The Roseate Villa Hotel in Bath, England

Home > Bath > The Roseate Villa Hotel Review
Updated: October 17, 2019

See Also

Review of The Roseate Villa in Bath, England.

The Roseate Villa – Luxury B&B bordering on boutique hotel and overlooking a vast park near central Bath.

Located less than a ten-minute walk from the center of the city, this luxurious B&B overlooks tranquil Henrietta Park. The twenty-one rooms vary from mid-sized to positively palatial, and are thoroughly contemporary, with one wall covered in boldly-patterned wallpaper and American-style shutters and blinds. Service is sweet and personalized, with check-in done over a cup of tea in the stylish dining room that doubles as a guest lounge. Besides terrific home-cooked breakfasts, there’s an honesty bar, and numerous dining options are just a short walk away.

The Roseate Villa – Location

  • Address: Henrietta Rd.
  • Area: Tree-lined residential street next to the former royal hunting grounds of Henrietta Park, across the river from central Bath. The location is both quiet and secluded, and just a short walk away from Bath’s main attractions, plus the cafes, restaurants, and bars of the city center. Pulteney Bridge is a 5-minute stroll, while the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey are a 9-minute walk.
  • How To Get There: Take one of the frequent trains from London Paddington to Bath Spa station (1.5 hours) and then walk for 13 minutes (0.7 mile), or take a taxi.
  • Handy To: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Victoria Art Gallery.

The Roseate Villa – The Basics

  • Ages: While many of the guests tend to be couples or travelers on a city break, families with children can be accommodated in some of the rooms.
  • View: Rooms look out either over the garden or over the vast green expanse of Henrietta Park.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/jacuzzis.
  • Laundry: In-room laundry service.
  • Parking: Parking on-site or with a street permit next to the hotel costs £15 per day, unless you book direct, in which case it’s free.
  • Extras: Complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. Honesty bar in the dining room. Extensive information on Bath’s attractions, plus dining recommendations.
  • When To Book: Reserve 2 months in advance for the May to October period as well as much of December (Christmas market) and the Christmas/New Year period.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +44 1225 466 329
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: roseatehotels.com

The Roseate Villa – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center.
  • For Disabled Guests: One room suitable for partially mobile guests.
  • For Families: Baby cots available; extra beds can be provided for older kids.

The Roseate Villa – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: There is no restaurant on the premises, though the dining room serves afternoon tea with home-baked cakes. There are also numerous dining options a short walk from the hotel, and the owner is happy to provide recommendations.
  • Lounge/Bar: The honesty bar in the dining room is stocked with spirits, wines, beer, and soft drinks. There are plans to open a fully-licensed bar on the premises.
  • Breakfast: Not complimentary unless you book direct. Excellent breakfast that includes homemade bread and jams, a cold buffet spread, plus a glass of Buck’s Fizz, and dishes cooked to order (full English breakfast, pancakes with bacon and maple syrup…). Costs £17.50. Served from 7.30-10 am on weekdays and up to 10.30 am on weekends.
  • Room Service: No room service, though the more expensive rooms come with fridges with milk for your tea and coffee. Guests staying in cheaper rooms can help themselves to milk from the communal fridge.

The Roseate Villa – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Double Garden View • Superior Double Garden View • Deluxe King Park View • Luxury King Park View • Luxury King Garden View • Suite
  • Smoking Rooms: Roseate Villa is 100% smoke-free.
  • Best Room: The Luxury King Park View Room 17 is fairly palatial, with a king-sized bed, comfortable sitting area, and the finest views of Henrietta Park.
  • For Families: No family rooms per se, but the Deluxe and Luxury rooms can accommodate baby cots and extra beds, as can the suite.

The Roseate Villa – Local Transport

  • Walking: The Victoria Art Gallery is a 6-minute walk, while the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey are a 9-minute walk apiece. Thermae Bath Spa and Jane Austen Centre are about a 12-minute stroll away. Easily walkable to the Royal Crescent, Assembly Rooms, and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Numerous bars, restaurants, and boutiques are across the river in central Bath.
  • Taxis, Uber: Taxis and Uber charge around £6 from the train station to the hotel. Central Bath is very walkable and you can easily reach all the main attractions on foot.

The Roseate Villa – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Mayor’s Honorary Guides – Superb free walking tours (no tips or gratuities accepted) run by certified city guides passionate about its history. Meet outside the Roman Baths at 10.30 am and 2 pm Sunday to Friday and 10.30 am only on Saturday. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Bizarre Bath Tours – These “hysterical rather than historical” walking tours are a fun-filled way to spend an evening and give you an irreverent overview of the city. They depart at 8 pm nightly from The Huntsman on North Parade. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Mad Max Tours – Award-winning small group day trips to popular locations outside Bath, such as Stonehenge, the Cotswolds villages, plus Glastonbury, Wells, and Cheddar Gorge. Departures from the Abbey Hotel on North Parade. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Giggling Squid – Contemporary Thai restaurant where the recipes are based on dishes that the chef grew up with, such as slow-cooked lamb massaman curry, spicy seafood pad cha stir-fry, and green curry with chicken. Thai tapas available throughout the day. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Pump Room Restaurant – Attached to the Roman Baths, this elegant Georgian dining room serves light lunches and proper afternoon teas, complete with cakes and dainty little sandwiches. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Acorn – Award-winning vegan restaurant. Choose from a 5 or 7-course tasting menu, opt for a menu of small plate classics, or go for a set 3-course lunch menu. Book ahead. 10-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Sotto Sotto – Considered to be the best Italian restaurant in the city, Sotto Sotto serves sophisticated dishes such as grilled sea bass with sweet potato gnocchi and fettucine with Gressingham duck inside a subtly-lit vaulted brick chamber. Book ahead. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Olé Tapas – Tiny tapas bar with wonderfully authentic dishes – from platters of cold cuts and Spanish cheeses with quince paste, to the paprika-dusted Galician-style octopus. Plenty of Spanish wines by the glass, too. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Hudson Steakhouse – Victorian pub turned award-winning steakhouse, with cozy fireplaces by the upstairs grill. Prime dry-aged steaks a specialty, plus good cocktails. Book ahead. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Dan Moon at the Gainsborough – Seasonal and creative Modern British fine dining making the most of sustainably-sourced ingredients, and served in the elegant dining room. Choose between a la carte, 3-course lunches, and the 5 and 7-course tasting menus. Smart casual. Reservations recommended. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Clayton’s Kitchen – With tables in the delightful outdoor passage, Clayton’s wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. The Modern British dishes are fresh, seasonal, and beautifully presented. Lunch is a bargain and there’s an eclectic wine list. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes and Tea Shops

  • Mokoko Coffee – Carefully selected coffees sourced from as far afield as Rwanda, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Tanzania, and prepared in numerous ways. Also tarts, croissants, and muffins made from scratch. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Sally Lunn’s – Locally revered tea shop serving classic afternoon tea, complete with tiny cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Alternatively, go for a Bath cream tea, which includes half of Sally’s famous toasted bunns, with cinnamon butter and with clotted cream on the side. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • The Colombian Company – Pint-sized, cosy coffee shop that specializes exclusively in single origin coffees from Colombia. An array of cakes tempt those with a sweet tooth. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Bars and Pubs

  • Opium – A discreet doorway tucked away under Grove St leads you into a snug warren of rooms, themed from Renaissance through to Victoriana. Opium is legendary locally for its cocktails, and can whip up one to your specifications. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • BeerCraft of Bath – Just off Pulteney Bridge, this lively craft beer bar with four rotating beers on tap doubles as a bottle shop that stocks over 500 bottled brews from all over Europe and further afield. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Canary Gin Bar – A must-visit for fans of all things juniper-based, the cozy, subtly-lit Canary stocks over 230 types of gin. Apart from killer G&Ts, there’s a long list of gin-based cocktails and occasional masterclasses. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • The Hideout – Whiskies from around the world are the specialty at this snug sub-basement bar hidden beneath a medieval stone arch, from Glennfidich single malts to Japanese whisky blends. Have it on the rocks, as part of a cocktail, or as a Crab Smasher shooter. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • The Raven – This congenial place is best for chats over a pint of ale, including their very own Raven Gold. There are also excellent pies to choose from, from classic meat to goat’s cheese and sweet potato. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Corkage – This cozy wine bar, lined with legions of wine bottles, has an excellent selection of tipples from all over the world, though it’s particularly strong on French, Italian, and Spanish wines. Small plates of creative bistro fare available for sharing. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • The Bell Inn – This no-frills, 18th-century pub is a beloved live music venue, with anything from blues, folk, and jazz to rock performed on Sunday lunchtimes and Monday and Wednesday evenings. Vinyl DJ sets on weekends and Abbey Ales’ Bellringer on tap. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

  • The Antique Map Shop – On Pulteney Bridge, this specialist shop is particularly strong on antique maps of Great Britain and its various regions. The oldest map here dates back to the 15th century. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Bath Aqua Glass – This glass-blowing workshop is open for demonstrations daily at 11 am and 2 pm, and the attached shop sells an excellent array of gifts. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Penhaligon’s – Bath branch of the illustrious British house of fragrances, started by a Cornish barber in London some 150 years ago. Also stocks high-end bath and body products. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Clandar – All about British textiles, Clandar specializes in designing and making its own range of British tweed clothing, with the tweed sourced from historic British tweed mills. Scottish cashmere and British woollens also sold here. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Independent Spirit of Bath – Besides specializing in single malt whiskies from Scotland and elsewhere, artisan gins, and the best of British craft beer, this shop also organizes whisky tastings and gin and cocktail masterclasses. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Castle Fine Art – This branch of the gallery showcases paintings, sculptures, sketches, and more by 60 contemporary British artists, from London cityscapes by Paul Kenton to cartoons of Marvel superheroes by Nigel Humphries. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Roman Baths Shop – Terrific gift shop with Roman and Bath-themed souvenirs, from Asterix books in Latin and books on the history of Roman Britain to small batch spirits by Bath Botanical gin and hand-foraged preserves by Heavenly Hedgerows. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • House of Fraser – With marble columns and an impressive façade, House of Fraser is the oldest department store in the UK, beautifully restored to its 1820’s splendor. Formerly known as Jolly’s. Inside, you’ll find fine homewares and luxury brands such as Chanel and Armani. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • DuoBoots – Calf-length, knee-length, and over-the-knee boots for ladies designed and sold here. Designs range from timeless classics to on-trend footwear. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Topping & Company – Browse one of UK’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders. The bookshop attracts year-round signings by authors and plays an important part in the annual Bath Literary Festival. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Nearby Attractions

  • Victoria Art Gallery – Bath’s second most visited museum displays works from over 2,000 artists inside a stately 19th-century building. These range from portraits painted by renowned artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Johann Zoffany to city landscapes by the likes of Walter Sickert and John Nash, and amateur works by up-and-coming local painters. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Roman Baths – Known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, this largely intact Roman baths complex dates back to 70AD and is fed by mineral-rich hot springs. Visitor highlights include the Great Bath, the temple courtyard, and the on-site museum with its wealth of mosaics, Roman coins, and statuary. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Bath Abbey Tower – For breathtaking views of Bath’s rooftops and the surrounding countryside, take a tour of the Abbey Tower. See the bell ringing chamber and a hidden room with the Abbey clock mechanism before scaling the spiral staircase all the way to the top. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Thermae Bath Spa – While it’s not possible to bathe in the Roman baths, you can enjoy the same mineral-rich waters as the Romans did 2,000 years ago at this state-of-the-art spa. Soak in the basement pool and hot tub, treat yourself to massages and facials, or head up to the open-air rooftop pool. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Jane Austen Centre – Museum dedicated to Bath’s famous former resident. British novelist Jane Austen lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806 and set two of her novels here: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, based on her observations of Regency society. There are hands-on exhibits, snippets from Austen’s letters, and guides dressed as characters from her novels. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Fashion Museum & Assembly Rooms – Marvel at the gowns, dresses, breeches, gloves, and wigs from fashion trends from the 17th to late 20th centuries, and don’t miss the special exhibit devoted to the fashions of the Royal Family. In the same building, the Assembly Rooms with their frescoed ceilings and original chandeliers used to host the 18th-century equivalent of the Kardashians and Paris Hiltons. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • The Circus – Comprising 3 terraces, each divided into 11 mansions, and curved around a circular green space, the Circus was inspired by Rome’s Colosseum and built in 1768 to the specifications of architect John Wood the Elder. Past residents have included painter Thomas Gainsborough, actor Nicolas Cage, and Clive of India. 16-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • No. 1 Royal Crescent – Designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built in the 1770s, this sweeping crescent of 30 four-story mansions overlooks an idyllic park. You can visit the restored Georgian mansion with original furnishings at No. 1: four-poster beds and wig-stretchers in the bedrooms, plus an elegant dining set in the grand dining room. 18-minute walk (0.8 mile).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Bath Guildhall Market – This covered market is the oldest shopping venue in the city. Twenty stalls and shops sell regional cheeses, leather goods, traditional British sweets, design-led jewelry, specialty teas and coffees, and second-hand books. There’s also an espresso bar and a café serving all-day English breakfasts and sandwiches. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Waitrose – Central branch of the high-end supermarket. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

The Roseate Villa – The Hotel

The hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood close to central Bath.

Roseate Villa sits on a quiet pedestrian street overlooking Henrietta Park – a former royal game reserve – yet it’s less than 10 minutes’ walk from central Bath.

There is plenty of quirky decor in the hotel.

Its rooms are spread across 3 floors, with quirky decor (including faux bookcases) on the landings.

The dining room comes with an honesty bar.

The Roseate Villa’s only drawback is that it doesn’t have a dedicated guest lounge, but the bright dining room doubles as a meeting space for guests and comes with an honesty bar. A terrific breakfast with plenty of homemade ingredients is served here from 7.30am.

The Classic Garden View rooms are compact but comfortable.

The Classic Garden View rooms are on the compact side, but come with excellent beds, striking wallpaper, and snug bathrooms with power showers.

Classic Garden View rooms have distinct wallpapers.

This is another example of a Classic Garden View room with its distinctive wallpaper.

Superior Garden View rooms are spacious.

Superior Garden View rooms are more spacious than the Classic rooms, but otherwise come with the same amenities.

Most rooms have bath and shower combos.

With the exception of Classic Garden View rooms, most rooms come with a rain shower and bath combo.

Superior Garden View rooms come with standard amenities.

This Superior Garden View room is decked out in muted tones and equipped with standard amenities, such as flat screen TV.

The spacious Deluxe King Park View rooms have large windows.

The Deluxe King Park View rooms are generously sized, with extra-large windows offering plenty of natural light and views of Henrietta Park.

There is only one Deluxe King Garden View room.

The hotel has only one Deluxe King Garden View room with muted tones, a king-sized bed that can be twinned, and a generous-sized bathroom.

The 18th-century Pulteney Bridge is a popular landmark.

If you head south and then west from the hotel, within minutes you hit Pulteney Bridge – a well-photographed 18th-century landmark that spans the River Avon. It looks even more impressive from the west side of the river.

The Antique Map Shop is located on Pulteney Bridge.

Directly on the bridge is The Antique Map Shop – particularly good for centuries-old maps of different parts of the British isles.

BeerCraft of Bath has an excellent selection of craft beers.

Across the street, BeerCraft of Bath is both a craft beer bar and the best place in town to shop for craft brews from all over Europe and beyond.

Opium serves legendary cocktails in themed rooms.

Just before you cross the bridge, head north up Grove St for a minute and take a sharp left along Spring Gardens Rd to find Opium, a snug cocktail bar with themed rooms and legendary cocktails.

Victoria Art Gallery offers free tours on Wednesdays.

Just to the west of the bridge is the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath’s repository of fine and contemporary arts. Come on a Wednesday for a free tour of the highlights.

Bath Aqua Glass also offers glass blowing workshops.

If you head north from the Victoria Art Gallery up Walcot St, a 5-minute walk brings you to Bath Aqua Glass – a glass blowing workshop with demonstrations at 11 am and 2pm.

Bath Aqua Glass sells glass creations.

There’s an attached shop selling glass creations.

The historic Bell Inn is a local institution.

A little further north, the Bell Inn is a local institution – an 18th-century pub that doubles as a live music venue and hosts anything from blues and folk to DJ sets.

Parade Gardens by the river is popular with picnickers.

If you head south from Pulteney Bridge along the river, you soon hit the Parade Gardens – the riverside green space popular with picnickers.

Acorn is a popular, award-winning vegan restaurant.

Take North Parade east from Parade Gardens and you hit tiny, pedestrian Church Street. This is where you’ll find Acorn, the award-winning vegan restaurant. It’s worth booking ahead even for lunch.

Sally Lunn's is extremely popular for afternoon tea.

Next door is the legendary Sally Lunn’s – the most popular café in Bath for afternoon tea, with an attached museum – both inside one of Bath’s oldest houses.

Bath cream tea and cinnamon-buttered bun are a specialty at Sally's.

The specialty at Sally Lunn’s is Bath cream tea, complete with a massive bun buttered with cinnamon butter.

Dark Horse is Bath’s best cocktail bar.

A few steps west, duck into an alcove and you find The Hideout, a tiny whisky bar with tipples from around the world and a potent gin and whisky shooter.

Kingston Parade square features street musicians.

Walk 1 block north and you find yourself on Kingston Parade, the square in front of the Bath Abbey, complete with street musicians.

The panoramic views of the town from the Abbey tower are excellent.

Scaling the Abbey tower (closed during inclement weather) is particularly worthwhile, since you get fine 360-degree views from the top of the entire town. Tours run every hour and take around 45 minutes; get your tickets in advance just inside the Bath Abbey entrance.

The Great Bath and museum at the Roman Baths are worth visiting.

Directly opposite the Abbey are the Roman Baths – Aquae Sulis to the Romans and the town’s biggest attraction. Check out the Great Bath and the museum with its wealth of Roman finds. Go early in the day, before the school groups arrive, and get a combo ticket if you’re planning to visit the Victoria Art Gallery and Fashion Museum.

The gift shop sells excellent souvenirs.

You exit the Roman Baths through the gift shop, which is a great place to shop for quality Roman- and Bath-themed souvenirs, such locally made gin and Asterix comics in Latin.

The small Mokoko Coffee outlet offers coffees from around the world.

A few steps north along Stall St is Mokoko Coffee, the tiny central branch (the main one is on Dorchester St, near the train station) that stocks carefully selected coffees from around the world; limited seating room.

Thermae Bath Spa offers Bath's famous thermal waters and spa.

If you head west along Bath St from the Roman Baths gift shop, in a couple of minutes you come to the Thermae Bath Spa – the only place in the city where you can enjoy Bath’s famous thermal waters apart from the spa inside the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be quieter days.

Giggling Squid serves contemporary Thai dishes and tapas.

There’s some good Asian food to be found 3 blocks north of the spa, on Westgate Street: the Giggling Squid is all about contemporary, creative Thai dishes and Thai tapas throughout the day (popular with kids).

Jane Austen Centre, located close by, is worth a visit.

Four blocks north, on Gay St, is the Jane Austen Centre – a must for fans of Regency England fiction. You’ll be shown around by characters from her novels.

Clayton’s Kitchen's 3-course lunches are a bargain.

A block north and a block east of the Jane Austen Centre, Clayton’s Kitchen serves very affordable Modern British fare; the 3-course lunches are a bargain.

Topping & Company nearby is Britain's best independent bookshop.

A block east of Clayton’s Kitchen is Topping & Company, one of Britain’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders.

The Raven specializes in great ales and pies.

Alternatively, take Old King St east and then John St south from the Jane Austen Centre and in a couple of minutes you’ll pass The Raven, a classic pub specializing in real ales and terrific pies.

Canary Gin Bar close by has a large selection of gins and cocktails.

A few doors down is the Canary Gin Bar (Bath is famous for its gin), with over 230 varieties and a long cocktail list.

Penhaligon’s is located on Milsom St.

A block east of John St, and parallel to it is Milsom St, renowned for its high-end shops and fine British tailoring. This is where you’ll find Penhaligon’s – the Bath branch of London’s illustrious house of fragrances.

Castle Fine Art sells the works of contemporary British artists.

Across the street, Castle Fine Art sells paintings, sculptures, and more by over 60 contemporary British artists.

Read More

Athens Cheap Hotels

Home > Greece > Athens > Cheap Hotels
by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 16, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: All hotel links on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
Charitable Giving: I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation.
Updates: Get my free newsletter and all new travel guides, maps & hotel reviews.

See Also

The 3 Best Cheap Hotels in Central Athens

1. ATHENS CENTER SQUARE HOTEL

Center Square Hotel: The best budget hotel in Athens
This is a wonderful hotel with a rooftop bar that has good Acropolis views. There’s a nice free breakfast and trendy large rooms. It’s a short walk to Monastiraki Square (550m, 6-minute walk and metro station (600m, 7-minute walk). A good popular restaurant and the Athens Central Market (100m, 1-minute walk) are steps away from the front door. The caveat is that it’s located down an unappealing side street in a scruffy area. Though it feels a little unsafe, it has fairly heavy traffic and is perfectly fine for most people. However, if you’re a single female traveler, you might want to stay at the Phaedra which is a little less polished but has a more central location.

2. HOTEL PHAEDRA

Phaedra Hotel– Cheap hotel in the Plaka
In the heart of the Plaka and the best located budget hotel in Athens. A popular pedestrian street is just outside the door. The Acropolis (850m, 12-minute walk), Acropolis Museum (350m, 4-minute walk), and Hadrian’s Arch (300m, 4-minute walk) are all very close. Single, double, and family rooms available.

3. THE ATHENS EDITION LUXURY SUITES

Guest room with double bed in Athens Edition Luxury Suites
Comfortable, moderately-priced hotel adjacent to Monastiraki Flea Market, with incredible Acropolis views from the rooftop terrace. Recently-renovated rooms feature air-conditioning and kitchenettes. Walk to all major tourist sites. 2 minutes (180m) to the Ancient Agora, 7 minutes (550m) to the Temple of Hephaestus, 3 minutes (230m) to Thissio metro station.

More Good Cheap Hotels in the Athens City Center

1. ATHENS BACKPACKERS

Centrally located hostel with female-only and mixed dorm rooms, free daily breakfast, a shared kitchen, 24-hour reception, a cafe, and a rooftop bar. The Acropoli metro stop is just steps away (110m, 1-minute walk), and the hostel sits just a 4-minute walk (260m) from the Temple of Olympian Zeus and an 13-minute walk (950m) from the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

2. MARBLE HOUSE

Budget guesthouse located a 12-minute walk (850m) to the Acropolis Museum, a 12-minute walk (700m) to Filopappou Hill, an 18-minute walk (1.2km) to the Acropolis and the Parthenon, and steps to several public transit stops. In addition to free on-site parking, some rooms have balconies and private bathrooms, and continental breakfast is available for a fee.

3. ART GALLERY HOTEL

Cozy hotel offering tour booking services and free luggage storage just a 4-minute walk (300m) to Phix Metro Station, a 7-minute walk (500m) to the Acropolis Museum, and a 12-minute walk (750m) to the Parthenon and the Acropolis. Breakfast can be purchased on-site, all rooms have refrigerators, and hair dryers, irons, and pet-friendly rooms are available upon request.

4. HERA HOTEL

Upscale boutique hotel featuring free parking, free breakfast buffet, on-site restaurant, 24-hour front desk, and some rooms with views of the Acropolis. Located a 3-minute walk (190m) to Acropoli Metro Station and the Acropolis Museum, a 7-minute walk (500m) to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and a 13-minute walk (850m) to the Parthenon and the Acropolis.

5. PHILIPPOS HOTEL

Boutique hotel located within a 5-minute walk of the Acropoli Metro Station (350m) and several public transit stops and a short walk to the Acropolis and Parthenon (700m, 11-minute walk), the Acropolis Museum (300m, 4-minute walk), and the Temple of Olympian Zeus (650m, 8-minute walk). Free breakfast is available daily and on-site amenities include a rooftop terrace and restaurant, bar, and stylish lobby in addition to Acropolis views and balconies in some rooms.

6. CECIL ATHENS

Value hotel with a free buffet breakfast and a rooftop terrace offering a view of the Acropolis, just steps to numerous cafes, markets, and bars. Located a 5-minute walk (400m) to Monastiraki Square, Monastiraki Flea Market, and Monastiraki Square Metro Station, and a 13-minute walk (1km) to Plaka, all rooms feature private bathrooms and some rooms have balconies.

7. TEMPI HOTEL

Budget hotel located near Plaka and a 4-minute walk (350m) Monastiraki Metro Station and the Monastiraki Flea Market, an 7-minute walk (600m) to the Ancient Agora of Athens, and a 15-minute walk (1km) to the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The hotel features some rooms with private bathrooms, a shared kitchen, 24-hour front desk service, and choice of paid breakfast at cafe next door.

8. HOTEL ADONIS

Modern hotel in Plaka offering a free buffet breakfast daily, easy access to public transit, views of the Acropolis from the rooftop terrace, and balconies in every guestroom. Numerous historical sites are within walking distance, including the National Garden (4 minutes, 300m), the Temple of Olympian Zeus (7 minutes, 500m), and the Acropolis (15 minutes, 1.1km).

9. BEST WESTERN MUSEUM HOTEL

Across the street from the National Archaeological Museum, some rooms at this budget hotel have balconies, and breakfast is available for a fee. Family rooms can accommodate up to 4 guests, and attractions like the Acropolis and the Parthenon are easily accessible via public transit.

10. ACROPOLIS HOUSE

Historic hotel in Plaka located a 4-minute walk (300m) to the National Garden, a 5-minute walk (400m) to Syntagma Metro Station, and an 8-minute walk (550m) to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Hotel amenities include free breakfast, library, 24-hour front desk, and refrigerators and city views in some guest rooms.

11. ACROPOLIS SELECT

Modern hotel with a rooftop bar and terrace, spacious lobby, breakfast available for a fee, and balconies in some rooms. The Phix metro station is a 2-minute walk away (200m), the Acropolis Museum is a 5-minute walk away (400m), and the Acropolis and the Parthenon are 14 minutes away on foot (1km).

12. INNATHENS

Contemporary hotel with free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, room service, a 24-hour front desk, refrigerators in every room, and elegant and modern decor throughout. Located just steps to the National Garden (130m, 2-minute walk), a 3-minute walk (230m) to Syntagma Metro Station, and a 16-minute walk (1.2km) to the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Great 3-Star Hotel in Downtown Athens

1. A FOR ATHENS

This hotel is a little more expensive than the cheaper hotels above but is probably worth the money for most travelers. It’s steps from the Monastiraki metro station (which has direct trains to both the airport and ferry port) (120m, 1-minute walk). Just out the front door are restaurants, bars, shopping, the Plaka, and the Acropolis (850m, 13-minute walk).

A For Athens in The Plaka – Great location for seeing the historical sites of Athens and getting to the airport and ferry port.

Read More

Piraeus Port near Athens, Greece

Home > Greece > Athens > Piraeus Port
by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 16, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: All hotel links on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
Charitable Giving: I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation.
Updates: Get my free newsletter and all new travel guides, maps & hotel reviews.

See Also:

Two large passenger/car ferries docked at Piraeus Port outside of Athens.

Piraeus is the largest and busiest ferry port serving Athens, with ferries going to almost all of the Greek islands in the Aegean.

On This Page

Where is Piraeus Port?

Map of the Athens, Greece region, with locations of and distances between Piraeus port, Rafina port, and the Athens airport indicated
Piraeus ferry port is located about 10km south of central Athens and 45km west of the Athens International Airport. Piraeus is well-connected to central Athens and the airport via reliable metro, train, and bus service.

Athens has a second ferry port called Rafina. It has fewer sailings than Piraeus but can be convenient if you’re coming or going via the airport and don’t need to see or stay in central Athens. From Athens airport to Rafina takes about 20 minutes and costs around €40 by taxi (€55 between midnight and 5am); 40 minutes and €6 by bus.

Transportation Between Piraeus Port and Central Athens

The best way to get from Central Athens to Piraeus Port is generally via metro. If you have a lot of luggage, limited mobility, or are short on time taxi is a better option because you can be dropped directly to your gate. To get from Piraeus port to Athens, consider Welcome Pickups car service over a taxi: they can be pre-booked, cost the same as a cab, and you’ll skip waiting in line at the taxi rank.

Taking the Metro between Central Athens and Piraeus Port

The metro is a cheap and easy way to get between central Athens and the port. It’s a direct route from Monastiraki or Omonia stations (you’ll need to transfer in Monastiraki if you are coming from Syntagma station), and the Piraeus metro station is located just across the street from the port. Keep your metro ticket with you for your entire ride, and be sure to validate it by swiping at the plexiglass gates before getting on the metro, or you risk incurring hefty fines. Lastly, be aware that on this heavily-touristed stretch of metro, pickpockets are not uncommon; if you keep your wits about you, your wallet out of your back pocket, and a hand on your zipped bag you should be fine.

  • 20-30 minutes.
  • Metro tickets cost €1.40.
  • The metro runs from 5:30am until about midnight. If your ferry leaves at 7:30am, leaving downtown Athens at 6am should give you plenty of time. (Metro timetable)
  • There is direct metro access to Piraeus Port from Monastiraki and Onomia stations (green line/#1). If you start from Syntagma station, take Line blue line/#3 to Monastiraki and transfer there to the green line/#1. This will add an extra 5 minutes to the trip.
  • The Piraeus metro station is located right just opposite the port entrance near gate E5 – follow the crowd across the street; the ticket booths will be to your left once you pass through the gate.

Taking a Taxi between Central Athens and Piraeus Port

If you’re pressed for time, are traveling with a lot of luggage, or have limited mobility, taking a taxi or car service to/from Piraeus is recommended; the driver will be able to drop you directly at your gate. Going by taxi will also be more comfortable than taking the metro, which is often extremely crowded. Be sure that your driver turns the meter on when you get in the cab; not doing so is a common way that taxi drivers try to get tourists to overpay for their trip. Note that it’s not uncommon in Greece for taxi drivers to let in additional passengers headed in a similar direction (they pay their own separate fare, not split yours) – but the original driver has a right to refuse this. If you’d prefer not to share a cab, let the driver know.

  • 20 to 30 minutes.
  • A taxi from central Athens to Piraeus port will cost €25 to €30.
  • Greek taxis have a 4-passenger limit.
  • In Athens, hail a cab by flagging one down as it goes by or wait at a taxi stand at Monastiraki, Syntagma, and other major tourist squares.
  • At Piraeus, wait in line for a taxi at one of multiple taxi ranks located within the port.

Private Car Service at Piraeus Port

Welcome Pickups is my favorite car service in Athens, and is a great alternative to a taxi for those who have planned their ferry trip in advance. Transport is pre-booked, so everything’s taken care of before your arrival, and there’s no standing in line for a taxi or navigating to the taxi rank or metro station. Drivers speak English, monitor the ferry schedules in case of delays, and are available by text to answer travel questions throughout your stay in Athens. They can even provide travel extras such as SIM cards and maps. Child car seats can be pre-ordered in advance of your trip.

  • 20 to 30 minutes.
  • €25 to €30 from Piraeus port into central Athens.
  • Welcome Pickups drivers operate 24/7.
  • Drivers will meet you at the ferry gate, holding a sign with your name.

Getting from the Piraeus Cruise Ship Terminal to Central Athens

Cruise ships dock at the far southern end of Piraeus port, a 20-minute walk around the harbor from the metro station. If your cruise line does not offer shuttle bus service to central Athens, take a taxi, pre-booked car service, or the Χ80 Piraeus-Akropolis-Syntagma Express bus that connects Piraeus cruise terminals with Athens city center. Bus stops are located at the cruise terminal gates directly outside of gates E12 and E11; from there, the express bus route stops at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis, and Syntagma Square.

  • The X80 takes 30 minutes to get from the cruise terminals to central Athens.
  • For this bus, you need a €4.50 24-hour transit ticket.
  • During cruise season, buses run every 35 minutes from 7am to 9:30pm.
  • Tickets can be purchased on board the bus (exact fare only) or at any public transport ticket kiosk.

Transportation between Piraeus Port and Athens Airport

The best way to get from Athens airport to Piraeus Port is generally via the suburban train. It’s safer, more comfortable, and more reliable than the metro or bus, and far cheaper than a cab. Trains from the airport to the port run only once an hour, however, so the bus, car service, or a taxi are better options for those without a lot of time to spare between their flight and their ferry.

Map of Athens Airport arrivals halls and transportation options.

Taking the Suburban Train between Athens Airport and Piraeus Port

  • 65 minutes.
  • Train tickets cost €10.
  • Trains leave the airport once an hour from 6:09am until 10:09pm. (Airport-Piraeus timetable)
  • Trains leave Piraeus once an hour from 4:44am until 08:44pm. (Piraeus-airport timetable)
  • The suburban train station at Piraeus is in the same place as the metro station in Piraeus, directly across from the port entrance on Platform 3 near Gate E5.
  • The suburban train at the airport uses the same station as the metro train, a 10-15 minute walk from the arrival gate, but is located on the other side of the platform.

Taking the Bus between Athens Airport and Piraeus Port

The bus is the cheapest option when traveling between Piraeus port and the airport. It usually takes about an hour, and there are many stops along the way. The bus is generally reliable, but often crowded and always uncomfortable.

  • 60-90 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • Bus tickets cost €6. Children aged 6-18 and seniors over 65 are €3. Children under 6 are free.
  • The X96 bus runs all day and night between Athens Airport and Piraeus port, departing every every 15-30 minutes. (Bus timetable)
  • At the airport, the bus stand is located just outside of arrivals, between exits 4 and 5.
  • At Piraeus port, the bus stop is located opposite the port entrance near gate E5, just outside the metro station.
  • Tickets can be purchased from bus drivers, from the ticket kiosk at the bus departure area at the Athens airport, and from airport and Piraeus metro stations.

Taking a Taxi between Athens Airport and Piraeus Port

Though it costs more, a taxi is one of the fastest modes of travel between the airport and Piraeus port, and the increase in price can be justified by the convenience of not having to rely on a train or a bus timetable, as well as the comfort of not having to endure a long ride in a crowded metro car or bus. One big advantage of taking a taxi from the airport is that the driver will be able to drop you directly at your Piraeus ferry gate – ideal if you’re pressed for time, are traveling with a lot of luggage, or have limited mobility. Be sure that your driver turns the meter on when you get in the cab; not doing so is a common way that taxi drivers try to get tourists to overpay for their trip. Note that it’s not uncommon in Greece for taxi drivers to let in additional passengers headed in a similar direction (they pay their own separate fare, not split yours) – but the original driver has a right to refuse this. If you’d prefer not to share a cab, let the driver know.

  • 40-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • Standard taxis charge a flat rate for trips between the airport and Piraeus: 54€ in the day (5am to midnight) and 70€ at night (midnight to 5am).
  • Greek taxis have a 4-passenger limit.
  • At the airport, the taxi stand is located at the arrivals area, between Exit 2 and 3.
  • At Piraeus, wait in line for a taxi at one of multiple taxi ranks located within the port.

Private Car Service between Athens airport and Piraeus Port

Welcome Pickups is my favorite car service in Athens, and is a great pre-planned alternative to a taxi. Transport is booked in advance, so everything’s taken care of before your arrival; no standing in line for a taxi or navigating to the taxi rank or metro station. Drivers speak English, monitor the ferry schedules in case of delays, and are available by text to answer travel questions throughout your stay in Athens. They can even provide travel extras such as SIM cards and maps. Child car seats can be pre-ordered in advance of your trip.

  • 40-60 minutes, depending on traffic – car service and taxi are the fastest ways to get between the airport and Piraeus.
  • Flat rate for trips between the airport and Piraeus: 54€ in the day (5am to midnight) and 70€ at night (midnight to 5am).
  • Welcome Pickups drivers operate 24/7.
  • Drivers will meet you at the ferry gate or airport arrivals, holding a sign with your name.

Taking the Metro between Athens Airport and Piraeus Port

Though it’s one of the cheaper options, taking the metro between Athens airport and Piraeus port is not recommended; metro trains are crowded and uncomfortable, and the journey entails a transfer at hectic Monastiraki station. Bus, suburban train, car service, or taxi are better options.

  • 85 minutes.
  • A metro ticket between the airport and Port cost 10€. Children under 6 are free.
  • The metro runs every 30 minutes from 5:30am until about midnight. (Metro timetable)
  • To get to Piraeus port from the Athens airport on metro, take the blue line/#3 to Monastiraki station, where you will transfer onto the green line/#1 to Piraeus. To get from Piraeus to the airport, do the reverse.
  • The metro station at Athens airport is only a 10-15 minute walk from the arrival gate, outside of the airport itself. Follow the signs up one level to the main station area to buy your tickets, then go down the escalators to track level to board the train.
  • The metro station at Piraeus is located directly opposite the port entrance near gate E5. After arriving at Piraeus, follow the crowd across the street; ticket booths will be to your left once you pass through the gate.

Piraeus Port Ferry Tickets

How Early to Arrive for Piraeus Ferry?

  • Piraeus is a big port; arrive early to ensure enough time to collect your tickets and find your ship – an hour is a safe bet. There are port shuttles on site, but depending on the location of your ferry and the port shuttle schedule, walking to your gate could take 20 minutes or more. Many ticket booths are closed off-season, so allow extra time in winter, early spring, and late fall.

Should I buy my ferry tickets in advance or at the port?

  • Big ferries like the Blue Star rarely sell out, but the smaller, faster, catamaran-type ferries sometimes do, especially during high season. If you’re traveling between June and September and are taking a smaller ship, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance. During the spring, fall, and winter, it’s generally not a problem to show up at the port an hour early and purchase tickets there. FerryHopper.com’s helpful search function makes it easy to research ferry routes, schedules, and prices, whether you’re buying in advance from their website or purchasing at the port. Ferryhopper does a great job of informing customers of any ferry changes, cancelations, delays, so if you’re buying in advance, I recommend doing so through their website. After booking online, if not using e-tickets, collect your paper coupons at the port on the day of departure.

Where are the ticket kiosks in Piraeus Port?

  • The main ticket offices and travel agencies for most major lines are located inside the port gates, in a large building to the left of the vehicle entrance near gate E7. Ferry operators also maintain smaller booths for collecting already purchased ferry tickets near the port’s main pedestrian entrance (near the metro at gate E6), as well as at individual ship gates. Many of these smaller ticket booths will be closed off-season, so be sure to allow yourself some extra time.

Do Greek ferries use e-tickets?

  • Certain Greek ferry companies, such as Golden Star Ferries and Aegean Speed Lines, now offer electronic tickets, eliminating the need to collect physical tickets at the port. After booking tickets on FerryHopper.com, a confirmation email with links to web check-in will be sent. After checking in online on the day of your departure, you are able to download your boarding pass to print on your own or keep in your phone/tablet to present at departure.

Can I get my Piraeus Port tickets delivered in advance?

  • Tickets booked through FerryHopper.com can be delivered via courier to Athens area hotels for a surcharge. This can be a great timesaver, as Piraeus port is large and ticket collection can be confusing. Important Note: Ferry schedules can and do change; once you are in physical possession of your tickets, any cancellation or modification can only be processed in person, by returning the tickets to the Ferryhopper offices or a travel agency that works with your ferry company.

Piraeus Port Ferry Schedules

FerryHopper.com will have the most up-to-date schedules and fares for Greek ferries and is the best way to buy ferry tickets. Most ferries do not sell out, but for peace of mind, book tickets 2 to 3 months in advance.

Piraeus Port Map

Map of Piraeus port outside of Athens, showing ferry and cruise ship gates, bus stops, taxi stands, and cafes.

Generally, ships serving the Cyclades islands will use ferry gates E6, E7, E9, and E10; ferries to Crete will use gates E2, E3, E6, and E7; Ferries to the Dodecanese will depart from E1. Cruise ships use the two gates at the far south end of the port – E11 and E12. (Always check your ticket for gate information as ships sometimes get shuffled around, especially during the high season.)

Staying near Piraeus Port

Although it’s easy to get between Piraeus and central Athens, if you arrive on a late flight and need to catch an early morning ferry, you may choose to stay near the port in Piraeus. Great museums and a charming marina district make Piraeus an ideal place to stay for travelers who are looking to explore beyond the museums, ruins, and bustling squares of Athens – or are simply looking to avoid the hordes of capital city tourists.

Piraeus Hotels

  • Phidias Piraeus Hotel
    Modern and spacious rooms sleep up to four. Located in a quieter area near the Archaeological Museum, Naval Museum, and the shops and restaurants at Zea Marina. Guests receive a complimentary smartphone with unlimited calls and data, as well as shuttle service to and from the port, X96 bus stop, and metro station. • Map
  • Piraeus Dream Hotel
    Modern and recently-renovated rooms (double, twin, triple, and family room with bunk beds), rooftop restaurant, quick 4-minute walk to port. • Map
  • Hotel Achillon
    Low-key and affordable hotel about as close to the port as you can get. Rooms range from singles to quadruples that sleep four and superior doubles that sleep five. Quick 4-minute walk to gate E9. • Map
  • Mayflower Premium Apartments
    Spacious, modern, and well-decorated home-like apartments in the center of Piraeus – a 10-minute walk from the port. All units have well-appointed kitchens, comfortable Cocomat beds, and rainfall showers; some feature large terraces. Two-bedroom apartments sleep up to six people. • Map
  • Piraeus Theoxenia
    Clean, modern, and luxurious – though the decor and furnishings are beginning to look a little dated. Italian restaurant/bar on site, 24-hour front desk, breakfast buffet, rooftop pool and sunbeds. Suites sleep four people. 6-minute walk to the port (gate E9). • Map
  • The Alex
    Ultra new and ultra-modern boutique hotel amid the Kastella neighborhood’s chic shops and restaurants. Spectacular rooftop terrace with bar, restaurant, and incredible views over the yachts and fishing boats of Zea Marina. Shuttle service to Piraeus Port. • Map
  • Piraeus Port Hotel
    Clean and contemporary mid-range hotel in central Piraeus. Comfortable and spacious rooms, all with terraces or with balconies; family rooms sleep 3. Great and reasonably-priced breakfast starts at 6am to accommodate early morning ferry passengers. 10-minute walk to the port and metro station. • Map
  • Monogram Premium Suites
    With one modern suite on each of the building’s six floors, Monogram features minimalistic industrial decor and bold styling. Guests are given smartphones pre-loaded with local maps, restaurants, and points of interest. Located in a quiet neighborhood around the corner from beautiful Zea Marina. Transfer service to the port can be arranged through the concierge. • Map

Piraeus Restaurants

  • Varoulko Seaside – Michelin-starred, elegant fine dining in charming but touristy Mikrolimano marina, with a wonderful view of the sea. • +30 21 0522 8400 • Map
  • Paleo Wine Bar – Excellent wine bar in an historic warehouse building near the port (gate E5) and metro station. The wine list is extensive and well-curated, the food menu is abbreviated but mouth-watering. • +30 21 0412 5204 • Map
  • Abakos Steakhouse – Stylish, casual, and reasonably-priced steakhouse one block from the port (gate E9). Wood-fired meats, great wine list, killer picanha (Uruguyan steak). • +30 21 0452 5251 • Map
  • Arlekinos – Cozy and well-priced taverna, 8-minute walk to the port (gate E9). The menu excels in grilled meats and traditional meze, including many Cretan dishes. • +30 21 0413 2555 • Map
  • Stoa Rakadiko – Charming and quirky taverna near the port, with a beautiful atrium interior of stone walls and floating umbrellas. Extensive mix of traditional and innovative dishes, with many vegetarian/vegan options. 6-minute walk to the gate E8. • +30 21 0417 8470 • Map
  • Street Souvlaki – Best souvlaki in Piraeus in two locations: one a block from the port (gate E10) and one near Zea Marina. Sit at one of the indoor and outdoor tables, or order for take-away. Open from 11:30 until the wee hours (3am Sunday-Thursday, 4am Friday and Saturday). • +30 21 0417 0866 • Maps: Port, Marina
  • Bread Factory – Not only great bread, but also an amazing selection of pastries, ice cream, snacks, sandwiches, and hot meals. All across the street from the port at gate E9. • +30 21 0422 5318 • Map
  • Yperokeanio – The best seafood tavern in Piraeus. Its name means “ocean liner,” and its nautical-themed decor is charming and old-fashioned, not hokey. This restaurant is popular for a reason, so book reservations in advance. 3-minute walk from the port (gate E12). • +30 21 0418 0030 • Map
  • Margaro – Casual taverna, famous since 1944 for having the best fried fish and Greek salad in the Athens area. (It’s so good that it’s all they serve.) Near the port by the cruise terminals at gate E12. • +30 21 0451 4226 • Map
  • Hams and Clams – Awful name, awesome food. Waterfront oyster bar near Zea Marina. Great ceviche, fantastic cocktails and a great wine list. • +30 21 0418 6683 • Map
  • Aposperitis Maereio – Wonderful, family-owned taverna in the Peiraiki neighborhood. Mama cooks (and how!); her sons provide excellent hospitality and personalized service. • +30 21 0459 9207 • Map

Things to Do in Piraeus

  • Archeological Museum of Piraeus – Small but interesting museum highlighting the evolution of the port of Piraeus (ancient Greece’s most important harbor) and the surrounding region from the 18th century BC to the 4th century AD. Pottery, bronze statues, and grave monuments of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. are displayed, among other treasures – don’t miss the ancient amphitheatre out back. Located near Zea Marina. €4 admission. • Open 8am-3pm November to April, 8:30am-4pm April to November. Closed Tuesdays. • Map
  • Hellenic Maritime Museum – Maritime and naval artifacts and models from the region, including many from World Wars I and II. Located near Zea Marina. €4 admission. • Open 9am-2pm Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30am-2pm Saturday. Closed Mondays and Holidays. • Map
  • Pasalamani/Zea Marina – Charming marina neighborhood that was once one of the main harbors for the ancient Athenian warships. Now it’s a quiet, pleasant spot to watch Greek fishermen in their colorful boats, gawk at megayachts, and shop, sip, or nibble by the sea at one of the abundant waterfront restaurants, boutiques, and bars. • Map
  • Mikrolimano Marina – Another, smaller, picturesque marina filled with small fishing boats and luxury yachts. The boardwalk is lined with pricey fish restaurants that cater to tourists (including the Michelin-starred Varoulko by the Sea). • Map
  • Peiraiki – This is the peninsula just south of central Piraeus, beginning roughly at the Piraeus port cruise terminals and wrapping south and east along the coast to Pasalimani. This area houses the Naval Academy, and is peppered with some of the best fresh fish restaurants in the region (including Margaro and Yperokeanio, listed above). A leisurely walk along the neighborhood’s coastal road to Pasalimani takes about an hour, and is especially enjoyable at sunset. Longer, if you stop for a bite at one of the many seaside restaurants along the way. • Map

Piraeus Port Photos

Piraeus Ferry Port in Athens

The ferry port in Athens is almost directly across the street from the subway station. Follow the crowds as they leave the train and you can’t miss the ferries. Straight ahead from the metro station is gate E6. Smaller-numbered gates are to the right, larger-numbered gates are to the left.

Places to buy food near Athens ferry port.

There are many places to buy food and snacks before boarding the ferry. These shops are located directly across from the ferry port and open 24 hours.

Where to pick up tickets at Athens ferry port.

The ticket kiosks to pick up ferry tickets are to the left as you enter the port area near gate E6. Plan to arrive an hour before departure to get your tickets.

Closed ferry ticket offices at Piraeus ferry port.

Off-season or after hours, the main ticket booths may be closed. In this case, use a travel agency (located in the larger white building behind and to the right) to purchase tickets, or – if you simply need to pick up your tickets – use a smaller ticket booth near the gate of your ship.

Ferry ticket office storefronts in Piraeus port.

These travel agencies are on the ground floor of the white building that’s shown in the background of the photo above. You can purchase tickets at any of these.

Travelers in a queue for a ferry ticket booth

This ticket booth is located at gate E4. Ticket booths at individual ferry gates open about an hour before the ferry is due to depart.

A man and young girl with suitcases, walking along a port road

Piraeus is a very large port, and if you arrive by bus or metro you may have a long walk to your ferry gate. (A taxi can drop you right at your gate.) There’s an in-port shuttle bus that runs between gates E1 and E5, but depending on the location of your ferry and the port shuttle schedule, walking to your gate could take 20 minutes or more.

Snack shop at Piraeus port.

There are a few small snack shops located inside the port, offering drinks and small bites to eat.

Sheltered bus stop at ferry port

The port shuttle bus stop at gate E3.

Travelers with suitcases walking to a ferry

Approaching the Blue Star Galaxy at Piraeus gate E4.

Passengers with suitcases boarding a ferry

Passengers boarding the Blue Star Galaxy car/passenger ferry to Chania, Crete.

Traveling to Piraeus from the Athens Airport

Airport buses to Piraeus.

The bus stop at Athens airport is located immediately outside the Arrivals level exit doors (follow the signs). Buy tickets at the kiosk visible to the right of the buses. You cannot buy tickets onboard the bus.

Athens airport X96 bus to Piraeus.

X96 is the bus from the airport to Piraeus. The X96 bus to Piraeus runs 24 hours and departs about every 15-30 minutes. The trip from the airport to the ferry port takes between 60 and 90 minutes and costs €6 (half-price for children and seniors).

Bus schedule from Athens airport to Downtown and Ferry Port.

Bus schedule from Athens airport to Downtown and Ferry Port. This is displayed both inside and outside the terminal.

Bus tickets for Airport buses.

Bus tickets for Airport buses. The blue one is a reduced fare for children and seniors. (Fares have increased since this photo was taken.) These tickets need to validated once you board the bus.

Validate bus ticket with this machine.

Validate bus tickets with this machine (onboard the bus).

Luggage storage onboard the X96 bus from the Athens airport to the port of Piraeus. (The X95 bus to downtown Athens has the same layout.)

Luggage storage onboard the X96 bus from the Athens airport to the port of Piraeus.

X96 bus stop in Piraeus.

The X96 bus stops at Piraeus beside gate E7, very close to the Piraeus metro station.

The taxi queue at the Athens airport. Taxis from the Athens airport to Piraeus cost about €50.

The taxi queue at the Athens airport, located between exits 2 and 3. Taxis from the Athens airport to Piraeus cost 54€ in the day (5am to midnight) and 70€ at night (midnight to 5am) and take about an hour. In Greece, there is a 4 passenger limit per taxi.

Traveling to Piraeus port from central Athens

The Monastiraki metro station that has direct trains to the Piraeus ferry port. Omonia metro station also has direct trains.

The Monastiraki metro station that has direct trains to the Piraeus ferry port. Omonia metro station is on the same line (Line 1) and also has direct trains to Piraeus. If you start from Syntagma station you’ll need to take Line 3 to Monastiraki and change to Line 1. This adds an extra 5 minutes to the trip.

Buying metro tickets at the metro station.

Buying metro tickets at the metro station. To get from Athens to Piraeus click the button on the top left of the screen for 1.40€.

Piraeus metro station at ferry port.

This is the metro station at Piraeus (the Athens ferry port). After you exit the train walk to the end of the train station (the far end of this picture) out the doors, and turn left. The ferries to the Cyclades (both Blue Star and Highspeed) are just across the street at gates E6 and E7. Follow the crowds and you can’t miss it.

View of Piraeus ferry port, metro station, and airport bus.

A view from the back of a Blue Star ferry as cars and foot passengers board the ferry. You can see the metro station slightly to the left of center, the walkway (not currently in use) that crosses to the port, and the X96 bus stopped at the bus stop (almost dead-center of the picture).

Read More

No. 15 Great Pulteney Hotel in Bath, England

Home > Bath > No. 15 Great Pulteney Hotel Review
Updated: October 16, 2019

See Also

Review of No. 15 Great Pulteney in Bath, UK.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Playful and luxurious boutique hotel inside a Georgian heritage building.

Encompassing three Georgian townhouses and a coach house in the small garden out back, No. 15 Great Pulteney is distinguished by its quirky and idiosyncratic style: the place is filled with contemporary art, collections of musical instruments, hand-blown glass lights, and other curios, with guest room keys kept inside dollhouses at the reception. The forty individually styled rooms come with excellent amenities, including Hypnos beds, Roberts radios, and rainforest showers in the bathrooms, and there’s an excellent basement spa. Besides excellent breakfasts, seasonal British fare, and a well-stocked bar, there are numerous dining and nightlife options a short walk away, and the service is warm and personable.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Location

  • Address: 15 Great Pulteney Street.
  • Area: Arguably Bath’s most beautiful street, lined with terraced Georgian heritage buildings and backing onto the vast green Henrietta Park. Quiet location, yet less than a 5-minute walk from Pulteney Bridge and central Bath with its attractions, cafes, restaurants, and bars. The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey are a 7-minute walk away.
  • How To Get There: Take one of the frequent trains from London Paddington to Bath Spa station (1.5 hours) and then walk for 12 minutes (0.6 mile), or take a taxi.
  • Handy To: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Victoria Art Gallery.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – The Basics

  • Ages: Couples with small children or babies can be accommodated, but this is a rather grown-up hotel, and most guests tend to be couples or travelers on a city break.
  • View: Rooms look out either over Great Pulteney Street, lined with splendid Georgian architecture, or over the garden and Henrietta Park out back.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Hideout Suite comes with its own hot tub.
  • Laundry: In-room laundry service.
  • Parking: Secure parking nearby costs £20 per day.
  • Extras: There’s a well-stocked complimentary larder in the main hotel building where guests can help themselves to tea, coffee, snacks, and sweets. The knowledgeable staff can organize personalized tours of the city.
  • When To Book: Reserve 2 months in advance for the May to October period as well as most of December (Christmas market) and the Christmas/New Year period.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +44 1225 800 543
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: no15greatpulteney.co.uk

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: The basement Spa 15 (10 am to 7 pm) offers a range of treatments and massages in its 4 individually styled treatment rooms, and there’s a sauna, steam room, and a cedar wood hot tub as well. Use of the facilities costs £20 per hotel guest and is complimentary if you’ve booked a treatment.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center.
  • For Disabled Guests: There are several rooms adapted for disabled guests and a wide elevator suitable for wheelchair users.
  • For Families: Baby cots can be provided.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: The Dispensary (7.30 am-9.30 pm) is the hotel’s bright and airy dining room, serving creative seasonal fare in the evenings, light lunches, and 3-course Sunday brunches, as well as afternoon tea on Saturdays (1-5 pm), and breakfast ($$-$$$). • Freshly made sandwiches and light bites are served at the Sitting Room (noon to 9 pm), which also doubles as a breakfast venue ($$).
  • Lounge/Bar: The elegant Bar 15 serves local craft beers, champagne, classic and bespoke cocktails, and G&Ts. Open from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm Sunday to Thursday and till 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Breakfast: Not complimentary. Excellent breakfast includes a spread of continental cold cuts, fruits, and cereals, plus hot dishes (full English breakfast, Scotch pancakes) cooked to order, and costs £19.50. Served from 7.30-10.30 am on weekdays and from 8-11 am on weekends at The Dispensary.
  • Room Service: No room service officially, though can be arranged if required.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Rooms

  • Room Types: Cosy Double • Deluxe Double • Coach House Deluxe Double • Large Deluxe Double/Twin • Junior Suite • Grand Junior Suite • Coach House Junior Suite • Luxury Suite with Spa Bath
  • Smoking Rooms: No. 15 Great Pulteney is 100% smoke-free.
  • Best Room: The Hideout Suite comes with its own private entrance facing the garden, a king-sized Hypnos bed, spacious sitting area, and a private hot tub and steam room.
  • For Families: No family rooms per se, but most rooms can accommodate cots.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – Local Transport

  • Walking: The Victoria Art Gallery is a 4-minute walk, while the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey are a 7-minute walk apiece. Thermae Bath Spa and Jane Austen Centre are both about a 10-minute stroll. Easily walkable to the Royal Crescent, Assembly Rooms, and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Numerous bars, restaurants, and boutiques are across the river in central Bath.
  • Taxis, Uber: Taxis and Uber charge around £6 from the train station to the hotel. Central Bath is very walkable and you can easily reach all the main attractions on foot.

No. 15 Great Pulteney – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Mayor’s Honorary Guides – Superb free walking tours (no tips or gratuities accepted) run by certified city guides passionate about its history. Meet outside the Roman Baths at 10.30am and 2pm Sunday to Friday and 10.30am only on Saturday. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Bizarre Bath Tours – These “hysterical rather than historical” walking tours are a fun-filled way to spend an evening and give you an irreverent overview of the city. They depart at 8pm nightly from The Huntsman on North Parade. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Mad Max Tours – Award-winning small group day trips to popular locations outside Bath, such as Stonehenge, the Cotswolds villages, plus Glastonbury, Wells, and Cheddar Gorge. Departures from the Abbey Hotel on North Parade. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Giggling Squid – Contemporary Thai restaurant where the recipes are based on dishes that the chef grew up with, such as slow-cooked lamb massaman curry, spicy seafood pad cha stir-fry, and green curry with chicken. Thai tapas available throughout the day. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Pump Room Restaurant – Attached to the Roman Baths, this elegant Georgian dining room serves light lunches and proper afternoon teas, complete with cakes and dainty little sandwiches. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Acorn – Award-winning vegan restaurant. Choose from a 5 or 7-course tasting menu, opt for a menu of small plate classics or go for a set 3-course lunch menu. Book ahead. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Sotto Sotto – Considered to be the best Italian restaurant in the city, Sotto Sotto serves sophisticated dishes such as grilled sea bass with sweet potato gnocchi and fettucine with Gressingham duck inside a subtly-lit vaulted brick chamber. Book ahead. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Olé Tapas – Tiny tapas bar with wonderfully authentic dishes – from platters of cold cuts and Spanish cheeses with quince paste, to the paprika-dusted Galician-style octopus. Plenty of Spanish wines by the glass, too. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Clayton’s Kitchen – With tables in the delightful outdoor passage, Clayton’s wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. The Modern British dishes are fresh, seasonal, and beautifully presented. Lunch is a bargain and there’s an eclectic wine list. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Noya’s Kitchen – Friendly, informal supper club and lunchtime restaurant that specializes in home-style Vietnamese cooking. Bookings recommended. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Dan Moon at the Gainsborough – Seasonal and creative Modern British fine dining making the most of sustainably-sourced ingredients, and served in the elegant dining room. Choose between a la carte, 3-course lunches, and the 5 and 7-course tasting menus. Smart casual. Reservations recommended. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes and Tea Shops

  • Sally Lunn’s – Locally revered tea shop serving classic afternoon tea, complete with tiny cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Alternatively, go for a Bath cream tea, which includes half of Sally’s famous toasted bunns, with cinnamon butter and with clotted cream on the side. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Mokoko Coffee – Carefully selected coffees sourced from as far afield as Rwanda, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Tanzania, and prepared in numerous ways. Also tarts, croissants, and muffins made from scratch. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Hands Georgian Tearooms – Traditional tearooms going strong since 1852, with hearty breakfasts (full English, eggs benedict), Clotted Cream Tea (tea with homemade scones, clotted cream, and jam) and High Tea (tea, scones, cakes, and sandwiches) served by waitresses in period costumes. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Best Nearby Bars and Pubs

  • BeerCraft of Bath – Just off Pulteney Bridge, this lively craft beer bar with four rotating beers on tap doubles as a bottle shop that stocks over 500 bottled brews from all over Europe and further afield. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Opium – A discreet doorway tucked away under Grove St leads you into a snug warren of rooms, themed from Renaissance through to Victoriana. Opium is legendary locally for its cocktails, and can whip up one to your specifications. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Canary Gin Bar – A must-visit for fans of all things juniper-based, the cozy, subtly-lit Canary stocks over 230 types of gin. Apart from killer G&Ts, there’s a long list of gin-based cocktails and occasional masterclasses. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • The Hideout – Whiskies from around the world are the specialty at this snug sub-basement bar hidden beneath a medieval stone arch, from Glennfidich single malts to Japanese whisky blends. Have it on the rocks, as part of a cocktail, or as a Crab Smasher shooter. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • The Raven – This congenial place is best for chats over a pint of ale, including their very own Raven Gold. There are also excellent pies to choose from, from classic meat to goat’s cheese and sweet potato. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Corkage – This cozy wine bar, lined with legions of wine bottles, has an excellent selection of tipples from all over the world, though it’s particularly strong on French, Italian, and Spanish wines. Small plates of creative bistro fare available for sharing. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • The Bell Inn – This no-frills, 18th-century pub is a beloved live music venue, with anything from blues, folk, and jazz to rock performed on Sunday lunchtimes and Monday and Wednesday evenings. Vinyl DJ sets on weekends and Abbey Ales’ Bellringer on tap. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

  • The Antique Map Shop – On Pulteney Bridge, this specialist shop is particularly strong on antique maps of Great Britain and its various regions. The oldest map here dates back to the 15th century. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Bath Aqua Glass – This glass-blowing workshop is open for demonstrations daily at 11 am and 2 pm, and the attached shop sells an excellent array of gifts. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Clandar – All about British textiles, Clandar specializes in designing and making its own range of British tweed clothing, with the tweed sourced from historic British tweed mills. Scottish cashmere and British woollens also sold here. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Castle Fine Art – This branch of the gallery showcases paintings, sculptures, sketches, and more by 60 contemporary British artists, from London cityscapes by Paul Kenton to cartoons of Marvel superheroes by Nigel Humphries. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Penhaligon’s – Bath branch of the illustrious British house of fragrances, started by a Cornish barber in London some 150 years ago. Also stocks high-end bath and body products. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Independent Spirit of Bath – Besides specializing in single malt whiskies from Scotland and elsewhere, artisan gins, and the best of British craft beer, this shop also organizes whisky tastings and gin and cocktail masterclasses. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Roman Baths Shop – Terrific gift shop with Roman and Bath-themed souvenirs, from Asterix books in Latin and books on the history of Roman Britain to small batch spirits by Bath Botanical gin and hand-foraged preserves by Heavenly Hedgerows. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • DuoBoots – Calf-length, knee-length, and over-the-knee boots for ladies designed and sold here. Designs range from timeless classics to on-trend footwear. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • House of Fraser – With marble columns and an impressive façade, House of Fraser is the oldest department store in the UK, beautifully restored to its 1820’s splendor. Formerly known as Jolly’s. Inside, you’ll find fine homewares and luxury brands such as Chanel and Armani. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Topping & Company – Browse one of UK’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders. The bookshop attracts year-round signings by authors and plays an important part in the annual Bath Literary Festival. 10-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Nearby Attractions

  • Victoria Art Gallery – Bath’s second most visited museum displays works from over 2,000 artists inside a stately 19th-century building. These range from portraits painted by renowned artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Johann Zoffany to city landscapes by the likes of Walter Sickert and John Nash, and amateur works by up-and-coming local painters. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Roman Baths – Known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, this largely intact Roman baths complex dates back to 70AD and is fed by mineral-rich hot springs. Visitor highlights include the Great Bath, the temple courtyard, and the on-site museum with its wealth of mosaics, Roman coins, and statuary. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Bath Abbey Tower – For breathtaking views of Bath’s rooftops and the surrounding countryside, take a tour of the Abbey Tower. See the bell ringing chamber and a hidden room with the Abbey clock mechanism before scaling the spiral staircase all the way to the top. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Thermae Bath Spa – While it’s not possible to bathe in the Roman baths, you can enjoy the same mineral-rich waters as the Romans did 2,000 years ago at this state-of-the-art spa. Soak in the basement pool and hot tub, treat yourself to massages and facials, or head up to the open-air rooftop pool. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Jane Austen Centre – Museum dedicated to Bath’s famous former resident. British novelist Jane Austen lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806 and set two of her novels here: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, based on her observations of Regency society. There are hands-on exhibits, snippets from Austen’s letters, and guides dressed as characters from her novels. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Fashion Museum & Assembly Rooms – Marvel at the gowns, dresses, breeches, gloves, and wigs from fashion trends from the 17th to late 20th centuries, and don’t miss the special exhibit devoted to the fashions of the Royal Family. In the same building, the Assembly Rooms with their frescoed ceilings and original chandeliers used to host the 18th-century equivalent of the Kardashians and Paris Hiltons. 14-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • The Circus – Comprising 3 terraces, each divided into 11 mansions, and curved around a circular green space, the Circus was inspired by Rome’s Colosseum and built in 1768 to the specifications of architect John Wood the Elder. Past residents have included painter Thomas Gainsborough, actor Nicolas Cage, and Clive of India. 14-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • No. 1 Royal Crescent – Designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built in the 1770s, this sweeping crescent of 30 four-story mansions overlooks an idyllic park. You can visit the restored Georgian mansion with original furnishings at No. 1: four-poster beds and wig-stretchers in the bedrooms, plus an elegant dining set in the grand dining room. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Bath Guildhall Market – This covered market is the oldest shopping venue in the city. Twenty stalls and shops sell regional cheeses, leather goods, traditional British sweets, design-led jewelry, specialty teas and coffees, and second-hand books. There’s also an espresso bar and a café serving all-day English breakfasts and sandwiches. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Waitrose – Central branch of the high-end supermarket. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

No. 15 Great Pulteney – The Hotel

The hotel features quirky contemporary art.

The guest lounge and other common spaces feature quirky contemporary art.

Antique cameras and glass lights adorn the corridors.

The hotel’s idiosyncratic features include collections of antique cameras, hand-blown glass lights, and other curios.

Breakfast is served in the Sitting Room.

Attached to the bar, the Sitting Room doubles as a breakfast venue. Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10.30am on weekdays and 8am to 11am on weekends.

Bar 15 is open from 6.30pm in the evenings.

Open from 6.30pm in the evenings, Bar 15 serves classic and bespoke cocktails, local craft beer, and champagne.

The hotel offers a complimentary larder, milk, tea, and coffee.

One of the hotel’s perks is this complimentary guest larder full of sweets and a fridge with milk for the complimentary tea and coffee.

Half the rooms offers views of Henrietta Park.

Half of the rooms look out over the vast green space of Henrietta Park out back. The rooms facing the back and those in the coach house tend to be a little quieter than those facing Great Pulteney St, though traffic tends to be light.

The basement Spa 15 has a cedar wood hot tub.

The basement Spa 15 comes with a cedar wood hot tub, accessible to guests from 10am to 7pm. From 7.30pm, it can be booked for private 60-minute sessions (£70 for 2 people, £120 for up to 6 guests); champagne can also be served.

Spa 15 has a barrel-shaped sauna.

Spa 15 includes 4 treatment rooms, plus a barrel-shaped traditional sauna.

Spa 15 has 4 individually styled treatment rooms.

Spa 15 treatment rooms are individually styled; this is the Sock Room.

The Dispensary is especially popular on Sundays for its 3-course brunches.

The Dispensary (open 7.30am to 9.30pm) is the light, bright dining room that riffs on the apothecary theme and serves breakfast, light dishes at lunchtime, and creative, seasonal British fare in the evenings, as well as 3-course Sunday brunches.

Cosy Doubles are located on the Artists' Floor.

Most of the Cosy Doubles are found on the Artists’ Floor, and each comes individually decorated with original art and equipped with a Hypnos bed.

All bathrooms have rain showers and copper wash basins.

All bathrooms come with rain showers and copper wash basins. Some of the Cosy and Deluxe Doubles come with bathtubs as well.

The quirky Deluxe Doubles feature high ceilings.

The high-ceilinged Deluxe Doubles are also uniquely themed and equipped with Hypnos king-sized beds and quirky touches, such as dolls’ houses.

Junior Suites have spacious sitting areas.

Junior Suites come with spacious sitting areas and large bathrooms with mirrored walls and artisanal Bamford skincare products.

The Hideout Suite with its private entrance is the best room.

The hotel’s finest room is the Hideout Suite, with its own private entrance from the garden.

The suite has a fireplace, art, and sound system.

The Hideout Suite’s living area comes with a fireplace, original art, and a state-of-the-art sound system.

The suite's bathroom has a steam room and jacuzzi.

The Hideout Suite’s bathroom features a steam room and private jacuzzi.

The 18th-century Pulteney Bridge is a popular landmark.

If you head west from the hotel, within minutes you hit Pulteney Bridge – a well-photographed 18th-century landmark that spans the River Avon. It looks even more impressive from the west side of the river.

The Antique Map Shop is located on Pulteney Bridge.

Directly on the bridge is The Antique Map Shop – particularly good for centuries-old maps of different parts of the British isles.

BeerCraft of Bath has an excellent selection of craft beers.

Across the street, BeerCraft of Bath is both a craft beer bar and the best place in town to shop for craft brews from all over Europe and beyond.

Opium serves legendary cocktails in themed rooms.

Just before you cross the bridge, head north up Grove St for a minute and take a sharp left along Spring Gardens Rd to find Opium, a snug cocktail bar with themed rooms and legendary cocktails.

Victoria Art Gallery offers free tours on Wednesdays.

Just to the west of the bridge is the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath’s repository of fine and contemporary arts. Come on a Wednesday for a free tour of the highlights.

Parade Gardens by the river is popular with picnickers.

If you head south from the bridge along the river, you soon hit the Parade Gardens – the riverside green space popular with picnickers.

Acorn is a popular, award-winning vegan restaurant.

Take North Parade east from Parade Gardens and you hit tiny, pedestrian Church Street. This is where you’ll find Acorn, the award-winning vegan restaurant. It’s worth booking ahead even for lunch.

Sally Lunn's is extremely popular for afternoon tea.

Next door is the legendary Sally Lunn’s – the most popular café in Bath for afternoon tea, with an attached museum – both inside one of Bath’s oldest houses. The specialty here is Bath cream tea, complete with a massive bun buttered with cinnamon butter.

The Hideout is a tiny whisky bar with a great selection of whiskies and gins.

A few steps west, duck into an alcove and you find The Hideout, a tiny whisky bar with tipples from around the world and a potent gin and whisky shooter.

Kingston Parade square features street musicians.

Walk one block north and you find yourself on Kingston Parade, the square in front of the Bath Abbey, complete with street musicians.

The panoramic views of the town from the Abbey tower are excellent.

Scaling the Abbey tower (closed during inclement weather) is particularly worthwhile, since you get fine 360-degree views from the top of the entire town. Tours run every hour and take around 45 minutes; get your tickets in advance just inside the Bath Abbey entrance.

The Great Bath and museum at the Roman Baths are worth visiting.

Directly opposite the Abbey are the Roman Baths – Aquae Sulis to the Romans and the town’s biggest attraction. Check out the Great Bath and the museum with its wealth of Roman finds. Go early in the day, before the school groups arrive, and get a combo ticket if you’re planning to visit the Victoria Art Gallery and Fashion Museum.

The gift shop sells excellent souvenirs.

You exit the Roman Baths through the gift shop, which is a great place to shop for quality Roman and Bath-themed souvenirs, such as locally made gin and Asterix comics in Latin.

The small Mokoko Coffee outlet offers coffees from around the world.

A few steps north along Stall St is Mokoko Coffee, the tiny central branch (the main one is on Dorchester St, near the train station) that stocks carefully selected coffees from around the world; limited seating room.

Thermae Bath Spa offers Bath's famous thermal waters and spa.

If you head west along Bath St from the Roman Baths gift shop, in a couple of minutes you come to the Thermae Bath Spa – the only place in the city where you can enjoy Bath’s famous thermal waters apart from the spa inside the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be quieter days.

Noya's Kitchen specializes in home-style Vietnamese cooking.

A block south of Thermae Bath Spa, along St James’ Parade, is Noya’s Kitchen, a small, homely restaurant specializing in home-style Vietnamese cooking. Evening supper clubs are a good way to meet locals.

Giggling Squid serves contemporary Thai dishes and tapas.

More good Asian food is found 3 blocks north of the spa, on Westgate Street: the Giggling Squid is all about contemporary, creative Thai dishes and Thai tapas throughout the day (popular with kids).

Jane Austen Centre, located close by, is worth a visit.

Four blocks north, on Gay St, is the Jane Austen Centre – a must for fans of Regency England fiction. You’ll be shown around by characters from her novels.

Clayton’s Kitchen's 3-course lunches are a bargain.

A block north and a block east of the Jane Austen Centre, Clayton’s Kitchen serves very affordable Modern British fare; the 3-course lunches are a bargain.

Topping & Company nearby is Britain's best independent bookshop.

A block east of Clayton’s Kitchen is Topping & Company, one of Britain’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders.

The Raven specializes in great ales and pies.

Alternatively, take Old King St east, then John St south from the Jane Austen Centre, and in a couple of minutes you’ll pass The Raven, a classic pub specializing in real ales and terrific pies.

Canary Gin Bar close by has a large selection of gins and cocktails.

A few doors down is the Canary Gin Bar (Bath is famous for its gin), with over 230 varieties and a long cocktail list.

Penhaligon’s is located on Milsom St.

A block east of John St, and parallel to it is Milsom St, renowned for its high-end shops and fine British tailoring. This is where you’ll find Penhaligon’s – the Bath branch of London’s illustrious house of fragrances.

Castle Fine Art sells the works of contemporary British artists.

Across the street, Castle Fine Art sells paintings, sculptures, and more by over 60 contemporary British artists.

Read More

The Best Hotels in York, England

Home > York Best Hotels
Updated: October 15, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: All hotel links on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
Charitable Giving: I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation.
Updates: Get my free newsletter and all new travel guides, maps & hotel reviews.

York Hotels – Tips and Recommendations

The 8 Best Hotels in York

Mount Royale

Hotel in York, England
York’s outstanding example of proper Yorkshire hospitality. This charming, family-run hotel is just south of the city center, about 10 minutes’ walk from York train station. All rooms and suites are equipped with necessary mod cons, plus a few pleasant surprises (look out for the complimentary macarons), and the beds are extremely comfortable. Bathrooms are comparatively large, with big baths. Breakfast includes a continental selection, as well as a hearty Full English. The garden and outdoor swimming pool are a pleasant respite from the bustling town center.
Hotel phone: 01904 628856

Grays Court

Hotel in York, England
Arguably the best-located place in town, this small, boutique hotel backs right onto York’s city walls, which can be entered from the hotel grounds. Its 12 rooms and suites are beautifully decorated in a traditional style, many of them featuring four-poster beds. Some rooms have uninterrupted views of York Minster. The Bow Room restaurant is very highly recommended – especially the bespoke tasting menu – while the Jacobean Long Gallery is an atmospheric place to enjoy a drink.
Hotel phone: 01904 612613

Middlethorpe Hall Hotel and Spa

Hotel in York, England
The ideal place for a country retreat (that’s only 2 miles from York), Middlethorpe Hall is a gorgeous mansion, built in 1699. Set in expansive grounds that include a kitchen-garden and beehive area, each of the hotel’s spacious rooms has been lovingly restored to resemble Middlethorpe’s glory days. Dine in the double AA rosette restaurant, or unwind in one of the house’s many salons. The warm indoor swimming pool is a real highlight on rainy days, and the spa offers a comprehensive range of pampering treatments.
Hotel phone: 01904 641241

The Principal

Hotel in York, England
The biggest hotel on this list at 155 rooms, The Principal has a range of rooms and suites to suit different budgets. Every room has a TV, wifi, tea, and coffee, plus ‘tuck box’ with some complimentary snacks, such as Kitkats. The hotel is decked out in Art Deco style, but look out for the original Victorian tiling in the area by the gym – which, incidentally, features a small swimming pool. The numerous bars in the hotel boast different vibes and menu offerings. With an entrance leading from the forecourt at York train station, plus fully accessible rooms, it’s great for those who require accessibility.
Hotel phone: 01904 653681

The Grange

Hotel in York, England
A historic hotel covered with ivy – which is appropriate, considering a branch of The Ivy Brasserie is tucked away in the hotel’s basement. The bar, meanwhile, has a real log-burning fire that makes for a cozy atmosphere in winter. The rooms are light and airy for a period building, with Hypnos mattresses to ensure a very comfortable night’s sleep. Helpfully, the rooms are equipped with fridges and small bottles of milk, and rollaways are available for children up to 12. The area is just north of York Minster, but is incredibly quiet – not as frequented by the tourist crowds.
Hotel phone: 01904 644744

The Churchill

Hotel in York, England
A quirky hotel just a few meters away from The Grange, stepping inside The Churchill is like stepping back to the 1940s. Rooms are World War 2 themed, showcasing the hotel’s unique sense of humor. In the luxury rooms, you’ll find roll-top baths and four-poster beds. The restaurant is small, but perfectly formed, with a pleasant outdoor sitting area. Look out for the smoking area – or Churchill’s cigar bunker, as they call it.
Hotel phone: 01904 644456

Middletons

Hotel in York, England
Close to the River Ouse, Middleton’s is housed in six historic buildings set around a paved courtyard. This is a good option for those on a budget, as it has a few touches of luxury – all rooms come with Lavazza coffee machines and pillow menus. Choose the cottage rooms if you’re traveling with kids, as they feature bunk beds and living areas. The Conservatory restaurant – which uses a lot of Yorkshire produce in its dishes – serves generous portions at reasonable prices. There’s also a small fitness center available to all guests.
Hotel phone: 01904 611570

Hotel Indigo

Hotel in York, England
As one of the newest hotels in town, every room in this boutique hotel has air conditioning, rainfall showers, and HD televisions at your disposal. The rooms have a variety of different themes, including ‘Shabby Chic’, ‘Chocolate’, and ‘Yorkshire’ – but the one thing that unites them all is the spa-inspired bathrooms. There’s a small gym on the ground floor. Be sure to spend some time in the bar, as they make a point of serving local spirits and ales.
Hotel phone: 01904 231333

Read More

Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore Hotels
Marina Bay Sands • Marina Bay • $$$$
Trio of 55-storey towers, now among the most iconic sights in Singapore (and Southeast Asia). Very opulent and spacious rooms with unparalleled views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Gravity-defying infinity pool, casino, 20 restaurants, and numerous other amazing attractions (see #57). • map • +65 6688 8868

Raffles Hotel • Colonial District • $$$$
Indisputably Singapore’s most famous hotel, it reopened in August 2019 after extensive renovations. Still retains its magnificent colonial-era ambience and each of the spacious suites conveys a splendour, charm, and elegance rarely seen anywhere on the planet.
• map • +65 6337 1886

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore • Orchard Road • $$$$
The first within the renowned worldwide chain, it offers substantial and elegant rooms and suites across 3 distinctive wings. Many feature balconies overlooking the pool, waterfall, and lush vegetation reminiscent of a tropical island. Ideal for families. • map • +65 6737 3644

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa • Sentosa Island • $$$$
On a clifftop overlooking the beach, the impressive variety of rooms, suites, and pool villas feature hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The generously sized rooms, gorgeous pool, and numerous amenities across the island accessible by shuttlebus make this a fine choice for families. • map • +65 6708 8310

The St. Regis Singapore • Orchard Road • $$$$
The décor is sumptuous and service impeccable, eg guests can be chauffeur-driven to the hotel and are assigned a personal butler. With an indoor tennis court and 2 child-friendly pools, it’s fab for families and the location between the Botanic Gardens and numerous malls is excellent. • map • +65 6506 6888

The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore • Marina Bay • $$$$
Combining a striking design and outstanding views, this award-winning hotel is a long-term favorite among regular guests who can arrive by boat or limousine. All rooms are particularly spacious and feature exquisite furniture, while some also boast a Jacuzzi. • map • +65 6333 8388

W Singapore – Sentosa Cove • Sentosa Island • $$$$
Vast, sophisticated, and on the theme-park island of Sentosa, so terrific for families. The pool is massive, and the other abundant amenities are also world-class. More secluded and serene than nearby rivals, and guests rave about the quality of service. • map • +65 6808 7288

Hotel Fort Canning Singapore • Colonial District • $$$$
So different to a Sentosa Island resort and downtown high-rise. Tranquil 5-star boutique hotel on a hilltop in Fort Canning Park (see #91) combining delightful colonial architecture with impressive modern-day amenities. • map • +65 6559 6769

The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore • Colonial District • $$$$
Magnificently restored by an award-wining architect, it’s so historic, yet chic and convenient. Suites ooze an adorable colonial charm, while the Terrace Rooms are also very appealing. Space enough for an outdoor pool and other first-class amenities. • map • +65 6368 8888

WANGZ Hotel • Chinatown • $$
Boutique hotel offering personalized service and trendy vibe within a particularly vibrant area. Contemporary décor, striking design, and lobby packed with commissioned paintings and sculptures. The themed rooms also feature eye-catching, nature-inspired art. • map • +65 6595 1388

The Vagabond Club, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore • Little India • $$$
Quirky, fashionable, historic, and luxurious. Walls within the adorable Art Deco building are lined with paintings, and each room is individually decorated. The club lounge and whisky bar are among the finest in Asia. • map • +65 6291 6677

The Scarlet Singapore • Chinatown • $$$
Combines a classic 1920’s Art Deco heritage with bold, contemporary design. Some rooms are equipped with skylights for stargazing, while others feature outdoor seats providing views across Chinatown. Each suite is designed around an individual theme: eg Passion, Swank, and Splendour. • map • +65 6511 3333

Hotel G Singapore • Colonial District • $$$
Colorful, fun, and welcoming throughout. Rooms – in categories self-labelled as Good, Great, and Greater – are smallish, but certainly very cozy, and feature state-of-the-art facilities. Plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop at the entrance, and convenient for transport and sightseeing. • map • +65 6809 7988

Q Loft Hotel [email protected] • Chinatown • $$$
Considerably more charming, elegant, and convenient than others in this lively part of the city. Admirably maintaining its 90-year-old heritage and colonial-era vibe, rooms are stylish, and guests also rave about the service, cleanliness, and breakfast. • map • +65 6717 1929
Singapore Restaurants
JAAN by Kirk Westaway https://www.jaan.com.sg/ • Colonial District • $$$$
Highly rated for its fusion of cuisines, romantic ambience, and prompt service. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Marina Bay from the 70th floor, it’s designed to wow – and does so spectacularly. The wine list is excellent and the 3-course lunches more affordable. Bookings highly recommended. • map • +65 6837 3322

Corner House https://cornerhouse.com.sg/ • Orchard Road • $$$
Adorable setting in a 110-year-old mansion in the Botanic Gardens (see #88). Creative French-influenced fare, with seafood a specialty. Ambience is relaxed, and the 5-course lunch menu is particularly good value. Book for a table with garden views. • map •+65 6469 1000

Burnt Ends https://burntends.com.sg/ • Chinatown • $$$$
Uniquely grilled and barbequed (but not burnt) meats and vegetables with a contemporary Australian twist. With an open-plan kitchen and communal bar, it’s likeably unpretentious and intimate. The extended wine list adds greatly to the appeal.
•map •+65 6224 3933

Tim Ho Wan http://www.timhowan.com/ • Orchard Road • $$$
Michelin-starred bistro specializing in Hong Kong cuisine, including heavenly dim sum, pork buns, and steamed dumplings. Perennially popular and reservations usually not possible, so come early to avoid lining up. •map •+65 6955 0188

Candlenut http://comodempsey.sg/restaurant/candlenut • Dempsey Hill (inner west) • $$$
First Michelin-rated restaurant in the world specializing in the distinctive Peranakan (Nonya) cuisine virtually unique to Singapore (see #28).Menu wonderfully combines the traditional and contemporary, while the setting is casual and inviting. Worth a short taxi trip from downtown. • map • 1800 304 2288 (local call only)

Coriander Leaf @ Chijmes http://corianderleaf.com/ • Colonial District • $$
Trendy and popular, the creative pan-Asian fare is innovative, the vegetarian dishes superb, and the seafood and steaks also mouth-watering. Sharing a converted 19th-century convent with other classy bars and bistros, it also holds cooking classes (see #56). • map •+65 6837 0142

The Cliff https://www.sofitel-singapore-sentosa.com/dining/the-cliff/ • Sentosa Island • $$$
Within the immense Sofitel resort, the clifftop setting is romantic, beach views superb, and meals delicious – so reservations are heartily recommended. Specializes in seafood and pasta, while many also enjoy the set-priced lunches and live jazz nightly. • map •+65 6708 8310

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant at Clarke Quay http://www.nosignboardholdings.com/nosignboardseafood.html • Clarke Quay (Singapore River) • $$
One of the places for chilli crab, Singapore’s unofficial dish. Now part of an island-wide chain, it provides a casual but delightful riverside setting, exquisite seafood, and pleasing prices. Always busy, but worth waiting for a table. • map • +65 6221 9959

True Blue Cuisine http://www.truebluecuisine.com/ • Colonial District • $$
Renowned by locals as the finest place for traditional and affordable Peranakan (Nonya) cuisine – see #28. Next to the excellent Peranakan Museum (see #63), the café is packed with traditional artefacts – ideal for browsing while the meal is lovingly prepared. • map • +65 6440 0449

Trapizza http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/rasasentosaresort/dining/restaurants/trapizza/ • Sentosa Island • $$$
The hand-crafted pizzas and huge bowls of pasta attract a lively crowd. Also popular among families – if only for the beachside setting and playground area. Part of the vast Shangri-La resort but separately managed. •map • +65 6376 2662

Satay by the Bay https://www.sataybythebay.com.sg/ • Marina Bay • $
Compact food court with an inviting selection of stalls in the remarkable Gardens by the Bay (see #89), so the setting is as alluring as the range of food. Also plenty of grills, noodles, and seafood. Undercover, so ideal when wet. • map • +65 6538 9956

Makansutra Gluttons Bay http://www.makansutra.com/eateries-home.aspx?mid=1 • Marina Bay • $
One of Singapore’s finest open-air food courts, as popular for its bayside position and abundant seating. Perfect for upmarket versions of street food – whether Chinese, Malay, or Indian. Snack on satays while wandering about or sit for a bowl of seafood noodles. •map • +65 6438 4038

Food Republic https://foodrepublic.com.sg/ • Orchard Road • $
One of the classiest food courts among so many, this focuses on traditional street food. Indoors, convenient, and very busy at lunchtime, so get there early. • map • +65 6737 9881

Best Singaporean Food

Peranakan (Nonya)
Unique cuisine developed by the Peranakan people, descendants of marriages between Malays and Chinese. Most dishes are deliciously flavored by lemongrass, tamarind, coconut, and chili. Dishes to try are ayam buah keluak (spicy chicken) or babi pongteh (braised pork), while others are versions of regional cuisines, eg laksa (curry noodle soup).

Chinese
Overwhelmingly dominating Singapore’s population, language, and culture, the Chinese take cooking and eating very seriously. Thousands of eateries – from hawker stalls to bistros with European prices and Michelin stars – serve authentic, popular dishes that hail from across China, including frog porridge, Hainan chicken rice, and char kway teow (noodles with clams).

Indian
The Indian minority is as diverse as the cuisine, which includes fiery curries from Tamil Nadu and milder biryanis from the Punjab. Most menus are vegetarian, although many serve seafood and some offer meat for tourists. Popular among visitors are the ‘banana leaf restaurants’, where scoops of curries, rice, and lentils are dolloped onto a banana leaf and eaten by hand.

Malay
Often ignored is the cuisine of Malaysia just across the strait. Usually cheap and always tasty are traditional meals like nasi lemak (rice soaked in coconut milk, and served with an egg, chill chutney, anchovies, and peanuts); roti canai (flaky pastry, often with eggs or onions, and dipped in curry sauces); and murtabak (sweet or savoury sort of pancakes).
Singapore Shops & Markets
Orchard Road
Stretching about 3km from the edge of the Colonial District to near the Botanic Gardens, it’s wall-to-wall shopping, where tourists often spend more time than imagined. As well as over 20 malls (see below), there are several top-end hotels and endless places to eat. Conveniently paralleled by a monorail line. • map

Paragon https://www.paragon.com.sg/ • Orchard Road
Midway along this major thoroughfare and trendy shopping district (see above), the Paragon mall is unashamedly pretentious. Among the many very fashionable and expensive boutiques are those selling children’s clothes, while live music helps soothe the nerves of ardent shopaholics. Check out the specials and offers for tourists on the website. •map •+65 6730 5535

Tanglin Shopping Centrehttps://www.tanglinsc.com/ • Orchard Road
Popular with expats, this is at the northwest end of this major shopping precinct (see above) so often ignored by tourists. Renowned as the place for art, carpets, ornaments, and antiques, it’s worth a walk or short monorail trip – if only for the retro-style vibe so different to rival malls. • map •+65 6737 0849

Raffles City Shopping Centre https://www.capitaland.com/sg/malls/rafflescity/en.html • Colonial District
Just across the road from the iconic Raffles Hotel, this cluster of name-brand outlets is in a building more compact and inviting than the mega-malls. Popular for the Robinson’s department store, food court, and tempting promotions to entice shoppers from Orchard Road.
•map • +65 6318 0238

Bugis Street Market https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d2301715-Reviews-Bugis_Street-Singapore.html • Colonial District
Once part of a red-light district, the area was bulldozed many years ago, only to be rebuilt later. More enticing for bargain-hunters than any mall, it’s mostly undercover and crammed with about 500 stalls selling ‘designer brands’ (of dubious authenticity) and super-cheap souvenirs. Also, takeaway food and moneychangers. • map

Geylang Serai (New) Market https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d317432-Reviews-Geylang_Serai_New_Market-Singapore.html • Geylang (inner northeast)
More authentic and less touristy than Bugis Street (see above), most traders are Malaysian, so it’s particularly lively during Ramadan. Predominantly sells fruit, vegetables, and meat, but also plenty of food stalls. Inside an airy, traditional-style building and not overly crowded. • map

Haji Lane https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d3512383-Reviews-Haji_Lane-Singapore.html • Kampong Glam
Most of the historic shop-houses along one of the city’s narrowest streets have been converted to quirky shops, unique boutiques, hip eateries, and trendy tailors. The bohemian vibe and abundant street art makes this a top place for taking photographs and meeting people. • map

Popular Souvenirs
From tasteful to tasteless, everything is for sale in Singapore. Stick to the malls and renowned shops if receipts, guarantees, and authenticity are required; otherwise, bargains galore can be found at the numerous markets. Possible souvenirs include jewellery, particularly jade and gold; porcelain jugs, spoons, and other household items crafted with a Peranakan style (see #28); shirts, bags, and mats made using batik; tailor-made suits, shirts, and dresses; and soothing ointment called Tiger Balm. Edible ideas include the kaya jam spread on toast in Chinese coffee houses; bak kwa (chewy pork strips); and green tea.
Singapore Bars
Long Bar https://www.raffles.com/singapore/dining/long-bar/ • Colonial District
No finer place to sip an iconic Singapore Sling cocktail than the Long Bar within the wonderfully restored Raffles Hotel. Guests can soak up the incredible elegance, history, and charm of Singapore’s most famous hotel without staying there. •map • +65 6337 1886

Smoke & Mirrors https://www.smokeandmirrors.com.sg/ • Colonial District
According to savvy locals, this provides the city’s most jaw-dropping views. Also renowned for its signature cocktails and exquisite food, it’s on the rooftop of the National Gallery Singapore (see #61) and perfect for sunsets. Book ahead for meals. •map • +65 9380 6313

Lantern https://www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-bay-hotel/lantern-rooftop-bar.html • Marina Bay
In The Fullerton Bay Hotel, one of Singapore’s most memorable watering holes provides unique cocktails, an infinity pool, and expansive views of the skyline. Probably the optimal place to watch the amazing Spectra sound and light show (see #44), but the loud music is more suited to younger trendsetters. •map • +65 6333 8388

Brewerkz Riverside Point https://www.brewerkz.com/ • Singapore River
The city’s first microbrewery is still hugely popular for its amazing variety of locally-brewed (and imported) beers. With a chic minimalist décor and appealing riverside setting, the award-winning restaurant specializes in American-style grills. Check the website for tempting meal and drink specials. •map • +65 6438 7438

Singapore Nightlife
Spectra – A Light & Water Show https://www.marinabaysands.com/attractions/spectra.html • Marina Bay
If the casino, hotel, restaurants, and shops at the Marina Bay Sands complex (see #57) aren’t impressive enough hang about for the brilliant light, sound, and laser show that illuminates these remarkable buildings every evening. Up to 3 shows a night for 15 minutes each, it’s free and it’s amazing. •map • +65 6688 8826

Crazy Elephant https://crazyelephant.sg/ • Clarke Quay (Singapore River)
Long-time favorite still more popular than newer and trendier rivals. Stripped-down and grungy, it’s the perfect place to catch toe-tapping blues and hip-shaking rock. No cool DJs, cover charges, or dress code here, and it’s one of the cheapest places along the river for a beer. •map • +65 6337 7859

Blujaz Café http://www.blujazcafe.net/ • Kampong Glam
Popular, well-priced, and oh-so cozy, this is the place for live blues and jazz (as the name suggests). Anything is possible on the night, including jams by local musos, open mic nights for anyone, and quirky comedy shows. •map • +65 6292 3800

Zouk https://zoukclub.com/ • Clarke Quay (Singapore River)
This continually popular club re-invents itself regularly to maintain its reputation as the trendiest spot in the city. The DJs are hip, the dance floor gigantic, and the music – which changes themes nightly – is LOUD! Come early to avoid lining up, and check out the wine bar and avant-garde art. •map • +656738 2988

F Club X Attica SG https://www.attica.com.sg/ • Colonial District
Normally just known as Attica, this pulsating club is massive and popular enough for 2 dance areas. One plays hip-hop, the other techno music for those who can tell the difference. Also, fashion shows and live music some nights. •map • +65 6338 3158

Cultural Events
This remarkably multicultural city provides a vast array of sophisticated events at the Chinese Theatre Circle http://www.ctcopera.com/ (traditional opera); Singapore Repertory Theatre https://www.srt.com.sg/ (plays from Shakespeare to experimental); Singapore Dance Theatre http://www.singaporedancetheatre.com/ (modern dance and classical ballet); and the swish concert hall at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay https://www.esplanade.com/ (music and plays, sometimes free).
Singapore Tours & Classes
Singapore River Cruise https://rivercruise.com.sg/river-cruise/• Marina Bay and Singapore River
A must-do is a trip on a traditional-style bumboat along the river. Particularly atmospheric at night; even more so during the extraordinary light show at Marina Bay Sands (see #57). Boats run regularly between the iconic Marina Bay complex and vibrant Clarke Quay, providing an informative commentary along the way. •map • +65 6336 6111

Big Bus Singapore https://www.bigbustours.com/en/singapore/discover-singapore/
To see maximum sights in minimal time, jump on a double-decker bus. One of several similar companies, Big Bus is international, reliable, and great value. It offers 4 routes where passengers can get on/off anywhere along the way. (Other city tours also available.) •map • +65 6338 6877

Singapore Duck Tours http://www.singaporeducktours.com/
Explore the city in an amphibious truck left over from the Vietnam War. These brightly-colored and open-air vehicles can glide through the city streets and then, remarkably, slide into the river. Heaps of fun for the family, the tours are informative and certainly unique. •map • +65 6338 6877

Let’s Go Bike Singapore https://letsgobikesingapore.com/
Well-designed bicycle tours that avoid hills and traffic, and include places in ‘real Singapore’ not accessible by tourist buses. Mostly alongside the river and with stops at traditional coffee-houses, it also provides e-scooters for the less able or energetic. •map • +65 9004 4332

The Original Singapore Walks www.singaporewalks.com
The slowest way to get around is often the most rewarding as guests visit places rarely seen by tourists, such as graveyards and markets. This reputable outfit runs tours on foot through Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, and the colonial district while informative guides provide plenty of history, anecdotes, and tips. •map • +65 6325 1631

Trishaw Uncle www.trishawuncle.com.sg
Only 40 years ago, hand-pulled rickshaws operated in parts of the city. These days, comfortable two-wheeled versions with a driver are used for tourist trips. Restricted by traffic and hills, tours by this long-established and government-recognized company take in Bugis Street, Chinatown, and Little India, and can include dinner, a show, and river cruise in a traditional-style bumboat. •map • +65 6336 1188

Cooking Classes
Hands-on and conducted in English, lessons usually start with an early-morning visit to a produce market and finish with devouring the students’ creations at lunchtime. Well-established and reliable are Cookery Magic https://cookerymagic.com/; Palate Sensations Culinary School https://www.palatesensations.com/; and Coriander Leaf http://corianderleaf.com/culinary-education/.

Things to See in Singapore
(also refer to ‘Family Fun’ and ‘Parks & Gardens’ later)

Marina Bay Sands https://www.marinabaysands.com/ • Marina Bay
Dominating views from many angles, this iconic trio of skyscrapers is home to a hotel, casino, shopping mall, endless eateries, and all sorts of attractions, such as a world-class theatre; the ArtScience Museum, shaped like a gigantic lotus flower; and the extraordinary Observation Deck. The complex is brilliantly illuminated during the sound and light shows each evening (see #44). •map • +65 6688 8826

National Museum of Singapore https://www.nationalmuseum.sg/ • Colonial District
The city’s oldest and finest museum features themed galleries about fashion, food, and film that bring Singapore’s rich history to life. Multimedia elements let historical characters speak for themselves, but guided tours are recommended. Check out the special programmes for the young ones. •map • +65 6332 3659

Jurong Bird Park https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/jurong-bird-park.html •Jurong (western Singapore)
Home to 1000s of birds representing 100s of species, this park is divided into zones that mirror the birds’ natural habitats. Heavily involved in breeding and conservation of endangered species, there are also plenty of children’s activities and shows understandably popular with families. Visitors can either walk around or take a tram. •map • +65 6269 3411

Singapore Flyer https://www.singaporeflyer.com/ • Marina Bay
Asia’s largest observation wheel is dramatically positioned alongside Marina Bay and a part of Singapore’s skyline. Mind-blowing views of the bay, river, skyscrapers, and ships along the strait. Even possible to book a 4-course meal inside a capsule 165m above ground. •map • +65 6854 5200

National Gallery Singaporehttps://www.nationalgallery.sg/ • Colonial District
Largest collection of its kind anywhere in Southeast Asia.Within the lovingly restored former Supreme Court building, exhibitions reflect Singapore’s unique heritage and location. Free tours available. Also, home to several classy bistros and the Smoke & Mirrors rooftop bar (see #41). •map • +65 6271 7000

Asian Civilisations Museum https://www.acm.org.sg/ • Singapore River
Recently renovated and revamped, the collection of artefacts from across the region is truly comprehensive – and includes a 1000-year-old shipwreck. Numerous galleries provide stunning overviews of the culture, history, and people, and guided tours are available. The building itself is also popular for its neo-classical design and riverfront position. •map • +65 6332 7798

Peranakan Museum https://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg/ • Colonial District
Beautifully recreated and affectionately maintained, this adorable museum explains the history, culture, food, and fashion of the Peranakan people, who descend from marriages between Malays and Chinese. Displays are colorful and often interactive. (Closed for renovations in late-2019.) •map • +65 6332 7591

Chinatown https://www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/see-do-singapore/places-to-see/chinatown/
One of the most vibrant and authentic of its kind on the planet. First stop should be the Chinatown Heritage Centrehttp://www.chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg/ to learn about the area’s early history. Then, amble the narrow streets and check out the frenetic markets, traditional cafés, and colorful temples like Thian Hock Keng (the city’s oldest). Also, home to the Sri Mariamman (Hindu) Temple and 19th-century Masjid Jamae mosque. •map

Little India
With its incense-scented streets, gaudy temples, and mouth-watering smells, Little India has a distinctive vibe and unique character. Dominating the crowded alleys are the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple and monastery; Sri Srinivasa Perumal Hindu Temple; and the 100-year-old Abdul Gafoor Mosque. The main thoroughfare, Serangoon Road, is crammed with tempting eateries. •map

Changi Village • northern Singapore
In stark contrast to the malls, high-rises, and theme parks elsewhere, this laidback residential area is perched just outside the northern tip of the airport, so getting there by train and bus is half the fun. The hawker centre sells authentic food and is alongside the terminal for traditional bumboats to Pulau Ubin island (see #79). •map

Family Fun in Singapore

Singapore Zoo https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/singapore-zoo.html • northern Singapore
One of the world’s very best and home to countless species from polar bears to baby giraffes. Unlike those in most Asian cities, the animals are well looked after and can be admired in enclosures resembling their natural habitat. Family activities include the Rainforest Kidzworld and Jungle Breakfast, while the tram helps reduce tired feet. •map • +65 6269 3411

Night Safari https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/night-safari.html • northern Singapore
Unique chance to get up close and personal with over 900 animals across about 100 species, including tigers, elephants, and bats. Wonderfully eerie experience wandering the footpaths during the evening, although most visitors rush past on a guided tour by tram.Popular add-ons are dinner in a campsite among some inhabitants and the Creatures of the Night Show. •map • +65 6269 3411

Sentosa Island https://www.sentosa.com/ • southern Singapore
This once-deserted island is now Singapore’s tropical playground. There’s enough to do to easily occupy a week, which is why luxurious family-friendly resorts line the beaches (see ‘Singapore Hotels’ earlier). Take a ride or slide at the Adventure Cover Waterpark; wander about the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom with its rainforest; be entertained at Universal Studios (see below); and admire the aquarium (see #71). Even getting there by cable car is great fun. •map • +65 6736 8672

Universal Studios Singapore https://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore • Sentosa Island
This magnificent branch of the Hollywood theme park is divided into seven ‘worlds’. The young ones will love the adrenalin-pumping rides – all thrilling, and a few scary – and live shows featuring lovable characters from hugely popular TV shows and movies. •map • +65 6577 8888

S.E.A. Aquarium https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/sea-aquarium • Sentosa Island
One of the world’s largest is home to over 100,000 creatures from more than 100 species.
And the attractions get better every year – whether swimming among sharks in a special container; walking in a bubble suit among manta rays; or enjoying a sleepover alongside the massive tank. •map • +65 6577 9977

Wild Wild Wet @Downtown East https://www.wildwildwet.com/• northeast Singapore
One of the most exhilarating waterparks anywhere on the planet – and as much fun for the parents. Heaps of rides, slides, and plunges for various ages with names like TurboTwister and TornadoWave, while a special Kidz Zone ensures that toddlers still have heaps of fun. •map • +65 6581 9128

Snow City Singapore http://www.snowcity.com.sg/ •Jurong (western Singapore)
Novelty in a tropical country and an ideal escape from the sapping heat and humidity. Thrill-seekers can go down and along the artificial snow or ice on skates, in tubes, or on boards. Younger ones may feel safer exploring an igloo, watching an Eskimo show, or having a snowball fight. Also, educational programmes. •map • +65 6560 2306

Festivals & Events in Singapore
Chinese (Lunar) New Year https://www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/festivals-events-singapore/cultural-festivals/chinese-new-year/ •changeable, January/February
The New Year is ushered in with floats and performances, including stilt-walkers and lion dancers, at Marina Bay. Over about 15 days, temples open their doors, food stalls stay open all night, and thousands of lanterns dangle along Chinatown and Singapore River. Exceptionally vibrant time to visit, but also extremely busy and potentially expensive.

Singapore International Festival of Arts https://www.sifa.sg/ •late May
Two weeks of high-quality performances (some free) of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts from around the world. Held at about 10 old-fashioned and modern-day theatres and stages. Also, workshops and talks by experts.

Singapore Food Festival https://www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/festivals-events-singapore/annual-highlights/singapore-food-festival/ • July
For more than 2 weeks, various venues are taken over for a showcase of flavorsome Chinese, Indian, Malay, and local Peranakan (Nonya) cuisines. Expect pop-up food stalls, cooking demonstrations, and foodie tours.

National Day https://www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/festivals-events-singapore/cultural-festivals/national-day/ •August 9
Patriotic celebration of the country’s independence in 1965 from Malaysia. Plenty of flag-waving and fun-filled festivities, including fireworks, cultural dances, and parades.

Mid-Autumn Festival https://www.visitsingapore.com/en_au/festivals-events-singapore/cultural-festivals/mid-autumn-festival/ • changeable, August/September
Also called the Lantern or Mooncake festivals, lion-dances are held, especially at Chinatown, where a multitude of stalls sell mooncake pastries. Most events are held after dark, including the Children’s Lantern Parade in Chinatown, while other performances are at Gardens by the Bay (see #89).

Short Trips from the City Centre

Pulau Ubin (Singapore) – 45-60 minutes by taxi, train, and/or bus
Between Changi Airport and the Malaysian coast, Pulau Ubin (Granite Island) contrasts sharply with the forest of high-rise buildings elsewhere. Only 7km by 2km, it’s reminiscent of Singapore from the 1950s, and mostly inhabited by Malay fisher-families in wooden homes on stilts. Fabulous fun to explore by bicycle, and rentals available at the boat terminal at Changi Village (see #66).

Johor Bahru (Malaysia) – one hour
Easy daytrip by bus, train, or taxi across the 1km-long causeway, this regional city is immensely popular with Singaporeans for its bargain shopping and seedy nightlife. With museums, mosques, gardens, and temples in a compact downtown area, JB (as it’s known) is becoming modernized, but still retains a likeable ramshackle feel. Avoid travelling at peak hours: for workers from JB to Singapore (6-8am and 5-7pm weekdays) and shoppers from Singapore to JB (all weekend and public holidays).

Melaka/Malacca (Malaysia) – about 4 hours
Regular buses and trains via Johor Bahru link Singapore with this charismatic historical riverside city. Formerly ruled by the Portuguese and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melaka is packed with charm, history, and elegance. Spend days checking out the (over)abundance of museums, as well as the brightly-painted colonial-era buildings and bustling Old Town.

Pulau Bintan (Indonesia) – one hour by ferry from the terminal
Far closer to Singapore than the Indonesian mainland, this is the largest and most developed island of the Riau Archipelago. Boasting traditional villages and idyllic beaches – some empty, others with water-sports – Bintan is slowly being overrun by resorts and golf courses. Other visitors enjoy the hiking, cycling, and seafood restaurants.
Outdoor Activities in Singapore
Cycling
Locals love to escape the traffic and crowds by peddling along numerous dedicated lanes around various parks and gardens. Especially popular are the flat stretches along East Coast Park (see #90), Sentosa Island (see #69), and Pulau Ubin island (see #79). Bikes are available for rent at all three places. The more adventurous might try the trails through Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (see #93).

Golf
Despite limited space, Singapore boasts over 15 golf courses and driving ranges. Many are private, with public access restricted to weekdays and those with certificates of ability, while others are more welcoming to visitors and novices. The best public course for views, convenience, and design (including a par 6) is the Marina Bay Golf Course http://www.mbgc.com.sg/. Many things in Singapore are cheap, but playing golf is certainly not one of them.

Swimming
Despite being an island, few places along the coast are actually suitable for swimming. While beaches along East Coast Park (see #90) and Sentosa Island (see #69) are postcard-perfect, the water is not inviting compared to those in Malaysia and Thailand. Otherwise, visit one of the excellent public swimming pools; the most convenient is Jalan Besar Swimming Complex https://www.myactivesg.com/Facilities/jalan-besar-swimming-complex.

Water-sports
Surrounded by sea and dotted with inland lakes and reservoirs, some water-sports are available. The widest variety – including canoeing, sailing, wind-surfing, and water-skiing – is available at East Coast Park (see #90) and Sentosa Island (see #69). Canoeing is also possible at MacRitchie Reservoir Park (see #92). Scuba-diving can be organised in Singapore, but trips will certainly be in Malaysian waters.

Walking and Hiking
To escape the overcrowding and humidity of downtown, locals love to walk (and jog) along the signposted paths at East Coast Park (see #90) and MacRitchie Reservoir Park (see #92). More challenging hiking trails meander through Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (see #93) and the mangroves, coconut groves, and rustic villages on Pulau Ubin island (see #79).

Singapore Parks & Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg • Orchard Road
Over 160 years old and the only tropical gardens in the world to receive a UNESCO World Heritage listing. Immaculate lawns, themed gardens, tranquil lakes, and extensive boardwalk through an ancient rainforest. Free tours on Saturdays, and frequent programmes and performances all week. • map • 1800 471 7300 (local call only)

Gardens by the Bay https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/ • Marina Bay
Futuristic botanical gardens where enormous bio-domes house over 800 plant species from different climatic zones. An elevated walkway links the incredible Supertrees, which are spectacularly lit up during the evening sound and light shows (see #44). Also appealing are the waterpark for the younger ones and various whimsical sculptures. •map • +65 6420 6848

East Coast Park https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/east-coast-park • southeast Singapore
Hugely popular respite from downtown traffic, noise, and pollution, this stretches 15km along the shore towards the airport. The seemingly endless tropical beach (mostly man-made on reclaimed land) is terrific for water-sports (see #86), jogging, and cycling, but less inviting for swimming. Also, several playgrounds. •map • 1800 471 7300 (local call only)

Fort Canning Park https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/fort-canning-park • Colonial District
Attractive expanse of greenery on a hilltop in the city center. Various paths lead to several gardens; an atmospheric war museum called the Battle Box; a reservoir; gorgeous colonial-era hotel (see#8); interesting old graveyard; and historic whitewashed fort, home to intriguing exhibits. Check the website about various events. •map •1800 471 7300 (local call only)

MacRitchie Reservoir Park https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/macritchie-reservoir-park • central Singapore
Not as convenient or packed with attractions as others, this is more pristine and tranquil. Popular for its delightful walking trails – including boardwalks and a suspended bridge – around the reservoir, monkey-infested forest, and former rubber plantations. Canoes also available. •map • 1800 471 7300 (local call only)

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/bukit-timah-nature-reserve • central Singapore
Vast reserve featuring forests inhabited by lemurs, monkeys, and deer – yet within a quick taxi trip of the city center. Signposted walking trails meander through the pristine environment and up Bukit Timah, the country’s highest hill (only 163m). Also a special trail for cyclists. •map • 1800 471 7300 (local call only)
Singapore Neighborhoods
**editor adds booking.com links; I have added brief description and websites if available for new entries & couple of words to explain if anywhere is a shop/café/hotel etc if it’s not clear from the name of the place**

Colonial District
No part of Singapore packs as many cultural attractions into such a compact space. The most important museums and galleries are within a few blocks of each another, while the west is dominated by Fort Canning Park (see #91) and the southeast edge faces the amazing Marina Bay (see #57). Vast range of hotels – mostly top-end – and classy places to eat, drink, and shop, and the area is well-connected by public transport.
Best Stuff: Raffles Hotel • Hotel Fort Canning Singapore • The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore • Hotel G Singapore • JAAN by Kirk Westaway https://www.jaan.com.sg/ bistro • Coriander Leaf @ Chijmes http://corianderleaf.com/ restaurant • True Blue Cuisine http://www.truebluecuisine.com/ café • Raffles City Shopping Centre https://www.capitaland.com/sg/malls/rafflescity/en.html • Bugis Street Market https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d2301715-Reviews-Bugis_Street-Singapore.html • Long Bar https://www.raffles.com/singapore/dining/long-bar/ • Smoke & Mirrors https://www.smokeandmirrors.com.sg/ bar •F Club X Attica SG https://www.attica.com.sg/nightclub•Singapore Repertory Theatre https://www.srt.com.sg/ • Singapore Dance Theatre http://www.singaporedancetheatre.com/ •Trishaw Uncle www.trishawuncle.com.sg rickshaw tours • National Museum of Singapore https://www.nationalmuseum.sg/ •National Gallery Singapore https://www.nationalgallery.sg/ • Peranakan Museum https://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg/ •Fort Canning Park https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/fort-canning-park

Sentosa Island
Hanging off the southern edge of the mainland and connected by monorail, a causeway, and cable car, Sentosa is a former military base. Now Singapore’s brash and buzzing playground offers vast 5-star resorts, numerous theme parks, 2 golf courses, and endless bars and restaurants. Popular base, especially for families, and pleasingly compact, with many amenities and attractions clustered around the waterfront monorail station.
Best Stuff: Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa • W Singapore – Sentosa Cove hotel • Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa (vast, opulent, and family-friendly) •The Cliff https://www.sofitel-singapore-sentosa.com/dining/the-cliff/ restaurant • Trapizza http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/rasasentosaresort/dining/restaurants/trapizza/ bistro • Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove https://www.quaysideisle.com/ shopping and dining center • Adventure Cover Waterpark Sentosa Island https://www.sentosa.com/ •Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom Sentosa Island https://www.sentosa.com/ • Universal Studios Singapore https://www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore • S.E.A. Aquarium https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/sea-aquarium • cycling • water-sports • swimming

Orchard Road
One of Asia’s most renowned and popular shopping districts stretches several kilometres west from the Colonial District to the Botanic Gardens. Packed with malls and department stores, this major thoroughfare is also lined with hotels of all ranges and crammed with places to eat and drink, mostly within the malls. The road is conveniently paralleled by a monorail line that offers quick connections to many of the city’s sights.
Best Stuff: Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore • The St. Regis Singapore hotel • The Quincy Hotel (contemporary, quirky, and convenient) • Corner House https://cornerhouse.com.sg/ café • Tim Ho Wan http://www.timhowan.com/ restaurant • Iggy’s https://www.iggys.com.sg/ (stylish bistro with extended wine list) • Food Republic https://foodrepublic.com.sg/ food court • Paragon https://www.paragon.com.sg/ mall • Tanglin Shopping Centre https://www.tanglinsc.com/ • Wisma Atria http://www.wismaonline.com/?ch=english_home mall • Singapore Botanic Gardens https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg

Marina Bay
This area offers the city’s most striking architecture and most sought-after views. Along the western side are numerous hotels and restaurants and the Merlion – the symbol of the city – spraying water into the bay. The eastern edge is dominated by the extraordinary Marina Bay Sands complex (see #57) and linked by Hell’s Bridge to the iconic Singapore Flyer (see #60) and Esplanade Theatre (see #49). Some hotels, bars, and bistros in this area provide a birds-eye view of the nightly sound and light show (see #44).
Best Stuff: Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino • The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore • Satay by the Bay https://www.sataybythebay.com.sg/ food court • Makansutra Gluttons Bay http://www.makansutra.com/eateries-home.aspx?mid=1 food court •The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands https://www.marinabaysands.com/shopping.html (classy boutiques and bayside views) • Lantern bar • Spectra – A Light & Water Show https://www.marinabaysands.com/attractions/spectra.html • Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay https://www.esplanade.com/ • Singapore River Cruise https://rivercruise.com.sg/river-cruise/ • ArtScience Museum https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html • Singapore Flyer https://www.singaporeflyer.com/ • Marina Bay Golf Course http://www.mbgc.com.sg/ • Gardens by the Bay https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/

Singapore River
Meandering west through the inner city from Marina Bay, this broad waterway is dotted with quays (jetties) used by water taxis and cruise boats. Gorgeous area of colonial-era museums and galleries, modern high-rises, and riverside bars, bistros, and nightclubs, often in converted warehouses. Distant from downtown traffic, but an easy walk to the abundant attractions in the Colonial District and Chinatown.
Best Stuff: The Warehouse Hotel • Swissôtel Merchant Court Singapore hotel • Park Regis Singapore hotel • No Signboard Seafood Restaurant at Clarke Quay http://www.nosignboardholdings.com/nosignboardseafood.html • Brewerkz Riverside Point https://www.brewerkz.com/ bar with live music • Crazy Elephant https://crazyelephant.sg/ live music venue • Zouk https://zoukclub.com/ nightclub • Clarke Quay https://www.capitaland.com/sg/malls/clarkequay/en.html shopping and dining center • Singapore River Cruise https://rivercruise.com.sg/river-cruise/ • Asian Civilisations Museum https://www.acm.org.sg/

Chinatown
Settled by Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, and Teochew people in the mid-19th century, some of the original buildings have survived the subsequent commercial onslaught and much of the area remains remarkably undisturbed by tourism. Well-connected to the inner-city attractions by public transport, Chinatown is packed with things to see and do (see #64) – but certainly not all are about the Chinese. Most hotels are budget-priced and midrange, although increasingly top-end, too. And, of course, the variety of places to eat and shop, many authentic and not touristy, is extraordinary.
Best Stuff: WANGZ Hotel •The Scarlet Singapore hotel • Q Loft Hotel [email protected] •Burnt Ends https://burntends.com.sg/ bistro • Maxwell Food Centre https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d13078277-Reviews-Maxwell_Food_Centre-Singapore.html • Spring Court https://www.springcourt.com.sg/ restaurant (one of the city’s oldest, in a heritage building) • Chinese Theatre Circle http://www.ctcopera.com/• Trishaw Uncle www.trishawuncle.com.sg rickshaw tours • The Original Singapore Walks www.singaporewalks.com tours • Chinatown Heritage Centre http://www.chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg/ • Thian Hock Keng Temple • Sri Mariamman Temple • Masjid Jamae mosque

Little India and Kampong Glam
North of the Colonial District, Little India is vibrant, authentic, and packed with shops, restaurants, and hotels more affordable than overpriced areas in downtown. As well as some temples and markets, the maze of lanes and renowned Serangoon Road are an attraction in their own right. On the other side of Rochor Canal, Kampong Glam is home to a flourishing Malaysian community.
Best Stuff: The Vagabond Club, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore • Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road, Singapore (very comfortable apartments) • Muthu’s Curry https://www.muthuscurry.com/ (tasty, authentic, and popular) • Tekka Centre food court and market • Khansama Tandoori Restaurant https://khansama.com.sg/ (great-value and friendly) • Haji Lane https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g294265-d3512383-Reviews-Haji_Lane-Singapore.html shopping district • Blujaz Café http://www.blujazcafe.net/ and live music venue • Trishaw Uncle www.trishawuncle.com.sg rickshaw tours • The Original Singapore Walks www.singaporewalks.com tours • Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple • Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple • Abdul Gafoor Mosque• Jalan Besar Swimming Complex https://www.myactivesg.com/Facilities/jalan-besar-swimming-complex

The Best Beaches in Bali

Home > Bali > Best Beaches
Updated: October 15, 2019

See Also

The 12 Best Bali Beaches

The best beach in Bali, Indonesia.

Jimbaran Beach in Bali.

1. Crystal Bay

This sheltered cove is almost perfect: with blue-green waters, sloping palm trees, rocky islets just offshore and a hilly backdrop, it is also astoundingly undeveloped. With more cattle grazing than tourists lazing, it is so idyllic because it’s so isolated: on Nusa Penida island, an hour by speedboat from Bali, and only accessible by chartered vehicle or rented motorbike. With only a few laidback bungalows nearby and a handful of thatched-roof cafés on the sand, the reefs are popular among scuba-divers and snorkelers who mostly arrive by boat from more developed regions.

2. Jimbaran

Despite its proximity to the airport and all the hedonism on offer at Kuta, Jimbaran remains comparatively undeveloped. With stretches of the extended curved bay sometimes empty, it’s perfect for walking, and some modest surf can be found at the southern end. With a moderate range of places to stay, eat, drink and shop, Jimbaran is also a genuine village, home to an ancient temple and sprawling produce and fish markets. As well as an ideal base to explore southern Bali, a highlight of any trip to the island is a sunset dinner at a café along Jimbaran Bay, with fresh seafood a specialty.

3. Kuta

Love or loathe the decadence and the frenetic malls, clubs, and bars, Kuta Beach is renowned across the world for a reason: it’s wide and sandy, and offers glorious sunsets, as well as surfboard rental, lounge chairs and drink stalls. Of course, the choice of places to spend money within a few minutes’ walk is legendary, but only a few hotels face the sea – and these also overlook a busy esplanade. The waves are popular among surfers, so Kuta is not always ideal for swimming, especially by children and novices.

4. Legian

Squeezed between the malls and clubs of brassy Kuta, and the bistros and boutiques of classy Seminyak, the lanes of Legian are still crammed with shops, cafés, and bars, but the pace is undeniably less hectic. As an extension of Kuta, Legian Beach is wide and white, but also wavy – more suitable for surfers than swimmers. With beachside hotels facing a vehicle-free path (rather than a noisy road), Legian is justifiably popular with families.

5. Mushroom Bay

Most beaches on the idyllic and (almost) vehicle-free Nusa Lembongan island, just 30 minutes by boat from Sanur, are unsafe, dirty or inaccessible. Not so, Mushroom Bay, a lovely, sheltered and curved bay of white sands and calm waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling (but not surfing). The narrow single access road and hilly landscape ensure that it remains relatively undeveloped and gloriously laidback, although most of the low-star hotels and modest cafés don’t face the sea.

6. Nusa Dua

One of the best beaches for a honeymoon or family holiday, Nusa Dua is a unique gated complex of 4 and 5-star resorts. The region offers a serenity and tranquility unfound elsewhere on Bali, although some may regard the setting as a little sterile. With most resorts featuring extensive tropical gardens and facing glorious stretches of bleached-white sands and still waters, Nusa Dua is also convenient for the water-sports along neighboring Tanjung Benoa, the cultural attractions of the southern peninsula, and the malls and clubs of Kuta (via a new tollway).

7. Padangbai

With potential overdevelopment thwarted by a mountainous backdrop, Padangbai still retains an adorable village vibe, despite the minibuses offloading island-hoppers for speedboats to the Gilis, and the non-stop ferries to neighboring Lombok island. Lined with fishing boats, the scenic bay alongside the vehicle-free main street is more suited for strolling and sitting, but only 10 minutes away on foot are the lovable Blue Lagoon beach and Crusoe-esque Bias Tugel cove. And Padangbai is perfect for exploring the rugged east coast, dominated by the omnipotent Agung volcano.

8. Padang Padang

Known mostly to hardy surfers, Padang Padang is one of a few undersized beaches along the craggy southern peninsula. While others are remote and often only accessible via rickety steps, Padang Padang is an easy daytrip from the southern resort regions, and a handful of hotels and a couple of cafés are perched among the cliffs nearby. The daunting waves are distant, so swimming is safe, and the younger ones can happily splash about the saltwater pools left in the sand by the outgoing tides.

9. Pasir Putih

Still remarkably undeveloped, ͞White Sands͟ beach is a fishing village backed by coconut groves, with a few chilled-out cafés offering massages, juices and lounges. (The nearest hotels are in Candidasa, a beach resort 7km away without a beach.) Pasir Putih offers soft sands for sunbathing, tranquil waters flanked by rocky outcrops for shady swimming, and superb snorkeling, with equipment available for rent at the beachside stalls.

10. Sanur

With negligible nightlife and zero surf, Sanur is a far quieter alternative to Kuta. With more serenity and fewer tangled laneways, many hotels and cafés face the sea, alongside which is a delightful 7km walking and cycling path. The beaches are protected by breakwaters, but swimming is unappealing and virtually impossible during low tide. Still retaining a village feel, with beachfront temples and a market among the backstreets, Sanur is an ideal base for exploring the southern peninsula (via the new tollway) and the cultural beauty of central Bali.

11. Seminyak

An extension to the north of the surf, sand and sunsets of Kuta and Legian, Seminyak is unquestionably more sophisticated, with a classier array of shops, cafés and hotels. With streets far less choked bytraffic and hawkers, Seminyak is popular among families, and rice-fields are still visible among the rampant villa construction. The waves are perennially popular among surfers but potentially dangerous for swimmers, and further north the sand becomes increasingly grey and uninviting. Unlike its southern rivals, cafés spread beanbags across the sand late every afternoon for the magical combination of sunsets and cocktails.

12. Tanjung Benoa

A more affordable option to neighboring Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa occupies the peninsular thumb of southern Bali, with a fascinating village at the thumbnail tip. The white-sand beach is extensive, and the water relatively calm, but swimming and sunbathing can be less enjoyable because of the plethora of watersport kiosks offering unruly parasailing and thunderous jet-skiing. A broad range of hotels are available, while the single main road is lined with seemingly endless places to shop, stay, eat and drink.

The Best Beach Hotels in Bali

Most of the best beaches in Bali are found in the south: around Kuta, Jimbaran, and the Bukit Peninsula. Some of these are also very busy (particularly the coast from Kuta to Seminyak). If you get a taxi it’s easy to find some great stretches of sand with few other tourists. The best beach weather in Bali is usually found between April and early November but since Bali is a year round destination concern about weather and seasons should not be a major concern when planning a trip.

Kuta – 10 minutes north of the airport

Kuta – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Sheraton Bali Kuta ResortHard Rock Hotel Bali (kid-friendly, amazing pool)

Legian – 5 minutes north of Kuta

Legian Beach Bali.
Recommended Hotels: Padma Resort (the most luxurious resort in Kuta area) • The Stones Hotel by Marriott

Seminyak – 10 minutes north of Kuta

Seminyak – Best Bali Beaches
Recommended Hotels: W Retreat & SpaThe OberoiThe Legian Bali (best hotel in Seminyak)

Canggu – 30 minutes north of Kuta

Canggu – Bali's Best Beaches

Tuban – 5 minutes south of Kuta

Tuban – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel (adjacent to a large mall and opposite Waterbom water park) • Bali Dynasty (great for kids) • Febri’s Hotel & Spa (good budget hotel with large pool)

Jimbaran – 15 minutes south of Kuta

Jimbaran Beach – The Best Beaches on Bali
Recommended Hotels: Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran BayHotel Puri Bambu (great budget hotel)

Nusa Dua – 30 minutes southeast of Kuta

Nusa Dua – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: St Regis (super deluxe, maybe the nicest beach resort on Bali) • The Laguna (5 star resort) • The Westin (good kids’ club)

Balangan – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Balangan Beach with beautiful sand.

Bingin – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Bingin Beach in Bali

Dreamland Beach – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Dreamland surfer beach in Bali.

Sanur – 30 minutes east of Kuta

Sanur – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Tandjung Sari Hotel (charming Balinese style hotel, boutique luxury at very reasonable rates)

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan – 30 minute boat ride from Sanur

Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan – Bali's Best Beaches

Padangbai – 1 hour east of Kuta

Padangbai – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Padang Bai Beach Resort (great place, super friendly)

Pasir Putih – 2 hours east of Kuta

The best beach in Bali, Indonesia.

photo credits

Read More

The 25 Best Tulum Hotels

Home > Mexico > Tulum > Best Hotels
by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 15, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: All hotel links on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
Charitable Giving: I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation.
Updates: Get my free newsletter and all new travel guides, maps & hotel reviews.

“The Yucatan is statistically as safe as Finland.” – The Economist

Tulum Hotels – Where To Stay in Tulum

  • There are two main areas to stay in Tulum: 1. The Pueblo (the town center with a local vibe, great restaurants, boutique and budget hotels; located about a 15-minute bike ride to the start of the beaches). 2. The Beach (a long strip of luxury boutique beach hotels, trendy restaurants, and a relaxed touristy vibe).
  • Booking.com – The best site (and best prices) for booking hotels in Tulum.
  • Best Hotels on Tulum Beach: MezzanineJashita HotelCasa Malca – all of these are absolutely wonderful places to stay.
  • Best Boutique Hotel in Tulum: pretty much all hotels in Tulum are boutiques (there aren’t any large resorts) but if I had to pick one as the best it would be Mezzanine.
  • The best cheap hotel on the Tulum Beach is Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas – great location right on the beach and several good restaurants within an easy walk. Las Palmas Maya is the best cheap hotel near the Tulum beach but located across the road from the water.
  • Tulum has the best beaches along the Yucatan coast. Great sand and swimmable surf.
  • November to April is the best time of the year to visit Tulum – but Tulum is a year-round destination and you can have a great visit any month of the year. September and October are the rainiest months but otherwise, I wouldn’t let the time of year dictate if you should come.
  • Book very early for the best hotels on the Tulum beach. Six months in advance is good, nine months is better.
  • High season is January, February, July, August, and late December, when it’s even more important to find hotels early.
  • Tulum does not have any mega-resorts or all-inclusives. The places listed below are small to medium-sized boutique-style hotels with lots of character.
  • My top tips for visiting Tulum are to eat some tacos al pastor, swim in a cenote, and rent a bike for geting around.
  • The food in and around Tulum is amazing and one of the highlights of the town. These are my favorite restaurants in Tulum.
  • If you’re worried about the seaweed on the Yucatan coast, then Tulum is a better choice than Cancun because there’s so much more to do here (swim in cenotes, boat tours of Sian Ka’an Biosphere, swim with turtles in nearby Akumal, great Mexican food in Tulum Pueblo). And the adventure parks Xplor, Xcaret, and Xel-Ha are much closer to Tulum than Cancun.
  • Tulum is great for families. These are the best hotels for families in Tulum.
  • Read Also: The Best Websites for Finding Hotels

The 27 Best Hotels in Tulum

All of these hotels are walking distance to several restaurants and biking distance to town.

Mezzanine Hotel – luxury

Best Luxury Resort in Tulum
Superb, oceanfront, boutique hotel with refined, economical ‘non-view’ rooms, sea view rooms, and master suites, all with mini bars, yoga mats, and coffee/tea baskets (delivered daily). The 2 master suites add coffee makers, soaking tubs, bluetooth speakers, lounge areas and large private terraces overlooking the beach. Mezzanine has a pool, Thai restaurant, bar, lovely long beach (steps from the hotel), and is a short bike ride from the Tulum ruins. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 131 1596.

Jashita Hotel – luxury


Family-friendly, luxury boutique hotel with 3 pools (kids’, adults’, and rooftop adults’ pools), beachfront service, daily yoga, and a spa with shaman ceremonies. Their wide range of rooms and suites all include king-sized beds, welcome wine and chocolates, and private terraces; honeymoon suites and the penthouse suite add private pools. Their all-day restaurant Pandano offers a delicious Mexican-Italian menu with especially great lobster and handmade pasta along with creative and classic cocktails. Located on an absolutely stunning, semi-private beach in Soliman Bay near Casa Cenote and about 10 km north of the Tulum ruins. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 875 4158.

Casa Malca – luxury


Stylish, art-focused hotel with 3 outstanding restaurants, a creative bar, a beach club, 2 pools (1 is underground), complimentary bicycles, and free sunset yoga on the rooftop terrace. Each design-forward suite features an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary décor and original artwork from owner Lio Malca’s extensive private collection. The hotel is kid-friendly all year long, except for the weeks surrounding New Year’s Eve when it becomes an adults-only spot during Tulum’s EDM festivals. Located on a white, sandy beach within a 10-minute walk of Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve and several of Tulum’s best restaurants and bars. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 167 7154.

La Valise Tulum – luxury


Luxurious, boutique hotel with spacious rooms and a suite, 24 hour air conditioning, 2 heated plunge pools, and a gorgeous stretch of beach. Service is impeccable and highly personalized. Their onsite restaurant serves breakfast and lunch indoors or on the beach, while their sister restaurant Nü serves creative Mexican fine dining under the stars. Located on the southern end of Tulum’s hotel zone in a quiet beach stretch within walking distance of several fantastic restaurants. Hotel phone: +1 305 999 1540.

La Zebra – luxury


Beach-chic, luxury hotel on a wide stretch of white, sandy beach with a rooftop infinity pool, playground, and free, weekly salsa dancing lessons. All family-friendly, open-plan suites are designed for up to 4 with a king-sized bed and a double twin trundle bed, a dual shower, and dual vanities; many suites include private plunge pools. Amazing food and drinks, a small spa, and friendly, attentive service round out the experience here. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 115 4726.

Coral Tulum – luxury


Stunning, beachfront luxury hotel. Rooms are huge with large glass sliding doors opening to their own private plunge pools. The restaurant specializes in seafood and provides options to dine inside or outside on the beach. The beach is well-maintained with an abundance of sun chairs and fantastic beach service. Hotel phone: +52 998 880 5629.

Ahau Tulum – luxury


Wellness-focused, pet-friendly, beachfront hotel with outstanding food, eclectic rooms, and an extensive program of yoga, meditation, and healing rituals. Their onsite restaurants use fresh, organic, local ingredients in partnership with Mayan farmers and offer top-notch menus for vegans and meat-eaters alike. The beach here is amazing: sandy and swimmable, well-organized with beach beds and hammocks, well-served by the beach bar and grill, and with their own kite surfing school. Ahau is in the heart of Tulum’s beach zone, walking distance to amazing restaurants and nightlife. Hotel phone: +52 984 147 5225.

Nômade Tulum – luxury


Family-friendly, wellness-centered hotel with a gorgeous pool, free daily yoga, and a well-kept beach about a 10-minute walk from Sian Ka’an biosphere. Luxury tents, suites, and villas fuse boho style with modern perks, including air conditioning in all units (even the tents), private pools, and outdoor showers. Dining is fantastic at their vegan/vegetarian restaurant Macondo and at their super fresh seafood restaurant La Popular. What sets this hotel apart, though, is its focus on incorporating Mayan culture into all aspects of the hotel, including the menus, healing rituals, ceremonies, and ever-changing events program. Hotel phone: +52 984 803 2243.

Una Vida Tulum – luxury


Family-friendly, luxury hotel in the Pueblo (downtown) offering studios and 1- to 3- bedroom suites sleeping up to 8, all with stocked kitchenettes and outdoor showers, some with outdoor bathtubs. Facilities and amenities include a gorgeous pool, in-room yoga and massage, free bicycles, and a cozy breakfast and lunch restaurant. Private dinners and tequila and mezcal tastings are available on request. Hotel phone: +52 984 240 5231.

 

Mi Amor – luxury


Adults-only, luxury boutique hotel with an infinity pool, upscale restaurant and bar, and a cozy 2-room spa. Rooms and suites are designed with couples in mind, all with king-sized beds, 24-hour air conditioning, and private terraces; ground floor rooms feature private plunge pools. Mi Amor is located in the Tulum Ruins national park at the north end of the hotel zone, walking distance to the ruins, a beach club, and a handful of restaurants. The beach here is rocky, but it’s just a 5 minute walk to sandy Playa Paraiso at their sister property Mezzanine. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 188 4273.

Encantada Tulum – luxury


Romantic hotel with 8 spacious rooms, all with king-sized canopy beds and private terraces with hammocks. Dining is exceptional at their onsite restaurant and bar and at their sister restaurant Nü across the street (they share the restaurant with La Valise). Encantada is located on a wide stretch of white sandy beach at the quiet, south end of the hotel zone within walking distance of several amazing restaurants and bars. Hotel phone: +1 650 212 6782.

  

Dune Boutique Hotel – luxury


Adults-only, boutique hotel with an amazing Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant, beach club, a pampering spa, and daily yoga. Romantic rooms and suites include 24-hour air conditioning and private terraces, some with private plunge pools. The beach here is one of the best in Tulum: sandy, swimmable, and protected by a reef, which makes for gentle waves. Hotel phone: +52 984 238 9529.

 

El Pez – luxury


Family-friendly, luxury hotel with a pool, an excellent bar and restaurant, a shared kitchen area for guest use, and well-appointed rooms and suites on a small beach in a quiet bay. Most suites are 1-bedroom units that sleep up to 4 with a king-sized bed and a separate living area with a sofa bed and private pool. The beach itself is rocky, more popular for sunbathing and fishing than for swimming, but guests of El Pez have access to the beach at their sister property La Zebra. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 116 3357.

Cabanas La Luna – luxury


Rustic boutique hotel with spacious, family-friendly suites and a fantastic Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant on a wide stretch of white sand beach. Spacious rooms offer up to 2 bedrooms and sleep 4 to 6 guests, while the villa features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a private pool. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 146 7737.

Coco Tulum Hotel – luxury

5 Star Hotel on Tulum Beach
Cozy cabanas, rooms/tower rooms with ocean/garden views in a laid-back, beachfront, eco-hotel. Has budget cabanas with shared bathrooms, high-end tower rooms with splendid views with terraces, and a lone suite with jacuzzi. Has a beach bar, temazcal, yoga classes, Mexican-Italian restaurant and many good restaurants within walking distance. Hotel phone: +52 984 688 8592.

The Beach Tulum – moderate


Adults-only hotel with a river pool, jacuzzi, full-service spa, and 2 restaurants, including the well-loved Ziggy’s Restaurant and Beach Club. Rooms are minimalistic yet elegant, and all include a private jacuzzi or plunge pool. Perks include 24-hour air conditioning, free bikes, free yoga, live music nightly, and tequila, mezcal, and wine tastings throughout the week. The beach here boasts powdery, soft, white sand, and there is a little cenote onsite, too. Hotel phone: +52 984 157 9645.

Hotel Cabañas Tulum – moderate


Family-friendly (for ages 5+), beachfront hotel offering a pool and a holistic spa. Its spacious rooms and suites feature up to 3 bedrooms; many include private jacuzzis. The sister property of The Beach Tulum, Cabañas Tulum shares the same fantastic swimming beach and Ziggy’s Restaurant and Beach Club, along with its own restaurant and beach bar Frescoes. Hotel phone: +52 984 871 1132.

Alaya Tulum – luxury


Beautiful, beachfront boutique hotel with airy, light-filled beach cabanas/apartments, villas and suites having wooden floors, floor-to-ceiling windows with bi-folding doors and terraces. Apartments add small kitchens. Has a Latin American restaurant, outdoor eco gym, yoga lessons, kitesurfing and paddle surfing. The beach is a hotspot for sea turtles/nesting sites (during the season). Hotel phone: +52 984 159 1696.

Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas – moderate

Best Hotels in Tulum: Playa Mambo Hotel
I love this place. Inexpensive by Tulum standards. A small (8-unit) beachfront hotel with minimalistic eco-cabanas and palapa roofs, mosquito nets, and sea or garden views. The ‘Cabaña Chocolate’ is decorated with Mayan art, upgrades have lofts and outdoor wooden decks and the top-end ‘Cabana Penthouse’ has a private terrace with ocean views. There’s a small restaurant and beach bar onsite and many shops and restaurants nearby. Hotel phone: +52 1 984 185 3403.

Sueños Tulum – luxury

Luxury hotel with pool on Tulum Beach
Chilled-out, beachfront, artsy eco-hotel with Mayan-themed, beautifully decorated suites featuring hand-painted tiles, outdoor sitting decks, hammocks, porthole windows, and solar powered electricity. The lone penthouse has sofa beds, a stone hydromassage jacuzzi, a terrace, and 360˚ views of the ocean, jungle and lagoon of the Sian Kaan Biosphere. Sueños Tulum also offers complimentary breakfast, a yoga studio, fire pit, pool, and restaurant. Hotel phone: +52 984 119 3484.

Naay Boutique Hotel – luxury


Stylish boutique hotel in the brand new Aldea Zama neighborhood, halfway between the Pueblo and the beach. Family-friendly 1- and 2-bedroom suites sleep up to 6 guests. The main highlight is the hotel’s rooftop, which boasts an infinity pool, kids’ pool, infinity jacuzzi, and an outstanding bar and restaurant with sunset views over the jungle. Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241.

O’ Tulum Hotel – luxury


Adults-only hideaway north of Tulum with only 12 rooms sharing 3 pools, rooftop yoga, and a wonderful restaurant overlooking the beach. All rooms include king-size beds, 24-hour air conditioning, private terraces, and swim outs or jetted plunge pools; half of the rooms add indoor soaking tubs. The beach here is rocky, but the hotel is just a 10-minute walk (or a 2-minute ride on one of their free bikes) to the gorgeous, sandy, swimmable beach at Soliman Bay and about a 20-minute walk (5-minute bike ride) to Casa Cenote, one of the best cenotes in the Tulum area. Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241.

Coco Hacienda – luxury


Charming boutique hotel in the Pueblo with 2 pools, a jacuzzi, a small spa, and a wonderful all-day Mexican restaurant serving an especially great brunch. Rooms all include 24-hour air conditioning and king-sized beds; Casitas add jetted baths and private patios with hammocks. Guests here have access to free bikes and discounted entrance to the beach club at their sister property Coco Tulum. +52 884 688 8592.

Hotel Tiki Tiki – luxury


Trendy boutique hotel with a pool, bar, and in-room massage. Tiki Tiki is located in the Pueblo, walking distance to Tulum’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene. A design-forward hotel, the decor blends Art Deco, retro ’60s, and beach-chic styles in its 15 unique rooms. This hotel tends to attract a younger crowd, especially honeymooners, couples, and bachelorette parties. +52 884 688 5005.

Be Tulum Beach & Spa Resort – luxury


Super-stylish, beachfront, spa resort with 2 pools having a lineup of fantastic designer suites with cowhide rugs, leather chairs, and private balconies. Depending on the type, suites may have private plunge pools, indoor copper tubs, roof top solariums/terraces with pools, private gardens/pools, and small kitchens. Be Tulum also boasts two restaurants, a raw food bar, beach bar, yoga studio, meditation classes, and a spa. Hotel phone: +521 984 132 6215.

Tulum Hotel Map

Tulum Hotel Map and Where To Stay on Tulum Beach

Read More

Harington’s Hotel in Bath, England

Home > Bath > Harington’s Hotel Review
Updated: October 15, 2019

See Also

Review of Harington’s Hotel in Bath, UK.

Harington’s Hotel – Small, characterful boutique hotel right in the heart of historic Bath.

On a quiet pedestrian street, Harington’s Hotel is all about location. You’re as central as can be – just a few minutes’ stroll from the main attractions, with bars and dining right on your doorstep. Spread over three interconnecting Georgian houses, the hotel consists of thirteen rooms that are snug, well-furnished, and decorated in fun styles, each with bold, eye-catching wallpaper, and a Nespresso machine. Quirky and whimsical furnishings throughout, including references to Sir John Harington, the inventor of the flushing toilet. Besides the first-rate breakfast and a whirlpool tub on the patio, there’s also wonderfully personalized service.

Harington’s Hotel – Location

  • Address: 8-10 Queen St.
  • Area: Narrow, cobbled pedestrian street right in the historic heart of Bath, with a couple of excellent bars and pubs just across from the hotel. Just minutes’ walk to all the major attractions, including the Roman Baths, Jane Austen Centre, and Bath Abbey. Central Bath is very compact and walkable, and northern Bath and the Royal Crescent are a 5-minute walk away.
  • How To Get There: Take one of the frequent trains from London Paddington to Bath Spa station (1.5 hours) and then walk for 10 minutes (0.5 mile).
  • Handy To: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey. Thermae Bath Spa.

Harington’s Hotel – The Basics

  • Ages: While many of the guests tend to be couples or travelers on a city break, families with children can be accommodated in some rooms and also in the self-catering apartments.
  • View: Rooms look out either over the small garden patio or the narrow, cobbled Queen Street.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools/jacuzzis.
  • Laundry: In-room laundry service.
  • Parking: No parking on-site, but parking at a nearby site costs £14 per day.
  • Extras: Complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. Extensive information on Bath’s attractions, plus dining recommendations.
  • When To Book: Reserve 2-3 months in advance for the summer high season as well as much of December (Christmas market) and the Christmas/New Year period.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +44 1225 461 728
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: haringtonshotel.co.uk

Harington’s Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: There’s a hot tub on the patio for guest use: £7.50 per person for 1 hour; guests can also hire it out for Double Bubble – private hot tub and champagne time – for £22.50 per person.
  • Spa: No spa, but the staff can point you towards the best place for a massage.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center on-site, but guests may use Stanza Gym 100m down the street for £5 per day (1-minute walk).
  • For Disabled Guests: No adapted rooms.
  • For Families: Baby cots available; extra beds can be provided for older kids (£25), and there are board games and DVDs available.

Harington’s Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: There is no formal restaurant on the premises, though guests can order sandwiches, light bites, and good, freshly ground coffee at the coffee lounge throughout the day. There are also numerous dining options right on the hotel’s doorstep, and the owners are happy to provide recommendations.
  • Lounge/Bar: The on-site honesty bar is well-stocked with whiskeys, wines, and gins, as well as local ales and craft beer. Open until 11pm daily.
  • Breakfast: Not complimentary unless you book direct. Continental breakfast costs £7.50, while full breakfast, including kippers, pancakes with berries and more, costs £12.50. Available from 7.30-10 am on weekdays and 8 am to 10.30 am on weekends.
  • Room Service: Snacks, soups, salads, and sandwiches available until 11pm.

Harington’s Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Double • Superior Double • Feature Double • Large Superior Double/Twin • Feature Queen Double • Superior Triple • One-Bedroom Apartment • Two-Bedroom Apartment • Four-Bedroom Apartment
  • Smoking Rooms: Harington’s Hotel is 100% smoke-free.
  • Best Room: The Large Superior Double is the most spacious of the rooms, whereas the Feature Double is the quirkiest – split across 2 floors, with the toilet featuring trivia about Sir John Harington, the inventor of the flushing loo.
  • For Families: No family rooms per se, but the Superior Triple can accommodate a couple with a child.

Harington’s Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking: The Jane Austen Centre is a 2-minute walk; the Roman Baths, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath Abbeym and Thermae Bath Spa are all a 4-minute walk away; while the Circus is a 6-minute stroll away. Easily walkable to the Royal Crescent and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Numerous bars, restaurants, and boutiques in the surrounding streets.
  • Taxis, Uber: Taxis and Uber charge around £5 from the train station to the hotel. Central Bath is very walkable, and you can easily reach all the main attractions on foot.

Harington’s Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Mayor’s Honorary Guides – Superb free walking tours (no tips or gratuities accepted) run by certified city guides passionate about its history. Meet outside the Roman Baths at 10.30am and 2pm Sunday to Friday and 10.30am only on Saturday. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Bizarre Bath Tours – These “hysterical rather than historical” walking tours are a fun-filled way to spend an evening and give you an irreverent overview of the city. They depart at 8pm nightly from The Huntsman on North Parade. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Mad Max Tours – Award-winning small group day trips to popular locations outside Bath, such as Stonehenge, the Cotswolds villages, plus Glastonbury, Wells, and Cheddar Gorge. Departures from the Abbey Hotel on North Parade. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Olé Tapas – Tiny tapas bar with wonderfully authentic dishes – from platters of cold cuts and Spanish cheeses with quince paste, to the paprika-dusted Galician-style octopus. Plenty of Spanish wines by the glass, too. 1-minute walk (25m).
  • Giggling Squid – Contemporary Thai restaurant where the recipes are based on dishes that the chef grew up with, such as slow-cooked lamb massaman curry, spicy seafood pad cha stir-fry, and green curry with chicken. Thai tapas available throughout the day. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • The Oven – Artisanal pizzeria specializing in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Their signature pizza is topped with cotto ham, ‘nduja, fig jam, and creamed walnuts. Popular with families. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Pump Room Restaurant – Attached to the Roman Baths, this elegant Georgian dining room serves light lunches and proper afternoon teas, complete with cakes and dainty little sandwiches. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Clayton’s Kitchen – With outdoor tables in the delightful outdoor passage, Clayton’s wouldn’t look out of place in Paris. The Modern British dishes are fresh, seasonal, and beautifully presented. Lunch is a bargain and there’s an eclectic wine list. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • The Scallop Shell – Unpretentious restaurant where the fish is the star. Sit at one of the plain wooden tables beneath the nautical paraphernalia and tuck into some of the best fish and chips of your life. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Acorn – Award-winning vegan restaurant. Choose from a 5 or 7-course tasting menu, opt for a menu of small plate classics or go for a set 3-course lunch menu. Book ahead. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Olive Tree – Surprisingly affordable tasting menus, given that it’s Bath’s only Michelin-starred restaurant: 5 and 7-course, with vegan and vegetarian variations on the 7, featuring beautifully presented dishes crafted from regionally sourced produce. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Nearby Cafes and Tea Shops

  • Colonna & Small’s – Bath’s best coffee shop is a must for bean aficionados. There are three guest espresso varieties on offer, as well as a rotating roster of single origin filter coffees sourced worldwide. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Sally Lunn’s – Locally revered tea shop serving classic afternoon tea, complete with tiny cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Alternatively, go for a Bath cream tea, which includes half of Sally’s famous toasted bunns, with cinnamon butter and with clotted cream on the side. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • The Colombian Company – Pint-sized, cosy coffee shop that specializes exclusively in single origin coffees from Colombia. An array of cakes tempt those with a sweet tooth. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

Best Nearby Bars and Pubs

  • The Raven – This congenial place is best for chats over a pint of ale, including their very own Raven Gold. There are also excellent pies to choose from, from classic meat to goat’s cheese and sweet potato. 1-minute walk (5m).
  • Canary Gin Bar – A must-visit for fans of all things juniper-based, the cozy, subtly-lit Canary stocks over 230 types of gin. Apart from killer G&Ts, there’s a long list of gin-based cocktails and occasional masterclasses. 1-minute walk (40m).
  • The Salamander – Classic local pub known for its house beers, such as the Wild Hare Pale Ale and the amber Gem. Good pub food is served upstairs. 1-minute walk (40m).
  • Corkage – This cozy wine bar, lined with legions of wine bottles, has an excellent selection of tipples from all over the world, though it’s particularly strong on French, Italian, and Spanish wines. This central branch also does a full menu of bistro dishes. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Dark Horse – Sultry basement bar with subdued lighting, intimate nooks, and Bath’s best cocktails, with seasonal ingredients made in-house, and many original creations. Go for a Sea of Storms or a classic pina colada. Book ahead for weekends. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • BeerCraft of Bath – Just off Pulteney Bridge, this lively craft beer bar with four rotating beers on tap doubles as a bottle shop that stocks over 500 bottled brews from all over Europe and further afield. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • The Hideout – Whiskies from around the world are the specialty at this snug sub-basement bar hidden beneath a medieval stone arch, from Glennfidich single malts to Japanese whisky blends. Have it on the rocks, as part of a cocktail or a Crab Smasher shooter. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops

  • Castle Fine Art – This branch of the gallery showcases paintings, sculptures, sketches, and more by 60 contemporary British artists, from London cityscapes by Paul Kenton to cartoons of Marvel superheroes by Nigel Humphries. 2-minute walk (125m).
  • Penhaligon’s – Bath branch of the illustrious British house of fragrances, started by a Cornish barber in London some 150 years ago. Also stocks high-end bath and body products. 2-minute walk (150m).
  • DuoBoots – Calf-length, knee-length, and over-the-knee boots for ladies designed and sold here. Designs range from timeless classics to on-trend footwear. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • House of Fraser – With marble columns and an impressive façade, House of Fraser is the oldest department store in the UK, beautifully restored to its 1820’s splendor. Formerly known as Jolly’s. Inside, you’ll find fine homewares and luxury brands such as Chanel and Armani. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Bath Aqua Glass – This central branch directly opposite the Roman Baths entrance sells colourful wares from Bath’s famous glass-blowing workshop. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Roman Baths Shop – Terrific gift shop with Roman and Bath-themed souvenirs, from Asterix books in Latin and books on the history of Roman Britain to small batch spirits by Bath Botanical gin and hand-foraged preserves by Heavenly Hedgerows. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Clandar – All about British textiles, Clandar specializes in designing and making its own range of British tweed clothing, with the tweed sourced from historic British tweed mills. Scottish cashmere and British woollens also sold here. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • The Antique Map Shop – On Pulteney Bridge, this specialist shop is particularly strong on antique maps of Great Britain and its various regions. The oldest map here dates back to the 15th century. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Topping & Company – Browse one of UK’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders. The bookshop attracts year-round signings by authors and plays an important part in the annual Bath Literary Festival. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Independent Spirit of Bath – Besides specializing in single malt whiskies from Scotland and elsewhere, artisan gins, and the best of British craft beer, this shop also organizes whisky tastings and gin and cocktail masterclasses. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

Nearby Attractions

  • Jane Austen Centre – Museum dedicated to Bath’s famous former resident. British novelist Jane Austen lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806 and set two of her novels here: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, based on her observations of Regency society. There are hands-on exhibits, snippets from Austen’s letters, and guides dressed as characters from her novels. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Roman Baths – Known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, this largely intact Roman baths complex dates back to 70AD and is fed by mineral-rich hot springs. Visitor highlights include the Great Bath, the temple courtyard, and the on-site museum with its wealth of mosaics, Roman coins, and statuary. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Thermae Bath Spa – While it’s not possible to bathe in the Roman baths, you can enjoy the same mineral-rich waters as the Romans did 2,000 years ago at this state-of-the-art spa. Soak in the basement pool and hot tub, treat yourself to massages and facials, or head up to the open-air rooftop pool. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Bath Abbey Tower – For breathtaking views of Bath’s rooftops and the surrounding countryside, take a tour of the Abbey Tower. See the bell ringing chamber and a hidden room with the Abbey clock mechanism before scaling the spiral staircase all the way to the top. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Victoria Art Gallery – Bath’s second most visited museum displays works from over 2,000 artists inside a stately 19th-century building. These range from portraits painted by renowned artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and Johann Zoffany to city landscapes by the likes of Walter Sickert and John Nash, and amateur works by up-and-coming local painters. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Herschel Museum of Astronomy – Astronomy buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to the house-museum of William Herschel, a German musician with a passion for the stars. In 1781, he discovered Uranus from the garden of this very home, using a telescope that he himself had built. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • The Circus – Comprising 3 terraces, each divided into 11 mansions, and curved around a circular green space, the Circus was inspired by Rome’s Colosseum and built in 1768 to the specifications of architect John Wood the Elder. Past residents have included painter Thomas Gainsborough, actor Nicolas Cage, and Clive of India. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Fashion Museum & Assembly Rooms – Marvel at the gowns, dresses, breeches, gloves, and wigs from fashion trends from the 17th to late 20th centuries, and don’t miss the special exhibit devoted to the fashions of the Royal Family. In the same building, the Assembly Rooms with their frescoed ceilings and original chandeliers used to host the 18th-century equivalent of the Kardashians and Paris Hiltons. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • No. 1 Royal Crescent – Designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built in the 1770s, this sweeping crescent of 30 four-story mansions overlooks an idyllic park. You can visit the restored Georgian mansion with original furnishings at No. 1: four-poster beds and wig-stretchers in the bedrooms, plus an elegant dining set in the grand dining room. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

  • Waitrose – Central branch of the high-end supermarket. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Bath Guildhall Market – This covered market is the oldest shopping venue in the city. Twenty stalls and shops sell regional cheeses, leather goods, traditional British sweets, design-led jewelry, specialty teas and coffees, and second-hand books. There’s also an espresso bar and a café serving all-day English breakfasts and sandwiches. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).

Harington’s Hotel – The Hotel

The reception area is also a guest lounge.

The reception area doubles as a cozy guest lounge.

The guest lounge has a well-stocked honesty bar.

The guest lounge comes with an honesty bar that’s well-stocked with gin, wine, whisky, and local craft beers and ales. Guests can help themselves up to 11pm daily.

The quirky decor pays homage to Sir John Harington.

The hotel’s quirky decor includes references to Sir John Harington, inventor of the lavatorial flush. The 1p coin on the armchair is a reference to the very British expression: “spending a penny’.

The outdoor hot tub can be used for a fee.

There’s a hot tub out on the small patio, which guests may use for £7.50 per hour. Alternatively, it can be hired out for private use, complete with champagne, for £22.50 per hour.

Breakfast and snacks are served in the dining room.

Breakfast is served in the dining room from 7.30am on weekdays and 8am on weekends; light bites, snacks, and sandwiches are available until 11pm daily.

Cozy Standard Doubles are well-appointed.

Standard Doubles are located on the third floor, accessible by stairs. They are on the snug side, but all come with excellent beds, flat-screen TVs, digital radios, nice touches such as hot water bottles, and either walk-in showers or bath and shower combos.

Individually styled rooms feature bold colors.

All rooms are individually styled, and are either painted in bold colors or come with striking wallpaper.

The Superior Doubles are spacious.

Superior Doubles have the advantage of more space and are located on the second floor.

Feature Queen Doubles are spacious but offer minimal views.

Feature Queen Doubles have less of a street view than the more compact rooms, since they’re on the first floor, but they are considerably roomier.

The Triple is the largest room.

The largest room in the hotel is the Triple, suitable for a couple with a child and located on the second floor.

All bathrooms come with power showers.

Since the hotel is inside a heritage building, rooms vary in size, as do the bathrooms, but all come with power showers.

The Raven opposite the hotel specializes in ales and pies.

Directly across the street from the hotel is The Raven, a classic pub specializing in real ales and terrific pies.

Canary Gin Bar close by has a large selection of gins and cocktails.

A few doors down is the Canary Gin Bar (Bath is famous for its gin), with over 230 varieties and a long cocktail list.

Jane Austen Centre, located close by, is worth a visit.

If you follow Queen St north and then west, you reach the corner with Gay St, where you will find the Jane Austen Centre – a must for fans of Regency England fiction. You’ll be shown around by characters from her novels.

Clayton’s Kitchen's 3-course lunches are a bargain.

A block north and a block east of the Jane Austen Centre, Clayton’s Kitchen serves very affordable Modern British fare; the 3-course lunches are a bargain.

Topping & Company nearby is Britain's best independent bookshop.

A block east of Clayton’s Kitchen is Topping & Company, one of Britain’s best independent bookshops, complete with rolling library ladders.

Bath Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum features historic garments and ballrooms.

Next to Clayton’s Kitchen is a pedestrian passageway. Follow it north for a couple of minutes to reach the Bath Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum, with garments through the ages and frescoed ballrooms.

Olive Tree at the Queensbury Hotel is Bath's only Michelin-starred restaurant.

A block north of the Assembly Rooms, the Queensbury Hotel on Russell St houses Bath’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, the Olive Tree, in its basement. Its tasting menus are wonderfully affordable for what they are and the place has a buzzy and informal vibe.

Corkage wine bar serves French, Italian, and Spanish wines.

If, instead of heading north from the Jane Austen Centre, you cut west across the Queen Square, you’ll hit Corkage, a wine bar particularly strong on French, Italian, and Spanish wines. This central branch also welcomes dinner guests with a full menu of bistro dishes.

Colonna and Small’s is Bath's best coffee shop.

A few doors west of Corkage is Colonna and Small’s, Bath’s best coffee shop and laptop hangout, with single origin beans sourced from small-scale producers all over the world.

Penhaligon’s is located on Milsom St.

If you head north from the hotel and then immediately take a right along Quiet St, a block’s walk east brings you to Milsom St, renowned for its high-end shops and fine British tailoring. This is where you’ll find Penhaligon’s – the Bath branch of London’s illustrious house of fragrances.

Castle Fine Art sells the works of contemporary British artists.

Across the street from Penhaligon’s, Castle Fine Art sells paintings, sculptures, and more by over 60 contemporary British artists.

Giggling Squid serves contemporary Thai dishes and tapas.

Alternatively, head south from the hotel, take a right into Harington Place, and then head south along Barton Street. A couple of blocks down, you reach a sunny little square and a handsome stone building housing the Giggling Squid that’s all about contemporary, creative Thai dishes and Thai tapas throughout the day (popular with kids).

The Oven specializes in artisanal pizzas.

Almost directly opposite is The Oven, an artisanal pizzeria specializing in Neapolitan-style pizzas. It’s open all day and their signature pizza is amazing.

Dark Horse is Bath’s best cocktail bar.

Just south of The Oven there are a couple of small squares. Kingsmead Square is surrounded by a cluster of cafes and bars; on the far side, the basement watering hole of Dark Horse is Bath’s best cocktail bar, with dimmed lighting and sultry decor. It’s small and extremely popular on weekends; book ahead.

Scallop Shell on Monmouth Street is renowned for its fish and chips.

Just north of Kingsmead Square, if you follow Monmouth Street for a couple of blocks, you come to the Scallop Shell. Their seafood dishes are merely adequate, but their fish and chips are outstanding.

Thermae Bath Spa offers Bath's famous thermal waters and spa.

If you head east from Kingsmead Square, then follow Westgate Buildings south for a couple of blocks, and then Hot Bath Street east for one block, you reach the Thermae Bath Spa – the only place in the city where you can enjoy Bath’s famous thermal waters apart from the spa inside the Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be quieter days.

The Great Bath and museum at the Roman Baths are worth visiting.

A block east are the Roman Baths – Aquae Sulis to the Romans and the town’s biggest attraction. Check out the Great Bath and the museum with its wealth of Roman finds. Go early in the day, before the school groups arrive, and get a combo ticket if you’re planning to visit the Victoria Art Gallery and Fashion Museum.

The gift shop sells excellent souvenirs.

You exit the Roman Baths through the gift shop, which is a great place to shop for quality Roman and Bath-themed souvenirs, such as locally made gin and Asterix comics in Latin.

Bath Aqua Glass sells colorful glass creations.

Opposite the main entrance to the Roman Baths and next to the Bath Abbey is Bath Aqua Glass, selling colorful creations from the city’s famous glass-blowing workshop.

Kingston Parade square features street musicians.

Around the corner from the main Bath Abbey entrance is Kingston Parade, the square in front of the Bath Abbey, complete with street musicians.

The panoramic views of the town from the Abbey tower are excellent.

Scaling the Abbey tower (closed during inclement weather) is particularly worthwhile, since you get fine 360-degree views from the top of the entire town. Tours run every hour and take around 45 minutes; get your tickets in advance just inside the Bath Abbey entrance.

Sally Lunn's is extremely popular for afternoon tea.

Two blocks south of the abbey and tucked away down the tiny North Parade is the legendary Sally Lunn’s – the most popular café in Bath for afternoon tea, with an attached museum – both inside one of Bath’s oldest houses. The specialty here is Bath cream tea, complete with a massive bun buttered with cinnamon butter.

Parade Gardens by the river is popular with picnickers.

North Parade brings you out by the Parade Gardens – the riverside green space popular with picnickers.

The 18th-century Pulteney Bridge is a popular landmark.

Follow the river north for a couple of minutes to reach Pulteney Bridge – a well-photographed 18th-century landmark that spans the River Avon. It looks particularly impressive from the west side of the river.

The Antique Map Shop is located on Pulteney Bridge.

Directly on the bridge is The Antique Map Shop – particularly good for centuries-old maps of different parts of the British isles.

Read More

The Best Tours and Things To Do in Hawaii

Home > Hawaii Tours & Things To Do
by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 11, 2019

See Also

The 12 Best Tours & Day Trips in Hawaii

One of the best tours in Hawaii.

The Road To Hana tour in Maui, Hawaii.

The 25 Best Things To Do in Hawaii

1. Snorkel with SharksOahu

Dive with sharks on Oahu
One Ocean Diving offers a shark tour unlike all others, the only one in which guests snorkel without a cage, and the only one that goes to where the sharks live rather than attracting them with food, so they can be observed in a calm, natural state. This is an exhilarating experience, perhaps even life-changing, a chance to get up close with the oceans’ apex predators and gain new insight and understanding of these magnificent creatures. Owned and run by marine biologists and experts in shark behavior patterns, One Ocean is part of a conservation and scientific study group. There are no age requirements, but guests must be at least 4 feet tall and strong swimmers: children must be accompanied by two adults. Tours are two hours long, with about 30-45 minutes in the water. Operating out of Hale’iwa, close to the river for an amazing SUP experience, surfing spots Banzai Pipeling and Waimea Bay, and famous Matsumoto’s shave ice (though Anahulu’s down the street is more flavorful, shorter line, and less expensive).

2. Doors-Off Helicopter TourKauai

Doors-off helicopter tour of Kauai
Jack Harter Helicopters is a must! About seventy percent of gorgeous Kauai is inaccessible by foot; the only way to see it all is by helicopter, and flying with the doors off means the stunning views are completely unobstructed. Breathtaking landscape surrounds guests, including the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeale, and Jurassic Falls. For doors-off tours, passengers must be at least ten years old. They do offer tours with the doors on (and air conditioning) that are suitable for younger guests; however, this can wind up being an expensive nap for little ones! Tours last 60 or 90 minutes in total air time; plan for additional time for safety instructions and transportation to and from the helicopters (provided by the company). Flying out of Lihue, Jack Harter Helicopters is close to Kalapaki Beach and Backcountry Adventures tubing tours.

3. Manta Ray Night Dive and Snorkel EcoadventureBig Island

Dive with manta rays on Hawaii's Big Island

Neptune Charlie’s Ocean Safari helps guests get up close to these gentle giants, averaging a twelve foot wingspan. Around sunset, boats leave the Kona coast for the offshore gathering spot of hundreds of rays. Manta rays are attracted to the area using lights, held onto by guests, and they put on a show of waving and rolling in search of plankton within inches of the snorkelers. There are no age restrictions, but six years and up is recommended. The three hour tour leaves from Honokohau Marina, close to Pine Trees Surfing Beach and Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, making it a perfect ending for a day of sun, sand, and nature.

4. Sunrise Lava TourBig Island

Get within feet of a lava flow at Volcanoes National Park

Epic Lava Tours hosts a spectacular guided hike to visit active lava flows. Beginning within Volcanoes National Park, guests get within a few feet of fresh lava, take in the sunrise, and visit lesser known areas within the rainforest park. Snack, water, and rain ponchos provided. The hike is long, about four to five miles in each direction, depending on current volcanic activity. There are no age restrictions, but it may be too strenuous a hike for very young children. Additionally, volcanic fumes are strong; pregnant women, infants, and the elderly are advised not to get this close. Tours begin at 4 a.m. and end between 9 and 10, depending on how near the lava is flowing that day.

5. Na Pali Sunset Dinner SailKauai

Catamaran sunset dinner cruise around Kauai's Na Pali Coast

Captain Andy’s catamaran sails feature dramatic views of the rugged Na Pali Coast. Sheer and jagged cliffs, encounters with spinner dolphins plus more sea life, and sunset colors make this an excellent choice for a romantic evening for two. Great dinner with cocktails included. Boats leave from Ele’ele and last four hours. Stop by Kauai Island Brewing Company on the way for a flight of local beers, as food and cocktails on the boat aren’t served until a couple hours after departure.

6. Molokini Express, Adventure SnorkelingMaui

Short and affordable snorkeling excursion off Maui

Blue Water Rafting offers one of the shorter and more affordable snorkeling trips out of Maui to the crystal waters off Molokini, a volcanic crater and seabird sanctuary. The inflatable rafts are small and maneuverable, able to get very close to plunging cliffs. This is amazing snorkeling in areas where bigger boats are unable to fit, with tropical fish everywhere and over an hour spent in the water. The highlight of the trip, though, is the ride itself, as the tiny boat catches air, leaping over the waves. Children aged four and up are welcome; younger children are allowed on private charters. The tour lasts two hours total and leaves from the Kihei Boat Ramp, near Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, home to endangered wetland birds, and Maui Brewing Company, with a tasting room and brewery tours.

7. Mountain Tubing through Canals and TunnelsKauai

Tubing tour through Kauai

Kauai Backcountry Adventures is the only group offering tubing tours on the island. Guests are driven through the rainforest to the old Lihue Plantation, where they are given a headlamp and tube and set to float through the old irrigation system built in the late nineteenth century. Fun and knowledgeable guides keep the banter going as everyone drifts past lush landscapes and through pitch dark tunnels. Finish with a light lunch. Children five years and up allowed. Tour departs from Lihue, near the helicopter tours, Fern Grotto, and Lydgate Beach Park.

8. North Shore Beach Tour Oahu

Tour visiting Oahu's best surfing, swimming, and snorkeling sites

Aloha Beach Bus’ deluxe tour breaks travelers out of Waikiki and up to Hale’iwa in the North Shore for an all-day sun and surf adventure. Learn about the history of surfing among Hawaiian royalty, and visit the most famous surf spots in the world, Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay, with water clear enough to see the bottom and a huge rock for cliff jumping. Guests are invited to swim, surf, snorkel, canoe, or scuba here. At Pua’ena Point, snorkel with sea turtles, before moving on the Wailua River for standup paddleboarding and shave ice. Finish with a trip to the Dole Plantation for pineapple ice cream. Lunch at Tsue’s Farm is included. All ages welcome.

9. Tour a Kona Coffee FarmBig Island

Tour an organic, sustainable, working coffee plantation on Hawaii's Big Island

Kona Old Style at Kuaiwi Farm offers guided tours of their five-acre organic, sustainable, working coffee plantation. Alongside coffee berries, find macadamias, cacao, bananas, pineapples, and more. Learn the intricacies of the coffee-making process from start to finish. Tours include a delightful tasting of their own award-winning coffees, mac nuts, and jams. The basic tour lasts two hours and welcomes all ages. An optional chocolate-making class can be added for guests over ten years.

10. Spot a Sunken Ship from aboard a SubmarineMaui

Go 100 feet underwater in a submarine in search of sea life and sunken ships off Maui

Atlantis Submarines Maui explore ocean depths in search of reef sharks, dolphins, eels and tropical fish. Diving over 100 feet underwater, the submarines pass by a sunken ship and visit three reefs. This is a great escape from the midday heat, and it’s a perfect way for not-so-strong swimmers to experience marine wildlife. No age limits, but guests must be at least 36” tall. Tour leaves from Lahaina, right off Front Street, near Banyan Court Park and several restaurants, boutiques, and beaches.

11. Nighttime Paddle board under FireworksOahu

Nighttime paddle boarding under fireworks off Oahu

Every Friday night, Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii offers guided tours of the reef off the coast of Waikiki Beach. Paddle boards are fixed with glowing lights underneath, illuminating the wildlife under the surface. Tours leave just before sunset in search of tropical fish and sea turtles. After dark, guests sit down on their boards while still floating on the waves, as the weekly fireworks show explodes directly overhead. All ages welcome, but children eight and under must share a paddle board with an adult. Tours depart from Waikiki Beach, near shops, dining, Honolulu Zoo, and Diamond Head.

12. Hilo Rainforest Hike and Volcano OverlookBig Island

Customizable rainforest and volcano tours on Hawaii's Big Island

Marylou’s Big Island Guided Tours are fully customizable, taking guests to sites of their choosing. Opt for the Hawaii Volcano Night Glow Tour to see sights around Hilo before heading to the Kilauea Volcano overlook at dusk to see the fiery glow. Suggested sites include Richardson’s Black Sand Beach, Rainbow Falls, Liliuokalani Gardens, Thurston Lava Tube, Volcanoes National Park, and more. Choose your own adventure, or opt for a pre-set package. Tours depart from Hilo, near Coconut Island, Pacific Tsunami Museum, and the Lyman House Museum. All ages welcome.

13. Visit Hawaii’s Only MeaderyKauai

Working meadery on Hawaii's Big Island

Nani Moon Meadery is working hard to elevate mead, the world’s first alcoholic drink, and modernize its flavor profile for a contemporary palate. Each variety is made with local fruits, like lilikoi and guava, and sometimes spiced with ginger or chili. Far from the cloying sweetness of traditional mead, the drinks here are crisp and light. Guests are invited to taste their full range of flavors or observe the bottling process. Hive-to-Glass tours, where guests meet the bees, taste the honeys, and try the meads, are coming soon! Adults only. Located in Kapa’a town and close to Fern Grotto, plus the old town boutiques, restaurants, and beaches.

14. Meet the Goats at a Working Dairy FarmMaui

Working goat dairy farm on Maui

Surfing Goat Dairy Farm is a family-friendly agrotourism spot open daily, a little different than the usual Hawaiian attraction. Casual walking tours take about 20 minutes and do not require reservations; feed the goats, check out the modern milking machines, watch the cheesemaking process, and taste several of their 30 varieties of cheeses and quark. Reservations are suggested for the Evening Chores Tour, where guests learn to hand milk a goat, in addition to everything offered in the casual tour. Located in Kula, partway down the side of the Haleakala Crater and near the Ocean Vodka Distillery. Check out their shop for all things goat milk, from soaps to truffles to popsicles. Bonus fact: the farm owners will trade cheese for worn out surfboards! All ages welcome.

15. Ride a Bike • Big Island and Maui

Rent a bike on Maui or Hawaii's Big Island

The two most bike friendly islands are Big Island and Maui; rentals are available in several locations there at affordable rates. Big Island has few designated bike lanes, but most roads and highways have wide shoulders that bikers are encouraged to use. For mountain biking, there are several trails for all skill levels within Volcanoes National Park. The tour company Velissimo has several options for day trips, as well as a week-long circle island tour. Maui has more bike infrastructure built into their roads, making it a cinch to cycle around Lahaina and Kihei using rentals from Haleakala Bike Co. The most popular bike tour by far is a downhill ride at sunrise from the Haleakala Crater.

16. Road to HanaMaui

Scenic driving route in Maui

Beginning in Pa’ia, the Hana Highway runs east through tropical rainforest, a winding road of switchback turns dug into sheer cliffsides with blind curves leading into one-lane bridges. The landscape is as dramatic as the road, featuring waterfalls, bamboo forests, and the largest ancient lava rock temple in all of Polynesia. There are dozens of stops along the way, some of the best being Wai’anapanapa State Park, which is a great one-stop-shop with a lava tube, blowhole, black sand beach, and hiking trail; Wailua Falls, with a short hike to the waterfall and plunge pool; and Nahiku Marketplace, a few little roadside shacks midway through with food vendors and a couple of shops. Driving yourself allows the freedom to set your own pace, choosing only the stops that pique your interests. Less confident drivers may opt for taking a guided tour or helicopter ride. However it’s done, the Road to Hana is a must for every Maui trip!

17. Waimea CanyonKauai

Breathtaking canyon in western Kauai

Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon in western Kauai is roughly ten miles long, one mile wide, and 3300 feet deep. Breathtaking views from the rim show the steep sides in red and orange color bands, purple shadows, and sparse green scrub. The road up is smooth and not too curvy, so there is no need for a tour. Waimea Canyon Road leads directly to the viewpoint in the state park, but there are several other lookouts along the way offering different perspectives. Further up in Kokee State Park, several hiking trails run along the canyon’s rim or through rainforest. From Princeville or Kapa’a town, plan on a little more than an hour travel time each direction. This is a great activity for active families or couples.

18. Sunset with Sea Turtles Maui

Sea turtles swim ashore at sunset on Maui's Ho'okipa Beach

Every night at sunset no matter what time of the year, sea turtles swim ashore to rest at Ho’okipa Beach Park. On the east end of the beach at the bottom of the cliff near the water, twenty to forty at a time will gather together and sleep. These are endangered creatures, so be sure to respect the cordoned off area and give them their space on shore. As long as people are respectful and refrain from touching them, people are allowed to swim and snorkel with the turtles, though Ho’okipa Beach is not known for great swimming. Surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing are the most popular activities here. A park volunteer will be here to answer any questions guests may have about the turtles. Located just east of Pa’ia town and Mama’s Fish House, this is a perfect place to stop and relax after a day wandering Hana, or while waiting on their dinner reservations at Mama’s.

19. Hilo Farmers MarketBig Island

Large farmers market on Hawaii's Big Island with food, art, and flowers

Recognized as one of the best in the U.S., Hilo Farmers Market has over 200 vendors selling local fruits, veggies, and flowers. This is a fantastic stop for a variety of cheap eats, with several specialty food vendors selling Thai food, sushi, Peruvian tamales, Ka’u and Kona coffees, and baked goods. Tarot card readings, local arts, and on first and third Saturdays, free kids’ art activities. The Farmers Market is located in downtown Hilo and is open year round every Wednesday and Saturday from 6am – 2pm. Walking distance to the aquarium, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Lyman Museum, and the beach at Bayfront Park.

20. Ahu’ena HeiauBig Island

Historic religious temple on Hawaii's Big Island

One of the most historically significant spots in Hawaii, this is the religious temple used by King Kamehameha the Great, who united all of the Hawaiian islands. This heiau became the center of political power during the height of his reign and later, the site of his death. The king’s son and heir Liholiho broke taboo here, and less than a year after the king’s death, this was the site where the first American Christian missionaries landed. Damaged in a hurricane, the site has been lovingly restored in recent years. Ahu’ena Heiau is free, open to the public, and suitable for all ages. Located in Kailua-Kona right on Kailua Bay, walking distance to Hulihe’e Palace, once the former vacation home of the Hawaiian royal family, now a museum; and Mokuaikaua Church, Hawaii’s oldest Christian church, founded in 1820.

21. Pay Respects to DukeOahu

statue of Duke Kahanamoku on Waikiki Beach

The father of modern surfing and Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha, Duke Kahanamoku is memorialized by a 9 foot tall bronze statue right on the sands of Waikiki Beach. A gold medal Olympic swimmer, waterman, Hollywood actor, and sheriff of Honolulu, Duke’s charisma and popularity was instrumental in reviving the sport of surfing and spreading its popularity worldwide. The statue stands with open arms, draped in flower leis left by admirers. This is one of the most photographed sites in Waikiki, located on Kalakalua Avenue near the Waikiki Police Station. For more photos and memorabilia, check out Duke’s Canoe Club restaurant and the Moana Surfrider hotel’s historic tour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:00. While at the Surfrider, be sure to grab some Dole Whip pineapple ice cream; the only other places in the world where you can get it are at the Dole Plantation or at Disney parks.

22. Bum Around in Pa’ia TownMaui

Bohemian surf town on Maui's North Shore

Pa’ia is a little, boho, surfer town on Maui’s North Shore. The historic main street bustles with hundreds of local, independent boutiques, surf shops, cafés, art galleries, and more. Some of the island’s best restaurants are here, including Mama’s Fish House, Pa’ia Fish Market, and Hana Ranch Provisions, making it a foodie’s heaven. Make sure to head off the main drag and visit the Dharma Center, consecrated by the Dalai Lama; guests are permitted to spin the prayer wheel and photograph the murals inside the stupa. Pa’ia is officially the first stop on the Road to Hana, making it a great place to stay the night before or after the big drive. Or spend a day in the area, splitting time between downtown Pa’ia and the ocean at Baldwin Beach or Ho’okipa Beach Park.

23. Lahaina TownMaui

Waterfront Maui town with shops and galleries

Front Street is the main road on the waterfront in the historic whaling town of Lahaina, now a destination for great restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. Spend the day on the historic trail, a self-guided walking tour through the city with stops at the Baldwin House, Banyan Court Park, Old Lahaina Lighthouse, and the Old Prison. Come back at night for world class dining at Lahaina Grill or Star Noodle. Every Friday night is Art Night, featuring gallery openings, artist demonstrations, and entertainment. Maps for the Historic Trail and Art Night can be found online or at the Lahaina Visitor Center in the courthouse.

24. Shave Ice and Poke all islands

Hawaiian shave ice can be found across all islands

No matter where travelers are in Hawaii, they can always find “ono grinds,” or good food. The two most well-known local dishes, both absolute musts, are poke and shave ice. Poke, rhyming with “OK,” is usually made with tuna or octopus, chopped into cubes, seasoned, and served raw. Visitors will find this at nearly every restaurant, deli, or grocery store in Hawaii. Just as ubiquitous is shave ice, a dessert made by shaving down a block of ice into fine pieces and topping with colorful flavored syrups. Shave ice is often served on top of vanilla or coconut ice cream and topped with sweetened condensed milk; other popular additions are azuki beans or li hung mui (preserved plum) powder. Eat these at every opportunity; they are hard to come by outside of the islands.

25. Holualoa Town Big Island

Arts colony on Hawaii's Big Island

Holualoa is an arts colony in the Kona mountains. Just a twenty minute drive from Kailua-Kona, this small town is surprisingly full of visual arts galleries, showcasing painting, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry. The best known is Studio 7, featuring the art of two generations of the Morinoue family. Donkey Mill Art Center is just a little further south, offering classes and exhibits that are often free. Two galleries are located in the Historic Kona Hotel, a hot pink two-story at the entrance to Holualoa. Thespian Thursdays feature all kinds of performance art every week at Holuakoa Café.

Bonus: Hand Tap Tattoo • Oahu

Traditional hand-tapped tattooing in downtown Honolulu

For the brave! Soul Signature Tattoo in Downtown Honolulu offers traditional, Polynesian style hand tap tattoos. Blades of varying widths are tapped with a stick, depositing ink into the skin in the form of tiny cuts. This is the oldest form of tattooing, and each Polynesian culture has its own distinct style. Shop owner and artist Aisea has been integral in the birth of modern Polynesian tattooing as one of the founders of Manalua Association, a group working in several Pacific Islands, including Tonga, Tahiti, and the Philippines to educate tattoo artists there on curbing the spread of bloodborne pathogens, while reviving traditional tattoo styles.

Read More

The Best Amsterdam Boutique Hotels

Home > Amsterdam > Amsterdam Boutique Hotels
Updated: October 10, 2019

Affiliate Disclosure: All hotel links on my site are affiliate links meaning I earn a small fee when you book a hotel. (There is never any extra cost to you for using these links).
Charitable Giving: I use some of these earnings for my monthly donation.
Updates: Get my free newsletter and all new travel guides, maps & hotel reviews.

See Also

5 Best Boutique Hotels in Amsterdam

1. Ambassade Hotel

Ambassade Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Located in the historic canal ring, this literary and artistic haunt offers 56 individually decorated rooms spread across 10 beautifully renovated canal houses. Original features such as beamed ceilings, art collection, and antique Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture complement modern in-room amenities and Bulgari bathroom products. Colorful rooms feature sumptuous fabrics and prints and canal views. On-site dining is excellent, and the staff is extremely helpful. • MapReview of Ambassade Hotel

2. Hotel Estheréa

Hotel Estheréa in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Historic sumptuousness on the edge of the Medieval Centre. Originally built in 1942 as a guesthouse, this 4-star family-run hotel is spread across 8 canal-side buildings and features dark wood, crystal chandeliers, boldly-patterned prints, luxurious fabrics, and four-poster beds in many rooms. Rooms are individually decorated, and some have open-plan bathrooms. Service is warm and helpful. • MapReview of Hotel Estheréa

3. Hotel Seven One Seven

Hotel Seven One Seven in Amseterdam, Netherlands.

Intimate boutique retreat in a sumptuous 19th-century canal-side mansion in the heart of the historic canal ring. All 9 rooms are inspired by famous writers, artists, and composers, and feature old-fashioned brass keys, unique decor, luxurious fabrics, period furniture, designer pieces and art, and Nespresso machines. Guests can nurse a brandy by the library fireplace or enjoy afternoon tea on the patio with personalized, unobtrusive service. • MapReview of Hotel Seven One Seven

4. Hotel TwentySeven

Hotel TwentySeven in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

This opulent and elegant boutique hotel in the heart of the city offers 16 individually designed suites in a 1916 building. Period features include decorative tiling, stained glass, luxurious fabrics, a rich crimson and gold color scheme, and carefully curated CoBrA art collection. All suites have palatial marble bathrooms with whirlpool baths and rain showers. The on-site bar is one of Amsterdam’s best, but it’s the highly personalized service that sets the hotel apart. • MapReview of Hotel TwentySeven

5. The Dylan

The Dylan Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Erstwhile Golden Age theatre turned into a luxury boutique hotel with a 17th-century stone gate, understated elegance, and clean lines. The rooms and suites are spread across 2 canal-side buildings, come in four different styles, and feature a mix of antique, vintage, and contemporary furnishings. Michelin-starred casual restaurant, lively bar, and award-winning service complete the experience. In the heart of the canal ring, the location is ideal for sightseeing on foot, as well as shopping and dining out. • MapReview of The Dylan

Read More

Santorini Wineries and Wine Tours

Home > Greece > Santorini > Wine Tours
Updated: October 10, 2019

Santorini Wines, Wineries, and Wine Tours

A vineyard at a Santorini winery near Oia.

Highly recommended: A Santorini wine tour that visits multiple wineries.

  • Best Santorini Winery Tours: Santorini Small Group Wine TourSantorini Private Wine Tour
  • Santorini is famous for its wine and wineries. This is one of the highlights of a Santorini trip.
  • Wine tours are incredibly popular on Santorini and they fill up quickly – book early.
  • Many wineries offer tours and wine tasting but if you want to visit multiple wineries, book a wine tour (most wineries are small and hard to find if you don’t know the island well). Most tours include hotel pickup and drop off.
  • It’s possible to visit wineries on your own but a tour makes getting from one to the next much quicker and easier. Plus, drinking and driving is very uncool.
  • Santorini wine is wonderful and unique owing to the dry and unusual climate. Be sure to try some even if you don’t go on a tour.
  • The Santorini wineries with the best caldera views are Santo and Venetsanos. Most wine tours will visit one or both of them.
  • Santorini boat tours don’t sell out as early, so book your wine tour first.

See Also

The Best Wine Tours in Santorini

1. Small Group Santorini Wine Tour

Santorini wine and food tour.
A great small-group tour that visits three traditional wineries and vineyards scattered around Santorini. Hotel pickup and drop off makes it all super easy. Will usually visit Santo Winery or Venetsanos (both with great caldera views) or Gavalas (my favorite) and 2 others. Starts at 3:30pm and lasts a little over four hours.

2. Santorini Private Wine Tour

Private tour of Santorini winery and wine making.
This is a private wine tour for serious wine lovers. Definitely worth it for the intimacy and attention to detail, but maybe not for everyone. Most people do it as a couple but the tour allows for a group of 6. Starts at 10am or 4pm with the evening tour having a sunset vies from either Santo or Venetsanos Wineries.

3. Santorini Sunset Wine Tour

Santorini Winery with Sunset and Caldera View
Wonderful small group tour in the early evening. Visit 3 wineries and have 12 tastings. Starts at 4:00pm and usually finishes at Venetsanos Winery (pictured above) for fantastic caldera views of the sunset.

Fully Booked Wine Tours

It’s common for the above tours to sell out in June, July, August, and September. If so these tours are also excellent:
Santorini Wine Roads Tour
Half-Day Wine Adventure Tour
Santorini Sunset Wine Tour

The Best Santorini Wineries

  • Santo Wines (Pyrgos) – The most comprehensive tours of any one winery. It has a large shop filled with wines and local food specialties. Fantastic views of the cliffs and caldera. (Most wine tours visit Santo or Venetsanos.)
  • Venetsanos Winery (Megalochori) – Similar views as Santo but a little smaller, with a little more charm.
  • Gavalas (Megalochori) – My favorite winery on Santorini. Small, friendly, intimate (but hard to find if you’re driving on your own).
  • Art Space Santorini (Exo Gonia) – A spellbinding mix of wine, caves, and art. The owner guides you around the property and explains its history with a thick Greek accent. Very cool.
  • Domaine Sigalas (Oia) – A small winery a 10-minute walk from a bus stop on the Fira-Oia bus route. It has wine tastings with appetizers from March to November.
  • Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum (Vothonas) – A 300 meter long cellar (8 meters underground) that hosts a wine museum. The museum presents the history of Greek wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini since the 1600s.

Santorini Winery Reviews

Map of Santorini Wineries

Getting To Santorini Wineries:
• Buses from Fira to Akrotiri or Perissa will stop a short walk from Santo Winery, Venetsanos, Gavalas, and Boutari. (If coming from Oia, Imerovigli, or another village you’ll need to bus to Fira and then switch buses.)
• Buses from Fira to Kamari will stop a short walk from the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum, Artemis Karamolegos Winery, Canava Roussos, Argyros Winery, and Art Space Winery. (If coming from Oia, Imerovigli, or another village you’ll need to bus to Fira and then switch buses.)
• Buses from Fira to Oia will stop a moderate walk from Vassaltis Vineyards and Domaine Sigalas Winery.
• Getting a Santorini taxi to and from wineries is possible, but in practice, a pretty big hassle.

Map of Santorini Wineries.

Pictures of Santorini Wineries

My photos of all the top wineries in Santorini from the Santorini Dave Instagram account.

Venetsanos Winery

View this post on Instagram

Venetsanos Winery – Megalochori. – A charming winery offering gorgeous views of caldera and volcanic cliffs. – As with most wineries in Santorini, assyrtiko is the most commonly used variety of grape. Used on its own or blended with other varieties like aidani and athiri. – Tours offered every hour and vary from 20-60 minutes. €6/person for tour alone or €15/person for tour and wine tasting. 6 different wines to choose from. A la carte menu with a variety of cheeses and some traditional food items like dolmathes available. – Open all year round at 10am with extended hours May to October. Closed December 15-January 15. – Popular spot for weddings and receptions (book far in advance). – Plenty of parking available if you’re driving. Take bus from Fira towards Perissa or Megalochori and ask driver to get of at Venetsanos. Stop a short walk to winery. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Santo Wines

View this post on Instagram

Santo Wines Winery – Pyrgos – A modern winery with stunning views of the caldera and cliffs. -Assyrtiko, found all over the island, is the most popular white grape variety that thrives on Santorini’s volcanic soil. Used on its own or blended with other varieties such as the Athiri and Aidani white grape also found throughout the island. -Restaurant on site. -Large shop filled with wines and local food specialties. Also offer home delivery service with UPS. -Direct buses from Fira, Perissa, and Akrotiri. Otherwise take a bus from wherever you are and change at Fira. Tell the bus driver when you get on you want a stop at Santos and they will drop you off just outside the winery. Parking available on site if you’re driving -Popular spot for weddings and receptions (book far in advance). – Daily wine tours. Can call after 9:30am to make reservations or book online. €12 per person for 20 minutes followed by 2 wines for tasting, Assyrtiko and Kameni -Open 9am to 10pm, summer months until midnight #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Gavalas Winery

View this post on Instagram

Gavalas Winery – Megalochori – A small, friendly winery that has been family run for 5 generations. – Offers an intimate wine tasting experience without the views but Perissa can be seen in the distance from the outside patio. – Considered to be the oldest variety of white grape in Greece, assyrtiko is most commonly used in combination with other varieties like aidani and athiri. – 3 options for wine tasting available: 3,5 or 7 bottles. 3 bottles €10/person. 5 bottles €15/person. 7 bottles €20/person. – Tours take about an hour. – Good idea to make reservations, especially with larger groups, but drop-ins are welcome. – Hours of operation are: April 1st to October 30th 10am – 8pm. – No restaurant on site but there is a good taverna nearby that serves traditional Greek food. – Limited parking available if driving. – Bus stop is in Megalochori, about a 7-10 minute walk away. – Not all buses are direct to Megalochori, but you can change buses in Fira if yours doesn’t make a stop here. – Small selection of wine for purchase at reception. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Boutari Winery

View this post on Instagram

Boutari Winery – Megalochori -A pioneer in wine making, this is Greece’s most historical wine company dating back to 1879. -In the early 80’s, Boutari brought its experience and innovative wine making strategies to Santorini and as such, continue to provide educational seminars. -In 1990, it was the first winery in Greece to open its doors to the public for organized wine tasting and tours. -Open all year round. 10am – 7pm April to October and 10am to 3pm November to March. -The indigenous grape in Santorini is assyrtiko and is used on its own or in combination with athiri and aidani. -Indoor restaurant on site and offers 5 traditional plates using local ingredients. -View of Akrotiri. -Daily wine tours available. Drop-ins welcome but reservations are recommended. You can book online or by calling. Various tours available ranging from 5-8 wines with and without food pairing and range from €15 for 45 minutes to €85 for 90 minutes. -Plenty of parking available if you’re driving. Bus stop in Megalochori, winery a short walk from there. Some direct routes to Megalochori, otherwise transfer in Fira. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Domaine Sigalas

View this post on Instagram

Domaine Sigalas Winery – Oia – A small, scenic winery offering good views of the sunset. – Open all year round with extended hours during summer. December to March, closed on weekends but will accommodate reservations. – As with most of Santorini wineries, the most commonly used variety of white grape is assyrtiko, used alone or blended with athiri and/or aidani. – Tours and wine tasting options start at €12/person to €150/person depending on how many bottles you want to sample and if you include food. – Menu items are local and differ every month depending what seasonal items are available. If you want to try the on site food options, 48 hours notice is required to prepare. – Restaurants available within walking distance. Traditional taverna just up the road. – Parking available. – Bus stop a 10 minute walk on the Fira-Oia bus route. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Art Space Winery

View this post on Instagram

ArtSpace Winery – Exo Gonia – A unique winery dating back to 1861. It’s a spellbinding mix of wine, caves and art. – The art exhibits occupy two old wine cellars where Greek and international artists’ work are on display. – In the adjacent underground cavern, 8-12 metres below ground, an old barn, is where the modern winery lies. – The most common variety of grape in Santorini, assyrtiko, is most commonly used for these wines, but also Aidani is used on its own or in combination with assyrtiko. – Wines available for purchase at reception. – Open daily 11am to 7pm April to October. November to March open by reservation only. – The owner, Mr. Antonis, personally takes you around the winery and art space explaining its history all with a thick accent. – Reservations are not necessary during high season. Mr. Antonis tries to accommodate every visitor. – Price of tasting varies depending on how many bottles you want to try. Starting at €10 for 4 wines and €20 for 8 wines. – Cold platters of meat and cheeses available on site. – Parking available. – Bus from Fira, stop at Exo Gonia. Winery a short walking distance from there. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Estate Argyros

View this post on Instagram

Estate Argyros Winery – Episkopi Gonia – A large, modern winery located in the heart of its vineyards with ocean views. – Assyrtiko is the main variety of grape produced in the unique volcanic soil of Santorini and as such is most commonly used. Other varieties include Aidani, Arthiri and Mavrotragano, a deep, ruby red variety. – Open all year round. May to October 10am to 9pm. November to April 9am to 6pm. – Reservations for wine tasting and tours recommended but drop-ins accommodated. – €15/person for 60 minutes includes tour and 4 wines with cheese platter. – €40/person for 90 minutes includes tour and 7 wines with cold meat and cheese platter and a few selected Greek specialties depending on local ingredients. – Restaurants within walking distance. – Parking available. – Bus from Fira and stop within walking distance. Ask driver to stop at Argyros. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Gaia Winery

View this post on Instagram

Gaia Winery – Exo Gonia. – A laid back, charming winery located directly on the water. – The main grape varieties used here are the indigenous white grape assyrtiko and the red grape agiorgitiko. – Reservations are recommended but drop-ins welcomed and accommodated. – Tours and tastings: 4 wines; €8 per person for 30-45 minutes. 8 wines; €15 per person for 45-60 minutes. – Cold meat and cheese platters available on site. Dinner is also available, but you have to request and book this option 2-3 days in advance. Modern and traditional food options available. – Restaurants available in nearby Kamari. About a 20 minute walk away or can bus it there. – Bus stop about a 5 minute walk away. Direct buses from Fira, Kamari and Monolithos. – Plenty of parking available. – Open for the summer season May to October 11am to 7pm. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Hatzidakis Winery

View this post on Instagram

Hatzidakis Winery – Pyrgos. – Founded in 1997, this charming winery overlooks it’s vineyards just outside the village of Pyrgos. – This winery was the first to use the native red grape variety of mavrotragano. – Assyrtiko and Aidani, both white grape varieties indigenous to Santorini, are also commonly used. – Tour and Tasting: 6 wines with cheese platter, €14 per person. Duration aprox 45-60 minutes. – Open all year round. May to October Monday-Saturday 10:15am to 7pm. November to April Monday – Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. – Drop ins welcome and accommodated but reservations recommended. During winter season, reservations only. – No restaurant on site but restaurants and tavernas in nearby Pyrgos. – Not an easy walk to winery or Pyrgos as it’s located just off a narrow, windy road not suitable for walking. – Bus stop in Pyrgos. Get off at the last stop. From there, winery can make arrangements to come pick you up only if you’ve made reservations. – Limited parking available. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Canava Roussos

View this post on Instagram

Canava Roussos – Mesa Gonia – This traditional, laid back winery is the oldest in Santorini, founded in 1836. – The indigenous white grape varieties of assyrtiko, athiri, aidani and the red grape varieties of mavrathiro and mandilaria are used. – Parties of up to 5 people don’t necessarily need reservations but more than that, reservations recommended. – Tour and Tasting: 4 wines (assyrtiko) €3 per sample or €6 per glass. Tours are not structured so time varies depending on the group. – Cold meat and cheese platter available with tastings. – No restaurant on site or nearby. – Parking available. – Bus stop close by and an easy walk to winery from there. Ask driver to get off at stop for Roussos. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Vassaltis Vineyards

View this post on Instagram

Vassaltis Winery – Vourvoulos – A laid back, modern winery with views of the water. – Relatively new winery, opened in 2016. – Reservations are highly recommended but drop-ins will be accommodated. Email or phone to book. – Open April to October, 7 days a week 11am to 8pm. Closed November to April. – Indigenous white grape varieties of assyrtiko, aidani, arthiri and red grapes of mavrotragano and mandilaria are used. – Tour and Tastings: 1) 3 wines and a tour, €20 per person. 2) 3 wines and amuse-bouche (Greek tapas), no tour, €15 per person. 3) 5 wines and amuse-bouche, no tour, €25 per person. This year tours are only at 3pm. This could change next year. – Restaurant on site. Seafood mostly on the menu with plenty of vegetarian options and some meat options. Traditional Greek items also available. – Parking available. – 2 bus stop options depending on if you come from the new or old road. If you are coming from the new road, bus stop about a 10 minute walk from the winery just before getting into the village of Vourvoulos. Ask bus driver to make a stop at the winery, If you are coming from the old road, you can get off at the square in Vourvoulos and check out the village. The winery is about a 20 minute walk from there. Or you can go past this and get off at the one closer to the winery. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum

View this post on Instagram

Koutsoyannopoulos Winery and Museum – Exo Gonia – A winery that hosts a museum nestled in a cave 8 meters deep and 300 meters long. – The museum depicts scenes of what life was like for wine growers and makers in the 1600’s. – Museum tours are conducted through an audio guide available in 14 different languages and a guidebook available in 22 different languages. – Wine tasting options: 4 wines at 10€ per person; 6 wines at 15€ per person and 8 wines at 20€ per person. Prices include museum tour. – A variety of indigenous grapes used, most commonly assyrtiko and aithani. – Open all year round: November to March, Monday through Saturday: 9am to 5pm, Sunday: 10am to 5pm. April to October, Monday through Saturday: 9am to 7pm and Sunday: 10am to 7pm. – Plenty of parking available. – Bus stop about 100 meters away from winery. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Artemis Karamolegos Winery

View this post on Instagram

Artemis Karamolegos Winery- Exo Gonia. – A modern winery with ocean views that began in 1952. – It boasts an excellent on site Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, Aroma Avlis, that has fresh seafood daily. Plenty of vegetarian and meat options available as well. – Reservations recommended for tours and wine tasting but drop-ins welcome. Book a day in advance if you want food pairing with your tasting. – Tours and Tasting options: 3 wines at 8€ per person. 4 wines at 11€ per person. 5 wines at 14€ per person. 5 PDO wines 15€ per person. 7 wines at 20€ per person. If you would like food pairing with your tasting, prices range from 65€ to 140€ depending on how many bottles of wine and what food options you select. – The indigenous white grape varieties of assyrtiko and aidani, and the red grape variety of mavrotragano are most commonly used. – Cooking classes available on site. – Wedding receptions also held here. Book far in advance. – Limited parking available. – Bus stop within 900 meters away. An easy walk, but on a busy main street. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Canava Ant. Arvaniti

View this post on Instagram

Canava Ant. Arvaniti – Megalochori – If you are seeking a truly authentic and traditional wine tasting experience, this laid-back, family run winery is for you. – Since 1958, Mr. Antonis Arvaniti’s family has ran this winery. He and his wife, Rasita, are passionate about traditional wine making methods and are enthusiastic about sharing these ways with visitors. – In addition to wines, you will find homemade products to purchase such as; lemonsanto, a liquor made with 100% Santorinian lemons, olive oil, vinegars, sun dried tomatoes, jams, and Greek fava (yellow split pea dip), all grown and packaged by the Arvaniti’s. – The indigenous white grape varieties of assyrtiko, aidani, arthiri and nyxteri and red grape varieties of mantilaria and mavrotragano are used. – The winery is open all year round 9am to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm. – As the Arvaniti’s English is minimal, they use a translator for wine tours, therefore reservations are recommended, but drop-ins are welcome and accommodated as the Arvaniti’s are overwhelmingly hospitable. Book via email or phone. – There is no cost for wine tasting and tours at this time. By donation only. – No restaurant on site but there is a fantastic bakery right beside the winery that offers baked goods, snacks, sweets and some traditional Greek foods. Menu changes daily. – On the main road to Perissa, take the Fira to Perissa bus. Stop is right outside the winery and bakery. – Parking available. #sdsantorini

A post shared by Santorini Dave (@santorinidave) on

Read More

Whispering Palms Beach Resort in Goa, India

Home > Whispering Palms Beach Resort Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of Whispering Palms Beach Resort in Goa, India.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – Affordable, functional, and popular for its fab position close to facilities and the beach.

Much better than its exterior suggests, and certainly far larger, this resort is extremely popular, especially with packaged tours. The Whispering Palms spreads across gardens far more extensive than at newer overbuilt resorts costing a lot more. It offers exactly what guests return for year after year: convenience to the beach, with its cafés on the sand, as well as the main road, with all its facilities; the inexpensive rates; and the friendly staff, who cater well for foreign guests. Standards vary considerably: the villas face the internal lawns, while cheaper rooms overlook the side streets, and all feature balconies/verandas.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – The Location

  • Address: About 200m down a side street off the main road midway along Candolim, a major tourist region in a southern part of North Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.) Signposted, and a useful landmark is Karlton’s Horizon Grill at the turn-off to the resort.
  • Area: Along a quiet side street to the beach. About equidistant (200m) from the beach and main road, with all the tourist facilities needed.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (38km, 75-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 39km away (80-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Candolim.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Guests: Overwhelmingly foreigners (mostly Europeans and Russians) on packaged tours.
  • Views: The nicer Studio Suite Rooms (really villas) face inwards, overlooking the gardens and lawns. Cheaper rooms may face the outside streets, which are still reasonably quiet.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range resort in Goa.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: No places on-site, but a dedicated carpark alongside the gates. With a guard on duty, it should be safe.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 97119 56549
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: whisperingpalms.com

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: When more villas were built, the size of the pool didn’t increase. Now, it’s severely undersized, but no one seems to mind. It’s so crowded, in fact, that there’s an upper deck of sunbeds above the bar.
  • Spa: Downstairs, below the bar, Tatva Spa is large, although not always that quiet.
  • Fitness Center: Small but serviceable.
  • Other Facilities: Travel desk can arrange local tours. Money exchange. Laundry.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Breeze – Could get crowded at times, especially during breakfast. Offers tables inside and facing the pool, and the extensive menu includes Chinese, Arabic, and Mediterranean dishes. • Aahata – Casual café/bar among the lawns, with thatched roof and rattan walls. Specializes in Indian cuisine, especially Goan. • Club27 – Lounge bar near the lobby that opens until late. Live music on most nights. • Lanai – Very popular poolside bar, serving snacks and light meals.
  • Breakfast: Not included, but available for an extra charge.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7, but limited menu overnight.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Balcony Rooms • Terrace Rooms • Club Rooms • Studio Suite Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: With plenty of windows and space, the Studio Suite Rooms (really villas) are especially nice.
  • For Families: The window-side sofas in many rooms and suites can convert into single beds. The management is keen for families to stay, so ask about squeezing in another single bed if required.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – Local Transport

  • Walking: On a pleasant side street to the beach. The main road is decent enough for walking, and even offers a few sidewalks (mainly used for illegal parking, however).
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere along – the main road through Candolim and Calangute. Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (400m north, 5-minute walk). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis in the immediate area. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles. The only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which can be arranged at the hotel or with drivers hanging about the streets.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize through the hotel. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Grills n Curries +91 98239 91959 – The name says it all. Next to the resort, almost hidden at the back of the carpark. 1-minute walk (50m).
  • Monsoon Restaurant & Bar +91 77219 94744 – One of several friendly family-run places serving cheap Indian food in a casual setting. Competitive prices as it struggles to compete against cafés on the sand. Between the resort and beach. 1-minute walk (120m).

These 3 restaurants are north along the main road and within 200m of the resort:

  • Karlton’s Horizon Grill – Mouth-watering steaks, ribs, and seafood, as well as happy hours and great-value specials. Useful landmark, too, at the corner of the turn-off to the resort. 2-minute walk (110m).
  • Ruffles – Finest restaurant in the immediate area for western meals. Live music, karaoke, or DJs every evening. 3-minute walk (200m).
  • Foodland Multi Cuisine Restaurant & Bar +91 98229 15352 – Always popular for its inexpensive menu which includes non-Indian meals such as steaks, kebabs, and prawns. Next to Ruffles. 3-minute walk (210m).
    Also, at the end of the 200m path to the beach are plenty of beach cafés on the sand. Casual, cheap, cheerful, and competitive, some offer free use of sunbeds and umbrellas.

Shops

  • Plenty of places to spend money along the main road about 200m away (as well as money changers). Also, a couple of minimarts and dozens of souvenir stalls along the side street to the beach. The closest supermarket is Delfino’s. 9-minute walk (750m).

Beach

  • The resort is about halfway between the main road and beach. The wonderful beach is dotted with casual cafés which also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas; some for free. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty between about 10 am and sunset. 4-minute walk (300m).

Whispering Palms Beach Resort – The Hotel

The resort is located on a quiet side street near the beach.

Along a side street between the main road and beach, the resort is nicer and considerably larger than the outside might suggest.

Guests are usually on packaged tours from Europe and Russia.

The hotel caters almost exclusively for packaged tours from Europe and Russia.

The musical doorman is one reason guests love this resort.

Personal touches, such as this doorman, are one reason guests return year after year.

The resort layout and grounds are vast.

The extent of the resort grounds is a surprise considering the exterior and mid-sized lobby.

The pool is small compared to the crowds at the resort.

The pool hasn’t expanded to accommodate the increased number of guests, so it’s always crowded.

There are 2 decks with enough sunbeds.

Empty sunbeds along the wooden deck are hard to find, so another deck above the bar is also used by sunbathers.

Breakfast is served at the Breeze restaurant.

The main restaurant, Breeze, is where breakfast is served.

Breeze offers indoor and outdoor seating.

The Breeze restaurant offers tables inside and along a terrace facing the pool.

The guest lounge has a pool table.

A guest lounge near the reception desk features a pool table.

The Aahata Café & Bar has a traditional design.

Within the resort grounds, the Aahata café/bar features a likable traditional design.

A few tables at Aahata overlook the garden.

The Aahata café offers a few tables overlooking the garden and lawn, away from the crowded pool.

The small Lanai bar is very popular.

The Lanai bar alongside the pool is always busy.

Tatva Spa by the pool is large but slightly noisy.

With steps leading down from near the pool, the Tatva Spa is larger than expected, but not very quiet.

The rooms and suites are spread out across the property.

The rooms and suites are spread out in all directions.

The resort features elevated walkways.

Elevated walkways even link the second-floor rooms with the facilities near the lobby.

Studio Suite Rooms are located away from the pool.

Studio Suite Rooms (more like villas) overlook the garden and are distant from the pool.

Villas offer sunbeds on the grass outside.

These villas provide sunbeds on the grass, which is certainly quieter than those alongside the pool.

Cheaper rooms don't offer much views.

The cheaper rooms may not offer the best views.

Some cheaper rooms overlook the quiet street.

In fact, some of the less expensive rooms face the street, which is still reasonably quiet.

The room decor is fairly interesting.

The décor in the rooms is a little more interesting than others of this standard in North Goa.

The cheaper rooms are compact, functional, and affordable.

The cheaper rooms are compact, bordering on undersized, but functional and affordable.

Villas offer better views and lesser noise compared to the rooms.

The villas face the gardens and offer superior views and less noise than the standard rooms.

Grills n Curries café is located next to the resort.

Next to the resort, but easy to miss at the back of the carpark, is the Grills n Curries café.

Monsoon is an inviting restaurant nearby.

Monsoon is one of several inviting restaurants along the street between the resort and beach.

The beach cafés are very popular with guests.

Most guests eat and drink at least once in one of the many cafés on the sand at the end of the street from the resort.

The beach cafés are excellent for a drink while enjoying the sunsets.

These cafés are perfect for relaxing over a drink while watching the sunset.

Beach cafés are very casual.

Most cafes on the beach are very casual.

Karlton’s Horizon Grill is located near the resort.

At the turn-off to the resort from the main road, Karlton’s Horizon Grill is a useful landmark.

Karlton's offers road-side seating.

Karlton’s Horizon Grill also offers some seats alongside the road, which are ideal for people-watching.

Foodland offers good and affordable meals near the resort.

Also close to the resort, the Foodland Multi Cuisine Restaurant & Bar offers a wide range of meals.

Ruffles is one of the best restaurants nearby.

The finest restaurant along the main road, and also near the turn-off to the hotel, is Ruffles.

The resort lane is well sign-posted.

The turn-off from the main road to the resort is well-signposted.

The side street to the resort is quite shady.

Parts of the side street to the resort are shady.

There are lots of souvenir stalls nearby.

Near the beach, the street is lined with souvenir stalls.

Flags identify areas with lifeguards that are safe to swim in.

Always swim between the flags, where lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas, sometimes for free.

There are always plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, although some cafés offer them free.

The sunsets in Goa are magical.

The sunsets along all the beaches in this part of Goa are magical.

Read More

Tranquility Cottage Resort in Goa, India

Home > Tranquility Cottage Resort Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of Tranquility Cottage Resort in Goa, India.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – Something different: wooden cabins up a hill and within a riverside jungle.

Well-named, these are the essence of serenity: at the end of a dead-end street, up a slight hill, and almost lost among a pristine jungle. However, they are more like cabins than cottages: made completely of wood, and featuring a balcony facing the thick foliage. Inside, they are comfortable, if a little undersized, and feature contemporary art and full-length windows. Amenities are modest (e.g. pool) or non-existent (e.g. gym), but it’s all about the setting and tranquility. Just off the road and near the convenient bridge along Baga River, this area is distant from the seaside crowds and relentless traffic, but only 1km from Baga Beach.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – The Location

  • Address: In an area called Arpora or Baga River (Creek). About 1km from Baga Beach, the northern extension of the main tourist area of Candolim/Calangute in northern Goa. The turn-off is signposted along the main road that runs parallel to the Baga River, almost opposite where Baga Bridge meets the main road. The resort is at the finish of a 200m dead-end lane.
  • Area: In the more bustling (but still sedate) part of the river. Quite a few decent cafés and restaurants nearby.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (40km, 75-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The bus station at Mapusa (for connections across Goa) is 9km away (20-minute drive). The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama (43km, 80-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Baga Beach.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly foreign couples who relish the serenity.
  • Views: Each cottage features a balcony that looks straight into jungle-like trees and plants.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzi: Certainly not expected (or provided) at this sort of resort in Goa.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Nothing on-site as it’s up a hill. Parking just outside the gate would be safe enough.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 7888 083666
  • Email: Send a message through their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/tranquilitycottage
  • Website: tranquility.co.in

Tranquility Cottage Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: On the highest level up the hill. Could do with some more chlorine and shade, but decent enough. Fenced-off area for young children.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Not provided, but not a surprise at this sort of place.
  • Other Facilities: Laundry.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Modest café overlooking the pool. Serves breakfast as well as drinks and light meals all day.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Limited and during daylight hours only.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: All the same, but views and positions differ so they’re called Upper Level Cottages or Mid Level Cottages.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in or anywhere near the rooms. They’re made of wood!
  • Best Room: For even more tranquility, choose a cottage on the higher level and at the end of the row.
  • For Families: Rooms are too small for extra single beds. The only option is 2 adjacent rooms, but better options are available elsewhere.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – Local Transport

  • Walking: Fabulous strolling experience along the riverside road in both directions. The bridge at the turn-off to the hotel heads to Baga Beach, which is walkable at about 1km.
  • Public Transport: The very useful public buses that go along Candolim and Calangute don’t reach here. Also, no metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis. App-based rides, Uber and Ola, don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but the local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying. However, the only real options are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which hang about the bridge at the turn-off to the hotel. Rates are overpriced but negotiable.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize this at the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    These places are along the riverside road, heading away from the bridge, and within 500m of the resort.

  • Jamies Goa – Classy bistro at the turn-off to the resort. Family-friendly, nice garden courtyard, and pleasing prices. 1-minute walk (90m).
  • Mayonna Creek Side – Excellent food at low prices, with seats inside under the fans or along the river. Casual, friendly, and great value. 3-minute walk (260m).
  • Toro Toro Goa – Unusual but pleasant Greek-style setting. Mediterranean cuisine, with focus on grills and seafood. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • Royal Enfield Garage Café – Inviting bistro but more of a museum and shop dedicated to the iconic motorbikes. Popular for trendy music, western food, and cocktails. 6-minute walk (550m).
  • Meiphung Northeast Bar and Resto +91 95613 12044 – Casual and authentic Thai, next to the Royal Enfield. 7-minute walk (550m).

Shops

  • A few minimarts and souvenir stalls along the riverside road, but nothing else.

Tranquility Cottage Resort – The Hotel

The resort is located in a dead-end lane.

The resort is at the end of a dead-end lane that starts from along Baga River.

The resort has a lush, jungle-like setting.

With plenty of tropical plants and trees, the setting is almost like a jungle.

Accommodations are in wooden cabins.

All accommodations are in wooden cabins in 4 rows along 2 levels.

The pool is located at the highest level.

At the highest level is the pool.

The pool deck features several sunbeds.

The pool lacks shade but there are enough sunbeds for the limited number of guests.

The café/bar is alongside the pool.

The café/bar at the guesthouse faces the pool on the highest level.

The accommodations seem more like cabins.

The accommodations are more like cabins than cottages.

Cottages come with individual balconies.

Each cottage features a sizable balcony.

The slightly compact cottages are better than those offered by rivals nearby.

Cottages are a little undersized but likably different to anything else offered in Baga or the nearby beach regions of Candolim and Calangute.

The wooden cottages tend to get hot inside.

Cottages are completely made of wood, so they can get hot inside at times.

The contemporary design includes splashed of color.

The décor is contemporary and features splashes of color around the walls and in the bathrooms.

The balconies offer lush green views.

A standout feature is the balcony with views of an almost jungle-like setting.

The classy but casual Jamies bistro is close to the resort.

At the turn-off to the resort from the main road, Jamies is a classy but casual bistro.

The Mayonna Creek Side café offers river-side seating.

The Mayonna Creek Side café offers tables on both sides of the riverside road.

Toro Toro Goa has a Greek decor.

One of the finest cafés in the area is Toro Toro Goa, which features a décor reminiscent of a Greek tavern.

Royal Enfield Garage Café is a classy place near the riverfront.

One of the classiest places along the riverbank is the Royal Enfield Garage Café.

Royal Enfield Garage Café features a shop and a museum.

The Royal Enfield Garage Café also features a shop and museum dedicated to these iconic motorbikes.

Meiphung serves authentic Thai cuisine.

Next to the Royal Enfield Garage Café is the authentic Thai restaurant, Meiphung.

The resort is located in a dead-end lane.

The Tranquility Cottage Resort is quietly set at the finish of a dead-end lane.

The resort is along a quiet lane away from the main road.

The cottages are about 200m from the main road via a quiet and shady lane.

There are several signs leading to the resort.

The cottages are signposted along the main road, almost opposite the Baga Bridge.

The Baga bridge is a useful landmark for the resort.

A useful landmark is the bridge to Baga Beach and Calangute further south. Where the bridge meets the riverside road is the turn-off to the resort.

The river in front of the resort is busy but not that noisy.

The resort is close to the busiest part of the river, but still very quiet compared to the beach areas nearby.

The neighborhood only has a few minimarts and souvenir stalls.

There are a few minimarts and souvenir stalls along the riverside road, but little else to excite shoppers.

An iconic Goan church is by the riverside road.

Along the riverside road is one of these iconic Goan churches.

Baga River is often called Baga Creek.

Baga River is often (perhaps more accurately) called Baga Creek.

Read More

The Avenue Calangute Hotel in Goa, India

Home > Avenue Calangute Hotel Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of The Avenue Calangute Hotel in Goa, India.

The Avenue Calangute – Sparkling new and surprisingly luxurious, located in a fascinating area, but not that convenient.

Finished as recently as late 2018, The Avenue is already making a name for itself. In the popular tourist region of Calangute, there are several cafés, bars, and shops nearby, but what makes this hotel more appealing than most others is that the surrounding area is still generally an Indian town. Rooms feature a pleasant décor of subtle browns and greens; modern furnishings, including sofas, marble floors, and huge TVs; and lovely bathrooms. Adding to the appeal are the affordable rates, extensive street views, and a fabulous pool on the rooftop. The only downside is the distance from the beach, but there are plenty of transport options to access it.

The Avenue Calangute – The Location

  • Address: Along Calangute-Arpora (Anjuna) Road, midway along Calangute, a major tourist region in the southern part of North Goa. About 100m south of Dr. Jack Sequira Junction, a roundabout with a KFC outlet. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.)
  • Area: Busy area, still more Indian-style than touristy. Enough facilities for guests in the immediate area, but the nearest beach is 1.5km away.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (37km, 70-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 40km away (75-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beach at Calangute.

The Avenue Calangute – The Basics

  • Guests: Indian and foreign tourists. Also, some guests on conventions.
  • Views: In mid-2019, nothing was blocking views on either side, but this may change as the area becomes built-up. Rooms at the front overlook the main road and may suffer from traffic noise.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range hotel in Goa.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free, but hit-and-miss in some rooms.
  • Parking: Ask about secure parking nearby when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 665 1234
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: theavenuecalangute.com

The Avenue Calangute – Amenities

  • Pool: On the rooftop (5th floor) and larger than at many resorts costing twice as much. Breezes, views, and a few sunbeds, but shares an area with some building machinery.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Neither are offered.
  • For Families: Modest games area with ping pong table.
  • Other Facilities: Laundry (24 hours).

The Avenue Calangute – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Uncle Sam’s Restaurant & Cafe – With tables inside and along the road, it offers a long menu of Indian and western food. Also, a pastry shop, and live music on some nights. • Sky Lounge Bar & Restaurant – Spectacular rooftop (5th floor) position for views, meals, and cocktails, as well as, hookahs (shishas). • Bardez Multi-Cuisine Restaurant – Specializes in Goan cuisine and offers impressive service.
  • Breakfast: Included if staying at the Premium Rooms. Available for an extra charge for other rooms.
  • Room Service: Available from about 7 am to 11 pm.

The Avenue Calangute – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Rooms • Superior Rooms • Premium Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is allowed in some rooms. Ask when booking.
  • Best Room: Premium Rooms are the largest and on a higher floor so views will be superior. Breakfast is included.
  • For Families: Space in all rooms for an extra single bed. The management is happy to discuss any configuration for families.

The Avenue Calangute – Local Transport

  • Walking: Plenty to see and do along the main road, which offers some sidewalks. More pleasant along the side streets, some of which lead to villages.
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere along – the main road through Candolim and Calangute, and also head to the major beach at Calangute (see below). Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (3.5km south, 10-minute drive). For connections around North Goa, head to Mapusa, 8km away (20-minute drive). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis. App-based Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa. The local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying, though really, the only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’. Arrange these through the hotel or with drivers hanging about the streets. Rates are overpriced but negotiable.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize this at the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

The Avenue Calangute – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Not as many options as further south, but enough to satisfy most guests.

  • Foodland Restaurant – Simple Indian and western meals, friendly manager, and great value. Virtually over the road from the hotel. 1-minute walk (20m).
  • Hotel Calangute Towers – 2 great options: Eat Street at the front, popular for its well-priced evening buffets, and Curry Leaf, almost hidden at the back for an elegant setting and exceptional service. At the roundabout, 70m north of the hotel. 1-minute walk.
  • Café Sussegado Souza – Adorable historic building in a fascinating roadside location. Long and very inviting menu of Goan cuisine. Fabulous for a cold beer while people-watching. Next to Hotel Calangute Towers. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • KFC – Also at the roundabout. 2-minute walk (120m).
  • Sher-a-Punjab Bar & Restaurant – Lovely setting inside and out. Tasty thalis (set meals in steel plates) and other cheap Indian food. Open 24 hours. 200m south down the road, away from the roundabout. 2-minute walk.
  • Domino’s – Familiar pizza joint for takeaway or eat-in. Just past Sher-a-Punjab. 2-minute walk (200m).

Shops & Markets

  • Most shops in the immediate vicinity are for locals, not tourists, so they are even more interesting to explore. Also, a few minimarts around the place. The road to the beach (see below) is packed with makeshift market stalls.

Beach

  • The main stretch of Calangute Beach is about 1.5km away. Take an auto-rickshaw, shuttle bus, private (unmetered) taxi, bus, or simply walk. (The turn-off to the beach from the main road is about 200m north of the hotel.) This part of the beach is Indian-style: very busy, packed with souvenir stalls and cheap eateries, and a little garish. Fascinating, but not relaxing. Beach cafés on the sand also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset. 15-minute walk.

The Avenue Calangute – The Hotel

The newly-finished hotel is the grandest in the area.

Finished as recently as late 2018, the hotel is the newest and grandest in the immediate area.

The small entrance is on the hotel's side.

The entrance is along the side of the hotel and a little easy to miss.

The lobby is modest compared to the luxurious rooms.

The lobby is well-furnished but not as opulent as others. The luxury is in the rooms.

The Bardez restaurant serves Goan cuisine.

Near the reception desk, the Bardez restaurant specializes in Goan cuisine.

Uncle Sam’s café is also located on the same floor as Bardez.

Opposite the guest lounge from the Bardez restaurant is Uncle Sam’s café.

Uncle Sam’s café offers outdoor seating as well.

Tables at Uncle Sam’s are also set up alongside the footpath in front of the hotel.

Uncle Sam’s also has a pastry shop.

In addition, Uncle Sam’s offers a pastry shop, with everything made on-site.

The rooftop Sky Lounge Bar & Restaurant has a hookah section.

The Sky Lounge Bar & Restaurant on the hotel rooftop has a special section for hookahs (shishas).

The rooftop pool is surprisingly large.

On the rooftop (5th floor), the pool is larger than at some resorts costing far more.

The rooftop also has a few lounge chairs and the air-conditioning system.

A few lounge chairs are alongside the pool, but the rooftop is also used for hotel machinery (e.g. the air-conditioning system).

The rooms are surprisingly spacious.

All of the rooms are surprisingly spacious.

Rooms have a funky but pleasant decor.

Rooms feature an unusual but likable décor.

Bathrooms are extremely spacious.

Some bathrooms are as large as the bedrooms.

Rooms feature a green and brown decor.

The décor is each room is a subtle blend of greens and browns.

The larger Premium Rooms feature extra seating options.

The Premium Rooms are a little larger and provide extra seating.

Currently, there are a few empty plots around the hotel.

In mid-2019, views to the sides were of empty blocks of land and distant buildings, but this area will no doubt become more built-up in the coming years.

The hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood.

The road outside the hotel is quieter than the main road in Candolim further south.

Foodland opposite the hotel serves cheap meals.

The main road is lined with numerous cheap cafés, including Foodland, directly opposite the hotel.

Sher-a-Punjab close by offers great-value thalis.

About 100m south down the road (i.e. away from the roundabout), Sher-a-Punjab offers great-value thalis (set meals in steel plates).

A Domino's outlet is just past Sher-A-Punjab.

Just past Sher-a-Punjab is this familiar pizza joint.

Café Sussegado Souza is a historic and great place for a meal and a drink.

The finest place for a meal or drink near the hotel is also the most historic: Café Sussegado Souza. It faces the roundabout nearby.

Eat Street at Hotel Calangute Towers offers great-value buffets every evening.

Next to Café Sussegado Souza, Eat Street is a café on the ground level of Hotel Calangute Towers. It offers a value-packed buffet each evening.

Curry Leaf restaurant in the same hotel is a classy place.

Easy to miss at the back of Eat Street is the sophisticated Curry Leaf restaurant.

Calangute Beach's main section is 1.5km from the hotel.

The main (and busiest) section of Calangute Beach is about 1.5km from the hotel.

Calangute Beach's pedestrian area is filled with facilities for Indian tourists.

The pedestrian area on the way to the main part of Calangute Beach is packed with shops, bars, and cafés – almost all for Indian tourists.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

Plenty of places to rent sunbeds and umbrellas in this part of Calangute Beach.

Calangute has several beach cafés.

There are also numerous cafés on the beach at Calangute.

Some of the beach facilities are a little garish.

Some facilities at the beach are a little garish.

Dr Jack Sequira Junction nearby is a local landmark.

This roundabout about 100m north of the hotel – called Dr. Jack Sequira Junction – is a local landmark.

There are several alleys around the hotel that are worth exploring.

Alleys lead off the main road near the hotel and are worth exploring for a quiet slice of Indian life.

Local buses link the resort with several beaches and facilities in Calangute and Candolim.

Buses link the road outside the resort with the main beach at Calangute and all the beaches and facilities further south in Calangute and Candolim.

Read More

Sonesta Inns Hotel in Goa, India

Home > Sonesta Inns Hotel Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of Sonesta Inns in Goa, India.

Sonesta Inns – Good-value, peaceful, and closer to the beach than any nearby resort.

The rooms – and suites with separate living areas – are positioned around the pool and gardens, and each features a balcony with space for a table, chairs, and two alcove seats. The design is also clever, so most rooms/suites are separated from neighbors, and are located in twin-level buildings only. Definitely not an inn (singular or plural), the Sonesta is reliably good and definitely affordable (rates include breakfast), and it boasts a position envied by five-star resorts: quiet, spacious, and as close to the beach as authorities allow. And for a smallish hotel it packs a lot in: e.g. pool with jacuzzi and sizable children’s area, gym, and spa with steam room. Renovations are planned from 2020 (but don’t appear necessary).

Sonesta Inns – The Location

  • Address: About 300m down a side street from the main road through northern Candolim, a major tourist region in the southern part of North Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.). Virtually at the invisible border between Candolim and Calangute. The turn-off from the main road is opposite Le Seasons hotel.
  • Area: The side street between the main road and hotel is lined with shops, cafés, and bars. The street continues for another 200m to the beach, which is also packed with cafés. More tourist facilities can be found along the main road, 300m from the hotel.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (38km, 70-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 41km away (80-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Candolim and Calangute.

Sonesta Inns – The Basics

  • Guests: Couples, often over 40 years old, but also some Indian families. Some guests have been returning regularly since it opened 15+ years ago.
  • Views: Most rooms face the pool and gardens, while a few overlook the street, which is quiet.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzi: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range hotel in Goa.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free, but not that quick.
  • Parking: Must park outside, so security cannot be guaranteed.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 248 9448
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: sonestainns.com

Sonesta Inns – Amenities

  • Pool: Most rooms overlook the pool, so it’s not that private. However, the abundant palms and colorful sunbeds make it more appealing than most. Attached is a jacuzzi and sizable and partially-fenced kids’ pool.
  • Spa: There is no spa, but guests are urged to visit Kera The Spa at the sister resort, Andores (2km north, 7-minute drive). It offers massages, scrubs, and yoga.
  • Fitness Center: Small, but not too bad. Unlikely to be used much by guests.
  • For families: Small playground.
  • Other Facilities: Money-changing. Laundry. Travel advice/bookings.

Sonesta Inns – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Ocean Deck – Broad menu, and some tables on a deck facing the beachside gardens. Comes alive after dark when an old-fashioned disco may come to life. • Flavours – Breezy coffee shop where breakfast is served. • Pool Bar – Facing the poolside lawns, the design is intriguing and the colors, bright.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates, a bonus rarely offered by rivals.
  • Room Service: Comprehensive menu available in-room from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

Sonesta Inns – Rooms

  • Room Types: Luxury Rooms • Suites • Geetanjali Suite (1 only)
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The 1-only Geetanjali Suite is designed with Indian and Portuguese flair, and features a separate living/dining room.
  • For Families: Suites feature separate living areas which are small but can fit 2 extra single beds. A larger family or those with teenagers should book 2 adjoining rooms (but they won’t have connecting doors).

Sonesta Inns – Local Transport

  • Walking: Some sidewalks along the main road, 300m away, but strolling is nicer along the side streets to the beach.
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere – along the main road through Candolim and Calangute. Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (2km south, 6-minute drive). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: A few auto-rickshaws (which won’t use meters), but no metered taxis. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles. The only options for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which can be arranged at the hotel or with drivers hanging about the streets.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. There are no internationally-recognized agencies, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize through the hotel. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Sonesta Inns – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    All the places listed below are within 600m of the hotel.

  • Southi Resto Bar – Bright and cheerful, with tables also facing the road. Upmarket versions of Indian street food. Immediately to the right (south) where the side street meets the main road. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • Barrica Bistro +91 79774 62353 – Cute place for a coffee and sandwiches. Just south of, um, Southi. 6-minute walk (450m).
  • Kailash Parbat – Part of a country-wide chain and a trendy meeting spot for contemporary Indian cuisine. About 300m north of the turn-off to the hotel. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • For something more elegant (and expensive), try the bistros and bars at the Hyatt Centric, such as Grok (open 24 hours) (550m, 7-minute walk), and at the Novotel Goa Candolim, home to Square (popular for buffets and pizza) (450m, 6-minute walk). Both are almost opposite the turn-off to the Sonesta from the main road.
  • Many would probably prefer a cheap meal and cold drink, especially at sunset, at one of the cafés at the end of the path from the hotel (200m). All are fairly similar, but particularly inviting is Lopes’s Beach Shack.

Shops

  • Plenty of places to spend rupees all over Candolim, even along the side street to the hotel. The closest decent supermarket is Newton’s, 1.3km to the north. 16-minute walk.

Beach

  • A path within the hotel grounds leads directly to the beach about 200m away. The beach is wonderful: wide, clean, and not too crowded. Spread across the sand, a few casual cafés sell food and drinks, and also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty between about 10 am and sunset.

Sonesta Inns – The Hotel

The hotel is located away from the main road.

The hotel is pleasantly positioned along a side street about 300m from the main road.

The hotel lobby is very pleasant.

The lobby area is bright and welcoming.

The hotel is very popular due to the design and value it offers.

The Sonesta is good-value and well-designed, which is why guests return year after year.

The large pool is in the center of the hotel.

The pool dominates the hotel grounds and pretty much everything overlooks it.

The Ocean Deck restaurant offers garden views.

The main hotel restaurant, Ocean Deck, faces the gardens.

Ocean Deck restaurant also offers outdoor seating.

Tables at the Ocean Deck restaurant at the Sonesta spill out onto the lawns during the dry season.

The unusually-designed Pool Bar is very popular.

Featuring an unusual design, the Pool Bar is a great place to meet fellow guests.

The hotel even features a small playground.

A small playground is on the lawn between the hotel and beach.

All accommodations feature balconies.

The hotel design ensures that every room and suite features a balcony, and most face the pool and gardens.

The spacious rooms even have a sitting area.

Rooms are spacious and feature sitting areas.

The comfortable rooms have a bland decor.

The décor may be a little bland, but the rooms are very comfortable.

Rooms feature spacious bathrooms.

The bathrooms are also spacious.

All rooms and suites have a balcony each.

Each room and suite features a balcony, even those at ground level.

Balconies have niches for extra seating.

In each balcony are 2 cute niches offering extra seating space.

Most accommodations face the pool.

Most rooms and suites face the pool (which can be noisy at times).

The colorful suites are very spacious.

The suites are even more spacious than the rooms and feature a colorful décor.

Suites feature separate living areas and extra windows.

Suites have separate living areas and extra windows.

The hotel is located away from the main road.

The Sonesta is along a quiet side street 300m from the main road.

The side street features signs leading to the hotel.

The side street is signposted at the main road.

Southi Resto Bar is also located close by.

The Southi Resto Bar is immediately to the right (south) where the side street meets the main road.

Barrica Bistro nearby is a great place for a coffee and light meal.

A cute place for a coffee and light meal, Barrica Bistro is also within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

Kailash Parbat nearby is a popular place for great vegetarian Indian meals.

Part of a popular countrywide chain is the trendy Kailash Parbat café, just up the main road from the turnoff to the hotel.

A restaurant near the turnoff serves local food from all over India.

The main road, 300m from the hotel, is lined with casual restaurants serving cheap Indian food. This one is opposite the turn-off to the hotel from the main road.

There are several interesting shops on the main road.

The main road is packed with interesting places to spend money.

A small path within the hotel leads to the beach nearby.

A path within the hotel leads to the beach about 200m away.

The beach nearby has several casual cafés.

The beach at the end of the path from the hotel is packed with casual cafés on the sand.

The beach cafés nearby are great for drinks at sunset.

The beach cafés near the hotel are perfect for a drink, particularly at sunset.

The beach is wide, clean, and quiet.

The beach is wide, clean, and quieter than many areas in Candolim and Calangute.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

There are always plenty of places to rent sunbeds and umbrellas.

The sunsets in Goa are magical.

The sunsets along every beach in Goa are magnificent.

Buses offer connections to Candolim and Calangute.

Buses career along the main road, linking all the facilities along Candolim and Calangute.

Read More

Santana Beach Resort in Goa, India

Home > Santana Beach Resort Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of Santana Beach Resort in Goa, India.

Santana Beach Resort – Extensive grounds, beachside position, and Mediterranean vibe; also great value.

The Santana is far larger and more likable than the 1960’s-style exterior would indicate. The narrow resort grounds stretch from the main road to as close to the beach as authorities allow. The fetching blue-and-white buildings, some named after colonial forts and castles, are among gardens blooming with ferns and lilies. The bright and airy suites are huge and feature balconies, separate living areas, and three sets of windows. (Some cheaper rooms do face the side street, however, so choose carefully.) The bathroom fittings and cupboards need updating, but all this adds to the charm. A short and lovely garden path from the second pool leads to the glorious beach. What’s more, the resort offers terrific value for money (and the rates include breakfast).

Santana Beach Resort – The Location

  • Address: Along a side street off the main road through the southern part of Candolim, a major tourist region in a southern part of North Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.) The resort stretches from the main road for about 300m down the side street. The reception is close to the beach.
  • Area: Less developed, and therefore, less traffic than the northern parts of Candolim and anywhere in Calangute. Yet, more nightclubs and bars with live music nearby than elsewhere in the region. As close as possible (150m) to Dando Beach, part of what is more commonly known as Candolim Beach.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (37km, 70-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 38km away (75-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Candolim.

Santana Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly Indian tourists, many with families.
  • Views: All rooms and suites feature balconies/verandas, but views vary, so choose wisely. Some face the side street, which is fairly quiet. Some overlook one of the 2 pools (which are often noisy). Others face inwards to the meandering garden path. These are the quietest.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range resort in Goa.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests and reliably quick.
  • Parking: Nowhere on-site. Dedicated area near the beach and close to the reception, but safety is not guaranteed.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 247 9556
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: santana-goa.com

Santana Beach Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: Two pools. The main one is smallish and often crowded. A sunken poolside bar and some tipping buckets that splash water from above. The second pool is smaller and near the café, but it’s often ignored and therefore, quieter.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: None, but not really expected at this sort of mid-range holiday resort catering mostly to Indian families.
  • For Families: Cots.
  • Other Facilities: Book exchange/Library. Tours. Laundry.

Santana Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Olegario’s Restaurant provides a casual setting undercover or on the lawns beside the second pool. Wide-ranging menu including salads, soups, seafood, and Goan cuisine. The separate Olegario’s Bar is about 50m away. Also, a sunken bar alongside the main pool.
  • Breakfast: Decent buffet breakfast is included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Available from 8 am to 10.30 pm.

Santana Beach Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Rooms • Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but OK elsewhere around the resort grounds.
  • Best Room: The suites are substantially larger than the rooms. The quietest ones are those furthest from the pools and not facing the street.
  • For Families: The management is used to catering for families. Suites have space for 2 extra single beds and feature small living areas and kitchens (but no cooking facilities).

Santana Beach Resort – Local Transport

  • Walking: The main road is decent enough for walking and even provides a few sidewalks (mainly used for illegal parking, however). Strolling is nicer along the side streets to the beach.
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere along – the main road through Candolim and Calangute. Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (900m north, 11-minute walk). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis in the immediate area. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles. The only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which can be arranged at the resort or with drivers hanging about the streets.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize through the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Santana Beach Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Calamari Bathe & Binge +91 73500 75105 – Unique name and the classiest place on the beach anywhere in Candolim. Huge number of tables in different sections inside or on the sand. At the end of the path from the resort. A few other beach cafés nearby as well. 2-minute walk (160m).

These 4 places are north along the main road and within 400m of the resort.

  • Bomra’s – Rare and authentic Burmese restaurant. Popular for its shady terrace, attentive service, and intriguing menu. 2-minute walk (190m).
  • Adelaide Bar and Restaurant – Quaint and shady, with an extensive menu featuring tempting daily specials. Ideal for people-watching. 4-minute walk (290m).
  • The Stone House – Always busy because of the shady courtyard, delicious seafood, and live music nightly (mostly blues and jazz). Opposite Adelaide. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Café Candolim +91 88797 89992 – Charming Mediterranean-style café with wrought iron tables and friendly staff. Come for the tasty cakes, coffee, and sandwiches. 5-minute walk (400m).

Shops

  • Less developed area than northern Candolim and Calangute, but enough places to spend money along the main road, including moneychangers. The closest supermarket is Delfino’s, 1.2km further north. 15-minute walk.

Beach

  • The wide and clean beach is accessible along a shady path (150m) from within the resort grounds – or via the dusty side street. A few cafés (but not as many as further north), and plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for rent; some for free. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty between about 10 am and sunset.

Santana Beach Resort – The Hotel

The resort is located in a quiet area of Candolim.

The resort stretches for about 300m down a side street from the main road in the popular tourist region of Candolim.

The resort has a pleasing Mediterranean vibe.

The design and blue-and-white paint provides a genuine Mediterranean feel.

The accommodations are spread out in the large resort grounds.

The rooms and suites are spread along meandering paths through the deceptively long resort grounds.

The gardens feature sculptures and seating.

The shady gardens feature some sculptures and seating.

The compact pool is always very popular.

The main pool is a little undersized but always popular.

The pool features a special 'waterfall' that is very popular.

Water from a tower often spills onto the main pool, much to the delight of the younger ones.

The pool bar serves a decent selection of drinks.

The bar alongside the main pool serves the usual array of drinks.

The second smaller pool is much quieter.

A second pool near the café and lobby is often ignored, and therefore, quieter.

There are several sunbeds in the gardens.

In the gardens near the second pool are even more sunbeds.

Olegario’s Restaurant offers outdoor seating.

Tables at Olegario’s Restaurant near the resort lobby are also spread across the lawns.

Olegario’s Bar is located close to the restaurant.

Olegario’s Bar is separate to the restaurant, and is only about 50m away.

The resort has a pleasant and uncrowded layout.

Rooms and suites are in twin-level buildings, so views are limited, but the resort is pleasingly not overbuilt.

Garden paths with murals of old Goa connect all accommodations.

Accommodations are accessible along paths through the gardens. Some walls are decorated with scenes of old Goa.

The resort buildings are named after old Portuguese forts and castles.

Some buildings are named after old Portuguese forts and castles that once stood in Goa.

All accommodations come with balconies or verandas.

All types of rooms and suites feature balconies or verandas.

The suites are extremely spacious.

The suites are huge.

Some of the furnishing is dated but it still adds to the appeal.

The furnishings, such as the cupboards as well as the bathroom fittings, could be updated, but this adds to the appeal.

Suites have separate living areas with small kitchen platforms.

Suites feature separate living areas, with a small sofa, desk/table, and kitchen sink (but no cooking facilities).

Some accommodations face the side street which is not that quiet.

Choose carefully because some rooms and suites face the side street. This street is reasonably quiet, but it is a thoroughfare for vehicles to the beach.

Bomra’s Burmese restaurant is close by.

Bomra’s is an authentic Burmese restaurant, a couple of minutes’ walk north up the main road.

The Stone House nearby is popular for its courtyard setting and live music.

The Stone House, just up from Bomra’s, is popular for its shady courtyard and live music.

Adelaide Bar and Restaurant nearby is also very popular.

Often busy with hungry tourists is the quaint Adelaide Bar and Restaurant, also just up the main road from the resort.

Café Candolim specializes in coffee, cakes, and sandwiches.

Café Candolim is a quaint Mediterranean-style eatery popular for coffee, cakes, and sandwiches.

A pleasant path leads from the lobby to the beach.

An attractive garden path leads about 150m from the café and lobby in the resort to the beach.

Calamari Bathe & Binge has an excellent beachside setting.

At the end of the path from the resort, Calamari Bathe & Binge may have an odd name, but the beachside position is divine.

The beach has a good selection of cafés.

There are also a few cafés on the beach, but not nearly as many as further north.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas, sometimes for free.

The beach cafés near the resort also rent sunbeds and umbrellas, sometimes for free.

Flags identify areas with lifeguards that are safe to swim in.

Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset.

The sunsets in Goa are magical.

The sunsets at the beach in front of the resort are always magical.

There are several signposts leading to the resort.

The resort is well-signposted from the main road.

The resort is located on a quiet side street with the reception away from the main road.

The side street to the resort is flat and shady. The reception is at the end, about 300m from the main road and 150m from the beach.

Buses offer connections to Candolim, Calangute, and Panjim.

Buses ply the main road, linking this area with the rest of Candolim, all of Calangute further north, and (sometimes) the transport hub of Panaji (Panjim).

The main road has several stalls selling all kinds of stuff.

The main road is lined with plenty of places to spend Rupees.

Read More

Radisson Blu Resort Cavelossim Beach in Goa, India

Home > Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach Hotel Review
Updated: October 9, 2019

See Also

Review of Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach in India.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – Gorgeous villas in a village-style setting among lush green gardens, and so close to the beach.

Beyond the bland-looking building near the gates are a collection of adorable villas (called ‘suites’), each accessible along stone paths and overlooking billiard-table lawns. Spread out almost like a village, all villas are brightly painted, as is the custom in South Goa. Detached or semi-detached and in twin-level buildings, they are, however, not quite as charming inside as the exterior suggests, but are certainly comfortable enough. Nonetheless, the facilities are first-class, such as the large pool (with a section for children) and the marvelous beach accessible through the adjoining Novotel resort. What’s more, all of this is in the middle of a convenient town packed with tourist facilities.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – The Location

  • Address: On the main road through Cavelossim, a very pleasant enclave of tourist facilities and top-end hotels about midway along South Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have a proper address.)
  • Area: Lots of facilities along the main road and side streets. The beach is about 400m from the lobby and oddly accessible across an invisible border with the adjoining Novotel resort.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (33km, 60-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Margao (Madgaon), 14km away (30-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Cavelossim.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly foreign tourists, many on packaged tours. The layout and facilities are more suited to couples, while families seem to prefer the adjoining Novotel resort.
  • Views: All villas (called ‘suites’) overlook the gardens, and the motel-style rooms in a separate building face the gardens, pool, or carpark.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not provided, but very few resorts offer these anywhere in Goa.
  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to the villas (suites).
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Only a few places behind the gates, so arrange when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 672 6666
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: radissonblu.com

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – Amenities

  • Pool: Terrific pool near the lobby. Not nearly as crowded as the adjoining Novotel. Plenty of brightly-colored sunbeds and a dedicated area for children.
  • Spa: The Sohum Spa provides a range of massages as well as a sauna, hot tub, and steam room.
  • Fitness Center: Decent enough, but nothing that special.
  • For Families: Baby-sitting.
  • Other Facilities: Laundry. Travel desk. Boutiques. Business Center. Money-exchange.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Upper Deck – Casual all-day dining starting with buffet breakfast. Bright and airy, with full-length windows and al fresco terrace. Bar attached and open 24 hours. • Lucio – Goan and Portuguese cuisine with a focus on seafood. Open-plan kitchen. Dinner only. • Sagres – Casual bistro/bar at the lobby for signature cocktails and live music. • Greco – Greek restaurant with attentive service and lovely authentic setting alongside the pool. Privately-run, but on the hotel grounds. Dinner only.
  • Breakfast: Not included, but available for an extra cost.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Premium Rooms • Executive Suites • Radisson Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: A few rooms allow smoking.
  • Best Room: Radisson Suites are about twice the size of the standard rooms and feature separate living areas.
  • For Families: An extra single bed can be added to the standard rooms, while the villas (called ‘suites’) can comfortably accommodate families of 4. Otherwise, book 2 villas – one on the upper floor, another at ground level – thereby occupying the whole building.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: The main road has plenty to see, features a few sidewalks, and traffic is minimal. Ask the reception about renting bicycles because the road is great for cycling, especially further south.
  • Public Transport: Buses travel along the main road outside the resort gates every 10 minutes in both directions. They head south (3km) as far as the Leela resort, via The Fisherman’s Wharf café, and further north to Margao (Madgaon). The latter is a major regional town with frequent connections across Goa. No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: A few auto-rickshaws (that won’t use meters), but no metered taxis. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles, though really, the only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ arranged through the resort or with drivers who hang around the main road. Rates are overpriced but negotiable.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize this at the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Mike’s Place – Long-established hangout down a side street that starts almost opposite the neighboring Novotel. Lovely setting in a converted mansion. Also, beach parties and live music. 3-minute walk (270m).
  • Robin’s Ark – Spacious and elegant roadside setting. Very popular for hearty western meals. 400m southwest down the road. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • Hungry Shark – Casual and charming riverside position for seafood and live music. Signposted down a side street opposite the gates. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • Beach Cafés – Down the lane marked ‘James’s Beach Hut Café’, about 800m southwest of the Radisson. At the end of the lane are numerous cafés on the sand (10-minute walk). The best is Q-Ba. Also accessible via the beach (see below). 8-minute walk (650m).
  • Also, multiple options at 2 nearby resorts: the neighboring Novotel (300m, 4-minute walk), a useful landmark next to the Radisson, and Karma Royal, just across the road (230m, 3-minute walk).

Shops

  • Along the main road are plenty of shops, including minimarts, moneychangers, and agencies offering boat trips, but no supermarkets or classy boutiques. Shop owners can be a bit pushy.

Beach

  • The beach is wide and clean, but a little crowded in front of the resorts; less so further south. Use the signposted shortcut (400m) through the neighboring Novotel resort. Spread across the sand, a few casual cafés sell food and drinks and also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Waves can be rough at times, so always swim between the flags. Lifeguards operate between 10 am and sunset. Less crowded spots are further south, and some limited water-sports are available from a hut on the beach in front of the Novotel resort.

Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach – The Hotel

The hotel is located along the main road in Cavelossim.

The Radisson is larger and more different than the outside might suggest. The hotel faces the main road through Cavelossim, a town packed with facilities in Soouth Goa.

The reception area has an appealing design and style.

The reception area sets the tone for the color and style throughout.

Brightly colored villas face immaculate lawns in a village-like setting.

Visitors will be immediately captivated by the vividly colored villas facing immaculate lawns in an almost village-like setting.

The resort features a huge pool.

Between the main building and collection of villas is a huge pool – larger than those at most other resorts in Goa.

The family-friendly resort features little boats for kids.