Where to stay in London?

Hello World!
If you have been following our Instagram, you know we visited London, UK. If you have Instagram account, you can follow our adventures here -> @dianomaya. Look for the London stories in “Highlights“!
This blog is loooong overdue, so let’s not procrastinate any more and go strait to it.

In London, we were hosted by the “St Christopher’s At The Village Hostel in London Bridge“, a very chic, in the center of the city, party hostel. I think that description says it all. Let’s start with what we think is their best quality -> location!

LOCATION
London is huge, so it is very hard to define center, but if you are here for London’s top tourist locations, St Christopher’s Hostel is situated literally in the center of the city! It is an easy walk to the Shard, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tower Castle, Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Museum. If you plan to go anywhere else in the city, hostel is just 2 minutes walk from TWO tube stations (JUBILEE, NORTHERN).
Right in front of the hotel you also have a bus stop with couple of lines going around the city. There is a “London TUBE Map app” you can install to easily navigate around the city, or just use Google Maps, like we did. Find the location you want to go to and Google Maps will show you all transportation options to get there, with approximate time of arrival too.

CHECK IN / OUT
Hotstel has 24/7 reception desk, which is always a plus. Staff spoken several languages, was polite and very helpful, however they’ve put us in the room on the third floor, next to the “chill out room”, which we didn’t appreciate. Let me elaborate. We knew we were coming to a party hostel, no problem there, let’s party! People are using chill out room” as a “hangout” at night, no problem there either, let’s meet new people. But the doors of that room were broken. So every time, night or day, someone would enter or leave “chill out room” the doors would do BANG! BANG! BANG! on our brain 🙂
To conclude, if they say 3rd floor room, make sure it is not close to the “chill out room”, try to switch rooms right there on the reception desk. If I remember right, we got the room no. 311. which we advise to avoid.

ROOM 1
Now, let’s get back to the good stuff. The room itself was tiny, but pretty great. We got a private double bunk room, with our own bathroom. We had all amenities we needed in the bathroom: shower gel, towels and hair dryer; and in bedroom: coffee and tea bags, with cups. Right next to our beds we had several electricity plug ins, which is always needed, if you are travel blogger and Instagramer, like us. Keep in mind to bring UK outlet adapter.
On the third floor, we also found an terrace with the most wonderful Shard view.

CAPSULE ROOM
Last night of our stay we moved to Japanese-style capsule beds. YES! Firstly, a capsule bed!! We saw those on several YouTube videos and always wondered what would be like to sleep in one. Secondly, even though we shared the room with other 20-ish people, it was so quiet, in compare to our first “next to chill out room” room.
So, when you check in into “capsule bed” you get the room key, because it is a room. In that room there are maybe 20-30 capsule beds, lockers and toilets with showers. You get your bed number aka. your capsule equipped with UK outlets, USB ports, mood lights and curtains for privacy. You will also be assigned to a locker (same number as your bed), where you can put your luggage and valuable items. Padlocks are available for the lockers.
Inside the capsule, combination of the lights and comfortable beds rocked us to sleep immediately.
This was totally unique accommodation experience, perfect for 1 or 2 nights in the city. Only if you are claustrophobic you should skip it 🙂

BREAKFAST
It is always good to have something to eat at your accommodation to start your day on a full stomach. St Christopher’s Hostel has a breakfast included in their prices and it is located in the building basement. There you will find simple breakfast buffet with toast, ham & cheese, cereals, fruit, coffee, tea and juices to get you started. If that is not enough for you, there is a supermarket minute walk from the Hostel.

BAR
Since St Christopher’s Hostel is a “party hostel” they have a bar on the premises, called Belushi’s bar. Being a hostel guest will get you 25% discount on your food & drinks. Just show your key card before they issue the bill.
We were out in the city most of our days during our stay, so we didn’t get to try their food and apparently very tasty burgers, but we did enjoyed a beer during a hilarious karaoke night and coffee in the morning (which is much better than breakfast coffee). Bar has a “sport vibe” with “cage tables” where each table has it’s own TV. How cool is that?

All in all, if you are young (or feel that way) and want to have fun, St Christopher’s Hostel is a hostel for you. There is a party every night at the bar, you can save money on a transport (being that close to several city attractions) and meet so much cool people all around the world.
Besides London, St Christopher’s also has hostels around the Europe, like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague, Edinburgh and Bruges.

You can find them here:
WEB: St Christopher’s Hostels
Facebook: St Christopher’s London at the Village London Bridge
Instagram: St Christopher’s London

And for Shereen, from sales team, if you are reading this, thank you for everything, you are really the best!

I almost forgot! After a long time Diano found inspiration and made a short London video. Wohoooo! You can find it here:

In our next blog -> “Rabbie’s tour outside London“. Talk to you then 🙂

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Where to stay in Berlin?

Hello World!
If you have been following our Instagram stories, you already know we visited Berlin, Germany. If you have Instagram account, you can follow our adventures here-> @dianomaya. Look for the stories in “Highlights”!

Let’s begin our Berlin story with some basics, our accommodation! So where did we stay in Berlin? We were invited for a complimentary stay at The Amstel House Hostel Berlin, the friendliest hostel in Berlin. We learned they have been elected the best hostel staff in Europe two times, so we were keen to try that special hospitality.

CHECK IN / OUT
We were convinced how friendly they are right from the start. Upon our arrival we were welcomed by two lovely male receptionist and given instructions about the room, keys, breakfast and the bar. They were also so kind to give us complimentary backpack, with personalized note. I don’t know about you, but we love when accommodations take their time to make you special. Also, I can’t wait for spring to come, to take my new backpack out!

Amstel House Hostel has 24/7 reception, so if we ever needed to ask about Berlin, transport, bike rent, museums or similar, we definitely used that perk. You can find free maps at the reception, along with coupons for Berlin attractions. They also have electronic devices which you can borrow, towels you can rent and hygiene products you can buy. What else do you need?

ROOM
Oh, yes, you need a room! They offer a different room types and beds, such as private, single, double, twin, dormitories, family rooms, etc. Some rooms have private bathroom, some are with shared ones. We got a private twin room with shared bathroom. Shared shower and toilet was just door to ours, so it made life easier. We also had little sink in our room, which is a very nice add on. Our beds were so cozy, it was hard to leave them in the morning 🙂

BREAKFAST
We always include breakfast in our room booking, partial because I am obsessed with buffet breakfast (there is something very special about other people making breakfast for you) and secondly because it is easier to explore the “big city life” on a full stomach. What is special about Amstel House breakfast is their vegetarian and vegan selection, which I noticed right away, as I don’t eat meat.

BAR
The heart of the Amstel House is their 24/7Bar. We would come to Hostel after dinner and to avoid feeling like we missed the night in the city, by staying in our room, we went down to the bar to hang out. Hanging out at the bars is always the best. You get to met Hotel staff, ask about what to do in the city and meet new interesting travelers, which has always been our luck! Do you have a story from the Hotel bar’s?

It is safe to say we liked the bar area the best. We would hang out and relax with our cold beers, after the long walks in the city.
One thing we, unfortunately, didn’t get to use was their cool game room. It sure looks like a lot of fun, so maybe next time 🙂

LOCATION AND TRANSPORT
Amstel House is located in Moabit, in the district of Mitte, which is very well connected by public transportation. S-Bahn and bus stop is 5 min walk from the Hostel and with TLX fast bus, you are only a few minutes from the historical center. We bought a day ticket from local store (right at the bus stop) which gave us access to all public transport. Find tickets and routes here -> BERLIN PUBLIC TRANSPORT.

Also, Amstel House Hostel has very well explained on their website how to reach them whether you are coming with the plane, bus or train -> HERE.

That sums up our accommodation experience. If you decide to book a stay with them, hope you will have as much fun in Amstel House Hostel as we did.

You can find them here:
WEB: www.amstelhouse.de
Facebook: Amstel House
Instagram: Amstel House

And for Amstel House Hostel team, if you are reading this, thank you for your hospitality, you are really the best!

In our next blog -> “Top things to see in Berlin”. Talk to you then 🙂

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Where to stay in Amsterdam?

Hello World, we are in Amsterdam!

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Yes, we visited Amsterdam in Netherlands during the Easter holiday, completely by mistake. We booked EasyJet flight from Split, Croatia for 60 EUR (return ticket for 2 people). The ticket was so cheap that I didn’t even thought about checking the dates.
Why is she writing about this, you ask?
During any holiday, extended weekends and similar “fun dates”, popular cities all around the world are packed with visitors! There are huge lines at the museums, you can hardly find a restaurant with available table and, in Amsterdam case, ques for canal rides were just too long.
Traveler’s tip – never book a “holiday date” for your vacation, if you can. Nevertheless, we had wonderful time just strolling around Amsterdam canals and streets. Let’s begin our Amsterdam story with some basics, our accommodation!

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Where to stay in Amsterdam?
We looked for accommodation on Google.com, again, and found XO Hotels Amsterdam.  They have 8 Hotels on different locations all around the city, so we decided to check out their website -> HERE.
XO Hotels Amsterdam literally have a Hotel for any type of traveler: from luxury to backpacker and from family to business friendly hotel. If you are looking for city hotel, they have one. If you would rather stay next to Vondel park, they have one that location too. We have chosen XO Hotels Couture, honestly, mostly because of it’s colors. I mean, look at our room!

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CHECK IN / OUT
They have self service check in and out! This was our first time experiencing check in without hotel staff and I must say, we loved it! There are 3 computers at the Hotel entrance and you start with“check in” box on the screen.
You need to write down the Name on the reservation, or reservation number and voila! Your reservation pops in front of you and you are ready to make your keys.
They placed empty room cards close to computer. You have to take one and put it on the scanning machine. If you need two, just repeat the process.
After you are done, computer prints out little note which has your room number, check out time, breakfast buffet working times and price (if not included), restaurant working hours and WiFi details. I mean, you have to love this!
I was a receptionist, lifetime ago, and I really respect this system. Repeating these information, million times a day, gets tiring after a while.
If you are old school, Hotels Couture’s staff is close by to help you with your check in.

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ROOM
We got wonderful double bed room, on 10th floor. As soon as we entered, we fell in love with the view! I made myself a cup of complimentary tea, grabbed my book and sat down to the most beautiful rainy sunset window view.

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BED
We booked Standard Double/Twin room and were given one queen bed, as we noted in our reservation that we are a couple. Bed was clean and comfortable, do I need to say anything more?  That is all we needed after long walks in the city. We were so happy to come home to this cozy thing!

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BATHROOM
The bathroom was very spacious, clean and really modern with rainfall shower. We had full size mirror above the sink, which is every girls dream….or maybe just my dream (as I was raised in the house with only one tiny mirror).

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LAPTOP CLUB
You know that we bring our work with us, everywhere we travel. That is the reason why we always need place to set up our “laptop club”. It is basically our office on a road, but we don’t really like calling it office, it sounds too “normal”. We call it laptop club instead :).

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COMPLIMENTARY
You will be given the WiFi password, obviously, a TV with international channels and also couple of other treats. We got bottles of water, teacoffee bags in the saloon and also slippers & toiletries in the bathroom. Amsterdam guides, which they left for us on the table, were of so much help! Without it, we wouldn’t have know that flower festival has started the day we landed :).

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BREAKFAST
Definitely include breakfast in your room booking, because they have very rich buffet breakfast. We stayed enough days to try everything on the menu and we give it 5 stars :).
Thing that we loved the most was “orange juicer”, you must try it. It squeezes fresh oranges right in front of you.
Thing that we appreciated the most were Easter eggs, served on the Easter day. It was so much fun for the children that were staying in the Hotel, but also for us adults 🙂

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BAR
Last, but not least, we also went down to the Hotel’s bar. We have a habit of going to the hotel’s bars and I will tell you why. Usually, we come late into Hotel, to tired to go anywhere. To avoid feeling like we are missing the day in the city, by staying in our room, we go down to hang out. These kind of adventures are always the best. You get to met Hotel staff, ask about what to do in the city and meet new interesting travelers, which has always been our luck! Do you have a story from the Hotel bar’s? We have so many, wanna hear about it?

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LOCATION AND TRANSPORT
Hotel is located slightly outside of the city center, but there is a tram stops literally right in front of the hotel. Tram NO.2 takes you directly to the city “hot spots” within 20 minutes.
You can also buy 24, 48 and 72 hours Tram ticket, which we highly recommend. There is vending machine in the hotel lobby, where you can get your “GVB” Amsterdam transport ticket.

I feel like I wrote down everything about our stay… is there anything else you would like to know about XO Hotels Couture? Send us your questions in the comments, we will be happy to answer them all!

In the meantime, don’t forget to:

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