Some of the most memorable places I've ever slept

Monday 23 July 2018

Travelling hasn't just all been a big adventure (well it has, but), it's actually helped open my eyes to other ways of doing things; hence today's blog post. I realise that whilst a few of my most memorable experiences have indeed been at a luxury hotel, you don't need to spend thousands on accommodation to have great trip. If you're clever about it, you can do even the most expensive destinations on a budget and still have a blast. Whether its a cheap or expensive destination, there are always ways around it! ​Check out this useful tool to help you experience a Dubai holiday on any budget shoestring to splurge!

Although it seems pretty obvious, this really was a bit of a discovery for me. To put it into perspective, the first time I visited Bali, I blew so much money I don't know what I was thinking. I'm glad I did it back then because I don't think I could justify spending £300 a night on a holiday right now. When I went back to Bali last year, my accommodation cost £7 a night; that's almost 50 times less omg.

I've slept in some very expensive rooms and now, I've slept on the airport floor to save paying for a bed. Here are some of my most memorable nights:

Purple Monkey Hostel, Pai 
I had never heard of Pai but when I arrived in Thailand the whole backpacking community were talking about how amazing it was so I decided to book a couple of days and give it a go.

My trip turned into a week long visit and it became my favorite part of Thailand; it definitely had some of the coolest hostels but all of the good ones were out in the middle of nowhere and I didn't want to hire a motorbike so I had to compromise.

 After a few nights in a shared dorm at Purple Monkey, I couldn't take any more, it was just too basic and with Electric Valley festival coming up, I decided to book myself into one of the private rooms because I knew that I'd want to get a proper sleep the day afterwards.

Turned out that the private rooms were actually tiny little huts, just big enough to fit the mattress on the floor. There were 5 of them, all lined up in different colours. Super cute and pretty hilarious (they looked like an oversized dog kennels to me) with a padlock to lock the front door; it was the perfect place to shut myself away from the world and get some much needed sleep. 

The Mondrian Hotel, London 
The Mondrian is my favourite hotel in London and I have mentioned our many stays there on the blog before; although somehow, I failed to mention the time/s we stayed in their river view balcony suite (which is going for £924 including breakfast for tonight).

I assumed it was going to be an once in a lifetime experience, seriously, not even I would spend that much on one night but somehow, it happened again and we got to stay in this incredible room on two different occasions. Interesting what a couple of 4am fire alarms and a good old complaint email can get you.

The room was 700 sqft with two bathrooms - one with a freestanding bath, a separate dining area and a huge balcony overlooking the Thames. We drank complimentary champagne in the room, had massages at the spa and dinner and cocktails at their Sea Containers restaurant downstairs. Along with crab scrambled eggs and avo toast in the morning; this will forever be one of my most memorable hotel visits ever. 

Tipsy Tiger Hostel, Penang 
Tipsy Tiger was the best party hostel that I stayed in during my stint in Southeast Asia plus it was super cheap for such a popular place. My £7 got me a bed, a 2 liter bottle of water, two very strong mixed drinks at the bar and as much nutella and toast (and well you know, fruit) as I could eat the next morning. It was big, spacious and super chilled out during the day which made sense because you don't really get much sleep sharing a bedroom with 19 other ridiculously drunk people.

Yep. The 20 bed at Tipsy Tiger was the biggest room I came across and stayed in on my trip and yes, there were multiple couples having sex every. single. night. That was the tame stuff; all sorts of things went down in that room and as you can imagine, it was just madness.

Like all of my favourite hostels, I extended my stay here and did 6 nights on the trot. I left at 7am on the last day, completley broken and had to take a week off to recover, vowing I'd never go back. oops.

ME Hotel, Majorca 
It's not often I go back to the same place again and again, but this is one exception; I went back one year after another and was still desperate for more.

I've been to a few ME hotels but the one in Majorca is very arty, very lifestyle based and it is such a vibe. Honestly, that is the perfect the word for it; they even have a room called VIBE - although I've always stayed in sea view PASSION room because it has bathtub looking over the beach. Priorities.

Along with the bath tub, the rooms are minimalist, fresh, white and crisp with an open plan bathroom so you better be comfortable with whoever you are sharing with. With an adult only pool, an on site beach restaurant and music pumping all day from Nikki Beach next door, I didn't want to leave the hotel all too often; but of course we did (a couple of times at least.)

Chilled days would be spent drinking frozen cocktails by the pool and then heading out to Port Adriano for a seafood feast and more adventurous days would see us exploring Palma old town on an open top bus and making the most of Magaluf's infamous night life with super club, BCM just down the road - another Majorca holiday highlight for me, I've been going to that place since I was 17. 

Home, Auckland 
I wasn't sure if I should put this one in but I always think to myself how important part of my life story this little place is going to be. Not only was it my first home, the first place that I paid rent for but it's the first place I lived with a partner and the first time I've lived in another country, let alone one that is about as far away from home as I could get. It's funny where life takes you. 

Ubud Village Resort, Ubud 
I couldnt come in with an intro like that and then not mention the rooms. We actually stayed at The Elysian in Bali too but whilst I loved that place equally, it was much less authentic and I will always remember arriving at this hotel. It was our first time in Bali and I didn't realise that places like this existed. A completely open reception area meant we could see across the whole property while the sun set and we sipped on welcome drinks. As it got darker, candles lit every walkway in the resort; we hopped on a golf buggy to our villa. A big wooden gated entrance, a private pool, an outdoor bathtub and soft Balinese music playing in the background, made it (and Ubud in general) the most romantic place I've ever visited.

I wrote this paragraph and then realised that I have quite literally quoted this post word on word; very strong memories as you can see. 

Sukhuvati Retreat, Canggu 
For someone who had never done yoga before, it had always been a strange dream of mine to visit a yoga retreat and I finally made it happen last year.

What an experience; with daily treatments at the spa and in the villa, vegan food that I didn't know existed and a room to myself, even more extravagant than the one in Ubud, it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done.

Having taken up yoga since arriving in New Zealand, I would love to return to Sukhuvati one day.
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