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Dos And Don’ts Of Eating In Europe

Published in Essentials

Dos and Don’ts of Eating In Europe
Everyone gets ripped off at one time or another while travelling and it seems to be more common when there can be a language barrier. So we are going to do our best to arm you with a little bit of knowledge to avoid being ripped off in Europe’s restaurants and cafes so you can get back to the serious business of eating some of Europe’s most delicious food.

The farther away from a tourist site you eat, the less likely you are to be ripped off
It’s a sad truth that in some less-than-honest establishments, tourists can be seen as easy prey. Restaurants and cafes right near the big tourist sites are the most likely candidates. It’s not always the case of course, but well-located eateries that don’t cater to a local (and therefore repeat) market are more likely to charge inflated prices.

Avoid restaurants and cafes with a host outside forcing you in.
Another tip-off that you’re in a touristy establishment: There’s a “host” outside the door asking you to come in (any restaurant catering to locals, won’t have this since they’ll rely on word-of-mouth)

Where you sit can really affect the price

It is quite common in cities like Rome, Paris, and Amsterdam that you will have to charge differently depending on where you sit. In Rome for example, you will find it cheaper to have a coffee or drink at the bar and may notice different prices for “banco” (standing) and one for “tavolo” (sitting).
Also in places like Paris and many other European cities restaurants may charge extra to sit outside ‘al fresco’, so be aware of any charges.

Understanding charges on your bill
You may find in some European cities that there can be extra fees or charges on your bill. In Rome, for example, you may see ‘“pane e coperto’ on your bill which is a charge for your bread that is generally not per basket but per head. You may also find almost all restaurants in Europe will charge you for water.

Understanding when to tip
Restaurant tips are more modest in Europe than in America. At restaurants, check the menu to see if service is included; if it isn’t, a tip of 5–10 percent is normal. In most places, 10 percent is a big tip. As a matter of principle, if not economy, the local price should prevail. Please believe me — tipping 15 or 20 percent in Europe is unnecessary, if not culturally ignorant.
Tipping is an issue only at restaurants that have waiters and waitresses. If you order your food at a counter (in a pub, for example), don’t tip. The “service charge” (Servizio in Italian, service in French, servicio in Spanish) can be handled in different ways. Sometimes the menu will note that the service is included (“servizio incluso”), meaning that the prices listed on the menu already have this charge built in. When the service is not included (“servizio non incluso”), the service charge might show up as a separate line item at the end of your bill.

If you can, check for reviews 
The best way to know what you're getting before you get it is to look at genuine non-biased reviews. By using Tripadvisor or Mytable, which both offer an honest rating of the restaurant, bar or cafe. You can also search restaurants near you and can also specify if you want cheap eats or fancy 5-star cuisine. 

Find A Park, Pack a picnic
To keep the cost down and live like a local,grab a take-away sandwich from a bakery or Supermarket and have a picnic. Picnics can be an adventurous money saving option. Also be aware In stores, unrefrigerated soft drinks, bottled water, and beer are one-third the price of cold drinks. Avoid buying drinks to go at streetside stands; you'll find them far cheaper in a shop.

Be aware of cultural differences
Keep in mind that by Uk/American standards, many Europeans such as the French undercook meats: rare or saignantis close to raw; medium or à point is rare; and well-done or bien cuit is medium. Also keep in mind that in an around certain cities of Europe you may find raw eggs put on top of items such as Pizza.

Have fun and enjoy some of the best Cuisines in the world.


Delightful Downtown DoubleTree Hotel

Published in Hotel Reviews

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Nestled in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles, California, this hotel is an exotic retreat that takes travellers on a Japanese themed adventure. Well located nearby attractions such as the Los Angeles Convention Centre, Dodger Stadium, Bunker Hill and the Staples Centre.

On arrival, we got checked in very quickly and the desk staff were friendly and attentive to all our needs, they even received an Amazon parcel for us before arrival. The lobby itself was very clean and spacious and the Japanese theme really shone through. As with most DoubleTree Hiltons the lobby has that tasty aroma of freshly baked cookies, which you can treat yourself to.

We were only staying for 2 nights as we were coming back from Las Vegas so we opted for the Standard king room, although we got a larger room with two king beds.

Also in the room were complimentary bottles of water and as you guessed it- more cookies. In our room, there was also the standard amenities of a safe, docking station, Flat screen, coffee/tea facilities, Air/con and toiletries. The internet was very fast if your A HHonors Member for the ‘premium internet’. The Standard internet was bearable and was more than enough to check emails and have a scroll through Facebook.

The view from our room was pleasant and overlooked the busing streets of Downtown LA. The area itself is well located to many attractions but there is a strong presence of homelessness if you go a walk, although this doesn’t bother us as we mainly use UBER to get around so not much walking was done. The best bet is to ask reception the best route if you walking by foot more than a couple of blocks or use their complimentary 3-mile radius shuttle service. Another issue with the area also seemed to be the noise at night with cars, trucks and the never ending police sirens even on a very high floor, thankfully we are quite heavy sleepers.

One of our favourite things about this hotel is the peaceful rooftop Kyoto Garden that offers skyline views of the city and really is a unique place in Los Angeles.

The hotel also offers a really impressive array of refreshments whether it be the Starbucks next door, the hotel restaurant which you can also take out, the brilliant breakfast buffet options or the lobby shop.

The hotel also had one of the best room service options we have seen with 5-star food brought straight to your room just in case you’ve had a long day and don’t want to trek to one of the many options for food.

The Downtown DoubleTree Hilton Hotel is a great affordable hotel in Downtown Los Angeles with very friendly staff and a great list of facilities so overall we give it our Economy Plus rating. The reason we didn't rate it higher is due to the noise and the surrounding area than can put you off.
Price: £180-250 a night
Address: 120 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
More info: Click Here
Book Now 

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.



The Eventi - Cutting-Edge Comfort In Chelsea

Published in Hotel Reviews

The Eventi, A Kimpton Hotel- Cutting-edge Comfort in Chelsea
Perched at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and West 29th Street on the Avenues of the Americas, this fashionable hotel places travellers in an excellent location. Offering a calming setting away from New York's buzzing city streets, this Kimpton property is perfect for travellers looking to live it up in the city but want a relaxing haven to come back to.

We arrived before check in and the hotel concierge lets us keep our bags at the hotel while we went to explore the wonderful streets of New York. When we got back that evening to check in, there was tea, coffee and cocoa available for guests. Who doesn’t love a cup of hot Cocoa? The main reception itself was very welcoming with cosy leather seating areas to just relax after a long day exploring the avenues of NYC.

When we entered our room it was quite late so we were not expecting an upgrade but, boy did we get one. We hot woke up every morning with the sunrise complimenting New Yorks extraordinary skyline. It really was the perfect wake-up call to get up and explore this never ending city.

The room itself was extremely spacious with enough room to swing several cats. Kitted out with everything you need; a large flat screen tv, iHome docking station, mini bar and desk for working on. At the desk, there was also an Ethernet cable connection although the WiFi speed was more than acceptable for most travellers needs.

The bathroom was a dream, marbled head to toe. Featuring a huge walk-in rain shower, deep soaking tub and double sinks. In usual Kimpton style, the toiletries were high end, the towels were fluffy and the bathrobes were just perfect for a calming easy night. If you're craving a little more luxury, though, book a treatment at the Spa at the Eventi, which offers speciality treatments like "Jet Lag Recovery" and "Rock N Relax" stone massages.

The hospitality doesn’t just stop there, though, The Eventi also offers A wine happy hour between 5-6pm for guests, two distinct on-site restaurants, the family-style L'Amico or the Portuguese Lupulo restaurant and a sprawling veranda on the fifth floor, looking straight down 6th Ave. If you feeling athletic there is also a full-serviced fitness centre that also offers complimentary CoreSentrik classes that combine yoga and pilates.

The Eventi’s dynamite location is just brilliant for getting around the city. Located a 20-minute walk to Union Square (& the ever fantastic Union Square farmers market), 5-minute walk to Herald Square, 10-minute walk to Times Square, & 5 minutes (or less) walk to the 1/2/3 & N/Q/R & 4/5/6 subway lines. It’s also a very easy walk to Penn Station, which is hugely helpful when you’re dragging a suitcase to the train.

The Eventi Hotel is a real gem in the midst of manhattan with friendly staff, amazing rooms and an all round perfect atmosphere that gets our first class rating.

Price: £200-300
Address: 851 6th Ave, New York, NY 10001, United States
More Info: Click Here

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.



Ibiza Rocks Hotel - Party At Your Doorstep

Published in Hotel Reviews

Ibiza Rocks Hotel
Ibiza Rocks Hotel is the one of the most well known hotels on the Balearic Islands, famous for showing some of the biggest live bands and best DJ’s poolside. Based in the centre of San Antonio and only 300m from the famous sunset strip and beach you’ll have no shortage of entertainment.

From the get-go you will notice this hotel isn’t for you if you want a quite relaxing holiday, on check in you will be given the low down of the events on at Ibiza Rocks and the many other clubs and bars around Ibiza. Although the staff were young and hip they had no shortage of information and were overall quite helpful.

Overall the rooms are kept clean and basic, with a monochrome look with associating pictures of music stars on the walls. The bathroom and shower was very spacious and you get towels provided, but that was about it. The beds although comfortable enough were only provided as two singles, which can be a bit annoying for some couples. Air conditioning and the safe is extra paid daily which can add up to a lot if you’re at Ibiza Rocks for a week or so.

Again you can pay extra if you want a balcony over the stage, the main pool or chill out pool. Think carefully before getting a main stage view as it can get extremely noisy 24/7. We had the joys of being upgraded to a main stage view room and although it was brilliant to have acts such as Craig David, Faithless and Example within view of your bed, it can get very loud morning, noon and night. If you're like us at BeatTheTravelAgent and you’ll be visiting Ibiza’s renowned club scene until the late hours of the morning the last thing you want to hear is a DJ blasting ‘House Every Weekend’ at 10am when your trying to sleep, so be careful when deciding on your room choice.

The hotel itself is specifically targeted towards English tourists, with England flags on the pillows, english speaking staff and english food. The breakfasts although not included is affordable with a good choice to cure that hangover served until late.

Ibiza rocks is never short of entertainment with daily live acts but thats not all it offers, with two large outdoor swimming pools, jacuzzi, three bars, two restaurants, a gym, tennis court and supermarket on the grounds. You really don’t have to leave the venue to have a perfect holiday experience.

Ibiza Rocks hotel is on paper a cheap alternative to other party hotels in Ibiza such as Ushuaia and the Hard Rock hotel, but when you include added charges such as air-con, safe access, breakfast and room upgrades for the full experience it really adds up. The hotel overall isn’t bad but with the constant partying and noise it really is targeted at the young Ibiza goer. Ibiza rocks gets our Economy rating overall.
Price: £100-140 Per night
Address: Calle Cervantes 27, 07820 Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza, Spain (Formerly Club Paraiso Mediterraneo)
More Info: Click Here
Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accommodation ranging from First class being the best and Last class being the worst.


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