The most disturbing aspect of modern travel is the convergence towards uniformity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the hotel room. Your Holiday Inn experience should provide the same depth of mattress, shade of bland wallpaper and smiling receptionist whether you are in Leeds or Lhasa.

As these two pages demonstrate, there are fortunately plenty of alternatives to the march of en suite uniformity. But for those who want to stay somewhere really different, I propose the following.

The Hilton Hotel stands alongside the main Mbarare-Kampala highway in western Uganda: not, however, a member of the illustrious chain, but a one-room shack which specialises less in accommodation than in tea and beer. If you drift off under the influence of the latter, then a dusty corner will no doubt be found for you. But you might be better off shifting continents to find a bed for the night.

Forty pence buys you a night in a stables in a two-horse town in the highlands of Guatemala. The site has been converted into rooms for paying guests, who can presumably afford 4 quetzales more easily than can the horses, who fortunately have been evicted. Their aroma lingers, and has permeated every fraying thread of the blanket which insulates you from a plastic mattress. Double glazing is not a feature; indeed glazing is not a feature. The rate, by the way, is for a double.

More economical still, roll up at the creaky old hotel in Gibara, Cuba, close to where Columbus made landfall on the island. If it is full, the receptionist insists that "You will have to stay at my house". She does this as firmly as (later) she declines payment for the room. I've not heard of that happening at the Holiday Inn

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