We Sleep Around

charting the hotels, inns, apartments and beds of the world... well, at least the small part of the world we're seeing...

"the farm," rdeci breg, slovenia (july 21 - sept 26, 2012) last year we took a train from vienna, austria to maribor, slovenia. on that train, we met a new friend who later invited us out to his and his wife's farm in the hills of northern slovenia, just across the austrian border. wow, did we fall in love with the place. a year later, we're back, and we're taking care of the place. 30 acres splayed across the hills and the closest neighbor is about a mile away. it's quiet, it's beautiful, it's everything we want in a place and we shake our heads at just how lucky we are to be here. big thanks to our friends for having us.

hilton, vienna, austria (july 20, 2012) a city we absolutely love. sadly, we only had a night to spend on our way to points further south. but one night in vienna beats none at all. hilton worked out perfectly as it's right at the end of the train line from the airport which, after an overnight flight, is a wonderful thing. a little pricey, but after all the moving around lately it was worth it. but come on, $15 for 60 minutes of internet time? get over yourselves.

long island, ny, usa (july 15 - july 19, 2012) "new york city, just like i pictured it." stevie wonder. what can you say about visiting great family, friends and a city that stands among the best in the world AND it's home? after a year abroad, being back in the u.s.a. was a bit of a shock but made easier by visiting the people we love.

mom's farm, south georgia, usa (july 9 - july 14, 2012) there ain't nothing better than landing after a long flight, after 12 months of traveling around the world and having a mom and a green, beautiful countryside waiting for you. just nothing better. this is beautiful countryside down here and a bed unrivaled this side of the mississippi. and the food, my god the food.

holly's house, cuenca, ecuador (jun 5 - july 8, 2012) our first experience with housesitting on the road and boy did we luck out. first of all, we're in cuenca, ecuador one of the most lovely spanish colonial cities in south america. second, our new friend whose house we're sitting is wonderful and we're reminded again that the best thing about extended travel is the people you meet. third, what a great house to lay low for one month!  we're quite comfortable here along with getting to know two very energetic and characterful bull terriers. we also get to live in an ecuadorian neighborhood and find out for ourselves why so many north americans move here to retire. as housesitting goes, we did good. we did real good.

hostal macondo, cuenca, ecuador (jun 1 - 4, 2012) a converted, old house with a huge central courtyard and a ton of bedrooms that are now hotel rooms and suites. smack in the middle of the historic center of cuenca, a spanish colonial town at the southern end of the "spine of the andes." elevation nearly 9000ft. ay yay yay. cool place, a little noisy but very nice owners and staff. no heat!

hosteria mandala, puerto lopez, ecuador (may 14 - 26, 2012) the place to stay in puerto lopez. a quick walk through town and past other hotels and we realized how lucky we were to book this place. outstanding position on the beach, great hammock hanging for hours, runs along the coast in the morning and fantastic food. and, town is just a 10-15 minute walk away with cheap beer and everything you can think of filled with dulce de leche.

view from apartment, buenos aires.

apartment, buenos aires, argentina (apr 3 - may 13, 2012) made ourselves at home in one of the biggest cities we've ever visited. staying one month and, man, is it good to have our own kitchen again! found it through airbnb.com. great city!

jawadene suite and breakfast, kuala lumpur, malaysia (apr 1-2, 2012)
interesting option to the "train into kuala lumpur" standard idea. this is a b&b only a few minutes from the airport. the kl airport is inexplicably 30 miles away from town. have a 24-36 hour layover? stay here. it's beautiful. like a little san diego dropped into malaysia.

hanoi old centre hotel, hanoi, vietnam (mar 27-31, 2012)
a "boutique" hotel right in the center of old town, near the lake. even though we were only a few floors above the very busy street, it still felt cozy and, sometimes, quiet. this may be the smallest room we've ever stayed in. however, if we return to hanoi, we'd probably stay here again.

hai au hotel, hoi an, vietnam (mar 25-26, 2012)
oddly, this may have been the largest room we've ever stayed in. just outside the downtown area of hoi an with some of the friendliest, and one might say touchiest, staffs in all of southeast asia. nice place, a little dated but clean and easy to find.

vinh hung 3 hotel, hoi an, vietnam (mar 20 - 24, 2012)
central coast of vietnam, just outside danang where vietnam war soldiers used to "r&r." we have stayed longer here but they couldn't extend our room and we didn't yet want to leave hoi an. we would stay here again in a heartbeat as long as they could guarantee the room upstairs, on the top, in the back. it was near perfect. with a rooftop pool!

lien hiep thanh resort, phu quoc vietnam (mar 12 - 19, 2012) we were sitting at happy hour in phnom penh when we started talking with a couple next to us. "where are you going next," they asked. "vietnam," we said, "hopefully phu quoc island." "OH! we have a great recommendation for you." and we found ourselves on phu quoc at lien hiep in a bungalow about 100ft from the water. chill place. love it.

satisfy hotel, chau doc, vietnam (mar 11, 2012) after arriving in the dark to the boat dock in downtown chau doc and witnessing a fist fight between moto-drivers fighting over our fare, this place was a clean, out of the way hotel where we could have a beer, take a swim, get a good night's sleep in a safe place before the next day's travel to phu quoc. recommended.

villa paradiso, phnom penh, cambodia (mar 8-10, 2012) a green, lush, quiet oasis in the middle of phnom penh. way above our budget but we needed a break from the basic guesthouses and lazed by the pool for a few days.

alibi guesthouse, phnom penh, cambodia (mar 5-7, 2012) highly rated yet cheap guesthouse on a back alley in phnom penh. well, it was cheap. we stayed three days but, although we made friends with some of the staff, we got out of there. dark room, bad a/c unit and several power outages. we're not picky people but this place just got to us. french owned so the breakfast was a couple of baguettes with some jam and butter. i will say they had good coffee. i will also say, it sometimes took half an hour to get food. ah well, it was cheap.

california 2 hotel, phnom penh, cambodia (mar 4, 2012) "transactional relationships," a rat running down the hall and loud grinding from the making of coffins outside our window at 7:00am. we were out of there after one night.

botanica guesthouse, kep cambodia (feb 27 - mar 3, 2012) - came for 2 days, stayed for 6. we wouldn't have left, either, but our cambodian visa was quickly running out. completely chilled out place with cool breezes, great garden, friendly hosts and nothing to do. just the way we like it. we rented a scooter for one day and kept it the whole week for $6 a day. above our budget but totally worth it.

jasmine valley eco-resort, kep, cambodia (feb 25 - 26, 2012)

lazy beach, koh rong saloem, cambodia (feb 20 - 24, 2012)

strawberry bungalows, otres beach, sihanoukville, cambodia (feb 15 - 19, 2012)

two dragons guesthouse, siem reap, cambodia (feb 12 - 14, 2012)

villa samphong, luang prabang, laos (feb 8 -11, 2012)

nam houn bungalows, nong khiaw, laos (feb 7, 2012)

ning-ning bungalows, muang gnoi, laos (feb 3 - 6, 2012)

villa keoseumsack guesthouse, oudomxai, laos (feb 2, 2012)

zuela guesthouse, luang nam tha, laos (jan 29 - feb 1, 2012)

baanrimtaling guesthouse, chiang khong, thailand (jan 27 - jan 28, 2012)

anoma boutique house, chiang mai, thailand (jan 2 - jan 26, 2012)

rim pai cottages, pai, thailand (dec 30 - jan 1, 2012) reviewed this place on tripadvisor.com. spent new years 2011 here and loved it even though the town around it was chaos with thai revelers. we'd return here during quieter times, for sure. set in a beautiful valley in NW thailand with hot springs near by and hiking trails stretching out in all directions.

cm bluehouse, chiang mai, thailand (dec 26 - dec 29, 2011) we'll admit it, we rarely stay in "backpacker" or lonely planet recommended guesthouses but this place came recommended to us and we're glad we trusted them. location in old city chiang mai is hard to beat. it's down a quiet side street with a market at the end and near the moat road. it's cheap, and we mean like $10 a night cheap. it ain't fancy but it's clean (kind of) and has a great vibe. french owned, laid back, and has great breakfasts. did we mention quiet? that's hard to find in chiang mai.

panda hotel, yangon, myanmar (dec 24 - dec 25, 2011) let's start with "chinese owned." let's also add the fact that it was christmas and this is yangon, myanmar. none of these things were what we planned when we left home. the panda hotel was built in the 70s, we think, and it's had off and on love since then. the room was fine but it's a well-worn hotel. and it's in a neighborhood of mixed derelict and residential buildings. let's also say that it was, um, lacking in charm. did we mention the "chinese owned" aspect? they couldn't give a rat's ass about warmth or charm. we don't need it, but it's nice when it's there. a buddhist, run-down country over christmas. we'll never forget that!

princess garden hotel bungalows, nyuang shwe, myanmar (dec 20 - 23, 2011)

mandalay city hotel, mandalay, myanmar (dec 18 - dec 19, 2011)

peacock lodge, mandalay, myanmar (dec 17, 2011)

hotel bagan thande, bagan, myanmar (dec 13 - dec 16, 2011)

alamanda inn, yangon, myanmar (dec 9 - dec 12, 2011)

ramada encore, sukhumvit, bangkok, thailand (dec 2 - dec 8, 2011)

oonlee bungalows, koh jum, thailand (nov 28 - dec 1, 2011)

andaman sunflower bungalows, koh lanta, thailand (nov 24 - nov 27, 2011)

relax bay bungalows, koh lanta, thailand (nov 12 - nov 23, 2011)
can't say enough about this place. they really to have a special spot on the west side of koh lanta, thailand. most resorts along here have a narrow strip of land that runs form the main road to the sea but relax bay is different. first, it's separated from the road by a hill and when it plunges down to its own, nearly private, beach it's three or four times the width of most resorts. yet, this is a very reasonably priced resort. we paid an average of $50 a night while we stayed here for 12 nights.

of course, massage, restaurant, yoga... all of that is available on site, as well as a killer beach bar. easily the best resort we've seen. sure, we moved to bungalows a little ways away to save some money and experince some every low budget bungalows ($12.50 a night!) but when we have jobs again, we'll come right back to resort bay.

deniz houses, istanbul, turkey (nov 9 - nov 10, 2011)

view from bedroom, casa galata
casa galata, istanbul, turkey (nov 2 - nov 8, 2011)
our first travel partnership! with roomorama.com's kind donation (in exchange for our review), we were able to rent an apartment for a week in the coolest of istanbul's neighborhoods. the added cash allowed us to shop up one level form our usual price range. turned out, well-taken photos hide a LOT of flaws. yet after a few days this very funky, oddly noisy, apartment became home. features included: great views from some windows with classic istanbul skyline out one side, a singing imam at 5:30am, a crooked floor, shaky chairs and spotty wifi in an old, slightly crumbling 19th century building. yet, we made ourselves comfortable.

we would stay here again but not at that price. we've stayed in tons of places now and this is WAY overpriced. if you can talk him down, do it.

hotel attalos, athens, greece (oct 29 - nov 1, 2011)
ok, THIS is the noisiest place we've stayed. i gave that award to hotel am markt in munich but, yowza. oddly, we'd even consider staying here again. its location is unbeatable and the staff is outstanding. it's also one of the best deals in athens. it was always clean, had a great rooftop bar and, in spite of the noise, was pleasant to return to after some very long, hard days of tramping around the city. this one enters the books, too, as one of the silliest shower set-ups in europe, too. so bonus points for that.

villa myrthe, mirtos, crete, greece (oct 19 - oct 28, 2011)
loved this place. tiny, impeccably clean, right in the middle of the village and run by yet another wonderful host, anne-marie. mirtos was the perfect place to kill ten days. we came for a week but stayed three more. at the end of october, this place was emptying out. some restaurants had closed, gas station was closed and we started to feel like castaways. the weather was still good, the beach was still good and the hiking, right of town, was fantastic. we'd go back.

kastania lodge, kissamos, crete, greece (oct 12 - 19, 2011)
we can't say enough about kastania lodge in the hills above kissamos, crete. the grounds are spectacular, the view is killer, the pool is the perfect place to hang as are the numerous terraces (all with views) and, above all else, arianne. arianne's the owner of kastania and we're glad we can now count her as a friend, too.

if you're needing to stay anywhere in the northwest corner of crete, you should do yourself a favor and stay here.

hotel am markt, munich, germany (oct 11 - 12, 2011)
wow, was this place noisy. and imagine our surprise when after reserving a double room we got double beds. as in, one for each of us. and wow, is this ever munich. tiny room, two single beds, all the noise you can dream of (including an elevator mechanism) all for the hard-to-swallow price of $125 a night. for two long-term travelers, that was tough. but, two things in our favor: 1) we were there only for two nights while waiting on a flight to greece and, 2) we were in MUNICH!

apartment cebalo, zagreb, croatia (sep 30 - oct 10, 2011)
THIS is the way to live. one of the finest apartments we've ever rented. it was minutes walk away from the center of the city, with great restaurants, a ton of bars and literally 30 seconds walk to the tram stop. the design and comfort of this apartment has yet to be matched by any other apartment we've had. to spend 10 days in a city we've never visited AND to live comfortably? it was perfect. edita was a very cool host who answered a ton of our questions and gave us great tips for wandering around town and where to eat.

pansion kandilj, sarajevo, bosnia & herzegovina (sep 26 - sep 29, 2011)
great little bed and breakfast right in the heart of sarajevo. another great find, thanks to trip advisor, the deeply flawed yet occasionally helpful travel site. not set in the most scenic area of sarajevo by any stretch, but once inside the gates it was extremely quiet with a great, friendly staff and clean rooms. and it's only a few minutes walk to downtown and the old part of the city. had some fantastic conversations in the courtyard with staff and other guests. we'd stay here again.

motel emen, mostar, bosnia & herzegovina (sep 23 - sep 25, 2011)
can't say enough about this motel. right in the heart of old mostar, steps away from the cobbled streets of the turkish bazaar yet quiet enough to have a great night's sleep. the manager and staff were laid back and great people to hang with. even while working they never seemed like they were in a hurry. rooms were beautiful, serene, clean and comfortable. going to mostar? look here first.

apartment minerva, dubrovnik, croatia (sep 19th - sep 22nd, 2011)
can you say history? wowza. hundreds of years old walls surrounding a city on the adriatic and we get to rent an apartment WITHIN them. up the hill from the "stradun," dubrovnik's main street, about 50 or so very tall steps. small, comfortable apartment underneath a family that's lived there for years. just a really great vibe.

diocletian apartment, split, croatia (sept 18th, 2011)
killer apartment literally in the middle of the decaying structure of a 4th century roman emperor's palace. crazy how you could be right in the middle of ruins. that does not happen in the us. this entire town is centered in and around this palace. very, very cool.

apartment amber, brac island, croatia (sep 5th - sep 17th, 2011)
let's put it this way, we came for a week and stayed two. supetar in september just got better and better. amber apartment, up the hill from the harbor, was the perfect place to the doing of nothing we were doing on the beach. we just didn't want to leave. a killer view, a great breeze, a balcony on which we sit for hours, laid back bars and restaurants within a couple of minutes walk. i believe we'll try to make our way back here whenever we can.

apartments matkovic, split, croatia (sep 4th, 2011) one night in split, croatia. split is typically used solely as a transit point to get to the islands off the dalmatian coast. that's exactly what we did. split is a loud, vibrant city and we found the perfect shelter in the middle of it. we'd happily stay there again. clean, safe, quiet.

apartment, ljubljana, slovenia (aug 31st - sep 3rd, 2011)
we rented an apartment through airbnb.com, a cool site that's a cross between a hotel/apartment rental company and social media allowing for profiles and community feedback for both renter and rentee. we spent four nights at a clean, safe, basic apartment about a ten minute walk from the old town. worked out perfectly. apart from the absence of a coffee maker and a chair that collapsed beneath me, we were quite happy. we'd return to ljubljana any time. small, livable, laid back city with a ton of history. best of all, it's in slovenia, a country we very much enjoyed.

hotel bellevue, pohorje, maribor, slovenia (aug 27th - 29th),
lesson learned: always stay in places named "bellevue." after our wonderful experience at the bellevue b&b in budapest a week earlier, we then stayed at the hotel bellevue up on pohorje mountain outside maribor, slovenia. this is a ski resort that we found in the off-season at the top of a seven minute gondola ride. great deal on a room, three nights up on a mountain with killer views, breakfast included and quiet and serene. another thumbs up experience for us. we'd recommend this place, too. it's a hiker's and mountain biker's paradise in the summer.

hotel das weitzer, graz, austria (aug 26th, 2011)
we weren't expecting to be in graz, like, ever. but we jumped off the train because of others' recommendations which means we were scrambling for a place to stay. we found some free wifi in the train station and booked a room at hotel das weitzer right on the mur river. a little pricier than we wanted but this was last minute. turned out to be a great choice with breakfast included, overlooking the river toward old town. we dropped our bags and were in the altstadt after only a five minute walk. great little city, so glad we hopped off and hotel das weitzer wins a recommendation from us.

bellevue bed & breakfast, budapest, hungary (aug 20th - 24th, 2011)
can't say enough about judit and lajos, the owners of bellevue bed & breakfast. wonderfully friendly, informative hosts that, after a few days, make you feel you've come home from college for a few days. like they're so happy to have you back in the house that they'll make you breakfast every morning. everyone involved knows it won't last, you're leaving again soon, so you're all soaking it up. staying on the buda side of budapest has turned out to be brilliant. by metro, it's only a few minutes away from the busy, sweaty, crowded pest side. although that has its appeal, when it's steamy in the city as it has been for our stay, the bellevue being situated up the hill has the advantage of the breeze as well as the quiet. beds are standard european fare with two singles pushed together and each person gets their own quilt. when we've asked people if this was normal, each time in reply we get "of course, otherwise the divorce rate in europe would be much higher." well, ok. coming to budapest? stay here.

stadtnest, vienna, austria (most of august, 2011)
we've rented from barbara, the owner of stadtnest, before and trust her completely. she actually remembered us from more than five years ago and gave us a great deal on this apartment. we're situated in the mariahilfe district of vienna, near the westbahnhof. less the touristy zone and more of an area where people actually live. a great way to know a city. beds pretty much conform to the european standard that we've known so far... two single mattresses, rather more gymnasium mats than mattresses, two large yet content free pillows (not sure how that works) and two individual quilts. no top sheet, just a bottom sheet and a quilt. we know we said in an earlier post that we'd found the world's smallest shower. however, that may be a lie. we've now found a worthy competitor. still, having a clean, safe place with a full kitchen to use, and close to a metro stop was our priority. we found something that nails each and every one of those requirements. thanks barbara!

hotel rosner, gablitz, austria (aug 4th, 2011)
we pulled off the autobahn at melk, austria, and after walking around the abbey there (the free parts) and the altstadt below, we took the smaller road east through the wachau valley and, wow, are we glad we did. the road snaked from one charming village to another. between the villages, it was bordered by perfectly groomed rolling hills of wheat and sunflowers which brought us to gablitz, in the vienna woods. another small, charming town centered in the hiking trails around the hills. classic hotel/pension just off the road with a double bed and breakfast included. this place didn't look like much, looked perfectly fine, but our room looked out the back toward the green rolling hills of the troppweg. two single beds pushed together with our own little individual quilts. still cracks us up. this may actually be the smallest shower yet.

hotel am jesuitenschloessl, passau, germany (aug 3rd, 2011) (3 STARS)
holy cow, driving from the autobahn through this old town and the medieval streets both trying and charming at the same time. when we rented this car we decided to just "wing it" each night. turns out, at the end of a long day of driving, you're kind of burnt. and THEN you have to look for a place to stay. we also decided to go with a minimum of maps and information just to see what would happen. well, what happens is your appreciation for the room you've just found spikes. this place looked like a motorlodge from the outside and framed against the hundred years old surroundings made it look a little ridiculous. and the wifi sucked! but we stepped out on the balcony, where we overlooked the inn river, and there was old passau, majestically perched at the confluence of three great european rivers. the danube, the inn and the ilz. just stunning.

hotel gruner baum, naila, germany (aug 2nd, 2011)
more of the two mattresses pushed together thing. what gives? we found this place after driving from berlin south and into the northern part of bavaria. navigating berlin and then the autobahn for the first time, left us a little frayed. luckily, we were in gorgeous countryside and pulled off into a tiny town. we bumped around three or four tiny towns until we found this place listed in the local tourist information brochure. apparently, it's been an inn since the 1500s but the non-working, yet still LOUDLY ticking, clock embedded in the fake paneling was clearly from the 50s. this was a killer little town, classic bavarian charm and pleasantly located in the frankenwald, bavaria's hiking nirvana.

apartment, mitte, berlin, germany (july 28th - aug 1st, 2011)
HUGE bed, this time a whole bed instead of two pushed together but covered with individual one-person quilts so we're never actually sharing a cover. mattress is nice, soft yet supportive but, although it's not part of the mattress, the deduction comes form the pillows. again, every european place we've stayed so far has these big, nearly useless, pillows. there's no substance. they look big when you see them but when you lay your head on them, your head seems to fall right through to the mattress below. slept in until about 10am each morning so far which means we're not complaining!we'd recommend this place to anyone needing an apartment in berlin.

hotel aida, berlin, germany (july 27th, 2011)
what is up with the european habit of pushing together two smaller beds to make one large bed? i mean, the mattress was comfy, mostly, but there was a bit of a chasm between us. rolling over and saying hey to each other was like an overland trek. good place for a one night stay with breakfast included, though. we've stayed in some small hotel rooms before but this beats 'em all, hands down. even hard to close the bathroom door so if one were, um, "doing one's business," the perfectly placed mirror on the wall outside allowed one, and one's partner, to share the experience.

chris and nan's house, long island, ny (july 22 - 26th, 2011)
sleept on the nephew's bed this time. lumpy and oddly comfortable because of that. slept great. maybe it's because we're with the family? who knows? but next up start all the rental flats, hotels and maybe a hostel or two. we'll take a lumpy nephew mattress any day.

mama's house, jesup, ga (july 19th - 21st, 2011)
we know this mattress pretty dang well by now and, even though our heads are lower than our feet when we sleep here, it's still a fine place to be.

jayne and tim's house, sacramento, ca (july 15th - 17th, 2011)
i think it was david letterman who said "nothing says 'get out of my house like a futon couch.'" well, not in this case. comfy amongst friends is the way we'd describe it.

abalone cove, duncans mill, ca (july 9th - 15th, 2011)
well, we must say, the first mattress on our trip has already received a four 'sleeping moon' rating. if this is any indication of what's to come, then we'll be in good shape!