Archive for the Category »Hotels/Resorts «

Kenyan Destination Number One: Temple Point Resort in Watamu

As soon as we land in Kenya, we’ll have a day to adjust from jet lag before heading out to our first destination. Tucked away between the more famous Mombasa and also well-known Malindi is a small town called Watamu.

Though I was down for any lodgings in walking distance to the beach, the lady selected Temple Point Resort, a paradise on the Indian Ocean.

Temple Point, Watamu Kenya

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Elanaz Hotel Will Be Home for the Day We’re in Istanbul

Elanaz HotelThe ladies and I are headed back to Kenya for the holidays, but on the way back, Nduku worked it out so that we have a 24-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Of course, the best part about it is breaking up how long Najwa has to be on her best behavior, which hopefully lasts until we hit cruising altitude.

But, of course, we’ve always wanted to do Istanbul. Nduku is looking forward to the Grand Bazaar; I’m all about the Hagia Sofia. And then my co-worker mentioned a program that Turkish Airlines has for travelers with a layover for more than 6 hours but no more than 24 hours. It’s a free guided tour of the city with a clever name — Touristanbul.

First step, though, is finding a place to lay our heads, though I’m tempted to wing it until we get back on the plane. After reviewing many hotels and many options and many photos, Nduku chose the Elanaz Hotel. It wasn’t her first choice, but if we weren’t in walking distance to everything, she knows she wouldn’t have heard the end of it.

Elanaz Hotel is a family hotel in the heart of the old town İstanbul. It offers a very warm atmosphere with a boutique touch. You can enjoy your stay with a beautiful view of the old city and Bosphorus. You may drink your coffee with homemade pastries. Elanaz is different because it is built and designed with elegant taste for your precious time spent in Istanbul. It is different because its only concern is to make you to look forward to your next visit. With our tourquise hospitality, we are here to welcome you in our hotel. We are family.

We want you to be a part of it.

Why Elanaz?
You may wonder about the name of our hotel. It is the combination of the names of our two princesses, our daughters.

 

It’s in walking distance to all the important tourist attractions, in the heart of Old Town, 10 minutes walking distance to Sultanahmet. It’s right around the corner from the water. There’s free wifi and their website says free product, whatever that means. And a free breakfast bar that reviewers seem to give high ratings.

And just in case we got caught up in the hype of going to Istanbul, Elanaz Hotel was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2013 and 2014 Winner, ranking #4 out of 825 B&B and Inns in Istanbul.

So now the trick is to wear Najwa out during our day stay in Istanbul so she’ll sleep the entire last leg of our flight back home.

Where to Stay in Istanbul for a 24-hour Layover

For the one day we’re staying in Istanbul, a 24-hour layover on the way back home from Kenya, location is going to be everything. So I reached out to the Twitterverse to figure out where to stay.

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If You Need a Place to Stay in New York: Hotel 17

Hotel 17 in New YorkSince we’re talking about hotels, let me share about the one where we stayed in New York for the Prince concert. At first we [Nduku, Najwa, Mike and Jenny] were going to stay in one using an employee discount Joanne English, a friend of mine, was offering. The issue, being a week before Christmas, the only ones available were not in Manhattan. The plan was to get a room at a hotel on Staten Island until my homeboy Chad explained the only way to get there was by ferry. Then we considered New Jersey, but we didn’t want to keep paying the tolls and fighting the traffic.

Eventually, we went the William Shatner route and took Priceline.com for a spin. Amazingly, we found a hotel a few blocks from Union Square that was in line with our price. Of course, when you’re paying $150 for a night in New York, you have to wonder what the catch is. With bed bugs being the latest craze in travel [and full body x-ray machines to get on a plane], we took to the reviews and felt pretty comfortable with this option.

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Surprise! Where the World’s Best Hotels Are

Tortilis Camp in KenyaIf you’re planning a vacation anytime soon [or ever for that matter], you have to check out Travel+Leisure’s Top 500 World’s Best Hotels. Considering Nduku and I will be traveling to Kenya next year, I was curious to see what Kenya had to offer. Living in Washington, DC, we have 6 on the list. Virginia has two Ritz-Carlton hotels in the DC region listed, and Maryland has, well, I’m sure Maryland has some nice hotels as well.

Kenya doesn’t strike me as a place where you have some of the world’s best hotels. I can see South Africa, Egypt, even Botswana or Zambia on the game reserves or national parks. The magazine grouped Africa with the Middle East, so naturally the sail-shaped hotel in Dubai and a little something in Israel or Jordan would be listed.

Heh.

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