04 July 2009

Somewhere to Sleep

Choosing somewhere to spend our unconscious hours can be one of the most difficult, expensive and stress-inducing aspects of planning a trip.

For people with a generous budget, there are often far too many choices. For people wishing to spend a modest amount, the challenge is to find somewhere safe, clean, quiet and convenient (though even five star hotels sometimes fail to match those requirements).

Here are some of the places I have found interesting to stay:

My first camping trip there was as a three-month old baby. It was where I spent many happy summers over the first twelve years of my life, even in wet and windy weather. There are a range of environments to explore, from long sandy beaches, a tidal estuary, smooth rocks and interesting rock pools, grassy fields, huge dunes, and a causeway cutting off the peninsula (it's not really an island). It is somewhere to live simply for a while. No need to wear shoes.

If you want to live comfortably in the Australian desert, try an underground hotel or motel room carved out of rock. You can enjoy an interesting ceiling with no noisy neighbours above you. The more expensive options might seem more like a Las Vegas casino with poker machines and no escape from muzak.

Although I speak no Japanese, and my hosts spoke no English, I think a ryokan in Japan is the best way to experience the culture of the country: Great traditional breakfasts, green tea on arrival, futons on the floor (mine was a comfortable foam version), private garden views, private Japanese style bath, electric toilet. All for just a small difference in price between that and a western style hotel. Remember to leave your shoes at reception.

What and where are your favourite accommodation spots in the world?

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