A wonderful hotel with the friendliest, most helpful and attentive owners and staff you could ever wish for.
It's three minutes from the centre of the action and yet it's a tranquil oasis even on party nights. I don't know how they avoid getting all the noise but they do and it's brilliant.
By the way there are no cars, motorbikes or dogs on this island. There are mosques but I found it easy to tune them out.
PLACES TO STAY
We were happy with the Cherifa Suite (approximately $200/night) at Madada Mogador. Nice, contemporary style; convenient location (just inside the medina); pleasant manager who is happy to provide advice and answer questions; and a ginormous deck. And, the liquor store is only a 15-minute walk.
THINGS TO DO
- Have a drink at the Taros rooftop deck. Pretty people, pretty views.
- It's cliche but, see The Ramparts at dusk.
- Get scrubbed at the Hammam Lilla Mira. This was the (unexpected) highlight of our trip to Essaouira.
- Buy argan oil. You'll never find it this cheap in The States.
- Visit Galerie d'Art Damgaard. Stunning pieces by local artists on sale for reasonable prices.
- Treat yourself to aperitifs (and impressive, complementray hors d'ouevres) in the Heure Bleu lounge.
WHERE TO EAT
- Have a drink on the rooftop deck at Taros. Beautiful view; even beautiful-er people.
- Dine at Le Patio. Sophisticated, yet homey. DO order seafood.
- Lunch at Creperie for a safe, no-nonsense crepe in a convenient location.
- Aperitif It at the Heure Bleu's swanky cocktail lounge. The (complementary) "bar snacks" are first-class.
- Dine at Restaurant La Licorne. Charming. Order the Lyonnaise salad (trust me on this).
Full Essaouira trip report (plus Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains) at: www.travelmusings.net/morocco/
We had a fantastic romantic break for three nights in Moy House in August 2009. The house has been beautifully restored and our room was large with lovely antique furniture and a wonderful view over the sea. We were lucky to have calm, sunny weather interspersed with some great Atlantic storms which we enjoyed from the warmth and cosiness of our room. We had dinner in the restaurant one night which was excellent and the breakfasts were also very good and hearty. Brid and the other staff made us feel very welcome and we do hope we get the chance to go back some day. Moy House is on the outskirts of a small village called Lahinch which has basic shops and a couple of good restaurants. It is a short drive from the Cliffs of Moher and other interesting spots along the west coast.
We spent six nights in this hotel in 2008. It is in a great location in Sultanahmet near the Grand Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque (which you have a great view of from the rooftop breakfast room) and Aya Sofia, as well as being a few steps from the tram that takes you across town. Our room was spacious and clean and we could hear the call to prayer, though luckily not enough for it disrupt our sleep! In any case, being able to hear the call to prayer adds to the experience of being in such a fascinating city. We loved our visit to Istanbul and would like to go again. If we do we plan to stay at Hotel Nena again.
Valle Fértil is a really charming small town north of San Juan in northern Argentina. It was our base for visiting the nearby parks of Ischigualasto and Talampaya, both of which are impressive. The town is compact with some good restaurants and shops. The town square was very much where the action took place with locals promenading around it in the warm evenings while children played until late in the night. The town generally has a very safe and inviting atmosphere and we much preferred it to the larger and soulless San Juan. Our stay however was really made by the accommodation we chose at the Hotel Rustico Cerro de Valle. The owners Mario and Marisa could not have made us feel more welcome. The hotel is very comfortable and clean and they have a spotlessly clean pool, which we much appreciated in the hot weather! For those who like to stay in touch electronically, it is worth noting that there are two or three internet cafes in the town however the connection is pretty slow. The bus service from San Juan was very good. It took around two hours with a toilet/snack stop midway. Connections onwards leave at fairly inhospitable hours so we went back to San Juan in order to continue our trip north.
I had a perfect, hassle free experience in booking and staying at Future Inns and the restaurant wasn't too bad either. Going by the rather unusual name of Fishbones, they do indeed have more than a few decent fish dishes. I went for the breaded sardines as this seemed to be a 'proper' fish dish and I wasn't disappointed. Almost as good as some of the fish mezes I have enjoyed in Cyprus.
Independent four-star hotel about 10 minutes walk to the north of the city centre. It is part of a renovated former military hospital, but you would never realise that from the place today. Our room looked out over water. The decoration was contemporary Finnish, the rooms are spacious and the whole place had a vigorously healthy feel about it. Excellent buffet breakfast.
Kasarmintie 13, PO Box 404, 90101 Oulu
tel: +358 (0)20 757 4700
Google map: tinyurl.com/32gpkos
A beautiful laid back, romantic, beach hotel, where you really do feel like a castaway.
The airy cottages are extremely comfortable and spacious, with good bathroom, huge bed and covered terrace with hammocks and seating. They are well spaced out so all you can hear is the ocean.
The food is excellent, with the emphasis on fish for lunch and dinner.
You can spend all day chilling on the beach but there are other activities, such as the walk around the lagoon through the forest, kayaking round the lagoon and boogie boarding. There are no motorised beach activities, which is a bonus.
The lodge is involved in a turtle conservation project so sometimes you can see the baby turtles hatching, unfortunately that didn't happen while we were there but it must be fantastic.
There were quite a few honeymooners there while we were and I can see why.
This is a great, good value hotel in the old 'East' side of Berlin. It is a short walk from the upcoming Friedrichshain neighbourhood, cafe society Kreuzberg and a U-Bahn away from the major sites in Mitte.
The staff are on hand to give practical advice at all hours and are friendly. The 'cosy' rooms are just that and may not suit some people - the best rooms are the larger doubles overlooking the courtyard. The best bit is surely the decor and comfort of the reception area which has lounge sofas, books and coffees to help overcome the inevitable hangovers.
War lover attached to my name is our room name in the hotel as rooms are identified by names rather than numbers. The location of the hotel is ideal. The room sizes are not standard - request the bigger size -it is much more comfortable. The breakfast was simple but very good and the staff are very good starting from Adnan, the manager, who is very proud of his hotel and whose vast knowledge was very useful in helping us. Oufoq (horizon in Turkish) is exceptionally nice, honest and helpful. Twice he made bookings for us and ensured the best seats by personally calling the functions managers.
From Islay, island of peaty malts and soft woven tweeds, take the Calmac ferry to Colonsay. At low tide, walk across the Strand to the mystical priory of Oronsay, listening for the mournful cry of the corncrake as you go. Feast on local seafood - the oysters here and on Islay are incredible - at the Colonsay hotel, and take the return ferry - you'll get the same views as the Queen will be getting this week from Hebridean Princess.
Southern Hebrides, via Calmac ferries from Kennacraig in Argyll. Accessible from Glasgow by dedicated bus.
Isle of Colonsay, Argyll, PA61 7YU
01951 200 316 or 312
Google map: tinyurl.com/3289hfk
Wonderful hotel inside the walls, very close to the main shopping streets and sights. Beautiful, first floor rooms and suites (only six in all). Really friendly, helpful staff and the best breakfast anywhere (the coffee is superb.) Really should be better known.
Elegant boutique guesthouse and restaurant in the most unspoiled part of Turkey. The interior design is exquisite, rooms are comfortable and the food rivals that in any of the best restaurants I have eaten at in Paris, London, Istanbul, Melbourne or New York. The price is very reasonable considering the excellent quality.
Waterloo Lodge is a Georgian Townhouse and the reason I want to let you know about it is because it has great family rooms. I always find this difficult when travelling with the kids. They have rooms with a huge double bed which three of us used and then two singles. The room had lots of space for our bags and lots of space to move around, nice and bright and we had a car space and a fantastic breakfast included and would you believe all for an excellent price. We stayed on longer in Dublin because of finding the Hotel.
We have stayed at this lovely boutique hotel between July 5th and 10th. Perfect location in walking distance to all historical attractions Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. Very attentive staff and beautifully decorated spacious rooms.
Akbiyik Cad. No:32 Sultanahmet-Istanbul. 0090 533 4886325. www.themillenniumsuites.com
OK, it's rather grand for a beer garden - but if there is a more peaceful and beautiful spot to sip your after-dinner drink or while away a long afternoon, I've yet to find it. Even though The Village (yes, the one from 60s TV hit The Prisoner) is a major tourist spot, its artfully artless design creates tiny oases of quiet and country-house comfort. When the sun shines (and it does, often) Portmeirion's secluded mountain setting with its forests and riverside beaches feels more like Italy than Wales, and is irresistibly photogenic. If it's cold, there's a beautiful bar and restaurant in the hotel. Perfect white sands, deep green forests, gardens to rival any in Britain, unique settings, a luxurious interior and great food and drink - why would anyone try to escape?
Portmeirion, Gwynedd, LL48 6ER, Wales
Nearest stations: Minffordd is a 20-minute stroll up a tree-lined lane; Porthmadog is less than ten minutes away by taxi.
Google map: tinyurl.com/3a2jdwj
This is possibly the best hotel in Dubai, if you are looking for the type of quality you might need from a top business trip. The service is probably globally second to none. Forget the gaudiness of the Burj Al Arab, this one gets my vote
Infinity pool with great views of Dubai. Drinks and snacks available, children are not admitted. Day visitors can pay to use all the hotel's leisure facilities.
It's got a spectacular view of Kowloon - both by day and also at night - when the neon signs light up the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district. Part of the top floor health club for guests, this is a great place to relax, unwind and keep fit when enjoying a visit to Hong Kong, and it gives a fresh perspective on the place.
It's on the edge of Verona city centre, 10 minutes walk from Piazza San Zeno and 20 from Via Roma (and the bus into town stops right outside) - but the San Marco's Unique Selling Point is its pool. Squeezed onto the north side of the hotel, it only gets the sun until the afternoon, but if you want to cool off in an outdoor pool in Verona, there's no competition - and by the pool is as good a place as any to eat an evening meal from the restaurant alongside. (There's an indoor pool and spa too for a price.)
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com