The Good Digs Guide

Discussion in 'Europe' started by MarkN, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    I wonder if there is a way to index this thread, so that you could search by town/city/country? I'm trying to use it for Italy and Ukraine, but I'm having trouble digging the info out. Any advice to get it to sort easily? :beer
  2. Brit/Man II

    Brit/Man II Been here awhile

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    A Brit in Germany
    Well on my way back from EU biker event Faaker see (OK if one is in too Harlys), again I stoped over at the Willams place in the black forst,t http://www.pension-williams.de/, so it another heads up for that place, beds good, location good and price good what more can one want.
    By Joe
  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    +1 on Williams.

    While we're on the subject of ex-pat Brits running B&Bs, check out Haus Maria in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria. Ali is a bit of a motorhead, but otherwise normal.
    Herman1 likes this.
  4. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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  5. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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    Slovenia,
    Nako (Kranj)
    Hotel Marinsek
    http://www.marinsek.net/
    you even get a surprise 5% off when they discover you came by motorcycle.
  6. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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  7. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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  8. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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  9. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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  10. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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    Poland, Slubice (just E of Berlin)
    Horda
    https://hotelhorda.pl/en/

    Many other good-Quality and affordable hotels just across the border from Germany.
  11. pdvmoto

    pdvmoto Work to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to work...

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    Italy,
    Prato allo Stelvio
    B & B Montana
    Via S. Antonio, 38, 39026 Prato Allo Stelvio BZ, Italy
    Small family-operated bed and Breakfast. Nice!
  12. MisterJim

    MisterJim Adventurer

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    A map view of all these would be baller.
  13. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Well... you've got addresses, URLs and access to Google Maps. Let us know when you've got it done. :evil
  14. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Sort of all over France - Ibis Budget. We use them lots. You can book via Booking.com, although you don't save much if anything but you can cancel your reservation upto whatever time it says. I would not do this unless in extremis for a private hotel - they are struggling enough already. Chain hotels can withstand it.
    They are situated where a lot of passing trade is - either tourists like us or commercial. Often located near "centre commercial" or "zone artisnal" or similar. Fortunately the neighbours go home in the evening, so combined with the sound proofing, you won't be disturbed.
    The location often means there are cheap chain restaurants nearby if that is your thing.

    By US standards, I think rooms are small but adequate, but there is the option of 2 or 3 beds (one double with a half bunk - check out their www), plus a separate loo and en suite shower. I think all have a/c too. I don't recall using one without a lockable carpark, and a 24hr concierge, so late arrivals are fine.

    Price is very dependant on where it is located, I have seen variations of €20 per night. From a low of €30+ to €50+.
    The price shown (in France it must be prominently displayed outside and again in the room, includes all taxes, and almost all of Europe. The price you see is what you pay). However, in France until recently or about 30 years ago breakfast was always extra. So don't feel obliged to have the one they offer. While some are excellent, if not cheap, you can pick up croissant, take it to a cafe or bar for a drink and make your own. That's my option.

    Some chains in particular include a breakfast, and I have found a new favourite in another variation of Ibis - the Ibis Styles. Cost is mostly around the €60. The breakfast is à volonté or self service. The ones I have used have been excellent. Decent baguette and croissant. Lots ham, cheese and hard eggs. A range of jams, yogurts and cereals. Fresh squeezed juice and reasonable coffee.
    If that is not enough, the rooms are larger and better fittings. All Ibis have TV's and wifi, but not all Styles have their own parking - their only drawback.

    In case you think I am a rep, shareholder or fanboi, then I would personally not use their top of the range IBIS places. For the price, you can get a much more characterful, privately owned hotel for the same money.
    Looking down lists of accommodation, you see the term Logis or Logis de France. This is an organisation of privately owned, family run hotels. Huge variation in what they are like - but a be of traveller savy and you will soon be able to pick out a good one.

    There are lots of other chain hotels in France - some local/regional, with only a few establishments to national ones with a wide selection. One of the first, and one you are likely to see most often is "F1". These are owned by the same holding company as the Ibis. But are really basic. Toilet and showers are along the corridor, and if you sleep late you have a queue in front and possibly a not so clean environment. I don't use these any more.
    B&B, Premier Classe, Baladins, Campanile,Mr Bed and quite a few more. All better IME than F1, which is superior to a park bench, some times much better. I think F1 is the only one that still has shared facilities. If they don't have a 24 hr concierge, they will have a 24hr atm like check-in. Make sure your card works.

    Personally, I seek out a decent restaurant first, then adjust the sleeping (camp site or hotel) around that.
    Shoulder seasons - to avoid the summer traffic and crush - and being fairly ancient, we often book a base for a week or more, or have several bases. If that idea appeals, then have a look for Gites - there are some in Booking.com The Gites de France organisation is a good start too, but not the only one.
    There are also lots of large places which could suit groups. Smaller, for two, are rarer but are available.
    Not exclusively in the countryside, but most are. At least not many in large places, and often out in the country.

    In France there is a legal time limit on a reservation. I can't remember exactly, but it may be 6 or 7pm, after which you are deemed to be a no show, and you can find the room re let.
    There used to be checks and balances on this in the old days of booking by letters and sending cheques for deposit, but the internet has swept that away.
    This has only been a problem twice since 1982. Both times the host was devastated and rang round and found me an alternative. Once in his parents house.

    More people visit France than any other country on the planet. Fortunately, the vast majority try to go to the same places and at the same time. 5 miles up the road, everything is serene, calm and tranquil. And there are lots of places more than 5 miles away.
    NSFW and Herman1 like this.
  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I should have mentioned: tourist information offices, or various sorts. Larger places may have a Maison de Tourisme, in small villages it may be the part time clerk in the mayors office - Marie. No that's not her name, but what a small mayors office is called. Always has a BleuBlancRouge (what anglophones call a tricolour) and the Liberté, égalité, fraternité, usually in cast metal above the door.

    One of the first things I notice is the huge amount of leaflets advertising all sorts of attractions nearby. These are all over and can be very useful, because there are not all that many signs for these things like there are here.


    Anyway, accommodation... the tourist office people are paid to help you spend money in the city or commune (which is really more like a US county or UK district or rural council - but more active).
    Quite often, and almost always in the larger ones, there will be English speakers - and Spanish too. Spanish is a popular language choice for schoolkids - an other language is compulsory, and essential to have your Bac to obtain a university place.
    Although/despite all the effort that goes on, some French (and anglophones, dare I say) are reluctant to speak foreign out of embarrassment. A few words from you can break the ice and get them started. Practice* your Bonjour M'sieur/Dame - this is the polite thing, not a HI! However cheery. However strong the accent - the communication skills are far better than most anglophones.
    Anyway, they will try to find you something. They have always succeeded for me. There are lots of places - from B&B's to hotels, hostels to camp sites that are not on the internet.

    Doing things the other way, look up which commune, village or town you want to be at and look it up on line**. Quite often - not always - they will have a website, or share one with other places locally and they will have the usual list of attractions and accommodations

    * shed loads of language vids on utube. Some even correct - be wary of some of the non native speaker ones, the accents can sometimes be incomprehensible to the point of sounding incorrect. Even a modicum of words can smooth your way, and let the people you want to help you, do so.

    **All McDoh (french for MacDonalds) have had free wifi for quite a few years now. Most bars, cafes, hotels etc will have wifi too, although sometimes you have to ask for passwords, or even pay a nominal charge.
    NSFW likes this.
  16. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Accompanied, of course, by a "Merci. Au revoir." when leaving the shop. It's much more formal than the U.S. and I rather enjoy that.

    And of course, the always acceptable "Je suis désolé, mais je ne parle pas Français". :evil
  17. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Yes, a tiny bit of effort and it can be the difference between smiles and great service and rather dour shrugs.

    The French tend to be rather formal with strangers, learning the moves is all part of the fun. Meeting bikers on camp sites tends to short circuit this.
  18. waterlilly

    waterlilly No Agenda World Tour

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    Mar 22, 2008
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    832
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hello,
    Was wondering if anyone would know if customs @ Gatwick Airport London is open on a Sunday? Our bikes fly into Gatwick Airport on Sunday May 6. We are on the same fly, not sure if we can clear the bikes the same day out of Gatewick
  19. Brit/Man II

    Brit/Man II Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    289
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    A Brit in Germany
    Found a nice place in the Eifel, Hotel Müller in Killburg, the rooms are small but at €36 B&B its ok, with lock up place for the bike's and all the tool's you could ever need for doing bit's & bob's on the biks :-) . Joe
    Hotel Müller
    Mühlengasse 3
    54655 Kyllburg
    0656396960

    Attached Files:

  20. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    A recent trip through France and we holed up here
    http://www.lesbeauchots.fr/fr A great chambre d'hote outside Troyes. Very old world - but modern. our room was the smallest, but perfectly adequate. Breakfast was very good.
    Madame is very chatty, but does leave you alone. Extensive grounds to walk around - beyond the high hedge are it is mostly rural. Your bike can be inside the substantial locked gates.

    I have been hearing about Troyes for years. But to be honest the night we went into town for meal, it all seems rather sad and somewhat down market. Lots of eating places of the "we serve anything in the universe - just not very well" Huge number of tourists eating not very appetising stuff.
    Turns out Wednesdays, when we were there, is when all the better restaurants close. We had a rather mediocre meal, which cost more than the following day's fresh and vibrant low cost bargain.
    As with many Cd'H, madame mentioned she would have made food with more warning.
    The reason she had no warning - Booking.com didn't email her our arrival. However she rose to the occasion as far as accommodation was concerned.