Category Archives: hostels

Glastonbury Backpackers – Crown Hotel

Glastonbury Backpackers at the Crown Hotel
~ 4 Market Pl, Glastonbury, England BA6 9HD, UK +44 1458 833353 ~

Currently Closed. The summer of 2011 I visited this indifferent hostel and stayed a couple of nights. While staff were friendly they were short and seemed too busy to handle guests. The Price however at the time was decent and it fulfilled my needs. I did not completely feel safe there at the time and it may have been a location where my internet use was hacked and one of my credit cards compromised causing much frustration and necessities to save loss of funds.

Within a 16th-century coaching Inn above a local pub called “The Crown”, this was a popular backpacker’s hostel with budget twins, doubles, and dorms – some en suite with male and femal dorms, and six private rooms. Most of the rooms have showers and toilets, others are shared.

It is a popular cheap lodging option for those visiting Glastonbury and quite over-accomodated during festivals and events. The bar below is lively and hosts DJ’s, music, and events. Closed down and proclaimed closed permanently in July 2016. A January 2018 article states it might re-open summer of 2018.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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The Orient Land Trust, Villa Grove, Colorado

Orient Land Trust / Valley View Hot Springs

The Orient Land Trust a.k.a. “Valley View Hot Springs”, * PO Box 65, Villa Grove, CO 81155-0065 * 719.256.4315 * 9 am – 10 pm. Open to the public 7 days a week – closed December 1st – 28th.
This fantastic Land trust is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources, wildlife habitat, open space, historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The OLT protects a humongous bat colony, hot springs, alternative energy use, and is well known for its high altitude dark skies for astronomy, exposed active geological fault, limestone caves, numerous trails, historic buildings, town sites at an abandoned iron mine, and a working ranch. The OLT is a naturist community (clothing optional) with 24 hour access to the hotsprings when camping or renting their rustic lodging cabins. They limit the number of visitors based on space availability and environmental impact. For current pictures and views … visit their web site, linked above. The entire grounds are clothing optional – while the majority of the guests tend to swim and soak without swimsuits, there is no pressure either way. The OLT welcomes a diverse clientele of couples, singles, and families from all walks of life – children are always welcome, though require supervision. They offer camping and cabins, their indoor lodging have heat and electricity, though there are no telephones, clocks, radios, or tvs in any of the rooms. All of the ponds and pools are outdoors – there are no private pools or hot tubs – there are four natural ponds with temperatures ranging in the 90’s, an 80′ long spring-fed swimming pool (no chlorine) in the high 80’s, and a heated hot pool around 105 degrees. Our visit to this fantastic resort was over the weekend of 11/10-11/11. A must visit for any hot springs or naturalist enthusiast. Rating 5 stars out of 5.

Additional Visit: 1/24-1/25/09. 2/16/17-2/18/17. Excellent visit.

Orient Land Trust / Valley View Hot Springs (; near Moffat, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken February 2017. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2017 – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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White Eagle Hotel and Pub, Portland, Oregon

White Eagle Hotel and Pub: Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.   To read reviews, visit:  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 - by Leaf McGowan,  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
White Eagle Hotel and Pub:

White Eagle Hotel and Pub
~ 836 N Russell St, Portland, OR 97227
Phone: (503) 282-6810 ~

Another McMannamin’s favorite tourist destinations, the White Eagle is more of a hostel than it is a hotel. It is located in one of the micro-brewery destination neighborhoods of Portland, Eliot in North Portland with a style of a hotel in glamour of rock n’ roll themed lodging and saloon. The building dates back to 1905. The basic rooms are located above the pub and individually furnished, has free wi-fi, and wash basins. Some rooms have bun beds. There is no air conditioning and the bathrooms are shared between rooms. The bar has a artsy feel, with rock-n-roll and odd sideshow decor, with a beer garden and nightly live music. The establishment lacks in parking, although it has a very small lot. While we have yet had a chance to lodge in this hotel, we did eat and drink at the pub in the beer garden. Service was friendly, albeit moderate in speed. It was overall a good experience. Rating: 3 stars out of 5

White Eagle Hotel and Pub: Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  Hood River:; The Dalles:; White Salmon:; Husum:; Portland:  To read reviews, visit:  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
White Eagle Hotel and Pub: Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016. To read the adventures, visit Hood River:; The Dalles:; White Salmon:; Husum:; Portland: To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Canberra YHA

Canberra YHA
* * 7 Akuna Street *Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * (02) 6248 915 *

For a night into town for exploring the nightlife of Australian’s Capital Territory center, I stayed at teh Canberra City YHA which is centrally located near all the bars, clubs, museums, and activities that Canberra has to offer. It is also only a 5 minute walk from the Interstate bus terminal. Very sleek, top of the line, YHA – with a pool and whirlpool with spa and sauna in the basement, wired for wi-fi throughout the building, fully equipt kitchen, rooftop BBQ areas, TV/game rooms, an underground bar, and cafe. I thoroughly enjoyed my cost-effective stay that opted me a chance to see the local arts, and imbibe in the nightlife without having to worry about late night transportation home. Great hostel: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 4/22/11.

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Narooma YHA

Narooma Motel YHA
* * 243 Princes Hwy * Narooma * New South Wales, Australia

I was a little hesitant when I saw this Motel converted into a YHA Hostel, but was remarkably surprised at how nice it was. Still had the flavor of a beach front motel, (though not beach front … a few blocks from the beach) and was surprised to glory that each room had its own ensuite – shower and bathroom. We were almost lucky enough to have the room all to ourselves, but we loved our french roomie. Nice communal room, extremely friendly and helpful staff that made you feel like family, and a great deck and garden perfect for BBQ and social activities. Very quiet, low-key hostel, so no parties to be found here. They had DVD’s you could watch, good parking, and a courtesy van to run you into town for free. Narooma is an amazing place. Will definitely be staying here again. Narooma is great for whale watching from September through November, summer has lots of swimming, surfing, fishing, and diving, and wildlife viewers get to see lots of seals, rays, dolphins, and penguins. Oyster fests happen in May and a treasure trove of seafood awaits. Rated: 5 stars out of 5.

community room, Narooma YHA, Narooma, Australia

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

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Boscastle YHA

Boscastle YHA
* * Palace Stables * Boscastle * Cornwall, United Kingdom * PL35 0HD *
Tel: 0845 371 9006 * Fax no: 01840 250977 * Email: *

A nice little YHA is the Boscastle Harbour, nestled right in the fishing village central of the heart of North Cornwall’s amazing coastline. Its a break from technology as it has no internet accessibility within the hostel and is a warm family-atmosphere retreat. Located right next to the Museum of Witchcraft, this is the place to stay for any researchers of the odd and unknown. It is also a great stop-off for hikers and Cornwall coastline footpath walkers. The hostel was quite affordable (at Ł10.00 per person/day (2011)) and you’re left on your own much of the time visiting. Great self-catering kitchen and cozy recreation room/lounge. The hostel operates from April through November. Reception is open from 8 am until 10 am, 5 pm until 10 pm daily. No onsite parking available. I strongly enjoyed my visit and hope to visit again. Rating : 4 stars out of 5. Review by Tom Baurley 7/18/2010.

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Albury YHA

YHA Albury/Lavington
* * 372 Wagga Road * 2641 Lavington * Tel. +61-2-60402999 * *
Albury, New South Wales, Australia

An oddity in the YHA hostel world – a small top floor hostel set of rooms atop a Caravan Park’s restrooms and pool changing rooms/showers. Located in a caravan park, this hostel goes for about 36 Australian dollars a night per bed and is located in the Albury/Wodonga warehouse district, near the Hume Weir, Ettamogah Pub, and the Jindera Pioneer Museum. It is close transit from Mt Buffalo, major ski resorts, and Falls Creek. It is also located near the River and harbour. The Caravan park has free wifi/internet access, a swimming pool, a TV room, a self-catering kitchen, and a basic store. I found the hostel was not atypical of standard YHA layout, with dank dark rooms, and not much to do. A really nice self-catering kitchen was poolside with some areas to leisure. It was very basic and high priced for what was offered. However, the staff was friendly, helpful, and attentive. Rating : 2.75 stars out of 5. Review by Tom Baurley.

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Snowy Mountains Backpackers (New South Wales)

Snowy Mountains Backpackers
* * 7-8 Gippsland St. * Jindabyne
New South Wales, Australia * 2627 * Telephone: 1800 333 468 * *

A precious gem found in the heart of the Snowy Mountains right in the town of Jindabyne and down the road from the infamous Kosciuszko National Park. A popular lodging stop-off for backpackers, skiiers, water recreationists, hikers, bicyclists, and fishers. The hostel has 50 beds available in an assortment of settings from singles, doubles, dorms, and family rooms. A restaurant is downstairs, Ski and snowboard hire is available to the guests as well as massage therapy. The hostel as internet access, laundry facilities, secure ski / luggage storage, 24 hour security access, off stree parking, and disable access with facilities. Balconies with barbeques, a tv room/lounge, common areas, and self-catering kitchen. We were blessed with a low attendance the night we stayed so me and my travel mate had a dorm room all to ourselves. It was comfortable, safe, clean, and hospitable. Good times! Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Brisbane City YHA

Brisbane City YHA Youth Hostel
* * * 392 Upper Roma Street * Brisbane 4000 * Phone: (+617) 3236 1004 * Fax: (+617) 3236 1947 * Manager: Tim Hardidge * *

One of Australia’s most popular “hostel” hotspots is the “Brisbane City YHA” in the heart of the bustling metropolis of Brisbane. With state of the art accomodation in a “hostel way” that serves the 21st Century backpacker’s needs. Nestled on High Roma Street, overlooking the river, the hostel is a multi-story building that offers safe lodging, affordability, sustainability, and amenities for the world travelling backpacker. Recipient of the “2010 Best Backpacker Accomodation” with the Queensland Tourism Awards. The hostel is decorated with Australian themes and floors, with the main lounge/dining area opening to a rooftop patio with a nice swimming pool. Overlooks of the city skyline, the Brisbane River, and the other hostels in the surrounding hood – next door is a cafe/bar, and numerous community rooms on the floors with group accomodations, TV lounges, game rooms, and lounges. Wireless internet throughout the building, secure parking in the back, and a group luggage storeroom with individual lockers/cabinets in the rooms. The hostel has air conditioned multi-share, twin, double, and family rooms many with ensuites. The staff is super friendly and helpful. My stays at the Brisbane Hostel was entertaining, fun, and exciting. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

During the recent floods, this Hostel opened their doors to Brisbane Flooding Volunteers to assist in the recent floods in Southeastern Queensland.

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Cork YHA Hostel (Cork, Ireland)

Cork International YHA Hostel
* Cork International – Cork City YHA * 1 & 2 Redclyffe * Western Road * Cork * Republick of Ireland *
Tel. +353-21-4543289 * Fax. +353-21-4343715 *

A comfy 5 star Hostel located in the heart of Cork city. With 96 beds, its a perfect place to lodge when exploring Cork and experiencing the city life as its located only a few minutes from the city center. The hostel has 24 hour access, self catering kitchen, private parking in the back, wifi, dining, and lounge areas. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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Connemara Hostel (Clifden, Ireland)

Ben Lettery Youth Hostel (Hostelling International Connemara Hostel
* * 085 2713588 * 01 8305808 * Clifden, Ireland *
Right in the heart of Connemara, sitting all by its lonesome at the base of Ben Lettery, is the Hostelling International Ben Lettery Youth Hostel. Its a great place to stay for some peace, quiet, solitude, and escaping the modern world. It has its own rustic charm. Its a great place for hikers and cyclists, and a good start location for those seeking to climb Ben Lettery. The hostel is 13 km from Clifden and 8 km from Recess, and 14 km from Roundstone on the coast. It is also a good central point for those seeking to explore the folklore and legends of Inisboffin or the Aran Islands. The hostel is closed during the day (10 am – 5 pm) and is open for check-in from 5 pm until 10 pm March through November. Checkout time is 10 am. The hostel is spacious, comfortable, and quiet. I has a big self catering kitchen, a spacious dining room, and a common room with a turf fire and views of the scenic countryside. The hostel offers dorm and private rooms, washing machine, dryer, and other amenities. Tours are available of the local area. Outside the hostel has free parking. Rooms are €36.00- €40.00 for 2 bedded rooms, €17.00-€19.00 for the 4 bedded rooms, and €15.50 – €16.50/night for the 6-8 bedded rooms. Directions: Road/Car: Follow the signs for Clifden (N59). Pass through Recess and the youth hostel is on the right hand side approximately 8km/5 miles further on.
Bus: Bus Eireann: Galway – Clifden service passes by the youth hostel, alight at the gate. Michael Nee Coaches 095 34682 – drop off directly at hostel. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Bushmills’ Hostel (HI) (Northern Ireland)

Hostelling International Bushmills

Hostelling International Bushmills Hostel

* 49 Main Street* Bushmills, County Antrim BT57 Northern Ireland * Tel. 44-28-20731222 * Fax. 44-28-20730493 * * *

This new hostel was clean, large, and quiet. It has over 80 beds and during our stay, it was empty enough to have a dorm room as our own private room which was a major plus. I’m sure once people catch on to this gem it’ll get quite popular. All ensuite rooms some of which have a mezzanine layout. The hostel has a conference room, lounge, internet kiosks, free wifi for laptop users, a walled garden, self use kitchen, group kitchen, dining hall, and is very spacious and comfortable. We enjoyed our stay so much we went for two nights instead of our usual intended one. The hostel is located just a 5 minutes walk from the Old Bushmill’s Distillery and 2 miles from the Giant’s Causeway. Reception/Checkin desk is limited as the desk is closed between 1100 to 1700 hours, and 2200-0800 hours from April thru June and Sepember thru October; and closed 11-1400 hours in July thru August. The Hostel is open from March through October, 7 days a week; and from November thru February are open on Friday and Saturday only. Closed on Christmas Holiday. Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5.

Bushmill’s Hostel

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Dublin International Youth Hostel (Hostelling International)

Dublin Hostel

Dublin Hostelling International
* * Dublin International Hostel * 61 Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7 * Phone: +353 1 8301766 * Fax: +353 1 8305808 *
It’s probably because I stayed here almost a week and a half, but the Dublin Hostel is one of my most favorite Hostelling International Hostels in the world. Its located very conveniently in the heart of Dublin City close to ALL of the tourist attractions, and an easy walk from everything – from the River Libbey, to Temple Bar, to O’Connell, Henry Street, and Trinity College … It was a perfect meeting place for me and my friends. The staff was extremely friendly, helpful, courteous, and considerate. Open 24 hours a day – year round. THe hostel was very clean, comfortable, and you could be guaranteed a good sleep. Free wifi for laptop users, internet kiosks available, deposit boxes, parking, laundry facilities, self-catering kitchen, free continental breakfasts every morning in the old chapel, walking distance to bus and train stations, family, private and dorm rooms, a restaurant, 2 conference rooms, and excellent pricing. Single Room: 35-40 Euro/person; Dorm bed 14-23 Euro. I’ll definitely be back to this one! Rating : 5 stars out of 5.

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Rock n’ Bowl Hostel (Bristol, England)

Rock n’ Bowl Hostel

Rock n’ Bowl Hostel
* 22 Nelson Street * Bristol, UK BS1 2LE, United Kingdom * 0117 325 1980 * *
A great hidden gem in the hostel world – this hostel is central and is relatively new to Bristol, or at least appears so, as it was under modeling or re-modeling while I was visiting. Located above a bowling alley and bar, right in the heart of Bristol’s shopping district, close to the Harbour and night life, bus stations, and the heart of city activities near the historic city wall … I found the hostel affordable and very pleasant during my stay. Free wifi and a friendly desk staff. Great little lounge and its own theater where they would do movies though most of when I was there a band was rehearsing. They have double beds, private twin rooms, co-ed dorm rooms, and female only dorms. Retro cool bowling alley with the “Lanes” bar and diner downstairs. Self cook kitchen and fridges upstairs, laundry room, and lounge. Beds as low as 13 GBP a night or 65 GBP a week. Clean bedrooms and establishment, though the self-kitchen area was in a bit of disarray. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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St. Christopher Inn (Newquay)

St. Christopher Inn
* * Telephone: +44 (0)163 785 9111 * 35 Fore Street * Newquay, Cornwall * United Kingdom * TR7 1HR *
Very affordable lodging nestled right above the cliff walls of Newquay overlooking the bay onto Towan Beach. A popular hotspot for surfers near and far, this hostel is the right place for festivities and parties. Perfect location for foot and backpacker travel, its just down the road from nearby Tintagel Castle – the legendary home of Merlin the Magician, Uther Pendragon, King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table. The hostel is located in and above the Belushi’s bar – a bustling place that might confuse you as if you’re in a pirate pub or a sports bar. Secured access and separation from the bar upstairs to the lodging, the place has free internet, and a couple of internet kiosks. No kitchen or facilities for the backpackers, the food is discounted below in the bar. No extra storage for your bags is a downer, but the rooms are safe electronic key access. The dorm room I had overlooked the bay with spectacular views. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Castle Horneck, Penzance, Cornwall, England

Castle Horneck
* Alverton * Penzance * Cornwall, England * TR20 8TF * 0845 371 9653 * Fax no: (+44) 1736 362663 * * *
It was a definitely an enchanting treat to make my way up to the remote location of this castle on the outskirts of Penzance. The remote-factor gave it a charm even though it wasn’t very convenient for running in and out of Penzance. As a bonus, I was quite looking forward to perhaps some supernatural occurences for my two night stay in this reputedly haunted castle. However, outside of waking up in the middle of the night and thinking I felt something – there was no paranormal experiences during my stay. As I tromped up the path to the Castle, and after about a mile hike from the nearest bus stop – exhausted – i was a bit disappointed upon my 1:30 pm arrival that registration didn’t open until 4 pm. Luckily I was able to run into a staff member who allowed me to put my heavy bags under lock n’ key as I wandered back down into Penzance in search of a bank to convert some money. Castle Horneck is also known as Castle Hornocke or the “Iron Castle”. There is some debate if this is the actual ancient castle that is referred to in Penzance’s historic records (most likely the Iron Age Lesigney Round nearby) … but it is the actual Castle built by the Tyes family in the 12th century adapted and re-used as a Hostelling International Youth Hostel. While there are no remains existing on site that can prove this is the actual site of the medieval fortification or palace, it is presumed as such. The Castle is currently located approximately a 1/4 mile outside of Penzance’s boundary. The reputed medieval fortification was well noted in historic lore to be a stronghold that was built by the Tyess famil who were the lords of the distric early in the times of the Plantagenets and whose title as Baron Tyes became extinct in 1322. Writers describe ‘Castle Horneck’ to be a “auntient ruyned castle standinge on a mounte nere Pensans, and as it seemeth in former times of some accompte.” (Spreadbury) Some historians claim the original name for the Lesigney Round was Castle Horneck. In 1696 the field name for Lesigney was ‘Castle Close’ and ‘Castle Horneck’ was the name given for the farm and house 400 meters east of the Round that is location of the Hostelling International hostel. The Castle is reputedly haunted according to – who sometimes does special haunting trips to the hostel. The castle is now managed by Hostelling International. As a hostel, it is a beautiful Georgian house with large gardens and woodlands to explore, hiking trails to experience, and camping space outside of the hostel. It is located next door to a local winery. It is open all year. The hostel has 103 beds available plus an unstated number of tent camping spots. Family/private rooms are available as well. The hostel has a community lounge, tv room, library, and garden. There is also laundry, self-catering kitchen, food-for-purchase bar and cafe, meal plans, bbq areas, a dining room, table licence, liquor license, internet access with some internet stations, luggage storage behind the desk, showers, toilets, and they accept credit cards. The hostelling staff is extremely friendly and helpful, warm and welcoming, and a wealth of local lore knowledge when asked. the hostel was clean, safe, and quiet – even with the hordes of summer camp kids staying the same weekend I was. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. I will definitely be back to this one again! Kudos’ and thank you! Especially for the hiking map so I could hike from coast to coast!

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Bristol Youth Hostel – Bristol, England

Bristol Youth Hostel: * Bristol YHA * International YHA * Hayman House, 14 Narrow Quay * Bristol * BS1 4QA * England & Wales * Tel. +44-117-9221659 * Fax. +44-117-9273789 *
Always a big fan of the International YHA and my visit to the Bristol hostel was no different – an excellent experience. This one is nestled in the historic buildings along the scenic Bristol Harbour literally a stone’s throw from the window to the bridge and the water . It is in an imaginately refurbished warehouse right next door to the the galleries and restaurants. Its a short visit away from the Avon gorge. The hostel hosts over 134 beds with facilities ranging from wifi, laundry, TV room, library, games, bar, cafe, self-serve kitchen, a delicious (included) hearty breakfast, lounge, chill areas, and plenty of information resources for the traveller. The Staff is fantastic and extremely helpful and friendly. Excellent stay … Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Hostelling international Waikiki, Hale Aloha Hostel (Hawaii)

HI-Wakiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Hostelling international Waikiki, Hale Aloha Hostel
2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815 * 808 926 8313. * $33.75 cash for room *
The HI-Wakiki is a friendly youth hostel within a couple of mini-blocks from the beach. Excellent and affordable hotspot for budget tourists from around the world. The rooms are clean and tropical. There is a nice lounge with a kitchen attached. Central to local activities. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. Continue reading Hostelling international Waikiki, Hale Aloha Hostel (Hawaii)

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 17, Part A (4/11) – Legos, “Trolls et Legendes” festival … Day 2: The Fair, Artists

Part A

figures by Brian & Wendy Froud

Saturday, 11 April 2009
Mons, Belgium

Today is the revelation of the key. Such as sacred day indeed. The adventurers awoke at the hostel, packed up their gear, and headed down for a decent breakfast. It was quite obvious many other Trolls-et-Legendes Festival-goers were there, as one could tell from their dress. Checking out and off to the rental carriage for a shuttle over to the Lotto Mons Expo center. With time to spare as the duo arrived early, getting a close parking space, they wandered over to the Grand Place Mall, awaiting stores to open, as they gazed upon the Lego exhibits. Pretty cool stuff. They wandered into a French version of a Target for Belgium chocolates, french comics, books, and souvenirs. Then over to the festival center to await in line for the doors to open to “Trolls et Legendes”. The festival end was much more exciting, with vendors galore, art, crafts, costumes, books, and writers … faeries, monsters, elves, and orcs, wandering about in curious twitches and stances. Meeting Brian and Wendy Froud again (originally met at Faerieworlds) – with much admiration of their artwork. Galleries showcased some incredible faerie art.

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Auberge du Beffroi Hostelling International Hostel (Mons, Belgium)

Mons – Auberge du Beffroi Hostelling International Hostel
Rampe du Château 2 * 7000 Mons * Belgium *
Tel. +32-65-875570 * Fax. +32-65-875571 *
A fabulous hostel hidden away by the historic cathedral, nestled within its own castle-like structure. In the heart of the historic centre of the capital of the province of Hainaut, at the foot of the belfry and just down from Grand-Place. Several stories of rooms, spacious, with own showers and toilettes. The hostel partners with quite a few concerts and the traditional “Doudou” festival housing many young guests from the venues. The staff is friendly and the complimentary breakfast is quite satisfactory. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Zeeburg Amsterdam StayOK Hostel

Amsterdam Zeeburg Hostelling International StayOK Hostel Dining Hall

Zeeburg Hostelling International StayOK Hostel
* Timorplein 21 * 1094 CC Amsterdam * Netherlands * Tel. +31 (0)20 551 31 90 * Fax. +31 (0)20 623 49 86 * *
Facebook Stay page

A very spacious hotel-like Hostelling International public-transit accessible to the heart of Amsterdam’s city center in Zeeburg, one of Amsterdam’s typical neighbourhoods. Roughly 20 Euros a night beds you in a decent sized dorm room with private key access, own shower, bathroom, and storage shelves for your luggage. Pay per hour (.20/Euro) storage lockers located down in the lobby in a secure room by front desk. Internet and information room with plenty of computers to check email at. Humungous dining hall with decent meals – breakfast comes with each night stay. There is a lounge with happy hour – didn’t have a chance to check it out as we were busy with the pub crawl (highly recommended). Lots of stuff to do and only 15 minutes transit ride to the city center. The hostel is in a former school building that dates from around 1900. Shares the building with a cinema and shopping facilities. The hostel rooms were designed by the famous Dutch designer Edward van Vliet. For those driving to Amsterdam, the hostel is a skip and a jump from the Zeeburg Park and Ride. Staff friendly and extremely helpful. Great social location. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Amsterdam Zeeburg Hostelling International Easy Stay Hostel

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 14, Part B (4/8) – Off to Amsterdam, Zeeburg, hostel

Part B

Atop the ferris wheel in Amsterdam

Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Arising early and calculating his paycheck, Sir Thomas Leaf spontaneously decided to take Princess Brea to Amsterdam for an excursion enroute to Belgium. Rental motor carriage arranged and lodging set at a hostel in Amsterdam, routing was figured out and plans set in motion. Lord Christian graciously awoke early to shuttle Sir Thomas Leaf to Avis to pick up the motor-carriage. Within a few hours, Sir Thomas Leaf and Princess Brea were off to Holland. The Autobahn was clear and speed was actualized as the duet drove into the rain and was wondering if they would be tromping around Amsterdam in the rain. Quite a few pockets of traffic congestion between Dusseldorf, Germany and Amsterdam, The Netherlands – but by 3:00 pm they arrived at the Park n’ Ride to store the rental, hop the bus to the hostel, and check in. A little lost in the rain, tromping around a neighbourhood they were unfamiliar with, they got a little frustrated as they tried to find where to go. Eventually they made it, checked into a very spacious hotel-like hostel, and unwound before setting off to explore the historic part of Amsterdam.


Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 14, Part B (4/8) – Off to Amsterdam, Zeeburg, hostel

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Jugend-Hotel Nurnberg

Jugend-Hotel Nurnberg
* Rathsbergstr. 300 * 90411 Nürnberg, Germany * +49 911 5216092 *
A bit far off the beaten path lies this charming hostel with decent sized rooms, beds, and tiny bathrooms. They have over 120 rooms. Set in the woods by the airport, its like an old-fashioned adventurers hostel with nice natural scenic beauty around the grounds. The hostel is pretty spacious with lots of land for outdoor activities such as frisbee, barbeques, and sunbathing. Inside is a big lobby with a tv-lounge, internet room, and a dining hall. If you don’t have your own car, public transportation or cabs are a must in order to get into town due to the remote location. Reception desk hours are sporadic but the clerk is not too hard to find. Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5. Continue reading Jugend-Hotel Nurnberg

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 10, Part B – Nürnberg: Graveyards, Gamers, and Drinking

Part B

Saturday, 4 April 2009
Nürnberg, Germany

From the Nibulengenmuseum, a brief hike back to Lady Vanessa’s motor-carriage, with a pit stop at at the fish stop and bakery for some travel munchies, the adventurers were on their way to Nürnberg to meet up with Lady Vanessa’s and Sir Christian’s gathering of friends who periodically meet up in a regional city to network on a online RPG game in German they all play together. A few hours later and the delvers arrived in Nürnberg ….

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 10, Part B – Nürnberg: Graveyards, Gamers, and Drinking

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Jugendgästehaus Worms (youth hostel, Worms, Germany)

Jugendgästehaus Worms

Jugendgästehaus Worms
(Youth Hostel) * Betriebsleitung Andrea Klauck * Dechaneigasse 1 * 67547 Worms * Telefon 06241/25780 * Telefax 06241/27394 *
A very spacious and charming Hostelling International hostel right in the heart of the old town of Worms. Enormous building, with two dining halls, a snack bar, outer courts, and private rooms for groups of 3 or 4. Rates for members are 18.50 Euro/night making extremely affordable lodging. Located right across the street from the Dom, and infront of the town’s Archaeological museum, the hostel couldn’t be better placed. The staff is friendly, rooms clean, and our stay on 4/3/09 was most excellent. Thank you! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Continue reading Jugendgästehaus Worms (youth hostel, Worms, Germany)

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Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 9 – Quest to Worms, Searching for the Key, Faun Concert

Friday, 3 April 2009
Worms, Germany

The adventurers got off to a late start on their travels as they were taking a road trip in Lady Vanessa’s motor carriage to “Worms” to see the mythical band “Faun” in hopes that the music will shed some light about this “sacred” key they are questing for. Along the road trip down the autobahn to Worms, many scenic farmyards, castles, and cathedrals loomed along the landscape giving the quest a medieval twist. The adventurers in search of the sacred key travelled hours to the Dragon city of “Worms”, Germany. Medieval cathedral welcoming them as they made their way to its base where the Jugend-herberge was located (youth hostel). Brilliant and enormous building dedicated to International travellers of all ages. Alas, since Lady Vanessa is from the Rhine and not an international guest, she had to purchase a 20 Euro membership on top of the 18.50 Euro room fee. The party did however score their own room with bunk beds, private bath/shower/toilette. After unloading their bags they went in search for the key, and keys they did find. The city of Worms emblem is a key and it was everywhere. Messages clued the party for answers to their queries as they visited each of the city dragons for answers. They visited at least 8 of the city dragons.

The city key in the zodiac wheel fountain clueing us to follow the dragon slayer in his tale for answers

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 9 – Quest to Worms, Searching for the Key, Faun Concert

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Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 4C – Xanten Archaeological Park; the Temple, the Amphitheater

, Segment C

Lost Gods Temple

Sunday, 29 March 2009
Xanten, Germany

After the Museum we wandered back into the carriage for a spin to the Archaeologie Park lot, where we walked through the gates of the the city, and ventured over to the Temple of Lost Gods (they do not know who the temple was dedicated to as the information is lost). Exploring the ruins of the temple, quite bare and empty, we wandered down below to the original ruins as above was the reconstructed lot. Again, no hints or suggestions for our adventure. Exploring the Park remains of the city, where Lord Sven and Lady Brea were toying around with the electric fence that were keeping in the sheep, we made our way to the ancient game room for some puzzle play where Princess Brea accidentally left her handbag undiscovered until we were gone later that evening. On to the Colloseum where games are still held, as well as concerts. Then to the recreated bath houses. A good day was had by the exploration party, and to wrap it up we went back to Lord Sven’s flat for some cake and tea. Thanks to Sven for his wonderful hospitality! Back at Christian and Vanessa’s flat, the explorers settled down to an evening watching “The Gamers” which they found quite hilarious. All parties exhausted, it was time for sleep.

The Adventure party at Xanten

Cake and Tea

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 4C – Xanten Archaeological Park; the Temple, the Amphitheater

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Hostelling International – Washington, D.C.

Hostelling International – Washington, D.C

Hostelling International – Washington, D.C : * * 1009 11th Street NW * Washington DC 20001 * 1-202-737-2333 (Facebook)
As any on-the-budget world traveller knows, Hostelling International is you cost-effective solution to any city in the world that you care to travel. It’s certified, safe, clean, and can always expect the quality that goes with their name. I’ve ALWAYS found that true with Hostelling International. (I can’t say the same for other hostelling groups/networks, some of which put you in seedy locations) With Hostelling, you always meet great new people travelling like you around the world and many new friendships are made … chatting, playing games, watching movies, taking tours, computer networking, hostel activities, making meals together, or being roommates. Hostelling International – Washington DC (HI-DC) is one of those great places where Hostelling International gets a good name. It’s also the only current hostel in the world to be Energy Star certified. HI-DC is located within walking distance from all the tourist attractions, monuments, museums, and shopping that D.C. offers. For me who likes to do alternative clubbing at night, it’s also in the neighbourhood from the only venues I’ve been turned on to. HI-DC offers dormitory rooms ($26/night) as well as private rooms ($69/night). They offer: 24-hour front desk service and security • No curfew, no lock-out • Rates include tax • An environment that is drug-free, smoke-free and alcohol-free • A/C and heat in all guestrooms • FREE breakfast • FREE in-room lockers, linens and towels • FREE tours, movie nights and programs • FREE Wi-Fi • FREE local map and area information • FREE books, puzzles, pool table • Common room with big, comfortable couches, Internet stations, information center, and pre-paid phone card machine • TV room with big screen, 150+ channels, DVD, VCR, library with FREE movies and leather club chairs • Fully-equipped, self-service kitchen • Outside patio seating • Wheelchair accessibility • Visa and MasterCard accepted • Nearby restaurants, bars and pubs, grocery shopping, pharmacy and other conveniences • Individual travelers and groups welcome. They are open 24 hrs/day; every day of the year. Visit the above website for pictures around the location. My visit was fabulous … Highly recommended. Thank you HI-DC! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Downtown Portland IYHA Hostel (Portland, Oregon)

IYHA downtown Portland Hostel

IYHA Downtown Portland Youth Hostel
425 NW 18th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209 * Tel. 1-503-2412783 * Fax. 1-503-5255910 *—Portland,-Northwest-060112.en.htm
Portland’s most centrally located hostel within walking distance to city centre, Amtrak/Greyhound, Washington Park (Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo), Powell’s City of Books, museums, downtown, the Pearl, Chinatown and more. In addition to being centrally located to walk, its only 3 blocks from Portland’s famous fareless zone: all buses, trams, and street cars are free in downtown. Deep in the heart of Portland’s historic and vibrant Northwest/Nob Hill neighborhood the area is bustling with thriving shops, cafes, brew pubs, theaters, calleries, and nightlife. Its a block away from the Mission Brew Pub theater ($3 movies) and Forest Park the country’s largest natural park. They expanded the hostel to two buildings in 2006 – The elliston building which is a 1889 historic landmark that hosts dorms and private rooms equipt with a outside courtyard with BBQ, kitchen, dining room, small coffee bar, common areas, laundry, internet kiosk, free wireless internet, free local phone calls, free lockers and storage, free parking lot and free on-street parking, free pastries, bread, n’ bagels, and free pizza every night.Hostel offers 24 hour access. The staff is really friendly and helpful showing areas on the map where to go and what to see with information boards updated daily. They offer van tours to Mt. St. Helen’s Volcano, Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Mountains, and the Oregon coast. I found my visit here on 12/19/08, albeit short, was a fantastic time. Thank you! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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William Penn House, Washington, D.C.

William Penn House * A Quaker Center on Capital Hill * * 515 East Capital Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 * 202.543.5560

William Penn House

One of D.C.’s most comfortable and heartwarming hostels is the William Penn House within walking distance of the Capitol and the National Mall. A little on the spendy side of hostels, at $40 a bunk, it still is one of D.C.’s most economic lodging alternatives for the out-of-state or international traveller. The William Penn House has been hosted by Friends and other advocates for peace and social justice since 1966 as a meeting ground for learning, teaching, and speaking to government officials regarding national policies. Its proximity to the Capitol and the headquarters of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) this historic, four-story row house is a powerful grounding place for activists. While an international hostel, it serves also as a place to learn: with adult programs for advocacy training, urban studies, spiritual development, and human rights. Its a place to worship each morning at 7:30 with a free breakfast afterwards. Its a Place to Grow – with youth programs such as the Quaker Youth Seminar (bi-annual) where Quaker high school students from across the country converge to engage in dialogue, learning, community, service, and sightseeing; FCNL Lobbying Weekend – each spring when college students come to learn how to lobby for better public policy; the Washington Quaker Workcamps where young people from the DC area join workcaps for spiritual experience of community service where participants address social concerns in concrete ways and break down barriers to community; and a Place to Stay – a hostel with ability to house up to 30 people in clean, shared, comfortable rooms. There is a living room / common room with a great library, comfortable couches, and two dining rooms. Each day a simple breakfast is provided, and several bathrooms and shower rooms through the house. This Quaker house also offers meeting facilities, a place to work for interns and fellows wishing to serve in DC working with others living in community and furthering Quaker values. I very much enjoyed my time and friendship with those i shared the house with during my visit. I’ll definitely be back. Thank you. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22-23/2008.

Living Room / Common Room

Communal dining room

Continue reading William Penn House, Washington, D.C.

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