This hotel is too rarefied to really feel like Jamaica, but the view from its terrace out over Kingston is worth making a trip fior. The road can be pretty perilous, and often flooded, but it takes you into the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and lush tropical rainforest.
Either go at dusk, for a sunset cocktail, so you can see the lights of Kingston come out beneath you like upside down stars. Or go for Sunday brunch, and get a rare glimpse of the Kingston elite at play.
Irish Town, St Andrew, 876- 944-8400
About a 50 minute drive from Kingston.
Sitting high above Port Antonio - you'll need a decent car or a high level of tolerance for bumpy local taxis - Jamaica Heights enjoys superb views over the town and countryside. So it's the perfect place to watch huge rainclouds blow in from the sea and back out again, hear local sound systems gearing up for the weekend, and enjoy lazy days on your own. Owner Helmut Steiner is a fund of knowledge about the local area, so what this place lacks in creature comforts is readily compensated by its unique spirit and character.
This wonderful restaurant and hotel is a big old house where they source the food locally with fish from Ballycotton, superb beef from Cloyne, vegetables from their own gardens and cheese from local indepedent cheesemakers. If you have the time do visit Ballymaloe Cookery School. Their cookbook is well worth buying.
Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Midleton, Co Cork.
Tel: +353 (0) 21 464 6785.
Ballymaloe is about 20 miles east of Cork.
If you're treating yourself, the Mena House Oberoi has got to be the swankiest hotel in Egypt. Built in the shadow of the pyramids, it has a great pool and the best Indian restaurant I've encountered outside India. It's truly stunning. And having your breakfast looking out at the pyramids is something else. The rooms aren't anywhere near as luxurious as the Al Moudira in Luxor but it's an amazing place. And wandering up to the pyramids after breakfast (as soon as they open) means beating the throngs.
Mena House Oberoi, Pyramids Road, Giza,
Tel : 00 20 2 377 3222, 377 3444
Situated in a boring and slightly scruffy building, this place is a real find. The three-star Longchamps Hotel is on one of the upper floors and, with two large terraces, is one of the most relaxing places in Cairo. Its decor could be described as a mix of elegant, Bohemian and ethnic. But what most people find surprising is the food. Menus are simple but dishes are invariably delicious to the point of being memorable. If you are looking for somewhere inexpensive, quiet, clean and pleasant to stay in Cairo, this is it.
Hotel Longchamps, 21 Ismail Mohamed Street, Zamalek. 3409644
Tel : 00 20 2 735 2311/12.
This is a little gem! It's all about windsurfing, yoga, kitesurfing but in a fantastically relaxed and friendly environment that is off the beaten track and feels like you have really escaped.
Even though I was on my own, it was really easy to fit in and great to try something as full on as kitesurfing on a huge natural lagoon area, but then get into yoga as well. It's close enough to Cairo to get to see the pyramids which are really awesome. Moonbeach itself is a 3 star kind of hotel, or there is a new, bigger very nice 4 star Green hotel beside the kite lagoons. There are flight options every day and it felt like a very tailor made holiday - without the price tag!
Moonbeach is in Ras Sudr which is halfway between Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh
Tel: 44 1580 753824
Nice clean hotel, very central, a couple of minutes from the station. Good breakfast, clean comfortable rooms and nice staff. There is a good Italian restaurant a couple of seconds away.
Schiller Strasse, opposite the side entrance to the Hauptbahnhof.
It's not even close to a 3 star hotel but the people who work there are really friendly and gave us such great advice. They even advised us on places to stay in Dahab and Luxor. Great food and a very safe, cheap place to stay near the Egyptian Museum.
Sharia Mahmoud, Bassiouni 26
Situated in the heart of Palermo Viejo, this boutique style hotel offers comfortable rooms (more than 5!), friendly and helpful staff and a beautiful roof top with a small jacuzzi pool.
Boutique-style hotel in a carefully modernised manor house. The rooms are small but tastefully and comfortably furnished. Food is good. Service is relaxed and friendly. I had the most relaxing break just over 3 hours from home. Best to fly with TAP direct from Gatwick.
Estalgem Quinta Mirabela, Caminho do Monte, Funchal, Madeira
This hotel is an excellent bargain for those who want to be based out near the pyramids. It has all the usual facilities of the InterContinental chain (large outdoor pool and a good variety of restaurants) and offers a relaxing haven away from the chaos of central Cairo. Advance purchase double rooms are available for as little as £30 a night on the hotel’s website.
InterContinental Pyramids Park Resort Cairo, Alexandria Desert Road, PO Box 70, Pyramids, Giza, Egypt.
Tel: (00 20) 2 8388 300
This is definitely one of the best backpackers I have stayed at. Absolutely the best, friendliest staff and one of the most relaxed places you can stay at in Durban.
It's the only surviving Chinese mansion house outside of china. It is a great little boutique hotel for those fed up with the homogenous hotels of Asia. It is full of character, charm and a sense of grandure. Do check out the website and I am sure you'll agree!
Very well known hotel, very expensive to stay there but a must for anyone on a visit to Singapore is afternoon tea and a Singapore sling in the lobby area of the Raffles Hotel. It's one of those fantastic experiences and a defo must. Dress smartly.
Very local to city, just ask any locals who are very friendly to direct you.
A fab place a short way out of the city, good bus route straight there. Kind of theme park which is excellent and fantastic beach and hotels, if you can have a night there defo recommend it.
Just a short bus ride out of the city
62 Castle St was formally known as the Trials Hotel and it has been re-opened and fully refurbished to make it a stunning boutique hotel. Each of the 20 bedrooms is unique. As it is a luxury hotel it is slightly dearer than some of your regular hotels but prices start at around £145 and increase to £175 for the Grand Suite. This hotel is located in the heart of the Liverpool business quarter so is in easy reach of shops, bars and restaurants.
Good hotel in the heart of Lhasa. Comfortable rooms which are clean and which sometimes have working heating. Great restaurant downstairs - try a yak burger for novelty, momos for pleasure and yak butter tea for punishment. Great place to stay. If you're starting off in Lhasa, it's a gentle introduction to Tibet. If you've crossed Lhasa to get here it will seem like the most luxurious hotel in the world. Reasonably priced.
Central Lhasa the address is:-
100 Beijing Dong Lu, Lhasa, Tibet, PRC
Tel: +86 891 6323496 ext.0 / 6364078
Fax: +86 891 6336845
This gorgeous, sexy boutique hotel is located in a row of Chinese shop houses and perfectly positioned to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Singapore's vibrant Chinatown. Book online at the hotel website for the best rates.
Erskine Road, +65 6511 3333
In August 2006 I was traveling from Rakwana to Aluthgama when I realised that I wouldn’t make the coast by night fall. My friend Lahiru lives in the Bulatsinhala area and he introduced me to the Field View Inn.
The rooms at the Field View Inn are clean and comfortable, they have attached shower room, fan and mosquito net (which I didn’t need).
Good food and drink is available in the large bar-restaurant up to 11pm. We had an excellent dinner of fried rice, with several cool lagers served by the friendly but incessantly polite staff. Next morning coffee was brought to our room and we took a walk through the friendly little town of Bulatsinhala before breakfast. The final bill came as a pleasant surprise, I couldn’t really ask for more.
This is not a tourist area, I was the only foreigner staying at the hotel, the other customers in the bar were all Sinhalese. However the decor suggests it might occasionally be busy with local wedding parties so it might be as well to telephone ahead and reserve your room. Tel: 034-2283021
From Colombo, it's about an hour drive to Horana where you can pick up direct and frequent buses to Bulatsinhala. Alternatively you can take a bus from Aluthgama to Matugama and pick up the Bulatsinhala bus there.
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