The problem we have with online reviews of hotels, hostels, and other accommodation types is simple – we don’t know the person who gave the review.
Aside from the cases of the always positive and always negative, it is hard to sort between listings containing mixed reviews, especially for those who pursue budget travel where these type of ratings are common. This is where bloggers come in to fill the void. You know us, our likes and dislikes, and can use aligned opinions for more educated bookings.
To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of every single hotel we’ve ever stayed at while traveling in the last few years, rated them, and commented on the pluses and minuses for each. In knowing us from reading our blog, you will have a better idea of our opinions when put into context to our own travel style to see if a hotel match is right for you.
For all accommodation reviews shown in the list below, the ratings will be illustrated on a one star (*) to five star (*****) scale. In order to have continuity in this feature, the following is the breakdown associated with each star rating:
* – Awful. Nothing good about the location. Avoid at all costs.
** – Pretty Bad. A few plus sides, but would not stay again.
*** – Acceptable. Would stay again but may consider other options to see what is out there.
**** – Pretty Good. Worth the money for the amenities, location, or other offerings.
***** – Exceptional. Above and beyond what was expected.
Anything above three stars (***) is generally considered good. Four stars (****) corresponds to a place we’d recommend checking out and five stars (*****) is a place that we continue talking about to this day and highly encourage you to look into if the price is within your budget.
The hotels are arranged by continent and subsequently arranged by date visited in each region. Please note that pricing has likely risen for most hotels as the displayed rate is based on when we booked our room.
To book the hotel, or to see more information, click the hotel name to be taken to the property’s listing on either Booking.com, Agoda, or HostelBookers. These sites have been our preferred hotel booking engines as they have consistently found us the best deal when traveling.
Note: By making a reservation using the affiliate links featured we will receive a small commission and the price you pay will not change.
Our organization system is as follows:
Name – Location – Date – Cost/Night – # of Nights – Rating (*****)
Click the continent below to be taken to our listings in each region:
Royal National Hotel – London, England – May 2008 – $55 / Tour – 3 – **
No air conditioning and standard budget room. Good location but nothing very exciting. Paid nights were discounted triple accommodation in private rooms
Nieuw Slotania – Amsterdam, Netherlands – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – ***
Leaking shower in a basic dorm room.
Wombat’s Berlin – Berlin, Germany – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – *****
Nice hostel with seemingly new furniture and fixtures. One of the best hostel bars in Europe with great prices.
Plus Prague – Prague, Czech Republic – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – ****
Incredibly large hostel with many amenities. Very good location with public transportation and a nice bar area.
Haus International – Munich, Germany – May 2008 – Tour – 1 – ***
Not much to report on this one as we were only there for one night on our tour. Neither stellar nor mediocre.
Haus Schoneck – Hopfgarten, Austria – May 2008 – Tour – 1 – *
This was a Contiki owned accommodation as far as I could tell, and left much to be desired. The entire hostel is full of Contiki travelers and sees a constant turn over every day.
Camping Fusina – Venice, Italy – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – **
Far away, cheap campsite
Seven Hills Village – Rome, Italy – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – *
Far away from town and very poor facilities. No reason to stay here when other options are available in town unless you have your own car and want to be further away.
Camping Panoramico – Florence, Italy – May 2008 – Tour – 1 – ***
The cabins here are amongst the smallest I’ve ever seen and have almost no luggage room. The campsite makes up for this by having a stellar view of Florence.
Camping Jungfrau – Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – ****
Chateau is located right outside of Lauterbrunnen, about 5-10 minutes walking in the valey. Gorgeous scenery, nice building, and one of my favorite cities in the world (if not number one)
Camping Du Tremblay Champigny – Paris, France – May 2008 – Tour – 2 – **
Incredibly far away from central Paris. Requires a train ride plus metro transfer to get to where you want to be and takes quite a bit of time. Not worth it and poor facilities at that.
Le Village – Paris, France – May 2008 – 24 Euro – 3 – ****
Great location near Sacre Coeur (you can see it from some windows). Decent facilities for a dorm room but overall pretty basic. Charged for internet use which was odd.
THC Bergantin Hotel – Madrid, Spain – 2012 – 58.5 Euro – 4 – ***
Great location near Sol in central Madrid. Gets loud at night due to location as the area is full of popular bars and restaurants. Otherwise great price and good facilities.
Hotel Amadeus – Seville, Spain – 2012 – 112 Euro – 3 – ****
Great ambiance and theme. Hotel has free sherry and musical instruments as decorations and to play. 5 minutes walking from Seville Cathedral.
Carmen de la Alcubilla del Caracol – Granada, Spain – 2012 – 140 Euro – 2 – ****
Overlooking Granada in a private house (~10 rooms). Owner is great. Not allowed to use A/C in late May/June and room cleaned several times throughout the day with items moved was a minor annoyance.
Solyk Guest House – Barcelona, Spain – 2012 – 55 Euro – 4 – ***
Great location 5 minutes from Las Ramblas and 7-8 minutes from La Boqueria. Can get loud at night. No A/C.
Valley Hostel – Lauterbrunnen, Swizterland – 2013 – 31 Euro – 4 – ****
Located just a few minutes from the train station in central Lauterbrunnen. Great kitchen and staff. Dorm.
HI Youth Hostel – Zermatt, Switzerland – 2013 – 35 Euro – 3 – ***
Very clean hostel located up the hill in Zermatt (recommend taking bus from train station with bags). Great facility and free breakfast. Disappointed the wifi doesn’t go to all rooms, however. Dorm.
Hotel Inner Wiesn – Mayrhofen, Austria – 2013 – 42 Euro – 4 – ****
Upgraded from a different booking due to renovations (hooray discount). Very clean rooms, free breakfast although of the same type every day. Pay wifi. Great location just outside of Mayrhofen “downtown.”
Smaragdi – Chania, Greece – 2013 – 40 Euro – 3 – ***
Located just in old town, a few minutes walking from the water. Basic room and very kind owner.
Iraklion Hotel – Heraklion, Greece – 2013 – 50 Euro – 2 – ****
Nice room about 10 minutes from the old pier. Perhaps a bit expensive for what you get, otherwise a good stay.
Hotel Life – Heraklion, Greece – 2013 – 51 Euro – 1 – ***
Stayed here as it is within walking distance of the port and had an early morning ferry. Served its purpose and was a nice room.
Veletas Rooms – Milos, Greece – 2013 – 58 Euro – 3 – ****
A great room in Milos with a wonderful host. Picked up at the port and given snacks periodically.
Caretta Caretta Hotel – Dalyan, Turkey – 2013 – 33 Euro – 3 – ***
Quiet location just off the main roads, but within walking distance. Nice rooftop view of the tombs.
Alida Hotel – Pamukkale, Turkey – 2013 – 36 Euro – 1 – **
Located just across the street from the travertines. Great view. Room had broken A/C and was not given a proper discount for it (~$1 off).
Umbrella Hostel – Bucharest, Romania – 2013 – 31 Euro – 2 – *****
A short walk from the city center, but perfect rooms and exceptional showers. Highly recommended.
Burg Hostel – Sighisoara, Romania – 2013 – 21.28 Euro – 1 – **
Kind of dingy private room, but adequate for one night exploring Sighisoara as the location is perfect.
YoHo International Hostel – Salzburg, Austria – 2013 – 20 Euro/bed – 3 – ***
A few minutes walking from old town Salzburg. Cheap breakfast and clean rooms.
Hotel Bellevue – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia – 2013 – 525 Kuna – 1 – ***
Paid the premium for the location to be in the park. Okay facilities, good breakfast, and free extension of park ticket for staying on site.
Castle Hostel 1004 – Bled, Slovenia – 2013 – 10.99 Euro/bed – 4 – **
Basic facilities. Employees never kept the common area clean and was more a party zone and always dirty.
Hotel Tresor – Ljubljana, Slovenia – 2013 – 42 Euro – 3 – ***
Great facilities, very clean, everything new. Was placed in a room next to a washer/dryer the first night and people broke the rules and were doing laundry at 2am (very loud). Second room was quite nice, but small issues kept us from thoroughly enjoying it.
Swanky Mint – Zagreb, Croatia – 2013 – 100 Kuna/bed – 2 – **
New hostel but incredibly basic rooms. Put is in the wrong room when we arrived and gave a watered down welcome drink (no, it was literally rinse water). Perhaps a coincidence, but suspicious.
Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik, Croatia – 2013 – Points – 3 – *****
Paid with points from our credit card. Perfect location outside of Pile gate, great breakfast (free), and executive lounge (free, with free alcohol from 6 to 8:30). A great points redeem.
Old Town Hostel – Kotor, Montenegro – 2013 – 13 Euro per bed – 3 – ****
Great location in old town, dorm for 2 available. Nice room and shower.
Montenegro Hostel – Budva, Montenegro – 2013 – 15 Euro per bed – 3 – ****
Great host with adorable dog, wonderful location, and was incredibly quiet. Booked a private room but the apartment had construction next door so they moved us into a dorm and gave it to us completely as a private.
Hotel Areela – Tirana, Albania – 2013 – 26 Euro per room – 3 – *
Hotel locked us in because front desk staff didn’t show up in the morning and wouldn’t let us leave until we paid, but wouldn’t tell us what we owed (was only a maid). Staff blamed us even though they clearly offered a 24 hour front desk. Disappointing.
Risto’s Guest House – Ohrid, Macedonia – 2013 – 30 Euro per room – 4 – *****
Amazing guest house with stunning views. Great cooking class and hosts. Definitely stay here!
Shanti Hostel – Skopje, Macedonia – 2013 – 30 Euro per room – 2 – ***
Decent room but over the common outside area when it could be loud (luckily it was cold then, so most people weren’t out late).
Imperial Palace – Las Vegas, Nevada – March 2011 – $49-$99 – 3 – ***
Perfect location, cheapest on strip, private room
Sheraton City Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – July 2009 – ~$100 – 2 – ****
Great downtown location and views from upper floors, pricier hotel, private room
Sheraton Centre – Toronto, Canada – October 2009 – ~$100 – 2 – ****
Great downtown location and views from upper floors, pricier hotel, private room
Da House Hotel – San Juan, Puerto Rico – March 2010 – $80 – 2 – ****
Great rooms, bring ear plugs. 303 is good, private room
HI Lake Louise Alpine Center – Lake Louise, Canada – May 2010 – $30 – 3 – *****
Did not seem like a hostel, clean, great staff, and sauna! Dorm room
YWCA Banff – Banff, Canada – May 2010 – $32 – 2 – ***
Rooms were noisy and dirty, but great location and price, dorm room
Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto – Loreto, Baja, Mexico – January 2013 – $150+ (Sponsored) – 3 – *****
The attention to detail at the resort is second to none and can only be described as pure luxury in the middle of stunning nature. Go in January / February for whale watching season!
Hostal Casa Areka – San Jose, Costa Rica – August 2014 – $25 – 4 – ****
Located on the bus line outside of downtown San Jose. Nice owner and very quiet as there were not that many guests. Shared bathrooms but overall very relaxing.
Moon Palace Resort & Spa – Cancun, Mexico – September 2014 – Sponsored – 4 – ****
A huge all-inclusive with many delicious restaurants and free flowing alcohol whenever you want it. Very nice rooms even in the basic category and one of the largest pools I’ve ever been in. Overall a great property but a bit too large for us.
Dreams Maya – Cancun, Mexico – September 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – *****
A smaller all-inclusive located near Moon Palace with better themed rooms, beach front access, and an amazing pool. We were upgraded to the premium ocean view rooms which were fantastic and included a jacuzzi on the patio as well as one in the room itself.
Oasis Sens – Cancun, Mexico – September 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – **
A low-end resort that needs significant work. The rooms needed updating, air conditioning did not work, balcony door didn’t open, and there were ants everywhere. The molecular gastronomy restaurant on-site, however, was one of the best restaurant experiences you can ask for.
Comfort Inn Airport Cancun – Cancun, Mexico – August 2014 – $60 – 2 – ****
Basic chain hotel room with updated features located very close to the airport. Includes a free shuttle pick-up which is perfect for late flights to avoid a $40 taxi ride into town. Right next to a 2nd class bus stop for transfer into the city for 50 cents.
Wake Up! Cairo – Cairo, Egypt – August 2009 – $17 – 1 – ***
Pretty good hostel in Cairo. Quite easy to find and was fairly empty when I visited so I was upgraded to a private room. I was going to take a taxi from the airport but saw an employee waiting to pick up others and decided to splurge and pay for it out of convenience.
Santana Hotel – Cairo, Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 3 – **
Hotel was pretty hard to find and our taxi kept circling for quite some time until he found the place. Facilities were pretty average and nothing too special.
Pyramisa Isis Corniche – Aswan, Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 2 – *****
An incredible resort right on the Nile in Aswan. Great facilities, nice pool, and overall very luxurious.
Felucca (generic sailboat) – The Nile, Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – ****
Bare bones, relaxing, facilities with provided support boat. With that being said, you need to do it for at least one, if not two nights in Egypt as it is an incredible experience.
Susanna Hotel – Luxor, Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 2 – *****
Hotel right in the heart of Luxor with balcony views of the temple of Luxor. Decent facilities and amenities bt recommended for the view and location.
Morgenland Saint Catherine – S.C., Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – *****
When I say middle of nowhere, this resort would be it. Great rooms, a massive pool, and overall a wonderful place to relax while preparing for a hike up Mount Sinai nearby.
Elaria Resort – Nuweiba, Egypt – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – ****
One of many resorts along the beach in Nuweiba. Decent facilities and meals, but the beach needs some work and other nearby hotels look like they were more recently renovated.
Hilton Resorts Mauritius – Flic en Flac, Mauritius – January 2014 – Points – 3 – ***
The property of the Hilton Mauritius is one of the most stunning we’ve been to. Several pools, a gorgeous beach, and very well maintained all around. The staff, however, could use some work as we had to wait nearly 2 hours to check in after the normal time, but did give us a free drink (or lunch) once they saw we were upset. Internet in the room didn’t work, and the IT guy was very slow, but then ended up bringing us our own router which was worth the wait.
Bon Azur Apartments – Grand Baie, Mauritius – January 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – *****
If I could buy this apartment, I would. 2-bedroom unit that was fully stocked with an amazing corner view of the ocean and infinity pool. The facility manager would greet us personally each day and ask us about our stay, and actually cared since there were only ~10 units to manage. Incredibly personal and the exact opposite of all the issues we had at the Hilton from above.
Penthouse on Long – Cape Town, South Africa – January 2014 – $45 US – 3 – ****
A nice hostel with a great staff. Our A/C went out when we got there and the staff came in immediately to fix it. As it turns out, the plug in the room went dead and they got it fixed right away. Nice kitchen and good ambiance, although perhaps a little expensive which is primarily inflated for the location.
Moafrika Lodge – Johannesburg, South Africa – February 2014 – $43 US – 2 – ***
Although this hotel, like most in Jo’burg, is in the middle of nowhere. Unless you have your own car or book their tours (which are kind of expensive), don’t expect to be doing much. Stayed here to recharge after our tour and liked it although we did not do a single thing. Good meals at cheap prices, and friendly staff. If you’re afraid of big guard dogs, you won’t like it, but they are incredibly sweet!
Aquamarina III – Aqaba, Jordan – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – ***
Great views from room, okay facilities
Al Zawaideh Desert Camp – Wadi Rum, Jordan – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – ****
A great experience, cot + tarp = room however. This is “camping”
Petra Diamond – Petra, Jordan – August 2009 – Tour – 2 – **
Not a diamond, mediocre but ok location
Salome Hotel – Madaba, Jordan – August 2009 – Tour – 1 – ***
Good enough, central location a plus
Gardens Palace – Amman, Jordan – August 2009 – Tour – 0 – ****
Better rooms of all Jordan stops, sad I couldn’t stay the night as the room was included in the tour but my flight was at 1am.
Asakusa Smile – Tokyo, Japan – August 2010 – 2000 Yen – 4 – ****
Thin walls, good location, cheap cheap cheap, dorm room
Nikko Tobu Park Lodge – Nikko, Japan – August 2010 – 2990 Yen – 3 – *****
8 beds, kitchen, bath, common area all included in room. Very nice dorm room/apartment
Zenkoji Kyoujin – Nagano, Japan – August 2010 – 4000 Yen – 2 – ***
Private room, 100 year old temple, nasty bug bites, ryokan style private
Hostel Ann – Nagoya, Japan – August 2010 – 2500 Yen – 2 – ****
Not best location, nice room and great price, dorm room
K’s House Kyoto – Kyoto, Japan – August 2010 – 2500 Yen – 3 – ****
Large building, cheapest bar in Japan, noisy sometimes due to size, dorm room
Hana Hostel – Hiroshima, Japan – September 2010 – 2500 Yen – 4 – ***
Small room, cramped shower. Free sake tasting on Sundays, dorm room
Akari Hostel – Nagasaki, Japan – September 2010 – 2500 Yen – 3 – ***
Decent Location, Nice Staff, Semi-See Through Shower Windows, dorm room
Osaka Guest House Koma – Osaka, Japan – September 2010 – 2500 Yen – 5 – **
Okay location, owner sleeps in dorm and hits snooze 8 times at 7am. Bugs too, dorm room
The Phoenix – Shanghai, China – September 2010 – 100 CNY – 3 – *
Hard beds, semi-rude staff. Poor all around, dorm room
9 Dragons Hostel – Beijing, China – September 2010 – 60 CNY – 5 – ***
Decent rooms, mosquitoes, only 1 shower per floor non en-suite rooms, dorm room
Han Tang Inn – Xian, China – September 2010 – 40 CNY – 3 – ****
Great beds, central location, cheap cheap cheap, okay wifi, dorm room
Mix Hostel – Chengdu, China – September 2010 – 40 CNY – 3 – ***
Poor wifi, very little networks (so many people on it), okay facilities, dorm room
Guilin Backstreet – Guilin, China – September 2010 – 30/40 CNY – 2/1 – ****
Good room, good shower, faster wifi, dorm room
Monkey Jane’s – Yangshuo, China – October 2010 – 80/100 CNY – 2/1 – ** /*****
Put in a dirty room first two nights, squat toilet and shower together. Helpful when missed bus and needed a room and sold out, dorm room lower price, private higher price
Yiu Fai Guest House – Hong Kong – October 2010 – 250 HKD – 4 – *****
A bit pricey, but great location, clean, and fast wifi. Raymond is the best, private room
Augusters Lodge – Macao – October 2010 – $12.50 USD – 2 – ****
Hard to find but amazing location, free wifi, cheap! Kind of cheap accommodation but price wins, dorm room
Hanoi Rendezvous Hotel – Hanoi, Vietnam – October 2010 – ~$7 USD – 4 – *****(*)
Best. Dorm. Ever. Feels like a resort, free wifi, free amazing breakfast. Great location!
Sapa Global Hotel – Sapa, Vietnam – October 2010 – Tour – 1 – *****
Great private room, booked with a tour so unsure of the rate. Great shower especially after getting muddy while hiking.
Princess Hotel – Cat Ba Island, Vietnam – October 2010 – Tour – 1 – ****
Good private room, wifi only in lobby. Not bad for a tour inclusion.
Hong Thien – Hue, Vietnam – October 2010 – $12 USD – 2 – ***
Wifi in room, privates ($6 pp minimum two), decent quality
Nha Trung Hotel – Hoi An, Vietnam – October 2010 – $25 USD – 3 – ****
Good room, wifi, decent breakfast, but expensive for what you get, private room
Viet Hai Hotel – Nha Trang, Vietnam – October 2010 – $7 USD – 3 – ***
Good enough, employee who works at night speaks little to no English, good location, private room
Ly Loan – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – October 2010 – $16 USD – 2 – ****
Great location, tons of touts nearby however, amazing family, private room (family house)
Bun Kao – Siem Reap, Cambodia – November 2010 – $3 USD – 4 – *
Okay facilities, staff tries to nickle and dime you for everything. Hostelworld description lies! Dorm room
Lub D Siam Center – Bangkok, Thailand – November 2010 – 320 Baht – 3 – ****
Near perfect. AC setup in the room goes off under too many circumstances though, dorm room
Mojito House – Chiang Mai, Thailand – November 2010 – 150 Baht – 5 – ****
Basic, very basic. Extremely basic. But great location, hot shower, wifi. Would go again, private room
iBed – Koh Samui, Thailand – November 2010 – 500 Baht – 4 – *****
Discount on bookings.com, resort quality. Amazing shower, bed, room, complex. By beach! Dorm room
Ko Tao Backpacker House – K. Tao, Thailand – Nov. 2010 – 200-250 Baht – 5 – ***
Good and basic dorm. Discount on diving days. Okay wifi and great location.
Haad Thian Resort – Koh Phangan, Thailand – November 2010 – 450 Baht – 4 – ****
Private bungalow, private beach, wifi in restaurant, quiet, discount in low season (4 nights for 3)
Heart Inn Hotel – Koh Lanta, Thailand – November 2010 – 720 Baht – 3 – ****
Great room, semi-luxurious, Good wifi, TV. A bit pricey. Private room.
Billa Beach – Koh Lipe, Thailand – December 2010 – 400 Baht – 4 – ***
Basic bungalow with squat toilet semi open to creatures. Just fans. Wifi and “Private” Beach, dorm style
Sweet Inn – Langkawi, Malaysia – December 2010 – 80 Ringgit – 4 – ****
Good enough private room, AC, Hot Water, Off & On wifi, Sometimes Poor Desk Workers
Red Inn – Penang, Malaysia – December 2010 – 32 Ringgit – 4 – *****
Good location, wifi, hot showers, common area. Bit expensive otherwise. Liked a lot, dorm room
Kang House – Cameron Highlands, Malaysia – Dec. 2010 – 14 Ringgit – 3 – ***
Basic, limited wifi range, 14 bed dorm, hot showers, good location. Very cheap!
BackHome Hostel – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Dec. 2010 – 38 Ringgit – 4 – ****
Good location, wifi in rooms sometimes, great staff, luxurious. Bit expensive otherwise. Dorm room
Ringos Foyer – Melakka, Malaysia – December 2010 – 11 Ringgit – 2 – **
Basic rooms with very little amenities. Owner was too talkative and wanted to hang out all the time. Dorm room
Pillows and Toast – Singapore – December 2010 – $20 US – 3 – ****
Great room even if 10 per room. Great location in Chinatown and good amenities, dorm room.
Rucksack Inn – Singapore – December 2010 – $55 US – 3 – ****
Private room was good and great amenities. Loved the staff a lot!
Villareal Heights – Phuket, Thailand – January 2011 – $70 US – 3 – *****
The owner, Phil, was amazing and gave us a private tour of the area (free) and had a great room! Private room
Ivory Phi Phi – Koh Phi Phi, Thailand – January 2011 – $80 US – 4 – ****
Great location, a bit expensive for what you get but a wonderful private room (high season price)
Railay Princess Resort – Railay Beach, Thailand – Jan. 2011 – $110 US – 4 – ****
Absolutely epic. Buffet breakfast, perfect location on Railay, amazing room although a little dated. Splurge and stay here!
Samaya Hotel Deira – Dubai, UAE – Nov. 2013 – $85 US – 2 – ****
Great location near the old town and souks. Received upgrade to a suite, great view from the roof and overall a very nice hotel.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residency – Dubai, UAE – Nov. 2013 – Points – 2 – ****
Received upgrade to 3-bedroom suite with an amazing view of the Palm Island, World Islands, and the Burj al Arab. Check-in was hectic, and couldn’t get into room until 5pm. May not be worth asking price, but loved getting it for free with points!
Mutrah Hotel – Muscat, Oman – Nov. 2013 – $35 US – 3 – ***
Basic room located just outside of waterfront area of Oman. A bit far walking, but otherwise no complaints. Eerie morning wakeup at ~4am to the call to prayer, but also really neat. Good onsite restaurant but not much else nearby.
1,000 Arabian Nights – Wahiba Sands, Oman – Nov. 2013 – $55 US – 1 – ****
Stayed in basic tent in desert camp in Wahiba Sands. Great food, isolated location, and wonderful activities. Extras (transfers, dune bashing, etc) are rather expensive, but recommended.
Al Ferdous Hotel Apartments – Muscat, Oman – Nov. 2013 – $86 US – 3 – ***
Apartment style rooms located on the beach in Muscat, near the airport. Very little nearby, and beach is kind of dingy, but otherwise a very nice room.
Avalon House – Kathmandu, Nepal – Nov. 2013 / Dec. 2013 – $13 US – 7 – **
Located just north of Thamel in short walking distance. Basic room, hot water only worked during the day. Prayer wheels and bells right outside room so loud from early morning on and hard to sleep.
Hotel Fishtail Villa – Pokhara, Nepal – Dec. 2013 – $17 US – 5 – ****
Good location in Pokhara, just out of the way of all the action on a quiet street. Rooms were rather basic so may be a bit expensive by Pokhara standards.
Suraj Guest House – Varanasi, India – Dec. 2013 – $16 US – 4 – ***
Good budget hotel and location (once you know your way around). Basic facilities, but great rooftop view. Don’t trust house manager Gurauv though, he took us to a travel agent that took way too much off the top and seemed a bit shady.
Kamal Hotel – Agra, India- Dec. 2013 – $32 US – 1 – ***
Located just south of Taj Mahal and restaurant on-site has amazing room. Had a deluxe room which was very nice and wifi worked great. Charged us extra to cover booking site charge which was unfortunate.
Hotel Acacia Inn – Jaipur, India – Dec. 2013 – $25 US – 4 – ****
Located near the train station, like most hotels in Jaipur. Good wifi, quiet rooms, and pretty good overall. May be a bit expensive for what you get, however.
Dreamcatcher – Palolem, Goa, India – Dec. 2013 – $35 US – 2 – ***
3 minute walk from the beach. Stayed in basic beach hut with attached bath. Basic facilities and wifi at restaurant. Not bad, but prices high due to Christmas season.
Dolphin Restaurant/Hotel – Gokarna, India – Dec. 2013 – $8 US – 2 – **
Basic room right on Om Beach in Gokarna. Stunning beach but very basic facilities. Shower never had water and detached toilet, but when you’re this close to the beach it isn’t that big of deal! Heard other hotels on beach had cheaper rates if you barter.
Sriram Residency – Udupi, India – Jan. 2014 – $25 US – 3 – *
Lied on their website about wifi and a number of other amenities, acted like they were confused when we asked. Room service refused to take our money for dinner and instead woke us up at 7am demanding payment. AVOID!
Westwood Riverside – Munnar, India – Jan. 2014 – $53 US – 3 – ****
15 minutes walking from Munnar center. Quiet room with great wifi (although hotel advertises lobby wifi only). No fan or AC in room so may be hot in summer, but fine in winter. Great splurge place, but quite expensive. Good breakfasts with western items (cereal, hard boiled egg, etc) that was welcomed.
Vedanta Wake Up! – Alleppey, India – Jan. 2014 – $32 US – 2 – ***
Nice private room in Alleppey but located a bit far out of the main city area so we often had to take a taxi. Room came with plug-in mosquito spray which was nice considering Alleppey was full of them. Would stay again although perhaps slightly over priced.
Goodkarma Inn – Kochi, India – Jan. 2014 – $24 US – 4 – ****
Great private room in Kochi, located within walking distance of the main sights. Very much liked the rooftop breakfast area and owners were incredibly nice and helpful. As surprising as it may sound, this was the only hotel in India that gave us a map and talked to us about what to see, where to go, what to eat, etc.
Hotel Kum Kum – Mumbai, India – Jan. 2014 – $33 US – 3 – **
Disappointing hotel as the wifi only worked in the “lobby” which was the reception desk and a small chair. Often crowded with people sitting on the stairs, including the staff who would never get up when guests were coming down. There really isn’t much in the area, so we took taxis, but then again with Mumbai being so large you are never in the area you want to be unless you want to pay for it.
Paradise by Tunga – Mumbai, India – Jan. 2014 – $58 US – 1 – ****
Location is great as it is right by the airport and one of the cheapest options available. Room service was great and had no problem arranging a taxi for our ~3am wakeup and departure. Wish we had time to stay more. Only complaint is that the jacuzzi tub was broken.
Cinnamon Lakeside – Colombo, Sri Lanka – November 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – ***
The lobby, restaurants, and pool area of this hotel were top notch; however, the room was dated and could have used an upgrade. Overall a great location and wonderful buffet meals at the restaurant.
Cinnamon Chaaya Village – Sigiriya, Sri Lanka – November 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – ****
Moderately sized bungalows on a huge property with amazing buffet restaurant and very nice pool. Ambiance was quite nice but wifi was not functional during stay (although we were there with 40 bloggers, so that was likely the cause).
Cinnamon Bey – Beruwela, Sri Lanka – November 2014 – Sponsored – 2 – *****
My favorite of the three Cinnamon properties visited in Sri Lanka. Modern rooms, gorgeous pool, and beach front access. Restaurant had delicious buffet meals much like the other properties.
Tango & Bandoneon – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Feb 2014 – $44 US – 4 – ***
Good location in Buenos Aires, but just outside the trendy neighborhoods. Friendly owner and basic breakfast. Our ceiling fan became incredibly noisy in the middle of the night so we had to steal a stand-up fan from the lobby.
Los Cormoranes – Ushuaia, Argentina – Feb 2014 – 19 USD/bed – 4 – ***
Located up a very large hill, so expect a walk. The hostel is very basic and the heated floors made the room incredibly hot at night. The owner told us quite a bit of information that was not correct which ended up screwing our plans a few times, so don’t trust what she says. After upgrading to a private room on the top floor (much cooler) we enjoyed our stay far more.
Hostel Keoken – Punta Arenas, Chile – Feb 2014 – $50 US – 3 – ****
Recently upgraded so the facilities are quite nice, although our room was in the upstairs attic that had yet to be renovated. Good breakfasts although still somewhat basic and friendly staff. Located about 3 blocks from the start of the walking street and 12 or so from the bus drop off.
Hotel Residencial Bernardita – Puerto Natales, Chile – Mar 2014 – $40 US – 2 – ***
We stumbled upon this one by mistake because we reserved the wrong dates at our ideal place and had to go down the road to find an open hostel. An alright room, but the owner does not speak English.
I Keu Ken – El Calafate, Argentina – Mar. 2014 – $18/bed – 2 – ****
Located up the hill from the bus station on gravel road. A rough climb with your bags and easy to get lost, so take a taxi. Otherwise a great hostel and staff have lovely dogs. Can be loud until midnight on bbq nights.
Condor de Los Andes – El Chalten, Argentina – Mar. 2014 – $16/bed – 3 – ***
Good enough facilities and located in central Chalten (very tiny town). Our first night were moved into a larger dorm because ours was booked up and had to move the next day. Seems like this is very common at this hostel and were only compensated with a discount of the normal rate of the larger room. Very small complaint, but we like to pay extra for smaller dorms when we can and being forced into a larger one is not ideal.
Hostel y Cabanas Pehuenia – El Bolson, Argentina – Mar. 2014 – $55 US – 4 – ****
Unlike the previous hostel, in this one we got upgraded to a cabana when our booking was crossed with someone who overstayed. Quite liked the cabana and the private room, although we got locked out of the main house when in the cabana as they keep the property locked overnight which we didn’t like. Great staff who took us to a hiking starting point at no charge. Friends stayed there in another cabana and had bed bugs, but they do clean for them quite frequently seemingly more than other places.
La Barraca Suites – Bariloche, Argentina – Mar. 2014 – $38 US – 4 – *****
One of our favorite places we’ve ever stayed at. Charming house converted into a B&B, great family that runs it, and amazing view of Bariloche. On the top of the hill so is a bit of a climb from the city, and they recently moved so the taxi dropped us off at the wrong place thinking the hotel was still there (be sure to tell them the address, not the hotel name). If you don’t mind an alright walk up hill, stay here.
Hostel Ladera Norte – San Martin de los Andes, Argentina – Mar. 2014 – $14/bed – 2 – ****
Basic hostel that we stayed at to cut the transit between Bariloche and Pucon. Stayed 2 nights as the departure bus was quite early the following day. Basic, and located about 10 blocks from the bus station (7 from town), we have nothing to complain about.
Hostal Emalafquen – Pucon, Chile – Mar. 2014 – $35 US – 3 – ****
Converted second house with ~3 rooms and a shared living room and kitchen located just two blocks from the main walking street. Owner is very nice although speaks minimal English. Room was comfortable and wifi worked well (although we read does not reach all the rooms).
Hotel Stella – Talca, Chile – Mar. 2014 – $58 US – 3 – *
Poorly managed hotel all around. No hot water first two days and the manager simply replied that they had a meeting “scheduled” with the designer 48 hours later. Incredibly talkative front desk lady who couldn’t speak English and cleaned our room even though we told them not to. They ended up charging us a nearly 20% tax that is not supposed to be charged on foreign travelers because they are too lazy to fill out the forms.
casAltura Hostel – Santiago, Chile – Mar/April 2014 – $17/bed – 4 – ****
Great location in Santiago and has 2 bed dorms which is nice. Basic breakfast that does not seem to be refilled if you get there late. Talkative owner(? guy who just hangs out) tries to sell you tours. Great rooftop view of central Santiago. Would stay again. Be prepared to walk up 3 flights of stairs with your luggage when you arrive!
Hotel Tea Nui – Easter Island, Chile – Mar. 2014 – $89 – 6 – *****
One of the cheapest hotels on Easter Island, located just a few blocks from the main walking street. Charming host, great breakfasts, and a very nice room. Expensive for most standards, but for Easter Island you cannot complain unless you want to camp!
Planeta Lindo – Valparaiso, Chile – April 2014 – $16/bed – 4 – ****
Located up one of the many hills in Valparaiso with an incredibly stunning view from the kitchen, although not a bad walk from the lower part of the city. Owners are very friendly. Gave us one night free with a buy 3 get 1 promotion we did not know about even though they could have had us pay anyway which was nice.
Empedrado Hostel – Mendoza, Argentina – April 2014 – $32.50/night – 4 – ****
Good private room in hostel with nice facilities. Felt like a converted house with living room, great kitchen, and other laundry services. Shared bathroom but always one available. Private room located next to the courtyard which was loud sometimes when people were outside.
Posada Casa de Borgona – Salta, Argentina – April 2014 – $38/night – 3 – ****
Very nice rooms in Salta. Always very quiet and had no issues. Staff had limited English and was a bit confusing on paying for the room, though.
Hostal Rural – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – April 2014 – $23/bed – 2 – **
Basic rooms in hostel located in the center square of San Pedro. Major party vibes with music playing until very late. Would be good if you are into that, but not if you want to rest or relax.
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Backpackers San Pedro – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – April 2014 – $20/bed – 2 – ****
Much nicer hostel in San Pedro. Located a bit out of the main street (~10 minutes walking max) but quiet and more relaxed atmosphere and staff. Full of cats who like to sneak into your room if you leave the door open.
Hotel Jardines de Uyuni – Uyuni, Bolivia – April 2014 – $64/night – 1 – *****
One of the cheapest options for a “nice” room in Uyuni. Only stayed overnight to ensure we caught a bus the next day and were pleasantly surprised. Great room, hot water, wifi, and wonderful breakfast buffet. Not bad luxury for after the 3 day salt flat tour.
Hostal Eucalyptus – Potosi, Bolivia – April 2014 – $34/night – 3 – ***
Basic guest room in Potosi with good wifi and a great rooftop view. Hot water was intermittent and the breakfasts basic, but overall a nice stay. Works with a very nice day trip company with decent prices.
Casa al Tronco – Sucre, Bolivia – April 2014 – $35/night – 5 – *****
One of the best guest houses (and cities) in South America. Located on top of a hill overlooking Sucre, the rooms were well furnished, had a nice hot water heater, and were maintained by a lovely family. Collectivos from the main market up the hill were only $0.25 or so and very frequent but only 10 minutes walking if going down. Go here!
Hostal Gina’s – Cochabamba, Bolivia – April 2014 – $37/night – 4 – **
Disappointing hotel due to poor staff. Breakfast attendants refused extra coffee, ignored us one morning, and refused us breakfast another saying “we already got ours” even though they forgot to bring us food. Definitely not worth the price.
Hostal Sol Andino – La Paz, Bolivia – May 2014 – $34.5/night – 4 – ****
Nice room in a rather large hostal complex. TV in the room functioned only half the time but otherwise had a decent stay with good breakfasts. Others reported having bad internet on the upper floors, but we were located lower and had no issues.
Hostal La Cupula – Copacabana, Bolivia – May 2014 – $35/night – 4 – *****
Great stay in Copacabana. We made our reservation in advance rather than just showing up and were put in a very nice room with a hammock/sun room partially overlooking the lake. Great on-site restaurant and overall attention to detail. Highly recommended!
Casa de la Luna – Isla del Sol, Bolivia – May 2014 – $25/night – 2 – ****
Great room on Isla del Sol that we got just by showing up. Most places on the island do not take reservations; however, we later found out others had made a reservation in advance somehow. Nice bed, large rooms, and a hot shower but no wifi (like most of the island). Try and get the top cabin if possible for a better view.
Marlon’s House – Puno, Peru – May 2014 – $25.6/night – 4 – ***
Basic guest house in Puno with alright day tours and a good location. Okay if you’re just passing through but do not get your hopes up for anything special.
Hotel Ruinas – Cusco, Peru – May 2014 – Sponsored – 4 – ****
Upscale hotel in Cusco, Peru, that has many great amenities and a wonderful buffet breakfast. Great location just two blocks away from the central square. Hotel was included in a tour, otherwise it may not be worth the $100/night+ rate they charge.
El Sauce – Ollantaytambo, Peru – May 2014 – Sponsored – 1 – ***
Owner and workers were a bit rude; however, the rooms were very nice and beds quite comfortable. Within walking distance of the ruins in town (it is a small town) and an adequate breakfast. As is the case in most hotels in Peru, a “double” to them means two small beds rather than a larger queen or king like the rest of the world. If you want that, make sure to get a matrimonial.
Inti Inn – Machu Picchu, Peru – May 2014 – Sponsored – 1 – ***
Very nice rooms but very poor soundproofing. On the second floor we could hear everything that was going on in the restaurant area below well into the night as the stairway echoed quite horribly.
Hatun Quilla – Cusco, Peru – May 2014 – $25/night – 2 – ***
Basic hostel 4-5 blocks away from the main square in Cusco. Private room with shared bathroom was adequate and quiet as there were only 2 other rooms on the same floor.
Pirwa Bed & Breakfast – Lima, Peru – May 2014 – $34.50/night – 4 – ****
Nice hostel in the Miraflores district of Lima. Within walking distance of the main square and several good restaurants. Private room was in a corner of the apartment where the staff work, well away from other rooms, so it was very quiet.
Casa Amelia – Huanchacho, Peru – June 2014 – $23.66/night – 3 – ***
Beautiful guest house right on the beach about 3-4 blocks down from the main pier. Wonderful couple runs the place and the bungalows have a great rustic feel to them. We were asked to switch rooms for our last night and we unfortunately think that room had bed bugs, as we left with many bites we did not have before.
Kimbas Bungalows – Mancora, Peru – June 2014 – $47/night – 4 – *****
Quiet guest house a bit removed from the city and 200 – 300 feet from the water. Very few guests at the time and a great pool to relax by.
Hostel Kundalini – Montanita, Ecuador – June 2014 -$47/night – 5 – **
Great rooms in large bungalows right on the beach in the quiet side of Mancora (just a few blocks from the main area where all the parties are). Manager was quite rude to us for having the air conditioning on when we were in the room which left a bad taste in our mouth; however, we were contacted by the owner later on and told he was out of town and left someone else in charge who was not doing a good job and would be dealt with shortly.
La Casa del Molino Blanco – Banos, Ecuador – July 2014 – $22.80/night – 4 – **
Although a nice hostel, it was obvious the staff had no idea what they were doing. Our marked food in the common fridge was thrown away the day we got there, information wasn’t provided about what was needed for the recommended tours, and overall just felt like they opened their house up to be a hostel without doing any research on how to run one.
La Casona de Mario – Quito, Ecuador – July 2014 – $28/night – 4 – ***
Great location near the Mariscal in a quiet neighborhood with a bunch of good restaurants. Hostel is a second floor in the owner’s house, as well as a secondary building near by. The upstairs area only has two bathrooms with one very outdated shower and poor sound proofing. But the good location makes up for it.
Auberge Inn – Quito, Ecuador – July 2014 – $20/night – 1 – ****
We stayed here one night before our bus a few days after our first stay hoping it would be near the bus station, but an error on the booking site’s map showed it at the wrong spot and was actually closer to old town than the previous place. Whoops! Although it would be more of a walk to get to the sights than the previous stay in Quito, we really liked this hotel and there were a few amazing restaurants on the street nearby including an amazing BBQ ribs set lunch place right next door and a great taco shack a few blocks down on the left side (if facing the hostel).
Cabanas Armonia y Jardin – Mindo, Ecuador – July 2014 – $30/night – 4 – ***
The first two nights of our stay we were in a separated bungalow with 3 giant beds which was quite nice and quiet although the wifi did not reach the room. On the 3rd day we were asked to switch rooms because a large group was coming in and were put in a building with 4 rooms in it which was awful as there was no sound proofing and poor curtains on the window meaning we heard everything (and we mean everything) in the other rooms and people could see into ours easily.
ParkLife Hostel – Popayan, Colombia – July 2014 – $27/night – 2 – ****
Great location in the main square of Popayan. Nice facilities and mostly quiet.
Tostaky Guest House – Cali, Colombia – July 2014 – $25/night – 3 – ***
Located in a trendy neighborhood in Cali. One bathroom for many private and dorm rooms so often occupied. Room gets very hot even with the provided fan. Good restaurant attached.
Hostel La Floresta – Salento, Colombia – July 2014 – $23.50/night – 4 – **
Horrible hostel. Construction starting at 7am each day outside of our window, all rooms right next to common rooms with no sound proofing. Wifi and hot water work half the time. Avoid.
Swiss Hostal Martinik – Bogota, Colombia – July 2014 – $26.66/night – 4 – ***
Good location and nice room, but very poor sound proofing. One night staff member would not enforce quiet hours and it would be loud very late and resume being loud early the next morning. When other staff were working night shift, the quiet hours would be enforced.
Hostal Mi Casa Guatape – Guatape, Colombia – July 2014 – $32/night – 2 – *****
Great guest house with just a few rooms. Awesome owners and cute dogs. Located outside of Guatape town, but within walking distance from the rock of Guatape (and has a great view, too). Chilled out and relaxed.
Hilton Cartagena – Cartagena, Colombia – August 2014 – Points – 5 – *****
One of our favorite Hilton stays. Nice rooms, amazing pool, and overall great management unlike other ones we have stayed at. The executive lounge could use some work, but it isn’t worth complaining over.