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Accomodations

Welcome to the jungle. A very trendy jungle, that is. I am going to start off this post very strong by saying that 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is one of my favourite hotels, ever. Not only is every corner of this jungle-themed hotel quite literally begging to be photographed, but I also feel confident saying that this trendy Berlin hotel is the best place to stay in Berlin.

If you’re looking for a super unique and fun hotel experience, look no further. Located next to the Berlin zoo, this hotel has adapted a jungle theme and offers the most surreal views of the city, the friendliest staff, and quirky premises that can be explored for hours on end. It is the perfect place to stay, eat, and play in Berlin. Read on to find out why this is the best place to stay in Berlin and find out why it should be on your list for your next visit to Germany’s biggest city.

25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin Hammock

Disclaimer: I was a hosted guest of 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. However all thoughts and opinions regarding my stay are my own.

25hours bikini berlin location

One of my absolute favourite things about 25hours Bikini Berlin was the location – right next to the beautiful Berlin Zoo. The location is one of the reasons why it is the best place to stay in Berlin because it is central within walking distance of many restaurants and attractions. Since Berlin is such a huge city, it is important to not just be central but also be close to a metro or train station – and this Bikini Berlin hotel is within five minutes walking distance from both.

A quick walk to the Berlin Zoologischer Garten metro stop and you can get virtually anywhere you need to go in the city. When arriving to 25hours Bikini Berlin by train or metro, this is also the stop you will want to get off at.

If you’re arriving by car like we did, parking is also very convenient with 25hours Bikini Berlin parking close by. We parked next door at Bikini Berlin Parkplatz and the cost was 20 euros a day. However, if you get the parking validated by the hotel, you can get this price reduced  by 2-3 euros per day and added to to your hotel bill. Don’t forget to ask about this at the reception!

the hotel facilities

the hotel rooms

25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin Bed

And the award for my favourite hotel room ever goes to…

Honestly though, this was easily one of the most unique hotel rooms I have ever stayed in. If you’re able to upgrade your room, this is the hotel to do it at. We stayed in a Medium Jungle room, which was an industrial designed jungle-themed room with the most spectacular views of the Berlin Zoo. And the best part – the room had a hammock that you could lounge in and watch the monkeys play at the zoo. From our room on the seventh floor, you could easily see the monkey habitats, and every morning we were awoken to the sounds of them playing and eating outside. Seriously, SO COOL.

Rooms range in size from Medium to Extra Large and if you want a hammock and a zoo view like us, you’ll want to opt for a Jungle room. If you aren’t in the position to splurge, it doesn’t matter. You can still lounge in hammocks overlooking the zoo from the lobby area of the hotel.

The room itself was all open concept (including the sink/shower, but the toilet was private) and was outfitted with a king size bed and air conditioning. The quirky jungle themed details really made the room special, and the floor to ceiling windows (that opened) offered so much natural light and a fresh breeze. 

Just take one look at these photos and you’ll surely want to add this to your hotel bucket list.

neni berlin restaurant

NENI Berlin, 25hours’ onsite restaurant, is popular with both guests and locals! Since it’s located in the trendiest hotel in Berlin, you would have high expectations for this spot – and it delivers. The decor is beautiful, with tons of greenery and floor-to-ceiling windows that give the most beautiful views of Berlin from up high. With seating both inside and outside on a terrace, this is a must-try Berlin restaurant.

25hours Bikini Berlin breakfast is served in the morning from this amazing space at NENI. The breakfast spread was diverse, fresh, and delicious. I would highly recommend adding this to your reservation so you can fuel up before you hit the streets of Berlin.

If you’re looking for dinner, NENI is a great option. We didn’t have a chance to try the Berlin location, but I ate here at the 25hours Munich location and it was fantastic. . The menu is international-inspired, with references to the founder’s Israeli heritage, as well as other Mediterranian cuisines. Make sure you book a reservation, this spot is popular.

NENI Berlin
NENI Berlin

the monkey bar

Clever name, right?! 25hours Bikini Berlin is home to The Monkey Bar Berlin – which just happens to be one of Berlin’s most popular bars! This trendy Berlin bar sits a top the city, and offers incredible views of the zoo and city skyline from its rooftop terrace. The space is designed with fun, colourful details and is the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail.

I had heard this bar was popular, but I didn’t realize just how popular. In fact, every time we came back to our hotel, there was a line out the front door with people waiting to go up to The Monkey Bar Berlin. 

other amenities

I could go on and on about some of my favourite things about 25hours Bikini Berlin and why I think it is the best place to stay in Berlin. Here’s a few of the many highlights:

The Jungle Sauna: On the 9th floor of 25hours Bikini Berlin, you’ll find a relaxing sauna that is free to use for hotel guests. Here you will also be rewarded with stunning views of the zoo.

McFIT Gym Collaboration: Want to get a workout in? 25hours Bikini Berlin has a collaboration with a nearby McFIT gym location where you can get a day pass for 10 EUR.

Sustainability: If you’re looking for a sustainable hotel in Berlin, look no further! 25hours takes many steps to put sustainability first, which is one of my favourite things about this small hotel chain.

Complimentary Minibar: Yes, it’s free! Fridges in the room are stocked with local beer, soda, and water – and can be restocked daily upon request. Make sure you try the local favourite, Fritz Cola (I seriously regret not bringing a few of these back to Sweden with me).

Woodfire Bakery: Looking for a good cup of coffee and fresh baked goods? You don’t even have to leave the hotel! 

Cosy Common Spaces: Onsite you’ll find tons of trendy common spaces to get cosy. The Newsroom offers a relaxing environment to sit back, relax, and read. And alongside the reception area you’ll also find hammocks overlooking the zoo!

So, are you feeling ready to get cosy at the trendiest hotel in Berlin?!

25hours Bikini Berlin Patio

ABOUT 25hours hotels

25hours Hotels have locations all over Germany, as well as in France, Austria, and Switzerland. This sustainability-minded hotel chain is designed with the modern urban traveller in mind. Each location features it’s own locally-inspired quirky design that begs to be photographed, and little luxuries that make you feel at home – even when on the road.

Read More: Read about my experience at 25hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian.

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And stay tuned for lots more Germany content – coming soon!
The Coolest Hotel in Berlin
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When you check into 25hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian, you’re not just checking into the best place to stay in Munich. You’re also guaranteed to walk into an entirely unique hotel experience. At first glance, you won’t know where to look. With quirky details and charm around every corner, I think it’s safe to say that this is the most photogenic or instagrammable hotel in Munich. Each room tells a story, often tying in local Bavarian design cues, so you’ll want to make sure you have your camera ready. Let’s just say going through my camera roll and editing some of these photos was a TON of fun.

But it isn’t just about the design – it’s also filled with history. The Royal Bavarian offers a complete premium experience. Located in a stunning historic building, it was build between 1869 and 1871, and was originally home to “The Main Postage and Royal Telegraph Exchange.” 

From the on-site amenities, to the staff that goes above and beyond – and everything in between. I’m excited to share with you exactly why I think this is the best place to stay in Munich.

Disclaimer: I was a hosted guest of 25hours Hotel the Royal Bavarian. However all thoughts and opinions regarding my stay are my own.

25hours hotel munich location

Before we dive into the hotel details, I need to share one of my favourite things about this hotel: the location. 25hours Munich is located right next to München Hauptbahnhof (Munich central station), which makes it especially convenient for those arriving to the hotel by train. It is also a central Munich hotel within easy walking distance from all of Munich’s most popular attractions.

If you’re arriving by car like we did, parking is also very convenient with 25hours Hotel Munich parking close by. While there are a few secured parking garages around, we parked next door at Karstadt Parkhaus and the cost was 15 euros per day.

the hotel facilities

the hotel rooms

Our hotel room at 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian was perhaps one of the cosiest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in – and definitely the quirkiest. We were hosted in a Large room (also known as a Chamber room), but room sizes vary in size from Small to Suite. No matter which room you choose, they are all outfitted to make you feel like a queen (or king).

The room itself was spacious with a king size bed and air conditioning (which was so welcomed during during the August Munich heatwave we experienced). It had all kinds of fun details that could keep you busy for hours. Details like the vintage typewriter (that actually worked), the “secret” window to the bathroom, and the bottle opener that shouted “prost” (which means “cheers” in German) when you opened a bottle made the whole experience so much fun.

The room was uniquely designed with Bavarian-inspired cues, like the tiered royal headboard and books that substituted traditional bed frame legs. The bathroom was beautiful, with white and black tiles and bronze accents. And had other fun little additions, like a bucket hanging from the ceiling to hold the towels.

I mean, just look at these photos!

neni munich restaurant

NENI Restaurant Orangery Munich

NENI restaurant Munich, 25hours’ onsite restaurant, is not just popular with hotel guests. Not only is the decor so beautiful, with tons of greenery and stained glass, but the food was also great.

If you’re opting for hotel breakfast, which I highly recommend you do, you’ll eat in the morning at NENI. The 25hours Hotel Munich breakfast was arguably the most diverse breakfast spread I have ever seen. We ate breakfast here everyday and it was the perfect spot to fuel up for our busy days in the Munich summer sun.

On our first night in Munich we also had the pleasure of trying NENI restaurant. We naively headed down after checking in without a reservation and it was packed. Luckily they were able to find us a table, but I’d recommend booking ahead because this spot is popular with tourists and locals alike. Serving a unique international-inspired menu, with references to the founder’s Israeli heritage, as well as other Mediterranian cuisines, NENI is a must-try dinner spot in Munich (especially if you’re looking to step away from traditional Bavarian fare for a night like we were).

NENI is also home to the NENI Deli, and the hotels most beautiful (and instagrammable) space: The Orangery.

Boilerman bar

Just when you thought that staying at 25hours Hotel Munich couldn’t get any better…

It also has a super cool speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar located on the first floor of the hotel. Boilerman Bar is a popular onsite bar that serves cocktails until the early hours of the morning. Their signature drink, the Highball, can be served in a variety of ways and is described as a small uncomplicated drink that is prepared without a shaker and is both delicious and affordable. The design is cosy, creating a great ambiance to gather and socialize in the heart of Munich.

Boilerman Bar
Boilerman Bar

other amenities

The list of amenities at 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian never seems to end! Here’s a few more reasons why this is the best place to stay in Munich:

Bike Rental: Getting around Munich by bar is easily one of the best ways to see the city. With a bike rental from 25hours and a route map carefully curated by Munich locals, it makes navigating the city a breeze.

Sauna: At the top of 25hours Munich, you’ll find a relaxing sauna that is free to use for hotel guests.

Fitness Room: Wanna work off those steins of beer? 25hours has you covered with an onsite gym.

Sustainability: Perhaps not an amenity, but if you’re looking for a sustainable hotel in Munich, this is a great option. They have friendly reminders all around the hotel to help you make environmentally-conscious choices, which is perfect for the modern traveller.

Complimentary Minibar: It’s not often that the minibar is free! At 25hours, you can take advantage of the in-room minibar which is stocked with local beer, soda, and water – and is restocked daily upon request.

Drive a Mini Cooper: Get free use of the hotels own fleet of Mini Coopers! We didn’t use this service but it sure sounds fun. Reach out to the hotel reception for more info on this unique opportunity.

ABOUT 25hours hotels

25hours Hotels have locations all over Germany, as well as in France, Austria, and Switzerland. This sustainability-minded hotel chain is designed with the modern urban traveller in mind. Each location features it’s own locally-inspired quirky design that begs to be photographed, and little luxuries that make you feel at home – even when on the road.

Read More: Read about my experience at 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin

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And stay tuned for lots more Germany content – coming soon!
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Talldungen Gårdshotell

Have you ever heard so many wonderful things about a place that you begin to think it is too good to be true? I have received many travel recommendations over the years – and read many glowing reviews – only to be a bit disappointed because the experience was not the same as I imagined it to be. Before visiting Talldungen Gårdshotell Österlen, I had heard the most wonderful things about this hidden gem. That it has some of the best food in Sweden. And that the hotel and service and surroundings would blow you away. And, admittedly, I was skeptical. Can this bed-and-breakfast tucked away in the Österlen countryside really be that perfect? Well, I am here to tell you that Talldungen Gårdshotell is – in fact – that perfect.

Dare I say that this is my favourite spot I have visited in Sweden to date (or, at least among the top). I am going to share with you all the reasons why our little overnight getaway to Talldungen Gårdshotell blew me away.

Talldungen Gårdshotell
Talldungen Gårdshotell

Please note: This post is not sponsored in any way. We simply loved our experience here so much that I wanted to share the details (and the beautiful photos) of it with you.

See Also: My great big travel guide to Skåne.

WHAT MAKES TALLDUNGAN GÅRDSHOTELL ÖSTERLEN SO SPECIAL?

Have you ever just had that feeling when travelling? The feeling of being at ease. And just genuinely, wholeheartedly happy. This is the feeling I had while we stayed at Talldungen.

Talldungen Gårdshotell Österlen – located in the town of Brösarp – will make you feel like you have been transported to the Italian countryside. The hotel owners, Emma and David, moved from the big city to Österlen to pursue their dream of living in the countryside. They used their culinary skills to open this full service Österlen gårdshotell (farm hotel) with a world-class dining experience that attracts visitors from all over Sweden – and the world.

the hotel facilities

Talldungen Gårdshotell view

The decor at Talldungen is cosy and retro, with many unique elements that appear to be sourced from local antique shops. Everything about the esthetic is a bit mismatched, a bit eclectic, a bit imperfect. And yet, so charming. I said to Sebastian at least twenty times that I wanted my entire apartment to look like the interior of Talldungen.

Outside, you’ll find a huge patio with views of the surrounding hills and farm life. While we didn’t have an opportunity to sit outside as it rained throughout most of our stay, it gives us a good reason to come back soon to sit on the terrace and enjoy the sunshine with a glass of wine.

Our room was huge, and the bed comfy, with a beautiful window overlooking the hills. We opted to save a bit of money and booked a room that had a private bathroom down the hall, which we didn’t mind at all. The bathroom was brand new and stocked with lovely personal care products.

Talldungen offers a variety of room types suitable for every budget – ranging from rooms with shared bathrooms, to modern ensuites.

talldungen restaurant

As I mentioned above, the owners of Talldungen are experienced chefs, and the hotel offers a rustic five course tasting menu experience that is perfect in every way. Using locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, the dishes blend Italian, French, and Swedish influences. Full disclosure: This is one of my absolute favourite meals that I have had in Sweden.

Our meal started off with fresh bread from their onsite bakery, paired with cured ham and rooster liver pate (I normally do not like pate, but this was so good). Next up was a sweet pepper and mozzarella appetizer, followed by the main course, which offered a pork, fish or vegetarian option. The main course was followed up with some fresh local cheese and three different desserts to share: A meringue with fresh wild strawberries, a lemon curd, and homemade stracciatella ice cream.

The restaurant also has possibly the largest natural wine selection I have ever seen. While many visitors opt for the wine pairing, we decided to share a bottle of red wine instead. Our waiter listened to our requests and suggested the most perfect, unique natural wine catered to our tastebuds.

In the morning, you’ll be welcomed to an expansive breakfast with many homemade and locally-sourced options – including some of the best bread I have ever tasted that had just come straight from their bakery, homemade apple juice, and a delicious yogurt parfait with the fresh perfectly paired seasonal toppings.

The staff went above and beyond the entire weekend to offer a premium culinary experience, and were eager to help us navigate Sebastian’s food allergies. This included whipping him up some homemade bread on a whim when he was allergic to the standard option.

surrounding nature

Brösarps backar cows

Talldungen is located right in the centre of Brösarps Backer (Brösarp’s hills). This region offers beautiful nature and many hiking trails. While it rained most of the weekend, we were able to find a two hour window after we checked out to explore the region – and WOW. It is beautiful.

The Skåneleden Trail, which is over 1250 kilometres of hiking trails scattered through southern Sweden, runs through this area. While many people head straight for this path, the staff at Talldungen recommended an alternative walking path for us that combined parts of the Skåneleden Trail (orange trail markers) and Backaleden (yellow trail markers). The Skåneleden portion was mostly through the forest, whereas the Backaleden portion led up the hills through valleys and fields. One of the best things about Sweden is the “right to roam” rule, which gives you permission to hike or camp anywhere as long as you aren’t disturbing nature. This also means many of these trails navigate through private property including animal pastures – so you can count on dodging cow and horse poo through many of the trails. But hiking alongside the animals and beautiful surroundings makes it worth it.

Talldungen Gårdshotell will pack you a picnic or coffee to bring on your hike if you’d like! Make sure you talk to them and plan this for a sunny day.

See Also: The Best Beaches in Skåne.

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Looking for other inspiration to visit Sweden? You can find all my Sweden content here.
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Halong Bay Doris Cruise Review

It should come as no surprise that Halong Bay is a little slice of heaven on earth. You’ve surely seen the photos of this popular spot, that draws as many as 8 million people to the region every single year. And it’s easy to see why – the region is natural spectacle (it’s even been considered on the 7 Natural Wonders of the World).

Due to this popularity, it should also come as no surprise that there are hundreds of cruise operators all claiming to be the “best Halong Bay cruise” and trying to convince you to book with them. They range in price from affordable to luxury, and each have their own marketing angles – traditional junk boats, small 10-room cruises, sustainability-minded cruises, and so on.

So how do you possibly pick the best Halong Bay cruise? It’s overwhelming, I know. And I’m hoping this article can bring you a bit of clarity. Because I am convinced that Doris Cruise really offers one of the best Halong Bay cruise experiences.

Visiting Halong Bay

want to know more about doris cruise: a halong bay luxury cruise
read on to find out more!

but first...
how to choose a halong bay cruise?

When choosing the right Halong Bay cruise, there are a few things to consider:

How many days in Halong Bay? We opted for a 3 day, 2 night cruise because we wanted to get the full Halong Bay experience. But I understand that seeing this landmark may not be your top priority, or your itinerary may not allow for three days allocated to Halong Bay. With that being said, I do recommend spending at least one night on Halong Bay. Halong Bay town isn’t that nice to stay overnight in, and getting from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes at least 3 hours each way (depending on traffic). If you only stay for one day, it would make for a very long and tiring day. Plus, day trips stay close to the harbor surrounded by hundreds of other ships. This makes it difficult to truly grasp the beauty of this region.

What is your Halong Bay budget? The cost of visiting Halong Bay can vary greatly, depending on the length of your stay and the type of ship. We opted for a luxury Halong Bay cruise, but I understand that this isn’t for everyone. Compared to everything else in Vietnam, the prices of visiting Halong Bay will seem inflated (even for the cheap options). Keep this in mind when booking. For myself, instead of comparing the price tag to hotel/food prices in Vietnam, I compared it to the prices of similar experiences at home and was easily able to justify this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you look at it from this perspective, any Halong Bay cruise would be considered a very good value.

How do you feel about crowds? This one is important. You’ll want to consider where your cruise is sailing to avoid being surrounded by hundreds of other boats (especially during peak season). Opt for cruises that visit Lan Ha Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay instead of just staying in Halong Bay. Coincidentally, these will have a higher price tag. But it will be worth it to be able to experience this beautiful region crowd-free. 

Visiting Halong Bay with DORIS CRUISE

Doris Cruise is part of a brand new family of luxury 5-star Halong Bay cruises that began sailing in late 2019. The cruise offers two itineraries to choose from (1 night or 2 nights) and takes you out to the serene Lan Ha Bay, off the coast of Cat Ba island. We loved sailing out to this part of the region because there are very few Lan Ha Bay cruise operators, which means we rarely saw any other boats!

on board amenities

Doris cruise was filled with all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury Halong Bay cruise line – and the best part was that the entire ship was BRAND NEW.

The rooms were immaculate and spacious with huge bathrooms and one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept on. They were stocked with premium towels and linens, coffee and water, and toiletries. Walk into the bathroom and you’ll be greeted by a bath tub with views of the surrounding Halong Bay. And when you’re done, you can throw on a robe and continue to take in the views from your own private balcony. 

If I can offer one piece of advice … If your budget allows for it, choose a Halong Bay cruise with a private balcony. This was a game changer!

The on-site Doris Cruise spa offers services that include nail care and massages. After a day of activities, I opted for an on-board pre-dinner massage and I can easily say it was one of the best massages I have ever had. 

Upstairs in the common areas you’ll find a massive sundeck on the roof, with chairs for lounging. An outdoor hot tub. A fully-stacked bar and dining area. And all kinds of other on board activities like fishing, cooking classes, and more.

Doris Cruise Hot Tub
Doris Cruise Sundeck

And above all else, what made the experience extra special was the staff, who were true professionals. They went above and beyond to make our stay perfect, were extremely engaging and helpful. It was a pleasure getting to know them during our time on board. A special shout out to our server, Hero, who went above and beyond to make sure Sebastian’s peanut and sesame allergies were minded.

doris cruise itinerary

As I mentioned before, you have two itinerary options on Doris Cruise. We opted for the two night option, but if you only choose the one night itinerary, you can remove the second day of activities. 

day 1

8:00-9:00 AM : Luxury Limousine Pickup and Transfer to Halong Bay

The transfer was on time, comfortable, and smooth, with in-car amenities including water and free wifi. We made a pit stop half way to Halong Bay for a bathroom break and snacks.

12:30 PM : Check In, Welcome Drink & Lunch

When you arrive to the port, you’ll board a boat that takes you out to the cruise ship, which is docked outside of the harbor. The staff was helpful in making what could have been a very chaotic situation go smoothly. Once you arrive, you are warmly greeted by the staff and offered a welcome drink. From there, you go through a safety demonstration, and are served your first lunch (a delicious five course meal, perfectly catered to all allergy and food preferences). From there, you head to your room to get unpacked.

Doris Cruise Food

Mid-Afternoon : Kayaking & Swimming

After lunch, head to the back of the boat for kayaking and swimming. It was a bit cold for swimming when we visited in January, but it would have been fantastic during the warmer months. The kayaking is a lot of fun and the views are surreal. You can kayak up to the small inlet beaches and take in the views of Ba Trai Dao Islet with very few other ships around.

Halong Bay Beach

5:00-7:00 PM : Sunset Party

The bar opens up and it’s time to mingle with other cruise guests before dinner. During this time, the ship also hosts a happy hour (buy 2, get 1 free) and around 6:00 they host a cooking demonstration and teach you how to make spring rolls.

7:00 PM : Dinner

Dinner begins and it is served buffet-style. The options were plentiful, with food options ranging from Vietnamese to Western. And lots of delicious dessert and fresh fruits. 

9:00 PM : Squid Fishing, Games, and more

Choose from a variety of games to play, or try your luck at squid fishing. Or, if you’re like us, take the party back to your private balcony and have a glass of wine together.

Tip: Drinks on board are not included, so I’d suggest packing some beers or a bottle of wine. But, if you forget to bring along something like us, keep an eye out for these ladies rowing alongside the boat selling beer, wine, and snacks. We took full advantage and bought a bottle of local wine, which was delivered to us by fishing net (the local hussle is reeeaal).

Wine Halong Bay Cruise

day 2

6:30 AM : Tai Chi on the Sundeck

If you’re an early riser, get up and get movin’. Tai Chi is a great way to wake up at sunrise and enjoy the beautiful Halong Bay surroundings. I mean, it really doesn’t get more peaceful than that.

7:00 AM : Early Breakfast

Even if you decided to “sleep in,” day two starts early (although this is ok if you’re like Sebastian and I who fell asleep at 9:00 pm with the lights on because the bed was SO comfy and the jet lag was REAL). Breakfast is buffet-style and has loads of options: pastries, fruit, eggs, noodle dishes, and more.

8:15 AM : Head Out for a Day Trip

Board a smaller boat and you’re off for the day. First stop: Viet Hai Village. This small local village lies on Cat Ba island. While many others visit the village by car, you’ll get the unique option of biking to the village – and taking in spectacular sights along the way. In the village we saw what day-to-day life was like for locals, tasted some local wines (with with 40% alcohol content so I’ll use the term “wine” loosely) and learned about the history of the Viet Hai community.

Next, we biked back to the harbor and boarded the boat where we enjoyed a massive (5-7 course??) meal.

Our final stop was a floating fish farm near Van Boi Beach where we got to see the locals fishing. These floating villages used to scatter Halong Bay, however many of them have since been given opportunities job on land by the government as tourism has grown in the region. This may seem a bit sad, that this tradition is being extinguished – however, guides said that the alternative jobs have provided a better quality of life for these locals, and that in many cases the change in welcome.

At the fishing village you’re also able to enjoy more swimming and kayaking. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Doris Cruise, arriving around 3-3:30 PM.

Here’s a few highlights from this awesome day:

Halong Bay Daytrip
Cat Ba Island Day Trip
Halong Bay Fishing Village
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island
Fisherman in Halong Bay village

5:00-9:00 PM : Sunset Party, Dinner & Activities

Evening activities are the same as they were on night one. You can reference the “Day 1” section for these details.

day 3

6:30-7:45 AM : Tai Chi & Early Breakfast

These activities will be the same as day two.

8:00 AM : Bamboo Boat Ride to Hang Sang & Toi

You’ll leave the boat and head out on your last excursion, where you’ll get on a bamboo boat and explore Hand Sang & Toi – which was used as a filming location for the most recent King Kong movie. The region was breathtaking and you could hear a pin drop… it was so serene and quiet. There wasn’t a single boat or tour group around. Locals rowed us around the inlets, as we were able to take in the beautiful surrounding area.

Bamboo Boat Ride Halong Bay
James Bond Island

9:30 AM : Checkout & Early Lunch

Head back to your room, finishing packing, and complete the check out process. From there, to you’ll head up to the dining room to enjoy one last early lunch, and take in the beautiful surrounding scenery one last time.

11:30 AM : Back to the Harbor

You’ll say your goodbyes, disembark Doris Cruise, and head back to the harbor by transfer boat. From here, you’ll be greeted by your luxury limousine driver and will make your way back to Hanoi (if applicable).

Halong Bay Cruise Luxury

Ready to Book?

I would highly recommend emailing them directly versus booking with a search engine. If you book directly, they are more likely to include added perks, such as a free shuttle to/from Hanoi.

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And don’t forget to check out my very detailed Hanoi Travel Guide (complete with map!) to use while you’re visiting Hanoi.

The Best Luxury Halong Bay Cruise
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Coffee at Hotel Tegnérlunden

Earlier in December, we decided to plan a quick little getaway up to Stockholm for a cozy weekend of Christmas markets, good eats, and wandering through the historic city streets. The days here in Malmö have been SHORT – and they were about to get even shorter in Stockholm (I’m talking 2:30 pm sunsets). And while I knew the Christmas lights that sparkled all over the city would keep us keen on wandering around the city despite the darkness, it was equally important that we had the perfect little city oasis to retreat to, unwind, and catch some shut eye. Cue the best hotel in Stockholm: Hotel Tegnérlunden.

See Also: My Full City Guide to Stockholm – What to Do, See and Eat

planning a trip to Stockholm?

Here's what makes Hotel Tegnérlunden the best hotel in Stockholm.

central Location... And the views!

I have stayed in A LOT of hotels. I mean, a lot… And Hotel Tegnérlunden is one of my favourite hotel locations, ever.

Reason being? It’s centrally located, about 10-15 minutes walking distance north of the central station. And also five minutes away from the Rådmansgatan station (although I would argue the best way to explore Stockholm is by foot). However, despite being central, it is away from the hustle and bustle of Gamla Stan and the main downtown shopping district which are quite literally flooded with people. 

It’s located across the street from the most charming park, Tegnérlunden, which the hotel is named after. One of my favourite parts of staying here was waking up in the morning and being greeted by the most beautiful views of the park. I mean, just LOOK at this morning coffee view. This neighbourhood set the scene for the perfect city retreat, which was welcome after busy days exploring the streets of Stockholm.

Pro Tip: When booking at Hotel Tegnérlunden, make sure you opt for a “Park View” room. I swear it will be the best investment you’ll make during your time in Stockholm

cozy, clean & modern rooms

I loved our room at Hotel Tegnérlunden. Not only did it have the most perfect views, but the room itself was perfection. We were hosted in a Suite which was spacious and modernly decorated. The living space provided the perfect spot to sip our coffees in the morning, give our tired feet a midday break, or enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif.

I especially loved how comfortable the bed was, and how big the bathroom was – two things that I have learned are never guaranteed (photos can be REALLY deceiving).

While the Suite was really lovely, a Double Room (ideally with Park View) would still serve as a perfect resting place if you’re looking to save a bit of money or re-allocate your budget to other fun activities in Stockholm.

Suite at Hotel Tegnérlunden

The Most IMportant Meal Of the Day

Breakfast at Hotel Tegnérlunden was one of the better breakfasts I’ve had recently. The spread was expansive! I’m talking an assortment of breads, cheeses, meats, yogurt (with all the fixings!!), sausages, bacon, eggs, traditional Swedish delicacies (pâté, herring), sweets, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juices…

I could go on and on.

And as a bonus, the breakfast room is located on the top (6th) floor. It’s filled with windows and tons of natural light. And offers incredible rooftop views of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

The point is, I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day. 

it's all in the details...

The real reason why I loved my stay a Hotel Tegnérlunden is all in the details.

Let’s start with the staff. From the warm welcome we received when we arrived, to the the ladies shouting “tack så mycket” (thank you so much) from the kitchen as we left breakfast, and the cheerful “god morgon” (good morning) from staff in the hallways, the staff went out of their way to make our stay special.

The hotel premises were welcoming, with a lovely main lobby area complete with full-service bar, snacks, and 24-hour front desk reception staff to answer all of our questions.

Hotel Tegnérlunden Lobby

And let’s not forget these added in-room amenities…

It's time to get cozy at the best hotel in stockholm

I love visiting Stockholm… This trip absolutely will not be my last (although next time it’ll hopefully be a bit warmer and the days, a bit longer). And next time, I know exactly where I’ll be choosing to rest my head: Hotel Tegnérlunden.

In the meanwhile, if you’re planning a Scandinavian adventure, check out all of my Denmark and Sweden content, including a list detailing all the best things about living in Sweden

And if you’re headed to Stockholm, don’t forget to check out my Stockholm City Guide.

Disclosure: A special thanks to Hotel Tegnérlunden for inviting me to be a guest at their property. As always, all opinions reflected in this article are my own

Ready to Book A room?

You can find the cheapest Hotel Tegnérlunden rates by booking on their website here. AND, as an added bonus, when you book directly on their website, breakfast is always included in the price.

LIKE WHAT YOU READ? PIN IT BELOW.

And if you’re visiting Stockholm, make sure you check out my Stockholm City Guide.

The Best Hotel in Stockholm
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The city of Porto is seriously cool. It’s gritty. Charming. Inviting. And perfectly imperfect in every single way.

Coincidently, I would use all these same adjectives to describe one of my favourite hotels, ever: ZERO Box Lodge.

This spot is definitely not your typical hotel, and quickly challenged all my expectations of what I typically expect from a hotel: because it is so much more than just a hotel. A trendy hub in the centre of Porto where you can sleep, eat, drink – and be amazed (seriously, this hotel was definitely designed with Instagram in mind).


ABOUT ZERO BOX LODGE

ZERO Box Lodge describes their hotel design as a new way of sleeping. And suggests that their model could be the future of tourism.

The hotel was the brain child of Gonçalo Carvalho, who had a vision to transform an old t-shirt factory from the 1800s into a revolutionary hotel concept. It was a one-stop-shop where visitors could feel like they have entered a different world.

In short, in every single way this place is the complete opposite of an ordinary hotel. ZERO Box Lodge is…


A PLACE TO REST

The room concept at ZERO Box Lodge was inspired by the Japanese “capsule hotel” and features rows of simple wooden boxes with plenty of room to move around, stand, and sleep. Each of these boxes features it’s own private, very modern bathroom.

Although the rooms were small, we rarely spend time in our hotel room when travelling. And found it was spacious enough to relax after a long day, with a very comfy bed and a large welcoming bathroom and shower (with huge towels, which I find are ALL TOO RARE when travelling – it’s all about the little things, you know?).


A PLACE TO EAT

Would you believe me if I said that the best dinner we had in Porto was at our hotel?

I never eat at hotel restaurants. I typically find them generic, overpriced, and lacking any sort of culinary creativity. O Carniceiro at ZERO Box Lodge challenged every single one of those opinions.

The concept was simple: look inside the glass refrigerator, pick a cut or two of meat, and they will prepare it for you. Pick a side dish (or two or three). And ENJOY.

We opted to share a couple different cuts of beef (they do have veggie/fish options if meat isn’t your thing). Indulged in two sides. And were totally blown away.

I was so full, but the food was SO good I knew I had to get dessert. And the sweet/spicy mix of the blackberry and green pepper chocolate cake was easily one of the best desserts I’ve had in awhile.

And the best part: this meal was so affordable.

See Also: The Best Food Tour in Porto


A PLACE TO DRINK

Why leave the hotel when you have one of the coolest bars in the city onsite? The Big Bad Bank Bar not only looked cool, but the cocktails were so on point. We enjoyed our pre-dinner cocktails so much on our first night in Porto, that we returned for another drink before our dinner at Big Bad Bank Bar the following night.


A PLACE TO BE AMAZED

Bank Vault

Inside Big Bad Bank Bar, they have designed their very own bank vault, complete with thousands of bills behind bars and traditional Portuguese tile patterns. It is easily the most Insta-worthy spot in the hotel.

Free Room

Yes, you heard that right – FREE HOTEL ROOM. This unique feature helps you answer the question: how far would you go for free accommodations?

Located in a highly visible location between the reception and bar is a glass-enclosed “free room.” The catch – zero privacy. And I mean literally zero. In fact, when we were going to breakfast in the morning we walked by the room to witness the occupant passed out in the midst of all the commotion around him. And we came home from a busy day in the city to see him playing video games in the room.

Personally, I’m adventurous, but not THAT adventurous. However, if you are ready to put yourself on display, this is the perfect opportunity to stay in Porto for free!


A PLACE THAT HAS IT ALL

Welcome Beer

Cold beer? Yes please. When I walked into the hotel and was offered a cold beer, I knew were in for a special stay. And the hospitality didn’t stop throughout our stay. The staff was friendly, helpful, and really rounded out the whole experience.

Breakfast

We also opted for the breakfast, which was served at O Carneceiro in the mornings. For only 8 euros per person, you were given a choice of four breakfast options, which included coffee and freshly squeezed juice. The portions were generous, making this option an incredible value and one I would absolutely opt for so you get up and start exploring early.

Watertank & Sauna

The “watertank,” or rooftop pool, wasn’t opened yet when we visited in April, and it still says that this feature is “coming soon” on the hotel website. But, once it is opened it will be a fantastic amenity with views overlooking Porto; it’s something that I can’t wait to return to try.


LOCATION

ZERO Box Lodge is located in a fabulous location, right in the city centre. Porto is a small city, and virtually everything is accessible by foot. This spot is perfectly situated to help you make the most of your city exploration.


PRICES & BOOKING

ZERO Box Lodge is super affordable, and offers an incredible value for your money. Check out the latest prices and book your stay: click here.


In short: ZERO Box Lodge is JUST PLAIN COOL & if you’re visiting Porto, you NEED TO STAY HERE.

I really couldn’t recommend this spot enough. The concept was so unique, and absolutely contributed to making our stay in Porto that much more special. And if sleeping in a box isn’t your thing, you can still stop by and enjoy the bar and restaurant. Because this spot is so much more than just a hotel.

See Also: The Chicest Boutique Hotel in Lisbon


ARE YOU HEADING TO PORTO?

PIN this article for later and stay at Porto’s trendiest hotel! And subscribe to my mailing list to stay up to date on more Portugal recommendations coming to your inbox soon.

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