Sometimes a holiday can be beneficial to more than just you.  Some accommodations have projects to help the community around them.  Often picking independently owned small hotels is a more responsible choice than a large hotel chain: keeping the profits in the local area.  An American charity called Hotels That Help asks participating hotels to add $1 per night to a guests bill and the money raised goes directly to the hotel's chosen charity.  Some hotels use their space to highlight to guests a cause, or to work with nature.  Clean the World partner with US hotels to collect and sanitize used hotel toiletries and then forward them to impoverished countries.  Visit www.travelersphilanthropy.org to look at other ways to contribute through travel. 

boatsonlakeI was convinced, during our recent summer visit to the UK, of the advantages of the unseasonal downpours.  This is not my natural reaction, but it was undeniable when looking out on the multiple green shades of the mossy walls, thriving woodland and fields rising to towering fells of the Lake District.  Rabbits and sheep abound munching on the lush grass.  The clouds hardly dared to reveal the sun, more often they topped up the vast waters during our stay.  But this in no way dampened the striking beauty of the place. 

restored indian palace

 

With a site bursting with amazing places to stay it's hard to choose my favourites, but here goes ...

American Safari Cruises - Children and cruises don't usually go together but these itineraries are great with up close wildlife and kayaking from the boat and a special children's programme. click

Devi Garh - This stylish palace in Rajasthan gives the best of both worlds, being in a rural location there are great outdoor activities available, whilst also being close to the city of Udaipur.  click

Hotel Costa Verde, Boeing 727 Fuselage Suite - This 2 bedroom suite would provide privacy with jungle and ocean views on the doorstep of one of Costa Rica's National Parks. clickBoeing 727 Suite

Belrepayre Airstream Trailer Park - If you like a spot of retro this is the place to be.  Sleep in an authentic American vintage caravan at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains.  After a days hike, chill out to a DJ spinning tunes in the Apollo Lounge. click

Club La Santa - We have been here and all the family love it.  If you like a active holiday and want to come home fitter than when you left go to this great sports hotel in Lanzarote. click

Kooljaman Cape Leveque - I love the unspoilt beauty of the west coast of Australia so I would love to stay at a beach shelter here. clickger tent in Mongolia

Three Camel Lodge - Surely Mongolia epitomises being off the beaten track, but staying in the gers (traditional tents) here means that you don't compromise on comfort.  click  For travellers on a budget the Anak Ranch would offer a more raw experience. click

The Pavilion Hotel, London - Next time I stay in London I'm going to check this place out.  Reasonably priced, a good location and fun funky themed rooms. click

Biological Reserve Huilo Huilo - There are accommodation types for every budget here and the rainforest, lake and volcano surroundings of this Chilean nature reserve offer a wide variety of activities. clickMirrorcube treehouse

Any of the treehouses on the site would be great but my favourites are Free Spirit Spheres click on Vancouver Island and the unique designs of the Treehotel in Sweden. click

Find all these and more on QuirkyAccom.com

 
   
camelrobot
Long known for their assistance in the desert as their fur reflects the sun and their fatty humps minimize heat to the rest of their bodies, the camels main use to humans is as transportation. 
 

My personal experience of camels was at the pyramids at Giza in Cairo many years ago.  Not the most relaxing introduction as we were trailed relentlessly until we agreed to climb on the back of a kneeling sandy creature, who then lurched dramatically to its feet and nonchalantly gave us a brief, lollerping tour.

blogSemana Santa or Holy Week is celebrated with much ceremony throughout Spain and Latin America.  Processions mark the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Nowhere is this seen with more vibrancy and drama than in Antigua.  This ancient city of Guatamala, found in the central highlands, is famous for its Baroque architecture, although many crumbling buildings and spectacular ruins can be seen illustrating the damage of past earthquakes.  

The cobbled streets are the stage for the processions that sway solemnly to the mournful thump and roll of the drums and blasts of brass.   These lead the many visitors and participants through Holy Week until the joyous celebrations of Easter Sunday.

Giant floats, or pasos, carrying Christ at various stages in his journey, weighing as much as 3000 kilos are carried on the shoulders of 50 or more cucuruchos.  These worshippers in ceremonial robes, feel honoured to take their turn as a form of penance.  At times these parades tread their route around the city for 8 hours, with perhaps the hardest task falling to the musicians for their unbroken accompaniment.  Good Friday sees Roman soldiers lining the route and mock-trials of Jesus.