Newsletter, October 2020


I'm always a sucker for a sunset photo, so I couldn't resist this one above taken on the Norfolk Broads. Apart from the heart-stirring beauty, one of the joys of sunrise and sunsets is that they can be appreciated almost anywhere, in any season.

New Hotels

Here are just a few of our recent new hotels in England and the Canaries.

Houblon Arms, OasbyOak beams, stone walls, four-poster beds and pints of cask ale are a part of an Englishman's DNA. They are a part of the Houblon Arms too, one of the oldest hostelries in Lincolnshire in the picturesque village of Oasby. This free house is a real English hostelry and not just some interior designer's pipe dream. The four boutique rooms have bespoke solid oak four poster beds, high quality linens and private hot tubs to make for a perfect luxurious break. The lunchtime menu in the restaurant includes many pub favourites such as ploughman's lunch, burgers, steak sandwiches, North Sea fish and chips and a variety of delicious sandwiches. In the evening the menu becomes a little more formal with steaks, duck, salmon, pork tenderloin, vegetarian wellington and more. Breakfast centres on a "proper" cooked breakfast, with a selection of egg dishes as well as the "Full Houblon" (you can guess!). For a lighter start to the day there is fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, cereals, pastries and toast.

Watersmeet HotelThe Watersmeet Hotel is a luxury four-star hotel in Woolacombe with stunning sea views across the waters of Woolacombe Bay. The hotel overlooks Combesgate Beach and North Devon's rugged coastline with its own private steps down through the gardens to the sandy beach. The two restaurants at Watersmeet both boast stunning sea views to enjoy over dinner. There is formal a la carte dining in the Pavilion restaurant as well as informal contemporary dining in the Bistro. Afternoon Tea is also available in the lounge or on the terrace or lawn, whichever you may prefer. All but three of the hotel’s rooms offer spectacular sea views taking in Combesgate Beach, Lundy Island and Baggy Point. A number of the bedrooms have white, wooden balconies where you can sit and watch magnificent sunsets behind Woolacombe Bay. Naturally all the rooms feature all the features you might expect from a beautiful boutique hotel such as this.

Wavia Hotel, Gran CanariaWavia Hotel is a small, urban boutique hotel situated in a quiet corner of Las Palmas, just a short walk from the Playa de las Canteras beach. The singular and distinctive decoration of the hotel features mural photographs of Canarian underwater scenes taken by the renowned photographer Arturo Telles. The minimalist lines and bold white walls give a real  sense of immersion in the submarine world. Personal attention is the watchword at Wavia Hotel so for all sorts of service, you only have to ask. Room service will bring you a meal from some of the best restaurants in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. You can arrange guided tours of the island, yoga on the beach, diving, surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and more, directly from the hotel.

Casa Rural MorrocatanaCasa Rural Morrocatana is a group of four self-catering cottages on the edge of the tiny village of Masca in the mountains on the west side of Tenerife. The views and scenery are absolutely spectacular. Each cottage has a lounge and kitchen area, plus one or two bedrooms and a bathroom. The interiors are homely with a old-fashioned touch, but that doesn’t preclude television, wi-fi and a microwave oven. The style is a throwback to a more leisurely pace of life, just like the village and the whole region. This is a location for people who definitely don’t want to be a part of the usual holiday crowd in the resorts, possibly more interested in walking or exploring the mountains.

Where Can I Travel To?

I originally started this section with "This information is bound to be out-of-date very quickly...". I didn't realise quite how accurate that would be!

A week ago, UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, opened up the Canaries for travel. Due to the very low levels of Covid in the islands, there are almost no restrictions while you are there, and no need to self-isolate when you come home. BUT on 31 October Boris Johnson applied a blanket ban on going on holiday during November.

Nearly all hotels in all the countries we serve have spent large amounts of money to apply Covid precautions, at a time when their income has been slashed by the restrictions. We desperately hope that travel will be opened up again at the beginning of December, so we are taking bookings for after 2 December now, at any of the hotels that are able to take guests.

The Canaries and the Caribbean are always the obvious destinations for a winter holiday. All the Canary islands are able to receive visitors with minimal inconvenience, as soon as the UK government permits. Antigua is welcoming visitors this winter and you won't need to self-isolate when you get home. There are some processes to go through and only certain hotels are open, including Admiral's Inn, which is also offering some big discounts. Entry to the Dominican Republic is also fairly free, though you will need to self-isolate on return to the UK. Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines all have restrictive rules at the moment that make a holiday there unappealing, but we are optimistic that some of these rules may change soon. Keep checking the government advice.

Working In the Sun

Finca de Arrieta, LanzaroteThe present situation has brought out an explosion of working from home, but for some people, there is the possibility of taking remote working much further. A number of guests have already discovered the joy of packing up the laptop and heading for the sunshine for an extended (working) winter break. Eco Finca de Arrieta provides wi-fi access to their fibre-optic broadband, to go with the sunshine and seaview, and long-term rates start from as little as €1000 per month. They have even arranged a desk for two days a week in their Costa Teguise office for a guest stayinging for some extended winter sunshine and surf.

Many of our villas and apartments on Lanzarote also have fibre-optic broadband, so it's possible to either take the family or spread out in home-from-home luxury. Ocean View Penthouse or Villa Luna Mar, for example.

Something Out-of-the-Ordinary

Glastonbury is renowned as a place of magic, witches, warlocks and legend. Right in the town, The Covenstead plays its role to perfection; on the one hand, a comfortable B&B in an impressive listed building, on the other, a riotous museum of the exotic, the mythical, the novel and sometimes the downright weird.

The Covenstead, GlastonburyThe dining room is something to behold with elaborately carved antique chairs, tapestry, rugs and walls covered in curiosities of all kinds. The breakfast served is equally impressive. Full English breakfast is the default, but vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives are available too. There’s a terrace to sit out when the sun is shining, and a lounge for when it’s not, filled of course with exotic bibelots.

The idiosyncratic nature of The Covenstead extends to the bedrooms as revealed in the unusual names, like "Hedgewitch Haven" and "Arthur's Gate". The rooms are also notably spacious and filled with facilities as well as curios: en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, television, tea/coffee maker, wi-fi, even the use of the kitchen for making snacks.

All the sights of Glastonbury are within easy reach: the abbey grounds, Abbey House, King Arthur’s Tomb, the Chalice Well, and if you’ve gone that far (less than a mile) you might as well keep going and climb to the top of the Tor.

Happy holidays!

Paul Melhuish

  Little Hotels

And finally.... Never suspect a conspiracy until you have eliminated incompetence!

29 Oct 2020, 11:22

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