Tag Archives: travel

Top 4 European Locations for Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels are some of the coolest places to stay when you go away, these niche hotels are designed with style in mind and often have themes to suit the discerning traveler. Some of the best boutique hotels in the World exist in Europe and each time I go away the only place I want to stay is in these fabulous hotels.

During my trips around Europe I have looked for stylish hotels like these and I want to share with you my favorite cities with the best boutique hotels.

Paris_vue_d'ensemble_tour_Eiffel

Paris

I love Paris, it oozes with class and style and I try to visit as much as I can, the last time I went, I stayed in a beautiful place called the Coq hotel. The hotel was one of the most affordable that I have found in Paris and the standard was brilliant. Whilst it is a hotel, it is also a members club that holds regular arty gatherings with craftspeople and also lots of wine tasting evenings, right up my street. The rooms are beautiful, mixtures of wood and brass, classic art and natural colors, a great boutique hotel.

Berlin

Boutique hotels really suit Berlin, a city with one of the coolest art scenes around and a city that should be on everyone’s list to visit. I stayed in a super cool hotel called the Oderberger, the location used to be public baths and the building is still the same, albeit with a far smarter interior. The hotel utilizes small features from its past life for things like coat hooks, stair rails and tiled walls. The rooms are full of Earth colors, wooden features and still has those beautiful wooden beams, a beautiful hotel in a brilliant city.

Zurich

I absolutely love Zurich, I’d like to get back there more often and I plan to this year, the city is beautiful and if you use a car rental service like I did then getting around is an absolute synch. I stayed in the Hotel Helmaus, a hotel that is very central with amazing service and incredibly cozy. The food here was delicious, and the rooms were small but super comfortable and beautifully designed, if you are heading to Zurich then I absolutely recommend this delightful hotel.

London

London is absolutely packed with boutique hotels, they range from classic beauty to underground, grungy style and everything in between, you can find all sorts of cool hotels here and I love to sample them. Most recently I stayed in the Haymarket Hotel, a hotel that is very close to the theatre scene in London so if you’re heading to a show then definitely check this place out. The hotel itself has a spa that offers all treatments, perfect when you want a break from the busy city. All of the rooms have flat screen TVs, i-Pod docks and are beautifully designed with floral furnishings and modern lay out, I really loved this hotel and the afternoon tea here was very British and very tasty!

How To Build Your Own Motorhome

If you are looking to combine your love of DIY and travel then what better way to do it than by building your very own motorhome. This may sound like a daunting task at first but once you start the planning process you’ll see that if you keep things simple then you could be heading off on the open road in no time at all. This project is by no means simple and you will have to spend a lot of time both during the planning and the construction stages. Without further ado here is how you need to go about building your very own motorhome.

The Motor

First and foremost, you will need to buy the vehicle, the best thing to look out for here is a van with a good wheel base, similar to the ones that plumbers, construction workers and electricians use, these have plenty of space for you to play with, excellent stability and sufficient horsepower for carrying your home. Keep your eyes peeled at auctions and second hand traders for the best bargain and you should try to buy one that is no more than 6 years old.

Simplicity

When it comes to designing your home, simplicity is key, if you overcomplicate the build then it could leave you frustrated at not being able to get it finished, it could end up costing far more than you bargained for and it also allows more things to possibly go wrong. Measure your space in the back of the van and draw out a plan for the bed, the sink/kitchen area and any seating or cupboards that you wish to install.

Warmth

The first key to turning your van into a motorhome is insulating it and protecting it from the weather, to do this you need to do exactly the same as you would do in a house, prepare your frame for your false walls to sit in and use insulation behind each wall board. Once this is complete then you should look to seal any holes or crevices from the outside. Now that you have your walls in and your insulation sorted, you can begin to plan out the rest of your home.

Stability

It is important that whatever cabinets, attachments, beds or seats that you place in the rear of your motorhome are full stable, remember that you will be driving your motorhome on bumpy roads and round bends, the last thing you need is unstable furniture bouncing around. Fold away items are perfect to use in the back of the motorhome such as beds and seats, these can provide space when you need it and can pull out when it is time to sleep, if using these then ensure that they have excellent fixings that will keep them from opening out during your travels.

Water and Electric

If you are building your own motorhome then the best thing you can do is to buy an electric generator to power the sockets in the van, an electrician will be able to install wiring in your dry walls before you commence the rest of the build. For water and bathroom facilities, the sensible option is to forego these and stick to using campsites, you can make your own motorhome fully plumbed but the cost and the effort of doing so doesn’t prove worthwhile.