This is an excellent auberge type of accommodation at Ait Oufi in the Dades Gorge, a stunning area of Morocco north west of the desert. We took this route on our way over to the coast south of Agadir. Unfortunately we were short of time so only had one night here with Ismail, his sister and brother. We would certainly return to experience more of the excellent menus on offer and also the chance to take guided tours in the area, led personally by Ismail. The brothers are all very innovative and skilled at providing a range of services to their guests. Ismail speaks excellent English.
You will certainly have a wonderful culinary experience as they have expertise at providing dishes you would not expect to be served in Morocco - e.g. amuse bouchee of goat's cheese and roast pepper served in a pastry tartlet, butternut squash soup, timbale of rice with pigeon stuffed with mushrooms. To finish we had the most scrumptious sugar tart. All of this provided a most welcome change after two weeks of tagine and couscous. Post-dinner stories all sincerely related gave us a real insight into the past life and experiences of this berber family. Any journalist seeking a heart-warming story would find some good copy here.
I stayed at this beautiful five-star boutique hotel in Luang Prabang. The surrounding countryside was beautiful, the facilities were amazing and the service was the best I have ever known. They helped us with many day trips and their knowledge about the surrounding area was top notch. I highly recommend this gem.
Panivol is a beautiful blue-shuttered ferme-auberge set in the Périgord-Limousin regional natural park. We loved it here because of the views, the building, the small restaurant with its old tiled floor, the goats and farm animals and the freshly prepared specialities from the farm. Whilst limited in choice, daily specials include sorrel or wild garlic omelette and civet de canard with local chestnuts. Finish with œufs à la neige sprinkled with wild strawberries. Last time we dined here one of the free range chickens (the kind that looks as if it is wearing big fluffy ankle socks) amusingly wandered into the dining area in amongst the tables and guests. Rooms are also available if you wish to stay.
Riyad Al Moussika is a beautiful, peaceful place to relax and unwind after a busy day sightseeing and shopping in the souks! Just a five minute walk from the main square, it is the perfect place to stay. We stayed in the green room which had it's own roof terrace, perfect for a bit of sunbathing. The room was spotless, with a view over the beautiful courtyard and pool. The breakfasts were great, as was the complimentary mint teas and pastries. We booked one evening in the restaurant of the riad, which was the best meal we had throughout our stay in Marrakech. The manager and staff were always friendly and willing to help. Would definitely recommend.
On a recent travel forum, somebody asked ‘ Is Marseillan in the Languedoc really as lovely as people say it is?' The answer is a resounding yes. Just walk down to the pretty little port and take in the view - sail boats bobbing on the silvery waters of the saltwater lagoon, and holiday cruisers drawn up to the moorings where a choice of restaurants awaits the lucky traveller. The impressive Chateau de Port, now a restaurant, looks out to sea, flanked by the cellars of local winemaker Henri de Richemer.
Your choice for lunch – Rive Gauche or Rive Droite ? Go left and a dozen waterside restaurants await, offering you everything from fresh shellfish to crepes and fresh salads. Go right, and choose from the fine dining at the Chateau to pizzas or oysters and a glass of Picpoul at the tiny fish stall.
But the really great thing about Marseillan is that it isn’t just a chic tourist façade, but a proper working town. The church square buzzes on Tuesday with the street market, the little indoor Halles opens daily for fruit, veg, fish and cheese. The Boulevard Hotel in the town centre offers steaks cooked on an open fire, or go to the Table d’Emilie for Michelin-style dining. The Bar Marine is where the local stop to people watch over a coffee, a Ricard, or to watch the evening footie on big screens. The Delicatessen restaurant is decorated with retro furnishings, and spills out into the shadow of the church on summer days.
Plunge into the narrow lanes of the pedestrianised old town for shady relief from the sun, where visitors and locals live happily side by side. And when you need a dip, clean, sandy uncrowded Mediterranean beaches are just five minutes away.
Throughout the town, tiny shellfish stalls packed with freshly harvested oysters and mussels raise their shutters at lunchtime and evenings. Locals queue for a kilo or two of oysters – this isn’t overpriced food for the few, but the local diet, cheap as chips. The Picpoul de Pinet wine which is only grown in this area is the perfect accompaniment – sit in any local restaurant and watch the two being enjoyed together. Visit the Picpoul domains which dot the area, and marvel at how many labels can thrive in such a small locality.
Marseillan really is a French town like no other, worth a visit at any time of the year. Buses connect with Beziers Cap d’Agde airport for the princely sum of 1.5 euros making it an easy place to visit for a short break without a car.
Sit on the terrace at sunset above the Metate restaurant at the Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park, and you could be forgiven for thinking you have died and gone to heaven. The view is as far as the eye can see, and as the sun goes down the day-trippers leave the park to the wildlife and those few lucky enough to be staying the night at the lodge or nearby campsite. The rooftop bar serves unusual cocktails, including a delicious Prickly Pear Margherita. Liberally apply mosquito repellant and sit outside to watch the elk walking by almost close enough to touch. Sheer bliss.
First of all, the south east coast is definitely the better place to be in Zanzibar - it is not as crowded as the north (ie. Nungwi and Kendwa). Paje is the next busiest place, but Ndame is perfectly located - near enough to walk to the action, but you can also just hang out there and you have no hassle. The lodge has meters and meters of beachfront, the rooms all dotted along the front and the restaurant has some delicious food! Most importantly, the staff are super-friendly and you think like they really enjoy working there - you don't find that in many places.
Ndame is not super luxury, but it is exactly why it is so nice - you just feel relaxed and at home there.
A lovely, laid-back, quiet rooftop bar and restaurant, with views of the Potala Palace. Pretty much only used by hotel guests, so not raucous, and with no-one hassling you for your table like the rooftop places off Barkhor Square. A perfect place for breakfast, or to let the afternoon and evening slip by.
No. 16 Taibeng Gang Wengdui Xingka Sangdong Yuan Lhasa, Tibet, China
+86 (891) 632 6695
The epitomy of a roof top bar. Set of the 17th floor of the hotel, the only access is via a lift with its own doorman. The food is incredible, the cocktails are amazing and served until 2am. The clientele are hip and occasionally famous.
B&B, with licensed bar, overlooking the North Shore of the town. Fantastic hearty Yorkshire breakfasts which should keep you going all day. Jude and Alan are very knowledgeable about places to eat and drink in the town. The place was so good we stayed an extra night. Ask for a sea view when booking.
From the moment we were greeted with 'Welcome to Paradise' at Bequia airport by our wonderful driver, Thaddius, we stepped into another world. Jasmine at Ylang Ylang is just fabulous. To think of it as a suite is to underplay it - it's a massive apartment, with a great American-style kitchen, very comfortable sitting room (although we lived outside most of the time), and three big double ensuite bedrooms - the one we used has gorgeous views across the pool to the bay. The massive outdoor gazebo with barbecue kitchen and furnishings is to die for. Owners Ian and Barbara have provided every possible home comfort, and with maid service and gardener/pool cleaner, you will really feel as though you have landed in the lap of luxury. A short walk down the hill takes you to a track which leads to the bayside walkway past bars, cafes and restaurants, and if you want to go further, call for or flag down a taxi, or climb aboard the dollar bus with the locals - great fun.
Bequia is a gorgeous little island, and this villa is a perfect place to enjoy it.
It is indeed a fabulous resort, in a very beautiful setting. Great services, excellent restaurants, and the room was also very nice. There is a lot to do in the area, the town of Fethiye is pretty and very active, but if you just want to laze in the hotel you will still have a great time!
On the 14th floor of a recently built hotel, you can drink and eat, and gaze at two thirds of Berlin. Favoured seats are along the west facing windows for sunset. Stunning!
Carpe Diem, built in the traditional local timber style, sits high above the lovely fishing village of Castara. Deigned by an English couple, Chris and Yvonne, Carpe Diem's two studios and top floor apartment enjoy fabulous views and gorgeous sunsets. The village of Castara is quite unspoilt, with great little local bars, cafes and restaurants - some of them right on the sand - friendly locals and pretty much everything you might need to buy from Bingy's tiny food store. His wife Hazel bakes wonderful bread to order, or you can go to the ladies who bake a whole variety of bread and cakes in the clay oven on the beach. Chris and Yvonne have a network of local drivers and guides who can show you the island (including a hike through the rainforest), and you get great value from your TTs - Trinidad and Tobago dollars. But if you don't want to go far, just sit on the balcony of Carpe Diem and enjoy the magical view.
My wife and I stayed two weeks in Lecce staying at La Piazzetta B&B. Was a great choice, lovely accommodation in very central location and the staff were really helpful and pleasant. The room was clean and well appointed, and the bed comfortable and we had daily breakfast served in-room at an agreed time. The room was cleaned every two days, we had fresh towels every two days and bedding every three days. We were able to walk from the hotel to many sights. The area around is packed with restaurants, which some are quite cheap, and Lecce's buzzing night life is next door. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. It's not a luxury hotel but is perfect if you are looking for somewhere nice to sleep at an affordable price.
This hotel is not only charming but has aimed their service toward selective discerning clients. It is in a very convenient place in the Buda district which is great in the evening, excellent restaurants within a minute's walk. The hotel is decorated in a modern way this mixed with excellent specification in furniture and bathrooms made our stay very memorable and I would definitely recommend this hotel.
Room Tip: excellent junior suite on the ground floor.
The castle is UNESCO heritage listed and its baroque 140 seat theatre is only one of five in the world. The town (pop.c 10,000) is full of fascinating renaissance and baroque buildings and due to the old brewery being the birth place of composer Smetana, there is a strong musical tradition in the town. The monastery gardens and its highly individual sculptures with subtle background music are a further attraction as is the very good and cheap beer and food. The stylish Hotel Aplaus offers double rooms from 2,600czk. To cool off, a visit to the old fashioned outdoor lido is a must.
Leaving a disappointingly grey, drizzly Lake Balaton, I needed to raise my spirits. I’d spotted a hotel on my map, at Retimajor among wetlands 30 miles away. As our shadows lengthened over the fields of sweetcorn and sunflowers, my bicycle and I sped along quiet lanes, to the tranquil haven of Retszilas Fishponds Nature Reserve. Despite having no booking, I was made welcome in an airy suite. As the sun set I watched waders and waterbirds settling for the night. Hungary’s only museum of fishery, a wellness centre and fishermen’s inn complement the outdoor activities.
Less than 100 miles apart, these South Moravian towns are linked by good cycling routes, vineyards around the River Morava, the heady smell of flowering lime trees, buildings of Baroque splendour, palaces and gardens, and market square cafes. In Kromeriz the highlight was Radnice restaurant serving a degustation menu with samples of local wine. In Mikulov, the Hotel Templ provided a comfortable room and excellent food, and was a good base for a day’s circular cycle route exploring the former Liechtenstein palaces of Valtice and Lednice, and the former Jewish area of Mikulov itself.
It is a new chateau, ugly from the outside but great on the inside in the middle of the Rose Valley. Whether sitting on the terrace and looking at both the Balkan and Sredna Gora Ranges a few miles apart or eating, hiking or visiting history in the vicinity, at £35 a night its a steal.
Moskovits, nr Karlovo
+359 882 645 452
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