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Monday, December 10, 2057

Countries Visited ... So Far ... 41 And Counting!

Static
(The Big Picture)


Interactive
(See More Detail)

 List (Alphabetical)

 Bahrain – Kingdom of Bahrain
 Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria
 Canada
 Croatia – Republic of Croatia
 Czech Republic
 Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat/Grønland)
 France – French Republic
 Germany – Federal Republic of Germany
 Greece – Hellenic Republic
 Holy See
 Hungary
 India – Republic of India
 Ireland
 Israel
 Italy – Italian Republic
 Jamaica
 Japan
 Korea, South – Republic of Korea
 Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
 Macedonia – Republic of Macedonia
 Malta – Republic of Malta
 Mexico – United Mexican States
 Micronesia – Federated States of Micronesia
 Monaco – Principality of Monaco
 Montenegro
 Netherlands
 Palau – Republic of Palau
 Palestine - State of Palestine
 Portugal – Portuguese Republic
 San Marino – Republic of San Marino
 Saudi Arabia – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia
 Spain – Kingdom of Spain
 Switzerland – Swiss Confederation
 Tunisia – Republic of Tunisia
 Turkey – Republic of Turkey
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain    and Northern Ireland
 United States – United States of America
 - Guam
 - Puerto Rico

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

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View my food journey on Zomato!





... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


View my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Countries Visited ... So Far ... 41 And Counting!

Key Words: countries, country, nation, capitol, Google Maps, Google, map, maps, city, state, world, earth, visit, visited, traveler, 44, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, Yelp

Sunday, December 10, 2056

Why Should You Read My Reviews And Subscribe To TravelValue?



I served my country in the United States Air Force for over 20 years and have visited 44 countries over the last 35 years, all without spending over $75 per night for a nice hotel room and dining in excellent restaurants for well under $25 per person. How do I do it? Through diligent research, exploration, trial and error, and tapping local knowledge.
Would you like to stay in a central, 3-star hotel in a major city for under $20 per night? How about a room with a balcony and view of the Himalayas while attending teachings with the Dalai Lama for just $5 per night? Or a beachfront hotel for $13 per night? Maybe a meal prepared by a 5-star chef for less than $20? Well, you have come to the right place ...


Having several popular travel blogs CombatCritic.com and received numerous accolades from several of the top travel and restaurant websites/apps (Yelp, TripAvisor, Zomato, Tabelog, Booking.com), you can trust my opinions. 

Unlike many reviewers who are either afraid to tell the truth or have personal relationship with businesses and biased views, I reserve 5-stars (10 Bombs on my blog) for only the most flawless restaurants, accommodations, businesses, attractions and destinations, those where you absolutely and without a doubt get the most “bang-for-the-buck”. 
CombatCritic.com

I try to remain as objective as possible in all of my reviews, providing the pros and cons as I see them and a rating based on the overall “value” as compared to similar entities in similar locations. I accept no "freebies" and only identify myself as a critic after having been a customer and paid the bill, so you can trust my reviews.

Here is a breakdown of my ratings both on my blogs (where I use a ten point scale) and on travel and dining websites (that all use 5 point Likert-type scales) ...

If I hate a place, they get 1-2 Bombs (1-star)

If so-so with numerous”issues", they get 3-4 Bombs (2-stars)

If average (the vast majority of businesses fall into this category if you look at the distribution of my ratings), they get 5-6 Bombs (3-stars)

If above average, they get 7-8 Bombs (4-stars)

If they are one of the very rare “best of the best” values in my experience, they get 9-10 Bombs (5-stars – I always round up from bombs to stars because I use a 10 point Likert-type scale in order to be more discernible). 

Now that you understand my philosophy and ratings, on to my reviews …

CombatCritic

The Leader In Getting Travelers The Most "Bang-for-the-Buck"

"Follow Me To TraveValue"
CombatCritic's "TravelValue" Channel




Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Gold" Elite '14/'15/'16 /'17 / '18

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)

Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!




Title: Why Should You Read My Reviews And Subscribe To My Blog?

Key Words: combatcritic, travelvalue, travel, value, combat, critic, review, reviews, objective, restaurant, hotel, attraction, destination, Italy, USA, India, Asia, Europe

Sunday, April 11, 2021

It's More Than Just A Spa, It's A Dog Spa!

Dog Spa-Centro Canino do Monte Escrivao
Monte Escrivão, 401A 8700-178 Olhão, Portugal
Phone: +351 289 705 471
Prices: €€€€
Manuel, Sandra, and Monica are all wonderful and the facility is top-notch. The animals have lots of room to run and play or be trained on their extensive obstacle course. We trust DogSpa 100% with our dog Kemper and their rates are very fair.
He attends the day spa twice a week, loves it, and comes home a happy Kemper, I mean camper. They even pick him up and drop him off at our home in Olhão.
Manuel has extensive training and experience working with animals, having worked with police dogs on the east coast of the United States. If you have a new puppy or a dog with behavior problems, he is the one you need to help.

We highly recommend DogSpa for training, day spa. boarding, and other pet related services.

CombatCritic Gives DogSpa 10 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF FAME' ... More Bombs Are Better!


Ten Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: 

HOOAH!: "Phonetic spelling of the acronym HUA, which stands for 'Heard Understood Acknowledged.' Originally used by the British in the late 1800's in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response." - Urban Dictionary

"The Department of Military Science and Leadership, University of Tennessee claim HOOAH 'refers to or means anything except no' ... Regardless of its meaning ... the term is an expression of high morale, confidence, motivation and spirit." - WarChronicle.com

"The U.S. Air Force stole 'HOOAH' from the Army because we were part of the Army until 1947 and rather than waste a bunch of time coming up with something new and unique like "ROO-YAH" or "HAL-A-LOO-YAH", we said 'screw it, let's go with HOOAH' ... thanks Army ... HOOAH!" - CombatCritic
Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!
Read Chris S.'s review of Dog Spa-Centro Canino do Monte Escrivao on Yelp

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: It's More Than Just A Spa, It's A Dog Spa!

Key Words: Dog Spa-Centro Canino do Monte Escrivaospa, Olhao, Pechao, Dog Spa, centro, canino, monte Escriveaospa, 
CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value,  hotel, accommodation, service, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2021- 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hostal Macavi: Inexpensive, Clean, Comfortable And Friendly, Unlike Hostal Playa Candor Down The Street

Hostal Macavi
C/ Écija,11
11520 Rota (Cádiz), Spain
Phone: + 34 956 81 33 36
Website: hostalmacavi.es
Prices: €€€
I had a reservation through Booking.com at Hostal Playa Candor in Rota, but I finally gave up waiting for a closed hostel to open, having a medical appointment at Naval Air Station Rota early the next morning. Upon arrival, the hostel was dark with no sign of life and nobody answered their phone, but I was lucky enough to find a hostel just down the street, Hostal Macavi, which was obviously open and where I was given a very nice room. They were also very nice, professional, and kind, unlike Hostal Playa Candor. 
Hostal Playa Candor - Dark & Deserted Upon Arrival For My Booking.com Reservation And Their Phone Rang Off the Hook When I Tried to Call!
I was greeted by the owner, Vicente, at the door of Hostal Macavi at 22:00, arriving without a reservation and was told they had rooms available for just €30 ($36) for the night. 
His English was good enough and better than my Spanish, so communication was not a problem. Vicente told me where I could park and even came outside on a chilly, windy night to ensure I found a legal place to secure my car for the night.
I took the elevator to the 1st floor and when I saw the room, I was very pleasantly surprised for the price I paid. Large and simply, but tastefully decorated with a full size bed, a chair and table, closet, clean linens, a nice, big bathroom and a 42" TV mounted on the wall. They had Wi-Fi, but the signal was so weak, I could not connect. No bother as I had to get to sleep and get up early for my medical appointment early the next morning.
I slept like a log on the comfortable bed with no noise all night, took a shower in the huge enclosure, got dressed and went downstairs for a hot cup of coffee before departing.
Carlos cheerfully greeted me and we chatted for 45 minutes while I drank my coffee. His English was very good, having lived in the USA and England for many years. When it was time to go, he said 'that will be €1', a fair price for a double shot Americano with milk and sugar in an American size coffee mug ... HOOAH!

CombatCritic Gives Hostal Macavi 10 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF FAME' ... More Bombs Are Better!


Ten Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: 

HOOAH!: "Phonetic spelling of the acronym HUA, which stands for 'Heard Understood Acknowledged.' Originally used by the British in the late 1800's in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response." - Urban Dictionary

"The Department of Military Science and Leadership, University of Tennessee claim HOOAH 'refers to or means anything except no' ... Regardless of its meaning ... the term is an expression of high morale, confidence, motivation and spirit." - WarChronicle.com

"The U.S. Air Force stole 'HOOAH' from the Army because we were part of the Army until 1947 and rather than waste a bunch of time coming up with something new and unique like "ROO-YAH" or "HAL-A-LOO-YAH", we said 'screw it, let's go with HOOAH' ... thanks Army ... HOOAH!" - CombatCritic
Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Hostal Macavi: Inexpensive, Clean, Comfortable And Friendly, Unlike Hostal Playa Candor Down The Street

Key Words: Hostal Macavi, hostal, Macavi, inexpensive, clean, comfortable friendly, Hostal Playa Candor, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, hotel, accommodation, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2021- 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Booking.com Blew-It On My Reservation - Hostel Closed Upon Arrival, Then They Told Me 'You'll Have To Work It Out With Them'

Hostal Playa Candor
Av. De la Diputación 95
11520 Rota, Spain
Phone: +34 956 814 313
Prices: €€€€
I made the reservation through Booking.com and late arrival, 10PM, was acknowledged by the hostel. Upon arrival, they were obviously closed (no lights, no sign of life, no cars in the parking lot), so I assumed they had not updated their status during the COVID lockdown. 
                            
I called their number at 21:47, just to be sure, and they didn't answer the phone, it rang 20 times before giving up. I have photos of the building and a screenshot of my phone call to prove what I say is true. What was I supposed to do, break through the bars on the windows or doors, knock down a door or break a window, and find a room to sleep in on my own? 
                       
I contacted Booking.com the next day and sent the hostel a message because they claimed that someone had been there waiting for me and that I was a 'no-show'. They are running some type of a scam and I refuse to pay. The charge, € 35 ($ 43), in-fact appeared on my credit card, so I sent the photos to Booking.com , disputed the charge through my bank, and will file a fraud complaint with the Rota Police.
Screenshot says 8:47PM, but my phone was still on UTC (Potugal), so it's an hour behind Rota, Spain. The 9:42 at the top is the time I took the screenshot.

I finally gave up waiting for a closed hostel to open, having a medical appointment at Naval Air Station Rota early the next morning, so I was lucky enough to find a hotel just down the street, Hostal Macavi, which was obviously open and where I paid just € 30 / $ 36, for a very nice room. They were also very nice, professional, and kind, unlike Hostal Playa Candor. 
This is what the hostel, apparently, looks like when they are open 
(from their Facebook page). No comparison.

CombatCritic Gives Hostal Playa Candor 0 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better! 
Zero Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Da uma olhadela à avaliação de Hostal Playa Candor escrita por Chris S. no Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Booking.com Blew-It On My Reservation - Hostel Closed Upon Arrival, Then They Told Me 'You'll Have To Work It Out With Them' 

Key Words: Booking.com, reservation, hostel, hostal, closed, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, hotel, accommodation, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

Copyright 2021- 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Olhão (Algarve), Portugal: Hut One, Hut Two, Indian Hut #1 Scores A Touchdown In My Book

Indian Hut
Rua do Morgado, 3
Olhão Centro, Olhão
Prices: €€€

In the back streets of old Olhão, you will find the original Indian Hut, having been in the same location for 10 years. There is a new, but not improved, Indian Hut 2 out on the main drag along the Ria Formosa a few blocks away, but this is our go-to spot.

It is tiny with just a few tables inside and four or five outside under the awning. Being in the mild climate of the Algarve, eating outside is always an option, even on a winter night. The staff are warm and friendly and the service impeccable.
The food is wonderful, having spent four months in India in 2014/2015, I have experienced Indian cuisine at its source, so I know a little bit about what I am talking about. We always start with a couple pappadum (€1 each) and a pickle tray (€3.50), which will easily satisfy four people. The onion bhaji (4 for €3) and chicken samosas (2 for €3.50) are also delicious, but take it easy because the entrees themselves are very filling.
The first time we ate here, I ordered the chicken madras (€8.50), a semi-spicy sauce with big chunks of chicken breast, and an order of pilao rice (€3) which is more than enough for two people (the rice that is). The last couple of times, I had the butter chicken (€10.50) which is the best I ever had. The first time I ordered the 'normal' version, but the second time I asked for 'moderately' spicy and it was wonderful! The serving is quite big, a creamy sauce and several chunks of chicken breast, and it has been difficult not to eat the whole portion, it is that good.

My wife is a saag paneer (€8.50) fan and their's is also very tasty and filling with warm, creamy spinach and chunks of their homemade Indian white cheese. My buddy George loves the fish curry (€9) and gets it as hot (spicy) as the can make it, and his wife Sherry loves the prawn saag (creamed spinach and shrimp - €11).
The wines, beers, and spirits are reasonably priced and a complimentary glass of port is a normal after dinner treat. The only negative is that the entree prices are a Euro or two too high, putting a meal for four, including starters, pilau rice, entrees, drinks, and dessert in the €70 to €80 range which is quite high by Portuguese standards.

CombatCritic Gives Indian Hut #1 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!


Nine Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19/'20/'21 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 3 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Olhão (Algarve), Portugal: Hut One, Hut Two, Indian Hut #1 Scores A Touchdown In My Book

Key Words: Olhão, Algarve, Faro, Portugal, Indian Hut, Indian, hut, India, Punjab, tandoori, curry, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, business, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2021- 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved


Indian Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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