Little Hotels

2018 has arrived! Where did 2017 go? It seemed to rush by. So much so that we've been writing to you even less often than usual. We'll try to correct that in 2018 because we have some exciting changes in the pipeline, but as ever, we won't be overloading you. Expect an e-mail from us about once every three months.

Some of our Favourites

This time around, I just want to mention a few hotels that feature somewhere amongst our favourites.

The Eco Finca de Arrieta retreat is a truly unique holiday location on Lanzarote, set in rural surroundings only 300 metres from the beach of Arrieta. It offers 16 different self-catering options ranging from stone-built villas and a farmhouse to authentic Mongolian yurts. The renewable technologies employed at the finca are a superb demonstration of how to enjoy a luxury holiday without it costing the earth.

Set amongst the mountains of Gran Canaria, Finca Las Longueras is an eye-catching colonial mansion dating from 1895 when it was built as an autumn residence for the Manrique de Lara family. There are not many swimming pool locations to compete with this one.Finca El Tossal

The Cumberlege family have owned The Sea Club for over 50 years. Their large beachside Mallorcan villa has evolved into a small hotel that feels just like a private house party.

Right out in the country, yet only ten minutes from Mojacar, Cortijo El Sarmiento is a classic Andalusian farmhouse has been adapted to create an amazing hotel for adults only; beautiful, utterly peaceful, with comfort and good food to satisfy the most particular visitor.

Finca El Tossal is a quiet, comfortable little hotel built originally as a small Italianate country house in the mountains, not far from Altea. It seems hard to believe that you can be just 5 miles from the Costa Blanca coastline, yet buried amongst pinewoods and orange groves with breathtaking views of the valleys, the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

Price Comparison Websites

Los CastanosWe've been in this business for quite a long time now, and we've seen a few changes as the internet advances, and people's tastes and expectations are altered. One phenomenon that has given us some laugh-out-loud moments has been the appearance of the hotel price comparison websites. You know the one's I mean, and you've probably seen their TV adverts.

We noticed on one of those adverts, they showed a "typical" page with a list of prices for supposedly the same room on the same date. The most expensive was twice the price of the cheapest. I can't really comment on whether that might be plausible for big chain hotels, but when it comes to little hotels it's complete nonsense. Room rates are determined by the hotels, and every website should be showing the same rate. If there is a difference, someone has made a mistake. And if it's us who has made the mistake, we will make sure to correct it and give you the correct rate for your room.

So if the price is the same everywhere, which website should you use to book? We may be a little biased, but when you are choosing a small hotel for it's individuality and personal attention, we think it makes sense to choose your booking website the same way. Some sites will boast of having hundreds of thousands of hotels. If that's the case, they're hardly being selective! On Little Hotels, we have a few hundred: we usually know the hotel and know the owner, and we've chosen that very hotel because it's a place that we personally would want to stay in.

Book Early for the Best Rates and Availability

If the early bird catches the worm, it also follows that the early booker catches the early booking discount. Most of our hotels are fully booked well in advance so the late booker is more likely to find himself left high-and-dry, or at best getting the room and dates that no-one else wanted.

Guadalest, AlicanteSome of our hotels that have Early Booking Discounts at the moment include Hacienda El Santiscal in the west of Andalucia, Cases Noves in Guadalest, near Alicante, Hotel Sa Galera in Mallorca and Hotel Can Lluc on Ibiza.

There are other opportunities to save too, with Long Stay Discounts (not necessarily a "long" stay: it may be just 3 nights in some cases), 6 nights for the price of 5 (and similar) or special non-refundable rates.

Chef Clive at Finca Las Encinas is so enthusiastic about his cooking that he can't stop at just providing wonderful gourmet meals for his guests. He runs cookery courses too, so you can combine a lovely holiday with learning new things to cook (and eat the dishes you have created!).

Los Castanos offers some interesting packages. The Hills of Andalucia includes pre-planned walking routes taking you through the secret paths around Ronda known only to the local farmers, before returning for a home-cooked dinner and a bottle of local Ronda wine. The Classical Guitar package includes a romantic stay at the hotel with a candlelit dinner and tickets to a classical guitar concert in Ronda. Then for those with a sense of adventure, a similar package replaces the concert with a visit to the renowned Caminito del Rey.

There's lots more too, and offers change frequently. Watch out for the red Special Offer! labels on our pages.

What Does That Word Mean?

CASITA. The Spanish have a penchant for adding "ito" or "ita" to the end of words to denote a small version. Hence a casita is a small house (casa), in other words a cottage or chalet.

The same suffix is also used to signify affection, so abuela (grandmother) becomes abuelita (because everyone loves their granny!), and so on.

Please don't forget our new website Best Small Hotels, where you will find some of the best small hotels in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France.

Happy holidays!
Paul Melhuish
Little Hotels

And finally.... If you don't have time to do it right, when will you ever have the time to do it again?

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