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May 2009

Hotels In Singapore - City Breaks

Posted May 28, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Raffles-hotel-doorman Singapore is a regional hub for many airlines, with many currently offering cheap flights to Singapore. Its compact size makes it the perfect stopover destination. The city-state is renowned as a gastronomic paradise, and offers a wide range of cuisines to satisfy your tastebuds. And for shopaholics, the islands many shopping malls and department stores are guaranteed to burn a deep hole in your wallet. When you’re tired from all that shopping and eating, you’ll need somewhere to rest your weary head – here, we offer three choices for your consideration.


Splurge – Raffles Hotel 
Step back into the country’s colonial past and book yourself a room in Singapore’s most renowned hotel. The famous Singapore Sling cocktail was invented in the hotel’s Long Bar nearly a hundred years ago. With over twelve dining establishments and a large shopping arcade within its historic grounds, you’ll never even have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. Have break by the pool and walk in the footsteps of Somerset Maugham, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Charlie Chaplin, all of whom have also enjoyed the hotel’s luxurious services.

Find rates at Raffles Hotel Singapore


Mid-range – Mandarin Oriental
For sensational harbour views, look no further than this waterfront hotel. Located by bustling Marina Bay, the Mandarin Oriental is a short hop to the city’s business and entertainment districts. There are a number of highly praised restaurants within the hotel that offer a wide range of cuisines. And if sampling them all has taken its toll on your waistline, then head to their Fitness Studio to arrange a one-on-one session with their personal trainers.

Find rates at Mandarin Oriental Singapore


Budget – Holiday Inn Atrium
While a little bit out of the way, this riverside hotel offers guests free shuttle bus rides to the shopping hotspots of Orchard Road and Clarke Quay. And if you feel like stepping out in your newly bought finery, there is a whole host of bars and clubs located nearby at Mohammed Sultan Road for you to dance the night away. The hotel itself offers two restaurants, or if you’re up for some local cuisine, Chinatown and Little India are nearby, with cafes and restaurants that stay open till the wee hours of the night.

Find rates at Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore

Have you got any recommendations for accommodation in Singapore? If so, please leave us a comment!

(Photo:etour-singapore.com)

Tips For Long Haul Travel – Having A Stress Free Flight (Part Two)

Posted May 27, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Airline_Cabin_Crew_2 Last week, we left you with a bunch of tips on how to lessen your stress levels before a long haul flight. This week, we’re back with some tips on how to relax while on the flight itself.

During The Flight

Be quick
Once you’re actually on the plane, try to stow your carry-on luggage in the overhead storage compartment as soon as you get to your seat. You can always open it up later on in the flight to get your necessities out of your bag. If you wait till later to store your bags, you may not be able to keep them near you as all the available space nearby gets taken up by other people’s luggage. Instead, you may end up having to keep your bags further away. You do not want to spend the duration of a long haul flight worrying about strangers accidentally walking off with your carry-on luggage when you could be relaxing and enjoying the flight.

Sit down
After your carry-on bags are safely stowed away, sit down and let the other passengers get past you and on to their seats. There’s always time to stand up and chat or stretch later on in the flight. Boarding the plane can be a long and tedious process, so the faster everyone gets seated, the sooner the plane is able to take off. Besides, you probably wouldn’t like having two hundred angry people shoving past you and yelling at you to sit down.

Pillow talk
If you’re travelling in economy, it is also a good idea to pack an inflatable travel neck pillow along with the rest of your carry-on stuff. This supports your neck when you sleep, giving you a more comfortable and restful sleep. You’ll also wake up without that annoying pain in the sides of your neck that you get when your head keeps slipping over.
You may also find it useful to carry a sleep mask and earplugs with you, to help block out ambient light and noise, for an even more peaceful sleep.

Mind your P’s and Q’s
You may be in a relaxed holiday mood, but that’s no excuse for relaxing your manners. The cabin crew are there to help you, so remember to be nice and polite to them, and they will help make your flight more comfortable. After all, their journey will be just as long as yours, and they will be just as tired and stressed out as you will be. It’s also never a good idea to antagonise someone who serves you your meal.

Be patient

Once again, patience plays a large part in having a stress free flight. When the plane lands, wait for your turn to disembark. Pushing and shoving won’t get you off the plane much quicker, and also leads to increased stress levels, both yours and the passengers you’ve annoyed. Wait till people in the rows in front of you have got off, then quickly get in line and file off the plane.

We hope these tips have contributed to you having a more enjoyable flight. Have you got any other stress-busting tips you’d like to share?

(Photo: securityenglish.co.uk)

Tips For Long Haul Travel – Having A Stress Free Flight (Part One)

Posted May 20, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Airport For many people, travelling can be an extremely stressful time. There’s so much to organize and so many little things to remember, that sometimes, you feel like pulling your hair out (but then you'd be bald in all those holiday photos). This week, we’re here to offer some times on how to lower your stress levels before travelling.

Before The Flight

Be prepared
Start by making some lists – a packing list, a list of chores you need to finish, a list of appliances to be switched on/off before leaving, and a list of emergency numbers you may need while on holiday. You don’t want to have an ‘Oh no! I left the kettle on!’ moment halfway through a trip. If you have pets, you may also need to make sure that someone will care for them while you’re away.

Pre-pack
Start packing your bags more than half an hour before leaving for the airport. Cutting it too close to the flight will send your stress levels through the roof, and it’s also highly likely you’ll forget something. At the very least, try to pack it the night before you leave, so you can go through the bag again just before you leave and see if you’ve left anything out. Have all your paperwork and documents organized and packed in a handy carry-on bag, then go through it all the night before you leave just to be sure you have everything.

Travel non-stop
If you can, try to book a non-stop flight instead of one with stopovers.  This saves you from worrying about possible delays, and whether you’ll be able to make your connecting flight in time. Some countries also require you to have a transit visa even if you’re simply stopping over, so a non-stop flight saves you from the hassle of dealing with visas. 

Web check-in
Many airlines now allow passengers to check themselves in online and print their boarding passes out at home. This saves you the stress of having to rush to the airport and wait for ages in a queue– you simply stroll up and present your boarding pass at the security gates at least half an hour before the flight leaves. Of course, if you’re checking in bags, you’ll still have to wait in a queue at the airport, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to spare before the flight leaves.

Lounge around
If you have some time to spare at an airline, why not pay a one-off fee to make use of an airline lounge? Many offer facilities such as shower rooms, free food and beverages, and internet access. A shower before your flight (especially a long distance flight) will refresh you and go a long way in helping you relax.

Be patient
Of course, sometimes, the unforeseen happens – there may be a technical problem, or Mother Nature decides it’s her turn to throw a tantrum. Even the most prepared person can’t do a thing about delays such as this, and you’ll just have to be patient. After all, getting angry and stomping you feet will get you nowhere faster.

Next week, we’ll come back with Part Two of our tips on having a stress free flight. Have any of you got other stress-busting tips you’d like to share?

(Photo: www.2theairport.com)

Hotels In Dusseldorf - City Breaks

Posted May 19, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Hotel-14431-117842 Next time you’re thinking about escaping somewhere for a short break, why not find a cheap flight to Dusseldorf? This bustling city on the banks of the Rhine is a well-known fashion and cultural centre. Head there for a spot of weekend shopping, or visit some of their famed museums. You’ll need somewhere to rest after all that activity, and we’ve got some suggestions for you to consider.

Splurge – Capella Breidenbacher Hof

Prepare to be spoiled rotten at this luxury boutique hotel right on Konigsallee, the main shopping strip. This 95-room property features a private lobby area specially reserved for guests, with personal assistants on hand to take care of every detail of your trip. If all that shopping on the ‘Ko’ takes it toll on your body, then retreat into their beauty lounge for a pampering session, before popping into to Brasserie 1806, their in-house restaurant, for a gastronomic treat. If you feel like staying in, why not order room service and have a drink from the complimentary mini-bar, while listening to music from the built-in iPod dock? 

Find rates for Capella Breidenbacher Hof

Midrange – Hotel Excelsior

This place is perfect for those of you who need some peace and quiet but are unwilling to sacrifice the convenience of being in the centre of the city. Located right beside the famous Hofgarten, the Hotel Excelsior is a quick stroll away from the ‘Ko’, the Old Town and many museums. The hotel’s proximity to the renowned Christmas Markets is a bonus for those of you intending to visit around Christmas.

Find rates for Hotel Excelsior Dusseldorf

Budget – Max Hotel Garni

With only 11 rooms to choose from, this hotel is for those of you who prefer some intimacy while on holiday. This cute little boutique hotel is only about 5 minutes away from the ‘Ko’, and easily accessible by public transport. The proprietor Christian Rosenstengel has also thoughtfully included little details - such as a free self-service drinks bar and free travel pass on the key card – that ensure guests have a great time during their stay.

Find rates for Max Hotel Garni


Have you got any recommendations for cheap hotels in Dusseldorf? If so, we’d love to hear from you, please leave us a comment!

(Photo: directrooms.com)

Hotels In Cork - City Breaks

Posted May 18, 2009 by BookingBuddy


2114078287_8ebf45acce_o If you’re thinking of going somewhere for a break during the next long weekend, why not look for cheap flights to Cork? Although small in size, the city is rich in history and culture, and provides ample entertainment for travellers. Here we recommend three hotels for you to stay in while you’re exploring the city.

Splurge – Hayfield Manor

Set in two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve escaped to a rural little hideaway in the country. However, don’t let the stillness here fool you, as the bustling student hub of University College Cork (UCC) is right beside the grounds of the hotel, and the city centre is only 15 minutes away by foot.
This is the perfect base for those of you wanting to take in Cork’s sights yet still be able to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life at night. If you’re looking to be pampered, simply retreat to their spa and indulge in a range of revitalising treatments.

Find rates for Hayfield Manor

Midrange – Maldron Hotel

If you’re one of those people who like to be in the thick of the action, then this place is perfect for you. Centrally located beside the famous Shandon Bells, it is only a quick walk to Patrick’s Street, the city’s main street. From there, it is only a short hop to the historic English Market for some tasty fresh food. When all that eating has made your belt a little too tight, you can always head back to the hotel’s fully-equipped gym to work it all off.

Find rates for Maldron Hotel

Budget – Lotamore House

This charming Georgian hotel is perfect for those of you in search of an idyllic retreat. Located about 15 minutes drive from Cork’s city centre, this guesthouse is a gateway to the countryside. Each room is decked out with antique furnishings, a fair cry from the Ikea-stylings of most modern day chain hotels. With only 20 guestrooms, you’ll never feel like you’re competing for space with the other guests.

Find rates for Lotamore House

Have you got any recommendations for accommodation in Cork? If so, we’d love to hear them, please leave us a comment.

(Photo: corkblogs.com)

Hotels In Barcelona - City Breaks

Posted May 18, 2009 by BookingBuddy


Barcelona_la_rambla If the spring weather at home is turning out to be a tad disappointing, why not head somewhere else for a dose of sunshine? And you don’t even have to go far – Cheap flights to Barcelona are only a short plane ride away, and is chockfull of history, great food and exciting sights. And your helpful friends at Bookingbuddy are here to recommend some places you can stay at while you’re over there enjoying yourself.

Splurge – Hotel 1898

Centrally located right on La Rambla, this five-star hotel gives you easy access to most of the city’s must-see sights. The Gothic neighbourhood, Palau de la Musica Catalana,  and Plaza Catalunya are all only minutes away by foot. If you’re afraid the street noise might get too much, simply ask for a room towards the back, where you’ll be able to sleep in peace. And should all that walking about take its toll on your feet, simply pop into the hotel’s spa and ask for a foot massage, or just lie back and relax in while indulging in a full body massage.

Find rates for Hotel 1898

Midrange – Villa Emilia

This stylish little boutique hotel is situated just off the city centre and has only 53 rooms - perfect for those of you craving a little peace and quiet. This is also one of the few pet-friendly places around, so if you can’t bare to leave your furry little darling behind, then take them along on holiday! If all your sightseeing is giving you a bit of an appetite, simply head back here and make a beeline for their free coffee and croissants, which are dished out between 5 to 7pm.

Find rates for Villa Emilia

Budget – Hosteria Grau

If you’re looking for somewhere that’s inexpensive yet close to the city centre, then book yourself a room at this little place! Unlike most other budget places which tend to be a fair way away from the action, this historic building is just a short walk from La Rambla and only minutes away from Plaza Catalunya. Although billed as a hostel, the rooms are more similar to bed-and-breakfast style accommodation, which is great if you’re hesitant about sharing bathrooms with a bunch of drunk backpackers.

Find rates for Hosteria Grau

Have you got any recommendations for accommodation in Barcelona? If so, please leave us a comment!

(Photo: rickshawboy.com)



Hotels in Amsterdam – City Breaks

Posted May 14, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Amsterdam_red_light_district_24-7-2003 If you’re thinking of booking a short break soon, why not find cheap flights to Amsterdam? The nominal capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam has all the advantages of big city life with none of its hassles. There are famous museums, world-class restaurants and excellent nightlife, all within reach of an easy bike ride. And where will you stay while you’re there? We’ve got three choices here for you to consider.

Splurge – InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam

Located on the famous Amstel River, this is a five-star hotel just right for those of you wanting to splurge. This hotel is located downtown, only a short walk away to most of the city’s sights. When you’re feeling peckish, simply head straight to La Rive, the hotel’s very own one Michelin-starred restaurant, for some fine French Mediterranean fare. Unlike some faceless mega hotels, there are only 55 guestrooms and 24 suites in the Amstel, so you can be certain that you’ll enjoy peace and tranquillity while there.

Find rates for InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam

Midrange – Seven Bridges Hotel 

If you’re looking for something different, why not try the Seven Bridges Hotel? This charming hotel is located in a 300-year-old canal house, in the historic heart of Amsterdam. The historical character of the old canal house has been retained, to the extent that there is no elevator to the upper floors! All ten rooms have been individually decorated with stylish antique pieces, and breakfast is served in your room, on fine china from renowned companies such as Wedgwood and Villeroy & Boch. After breakfast, it’s only a hop, skip and short bike ride away to the famous sights.

Find rates for Seven Bridges Hotel

Budget – City Hotel Amsterdam

Conveniently located near the city’s Central Station, this hotel is an excellent base to start your sightseeing tour of the city. As it is located within the canal rings, you’ll be able to get most of the sights on foot (or bike) and save plenty of time and money. If you get thirsty after all that exploring, there’s a pub below the hotel where rehydrate with some local brews. And at night, the excitement of the world famous (or infamous?) Red Light District lies only a few minutes away.

Find rates for City Hotel Amsterdam

(Photo: wedontspeakthelanguage.com)


Tips For Long Haul Flights - Avoiding Jet Lag

Posted May 13, 2009 by BookingBuddy

43838234.sleepy Last week, we started a new series, providing you with tips on how to be more comfortable during your long haul flights. This week, we continue that series, this time with some advice on how to minimise jet lag.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can claim never to suffer from jet lag after a long haul flight, you’re probably familiar with the effects it can have on your body. Jet lag occurs when you’re travelling over several time zones within a few hours. You may have experienced disturbed sleep patterns, disorientation, or physical weakness. As it often takes at least a couple of days to recover, jet lag can often affect a holiday or business trip. Here are some ideas on how you can cut down on its ill effects.

Changing sleep patterns
A few days before your next flight, find out which direction you’ll be travelling in and try to adjust your sleep patterns. If you’re heading west, your day gets extended, so try to go to bed a few hours later than usual before you board your flight. If you’re going east, your day gets shorter, so try sleeping a little earlier than your usual bedtime. This helps your body acclimatise to your new sleep pattern at your destination.

Stay hydrated
You may be tempted to take advantage of the free alcohol handed out on some flights. However, saying away from it will probably work out much better for you in the long run. Try to also stay away from coffee and tea. These are all diuretics, and in combination with the dry, pressurized cabin air, will cause you to become dehydrated. Dehydration may also cause a headache.
Instead, try and drink as much water as possible. If you find water to be too ‘boring’, ask for the cabin crew if they can squeeze a little lemon into the water, or try some tomato or apple juice.

Keep active
Nobody’s asking you to have a full-scale workout while confined to a plane. Just try to move around as much as possible. Go for a walk every hour or so, and do some stretches. If that’s not always practical (stuck in the middle seat/ sleeping neighbour etc), then do some light exercises such as stretching your limbs, and moving your ankles and wrists, to prevent your joints from stiffening up.

Get natural light
Once you’re at your destination, try and spend as much time outdoors in sunlight as you can. If you’ve arrived during the day, then try to stay up as late as possible, to help reset your body clock. It may be tempting to have a nap straight away, but spending time in daylight will help your body get used to the new time zone much quicker.

So, those are a few tips on minimising jet lag. I’m sure there are many more of you out there who have your own tricks to combat it. I’d love to hear from you, please write them down in the ‘comments’ section.

(Photo: pbase.com)

Cheap hotels UK - Compare cheap hotels

Posted May 7, 2009 by Jaklien van Melick

Picture 1 Bookingbuddy.co.uk now has a new section for comparing the prices of hotels across the best hotel sites! You can now use BookingBuddy to click and compare the best cheap hotel deals available for any given city.

We deep link you into each advertisers price results page, giving you a quick and easy way to compare hotel prices from multiple sources. 

We show you the best deals from the best hotel sites, such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Tripadvisor, Mobissimo, eBookers and Opodo to name a few.

Whenever you are looking for a great deal on cheap hotels, Bookingbuddy is here to take the hassle out of the process and make your search as simple as possible. Just enter your destination, your dates and number of travellers and then click and compare the advertisers on site to be directly linked to their best deals and cheapest hotel prices available.

Check it out now at www.bookingbuddy.co.uk/hotel

Tips For Long Haul Flights - How To Dress Comfortably

Posted May 6, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Surviving-long-haul-flights Flying long haul - either for business or pleasure - is a fairly common occurrence these days. Since long haul flights are usually defined as trips that last at least seven hours, you’ll be buckling yourself up into that tin can for a long time. The top priority for most people is often to be as comfortable as possible. Here at BookingBuddy, we’re starting a new series of tips on how to get through that long haul flight and arrive with your sanity intact. This week, we focus on dressing tips.

First of all, wear comfortable clothes. That may sound obvious, but beware, there’s a very fine line between ‘comfortable’ and ‘sloppy’. The glamourous early days of dressing up for a flight may be long over, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put some effort in. After all, a plane is still a public space, and as with most public spaces, you’re expected to put some effort into how you dress.

If you’re hoping for a seat upgrade, dressing better will also improve your chances of being bumped up, as flight crews will often select people based on the image they project. You may be tempted to wear that baby pink Juicy Couture terry-towelling tracksuit, but please, ask yourself if you really want the word ‘Juicy’ slathered over your backside. Instead, why not wear some loose fitting cotton trousers? Loose cotton clothing helps with your circulation (very important on a long haul flight), and lets your skin breathe, so that you do not leave the plane with bad body odour.

On a related note, try not to wear tight shoes or heels while inflight. Your feet tend to swell because of the air pressure, and tight shoes tend to add to the discomfort. Choose a pair of chic, flat shoes that you can easily put on and remove, so that you can remove them once you’re in the air. Taking your belt off will also increase your comfort level, as inflight bloat may cause the belt to bite into you.

When dressing for long haul, keep the ‘onion principal’ in mind – that is, wear lots of light layers that you can take off easily. The temperature in the plane tends to fluctuate, especially over a long flight. Pick clothes that can be easily put on or taken off should the temperature get too hot or cold. A pashmina also works as an extra blanket and is lightweight enough to be carried in hand baggage.

Some passengers even pack two sets of clothing – one set to wear while checking in, and a second set to change into for the duration of the flight. While a good idea in theory, that may not always be practical, since it requires you to pack more into your hand luggage. You may also need to exit the plane due to technical problems, after you’ve changed into your jammies. If you’re wearing reasonably loose cotton trousers and a t-shirt anyway, you can always skip this step.

So, those are a few tips for getting through a long haul flight as comfortably as possible, but I’m sure there are many more of you out there with your own suggestions. I’d love to hear from you, please leave your ideas in the ‘comments’ section.

(Photo: travel.msn.co.nz)

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