Newsletter, August 2020
As always, we bring you below a small selection of our latest additions. Each one is chosen for good quality, good service, good reviews and that certain "Je ne sais quoi" that makes a hotel (or B&B) really stand out from the crowd.
Calabash Cove at Gros Islet, St Lucia provides the full Caribbean resort experience, but in a smaller form so that you will always be a name and never a number. The hotel takes pride in having a slightly old-fashioned approach to service, with everyone on the staff finding time for a chat. The hotel is spread throughout its lush green gardens, tumbling from the main manor house, past the Sweetwaters pool and terrace, across the lawns, past the beachside cottages to the beach itself. Every evening in the Windsong Restaurant there is live but unobtrusive music playing as diners choose from international and local fare.
We've been adding a few places in Ireland recently, but the one I want to mention here is the Giles Norman Townhouse in Kinsale. It's a Georgian building located near the Kinsale waterfront that has been refurbished with exquisite good taste. The guesthouse rooms are an evolution from the Giles Norman Gallery and Studio, a creative space where Giles’s highly distinctive photographs are brought to life. Naturally the walls are decorated with framed photos showcasing Giles’s work. Kinsale marks the beginning (or end) of the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s only a short drive from Kinsale to Cork (so much to see and do), the spectacular peninsula of Old Head, the beaches at Dock Beach and Garretstown, and the interesting village and estuary at Courtmacsherry.
With a name like this you will be expecting to be close to the water, and the Harbourmaster Hotel certainly doesn’t disappoint. In 2001 owners Glyn and Menna bought the former harbourmaster’s house in Aberaeron and turned it into a lovely little boutique hotel. It has grown a little since then and now occupies three historic harbour-side buildings. The iconic blue frontage of the original Harbourmaster building has become a famous landmark for the town and the harbour. The restaurant is well-served with fish and shellfish from the larder of Cardigan Bay so expect the freshest of fresh for dinner. On top of that there is Welsh lamb and beef, Ceredigion cheeses and local organic vegetables. In the restaurant (and the bar) you can watch the sunset and bobbing boats in the harbour from your table.
Highest Rated Hotels
When it comes to choosing the hotels and B&Bs that should feature on Little Hotels, we tread our own pathway. When people have asked us how we choose our hotels, it has been difficult to put into words. Essentially, we choose the places that we would want to stay ourselves. Our choices can be pretty eclectic, but we are always looking for value, quality, style and service. It's hardly surprising then that Trip Advisor ratings agree with us in so many cases.
We have just been looking through their highest rated hotels and found so many of ours. In England, we found Haven Hall on the Isle of Wight, Egerton House Hotel in London, Edgar House in Chester, Kentisbury Grange in Devon, Hazel Bank in the Lake District and Lewinnick Lodge in Cornwall.
In Spain, there is Cases Noves on the Costa Blanca, Finca Son Palou in Mallorca, Hotel Rector in Salamanca and Boutique Hotel Can Cera in Mallorca.
In Italy there is Hotel Moresco in Venice. In Ireland there is Milltown House in Co Kerry and Lough Inagh Lodge in Co Galway. In the Caribbean there is Little Arches Boutique Hotel on Barbados.
A Big New Event
The TT motorcycle races on the Isle of Man are famous the world over. The races take place on a 37 mile course of ordinary roads, making them a truly extraordinary spectacle whether or not you are a motorcycle fan. You might think that this would be a one-of-a-kind event that couldn't be replicated, but in October 2021 the Diamond Races will be an all-new road-racing festival hosted on the Isle of Wight.
On an island known for its remarkable coastline and just two hours from central London door to door, the Diamond Races is set to take place on a 12.4 mile-long course in the south of the Isle of Wight. Shining a spotlight on the island’s natural beauty and on roads already acclaimed as being some of the best and most enjoyable in the world, the road-race boasts a course through picturesque villages as well as a fast 5-mile coastal stretch along the military road. Spectators will be able to watch from a series of temporary grandstands that will afford spectacular views of this thrilling sport.
A French chateau? In Wales? Well every architect has to find his inspiration somewhere!
On the outside Chateau Rhianfa looks very French, but within it's a very fine Victorian country house, now turned into a top-class luxury hotel. The position of this fairytale castle is unbeatable too, with mature gardens tumbling down to a private beach on the shore of the Menai Strait. Further beyond, the views stretch away over Snowdonia.
The interior is simply gorgeous, with lounges, dining rooms, a bar and a spectacular gallery with superb views. There seems to be always a new place to sit and wonder. Eating at Chateau Rhianfa is memorable, exquisitely indulgent and leaves you wanting to relive it time and time again, as every fairytale should be. The quality of the guest bedrooms mirrors the public rooms with really sumptuous decor and fabrics and the best of bathrooms. Even the standard rooms have large double beds. The suites are lavish extravaganzas with space to spare, fabulous views, elegant style and beautiful rich fabrics.
And finally.... When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
19 Aug 2020, 10:26