Stays & Thoughts

Best Hostels in Japan: Stylish and Budget Friendly Options

Jan 2022

Hostels in Japan tend to be a little more expensive than their Southeast Asian counterparts (ranging between USD 25-40 per night)  but the service and facility quality is usually very high.

Nobis Hotel: What Lies Beneath Its Cover

Apr 2021

The experience at Nobis Hotel can even be described as Stockholm in a nutshell - stylish decoration, good food, nice people and lively atmosphere. Last but not the least, striking history linking to back story of the concept of Stockholm Syndrome.

My Favourite Hotels and Hostels

Apr 2021

If you read my earlier post on why I don’t like Airbnb, you  already know that I prefer hotels over the home/apartment style accommodation. I find hotels and increasingly the hostels to be great sources of inspiration for some of my design choices at my own apartment.

Hostel in Japan

I over the years learnt to become more budget conscious about accommodation, especially now that my work style allows me to have longer stays in my destinations. Things have also changed in the hostel industry over the last decade or so. The concept of hostel type accommodation is no longer limited to dorm style accommodation where fitting as many people as possible in one tiny location is the main priority, definitely not in Asia.

I dont`like Airbnb - Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm – the design capital of the World? To me yes – in every single aspect. Stockholm is also my favorite Scandinavian capital. The city is already located in a geographically beautiful location but anything human made is very stylish and beautiful as well. Nobis Hotel, which is located right in the middle of this stylish city is no exception to this. In addition to its beautiful design, Nobis Hotel is also home to some very interesting history. Are you familiar with the term Stockholm Syndrome? Read more.

Sofitel Legend Hotel in Hanoi – a hotel with a character, notes from an earlier stay – “..we now come to the most special thing about this legendary hotel. There is a bomb shelter under the hotel facilities which was used during the Vietnam war and which can now be visited with an appointment. The song “where are you now my son?” by Joan Baez was inspired from her stay at this hotel during the Christmas bombings in Vietnam in 1972. The song was on play during our visit and you can read more about its story here. The shelter has been discovered fairly recently in 2011 and has been open to the visitors since 2012”. Read more.

Pension Hida no Mori


While deciding for my accommodation in Takayama, one of the reviews I came across said that if you are already checking out Pension Hida No Mori, look no further and resume your search right there. I can only conquer with this statement. It is from one of those places which is more than just providing you with a mere sleeping place but it is an experience on its own. The hotel is run by a couple and one of them is a chef specialised in Italian cuisine. Read more.

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto


Hotel Anteroom – although I am sure many may also prefer ryokan style accommodation while in Japan  – has a very cool and modern design. The rooms are of course small (we are in Japan!) but so well designed and decorated that it could even fit a sofa attached to a desk that I used for photo editing at nights. The hotel also offers free bikes that you can use throughout the day. Hotel Anteroom is located about two subway stops away from the main train station. It is in a residential part of Kyoto rather than the touristy part but I could still walk to the hotel in about 30 minutes from the city center and in about ten minutes from the Kyoto main train station. Read more.

Kerama Backpackers and Tokashiki Island


I always stay at Kerama Backpackers Hostel, not new but well maintained facilities and experienced owners. They also offer free shuttle service to the beaches. You can get a dorm bed for around 2500 Yen a night. They have a nice kitchen if you want to cook your own food. There is a fairly well equipped grocery store nearby. Read more.

Secret Garden Hotel


Secret Garden is located in the country side and is about thirty minutes of bike ride from Yangshuo. If you are in the Yangshuo area mainly to enjoy its beautiful nature – staying in Secret Garden may a better option for you as the town itself can quite busy and noisy. Secret Garden is tastefully decorated in a style combining Chinese and western elements. Read more.

Ace Hotel New Orleans


Even though I have already been to New Orleans, I think it was clearly Ace Hotel New Orleans which prompted me to take another trip to wonderful city of New Orleans. I remember regularly checking the room prices at Ace New Orleans even when I had no US trip on sight. Four years went by since my first visit to New Orleans and two years since the opening of Ace Hotel New Orleans and I finally got the chance to stay in this hotel by  making some budgetary sacrifices. Read more.

Eliassen Rorbuer in Lofoten Islands


“Rorbuer” actually means a fisherman’s hut in Norwegian. There are still numerous rorbuers on the islands being used in accordance with their original purpose but the use of these cabins for tourism is also very common. My favourite one among all of those rorbuer facilities is Eliassen Rorbuer where I got to stay twice. The accommodation prices at Eliassen Rorbuer are slightly cheaper (you can rent out a cabin to host 3-4 people per USD 120/night) than the rest and it is located on the most beautiful and picturesque region in Lofoten Islands – Hamnoy. Read more.