Posts from the ‘HOSPITALITY’ Category
I wrote about visiting Bali and what to see last year, but I didnt write anything about my visit to Bali itself last year. The truth is, when visiting a new exciting place with young kids under 3, it is better to enjoy the hotel facilities and have fun there. Yes, we can go out for lunch but not very often. Holiday style will not be very active, but its a good idea to stay in a place that offers plenty of activities for the kids.
We decided to stay in Cemagi Residence, an independent villa near the sea, but away from the razzmatazz of nightlife of Kuta or Seminyak (the in-place for party animal tourists)
Location of this place is around 45 minutes from Seminyak, or on a busy road, it could take 2 hours from the airport. A bit isolated and was difficult for us to get daily supplies; we needed a car to get all the provisions, however, as this was a proper villa to rent, the very nice staff offered us the facilities to buy our daily needs from the local shop every morning.
When we reached the place for the first time, we felt that it was very far and long way into the ‘interior’ of Bali, which in reality is not true. The problem was to go there was through a bit of rice field and a number of small villages.
The main entrance gate was small, just as wide as a car width, less than 2.4 meters, and after a longish drive in seemed even smaller, the front porch as well as the entrance to the house was not that impressive. I was a bit disappointed when I saw the entrance, what could it be once we are there, it might be an overpriced accommodation….
But once we were passed the foyer, straight away we looked at big garden, the swimming pool, the sunken sitting area and the view overlooking to the sea…. It really blew our minds, the place was simply amazing, brilliant. Just right for us to unwind for a week and we didn’t need the noisy Kuta or Seminyak to enjoy our stay in Bali.
Cemagi Residence consisted of 3 double bedrooms, a media room, swimming pool that one can swim laps as well as enjoy the infinity edge that reached out to the sea.
Dining room and a sunken relaxing area is also part of the facilities of the villa.
What I liked most was that it still had a good expanse of grass that we could play Frisbee or even mini football with our grand children.
In addition to that it had an extra gazebo at the end of the property that overlooked the Mengening beach, where we could sit all afternoon quietly waiting for the sunset to fall without having to go to any razzmatazz public beach like in Kuta or Seminyak or Ku-deta or other similar places.
For further information:
Jalan Pantai Mengening Cemagi,
Desa Cemagi -Mengwi-Canggu,
I am always excited when we go to the UK for holiday. Yes, I have been there many times before and each time we go to different places and thus we experience something new each time. One of the things I always get excited about is finding accommodation. Elsewhere on our travels we normally stay in a hotel, either it’s cheap or a fancy five star hotel, but in the UK, there are so many options that let me be exposed to the daily life of the “ethnic English” – as my husband used to say when we are mingling with the “locals”. As we are in the UK, and I am the foreigner, I love to see how the “locals” go about their daily life. London gives me the metropolitan and busy look of UK, but the country is not about London; it’s about the other cities, the villages and the countryside.
Thanks to Booking dot com we found a great little Bed & Breakfast place near Shaftesbury – the small English town that I planned to photograph. I decided to stay in the B&B called The Old Forge, however, the picture shown in it’s website shows everything except the most important thing: the bedroom and the bathroom.
However, from Booking dot com, there are:
- No pictures of how the bed/bed rooms look like. In normal condition, I wouldn’t want to go to a place where I can’t see where I would sleep – I ignored this condition.
- No review from previous visitors about this place; as I think its important to know what people say about the place – I ignored this condition again. (this is a new place in Booking dot com, thus no body had written a review).
The reason I was so attracted to this place is because the outdoor images were so interesting; this is the country living that I could ever imagine. Fingers crossed that this place was the genuine article and good enough to stay overnight. We booked it for 3 nights, and if it was not good enough we could always run away to the next better place near by….
We arrived at The Old Forge very late that day, almost 10pm, and we failed the intelligennc test as we missed the location which was exactly by the main road. There was no sign from the street that this is It, and it was dark already. My husband then said: “I think this is it, it looks similar to the picture on the website….”
As soon as we knock on the small cottage house door we were greeted by Lucy and Tim, our hosts for the next few days. As it was very late already – at least according to our norms when we normally go to bed at 9.00 pm – they directly show us around, where breakfast was serve and our bedroom and bathroom. Somehow they understood that we were too tired to have a little chit-chat, so they let us go to our room after agreeing breakfast time.
To my surprise, the room was beautifully clean, and it had everything there as a 3+ star hotel would have, small telly with it’s widget, kettle to heat water in case we wanted to make our own coffee or tea. In the hallway, there’s a little fridge where Lucy put a pot of milk, for our tea with milk as some English people do. As it is an old cottage house, there is a wash basin inside our room. however, our bedroom has no en-suite bathroom but we have our dedicated private bathroom/toilet in the very next room.
The next morning, as agreed we came down to the breakfast room, the breakfast table was set nicely looking towards the window to a small garden and another cottage house they owned as an independent cottage.
If you look at the picture above, Lucy offered us four different menu options, where she baked the bread every morning and the eggs are from their free range chickens.
As we were the only guest that morning, Lucy and Tim show us around their interesting barn/cottage, where it turned out that they have several room to rent, as a matter of fact they have three types of accommodation:
- Conventional bed and breakfast the type we were staying.
- Self catering accommodation, with it’s own living room and kitchen, one located attached to the main cottage, and the other one is an annex to Tim’s garage.
- Last type of accommodation are what they call ‘Glamping’ – glamorous camping. Located on their grounds.
Added to the attraction of a unique facility of this B&B, they also has a bit of ground where they keep their animals such as a horse, a donkey called Scrumpy Jack who even has his own Facebook page
We stayed there for three nights and before we knew it, it was time for us to leave. Lucy and Tim had been perfect hosts and we enjoyed very much our stay with them, including their three generation dogs Willow, the black lab, Pudding and Pie, the labradoodle dogs, Scrumpy Jack, the chickens which we ate their eggs everyday and their horse. When we left, Lucy was waiting to give us her last wave from in front of their porch.
I have even more photographs of the Old Forge which I will upload on my gallery on the 1st June.
What I did not know was they are not new in the business, they have run this business for more than 20 years, even though they are new to the Booking dot com database. If circumstances enable us to visit them again, I definitely will do that, however if you are interested to visit Tim & Lucy Kerridge then contact:
Dorset SP7 0NQ
Syria maybe in turmoil today, but I was lucky enough to visit Syria just a week before the Arab Spring started, in March 2011.
I was really amazed on how much history the city and the country had to offer the visitor. In fact, to me Damascus was like a museum, the whole city full of artefacts, its history maybe as long as human civilisation. One of the examples was our hotel where we stayed for two nights.
The Orient Palace Hotel is located only a few hundred meters from the Old City of Damascus, on a big square. The hotel itself was not in a very good condition. As per our travel operator, this hotel was an acceptable hotel, and they charged us £90 a night. Well, minus booking and administration cost, we assumed the we should have paid to the hotel £70,- direct to the hotel.
Guess what, this is what it really looks like:
This is what lonely planet wrote in their 2004 edition:
“Located on a busy area across Hejaz train station, the Orient has been around since 1929′s (almost 100 years ago), and depending on the level of enthusiasm, it either has plenty of period charm or resembles a gloomy 19th century medical institution. Rooms are a bit fusty, but they are clean and most have balconies”.
Yes, I agree it was a bit fusty and old, and could do with a bit of renovation. Yes centrally located, but what I can’t accept is that I have to pay so much for such badly deteriorated facilities, as according to Lonely Planet, it’s categorised as a Mid Range Hotel.
As usual, before we travel, I booked my hotel online thru various online booking agencies. When I tried St Andrew, I wonder why all hotel prices are above £ 80.- and from the pictures and the review it worth not more than max £60.-???
As I have no choice, and I don’t want to stay in a too shabby hotel, – this was supposed to be our honeymoon – I finally picked a hotel with a rather middle of the road price, not too cheap and not too expensive according to St Andrews’ standard (which is different from Edinburgh’s standard). Read more…
My experience as an expat in Arabia is that the company always provides the accommodation. An apartment is provided and it is up to me whether to share it with a flat mate or just live by myself. The problem is the standard of living we want to have, whether the accommodation provided is up to our standard or maybe beyond our normal standard.
Off course, there are different ways of looking at it; just accept what the company has provided good or bad, and get on with it as this is only a ‘temporary place’, before moving on to another place, another company, and even another country before going home; or as we are living in a hardship location (that is separate from our love ones and in a foreign country, less facilities etc) we deserve Read more…