Something Out-of-the-Ordinary

Little Hotels doesn't do 'bland'. Big chain hotels are not for us, so every hotel we list has its own individuality and character. Some have more character than others though!

Houseboat Harbourside ViewHouseboat Harbourside View is a unique bed and breakfast experience floating on the edge of Bembridge Harbour on the Isle of Wight. The houseboat is moored in a privileged position offering fantastic sea views across the sheltered bay. It's surprisingly large, featuring three en-suite guest rooms and a big lounge/breakfast room/kitchen.

The lounge is on the seaward side where there are binoculars mounted on a tripod for watching the activity out on the water. Patio doors lead from the lounge onto a generous deck area with big comfortable outdoor sofas and a table.

Glastonbury is renowned as a place of magic, witches, warlocks and legend. The Covenstead plays its role to perfection;The Covenstead, Glastonbury 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 dining room is something to behold with elaborately carved antique chairs, tapestry, rugs and walls covered in curiosities of all kinds, and the breakfast served there is equally impressive.

The idiosyncratic nature of The Covenstead extends to the bedrooms with the characteristic of each one revealed in the unusual names. The rooms are also notably spacious and filled with facilities as well as curios.

Amanhavis is an elegant little hotel with some quirky themes, in the little town of Benahavís just 5 km from the sea on the Costa Del Sol. AmanhavisBuilt in a typically Moorish style, the hotel appears like a delightful jumble of boxes piled together around the garden, terrace and swimming pool.

The nine rooms represent a potted history of southern Spain, delighting in such names as The Sultan Boabdil's Chamber and The Horse Thief's Hideout. Amanhavis takes the theme of its rooms a step further than most, so that the Astronomer's Observatory, for instance, comes complete with telescope and an observation window in the ceiling. The Philosopher's Study has its own secret escape tunnel.

The award-winning restaurant at Amanhavis is very special and recently featured as the venue for a special dinner-date in the ITV show No Return.

In Britain a cave may be seen as cold and damp, but the hot, dry climate of southern Spain lends itself perfectly to the concept of a cave house:Cuevas Helenacool in summer yet warm in winter. Scottish owners Shirley and Mark have taken a traditional Spanish cave house, totally renovated it and given it an unexpected contemporary twist.

On entering Cuevas Helena the special intimate atmosphere is immediately apparent. Pass through the entrance hall to the large living room that runs across the front of the house with plenty of windows to let in light and reflect it off the white walls. In front of the cave house is a large terrace with a pergola, plenty of sunbathing space, a swimming pool, jacuzzi and an outdoor dining area.

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,Chateau Rhianfanow 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.

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 a every fairytale should be.

The suites are lavish extravaganzas with space to spare, fabulous views, elegant style and beautiful rich fabrics.

'Glamorous camping' has been a theme of recent years, and it finds a perfect expression at Kidwelly Glamping. Comprising two luxury four berth safari tents,Kidwelly GlampingRed Kite and Merlin, set in large secluded pitches, it provides privacy and plenty of space and freedom for children.

The position of the tents, spaced well apart, is a peaceful haven of the countryside, where you can relax on your veranda or take a soak in your own wood-fired hot tub and enjoy the views. Watch the daily life of a working farm, with cattle in the adjoining fields, collect eggs from the chickens and play on the swing down by the brook. Make the most of the dark night skies of West Wales for star gazing.

Kidwelly Farm overlooks the ancient town of Kidwelly with its medieval castle and church. There are breath-taking views of the sea and countryside with footpaths around the farm, including one leading direct from the farm down to the town and castle.

10 Mar 2022, 10:46