Tag Archives: Budget Places to Stay
June 20, 2013

Review of Bus Hostel in Reykjavik

Bus Hostel Reykjavik

Bus Hostel in Reykjavik

 

Bus Hostel Reykjavik is a friendly, fun and super affordable place to stay while exploring Iceland’s capital or beyond. With welcoming and helpful staff and lots of vintage style and quirky details, quite unexpectedly Bus Hostel in Reykjavik became a home from home in one of the world’s coolest cities and we mean that in terms of both the weather and the lifestyle on offer there.

 

 

Review of Bus Hostel

The bar inside Bus Hostel

 

It says something about me and my usual mode of travel that when Kash asked me to represent Budget Traveller on a “Volcano-hopping tour of Iceland staying in a hostel” the bit I was most worried about was staying in a hostel. Volcanoes? Yep, all good, bring those deadly dangerous magma chambers on. Staying in a hostel? Well, that was when my knees started to shake and my palms moistened a little.

I needn’t have worried.

I needn’t have been so opinionated for so many years.

And perhaps I needn’t have spent so much money on hotels…?!

 

 

Review of Bus Hostel

Bus Hostel’s Vintage Decor in the Lounge

 

Bus Hostel in Reykjavik exceeded all of my snobbishly low expectations and then some.

With vintage decor filling the large open plan lounge and bar area, a fully-equipped kitchen close to the bedrooms and several separate bathrooms in which you are encouraged to indulge your inner rock star or opera diva as you sing in the shower, this is a hostel that wants to make its customers happy.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

Where you can find the bathrooms in Bus Hostel… I can’t argue with this!

 

Formerly used as the office of a bus company (hence the name), Bus Hostel opened its doors in May 2013 and it has welcomed a wide range of guests since then, from a globetrotting pensioner backpacker to a couple of newly-weds who asked staff members to be witnesses as their wedding.

Of course, there are the bits I’m still not sure I’d do in a hostel, like sleeping in a communal dorm or living off noodles for weeks but for those with sturdier sleep patterns than I, you can find a couple of large mixed and single sex dorms. But I was naive to think that that’s all a hostel has to offer. Bus Hostel also has rooms with just four or six bunk beds, ideal for those preferring a little more privacy and three “Ritz” rooms cater for couples who want a double bed and some privacy.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

I loved the long dining table at the back of this picture to work on

 

All the communal bedrooms have spacious lockers for valuables and if you do choose to have the bed linen they offer at a small additional cost then you will be guaranteed a cozy night’s sleep on a perfectly plump pillow and cotton fresh white sheets. All the bedrooms are wonderfully minimalist in a way that only Nordic countries can achieve, though do expect the odd quirky detail.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

Bus Hostel Wall art and a twin bedroom

 

Bus Hostel is located less than ten minutes walk from the city’s BSI central bus station and you can find yourself in the centre of Reykjavik at the foot of the impressive Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral within fifteen minutes walk. The bar serves cheap beer and wine and I warmed to the additional touches that I didn’t know hostels were known for like the book swap cupboard, free wifi, free luggage storage and the free food shelf in the kitchen.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

My favourite wall in Bus Hostel, Reykjavik

 

Sounding good? Well, I haven’t even got to the best part of Bus Hostel.

The staff there are exceptional. They are warm, welcoming and ready to help you get the most out of your stay with budget tips or trip planning. SAD Cars, a budget hire car company is also based in the same building and I can’t emphasise enough how amazing it is to see Iceland by road; less than an hour away you can find yourself surrounded by the landscape of a lava field or watching plumes of steam rise in the air from the geothermal springs and spas that are dotted across Iceland (you can see some photos of our adventures in Iceland here).

It was hanging out with Bus Hostel’s staff that made me realise that I’ve been missing out on a certain camaraderie among travellers that you don’t often enjoy when staying in hotels. Also I happen to know that Kristin – Bus Hostel’s manager – knows the best vintage and thrift shopping places in Reykjavik so be sure to ask her about them.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

Bus Hostel’s “Rules” – Good rules for life, i think!

 

A notoriously expensive country and city to travel in, Bus Hostel is currently the cheapest hostel and budget accommodation available in Reykjavik. Prices for a bed in a dorm start at 2800 ISK (£15) a night in low season and 4750 ISK (£25) in high season. A double room is 9100 ISK (£50) in low season and 12990 ISK (£70) when summer rolls around and this includes towels and bedding. Get to Reykjavik and the Bus Hostel by hopping on the FlyBus from Keflavik Airport. If you buy the Return+ ticket it includes a drop-off and pick-up from the hostel.

The only problem that Bus Hostel left me with was wondering what I do now when I travel? After ten years of avoiding hostels, my eyes have been opened and while it does mean I have more options to trawl through when I plan my next trip, I see this is as no bad thing.

 

Review of Bus Hostel

Another cool quote from Bus Hostel (and spot the Frankie!)

 

Bus Hostel Reykjavik, SKÓGARHLÍÐ 10, 105 REYKJAVÍK, Iceland. (Tel. +354 535 0350) www.bushostelreykjavik.com.

Frankie was a guest of Bus Hostel Reykjavik and SAD Cars and her flight to Iceland was sponsored by Icelandic budget airline Wow air (who probably have the best crew uniform I’ve seen). Her opinions – both snobby and otherwise – and her journey to hostel happiness are completely own and no-one could be more surprised than Frankie to find that she really did.

 

September 16, 2011

Buenos Aires: Hotel Milan Review

 

 

 

A great budget hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires

The hotel is within the bustling downtown area

 

Location


The first thing to mention about Hotel Milan is its great location. Just metres away from the centre of Avenida Corrientes, where many of the theatres, cinemas and restaurants are located, it is ideal for culture-lovers or anyone who wants to be close to the heart of the city. The hotel is in the ‘microcentro’ district and it’s here that you’ll find many of the main sights of Buenos Aires, such as the Obelisk and the Casa Rosada. The upmarket district of Recoleta – home to the famous cemetery, the resting place of Evita – is also within easy walking distance. Subte (underground) stops are handily located nearby for anywhere else you want to get to.

 

A standard single room in Hotel Milan

 

Rooms

There are double and single rooms available. The rooms are simple but pleasant, with a light and airy feel. There is adequate storage space, a safe, a TV and that all-important free WiFi access, a real plus. The ensuite bathrooms are small but perfectly formed, with everything you need. The only downside is that the street-facing rooms can be quite noisy – that’s the tradeoff you get for the great location, so consider packing your earplugs.

 

Computer area in the lobby

 

Service


The really outstanding thing about Hotel Milan is the service.

 

Every member of staff that I came into contact with during my stay was professional, friendly and helpful. This approach never faltered, even when I forgot the code I’d programmed into the safe – they simply sent up the maintenance man to sort it out right away!

 

The buffet breakfast included with the room price is the standard continental fare but it is plentiful and fresh and there’s enough hot coffee to get your day off to a good start. There are two computers available for use if you don’t have your own device with you. The staff at the front desk are always ready to answer any questions or requests you might have, although some have better English than others.

 

You can book your stay at Hotel Milan on www.budgetplaces.com, where rooms with breakfast included start at 30 euros per night.

 

Disclosure: My stay at the Hotel Milan was sponsored by budgetplaces, but all opinions are my own.

August 31, 2011

Budget Places to Stay in Granada: Hotel Cedran

 

 

 

 

At first glance Hotel Cedran looks very unassuming.

 

It’s location is impressive just off one of the main traffic arteries of Granada: the Gran Via

My room for the night in Granada: The budget friendly, Hotel Cedran

 

Once you step inside, there is a small reception area. The receptionist was friendly and helpful.

 

The room was comfortable and clean.

 

Recently I suspect it has been redecorated so was clean, comfortable and quite minimalistic.

 

There’s a small TV in the corner of the room if you’re looking for some form of entertainment.

 

The key thing for me and my travelling mate : the awesome @theaussienomad was the Free Wifi-excellent signal and not one bother during our stay.

 

Plus it had a great, working AC unit. We were there in late June and it was baking inGranada-around 40C so this was great.

 

The bathroom is clean and equipped with good range of basic toiletries and clean towels.

 

Verdict

Overall for a price of just 40 euros for a double via BudgetPlaces.com for the price, location this is a great budget hotel option in Granada.

 

Highly recommend.

 

Disclosure: My stay in Hotel Cedran was sponsored by BudgetPlaces.com

The views and opinions expressed by me here are entirely my own.

 

Hotel Cedran

C/ Cedrán 5
Granada

July 29, 2011

Budget Places to stay: Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi

 

 

 

 

Amongst the rickshaws and crowds of Old Delhi, travellers might be forgiven for forgetting Delhi has a sky, let alone the Yamuna River. But go north, to the New Tibetan Colony, and you can stay by its very edge.

 

Majnu ka Tilla, Tibetian Colony in Delhi

 

 

Accommodation here is not expensive. This writer stayed in a twin room at the Wongdhen with a river view for Rs. 375. The scope for bargaining, however, is lower than Pahar Ganj and there are far fewer hotels to choose from. Travellers should also be prepared for the narrow, twisting lanes of the settlement.

 

While the original purpose of the Colony was simply to house refugees, today it has become an outpost of Tibetan culture.

Prayer flags dominate the skyline, and every second person seems to be a monk.

In general, restaurants here retain a distinctly Tibetan menu and are clean, cheap and good.

As well as chow mein, try momos (stuffed dumplings), thukpa (chow mein in soup), shabalay (spring roll cum Cornish pasty), fing (vermicelli) and tingmo (a steamed bun eaten with gravy).

For the genuine Tibetan experience, it’s impossible to escape trying Tibetan tea (tea with yak butter).

 

 

The Colony is situated outside of the centre, and travellers should be aware that the Colony lacks some conveniences, not least an ATM (the nearest is at Delhi University).

From personal experience, this writer ventures that monsoon is not the best time to stay: river flooding caused all Internet facilities to shut, and at one point part of the street was shut off due to the fact a stray wire had electrified the puddles.

 

Nevertheless, for more leisurely budget travellers the quieter atmosphere can be worth the journey.

The area of Majnu Ka Tilla is not without charm: colonial buildings fester away in the undergrowth, boys play cricket on the road, and Delhi University is close by.

 

Furthermore, a rickshaw to the nearest metro, Vidhan Sabha metro costs Rs 15 local price but it is also possible to walk.

 


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