Where travel writers pay to stay
Where do travel writers stay when they’re paying their own hotel bills? Here at 101 Holidays we asked the best-known travel journalists and editors on Twitter to each recommend a personal favourite hotel, B&B or guest house.
The rules were simple. The place to stay could be anywhere in the world, but most cost no more than £150 ($250) a night for two people. And, in keeping with the rules of Twitter, we asked the writers to describe it in no more than 140 characters.
Each of these hotels comes with a personal recommendation.
Mark Frary recommends: “The Wild Horse Inn, near Winter Park, Colorado. Isolated forest setting with roaring fireplace. Great hosts and yummy brekky.” Doubles from $135, B&B. Find more holiday ideas in America.
Richard Hammond is founder of greentraveller.co.uk and author of Rough Guides Clean Breaks. He recommends: “Can Marti, peaceful idyll in northeast Ibiza, stylish studio apartments on an organic farm near several good restaurants and sandy beaches.” An apartment for 2 costs from €130; organic breakfast €12pp.
Charyn Pfeuffer is a Seattle-based food and travel writer. She recommends a beach retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica: “Wellness rules at the über-eco Harmony Hotel. Nosara surf paradise with bungalows, open-air yoga, spa, salsa, raw foods, sushi & juice bar.” Doubles from $186 (£115) including breakfast, yoga class and cycle rental. Find our best Caribbean holidays.
Kim Mance is editor-in-chief of GoGalavanting.com and writes travel for The Huffington Post and magazines including Marie Claire. She recommends: “The hospitable and charming Villa Marsili, a short walk from the historic center of Cortona, Italy.” Doubles from €99, B&B. Find more holiday ideas in Italy.
Alastair McKenzie is a multi-media travel journalist with more than 20 years experience. He recommends: “Chaa Creek, Belize. A squillion things to do, see, smell, taste, feel, be fascinated by… or just chill. Everyone I’ve sent there, loves it.” From US$55 per person, DB&B.
Carmen Roberts is travel reporter for BBC World’s Fast Track programme. She says: “The Quincy Hotel in Singapore rocks – all-inclusive food, limo airport pick-up and within spitting distance of Orchard Road.” Double rooms cost around £120.
Lisa Minot is Travel Editor at The Sun. She recommends: “Mas Du Luberon in Venelles near Aix en Provence. It’s chabby chic, no design winner, but some rooms sleep up to six so great for families.” Doubles from €92, under-5s stay free. Breakfast €12pp.
Sarah Turner is a travel writer for The Times, the Daily Mail and The Guardian. She recommends: “Kamalaya on Koh Samui. A serene yet convivial, non-judgemental spa for the 21st Century. Notably good food and (biodynamic) wine.” Doubles cost from £132.
Caitlin Fitzsimmons has written for The Guardian, The Australian and Rough Guides, and writes a travel blog, Roaming Tales. She says: “The Museum Hotel in Cappadocia offers boutique luxury built into a cave system in a fascinating part of Turkey.” Doubles cost from €120, B&B.
Sally Shalam is a columnist at Guardian Travel and Conde Nast Traveller magazine. She recommends: “Plas Tan-Yr-Allt, near Tremadog, North Wales. 6 rooms, charming hosts, overlooks Glaslyn Estuary, worth the drive!” Double rooms from £120, B&B.
Sue Bryant is a freelance travel writer, broadcaster and guidebook author. She recommends: “Vered Hagalil, a horse ranch on the Sea of Galilee. Rustic cabins, shady gardens, sunrise gallops on the rocky lakeshore.” Cabins cost from US$132 B&B.
Felice Hardy is a freelance travel and ski writer. She recommends: “Ca’n Marquet, a traditional finca near Santa Gertrudis at the unspoilt heart of Ibiza. 8 rooms, swimming-pool, great views.” Double rooms from €140, B&B.
Richard Trillo is a freelance editor, Africa travel expert and author of the Rough Guide to Kenya. He recommends a lodge in Western Kenya: “Lake Victoria Safari Village in Mbita. Norwegian-run, on the shore of Lake Victoria. Stylish, comfortable, breezy, restful, close to Rusinga Island.” Doubles cost from $75 (£46), B&B. Find more holiday ideas in Africa.
Matthew Teller is a freelance travel writer for The Independent in London and media outlets worldwide, and an expert on the Middle East. He says: “When I die & go to heaven, I’m sure it will be like the RSCN Dana Guesthouse in Jordan: quiet, sunny, friendly with epic views & lots of tea.” Doubles from £75, half board.
Jody Halsted writes the travel blog Family Rambling. She recommends: “Harbor View Bed and Breakfast in Doolin, Ireland. The rooms are spacious and well appointed; perfect for families. On a clear day you can see the Aran Islands. Their traditional Irish breakfast is the perfect fuel for a day of exploring.” Double rooms start at €70.
Nick Redmayne is a freelance contributor to CNN Traveller, TimesOnline, Wanderlust and Bradt Travel Guides. He recommends: “Il Torrione di Vallurbana, an agriturismo in Umbria. No mobiles. All local food, from truffles to wine to roadkill pasta sauce.” Double rooms €75, B&B.
Victoria Trott writes guidebooks for the AA, Frommer’s, Michelin and Thomas Cook. She recommends: “Plume au Vent in Carnac, Brittany. One-bedroom, TV-free chambre d’hote in a stylishly decorated village house near the sea and megaliths.” From €75, B&B. Find more holiday ideas in France.
Jeremy Head is a travel writer, broadcaster, blogger and author of Frommer’s Seville Day by Day. He says: “These apartments in Seville are fabulous. The terraces have sublime views of the cathedral.” A 2-person apartment costs from €120 per night. Find more holiday ideas in Spain.
James Dunford Wood is co-founder of Worldreviewer.com and was founder of Travelintelligence.com. He recommends: “Quinta do Barranco da Estrada, Alentejo, Portugal – relaxed vibe under €100 with great views, water fun and amusing hosts.” Double rooms from €80, or €135 in high season, including breakfast and use of bicycles, canoes, sailing dinghy and sauna.
Rowena Carr-Allinson writes travel for Harpers Online, Elle, OK! and a range of other magazines. She recommends Le Gite d’Indaiatiba, a posada in Paraty, Brazil. Rowena says: “Tucked away in the rainforest, it’s a unique escape. Cosy, stylish, simple; fresh water pool, wild river & mini sauna hut, astonishing food.” Bungalows for two cost from £50.
Fiona Quinn is a travel writer and an editor at Frommer’s UK. She recommends: “La Balancine in St Martin, Ile de Ré. A 2-room chambre d’hote in quiet alley decorated in antique and modern Ile de Ré whitewash style.” Doubles from €105, B&B.
Annie Bennett writes travel articles about Spain for the Telegraph, Observer and National Geographic. She says: “An hour from Malaga, Finca el Cerrillo is an old olive mill in the Axarquia hills with terrific food and a creative atmosphere.” Doubles from €112, B&B.
Steve Keenan is Online Travel Editor at The Sunday Times in London. He recommends: “Romney Bay House Hotel. Middle of nowhere, on shingle beach, 5 mile walk to Dungeness /Jarman’s garden. Fish & chips, good food, sea shells.” Doubles from £92, B&B.
James Ellis is a freelance writer and photographer and for 10 years was Travel Editor of Metro in London. He recommends: “The Pottery House on the shores of Loch Ness. Three rooms, very green, views over the Loch, best breakfast in Scotland. Lovely.” Double rooms from £68, B&B.
Laura Bly is a travel writer at USA Today. She says: “Built in 1930s, California’s Deetjen’s is quintessential Big Sur: Hippy dippy, romantic, anarchic. Fireplace room on a cold rainy night: bliss.” Doubles with private bathroom from $130.
Angela Corrias is an Italian journalist who writes about travel and politics. She recommends: “Hotel Foz do Iguaçu in Southern Brazil, close to the wonderful Iguaçu waterfalls: exquisitely friendly staff, huge and diverse breakfast buffet, comfortable rooms.” Weekend rates for a double room start at around £125.
Andrew Hickey is a blogger and travel writer for MSNBC, MSN, the New York Times and Yahoo! Travel. He recommends: “Hotel Teatro in Denver, Colorado. Modern and clean rooms, HDTV, huge bathroom. Great location near most attractions. Free wifi.” Doubles cost from $159, room ony.
Mike Gerrard is the new co-editor of 101 USA Holidays. He recommends: “The Homewood Suites by Hilton in Chicago – friendly staff, free wifi, free supper & wine night nights a week – ideal for a writer on the road.” Doubles from $125 (£77), B&B.
Sarina Singh is a widely published freelance writer and author of 30 Lonely Planet guidebooks. She recommends: “The fort-inspired hillside Aodhi, a country retreat near Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan. Earthy charm, jungle rooms, breezy terraces, open-air pool, winter bonfires and it’s close to Kumbhalgarh Fort.” Doubles from US$140.
Abigail King is a full time writer who is passionate about travel. Her work has appeared in National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel and France Today. She recommends: “Jaen Parador, Andalusia, inside a fortress on a hilltop. Carved shutters, roaring fires, olive groves, suits of armour.” Doubles from €148 excluding breakfast.
Emily Matcher is a US-based travel writer and guidebook writer. Her latest book is Lonely Planet’s Carolinas, Georgia and the South Trips. She recommends: “The luxe yurts at Campfire Lodgings outside Asheville, North Carolina. Killer views, and only $135 a night.”
Jeanne Dee is a writer and former actress from California, who along with her husband and 9-year-old daughter has been travelling the world constantly for the past three years. She recommends: “The architect-owned Dar Seffarine, an authentic, intimate, enchanting riad in Fez Medina. It feels like time travel and being a guest at the Alhambra!” Doubles from €70, B&B.
Tracey Davies writes for The Observer, Junior and Mother & Baby. She recommends: “Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City. Feels like staying in Buck House! Real old school glamour, a saucy past and a stupendous martini bar.” Doubles from £120.
Alex Robertson Textor has contributed travel articles to numerous publications including Rough Guides and The Guardian. He also edits koucou, a new online guide to independent budget travel in the Caribbean. Alex recommends: “Lô Bleu on Guadeloupe’s stunning Terre-de-Haut island has a cool simplicity, kind owners, quiet location, and baguettes for breakfast.” Doubles from €70.
Kim Wildman writes guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Bradt and DK, and features for The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and MSN. She recommends: “Tunza Lodge, Mwanza, Tanzania: Between the beach, the bar & the sunsets over Lake Victoria, this is one lusciously laidback lodge. Doubles cost $US45 – 60.
Ginny Light is Travel Editor at TimesOnline. She recommends: ”The Globe Inn, Wells, Norfolk: 7 rooms above a great pub. Drink local ale and eat cracking fish and chips, then wander down to the seaside.” Doubles from £80, B&B.
Benji Lanyado is a travel writer for The Guardian and New York Times. He recommends: “BAD Catania: artist-operated B&B 30 seconds from Catania’s sprawling daily food market. Roof terrace for al-fresco brekkie.” Doubles from €60, room only.
Lara Dunston, a self-confessed “perpetual globetrotter” has written more than 40 travel books and hundreds of articles. She says: “In Damascus, Beit Rumman is my ‘beit’ of choice: sensitive restoration, tranquil courtyard, trickling fountain, friendly staff, fab location.” Doubles $250 B&B, in high season (less in low season).
Jill Starley-Grainger writes for Conde Nast Traveller, BA High Life and The Sunday Times Travel magazine. She says: “Hennessey House in Napa, California, is the perfect American B&B: historic house, charming owners, sociable guests, home comforts.” Doubles from US$149, B&B.
Susan Farlow has been a travel writer and photographer for 30 years, working for the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times. She recommends: “Amsterdam’s Hotel Estherea, an elegant house on the city’s oldest canal. Quiet, yet close to the bustle. Family-owned with loads of history.” Doubles cost from €99 (US$146).
David Whitley is a freelance travel writer who writes for newspapers and magazines worldwide. He recommends: “Hunter Valley Cooperage in a vineyard in the New South Wales wine region. An adorable ‘retreat’ apartment with amazing service.” Doubles from £133, B&B.
Meera Dattani has written for the Mail, Times Online, the Guardian and Independent. She recommends: “Luz en Yucatan in Merida, Mexico. It’s full of soul and anti-rules. The pool is open 24-7, it has quirky rooms and friendly vibes. The website alone is worth checking out.” Doubles cost from $50 a day.
David Atkinson writes travel for the Sunday Telegraph, Observer, Financial Times and Wanderlust. He recommends: “Rosemount Cottage, a quintessential north Lakes guesthouse on Hadrian’s Wall for village walks and gut-busting breakfast.” Doubles from £56 B&B.
Heather Poole is a US-based flight attendant who writes travel for Gadling.com. She says: “I love Villa Rosa in Positano. Simple, charming, amazing view, friendly staff, and breakfast each morning brought to the room.” Doubles cost from €160 / £147 / $234, B&B.
Nick Rowlands lives in Cairo, where he is a freelance writer and managing editor of a local city guide. He recommends: “Awlad Baraka ecolodge in Marsa Alam, Egypt. Isolated huts nestle amidst sand, sea & silence. Search for dolphins & dugong by day; stargaze by night.” Huts from €57 for two, full-board.
Elke Weiler is a travel journalist and editor at Travel-Mag. On Madeira she recommends: “The Quinta Estalagem da Ponta do Sol on the top of a cliff with its fantastic combination of design and nature. Great atmosphere and French chef.” Doubles from €65, B&B.
Nancy D. Brown, Lodging Editor at Uptake.com, says: “You’ll see why Oregon’s Weasku Inn was Clark Gable’s favorite Rogue River fishing spot. Great place to relax/write with beautiful grounds. Rates start at $179 including breakfast.”
Cathy Bartrop is founder of travelguru.tv, the video-based travel website. She recommends: “Castell D’Emporda near Girona. Rural Spanish bliss in a stunning restored medieval castle with ultra modern twist. Discreet and very romantic without being OTT.” Doubles from €99, B&B.
Mark Henshall is a travel writer and travel editor at Frommer’s UK. He recommends: “The Hermitage at Aoraki Mount Cook in New Zealand’s Southern Alps for unforgettable views of NZ’s tallest mountain and the Tasman Glacier.” Doubles with a view from £121, B&B.
Will Hide is a regular travel writer for The Times in London. He says: “The Punch Bowl in the Lake District gets everything right (greeting, rooms, food, staff, atmosphere). I’ve been back twice. Love it.” Doubles start at £125, B&B.
Mark Hodson is editor of 101 Holidays and has written 500+ travel articles for The Sunday Times in London. He says: “I’m a fan of Sychnant Pass House, a friendly, family-run bolthole in the idyllic setting of Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.” Double rooms from £100, B&B.
Frank “Arsy” Camel is an anonymous travel blogger and author of the London Abroad column in the Evening Standard. He recommends: “Hotel Hurricane in Tarifa on Spain’s Atlantic Coast. Shabby, chic, a windswept beach, fab food & wine.” Doubles from £93, B&B.
Karen Bryan is editor of the Europe a la Carte Blog. She recommends: “Villa Dobravac, Rovinj, Croatia, beautiful villa, rooms at front with balconies have amazing sea views to old town, great location & price.” Double rooms from €45; breakfast €8pp.
John Van Kirk is a consultant and travel writer and founder of Travel Answer Man. He recommends the Best Western Grand Hôtel De L’Univers in Paris on the Left Bank one block from Boulevard Saint-Germain. “It is the heart and soul of the city. What a fabulous location.” Double rooms from £148, B&B.
Andrew Sanger is a France specialist who has written 30 guide books, and countless features for newspapers including The Times and The Independent. He says: “In Paris, I always just cross the road from the Eurostar to Mercure Hotel Terminus Nord. No hassle. Very comfortable, quiet, convenient.” Doubles cost from €108 (£98).
Melissa Shales is a travel writer, guidebook author and Chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers. She recommends: “Exmoor House for walks, wellies, fireside chats and fab food – cosy home comforts in a glorious setting.” Double rooms from £84, B&B.
Shaney Hudson writes travel for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald and Backpacker Essentials. She recommends: “Luna Sonrisa, a great little B&B in Valparaiso, Chile. Amazing hospitality, comfortable, a special place.” Double rooms from £24, B&B.
Andy Jarosz is a UK-based travel writer and blogger. He recommends: “Tierra de Leyendes in Ushuaia, Argentina. Where the hosts treat you exactly as they would want to be treated. And views to die for.” Doubles in high season from US$189, B&B.
Donald Strachan writes travel for publications including the Independent, Sunday Telegraph and Frommers.com. He says: “Hotel Villa Rinascimento is a 15th-century villa with loggia and pool 15 minutes from Lucca, 15 from Pisa. Olive grove views, quality dining, scrambled eggs for breakfast.” Doubles cost €141.
Emma Gregg is a freelance travel writer, editor and photographer specialising in Africa and Australia. She recommends: “Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour. Tents-to-rent on an urban island, a short ferry hop from the Opera House. Simple, novel, fun.” A tent for two costs A$90 (£51), self-catering.
Fiona Cullinan is a travel writer, web editor and corporate blogger. She recommends: “Traders Kuala Lumpur for its Sky Bar with sunken booths, glass walls, martinis and close-up views of Petronas Towers.” Double rooms at this 4-star city-centre hotel can be had for as little as £59.
Heather Cowper writes the travel blog, Heather on Her Travels. She recommends: “Budget boutique bliss at Circus Hotel in Berlin. Cool rooms and apartments, great bar and restaurant & the most charming & helpful staff.” Doubles from €80; breakfast €4 pp.
Abigail Flanagan is a former producer and director on BBC Watchdog who now writes travel for The Guardian and Mumsnet. She recommends: “Paperbark Bush Retreat, carbon-neutral escapism, leopard conservation, fab grub and bloody big bugs in South Africa’s Leutla Valley.” A double room costs £160 a night including all meals and non-alcoholic drinks.
Ben Cooper is Editorial Director of TravelIntelligence.com and a committed Hispanophile. He recommends: “Casa del Capitel Nazari: tucked away in Granada’s Albaicin – an assortment of simple rooms clustered round a fine 16th-century courtyard.” Doubles from about £70 a night.
Chris Gray Faust, former travel editor of USA Today recommends: “Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. On the beach, open air balconies, pool just added. Budget lodge atmosphere. Greats hosts, cool guests.” Doubles from $69, room only.
Joe Cawley is an award-winning travel writer and author based in Tenerife. He recommends: “Finca Malvasia in Lanzarote. A rustic retreat jazzed up with funky retro furnishings. Enjoy tumbleweed solitude and the hospitality of on-the-ball owners.” Doubles from €120 excluding breakfast.
Simon Nixon is founder of Moneysupermarket.com and Simonseeks.com, and a passionate traveller. He recommends: “Modern boutique luxury hotel: the wonderful Malmaison in Clerkenwell offers stylish weekend rates of £150 per night.”
David Powell is travel and features editor at the Kent Advertiser Group. He recommends the Palm Beach Hotel in Cyprus: “A luxury hotel right on the seafront just outside Larnaca. This is a perfect place for a short haul, friendly relaxing break in the Cyprus sun.” Room rates from £100 per night.
Beth Blair writes travel for Fodors.com and Foxnews.com, and is co-founder of TheVacationGals.com. She recommends: “Loews Lake Vegas Resort, a tropical paradise in the middle of the desert. The sand beach and private cabanas help guests forget they’re only a short drive to the Las Vegas Strip.” Doubles from $179 (£112).
Lisa Corcoran is editor of Travel Notebook. She says: “I loved the location of Mountain House Lodge, in Aspen. Comfortable rooms, good hospitality and breakfast.” Double rooms cost from $79 (£49), B&B.
Tom Hall is Travel Editor at Lonely Planet. He recommends: “The Empress Zoe in Istanbul for Hagia Sophia and Bosphorus views, lovely garden and balconies and funky Constantinople theme. Go for the special double with a balcony for £121.”
Ant Stone is a freelance writer and editor of the travel blog TrailofAnts.com. He recommends: “Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse in Chengdu, China. Sim & Maki know what backpackers want, and deliver on every level.” Double rooms cost from £7.25.