If you are flying to Costa Rica, chances are you will have to fly to San Jose International Airport. Whether you are flying back out, or catching a bus to a different part of the country, you may want to stop over for the night and rest. I chose to spend the night at Aparthotel La Sabana, which was super convenient. I arrived late at night after two long flights and an even longer queue at customs. But the transfer to the hotel was super easy and convenient, even though it was already 10pm!
As mentioned above, the transfer is super convenient. The hotel arranged my transfer prior to my trip. I simply gave them my flight information, and they arrange for a shuttle to drive me from the airport and back to the airport to catch my flight the morning after. The hotel is partnered with a shuttle company called Interbus. You simply walk out of customs, grab your bag and head to the Interbus counter. They will give you a sticker to put on your t-shirt, for the driver to find you outside. The drive to the hotel was about 20 minutes (we dropped other people off on the way).
This hotel is perfect if you are looking for a charming typical Costa Rican experience. There is a lovely swimming pool and lounging area.
I stayed in a double room (with two single beds). There was a bathroom with shower, a desk, and the beds we very comfortable. Room service is available until 8pm if you are hungry.
Breakfast is included, and served every morning from 6:30am by the swimming pool. The perfect scenery to enjoy some yummy fresh fruit and a cup of coffee! Breakfast is buffet style, you can help yourself to a wide variety of fruit, juices, costa rica dishes, pancakes, and you can order eggs aswell.
I really want to point out how lovely and welcoming the staff was. Everyone from the hotel just seemed so happy and friendly, it was the perfect start to my trip! 100% recommend!
homewood suites by hilton - Navy Yard
There is valet parking available. We were greeted by very friendly staff upon arrival.
Our suite was clean, nice and very spacious. There was a very-well equipped kitchenette, dinner table and lounge area (with sofas and a low table).
Guests can access the rooftop terrace, which offers great views of the city. There is an area to relax with lounge chairs and tables, and even BBQs!
Guests can access the indoor heated swimming pool and lounging area (towels available)
If you know me, you would know a hotel with a good gym gets plenty of extra cookie points! Homewood Suites offers a large gym, open 24/7, with many cardio machines, as well as ... a weight section! (Well-Equipped hotel gyms are rare!) The hotel also provides towels.
Breakfast is served everyday in the breakfast room (pictures below). American buffer style.
Having never been to the southern states, it was about time I planned a trip to that part of the US. My friends recommended I visited Charleston, and they say you should always listen to the ones who know! They were right, Charleston is a beautiful city, very different from cities such as New York, Philadelphia or Washington DC which I’m used to. Forget about skylines and tall buildings, Charleston is all about the history, the (low!) colourful houses, palm trees and super photogenic angel oak trees! (Perfect for your Instagram feed!)
How to get to and around Charleston?
Charleston has an international airport. One of the few American cities you could fly to, and not need to hire a car, as pretty much everything is walking distance.
Where to stay in Charleston?
THE BELMOND CHARLESTON PLACE, HOTEL REVIEW
Spacious, luxurious, beautiful view of city.
A platter of fresh fruit was waiting for us in the room as we arrived, with a bottle of wine and other nibbles.
THE CLUB LEVEL
Available by private access only, The Club Level is located on the top two floors of the hotel offering the best views of Charleston. A cozy velvet and leather banquette with velour and silk pillows invites you to sit back and relax while enjoying the all-day complimentary food and beverage service! (That includes breakfast, afternoon tea, evening appetizers, desserts, and an open bar!)
THE SPA & FITNESS CENTRE
The rooftop bar & sunbeds, perfect to watch the sun set over the city!
If you follow me on Instagram, you'd know I love a good gym!
Where to eat in charleston
Fancy atmosphere & gourmet food... the charleston grill
I brought my brother along to review The Charleston Grill, located in The Belmond.
Little did they know he is the most difficult food critic in history! But The Grill passed the test (and that is something!) Everything was absolutely perfect. From the atmosphere, to the jazz band, decor, service, and of course, cuisine.
casual & delicious southern food... poogan's smokehouse
A few minutes away from The Belmond, right in the middle of town. Perfect to soak up the Southern atmosphere!
What to do in Charleston?
walk around, get lost, take pictures! repeat.
Walk to the waterfront and take it all in! You will see many gorgeous mansions on your way.
Visit a plantation: The boone hall plantation
There are several plantations you can visit around Charleston. We went to the Boone Hall Plantation. NB: You will need a car to get there! (About 30 minutes from the city centre). Boone Hall Plantation is one of America's oldest working plantations, continually growing crops for over 320 years. The drive into the plantation is very scenic... You may recognise this place from a very famous movie. Can you guess which one? (Hint: Ryan Gosling!)
Entry is $24 per person, and includes a guided tour of the mansion. The tour is 30 minutes.
NB: weather dependant. No tour when it rains!
Allow at least 1 hour at the plantation, to have time to walk around the mansion's garden, and the pond.
A 5* boutique hotel in the centre of chiang mai
My friend and I stayed at Akyra Manor for three nights in June 2017, and had the best time! This 5* Boutique Hotel is one of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels I've ever been to! The Hotel is located in Nimman, the trendy neighbourhood of Chiang Mai.
Walk into Aky Manor Hotel with me, watch this video!
Our room was absolutely gorgeous! A picture speaks a thousand words, so here are a few!
There were so many gadgets and secret features in our room! Starting with some lovely music playing as we first walked in. There is an iPod in the room, connected to high quality speakers. You can pick the music you would like to play.
Everyday, ingredients to prepare the "cocktail" of the day yourself are brought to your room in the afternoon. You have a cocktail shaker, shots and cocktail glasses in the room. Later in the evening, a lovely staff member brings you some bed time snack and drinks, to enjoy before you go to bed.
Other amenities include drinking water, umbrellas (great if you are visiting during monsoons season!), a fruit platter, tea, coffee etc, robes, high quality soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, toothbrush & toothpaste, vanity kit, paper & pens.
the swimming pool
the pool bar
The pool bar is located on the rooftop of the hotel. Outside guests can come have a drink by the pool and enjoy a view of the city. We had smoothies which were delicious!
The restaurant (Italics): breakfast
Served in the beautiful decorated Italics restaurant downstairs in the lobby.
There is a buffet offering all sorts of bread, yoghurts, and fresh juices and smoothies.
As you sit down, the waiter will put on your table a beautiful platter which varies from day to day. Includes fresh fruit and pastries such as croissants. You then select two dishes from the A-la-carte menu, which offers all kinds of Asian and continental breakfast dishes. All delicious! We tried the french toast, banana pancake, poached eggs and salmon, and a Thai speciality (top right picture).
the restaurant (italics): Lunch & dinner
We had lunch at Italics on our first day at Akira Manor Hotel. The food was the best we had during our week in Chiang Mai! Outside guests can book a table to have lunch or dinner at the restaurant. The menu offers both Thai and Italian specialities. I had a Kao Soi which was divine, and my friend had a Calzone pizza which she said was delicious. Both beautifully served too!
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My friend and I stayed at Siripanna Village Resort & Spa Hotel for two nights in June 2017, and had an absolutely lovely time. The staff could not had been more lovely and welcoming, and the swimming pool is so beautiful! (It goes all the way around the hotel) Siripanna really is "an oasis in the city"!
Here is a video I filmed during our time at Siripanna... You can see our room, the swimming pool area, the restaurant and more! (Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel for more videos like this one!)
We stayed in a Twin Deluxe Lanna room with plunge pool access. The room was beautifully decorated, traditional Lanna (Northern Thailand) style. The bathroom had both a shower and a beautiful bath tub. The best part? We had a swimming pool right in front of our room... a dream!
In the evening while we were at the Sunay Night Market, someone had been in the room to bring us a plate of fresh fruit and some rice crackers, and put our slippers by the bed. Cute!
the swimming pool
The swimming pool is beautiful! It goes all around the sunbathing area. There is a bar and Italian restaurant in the middle.
We had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel's restaurant, which was always a large buffet, offering a wide variety of dishes. From typical Thai, to Chinese, Japanese and even Italian! The dishes change everyday, so you won't get bored!
We had a 1 hour treatment at the Siripanna spa, which was so lovely and relaxing. The spa facilities are peaceful and beautifully decorated!
Siripanna Hotel offers rice planting classes! How fun! What's great is that the rice field is located on the hotel grounds.
We met a farmer who taught us how to plant rice, and we then had a go ourselves. We were also lended some cute rice planting outfits and hats. A fun activity for both adults and kids!
Siripanna Hotel also offers Thai cooking classes.
The hotel offers a free shuttle service to and from the airport. The shuttle is the most luxurious I've ever been in! It also offers a free tuk tuk ride to the Sunday Night Market.
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Health, Fitness & Travel enthusiast from France, based in the UK.