Sleeping Accommodations

Accommodations — where to stay. Hotels, hostels, and other sleeping options. There are so many possibilities out there!


Pack a sleep mask — my choice is Nidra mask

When you travel, you don’t get to control the darkness in your room. There’s always that gap in the curtains or a room is pretty but not pretty dark.

So I did sought out the best possible mask and best value for the money. My choice is the Nidra Deep Rest mask. Light-blocking, but lightweight. (You know I love that!) MOLDED so it lets me sleep in darkness but be able to open my eyes fully. And best yet, it doesn’t create eyebrow wonkiness.


Marina Del Rey, new business class Hilton Garden with free wi-fi!

As I start writing this I am cozy on a nice suede couch in the earth-toned lobby of the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn (hotel) in Marina del Rey. And… get this — I can actually post this from the hotel because it actually allows guests to have wi-fi access for free. Now, you may be thinking…what’s the big deal about free wifi? So here’s how wi-fi tends to work in the USA. For some reason I have yet to understand, the more reasonably priced hotels offer free wi-fi for guests but the high-end hotels change from $10-$25 per 24-hour period for wi-fi. (At $25 it’s part of a “resort fee.”) Holiday Inn, a chain at which I have elected to stay at and hold events, led the way with access by offering free wi-fi since 2005. Business class hotels followed, and Hilton Garden Inn falls into this category.


Petit Ermitage, West Hollywood Entrance

Petit Ermitage — unique hotel in West Hollywood

The Petit Ermitage is a four-story building that you can easily miss as it’s on a quiet residential street, although if you look closely the attentive doormen give it away.

The Petit Ermitage describes itself as Bohemian. However, I don’t feel ” Bohemian” captures its elegance. Petit Ermitage is worldly — or rather reflective of the greater world in which we live. A little bit old European, a bit of Morocco, a splash of modern at the saltwater pool — and all around perfect in feeling and comfort.

Inside, you’ll find unique room, and atop you’ll find a rooftop saltwater pool, restaurant — and butterfly garden. And from this beautiful rooftop, there are beautiful views of Los Angeles.


My bed on Isla Boca Brava

This is the view I get to enjoy from my bed hammock at Hotel Boca Brava. I so-loved sleeping in a hammock at my friend Daniel’s that when I got here and saw this hammock setup I just had to try it. Yes, that is water you see — the warm Pacific Ocean — and yes. Those are islands you see out in the water. Both sides of this room have water views.


Hostel recommendation in Panama City, Panama

If you are seeking a beautiful hostel in a safe, well-to-do part of Panamá City — and you are OK with staying in a 6-8 bed dorm — I highly recommend Los Mostros hostel. It was built by an Architect. It had a pool in back, a billiard/pool table and ping pong tables out front. The kitchen is spacious and has real cooking items and plates, not broken odds and ends. There is a refrigerator for your food — and it actually works. There are just a couple of downsides: Smoking is limited to outside but you breath that smoke in the inside recreation rooms too. There are no private rooms. Here is a photo taken from the lobby area looking into the main recreation areas. Those two bean bag chairs are upstairs across from the reception desk. I will add more photos and info, time and photos permitting.


Trump Panama

Unable to sleep for the first time since coming to live in a friend’s home in Punta Patilla, I just looked out my bedroom window. It is 3am. Rising out of the darkness comprised of private homes and now empty office buildings, is just one building — its elevators and halls alit. How interesting, how telling it is that by night Trump Panama looks like a Cobra poised to strike. And that I didn’t notice in the light of day – from any angle.


Nice private rooms in Boquette, Panamá for $15

I did not get to stay at this place but my new friend Mike knows Boquetti very well and took me here to show me this hotel — Pension Marilos. For $15 you get a private room with a very good bed and bath. (I didn’t test the water pressure but the bathroom I saw looked very nice.) You will find Pension Marilos on the street that has the police station. it is a bit further from the town square, and is also en route to the Library. The owner speaks. Like many places to sleep in Central America, there are dogs inside. I did not ask if the dogs are permitted on the furniture.


Dorm & private rooms in David, Panama

It is easy to take a nice direct bus from San José, Costa Rica all the way to Panama City but there is much to enjoy before Panama City as it is far south. I opted to go only as far as David, Panama’s second largest city, and see some of the north en route down. This is the view from my lounge chair as I say and wrote one day. This is the back yard of Bambu Hostel – low-cost accomodation in David, Panama. Bambu is a hostel — casual and budget accomodations. There are some private rooms with and without private baths for $25/$30. There is an indoor 6-bed (3-bunk) dormitory with a bathroom (not shower) for $11. The lowest cost accommodation ($9) is the hut-style dormitory they call the “Jungle Lodge” out back. You see it pictured above. This is partial open-air, 10-bed (5-bunk) room in which […]


Beautiful budget accommodation in Boquette, Panama

While in Boquette, Panamá, I forgot that I had made note of a fellow traveler’s recommendation — the Hostal Rio Refugio. He described it as “a hotel and hostel where the hostel is not second class.” It is right on the river, which runs alongside the town. I was told that in December (now) a hot tub will open there too. From what I was told, the only drawback was lack of free coffee. It appears to be budget accommodation with a touch of luxury. I was content to stay in a simple hostel right on the park in the center of town for $8.50, but I do wish I had remembered this place.


My bed in San Jose, Costa Rica

I think some of my friends will get a kick out of this, This is the bed I had in a small home hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica. There were three bunk beds in the room. Most of the time I had this room to myself. A few nights there would be another woman in the room. This room would have been a children’s bedroom before the house became a hostel, but the room has no closets. As is typical, bunk beds in hostels double as closets for clothing in use. Notice the flower. Flowers were a gift from my friend Kidron. Having a flower in my room was a unique travel experience. It isn’t too often that I sleep in a bunk bed, but at least when I do I typically get the bottom bunk!


Hostel recommendation in San Salvador, El Salvador

When I first arrived in San Salvador I stayed at a perfectly nice hostel that was recommended by Lonely Planet. It was nice and breakfast was free, but there was no kitchen, it was low season so it was pretty empty, and I didn’t feel connected to the staff. My local friend had heard a CouchSurfer had liked a hostel — Cumbres del Volcan — and as we found ourselves nearby, we checked it out. I am so glad we did! I loved staying at Cumbres del Volcan! There is no question that this is THE hostel for just about everyone to stay at. Regardless of your age, you will like this home-turned-hostel. Here are a few reasons why I like the location: It is in a terrific, upscale neighborhood — Escalon. There are low-cost Pupuserias right down the block. It is just a short block below the Plaza Futura, […]


Veteran’s Day Free Inns & B&Bs for vets

B&B are a great way to travel and this is a nice thank you to our troops. The 4th Annual B&Bs for Vets program. (The info and quote I am sharing here is from a press release I received.) Inns and B&Bs throughout the U.S. and Canada will honor men and women who’ve served in the armed forces by offering thousands of veterans and their guest (family?) complimentary stays on n Veteran’s Day — November 11, 2021. The complete list of participating inns and B&Bs in the USA: bnbsforvets.org. The list of participating inns in Canada is at: bbcanada.com/bbforvets In addition, Salute our Heroes special offers for veterans and those serving in the military are also found on BnBFinder.com. Many of the participating inns and B&Bs are donating all their guest rooms for free stays for veterans on November 12, 2012. Others are offering special military discounts throughout the weekend. […]


More Bagelmen’s in Costa Rica

Funny how things happen. At 10am I took a walk down the road from the hostel where I spent last night. On that walk, I discovered Bagelmen’s and wrote about it here. At 11am, I checked out of the hostel because I felt the manager’s behavior toward me became uncomfortable for me after I told him I was robbed at one of its owner’s other hostels and I didn’t feel at home there. I was told, I needed to leave exactly at checkout time. No problem. I had been welcomed at Bagelmen’s so I went there and relaxed while I looked online for a new hostel. I found a hostel that had excellent reviews and sounded perfect for me, called, and found my way there (in Spanish via two buses). Feeling at home, relaxed, happy and excited about my new albeit short-term home, I asked my friend of what is […]


Photos of a top hostel – Cumbres del Volcan, San Salvador

I have stayed in several hostels a I travelled this past year (2012) and have been lucky enough to find three charms – 3 hostels I absolutely recommend. Cumbres del Volcan is certainly in my top three hostel recommendations. Here are some photos that I took during my stay. (The Cumbres del Volcan Facebook page) These photos are not edited. I did not special cleaning before taking them. The only difficult thing was to wait until there were not people in my shots. Note: This was actually composed at the close of 2012 but I am dating it to coincide with my travel timeline. ; ;


Mattresses are HARD in Central America

One thing I have noticed so far in Mexico’s Yucatan and Quinta Roo, in Honduras, in Guatemala, and in El Salvador is that bed mattresses have been quite hard. Of course, this is from the perspective of an American that longed for a memory foam or latex mattress, so bear that in mind. I love a mattresses that, although it gives me support, I can relax into and melt to sleep. So, if you are like me, just be prepared for different sleep. When a hammock is available to try, opt for it and give it a try. If you have room in your bag consider a foam pad. (I sure wish I had that kind of room.) There may be exceptions, of course. High end hotels that cater to Americans, perhaps. But I have not seen anything I call pillow top or soft. Some hostel or low end beds […]


Behind the walls

A recent reflection… Being from the suburbs of the USA, I am used to homes where people put their best foot forward, so to speak. The inside of a home might be a mess, might be in disrepair, or might be void of furniture due to lack of money, but the outside that the world sees tends to look good or look its best. In some of the countries I visited long ago, it was the opposite. The public saw a simple wall. Only when you walked through the oft-closed gate, did you discover that inside laid an open yard and perhaps a marvelous home. I am now in Latin America, specifically Central America so far, and again I am seeing some of this. Often, to drive down a road is to see nothing but walls. Most of these have been stone walls or walls of corrugated metal or flat […]