During a brief island hoping tour of the Hebrides I chose the wrong night to stay on Mull. The island is renowned for its pretty little harbour or Tobermory or Ballymory as any 5 year old will tell you. But its also known in the motor racing fraternity (of which i'm not a member) for the Tour of Mull Rally in October - a night time highspeed race across the islands narrow roads.
I was completely oblivious to this, as i sailed over on the last boat to the isle and was informed by one B&B owner, highly amused that i hadn't pre-booked, that 'Jesus Christ himself couldn't get a room on the island the neet'. I did eventually manage it - but i'd certainly recommend checking first if visiting Mull in October.
During a brief island hoping tour around the Scottish Isles I discovered this lovely little farm house B&B on Islay, which served the best breakfast i've ever had. Freshly laid free range eggs, homemade haggis, award winning sausage and bacon that was probably carved off a pig that morning! I was only disappointed not to have stayed long enough to sample Rachel's dinners. Islay itself is a lovely destination and home to a total of nine whisky distilleries, well worth a tipple!
I asked in the local TIC, i'm sure they'll point you in the direction of Rachel Whytes (I think that is how it's spelt).
The European flagship of the Four Seasons chain. Recently renovated to its glorious, Art Nouveau best.
Stunning all the way I'm sure, but I've only been in for tea, as I'm a poor student and not a millionaire, like you. I ate in the bar area, which is beautiful, and the food was good and the service impeccable.
Wish I could afford to stay there. Donations on a post card to...
Roosevelt Tér 5-6. 1051
Tel: 36 (1) 268-6000
Fax: 36 (1) 268-5000
Over the years we have stayed in many of Patara's hotels but have found the Hotel Sema to be by far the best in terms of location, hospitality and price.
The friendliness and service of the Sema is second to none and the family who run it couldn't have been more hospitable.
It isn't always easy to find a room at this reasonably-priced gem, in the heart of Hemingway's Latin Quarter (near the rue Mouffetard).
Regulars come back again and again for its low-key charm, family atmosphere and (star attraction) the pretty, cobbled courtyard, with breakfast tables outside in summer.
75, rue du Cardinal Lemoine
Tel: +33 01.43.26.79.23
Metro: Place Monge, Cardinal Lemoine
Small private ski/cycle chalet owned by an english couple, Bryan and Michelle. Amazing views, nice and secluded from the main (overdeveloped) deux alpes resort in Venosc (small village down the valley). Good but not gourmet food - hearty and healthy mountain stuff.
Bryan is an amazing skier and knows the place like the back of his hand. Also handy with a ski pole for on-slope enforcement.
We paid £100 a night for two people, fully catered (with wine!).
Venosc, near Bourg d'Oisans
I visited Puerto Escondido in September and stayed in an enormous, ocean front home with a group of friends. The price, per person, was unbeatable and came with a cook, butler, driver and maid. They prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner if desired. I have never experienced this type of architecture - the living area is completely open air covered by a large palapa. The bedrooms and entertainment room are enclosed and air conditioned. Right next door is an equally impressive, yet slightly larger house which had a wedding party arrive the day we were leaving. If and when I get married, I think this may be the place where I will go. Between the two homes, I it can accommodate 30-35 people.
I also learned how to surf. We went fishing and caught a boat load of Yellowfin Tuna - 27 to be exact as well as one Sailfish which we let go. Also got to see a lot of schools of dolphins jumping all over the place and a whale spouting in the distance. I can't wait to go back and am considering purchasing land and building there. I heard the prices have been going up quickly but from what I saw there are still some good deals to be found.
I found the property at www.puertorealestate.com
The place I stayed was Desclaza which is next to Rubio.
I flew from NY to Mexico City to Puerto Escondido (PXM). One of my friends flew into Huatulco which was about 1 hour 15 minute drive south.
You have to make an effort to get to mythical Bardsey, dangling off the tip of Wales's Lleyn Peninsula. It's so remote there are no full-time residents, just a summer-time community of farmers and holiday makers. Visitors stay like hermits in long-abandoned cottages with no running water or electricity, and you have to stand in the sea to pick up a mobile signal.
But you also get rare birdlife, fresh lobsters delivered by local fishermen and the kind of deep, utter peace you're hard pressed to get anywhere else in the UK.
Bardsey is about two miles off the tip of the Lleyn Peninsula in north Wales.
Burgh Island is a tiny scrap of land off the south Devon coast. Why go? As well as its ravishing and isolated location, the island boasts an exquisite art deco hotel with a rock-cut swimming pool, vintage decor and sumptuous restaurant with 1930s dinner dances. The likes of George Formby, Nancy Cunard, the Prince of Wales and Mrs Simpson used to frolic there, and it still cuts a dash. For those on a budget, there's an ancient fisherman's pub. Oh, and best of all, when the tide is in, you can cross to the island on the hotel's sea tractor.
South Devon TQ7 4BG
Tel: 01548 810514
It's a lovely old house in a lovely valley in a lovely part of Wales. Super rooms and good food. Five-star rated and deserving of it.
The Blue Lagoon's a fantastic wee, reasonably budget place on Klong Prao beach. It has idyllic little clean, modern (we stayed in much, much worse - do not try KP Huts...) bungalows with verandahs over the lagoon - a non-stinky, non-mosquito-ridden lagoon I would point out. Brilliant for sunsets and relaxation, and just down from all the fancy resorts with much lesser views and more noise. The big bonus is they have a cooking school so the food's amazing.
Khlong Prao beach, Koh Chang.
Ponsonby's a great little area with loads of good cafes and funky shops, more character and feel to it than the city, but just a 20 minute (downhill, pretty) walk away - or a 5 minute direct bus trip. It has a range of good accommodation, including 3 funky backpackers and some posher boutique hotels. And it's the main gay friendly area of Auckland.
We recently stayed in this hotel on a long weekend visit to Istanbul and thoroughly recommend it. It's clean, tidy, with good amenities, but best of all the people who run the hotel - Tahir and Emu - are wonderfully friendly and helpful and really made our trip special.
Charming apartment in a historic house a few hundred yards from the Colosseum, in a quiet backstreet. Giulia, who manages this small family business, speaks English and is happy to help you with all sorts of insider tips on the city.
Before going to Sicily I was surfing the net and I found out this directory full of hotel websites. They are arranged into different categories, even if some of them are empty, it is clear and you find what you need immediately.
I would recomend this site for who don't like to deal with middle men, but want to contact the hotel directly.
Right on the seafront, the Penhelig is a small hotel which manages to remain a local pub. There is a cosy bar and pleasant restaurant where the food is good and the prices sensible.
Also excellent beer and wine.
Right on the front at the Machynlleth end of town. 01654 767215 - best to reserve when busy
I have had a fantastic time at this homestay in Buenos Aires. The location is perfect, in the middle of town and close to public transportation and all kind of entertainment. Esther is a great host who has helped me a lot with practicing my Spanish and with information. The rooms are spacious and very nice. I have recommended her to several other travellers on their way to BA, it is the best place to stay!
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