The seaside is the only proper place for a stay in a B&B. The excellent Redcliffe Hotel on Scarborough's South Cliff has it all. Set back from the Esplanade, on leafy Prince of Wales Terrace, it's a short walk to the beach and the town centre. The rooms (some with sea view) are spotless and stylish, with all the extras - such as hairdryer, iron, tea, coffee and Kit Kats. There is a cosy bar and a fabulous first floor lounge with big comfy sofas, books and games.
Ann, the wonderful owner, was born to run a hotel. All her guests return over and over again, and she has entertaining stories to tell that are worth the room rate alone!
Her husband, Brian, makes the best breakfast bar none. The full English is on offer in every combination you could wish for, served with a mountain of toast. Or there's smoked haddock, eggs done every which way and a table groaning with fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurt. All served rather elegantly on thick white linen tablecloths in the charming dining room.
Before she bought Airlie house, owner Jacquie spent years travelling on business and finding out what works and what doesn’t, so the mirrors are at the right height for women to use and there are wine glasses to borrow in the sitting room. What really makes Airlie unusual is that one room is fully wheelchair accessible while still being as stylish as all the others, and you can even bring your dog. The house is immaculate, the breakfast large and the beautiful scenery of the Trossachs is right on the doorstep.
Tony and Olga really make guests feel at home at Strumhor, just outside Oban. As well as the huge breakfasts, guests can also arrange to have dinner in the house. You can sit in the conservatory just watching the Falls of Lora below, or if you’re feeling energetic Tony can take you out canoeing. When we asked one night if it was their open fire we were sitting in front of after our day out exploring he said, “Yes, but on Monday you’ll be at work and I’ll still be here.” Lucky him.
Great family accommodation just moments from the Accademia and vapparetto. Rooms located in a 15th Century building. We had a gorgeous quad room, comfy beds and a wonderful breakfast included.
Dorsoduro 995, 30123 Venice, Italy
+39 041 2960725
A Londoner from Ireland running a B&B in the heart of Welsh speaking Snowdonia. Warm welcome from former fire fighter Dennis Sullivan with his array of fireman’s axes in reception. ‘They don’t make them like this any more, you know’. Traditional Welsh breakfast served upstairs, from the Aga downstairs, with views over the Vale of Ffestiniog. Across the field the grand house that some say Hitler had earmarked for his Welsh retreat. Instead of giving directions Dennis, with Albert the black Labrador, took me along the lanes and across the fields to the local pub in Maentwrog. Next day we kayaked past Portmeirion. What a host - thanks Dennis.
We had a lovely stay here in June this year. The location is super convenient, with both Reine and Svolvær within easy reach of the rorbu, and plenty of opportunities for good hikes in the area (Stamsundsheia for great vistas for example). The rorbu itself is cosy, and features all mod cons. Plus the people who run the place are friendly and helpful, and make every effort to ensure your stay there is a pleasant one. They certainly did with us. We spent six nights there but could easily have spent a month! Thoroughly recommended :-)
Hidden just at the edge of the ramparts of Tangier's casbah high above the medina, is this gem of a small hotel with only ten rooms. During restoration work the owners discovered an old hammam within their walls, which now is the secret centrepiece of the hotel. Sooner or later you will share a beer with your convivial host and he will offer to introduce you to the oldest form of wellness - his master of ceremony will heat the private hamman with fire wood, give you a perfect rubdown in the steamy marbled vaults scented in oriental fragrances and wrap you in cosy blankets afterwards. Fresh mint tea on the diwans on the roof terrace overlooking both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean complete the joutney back to the old Tangier of poets, spies and smugglers ...
Quirky, arty, offbeat Truth or Consequences is the small New Mexico town that changed its name for a radio programme in the 1950s. It used to be called Hot Springs and is built over thermal waters. There are plenty of small motels with their own hot tubs, some restored and some a little more genuinely 'vintage'.
The town is a wonderful base for exploring New Mexico and the spring waters are wonderful.
The Blackstone is a beautifully restored motel, tasteful but kitsch themed rooms each with their own hotspring tub.
The main street has cafes, galleries, thrift stores and vintage shops, one called Red Bone was the best we visited in the South West.
And it's delightfully cheap, lots of the motels let you pay just to use their hot springs even if you're not staying.
Finca al-manzil is a wonderful place to stay in the Sierra de Montanchez of Extremadura, the most undiscovered region of Spain. It's near three world heritage towns, Trujillo, Merida and Caceres. The finca is in beautiful scenery with great walking, bird watching and site seeing possibilities. Very comfortable and great atmosphere, I stayed in the barn which is self catering, a lovely space with views over the olive groves, no neighbours, just peace and beauty. Spring was spectacular.
This is a very special riad located in the Medina of Marrakech. I stayed there four days with my boyfriend, and we loved Dar Darma! Our Mirror Suite was beautiful with a nice living room and beautiful mirrors. We also had a cookery lesson with the chef of Dar Darma and it was so funny!
11/12, Trik (rue) Sidi Bohuarba, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco
00212 5 24 38 07 08
This is a country house hotel, ideally situated if you have to catch a morning ferry from Plymouth. We stayed two nights for a family wedding and the food was excellent. The highlight however was the breakfast, the full English of course. Tasty sausages, organic eggs and properly cured bacon are all sourced locally. The breakfast was the best we've eaten anywhere and my husband is very fussy about his sausages! Excellent bread, a plethora of cereals and pastries and friendly service. The hotel isn't large - the term boutique springs to mind - and is set in pretty gardens close to the village of Plympton St Maurice. Apparently it was once a nunnery.
We found this hotel in Rome's center, amazing price and friendly staff, we were satisfied. An excellent quality price hotel. Basic but very clean double room. Perfect location for the public transportation.
It's a luxury hotel in the centre of Havana with great views of the capital building. On the top floor is an open swimming pool, where you can sit besides the pool at night, sipping rum and coke, looking up at the stars while the hustle and bustle of Havana goes on in the streets.
Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta, Habana Vieja, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Google map: bit.ly/fRou4u
We have just returned from a week in this beautiful villa and felt compelled to post it because it was such amazing value for money (£60 each per night!) and very lovely.
It was just the two of us but we got the run of the whole place. There was a free shuttle to the centre of the marrakech but we found it hard to drag ourselves away from the private pool and garden so only used it once. The lovely housekeeper deserves special mention - her cooking was sublime.
+44 (0)20 8940 9493
It's a Hotel with spectacular panoramic views over the Kathmandu Valley. I'm recommending it for the views of the sunrise over the Himalayas and Everest. We travelled there during the start of October and it was spectacular. It has a good vibe and if busy is really good fun. If they offer it, take the 5.30am trip to the viewing point on top of the mountain, it's worth it.
Mahankal Temple, Nagarkot, Nepal
Google map: bit.ly/h5z9Tm
0977 - 1- 6680011 (mobile inside Nepal: 016680011)
0977 - 1- 6680109 (mobile inside Nepal: 016680109)
The truth is, every time I’ve done the Dunwich beach walk, scrunching along marvelling at the fact that the place was once a mile inland, I’ve been frozen by icy spray, or blinded by driving sleet. But that’s the secret pleasure of this bracing Suffolk coastal walk, anticipating a real fire, home cooked food and real ale at the cosy Ship Inn. Next summer I’ll stay at the inn (children and dogs welcome), venture into the conservatory and garden, and explore Dunwich Heath for nightjars and butterflies. Meanwhile, as you walk on the beach, listen carefully - you might hear the ghostly bells of All Saints Church, long ago drowned by the encroaching sea.
Really nice modern townhouse, well equipped and close to the centre of town. Great views across the harbour and up and down river. We'll certainly book again.
At Athole House, just a few minutes walk from the centre of Bath, owner Wolfgang makes his own muesli to Bircher's original Swiss recipe. The bread is home made every day too, as are the fruit salad and the buttermilk pancakes. We stayed for three days and ate so well each morning that we never needed food again until five in the afternoon.
Pub Walk. Middleham-E.Witton-Middleham
Distance: 5 miles
Park in the market place at Middleham, where pubs are slightly outnumbered by racing stables (buses run from Richmond via Leyburn and Ripon via Masham). Watch out for the strings of racehorses coming down from the gallops on Middleham Moor as you find your footpath. This leaves the town by the side of the 12th century castle, northern power base of Richard III, which dominates the small town. Follow the path past William's Hill, site of an earlier motte and bailey castle, down to the banks of the River Cover. Turn up Coverdale,keeping an eye open for Dippers, to reach a stone footbridge, Hullo Bridge, which crosses the Cover. Turn downstream and climb gently across the meadows beneath E.Witton Lodge to pick up West Field Lane which takes you to the top end of E. Witton. The Blue Lion is at the bottom of the wide green lined with Dales cottages. Stone-flaged floors, open log fire, Hand-pulled ales,good wine list, excellent food - if you can't bear to leave they have accommodation! However, if you do decide to return then retrace your steps up to the top of the green and then turn to the right to follow a path down through the meadows to cross the River Cover by a set of large stepping stones - not really advisable after heavy rain, when Hullo Bridge is a better bet. Climb up the slope into Strait Lane and across Chapel Fields (watch out for hares) to the footpath past the castle and into Middleham.
A walk of three very different ‘halves’ followed by a great Dales pub. The first leg climbs out of Reeth in Swaledale up to the lead mining hamlet of Hurst; the second passes through industrial heritage with the remains of lead mines, until it opens out with a fine view down the Dale, the third descends to the valley and follows Arkle Beck back to Reeth. Facing the village green is the Black Bull with an open fire, real ale and wholesome pub food. It welcomes kids and dogs and even has a back-to-front clock on the wall. It’s so good, I do it every year on my birthday.
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