A friendly hotel in a great part of the small island. There are only two hotels on Tiree, but this is my favourite. It's basic, but good value and the staff are very welcoming.
After a day's walking or cycling around the island, what better way to relax than in the adjoining pub with the friendly locals and a large whisky!
Extreme friendly and efficient staff, non smoking, great rooms, modern. Not like most AMS hotels - old and stuffy. We had city view, and a really great time.
Rated 9.1 at www.hotels.com, and excellent also in www.tripadvisor.com and www.holidaycheck.de At last a modern well organized place in Amsterdam.
Excellent east/west style cuisine, nice bar. What else you want? We had free internet, executive floor, Nespresso machine in the room, sprinkler system, the best breakfast, bathrobes, slippers, fruits, covered parking, a canal boat in front, Tram transport next to the hotel - and just 20 minutes from the airport and five minutes from central station.
water side, next to Cruise Terminal, city centre
Lacanau is a hidden gem on the North Atlantic coast of France - a fantastically laid-back town with great scenery, good facilities and most importantly, amazing surf! After surfing for years in Cornwall, San Sebastian and Biarritz, we decided to try a different spot and, on a recommendation, visited Lacanau. It’s not too far from Bordeaux airport and is a real find. There are six surfing beaches to choose from – North Beach is the most popular and is home to the Lacanau surf club, but head further south to ‘Plage Sud’ and you will find some of the best waves in this region. There’s also a surfing tournament ‘The Lacanau Pro’ which takes place every August. We found Lacanau to be less busy than other European surfing spots, but it still has excellent surf schools and facilities for all abilities. We stayed at the P&V Lacanau Holiday Village, as it’s only 2km from the sea but surrounded by forests and sand dunes.
A beautiful place to stay about 20 minutes away from Florence. The rooms are brightly coloured grungy chic, and the views over Tuscan countryside are truly lovely.
The owners were unobtrusively helpful, and laid on scrumptious breakfasts. Full board was beyond our budget, but on the couple of nights we had dinner there it was stunning - and veggie-friendly. We went away laden with soap made locally from produce grown in the gardens, and a decent bottle of the house wine.
This is not the sort of place you will come upon by accident - unless you get lost. Run by German born Arnold and his English wife Helen, this is a tiny, relatively new winery in the Xalon Valley in the Alicante region of Spain.
Although grapes have been grown in the region since Roman times, the Bodega del Garroferal was only set up in 2002 when the pair relocated to Spain from South Africa. They offer a small range of delicious wines - three reds, three whites and one rose. Try Rhapsody, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend mix with depth and complexity. The grapes are grown just across the road from the bodega and, after handpicking, are fermented in open topped tanks.
Helen offers a sumptuous range of tapas to complement an arranged wine tasting and then you can play with the family cats and chickens.
When you drive up to a fairy tale style chateau and staff line up to greet you with wine and hor d'oeuvres, you know you're somewhere special. A truly individual and luxury inn, with fabulous food at the adjacent Elderberry House, and some amazing local wines - we were recommended a wonderful local Zinfandel at a very reasonable price which I still dream about! Beautiful touches like homemade cakes in your room and handwritten goodnight notes add to a magical experience. You might not feel you want to leave once you're there, but if you must, Yosemite is really close by, as are some great local vineyards to rival Napa and Sonoma.
Less than five hours from Vancouver, an oasis of indulgence, relaxation and nature. A winery where you can stay the night!
Stroll through the vineyards then sample the produce whilst you learn about the bird that gives this place its name.
Take a refreshing dip in the pool, or just enjoy the view from your terrace, before treating your taste buds with a combination of fine wine and fine food. The chef and wine maker work together to give you a meal to remember.
A delicious breakfast to match the fabulous view may tempt you to stay another night! Expensive, yes, but worth every penny.
100 Burrowing Owl Place
RR#1 Site 52, Comp 20
Oliver, British Columbia, V0H 1T0
Toll Free: 877.498.0620
Avoid Corfu's grisly package resorts and club 18-30 rep-enforced 'fun' - if you really want a clubbing holiday with sun, sea and sand, it's far cheaper to stay in a hostel.
The Pink Palace is legendary on the backpacker trail for it's beautiful location on the beach, private rooms with (free!!) air conditioning and wild parties.
More like a bargain resort than a hostel, you never have to leave the Pink Palace - the staff will pick you up from the airport or port, and have devised a jam-packed events and excursions calender if you want to do more than veg out on the sand.
The price includes countless extras, from a delicious full cooked breakfast (the perfect hangover cure) to a traditional Greek home-cooked 3 course feast at night, served in the rooftop garden overlooking Agios Gordios Bay.
The 24-hour bar (with a 5-hour happy hour!!) and access to the Palladium nightclub will keep party animals entertained, and you can recover the next day on the private sun-loungers on the beach, in the jacuzzi or in the spa room.
We were amazed at the activities on offer - the 'booze cruise' took us around the island to sea caves, places to snorkel and cliff dive. The Quad Biking 'safari' was a more adventurous way to see Corfu, we found ourselves off-roading through olive groves and scaling the mountain tops!
There was also a Kayak safari, hiking and trail walking, volleyball and basketball tournaments... but we didn't have the energy to tackle them all!
Aside from all the extras, the hostel has all the facilities you'd expect from a hotel- lockers in the dorms, washing machines, a 24-hour reception, a swimming pool... and like some other hostels in Europe, there's no curfew.
The staff were super-friendly, and everyone staying there was out to have a good time.
By pure chance we ended up at Green Gables B&B and were very glad that we did! For £65 we got a huge top-floor room with ensuite, flat-screen TV and tea making facilites. The breakfast is served until 8:45 and is worth getting up early for - the lady of the house, Paula, will cook any breakfast you wish for to perfection. Husband Gabriel is the one who serves up and entertains guests with storys from his past. The beach is only minutes away and there is loads going on in town to keep visitors entertained - we absolutely loved it!
It's a guest house. It's beautiful, just look at the website. This is not just my recommendation, it's in the Wine Magazine's top 100 restaurants, and was rated as the World's Best Small Hotel by Tatler Travel in 2005.
Best of all, before dinner, you get to taste a selection of wines under the trees, chatting to fellow guests and taking in the wonderful views of the hills, as they change colour under the setting sun. Well, not strictly wine tasting, because I don't see any spitting out going on. The wines are so magnificent they are only going in one direction. And when you think it doesn't get any better, they produce even more wonderful wines to accompany the delicious food.
This place is fantastic, and with the pound exchange rate against the rand, you get an incredible experience for a very affordable price.
Telephone: 0027 21 868 2501
Thorngrove Manor Hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Designed in the ecclectic Gothic inspired style of the colonists, this celebrates architectural design and creativity. It's a five minute walk to the local village set atop a hilltop. Food is all bio-dynamic and organic. Rooms are inspirational with antique gilded clocks next to LCDs and ipod docks. Small in size, but huge in experience with the closest winery and wildlife sanctuary five minutes away.
Le Manoir de la Croix situated in Montviron, a short drive from Mont St Michel, is a really delightful place to stay. It's secluded, quiet and the perfect base for exploring the Normandy and Brittany coastline. While it's not strictly a chateau, it's a very elegant, historic manor house, dating from 1839, and the price of a double room (including a truly divine breakfast) from 64 euros makes it a real steal.
Madame Patrice Wagner is a wonderful hostess; kind, genteel and from a more refined era.
Channel your inner Lady Macbeth for less in this bargain castle in the Scottish highlands. It was built for the Duchess of Sutherland, and even housed royalty, but now you’ll find backpackers and other budget travelers staying in the historic halls. The Castle overlooks the River Kyle and hills of rugged heather, and is decorated with an opulent art collection and gallery of marble statues. We rented a mountain bike and went for long country walks, before returning to our ‘manor’ for a game of pool and a meal fit for a king in the restaurant. Rumours of a castle ghost add a gothic chill to your stay, but luckily we didn’t come across any spooks!
Carbisdale Castle, Culrain, Sutherland, IV24 3DP
0870 004 1109
It is a beautiful colonial house right next to the VIAZUL bus station and opposite a big restaurant called Don Antonio - the house is really big, pretty and eye-catching with its yellow window frames.
Every room has two double beds, private bathroom with hot water - the bathroom is bigger and cleaner than any hotel bathrooms I have ever booked.
The good things about this place are that it is extraordinarily clean and tidy, very peaceful. The owner Miguel has two obedient dogs and some birds. It is great to just sit in the courtyard and garden and enjoy the serenity of the birds. It is comfortable, convenient and the price is reasonable: CUC25 - CUC30 per room. Given its perfect location, size and cleanliness, it is definitely worth more than the price range.
Miguel speaks English. He is a very friendly, generous and nice host. He's a bit shy and he never goes to the bus station to drag tourists to stay in his casa (unlike some of the other casa owners in Trinidad).
His dogs are not hostile at all. They are just lovely and manageable.
Address: Calle Gustavo Izquierdo No. 119 entre
Si mon Bolivar y Piro Guinart
Trinidad, S.S. Cuba C-P 62600
(opposite to the famous fancy restaurant called Don Antonio)
Tel no.: 5352474272
It is a really excellent hostel, friendly and simple with delicious home-cooked food every evening by Periklis the owner. It is the perfect place to stay for climbing Mt Olympus, and he will help you with maps and routes. It is also next to the beach and sea. The red wine and open fire are also extremely good. One day we picked olives at the grove down the road in return for food and board.
Summit Zero hostel
Nr Mount Olympus
Gritsa, port of Litochoro,
60200, Pieria, Greece
+30 6972 338348
Not everyone wants to be in the city centre and this hotel is only about a 15 min bus ride to Princes St. Its main advantage is that it is right by the Braid Hills Golf course (and the hotel has special green fees), is very near the main bus routes, is not far from one of Europe's largest artificial ski slopes and it is also one of the hotels nearest to Rosslyn Chapel. They have plenty of free parking and its bistro has great views across the city.
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