Lodging in Berkeley, California (I)

Tag: Accommodation

Lodging in Berkeley, California (I)

1. Lodging in Berkeley, California: Bancroft Hotel – Landmark property close to campus


The Bancroft Hotel is a National Landmark property from the 1920s and is the closest hotel to the campus. The Bancroft Hotel is directly across the street from the UC Campus.


Constructed in 1928 by architect Walter T Steilberg, it was originally a private clubhouse called the College Women's Club.


The hotel has 22 rooms and is part of the growing "green" movement, with bamboo towels and only natural cleaners used. The property is a certified Alameda County Green Business.


Next-door is the Caffe Strada, good for coffee or dining. The hotel owner owns Caffe Strada and the Adagia fine-dining restaurant, a few steps up Bancroft.


Because of its historic origin, the Bancroft Hotel lacks some amenities, such as an elevator and aircon. But there are cozy rooms, such as #206, with its decor of student art and its opening out to a view. Room 206 is also on the quiet side, away from Caffe Strada.


The rooftop is a pleasure in mild weather, good for the view and a little stargazing, possibly enhanced with a good bottle of wine.


2. Lodging in Berkeley, California: Berkeley City Club – A Julia Morgan hotel


The Berkeley City Club is both a hotel and a club. It has 35 rooms in a spacious, historically significant building designed by Julia Morgan. As a place to lodge, it is somewhat different than a usual hotel. 


This elegant historic landmark is sometimes called "the little castle." Peruse the interior and you are transported back to a gracious time with courtyards, fireplaces, pillars, and intimate gardens. 


The property is one block south of the UC Campus. There is a heated pool, dining room, and modern amenities as well, such as Wi-Fi. Club members enjoy reciprocal club benefits at other locations around the U.S.


Monthly public tours acquaint visitors with the details of the architecture and history.


The Berkeley City Club was organized in 1927 and the building opened in 1929. Julia Morgan dressed it in the Moorish and Gothic motifs she favored and used elsewhere, such as at Hearst Castle. There were some 4,500 women members of the club in those heady early days. 


Passing its 80th birthday, the Club continues to re-invent itself, opened now for decades to both men and women. The landmark building is in the Historic Hotels of America group. You will be lodging in Berkeley, California at a National Historic Landmark property.

Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy

1. Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy: B&B Althea – All in the family

Althea is a family run bed & breakfast on the third floor of an early 1900's building in a quiet residential street east of city center (10 min by tram or bus). Althea offers you a comfortable, light and air-conditioned room with a double bed (or two single beds) and a private bathroom with shower.

Services and facilities at B&B Althea include: TV and wireless Internet access, full continental breakfast, elevator, private entrance and air conditioning.

The owners speak English, French and Swedish.


2. Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy: B&B Milan – Right in city center

This is a small and friendly B&B right in the middle of the city, only a few steps away the Duomo and the animated area of Colonne di San Lorenzo

All no-smoking rooms have fridge and facilities for preparing tea or coffee. Upon arrival, the host offers you a bowl of fruits and other extras.


3. Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy: B&B Monteverdi – At the violin maker

Named after the famous son of Cremona and situated in the violin maker's neighborhood, this is a musical place. There is even a violin maker downstairs.

This B&B offers a flat / apartment with independent entrance.

Services and facilities at B&B Monteverdi include: air conditioning, satellite television, wireless Internet, refrigerator, microwave oven and bicycles.


4. Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy: B&B Navigli – Close to city center and nightlife

A straightforward B&B hotel with 25 colorful, modern rooms with air conditioning, mini bar, LCD TV, Wi-Fi Internet, safety deposit box. The B&B is located close to the lively Navigli district with a lot of café's, bars and restaurants.

Transport: Tram 9, 29/30


5. Bed & Breakfast in Milan, Italy: B&B Porta Garibaldi – A one-apartment facility

This B&B offers a small private apartment, with two single beds and one double. It is located close to the lively Brera district, a few steps away from Brera's famous art galleries and museums and 20 min walking from city center.

Services and facilities at B&B Porta Garibaldi include: free Wi-Fi Internet, satellite television with Sky, a sumptuous fresh breakfast, books and dvd movies, guide books and tourist info, private entrance, fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, PC-TV connection, hairdryer, sound proof windows, free bicycle, free extra bed for children up to 3 years.

Transport: Metro 2 – Moscova stop or Tram 2 – Piazzale Baiamonti stop

Best Places to Stay in California (V)

Best Places to Stay in California: Beach Village at the Del – Luxury villas by the sea


This premier San Diego resort — a recent add-on to the historic Hotel Del Coronado —caters to the discriminating traveler, with private oceanfront cottages and villas offering up to three bedrooms apiece. Luxe amenities include terraces with private day tubs and fire pits, to interior luxuries like flat-screen TVs, Bose surround systems and top-of-the-line gourmet kitchens. 


A beautiful walking path connects Beach Village with the Coronado hotel, where you can dine at 1500 Ocean, enjoy a wine tasting at Eno, or unwind at Spa at the Del. Coronado Beach, located right at your doorstep, has been rated one of the top beaches in the world.



Best Places to Stay in California: Berkeley City Club – Julia Morgan’s Little Gem


Designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, this 6-story gem once hosted socials and overnights for the East Bay's most prominent women. Today, Morgan's "Little Castle" is an exquisite getaway, complete with an indoor pool, delightful dining room and impressive art collection.


Each of the hotel's beautifully appointed rooms include Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast and fine linens. There is no TV, but then again you'll be too busy exploring Berkeley to need it!



Best Places to Stay in California: Cavallo Point Lodge – Luxury resort on historic Fort Baker


Sweeping views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge are yours when you book a room in this historic luxury resort, which dates back to 1901. LEED-certified for its environmental-friendly design, the lodge at Cavallo Point sits on the grounds of Fort Baker, an Army outpost used through World War II.


Today, the grounds have been immaculately transformed, with practically every amenity under the sun, from Wi-Fi and morning yoga classes to a meditation pool and award-winning restaurant, Murray Circle. 


While you're here, check out the gallery inside the Mercantile, learn the latest culinary techniques inside Cavallo Point Cooking School, or indulge in a massage or pedicure at the Healing Arts Center & Spa. The Golden Gate National Park is right outside, offering 75,000 acres of activities and attractions.


Even your pooch will be pampered at Cavallo Point, especially when you book the lodge's Eco Luxe Pups package. The price includes such posh products as Blueblood Living bedding, Sausalito Pottery food and water bowls, Brittane Doggie Dryers and Saute 2000 organic cookies and treats.


Lodging in Santa Barbara, California (I)

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: Bacara Resort & Spa – Posh Mediterranean resort on the beach


The Bacara occupies 78 acres of prime beach-and-bluff property about 15 miles north of downtown Santa Barbara. 


The Spanish Colonial "village" includes 350 guest rooms and suites, each with private patios or a balcony deck. It also has three pools, nature trails, a Kids Club and activities (seasonal), tennis, and a huge spa with 36 treatment rooms. Sandpiper Golf Course is just down the street.


The Bacara edges Haskell's Beach – a local favorite. But don't expect soft, white sand á la Cancun. It's a "natural" stretch of beach with kelp, driftwood, shore birds and lots of wildlife.


The three on-site restaurants include the Bistro (California-Italian meals) and Miró, a high-end restaurant known for its excellent wine country dishes from around the world and extensive wine list to match. There's also a snack bar on the beach.


The Foley Wine Society opened an on-site tasting room at the Bacara in May 2013. They plan to offer many wine-themed events and excursions to Santa Barbara County wine country, less than 40 minutes from the resort.



Lodging in Santa Barbara, California: Ballard Inn & Restaurant – Wine country’s most romantic dining room


Budi Kazali grew up in Santa Barbara, became a chef and worked, among other fine restaurants, at Blue Ginger with Chef Ming Tsai. He and his wife Christine bought the Ballard Inn in 2004 and established what quickly became one of the nicest B&Bs in Santa Barbara wine country. The 12-table restaurant with fireplace and candles consistently wins accolades as the most romantic restaurant in the region and has won awards as the #1 restaurant in the county.


Budi's creative French-Asian-California dishes reflect his eclectic background and experience. The seasonal menu typically has a just handful of delectable appetizer, entree and dessert options; examples may include Thai curry kabocha soup with whipped coconut cream, or grilled squab with spaghetti squash, pomegranate demiglace and truffled watercress salad. Budi can advise you on great wines to pair with each course. 


The B&B has 15 rooms – rates range from $245 – $315 and include Budi's exceptional breakfasts.


The World’s Most Unique Hotels (I)

Spend the night curled up like a hamster in a mound of straw beside your wheel or hunker down in an old prison with hardwood beds and spartan facilities. The trend for offbeat accommodation continues to grow. Travelers have become tired of the generic blandness of hotel rooms with their predictable layout and minibar. They demand something different. From luxury to deprivation, there is certainly plenty of variety in the unique hotel market. Let's take a look at a few of the more interesting options available around the world.



The World’s Most Unique Hotels: Kolarbyn Eco-lodge


The Swedes have made minimalism an art form, and this is seen nowhere more than at Kolarbyn Eco-lodge in the wilds of Skinnskatteberg, two hours from Stockholm. Deep in the forest beside a lake are a number of tiny huts so cleverly constructed you have to look twice to distinguish them from their leafy surroundings. It would not surprise you to see Bilbo Baggins emerge from a rustic entrance. Inspired by the old charcoal burner huts which used to dot these forests, they are super simple with just two beds and a fire.


Forget the wifi, there is no electricity. You even have to fetch your own water from the spring and cut your own wood for cooking. All sods of nutritious supplies are stored in a food but so you are able to create your own meals on the wood fires. These forests are filled with moose, beavers, birds and the occasional bear. Guides live on-site to offer a hand and take you through the forest.



The World’s Most Unique Hotels: Hotel Palafitte


For quite a different type of accommodation, but with similar levels of tranquility, try the Hotel Palafitte on Lake Neuchatel. The rooms of the 5-star boutique hotel are built out onto the lake on stilts, contemporary reminders of the earliest human shelters built here thousands of years ago. Bungalow-cum-boathouse, these beautifully simple rooms are completely private, yet open to the changing moods of the lake with alpine views of the Jura Mountains in the distance. Each apartment has its own balcony and ladder down into the lake, and the simple exterior houses state of the art technology with tablet PC control of all electrics and media devices and fingerprint scan keys. This is Switzerland after all.



The World’s Most Unique Hotels: The Gibbon Experience



For more adventurous accommodation, try zip lining into your treehouse after tramping through the virgin forests of the Bokeo Reserve in Laos. The Gibbon Experience tree houses are built high up in the sturdy trunks of the strangler fig trees. The veranda rooms are airy and open so guests can look out over the forest canopy of the reserve. Conservation group Animo runs the operations as part of their mission to protect these primary forests from logging. They have set up long zip lines over the forest for guests to view these unique ecosystems and hopefully glimpse the black-faced gibbons who live below.


Best Hotels in La Paz, Bolivia (III)

Nuestra Señora de La Paz commonly recognized as La Paz, is Bolivia’s third most populated city, the seat of the country’s government and the capital of La Paz Department. It is located on the western part of Bolivia at an elevation of about 3,650 m above sea level. In this article we offer you a review of the best hotels in La Paz, Bolivia.


8. Best Hotels in La Paz, Bolivia: El Rey Palace Hotel, Avenida 20 de Octubre

El Rey Palace comes complete with doorman and elevator music in the halls. Each room has a king-sized bed (some have two) a radio, phone, cable TV, air conditioning, a safe, hair dryer, bidet, Jacuzzi bath, shampoo, soap and telephones in the bathroom and the bedroom. A mini-bar is stocked with good wine. The high-quality wood closets, colonial furniture and plush carpets are an added draw. Buffet breakfast is included in the price. The hotel also has a business center and Internet access at no extra cost. Single rooms are just a bit smaller than doubles. A discount is offered to those staying more than one night and you may have a room for just the day at the discounted price of $30. Weekend prices are much lower than during the week. There’s a restaurant and a quiet piano bar. The staff speaks English and some speak French Canadian.


9. Best Hotels in La Paz, Bolivia: Hotel Ritz, Plaza Isabel la Catolica

Hotel Ritz has suites to suit all tastes. Located in the better part of town, near the Bridge of the Americas, this hotel has British-styled décor (complete with John Peel paintings) and British-style reserve. The suites are large and well decorated and the price includes an excellent buffet breakfast. The starting rate is $121 and it goes up to $177 for two people. However, due to different plans and promotions available, they offer up to 47% discounts (weekends are one of the best times to get a deal).


10. Best Hotels in La Paz, Bolivia: Hacienda Villa-del-Sol

This is an award-winning, five-star hotel that has one-, two- or three-bedroom suites. Located near the golf course, it looks like a North American walled city. The award it won was for the best-constructed hotel in La Paz. Each suite has 60 channels on the cable TV, a bar, balcony, telephones, Internet connection, safes and a wood-burning fireplace.

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (III)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Barocco – Friendly small hotel


The Hotel Barocco is located just off Piazza Barberini, not far from the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, at the foot of Via Veneto. Many of the 41 rooms have views out over Rome, and some even have small terraces. It features classic decoration, travertine bathrooms and good-sized rooms. Several luxury suites have just been added, including one with it’s own terrace and Jacuzzi. 


The hotel is known for it’s friendly service, and staff is gracious and willing to help with anything you need. Wi-Fi throughout. It also has a wonderful breakfast buffet.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Campo dei Fiori – Great location for dining at night


This small hotel is in a fantastic location, right off Campo de’ Fiori and it’s daily market. Very old-world in feeling, with each room decorated with antiques, heavy curtains and brocade fabrics. 


The common spaces include a cozy living room, complete with working fireplace and a rooftop terrace with great views. Since the hotel has no bar, grab a drink or a bottle from the bar across the street, and head up to the hotel’s roof. 


This is a great place to stay to be near all the great restaurants in this neighborhood (Campo de’ Fiori) as well as the Ghetto and Trastevere, all within walking distance. Sites are nearby as well, including Piazza Navona, The Vatican and Castel Saint Angelo.


Extremely friendly staff, helpful and speak English. 



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel de Russie – Luxury Hotel near Piazza del Popolo


Hotel de Russie opened several years ago to immediate raves. The building was completely redesigned, and the large, modern rooms display an understated luxury that is hard to find in this history-laden town. The garden, with a romantic restaurant and bar is one of the best places to enjoy an appetitive and climbs up the hill in the back of the hotel, making the place unique, and providing a tranquil oasis within the hustle and bustle of Rome.


This is a full service luxury hotel, with gym, spa, restaurant and bar. Rooms are spacious and some of the suites are the preferred home away from home for traveling movie stars. 

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy (IV)

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Tryp Gran Via – Hemingway's hotel


Known as the Hotel Gran Vía in Ernest Hemingway’s day, who was a guest here during the Civil War, this Belle Époque period hotel has remained continuously in operation, getting a facelift in 1999. 


Given Hemingway’s critical journalistic coverage of the Civil War from here, there are many photographs of him throughout the hotel as well as a bar named after him.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Hotel Petit Palace Italia – Excluding the romantic mood of the early 20th century


Minimalist and modern, this new hotel is in a 19th century building near the opera house, Teatro Real (Royal Theater). The Teatro too was built in the 19th century during Isabel II's reign.


Calle de Campomanes also is home to a great restaurant, Retaurante Chic, at no. 5, and a great multi-language bookstore, Petra's International Books at no. 13. And just around the bend on an easy stroll is the royal palace.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Westin Palace Hotel – Italian renaissance and Art Nouveau


Built in 1912 as a commission by King Alfonso XIII, the Westin Palace Hotel stands on the original site of the Palacio Medinaceli. Its interior reflects a mix of Italian renaissance styles and Art Nouveau.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Petit Palace Posada del Peine – Madrid's oldest hotel dating to 1610


The Petit Palace Posada may be the oldest building in Madrid that today is a hotel open to the public. 


Situated close to the Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol, the building was constructed in 1610, a time that marked the popularity of Cervantes’ first volume of Don Quixote while he was also hard at work on the second volume (to come out in 1615).


The Posada del Peine, Inn of the Comb, gets its name because patrons used to get rooms with a comb included, though it was attached to the furniture so that it would remain in the room.


This was one of the more respectable inns and today could not command a more central position to all of Madrid's highlights, including the best restaurants and oldest walkways.


Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy (III)

Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Hotel Me Madrid Reina Victoria – Holding court on one of Madrid's most dynamic plazas


This hotel commands the main attention on the Plaza de Santa Ana, a terrific plaza filled with historic and modern bars and cafes. 


Opposite the hotel is the Teatro Español, an important 19th century landmark. 


The Hotel Victoria was built between 1917 and 1923 as a combination hotel and department store. As a hotel it was once a modestly priced place and a meeting point for bullfighters. 


In 2006 it was renovated and turned into one of the most luxurious places to stay in Madrid. Its interior, management, and setting on Santa Ana make it worth this splurge if you want one place that has it all, including live music on the rooftop terrace.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: Hotel Meninas – A charming hotel on an uber charming street


Minimalist and modern, this new hotel is in a 19th century building near the opera house, Teatro Real (Royal Theater). The Teatro too was built in the 19th century during Isabel II's reign.


Calle de Campomanes also is home to a great restaurant, Retaurante Chic, at no. 5, and a great multi-language bookstore, Petra's International Books at no. 13. And just around the bend on an easy stroll is the royal palace.



Historic Hotels in Madrid, Italy: La Vera Hostal – Near Plaza de Tirso de Molina and El Rastro flea market


La Vera Hostal is in the building that once belonged to Los Duques de Santoña and is a 19th century structure in the middle of old Madrid. 


It stands in the heart of the area where the Rastro flea market unfolds every Sunday and from where you can hunt for that treasure to take home as a classy souvenir of Madrid.



Best Places to Stay in California (IV)

Best Places to Stay in California: Bardessono – It’s LEED, baby!


This contemporary wine country hotel, located in charming Yountville, is located just steps from Napa Valley's best restaurants, from the elegant French Laundry, to the scrumptious Bistro Jeanty.


But what makes it extra special are its 62 deluxe guest rooms with privates jetted tubs, fireplaces, premium organic bedding and virtual-surround speakers. For a true splurge, book the 780-square-foot Tufa Suite, with dual shower-steam rooms and an outdoor shower.


Best Places to Stay in California: Bardessono – Looking for something to do while you’re here?


Be sure to dine at Bardessono's Lucy Restaurant & Bar, which serves up farm-fresh fare like Star Route Beet Salad and Monterey Shellfish a la Grecque. The full-service Bardessono Spa has a pampering menu of treatments. Try the Vinotherapie Massage, where you'll be rubbed from head-to-toe with organic Chardonnay grape seed oil.


As you bed down for the night, take comfort in knowing you are lowering the carbon footprint. Bardessono is one of only three hotels in the world with LEED Platinum certification.



Best Places to Stay in California: Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel – Enjoy the freebies!


This laid-back Newport Beach hotel is stocked with all the comforts of home, from their complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning, to the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon. Each of the hotel's 25 rooms and suites are clean and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi, HDTV and air conditioning. The beach, and the bay, are both just a block away.


I love the whole surfer vibe here, from the original surf art by John Severson (who often stays here) to the wide selection of Surfer magazines in the lobby. Take the original 1960s caged elevator up to the rooftop sun deck, where you'll enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and bay.


Best Places to Stay in California: Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel – What’s best about it?


The friendly customer service and free extras. Check out one of their free DVDs to enjoy in your room, or grab some of their beach toys for a day at play. You'll also enjoy free local phone calls, free newspaper delivery, free business services and free parking. And if the lot happens to be full, they'll even feed your parking meter!