Image by Emma Field
I am the host of Thelma & Louise Club’s weekly #TandLC digital meetup on Twitter. I’m a travel writer and editor by day so I’ve visited a fair few amazing places around the world and I’m always on the look-out for something new.
But sometimes, you need ideas from someone who knows you better than any PR or search engine. So when I was planning this twitter chat, I asked my mum, Heather, for her recommendations.
After all, she helped form my tastes, and if she recommends a place, I know I’ll like it. So if she rates these hotels, so do I! And apparently it goes both ways – I recommended two of these hotels to her ages ago; it turns out she was listening!
These are her top five hotels for a special treat. I think there’s a hint here somewhere…
5 hotels for a special treat! by Running Earth
I've selected five hotels from around the world that I’d love to stay in. They’re not all expensive, but they all have something about them that makes them special, whether it’s the location, history or lifestyle. These hotels are perfect for a special treat.
A couple of years ago my daughter returned from her travels around the world and announced that when I’m 60, she’d treat me to a stay at Ananda – a luxury spa in the Himalayas that she’d found – and this got me thinking… If I had to choose a destination hotel, where exactly would I like to go?
Firstly, I love the idea of a bit of luxury after a day’s adventure, so a spa or relaxation element is a must. Secondly, an away-from-it-all location with a sense of the wild and untamed environment to reconnect me to who I am. Lastly, I’d like to experience something a little different from the norm.
These five hotels are all about as far away from Fawlty Towers as you can get, without losing any of that family run-feel quirkiness.
1. For those in need of pampering
If the spa was top of my list, it would have to be Ananda in the Himalayas (India) or Inkaterra Macchu Picchu Pueblo (Peru) or as they are both in incredible locations with an impressive list of treatments.
Ananda in the Himalayas sits in the enchanting and tranquil Himalayan foothills and is a retreat that re-defines your lifestyle. A place to experience traditional Indian and tailormade wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with 80+ body and beauty treatments - a skillful synthesis between age-old therapies and modern spa technology. Visitors include Prince Charles with the Duchess of Cornwall and Oprah Winfrey.
Inkaterra Macchu Picchu Pueblo on the other hand is 8,038 ft above sea level next to the ‘rushing’ Vilcanota River and described as the ‘ultimate cloud forest vacation paradise’. It offers an Andean Sauna, lymphatic drainage and/or hot stone massage with accommodation in artfully landscaped Andean Casitas peeking from lush gardens plus the promise of cosyness in my own thick alpaca blanket in the evenings. Their guided walks introduce you to humming birds, orchids and the protected and rare spectacled bears.
2. For the adventurous
For adventure as a priority – it would have to be a safari at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa. I went there many years ago and was impressed with the welcome note left on my bed made out of elephant pooh! Yes, they are incredibly eco-friendly and their cultural village and Tracking Academy is inspiring. It’s a place to see the Big 5, have early morning and sundown picnics by waterholes and return to high teas and the most amazing locally produced feast you can imagine, in a dining room set high in the trees.
For those who like mountain trekking there is the traditional eco-friendly Secret Garden Cotopaxi, nestled high in the Equadorian mountains offering mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, exploring canyons, and a Waterfall Hike. You can stay in one of their new ‘Hobbit Homes’ buried into the side of the mountain or share a spacious dorm with woodstove. I like the idea of sitting at a long table with fellow travellers and sharing stories of our adventures and feeling part of a community.
Image by Emma Field
3. For book lovers
Finally, I fancy a little bit of 30’s glamour at the 5-star Burgh Island Hotel off the south coast of Devon, UK, with regular live music (including jazz), murder mystery evenings and spa. I like the idea of dressing up for cocktails and dinner and reminiscing of past patrons like Agatha Christie and Noel Coward – I could pretend to be the elegant and sophisticated lady that I’m sure must be lurking somewhere deep inside of me!