I'm always on the lookout for hotels that cater to solo travelers like myself while providing affordable, yet comfortable single rooms.
Here are some affordable boutique hotels that I have discovered and enjoyed during my travels.
Conveniently located in the historical Sultanahmed district within walking distance of such major sites as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Museum and more, I happened upon a particularly nice boutique hotel called the Muhlis Bey Hotel
The hotel is a converted and lovingly restored traditional Turkish wooden house and hence a historical site in its own right. Strictly speaking the hotel does not offer single rooms, but given the size of the building, the rooms are quite small and their cheapest 'double' makes for a comfortable 'single'. What the rooms may lack in size they make up for in comfort and style. The bathroom is lovely with a rain shower and complimentary gels, soaps and shampoo as well as a – working – hairdryer.
Breakfast is served on the roof terrace where you can greet the day watching the sun rise over the minarets of the Hagia Sofia and the ship traffic criss crossing the Bosporus. They offer an ample breakfast buffet, including coffee and tea, and fruit juice.
Depending on season, the price range for a single en suite is between EUROS 65 and EUROS 85 incl. tax and breakfast. The owner and receptionists speak English.
Cappadocia, Turkey's most famous, moonlike landscape is a very popular tourist destination which many people will visit during the next summer. It's a rather vast area and I found the small town of Ürgüp to be an ideal starting point from which to explore Cappadocia, go on day trips and tours, and even arrange a balloon ride. Caves are Cappadocia's trade mark and there is nothing better to get into the spirit of things than staying in a cave hotel. I found my ideal accommodation in the snugly Ürgüp Inn
This family owned and operated little boutique hotel has only six rooms, all of which, despite being carved out of rock, are very ample and beautifully furnished with antique, local furniture and rugs, and a cozy fire place. The bathroom is large and provides a beautiful bar of sweet smelling handmade soap.
Breakfast is either served in the kitchen, which makes you feel like part of the family, or, weather permitting, in the courtyard under the shade of wine leaves. If there is no room in the dining area, you get 'room service'; breakfast is brought to you on a tray. Another amenity is free internet access available upon request. Ömer, the owner, will go out of his way to help you arrange day trips and balloon rides.
Rate for a single room including tax and breakfast: EUROS 25
My choice for Marrakesh was the Riad Altair, a boutique hotel full of pleasant surprises from the word go. Located on a tiny street deep inside the Medina of Marrakesh, you will only be able to find it with the help of your taxi driver. After the first day though, orientation is easy. The driver covered the last few meters on foot and stopped in front of a nondescript wooden door. The door opened and I stepped into what appeared to be a fairy tale right out of 1001 nights.
The hotel is a converted riad, a traditional Moroccan stone house. You enter a courtyard with a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling, couches in alcoves along the wall, potted palms and roses everywhere. The rooms are arranged around a gallery on the two floors above and a roof terrace with splendid views of Marrakesh tops the building.
The delightful rooms are furnished with antiques, beautiful rugs, bunches of roses, and the softest linen and towels. A plentiful fruit bowl also awaits. The bathroom features a rain shower and a handcrafted wash basin made from silver, as well as every kind of lotions and potions and a bottle of rose water. Near the courtyard is even a tiny pool which allows you to sit and cool your feet. Service is excellent, English is spoken fluently and cars, drivers and any kind of excursions will be arranged for you on request. A typical Moroccan breakfast spread is served on the roof terrace. Strictly speaking, Riad Altair does not offer single rooms, but they will lower the room rate considerably for single person occupancy.
Rates for a double depending on season range from EUROS 95 to EUROS 125.
The 2-star Hotel Serenissima in Venice offers just what you might expect. The single room is very small and so is the bathroom which does not have a hair dryer. On the other hand, the hotel is very cozy with a lovely tiny bar downstairs, a nice breakfast room on the first floor and an owner who prepares and serves your morning coffee herself, and sets the room rate as fancy may take her. I stayed for four days and paid a different rate for each day, starting at EUROS 65 and then climbing up to EUROS 100 for a Sunday. If you book, make sure you know exactly what room rate you will be charged.
The great advantage of the hotel is the location, half way between Rialto and St. Mark's Square, which is ideal for exploring Venice in all directions and finding your way back without getting lost. Internet access and a password will be provided but you have to buy a ticket. Bearing in mind, that nothing in Venice is cheap, this welcoming hotel is a good value.
Galicia, the north western province of Spain makes for a very interesting holiday destination with lots to do and see. A Coruna, famous for her port and the World Heritage site Tower of Hercules as well as castles and ancient city walls is a good starting point for exploring a very 'different' Spain.
I was quite happy to find – by accident – one of the quirkiest and best boutique hotels I have ever stayed in. You know you have arrived at Hotel Moon when you see a cut out of an astronaut greeting you. The moon is the theme of this modern and minimalist hotel, which offers glass floors, blue lighting, a bar which serves excellent meals, snacks and coffee at very reasonable prices and very spacious and well appointed rooms with bathrooms to match. It's always the personal touches that make all the difference. After reporting that my hair dryer didn't work, the receptionist ran out to the nearest shop and bought one so that I could dry my hair. They also offer free internet service.
If ever a hotel deserved the name 'boutique' it's the charming Hotel am Dom, located on a quiet little street in the old town of Salzburg. Completely renovated and equipped with the latest amenities like high speed internet access and rain showers in the bathroom, the hotel truly combines luxury with a welcoming atmosphere. Its location is ideal for meandering through Salzburg's many 'Gassen', starting with the antiques and jewelry shops of the Goldgasse. It's also a hotel which offers single rooms which are surprisingly spacious and airy with the general white on white scheme. I loved the many white orchids which adorn the reception area as well as the rooms.
Room rate for a single incl. tax and breakfast: EUROS 90 to 160