Festival Accommodations – Where to Lay Your Head?

Kiz Talks, Sept. 23, 2014

So you’ve decided to go. You’ve registered for your pass, planned your transportation, and announced your delight on Facebook. Now – where to stay?

Generally you have a few options:
1. Stay in the festival hotel
2. Stay in a cheaper hotel or hostel nearby
3. Stay in someone’s home

Here are some questions to consider:
A. Where is the festival located? What’s nearby?
B. What is the schedule like? What will you want to participate in?
C. Who do you know in the area? Who do you know that’s going?

Here is a summary of my thoughts on the matter – you have to see how things add up for you!
1. Stay in the festival hotel
-if the festival is located away from the main part of town, or especially away from other things in general. Why give yourself a headache trying to commute far?
-if you have a full pass and really plan to do classes and parties. Don’t waste precious sleep time when it’s already so limited!
-if you don’t know anyone
-if your friends are also going and staying in the main hotel
For example: I stayed in the main hotel at LIKE in Lisbon because it was pretty far outside the city, I wanted to do all the things, and I didn’t know many people. This maximized my sleep time and my roommates were a great social core!

2. Stay in a cheaper hotel or hostel nearby
(obviously this assumes it’s important for you to spend less money)
-if there is one quite close
-if the festival is offering shuttles or you have a car
-if you’re not doing classes
-if your friends are doing the same
-if you’re staying in town for longer than the duration of the festival
-if you want to be in a quieter environment to get more sleep
-or of course if the main hotel is already full!
I’ve never actually done this for a kizomba festival, but I’ve had plenty of friends do it. Their feedback is always based on the above factors.

3. Stay in someone’s house
-if you want to get a taste of life in the city where the festival is
-if you want to spend time with a friend
-if you want to explore the city
-if you’re not doing classes
-if you can easily get to and from the hotel
I really enjoy doing this, actually. Whether or not my host attends the festival, it’s great to be in a real home. It’s especially interesting when you’re far from home. You get to see how people live locally and often get great recommendations about things to do outside the festival.
For example: I stayed with a mom and her daughter in the small town in the Netherlands outside of which the Dutch Kizomba Festival was happening. We traded off cooking meals, I played tourist there and in another historic town, and they lent me a bicycle I used to go to and from the parties at night.

I also love staying with people when I travel to teach! If I’m coming to your town, let me know if you might want me to stop by :)