Travel bloggers by definition tend to have travelled far and wide. This means we’ve also experienced a wide range of accommodation…the good, the bad and the downright ugly. This post is a collaboration from a dozen travel bloggers on the most amazing places we’ve stayed. One might expect that with all the perks and frequent flyer redemptions a superlative list would be mostly luxurious resorts in the Maldives and 5 star hotels on Park Avenue. I was pleasantly surprised that a large proportion of THE BEST feature low key experiences full of character that have been tried and tested by us and can be easily booked by yourselves with confidence that your experience will be positive.
In saying that I’d love my no.1 accommodation experience to be something funky, like an igloo in Norway or a longhouse in Indonesia…but…one of my most amazing accommodation experiences did in fact feature a 5 star hotel – The Fairmont, Singapore. They have freaking outstanding service, a bed you can lie completely sideways on without reaching the end, and an uninterrupted view looking out towards the harbour, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens on the Bay. But the most amazing part was the shower! If you challenged yourself you could fit well over 10 people in there! Check it out below! Excuse the iPhone photo.
Here’s the best accommodation experiences from a dozen other travel bloggers:
Pippa from The Britpacker www.thebritpacker.com
La Banda Rooftop Hostel – Seville, Spain
Have you ever stayed in a perfect hostel, where from the moment you walk in you feel completely at ease. No? Well me neither until I stayed at La Banda Rooftop Hostel in Seville. What makes this hostel so different from others? I can hear you asking. Well they had comfy dorm rooms, huge showers, and delicious home cooked meals every night up on the roof terrace – which were actually worth paying for because they were so tasty! And did I mention that the rooftop has incredible views of the Cathedral!?
The best part was that the hostel felt like a tight knit community, which was mainly down to the four English owners taking an interest in every guest. It was the perfect place for me to begin my time as a solo traveller, as I’d said goodbye to my travel companion in Portugal and arrived Spain, alone and admittedly slightly nervous. I needn’t have been though, because by the end of that first night I’d met so many new friends.
I’ve never been sadder to leave a place before. The only trouble now is that I’ve been spoilt, and ever since nothing has lived up to La Banda.
2. Chantell from Adoration 4 Adventure http://adoration4adventure.com/
Yosemite Valley campsite – Yosemite National Park, California, USA
In October 2015, we spent three glorious days camping in Yosemite National Park. Out of all the exotic, luxurious and fun places I have stayed in – this was by far my favorite. I loved the feeling of being so close to nature, cooking our own delicious meals with a little portable stove and drinking hot meals by the fire. Each day we would set out on a hike, taking in the gorgeous surroundings and spotting wildlife along the way. Yosemite Valley itself has everything imaginable including hiking trails, horse trails, restaurants, grocery store, outdoor gear store, showers, a local bus and even a laundromat! It is its own little city in the middle of the woods.
3. Sandy from IM Voyager http://imvoyager.com
De Regency Hotel – Pelling, India
We were on a sojourn in the North East Indian state of Sikkim and reached Pelling, a real gem of a place nestled amidst lush greenery, high up in the mountains at an altitude of about 6,250 feet. The place is renowned for its amazing views of the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga Mountains as well as the surrounding lakes and waterfalls. We checked in to a nice and clean looking hotel named De Regency. We opened the door to our room and were very pleased with the spacious and clean room. On an impulse I pulled away the curtains that covered the large window and Lo and behold, the view stunned us. It was a clear day and out there shone brightly the snow-capped peaks of the Kanchenjunga Mountain ranges, flanked by white drifting clouds which seemed to kiss the mountains as they floated by to their unknown destination. We sat for hours and hours marveling at the view. But soon it was nightfall and after a sumptuous and tasty dinner we retired for the night. But we woke up early in anticipation and sat by the window, with cups of steaming coffee in our hands to watch nature’s spectacle unfold before our eyes. Darkness gave way to light and the snow-capped peaks slowly appeared with the first rays of the sun casting a golden hue and creating a mesmerizing effect. We loved the hotel not only for its amazing location and views but also this came bundled with great service and food.
4. Dan from Dan Flying Solo – www.danflyingsolo.com
Yenkoranu – Kri Island, Indonesia
There were rats jumping around the floor when I opened the door. The hut had no electric. The bathroom was a hole in the floor yet it was the best room I had ever checked into. On the Island of Kri in Raja Ampat, Indonesia with only a handful of other people to share the sand with my door opened straight out onto the most perfect, paradise view I had ever seen. Had I been anywhere else in the world I could have probably skipped the rats and warm beer, but having perfect sunsets, sharks two metres away and that view outside the window was well worth it. I am sure it would be some people’s idea of hell, but that day I found my heaven.
5. Gabby from She Packs Light www.packslight.com
Reykjavik City Hostel – Reykjavik, Iceland
I would say the best accommodation I’ve stayed at was the Reykjavik City Hostel, in Reykjavik, Iceland. This hostel was definitely not 5 star hostel, but was a 5 star experience. Perhaps a fourth of the actual hostel space was a main building, while the other three quarters was simply a huge clearing behind the hostel where hundreds of hostel goers pitched tents for their stay. At 17 years old in Reykjavik traveling by myself for the first time, I was very nervous. But the hostel goers immediately surprised me by having such a welcoming and happy energy. Everyone was super clean and eco-conscious, and my favorite memory is going to the community kitchen and making alfredopasta and having a little boy who spoke French come up to me and point at my food as if he wanted some. I didn’t speak French and his family didn’t speak English, but somehow we traded my pasta for some of their fresh corn salad and ate together happily. That is the essence of the Reykjavik City Hostel—family amongst strangers.
6. Anita from The Sane Travel www.thesanetravel.com
Kronon Park Hotel in Grodno, Belarus
One of my top accommodations in 2015 is the Kronon Park Hotel in Grodno, Belarus. It is because I like hotels of this style and moreover, you do not expect something like that in this country. The hotel is located in the wood in the outskirts of Grodno. Waze leads you nicely. The service was good, atmosphere very nice. The restaurant was excellent with a live singer in the evening. I also used a swimming pool and sauna which I liked. Maybe it is worth to ask for the other room than No 208 because it has only a ceiling window I could not open. All in all this hotel was completely of my taste. I had a really great stay there. I would definitely come back. Keep in mind that for getting to this hotel you will need a car or taxi. I did not notice any public transport opportunities. It is about 6.5km from the city center.
7. Carol from Wayfaring Views http://wayfaringviews.com/
Oddballs Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana
Most safari experiences in southern Africa have you viewing wildlife from the window of a Land Rover but Oddballs Camp offers an altogether different experience. Oddballs sits smack in the middle of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. You get there by small plane, landing on a grass airstrip. And while there, the primary mode of transportation is the mokoro, a dugout canoe. In addition to the exploring the delta via the mokoro, Oddballs offers very intimate walking safaris on the surrounding islands. While there we saw a great deal of wildlife including: zebra, orangutan, giraffe, impala, elephants and hippos. The lodging consists of platformed tents and rustic (but remarkably functional) bathrooms. Our platform sat out over the water and the hippos came out at night to forage the grasses right underneath us. The sunsets were spectacular and our time there was something that we will not soon forget. For booking this or other interesting lodges in Botswana, check out Safari Specialists.
8. Wing from Travel for the Moments http://travelforthemoments.blogspot.com
AirBnB – Yungaburra, Queensland, Australia
Our Airbnb experience in Yungaburra, Australia was enchanting. When we first arrived in the Tablelands region we thought we have stumbled upon a fairy tale. It resembled the Shire from “the Lord of the Rings” with its rolling hills and beautiful farms (surrounded by rain forest). The accommodation is located close to Lake Eachem, a clear lake you can chase fish and turtles in. Our host even lent us his canoes! A casual stroll to a nearby river will give you glimpses of platypuses. As for the accommodation itself, we felt like we lived in paradise. Our room was filled with light through the wide window facing a garden full of fresh fruits, fauna, and butterflies. Our en-suite was everything we could ask for. We exchanged wonderful conversations with our hosts and befriended people in town. Still not convinced we’ve stumbled upon paradise? Don’t take my words for it, even Herbal Essence agreed and filmed their paradise themed commercial at one of the nearby waterfalls.
9. Noemi from Pinay Flying High – http://www.pinayflyinghigh.com/
Kinsterna Hotel – Monemvasia, Greece
My favorite accommodation stay is definitely the beautiful Kinsterna Hotel in Monemvasia, Greece. More than the huge space that they have for each room (and an outdoor jacuzzi nonetheless) I love the Medieval decor of the whole property which used to be a mansion in the 13th century. It has a rustic beauty and charm – surrounded by olive groves, gardens and cobblestone paths. They also have a lot of activities to offer on-site like hiking, horseback riding, grape and olive harvesting and even help create their in-house wine. This place is definitely the works of an imaginative dreamer.
10. Marisa from Marisa.com.au
Hotel Windsor – Melbourne, Australia
My spot that I loved, absolutely adored in 2015 was The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, Australia. I work as a freelance journalist, editor and writer and I was both a guest judge and editor for novella competition and I needed to head towards Melbourne for the book launch in August 2015. I didn’t have a lot of cash but I had seen the foyer of The Hotel Windsor before and I had read about it in a series of crime novels by author Kerry Greenwood and I knew it was Art Deco architecture and detail which I love and also one of the oldest hotels in Australia and I am a history lover. I always thought I would see it during my honeymoon but despite being single I decided to stay there when I went for the launch. I then ended up dating someone who decided to pay his own way and turn up in Melbourne in order to support me. Not only did we get upgraded to a better room but I got to experience both the hotel stay I wanted and also share it as a romantic experience with a partner. Being part of the book launch was amazing enough but it was far more amazing to be staying at The Hotel Windsor and it only wants to make me go back again.
11. Cathy from Roar Loud http://RoarLoud.net
Kilima Valley Tented Lodge – Serengeti,Tanzania
My favorite place I’ve stayed was a tented site just outside the Serengeti in Tanzania called Kilima Valley Tented Lodge. Many in our group were reluctant to stay in tents so close to the Serengeti especially with the property not fenced. Once we saw how beautiful and luxurious the tents were, and how the security patrolled the perimeter all worries were gone. With the exceptionally comfortable over-sized pillow top beds we got the best sleep of our whole trip! The staff at Kilima Valley went above and beyond to make our trip special, even singing happy birthday to a guest in our group and making a cake for us with only a days notice! I’ve stayed in fancier hotels but this was the most memorable lodging I’ve been to, I’d go back in a heartbeat!
12. Lara from Small Town Washington – http://www.smalltownwashington.com/
Alexander’s Castle – Washington State, United States
Alexander’s Castle was built for love, literally. In 1882, Reverend Alexander built it for his bride-to-be, but upon returning to Scotland he discovered she had married another. That setback didn’t deter him from making his castle his home and now guests can experience a unique and historic getaway. It’s a five minute drive from the historic Victorian town of Port Townsend, Washington and is part of Fort Worden State Park.
What impressed me about the castle was how roomy it is. The large living room has gas fireplace and a couch a third person could sleep on, a dining room table for six, a full kitchen, and I particularly liked the claw-foot soaking tub in the bathroom. The tower bedroom has a half-bath, a plush king-size bed and windows with views of Bunker Hill and Admiralty Inlet.
As a outdoor and history lover I enjoyed being able to walk right out the front door to explore Fort Worden State Park. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, walkable beaches, and a fort built in 1897 (tip: bring a flashlight and take a docent led tour). Many scenes from the movie Officer and a Gentlemen were filmed here and when you check-in they’ll happily give you a map. There are also two museums, a massage and yoga studio, summer music festivals, a marine science center and a lighthouse.
What’s the most amazing accommodation you’ve stayed in? I’d love to hear about it!