Hostelbookers is one of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite websites for booking cheap hostels, inexpensive inns and budget hotels. In addition to offering a wide selection of accommodations (most of which aren’t available on sites like Travelocity or Hotels.com), what’s cool about Hostelbookers is their extensive database of customers reviews—they’re a huge help in separating out those hostels that are high value from those that are cheap for a reason.
Hostelbookers reviewers grade properties on eight criteria: atmosphere, location, facilities, fun, staff, cleanliness, safety and value.
Below is the first of our two part review of the budget lodgings that Hostelbookers users rated the best over the last year. Scroll down to read through them all. Or click on the region you are most interested in:
The Longcroft Hotel, north of London, features fine gourmet dining. Its staff provides five-star service. Every room in the hotel is suite—rates are as low as £15 per night! And if you are reading this you are absolutely not allowed to stay there.
That’s because the Longcroft Hotel is for cats only.
The Big Baobab Bar has everything you'd find in a traditional British pub (except more ants).
Sometimes the name of a pub describes exactly what it is. So it is with the Big Baobab Bar in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Imagine the fun you can having suddenly appearing to the people walking below à la Harry Potter throwing off his cloak of invisibility.
Dude, where’s my treehouse hotel?
That’s not the title of a bad sequel to an Ashton Kutcher movie of a similar name. It’s what you might be saying to your room mate were you and he guests at The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden. That’s because one of the accommodations options there, the Mirrorcube, is invisible!
One way to save money on hotels and a rental car while traveling western Europe is to get your accommodations and transportation together. You could rent your typical mobile home. But the cheaper and cooler option—to say nothing of the more stylishly retro—choice is the Tonke Camper.
The Ottoman Empire may conjure up images of elaborately mustached men decked out in fez hats while women recline seductively behind floaty veils in the sultan’s harem, but there is much more to this exotic empire than first meets the eye. At the height of its might, Ottoman territories expanded across the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Istanbul, known then as Constantinople, was wrestled from the hands of the Byzantines in 1453 and remained the capital of the Empire until its end in 1923. Situated on three bodies of water with a literal treasure chest of historical gems, the Ottomans further capitalized on Istanbul’s breathtaking beauty to ensure it maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Although Istanbul has modernized at a startlingly rapid pace, some of the most glorious remnants of its past are everywhere to be seen. From centuries-old wooden mansion hotels to ancient shopping malls, mosques, palaces, bathhouses and much, much more, it’s possible to spend some time in Istanbul shopping, eating, praying, relaxing and sleeping much like the Ottomans did!
Even before Lebanon gained independence from France in 1943, those in-the-know referred to Beirut as “the Paris of the Middle East.” Wealthy travelers flocked there for the high culture, the exquisite shopping and the trendy restaurants. Then a brutal civil war ignited in 1975. That lingered until 1990. In the intervening 15 years much of the country’s cultural and historical sites were destroyed.
Happily, since the end of the war Lebanon has been (mostly) at peace and Beirut has undertaken a massive and aggressive rebuilding project to restore the city to its once-prominent position. Travel to Beirut today and you’ll once again see the companions with Paris.
That resurgence of Beirut has brought with it a resurgence of Beirut hotels, from modest budget accommodations to waterfront resorts. Here’s a review of the three best boutique lodging options: