The Inn at Venice Beach is a very easy-going hotel. It's set one block back from the Venice boardwalk, south of St Mark's Place,and is perfectly placed for the Venice Whaler, the canals and Marina Del Ray. Staff are helpful and pleasant, it's well-placed for MTA buses but the key to the charm is the little centre courtyard where breakfast is held.
327 Washington Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
The Viceroy hotel seems to have been been transplanted from Sunset Strip - it has more in common with the Standard and the Mondrian than its neighbour motels. Contemporary, chic, super-trendy, ignore the office-like exterior and head for the garden to enjoy a drink in one of the tents next to the pool or on one of the oversized white wing-back chairs. Heavenly.
1819 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 1 310-260-7500
A delightful converted monastary in one of the old passageways of this delightful whitewashed hilltop town. Cool rooms and a stone's throw from the main piazza, the winding streets and restaurants.
Eat exquisite regional food in the myriad of open air restaurants. The Vecchia Ostuni is reccomended. Sip cocktails in the main square for 5 euros and don't miss the weekend passagiata for posing in the latest fashions.
For a day at the beach (10kms) drive down to the blue Adriatic, hire a lounger and umbrella for 8 euros and gaze into the blue horizon, drinking ice cold Peroni from the beach bar.
Italian perfection, and minimum Brits.
+39 0831 336651/2
This is a very nice hotel, good value, the staff are friendly and most speak good English.
Although the name says 'Central' it's a little misleading if you are looking for a hotel located in central Beijing.
The hotel is only a short taxi ride from the Forbidden City. Due to the cheap cost of taxis in Beijing, it makes good sense to consider booking this hotel.
I had a very enjoyable time staying here and made good use of the local shops, only a short walk down the street. These shops are not your tourist shops, these are local shops at local prices.
A half-litre bottle of a famous cola cost me 12p, the same cola is nearly 75p or more at home.
There are ample restaurants close to the hotel to cater for different tastes.
This is a new hotel on Sukhumvit 6 Rd, near the nana skytrain station. The rooms are equipped to 5* standard at 3* prices. Prices are around £35 per room per night. Thoroughly recommended. I have also stayed at the Landmark hotel nearby and the rooms there are nowhere near as good, yet they'll charge you over £100 per night.
21 Soi Jaisaman, Sukhumvit 6 Rd.
An idyllic little spot tucked away in a beautiful part of England on the Welsh border. This is the hotel Al Gore stayed at when he was at the Hay Festival last year. As well as the hotel, though, there are also two comfortable and stylish self-catering apartments in an old threshing barn, on one side of the hotel's courtyard garden (sleeps two or three). We stayed there with our 10-year-old son last year - it's very special place.
A meal at Daphne Lambert's Award-winning Penrhos organic restaurant was our treat of the year. A welcome organic goodies pack was good, too. We had a week of magnificent countryside, on-top of-the-world views, hidden valleys, picnics by streams, great walking, castles, sunken lanes... it is truly glorious but this part of the world remains a closed book to most British holidaymakers. When we told people we were going to Herefordshire for a holiday, several of them asked where it was!
Santo Spirito, as i think a few have pointed out, gives you a welcome breather from the tourists yet it can only be a hundred yards from the Ponte Vechhio.
It is popular with students and with the locals (nearby are some delis and whatnot so you actually see Florentines) and comes to life after nine or so in the evening.
At the top of the square is Brunelleschi’s spectacular church - as well as having a crucifix by a very young Michelangelo, it was studied and admired by many including Da Vinci and it is easy to see why. It is especially pretty when the facade is lit at night.
There are a few restaurants and a couple of bars in the square, the type of spots where, if you drink too many amerettos, they give you a tequilla on the house - the atmosphere is friendly at all of them.
Istayed at Antica Dimora with a friend but it would be especially nice to go there romantically - ask for a room with a little balcony. You can watch (and listen!) to the market being set up in the morning. The rooms are huge with lovely wooden beams and, maybe vaguely kitsch decor but it feels like you’ve been to Firenze! It’s a short back street walk to the wonderful, wonderful Bobili gardens too.
piazza santo spirito no.9
t. +39 055 2658376
Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona is located on the Costa del Sol (also known as the sunny coast of Andalusia) and despite what you may think about this particular area, this holiday proved to be one of the most enjoyable spa breaks I’ve had.
The hotel has everything a frequent spa-goer wants including a Medico resort plus a Wellness and Beauty Centre. The resort is also set within huge acres of gardens and with views of Malaga, Gibraltar and the African Coastline this is almost another treatment in itself!
The spa destination is just 2kms from Estepona and 18km from Marbella so as well as enjoying all the treatments that were part of my holiday package, you can venture out from the hotel and explore the surrounding area.
This is definitely a place I would revisit when in need of that extra boost of sun and spa indulgence and I also recently discovered the hotel is situated within the famous Costa del Golf with 40 golf courses nearby. This is great news and will definitely make the boyfriend happy when I drag him along next time!
I also want to recommend the website www.specificspas.com if you’re looking to book a similar holiday like this. This is how I initially found out about Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona and specificspas.com is great for booking a whole host of luxury spa holidays throughout Europe with just a few clicks. They tell you everything you want to know about your chosen destination and you can book everything including flights, accommodation and your desired spa packages straight away.
Spa holidays like this are definitely the way forward!
See www.specificspas.com for full details and address.
Nearest airport Malaga with frequent flights from British Airways, Easy Jet, Monarch etc
A 5000m2 hotel made from a mixture of snow and ice - commonly known as SNICE. A word particular to the area. Simply one of the coolest places I know, literally.
200 kilometres from the artic circle.
Flights into Kiruna - Husky sled transfer to the hotel if requested.
Lovely hilltop hotel in Monterosso.
Sparklingly clean rooms, each with a terrace looking out to the Med, and down to the village streets. The hotel grounds abound with citrus trees and rose bushes. The owners are truly wonderful, friendly people. Buffet breakfast is included and delicious. Reasonable rates.
A gorgeous terrace with swimming pool and stunning views and in-house beauty treatments more than compensate for plain rooms, but it's the staff who really make this hotel. A room covered in pre-wedding chaos, including floral trimmings, was completely spruced up by bedtime; a late-night impromptu drinks party on the terrace met with free pizza rather than shushing. Drop by for all you can eat breakfast on the terrace, only 15 euros. NB: insurance costs means no irons in hotels.
Certainly not the four star accommodation we expected. Hotel was advertised with spa but there was none. Room was fine - nice bathroom. Boasted satellite TV but only news channels were in English. Pool area was small but nice when it wasn't packed with hundreds of holidaymakers and kids. This was an all inclusive package but food was poor to mediocre although they did try to make an effort on Christmas Day and there's no bar just a cheap looking counter where you get drinks from. You certainly wouldn't want to spend any time there. If all you're looking for is a room then this hotel is fine.
Puerto Del Carmen - quiet end. 5 minutes from beach.
This hotel was referenced in some article in the Guardian. It lived up to expectations. We had the Rudolf II room, which is featured on the website.
Large and spacious, with a superbly comfortable six-foot bed to help you relax after a day's walking around Prague. While not in the town centre, it is close to the castle, and plenty of restaurants nearby, if you can't face the walk back up the hill.
Dibai House is a beautiful hotel based on a restored safavid house in the centre of the city.
It was so interesting to stay in a different accommodation that mixes the comfort of a modern hotel with ancient Persian architecture.
1 Masjed Ali Alley, Haroonieh, Isfahan.
The Windsor (Melbourne's elegant 1883 magnificent gothic hotel) has a public bar - The Cricketers Bar. The bar is full of cricketing memorabilia including photos of Australian and English teams from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Don Bradman fans will not be disappointed either. The bar is just across the road from the victorian houses of parliament, so watch for you favourite political or sports people. The cricket, of course, is televised on 2 large screen TVs.
103 Spring St
I can thoroughly recommend the poker room at the rather hideous Excalibur Hotel. Great dealers, friendly atmosphere but admittedly the poker isn’t of the highest standard. Perfect for the intermediate player or those looking for a more social game.
Excalibur Hotel and Casino
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
P.O. Box 96778
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89109-6778
This is probably the only place in the Medina, 1 min from Djemma el Fna, where you can get a cheap beer. It has seen better days but has loads of atmosphere. The lounge is full of comfy chairs and ornate plasterwork. Waiters, most of whom have also seen better days, shuffle around taking orders for drinks. A great place to meet other travellers or just lounge around when you are souked out.
Corner of Ave El Mouahidine and Rue Bab Agnaou.
We were recently married in Las Vegas and chose to stay at the Golden Nugget as we wanted to be away from the strip, and also its advertised rates were very reasonable.
This downtown hotel is off strip in 'old' Vegas, it was built in the 1940s and was an old hang out of the Rat Pack. Unlike many of the glitzy hotels on the strip it is fabulous inside as well as out - gold and glass everywhere, murano glass in the bar. And since a recent refit it also boasts a huge shark tank in the centre of its swimming pool.
Handily for us, it is also the closest inhabitable structure to Clark County's Marriage Bureau and License Office...
For some 'old' Vegas glamour, you can't really go wrong at the Golden Nugget.
Lovely countryside-looking hotel, close to the city centre of Harpenden, near Luton. So you get a peaceful location, surrounded by some nature, and still can walk to a couple of nice pubs and restaurants in the town - not the biggest party in the world but still quite nice considering you are in a somewhat remote place.
Staff are very friendly and attentive, and the food is great - both in the restaurant and room service.
Apparently it is a popular place for weddings and other festive lunches/dinners. I was there in a business trip and felt at home - a much better option than the budget hotels of these days for a price not so much higher.
Harpenden House Hotel - 18 Southdown Road, Harpenden Hertfordshire AL5 1PE
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