Hostels in Paris

The Walker

The City of Love has long been an icon of nostalgia, with its many beautiful streets and tiny, cobbled lanes and back alleys. From the winding streets of Montmatre to the elegant boulevards of the 7th arrondissment, this is a city that reveals its true character to those who explore on foot. Famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe aside, there is an intangible romantic quality to the sometimes calm, sometimes frenetic paths that have gathered so much history. It should come as no surprise, then, that many of those who come to stay in the hostels in Paris are keen to explore the city on foot. This type of visitor is not necessarily a backpacker; they may well have money to spend on more expensive accommodation, but are keen to immerse in a more inclusive and authentic experience of the city. The centrality and diversity of the locations of hostels in Paris, juxtaposed with the ease with which one can stroll around the city, using the central River Seine as a backbone of discovery, make it an ideal choice for this kind of traveller.

The Photographer

It seems that everyone is a photographer these days. The advent of quality lenses on mobile phone cameras and social sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterest has seen the end of photography as a domain for the professional or a culmination of artistic sweat and tears. This has also led to the rise of the traveller who seems perpetually glued to their camera. The best hostels in Paris serve as an opportune base, allowing the keen amateur snapper to explore the many central landmarks, museums, and cultural hot spots deemed the most photogenic. What could be more iconic than the instantly recognisable silhouette of the Sacre Coeur, or the imposing facade of the Louvre? But alongside those images are the ones waiting to be captured by the eagle-eyed amateur – ones of the street market in Montegueil or far ranging vistas from the tower of Montparnasse.

The Social Butterfly

The solitude of staying in a hotel is perhaps at its most romantic in this city, and has been exemplified in many a whimsical film. Yet such romance is often better tasted in the context of fiction! For many, the key to enjoying this famous cultural melting-pot lies in mixing with other travellers and, importantly, with locals. The hostels in Paris are designed to cater to this type of traveller, let’s call them the “social butterfly”, with a range of common areas that encourage open communication and the opportunity to share experiences.

The Gourmand

Along with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the romantic vision of lovers locked together by the Seine, the French capital is perhaps most renowned for its cuisine. The gourmand traveller, even those on a tight budget, will have at their disposal countless opportunities to taste, test and be tempted by the myriad places to eat in Paris. For those who choose to stay in a hostel, visiting local markets and purchasing authentic delicacies to bring back and cook for themselves is often one of the most memorable ‘foodie’ experiences of their stay.

Terrific Day Out in Central Park

Central Park is iconic to New York and located in the heart of Manhattan. Finding your perfect spot in the park might need a number of visits. Here are some perfect places to be at on a day out in Park.

  • Plan a Picnic
    Parks are naturally the best places to plan a picnic. At Central Park, you’ll discover countless lawns where you can have a terrific day out with your friends and family.

Not only is it scenic, but also the perfect hangout place on a summer day. While you bring delicious food to a picnic spread with your friends and family, make sure that you stroll through the park to explore the beautiful spots on a clear day.

  • The Picturesque Pond
    One of the most picturesque spots of Park is its pond which easily becomes everyone’s favorite spot. If you’re fed up of the hustle and bustle of the city, it is the perfect place to unwind and relax as you gaze at the serene waters. The pathways that border the water are ideal for strolling around and watching the stunning views of the park. The flora and fauna of Central Park adds to the delightful experience. While you’re there, immerse yourself in the magical sunset of the park. Since the pond is situated above the street level, it seems unbelievable that it is part of the city and yet so calm and peaceful.
  • Row, Row, Row your Boat
    Boating in Central Park Lake is one of the most famous activities that tourists and locals indulge in. For boating, you can rent boats and gondolas to spend an afternoon in the summers. From April to October, boating is a popular activity at the Central Park Lake which is also the second largest water body of the park. Before you opt for it, it’s best to check out the weather forecasts in advance so that your plans go the perfect way you planned for!
  • A Day Out at the Central Park Zoo
    The Central Park Zoo is one of the many places that make Central Zoo an awesome spot to visit. It’s particularly great if you plan to visit with the younger ones. The zoo has wonderfully managed to recreate the natural habitat of all the inhabitants. From some stunning collection of penguins to snow leopards and more, the Park Zoo is one of the best places to hang out while you’re there.

Amenities of Island Hotels

Research

Before you book your stay at any of the island hotels, you need to do your homework. You should know exactly what the accommodations are and what amenities are included. If it is a resort, you will want to know what type of food is offered and what activities are available for you to enjoy. If you are traveling with small children, you should determine if they have cribs or playpens available and reserve one in advance if you know that you will be needing it.

Talk to the Staff

It is easy to book everything online these days. However, by doing so, you lose contact with the people that work and live in the area. Even if you’ve settled on a particular inn, you should call the front desk and ask questions. Have one of them tell you about restaurants in the area and about the shopping. Ask in advance about activities that are going on or if there are any festivals available for you to visit.

Find a Few Points of Interest

After talking to the staff and doing your own research, write down a few points of interest in the area. Make sure you list several destinations from which to choose. While you don’t necessarily have to hit everything on your list, it will give you the chance to choose from the ones that sound the most interesting. Don’t forget to add important information like hours of operation, cost, and addresses of these activities.

Be Flexible

While you may have a long list of things you and your family might enjoy, you need to be flexible. You want to rest during your time away, not get more worn out by trying to visit a dozen places each day. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to sit out in the sun and sand, and enjoy the beautiful water for a day.

Get the Best Deal on Hotel Rooms

Contact the Hotel Directly

Although finding great deals is easy with comparison websites, contacting the desired hotel directly is the best way. You can send them an email or you can make them a call if you have the time.

By calling the hotel, you can find out about their deals, special packages or discounts, for instance. You can negotiate the prices with them until you are satisfied with the offer.

Consider Unpopular Hotels

Typically, hotels that have websites that rank high on search engines are good enough. But if a hotel doesn’t have a first page rank on a major search engine doesn’t mean it’s worth a look.

As a matter of fact, some unpopular hotels also offer great deals and lots of amenities. And the best thing is that these hotels are a lot cheaper than the popular ones.

Look for Coupons

If you want to save money, don’t forget to check out coupon websites. You may want to look for a coupon that you can use. Here, it’s important to keep in mind that reading the fine print is really important if you want to avoid any surprises down the road.

Check out Websites like Airbnb

Checking out websites, such as Airbnb can also help. These sites provide listings of locals who offer their apartments for travelers at fair rates. So, if you want to stay somewhere during your vacation, this is a good option.

Although this option is cheaper, know that it won’t allow you to enjoy the amenities offered by a good hotel. Moreover, you will have to follow the policies of the apartment owners.

Travel in the Off-Season

During the off-season, hotels tend to charge less as there are not a lot of customers. So, if possible, you may want to travel in the off-season. As a matter of fact, everything is cheap in the off-season including flight tickets, hotel rooms, and other stuff.

Branding Basics for Boutique Hotels

Brands can no longer be faceless entities for the consumer. We live in the age of information where the customer has access to all kinds of resources to facilitate his buying decision. These days, brands have a life and existence of their own, and customers interface with these identities on a daily basis.

Take yourself. What comes to mind when someone says the word “Marriott?” You’ll immediately conjure up an image of something intensely luxurious and opulent. Large foyers, gilded ceilings, soft-spoken yet crisply smart waiters, silver tureens and state of the art facilities. Why does your brain associate all this with one simple word?

That’s the magic of a brand. And the value of building it.

Think about the concept of identity, like your name, or who you are. All those things that go into making ‘you’ are also the things that set you apart from the rest of humanity. The same goes for a brand. It is an entity that is distinct from other entities in the same industry. In business-speak, this is called differentiation.

So, what differentiates one hotel from the other and why should we even engage in differentiation? The answers to these questions are altogether simple. Danny Meyer, the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), states that ‘recognition’ is the primary reason why guests wish to return to the same hotel.

Recognition only stems from uniqueness, and if you want to cultivate a battalion of loyal consumers, you’d better engage quickly. The reason why boutique hotels have been on the rise in the last decade is because the modern traveler does not want a monolithic experience that he will get in any typical chain hotel. They want a uniquely curated experience that they can fondly remember, and if they get that, they will come back to you.

That brings us to the next aspect – what differentiates one hotel from the other? Experience differentiates. All that your guests are exposed to, that they feel, that they’re touched by when they interact with the tangible aspects of your brand constitutes its ‘experience’.

A strong brand is that which stands completely apart from its competitors. Think about it: A thousand others are vying for the consumer’s attention, essentially promising core hospitality services. Mergers and acquisitions have made it even more confusing for the customer today.

The world’s 10 largest hotel chains now offer a combined 113 brands at various price points, 31 of which didn’t exist a decade ago. This makes differentiation more important. IBISWorld also pegs the boutique hotel industry at 7 billion as of June 2017; rising at a CAGR of 4.8%.

Therefore, the essence of your brand needs to be different, and it needs to percolate down to all aspects of the brand – from your design, to service, to logo and so on. Let’s now run you through the standard elements that make up a brand.

As things stand, the boutique hotel is distinguished from other hotel sectors by its uniqueness, personalized service, authenticity, quirky, aesthetic elements of surprise, and enhanced customer experiences that extend beyond the hotel space.

We’ll start with the basic, longstanding suggestions for brand building before getting specific.

  • Logo: This is the sign and signifier of your brand. It’s also one of the most integral parts of the brand experience, since it fosters recognition and familiarity. Good logo design is always driven by strategy unless you want people to get the wrong message. Testing your logo before finalising it is always a good idea.
  • Tagline, and Brand Message: Construct a strong tagline and underline key attributes of your brand, which you then use to add to your brand essence. Highlighting this without being too invasive is necessary.
  • Percolation: Your brand identity needs to show through in all aspects of the hotel experience. This distinction will appear from the way you answer phone calls to the way your staff greets people. All communication, offline and online, needs to consistently portray a message that contributes to the brand essence.
  • Design: This does not simply extend to logo and communication design. Of course, you need to be consistent with all your creatives and colour schemes, but we’re also referring to architectural and décor-based elements, which have to carry the brand identity on their shoulders.
  • Promise and Delivery: This is perhaps the most important. While boldness and in some cases, cockiness may be appreciated, don’t promise things that you cannot deliver. Customers shy away from such farcical engagements. For example, if your hotel is a budget hotel, then adding features that don’t exist or putting up fake pictures are extremely bad practices that you need to avoid at all costs.

While branding guidelines may remain the same more or less across the board, boutique hotels may not always enjoy the flow of cash that bigger chains do. But, despite your tight budget, it is inadvisable to compromise on your branding efforts, or you might end up in a penny wise pound foolish situation.

Phase out your expenses, by all means. Prioritize certain elements of branding over the others, but don’t ignore them completely. You don’t have to go for the most expensive options, but you must consider the most effective ones

Here are a few more suggestions that boutique hotels should keep in mind before getting started with their branding efforts.

  • Do not be inconsistent. I understand that boutique hotels are all about personalisation, but that can be reflected in the services you offer. The brand essence needs to be unique and reinforced as such. Too many logo and design changes are also a hindrance when it comes to establishing a recognizable identity.
  • Segmentation: The best thing about boutique hotels is that it really is a place for everyone. From those who’re seeking comfort to the rugged backpacker, everyone can find what he wants here. And your hotel should strongly communicate that. Customize different packages for different kinds of travelers – businessmen, couples, families, etc. – and let it also reflect in your rates.
  • Networking: This is one of the strongest strategies for the hospitality world. Networking generates more referrals, and increases legitimacy drastically. Having a good, symbiotic relationship with the locals and the environment will be an invaluable help.
  • Brand Extension: Apart from your core services, you can engage in outsourcing a little. Toiletries, cutlery, linens, can all be sourced from others but branded for your benefit. Or you can indulge in co-branding, where you may tie-up with spas, décor companies and so on. This not only boosts your presences, but also gets you subsidised goods in the process. You can also invest in experiences beyond the hotel space, like customised nature walks, workshops, and more. However, choose your partners with care. They should not convey messages that are dissonant with your brand’s tone, essence, and image.
  • Show Restraint: Do not overemphasize, or be too wordy with your communication, unless the format demands it. You may have a lot to say, but consider presenting it in a manner that isn’t always text heavy, like videos, infographics, or newsletters.

 

Plan a Hunting Safari to South Africa

The seasons of hunting comes to when it is wet and when it is dry, this makes a big difference in hunting because of the watering hole aspect. Different styles for hunting can be used for both. Some hunters would like rather to use a bow but that would cut out the possibility of hunting thick skinned large animals such as elephant, white and black rhino, crocodile and so forth. Although some provinces do not allow bow hunting, the northern cape is one of the ones that do. Bows are usually more used when animals are gathered around the watering hole as it is easier to shoot from close range where the bow is most effective.

There are no automatic rifles allowed for hunting in South Africa as well as no weapon using a rim fire.22 or smaller caliber ammunition. No air guns are permitted for hunting with shotguns except in the case of birds. The minimum legal caliber to hunt South African dangerous game is 375, you are also allowed in most cases of big (dangerous) game you are to use other calibers that are larger. Always remember to in all instances to always make use of premium grade ammunition.

When it comes to permits the owners of the farm obtain permits to cover hunting on their property. There are spices that are listed as threatened or protected and permits are obtainable accordingly. The rules for hunting these animals apply to the listed species under the Biodiversity Act of 2004 and they are categorized accordingly.

Endangered: Tsessebe, Black Rhinoceros, Mountain Zebra, African wild dog, Oribi

Vulnerable: Cheetah, Samango monkey, Bontebok, Roan antelope, Suni, Leopard, Blue duiker

Protected: White Rhinoceros, Black Wildebeest, Spotted Hyaena, Black-footed cat, Brown Hyaena, Serval, Elephant, Sharpe’s grysbok, Reedbuck, Cape fox.

Hunting on the southern tip of Africa has always, just in the rest of the world been very popular, maybe even a little bit more. The vast difference in climates as well as the great diversity of spices that are on offer allow for year around hunting. But more so the beautiful landscapes that the hunting is done on make it a worthwhile experience even if that trophy you seek escapes your grasp.

Splendid Hotels in Greece

In a nutshell, hotels in Greece ensure unique experiences of exclusiveness in landscapes that only few people had the chance to visit. Also, they provide flawless services in ultramodern accommodations, private beaches, top notch gastronomy and rare shots.

In Greece, indulgence is combined with Greek myth and the visitor is certain that they have found their personal paradise on earth. Luxurious destinations in Greek islands and northern Greece promise truly genuine experiences. Come in contact with natural landscapes of unrivalled beauty hiring a sailing boat or yacht. Also, indulge in premium holidays in Greece in complete serenity, quiet and privacy in top class hotels in Greece.

Allow the perfectly trained staff of the luxury Greek hotels to spoil you, catering to every need you may have and fulfilling every demand of yours 24/7. Relax visiting the spa centre of your hotel, taking care of your body with the best natural products, doing yoga in nature and massage of all kinds. “Redeem” yourself with healthy Mediterranean diet which is ideal for detoxification. Every experience in a Greek hotel entails complete regeneration.

And every moment spend in Greece is a memorable picture. Imagine dining under the light of candles or walking along the dock with the view of lights that shimmer at the opposite Cycladic village. Enjoy cool cocktails on relaxing sunbeds at the beach, which remind you how sweet summer tastes. Also, winetasting is very common in Greece in old wineries where tradition blends with the art of making wine. Are you keen on sea sports or cultural events that resemble to cinematographic sceneries? Then again Greece is your place.

How about going shopping at the most iconic markets of the Aegean Sea? Of course we mean Santorini and Mykonos, where you will enjoy unique experiences of luxury with the view of the Aegean Sea. Also, relish the renowned sunset in Santorini tasting local wine under the sound of relaxing music as the horizon is painted in wonderful colours and the figures of the picturesque surrounding islets emerge. You need to know that these kinds of pictures are not erased from your memory.

Greece hosts some of the most beautiful destinations for luxurious holidays. What makes these destinations so special? Certainly the fact that they combine sophisticated services in a unique natural setting. Here the visitors will enjoy top class hospitality, unprecedented activities, sea sports, spa services and unrivalled gastronomy in landscapes and well-known places all over the world for their natural beauty, their long-lasting history, culture and unique architecture.

The time of catharsis has come. Rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically with spa treatments, accompanied by the Mediterranean lights and the energy of the sea. Can you imagine being surrounded by lit candles on the water which will escort you to your dinner with your fiancé? This is an experience that will enchant the senses.

The scenarios of luxury hotels aren’t used up just with regard to the sea. There are also luxury resorts and boutique hotels in Greece, as well as challets and traditional guest houses that wait patiently the guests in numerous mountainous destinations all over Greece. Combine accommodation with skiing and other winter sports on ski slopes.

Wherever you find yourself, either inside luxury hotels or in the settlements around them, local dishes will definitely impress you. Indulge in a meal or dinner in the well-known restaurants with elective Greek wines. Greek cuisine is a type of artistic creativity. Numerous restaurants, which you will have the chance to visit, have been awarded with prizes on a national and international level for their dishes; therefore they number among the best restaurants across Europe.

Cafes, bars with top aesthetics and sophisticated music, breathtaking view and special atmosphere, with innovative drinks complete the amazing experience of holidays when staying in luxury hotels in Greece. Specialized companies that organize activities, private excursions and guided tours in archaeological sites, flights and wine tasting are always at your disposal every day during your holidays. Prepare yourselves for the most unique moments of your life all year long, whether at seaside or mountainside.

Picking Your Holiday

Your budget will be the biggest contributing factor in your destination. Some holidays are bound to be more expensive than others. Making sure you have the money and can afford to get there and back, pay for the hotel fees, all of your consumption and anything you want to do is important. There is no point going anywhere just to sit in a hotel room because you can’t afford to do anything.

What you want to do and what you want to see is vital. Don’t go somewhere because somebody else told you so- go somewhere you dream about traveling to. This is your money, so it’s important you visit somewhere where your needs are met. If you’re looking for a lovely, relaxing week away, then don’t book a party resort. If you’ve always dreamt about visiting New York, then go! Make sure that you have researched your destination and know that it is right for you- don’t waste your money and spend your time wishing you could come home!

You have to have some form of the idea of what you want from your holiday. Do you want to go somewhere hot or cold? Do you want to party, explore a new city, ski, relax on a beach resort or shop? Who are you traveling with and what do they want? Asking yourself the right questions can narrow down your potential destinations. If you’re clearer about what you want to get from your holiday, then you’ll be able to work out what destination is perfect for you.

Flexibility and patience can pay off when it comes to traveling. The summer holidays are the most expensive times to travel, and your costs could be halved or less if you decide to wait until the rush is over. Booking in advance also allows you to get cheaper flight tickets and hotel stays. This time could also be used to plan your adventure and save up, making sure you’re fully prepared for when the time comes! Don’t just book the first price you get, shop around and explore the possibility of waiting a few weeks to get the perfect price for you.

Be creative and decisive when you book. Booking early not only really helps the price; it also gives you a piece of mind. Knowing it is all booked and taken care of is one less stress on your day. Remember that you don’t have to visit anywhere because everyone else has been there- be unique with your choices. Some countries have beautiful cities away from the capital, which can be a rewarding and extraordinary choice.

Beyond Charas

Charas is a black, sticky substance that is extracted from cannabis plants by continuously rubbing the plants, and it has been cultivated and used by the locals for decades. Lord Shiva is said to smoke it, which makes it a substance of immense religious importance in a region that is predominantly Hindu.
When foreigners, mostly backpackers, and hippies, first stumbled upon the valley and discovered the potent charas, they couldn’t wait to take it back with them, as it had immense value in the west. More interestingly, the natives of the valley had little idea of the prices their products would fetch, as they kept selling it for extraordinarily low prices.

Thus started a drug trade that grows stronger with every passing year. The natives are now fully aware of their products’ value in the international markets. As a result, thousands of acres of Himalayan lands, located in the upper reaches of the valley, remain full with cannabis plantations from April onwards. They are allowed to thrive and grow till September when the rubbing process begins, and the charas is extracted. It’s hard work, but it definitely pays; to what extent, however?

Earnings may have skyrocketed for the locals in recent years thanks to the charas trade, but most people these days venture into the Valley in the only for charas, and they rarely want anything more. This strong undercurrent of indifference for the natural magnificence of the region has resulted in a huge amount of litter on the Himalayas.

Pay a visit to any of the villages in and around the Valley, and it wouldn’t be long before you can spot garbage on the sides of the mountains. The banks of the Parvati River too, haven’t been spared, and Kasol, probably the most popular destination in the Valley, is among the many victims.
With no proper waste management system in place, it is imperative that visitors to the Valley handle plastic and packaged products with utmost care, especially in remote places of the Valley like Kheerganga, which can be accessed only after a 3-hour trek. But on the contrary, the crowd stays busy in drug-fuelled fantasies, happily ignoring the need of the hour; keeping Parvati clean and green.

Charas may be intrinsic to the Parvati Valley way of life, but the Valley needs to be seen as much more than just a place that produces a really potent drug. It’s time all of us admired the Valley for its views of spectacular snow-capped Himalayan peaks, its apple trees, and all its lush greenery, and played our parts in protecting Parvati from the dangers of too much plastic and pollution.

Some Mistakes Want to Avoid When Booking Hotel Room

Booking too Early

In Asia, you don’t have to spend a lot to spend your vacations unlike Europe. For instance, in Dubai, even if you book two months ahead of the season, you can save up to 40%.

Booking over 5 months ahead of your Trip

Booking over 5 months in advance will cost you more in case of some places that the study covers. However, two exceptions are Moscow and Barcelona. For these places, you can choose to book up to 7 months in advance and still save a lot. As a matter of fact, traveling to Moscow can get you up to 55% discount, which is a huge sum.

Worrying about Summer Season Bargains in the Caribbean

Conventionally, in the Caribbean, low-season pricing may help you save a hefty sum of money. You don’t have to worry about when to book to get the best deal as booking when the prices are the lowest can save you as high as 7%, which is not much. In other words, you can enjoy the lowest prices no matter when you choose to book.

Thinking about last-minute savings for Expensive Cities

If you are going to visit New York city, know that you can’t get the best deals for summer trips. However, if you still want to save a considerable sum of money, consider booking 30 to 60 days ahead of your trip. This can help you cut your expenses by 25%.