It is a great accommodation, a warm, cosy and little hotel, with chairs and tables on the patio in summer. It is situated in the center of the city with easy acces by bus from the station, or walking even, to many places, like the cathedral, Raathuse and old city, or museums. The breakfast is fantastic and the room was classic but charmy.
It is worthwhile paying the price.
The Omena Hotel chain has done away with human staff. You just turn up, punch your reservation into the computer terminal at the door and are given a room number and access code.
You can even reserve a room on the computer if you haven't done so beforehand. For about 60 - 70 euros you get a modern room with widescreen TV, microwave, fridge and free wifi.
Ask for the lone log cabin by the creek, very spooky. It has the tallest dark trees and a sense of history in the hand built rickety wooden house - slightly red riding hood feel. And there are many years of visitors books to read.
The great restaurant is a walk away though.
All of Rye is spooky when night comes and the wind whips in from the estuary. But the Mermaid is definitely a ghostly experience. Our room had a massive four poster bed and dark pannelling across the walls. The whole house is Tudor but the cellars are from Norman times and there are apparently secret passages crisscrossing the building from smugglers' times.
There are apparently a few ghosts at the Mermaid. We didn't see any but fancy we heard quite a few knocks and creaks. If nothing else it's a great place to let your imagination run wild.
Enter Dar Najat and you feel like you are in an African palace that speaks style from every piece of furniture, picture and light fitting. The most family friendly place we have ever stayed. Great ensuite room, air con nice shower, matelat bed provided for our three-year-old. Oliver the owner is charming and his staff are wonderful. Amin, Saeed and Aissan spent the whole week entertaining our son. The riad has a resident dog and tortoise. Lovely breakfasts on the roof top terrace. Afternoons in the jacuzzi with funky but relaxing music. Our son delighted by chicken and chips for tea, his mum and dad delighted by superb Moroccan dinners eaten at a table a few feet from the bedroom where he slept soundly.
A small friendly riad with a charming owner Peter and wonderful staff - Hassan to whom nothing was too much trouble and who let our three-year-old help water the plants while we finished breakfast. Fatima the cook produced a meal for our son at tea time and a superb later dinner for us. We loved the 3ft deep marble effect sunken bath in our ensuite.
Through Peter we had a wonderful family excursion to a restaurant and swimming pool for lunch in the Atlas Mountains with a great driver - Cherif
This character pub in darkest Devon has been officially inspected: it’s one of the 8 most haunted pubs in the UK. The spook certificate is in the bar. The landlady retells some good stories: at the last inspection people in the bar asked the child spirit to appear and everyone saw a coat being pulled strongly - and someone trying to touch it put her hand into an area that was icy cold. When the spirit left the curtains moved and the door closed without any wind assistance!
When my sister-in-law lost a necklace down a tiny gap between the floorboards it looked as if there might have been some supernatural assistance. Then we couldn’t find our keys… Across the square is the devil’s stone, ready for its annual turning by local heavies on All Saints day with the church bells ringing to keep the devil away!
The pub food is good, there are 4 real ales in a friendly bar much used by locals, and the refurbished bedrooms have managed to combine history with some modern amenities. The owners couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful - and they let the dog stay free. So the appalling bangs and clatters in the morning after the clocks went back were quite unexplainable, until we found a very loud Chinese couple who knew nothing of our time change and were determined to wake everyone up for an early breakfast!
The Böd of Nesbister lies on a spit of shingle on Whiteness Voe on the west coast of Shetland. Originally a stone built bothy for fishermen during the fishing season, the Böd has been converted into basic accommodation by the Shetland Amenity Trust. Its location, overlooking a lovely inlet with winding views to cliffscapes and the open sea, is remote and romantic. With no electricity, the candlelit Böd is the perfect place to encounter a ghost. It felt like a kindly soul and, obligingly, stopped its noisy business when we asked it to. In the morning we came across the visitors’ book and discovered that we were by no means the first to have had a haunted stay.
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.
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