We stayed at Las Colinas which was very nice.
Our room was absolutely awesome! just in front of the Arenal volcano.
We used the hotel's booking agent for all attractions around, the service was very kind.
They even saved a good parking spot just for us :)
The view from our room:
Tasman Bay Backpackers is a a really nice hostel found not to far from the city center on Weka st, and we stayed there for 1 night so we can get a nice shower and a more comfy bed before we continue trekking in Nelson Lakes National Park. Personally, this place is memorable because of two reasons:
Railay Village - Excellent hotel on the west side, very good service, decent breakfast and large modern rooms. The village has both villas and buildings. We stayed in the building on the second floor. Each room has a nice porch where you can relax and dry your clothes with a pool view.
I must say a word on the service - we had brought a drawing kit for the kids full of kids handcrafts to help us with the waiting time between and during the flights. Unfortunately , we forgot it at the pier. When the receptionist heard about it , he went out with me to look for the other long tail boat's skippers. We managed to locate them as I remember the color of their shirt (keep in mind there are many operators on this route), and one of them called the pier and within an hour we got the kit back. Now that is service!
The hotel had free WiFi, I thought it would be a standard thing, but learned to appreciate it when we arrived in Phi Phi.
The Chinese truck that gave me my ride to town was slowly pulling into town, long after the sun had already set. Me and my travelling partners were tired and hungry, and so we set about to find a bed to rest ourselves. We headed out for the most obvious option for backpackers in Khorog - the Pamir Lodge. If Tajikistan has anything that might be defined as a 'backpackers mecca' - this would be it. This guesthouse gathers most of the budget travelers in Khorog - trekkers & cyclists altogether. It offers some invaluable opportunity to socialize with some other people. The place itself is OK at most, so don't expect to feel like you're at home - but it is mostly quiet and there is a nice yard where you can hang out. The toilet over there looks like you worst nightmare most of the time, and this is probably due to the fact that at least 30% of all guests there were experiencing some sort of 'gastrointestinal issues' (endemic to almost all travelers in Tajikistan). Sharing stories and laughs with fellow travelers is one thing, but sharing a toilet with them... That's a different story.
If you're willing to part from a little extra cash (about 15$), you can indulge yourself and head out for any of the handful home stays around town. In order to find them, get directions and information from the local PECTA (Pamir Eco Tourism Association), on which I will elaborate in the following tip. I can highly recommend the home stay located just across from the Pamir Lodge and next to the local school (here: http://goo.gl/maps/8mxl0). Lalmo, the lovely owner and her family seem to very experienced with hosting travelers and they will take very good care of you - as evident by the notes past visitors hadleft in their guestbook. For extra payment you will be treated with dinner & breakfast as well. Lalmo has already gained herself quite a reputation, so you might find her house literally full with backpackers when you arrive, but if you arrive at September or October, you'll likely to be alone in a room to yourself.
Our journey began at noon in Haifa and ended at night in Paris, after successfully facing many unexpected difficulties. Quite a lot of adventures for one day: beginning with losing the Car keys while leaving home, continuing with strange experiences in the airport and during the flight, and ending with a nightly battle against the intercom of the apartment we booked.
My daughter and I found the apartment entrance, and called the elevator. It's written that the elevator’s capacity is three people. However it appeared that hardly one of us could get inside. I didn't even consider leaving the young lady alone in the lobby, or sending her upstairs alone. Hence, we shoved both of us into the elevator with our entire luggage. Like in the movies, it's a classic French elevator, half rounded, with a collapsible grilles door, which let you be inside, but feel like you're outside, surrounded by a spiral stairway with a red carpet.
We reached the 3rd floor, finally escaping the elevator, and got into the apartment which turned out to be very nice. It's neat and clean, fully equipped, including a laundry machine and a dryer, a fully equipped kitchenette, air-conditioning + heating radiators backup, Internet, TV, large stock of towels - in short, everything a traveler could ask for while not being outdoors. We have no complaints, except one small area in the parquet, stepping on it makes a lot of noise, we fell asleep as soon as we got settled.
I recommend a guest house called Mongolian Step (http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/mongolia/ulaanbaatar/7336/) located behind the large super market, with a nice charming owner, a lady named Eggi. Who ever needs a map can talk to me.
How to get there: stand so that the Golden Gobi is behind you, the super is in front, turn right and enter between the two stores, and there inside an apartment building, third door on the right, a small modest sign directs you to the Mongolian Step. Sometimes the door is locked and you need to call the guys on the porch above to open.
City Hostel, Obchodna 38, Bratislava: The main advantage of City Hostel is its central location on THE main shopping street. Nearby are many shops with clothes, supermarkets with budget prices (Billa, Lidl), eateries like McDonald's etc'. It is also the street of the city nightlife. Many bus and tram stops around. My (double - only twin beds) room was very quiet and spacious. The hostel is on a pedestrian-only alley with no access for cars. Room is simply furnished - beds, TV, wardrobe and bathroom with shower and towels. Inner walls are very thin. NO breakfast. Another downside is that WI-FI isn't available in the bedroom and you have to go to the reception area to get internet connection. Just one single computer is available for guests, at the reception. Double Bed Private Ensuite room (reserve far in advance) is approx. 36 euros (for couple):