Author Archives: Paul

Not Your Normal Travel Advice

There is No Better Travel Advice Than This

The best travel advice is, learn how to find your own information. Only you can know what is best for you. I am an Information Technology teacher and I believe in the old saying

If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

While checking for the source of this quote I found some interesting takes and adaptations of the quote.

The Need to Check Things Out

Spiderman and TruthInformation technology is about Information first and using technology to process information. Some people think that because it is on a computer it must be “true”. I am reminded of a Spiderman comic, where the Daily Bugle said Spiderman was a criminal sand because it was in the newspaper people believed it.

A lot of travel advice is a “re-hash” of what other travel writers have said, and I see nothing wrong in taking ideas from other people, but if the first information is wrong and you re-work it you end up with “Chinese whispers” and if you act on it you could regret it.

A lot of my ideas come from surfing the internet, we are all influenced by others. This is not your normal travel advice because I was influenced by one of my lecturers, Bernard Burgoyne. He had a saying on his wall “If it moves criticise it. If it doesn’t move, kick it.”

When I taught KS3 ICT one of the key topics was teaching the students to find information and check it against other sources.

And I do not just accept what people write on travel blogs, travel advise sites or even holiday and hotel booking sites, I check it out. The hotel might be miles from the beach but the information misses out this important bit of information. See a Cheap Package Holiday Story

Bias is in Built In to All Advice

Bias is when the information is slanted or refocused by the writer, perhaps intentionally or perhaps because we are human.

Personal Bias

You just cannot help seeing the world through your own eyes. I eat pizza but I would never advise anyone to eat it because I think it’s over-rated as a food. I read a blog the other day that suggested getting a “down-town” hotel was not a good idea, they suggested the saving was not worth the extra cost of travelling, I disagree, I like hotels away from city centres, I like to see where real people live but that is my bias. The first thing you need to do is work out what you like, do not accept advice from aliens.

Commercial Bias

A lot of travel advisors are suggesting “Frequent Flyer” rewards as a way to cut travel costs or “Hotel Loyalty Schemes” some are just re-directing you to other websites, where they get a commission. I have no problem with that, it is the basis of how Google makes money and I am grateful for their search engine. Some of my links are “affiliate links”, I might get a commission and it will not cost you a cent more but any money is an added extra not a reason for the web site.

Do Not Believe My Advice

I try hard to check all of the information on this site but sometimes I will get it wrong because I have made a mistake, missed some important information or misunderstood it or things might have changed. Please feel free to tell me when I need to change things by posting a comment.

But more importantly check all information, from every source, before you act on it and end up making a travel mistake, based on the wrong information. Check out my post on Knowledge, Information and Data.

 

Cornflakes

Cheap Holidays

Cheap Holidays are cheap for a Reason
Cornflakes are Too

It came as no surprise to me to read in The Sunday Times that

POUNDLAND, which consistently promotes its “amazing” everyday value, is selling some grocery products at up to 50% more than those sold in the leading supermarkets, a Sunday Times analysis reveals.

Sunday Times

I warned against searching for cheap holidays in Do Not Search for Cheap Holidays. So what was going on at Poundland and how it is the same with holidays? The Sunday times gave several examples to support their research, I will take just one, you can read the rest on their website if you are interested.

The Sunday Times was Unfair to Poundland

Here is the advert from Poundland’s website

£1 Cornflakes PoundlandAnd here is the price comparison used by the Sunday Times from Tesco

Tesco Corn FlakesWithout going into the maths it is obvious that you get 3 times more cornflakes from Tesco for less than twice the price. Now I shop in Sainsbury’s a lot so I thought I would check that shop too.

Sainsbury's CornflakesTesco Corn Flakes 250gFirst I can see that the 750g in Sainsbury’s is 2p more expensive than Tesco BUT the 250g packet is 40% more expensive than Poundland. The Sunday Times was even more unfair to Poundland because the Tesco 250g was the same price as Poundlands’s price. To play fair in price comparisons you need to compare like with like.

 

Smaller Can Make More Sense

The Telegraph offers a quote from Poundland

A spokesman for Poundland said: “We conduct price surveys every two weeks against the supermarkets and we believe we are 40 per cent cheaper or more against 1,000 branded products.
“Comparing either supermarket promotions or larger pack sizes with our prices is not a meaningful comparison.
“With larger pack sizes you have to spend much more to get any better value.”

The Telegraph

Do Not Buy Cheap Holidays Buy Holidays Cheaper

If it is cheap you want, you can get cheap cornflakes. £1 for 250g Kellogg’s at Tesco and Poundland but 500g for 25p at Sainsbury’s for their Basics Brand, that is a 75p saving for twice the amount.

Sainsburys Basics Cornflakes

I do not buy Basics Cornflakes from Sainsbury’s and I do not trust every review of holidays or other products, people have different tastes in holidays and food. But I would advise a note of caution about searching for cheap holidays, read my Illustrated Story of a Cheap Holiday Package to see what I mean. I would advise you to, find the holiday you want and try to get it cheaper and that might mean having a little less but keeping the quality, as in the case with cornflakes.

The Guide to Booking Hotels

Booking hotels is easy,
getting it right takes a little more time

Some things worth knowing
about booking hotels

It really is worth understanding about how hotels and booking sites work, before you start dashing off and searching for a hotel.

Before you start searching for hotels

Ask yourself is it a hotel room you want or would you be better in a hostel, apartment or renting a room?

Not all hotels are listed on internet booking sites. I can show you how to book hotels not on booking.com . Booking sites charge a commission of about 15% on bookings made, which is a lot of money for smaller hotels. Small independent hotel websites are difficult to find on Google, because they do not rank on the first few pages, and most people only look at the first page of results, it is worth going deeper into the search results page, to find independent hotels.

If you are really “footloose and fancy free” or a hardened traveller prepared to chance it, Tourist Information Offices often have a wider, cheaper selection of rooms to stay in. I have even found police stations to be a good source of information but tend to avoid taxi drivers recommendations.

Search Google for hotels

How to search for hotels on Google

There is an art, or perhaps science, to searching for hotels on Google and it is a whole topic, so read the general principles here and then I will explain “How to Search Google”, later

Booking Hotels

Be flexible when ever you can

  1. Do not get sold on a particular hotel just because it has roof top pool, you might have a dip once and it could be nice too cool off in after a long days exploring a new place but is it really that important?
  2. Unless you really must be there on set dates, consider trying different dates, you can often get rooms cheaper. Hotels that cater for business travellers are cheaper at the weekends and tourist hotels in the week.

Room prices go up and down with the weather, well not quite but with demand, and the weather affects demand. If you find an hotel that meets your needs AND has free cancellation, then book it and then search for a better deal. That could be a different hotel or even the same hotel with another website. I have even re-booked the same hotel with the same dates a bit later.

Warning, If you book a non-refundable hotel room you will not be able to cancel it if you don’t turn up you will still be charged. Check before you click the “Book Now” button. If you are sure that is the hotel for you, and you will be there to use the room, non-refundable hotel rooms are often cheaper. Book with free cancellation, fix your other travel arrangements and see if you can change to a non-refundable room.

Do not search on one hotel booking site and while price comparison sites claim to do the checking of “thousands of sites” for you, they do not show all booking sites, some independent chains, independent hotels, and, they don not always compare like for like.

If you’re looking for a specific hotel, I cannot see a lot of reasons to do that, and it is full on the nights you want, then you should check other websites just first websites’ allocation of rooms has sold out it does not mean the hotel is fully booked.

See if it is cheaper to book directly with the hotel. Most branded hotel chains have a price promise for customers booking direct through their own websites. One or two offer not only a price match but an added discount if you find the same room cheaper. Some offer loyalty rewards for repeat bookings. Use the hotels own website or if you can phone the hotel direct, especially if it is a short notice booking. As the advert says, “no hotel wants empty rooms” and they may be able to offer you a better price or they could tell you about special deals they are running for specific dates, that hotel booking sites may not be aware of.

4 Reasons why Booking Hotels direct is not best

  1. Some hotel Booking sites have rules about hotels offering lower prices than those published on their booking site, punishable by death, or some such clause in the contract.
  2. Hotels often sell blocks of rooms to booking sites, at a lower price to make guarantee their income and once that is in their pocket, they want to make the most income from what is left.
  3. Booking sites often offer special “value” deals, such as room up-grades or breakfast included because they have pre-booked hotel rooms ( 2. above) and need to sell the rooms. Look for the “last room on our site” notices.
  4. Some hotel staff have no discretion about room prices and insist on using the “Rack Rate”, the asking price for a room. In some European hotels, this is printed on the back of the hotel room door. Generally, if you paid this rate you have over paid.

Say What You Want

Be specific about your room type. If you want twin beds or a king sized bed, if you need a bath rather than a shower then either check out the room type or fill in the special request box. Do not assume anything. Read the room description and if it matters to you, and it matters to me, watch out for shared bathrooms, it is often the case in cheaper hotels and they hide the fact.

Now you have done the “Booking Hotels”
What next?

Print your confirmation email to show at reception. I have only needed to show it once in my many travels, and has it happened it was in England, but I was glad I had the proof because the hotel said they had no record of the booking.

Phone the hotel direct after the booking is confirmed, it makes sure they have got the booking and sometimes you get a better room. I booked one hotel on a booking site that only offered a family room and I needed a twin. Phoning the hotel after the booking and explaining my situation, got me the twin room which had more space.

Re-Confirm with hotel directly a day before arrival by Email or phone. Then you will not end up in the room that is left, because the hotel let your room to another guest, thinking you were a no-show, because you were late. It happened to me in Florence.

Check the method of payment. Not all hotels accept American Express. Not all small hotels deal with credit cards, they like cash, it keeps the books straight or closed to the tax man. I prefer to pay cash, it not only helps the hotelier, my bank charges for foreign currency transactions but not for cash withdraws!

Hotels Not on Booking.com

Off the Radar Hotels
Hotels Not on Booking.com

Not all hotels are on booking sites. Booking sites like booking.com offer a wide range of hotels throughout the world but they charge hotels for the privilege of advertising with them, thus many smaller hotels on tight budgets cannot or will not pay for the advertising, preferring to rely on passing trade or “word of mouth”.

Booking direct with a hotel can be cheaper but not always. Read my Guide to Booking Hotels

An Example from “hotels not on booking.com”

I chose a two night stay, for two adults arriving on the 26Th July 2015, a purely random date but I search for hotels in York, because I know York and filter for price “low to high”.

Search on Booking.com

 Most days of the week I pass a hotel on Heslington Road, which goes from the university to the City Centre. I looked at the Booking.com map of hotels in York.

The Map a aotel is missing

The “Hotel” is actually a guest house called the Fourposter Lodge and Booking.com did show a guest house

Guest House

So that was not the reason, neither was it because there were no vacancies, I checked.

Fourposter lodge

 So I could get a double room, with breakfast for two nights @ a cost of £116. Booking .com offered me a room for £100 but it did not say it included breakfast but it did say it has “a self-check in service” and that Towels are available to rent. Always assume nothing, so for an extra £16 I get breakfast and towels at the Fourposter lodge.

How to Find Hotels Not on Booking.com

Firstly don’t start with Booking Sites or Price Comparison Sites listed in Google, when you search for hotels. Try using the Tourist Information for your chosen city.

Visit Yor and Bookk

Visiting the Tourist Information website gives you a start but they are not always very efficient, you can see sorting by “price ascending” did not put the Fourposter lodge in the correct position.

Search Google with a Hotel Name

Once you have a name you can search for that hotel in Google.

Search by hotel name

Sleeping on Planes

Sleeping On Planes

Sleeping On Planes

Business ClassSleeping on planes is not just about long haul flights and up grading to business class. If you have to get up early to catch a flight, it can ruin the whole day, so being able to catch-up a hour or two’s sleep can add to your holiday pleasure. Though I can sleep almost anywhere sleeping on planes requires a good seat or a good pillow.

Where to Sit for Better Sleep

SeatsA window seat gives you two advantages, the cabin wall to rest on and no one disturbing you by asking you to move so they can go to the lavatory. Some people say that the window seat of an exit row is the best because there is added leg room. While it is true there is extra leg room, I do not think it makes much difference, I am average hight and can always get my feel under the chair in front of me. The extra space in front of me is a decided disadvantage, because of the way I sleep, if I cannot get a window seat.

Where Not To to Sit for Sleep

Where Not to Sit To SleepAny seat that is against a bulkhead should be avoided. At the front of the plane, you cannot get your legs stretched out and at the back you cannot recline your seat, and the back seat by the window always seems to be cramped and confined. Disturbed sleep is guaranteed in the seats near the Galley and the toilets.

Buying a Better Seat on a Plane

But if you want to be sure of a certain seat, book your tickets early so you can select the seats during booking, then you can choose where to sit, if you want a window seats or extra leg room but this comes at a price. Easy Jet and some other airlines price their seats by how much leg room they offer. On my trip to Paderborn, booked without a reserved seat, checked in early for both outbound and return flights and was offered a window seat for both directions and by not paying extra to reserved a seat I saved about £20.00.

Legroom Is Not The Holy Grail of Flight

Boeing has filed a patent on an upright sleep support system,’Cuddle Chairs’ aimed at making flying more comfortable. You just have to wonder where they get their ideas from.

Girl asleepThis woman has the right idea. Perhaps Boeing got the idea from watching me sleeping. If I cannot get a window seat, I fold the table down, put my bag on it, make a pillow from my fleece, and I am asleep in no time. If you learn forward and rest on a “pillow” you don’t need the legroom. I looked at some travel pillows, from the old school to the new and here are the four main types.

Travel Pillows

Amazon has a variety of travel pillows, from the around your neck (£7.99) to on the side (£17.98) to the J Pillow,Winner of British Invention of the Year 2012/2013 (£29.95 to £14.95) You can click the image for more details.

Pillow1pillow2J Pillow

Rest AssuredBut The winner for me, an average person who finds leaning back to sleep nearly impossible,  has got to be the Deluxe Inflatable Travel Pillow (£10.99) because you can lead forward to sleep, again you can see more by clicking on the image but you had better be quick, when I looked there were only 3 left!

The Philosophers Way by Bus

Philosphenweg The Philosophers Way Paderborn

I first wanted to visit Paderborn because of an article in the Guardian but then the spirit of adventure and discover took over. See Reason to Visit Paderborn. I thought it would be good to see where the BAOR were stationed using Google Maps I found Barker Barracks and zooming in around the area I found a pathway called Philosphenweg, You just have to walk a path called the Philosophers Way, well I had to. I don’t want to bore you with the walk because it did not live up to it’s name but I did find out 3 interesting or important things.

Walk Anywhere – Route Maps

Tracks for vagabondsTrying to find a rout I stumbled on a website called Trips for Vagabonds. It is in English, and you can search by country and town, and here is the route they suggested.

I didn’t expect to get into the barracks but the walk took me around the perimeter and at 6 Km was a nice half day stroll BUT the weather had been really odd, tee-shirt sunshine one day and snow the next. I thought I had better look at buses back to Paderborn, in case I had to cut the walk short. That was the third and Important lesson. I understood the problem with buses. But first the second bit of fun.

Google Earth

I have toyed with Google Earth but I have never found a practical use for it, and given I had a map for the walk, it was just a bit of fun. If you have never used Google Earth here is an example of a route from Google Earth. With this example you do not need to install anything, just allow now, you don’t need to let Google remember.

If you found that fun too perhaps I have given you a new thing to waste your time with.

The Problem with Buses

When I went to Malaga, I had it all sorted with the buses, well at least I thought I had it all sorted but ended up at the bus terminus not at the stop I wanted and had to get a taxi to my accommodation. Because of this walk I learned, why mistakes happen.

Bus From Barker Barracks

 

I used Rome2Rio to find a bus back to Paderborn, should the snow happen again. The advice was to catch a return bus from Ludwigsfelder Ring and the red square showed me where it should have been. THERE IS NO BUS STOP THERE! The bus stop is on Dirburger Strasse, where the green square is and you cannot see it from the red square, AND there was no one to ask because it was a footpath on a ring road. When I eventually gave up and walk to the cross roads I saw the bus stop to return to Paderborn.

Computer Generated Route Information Uses Guesses

The bus stop on Dirburger Strasse is not called the Dirburger Strasse Stop but the Ludwigsfelder Ring Stop, it says it on the sign. You cannot blame Rome2Rio, it had read the bus timetable database and matched it to the road name, it had guessed at where the bus stop was but it was wrong.

If you do not know the name of the bus stop, near to where you want to get off, life is very difficult.

 

American Holidays

Travel vs Vacation

 Vacations and Holidays

VacationsI do like the way Americans call holidays, vacations. They reserve the word holiday for its traditional meaning of “Holy Day”, In England we have lost that sense of a holiday as being a special day and have to tag the celebration to the word, such as Christmas Holiday. Wiki has an interesting insight into this, it is here if you want to look.

Travel vs Vacation (Holidays)

Dine in for TwoAn holiday is when you go somewhere to have as much fun as you can, with as little effort as possible. “All Inclusive” holidays are bit like having a meal at a restaurant, the food comes to your table and you just eat. Package holidays are more like buying a “Dine in for Two” for £10 from Marks and Spencer. You can pick and mix the starter, the side’s and the main and choose the wine to go with them but you have to put the stuff in the microwave or oven before you can enjoy the eating. There are some cheaper holidays that are more like a ready meal from Sainsbury, the starters and wine are optional extras and you still have to stab the plastic before you “ping and pong” it in the micro before eat it. Depending on what extras you choose it could be cheaper than the “Meal for Two” but it might not be.

Rick SteinTravelling is when I go to to a destination but want more of a challenge and be less of a tourist. This is the “cook it yourself” meal. Get the recipe, go to the shop buy the ingredients, peel, chop and prepare them, and then do the cooking in a pan. While it is more work and my cooking does not always work out the way I intended, it does give a sense of achievement when you come to eat it. When I go travelling I try and experience living in that place. I tend to book hotels away from the centre, eat in local restaurants and use public transport.

But a holiday and travelling could be in the same place. I went to Torreblanca for an all inclusive holiday and took a day trip to Malaga. I found it such an interesting place that I travelled to Malaga a few months later. The two trips were very different but both rewarding in their own way.

Reassuring Lie

Knowledge Information and Data

Knowledge Information and Data

Planning your next trip? You are going to be using information, right? Reviews from Tripadvisor, hotel booking site hotel details, price comparison websites, travel blogs,  Pdf Guides to the area and maps from Google.

Be Warned, all is not as it seems

Data, Clean Simple Facts

Mobile phone companies are offering bundles of “All You Can Eat Data” but what is data? In this case it is a stream of digital signals, your phone translates them into sounds, text and images called information Wrong! This is not data. It is information converted to digital form.

Data is fact. It is the distance from A to B. While this sort of data does not change there is some data that does change, like the temperature in Athens, exchange rates and hotel prices. The trouble is people, select the facts they see because they cannot see the facts or choose not to include a fact in their description. In this case it is not Data but information.

Unless you are looking at numbers related to physical things, like the length of a river, you are looking at information that is open to dispute. Even things like “The Best Currency Exchange Rates”, which are fixed at least for a minute at a time on a national level, are different from one website to another.

In general if it is presented as a “Fact” it probably is just information.

Information, All Done With Mirrors

You only have to read two Tripadvisor reviews of the same hotel to see that information is open to different ways of looking at the “facts”. I have illustrated this in my Illustrated Package Holiday Story. It is not so easy when you “think” you are reading facts published about a hotel on a price comparison site or reading a tourist guide to Venice.

Price comparison sites claim to offer information to help you make a decision but the FSA

However, our review found that they were not meeting our requirements in delivering fair and consistent outcomes for consumers.  We also found, through our consumer research, that consumers had a number of misconceptions about the services they provided. 

The Financial Conduct Authority

A complaint was made about the Trivago, the hotel price comparison website that their TV advertisement which stated that “Trivago compares over 100 websites to find you your ideal hotel at the best price.”  was “Exaggeration”. The complain was not upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority

We considered that consumers would understand the ‘best price’ claim in the context of Trivago’s claim to compare over 100 websites and concluded that the ad was not misleading.

ASA

I cannot argue with the judgement from the ASA, it would not be too difficult to compare 100 websites for prices, so it is probably not “Exaggeration” but I doubt if they can find “My ideal Hotel at the Best Price” because it may not be on a hotel booking website. Hotel Booking sites charge commision and some smaller hotels do not advertise on hotel booking sites. Here is how to find a hotel not on booking sites.

Some Travel Guides offer alternative places to eat, but obviously cannot cover all restaurants in a city, other offer a selection, some of which are just sponsored advertising in the guise of “Best of ” information.

In general if an article claims to offer you the “Best of … ” or “The Top Ten …”  It is at best only the writers opinion, it is not unbiased information, at the worst it is disguised advertising or sponsorship.

Knowledge Belongs to You

If you’ve got some data and some information and so  you have some knowledge. But what you choose to do with that knowledge is up to you, reject it, use it or forget it. That will depend on what you want the knowledge for and whether you believe where it came from.

If you read any of my other posts, you will notice that I like to check things out, where ever I can,  for myself and I would strongly advise you to do the same. The aim of this website is to help you to do what you want, only a little bit better. This is not your normal Travel Blog.

 

 

Hotels Paderborn

3 Very Different Hotels in Paderborn

On my visit to Paderborn I stayed in three very different hotels.The first night I stopped in the Airport hotel, then moved into a cheap hotel in Paderborn and finally stayed in a more expensive hotel that looked like a German Christmas card picture. What can you expect from the hotels Paderborn has to offer?

When I review hotels on Tripadvisor I am always aware that people have different expectations, needs, wants and desires, so these observations are very personal and based on what I look for in a hotel.

What I Look for in a hotel

BedThe first and most important is a good nights sleep, a comfortable bed and a warm (cool) clean room. I do like tea and coffee making facilities but can make do with a bottle of water. I like a good hot shower and towels that dry me in one go, not a small cardboard substitute for cotton. I like the hotel to have a restaurant and some public space to sit and read a book, work on my laptop and meet other people. After that you can keep the extras like a big TV and fresh flowers, they only add to the cost of the room but add little to my eudaimonia.

Happyness

Too much information can be confusing but not enough leave you not having the information to make a decision.

The Airport Hotel Paderborn

Airport Hotel Bed

 

This was my first encounter with a German bed. One thin duvet and a large pillow. I thought I would never get a good nights sleep and with typical German efficiency, there was only one pillow and one cover because while it was a double bed, I had booked a single room. It was the same with the tea and coffee, just enough, no more! I did get a good nights sleep the pillow was supportive and the duvet filled like a good quality, 4 seasons sleeping bag.  The shower was state of the art functionality.

Airport Hotel BarThe hotel bar was a very pleasant surprise, the restaurant staff spoke English, were efficient and helpful and I enjoyed the meal. If you look behind the bar you will see a pink light, well it changed colour, why I have no idea, it must have been a joke because it had no aesthetic appeal or efficiency function. The menu consisted of German dishes and a special Scandinavian selection. There was a slight mistranslation on the menu and crab turned out to be prawns.

The bottom line as always is would I stay here again and the answer is yes because airport hotels make life easier.

The Hotel Sud Paderborn

hotel sud

The bottom line, as always but first this time, would I stay here again and the answer is yes but not with my wife, daughters or other family members but I would take them to eat here.

The bottom line is first, because from what I am about to say you might think I didn’t like the hotel and I really did, because it met my criteria for a good hotel.

The hotel is literally on the wrong side of the track. The room was Spartan, the stair carpets threadbare. The bedding and towels looked like my mother’s spare room accessories and the bathroom had a lino floor. The staff were friendly, the evening meals exceptionally good (see their quote on another post) the breakfast under priced for the quality and I slept well and had a good hot shower in the morning without the temperature fluctuation every minute.

This hotel was a true Grey Packer Gem, I would look for one in every city, mainly occupied by travelling salesmen, working men and locals.

 The Galerie Hotel Paderborn

Galerie-HotelHaving started giving the bottom line first, I will continue. Would I stay here again for €60+ a night without breakfast? In the hotel comments sheet they asked if the reason for choosing the hotel was because of the balance between cost and facilities, if that were the criteria, I were to judge the hotel on, the answer would be no.

I had been seduced into booking the hotel by a copy of their menu on their website, Goose and Marzipan apples had led me to expect more. “Petite Galerie Tapas” was a sure warning sign that I would be disappointed. Food is an important part of my travelling experience. I have eaten tapas from the north to the south of Spain. They originated as cheap snacks with a meal some are now very sophisticated morsels of pure delight or free with a drink. And while I am having a rant “Anti Pasti” is Italian not Spanish. I wanted to try good German food in a hotel in Germany, pasta, Argentinian steak, tapas and pizza, I can get anywhere.

With careful attention to detail, all rooms have been individually furnished and decorated, a process, in which special care was given to the choice of harmoniously matching high-quality design and furnishing.
All of our rooms are equipped with modern bathrooms as well as top-quality beds.

Hotel Website

The room was very pleasant to sit in and the desk and arm chair most welcome. Just as well as the public space was limited to a couple of tables crowded near the reception desk. There was style and quality in the bedroom.

The bed was solid and firm but the bedding was weak and flimsy. The German pillows, which I had grown to like so much that I am going to buy one soon, had no real filling and I had to ask for an additional two pillows just to give some support to my head. The cover was so light that on the first night I awoke so cold and had to search for an additional blanket, which looked good but was 100% polyester. In fact on inspection the pillow filling was too and the towel was small and mean. It is a shame that the linen seemed to have been supplied from a cheap third party supplier.

One tripadvisor review commented

We liked:
– location downtown
– building, oldest house in town
– paintings
– it was clean
– Internet for free

We did not like:
– quality of the bed
– the rooms look much nicer on the photos,a real standard room for almost 100€
– service is average

tripadvisor

And I can but agree, nice location, clean and with an individual style but as a hotel it was just average.

On a positive note

The many bright and colourful paintings – painted by the owner herself – almost turn the hotel into a small art gallery.

They were strong, well composed, expressive, and imaginative. To call them “bright and colourful” is an insult to their quality. I have rarely seen, better modern art, on the walls of the major European art galleries.

To repeat the bottom line again. Would I stay here again? If, after this review, the hotel would have me, then the answer is probably yes.

 

 

Paderborn Hotels

Paderborn Hotels

Booking.com offers 25 hotels in Paderborn, although some will be booked for the nights you want but still every time I looked there was a choice of about 15. So how do you make a choice.

In ViaThe one I thought sounded good was In Via. It had good reviews and the pictures seemed to show a smart clean entrance. But it was fully booked for the dates I wanted, always a good sign. I had no idea about Paderborn but has it turned out the hotel was on the “far side” of the city, not that that was a major problem as it turned out because you can walk across paderborn in 30 minutes.

I tend to book a hotel before I book the flight, as long as it has “free cancellation”, that way I get an idea of my total expenses before I commit to anything. You can easily change a hotel but not a flight.

Some stupid information on the Internet said you could get a train from the airport into the city. Yes you can but you have to take a bus to get to the station and you can get a bus all of the way!

Hotel Map Paderborn

Here is the map of hotels in Paderborn. In Via is at the top right. The two near the station, I have pictures. I booked the Hotel Sud for three nights because it looked like a German hotel and not like a concrete bunker. It was also a £1 cheaper per night but that wasn’t the real or only reason for choosing the hotel. How can you not want to stay at a hotel with such an attitude to food?

We wondered whether the meat that we process ever has to travel from Argentina to the long, complicated way across half the globe, but if we can find in our East Westphalia lush meadows with happy animals. Or whether we should process the meat of animals that we do not know how they were made. No, we did not want.
We have searched and found regional producers who work with passion to their cause.

We visit our Where to buy in person and get a picture of the animal husbandry, so we can safely say:

Here the cattle are happy and living in welfare friendly environment. This not only tastes better, that calms the conscience.

The producers from whom we source our meat, among other peasant Peine , with his happy pigs in Pömbsen in Bad Driburg – well worth a little trip -; the organic-Heggehof in isopods delights us with cattle and buffalo and the court Engelns in Hovelhof has happy free range chickens with a whole lot of flavor.

I used Google to Translate the hotel Website

Airport Hotel PaderbornWhen I had sorted the flights and realised that I would be landing at the airport in the dark, not knowing where I was going, I decided to stay at the Airport Hotel for the first night and catch the bus into Paderborn in the morning. It cost a bit more but while I am all for cutting costs, I do not want any hassle when I travel.

The hotel is 2 minutes walk from the airport exit.Go under the covered way by the car park ticket machine. Cross the road and there you are.

Travelling on a budget is all about cutting costs here so you can spend more there, it is not about doing things on the cheap, just keeping your spending within what you can afford. So having saved €44 by not having a taxi and having booked a really cheap hotel, I was able to splash-out a bit on a better hotel for a few days.