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This centrally-located hotel was very welcoming and comfortable when we stayed there in September for two nights. It is reasonably priced - US$45 for a double room in "Green" season (ie rainy) and the price includes tax and continental or Tico (ie gallo pinto & eggs!) breakfast. Beware if paying by credit card, as they add a 6% surcharge to cover the bank costs. They also sell postcards and even stamps, no no need to trek off to the central San Jose post office... The rooms were well equipped in "antique" style, with old Bakelite telephones, valve radios, and colonial-style cupboards. They were a little on the small side, but the large cupboards hid all our gear away. The bathroom had a bath in it, and hot water was on tap 24 hours. The rooms are set around a garden inside the house, which were open to the skies above... Whilst it may sound a little weird to have rainwater falling inside your hotel, it makes sense when you actually go there and have a look!! The security was good - with a locked gate to the entrance, and someone always around to let you in. The owner was very friendly, and spoke reasonably good English (and apparently Italian!), and was helpful in letting us know where various city sights were, booking us an airport taxi, recommending good places to eat & drink... Recommended, and good value for the money.
Hotel Fleur De Lys, Calle 13, Av. 2 y 6, San José tel 233-1206 website: http://www.hotelfleurdelys.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org I thoroughly recommend this pretty colonial-style hotel in central San José. We stayed there twice in September, both for one night stays. The price was US$60 and $45 per night, for the whole room (we got a reduction for staying in a smaller room the second time). As it was the "Green" season (ie it rained the whole time), the prices would have been cheaper than during the dry season... The rooms were quiet, comfortable, with big beds and cable TV. The bathrooms well equipped with bathtubs (a rarity in Costa Rica!) and the hotel staff were extremely helpful and courteous. To give you an example of how good they were, we arrived around 9pm, and wanted to go on to Tortuguero National Reserve the next day on a 3 day tour. They managed to get hold of the tour company rep at home, and made all the necessary arrangements without any fuss, and a minibus turned up on time to pick us up at 5:40 the next morning. The restaurant was closed for refurbishment whilst we were there, but is highly recommended in the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides to Costa Rica. The front desk pointed us in the direction of an alternative local restaurant he knew was good - and it was. Whilst not cheap by backpacking standards, it was a very good mid-priced (by UK standards!) hotel with extremely friendly staff.
I find that the most useful thing about this website is to put your name in to find out whether you've won a competition and not been notified! This happened to me - my name cropped up on a site as a winner of a small prize, with the closing date of several months earlier… I hadn't been notified of the win, so I fired off a quick email to the webmaster, and hey presto, the prize arrived a week later with a free t-shirt to say sorry! I also use the site to look for old classmates - I've managed to track down long lost friends from 10 years ago simply by typing in their name and finding a web site that happened to hold their email address… The only downside to the site is that it limits results to 20 hits...
Judging by the sheer number of opinions on www.google.com be dooyoo-ers, this must be the ultimate search engine site on the web! Its certainly the only one I use on a day to day basis - whether for work or home, its great at finding all my search terms - much more than excite or altavista, and quicker to boot. The "no ads" policy is great - its amazing how they afford to keep on going without the revenue. The Google directory (directory.google.com) is also as good as or better than any of the other sites. Its no point going on about it - simply have a look for yourself!
What a load of rubbish! Bring back the frogs! These guys may all look cute 'n' stupid bleaaahhhing on their phones with call waiting but all it does is distract you from the fact that bud is the nastiest beer in existence on the planet. At least the frogs had a ferret to help them out. Or was it a weasel? It should have been a badger though - you never get to see badgers on the telly these days.
This site may not offer the cheapest tickets, but I find that it is the easiest to use, and is packed full of features like a seat picker, email alerts, and the cheap flights that other people have found. I've used it several times, and the tickets have turned up a week later as promised in the email updates they send. I've found that the best way to get the cheapest flights out of it is to use the fare finder - pick a destination, then the cheapest flights and the choose the dates when you want to travel and hope that there is availability! The downside of using this method is that it can take a long time, and is a problem if your flight dates aren't flexible… They also show prices including tax (most other sites don't) which means that the price you see is what you pay. As I need to order vegetarian meals for my flights, requesting them through expedia has always ensured that the airline knew about my request (although they often don't act on them, but that’s a different story!). Email requests to their customer services address has always been promt, often on the same day. There are still features on their sites I haven't used yet, but I'll be back to book again as it’s the convenience at the end of the day that wins them over for me.
Cheapish. But not the cheapest to the States. We went with them in September 2000 as there wasn't much other choice to get to Costa Rica! Their main hubs are Houston & JFK airports. They offer Boeing 777 airplanes for the transatlantic flights, seating in a 3-3-3 combo. This often means that you may not be able to sit with your partner if you turn up late for check in, so make sure that you pre-book your seats (which is free). This happened to us, but the friendly staff managed to persuade a few people to switch. The seats were reasonably confortable - plenty of legroom in the middle and aisle seats, but the window has a lot less - the power supply to the seat back tv screens takes up a fair amount of space. The head rest is really uncomfy - its meant to wrap round so you can lean on it, but it unwrapped at every opportunity and had the comfort of concrete… Food wasn't that exciting - leather steak + "smash" potatoes or chicken pasta at every opportunity. They also forgot to put the vegetarian meal on board the plane for my veggie friend (for two out of four meals)… This was ratatouille + cous cous both times! The films were good, and it was nice to be able to look at them from close up on the seat back in front, although meals were often being served at the same time. 5 games were also on offer - poker, blackjack, space invaders, reversi and the bean game. They helped pass the time! I can't fault the cabin crew - they were superb at their job, full of humour and patience! The other good thing about the airline is its Onepass frequent-fliers program - the points last forever, and are easy to build up - especially with sites like clickrewards.com Maybe we were just lucky?!
Some of you may have noticed the competition advertised in the latest dooyoo newsletter... (http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/n00090104) Having a competition where if you win, the prize forces you to subscribe to a 12 month contract with Orange (cost = £210) is hardly a good one is it? Another thing is that this "competition" is running on about 5 or 6 different sites all with the same prizes (50 nokias and 500 motorolas). Fishy or wot?! A prize should have no strings attached, otherwise its a bit of a con! For <rant over!>
NB: This is not a review of the film plot, acting etc - purely the DVD. See elsewhere on dooyoo for a film review. The DVD is presented in Letterbox widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16:9 This means that it isn't anormorphic, and is not optimised for widescreen TVs. Apart from that, the transfer is reasonable, with few artifacts, and excellent colour (lots of red!). The sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1, and will blow you away! Great use of the surround sound effects. There are load of extras on the DVD: Trailer. Deleted Scenes. Cast and Crew (Stills, Text and Soundbites). Special Effects. Designing Blade. Behind The Scenes. It would have been nice to have a commentary! use www.bestpricedvd.co.uk to look for the cheapest online price (which ive also reviewed!). Overall, a good buy if you enjoyed the film, but widescreen TV owners will be disappointed…
NB: This is not a review of the film plot, acting etc - purely the DVD. See elsewhere on dooyoo for a film review. The DVD is presented in Anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 The transfer is perfect, with bright colours. The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1, and the music had me singing along! The DVD had good use of surround sound effects. There are load of extras on the DVD: Deleted Scenes, 2 Alternative Endings and a informative commentary by Mike Myers & Jay Roach. It also contains the Original Theatrical Trailer, cast biographies / filmographies and a Cameo Menu. use www.bestpricedvd.co.uk to look for the cheapest online price (which ive also reviewed!). Overall, it looks and sounds great! Groovy baby
NB: This is not a review of the film plot, acting etc - purely the DVD. See elsewhere on dooyoo for a film review. This DVD is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and the picture quality is outstanding, with picture-perfect colour rendition - you could almost be out there in the desert!! Sound is Dolby Digital 5.1, and is best played LOUD! My neighbours really appreciated this DVD ;-) This disc is chocka with extras: "Egyptology 101 facts. Making of Featurette - 'Building A Better Mummy'. Deleted Scenes. Visual and Special Effects Featurette. Directors Commentary (Steven Somers). Cast and Filmmaker's Notes. Animation Menus. Theatrical Trailer." Overall, this disc is great value for money for your £15 (cheapest at the moment from www.dvdstreet.co.uk), and if you like the film, buy or rent it! For the record - I enjoyed the film, its been compared to Indiana Jones, but its more Temple of Doom than Raiders of the Lost Ark...
NB: This is not a review of the film plot, acting etc - purely the DVD. See elsewhere on dooyoo for a film review. First thing to note about this DVD is that its double sided ;-( meaning you have to get off your bum halfway through the film to turn it over. It doesn't mention this on the box so beware! The film is presented in Anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The print transfer quality is not too bad although the colours appear at times a little muted. The sound on the other is Dolby Digital 5.1, and is top banana! Its a very noisy sountrack, wit h good use of surround sound effects. There are no extras on this film!! NONE! Overall, a reasonable buy (cheapest I've seen it is 13.59 from DVDgaming.co.uk), but i'd go for a Region 1 if your player can do them - its not a 'flipper'. The alternative is to try to get a copy cheap or second hand. For the record - a great John Woo film, with Nicholas Cage doing fine business as the maniacal arch-crim. One of my favs.
NB: This is not a review of the film plot, acting etc - purely the DVD. See elsewhere on dooyoo for a film review. I've finally managed to get hold of the R2 DVD of Fifth Element - second hand as the RRP is £24.99 (Blackstar.co.uk and dvdstreet have it for 20.99). This is an anormorphic Widescreen presentation, with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The print transfer is superb, and the colours are bright with loads of detail. The sound is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and can really wake up the neighbours during the explosions. The gunshots zip across the soundstage giving you the impression of being in the thick of it. Extras are a little thin: the original theatrical trailer, a documentary 'Searching for the Fifth Element' containing background information to the making of the film, and text-base cast & crew biographies. Plus "Interactive Moving Menus" and "Scene Access" (why they call these extras when they form part and parcel of a DVD is beyond me). Overall, the film is a great example showing what DVD is capable of, but falls down a bit in not providing any commentaries. For the record - I really liked the film as well!
The best thing about dvddynamic.com is that it includes international shipping in its prices so that what you see is what you pay! This is extremely useful when buying Region 1 DVDs in singles so as to avoid paying Customs Duty & VAT (see www.hmce.gov.uk/public/info/int-shop.htm for details). A useful tip when using this site is to switch to "Canadian Dollars" as the exchange rate to GBP is much better at the moment than USD. They have a good range of Region 1 DVDs for sale, and deliver promptly - usually in less than 5 working days. The prices aren't bad also ;-) I've found the site a little slow in loading at times, but as they offer extra "value" in showing the list of extras on each disc, and customer reviews this more than makes up for it. They also offer order tracking and pre-orders. Well recommended.
www.absound.ca is the established web 'face' of A&B Sound - a Canadian music & video chain store. It is also one of the cheapest for Region 1 DVDs, and regularly shows up as 1st or 2nd cheapest on DVDpricesearch.com (an price comparison site). I've ordered over 10 discs from them - they were all under 14 pounds (including shipping), and all escaped VAT and import duties. The discs are well packaged in a stout cardboard box, and have "Canadian Funds" stamped in bold on the outside so that if Customs do take an interest, the amount of duty should properly calculated. The shipping via Canadian airmail is very reasonable at CAD5.95 per disk (around £2.50), and the quickest arrived in 3 working days from Canada to London! Definitely recommended.