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Aug 9th 2010 11:58AM Catherine,
Great list! I rushed right to the top ten list the first time I read your post - and missed your big three - cleanliness, friendliness, and orderliness. I'm glad you included those. I'll add window screens, because I hate when mosquitoes get into the dorm rooms - and you can't even turn on the lights and go after them because everyone else is sleeping.
I think for Darn Good Digs, we'll add at least some private bedrooms, good clean showers with privacy, and a pleasing design. You may be saving money by staying in a hostel, but it's still your temporary home while traveling - and it's good to look forward to going back at the end of the day.
Aug 2nd 2010 3:51PM We've seen a number of articles about Jumbo Stay, near Stockholm's international airport. It's an original idea for a hostel, and based on the reviews we've read, it seems to be a winner for travelers arriving or departing from the airport - though not necessarily as a base for visiting Stockholm. Perhaps we'll receive a nomination from someone for The Jumbo... hint, hint anybody.
Jun 9th 2010 7:22PM While it's certainly not the same thing as visiting the real cave, we completely enjoyed our visit to the Museo de Altamira nearby, with its life-size model of the cave with paintings. It seemed to us to be a sustainable way to allow the masses (like us) to glimpse what the caves are like, without having the actual caves be slowly destroyed by mass tourism.
May 10th 2010 2:30PM The park is gorgeous and brand new. We went there a few weekends ago with our four year old, and he spent the whole time rolling down the grass with other children while we looked out over the East River to the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. It's definitely one of our new favorite spots in the city!
[Our guide to the world's best independently owned accommodations for budget-minded travelers is at http://www.darngooddigs.com.]
Apr 20th 2010 9:46PM We agree that where you sleep can completely be an integral part of the travel experience. Sometimes our best times on the road were all about the places we stayed. We're planning a trip right now to the southwest, and we're doing some serious research to try to uncover the best original places to stay on our budget - some in really off the beaten path locations.
We also happen to run a website, http://www.darngooddigs.com, where we're building a guide to the best independently owned small hotels around the world, all with rooms under $150. They were all selected by travelers as one of their
all-time favorite places to stay, and then carefully researched by us. We now have hotels in over 50 countries, and they are certainly worth checking out. These are the kinds of places that can make the vacation.