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 72 of 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 ($185) 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.
Note: please check websites for current prices, which may have changed since publication.
Mark Frary, a Times travel writer and Editor of 101 Family Holidays, 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.
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.
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 centre 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 and writes on cruise for The Sunday Times. 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.
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 a senior editor at Google Travel. 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 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, former Travel Editor at TimesOnline, 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 former 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.
* Fancy yourself as a travel writer? Check out the 101 Holidays travel journalism internship.