Fortingall Hotel is nestled in the picturesque village of Fortingall in the most beautiful Glen in Scotland, Glen Lyon. Just the place for a romantic getaway. Rooms are luxurious, the food is fabulous, Roddy the manager and his staff are friendly and always willing to help.
To add the icing on the cake the hotel offers a romantic package with chocolates, flowers and champagne, just perfect.
Fortingall Hotel, Fortingall, Aberfeldy,
Perthshire, Scotland, PH15 2NQ Telephone: +44 (0)1887 830367
Train access to Fortingall: rail stations at Perth, Birnam and Pitlochry are the closest. Bus or car hire then required to access Glen Lyon and the village of Fortingall.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ya7ztmn
An old beautifully restored house in Stone Town, Zanzibar, recommended for its delicious coffee and cakes but also for the friendly local staff. Upstairs there are a small selection of rooms and suites all named after a type of coffee,eg, cappuccino. By night the hotel is a quiet romantic retreat, after the coffee house closes in the early evening it is only open to guests. Rooms have traditional canopied Zanzibar beds draped with extravagant mosquito nets. The hotel is decorated throughout with antique furniture, and scented with local spices and of course coffee. The locality is bustling with life being close to the large local market and bus station but inside all is tranquil. In the evening you return to find the vast beds covered with flower petals, in the morning you can take a leisurely breakfast on the exotic roof terrace, that looks like it has come from "The Arabian Nights" and admire the amazing views of the town.
From US $75-125 per room/suite per night
Stone Town, Zanzibar,close to bus station,follow the signs or ask a taxi driver to direct you they will be happy to do so though access is via narrow alley ways,on foot only.
details on www.riftvalley-zanzibar.com
The Utengule Country Hotel Ltd
PO Box 139, Mbeya, Tanzania
Karanambu Lodge is in the south/middle Guyana, on the banks of the Rupununi river, the edge of the rainforest and besides the savannah.
Karanambu Lodge was established in 1927 and has been the home of the McTurk family. The lodge is home to Dianne McTurk and her adopted son and some other interesting characters.
Once you settle in you are treated to copious amounts for rum punch – on demand and as a matter of course. You are then likely to watch Dianne McTurk take her daily swim in the water with her pet giant otter, which is blind, as well as any she may be rehabilitating.
In two days we went monkey, jaguar, giant otter, caiman and bird spotting with Dianne and a guide via boat. Additionally, there is the chance to track giant anteaters in the savannah as well as watching a giant Victoria Amazonica open. And these are just the activities for a two day stay. With more time you can see the wider area and more of the local wildlife.
Sorry, I lifted this part from the website as it says it best: We are dedicated to conservation of the Rupununi savannah and wetlands ecosystem and preservation of the traditional way of life of the indigenous Amerindians who make the area their home. Karanambu is a nature lovers paradise and we welcome visitors to this remote corner of South America to experience its untouched natural beauty.
True Guyana is found only outside of Georgetown. Home to a select few English settlers, environmental and wildlife researchers and, of course, the local Amerindians; you are welcomed from the outset and doted on as a matter of course. Couple that with the umpteen anecdotes up the sleeves of everyone you meet and you will find yourself awe struck and full of smiles.
Dianne is just as much a draw than the wildlife and location are! Before we met Dianne we were informed by everyone on our journey to Karanambu that she is truly one of a kind. And this was true. Her aristocratic charm and kindness are evident from the outset as you quickly realize that Guyana and her are truly one while her life story is utterly remarkable Moreover, the fact that she can call David Attenborough a friend is quite special. Oh yes, and then there's the pet raccoon as well... ;o)
We booked through Last Frontiers, who were very helpful and extremely passionate.
We booked our own flight from Gatwick to Barbados with Virgin, before taking the connecting flight(s) arranged by Last Frontiers to Georgetown, Guyana’s capital. From Georgetown we took a small 6 seat single prop to Iwokrama Lodge in the rain forest, journeying to the Surama in the savannah by 4x4 for a few nights, before heading to the luxurious Rock View Lodge by 4x4 and then onto Karanambu by river boat (this gave us the chance to see a lot of birds and other wildlife). We then flew from Karanambu to Georgetown. Alternatively, you can just take a cruise around the Carribbean, get off at Georgetown and fly to Karanambu and back - obviously you will need to make sure your timings work though - private charters are available as well as the regular scheduled flight by Trans Guyana Airways. (Both are reliable and actually quite fun. While if you leave from Karanambu you are given a packed lunch and some rum punch for the flight...happy days...)
Comfortable to basic. All the items you need together with free soaps, toothbrushes, towels etc. Impressive considering your location! Moreover, there is the option of twin and double rooms.
In all honesty, you spend little time in your hut as you are either out and about, swinging in one of the hammocks outside your hut, in the main social area or eating/drinking - in you hammock, on the boat or at the dinner table.
Nearest major town is Lethem, Guyana
Google map: tinyurl.com/yahg7wr
Situated about two hours east of the capital Quito, high in the Andes just before you come down the eastern slopes to the Amazon, this hotel is built around a series of thermal springs.
The scenery is breath-taking and you can bathe in boiling hot water before taking an invigorating plunge in an ice-cold mountain stream. The complex is open to non-residents of the hotel but the real romance comes from the cabins which have their own private thermal pools on the doorstep.
You can eat at the hotel's excellent restaurant and then retire for an intimate midnight swim under the stars.
The surrounding gardens, full of endemic plant species and hummingbirds, add to the atmosphere and make this an unforgettable option for a romantic weekend.
Quite simply Stockholm's sexiest hotel! Located on hip and trendy Södermalm, the funky Rival was the brainchild of ABBA singer Benny Andersson, who turned this former cinema into the most rock ’n roll place to stay in Stockholm. Excellent design and lighting, gorgeous staff, a bakery and cinema on site and a teddy bear to welcome guests in every single room. Cuddle up with your loved on your balcony and watch life go in the small park opposite the hotel, or mingle with other guests in the stunning art deco cocktail bar downstairs before heading for a night out on the town. Is the Rival romantic?? Well I certainly fell in love with it :-)
First constructed in 1866, the Vue Grand is a superb historic hotel in Queenscliff about 90 mins from Melbourne. With very good accommodation in modernised old rooms, the Vue Grand is the place to stay while looking over the sights of Queenscliff or visiting the Historical Museum or discovering the local area of Bellarine. The Vue Grand has a number of cafes and eating areas as well as bars but the highlight is the Grand Dining room.
Just a nice place to stay in provincial Victoria.
One of Australia's best rural restaurants is Athelstane House in the historic maritime village of Queenscliff. The dining experience we had was superb, with amazing food backed up by a very good list of local and regional wines (as well as imports from France etc) and very very good service. Dining can be done in the restaurant or on the balcony or in front of the fire. Athelstane House also provides high class accommodation as well as a very good food store. Athelstane House is the winner of many dining and good food awards. We were impressed.
Its a guest house run by delightful English hosts, in an area of outstanding peace and beauty. The gite is only 225 Euros per week off peak (I stayed in a similar place on the Isle of Wight recently and had to pay £600 for a week). There is plenty to do in Normandy and the food is great. They do B&B too from about 50 euros per room per night I think. Who needs any more?
Traveling with my husband in Chile, we wanted to have a nice break in Santiago after trekking for a few days in Torres del Paine. We took ages to find a nice boutique hotel in a good area- most of them are well situated but lack a certain charm. Nonetheless, we found L'Ambassade Petit Hotel Santiago in Providencia and it was just what we wanted- intimate and with a swimming pool. Picture this: delicious breakfast on our own private terrace, lunch by the swimming pool, private city tour (a must!) and the young and dynamic Franco-Chilean owners are charming and very helpful. A definite must in Santiago.
"The best location, finest foods and all with the highest level of service from a dedicated team"
You can see a short film I posted on you tube which shows the Riyad and a look at Marrakech at www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUJWpAsmbLc
I read the reviews about the Riyad Al Moussika on internet and agree with many of the reviewers when they say that this is the place to stay whilst in Marrakech. I needed a relaxing break and all the stress of cancelled and delayed flights were soon forgotten. What is even more special is the history and exquisite quality and design of the Riyad together with friendly atmosphere especialy for those with families. You really do feel like you are staying at a former Mansion of the Pasha of Marrakech. Upon arriving at the Riyad we were greeted by Hassan the manager and other staff with a splendid array of Moroccan snacks and mint tea. We were made to feel at home right from the very start and my children simple loved every second of their experience at the Riyad. Hassan is an intelligent and lovely gentleman who went out of his way to ensure we were comfortable on our trip including personally accompanying us in showing us the famous Jemma Al Fna square and Al Badi and El Bahi palace which were ideally located nearby. The stay at Riyad included breakfast and lunch fit for a King or Queen. The quality of the food was simply amazing (Gordon Ramsey & Jamie Oliver eat your heart out) and the freshly squeezed orange juice is out of this world. You can still eat evening dinner at the Riyad at an additional cost or they will happily assist in organising a booking elswhere. We particularly appreciated the tour of the Ourika Valley and other sight seeing tours organised by the Riyad. We had the same driver Khalid for most of our journeys and he really looked after us and I recommend you ask for him to add value to your stay. Simple things like arranging the horse carriage to take us from the Riyad to save us haggling in the square to helping us pack our tagine to take back gave us the 'home from home' feeling. Overall the Riyad caters flexibly to your needs whilst offering the best experience of Marrakech. For value for money, 100%, you will live and feel like the Pasha. I have stayed in many places all over the world and some are things are just priceless, the Riyad Al Moussika is one of the. I left a few shirts at the Riyad by mistake but Hassan sent them without delay back to me. I will definitely return one day and congratulate everyone from the chefs, staff, receptionists and management for making this an experience of a lifetime for guests from around the world.
Riyad Al Moussika,
Spectacularly situated on the top of one of the many rolling hills of beautiful forested southern Serbia, close to the border with Bosnia, Mecavnik is made for romance. A cluster of quirky wooden huts, each individualy decorated, straddle the peak, fanning out from the small main square, where there is a restaurant, cafe, contemporary art gallery, swimming pool, sauna, gym, and, as Kusturica himself lives here, of course there is a cinema.
If you go in the winter, there is a ski slope close by.
At £35pppn for a double room with breakfast and dinner included, it's an absolute bargain too!
The famous 'Sargan 8' narrow gauge steam train is a memorable trip through the mountains nearby, which I also recommend.
The most beautiful setting I have ever been to. Totally remote and totally secluded - you need a visa to enter the Aboriginal world of Australia's Arnhem Land. Situated in Gurig Ganuk Barlu National and Marine Park you can stay in luxury camps overlooking Port Essington where you will see the most beautiful sunsets. www.northernaustralia.com organise tours and you can stay at the luxury camp. I was lucky enough to live in Cobourg Peninsula and experience the beauty. There are also beach huts available. Experience the magic of Australian beaches - be warned NO SWIMMING IN THE WATER - due to crocs, jellyfish and all sorts.
North of Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory) Darwin.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ylmrdxz
Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride from Perth or Freemantle. Along with being known for numerous lovely bays which can be explored by bicycle, Rottnest is known for its Quokkas, little furry creatures that look a bit like miniature kangaroos. Quokkas are native to the island. Dutch explorers thought they were rats; hence the name, Rottnest Island.
The villas are self-catering units with balconies and bbqs and have lovely views of the sea. They are reasonably priced and popular with families. School holiday slots are chosen by lottery. Cars are discouraged on the island. Public transport and rental bicyles are readily available.
+61 8 9432 9111
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycyd4u9
A private luxury eco-resort in a private bay next to San Juan del Sur, Morgan's Rock is the perfect romantic hotel in Nicaragua. My partner and I stayed here in October; we initially booked for two nights, and it was so amazing we stayed an extra two.
Reached by travelling several miles up a dirt road, only accessible to people who already have a reservation, and with only 15 private bungalows within 1,800 hectares of private reserve including a private beach and mangrove tributary, this is always going to be a quiet, exclusive and totally romantic resort.
The bungalows are built into the cliff side, with totally private and unbroken views of the bay. Luxurious and private, and only reachable by walking over a 100m suspension bridge (we loved having to cross this; it made the bungalows seem even more remote), each bungalow is built out of sustainable wood and has an amazing amount of romantic individual features, including king size swinging day beds on the terrace. None are overlooked by any of the others, and each has private outdoor terraces, as well as impressive unique design features. You can look out and watch the sun set or rise over the pacific ocean, before enjoying the day or night at this amazing resort.
Get fresh organic coffee delivered to your room to drink when you wake up, sitting on the terrace overlooking the bay. Fill the day on the beach in one of the private lounging areas; each with a hammock and sun loungers whilst staff from the hotel bring you fresh juices and snacks, indulge in some of the relaxing activities (like kayaking through the mangroves or walking through the forests) or complete relax yourself at the massage area, before filling up on fresh, organic 3 course meals, made entirely of food produced on the estate.
The resort is owned by a French family who also own a sustainable furniture company in Managua; the forest within the grounds provide the wood for their furniture, many of which are designed by the same designer who designed the hotel. The family invests heavily in eco-touristry, including investing in the local community via employment and training, so whilst indulging yourself and your partner, you are also investing in Nicaragua, and in sustainable forestry and tourism.
An added bonus is that in the off season the place is quiet; my partner and I ended up having the place to ourselves for two days. In many places this would seem strange, but at Morgan's Rock, it was an amazing experience that totally indulged us and totally left us loved up!
An old style house, close enough to walk to Antwerp city centre, visit museums and eat Belgian chocolates, while being the sort of place where you don't feel the need to go out. Each room is individually furnished so it feels your own - a terrace, a luxury bathroom with particular style. There are DVDs to enjoy and little touches of luxury; special bath salts, complimentary liquors and a fridge with champagne and wines. It feels private but welcoming. Breakfast is champagne on the house with varying home made treats which make it extra special. The hotelier is warm and friendly without being intrusive. It feels a mile away from home while being easy to get to, in a city unimpacted by tourists and where you can be yourself. Don't forget to enjoy moule frites, see Ruben's house, browse the old quarter, eat plenty of chocolates and go to Cafe Jazz for some live music with Belgium beer. Perfect!
I spent 2.5 weeks at the Santuary Retreat, which is not quite a beach house but an eco-retreat in the tropical rainforest that is a short walk to the beach. It is half-way between Townsville and Cairns and close to Mission Beach. The accommodation is either mesh-huts so you are quite literally in the rainforest or more luxury canopy cabins. There is a restaurant, bar and social area with views to the Coral Sea. During the day it is a short walk down to the beach, which you often have to yourself, in the rainforest you might see a cassowary a native Australian flightless bird, or for the more active walker it is 1.5 hour walk to Mission Beach town. Or if you didn't want to leave the Retreat, you could join a yoga class or indulge in a massage. It is an amazing place to relax and enjoy the tranquility and wonderful hospitality.
A spa hotel, secluded, rural mountain area above the Dead Sea, and still 400m below sea level, overlooking a spectacular hot springs. The perfect place to relax in peaceful and comfortable surroundings. We stayed four nights before Christmas and it was blue skies everyday with temperatures of 25C, perfect spring weather
Comfortable cottages beside white sand beaches, a turquoise sea and pink mountains. And amazing wildlife; Wendy the wombat lived underneath the house and there were wallabies and all sorts of birds in the grounds. On the beach we saw pelicans and fur seals. Penguins and kangaroos used the road. We were there out of season but had a warm welcome from friendly and helpful hosts Tony and Kyle. Breakfast was brought in the morning and a log-burning fire warmed chilly evenings.
The nearby village of Bicheno had stores, restaurants, a stunning coastal walk and friendly people. There's a reserve where you can see tasmanian devils, and evening trips to watch the penguins. It's not far to the pink granite hills of the Freycinet National Park and a walk to the fabled Wineglass Bay.
We rented this one bedroom apartment for a week and we really enjoyed our stay. The apartment has clearly been recently renovated, it was very clean and well-equipped. The location is extremely convenient for visiting the city and exploring some other cities in the area, like Lucca and Florence. There is a supermarket right around the corner, and plenty of bars and restaurants. The owners were very helpful and even came to pick us up at the airport, which saved us quite some money and hassle, as we arrived quite late in the day. They left guidebooks and brochures for us and a nice bottle of wine, pasta and meat sauce for our first dinner. That was a nice touch, because it was too late to go buy some groceries.
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