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Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

Seven Feather Casino and Resort

Run little salmon, run!

Run little salmon, run!

Driving up from California to Seattle presented an opportunity, the chance to keep driving until a decent or entertaining hotel is found. It was right around the River Rock Casino that my Mom and I had the great idea: if we were staying in a hotel we should make it an Indian Casino.

Our quest was born. In a Carl’s Jr. right near the Oregon border I picked up a guide to hotels, motels and resorts of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Directly on our path with a coupon available was the Seven Feathers Casino and Resort. We had to stay there.

First we price checked other nearby hotels and found that the casino was actually a bit cheaper then the Travelodges and similar hotels. Finding it was dead easy, just right off of I-5.

The casino greeted us with a large eagle statue swooping down and grabbing an also large salmon statue. A good start to an evenings entertainment.

This was my first time in a Casino I was surprised in some ways and underwhelmed in others. Surprise came upon seeing the clientele, the patrons made me realize what sort of bubbles I have grown up in and that I had never really experienced a real cross section of Americans. The extra wide seats characterized the cross section.

The biggest disappointment of the entire escapade was the gambling itself. I looked forward to a popcorn cup full of nickels and some quality time with a slot machine lever arm. Alas the entire casino was electronic. Cash monies are put into the machines where they store the credit and cashing out just prints out a receipt with a bar code. There are not even lever arms it is all buttons and touch screens. I must say this was a big let down.

The hotel itself was wonderful. It was completed in June, the rooms still had that new room smell. Five dollars upgraded from a standard to deluxe room and they were nice. New soft towels, comfy beds with lots of pillows, large bathroom, flat panel TV, free wifi and windows that opened. If I have to drive that route again and need a hotel in southern Oregon I will probably turn to Seven Feathers.

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Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Staying in a great place can turn a mediocre place (maybe due to weather) into a good place while a stay in a bad place can ruin a perfectly good city. Except for Cinque Terre I have always stayed in Hostels, some have been excellent while others were disappointments.

For most booking I used Hostelworld, I found that any place with a rating over 75% was a good place to stay. I also used the Hostelling International for several hostels that were not on Hostelworld or the alternatives were fully booked. I have had mixed results with HI, while they are clean and well located they lack the community and closeness of the smaller hostels. Some hostels are not listed on any websites, rather they have their own. Especially in Switzerland I found that city websites helped me find hostels, my favorite hostel of all time being being Valley Hostel in Lauterbrunnen. 

Because it is so easy to find places to stay online and book a day or two in advance you can either book all of your accommodations ahead of time or book only one or two nights stay ahead. I booked everything ahead of time (especially places where you cannot book online) but I was able to change several hostels between my initial round of booking and the end of my first week traveling. I met many other travelers who booked a day or two ahead. This has the advantage of learning from other travelers where good hostels are or you may find yourself headed to areas you never considered before.

If you find yourself looking at one or more hostels belonging to Hosteling International I would recommend becoming a member of the Youth Hostel Association (if you are eligible). A year membership costs around $30 in the US (I think) but if you are living or studying in another country it could be free. As a student at Edinburgh University for a year I found that students in Scotland can join for free

Two other options for budget travel (I suppose camping is an option for some, but not for me) are night trains and airports. As I mentioned before Night Trains are a good way to maximize time on a trip. Airports can also serve as a place to stay if travel requires an overnight layover. Before planning on sleeping in a terminal consider looking at airport reviews at Sleeping in Airports. I decided to stay the the night in the East Midlands Airport on the first night of my trip, while it was an experience it was a once in a lifetime experience.

Here are few of the interesting places I stayed during my trip:

Try to balance hostels between interesting and relaxing. Sometimes you can find both in a hostel and unfortunately you may encounter some that are neither interesting nor relaxing.

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