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[tab:Hostels/Hotels]
Hostels / Hotels

Argentina

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Jordan

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Portal del Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Portal del Sur, Buenos Aires
Image: TripAdvisor

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Hipólito Yrigoyen 855, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: www.portaldelsurba.com.ar

Good hostel, friendly staff, excellent location
If you are interested to do a walking tour of Buenos Aires, then this is the place you want to stay because of it’s location. The hostel is easily walkable from main spots on Ave 9 de Julio and Congresso.

We stayed on the 4th floor in a 4-bed private ensuite room and were satisfied with the room and amenities. The hostel has friendly staff that speak English and the shared bathrooms are clean and well maintained.

Tango Backpackers, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tango Backpackers, Buenos Aires
Image: TripAdvisor

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Paraguay 4601, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: www.tangobp.com

Rude staff, terrible layout
This is located in the heart of Palermo accessible to a lot of great restaurants, and a short cab ride from the Centro. The staff at the desk were very unhelpful and sometimes rude. When we asked for any suggestions on restaurants that serve soup (since our friend was sick), they didn’t have any! When we asked for some general information on places around, they just told to wander around and see!

The layout of the hostel is just weird and terrible. To reach our room we had to walk 2-3 times with the staff person to be able to remember our room. The beds were ok, but the pillows were very unclean and bad.

And the weirdest part was that they close the rooftop at 8-9pm and when asked they said because the neighbors complain. Which hostel in the world close their rooftops in summer at 8pm?!

Marcopolo Inn, Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
Marcopolo Inn, Puerto Iguazu
Image: Hotels.com

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Av. Cordoba 158, Puerto Iguazu 3370, Argentina
Website: www.marcopoloinniguazu.com

Great location, good rooms
This hostel has very friendly staff and great location in the center of Puerto Iguazu and is right across from the bus station.

We got a private room with 4-beds and a bathroom. The shower door was broken and so was the bathroom door. The swimming pool was closed and dirty, although it being the peak summer season in December. When we asked the staff they said they will open it but were not sure when.

Overall, this is a great place, with a good front open space for reading and catching up with other travelers.

 

House of Sandra, Split, Croatia
House of Sandra, Split, Croatia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Nincevica 11, Split 21000, Croatia
Website: www.vjekoslav-cvitkovic.iz.hr

Excellent location, price & host
We stayed in apartment Marco for 2 nights and paid 80 Euros, which included a pick up from the bus station; which literally a 7 minute walk. The host was gracious enough to pick us up and spoke English too which helped us get guidance about the places to see and eat. The apartment is in a quiet neighborhood, very very clean (upon request, the beds can be separated or joined) and right next to a cafe for some morning coffee!

Remember that from the bus station, this is a bit of a uphill walk, so if you’re carrying heavy luggage, then reaching to this place (although just 5-7 min walk) can be a bit strenuous.

inZagreb ‘City’ Apartment, Zagreb, Croatia
inZagreb City Apartment, Zagreb, Croatia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Petrinjska 42A, Zagreb 10000, Croatia
Website: www.inzagreb.com

Excellent location, good price & generous host
inZagrab operates many apartments across Zagreb. We stayed at the apartment ‘City’, which is 2 minutes walk from the Central Railway Station and 8 minutes walk from the Main Square of Ban Josip Jelačić. ‘City’ is a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a building which is not on one of the main streets, but yet busy during weekdays because it’s one of the streets that run from the train station to the main square. There’s a bar right outside the apartment building and can be noisy at night with Croats drinking away! But since the apartment is at the back of the building, the noise level is down. The HI Hostel is opposite this apartment building too.

Overall, this is an excellent apartment with all the amenities included in the price. We paid EUR 150 for two nights in May 2011. Clean bathroom, clean bed & sheets, excellent hosts and since you have rent an apartment, you don’t have to worry about hours (except for check-in and check-out).

You can also ask for an airport pickup for EUR 20 and they will drive you from the airport to the apartment, which is about a 40-minute drive.

 

Jerusalem Hostel, Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem Hostel, Jerusalem, Israel

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: 44 Yafo (Jaffa) Street, Jerusalem
Website: www.jerusalem-hostel.com

Great hostel, excellent location
Located in one of the best locations you could ask for, this is a very nice hostel with excellent rooms and great service. The staff is very friendly, helpful and English-speaking. We stayed in a double-bed room (room #1) with a huge window and ensuite bathroom. Although the hostel is located on one of the main street – Jaffa (Yafo) road – minutes walk from the post office and Old City and all the restaurants, it can get a bit noisy with all the construction going on around. The construction starts at 6am and goes on until late evening, but that should not defer you from staying here.

The kitchen is small, but the best part about this is they start breakfast at 6am, so if you’re an early-riser and would like to have the free breakfast and head out then the early start is a good thing. They accept payments in USD, EUR, GBP and NIS.

Florentine Hostel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Florentine Hostel, Tel Aviv, Israel

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: 10 Elifelet Street, Tel Aviv
Website: florentinehostel.com

Tiny hostel, good rooms but…
Florentine hostel is located in the southern neighborhood with the same name and close to bars and beach. The location is a good 10-minute walk to the beach and Old Jaffa area. Located in a small street, this is a bit difficult to find considering the small house number sign outside the door, and upon entering the building, it’s a walk up two floors and if you have suitcases or heavy backpacks then it can be tiring!

We stayed in a private queen-size bed-room (room #2) with a small window and shared showers, that were clean and small. The hostel has a huge terrace and expect some travelers living in the terrace. All in all, this is a good hostel, with helpful staff, and in a great location. Payments accepted in NIS only.

 

Abbasi Palace Hotel, Amman, Jordan
Abbasi Palace Hotel, Amman, Jordan

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: 70 Quraish Street, Amman 09999
Website: www.abbasipalace.hostel.com

In the city center, but depressing rooms
Being in the heart of the city center, this hotel with basic amenities is located just 5 minutes walk from the Roman Theater and King Hussein Mosque; and not in the quietest area! The early morning prayer call can wake you up at 5am. Local souqs (Markets) are walking distance from this hotel and so is the trendy Al-Rainbow street. The neighborhood is very safe to walk around in the night, with some eateries open until late night.

The reception staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They will arrange for taxi at a decent rate if you want to travel around to Mount Nebo, Madaba and Dead Sea. They also got desserts for us on one evening.

It can be a bit annoying to find the entrance to this hotel where you have to go to the side of the building and take the elevator to the 1st floor. There are no distinct markings! There is no rooftop access if you are a smoker, but you will see people smoking inside the building, in a small area next to the reception.

Taxi drivers from the airport or bus station know this place well, so just mention the name of the hotel in city center.

The rooms are basic, not always clean and you may have to keep asking for basic amenities like towels or a fan (in summer months). Not all rooms have AC, so make sure to check before booking.

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Red Sea Dive Center, Aqaba, Jordan
Red Sea Dive Center, Aqaba, Jordan

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: South Beach, Aqaba 77110
Website: www.aqabascubadiving.com

Bad location but great for scuba diving and relaxing
Located far from the Aqaba city center, a one way taxi ride would cost you around JOD 5. Red Sea Dive Center is located near the public South Beach. The rooms are very spacious, clean and pleasantly decorated. They serve Turkish breakfast that includes cucumbers, tomatoes and olives with pita bread, pineapple juice, with a little bit of continental. The nice pool in the center of the hotel provides a good escape from hot afternoons of Aqaba.

They also offer scuba diving (JOD 40 pp) and snorkeling (JOD 30 pp) inclusive of all equipment, ride to the beach and training. We opted for a single dive of about 45 minutes (including training for beginners) that covered the beautiful site of Japanese Gardens. We were provided with all the equipment and basic instructions. Our instructors were very patient with us and gradually progressed us to the deep waters. Measuring up to six meters of depth, our very first diving experience and our trainer Abdullah Momany made it really special by taking underwater pictures with no additional cost.

We stayed for two nights costing JOD 25 per night per person. The place is great except for the fact it was quite an uphill walk from the beach.

Saba’a Hostel, Wadi Musa (Petra), Jordan
Saba'a Hostel, Wadi Musa (Petra), Jordan

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Wadi Musa
Website: www.sabaahotel.com

Great hostel, friendly staff, good rooms
If you’re looking to stay in some place close to the Petra entrance, then this is not the one for you. But the good part is that it’s a downhill walk of about 10-15 minutes to the entrance pf Petra from the hostel and on your way back you will find a taxi for 1 JOD. Saba’a hostel is located in the heart of Wadi Musa city center, a stone-throw away from all the shops and restaurants. The other bad part, apart from being away from Petra entrance, is that it’s located next to a mosque, which can get noisy during the prayer calls.

Owned and managed by Gail (from Britain) and her husband Ibrahim, this hostel has good and clean rooms – although the one we stayed at had an amazing view in the city center but the fan in the room was very noisy at its max. The staff are extremely friendly and very considerate of everything in the hostel. Gail was kind enough to prepare a to-go breakfast of Tuna Sandwich (at a price) at 6a.m., that we could carry with us to Petra, for lunch. They also have water bottles at 0.500 JOD a big bottle, so make sure to carry them with you because everything inside the city of Petra is very expensive (a same size bottle in Petra will cost 2 JOD).

The views from the rooftop are breath-taking in day and night, so get some cold-drinks or coffee in the evening and watch the sun set from the nicely decorated rooftop.

no images were found

 

Cabo Inn, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Casa del Agua, Granada, Nicaragua

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service
Breakfast included: No.

Address: 20 De Noviembre Y Leona Vicario, 23469 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Website: www.caboinnhotel.com

Great location & service, but poor rooms
Located in the heart of the city, yet away from all the party zones of Cabo San Lucas, this is a great place for backpackers and travelers on a budget. The rooftop has an amazing jacuzzi pool and a great bed that you reserve, but the rooms are just alright! Read below why.

For security reasons, the main front door of the inn is locked and accessible only through the key. They don’t have a 24-hour reception desk, but the staff are very friendly and helpful. You can book a boat tour to El Arco through the hotel which costs us $10 per person for a return-ride, which is usually between $15-$40.

If you’re taking the local bus from San Jose del Cabo airport then the hotel is a 3-minute walk from the bus stop on the main boulevard.

We booked a room with 3-single beds and the weirdest part was the bathroom. It’s not fully covered and separate from the room, which means that with minimum privacy, it can be uncomfortable for others in the room! The door is just a flip-door with no lock. All rooms have hot water all day, and the bathrooms are clean, yet tiny. Although the beds are very comfortable, the room we chose didn’t come with AC but just a fan which really didn’t circulate any air.

The inn provides free wi-fi, coffee & juice in the mornings. All in all a great place for a weekend trip.

no images were found

 

Casa del Agua, Granada, Nicaragua
Casa del Agua, Granada, Nicaragua

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: Calle Guzman, Granada, Nicaragua
Website: www.casadelaguagranada.com

Good hostel, friendly staff, excellent location
The first thing you will notice about this family-led boutique place is how gorgeous and pretty it looks – the lobby is nothing but a courtyard with a swimming pool in the center and kitchen on one side, with rooms on other. The central room is located on the first floor right in the middle of the courtyard, and it has an amazing view of Mombacho Volcano.

The owner of this place – Gerald Webb – speaks English (being Irish) and is extremely helpful and great person to talk to. The rooms are well-decorated, lively and has all the amenities one can wish for a great, low price. Coffee is free all day and the ‘hostel’ has hot water, comfortable beds with mosquito nets.

Casa del Agua is centrally located in Granada and a hop-skip-and-jump from the main square. We highly recommend to book well in advance as the rooms get filled up really fast.

The only flip-side of the place is during high winds the roof trembles and creates a lot of noise, especially if you’re staying on the first floor room.

no images were found

 

Red Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay
Red hostel, Montevideo
Image: TripAdvisor

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service

Address: San Jose 1406 Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: www.redhostel.com

Friendly, good location, but…
The hostel is located in the Centro and close to Montevideo’s main attractions, but there are a few factors that gives a negative shadow to the hostel. First, the rooms are not clean. We stayed in room 11, which is a 4-bed mixed dorm and the roof was dripping water, and that too directly over an electric socket. We complained to the staff and all they did was put dry towels over the socket. I wonder how that’ll stop a fire! Second, there was no hot water for 2 mornings in the building complex we were in (they have 2 complexes), and so we were asked to use the showers of the main building. Third, the bathrooms in our building didn’t lock. So we had to make sure someone had to watch the door. Fourth, the beds are not comfortable at all, the pillows were nasty too!

The staff is friendly and nice. We had a great time with the staff when they kicked-off the pizza night.

[tab:Restaurants]
Restaurants

Argentina

Croatia

Israel

United States

Uruguay

 

La Cabrera Norte, Buenos Aires, Argentina
La Cabrera Norte, Buenos Aires
Image: TripAdvisor

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $$$
Address: Jose Antonio Cabrera 5127, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar

Best steak ever and very touristy
After a long wait of about 1.5 hours (they serve champagne while you’re waiting), we had the best steak in Buenos Aires at La Cabrera (North). Try the Mollejas Grilladas (grilled sweetbreads), Chivitos, Chorizo Criollo de rueda, and a whole lot.

We got a wine bottle on the house at the end of the meal. MAKE SURE to book in advance!

 

Lokanda Peskarija, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lokanda Peskarija, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $$
Address: Ribarnica 20000, Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Website: www.mea-culpa.hr

Sumptuous sea food and great views
Located right at the fishermen’s bay in Old Town, overlooking the old port of Dubrovnik, this is one of the most visited restaurant in Dubrovnik. Make sure to try the sea food platter for two persons (160 Kuna). It’s filling, delicious and has fish, scallops, shrimps and octopus. The restaurant can accommodate only forty guests, but the main attraction is the terrace restaurant that can accommodate up to 150 guests.

The views from the restaurant are breath-taking with the Old Town walls on one side and the fishermen boats in the bay. A lot of ferry tours to Lokrum Island and others start from right outside the restaurant.

Exit from the tiny gate opposite the cathedral to reach this place.

Šperun, Split, Croatia
Šperun, Split, Croatia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $$
Address: Šperun 3 Town Center, Split, Croatia
Website: facebook.com/pages/Šperun-ŠperunDeva

One of the best restaurant in Split
Your first impression upon reaching this restaurant will not be a good one, but don’t be fooled by this dingy place-in-a-hole. They are considered one of the best restaurants in Split for seafood, and we agree with that! It’s located up north with a 10 minute walk from the Riva. Finding a spot outside on the sidewalk can be difficult with only 2 two-person and 2 four-person tables available. There is seating inside but the best way to experience is to sit outside.

The service is very slow and occasionally you will find the waiters sneaking out and smoking in the corner. Try the grilled squids, sea bass and green pasta, they are quite delicious!

Read our travelogue on 8-day trip Croatia

 

Pasha Restaurant, Tel Aviv, Israel
Pasha Restaurant, Tel Aviv, Israel

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $$
Address: 8 Ha’arba’a St, Tel Aviv, Israel
Website: www.2eat.co.il/pasha

Best Turkish food in Tel Aviv
Very stylish but up’ed-priced kosher restaurant, Pasha has one of the best home-style dishes that are the heart of both Jewish and Arab family kitchens and eateries throughout the region.

The menu includes worthwhile appetizers of meat pies; Middle Eastern salads; stuffed vegetables in tasty sauces; and traditional, mildly exotic main courses of grilled meats, pargiot maklouba (seasoned rice casserole of deboned chicken thighs); or lamb moussakhan (served on sumac bread).

For dessert, try Arabic-style desserts and a variety of coffees.

 

Mayura Indian Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Restaurant

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $
Address: 10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Website: www.mayura-indian-restaurant.com

Horrible is the word
My friends and I went there for some South Indian cuisine and being Indian myself, we found that Mayura serves the worst South Indian cuisine. The food is dull, service is poor and worst of all – my friend found a roach in the fish curry!

If you’re looking for South Indian cuisine, just walk east one block on Venice blvd to Annapurna.

Raffi’s Place, Glendale, CA, United States
Restaurant

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Chicken Soltani at Raffi's Place, Glendale

Chicken Soltani at Raffi’s Place, Glendale

Price range: $$$
Address: 211 E. Broadway, Glendale CA, 91205
Website: raffisplace.com

Fabulous & tasty Persian / Armenian cuisine
Raffi’s Place has been rated as one of the best middle-eastern (Persian / Armenian) restaurant in town and we agree to that. Currently (June 2012) the entrance is a bit hard to find because of the construction work, but once you enter the restaurant, you get an elegant feel of the huge place. The service is good, but the food is fantastic!

Start with Hummus and Yogurt with cucumber as appetizers, and then get the Soltani Kabobs – beef, chicken and mahi mahi – that are to die for. We would not recommend this place for vegetarians, but you do have a few options like Ghormesabzi, which was quite terrible!

Singapore’ Banana Leaf, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Restaurant

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $
Address: 6333 W 3rd St, #122, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Website: www.singaporesbananaleaf.com

Mix of Indo-Chinese-Malay cuisine
It’s very difficult to pick a dish at this tiny restaurant that is a part of the Farmer’s Market in the heart of Los Angeles. They have seating for 10 people and the service is very fast.

Our favorite is Indo Style with chicken and noodles, that is listed on the menu on the side of the restaurant. Looking for something vegetarian? Try the Indian paratha along with the vegetable curry.

If you’re in the Farmer’s Market or The Grove, then this is a must-try place.

 

Mercado de la Abundancia, Montevideo, Uruguay
Mercado de la Abundancia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $
Address: 1312 Yaguaron, Esq. San Jose, Montevideo, Uruguay

One of the best Chivitos ever!
If you’re looking for this place then look out for the “museum” at the corner of San Jose and Yaguaron streets and enter the “museum”. This is where this gem is. It’s a common courtyard market between various restaurants. Most of the restaurants serve amazing food. Must-try things – Chivitos and fish. Pastas and pizzas are just about ok, but they have one of the best Chivitos in town. The staff don’t speak English there and the food is not expensive as compared to other restaurants. There’s a tango lesson place too, right next to the restaurants, so you can sit by the tables and watch people dancing through its glass wall.

Pizza Subte, Montevideo, Uruguay
Restaurant

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Food
Service

Price range: $
Address: Ejido 1327, Montevideo, Uruguay
Website: www.pizzasubte.com.uy

Great pizzas. Good location.
Located right off the Av 18 de Julio in Centro, this is a great pizza place with lots of toppings to choose from. A bow-tied waiter will take your order. They accept visa/mastercard. Try the pastas & fish too. This was recommended by our hostel staff and we were delighted to eat there.

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