.


7. Hotel Berna (Best Hotels in Milan, Italy – Swiss quality in Milan)

Hotel Berna is considered to be one of the best 4 star hotels of Milan. It is located a bit south of Milan Central Station. The hotel offers 121 rooms, a few of which are in a modern tower building opposite of the main building.

Facilities at Hotel Berna include: full buffet breakfast, internet access from the lobby, tea and coffee spot, minibar with non-alcoholic drinks, High-Speed Internet, different types of pillow, Television, LCD, water-boiler with a large array of tea and coffee, as well as an underground parking open 24 hours per day.


8. Hotel City (Best Hotels in Milan, Italy – Near Central Station)

This Best Western hotel is located north east of city center near the Central Station and convenient if you are interested in the shopping district (Quadrilatero, Corso Buenos Aires). The hotel has recently been renovated and offers 60 rooms. It was reviewed as one of Milan's best 3-star hotels according to the Global Review Index.

Facilities at Hotel City include: indoor garage, free wireless Internet, Television tuned for the main Italian and foreign TV channels, including Mediaset Premium Service free of charge (film and football matches), free meeting area at request, booking facility for brasseries and museums, free baggage storage, laundry service and free hot drinks 24/7, early breakfast and possibility to book a car and a driver for any destination. You will find main international newspapers in the lobby.


Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada (III)

Toronto is the most populated metropolis in Canada and the regional capital of Ontario. It is situated in Southern Ontario upon the northwestern coastline of the famous Lake Ontario.  In this series we will review the best accommodation in Toronto, Canada.


6. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Hotel Victoria


It's hands-down the best budget hotel in Toronto, with its excellent downtown location and low price. It's right in the middle of the action, close to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Union Station, Eaton Centre and many restaurants and pubs.


Don't expect much in terms of amenities and service. We did say it was a budget hotel. 


7. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Metropolitan Hotel


The Metropolitan Hotel offers both an excellent downtown location and good customers service at an affordable price. Primarily housing business travelers, it nonetheless welcomes families and is close to public transit, the Eaton Centre, the AGO, City Hall, and Nathan Phillips Square, among many.


The hotel also offers good dining options at Hemispheres, with an eclectic international menu; and Lai Wah Heen, one of the city's top contemporary Chinese restaurants. 


Do take advantage of the complimentary downtown limousine service in the mornings. 


8. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Novotel Toronto


Its downtown location near the Esplanade is ideal for exploring the city on foot. The Hockey Hall of Fame, St. Lawrence Market, Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, various theatres and the Eaton Centre are all nearby.


9. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Soho Metropolitan


This modern, elegant 92-room hotel lets guests make themselves comfortable with a flip of a switch, whether it's to open the curtains, turn on the 'Do not Disturb' sign or heat up the marble bathroom floor.


King-size beds, natural down duvets, and Italian linens ensure a good night sleep.


Soho Metropolitan is popular with celebrities especially during the Toronto International Film Festival. Its 4,000 square-foot penthouse, with its rooftop terrace and eight-person hot tub, has been occupied by Madonna, Jay Z, Rihanna, P Diddy and ColdPlay among others.

Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada (II)

Toronto is the most populated metropolis in Canada and the regional capital of Ontario. It is situated in Southern Ontario upon the northwestern coastline of the famous Lake Ontario.  In this series we will review the best accommodation in Toronto, Canada.


4. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Fairmont Royal York


When the Queen comes to Toronto, she stays at this hotel. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1929, this castle-like building stands out in the midst of modern skyscrapers on Front Street. It's within walking distance of many of Toronto's theatres and attractions. In fact, you can get to many without stepping outside via the extensive underground PATH system, which originated with the hotel's pedestrian passageway to Union Station.


The hotel has 1,365 guest rooms, including 191 suites. But even if you're not a guest, visit the hotel to check out the luxurious interior or better yet, honor a royal tradition with Afternoon Tea in the Library Bar (weekends only) or splurge at their fine dining restaurant, EPIC.


Useless Trivia: Arthur Hailey stayed here and studied its operations around the clock while researching his book and movie 'Hotel'. Other famous guests include Winston Churchill, Jackie Chan, George Lucas and Wayne Gretzky.


5. Best Accommodation in Toronto, Canada: Gladstone Hotel


The Gladstone is the oldest continually operating hotel in Toronto. 10 years ago, a typical guest-turned-resident would have been someone down on his luck, possibly recently released from a nearby mental institution or detox facility. Now, this Victorian hotel, built in 1889, is restored to its former glory, and a typical guest at this gay-positive hotel is likely to be affluent and culturally inclined, with a desire to be part of the West Queen West neighborhood’s vibrant nightlife.


The original, hand-operated elevator takes guests up to the rooms, each one unique and designed by a different artist.


Like most hotels built in this era, the rooms are small, meant only to be slept in after socializing in the spacious common areas. These high-ceilinged, open spaces are put to good use, displaying art exhibits and hosting performances and community events. 


Though located in the hotel, the exhibits, chosen by an in-house curator, are open to the public from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.


Socializing is a big part of what the hotel is about and The Gladstone Café and Melody Bar are popular with locals.