Happy New Year to all our Little Hotels subscribers! (And to anyone who has had this forwarded by a friend.) We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and now perhaps your mind is turning to holidays in 2020.
We have enjoyed some fantastic holidays in the Caribbean so it has always been our ambition to add some Caribbean islands to the Little Hotels portfolio. Now that wish has come true and we are starting out by featuring hotels on Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The famous Nelson's Dockyard and English Harbour on Antigua is home to two luxury Little Hotels, created in the historic buildings of the dockyard. Copper and Lumber Store Historic Inn is surrounded by luxury yacht moorings near the entrance to the bay. A little deeper into the sheltered harbour is the Admiral's Inn with two restaurants, an infinity pool and a private beach.
For an example of our hotels on Barbados we've picked out Little Arches, a dreamy little adults-only hideaway adjacent to the white sands of Enterprise Beach. The signature restaurant situated on the rooftop boasts panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and a romantic al fresco dining experience.
Marigot Bay is one of the most beautiful spots on the beautiful island of St Lucia. Overlooking the bay and only a five minute walk away is Marigot Palms, spectacularly positioned in a tropical garden looking down on the yachts at anchor and the waves gently rippling onto the beach.
Not every hotel in the Caribbean is on the beach, but every island is small (especially in the Grenadines) so the beaches are never far away. On Bequia you can really soak up the local vibe at the Spring Hotel, an authentic West Indian plantation house in the centre of the Spring Estate.
Early Booking Discount or Last Minute Offers?
We've said this many times before but it bears repeating: it's much better to book early, perhaps get an early-booking discount, and give yourselves the maximum choice and time to plan. Yes, there may some last-minute offers later, but you'll be left scratching around for the dates, hotels and rooms that no-one else wanted.
Of course if we've whetted your appetite for the Caribbean, high season is starting right now. Jump in, follow those links, and book yourselves an unforgettable holiday in the sun.
Little Hotels in Other Places
This time last year Little Hotels was focused exclusively on Spain and the Canaries. We're still great fans but we wanted to do more so we now list hotels in England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy too. We even have a couple on the Isle of Man. In no particular order (as they say on Strictly) here is a small selection.
Let's start with Menorca and Hotel Rural Morvedra Nou. This is an ancient farmhouse dating back to at least 1650 that has been brought back to life as a hotel with 4 star facilities. Add in the hotel's own transport to the gorgeous virgin beaches of Macarella, Cala Turqueta and Son Saura and you have everything for a wonderful relaxing holiday.
We have found it surprisingly difficult to find hotels in capital cities that can meet our standards. Fortunately we do have several in London, including the Covent Garden Hotel. It's situated in the heart of the West End theatre district and is surrounded by some of London's best restaurants and bars.
We Brits have long had a love affair with the Dordogne and it's hardly surprising when you look at a hotel like Château La Tour Carnet. The exterior is magnificent, but it pales in comparison with the interiors. All the rooms are sumptuous, absolutely pristine, and with enough wow-factor to boggle the imagination.
Where would we go in Scotland? Well, Allt Na Craig House might take some beating. It's a homely family-run B&B in a Victorian country house that has the most incredible views across Loch Gilp and Loch Fyne.
There seems to be a perception of the Caribbean as a place that is prohibitively expensive for all but the lucky few, but that's not necessarily so. It's true that there are some eye-wateringly expensive hotels there, where exclusivity is assured for the rich and famous. It's also true that some of the hotels we list are not exactly cheap. However we have also rooted out some budget-friendly hotels for travellers who need to be a little more frugal. On St Lucia there's Sunset Lane Guesthouse, right on the water's edge in Laborie, with stunning views of the bay and the sunset.
Another little gem for the cost-conscious is Gibbs Glade Cottage and Garden Studios, just yards from the long sandy beach that fringes the west coast of Barbados. It's very much in the Barbados style, reminiscent of the typical Bajan chattel houses.
And finally.... .... Life is not safe, just choose where you want to take the risks.