Just inland from the expensive and ram-packed Amalfi is the town of Agerola, which translates to something along the lines of picnic basket. With stunning sea views, lots of local market shops it was an incredibly peaceful place to stay. There is lots of walking in the area, particularly popular is the 'Path of the Gods.' However, if you need to a bit more relaxation, there are regular buses directly to Amalfi - which is perfect as parking is a nightmare. Although if you prefer a stroll you can always go down the 3,000 steps to the beach at Duoglio. Staying at the 'Beata Soltitudo' offers a lot of different accommodation options for campers, hostellers, or people who just want a private room. Moreover, the host is very friendly and willing to help you out with any activities you might want to plan when staying there.
I've travelled to Italy every year since childhood as my father lives in the mountains of Asti. I couldn't believe we happened on yet another beautiful idyll last year. Varigotti is just west of Savona on the Ligurian Coast. It's one of many coastal towns but has no railway station of its own so has managed to hide it's magical beauty from much of the tourist world. There are holidayers but mostly local. We stayed at San Martino campsite in an incredibly reasonably priced chalet where we cooked pasta and ate outside on moonlit wooden tables. The site was in among the trees behind Varigotti. You could walk from the site down a steep path, well worth it for the breathtaking views and to work off all that sumptious Italian food! There are walks to be had to fairy bridges and the caves of Toirano are something to behold. I found this one of my most inspiring trips of all my travels around the globe, it's inspired writings and illustrated worlds I never would've otherwise created.
Località Le Manie, 17029 Varigotti (SV)
Google map: bit.ly/I3EQZr
Premium service relying on the idea of Turkish Hospitality;
The Muyan Suites will give you the feel of unforgettable luxury and one-of-a-kind character go hand-in-hand.
Lively style and warm hospitality greet you with its elegance and inviting atmosphere; the look of Muyan Suites is distinguished and quietly reassuring.
First class amenities, personalized service, a friendly atmosphere and exceptional comfort combine with our ideal location just steps away from Sultanahmet, the heart of the city and history such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Archeological Museum, Basilica Cystern and many more historical monuments and 500 metres from the Grand Bazaar. The hotel is 17 kilometers away from the Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
The Konagi is the restored mansion of an Ottoman provincial Governor, filled with antiques of the period, and is now a boutique/hotel complex in the tiny village of Resadiye, 2kms from the town of Datca, which is itself about 80kms from the resort/city of Marmaris. The hotel also includes a restored Ottoman 'hamam'. We have been there several times, eating and staying in the accommodation. The restaurant is a great experience with locally-grown and sourced produce and innovative menus, but it is also the complex's beautiful setting in Resadiye village, the sensitive resoration of the old Ottoman-style mansion, its gardens and positioning along the Datca pensinsula that continues to draw us to the place. The hotel is not that far from Maramaris and is a scenic car or taxi ride from the city, with the possibility of visiting the wonderful ancient site of Knidos (you can also get there by Dolmus, but this can take some time). We sail in the area and visit many small restaurants, some only accessible by boat, and recommend the Datca peninsula for all its various attractions, and the Konagi in particular, for a day-trip from Marmaris or a more extended stay on the peninsula, where there are also several attractive walking possibilities.
An hour’s drive out of Antalya lies a small village next to the sea called Cirali. After sunbathing in the early afternoon sun and a refreshing swim we sat in the shade with a cold beer wondering where in this small village we would eat dinner. We asked at the pensyion where he could recommend eating. “What do you like?” he replied, I said fish, Jimi said Kofte. “OK come back at 7pm and it will be ready”.
He then set off in his little boat along the coast with us wondering why he left in such a hurry. 7pm arrives and we apprehensively approached the cushioned area at the front of the Pension. (It was out of season so not set up for a restaurant.) To our great surprise Cemil laid out a wonder of treats before us. Meze to start with Babaganoush style dip, fresh Turkish warm breads, a tatzijki sort dip and fresh rough looking pitted olives. The main was just as I asked, freshly caught fish to order just hours old and home-made sizzling koftas with a delicious fresh mouthwatering local salad. We ate our feast to the sun setting, looking out to the sea and delightful Turkish music playing in the background. We were offered cold beers or Raki and water (a traditional Turkish combo). I would never have imagined that a small pension in the middle of nowhere could have produced us such a wonderful meal in such a picturesque and idyllic setting. I would recommend Cemils Pension in Cirali as a relaxed and beautiful place to eat a delicious and memorable meal.
+90 242 825 7063
A hugely welcoming and pleasant B&B, an old farmhouse in the countryside 1 km from the castle and walled village of Gradara, where the tragic story of Paolo and Francesca (and in Dante's Inferno) took place.
The house, on a hill, is beautifully and simply renovated and decorated, has four very reasonably priced rooms and after an excellent breakfast hosts Giulia and Davide will, if you wish, help you choose between a visit to unmissable Urbino, one of the many restaurants and cafes within the walls of Gradara, easily walkable from the house, a day in one of the civillised beaches on the Adriatic, or a visit to one of the best ceramics museum in Italy in historic Pesaro. As my granddaughter and I had initially chosen Casa della Stella for its proximity to the Commonwealth War Grave, (walking distance), where my father is buried, you can imagine our happiness to find so many delights nearby.
A gorgeous historic hotel, actually situated on the beach.
A local place to meet friends for a cerveza or tapas on the terrace. Also has a fine restaurant. The hotel balconies have hammocks to laze on, facing the blue Med. Bliss.
Istanbul's skyline is magical at night and one of the best places to enjoy it is from the restaurant on the rooftop of the Adamar Hotel in Sultanahmet. Just a stone's throw from the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, the rooftop terrace has a 360 degree panoramic view, great food and a romantic atmosphere. The Bosphorus Bridge twinkles with ever-changing colours, the commercial district sparkles with modern skyscrapers, and the mosques and minarets glow with golden light. High above the rooftops, the sounds of the muezzins' evening calls to prayer echo and collide in the night sky around you.
And If the weather is less than kind, there is an indoor restaurant on the floor below with equally good views.
Just five minutes from San Gimignano is a cookery class, run by Katia and her uncle Fulvio. With vineyards and the towers of San Gimignano as a backdrop, you can learn to make authentic Tuscan food in the kitchen attached to their hotel, Il Vicario.
We started with the preparation of bruschetta and panzanella (bread salad). Tearing up fresh basil and chopping up sun-ripened tomatoes instantly reignited an appreciation of Italian flavours. Next, we got stuck into hand-rolling ‘pici’ pasta, along with two sauces – tomato and cannellini bean. Finally, we prepared a chicken dish in an orange sauce to complete our lunch menu.
This is a really enjoyable format, as Katia takes you through the steps and explains Tuscan traditions, including the jaw-dropping quantities of garlic and olive oil used for each dish! The highlight is sitting down at a long table to eat, drink Chianti wine and chat with Fulvio, Katia and the other participants.
The half day class is very reasonably priced. We also recommend accommodation within walking distance, so you can ‘roll’ back in the afternoon sun.
My boyfriend and I have just returned from Les Deux Alpes. It was our first visit to the resort. We booked a half-board package and were expecting an okay hotel with average food to keep us happy while we enjoyed the slopes - after all we were going for the skiing, not the hotel.
We left on Saturday after a weeks stay and both agreed it was an incredible place to stay. The rooms are a little basic for a four-star (no tea or coffee and the bedrooms need a facelift) but if you want a hotel where the food is consistently incredible then this is the place to stay.
Our half-board transpired to be a buffet breakfast and a five course evening meal including wine. Each evening we were greeted by friendly staff and a very exciting menu. If you are happy to delve into interesting cuisine and not simply survive on sausage and chips then this is a must! Having eaten at some of the best restaurants in London and recently the Savoy, I would easily say that the Hotel Farandole reaches those lofty heights and with the added bonus of the very agreeable price. We can't recommend it enough!
In addition to this we would also like to say this hotel goes to lengths to accommodate your stay: Free shuttle bus into the resort with choice of ski lift drop off with a very friendly and knowledgeable chap called Rainy Day. Free access to pool and spa facilities and a very warm and welcoming lounge area for relaxing with a book. One down side would be the ski locker security, maybe look at one closer to town but the cuisine and service in this hotel makes up for that small detail and more!
Run by a lovely family, in the old part of Leh with a quiet garden and fantastic views of the Himalayas all round.
The room was clean and spacious with an en-suite bathroom.
Upper Karzoo Road, Leh, India
We stayed at this B&B in January 2012. A frendly place, lovely garden, clean rooms and not to be missed apero!
Charming B&B run by knowledgeable, friendly and accomodating hosts. Excellent food - including a wonderful vegetarian menu for my wife, very comfortable and clean rooms and an idyllic spot to rest while touring the area. Great value for money - far less expensive than you'd think - with no unexpected extras on the bill. A very refreshing change from soulless hotel chains!
Sitas Heaven is a family run guest house that over looks the beautiful mountains of Ella. It's clean, comfortable, and cheap accommodation, and JP, the owner, is fully knowledgable on all things Ella and can provide you with anything from tour information to Yalla National Park to great places to eat in town.
If you don't want to eat out the family offer home cooked meals at the guest house, where you can spend the evening lounging on the balcony with a Three Coins beer, listening to the sounds of the jungle below.
The Strand Hotel in Yangon is worth visiting even if you can't afford to stay there. Stepping inside is like stepping back into a bygone era. Built in 1901, you will find chandeliers and black laquered ceiling fans, and marble floors with inlaid Burmese teak. This is the place where George Orwell stayed. If nothing else, why not enjoy their fabulous high tea while writing your postcards? Then you can walk next door to the post office and send them.
00800 10 10 11 11
92 Strand Rd, Yangon, Myanmar
Google map: bit.ly/AxFuzz
My wife and I spent a magical three days in Iguazu at John's Secret Garden B&B where we relaxed in tropical splendor and warm comaraderie with John and fellow guests. A highlight of our travels in Argentina in 2012.
Everything you read about the Secret Garden is true. We arrived at the B&B and met the wonderful man John Fernandes, the owner, who exudes such genuine warmth and kindness. Our room had a queen and twin bed in it and private bath, spacious, bright, clean and well appointed The walls and ceilings are all tongue and groove woodwork painted in warm tropical colors. The beds are firm with pressed cotton sheets and lots of pillows that are fluffy and fresh. Large and quiet A/C unit and a large standing room fan gave us lots or ventilation options. There are only three guest rooms that open out onto a communal sitting area that connect to the main house by a elevated walkway through the tropical garden. If you believe in the power of attraction that like attracts like, then the Secret Garden is a classic example of this. John has created an environment where an evolved man is attracting other evolved people from around the world to share his space and his enthusiasm for his corner of the world. In short we met the most interesting and delightful people at the B&B. John does a very nice cocktail hour for his guests at 7pm and creates a delightful ambient environment for people to connect and share their world with others. At breakfast there was lots of fresh tropical fruit, banana bread and good strong coffee with hot milk, toast, home made jams and fresh squeezed juice. John also took the time to give us a little drive around town and dropped us off at Bocamora Grill for lunch. This is where the corners of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet and you get to see it all from the terrace of this great restaurant and have a wonderful meal to boot. If you are going to Iguazu falls, then this is definitely the place to stay. I will never forget my stay at the Secret Garden.
Los Lapachos 623, Puerto Iguazu N3370JMC, Argentina
+54 3757 423099
Art studios that run concurrent courses for parent and children. So while the parent gets a professionally tutored art course the children have a great time action painting, tie dying etc. It's great, you are together and apart at the same time, with lots of fun to be had in the evenings and new friends for both adults and children from all around the world.
All set in the beautiful Le Marche hills, complete with views of the medieval town of Camerino. Meanwhile Andrea's amazing regional cuisine will challenge the fussiest of eaters. Really, really good fun.
The mountain resort of Sinaia is only a couple of hours from Bucharest and is a must-see on any tour of Romania with its fairy-tale Peles Castle set amongst beautiful pine forests. To add a touch of romance though, you should leave the main town behind and hike or taxi up to stay in the Economat Hotel, which is part of the castle gatehouse and has amazing views. It's beautiful, quiet, and ridulously cheap (30 euros per night for a double room) and even in August, when Bucharest swelters in 35-40 degrees, up in the mountains the night chill forces you to snuggle up close!
Il Ngwesi is a beautiful eco-lodge run by the local Laikipiak Maasai tribe in the breathtaking Savannah north of Mount Kenya. It is very remote. We went for our silver wedding anniversary and flew in over Treetops Lodge in a three-seater plane. We were the only ones staying and were met on the air strip and taken to our accommodation, the Prince William Banda, overlooking a waterhole. It was open plan in every sense, including the toilet and shower! We did sleep under the thatched roof the first night, but after that it was under the stars. We were superbly looked after by the Maasai; the walking safaris, sundowners and bush breakfasts were superb and the horizon pool looking over the savannah and back drop of hills was divine. A truly romantic place as I am sure the previous residents, William Wales and Kate Middleton, would concur.
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