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25 Hours Hotel Berlin – Review

August 11, 2017

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Berlin which is quirky, stylish and fun then head to the 25 hours Bikini Berlin hotel. 25 hour hotels have a range of hotels across Europe, with each one tailor made to it’s surroundings. The Berlin hotel has an urban jungle theme as it’s located next to the zoo, which you can get panoramic views of from the rooftop bar.  It incorporates the best things of a hostel with many social hotspot’s to hang out in or meet new people but with the privacy and design of a boutique hotel. They even let you rent a Mini Cooper for free, which is a great way to explore Berlin!

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogThe Bedroom

The rooms are amazing, I could have spent my trip here rather than exploring Berlin. The dark green, plant pots and monkey toy give the send of ‘urban jungle’ The jungle rooms directly overlook the zoo, equipped with a hammock where you can hang out and watch the monkeys playing around. With the window shut you won’t be disturbed by the animals but if you open up the window in the morning you’ll be able to hear them. On the other side of the hotel are the urban rooms, with a view over the city. The rooms are equipped with a doubled sided mirror which is great for two people getting ready and open plan high pressure showers with a sleek black tile design.

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

The Breakfast

The buffet breakfast is by far the best I’ve had in Berlin with a wide range of foods served. It includes fruits, cereals, yogurts, eggs and perfectly crispy bacon. They have a variety of loose leaf teas, so you can help yourself to a pot of tea or for the coffee lovers they have a variety of blends you can make with their great machine. If weather permits you can enjoy your breakfast outside overlooking the zoo and city.

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog 25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogReception and Lobby area

A small cafe  and newscorner where you can chill out or grab some breakfast. The hammocks here are so comfy you will not want to get out of them! The hotel also sells a range of postcards, notebooks, travel guides and toiletries the hotel uses. You can also buy your own Monkey cuddly toy as found in the bedrooms.

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogMonkey Bar

Situated at the top of the hotel, it boasts impressive views of the cityscape and zoo. Make sure you head up from your room, rather than the main bar entrance as there tends to be a queue. It has a large range of cocktails, beers and nibbles. We loved coming up here in the evening to soak up the atmosphere.

25 Hours Hotel Berlin - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLocation

Located next to Berlin zoo, with S and U bahn stations just a few minutes walk away

Additional Info

  • Take the lift to the 3rd floor for the reception
  • Sauna and gym 10 euros per person per stay
  • Each room comes with a bag you can use during your stay which will come in handy if buying any shopping
  • Boom bluetooth speakers in each room
  • High speed Wifi and IMAC workstations in lobby area
  • Can rent good quality bikes from the hotel, if staying in the large room you’ll have a bike in your bedroom
  • Book lunch or dinner at  the Neni restaurant in advance as it can book up fast
  • Free Mini Cooper rental

Overall experience

I loved this hotel, it’s one of the most unique and exciting hotels I’ve stayed at. The food, bar, rooms and service are all excellent. I’m already planning on staying in other 25 hour hotels as each one has it’s own quirky design.

Book your stay here

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*Thanks to 25 Hours Hotels for a complimentary night stay and media rate discount for other nights, all opinions remain my own*

Italy Travel

Where to go on a weekend in Florence, Italy

July 25, 2017

Florence is a romantic, charming city which is full of incredible architecture, history and art. The Tuscan cuisine is incredible spend your time here feasting on Florentine steak, pizza and gelato.

Florence Attractions

Piazza del Duomo

Duomo Florence - Enjoy the AdventureOne of Florence’s most beautiful and famous site. You can enter free of charge and once inside check out the array of marble work and be sure to look up to see the decorative ceiling.

Open – Weekdays 10-5pm, Saturdays 10-4.45pm Sundays 1.30 – 4.45

Ceiling Duomo Florence - Enjoy the Adventure

Ceiling in Duomo

Ponte Vecchio

Bridge Florence - Enjoy the AdventureThe Ponte Vecchio, translated as old bridge, is a medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno river, it’s lined with plenty of jewellery shops so is a great place to treat your other half to a gift. Go in the evening to watch the sunset whilst listening to the street musicians.

Piazza Della Signoria

Piazza Della Signoria - Enjoy the AdventureMake sure you visit this square to admire the many sculptures, at night the area is lively with musicians and restaurants.

Garden of Cascine

Garden of Cascine - Enjoy the AdventureWe stumbled upon this beautiful garden whilst on our way to the viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo. Entry is free and you can spend the afternoon strolling around the beautiful flower gardens.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo - Enjoy the AdventureThis is the best place to come to take in panoramic views of the city, make sure to visit at sunset to see the city transformed. There is a restaurant where you can enjoy a few glasses of wine whilst taking in the amazing view.

Piazzale Michelangelo statue - Enjoy the adventureSan Miniato al Monte

San Miniato al Monte - Enjoy the AdventureThis 11th century church is a short walk from the viewpoint at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Open Weekdays 9.30-1pm & 3-7pm, Sundays 8.15-7pm

Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Republica - Enjoy the AdventureThis square always has something going on such as musicians, children chasing bubbles and the carousel spinning round. Sit down and relax with a coffee as you soak up the atmosphere.

Leonardo da Vinci Museum

Museum - Enjoy the AdventureThis is a small interactive museum where you can see and try out some of Leonardo’s inventions.

Open Daily 10-7pm Entrance – €7

Food

Gelateria dei neri – The best ice cream parlour we went to in Florence, from salted caramel, pistachio to fresh and fruity flavours, it can be hard to choose from the vast selection. This place can get quite busy but it’s well worth the wait!

Gusta Pizza – This restaurant has a small selection of amazing pizzas! It gets super busy so can be hard to get a table and you may have to share your table with others, if it’s too busy you can get a takeaway. Prices here are very reasonable, once you order you get a token with a number on and wait for it to be called out to collect your pizza. A lovely gimmick here is that people have written on the tokens and placed them under the glass tables to celebrate their time at this fantastic pizzeria.

Gusta Pizza Florence - Enjoy the Adventure

Weekend Guide to Florence - Enjoy the Adventure

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Travel

Longleat Safari Park

June 25, 2017

Last month when Sam and I visited Wiltshire, we took a day trip to Longleat Safari Park. I had wanted to visit Longleat for ages and it ended up being such a fun day out!

Safari Drive Through

When you arrive at the Longleat safari entrance they hand you a CD. This guides you through each section of the safari with some information about the animals. The first stop is the African village and walking safari where you can park your car to get out to explore.

Longleat Safari Park GiraffeLongleat Safari Park Lemurs - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogYou can even walk side by side with the Lemurs!

We then decided to brave the Monkey drive through. The monkeys will jump on your car and could possibly break something. Sam has to get a new back windscreen wiper! However, it is a lot of fun watching the monkeys jump all over other people’s cars and seeing the cute babies. If you don’t want to risk it then you can just take the by pass lane and carry onto the next part of the safari or take a bus which you can organise through Longleat here.

Longleat Safari Park Monkeys - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Monkeys - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Elephant - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogWe then passed Annie the elephant!Longleat Safari Park Deer - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogAnother fun part was the Deer enclosure where you can purchase a cup of deer pellets for £1 to feed them through the window. It was pretty busy and we were in the wrong lane so Sam thought it was a great idea to feed them a packet of shortbread biscuits. The Deer loved the shortbread and wouldn’t leave us alone haha!Longleat Safari Park Rhino - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Lion - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

Longleat House

Longleat Safari Park House - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogMazeLongleat Safari Park Maze - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogBoat tripLongleat Safari Park Boat trip - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogOn the boat trip you’ll cruise past Gorilla colony, seeing Nico the oldest male Gorilla in Europe in his own private home. Our tour guide told us that he has a T.V and enjoys watching Peppa Pig or spending time chasing the birds. You will also pass by the hippos which are  pretty hard to see as they sleep a lot.  The sea lions come right up beside the boat and you can buy fish to feed them, it was so funny listening to them bark for the fish!

Information 

  • Safari drive through takes between 2-3 hours depending how busy it is and how long you want to spend in each area
  • On the safari drive the only toilet stop is at the African village none after that until back at Longleat house and main square
  • There are plenty of food options such as pizzas, burgers, sandwiches or snacks.
  • You can feed the Giraffe at 10.30am or 2pm at the African Village
  • Feed the Deer for £1
  • Opportunity to feed the sea lions on the boat trip for £1
  • Arrive early and spend all day here as there’s so much to do
  • Cost – £33.95 at gate or £28.85 online

Location

Address: Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW – if using a sat nav use this post code BA12 7JS

Longleat is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury

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My trip to Longleat Safari Park was complimentary in exchange for this review. However, all views and opinions are my own.

Travel

Knomo Harpsden Backpack

June 19, 2017

Knomo London have a range of beautiful and practical bags. The bags are ideal for work and travelling about with. They have a great selection of bags such as clutches, backpacks, totes and briefcases.

I have been trying out the Knomo Harpsden backpack here are the features:

  • Padded section to fit laptop – Protects and allows easy access when needed
  • Main section – great for organising, section for cards, pens and other small items
  • Water resistant
  • Cushioned mesh back – comfortable to wear
  • Padded straps for comfort
  • Front pocket – great for using on the go

I think this backpack is very practical and has a lot of space to fit all my essentials. I love that its waterproof and has a section for my laptop. I also like the section for organising where I can fit my cards and other bits and pieces. The backpack is also comfortable to carry around. I hate carrying bags which dig in and leave strap marks.

The Harpsden backpack is availabe in blue and grey. This backpack is waterproof so is great to take with you if walking, cycling or travelling. This backpack costs £89.00 and all Knomo bags are guaranteed for two years after purchase.

Whats your favourite backpack?

*I was gifted this bag by Knomo London*

Travel

Weekend in Wiltshire

June 2, 2017

Wiltshire is filled with lots of countryside and many areas of natural outstanding beauty. Home to World Heritage site Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest church spire in the UK.

Here is a guide on where to go in Wiltshire:

Stonehenge

After parking and buying tickets a shuttle bus will take you close to Stonehenge. Here you can then explore the landscape by foot. Even visiting Neolithic houses to discover tools and objects of Neolithic life. You can also visit the Stonehenge exhibition to discover the story of Stonehenge.

Entry: £16.50, students/over 60s – £14.90, child-  £9.90

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park was amazing! It’s such a fun day out with so many animals to see. Separate blog post on this coming soon.

Entry: £33.95 or £28.85 if booked online

Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral

Entry is free but suggested donation is £6.00. All museums and houses below are located within walking distance of the Cathedral, in the Cathedral Close.

Arundells

Arundells was the home of former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Entry: £7 for house, garden and exhibition or £3 for garden

Mompesson House

Mompesson house is an 18th century townhouse with a beautiful garden.

Entry: £6.50, child – £3.25

National Trust members free

Rifles Museum

The collection in this museum tells the story of the Berkshire and Wiltshire regiments over the past 250 years.

Entry: £5.00, child – £3.00

The Salisbury Museum

The museum has information on the history of Salisbury with artefacts, a ceramics gallery and costume gallery.

Entry:£7.50, child – £3.60

Accomodation

Harepath house

This beautiful house is located in Bishops Cannings in the heart of Wiltshire. This studio apartment is a great place for 1 or 2 people to stay. The house is very cosy and peaceful, surrounded by countryside.

Getting to Wiltshire

  • 1 hour 30 minutes from London Waterloo to Salisbury on the train.
  • We drove from Surrey to Devizes it took around 2 hours and it was very easy to get around Wiltshire by car.

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*A huge thank you to Visit Wiltshire for inviting me to explore this beautiful county*

What to do in Wiltshire, UK - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

Travel

Top 5 Things to do in Cuba – Guest Post

May 31, 2017

I have always wanted to visit Cuba and reading Heidi‘s blog makes me want to go even more. Read on to see Heidi’s recommendations on what to do in Cuba!

Top Five Things to Do in Cuba

AND

Why NOW is the time to go?

Only an hour flight from Miami or a direct flight from many global hubs, the treasures of Cuba await you. This once forbidden island is bound to fascinate all. Its contrasting colors, complex, musical rhythms, and parade of classic 1950’s American cars mesmerize your eyes and ears. Meanwhile its world famous rum and cigars play with your taste buds. With over five years of travel to Cuba, let me share with you the top five things to do in Cuba.

Ride in a Classic Convertible Car

You’ve heard it many times that traveling to Cuba is like going back in time. Well, it is. Immediately, you notice the rolling museum of vibrant 1950’s American cars. Everywhere you turn and in every color imaginable there is eye-candy. When in Cuba, you must take a convertible classic car ride. It is the best YOLO souvenir that you can gift yourself. Whether in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Varadero, a classic car ride is like visiting the Fountain of Youth. Regardless of your real age, you will turn back the clock, smiling from ear to ear, throwing your hands up in the air like you don’t care, and letting the wind blow through your hair. To hire a classic car or any taxi in Cuba, always agree upon a price before getting in. I highly suggest a recorrido (tour/spin of the city), which is roughly 35-40 CUC (GBP 31-39 or USD 40-50).

ConvertibleCaravanHavanaCubaHeidiSiefkas

Eat at Paladares

The paladar (private restaurant) scene in Cuba is exploding. What started out in the 90’s with small cafes run out of one’s home serving traditional Cuban dishes such as roasted pork, malanga (taro), moros (beans and rice), and flan has morphed into global Cuban fusion cuisine, no longer served out of one’s home, but instead larger, multi-level restaurants. Prices vary depending on the location you choose as well as your tastes. Expect 15-25 CUC per person for dinner (approximately GBP 13-22 or USD 17-29). Also, it is customary to leave a tip of 10% at restaurants and bars.

Cuban Pork

Explore the Art Scene

Whether its mural paintings, sculptures, or mosaic work, art is found around every corner in Cuba. Be prepared to be shocked at the ingenuity of Cuban artists. Without the art supplies of the modern world because of the continued U.S. Embargo, Cuban artists improvise using repurposed items like old washing machines, car parts, and typewriters to make sculptures while implementing untraditional tools for creating all forms of art. Across the country, you will find arts and craft markets, artistic community projects, and private galleries to admire the creativity and perhaps purchase a souvenir. If in Havana, don’t miss these two art hotspots: Fusterlandia, a mosaic neighborhood done by Jose Fuster, and the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (Cuban Art Factory or FAC), which is a converted warehouse turned multi-media art gallery and entertainment center.

FusterlandiaHeidiSiefkas

Go to a Show or Two

In Cuba, you must take in a show or two. It would be a huge faux pas to leave without experiencing the dynamic sounds, rhythms, and non-stop energy of Cuban bands. Sometimes having as many members as a football team, Cuban musical groups come with not one, but multiple percussionists, singers, horn players, guitarists, and dancers. Cubans take the adage of the more the merrier to whole new level. When in Havana, the two most popular shows are the famous cabaret, Tropicana, and one of the various Buena Vista Social Club performances. Although shows start at 10pm or 11pm, you won’t doze off during the shows. In fact, most show tickets include rum and mixers. With the combination of libations and lively music, most spectators end up dancing on stage with some of the performers. Outside of the capital, ask for the local Casa de la Música (music house). Most towns have one with a combination of live music and DJs in the evenings.

TropicanaHavanaHeidiSiefkas

Enjoy the Moment

Every city or town in Cuba has a main square (Plaza Mayor), promenade, or seawall that is the local hotspot and meeting place. In Havana, this place is the Malecón, the ocean boulevard. After 5pm, you will witness groups of friends, entire families, musicians, and lovers getting together to relax, sing, dance, drink, and enjoy the moment; thus, it got its nickname as the world’s largest sofa. Join in the fun by putting on a pair of good walking shoes and bringing some small coins and bills 1, 2, 3, 5 CUC (GBP 0.90-4.50 or USD 1.15-5.75) with you to buy mani (peanuts), sweets, or drinks from local vendors. With Cubans being very friendly and curious, don’t be alarmed if many interact with you, trying to dance with you or even practicing their English, French, or other languages. There is very little to worry about. Violent crime is almost non-existent. Just be careful with your purse or wallet like you would in Paris, New York City, or London.

CubanMusicianonHavanasMalecon

Cuba is fascinating. After nearly thirty trips to Cuba, its culture and people continue to amaze me. NOW is the time to discover Cuba and its riches for yourself. If you are interested in more info before you go, check out my book, Cubicle to Cuba, and my blog http://www.heidisiefkas.com/blog Continue Reading