Monday, October 21, 2019

The Castle Hotels Guide is finally here

Finally it is time to launch a website I have been working on for many months.

It is a website for finding the best castle hotels - and it is called Castle-hotels-guide.com

I'm quite proud of it, and think it is perhaps the best castle hotels site in the world, already.

Since the word "castle" can mean somewhat different things to different people - and in different countries - I have also included hotels in old manor houses, palaces, monasteries, "herrgårdar", "säterier", french "relais" and historic buildings in general.


This is, therefore, a website for finding hotels in castles and in other buildings with "castle-ness". And that is really the point. When people are searching for castle hotels, what they are looking for is usually historic countryside hotelsromantic hotelswedding venues etc.

To find the best castles and palaces we use a combination of algoritms and "hand-picked" curation.  Thank you Anna Pinto!

This is the first version of the site, that we are launching today. But we will of course continue to make it better, both content-wise, copy-wise and in it's functions, of course. Currently there is no map, for example - something that will be fixed shortly. :)

Hope you all enjoy this site, I am super happy that it is finally live!

You can use it to find hotels in Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg etc) and in Europe (Cork, Dublin, Frankfurt, Galway, Kent, London, Munich, Oban Scotland, Vienna, Wicklov Ireland, York) and in the rest of the world!


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Tennis hotels around the world

Apart from playing ping-pong, I also really LOVE to play tennis. However, finding a place to play tennis in a big city like Stockholm is fairly difficult. Especially if you are looking for an outdoor tennis court.

To help with this problem I had to create a dedicated website for finding the best hotels with tennis courts around the world. I do think it is the best of its kind around - showing you the actual pictures of the tennis courts, and explaining in some detail about the tennis facilities at the hotels.

You can use the site to find amazing tennis hotels in places like LondonDubaiSan FranciscoBangkok and Las Vegas, and many more places.

 Hotels with tennis courts

For example, in my hometown of Stockholm, there is a hotel in the middle of the city that has a free outdoor tennis court for its guests. So nice. That tennis court also happens to be the oldest tennis court in Sweden, so you have to check it out if you are in Stockholm.

You can also look at hotels with pools - in places like London, Barcelona, Rome, New York and Madrid - that I recently created with the help from a friend here at Knackeriet.





Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hand-picked apartments!

Together with a friend at Knackeriet, Anna Pinto, I am launching a new website for finding lovely apartments for rent in places such as Berlin, Lisbon, Paris and Amsterdam.


The website is called Hand-picked-apartments.com and it is live now!

It is perhaps not perfect for all and every destination just yet - but  we will continually improve and make the selection better! You can check out  destinations, such as Nerja, Malaga and Napoli. Bookings are made through Booking.com - which is a little easier and faster than AirBnb to deal with.

Hope you like it!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Pod interview + New Hotels Guide (my new website!)


A few days ago I got podcast interviewed by Viggo Cavling.

The interview in Swedish. If you listen to it you have to understand that Viggo pulls out the tape recorder the same second he steps through the door at Knackeriet, and begins firing off questions like crazy. I get somewhat surprised and Viggo is quite entertaining with his bare appearance which makes hard for me not to giggle my way through the interview for the first ten minutes.

The we cool down a bit and talk about Tripbirds (my old startup), Boutiquehotel.me (the site I have with Jonatan) and my newly launched site Ping-pong-hotels.

At the end of the interview I have a surprise for Viggo: That I have built a NEW website just for HIM (and people like him!). It's called New Hotels Guide!

New Hotels Guide 

The background is that Viggo wrote in an opinion piece recently that he does not like hotels where hundreds (or thousands!) of people have already slept in the bed and used the toilet. So my new website lets people find newly opened hotels in London, Paris, New York, Berlin and many other cities around the world. :)


Viggo also mentions that he is planning a trip to Lisbon and that what he really is after is "wow hotels" or things like really hand-picked hotel recommendations.

You can listen to the podcast with Viggo Cavling on apple podcasts or acast.

And check out New Hotels Guide too, and let me know what you think. Please note that I can not promise a personal hotel website for each and every journalist - but if you ping me I will do my best!! 😊

Monday, June 17, 2019

Ping pong hotels!


Which is the world's most popular sport?

This could come as a surprise to some people but it might actually be table tennis.

According to credible sources, table tennis has more active players than soccer.

There are more than 300 million active table tennis players in the world, compared to about 265 million soccer players. These numbers are referring to people who play table tennis every week for at least 30 minutes. Official numbers are quite hard to find, but it seems that all in all there are a total of 900 million table tennis players worldwide.

Based on these numbers, I thought it was strange that there was no website for people who want to play table tennis while on vacation.

Happy people playing ping pong on vacation. 

If 265 million people play table tennis every week, wouldn't at least some of them want to play table tennis while on vacation, as well? Or when travelling abroad, for work? Table tennis could also be the world's most social sport, a great way to meet new people. A a matter of fact, many of you readers will have played table tennis on you past vacations, as a way to meet new people.

So in order to help all you ping-pong players out there, I have created the world first ping pong hotel website! Welcome to ping-pong-hotels.com

Here you can find the best ping pong hotels in many thousand cities worldwide. The site is updated every week, with new ping pong hotels and pictures of their table tennis facilities.

The site uses AI (=artificial intelligence) in the form of image recognition to find real pictures of table tennis facilities at the hotels. Many hotels have their ping pong tables tucked away in the basements. I want to encourage hotels to put the ping pong tables in their "front and center" social areas, and take nice pictures of them. Like these hotels in BerlinBarcelonaParis and Los Angeles. The image recognition is not always perfect, but it will get better over time. But note that if ping-pong-hotels.com says that a hotel has table tennis facilities then this is 100% verified.


 Table tennis hotels

Currently, ping-pong-hotels.com lists more than 85.000 hotels with verified table tennis facilities. Do you know which countries have the most table tennis hotels? Here is the top ten list, which might surprise you a little. (I thought Germany would top the list, but I was wrong.)

Italy - 10510 table tennis hotels
France - 8371 table tennis hotels
Spain - 5885 table tennis hotels
Austria - 5041 table tennis hotels
United States - 4422 table tennis hotels
Germany - 4408 table tennis hotels
Russia - 3395 table tennis hotels
Brazil - 3246 table tennis hotels
Hungary - 2473 table tennis hotels
Poland - 2419 table tennis hotels

If you need more info, send an email to ted + @ + tedvalentin.com! 


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Small Luxury Hotels

With the help of a few friends that have helped with the curation, I have now created a wonderful small website for finding the world's best Small Luxury Hotels. I'm really happy with the result. This is the website that I will use next time I am going on a city break.

The site finds great hotels that are usually within the span of 20-80 rooms. But some exceptions, with even smaller or larger hotels, are OK!

Small Luxury Hotels startpage

I do not travel that much myself, but places I would love to visit - and that have fantastic hotels - are Lisbon, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris. I would also love to walk around Venice some day with my daughter when there are not that many tourists around (but I have heard that it is one of the places that are having some real problems with mass tourism).

Friday, March 22, 2019

Barbro Thörn, saknad kyrko-recensent

Barbro Thörn, hängiven användare på en av mina sajter, Kyrkokartan, har tyvärr gått bort.

Barbro Thörn, långt innan jag stiftade hennes bekantskap

Jag har skrivit om Barbro ett par gånger tidigare här: Barbro är grym och Barbro och det magiska numret.

Kyrkokartan startade jag i november 2008 efter att Mattias Hallberg på Svenska Kyrkan hörde av sig med "en idé". Jag skrev om bakgrunden här. Några månader senare hade Barbro hittat till sajten och redan hunnit skriva tusen kyrkorecensioner!

Sannolikheten är stor att du har läst en av hennes texter, eller sett en av hennes bilder någon gång under de senaste tio åren. En stor del av den svenska internetanvändarna har vid *något* tillfälle besökt sajten. ComputerSweden gjorde en intervju med Barbro här.
" - Jag har samlat kyrkor i ett antal år. Jag har säkert 6 000 bilder och de ligger här i kartonger. Vad ska jag göra med dem, frågade jag mig? Då hittade jag Teds sajt. Perfekt! Då fick jag användning av alltihopa." - Barbro till ComputerSweden
Barbro och jag träffades aldrig i verkligheten, men vi hade kontakt under tio års tid på e-post och messenger. Det var alltid trevligt. För det mesta handlade det om praktiska små saker: kyrkor som fått fel positioner, avkristnade kyrkobyggnader och dubbletter i databasen.

Barbro fortsatte att ladda upp bilder på Kyrkokartan, nästan dagligen. Mikael Mogren, biskop i Västerås stift, skriver på DN.se:
"Ungefär 3.000 kyrkor och kapell i Sverige hann hon besöka och nära 25.000 utvalda bilder har hon publicerat på Kyrkokartan.se. Det är i sanning ett enastående arv som hon har lämnat till framtiden." - ur minnesordet till Barbro på DN.se
Så här minns vi Barbro från Kyrkokartan:


Barbro är saknad. Hon blev 78 år. Hennes bilder och texter hjälper varje dag människor i Sverige att hitta kyrkor - för utflykter, dop, bröllop och begravningar. Jag ska göra mitt bästa för att det ska leva vidare.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Knackeriet året som gått

Här kommer några bilder från årets som gått på Knackeriet, det medlems-community för kul folk och smarta entreprenörer som jag grundat i Gamla Stan. Det är nästan ofattbart hur mycket trevligt vi har hunnit med på bara ett år. Dessutom har ju våra medlemmar hunnit jobba en del, faktiskt. Bilderna är inte i någon speciell ordning :)

Knackeriet Offsite på Möja
Knackeriet, vanlig onsdagsfrukost

Knackeriets årliga Kräftskiva

Knackeriets Sommarfest

Knackeriets Båtsällskap, en av många utflykter

Sommarhäng på innergården

Knackeriets årliga Skid-Offsite

Knackeriets Julbord ombord M/S Enköping
Knackeriets årliga Luciafirande

Ett av flera fina kalas!

Tack till alla fina Knackerister som gör Knackis till en så fantastisk plats. Och tack till Nora, våe office manager och Olga, vår chief Knacker!



Screenshot testing to find UI bugs

A friend here at Knackeriet is developing a tool to find UI bugs by taking screenshots across many different browsers. It's called Happo.io.

In the past I used Browserstack to make sure that frontend changes I made on my websites didn't break the design in different browsers. But that was very time consuming, and sometimes visual bugs could still slip through.

UI screenshot testing - Happo

Happo generates screenshots of selected segments of a webpage, and all the visual changes are reported, and can be easily compared with the original segments. That makes the whole experience of doing frontend changes to a website a lot smoother.