All posts filed under: hotels and hostels


Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa: Relaxation and Fine Dining

It was nice to brush away the cobwebs and be pampered with a spa break at the Thornton Hotel and Spa in the Cheshire countryside recently – a birthday present from my lovely family.  The overnight stay at this 4-star Wirral hotel, which boasts an award-winning luxury health club and ultra-posh restaurant, was a wonderfully fun and relaxing experience.  I’ve been to a few spas before, but this was definitely my favourite. The package included a spa day with treatments and full access to facilities such as a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, snow cave and indoor/outdoor hot tubs. An a la carte evening meal and full English/continental breakfast were also part of the deal. It was BLISS :-) Hotel Rooms While the overall look and feel of the hotel was very much traditional English – from the quality wooden furnishings and period detail to the preened-to-perfection grounds featuring impressive topiary and a charming gazebo – colourful accents and elements like a flat-screen TV in the bathroom (wet room) provided contemporary appeal as well. I loved the vibrant …

view from cn tower in toronto

Escaping from a Nightmare Basement to a Posh Hotel

Wrapped in a white fluffy dressing down, fresh from a long luxurious shower, I wandered into the bedroom and admired the king size bed that was sumptuously layered with cushions. Then I moved into the spacious office room where a plush couch, coffee table and desk could be found. I was staying in an executive suite at a posh hotel in Toronto. So what? you might think. The story here is how I unexpectedly wound up staying here for the night. No, I didn’t throw the towel in and decide I couldn’t spend another night in a hostel (I like staying in hostels). Nor did I necessarily feel like indulging in luxury. It was a set of circumstances that led me to be in Toronto one Friday night with nowhere to stay. The International Toronto Film Festival was underway and everywhere was fully booked.  How had I missed the small detail that a major event was taking place here and why was I arriving so unprepared? Longtime readers of my blog might have read about …


Annoying People in Hostels: The Inconsiderates

Without hostels, many people wouldn’t be able to afford long-term travel. But, despite my appreciation for them overall, there are quite a few aspects I don’t enjoy. Inconsiderate people has to be one of them. I always try to be tolerant, appreciating that in shared accommodation there’s going to be noise and people will be on different sleeping schedules. Saying this, basic consideration for others seems to go right out of the window with some people, which can eventually get on my nerves.  A big emphasis on the ‘some’ as many people I’ve met in hostels are great.    Here are some of the annoying types of people I’ve met in hostels (luckily, they were the minority!):   The rustler… They always seem to be digging around for something in their luggage, rustling plastic bags, dropping things on the floor, and making general noise either late at night or early in the morning. There’s no tiptoeing around with this type, in consideration for the people who are trying to sleep in the same quarters, they really …