How many times have you checked into a hotel and realised that your room is exactly like so many others you have stayed in before? That it doesn't matter which country you are in because there is no sign of culture, individuality or creativity about it. Well all that can change. All over the world hotels are becoming more inspired and there is no need to stay anywhere ordinary ever again. You can even make your choice of accommodation part of your decision when picking your destination - some places warrent a detour. These special accommodations will become part of your holiday story and the memory will stay with you for a long time.
Choose a hotel that incorporates its environment - Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka
Or oozes artistic uniqueness - Hang Nga's Crazy House. Vietnam
Dubai isn't top of my list of destinations but with a multi-segmented lengthy journey ahead of us we decided to break it there. It's always interesting to go somewhere new.
For many, with extensive funds at their disposal, Dubai's top-class beach hotels and the desert sun would be the focus, but if you go in the summer (July to September) you may see little more than your air-conditioned room as temperatures can soar to almost 50 degrees centigrade (120 degrees fahranheit). During other months you can enjoy the pale sand and clear water of Dubai's coast with impressive diving and fishing as well as water theme parks.
The world's most luxurious hotel is here. Shaped like a giant billowing sail and standing at 321 metres it dominates the coastal skyline. View details
A summary of my discoveries along the Sri Lankan South Coast from Hikkaduwa to Tangalle.
This busy but laid-back surf beach has been critisized as having seen better days, and although I would agree with that regarding the reef end, Hikkaduwa beach stretches far beyond that. We really enjoyed a few days relaxing here and boogie-boarding into shore.
The trick is to look for accommodation with numbers higher than 580 on Galle Road. Anything below that is at the tired end where it all looks a bit shabby and the sand is very narrow and bolstered by sandbags in places.
Missed by many who only make it to the more crowded coastal resorts, the centre of Sri Lanka is a gem, in fact an emerald. Lush rice paddies, lofty palms and forested expanses that undulate as far as the horizon, occasionally studded with a towering Buddha statue glinting in the sun.
The Cultural Triangle awaited us. On my previous visit, 20 years before there were places I couldn't get to - due to a meagre budget and their remote locations and a thing called 'war'. Now, accompanied by our trusty driver, Asanka, some of the treasures were within my reach. We visited the impressive Sigiriya rock fortress, a former plug of a long-since eroded volcano, with its beautiful cave paintings, and the large buddhist decorated caves at Dambulla. Also in the area are the National Parks of Minneriya and Kaudulla where elephants and other wildlife can, at times (depending on the amount of recent rainfall), be seen in large numbers, and the important ancient sites of Polonnuruwa and Anaradhapuru.
- Travelling Alone
- Chiang Mai Party Train
- Expat Christmas
- Chang beer on the Koh San Road, Bangkok
- Make Things Happen - Volunteer Work Abroad
- Ethiopia - Land of Mystery
- InterRail: How my travels began
- Support Japan - Go There!
- Futuristic Travel (part 2) - On Earth
- Futuristic Travel (part 1) - Space
- Coast to Coast
- Cape Town
- Ibiza - Mature Clubbing
- Hotels in Disguise
- Top Travel Reads
- Camino de Santiago de Compostela
- Sleep Well & In Style at UK Festivals
- The Pyrenees and Beyond
- Is a Bull Run Fun?
- Latitude Festival Review
- Socially Conscious Accom
- Brighton V Blackpool
- Lake District Tips and Tipis
- The Straw that Broke the Camels Back
- My Top Quirky Places to Stay
- Semana Santa in Guatamala
- Introducing Myself