Tag Archives: lodging

Hampton Inn (Northglenn, Colorado)

Hampton Inn

243 E 120th Ave, Thornton, CO 80233 * Phone: (303) 451-7900 *

A great comfortable and luxurious hotel in the heart of Northglenn / Thornton, Colorado. We had the pleasure of staying there during Magic Fest. I can’t comment on price but assume it was reasonable as I didn’t pay for the room, my ex-wife did. The room was spacious, had a nice sofa bed (which I slept on), and a large king for her and my son. The cable and internet seemed to be of good consistency and speed, and the bathroom clean and efficient. The swimming pool was nice, although the jacuzzi had a bit of sand on its bottom. The Breakfast buffet was very good with hot eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cereals, waffles, and other goodies. It was fulfilling. Overall a very good stay. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 Visited 8/19-20/17.

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Rodeway Inn, Alamosa, Colorado

Rodeway Inn, Alamosa, Colorado

Come back soon. Article expected to be published by February 20, 2017.

Rodeway Inn, Alamosa, Colorado ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30445); 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 http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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White Eagle Hotel and Pub, Portland, Oregon

White Eagle Hotel and Pub:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25907. 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: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan,  and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
White Eagle Hotel and Pub: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25907.

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:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25907. 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 http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903.  Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland:  http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281.  To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
White Eagle Hotel and Pub: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25907. 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 http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17903. Hood River: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23683; The Dalles: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24107; White Salmon: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=23677; Husum: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25039; Portland: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=281. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Oregon Motor Motel (The Dalles Oregon)

Oregon Motor Inn, The Dalles, Oregon. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 28, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Oregon Motor Inn, The Dalles, Oregon.

Oregon Motor Inn
~ 200 W 2nd St, The Dalles, OR 97058 ~ (541) 296-9111 ~ http://www.thedallesmotel.com/ ~

A great little motel/ motor inn at the heart of the Dalles downtown. Comfy, friendly, and affordable. Its conveniently located to most hotspots for tourists such as being a three minute walk to the Old St. Peter’s Landmark Preservation area or 5 minutes to the Columbia Riverfront Trail. The rooms have views of the Gorge, free WiFi, cable TV, microwaves, antique bathrooms, free coffee in the lobby, on-site parking, and mini fridges. We had a great restful stay. Rated: 3 1/2 stars out of 5

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Days Inn, Federal Way, Seattle Washington

Days Inn ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28459), Federal Way, Washington. Exploring the Olympic Peninsula. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 24, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Days Inn ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28459), Federal Way, Washington. Exploring the Olympic Peninsula. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 24, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Days Inn – Federal Way
34827 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003– Federal Way, Tacoma-Seattle, Washington


+1 800-329-1992

Right near the King County Aquatic Center, WIld Waves Theme Park, and close proximity to the Sea-Tac Airport, the Days inn at Federal Way is a comfortable rest stop off Interstate 5. The hotel offers a free continental breakfast, parking, free wi-fi, and late checkout. It is across the street from a shopping area with sushi, fast food, and other shops. The hotel also has a 24-hour business center, free coffee/tea, and a 24 hour front desk. There are approximately 54 rooms in the hotel all with wifi, coffee makers, free local calls, ironing boards, desks, and TV with satellite. We enjoyed our stay for two nights. It was a rest away from home well needed. Rated 4 stars out of 5.

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Ala Cozy Motel, Coulee, Washington

Ala Cozy Motel (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28293), Coulee, Washington. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan,  Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Ala Cozy Motel

A LA COZY MOTEL
9988 US-2, Coulee City, Washington
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ala-Cozy-Motel/111716628866097 * 509-632-5703

A great Mom and Pop motel near the shores of the Coulee, in the heart of Coulee City. Great parking lot with room for RV’s, trailers, and boats. This little hole-in-the-wall, mom/pop family run motel has comfortable rooms with free WiFi, cable, fridge, microwave, and coffee makers. Very simple style and decor it is one of the few places to lodge in town. We lodged there for several weeks doing survey work in the area and it was quite satisfactory with comfort, cleanliness, and friendliness of staff/owners. Will stay again. Rated 4 stars out of 5.

Ala Cozy Motel (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28293), Coulee, Washington. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan,  Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Ala Cozy Motel (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28293), Coulee, Washington. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Inn of the Mountain Gods, near Ruidoso, New Mexico

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Inn of the Mountain Gods
* Mescalero Indian Reservation near Ruidoso, New Mexico * http://innofthemountaingods.com/ *

Fond childhood memories of this resort as it was a place that my mom and dad took us to often when we were children. I supposed when dad wanted to go skiing, gamble, or golf was when we lodged here before he built a cabin in Ruidoso. It is highlighted as one of New Mexico’s premier mountain resorts. It is located just outside of Ruidoso, New Mexico near Mescalero and harnesses picturesque mountain surroundings, views, and clean mountain air, snow capped mountains, lake and championship golf course. They boast easy access to the Ski Apache Sierra Blanca ski resort, a golf course, and a scenic lake. The prices were good and discounted when we arrived, and we even stayed a 2nd night as they offered it half-price of the discounted rate as was. We however were surprised of a $12 resort fee they snuck on the bill. The lobby is large, warm with fireplaces, and modern Native American art displayed. (it does lack history) A very modern lodge and casino, with 273 luxury rooms and suites, with all you can eat buffets. They offer 40,000 square feet of meeting spaces, a 38,000 square foot casino, non-smoking poker room with 9 tables for play, a indoor pool, large hot tub spa, gym, gift shop, Starbucks kiosk, discounts and shuttles to the skiing and snowboarding sites, an 18 hole championship golf course, big game hunting, skeet shooting, horseback riding, fishing, and gondola rides. It is owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe. Kid friendly. We certainly had more fond memories of the resort as kids, but found it comfortable and a pleasant stay. Visited 11/19/13-11/21/13 – Rated: 4 stars out of 5.

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Silver Saddle Motel, Santa Fe, NM

Silver Saddle Motel
* 2810 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507 * Phone:+1 505-471-7663 * http://santafesilversaddlemotel.com/ *

A definite kitsch flavored Route 66 art-deco Western style motel, this little overstay is right next door to the infamous Jackalope Pottery company. It has nice rooms that have a cowboy/cowgirl theme around them, decorated by artist Robert Shoofly, and each room are named after various elements of the Wild West. Its an affordable stay with full amenities in the rooms like flat screen tv, fridge, microwave, free-WiFi, coffee makers, free local calls, HBO, pets, non-smoking rooms, rags to clean your boots or car, and a basic continental breakfast. We definitely had a good stay, as did most of our adventuring clan, well rested for the snowy morning we woke up to. Owner was very friendly and great conversationalist. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. visited 11/22/13.

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Sandia Peak Inn, 4614 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Sandia Peak Inn
* 4614 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico *
A Route 66 styled Inn/motel in Albuquerque, I was a bit hesitant at first with its location as finding it in the darkness was a little un-nerving. It however turned out to be a wonderful inn, with artistic stylized decor, comfortable amenities, and great service. The style was charming with Southwestern flair, and was at a decent price. Beds were comfortable and rooms had flat screen tv, fridge, microwave, free wifi, and the usual amenities. A small continental breakfast with a good selection was free in the morning, and they had a nice indoor pool. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Visited 11/22/13.

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The Thunderbird Inn (hippest hotel in Savannah)

Thunderbird Inn

* 611 West Oglethorpe Ave * Savannah, Georgia 31401 * 912.232.2661 * www.thethunderbirdinn.com *

Turned on to this fabulous overnight stay in historic Savannah Georgia by attending the infamous 2012 Savannah SantaCon who had a special santa’s discount for those bar-crawling joyous red-donned hipsters who enjoy unwinding each year before going to work down chimneys delivering toys. The Thunderbird Inn broadcasts itself as “The hippest hotel in Savannah” which isn’t completely true – they are most likely the “hippest” and we had a fabulous stay in town, but its not a hotel, its a motel – which is my preference anyway. Greeted with oddity and 60’s/70’s sheek decor, the front desk delivers free lemonade/hot chocolate, popcorn, or a mascot sock monkey to go travelling with you about. The art-deco rooms have RC colas with moonpies atop them awaiting your arrival. Comfortable rooms, beds, and amenities … fridge, tv, hundreds of channels, makeup mirror, iron, ironing board, coffee pot, and mucho shampoo/soap/conditioner in a tiny tiny bathroom. We highly enjoyed our stay and will definitely be visiting this “hotel” many more times. Fabulous Thunderbird! Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Fontana Village Resort

Fontana Village Resort
Fontana Village Resort

Fontana Village Resort
* http://www.fontanavillage.com/ * Fontana Village Resort | 300 Woods Road P.O. Box 68 | Fontana Dam, North Carolina 28733 * Phone: 828.498.2211 *

We were seeking an escape to the mountains and while this time of year the blue ridge parkway had segments shut down, we ventured via main roads to the Smoky Mountains National Park. On advise from a co-worker, we settled in on the “Fontana Village Resort” which was running a special lodging rate, and decided to check it out. We checked into the “Willow cabins”. Nothing more than manufactured houses in cabin style, with a porch and rocking chairs, a nice living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom … we settled in for the afternoon. Check-in was easy, and it was peaceful and quiet for the stay. The resort was pretty empty, as winter was upon us as well as the holidays calling others to family gatherings. Still there were families out venturing to collect firewood. Our cabin however did not have a fire place. no phone, just basic tv. While it didn’t advertise a wifi signal, one drifted in and out sporadically for us to stay in touch with the outside world. Given it was winter, the resort had many of its facilities shut down … including the convenience store (only open 9 am til 1 pm – and we arrived at 4 pm), grocery store, and other restaurants except for the main lodge. Closest grocery run was a town 30 minutes drive each way. With the rain that hovered over us, we couldn’t participate in many of the outdoor activities the resort offers – but it looked like a great array of choices to choose from. We just enjoyed the solitude. We’d stay again for sure. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Guy Fawke’s Inn, York, England

Guy Fawke’s Inn
* http://www.gfyork.com/ * York, England *

In the heart of York lies a little hole-in-the-wall now inhabited by a pub and inn commemorating the exact spot where Guy Fawke’s was born. Infamous for “Remember, remember, the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot …”, Guy Fawkes was notoriously known for his 1605 attempt for blowing up parliament. It was here that he was born in 1570 and baptised in the church across the street. In his birthplace, a traditional British pub offering a wide selection of ales, beer, and drinks as well as standard pub fare in the ambiance of a historic building with a fated history, timber floors, and gas-lamps as its decor. It is one of York’s popular pubs.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com 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).

These reviews and/or research articles are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Couchsurfing.org


Couchsurfing
* http://www.couchsurfing.org * Facebook * Twitter *

I’ve been a member of couchsurfing.org for over 5 years now, and while I’ve done alot of couchsurfing in my life, most of it was done with friends or friends of friends. But this year, I had to try it out directly from the site when visiting Australia, and it was none other than a most excellent experience. Since then I’ve couchsurfed in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom. I personally believe its a brilliant network and an amazing experience. My interest in couchsurfing was as a budget tourist looking for ways to cut the costs of the high costs of travel. In addition, i was very excited at meeting new friends, learning about different ways of life, and getting to see the places i was visiting from a local’s perspective. Being a member of various alternative special interest groups and communities, such as Burning Man I often never have a problem finding a friend or a friend of a friend in a city where I’m travelling who offers a couch to crash on. Australia was different though, as I didn’t know anyone there and I was truly a “stranger in a strange land”. (Of course shortly after I started to network with couchsurfing hosts, a friend of a friend offered me comraderie and lodging in Canberra – which I did travel solely to just to meet him and take a holiday; and towards the end of the journey, met up with Burning Man community who offered me places to stay where I was at home with like-minded kindred) The several people I hosted with however as strangers from the network Couchsurfing.org were amazing, friendly, hospitable, and great hosts. I had never felt more at home with complete strangers than during my trip to Australia. Because of Australia, I’ve continued to add couchsurfing to my itinerary whenever I’m travelling as its a fantastic way to visit a city and make new friends. Couchsurfing is easy … you join the site for free, you register, you can get validated if you’d like by donating to the company who mails you a postcard back to verify you are a real person, and you create a profile similar to one you have on any other social networking site. When travelling to another area where you’d like to couchsurf, you look at potential hosts you share things in common with, contact them to see if they have availability or interest, and set up the stay. They often describe the space they are offering for free whether its floor space, couch space, an extra bedroom, or a caravan in the driveway. Many times they offer to pick you up from the airport or station, shuttle you around, and one of the greatest activities … cooking with each other – or taking turns sharing food, tales, and sightseeing together. Every host I’ve stayed with has gone way-out-of-their-way to make me feel welcomed, looked after, and feel at home. All hesitations I’ve ever had about the concept, disappeared with that trip Down Under. Couchsurfing.org has millions of members worldwide in over 230 countries and territories around the world. They are a community, a network, and a “gifting” movement (similar to that found at Burning Man). The pros: free lodging, sometime free meals, hospitality, new friends, tourist advice, events, networking, and fabulous experiences. The cons: You are staying with strangers – your hosts may not necessarily have personalities that merge with yours, there is an obligation of spending some time together – so if you’re a tourist trying to get work done or specifically trying to see alot in a day – couchsurfing properly can be difficult. You are putting your safety and personal belongings in the hands of a stranger (as they are with you). So common sense, as with anything you do, especially social networking, needs to be at play at all times. All on a sidenote, in my personal experience, couchsurfing is an amazing experience and highly recommended for anyone who likes social interaction, learning about cultures, and ready to make new friends. In addition, Couchsurfing can be a meeting place for other like-minds. There are local communities on the site where people can network about things they are interested in together such as music, art, theater, hobbies, and special interests. Special interest groups or member groups organize trips such as bar crawls, meetups, camping trips, and outings. Lodging agreements are always free for the host and the visitor, food is sometimes provided for free or for a fee or not at all, though never expected. Homestays are consensual between the host and the guest, with rules agreed upon before coming together, such as duration, nature, or expectations. The project was founded by Casey Fenton in 1999. Launched in January of 2003, the site took off like wildfire. By the end of 2004 it had 6,000 members, by end of 2005 it boasted 45,000, and by 2011, it has over 3 million members. Their motto and mission is as follows: “At CouchSurfing International, we envision a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Building meaningful connections across cultures enables us to respond to diversity with curiosity, appreciation and respect. The appreciation of diversity spreads tolerance and creates a global community. Since 2006, Couchsurfing collectives sprung up to bring together Couchsurfers in chosen cities to develop and improve the project, they also exist to manage the website. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Similar networks are:

  • Hospitality Club, which is an international, internet-based hospitality service like Couchsurfing, that boasts over 300,000 members in 226 countries. Like couchsurfing, membership is free by registering on the website, and centers around the free gift exchange of accomodation, no guests or hosts exchange money for the lodging. Duration of stay, whether food is provided for free, for a fee, or not at all, is up to the parties involved to decide. Like couchsurfing, this is regulated by comments and reviews on the user’s profile page. Its motivation is the idea of bringing people together and fostering international friendships that will increase inter cultural understanding and strengthening peace in the world.
  • Tripping.com, which is also identically styled after couchsurfing.org is a global community of travelers who believe in making the world a better place through cultural exchange, exchanging travel tips, making friendships, and offering homestays in over 175 countries. It also offers the widest selection of local home rentals in these kind of networks. It was founded in 2009 by Jen O’Neal and Nate Weisiger.
  • Servas Open Doors is an international, non-governmental, interracial hospitality association present in over 125 countries and run mostly by volunteers. It’s purpose is creating a non-profit, worldwide, cooperative, cultural exchange network bringing people together to build understanding, tolerance, mutual-respect, and world peace. Like other hospitality organizations, it promotes world peace by encouraging individual person-to-person contacts through social networking on the site, meeting in person, get-togethers, and homestays.
  • Global Free Loaders: Another alternative network, as an online community to bring together people from all walks of life by offering free lodging around the world. Membership is free.
  • Be Welcome: another cross cultural network introducing hosts and visitors offering free lodging, social activities, and travel advice. It is a free network to join, non-profit and operated by volunteers in a open, transparent, and fair way.

As with any network, common sense should be used before entering a stranger’s home or inviting a stranger into your home. Couchsurfing is a brilliant way to make friends, travel affordably, and network. But we live in a world that has many problems as well as negative people, criminals, stalkers, predators, and people wanting to take advantage of others. Just like with any social networking, common sense is key. Get to know your host, get to know your visitor. Check their references. Talk to their friends. Meet in person before offering or accepting lodging if you have any doubts, red flags, or intuitive questions. Out of 5+ years of being a member, I’ve never had a negative experience with couchsurfing, but others have as can be found on sites like Bad Experiences with Couchsurfing: The Dark Side, Opencouchsurfing.org, The Truth About Couchsurfing, A Travelers nightmare couchsurfing in New York, and Criticism of Couchsurfing and Review of Alternatives. Threats to the safety of travelers exist everywhere whether they are couchsurfing or not. In a given year example, 1.25 million stays have been organized through couchsurfing since 2004. About 99.6 percent of users considered their experiences as positive. The latest statistics show that out of 2,554 real-life introductions in a given day, only two people viewed their experience as negative. [stats from this article].

    Bibliography:
  • Couchsurfing.org: Web Site. Site referenced in December 2011. http://www.couchsurfing.org.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. “Couchsurfing”. Site referenced in December 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CouchSurfing.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com 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).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Canberra YHA

Canberra YHA
* www.yha.com.au * 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
* http://www.yha.com.au/hostels/nsw/south-coast/narooma/ * 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 Technogypsie.com 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).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Boscastle YHA

Boscastle YHA
* http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/south-west-england/hostels/boscastle-harbour/index.aspx?hostelid=000026 * Palace Stables * Boscastle * Cornwall, United Kingdom * PL35 0HD *
Tel: 0845 371 9006 * Fax no: 01840 250977 * Email: boscastle@yha.org.uk *

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 10.00 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
* http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostel003034.en.htm * 372 Wagga Road * 2641 Lavington * Tel. +61-2-60402999 * albury@yhavic.org.au *
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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Bimblegumbie


Bimblegumbie

* http://www.bimblegumbie.com.au/ * 942 Alpine Way | Crackenback, Thredbo Village, Kosciuszko National Park 2627, Australia *

Bimblegumbie is a eco-resort in the heart of the Snowy Mountains near Thredbo, Australia. It is an award winning location for its gardens, known for its bush walking hikes in the mountains, and is a pet-friendly estate. Whether summer tourism or snow skiier, its a reputable place to stay while visiting these unique Australian mountains. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Crackenback, surrounded by eucalyptus gum trees, and a bountiful garden – this retreat was established in 1976 as a home away from home when skiing at the Skitube or hiking in Thredbo. For an environmentalist it is working on becoming self-sustainable with its energy saving rooms, composting, recycling, solar hotwater system, and mountain retreat setting. The retreat is named after the aboriginal word “Bimblegumbie” for “Spear Whistle”.

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Snowy Mountains Backpackers (New South Wales)

Snowy Mountains Backpackers
* http://www.snowybackpackers.com.au/ * 7-8 Gippsland St. * Jindabyne
New South Wales, Australia * 2627 * Telephone: 1800 333 468 * backpack@snowy.net.au *

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
* http://www.yha.com.au/ * http://www.yha.com.au/hostels/qld/brisbane-surrounds/brisbane-yha-backpackers-hostel/ * 392 Upper Roma Street * Brisbane 4000 * Phone: (+617) 3236 1004 * Fax: (+617) 3236 1947 * Manager: Tim Hardidge * brisbanecity@yha.com.au *

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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Millenium Biltmore Hotel (Los Angeles)

Millenium Biltmore Hotel
* 506 South Grand Avenue
* Los Angeles, California * 90014 * +1 (800) 245 8673 * http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumlosangeles/ *

Conveniently located in downtown Los Angeles, the “Millenium Biltmore” bills itself as the “premier choice for celebrities, presidents and dignitaries for over 85 years” claiming “historic grandeur” and “modern luxury”. It is located within walking distance to the cultural and financial districts as well as the Staples Center, NOKIA Theater, Music Center, Ahmanson Theatre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Dodger Stadium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The hotel is upperscale decor with classic European style hosting over 683 rooms and suites. The indoor swimming pool and health club has a Roman-style decor, but is rather small and the jacuzzi even smaller. Plush hotel, but the rooms are basic though comfortable. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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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 * jheaney@anoige.ie

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
* http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Ben-Lettery-Youth-Hostel-Hostelling-International/Connemara/4750 * 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 * bushmills@hini.org.uk * http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-Bushmills-029013.en.htm *

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
* http://www.dublininternationalhostel.com/ * 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 * http://www.rocknbowlmotel.com/ *
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
* http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/newquay-hostels/location-in-newquay * 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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Polgwedhen Farm B & B (Chacewater/Truro/Greenbottom)

Polgwedhen Farm Bed & Breakfast
Greenbottom/Chacewater, Truro, Cornwall, England * TR4 8QL * 01872 561566 * 07798 737196 * office@chateaux-du-monde.com *

Polgwedhen is a remote ‘elegant manor’ homestyle Bed and Breakfast existing as a hidden secret in the Greenbottom area of Truro and Chacewater. Down a 1/2 mile long private lane off the highway from Greenbottom, west of Truro, is a 10 acre farm with serene gardens, lake, and pastures … a writer’s haven of peace, quiet, and inspiration. Vanda and Paul are friendly and attentive hosts who were former hoteliers that ran a Country House Hotel for 20+ years. They have one double bedroom and one twin bedroom available for guests with an adjacent guest bathroom. The rooms have a TV, radio, and tea/coffee making facilities. Both bedrooms have great views of the garden and the lake. From occasional teas to a fabulous full English and Continental Breakfast in the mornings that are served in the Sun Lounge overlooking the gardens and lake. The Breakfasts are hearty and will not let you leave hungry. 10 acres of gardens and pasture, Lakeside gardens, and plenty of parking. The Bed and Breakfast is a short drive from the beaches, Truro, and local Cornwall attractions. For those attending field school at Saveok, it is a mere walk across a field with a passage cut through the stone wall to get on site.
My 4 nights of lodging with Polygwedhen were relaxing, restful, inspirational, and definitely well worth it. I’ll definitely be back many times in the future. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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The King’s Head (Chacewater, UK)

The Kings Head Hotel
* 0843-208-6749 * http://www.thekingshead-chacewater.co.uk * Chacewater, Truro, Cornwall, England, TR4 8PY *

Chacewater has only three pubs – and the King’s Head Pub and Motel is not only one of its most famous establishments, but one of its more popular lodging stays. It is a Traditional English Pub with accomodation upstairs. The King’s Head is located in the small village of Chacewater located outside of Truro, Cornwall, England. The pub has origins to the 17th century but stands strong with modern renovation and service. The pub consists of a modern yet traditional public house that was built originally in the 17th century and operating as a pub since 1826. Located 4 miles from Redruth and 6 miles from Truro. The bar serves traditional pub food including jacket potatoes, sandwiches, steaks, and fare. There are also vegetarian options. THe rooms are doubles that come with a TV, alarm clock, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board, and a choice of en-suite or shared facilities. Rooms range from 20-25 a person and comes with breakfast. My dining and lodging experience at the Kings’ Head was comfortable and pleasant. Rooms were clean, food was good, service was pleasant. I had the Prawn Cocktail and the Sunday Lunch which came with fresh succulent meats served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, a selection of seasonal vegetables and condiments. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5 for the food, 4 stars out of 5 for the lodging.

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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 * penzance@yha.org.uk * http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommodation/south-west-england/hostels/Penzance/index.aspx *
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 ghosthunting.org.uk – 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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