Hotel Luxury for the Independent Traveller

Luxury villa with a swimming poolWhen it comes to booking a holiday, many of us fall into the tried and testing routine of choosing a hotel and booking it for the duration of the break. Hotels offer the luxury we require, the facilities we need and are usually in good locations. But they do have their downsides and these issues are why many independent travellers are now looking for alternative accommodation options – top of the list are apartments and villas.

Perfect Balance

Choosing one of the many luxury apartments or villas available around the world can offer the perfect balance of features for a traveller. Whether you plan to go away as a couple or as a group, there are properties that can allow you all to stay together in a way that a hotel can never manage. Or if you are travelling on your own or as a two, then the ability to have your own space can be perfect. These properties never lack for facilities and are often in great locations that allow you to make use of all a place has to offer, just as you do in a hotel.

Around the World

When you talk about beach holidays, the Seychelles is always near the top of the list and Villa 11 is on the North Island, offering the perfect two person getaway. With all the modern conveniences such as a home entertainment system and two person bath, it also enjoys magical views across Mahe and Praslin islands. There are even mini buggies provided to explore the rest of the island.

Mediterrano Odyssey offers a villa with a difference (www.cro-exclusive.co.uk/luxury-croatian-villa-packages) – it is literally built into the cliffs and overlooks the Mljet National Park in Croatia. The spot offers the best of everything with beautiful beaches and blue seas, woodland area to explore and even natural salt lakes along the bike paths nearby. It also offers all the facilities of Mljet, the largest of the Adriatic Islands in Dalmatia as well as ferry connections to the city of Dubrovnik.

Bali is a popular spot for group holidays and The Beach House in Seminyak is suitable for up to eight people. It is on the south-west coast of the island and is within walking distance of the top quality Ku De Ta restaurant as well as the Petitenget temple for some sightseeing. Enjoy the outdoor gazebo and pool while catering is handed by the two in-house cooks.

The Bahamas Beach House on Windermere Island, Eleuthera can sleep up to seven people and has a 40ft living area as well as three bedrooms. It also has one of the best beaches in the Bahamas at the bottom of the garden with three miles’ worth of pink sand and its own coral reef. There is also shopping at the Governor’s Harbour and plenty of snorkelling and sports activities to enjoy.

Villas aren’t always about the beach, as seen with the Ti Garili I’lle d’Arz in Brittany. This 17th century fisherman’s cottage sleeps eight and has its own quiet beach. Ideal for a holiday with the kids, the rustic cottage has big fireplaces and terracotta tiled floors while Vannes is just three miles away.

Some of The World’s Most Unusual Hotels

Hotels are used for both business and pleasure, and while there are a number of luxury hotels available, sometimes people yearn for something a little different. While the following hotels can be seen as unusual, they do make for an interesting stay.

Treehotel: Harads Sweden

As you can no doubt tell from the name, Treehotel is indeed a hotel in a tree. As well as allowing guests to revisit their childhood, they can also stay in the Cabin, a UFO-shaped capsule lodged in a tree. Guests can even take advantage of a tree-based sauna.

Camping: Mount Kilimanjaro

Hang on, camping doesn’t count as a hotel does it? Well, in other contexts, no, but climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can only be complimented with camping there as well. As well as coming face to face with raw nature, you are free to pitch up where and when you want, although you might want to rely on someone like the KilimanjaroClimbingCompany.com to show you the best spots. And you can also pick your own view, and the views that Mount Kilimanjaro hold are really something to embrace.

Propeller Island City Lodge: Berlin, Germany

Sometime a room with a bed and storage just doesn’t cut it, so those looking for something with a little more ‘character’ should consider the Propeller Island City Lodge. The vainer may wish to opt for the room that is built using a selection of angled mirrors. Similarly, those looking for something with a darker tone can stay in the crypt, where the beds are coffins.

The Dog Bark Park Inn: Idaho, USA

If the name wasn’t unusual enough, wait until you read about the hotel itself. Dog lovers are more than catered for in this USA-based hotel, as it shaped like a dog. The 12-foot beagle is able to accommodate four people, and is owned by chainsaw artists. It should come as no surprise that the hotel is indeed, dog friendly.

Icehotel: Jukkasjarvai, Sweden

Just like the Treehotel was named due to it being in a tree, the Icehotel has been named due to it being made of ice. The hotel is actually rebuilt annually, so you’re unlikely to stay in the exact hotel more than once, unless you become a fan. While it remains an unusual choice for somewhere to stay, there’s no denying how captivating a hotel made out of ice can be.

The hotel rooms are kept at -5C every day. Evidently, this temperature will require more than your standard pair of pyjamas, so guests wear the provided boots and thermals and enter the room with a sleeping bag. Such a hotel is probably not the best if you’re just away on a business trip, but for those looking for something out of the ordinary, the Icehotel certainly provides it.

There are plenty more hotels that offer a unique experience regardless of your tastes, While not for everyone, ‘strange’ hotels generally just provide something out of the norm, and therefore tend to be that little more memorable than your generic hotel stay. Research your hotel before you leave so you know exactly what to expect during your stay.

You Get What You Pay For

Now we know that expensive doesn’t always mean the best. But when it comes to the best hotels, they unsurprisingly usually cost more. But in most cases you get what you pay for.

So here’s a short video to give you some ideas if you’re to stay in some of the most luxurious, and most expensive, hotel rooms around the globe.

VIP Sports Tours

monaco-grand-prix-imageTravelling the world to stay in the best hotels is always amazing. But one way to make it even more spectacular, is to combine it with a top sporting event to make sure you maximise your enjoyment.

Sports are enjoyed by billions of people throughout the world. There are a number of different events that cater for all tastes if sports, whether it be tennis, racing or even the Tour De France. Seeing as many sports events are held globally, many sports fans will travel far and wide to ensure they are getting a taste of their favourite sport.

Below are some popular sporting events, complete with nearby places to stay. This will allow you to create some truly unique sports travel packages.

Monaco Grand Prix

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of motor racing, the Monaco Grand Prix is a sporting event that is recognised by many. Considered to be one of the most prestigious racing events in the world, the Monaco Grand Prix was first introduced in 1929, and has been an annual event ever since.

The event is held at the Circuit de Monaco which consists of the city streets Monte Carlo and La Condamine. The track is famed for its tight corners and many elevation changes, which have challenged renowned racers such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

Those looking for accommodation when attending this prestigious event should consider the Heritage Monte Carlo. The hotel is popular with many tourists thanks to its central location and its beautiful views of the harbour. There is also the Hotel Metropole, famed for its wonderful food and excellent concierge service.

Wimbledon

Just as the Monaco Grand Prix is recognised as one the most popular racing events, Wimbledon is considered one of the most, if not the most, famous tennis event in the world. Not only is it one of the majors that is still played on grass, but it also has a rich history. First introduced in 1877, the traditions of the event are what makes it so famous. These traditions include the strict dress code, and of course the consumption of strawberries and cream.

Evidently Wimbledon is a popular event, so it can be useful to be aware of what accommodation is available within the area. One popular hotel among visitors is the Lodge Hotel in nearby Putney. Visitors are treated to view of a landscaped garden, as well as being able to offer a number of spaces for guests to unwind.

Those looking for a more Victorian feel may wish to opt for Warren House, a beautiful mansion that is home to four acres of landscaped gardens. This matched with a professional service ensures that guests are able to relax after a heavy day of watching.

El Classico

Football is a popular sport among many, and the El Classico is one of the highlights for many football fans. Focusing on matches between rival teams Barcelona and Real Madrid, the event is popular for a number of reasons. Some consider it important as it highlights the talents of two of the biggest clubs in the world. Others enjoy the fact that the two teams are looked upon as having opposing political oppositions, with Real Madrid representing Spanish nationalism, and Barcelona representing Catalan nationalism.

The 2016 match will be held at Camp Nou in Barcelona, so attendees looking to stay over should look at hotels within the vicinity. The Hotel Duquesa is a four-star hotel that has a central location in Barcelona. Guests can enjoy the luxurious restaurant, as well as taking advantage of additional perks. These perks include complimentary newspapers and wireless internet access.   Alternatively, the Medinaceli is also located centrally, and offers guests a comfortable stay, laundry facilities and air-conditioned bedrooms.

Sporting events are undoubtedly the highlight of many a social calendar, and the experience can be enhanced further by taking advantage of the many places to stay, and create a number of VIP sport tours. And, if you’re not that into sports, you can always stay in your luxury hotel while the others go and spectate.

Hotels on Our Wishlist

The idea of this website was to do two things. First it was to keep a track of all the luxury, exotic, unique and perhaps even quirky hotels around the world that we wanted to visit one day. And secondly, once we’ve visited them, we wanted to keep a record of all our wonderful experiences, so others might hopefully decide to follow in our footsteps.

So, to get started, here’s a look at some of the hotels on our wish list, with our thoughts on what makes then so appealing, apart from the obvious opportunity to enjoy some luxury and a bit of pampering.

These are in no particular order, they’re all as amazing as each other!

George V, Paris

To start with, we’ve stayed pretty close to home. Paris is always a great city to visit, particularly if you’re looking for a romantic break. But you need to do it in style to really enjoy it. And what could be more stylish that the 5 star George V. Whether it’s for the views, the food, or simply to enjoy the luxury, this hotel offers everything you could want to make the most of this amazing city.

The Gritti Palace, Venice

English-speakers shouldn’t be put off by the name, this hotel is the polar opposite of the adjective it’s name might suggest. With a perfect setting on the Grand Canal, the hotel has recently had millions spent on a complete refurbishment. It was an amazing venire before this, and it is even more so now. There can be no better way to enjoy Venice.

Banyan Tree, Bangkok

This is yet another spectacular hotel that might not be for those that aren’t great with heights. The aptly-named Vertigo Rooftop Bar is located an astonishing 61 floors up. While it offers unrivalled views of the Bangkok skyline, you might not want to stay up there too long, especially after a couple of G&Ts.

Harbour Grand, Kowloon

As well as being right at the heart of everything there is to enjoy about Hong Kong, the Harbour Grand also has a special treat, for those not too bothered by heights. The infinity pool on the roof is a great way to relax, and offers stunning views of the harbour and the surrounding mountain. You just might not want to get to close to the edge!

Gansevoort, New York City

NYC is literally awash with luxury hotels, so it can be a bit of a challenge to find one that offers something a little different – along with the 5 star luxury of course. The Gansevoort is a stylish, modern hotel located in the meat-packing district, and offers 360 views of New York from it’s gorgeous rooftop pool and bar.

So that’s the first five hotels ion the wish list – I wonder how long it will take to visit them. Check back soon to see if any of them have been crossed off the list.

The Best Hotel Spas in the World – Part 1

luxury-spa-treatmentsPeople stay in hotels for all sorts of reasons. Some because they are on business, others because they are on holiday. If you’re lucky enough to fall into the second category, your hotel might simply be a base to allow you to get out and see the sights and surroundings your destination has to offer – but it could actually be the destination itself. That’s right, we’re talking spa breaks.

Spas have long been a part of some of the top hotels across the world, but in the last decade or so, the popularity of luxury spa hotels has increased significantly, and it’s not hard to understand why. After all, as modern day life gets busier and more and more hectic, who wouldn’t want to escape from it all to a place of serene tranquility, and enjoy some luxury pampering? So, whether you need a fully immersive experience to rejuvenate you from head to toe, or simply want to enjoy some of the latest beauty treatments like body sugaring, here are some of the top hotel spas that we wouldn’t mind losing whole weekends at.

The Scarlet – Cornwall, England

This one is quite close to home, so should hopefully be one we could look at experiencing in the not too distant future. The Scarlet offers a complete experience for tired and stress out grown ups (that’s right, it’s adults only). The rooms are to die for, with relaxing surrounding and great views, plus, there’s a restaurant serving amazing dishes, so you don’t have to be too healthy. The spa itself is a haven of tranquility, where you can enjoy a variety of treatments and programs, with amazing views over the beach.

SHA Wellness Clinic – Alicante, Spain

This is the place to go if you really want to give your body an all over tune up, the clue is in the name – this isn’t your ordinary spa, this is a wellness clinic. The surroundings are amazing, and SHA itself manages to combine an ultra-modern environment with somewhere that exudes peace and tranquility. They even have a number of different treatments, designed to combat specific, modern day ills, like their anti-stress and anti-tobacco programmes.

Conrad Maldives – Rangali Island, Maldives

There’s nothing that says luxury relaxation like the Maldives, and the Conrad Hotel and Resort on Rangali Island certainly lives up to that. If you’re looking for a luxurious, romantic spa break, this might be a fair distance to travel, but it will be worth it – they even have two spas at the resort. One that has treatment rooms with glass floors and views of the coral beneath eh crystal clear water. The second spa is more of a retreat, specialising in holistic treatments for couples.

Of course, these are just a few of the amazing locations all over the world where you can go and enjoy a luxurious spa break, and we hope its not too long before we can bring you a first hand review of how good these are, but keep an eye out for the second post in this series where we look at a few more of the world’s best spas.