What do you look for in a city centre hotel?

I don’t know about you, but I spend far too much time pondering about city break hotel stays. More often than not, you’ll end up with an expensive hotel that doesn’t really offer great value in terms of the room rate. Recently when visiting towns and cities in the UK,  I have opted for the lower budget chain hotels. If it’s for a night or two, I find that a Travelodge is perfectly acceptable. They’ve come a long way in the last few years. The rooms are still fairly functional, but with much improved décor they are now a nice space to spend time in. I guess the whole point of a city break is that you are not going to spend much time in your room? It’s somewhere to sleep, shower and leave your belongings. Every now and again though, you stumble across a little gem in the sea of hotel options on sites like Booking.com. We did that exact thing on a recent visit to Manchester when I booked a two night stay at the Motel One Manchester Royal Exchange.

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How many of you have realised in a desperate attempt to see the world, you completely ignore what’s on your doorstep? I, for one, am definitely in this group. As a young twenty something I settled in the university and commuter town of Reading, Berkshire. It wasn’t planned. A work opportunity and some quick decision making resulted in a last minute relocation from North Wales. Being a transient town, my first decade was spent socialising (and working) with people who, for the majority, weren’t from Reading. It’s only in the last decade that I’ve really got to know the locals, got to know the history and got to love the town. Which got me thinking, if you were a tourist, what would do on a visit? So I decided to put together a short list of things to do in Reading, to show off the best of the town.

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A romantic notion

Lying in bed and gazing up at the stars, watching the Aurora Borealis dancing around in the sky. How many of us have imagined the opportunity of being able to do that? I’m guessing the answer is quite a few. It was definitely one of my bucket list items – one that I intended to tick off the list in 2019*. Planning a week long trip to Finnish Lapland, 250km north of Arctic Circle was one of the best opportunities we would have. Having done my research and opting for the Saariselka area as our destination, I was looking for a variety of accommodation options, some of which would give us the perfect opportunity to gaze up the Northern Lights. We found one which sounded perfect. The aptly named Aurora Cabins at the Northern Lights Village Saariselka.

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