Where I’ve wandered…
Europe: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro
Asia: India, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong
North America: Canada, USA, Mexico
Caribbean: Cayman Islands, Cuba
Central America: Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras
Australia & Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
South America: Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina
Some of my personal recommendations from around the globe. This page is a work in progress…
The Inn at Venice Beach, Venice LA is tricky with its neighborhoods sprawling several miles across the valley, but if you’re looking for beach by day and the party scene of Hollywood by night, this locale is killer. It doesn’t look like much from outside, but don’t be fooled as the place has been completely transformed into a funky boutique hotel. Rooms are comfy, modern and well-appointed featuring cool vintage photography of Venice landmarks. Breakfast is served in a charming courtyard garden and the staff are amazing.
Hotel Max, Seattle Situated smack dab in the centre of downtown, The Max is a chic boutique hotel walking distance to most of Seattle’s hot spots. Each guest room door is adorned with a different artistic façade and the hotel acts as a pseudo-gallery featuring some fabulous local artists throughout.
Hotel Newton, NYC Next time you’re in the big apple, consider a stay at the historical Hotel Newton. Located on the Upper West Side, this inexpensive boutique hotel has friendly staff, a jazz bar around the corner and subway nearby.
The Mosser Hotel, San Francisco Funky boutique hotel just off Market Street and walking distance to the heart of the city. Start off with a cocktail at Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro before meandering about the many shops and restaurants nearby.
Porter Airlines Frequent flights to some of our favorite cities south of the border. Fly from Toronto’s Island Airport direct to Newark several times a day, but first relax in the passenger lounge with complimentary coffee bar. Oh, and they serve wine (in wine glasses) with pate during all afternoon and evening flights.
West Bay Lodge, Roatan, Honduras Imagine staying amidst a tropical oasis of palms, mango trees and beautiful hibiscus. Then add an inviting plunge pool surrounded by charming, well-equipped bungalows, each with a hammock strung on the front porch. This is West Best Lodge. Located a few minutes walk from West Bay – the best beach on the island – guests are welcomed by three cheeky parrots and friendly staff. Breakfast is included each morning at owner Celeste’s restaurant onsite.
Caribbean Villas, Ambergris Caye, Belize Tucked away through an exotic tropical garden sits 3 villas with a private beach and dock, beach bar, pool, hot tubs, hammocks and fantastic, attentive staff. A 15 minute walk or BZ$5 cab ride south of San Pedro, each room comes equipped with a kitchenette. Watch for birds, hermit crabs and lizards that roam around the beautifully maintained grounds!
The Lazy Iguana, Caye Caulker, Belize Situated in a quiet spot on the island, a 10 minute walk (or quick bike ride) away from Front Street – the ‘main drag’ – this B&B is the best valued accommodation on the island. Comprised of four comfy rooms with en suites, a common room with cable TV and honor bar, and a delicious breakie of freshly baked goods and fresh fruit, it’s an ideal spot. Oh, there’s a giant palapa on the roof with hammocks and a fabulous view. Fabulous indeed.
Hotel Casazul, Flores, Guatemala This three-storey colonial style hotel is located right on the lakeside board walk and boasts amazing views of Lake Peten Itza. Rooms are clean, cozy and a little kitschy but this only adds to the charm of he place. The staff are warm and helpful and offer free coffee in the lobby all day.
Astoria Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil If you’re looking to stay in the heart of Copacabana – which I totally recommend – but don’t want to spend a quan, this is the place to stay. Located at the halfway mark of the promenade, a few doors down from the infamous Copacabana Palace, the Astoria is newly renovated and has a fabulous rooftop deck overlooking the beach with bar service and an infinity pool.
Bonito, Buenos Aires, Argentina Buenos Aires is divided into several different neighborhoods, all of which have a distinct charm and allure. If you’re looking for a Parisian-esque experience with quaint plazas, colonial architecture, and tango in the streets, San Telmo is the spot. The Bonito B&B is perfect for the artsy set and is walking distance to several of the city’s main attractions.
Skala Hotel, Ios, Greece If you’re island hopping among the Cyclades in Greece, consider a few days on Ios. That is, if you’re ready to party like a rock star. The island is pictuesque, quaint and has some fabulous family-run eateries. But the big draw really is the stellar nightlife. Skala Hotel is perched on a hill overlooking the town and the med. There’s a rooftop pool, free transport from the ferry and the staff are fabulous. The climb up the hill is a bit of a trek, but it’ll sober you up after a boozy night on the town.
La Minerva, Capri, Italy This modern yet charming 18-room hotel is set in a quiet, panoramic position on Capri, a few minutes walk away from Via Tragara and the Piazzetta. Owners Luigi and Laura are welcoming and helpful and their staff will arrange just about anything you need. The rooms are well appointed with spectacular views and breakfast is included and served on a large terrace overlooking the ocean. My experience here was flawless!
Albergo Miramare, Positano, Italy Positano can be tricky, when it comes to picking the perfect place to stay, but the Miramare offered the best of both worlds. Breathtaking views of the ocean from the each room – all with large terraces and sun loungers – and situated in equal proximity to the high road and the beach. Be prepared to climb a few stairs, but this romantic little villa is absolutely worth it. The staff are pleasant and helpful and breakfast is included, served in a quaint dining room overlooking the village and beach below.
Hotel de la Bretonnerie, Paris, France A few steps away from the Place des Vosges, the Picasso Museum, and Notre-Dame in the fabulous Marais neighborhood, this boutique hotel has managed to preserve it’s Parisian character. Exposed beams and traditional French furnishings add the the cozy, romantic atmosphere. The staff are friendly and helpful and most are multilingual.
Hotel Delle Regioni, Rome, Italy This small hotel is pretty nondescript but the location is unbeatable. Located just off of Via del Tritone a short walk away from the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps, and Piazza Barberini, this is the perfect place to stay if you don’t intend to spend much time in your hotel. Rooms are clean and comfy, and the mini bar is always stocked with an ample supply of prosecco. Staff are friendly, Wi-Fi is free in the lounge and complimentary espresso and fresh pastries are served every morning.
Hilltime, Grand Cayman If you’re rallying the troops for a Caribbean get-a-way, consider this four bedroom villa situated right on the beach. The place is huge, with more than enough room to fit four couples comfortably. Each room has a breathtaking view of the ocean and you can expect to see rays, barracuda and other sea urchins while snorkeling off the private beach.
Hotel Habana Libre Located in the heart of the Vedado, take a walk back in time while enjoying the spoils of Havana. The hotel has been maintained really well over the years, however the style and decor still emulates the luxury of the 1950s. Said to have been the temporary headquarters for Castro’s regime in 1959, that energy still exists there today. The views are fantastic on the higher floors and the pool is a nice place to relax after a long day exploring the city (or a long night in one of the local salsa bars).
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu