Checklist on Choosing that Great Holiday Accommodation

Checklist on Choosing that Great Holiday Accommodation

**this is an old post that I’d like to reminisce and update every now and then, enjoy reading ^_^…

In the upcoming days, I will play tourist guide to a cousin from the United Kingdom.

Usually I’m a girlscout cheapskate traveler, but since I’ll be traveling with family, I will have to level up with some comforts. One comfort will be places to stay while we are on holidays.

I have prepared a checklist of my definition of the perfect place.. Whether it’s a posh hotel or a family house, what really matter is if the places agree to the criteria below. Check them out or feel free to add up more info in the comments if you like.

1. Value for the money. To be honest, I have stayed in 5 star hotels, and I felt like it’s just another hotel.. And I have stayed in hotels that don’t cost much yet I get that posh feeling, and I feel like not wanting to leave… Below is one of my favorite hotels in Bangkok. That posh feeling don’t need to be expensive.

temporary hotel office

2. Genuine Staff Hospitality. When I was traveling in Boracay last month, I overheard this group of local young men taunting another local traveler. Based from their conversation, I think they knew each other very well.. Because the sarcastic phrase of telling the newly arrived local not to go back to the island if he doesn’t have money was… sarcastic but for the locals it’s funny.

Now, imagine if those local men were the staff at the hotel. Do you think they will treat you according to the level of your budget? In the material world, probably you’ll get treated that way.. but in some far flung places, you’ll get treated as a valuable visitor.. and that is genuine hospitality.

3. Cleanliness. After long days of travel, anyone would like to rest in clean and welcoming rooms. No matter how simple or how elegant, as long as there is no cockroach flying, floors are clean, sheets are newly washed, then it’s already heaven. Below is a picture of my room, I got it for free courtesy of my host whom I consider a foster mom in Bhaktapur, Nepal.

4. Food. I prefer to stay in hotels with free buffet.. or at least the restaurants are nearby. Every place has their own unique dish so the foodie in me craves an adventure that delights the taste buds.

metro manila buffet2

5. Facilities. Hail to the accommodations that provide extra facilities like Swimming Pool, Gym, Rooftop, and meeting rooms. It feels like we’re not just renting a room, but we’re free to roam around the hotel building to use the amenities as well.

6. Great Location. I actually met tourists who prefer the far flung areas. So I guess location preferences vary from the types of guests. If for example, I’m in a city, I would choose a place that are near the malls, subways, airport. But when I wanted to dive deep into the culture, I would go as far as Changunarayan, Bhaktapur in Nepal just to seek the authentic. Take note, traveling to far flung areas and experiencing real culture doesn’t have to be expensive too.

7. Complimentary stuff. Freebies such as slippers, shampoo, lotion, towel, plates, spoon, fork.. wait… dear hotel staff, I’m just kidding, don’t send a policewoman to stare at me while eating. Below is the hotel room that me and my mom enjoyed while traveling out of the country last year.

8. Security. It feels safe to know that there are security guards making sure guests are safe during their stay.. but when these guards stare at you in your every move, then that’s not the definition of safety. Stare at them back and in an intimidating voice ask them – do I look like a drug pusher?

9. Parking. This will be convenient for those who have their own car. I don’t have a vehicle so it’s down my list.

10. Travel and Tour Assistance. This is also not a priority for me because most of the time, I travel without needing any tourist guide. But this comes in handy when the place is really far flung, and the helpdesk is ready to find you if you’re lost.. coz you haven’t paid yet so probably that’s one of the reason.

Related Articles:

Alternative places to stay when traveling

Alternative places to stay when traveling

I used to think traveling to different places is expensive because you have to stay in posh places like hotels.

Well, some people really do travel and stay in hotels all day. I was lucky to stay at 5 star hotels on various occasions. This was at Shangri La Hotel in Edsa.

shangri la hotel

Read this if you want to stay in posh places for free.

Well, now that more and more people are traveling, it has now become apparent that there are other alternative places to stay when you want to take a break from your daily life to meet people and see other places.

Alternative places to stay can be hostels which is cheaper than a hotel and suitable for young people because of the vibe and the connections.. For those who have a large network, or family, you can stay in your relative’s homes which can be free as long as you wash the dishes or help around the house… in my case, I try to cook or buy people food instead.

cebu with chuchay

You can sleep in family homes, but you can also sleep at other people’s homes too.. it will be more interesting if the house has a character. So far, I have stayed in our old traditional Filipino house in Antique, a farm house in Laos, an art house owned by a movie director in Palawan, I’ve stayed at nipa huts of friends, and I’ve stayed in a Tribe community in South Cotabato..


If you don’t have a large family clan, but belong to an organization or community, you can try to sleep in the org’s headquarters in the area where you are in. I was able to stay in Tagaytay for a few months because of an international community called Focolare. In Nepal, I stayed in a school that has a children’s home run by the Ananda Marga organization.. in return, I took care of the kids, became a temporary computer teacher, treat them food that they don’t get to eat always, like spaghetti.

Now, those houses are still normal resting places. Let’s explore a bit more of the unconventional places to check out when looking for places to stay while traveling.

You might want to consider these places to add more interesting travel experiences.

Have you tried sleeping in a convent? I did. During retreats, we get to stay in religious places.. I am also curious about temples and other religious places though.. might try to stay in one out of curiousity.

How about sleeping in a tent? I’ve tried that when we were in Omkoi, Thailand last 2011 while doing volunteer work in the far flung area.


Ok, if there’s no tent, sleeping under the stars is an option too.. yep, tried it one time with a french friend in Bohol in Alona beach, Panglao… we just put our towels in the sand and slept outside ignoring the posh establishments.

I also tried sleeping in moving vehicles, a bus, or train.. this saves time and money because you are moving while sleeping.


Another temporary refuge is the airport or bus terminal.. Get a bench, make your backpack your pillow, and catch a few hours of sleep. I tried that in Malaysia, then I overslept and my plane went ahead of me.

Hammocks are nice too. I haven’t tried this yet but who knows what the future holds.

But after all these traveling, you know what I realized? A 5 star hotel can still feel like an any star hotel.. And a home can feel like the poshest hotel that gives you all the positive feelings..

It really doesn’t matter where you stay or where you rest your head at night.. what matters is the positive vibe that the place is giving.. Here’s a list of my favorite places to stay whenever I travel.

Were you able to travel and stay in alternative places other than the usual hotel/hostel/home? I’d like to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

Win FREE 2 nights stay at Jazz Hostel in New York

Win FREE 2 nights stay at Jazz Hostel in New York

February is the month of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.. Perfect timing to give away freebies ;)

Here’s a very easy way how to avail free 2 nights stay at Jazz on Columbus Circle Youth Hotel in New York. All steps are required for you to be eligible to win. I give special treatment to those who will give a little effort to comment in this blog post. ^_^

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A few years ago, New York Food Tour gave out complimentary food trips. Now Jazz Hostels, a former tech project client, is giving away freebies via this blog. Isn’t that awesome? ^_^

Columbus Circle Jazz Hostel =New York
You’ll find that the Youth Hotel is nestled next to Central Park, a stone’s throw away from the world famous Columbus Circle traffic circle. Take time to visit Lincoln Center a short walk away, catch a bus or one of the 5 subway lines (A.B.C.D&1) to anywhere in New York. With restaurants, art galleries, bus/bike tours, shopping, clubs and bars surrounding the youth hotel, you will become more than a visitor, you will be a part of the fabric of New York.

jazz hostel columbus new york
I haven’t been to New York yet, sometimes I ask myself why can’t I be the one to go to New York instead.. but then I realized, I’m the fairy here.. so my work is to grant your wishes. xD

And maybe it’s not yet my time to go to the Big Apple but it’s the ripe time for me to be a fairy to those who are already there or are planning to be there this year. And even if you’re not planning to go, just in case you win, you can still send a representative to avail your freebie instead.. that way, you can also become a fairy. ^_^

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And that makes me already happy. ^_^ Don’t worry, I’m in a paradise called Palawan, the best island in the world, so there’s nothing to complain :P

This giveaway will run starting Feb 8, 2016 and will end on March 8, 2016. Only 1 winner will be declared, afterwhich the lucky person can avail the prize within 1 year.

If you feel it’s your lucky day, start joining, start sharing and start wishing to win a Free 2 Nights Stay at Jazz Hostels Columbus Circle in New York.

The winner for this contest is Gabriel Boffa who joined the contest from Argentina. Congratulations!