We had a great time in San Gimignano at L'Antico Pozzo, a truly beautiful place with wonderful Italian hospitality which exceeded our expectations. We found a serene atmosphere with relaxing and welcoming people, just the peaceful break we were looking for in our trip. We also had really pleasant conversation with Ema which gave us an authentic point of view of Tuscan culture and way of life, including special tips on how to find non touristy places and restaurants.
The buffet in the morning was delicious and it was always very hard to leave the cozy terrace while listening to someone practising harp somewhere nearby. We could have stayed there forever.
Our room was perfect - air conditioning and wi-fi worked like a charm.
A lovely hotel that really captures the charm and magic of this timeless village.
We love it!
Just north of Napier (the so called Art Deco capital of the world) is the Esk Valley. This is a beautiful valley covered with pine trees on its steep sides, quite distinct to the rolling river plains on which most of Napier is built. Where the river meets the Pacific there is excellent surf casting and further up the river, trout abound. Hunters shoot deer and pigs in the forest and garden lovers visit the renowned Trelinnoe Park that has been compared to Bodnant.
But it is the food and wine that make this small region special. There are many vineyards and you can sample the local red (mostly Merlot and Cabernet) and white (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc)wines. The local cafes offer great coffee and cakes and in season you can buy a kilo of just picked asparagus for under £2. If you are staying at the nearby Esk Valley Lodge you might get fresh asparagus with a new laid poached egg for dinner or even (if you ask) for breakfast!
We stayed at one of the istanbul place apartments called galata place. The apartment was great, clean and beautifully appointed, we shall certainly recommend it to our friends.
Istanbul was fantastic, so much history, so much to see and do, not enough time to do a fraction of what we wanted to so we shall all be back.
The people are so friendly and helpful, even the shoe shine guys who manage to catch you unawares with your feet on their little box before you know it!
For a spooky Halloween visit you can't beat Chillingham castle in north Northumberland. I'm a sceptic but even a daytime tour of this quirky, historical building will get you wondering about spooks and spirits! For the braver visitor there are also night-time ghost hunts and haunted rooms available for overnight stays.
It's a really nice place in Trastevere, and that's one of the best places to crash anyway. I've always liked it because it's where the locals chill and it's cool to get away from the usual tourist traps. The food in this area is really good and I know lots of Italians eat here too. Plus it's pretty and super easy to walk all over from here and not hassle with buses. Since the neighbourhood is so nice the roofdeck was super sweet to hang out on and bust out the local wine on. We can't get that quality back home and it was a great atmosphere to sample and enjoy that in without paying for a restaurant or bar. Plus the staff were made up of some of the most fantastic people and they were helpful explaining the general area and letting us know where to eat This was definitely a find, and a perfect compliment to a perfect trip.
Via Iacopa de' Settesoli 7 in Trastevere.
A small, enchanting, mediaeval castle set in pheasant-inhabited woodland and a ten minute walk from Durham CCC's Riverside cricket ground. It has everything you expect a castle to have - battlements, oriel windows, leaded glass, canopy beds, a courtyard, and even a piper to announce the evening meal.
Best of all, the castle is haunted - and if you don't believe me, just ask the West Indian and the Australian cricket teams, both of which have been victims of the ghost.
Still sceptical? Oh, that's very easy in your modern house, with electric light, before a computer. But transport yourself to a 600 year old room, with stone walls, where dreadful murders really have been committed, and watch the mist rise from the woods as night falls, and as you light your candle you'll find your sceptical laughter is now a little forced and all your 21st century sophistication cannot stop the hairs from standing upon on the back of your neck.
An amazing moated Norman castle with spooky original stone wall rooms including one with an 'en suite' oubliette. If you ask, the staff have lots of eerie tales to tell about psychic phenomena related to poachers thrown down the oubliette to die slowly. Apparently young male guests especially have sightings or weird experiences.
Lovely bed and breakfast run by friendly people. Top bacon and eggs Ricky! Situated right near the city centre so v handy. We also had a lovely day walking around the city walls.
What a wonderful introduction to Marrakech! Peter and Hassan made it so unbelivably easy to learn to navigate this city. From the very beginning they provided us with excellent help and advice about things to see (and how not to get lost), and the riad itself is beautiful and peaceful and a wonderful way to begin and end the day. Thank you so much for your hospitality, and for allowing us to stay in your wonderful riad.
29 Derb Bouelilou
Sidi Ben Slimane
+212 6 11 26 69 98
Great little hotel in the middle of the Old City. Not at all fancy, but clean, comfortable, and friendly. Rate was US$125.00 per night - outstanding for Switzerland. Has a small bar, but no restaurant. It does offer a breakfast buffet, but at US$18 per person a little expensive. We went to a little bakery just three doors down, where we had great coffee and pastries.
The Ardvasar Hotel offers a wide range of excellent food and drink. The service is friendly and quick. Accommodation is available and there is a restaurant, a lounge and a small public bar. Outside there is a splendid view of the Sound of Sleat, with a chance of spotting seals and otters (and other resident wildlife). I saw a pair of buzzards when I was there but sadly the other fauna failed to show.
The hotel is a very short distance from Armadale, where the ferry from Mallaig to Skye anchors. There is a good walk from Ardvasar towards the Point of Sleat, and the views from the higher parts of the walk are outstanding, especially towards Rum and Eigg, in one direction, and to Morar, on the mainland.
They make easy family holidays as they pretty much always cater to kids as well.
In the South West, you'll normally find them in close proximity to beaches or other attractions too.
Ranges of accommodation types and prices mean you can customise your stay better.
Best of all, you don't have to go to the events they have on, as some can be a bit dire.
Ormelune hotel is the former Mercure in Val d'Isere. It has been entirely renovated. It's a totally different hotel now, proposing 46 rooms reflecting modernity and coolness. The slogan could be: don't take life too seriously.
Four artists including JonOne have created four cows: the cow parade as they call it, to remember we are in the mountains.
There is also a game to win a free upgrade on the website.
Continuing on my recent trip, after Forte Dei Marmi I went to grand old Florence itself and enjoyed a stellar stay at Palazzo Vecchieti. Old time deluxe service with a butler no less was perfectly coupled with modern comforts and attention to style and design. Decor may not be the selling point in many accommodations, but here it really pops out and grabs you. The cool chic modern vibe is in perfect contrast to the area itself and really enticing to those with an eye for design. Enough about aesthetics, the idea of having butler service is just so unique that it's almost worth experiencing for its own sake. Aside from that the location in the Signoria Square is absolutely ideal and is perfect for anyone making their way about on foot... or anyone who wants to save time on buses and money on taxis. Definitely a great find.
A link with pics and the address, booked through the same trustworthy company that got me great digs at Forte dei Marmi.
Il Negresco is a lovely hotel boasting sea views and much more, as well as cuisine samples. It proved to be true and we ate very well. The view is just magic, and Forte Dei Marmi is sort of the new destination. Where more locals go, learn it, live it, love it!
Lungomare Italico, 82 - 55042 Forte dei Marmi (LU)
This boutique hotel will make you feel at the paradise doorstep. Amid the Atlantic rain forest and the ocean, it is the ideal place to relax while getting to see some of the Brazil's best landscapes: the Sao Paulo north coast.
There is a lot of to do nearby in terms of eco tourism and it's close to breath taking deserter beaches.
The hotel also have a superb restaurant. Ideal for couple and those arriving or leaving the country as it is only a couple of hours from the Sao Paulo international airport.
Days Inn Key West is a fairly priced and well kept property, a positive surprise when you are traveling on a budget to find a nice place to stay. Not a luxury accommodation, but cheap rates compared to most accommodations in Key West and value for the money.
3852 Roosevelt Boulevard
Classic elegant old building in good location. Traditional style décor with dark wood paneling. Comfortable rooms with old-fashioned furniture. Atrium style banquet hall. Wood-paneled, atmospheric brasserie offering traditional Danish cooking.
Vester Voldgade 25,www.hotelsresidences.com/denmark-danimarca-danmark-copenhagen-c-17_18.html
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