When you’re living in a foreign country, the hospitality that you receive can make or break your stay abroad. I’ve had an incredibly warm welcome at Campus X in Bari, my home in the south of Italy for the last 2 months. Like the people I see here every day, the campus itself is molto cool! With free wi-fi, modern furnishings, a contemporary restaurant and a top-of-the-line swimming pool, this really is my home away from home! In experiencing day-to-day life here, I can say Campus X truly is a trendsetting student community that encourages a balanced life including recreation, academics and socialization amongst students and residents.
The reception at Campus X Bari offers a great first impression and is a constant touch-point for me for whatever I need. A friendly welcome is sure to be had by the staff who will gladly help you with your stay in Bari!
The restaurant is not only a great place to eat any time of day, it is a meeting place and hang-out for many of the students at Campus X, offering great food, drinks and events! And of course, more friendly faces!
Campus X provides state-of-the-art fitness facilities used by residents of the Campus and the public of Bari. The cool, naturally-lit swimming pool is the perfect place for relaxation and exercise.
A daily bus service is provided free of charge for students and residents at Campus X, with a very a personable driver who knows you by name and will gladly take you where you need to go. The service runs 6 times a day with stops at various university campus locations as well as Bari Centrale station. Useful!
So no matter where you are from, or how long you plan to stay, the staff at Campus X Bari will be sure to make you feel at home! If you have questions about life at Campus X, feel free to contact me!
You know you travel too much when… & why I love the Nippon Hotel…
I’ve just arrived in Berlin for the largest, most popular international education industry event of the year: The ICEF Berlin Workshop. While it’s a super-intensive event, I usually find time to snap a few pictures. I caught this one just around the corner from the Crowne Plaza hotel in the city centre.
In my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in various furnished apartments and serviced residences here and there. Nothing quite compares to the Oakwood Shinjuku in it’s ultra-modern, Japanese glory but there are a couple of other places that deserve mention. Since the former Oakwood Shinjuku no longer takes short-term rentals, I was referred to the Citadines Shinjuku a close comparison. Both apartments offer sleek, fully furnished units in high-end buildings in super central locations. You won’t go wrong here.
In comparison, and a relatively good option on the other side of the world, is the Filyos Residence in Istanbul. This 19th century renovated building is set along the Golden Horn, an historic inlet of the Bosphorus. Offering beautiful views from the balconies and walking distance to places such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and Kadir Has University, Filyos Residence is the right place to stay for weeks or months. Rooms are perfectly furnished including everything you need to get started on your adventure in Istanbul (wi-fi, hairdryer and other essentials).
I previously told you about the M Chereville
residences in Seoul and by comparison, the Filyos & Citadines apartments are far cleaner, classier and comparative in price at approximately $60 – $130 CAD / night depending on the suite.
Thinking about getting out of Canada?
I thought I would post a few quick thoughts on the hotels I stayed in recently. Hotels in Europe can be quite expensive and vary greatly in quality and service.
Note that the Canadian dollar prices have been calculated on Oanda using the daily exchange rates plus the typical credit card rate of +2%.
Which is the winning hotel? Check it out below!
Price: €110 EUR / night = $176 CAD
Included: Everything! Delicious Turkish breakfast buffet, wireless internet, fitness centre (not that I use it!); business centre
Location: Taksim – walking distance to many appointments as well as restaurants and transit and shopping. This hotel is located in the heart of the old city and tourist area of Istanbul.
Comment: Very comfortable; friendly, helpful service; clean and modern.
Price: €149 EUR / night = $234 CAD
Included: Tasty buffet breakfast; internet additional €12 EUR / day = $19 CAD; business centre, fitness centre and swimming pool all at extra cost
Location: Berlin city centre, walking distance to conference hotel, shopping, restaurants
Comment: Comfortable enough but very, typical European small rooms, unfriendly staff and no doorman to help with luggage or hailing a cab. For more Euros than most people want to spend, I expect better service and at least a smile. But I’ve learned, expect less in Germany.
Price: €76 EUR / night = $120 CAD
Included: Nothing, internet additional €17 EUR / day = $27 CAD
Location: Zurich North, convenient to my appointments as well as good access to airport and trains; nice restaurants nearby but limited shopping.
Comment: Comfortable small boutique hotel offering friendly service and clean, basic, super-modern but non-luxurious rooms (think Ikea style). Considering the low price, this is an excellent option; I’ve stayed here before and will stay here again. Much better value and far more comfortable than the Swissotel up the street.
WINNER: For “a stylish stay”…Nippon Hotel for sure!!
Each time I’m in Seoul, Korea
I stay at the M Chereville
. While the location is super convenient and with walking distance of the vast majority of my appointments as well as all the food and entertainment you need, I vow each time I stay at the Chereville that I will never stay there again. In all the times I’ve been
to Korea I’ve learned that Koreans generally value price over quality and this is reflected at the M Chereville. Don’t get me wrong, it is a reasonably nice facility but the unpredictable water temperature and hard bed sometimes make me feel as if I’m camping. And camping is exactly what you don’t want to do on a business trip.
That being said, the M Chereville is priced just right at about 98,000 KRW (about $95 CAD
) on www.hotel.co.kr
. This price includes a small daily buffet breakfast on the 5th floor and amenities that you would not normally find in a hotel such as free
(or included, depending on how you spin it) high-speed internet access, laundry facilities in each unit and a kitchenette. Regarding internet access, I have found that the more expensive the hotel, the more expensive the internet access tends to be. And internet is something I definitely cannot and will not live without while on the road. I need to be able to download all my favourite tv shows. Oh and yes, I need to be able to work.
These are indeed apartments, spacious bachelors suites and one-bedrooms, that are suitable for any long-term
business traveler, tourist or English teacher. A small kitchen including a 2-burner cooktop, fridge and freezer and all necessary utensils helps to make this home away from home. However, if you plan to cook for yourself,finding a supermarket can be a challenge in Seoul but you can always head over to level B1 at the Shinsegae department store at the Express Bus Terminal Station which is only a hop/skip/jump away from Gangnam station. Being a business traveler that spends weeks and weeks on the road, I’ve also come to genuinely appreciate having a washer / dryer in the suite as well. A small instruction booklet with diagrams in English and Japanese explains how to use the steam-shower, air conditioner, washer/dryer, hot water heater and more.
As with many types of accommodation these days, there is a small fitness centre and business area. This is located on the 5th floor near the reception area. I’m not one to exercise (I know, I know, I should…) so I can’t really attest to the quality of the equipment at the Chereville but it looks nice and appears functional.
I’ve heard from my colleagues that there are similar residences or serviced apartments just a little further away but still near Gangnam station that might, just might be, a bit better quality than the M Chereville. One friend
told me to try out the Coatel. She even said the layout and look is identical to the Chereville and I have a hunch they are owned by the same company so I’m not actually much more confident that the quality would be any better.
Considering I’m in Korea about 3 times a year and stay each time at the Chereville, I think I can say that the convenience, location and price of this serviced apartment definitely outweigh the sometimes questionable quality. While the bed is hard and the water temperature unpredictable, it is my home away from home in Seoul and making a change is sometimes just not worth the hassle. While I might moan a bit about the M Chereville, you’ll be sure to find me there on my next trip to Seoul. Unless the price goes up…
I’ve been home from Brazil for about a week now and have enjoyed mostly sunny summer weather here in Vancouver. What a surprise! A pleasant one, for sure! Despite the chilly Brazilian winter weather, I had a fantastic trip with plenty of time to meet agents and even do a little photography.Sao Paulo is a colourful city, if you can get away from Avenida Paulista to explore a bit. Avenida Paulista is the perfect place to stay for a business traveler but not all that engaging otherwise. Step away from Paulista and you will find a city splattered with paint: beautiful commissioned murals, street art and graffiti; an eclectic display of artwork depicting Brazils flavour, colour and taste for life, art, politics and humour.
My only complaint (besides the lack of heating in the room at the Caesar Business Hotel
), is the lack of services and facilities at Guarulhos Airport
. Considered a major South American hub, this airport moves about 20 million passengers a year! With that kind of volume, you could at least expect a Starbucks or a bookstore. While it’s hit and miss with airports worldwide, I’ve also come to expect and enjoy free wi-fi and reasonably priced pedicures or massages at most airports. No so at Guarulhos. Beyond the security check-points, you will be lucky to find an espresso and a place to sit while you wait out your delayed flight. This airport places third in most delayed flights
of all airports in the world.
Any traveler flying into Guarulhos airport should be prepared: although only 30 km from downtown Sao Paulo it can take nearly 2 hours to get there due to notoriously bad Brazilian traffic. There is little you can do but sit-back, relax and breathe in the exhaust! Whether you take a bus or taxi, the travel time will be about the same (anywhere from 30 minutes – 2 hours!) but the airport bus will cost about $50 Brazilian Reais less than a taxi.