Note: Prices are approximate and vary on demand and accommodation selection.
HOTEL DUE TORRI, Rome, Italy
We discovered this charming little hotel several years ago and fell in love with it. It is on a little tiny one lane street in the center of old Rome within walking distance of most of Rome’s must see sites. The rooms are compact but very serviceable with free Wi-Fi and a hearty breakfast included. There are a handful of rooms with small balconies overlooking the rooftops of the neighborhood.
The owner and manager speak very good English and are very helpful recommending lots of local restaurants and shopping in the immediate area. In fact, we enjoyed our last stay so much we have reservations for several days next year. Reviews rank 3.9 of 5 stars. Rates: 80 to 330 Euros.
Website: Hotel Due Torri
Beryl Country House, Wells, United Kingdom
This delightful house was built in 1842 and has been fully restored and updated with comfortable furnishing and antiques. It sits on 13 acres of parkland including a walled Victorian garden. There is also a pool opened from May to September depending on the weather. There are 14 rooms to choose from, each with its own character.
Breakfast at Beryl is a traditional English breakfast with a menu of choices. While dinner is not served, the hotel has a variety of suggested dinner options a short drive away.
Wells is famous for its Cathedral, its charming town and close proximity to other places of interest. We suggest 2 or 3 nights in conjunction with other destination in the Somerset region. Reviews rank 4 of 5 stars. Rates 110 to 160 Euros.
Website: Beryl Country House
Courtyard Budapest City Center, Budapest, Hungary
We just discovered this hotel this summer for 4 nights before boarding a river cruise to the Black Sea. You might think it odd to recommend a Marriott property for a visit to an ancient capital, but this is a sleek, modern full service hotel with nice everything and it was surprisingly affordable for the quality.
It is in the center of Budapest making it well positioned for sightseeing. Trams, buses and subway are all out the front door. Rooms are generous in size, floor to ceiling glass, some rooms have balconies. Other rooms face a large light well so bear that in mind when making reservations. Reviews rank 5 of 5 stars. Rates 90 to 184 Euros.
Website: Courtyard Budapest City Center
Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco, Peru
Located next to the Cusco’s central square this hotel as you might guess, started as a monastery in 1592. Make no mistake, this property was completely renovated into a luxury hotel boasting two restaurants, and a spa. The 122 rooms and suites are both ancient and modern situated around the original courtyard.
It is in the Center of Cusco, a perfect location from which to explore this amazing colonial city before or after a visit to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. It is a bit pricy but worth the splurge. Note: some rooms come with extra oxygen pumped in. The local coca tea also works well. Reviews rank 4.5 of 5 stars. Rates $345 to $1200. USD.
Website: Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Park Hyatt Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
I still remember our arrival to this hotel. After a painfully long flight in coach (we were relatively novice travelers then), followed by a long ride from the airport to central Sydney, we checked in, made our way to our room, pulled back the drapes and wham, there was the Opera House in all its glory. It consumes the entire field of vision. It turns out the Park Hyatt is in a dynamite location directly across the harbor from the famous Opera House.
Located in the lively “Rocks” neighborhood, with its restaurants and shopping, directly adjacent to central Sydney. This is a world class luxury property with oversized rooms, fine dining, rooftop pool, spa and free Wi-Fi. As you might suspect, it is also pricy, but considering the journey to get there, what a great way to get oriented and rejuvenated. Reviews rank 4.6 of 5 stars. Rates $500 to $2200 USD.
Website: Park Hyatt Sydney
Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
This resort is nestled in it’s own private cove with stunning modern architecture. All rooms have stunning Sea of Cortez ocean views and balconies. The resort has a beach club, all the water sports you can imagine, a huge spa, state of the art fitness center, numerous dining options, six golf courses nearby and close to the city center of San Jose del Cabo.
All that said, this resort was damaged by last year’s hurricane Odile. The hotel has been undergoing extensive repairs and restoration since and is scheduled to re-open July 1, 2016. We have been twice, first at the resort and later at the adjacent timeshares which have full access to the resort but with private spa, pool and fully equipped apartment. We will go again. Reviews rank 4.6 of 5 stars. Rates: $208 to $3500. USD
Website: Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos
The Aubrey, Santiago, Chile
We stumbled on this small boutique hotel last year and spent New Years 2015 there. The Hotel consists of two historic homes that were completely restored, upgraded and expanded. It manages to be intimate, authentic and original at the same time. There are three room types but all rooms are unique with ultra modern bathrooms. Some rooms have balconies or private terraces. There are extensive exterior decks and lounges. There is also a pool nestled on the edge of the hill. The property is surrounded by foliage and flowers yet there is plenty of sunshine.
There is an extensive breakfast buffet along with eggs to order. Tapas are available from the indoor/outdoor bar in the evening. Beverage service is available on demand anytime. Affordable massage service is available en suite or poolside. The service is world class and the concierge among the best.
Central Santiago and all the main sights are walkable, but there is also safe public transportation. Taxis are very affordable. There are dozens of dining, shopping and entertainment venues in the immediate neighborhood. Reviews rank 5 of 5 stars. Rates $195 to 575. USD
Website: The Aubrey
Canal House, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is truly a ‘unique to Amsterdam’ hotel made up of three traditional buildings (some dating back to the 1600s) adjacent to each other and merged into a unique luxury hotel. It faces one of the inner canals making it ideally situated for exploring the City. It is also walkable to the Central train station. It includes breakfast and Wi-Fi., garden, terrace. There are 23 rooms. The staff is multilingual and service attentive. It is like stepping back in time but with all the modern conveniences including room service. We cannot wait to go back. Good reason to go now, all the major museums and sights have been recently restored. Reviews rank 4.5 of 5 stars. Rates: $345 to $750. USD
Website: Canal House
Ravenswood Hall Hotel and Restaurant, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
We discovered this wonderful gem of a hotel as a pre-North Atlantic cruise extension. (Great suggestion if you are sailing in or out of Harwich, England.) The origins of the 7 acre estate, surrounded by thick English woods and flora, date back to Henry VIII. The hotel holds a variety of rooms, a lively pub/bar and an excellent restaurant. When weather permits, there is a large pool, and equally large sun terrace and expansive lawns.
The hotel is close to Bury St. Edmunds which is a robust town with all manner of history and activities. The bucolic Suffolk region offers easy access to seaside villages and tranquil countryside. Two, three or four nights would do nicely. Reviews rank 4 of 5 stars. Rates: 125 to 175. British Pounds
Tenuta Di Canonica, Todi, Umbria, Italy
We fell in love with this estate home, with roman ruins as the foundation, over a decade ago. It was transformed into a countryside hotel just outside the hill town of Todi in the region of Umbria. Rooms vary from simple and quaint to opulent suites. It retains so much character of its past but offers a warm inviting vibe that fosters lingering. Much of its history was that of a farm house, today a hotel with a wonderful chef in the kitchen for savory dinners and delectable breakfasts on one of the many terraces.
And after a long day of exploring the countryside towns and villages, an awesome pool terrace with unspeakably beautiful vistas awaits. We especially like to visit during the wild boar and truffle seasons (early fall). This is a fav of ours. Reviews rank 4.5 of 5 stars. Rates: $173 to $250 USD
Website: Tenuta Di Canonica
Sheraton Mirage, Port Douglas Resort, Port Douglas, Australia
This is a large, chic, upscale resort with all the bells and whistles you might expect. Two giant saltwater pools, several bars, restaurants but only one golf course. Choice of rooms or villas. Pool view, garden view, ocean view.
Best of all, this is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. One of the best in the world. We have been here twice and we are planning another visit in the next year or two. Tons of active options: the Reef, Daintree Rainforest, Skyrail Cableway, helicopter rides, rafting, horse riding and on and on. For this one, it is the whole package, hotel meets activity. No doubt the reef is tops. Reviews rank 4.5 of 5 stars. Rates: $220 to $1674. USD
Website: Sheraton Mirage, Port Douglas Resort
Hotel La Fenice et des Artistes, Venice, Italy
First, it’s in central Venice, steps away from St. Marks Square! Next door to La Fenice Opera House, where you can ease drop on tonight’s performance rehearsals in the late morning or early afternoon. It has a wonderful restaurant with a charming garden.
The rooms vary a lot but they all have incredible silk wall fabrics and classical period furniture with high ceilings and beautiful art. Breakfast is included, great bar, room service, concierge and free WI-Fi. Its a bargain by Venice standards. Did you know Venice by night is uncrowded and just as beautiful as by day?! Don’t forget the magic of hundreds of church bells ring simultaneously. Ah Venice. Reviews rank 4.5 of 5 stars. Rates: $270 to $1200. USD
Website: Hotel La Fenice et des Artistes