La Perla was Hemingway's hotel of choice when he stayed in Pamplona during the fiesta season. Recently refurbished, the stunning decor is in keeping with its striking original belle epoque style.
Despite the luxurious nature of the establishment, the staff were happy for us to just walk in and enjoy a drink in the basement bar, so we could further imagine the place in Hemingway's time. The charming bartender made us a house special, a whisky and champagne cocktail, and told us stories about the seven unmarried sisters who used to run the restaurant.
The hotel is in a good location and newly opened in 2007. However, our room had bedbugs and even when we caught live ones to show the managers they were unconcerned - so much so that they didn't even have the good grace to apologise.
Calle Avinyo 16, Barcelona
We stayed at the Hout Bay Hideaway in October 2007. The Jaguars are gone, but Martin and Sue, who now own the Hideaway, have kept the same format and added cooked breakfast on request. They were warm, welcoming and more than helpful - assisting us in advance with planning our trip, advising us about what to do and where to go, organising our transport…
The accommodation is comfortable and the garden, with its terraces on different levels, relaxing and peaceful. The area is safe and we went for walks and runs along Chapman’s Peak Drive from the door. There are plenty of places to eat nearby, and the Hideaway is an ideal base for exploring the area around Cape Town without having to sit in the city traffic jams. Highly recommended.
If I had to go to Paris once again I would definitely choose Montparnasse, because it is not far from the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. In addition to this, Saint Germain de Pres is pretty close (15 minutes on foot) so you will able to see the chuch mentioned in the Da Vinci Code.
If you want to spend a weekend in this part of the town choose this hotel, a three-star with a lovely garden where you can relax after walking all day.
84 Rue Raymond Losserand
This Aparthotel is very nice and cosy. 18 elegant self-catering flats with the service of a three-star hotel!
What is more, staff are kind and always willing to suggest and book excursions. This kind of accommodation also suits businessmen. Last but not least, breakfast is served in a striking cellar with brick walls! Highly recommended.
11000 - Praha 1
Tel. +420 224930199
Fax. +420 224930199
I recently returned from a three-night stay in Krakow and loved it. The apartment we stayed in sleeps five/six and was superb in every way.
Well located, beautiful decor, spotlessly clean, large, well-equipped kitchen with every appliance, satelite TV, dvd, internet, inclusive of beautiful bed linen and fluffy towels. It has two large bedrooms, huge kitchen, large sitting room with two sofa beds and luxury bathroom.
We paid £60 per night between 3 of us, best apartment and best bargain I've ever stayed in.
I rented through www.holiday-rentals.co.uk
The Ryder Cup will take place near Louisville in 2008, and Lexington is about a 90 minute drive from the home town of the world's greatest ever boxer.
Downtown Lexington is home to a couple of large hotels, notably The Radisson and the Hyatt. Both offer rooms of a good standard, and they are both very close to the Rupp Arena, a venue for sporting events and concerts.
Across the Ohio River from Cincinatti lies the city of Covington which is in Kentucky. Once very run down, Covington appears to be in the process of revitalisation. A hotel on the Covington riverfront is ideal if you want to enjoy a spectacular view, but be careful where you choose.
The Marriott offers very attractive rooms, but given the hotel's location, it seems incredible that the tiny hotel bar offers no view of the river and Cincinnati. But this is a vastly superior hotel to the neighbouring Embassy Suites, with its dull rooms, and with priceline.com you can get a great deal at the Marriott.
There are lots of cafes, restaurants and bars in the area known as Mainestrasse Village. We ate at Chez Nora, that has been owned by Jimmy and Patty Giliece since the early 1990s. Since opening the premises have been extended several times and this is testimony to the obvious popularity of the place with discerning locals. Deceptively large inside, the restaurant provides diners with good choice at reasonable cost.
The crab cakes in particular are worth a mention. On the upper levels there is a rooftop patio, and there is regular jazz music at weekends. Well worth a visit. Another notable restaurant in this area is Pho Paris, offering (as the name suggests) Franco-Vietnamese food.
If you are looking to dine in Cincinnati or Covington you cannot go wrong if you try one of the many establishments owned by or associated with Jean-Robert de Cavel, and the next time we are in Cinci, Pho Paris will be our first choice.
Having decided to stay clear of Mainestrasse at the weekend, on the Saturday night we took a 10 minute taxi drive from Covington to visit Primavista, an award-winning Italian restaurant regarded as one of the best in Cinci. The restaurant does offer a fabulous view. However, we probably had the least attractive table, and our view was the doors to the kitchen. The food is very good, and the wine list is commendable.
We enjoyed an exceptional Merlot for less than $35. Dinner for two with wine and drinks will be just under $150.
It's a private villa in a really small quiet village called St. Spiridon, in the north of Corfu. What I really love about it is it's still home to many locals, so you can experience the true Corfu, as opposed to today's tacky modern complexes.
Close to small tavernas offering delicious locally cooked food, and just five minutes' walk from St. Spiridon bay, a gentle beach, perfectly clear for snorkeling.
I found it browsing through the search engines, it's shown on www.villas-in-corfu.co.uk
Puerto Morelos is just outside on Cancun, but a world away. It's a small resort, quite different from package holiday central of Cancun. There's great beaches also - highly recommended.
The Hotel Mariposa is a small family-run hotel near the Sierra Espuna regional park in Murcia.
I can highly recommend the comfortable accommodation, superb food and friendly service, not forgetting the smashing ice-cold beer and all at a very fair price.
So, if you enjoy the great outdoors, this place is spot on for exploring the unspoilt areas of the Sierra Espuna and Barrancos de Gebas, (it's bike friendly as well). In a nutshell, it's top notch.
Hospederia La Mariposa, Gebas, Murcia
tel no 968631008
A friendly place to stay on the edge of Odda. Facilities and atmosphere are reminiscent of a superior youth hostel, and all the more welcoming for it. All rooms are ensuite and breakfast and evening meals are served. There is also a bar and occasional live music events.
The guesthouse's situation gives you a good opportunity to drink in the magnificient scenery and, if this whets your appetite for getting up close and personal with nature, an adventure sports company based at Vasstun offers all sorts of outdoor thrills and spills.
I've been to Krakow twice now and used these guys both times. Staying in an apartment if there's a group of you is definitely the way to go. Both apartments were less than 5 mins walk from the main square and though basic, were very clean and had everything you might need including a washing machine, ironing board etc.
The website is a bit basic, but don't let that put you off. The staff are very friendly, speak excellent English, and can also help with organising trips to Auchwitz and the Salt Mines if you want a chauffered trip (warning - the price is a lot higher than the public tours, but you're paying for a personalised service).
They also pick you up from the airport (5 euros per car) and take you to the apartment which takes all the stress out of getting to your accomodation. They also provided us with maps etc.
I've been very happy with them both times - give them a go!
Yes, it's in every guide book, and yes it's expensive, but it's the most beautiful hotel I've stayed in. It's a wonderful building organised around four courtyards. It has been immaculately restored and furnished. The staff clearly take pride in this flagship of the Parador chain, and the service is cool but impeccable. Food is good. Beds are comfortable. It is located on one of the finest squares in Europe, and there is even a terrace to watch the sunset.
Praza de Obradoira, Santiago de Compostela.
Avoid krackow-apartments.com, their apartments are located in buildings that can be easily accessed from the streets and one of our group was seriously assaulted with mace/pepper spray and mugged in the hallway of our apartment building. On complaint to krackow-apartments.com they didn't bother to reply for a whole week.
Really nice two-bedroom apartment with sofabed and balcony, beside the Sant Antoni food market, a walk into Raval. Bars recommended on Joaquim Costa street for a hipster bar crawl - Benidorm, Betty Fords, etc.
This place is super central and the best price/quality of any apartment you'll find in Barcelona.
This is a festival in honour of seafood. It is celebrated in O Grove (Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain) during the first two weeks of October and it is one of the most important festivals of Galicia.
Here, anyone can taste the different kinds of seafood: from oysters, mussels and cockles to prawns, crabs and barnacles. It is amazing how many different dishes there are for a good price. Moreover, there are also folk performances.
This year, there were more people than ever. The village was full of people from all parts of Spain, and even from outside. It was very difficult to book a hotel for those people who did it in the last days before the event because the occupancy rate was at the highest level.
Two of the main important characteristics that make this festival different are the fact that the seafood from this area is among the in the world; and the second fact is that it is awesome to have lunch in front of the estuary Ría de Arousa. It is a perfect location for this festival: you can enjoy this wonderful landscape while you taste the best seafood.
We stayed at Jesmonds for three nights, Thursday to Saturday, and ate there two of the three nights - it would have been three if it hadn't been for the rugby!
The room was very comfortable, good value and breakfast was exceptional....quality ingredients the key as always. However, the restaurant for dinner was the best bit and I'm sure lunch is just as good.
The service from both the management and the young staff was spot-on - accurate, with a smile and an attitude that suggests they really do care that you enjoy your evening. Nothing was too much trouble. The food is excellent, and tremendous value. The wine list is extensive, perhaps they could do with a few more wines at the top-end, but we found some excellent wines in the £20-£25 range which fitted the bill perfectly.
You will struggle to find a better overall restaurant experience anywhere in this price-range. If you are looking for somewhere for dinner a deux, or in a larger group to celebrate a birthday I would not hesitate to recommend the place to anyone.
The chic Marais is the place to stay. Hotel Jeanne D'Arc is quite a lark. Close to Place St Catherine, where the prices are keen.
To start off your day, go to 'Au Levain du Marais'. The pain au chocolat will make you just weak, so buy quite a few and you'll have a pique nique.
Next, visit grand Pere Lachaise. Chopin and Piaf and dear Oscar Wilde - although they're now gone, you'll still be beguiled. To the Left Bank for dinner, a place called L'Ecurie, the locals eat here, run by petite Mini. Bon weekend!
My top tip for Paris, especially if you’re a food lover, is to experience it like a Parisian and chose to stay in a self-catering apartment.
Paris has so many markets and beautiful specialist shops which you can’t take full advantage of if you’re staying in a hotel. You can have freshly baked bread and croissants for breakfast and then browse les marchés, boucheries, charcuteries, fromageries and other stores for fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, paté and cheese and prepare your own meals, including a tasty picnic for your return trip which will have your fellow passengers green with envy!
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