Chateau Colombier is a large, French farmhouse situated in the heart of the Provence region.
The house itself is set back from the road, allowing secluded, outside dining and relaxation around the pool. Two minutes' walk along the drive is a gourmet restaurant called 'La Charette Bleu'.
The house can sleep up to 16 guests and the double bedrooms are all en suite. The house has been restored to a high specification and somehow retains a very homely feeling.
The option to self-cater is available, however we chatted with the owner of the house and for an agreed amount she catered some evening meals for us - all of which were delicious. This can be discussed at point of booking.
The owner splits her time between Provence and London. She has self-contained accommodation within the house and is very friendly and well informed about the local area.
A 10-15 minute car ride away is the lovely village of Nyons. The village has a regular market, with local produce, food and a great bargain or two!
Staying in this area of France means you can easily get to the lovely towns of Avignon, Nimes and the Roman remains of the impressive Pont Du Gard (all of which are about an hour away).
I have stayed here twice and both times hired a car. You will have to draw straws for who does the driving when you plan a trip wine-tasting at the region's many caves.
Find out more about the house at www.chateaucolombier.com and also about the local town of Nyons, at www.drome-provence.com/villages/nyonsa.php. Details of the local restaurant are available at pj-charrettebleue.fr/
Well-situated independent hostel a stone's throw away from the Pembrokeshire coastal path - ideal for 'solos' or groups and families.
Situated in the centre of the village of Trefin.
No train station but the website gives great details on public transport links.
Kahana Village is a group of two-story condominiums on the west coast of Maui. It is on the beach and is great for family reunions, and has an outside patio area for large group dinners. The three-bedroom condos are amazing at 1700sq ft - so easy with kids.
A pousada in Pelourinho (very picturesque, in the old part of town, and it has great nightlife). Good value, great atmosphere, very friendly owners who can can advise you about Salvador and elsewhere in Brazil and book travel etc for you. Good breakfast. Free internet/coffee/use of kitchen and washing machine.
I often get jibes from my American workmates about the size of five-star rooms in London. Now, it's only the Wyndham who've bigger hotel rooms in London from any other hotel I've been to! If you're flying into Heathrow, it's the first five-star within distance so, if you've got to get the top cheeses into a room somewhere across the pond, I recommend the Wyndham!
I liked the harbour views. Having breakfast al fresco before braving the District line, as anyone will attest, you need to calm yourself before you get into the big squeeze! Otherwise, take a taxi!
This is a lovely XVIII century Italian villa - just four large ensuite bedrooms, the bathrooms are ultra modern with a walk in wet room. As an extra bonus, all hot water is produced fron the solar panels! In the grounds there is a beautiful saltwater swimming pool and spa. We found the place through a special offer in the Guardian.
One evening there was a pizza party, and we made our own pizza in the wood-fired oven (great fun) plus we had plenty of the Primitivo house wine!
The villa is privately run and the owners take great care of the guests, we even had a complimentary bottle of Prosecco on arrival.
If you're lucky enough to dine at the villa, you'll have a real home-cooked Italian meal (only organic vegetables) of three courses with house wine included, and homemade limoncello, all for just 20 euros!
We'd never been to the 'heel of Italy' before - it is quite different from northen Italy, plenty to see like the picturesque town of Ostuni (worth a visit), Alberobello, Lecce etc.
Brindisi (direct flights Ryanair) 10 min drive.
Bari (Direct flights) Ryanair and BA
50 min drive
Naples.. Easyjet and Thompson
3/4 hr drive
I have just got back from an amazing weekend at this luxury bed and breakfast in Spain - La Casa Noble. It was recommended through a friend and I feel the need to pass on this little gem. The woman that owns it is a designer and has spent the past four years renovating - it is absolutely beautiful! Everything about this trip was wonderful - the food, (best pork I have ever tasted... apparently the pigs eat acorns which make it so tasty and I am told healthy…), great service; the host went out of her way to make our stay memorable. The village is a beautiful little Spanish town and of course the weather is great! I would strongly recommend this place to anyone. Make sure you use the jacuzzi at the the B&B and go for a walk up to the old church on the hill at sunset.
You can fly there from Gatwick (clickair) but I am sure other airlines there as well. You need to fly to Seville and then take a bus (1 hour)
This is a super fun youth hostel. The staff is very knowledgeable and I met a lot of great people from all over the world.
I would definitely recommend it - but be careful walking up the steep stairs up front if you've been enjoying a little too much of what Amsterdam has to offer.
Nieuwe Nieuwstraat 17,
1012NG, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Central Station
Great B&B in a little village 10 miles or so from Cirencester. It was really lovely to see an unspoilt bit of the Cotswolds, and this was a very cosy base. As well as the local knowledge and warm welcome from owner Gill it was a real plus to have sole use of a private sitting room.
This is a hotel and restaurant on one of the main streets in Ibo town, not as exclusive (nor, indeed, pricey) as Ibo Island Lodge but with many charms. Accommodation is in rooms leading off from the central courtyard, which also has a small swimming pool facing the ocean. The cooking is recommended, but - as is the case with almost anywhere on Ibo - you need to book in advance to guarantee that they will feed you.
Just outside the 'centre' of Kilwa Masoko (ie. a 10-15 minute walk), this collection of ensuite chalets sits in grounds on a headland with amazing views over the sandy bay of Kilwa Masoko and towards Kilwa Kisiwani island.
The resort is very professionally managed and keen to make visitors welcome. Activities organised by the resort - tours, diving, etc - seem very well organised and reasonably priced. There is a special path from the resort down to the beach. The restaurant is recommended, too.
A great location on a high bluff overlooking the Tarangire River and well-managed ensuite permanent tents makes this excellent value for staying in Tarangire National Park. From the terrace there should be views of elephants, water buffalo, zebra, giraffes and other game. It is located about 15 minutes' drive from the main park entrance and has easy access to all the main circuits round the park. There is a small swimming pool. The only downside is that the meals in the spacious restaurant are less than special.
A sensible mid-price option for accommodation in/near Arusha, located on the east side of the city and therefore towards Kilimanjaro airport. Six ensuite chalets (some sleeping up to four people) occupy a lush garden, with a dining area nearby. It is not far from the main road to Moshi, but it would be a great challenge to find the place for the first time after dusk.
tel: 027 250 9205
A Mallorcan finca converted into a rural luxury hotel, located in the small village of Deia (well know for being the home and inspiration of Robert Graves for many years).
The hotel deco is classic but nice, and it has a good restaurant with fresh fish and local products.
I recommend it to those looking to relax (yoga classes are available) and want to visit 'the other Mallorca', not the one of sun and sangria.
Excellent accommodation, reasonably priced, amiable host, everything within the old town (including Canterbury Cathedral) within easy walking distance.
28 Castle Street
Canterbury, Kent CT1 2PT
Telephone (01227) 761897
The Mision de San Miguel is a small chic budget hotel in the hearth of Palma (double rooms starting at 90 pound).
I really enjoyed my stay there and it's perfect for a short escapade to Palma, as it's close to Palma shopping, nightlife and restaurant areas.
Can Maçanet 1a
07003 - Palma de Mallorca
Phone:+34 971 214 848
Riad Maizie is a stunningly restored riad in the heart of the Marrakech medina owned by the author Miranda Innes. It is five minutes' walk from the main souks and 10 from Djemaa Fna, and is the perfect tranquil spot to retreat to after a long day of shopping and sightseeing. The English manager James was very helpful and very knowledgeable about what to do in Marrakech (and how much to pay).
They have five beautiful rooms to stay in, a lovely roof terrace and the traditional Moroccan meals were very good (especially the lamb and prune tagine).
95 Derb al Kadi
+212 (0) 24 38 59 28
A wonderfully-designed and chic hotel in the Puerto of Soller. Spacious rooms with terrace overlooking the port and a fab bistro.
Avoid if you don't like children.
Es Traves 5
07180 Port of Soller, Mallorca
Ph. +34 971 63 18 50
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