Tag: Budget Hotels

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Funky Friday: At Qbic Amsterdam, Sign the Artwork Instead Of The Guest Book

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  Site Where: Mathijs Vermeulenpad 1, 1077 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

Qbic Hotels, presently with just two locations (London and Amsterdam), has firmly placed itself on the map of must-stay budget design hotels. Seriously, if it weren’t for the offers of rooms starting at about $100 a night, and a few rooms having no windows, we wouldn’t know these were “budget” hotels from looking at them.

The Qbic Hotel Amsterdam WTC has a fashionable personality and hip modern look, with just the right touch of quirkiness. We love everything about this hotel but honestly it was the life size artwork in the lobby that sold us for Funky Friday.

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How To Stay The Night In Paris For €1

Where: Paris, France
August 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

The problem with Paris isn’t the famously rude service. It isn’t the highly priced, indigestible food. It isn’t even the lines of tourists snaking round the corner at every vaguely visitable site. No, the problem with Paris is that you pretty much have to remortgage your house for every night you stay there.

That’s why we were so delighted with the arrival of citizenM – it may be at Charles de Gaulle airport, but on ne peut sniffer pas at starting rates of €67.15 ($90).

But now a group of five Parisian hotels has gone one better, with a temporary project called Payez Ce Que Vous Voulez – yes, really, pay what you want. Even if that’s €1 ($1.34). Think of it as a pop-up affordable Paris project.

The hotels are a clutch of three and four star properties in the Opéra district (pretty central, if not particularly beautiful), and according to their project website, you’re invited to evaluate their “welcome, quality of service, room comfort and decoration” and then pay up accordingly on departure.

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Which Hotel Brands Have the Fastest WiFi Speeds?

July 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hotels are feeling the need for speed--fast WiFi speed.

We've been focusing a lot on speed in our last few WiFi Reports and we've been making notes as we go along on some of the faster WiFi speeds that we encounter across the world.

But now, wefi, a mobile data intelligence company (whose biggest investor is Time Warner, FYI), has compiled an info graphic of the best U.S hotel brands for WiFi.

The list, which includes airports and beaches, was created using WiFi speed data collected from 45 million hotspots from April 1 to June 15 of this year. And not so surprisingly, the majority of the brands in the list are budget brands who offer WiFi for free. Here's the wefi list below, including the average speeds of the hotel brand's WiFi signal and our own notes on whether the WeFi, er, WiFi is free or not:

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This is What You Get For $39 a Night in Hanoi

Where: 6 Hàng Bút, Hanoi , Vietnam
July 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to the price of lodging, it doesn't get much cheaper than Hanoi, especially if you're a backpacker and are doing the hostel thing You can find shared rooms for as low as a few dollars a night, and rates for private rooms around the city start in the teens and usually include a free breakfast.

On our recent trip to Vietnam's capital, we "splurged" on a "high-end" budget hotel called the Art Trendy Hotel, located in the heart of the Old Quarter, renting a room for $39 a night. In the States, that kind of money won't get you very far, barely enough for a room at the Motel 6. But in Hanoi, $39 a night went a long way. The name might need work, but the Art Trendy delivered big bang for the buck.

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Hostel Is Not Necessarily A Dirty Word In Expensive Switzerland

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  Site Where: Spitzhornweg 25 , Gstaad Saanenland, Switzerland, 3792
July 8, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ah, Switzerland. Beautiful. Peaceful. Friendly. Easily navigable…

Expensive as *&$k.

Luckily, for those of us who’ve been put off visiting because we don’t earn the world’s highest minimum wage, Switzerland has a plan.

It involves a hostel, but don’t stress. This is no ordinary hostel. It’s a posh hostel (surely someone’s coined “poshtel” by now).

The Gstaad Saanenland Youth Hostel is, as the name suggests, in pricey Gstaad – the village of Saanen, to be precise. It opened a few weeks ago, and it’s eco-friendly. Most importantly (because who cares about the environment when facing the prospect of sharing a room with strangers) it has ensuite double and single rooms as well as its shared rooms (no giant dorms here – four or six beds are your options). A buffet breakfast and locally sourced, three-course dinner is available in the dining room, and there’s a sunny/snowy terrace, depending on the season, to soak up the views.

Let’s be honest, this is no Kex Hostel – rooms are Ikea-basic, with wooden floors, bedframes and shelving the fanciest thing about them. But this is hearty Switzerland, where it’s all about the views – almost all the rooms face the Swiss Alps, giving you megabucks panoramas for a fraction of normal Gstaad prices.

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The Z Hotel Comes to Piccadilly, But Will It Be Affordable?

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  Site Where: 2 Orange Street, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 7DF
May 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

We’ve long been fans of budget chic hotels and their promise to shake up the hotel game in expensive cities, focusing on stylish rooms and the right amenities at affordable prices. How could we not? But we’re starting to get concerned that those heavily promoted double-digit room rates are becoming just that: good publicity and not much more.

citizenM let us down in New York with nothing under $199 a night, and we hope the 900 rooms its adding across three hotels in London (Tower Hill, Holborn, and Shoreditch) will bring rates down to around £100 ($167), because its current Bankside hotel runs closer to the £200 ($335) mark most of the time.

Equally, The Z Hotels is expanding from its current Soho and Victoria locations to a third London property just south of Piccadilly, opening in June with 122 rooms on Orange Street. A quick browse through the online reservations system gives us rates starting from £185 ($311) for an “Inside Room” without windows in the first months, which is a pretty hefty £100 above the “from just £85 ($143) a night” highlighted on its website. Add a window and you’re looking at £220 ($370), unless you’re willing to book a non-cancellable rate. We’re not entirely sure whether nearly $400 a night for a room that is a squeezy 129 sq ft fits with an “ethos of affordable luxury”.

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Bloc Hotel Has Now Landed at London Gatwick Airport

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  Site Where: South Terminal, Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom, RH6 0NN
April 29, 2014 at 9:24 AM | by | Comment (1)

Bloc Hotels may not have made its initial planned arrival at London’s Gatwick Airport last fall, but it looks like it has beat our expectation of May 1 by a month – Bloc Hotel at LGW opened on March 31 next to the departure gates at the airport’s South Terminal.

Inside the black-and-gold hued building (see below for a rendering), you’ll find 245 rooms that focus on comfort, technology, and amenities rather than space. Beds are covered in Egyptian cotton, there are monsoon showers in the bathroom, and HD TVs on the wall. Everything is controlled by a tablet, and WiFi – we’d almost like to say, of course – is free.

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Ali G, Mary Poppins, and James Bond Are All At Generator London

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  Site Where: 37 Tavistock Place, London, United Kingdom, WC1H 9SE
March 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

As floor themes, that is – while we wish our evening at Generator London would have included hanging out with Sacha Baron Cohen, Julie Andrews, and Daniel Craig (imagine that), they were only there in spirit, bringing a splash of different color and design to the just-reopened hostel-with-style in Bloomsbury.

Available by the bed, Generator is taking affordability to the extreme, with starting rates at £12 ($20) a night – but the real gems to us are the private twins starting at £24.50 ($40). Share it with a friend and you’re looking at nightly cost of $20 per person, for a clean bed in a private room with a modern bathroom. You can’t go wrong with that in London, and could easily do much worse for more money.

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Generator London Is Ready to Welcome You Back

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  Site Where: 37 Tavistock Place, London, United Kingdom, WC1H 9SE
March 21, 2014 at 8:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Straight after the €1 flash sale at Generator Barcelona this week that we hope some of you were able to take advantage of, the stylish hostel brand is ready to welcome you back to Generator London, following its multi-million pound overhaul.

We headed over to the city’s Bloomsbury area to have a look – and there was a lot to see, and lots of people had shown up to browse the public areas, listen to the live music, and sample the specially created gin, elderflower, and Earl Grey tea cocktails.

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Sale Alert: Generator Barcelona to Offer Beds for €1 on March 18

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  Site Where: Barcelona, Spain
March 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Generator hybrid hostel-hotel brand always offers cool accommodations for an even cooler price but on March 18th you'll be able to nab a bed at the Generator Barcelona for just ONE EURO. No need to read that again. It really says ONE EURO.

The hotel is offering a 24-hour flash sale from March 18th at 1pm (local Barcelona time) to 1pm on March 19th. Here are the details:

· Guests can book as many beds for as many nights as they like.

· The sale is only for the dorm beds, not the private hotel rooms.

· It's first come, first served so you have to book fast.

· The deal is good for stays from March 18, 2014-March 17, 2015, a whole year!

· You will also be automatically entered in a prize draw to win a free upgrade to the Penthouse Suite. This room has its own lounge, kitchenette, and a huge terrace. Normally, it's €250 a night, but if you win, it will only cost you ONE EURO.

· Some more terms and conditions are listed after the jump.

· Sign up here to get early bird access.

Set in the Gràcia district, just a short walk from the epic Sagrada Familia by Gaudi, the Generator Barcelona features some incredibly cool spaces, including the lobby/social area which features more than 300 lanterns inspired by the city's annual Festa Major de Gràcia.

Room accommodations range from twin, triple, quad and dorm hostel rooms to private hotel rooms and the aforementioned penthouse suite. Hostel rooms typically start at 13 euros a night while hotel rooms go for 51 euros a night.

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We Tune In And Out Of Tune Patong Phuket

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  Site Where: 56 Raj – Uthit 200 Pee Road, Patong, Thailand, 83150
February 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Budget-brand Tune Hotels has been aiming to spread like wildfire from its origins in Kuala Lumpur, bringing core values of 5-star beds, power showers, and cleanliness for wallet-friendly prices to 100 hotels around the world by next year. We’ve checked it out in London, and have our eye on their plans in the United States, but what is Tune like outside a major capital? Does it still deliver for a non-city stay?

We tested just that by staying the night at Tune in Patong, Phuket – one of the more recent additions to the brand. On the western coast of the island, Patong is one of the major tourist centers of Phuket (more on that later) and the Tune is about ten minutes’ walk from the main beach. A taxi from Phuket airport takes about 45 minutes.

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Japan's Hotel Scene Will Be Singing 20 New Tunes

Where: Japan
January 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we wait to find out if/when Malaysian budget-happy, pay-as-you-go, chain Tune Hotels will make their entry into the U.S. market, we hear that they are going gangbusters in Japan, having just announced plans to open 20 new hotels over the next six years -- just in time for the 2020 Olympics.

The brand currently has 38 hotels in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, United Kingdom, India and Australia, and there is currently already one Tune Hotel in Japan: in Naha, Okinawa. Tim Hansing, CEO of Red Planet Hotels, owners and operators of 18 Tune Hotels across Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia says: “Now that we have established ourselves and the Tune Hotels brand in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, our strategy has always been to expand in north Asia and we will be commencing this move in Japan first of all.”

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