Our Top 5 Places To Stay
5. J. No14 Amazing Antique B&B – Bangkok, Thailand – £40 a night
This is the first place that me and Louis stayed on our travels together! It’s slightly more difficult to get to, we got a taxi from the airport as the owner kindly sent us very detailed directions (in English and in Thai) and even the taxi driver struggled a little to find it, but we got there in the end! The B&B is situated a walking distance from Thron Buri BTS station, which is well connected to other BTS stations.
The interior of this B&B is great. It’s very quirky with many hidden gems around – I won’t give too much away as you should go and see for yourself! The rooms are a good size, and always clean and tidy. The breakfast was great too, fruit, toast and jam and fried eggs. We were able to leave our luggage when we checked out as weren’t flying out until the evening and the owners are very friendly and accommodating. If you’re looking for something a bit arty and different rather than a standard hotel in Bangkok, this place is for you.
4. Minh Phat Homestay – Hoi An, Vietnam – £12 a night
During our stay in Vietnam we wanted to try out some Homestays as we’d heard these were a great way to meet the locals, save a bit of money and really get a feel for the country’s culture. We found Minh Phat’s homestay online and couldn’t have been happier with the results. Minh Phat himself was such a friendly guy, as were his family, who accommodated us for a week during our stay in Hoi An. The location is perfect, situated about a ten minute walk from the old town (which is amazing if you haven’t been) and about a twenty minute bike ride (bikes which you can borrow from Minh Phat) to An Bang beach. Every morning we were cooked an amazing breakfast, either a delicious omelette with fresh salad and bread, or a traditional Vietnamese breakfast called Pho Bo, which is meat in soup, served with noodles and salad. Minh phat was also very accommodating in helping us book day trips, he sorted out a cooking course for us which was brilliant, and he had lots of leaflets to look through to help us decide on what to do and see in the area. The rooms were clean yet fairly basic, but it was exactly what we expected and wanted from a stay like this. His hospitality and personality made for a great stay and we have since recommended it to two different friends who have travelled to Vietnam and also thoroughly enjoyed their stay with Minh Phat and his family.
3. The Tea Gardens – Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka – £40 a night
We arrived at this great little place in Nuwara Eliya about 5pm after a long drive. We were greeted by a pot of Ceylon tea and a slice of cake by the staff Lahiru and Dinesh who were so friendly and accommodating. This guesthouse is situated on a tea plantation and Dinesh was very keen to give us a tour and tell us how the tea is picked which was brilliant. Nuwara Eliya is known as ‘Little England’ and the guesthouse did have a very British feel to it. It was a beautiful white cottage with a balcony at the top with a great view of the tea plantations. The rooms were beautifully decorated and very clean. We wish we had booked this place for more than one night. The town didn’t seem to have many restaurants on offer, we were kindly offered some takeaway menus but decided to get a tuk tuk to The Grand Hotel Indian restaurant instead. In the morning we were made a delicious breakfast of fruit, cereals breads and tea and it was my birthday and they kindly gave me a box of Ceylon tea as a gift. We took the train from Nuwara Eliya station – which is about a thirty minute drive away – to Ella which is the most incredible ‘scenic’ journey if you get a chance to do it! I thoroughly recommend this guesthouse and on reflection we wish we had booked it for more than one night.
2. Splendid Guest House – Mellieha, Malta £50 a night
How can I begin with this place, it really is one of our favourite places we’ve stayed together. This guest house by all means isn’t a 5 star, fancy, boring hotel room – but an arty, individual, cosy, relaxing place that will always remind us of such fond memories. The owners are brilliant, we spent many an evening with Robert having a beer and chatting about his travelling days. The decor throughout is brilliant. It has a very ‘hippy’ vibe to it, incense burners, beaded curtains, chillout music being played throughout. Upstairs on the roof there’s an amazing chillout area, full of mattresses and pillows and coloured drapes and dream catchers. There was an easel with canvases and lots of paints and you were allowed to paint when you wanted, which I did, whilst listening to Fat Freddie’s Drop and drinking some beers. It was such a relaxing, friendly environment which we absolutely loved. Breakfast was included everyday; cereal, toast, brioche and juice. There was also fridges where you can bring your own food / drinks etc to store during your stay. The location of the guesthouse was great, there are buses (albeit very slow ones) that take you into Valetta, Gozo and Comino Island, and also several restaurants dotted around in walking distance. This is one of our favourite places we have stayed – we felt so relaxed during our time here and would love to return again one day soon.
1. 98 Acres – Ella, Sri Lanka – £157 a night
This place. Total paradise. I had been recommended this hotel by a friend who stayed here for her honeymoon and said it was the best place she’s ever stayed. We stayed here for my birthday and it certainly did not disappoint, and I have since recommended it to three other friends who have all absolutely loved it too! It’s a bit more pricey than the others but certainly is worth every penny. We arrived in the afternoon after the most amazing train journey to Ella. We were greeted with fresh juice and cold flannels and very friendly staff. Our luggage was put into a golf buggy and we were driven to our chalet. I can not describe our reaction when we opened the front door – the room was incredible. A huge four poster bed in the middle with a floor to ceiling glass sliding door which opened onto our private terrace with never ending views of the mountains. You can see the famous Little Adam’s Peak from the balcony, which we later climbed. The bathroom was even incredible, and with it being bigger than our entire flat back at home – we were in love! A massive walk in shower with views of the mountains all decorated in beautiful stone. Another added bonus that topped it all off was ‘Happy Birthday’ presented beautifully on our bed in leaves and petals, next to a delicious birthday cake and a bottle of wine!
When we arrived it was pouring with rain and a huge thunder storm which at first we were really upset about but actually it was perfect because we spent the whole afternoon in our beautiful room opening presents and getting drunk! In the evening we had a speedy sprint up to the restaurant when we had amazing Sri Lankan curries for dinner before we went back to our room and watched the storm through the glass all night balcony doors all night.
The next day the sun came out! Which gave us an even more incredible view from our balcony and an even better one from the terrace at breakfast. The views were amazing and the breakfast was delicious! A huge range of fresh fruits, omelettes, pastries and a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast – egg hoppers. We then spent the afternoon around the pool before feeling extremely sad because it was already time to leave. If you are fortunate enough to stay here, try and do so for more than one night as it was so upsetting to leave so quickly – couldn’t recommend it enough!