I was here in April 2009.
This is a wine estate making what they term 'ultra premium wine'. It's certainly very good indeed and better value than some of the top NZ labels. However, the estate itself is utterly spectacular. There is a seriously good restaurant, overlooking acres of vineyards, although prices are moderate, making it very, very good value for money. It seems to be a family-friendly place but I can think of few better settings for a romantic meal for two.
Accommodation is also available although we didn't stay there.
Rising above the main buildings is a mock-Italianate tower which you can climb for even more beautiful views. There is also public access to the winery itself and they conduct guided tours and demonstrations of the winemaking process.
Blenheim has more than its share of really famous wineries, but Highfield is in a class of its own.
Brookby Rd, RD2
Tel. +64 (3) 572 9244
Fax. +64 (3) 572 9257
Had a lovely time with my family. Kids loved it. Mother-in-law loved it. Lovely house with all of the amenities we needed and the privacy of our own place.
We found it on www.casasofiacartagena.com but it has other websites as well that are more current.
I have only been to Cuba twice. The first time was at an all inclusive resort in Veradero which was disappointing. The second was at a Casa Particulare in Vinales - Casa Lucilo y Nirma.
Vinales is an amazing place. It is a small town next to a national park. It was the Cuba I was looking for. Although reliant upon tourism, they seemed to have maintained their authenticity. The people are friendly and the outdoors activities are plentiful.
There are a couple of large hotels, but the place is chock full of Casa Particulares (small family homes that rent out rooms). Lucilo and Nirma rent out two rooms. Both are air conditioned, have private baths, are very clean, and is centrally located.
More importantly, both Lucio and Nirma are very friendly, and will go out of the way to help you and make you feel at home. They speak English and Nirma is an amazing cook (she will make wonderful dinners for you for an additional modest cost).
Just one tip - remember that they are at Pasajes Camilo Cienfuegos #52, not just Camilo Cienfuegos (The Pasajes part puts you in a different part of town than the no Pasajes part).
Go to Vinales, stay with Lucio and Nirma. You will not regret finding that parts of the true Cuba still exist.
Casa Lucilo y Nirma, Pasajes Camilo Cienfuego Vinales Cuba
Shannon Harbour is a delight, where the river and canal meet. A haven for fisherfolk but just a joy. It is being 'improved' (hopefully not too much) but the old bonded warehouses still stand in grand dilapidation.
The Harbour Master's House is now a B&B of top quality and Grainne serves up the best (and biggest) Irish breakfast.
Great place, great people .
The Harbour Masters House,
We have just returned to France from a week's holiday in Amsterdam. I have a few suggestions for other travellers. We had previously stayed at www.hoteltoren.com. Great place. Very charming and family run (which we like). This time around we rented an apartment through www.apartments-for-rent.com/amsterdam.
We booked an apartment in the Jordaan area on the Prinsencanal. We were very lucky to meet some young guys the first day we arrived. They run a small boat rental business called www.boothurenamsterdam.com (which translates into boat rental amsterdam) The guys who run it are amazing and give us a whole list of fun things to do in the neighbourhood. We did not leave the Jordaan area except for a brunch at the www.bakkerswinkel.nl in the Westerpark.
The boat rebtal guys suggested little Amsterdam gems like www.tazzina.nl and www.cinemaparadiso.info/
A beauiful, family run chateau close to the famous gardens and chateau of Chaumont sur Loire.
Chateau des Tertes offers traditionally decorated rooms in the main building or modern themes in the annex for under 100 euros.
Friendly personal service, nested in the countryside with views of the Loire Valley from the terrace.
Hôtel Château des Tertres -11, Rue de Meuves - 41150 - ONZAIN - France
Easily the best hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica. Bekuo has amenities that you can't find at any other hostels in Central America, like: A Wii for the guests, private rooms with their own desktops and internet, a REAL kitchen, and an awesome staff.
Located near the University of Costa Rica, the best bars, a huge grocery store, a block from the main street in San Jose, and too much more to list.
325 metros oeste de Spoon Los Yoses,
Los Yoses, San Jose, Costa Rica
A wonderful Berber house located in a remarkable location. Driving from Marrakech (just over an hour), you turn off the highway and begin to ascend a mountain road. Every bend and corner opens up a new vista and for a moment you wonder if it is even possible that there is a refuge in such a magnificently wild environment.
Another corner and there in front of you is the village of Tassa Ouirgane (1300 m) nestled into the mountainside above a wild river that tumbles from the heights above you. Through the village the road climbs again and then you arrive to where, perched on the mountainside, Dar Tassa awaits you.
At the door, Fatima and Hafida greeted us with the traditional dates and milk (and what sweet milk it was!). From the moment we entered the house we felt not like guests, but members of the family.
Walking, cycling, trekking and climbing are among the highlights, but also simply resting amidst the tranquillity and eating... Did we mention food? Fatima cooks up a storm and her skills mean that you don't simply end up with yet another tagine! The local honey is an absolute must!
Tel +212 524484312
Marigha between Asni & Ouirgane
I liked this modern boutique hostel for the great private rooms. Some friends stayed in the dorms and they were nice too. Super design and fun atmosphere. The staff were really nice and helpful with all the questions I had.
I suggest a campsite at only 350m from the amazing beach of Sant Pol, on the Costa Brava. They rent lovely wooden bungalows, private and unique, surrounded by flowers, trees and plants. It's very cosy and plenty of facilities for your holidays in wooden cottages.
Street: Doctor Fleming 1, E-17220 Sant Feliu de Guixols. www.campingsantpol.cat, phone +34 972327269, nearest airport is Girona-Costa Brava. GPS 41º 47’ 10’’ N, 3º 2’ 28’’ E
Glendalough in Ireland is one of the most serene places imaginable. A deeply glaciated valley (the water is cold!) with towering mountains, monastic ruins and an ever changing sky. Although its proximity to Dublin means it can be busy at the weekend , during the week it's usually all yours. The upper lake boasts crystal clear water and a shingle beach. We stayed in Aughavannagh Cottage, a short jaunt over the mountains in the next valley. Almost every morning we managed a swim before breakfast - the one exception was when we climbed Lugnaquilla, at just over 3000 feet, the highest mountain in Leinster.
This place is gorgeous and we go every year since we discovered it. It's a really easy and unstressful drive from Faro airport and has a perfect location, perched up on a hill above the small village of Estoi with views down to the sea. Easy acess to all the great fishing villages and good shopping in Faro, as well as amazing wildlife, walks etc.
It is a small chateau in Picardie,with a beautiful garden attached to it. The French owners also do chambres d'hotes, so you get to stay in a characterful real chateau. Pick the chambre du potager which has a view over the beautiful garden.
It is off the big A28 at Neufchatel-en-Bray along the A29 to the junction of D1015. Digeon is the pretty villege it is in. It is NW of Grandvilliers and SW of Amiens.
Absolutely lovely B&B and not expensive for Venice. It's near to the centre, comfortable, friendly, clean, beautiful and has its own kitchen in the room. We felt really at home and comfortable there.
Calle Zotti 3904a, Cannaregio, Near Ca' d'Oro. www.alsaor.com
A beautiful Caribbean island a short plane ride from San Andres. Very undeveloped and with some beautiful, empty palm fringed sandy beaches - picture postcard stuff. There's only a handful of small little hotels on the island - it's all low key tourism in Providencia.
Top tip - take a boat trip around the island and visit the beautiful Crab Caye, a great place for snorkelling or admiring the amazing shades of light blue.
This is a website which lists availability on all the B&Bs in Gent (or if not all, then certainly most of them).
Just click on the date you require and it can show you availability across the city. From there, you can deal directly with the establishment by email (and, as it's Belgium, you can do that in English!).
The hosts were lovely and so welcoming that they came to pick us up from the station and served us tea and homemade cookies upon arrival. In fact they made everything homemade, from the breakfast granola to the yummy bread, which made the house smell amazing. It's a wonderful place to unwind and have a peaceful break in the country. Nothing to do but walk, eat and sleep. Which is a good thing sometimes.
Lynn Pocket (Owner)
Througham Fields Cottage
When times are hard and friends are few, an affordable, yet stylish bolt hole may be the answer.
We’ve just stayed in a hotel in the Hautes Pyrenees in the south west of France that was just that, so much so, that the clientele - some 70% French, come back year after year telling only their closest family and friends.
The secret is that this service orientated business is run not by the French, but by an English couple, and that despite original art and ceramics on show, and very stylish decor both in the rooms and the rest of this lovely hotel, the prices are ‘budget’.
Less than 50 euros per night for half board, this hotel may be in the ‘Rough Guide’ as a selected place to stay and eat, but rough is the last thing it is - yet the label ‘smooth’ isn’t the ticket either.
00 33 5 62 97 09 52
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com