HOTEL TIP: Nyuh Resort & Spa – Ubud, Bali

Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa

Retreat from the busy streets of Ubud to your own little sanctuary at the Nyuh Resort & Spa. The Nyuh resort is roughly a 10-minute drive from town and is a stunning setting to privately re-charge for a few days. Every villa comes with its own spacious pool,  personal assistant and diverse breakfast options– delivered right to your own villa if desired. Guests are granted one upgrade to a floating breakfast during their stay to contribute to that genuine Bali experience.

Nyuh resort & spa Ubud

Villa

At the relatively new Nyuh resort, the villas themselves are spacious and incredibly well airconditioned.  They all come with their own private pool, outdoor bathtub and lounge area. The large bathroom features two sinks, one for him and one for her. But, no shower nor toilet. These can also be found outside, something to keep in mind but definitely fun for the experience. Don’t worry about privacy, you really have your own little space here. When and/if there is anything you might need during your stay, a dedicated personal assistant is at your disposal 24 hours a day. From arranging tours to figuring out the breakfast selection; they’re there to help!

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Facilities

Spa

In the mood to pamper yourself or take a romantic flower bath with your partner? Then the Nyuh on-site spa is a great place to go. The spa is partially set outdoors, has a capacity of two and can be closed off for privacy. Reservations are preferred as this will allow the staff to prepare for the treatment.

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Restaurant

Within the comfort of your own luxury villa, it is likely you don’t want to leave the premises during the day. With the high-quality food on offer at Nyuh, you don’t have to. Aside from dining in the on-site restaurant, guests can also choose to have the dish brought to the villa and set up at the kitchen table; talk about a stress-free meal. The prices of the menu items are in line with local restaurant prices, perhaps even cheaper.

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Love a healthy meal? Nyuh resort highly encourages highly amongst their guests and this reflects this on their menu selection. For breakfast, guests can choose between a large range of healthy options such as cinnamon oatmeal, yogurt with fresh fruits, egg-white omelets and more. And, as mentioned previously, guests are granted one upgrade to a floating breakfast during their stay to contribute to that genuine Bali experience.

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Pool

No plunge pool at your villa – the pools at Nyuh resort are large in comparison to most Bali hotels and resorts, making them perfect to hang in all day long; going from sun lounger to pool and vice versa. Need to cool off? The kitchen/lounge area is conveniently located poolside.

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What is a night at Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa going to cost you?

Ubud Nyuh Resort & Spa

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Deluxe pool villa’s starting at €167 ($187) per night

Book now

For more information visit www.nyuhbalivillas.com.

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

 

Great hotels for an unforgettable trip to Bali

Planning your trip to Bali and looking for a good hotel in Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, Sanur, Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan? We’ve got you covered! This handy little list of hotels is here to help you make the most out of your stay, no matter which area you wish to go. Each hotel on this list has its own unique features and charm, yet they all have on thing in common. They all have been handpicked –by the pickiest of pickiest-  tried and tested. With a stamp of approval, these hotels are ready to contribute towards an unforgettable trip through Bali.

Did you know that Booking.com often allows travellers to cancel their booking up until 24 hrs in advance. Perfect for those wanting to keep their options open and remain flexible at all times!

Where do you want to go?

Seminyak
Canggu
Ubud
Sanur
Nusa Penida
Nusa Lembogan & Nusa Ceniga

Seminyak

Villa Karisa

Villa Karisa Seminyak

Looking for calm Balinese bohemian vibes in the midst of lively Seminyak? Then the rather unique Villa Karisa might just be the place for you. The villa, which is actually a boutique hotel, is roughly a 12-minute walk from the beach and a stone’s throw away from loads of shops and restaurants. Read our full hotel review here!

Room prices starting at €55 ($62.50) per night

Book now

Canggu

The Kemilau Hotel & Villa

The Kemilau Hotel & Villa
© photo by the Kemilau

Canggu has been booming and new hotels are popping up weekly. The Kemilau is one of these recently opened hotels offering great value for money in the streets of Berawa. The Kemilau hotel is located near loads of popular restaurants -such as Nude, Duatiga and Ruko- and only a 5-minute drive from the beach. This area is especially popular with locals, freelancers and surfers as it is slightly more peaceful than Batu Bolong and Echo beach. You do need a scooter to get around here as the roads are not paved… yet.

Room prices starting from €52 ($58) per night

Book now

Ubud

Ubud Village Hotel

Ubud village hotel

Whilst loads of Ubud’s dreamy resorts are set outside of town, the Ubud Village hotel is set right within the middle of it all. Due to its convenient location, staying in the Ubud village hotel means simply walking to most restaurants, the monkey forest, the night market, and other Ubud highlights. Don’t want to drive home or get a cab after a happy hour? Then this is the hotel for you! For the ultimate Ubud experience, combine the Ubud village hotel with a few nights outside of the center in a jungle-esque resort.

Room prices starting at €72 ($80) per night 

Book now

Nyuh Resort & Spa

Nyuh resort & spa Ubud

Retreat from the busy streets of Ubud to your own little sanctuary at the Nyuh Resort & Spa. The Nyuh resort is roughly a 10-minute drive from town and is a stunning setting to privately re-charge for a few days. Every villa comes with its own spacious pool,  personal assistant and diversified breakfast offering – delivered right to your own villa if desired. Guests are granted one upgrade to a floating breakfast during their stay to contribute to that genuine Bali experience.

Deluxe pool villa’s starting at €167 ($187) per night

Book now

Sanur

The Alantara Sanur

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Sanur has been one of Bali’s touristic hubs for many years now. Whilst it is an area we would usually stay clear of due to its slight over-tourism, it is the perfect transportation town to the Nusa islands. Therefore spending a night here ain’t bad at all, especially if it is at a dreamy resort such as the Alantara. Featuring their own gym, large swimming pool and spacious rooms with balconies, this hotel makes the perfect stopover!

Room prices starting at €43 ($48) per night

Book now

Nusa Penida

Kompyang Cottage

Kampyong Cottage Nusa Penida
© by Kompyang Cottage

With all the highlights to be seen in Nusa Penida, people do not spend much time in their hotel rooms. But, coming back from a day full of adventurous sightseeing has never felt better than in the tropical huts of Kompyang Cottage. These island style cottages are located in the North of the island which makes them a good jumping off point to explore both the left and right side of the island. Keep in mind that due to the sheer size of Nusa Penida, a scooter or driver is required to get around and to make your way to dining facilities of the resort.

Room prices starting at €56 ($62) per night

Book now

Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Cengigan

 D’Puncak Villas

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Turquoise waters and a carefree atmosphere; Nusa Lembongan, and in extension Nusa Ceningan, is a great place to come to rest after a few days of adventure in Nusa Penida. D’Puncak villas, located right within the middle of the island, is an ideal hotel to ensure a relaxing stay. The huts are, compared to island standards, luxurious and the friendly staff is eager to help you make the most of your stay.  Scooters can easily be arranged at the property for IDR100.000. Not a fan of scooters? The hotel also has a list of restaurants and beach clubs to choose from that have free pick up and drop off service, making the island easily accessible for everyone.

Room prices starting at €55 ($62) per night 

Book now

All prices converted on xe.com as of 9 March ’19, in EURO and US Dollar. Subject to currency fluctuations. 

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

HOTEL TIP: Villa Karisa – Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak, one of Bali’s trendiest hubs, is known for its many hotspots, beach clubs, and fashion boutiques. Which is exactly why it is no surprise that the lively streets of Seminyak meet the travel itinerary of most people visiting Bali. Still looking for that perfect hotel to stay on your upcoming trip to Seminyak? We might have found the place for you!

Already in Seminyak?

Villa Karisa, Seminyak

Balinese bohemian vibes in the midst of Seminyak; that is Villa Karisa. The villa, which is actually a boutique hotel, is roughly a 12-minute walk from the beach and a stone’s throw away from loads of shops and restaurants. Aside from its lovely interior, Villa Karisa was renovated early 2016 and, with rooms going for as little as €55 a night, offers great value for money for guests that are looking for a centrally located hotel in Seminyak.

Villa Karisa Seminyak

Adjacent to Villa Karisa lies Villa Saffira. This luxury 4 bedroom villa features a Morrocan rooftop, swimming pool, and a stunning living area. Guests of Villa Saffira have direct access to Villa Karisa and can enjoy all the amenities of the boutique hotel. But, this also goes vice versa. Should Villa Saffira be free upon the time of arrival, guests of Villa Karisa can make use of two magnificent areas to relax and explore.

Pool Villa Karisa Seminyak

Hotel rooms

All rooms at Villa Karisa have been individually designed by the owner and furnished with hand-picked Balinese furniture. This gives each of the 10 hotel rooms a unique personality and atmosphere-  having in common that they are all incredibly good looking. Some rooms feature a separate bathroom, others have the bathroom cooperated within the room. But, they all feature a rain shower, a characteristic mirror, and shielded toilet. Furthermore, all rooms are equipped with filtered water dispensers, flatscreen TV and air conditioning.

Bathroom

Bedroom Villa Karisa Seminyak

 

Facilities

Swimming pool

Villa Karisa boasts one large swimming pool that guests can make use of. The comfortable sun loungers make the pool area a great spot to spend an afternoon sunbathing and doing absolutely nothing. If Villa Saffira is available, there are two swimming pools for guests to enjoy. Another bonus: the pool is beneficially located and has sun for the largest part of the day.

Drone pool Villa Karisa Seminyak

Breakfast

Daily breakfast is included in all room rates. Between 07:00 and 10:00 guests can enjoy breakfast in the lobby area where your choice of the a la carte menu will be freshly prepared. Aside from the standard coffee, thee and fruits, guests can choose between three different set menus. Other items are available upon request and require a surcharge.

Breakfast Villa Karisa Bali

Rooftop (Villa Saffira)

When and if guests are lucky enough to have Villa Saffira available for usage, there is a stunning Morrocan rooftop to enjoy. The all white rooftop is the perfect spot for afternoon drinks and chats under the open sky.

What is a night at Villa Karisa going to cost you?

Villa Karisa

Villa Karisa pool

Room prices starting from €55 ($62.50) per night 

More information

Guests that book 3 nights or more at the hotel get extra privileges by booking directly. For more information on Villa Karisa, its facilities and the promotional offer; please visit www.villakarisabali.com.

Hotel room Villa Karisa Seminyak

All prices converted on xe.com as of 28 February ’19, in EURO and US Dollar. Subject to currency fluctuations. 

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

Mexican in the City – NYC

Murals, string lights and good vibes; transport yourselves to the cozy back alleys of colorful Mexico at Tacombi Bleecker. Inspired by the original taquerias, Tacombi Bleecker is affordable, fun and delicious. In the mood for some quality Mexican food in New York City? Look no further, Tacombi Bleecker rarely disappoints.

Tacombi Bleecker

Tacombi started out in Mexico, in 2005, as a street food vendor, selling loads of tacos on the popular beaches of Playa del Carmen. Since then, Tacombi has come a long way. They moved up to New York and now own six restaurants throughout the city. In this article, we highlight our favorite due to its bright interior and flavourful cuisine; Tacombi on Bleecker Street.

Mexican bar

Avocado tostada

Menu

Tostadas, tacos, campechanos, and quesadillas; whatever Mexican street food you could possibly crave from a taqueria, Tacombi Bleecker got it. Don’t forget to order the avocado tostada. A little spicy, but one of the best items on the menu. Picky eater or already want to start looking for your favorite dish? Here is the full menu to take a peek at. 

IMG_6879-2IMG_6881-2Taco Tacombi Bleecker

Costs of dinner at Tacombi Bleecker

As the amount of tacos people consume largely varies, we decided to give out the average costs of individual items on the menu instead of a dinner total.

Entradas: $3.95 |€3.50  (Tuna tostada is an exception at $8.95)
Tacos: $3.95  | €3.50
Campechanos: $6.95 | €6.15
Quesadillas: $6.95 | €6.15

We told you it was affordable.

 

Tacombi Bleecker street

Additional information

Opening hours

Sunday-Wednesday: 11am – 11pm
Thursday-Saturday 11am-midnight.
Open every day throughout the year except Christmas day

Location

Due to its success, the Tacombi family has extended and they now own a total of six restaurants throughout the city.  Yet as mentioned, the one on Bleecker Street, in generally popular Greenwich village, remains our favorite and can be found here:

Address: 255 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10014

 All prices as of 17 February 2019, in US dollars & Euro, converted on xe.com. If prices divert at the moment of visiting, this depends on the currency exchange.  

BALI DAY-TRIP INSPIRATION: Where to go and what to visit

Hanging out all day at your luxury Bali resort, sipping Mai Tai’s by the pool and only moving from room to restaurant sounds like a tropical fantasy right? Well, indeed, for some. But for those that are fully re-charged from their day-to-day life after a few days of doing absolutely nothing, there is an island adventure that awaits!  Hit the road by renting a private taxi driver for the day and explore all the known and unknown that Bali has to offer. Here is some inspiration to help you, and your driver, along the way!

Want to know what to pay for a full day private taxi?

These trips have been mapped from the Canggu/Seminyak area. If you are planning on taking one of these trips whilst located near Uluwatu (trip 2) or  Ubud (trip 1), check the travel distances on Google maps and see if you can possibly do the tour yourself by scooter.

Balinese women

Bali day trip 1:

Ready to explore hidden waterfalls and hike through lush rice paddies? Discover the beauty of Bali’s inland on roundtrip no. 1. This trip will take you to some of the lesser known waterfalls on the island, past the famous rice terraces, and last but not least, seat you directly at the table of a Balinese family.

Summarized day tour:

Tukad Cepung waterfall
Tegallalang rice terraces
Lunch: Balinese Home Cooking
Tibumana waterfall

Tukad Cepung waterfall

Now here is a secret we don’t like sharing. The Tukad Cepung waterfall is amongst the prettiest waterfalls on the island. Not due to its size or crystal clear waters, but due to its magnificent light rays. Light rays? Yes, stay with us, we’re still talking about a waterfall here. What makes Tukad Cepung so unique, is its underground location. The waterfall is set between rock formations, of which the top has been largely covered by natural plantation. When the sun hits the top of the cave just right, light rays turn the waterfall into something majestic.

It takes a little adventure to get to Tukad Cepung, but that’s half the fun! Expect a short trekking through the jungle (paved, but steep), going into a cave, wiggling under a rock, and passing through streaming water. Yes, the feet will get wet.

Usually, we would say save the best for last on a road trip, but this waterfall is too magical in the morning to miss. Arriving here before 09:30 will likely mean you get to chance to experience this hidden gem all by yourself. Hang around for a bit longer to get a glimpse of the light beams, they start making their way through the waterfall a little later on the day.  Let’s keep this beauty a secret between us, for now, shall we.

Entrance fee for the Tukad Cepung waterfall is 10.000 IDR. 

Tukad Cepung waterfall route

Tegallalang rice terraces

If you’ve seen pictures of Ubud, you’ve seen pictures of the Tellegan rice terraces. These rice terraces have become quite the phenomenon, which unfortunately also means the area is now hurdled with tourist orientated shops, restaurants, and the latest hype, the Bali swings.  That said, the rice fields are still, without a doubt, worth a visit whilst in the area. The area is quite large and once you make your way through past the chaos,  it is easy to find yourself a nice quiet area to enjoy the immenseness of the green paddies.

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Lunch: Balinese Home Cooking

Support the local community by dining in the backyard of a lovely Balinese family. Balinese Home Cooking is a small family run restaurant which operates from their own backyard. The entire family lives on the premises and visitors are happily allowed to take a walk around their homes so that they can get a sense of local habits and culture.

Tibumana waterfall

We started the day with a waterfall, so it only feels right to end it on the same note; with a visit to the Tibumana waterfall. The Tibumana waterfall might not be the biggest on the island, nor is it the smallest, but it is a lovely one to experience in an intimate jungle setting. The walk down to the waterfall takes roughly 10-minutes and is an amusing tropical track. Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear!

Bali day trip 2:

This beach orientated day trip is guaranteed to take you past some of the most incredible beaches on Bali’s mainland. Expect to see all shades of turquoise and plenty of surf action. Best thing is;  although insanely beautiful, these beaches are not as crowded as one would expect because they are hard to reach without a driver.

Summarized day tour: 

Belagan beach
Bingin beach
Lunch: the Cashew Tree
Dreamland beach
Uluwatu Tempel/Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Keen on going for a surf? Keep in mind that waves and currents in the Uluwatu area are extremely strong. This is therefore not the place for anyone just starting out. There are loads of surfers in the water but these are at an expert level.

Balangan Beach

Starting off, yet again, with a good one; Balangan Beach. Aside from being a popular beach amongst local surfers, Balangan features a limestone cliff with an incredible view. The viewing point is actually super easy to access from the parking lot, making it a popular pitstop for daytrippers like yourselves. Make sure to make your way down for a dip in the waters, as they’re just as blue from beneath as they’re from above.

Balangan Beach view point

Bingin beach

Bingin beach, a quiet little surf hub that can only be entered via an alley, followed by a steep stair down. This hidden beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs and has a stretch of sand that lends itself perfectly for some sunbathing. Cool off with a drink at Kelly’s Warung, or any other of the other beach shacks, and enjoy Bingin’s splendid coastline.

Lunch: the Cashew Tree

Stop for lunch at the Cashew Tree. The restaurant is playfully set-up on a small square and focusses on serving healthy meals that are just as good for you as they are for your taste buds.

Dreamland beach

Another beach, another baby blue shoreline. The last beach of the day is perfect for a dip in, yet again, crystal clear waters or, if you’re done swimming, to do some bodyboarding! More a pool lover than an ocean fanatic? Make your way upwards to the Klupa New Kuta resort for a pool overlooking the sea. The resort allows outside visitors to use the pool for 60.000 IDR. Disclaimer: this place does get crazy busy with Asian hotel guests. Some days worse than others, but it’s definitely something to consider before paying. 

Parking fee for Dreamland Beach is 20.000 IDR. This includes usage of a minivan that will bring you towards the actual beach. 

Dreamland beach view

Uluwatu Temple / Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Finish off the day with a visit to a temple rising 70 meters above sea level; the Pura Luhur Uluwatu, commonly known as the Uluwatu temple. Whilst the temple itself might not be very impressive, the cliff views that accompany the premises are nothing short of spectacular. This spot is one of Uluwatu’s touristic highlights, so do expect a lot of people here. A walk along the grounds surrounding the temple will not take more than 30 minutes of your time.

Note: Watch out for the monkeys here. Whilst they may look incredibly cute, they’re more than eager to get a hold of a pair of sunnies or, worst case scenario, your camera or phone.

The entrance fee for the Uluwatu Temple is 30.000 IDR. This includes free usage of a sarong, which is required as it is considered holy ground. 

What you should pay for a full day private taxi

A fair price pay for a full day private taxi in Bali would be anywhere between 500.000 and 600.000 IDR, equal to €37,- and $42,- Keep in mind that a lot of the sights on this list also ask a small parking and/or entrance fee, which has to be paid by yourself as well. This is usually fairly cheap -think anywhere between 2.000 until 20.000- but make sure to bring some spare change for this.

All prices as of 25 January 2019, in US dollar and EURO, converted on http://www.xe.com. 

Click here for all our articles on Bali-2

7+ Things to do during your next trip to Sydney

With an abundance of diverse activities – surfing on brilliant beaches, going into the depths of the urban jungle or visiting world-renowned landmarks – it can be difficult to decide what to do first when arriving in Sydney. For a little head start, we’ve laid out the highlights, that cannot be missed on a visit to the biggest city of Australia:

1. Luna Park

Ride the Ferris Wheel, the Wild Mouse rollercoaster or just enjoy some people gazing at Sydney’s retro Luna Park. This colorful theme park originally opened in 1935 and has been open on and off since, with some of the attractions still in use this day. The general old-school vibe and its waterfront position are what makes Luna Park worth the visit even for those who are not planning on riding anything.

Entrance to the park is free, visitors solely have to pay for the rides they want to get on. Luna Park is open year round and can be easily accessed by ferry, which stops right in front of its literally smiling door. (Milsons Point Wharf)

Note: avoid going on school holidays as it tends to get extremely overcrowded. 

Luna Park Sydney

Luna Park Sydney Luna Park Sydney

 For more information and opening hours visit www.lunaparksydney.com

2. Sydney Opera House

Perhaps the most symbolic to Sydney is the Opera House. Surprising for some is that, even though it looks like one gigantic building from a distance, the Sydney Opera House actually consists out of 7 individual venues. Each and everyone with their own iconic white roof built up out of over 1 million tiles. The Opera House still hosts over 40 shows a week and no, these aren’t only opera shows. Shows vary from cabaret to theater and dance; basically, anything that concerns performing arts so that visitors of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy a visit to the striking UNESCO world heritage site.

TIP:  Have a drink at the Opera Bar whilst visiting the Opera house. This beer garden is situated right at the waters edge and offers a phenomal view of the harbour.

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Visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com for more information and to discover the prices of a show to your liking.

3. Chinese Garden of Friendship

An oasis amidst the busy city center; the Chinese gardens of Sydney. This calming sight is open to the public for an entrance fee of 6 AUD (€3.7/$4.2 ). It takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to make your way through the park

Chinese gardens of friendship Sydney Chinese gardens of friendship Sydney

For more information visit www.darlingharbour.com

4. Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney’s Harbour Bridge was originally build to make the Northern half of Sydney more accessible and has been in use for nearly a century now. The bridge is 1.149m long and 49m wide, allowing cars as well as pedestrians to cross the sea. For an exceptional walk in which you can spot several city highlights from above, access the bridge on Cumberland Stree in Circular Quay,  and make your way over to the Northern end. The walk is particularly good during sunset and sunrise!

Sydney Harbour Bridge bonus activity:

Feeling a bit more adventurous than crossing the bridge by foot? It is also possible to actually climb the steel arch bridge, where an organized tour will bring you all the way up to the top. Hearsay has it that this experience, and the views from above, are ones to never-ever forget. As it is a once in a lifetime experience, climbing the bridge does not come cheap. Tour prices start at 168 AUD and run up to 388 AUD.

For more information visit www.bridgeclimb.com

5. Bondi Beach

A visit to the world’s most renowned beach can surely not be left off this list. Surfing, tanning, people watching, take a ton of photos, drinks with a view, outdoor workouts; there is something to do for everyone on this nearly 1 km stretch of sand. For a complete overview, click here to discover the best things to do in and around Bondi Beach.

Bondi Icebergs Pool

6. Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Darling Harbour is without a doubt a leisure and entertainment hub. The long paved path surrounding the harbour is filled with bars, restaurants, and shops that are ready to entertain its visitors. The waterfront location and the skyscrapers set in the background of the area, is what makes Darling Harbour an impressive sight in general. At night, the area comes even more alive, with street performers, happy hours and tourist and locals alike flocking to the area, preparing for a night into town.

7. Go to Manly 

Perhaps one of the most surprising Sydney suburbs is Manly. This idyllic beach set town is located a half hour ferry ride away from Circular Quay, or 15-minutes if you hop on the fast ferry. Manly is a Sydneysiders favorite and many will go to Manly on the weekends, to either get their surf on or just to enjoy a nice meal along the palm-lined boulevard. There is more to Manly than just the long stretch of golden main beach, make sure to explore the area and visit Shelly beach whilst you’re there.

The ferry to Manly leaves every half hour from Circular Quay. The price of a ticket for the regular ferry is roughly 15 AUD per person. The fast ferry is priced at 18.20 AUD. Prepare yourself for some killer views along the way.

Tip: on Sundays, public transport fares are adjusted to a $2.70 travel cap within NSW. Making it by far the best day to explore farther out areas in Sydney, such as Manly.

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8. The Rocks 

‘The Rocks’ is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney’s inner city center and can be referred to nothing less than spectacular. Whilst the area is mainly popular with locals for its shopping and dining possibilities, it is the view that makes The Rocks into something truly unique. A walk through these vibrant streets is amusing at any time of day.

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*All prices as of 8 January ’18 in US dollars & Euro, converted on xe.com

Things to do in NYC on a Budget

9x things to do for free in New York City

There is an undeniable allure to this city that drew in over 61.8 million tourists last year. And, any first-time visitor will have a full agenda trying to cross of its highlights. But, as goes for most cities that thrive on tourism,  these highlights are likely to cost you big bugs. Going to a show on Broadway filled with glitter and glam, seeing New York from above on the Empire State Building or exploring central park on a horse and carriage, it sure as hell doesn’t come cheap. When you’re eager to explore New York City, but are on a budget, here are our top things to do that are totally free: 

Still need a place to stay in New York?

1. Dumbo

Start with the best right? Our all-time favorite spot in New York; Dumbo. Some people might say that the  NYC High Line is the best place to get killer views from the skyline but those people obviously haven’t been to Dumbo yet. Dumbo, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is an industrial area whereupon first arrival it’s hard to expect much. A first glimpse of its beauty is caught when approaching the photogenic bridge. Following the path towards the Brooklyn Bridge Park is where the true views lie, those of the world-renowned New York skyline. To see such a chaotic and immense city in such peaceful scenery is incredible.  No matter which time of the day you pay the venue a visit; sunrise, sunset or mid-day; it’s all equally good.

Dumbo bridgeView from Dumbo

Brooklyn Bridge Park

2. Brooklyn Bridge

Connecting Brooklyn to the iconic skyline of Manhattan: the Brooklyn Bridge. Till this day, the $15,000,000 bridge is crossed by over 120.000 vehicles every day. And those are not just cars alone. Thousands of tourists cross the bridge on a daily basis, trying to get a glimpse of the statue of liberty, Manhattan skyline and the river. Because of the popularity, the best time to visit is earlier on the day. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to cross the bridge. But, that depends of course on how many stops you intend on taking.  The bridge can be crossed on either side. Brooklyn to Manhattan and vice versa. The best views, however, are spotted when walking towards Manhattan. Unless you’re visiting during summer time, make sure to bring a jacket as it can get incredibly windy up there.

Brooklyn BridgeBrooklyn Bridge walk

3. 9/11 memorial 

As tragic as this day was, as breathtaking is the monument. The immense size, and the meaning behind it, will leave you speechless. As it was meant to. Friends and family of the victims still bring white roses to the memorial to honor those they lost. Increasing the already powerful 2,977 names engraved in the bronze plates flanking the area.  The monument itself consists out of two colossal manmade waterfalls that are situated within the footprints of were once the world trace centers stood. The memorial is out in the open air and does not require any admission. However, if you want to visit the museum afterward, the entrance fee is $24 dollar. 

Location: 180 Greenwich St, New York

New World Trade Centers New York

4. Time Square

New York’s most photographed scenery cannot fall short of this list. Dazzling bright lights coming from as far and wide as the eyes can see. Be entertained by street performers picking dozens of people from the crowd to jump over, a half-naked batman, dance battles or watch the live news. You choose. There is literally so much going on that, even when you’re not into the touristy stuff, there is something to this square that will leave you dazed for a minute. In an attempt to take it all in. There are multiple flagship stores and theaters attached to Times Square, but this might not be the best area to start off a shopping spree. As you’ve probably guessed, the people mass here is no joke.

Location: Midtown Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It stretches from 42nd to 47th street.

Times Square New York Times Square New York

5. Central Park

In the ultimate concrete jungle, there lies 3,41 km² of green peace and quiet. Allowing the hard-working people of  New York to do their morning runs, dog walks or simply enjoy a peaceful afternoon away from the hustle every now and then. Take a stroll through one of the most filmed sceneries in the world and observe it for yourself. During summer time it’s great (and very romantic) to go rowing in the middle of the lake or find a serene picknicking spot. During winter exploring the park in a horse and carriage ride packed under comfy blankets is superb or hit the skating ranks for a fun activity. (Paid)

Location: North 110th Street to Central Park South (59th Street), and from Central Park West (8th Avenue) to 5th Ave

boats central park Lake New Yorkboats central park Lake New YorkCentral Park Lake New York

6. The New York Public Library

The New York Public library stands proudly in the middle of the popular shopping street 5th avenue. The library is the second largest public library in the US and is still actively being used, whilst simultaneously being displayed for visitors. The entrance is free and whilst the first hall might not be very impressive, once you make your way through the somewhat of a maze of a building, you’ll start getting lost in rooms and halls that are nothing but majestic. Another reason why to love this place: the public toilet is easily accessible plus clean and there is free wifi. Pretty rare in the middle of 5th avenue. What more can one wish for?

Location: 42nd Street, Fifth Avenue

7. The American Museum of Natural History

Another favorite, the American Museum of Natural History. Where visitors take a walk through ancient history and it’s wildlife starting the moment they step foot inside. No dusty old museum as you might remember from your childhood. Imagine gigantic dinosaur fossils, animals from the amazon and creatures from the deep seas or take the chance to learn about ancient cultures and their traditions in one of the many exhibitions. The admission is $23 dollars, which will grant you access to all the museum halls. But hey we said free stuff only right? The funny thing is; the entrance fee is suggested. Which is sort of a “you need to know about it” thing or you’ll end up paying full price. Pay-what-you-wish admission is available only at the ticket counters.  The museum is also free the last hour it is open, which is from 16:45-17:45.

Location: Central Park West & 79th St, Upper West Side

American Museum of National HistoryAmerican Museum of National History

Click here for more information 

8.  High Line 

Just your regular park stroll, only 9 meters above the streets of West Manhattan. That would be the rather unique 2,3 km long High Line Park, which was built on an abandoned elevated rail line. The rail line used to run freight trains between 1934 and 1980. A few years after the rail line shut down the government decided to invest a lot of money to create what is now a magnificent park on the West side of Manhattan. The park was opened to the public in 2009 and has been one of New York’ most popular attractions ever since. Throughout the park expect to find a large variety of plants and flowers, art installations and plenty of benches to sit down and enjoy the view. The skyscrapers in the background make for a nice photo opp as well.

Location: Several entrances can be found anywhere on Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenue.

View from the high line New York

9. The Staten Island Ferry 

Nothing like a nice boat ride, especially when it’s totally free. The Staten Island Ferry is a free commuter ferry that goes back and forth between the Whitehall Terminal (Manhattan) and the St. George Terminal (Staten Island). A great ride to get a glimpse of the renowned 46 meters tall copper statue of liberty located on Ellis Island. The ferry runs every 30 minutes, all day, all night and 7 days a week. A single crossing will take you approximately 25 minutes. Calculate some extra time though, cause passengers must get off and on once they’ve reached the destination.

For the exact ferry schedule click here.

Staten Island ferry Staten Island ferry view

 

DAY SPA HEAVEN: La Mamounia, Marrakech

A short walk away from the popular, but slightly overcrowded, Jemaa el Fnaa square lies an oasis of peace; the magical La Mamounia hotel. The entrance is hidden within lush green walls and solely given away by the security that is standing guard. Once passed through the initial entrance, the award-winning 5-star hotel somewhat feels like stepping into an ancient palace. With the average price of rooms starting at $597 and going all the way up to $6.519 a night,  the best way to get a taste of the luxury on offer is by paying a visit to their day spa. There is, unfortunately, no getting in here without either one of the two reservations to show for.

Looking for more activities in Marrakech?

La Mamounia hotel entrance
Main entrance of the hotel

La Mamounia hotel

The Hotel

Within the hotel, the overall lavish oriental atmosphere is enhanced by deep tones of red and gold that are featured throughout. Whilst, on the other hand, the outside areas of the hotel are infused with bright light and colorful tiles. In general, the sense of luxury that you feel when walking in here will almost make you feel displaced. Expect to see international business men having heavy discussions whilst nestled into extravagant red couches, hotel staff that is eager to anticipate on whatever you might need or guests spending thousands of dollars in the high-end shops located within the main hallway; all whilst making your way through to the entrance of the spa.

Dat spa entry at La Mamounia

Main pool La Mamounia spa
Main pool

La Mamounia Day Spa

La Mamounia’s spa has won many awards and is world renowned for its captivating main pool. The whole spa boasts an oriental atmosphere, which is executed into the tiniest details and upholds a dreamy feel for visitors throughout the different areas. The treatments themselves draw inspiration of  Moroccan as well as Eastern culture and a variety of traditional and modern therapies are available. Entrance to the spa also allows you free access to several other leisure facilities. Such as a fitness pavilion, on-site tennis courts, and the outdoor swimming pools

Outdoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Outdoor swimming pool

Luxury lunch La Mamounia hotel

Complimentary lunch

When opting for a season pass, a three-course lunch at the incredible Italian restaurant is complimentary. Each and every dish we tried was sublime, as were the several staff members serving the table. But, do note that this menu excludes any drinks you might have. The wine list, as to be expected, matches the prices of the rest of the hotel. However, there is a really decently priced Moroccan wine on there that turned out to be perfect. The hotel features two more signature restaurants. An authentic Moroccan one and one that offers French cuisine, all offer an intimate setting and a menu that stays true to their origins. 

Indoor hot tub La Mamounia spa

What is a visit to the La Mamounia spa going to cost you?

The Italian restaurant, as one would expect, is high-end and priced as such. This is what makes the season pass an exceptionally good deal. The season pass is valid for the entire day and includes a 60-minute massage or hammam treatment, a lunch at the Italian or French restaurant (depending on opening days) and will cost you $163 (€132). We, of course, couldn’t pass up on some good wine, this added another $73 (€59 to the bill).

Combined, this leads up to a total price of $399 (€323) for a single day at the La Mamounia spa for two people.

You can also opt for a day pass, which is valid for a treatment before 15:00 daily, and considerably cheaper: priced a little over $65 (€52). This will also allow you entry to the rest of the spa facilities for the day. Keep in mind that both passes are subject to availability, reservations are always a good idea.

But as mentioned before, with the superb lunch, massage and just an entire day of relaxation in one of the prettiest surroundings imaginable, if you can spare it; go for the season pass.

How to get to La Mamounia?

The hotel is very conveniently located near the main entrance of the old city center of Marrakech. Or if you’re already staying within the medina, the hotel can easily be reached by foot. The same goes if you want to explore other popular things to do in and around the medina after your hotel visits, such as a visit to the bubbling souk or the impressive Ben Youssef Madrasa. The doorman will also be happy to pull over a taxi for you, however, keep in mind that coming from this hotel the taxi driver will think you have some serious cash. And therefore most likely aim to charge the highest amount possible.
For more information on La Mamounia and their spa facilities visit www.mamounia.com/en/
Please note that an elegant dress code is required in all public areas.
*Converted on xe.com, as of 12 April’ 18 

PAYDAY LUXURY: La Mamounia, Marrakesh

Luxurious La Mamounia, Marrakesh

A short walk away from the popular but overcrowded Jemaa el Fnaa square lies, in an oasis of peace, the magical La Mamounia hotel. The entrance is hidden within lush green walls and solely given away by the large men from security dressed in black.  Once passed through the initial entrance, the award winning 5-star hotel feels like stepping into an ancient palace. With marble tiled floors that lead the way up to staff that awaits you in traditional robes. With the average price of rooms starting at $597 and going all the way up to $6.519 a night,  the best way to get a taste of the luxury on offer is by paying a visit to their day spa. There is, unfortunately, no getting in here without either one of the two reservations to show for.

La Mamounia hotel entrance
Main entrance of the hotel

La Mamounia hotel

Right from the start, there are so many different impressions that its hard to decide where to look first. The overall lavish oriental atmosphere is enhanced by the deep tones of red and gold that are featured throughout the massive hotel lobby. Whilst on the other hand, the glimpses you catch of the outside areas of the hotel are infused with bright light and colorful tiles. In general, the sense of luxury that you feel when walking in here will almost makes you feel displaced. Expect to see international business men having heavy discussions whilst nested into extravagant red couches, hotel staff that is eager to anticipate on whatever service you might need or guests spending thousands of dollars in the high-end shops featured in the hotel; all whilst making your way through to the main entrance of the spa.

Dat spa entry at La Mamounia

Main pool La Mamounia spa
Main pool

The day spa of La Mamounia has won many awards on its own and is as visually appealing as they come. The main pool is so captivating that is like something from a dream. But, frankly, so is every other aspect of the spa. Indulge yourself by going for the season pass – exact costs  can be found at end of the post- and get pampered with a 60-minute spa treatment, garden-side lunch and enjoy an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing. The spa treatments at the hotel draw inspiration of  Moroccan as well as Eastern culture, offering a variety of traditional and modern therapies. The spa pass furthermore, allows free access to several other leisure facilities. Such as the fitness pavillon, tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools

Outdoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Outdoor swimming pool
Indoor spa facilities La Mamounia
Indoor spa facilities

Luxury lunch La Mamounia hotel

And then, there is the food. When opting for a season pass, a three-course lunch at the incredible Italian restaurant is complimentary. Each and every dish we tried was sublime, as were the several staff members waiting the table. But, do note that this menu excludes any drinks you might have. The wine list, as to be expected, matches the rest of the prices of the hotel. However, there is a really decently priced Moroccan wine on there which we were hesitant to try at first, but later turned out to be perfect. The hotel features two more signature restaurants. An authentic Moroccan one and one that offers a French cuisine, all offer an intimate setting and a menu that stays true to their origins.

Indoor hot tub La Mamounia spa

What is a visit to the La Mamounia day spa going to cost you?

The Italian restaurant, as one would expect, is high-end and priced as such. This is what, even though the drinks might be excluded from the deal, makes the season pass an exceptionally good deal. The season pass is valid for the entire day and includes a 60-minute massage or hamam treatment, a lunch at the Italian or French restaurant (depending on opening days) and will cost you $163 (€132). As we, of course, couldn’t pass up on some good wine, our drinks brought the total up with another $73 (€59). Which combined, led up to a total price of $399 (€323) for a single day at the La Mamounia spa for two persons.

You can also opt for a day pass, which is valid for a treatment before 15:00 daily, and considerably cheaper: priced a little over $65 (€52). This will also allow you entry to the rest of the spa facilities for the day. Keep in mind that both passes are subject to availability, reservations are always a good idea.

But as mentioned before, with the superb lunch, massage and just an entire day of relaxation in one of the prettiest surroundings imaginable, if you can spare it; go for the season pass.

How to get to La Mamounia?

The hotel is very conveniently located near the main entrance of the old city centre of Marrakech. Or if you’re already staying within the medina, the hotel can easily be reached by foot. The same goes if you want to explore other popular things to do in and around the medina after your hotel visit, such as a visit to the bubbling souk or the impressive Ben Youssef Madrasa. The doorman will also be happy to pull over a taxi for you, however keep in mind that coming from this hotel the taxi driver will think you have some serious cash. And therefore most likely aim to charge the highest amount possible.
For more information on La Mamounia and their spa facilities visit www.mamounia.com/en/
Please note that an elegant dress code is required in all public areas.
*Converted on xe.com, as of 12 April’ 18 

ACCOMMODATION TIP – New York City

That Manhattan is no longer the only ‘place-to-be’ has been clear for quite some time now. With a large variety of districts – that each have their own characteristics- Brooklyn’s got it. And, whilst other popular area’s such as Williamsburg and Dumbo might be located closer to the bridge, Bushwick, a little bit farther out, ain’t bad at all. Especially, if you come across an accommodation like this.

The Funky Loft

A 30-minute subway ride away from New York City’s bubbling core, lies the extravagant Funky Loft.  With a variety of lush plants, a swing in the living room, kitschy 1970’s themed bathroom, vintage furniture and props throughout; this place truly is an artists dream. The Funky Loft was named “the coolest Airbnb in Brooklyn’ in 2017 by Time Out Magazine. Well, there is no arguing that.

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With its quirky interior and something eye-catching on every inch of the appartment, it’s no wonder the property is regularly rented out for photoshoots. The Funky Loft features 3 rooms that are individually themed and are fully decorated to complement that theme. New York City is famous for ever fluctuating weather but they’ve got you covered with an A/C for the hot days and heaters for the colder ones.  The doors of the accommodation are wooden barn doors, and slide from side to side. Which are super cool but do not completely close, so hopefully you’ll have mindful neighbors.

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The owners are friendly and, above all, experienced in renting out their accommodation. They know how to anticipate on anything you might need and have tons of tips to make the best of your stay.  As, an original bed and breakfast be-tamed, breakfast is set up for you to use at 07:00 and remains available until 11:00.

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However, as superb as this place might be, do keep in mind that the owners actually live at the property. Therefore, they’ve set silent hours, from 10pm until 10am. Not to say that you’re unable to go out or anything like that, you’re more than welcome to step in at any time of the night, just keep down the noise. Small price to pay for such a lovely apartment. Staying longer or having a romantic weekend getaway? Than maybe this place is best combined with a night in a hotel in Manhattan.

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Total costs for staying at the Funky Loft in Brooklyn?

For our 3-night stay, during a particularly cold March, we paid a total of $345 (280 EUR) which is a bargain in NYC.

Keen on spending the night in this incredible accommodation? Find out what it is going to cost you on your desired date and time by clicking here.

*All prices as of 31 March’18 in US dollars and EUR, converted on xe.com