www.ballaghtobin.com. "A lovely manor home on a 500-acre working farm makes an excellent base for visits to medieval Kilkenny, Waterford and the Rock of Cashel. Large, sumptuous bedrooms with modern bathrooms. Huge breakfast. Owner Catherine Gabbett is a welcoming hostess." Doubles from $108, breakfast included.
La Locanda di Montisi, Via Umberto I, 39, Localita Montisi, San Giovanni D'Asso; 011-39-0577-845-906, www.lalocandadimontisi.it. "Far from the maddening crowd of Venice or Rome, the centuries-old, medieval castle-enclosed city of Montisi overlooks the fields and vineyards of Tuscany. The English-speaking owner of this small, reasonably priced hotel just opened a restaurant 100 cobblestones away." Doubles from $73.
Hotel Orlanda, 76 Via Principe Amedeo, Rome; 011-39-06-488-0124, www.hotelorlanda.com. "This hotel has a very unprepossessing street entrance, and the lobby is on the third floor of a building that houses four hotels. Rooms are clean and contemporary. It is only two blocks from a train station that also offers the metro and buses. There are several good restaurants nearby." Doubles from $79.
Hotel Green Tower Chiba, 1-45 Tonya-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba; 011-81-43-296-1122. "In covering the Tokyo Motor Show, we didn't want to stay in Tokyo because of an almost 90-minute train ride to the convention center. Hotel Green Tower Chiba, walking distance, turned out to be a winner. All front-desk employees speak English; it is a $6 cab ride from Chiba's train station. The hotel is closer to Tokyo Disney Resort than many Tokyo hotels." Doubles from $197.
Kasho-tei Hanaya Noboribetsu Onsen, 134 Onsen-cho Noboribetsu-shi Hokkaido 059-0551; 011-81-143-84-2521, www4.ocn.ne.jp/tildek-hanaya/page1.html. "This small inn at the southern tip of this hot-spring resort is immaculate and charming. It is on the southeast part of Hokkaido and is easily accessible from Sapporo Airport by train or bus. The meals are beautifully presented and delicious. The hot-spring tubs are clean and relaxing. Staff is very friendly and helpful. All local attractions are either a short walk away or a short hop on the shuttle bus." Rooms, including breakfast and dinner, start at $112 per night.