“Good night and don’t let the bedbugs bite.” In my travels I have never had trouble with these tiny pesty creatures, but I had to deal with my share of sleepless nights. That is why I spent such a long time finding the perfect place to stay on our vacations. We share our favorite places to stay in Europe.
make or break a trip
Years ago I tried sleeping in a hostel dorm. I hated every minutes of it because I was awake for too many of them. After two night I couldn’t wait to leave even though Amsterdam itself was amazing.
Hubby and I also shared some troubling nights in Rome. Our nice room was overlooking a bar that was open the entire night. There was a lot of loud music and drunken arguing.
I could go on and mention a hostel in Ireland where the bed was so narrow we had to turn at the same time. Suffice it to say that accommodation can make or break your trip.
As C.S. Lewis said: “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
But looking back we mostly had good experience with the rooms we’ve stayed at. And before kids a room was all we’ve needed. Hubby and I shared a bed at night and in the morning we’re on our way again. Our trips were always something of a conquest on how much we can see.
Since traveling with kids we now chose houses or apartments and make base there – a home far away from home.
our top five favorite places to stay in europe
You will have a peaceful and relaxing stay. The only trouble might be, you will not want to leave:
RUA REIDH LIGHTHOUSE
Located on the rugged West coast of Scotland. The only sound you hear at night is the Ocean relentlessly hitting the rocks over and over again. Lulling you gently to sleep.
The place can only be reached by car. If you head out there, be prepared to go down the remote dirt roads winding through what might seem as the last real wilderness.
The scenery, the magnificent views, no cell-phone reception are absolutely worth it.
We rented a twin room, with the shared bathroom and the free use of the kitchen. We spent the evenings in the lovely common area – the homey living room, where the housekeeper starts the fire in the fireplace. We’d put on some music and read books while enjoying the warmth of the fire.
Lovely Victorian house set on Northern Ireland’s longest beach underneath the famous Mussenden Temple.
It is a self catering hostel with really basic rooms – ours only had a bed and one closet. Still the house is nicely decorated, the kitchen has all you might need and the owners hold pottery classes with the finished items displayed throughout the house.
We enjoyed the surrounding area, especially the lovely beach. The two of us were there in May and some old ladies were actually swimming in the sea. I wasn’t tempted, but they seemed to be having fun.
A HOUSE IN THE village of Moléson-sur-Gruyères (www.interhome.com)
Standing at the end of the road, up a steep hill in a lovely village located in the foothills of mountain Moleson.
The mountain is perfect for many outdoor activities and the few houses in the village are mostly for week-enders and tourists. We were there in the beginning of May and it was so peaceful our ears hurt from the silence.
Our house had two lovely bedrooms downstairs while the kitchen and the adjoining living room were on the first floor. Tastefully decorated, with lots of wood and a fireplace in the corner the cottage had it all. Lovely balcony overlooked the picturesque village of Gruyer and at night we would gaze at the million stars in the sky.
We’d wake up to the sound of birds chirping. It was so hard to leave this haven and do the sightseeing but what we saw of Switzerland was amazing and worth it. I am now convinced that Switzerland might truly be Heaven on Earth.
DAS KLEINE FAMILIENHOTEL KOCH (http://familie-koch.at/) –
This small family hotel has everything you might need when going on a holiday with your kids. They only have about eight rooms, so book ahead.
We had a family room with two bedrooms and a lovely balcony overlooking the nearby hills. One room had a double bed and the kids room had a bunk bed. It is amazing how thoughtful the owners are. Because we also had little things you don’t expect such as the changing table or a small stool in the bathroom for Stela to climb up and be able to use the sink.
The whole hotel as well as the rooms have a warm Austrian countryside feel to it with lots of wood and nice old household items used as tasteful decorations.
We took this trip with some friends and while the men went skiing we took the kids to explore the neighborhood.
The hotel is located on a hill and you need to do a lot of hiking to get anywhere. They have a huge outside playground as well as two indoor playrooms with lots of toys. The kids won’t need anything else.
And the food they serve is beyond good. Real homemade local delicacies with the special meals prepared for the kids.
DER KOMFORT-CAMPING BURGSTALLER (http://www.burgstaller.co.at/)
I like camping. There is something special about being in a tent. It awakens a child in me.
Hubbs and I camped at some pretty nice camps. And we discovered this camp purely by accident. We wanted to go somewhere nearby and have a relaxing weekend.
The camp is like a small town, with all the facilities you might need. Their sanitary facilities are incredible. They have a life size pirate ship for the children and other really cool and fun gadgets. The camp is surrounded by the mountains offering lovely hikes. But we mostly enjoyed the fact our camp was next to the beautiful Millstaetter lake, perfect for swimming or sunbathing.
I could also mention other places, but in my book these were definitely the best. Still, I hope you have a good sleep wherever you decide to stay, because you know what the Irish proverb says “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” Enjoy.