This is a gorgeous boutique hotel close to town centre. It has great staff, a pool and if available book the suite with a jacuzzi as it has fantastic views across town. Tip: hotel is fairly new and taxi drivers didn't know it nor the street its on so show them a map of where it is.
Las Higueras 104 - Tres Cerritos. Salta
Wurttemberg Palace is a jewel in Vienna's architectural crown. Lavish, luxurious room decor plus fine antique furnishings breathing the spirit of the 19C. Exclusive ambience and traditional food in the Imperial. Delicious cakes in the Café Imperial.
Kärntner Ring 16, www.hotelsresidences.com/austria-osterreich-vienna-wien-c-4_1.html
We went here for our honeymoon and despite the recent problems with Sri Lanka, this was the best holiday I have ever been on. We felt very safe in our hotel complex and didn't really need to leave it the whole time.
First off, it feels good to be able to rant about something I did on my trip aside from laze about Tuscany.... not that I would ever give up lazing about Tuscany for the world. But it's not the only region in Italy with breathtaking views, and Ravello did a great job of reminding me of that fact. It's also a good spot for daytripping up and down without the actual bombardment of tourists you'd get in say Sorrento (not that Ravello is tourist free, but Sorrento can be as bad as Venice with that).
Anyway, Palumbo is DeLuxe to the nines and the views are absolutely majestic. My room even had a lovely view and waking up to the sea and my own little balcony was absolutely divine. So I splurged again.... it was worth it for the service I got, the relaxation I enjoyed, not to mention the fabulous restaurant suggestions from the staff (including the hotel's own) and of course SEAFOOD which I love :).
Another thing that caught my eye aside from the general elegance is that a lot of the little knick knacks and antiques really are personal touches, and have been passed down through, I guess the proprietor's family, over the years. I like little touches like that and it definitely separates it in my mind from "just another luxury hotel."
Via Giovanni del Toro, 16 - 84010 Ravello (SA)
And so you know, I stayed in the "Persiana" room:
Imagine a giant heap of pink and gold tagliatelli dropped in the middle of vineyards in Rioja, Spain, and you have an idea of the Marqués de Riscal hotel, designed by Frank Gehry. It’s well worth a detour after visiting his Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, 100 kms to the north.
We were desperate for a closer look at this crazy and beautiful titanium tangle; but had to blag our way in, relayed by guards, under the pretext of being rich folk wanting afternoon tea on the terrace. The 5€ per cup was worth every cent, with tranquil views across to Elciego’s medieval church.
If you can afford the rooms they are as thrilling as the exterior. Otherwise a compensatory purchase of a bottle of Marqués de Riscal wine from the surrounding vineyard might ease your regret at having to leave.
Rooms €261 - €450 per night
By now it must be obvious that I'm hopelessly in love with Tuscany and its fabulous vistas, and Montecatini Terme doesn't disappoint at all.
Though the springs and spas that sprung up around them draw a fair bit of business, it's much less touristy than many other places in Tuscany one can hit. And why argue with a place where I can enjoy hot springs AND Tuscan cuisine?
At Ercolini & Savi, I was treated not only to a lovely stay by another warm, welcoming staff, but the restaurant was just FABULOUS. And when not eating in the hotel they were very kind with recommendations. Since they helped organize so much for me and gave me a stress free holiday I promised them I'd spread the word!
Via S. Martino 18 - 51016 - Montecatini Terme (PT)
Booked like most of my trip through my new best friends: www.italiancollection.com/en/ercolini-savi.html
Shetland's former capital is a village with 1,000 inhabitants and a small but busy boatyard. Very much a working community, Scalloway has much to attract the visitor in terms of history. Its hotel, located between the equally excellent museum and second hand bookstore/post office, offers great food at good prices. Much use is made of local produce, and the cuisine is Scottish/French - good attention to detail, and very attentive and friendly service. The hotel provides separate public bar and dining room - and the food can be enjoyed in either. The dining room has an air of formality about it, but is very family friendly. An imaginative menu, good cooking, and throughtful presentation. Three courses for two plus wine, coffee and an excellent selection of local cheeses - just under £100. Highly recommended.
Main St, Scalloway, Shetland, ZE1 0TR
Beautiful chateau hotel in Saumur in the Loire Valley. We stayed on our honeymoon. Not cheap, but not like a chain hotel.
The bedrooms are grand and full of antiques, family paintings and roll top baths (like staying with your wealthy grandmother!) The hosts are what really made it different; they're incredibly friendly and not at all snooty (as the people of Saumur are meant to be).
There's no restaurant but it is 15 min walk to the centre of Saumur where there are restaurants for every taste. The local Quincy wine comes highly recommended.
Saumur, Loire Valley.
Beautiful chateau hotel in a small village in the Loire Valley that we stayed in on our honeymoon. Not cheap, but the rooms are beautifully refurbished (contemporary take on traditional design and very well done) and the food is exceptional. Doesn't have a hotel feel and hosts very pleasant (felt like we were staying with wealthly friends!). Something to look at if you're looking for something quiet and quality. Good value we thought.
Reignac-sur-Indre, about 20 mins south east of Tours, on the way to Loches.
Montepulciano itself is a wonderful base for day trips throughout the region, and it really struck me since it's not as touristy and packed as many other places feel. It's still got its fair share of travellers, but it's not as stifling as say, Venice can be.
The scenery is straight from a fairy tale and the cuisine is beyond even that. Mix that with some architecture, and the destination is already perfect.
Perfect places are made more memorable by perfect places to stay, and this place took the cake on my last trip. It used to be a small village actually, but was remodelled as a hotel with all the modern amenities - yet it still has that homey-country feel, almost as if a well loved relative prepared everything exactly to your liking before check in.
Quiet, friendly, and absolutely beautiful with a terrace to take it all in, Borgo Tre Rose has relax written all over it and it's exactly what I wanted. The reception desk isn't 24-hour, but that's ok because at least they tell you. Get all your questions in by 19:30 (it closes at 20:00, so why make a poor receptionist suffer by prattling on at 19:55?....obviously they'll still help you then though, as I found when I needed a phone number urgently) and they're helpful as ever, with warm friendly smiles to boot.
For moments when you're not relaxing, the washing machine and internet point are really really convenient and to relax after all that, there are actually hot springs nearby (S. Albino).
Anyway, a great stay in a great place, and if you have a little more time than I usually do, look into regional wine tastings! Superb!
Via Dei Palazzi, 5 but these people were VERY helpful with all, including directions: www.italiancollection.com/en/hotel-borgo-tre-rose.html
I've never actually been very big on spending extended periods in Milan, but sometimes I have to appease my cousin, and the last three times he really met me halfway since booking was up to him.
He got me a room at Hotel Straf, which was cool enough to almost change my opinion of Milan, and definitely gave me the best stay. The staff was really helpful and professional, but took it to the next level and was genuinely FRIENDLY, which I know can be difficult with large chain hotels in any corner of the world.
24-hour reception and a gym was a nice plus, and leave it to my cousin to find me the place with the best bar :-)
As much as I love Italy for its history and antiquity, as well as ornate elegance, I'm equally drawn to modern decor and this place blows me away each time. The rooms are all unique with their own little touches, which just makes it more fun on every visit. Each time a pleasant surprise awaits me, though I must say I'm honestly in love with the brass and the black stone bathrooms (I can't remember the suite numbers now, sorry!). And the bar having massage chairs and aromatherapy rooms? EXQUISITE, absolutely exquisite! Anyway, this is definitely the place to stay in Milan, and very central, and it's definitely the place I'll be on my next trip.
Also, the booking agency speaks perfect English and is very prompt, so if you don't speak Italian, you can do this all yourself with a really user friendly site and don't have to go through cousins! And of course the hotel staff itself is well versed in more than two languages!
Here's where I booked: www.italiancollection.com/en/hotel-straf.html
Friendly people, cheap prices and nice Florentine furniture. It's an eco-friendly hotel, too.
First and foremost, this hotel is in a great location in a great city. Prague is rather compact and as the name suggests, it is near Prague Castle. Everywhere of interest is reachable by foot and we didn't use any public transport.
The room we got at the hotel was spacious and got a great deal of light, whereby we got a wonderful view of the little quarter. It was lovely and peaceful at night and hard to imagine the throngs of tourists that were in the city during the day.
The room was spotless and well decorated and the young staff were willing to bend over backwards to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
Nerudova 7, Prague 1
0800 883 0467
Zirndorf is a small town near Nuremberg and home of the Playmobil Fun Land. Hotel Knorz is a 20 minute walk along paths to Playmobil, signposted by Playmobil figures.
Hotel Knorz offers bed and breakfast in a 1960's built but refurbished building on 3 floors (no lift). They have serveral family apparments, which include a fridge, two ring electric cooker, kettle and crockery. So you can bring that fussy child and eat in.
Breakfasts are a buffet of cerals, cold meat, cheese, smoked salmon and fruit, with fresh rolls and croissants and hot chocolate and chocolate spread for the kids.
The hotel is down a quiet side road, but the garden rooms have the advantage of being away from what trafic there is.
Staff were very helpful and with only one exception spoke english very well. The families staying were all german apart from us.
Zirndorf is a very attractive town with many old buildings and lots of outdoor seating at restaurants and cafes.
0911 / 96 06 350
Nearest station is Zirndorf, which has a 30 min service Monday to Friday, hourly at weekends. Alternatively you can get the U3 tube and then bus 70 or 72 from central Nuremberg.
It is a 10 minute walk from the rail station to the hotel.
Circus hostel Buenos Aires is incredible, I spent a great time there. Thank you very much to the staff.
The only hostel I have been with a swimming pool.
Very clean and very secure.
Hotels in Yaroslavl are often rather faded affairs, but this one is modern, has good facilities but of course is more expensive than its traditional counterparts. It’s located in the city centre and is also close to the station.
55 SVOBODA STREET
My friend and I had a great birthday weekend at a LOVELY hotel in the historic centre of Napoli. The art, history, food, everything, it was just so spectacular and too much to soak up in only three short days, but our stay at this luxury hotel was worth it. Very pretty, very posh, and the pool terrace was absolutely amazing. Such views of the sea really enrapture me, and the decor was just so elegant throughout. Plus the company we booked through was very prompt and got us a great last minute rate. An excellent base in Napoli, especially if you want everything near you.
Here's where we booked and some photos: www.italiancollection.com/en/hotel-san-francesco-al-monte.html
A lovely hotel/spa/resort in Lecce, this is an awesome place to really soak up the city.
Baroque beauty all around, with a delightful array of cuisine (including wonderful wines and olive oils), Lecce is architecturally stunning, and a fascinating place to visit. And of course, after a hard day's sightseeing, one deserves a bit of pampering and nature.
Sangiorgio is absolutely amazing, being made of a restored monastic asylum and set amongst groves of citrus and olive trees, as well as vineyards. Soaking in the scents on the breeze alone is enough to inspire a visit here, but the level of service provided as well as spa services themselves are exquisite.
Comfortable rooms, lovely grounds, a selection of pools, and a friendly staff make this a great find and the hotel restaurant with it's wine cellars is a DEFINITE can't miss as they house a large selection of fine wines. They pampered me very very well and I fully intend to return as soon as I can... and enjoy more wine!
It probably has a listing somewhere, but I booked through this site and it was very easy (the staff speaks English too): www.italiancollection.com/en/SanGiorgioResort-Lecce.html
A great hotel, newly modernised with an amazing pool out the back.
The hotel has been wonderfully appointed, staff are great and very good value for money.
On that side of the island there are some really expensive hotels closer to a beach but this is the perfect place to situate yourself for driving around to sample all the best beaches.
We stayed in three different hotels round Sardinia and this is the only one I'd recommend.
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