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These are places to stay in the countries and cities I have visited that I can either recommend fully or give an honest review from personal experience of staying , visiting or from my intensive research (Please consider these reviews as a guide only, I would always advise reviewing up to date information prior to booking as I cannot know if a change of management etc. has affected the quality of accommodation and service to tourists) I will be updating Travel Tales & Facts with new entries and For more general information of course back in .......

Links popular destination info websites


Kasbah Tamadot

Richard Branson's Moroccan retreat has the hallmark attention to the finest details . Although this project was initiated by Richard's mother Eve ...It took from 1998 when he was preparing for his round the world balloon launch. That the Kasbah ( then in the hands of an Italian antiques dealer was discovered ) up until 2005 .......7 long years to create the lavish vision that Eve had invisiged all those years previously. I had the opportunity to visit a friend staying there. I felt it had an intimacy which is a testament to the delicate balance of design, even the public areas gave a feeling of privacy. The setting is stunning and with a convenient location just 1hr from Marrakesh it really is the ideal vacation.

See More Images * Tamadot Retreat Gallery *



Auberge Baddou ...Tamtattouchte ...18km to Gorges du Todra ........a very welcoming, friendly and tranquil place. The rooms are spacious and nicely furnished there are two tented areas one where our food was served which was some of the best on the whole trip. We were treated to live music in the evening ....I certainly would love to return

Ait Oudinar .......This hotel is situated in the Gorges Dades quite spectacular landscape and rock formations here.The interior had a nice ambience and traditional moorish details. The rooms had balconies and there was a nice terrace to take meals on



Auberge Telouet .........I loved this place so much history with the Glaoui Kasbah which is a hidden treasure. We were guided by Ali a very well educated man the rooms opened out onto a huge terrace with lovely views. The restaurant was cosy and the hospitality superb


Kasbah Du Toubkal ........If you want fresh air and breathtaking views in a mountain retreat look no further. This Kasbah has a wonderfully touching story how a Berber and European partnership came together with vision and determination to create something unique The Kasbah du Toubkal is not a hotel in the traditional sense, it is more an extension of the hospitality that stems from the home of the Berbers who run it. Unfortunately I just spent a few hours here on a trip to Toubkal base camp on my next trip to Morocco this has to be one place I stay 1 night at least and when the snow is icing the highest Atlas peaks ......beware if you visit the website you will be captivated


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Hotel Familiar ........This 30 roomed hotel has a lot of charm and located in the heart of the Latin Quarter is within easy walking distance of Notre Dame and other attractions. I booked a top floor room with balcony facing the gothic cathedral the decor was blue French chintz ...although they are not all in this style most rooms have murals frescoes (painted by an artist of the ecole des Beaux Arts) and representing historical places of the capital and monuments of Paris. Here are a few images of my balcony view

Hotel Tamaris .....I would definately return to Tamaris Hotel it was exellent value for money and in very good location for Metro line 1 and buses. Most Parisien hotels do not have tea making facilities but Tamaris provided pot of tea or coffee on request for €3 very useful when returning to the hotel late cold & tired I was there in February at Valentines see the Paris gallery.The reception and breakfast room were delightful & the small courtyard is available in warmer weather. The decor in my room was dated but it was clean and comfortable and reflected in the price. Only 1 minus that I found was rooms at the front of the hotel would experience buses idle engine noise that seemed almost constant as it was an end stop for the bus route.

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Sea U Guest House

Uschi and her staff make this beautiful Colonial Guesthouse in Bathsheba Barbados an ideal retreat away from 21st Century pressures feel the fresh invigorating cool breeze, listen to the oceans waves rolling mesmerisingly onto the Tent Bay shore. Relax and unwind stretched out in one of the many hammocks hung between the coconut palms and on the covered porch outside your cosy studio apartments many with sea views. Wander through the lush gardens on the cliffside and if your lucky you may catch sight of a Green Monkey or a Barbadian Mongoose Breakfast and your evening meal is served in the open air gazebo. The speciality of banana and coconut bread is freshly baked and yummy even though the birds think so too!! cheeky things will lift off a cover and steal what they can carry. For townies it is a great introduction to local wildlife. The attention to detail at Sea U makes this a Bajan welcome not to be missed. Uschi incorporated all the things that made life on the road feel like a home from home for her when she worked in the tourist industry from the clients viewpoint. She chose the perfect Caribbean location, situated on the East Coast close to the Soup Bowl where surfing is world class and just 5 minutes walk to the famous >>

Andromeda Botanical Gardens

To view more images at * Bathsheba Gallery *

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White Sands Negril

White Sands is the best value on Negril Beach family run simple and comfortable in an excellent location White Sands was developed in 1971 when Henry Moo-Young and his late wife Gloria decided to build four spacious apartments on the most beautiful beach in Jamaica. Their hospitality philosophy was, and remains today, to provide simple, clean rooms at an affordable price. Over thirty five years have passed, four rooms have grown to forty six and Henry still lives on property and greets guests each day. Having grown up with eleven brothers and sisters Henry is a firm believer in the strength of the family. So much so that he and his family are responsible for the total management and care of the resort. Guests are treated like family and some have been returning for their annual holiday for well over 25 years. The sea here is crystal and the white sand creates the idylic aquamarine hue of exotic dreams. I stayed beach side a little more convenient there are also apartments on the garden side situated across the Negril Road with pool and the office.

To see more images * Jamaica Gallery *



The Accomodation is uniquely individual and inventively named. Heartbeat is situated on the Negril Rocks perfect for snorkelling easily walkable to the roundabout of Negril Centre. There are a number of eateries very reasonably priced such as Chicken Lavish very aptly named serving yes lavish portions and of course Jerk Chicken ( if you are not used to this ask for a mild version ) is available everywhere. A nice touch is the fruit man that arrives in a small van peels and prepares fresh fruit like pineapple mango that can be kept in the fridge. I thorougly enjoyed my stay the staff were very friendly. Just one minus point there was very loud music thumping until the early hours from a bar across the road I found it quite overpowering and annoying and so had to resort to my earplugs. And so if you would find this a problem there are a number of slightly more exclusive places to stay further toward the lighthouse end of the road. In general I would recommend Jamaica for the warm welcome and excentricity of its people the country itself is stunningly beautiful and Negril is worthy of its popularity.

To view more Images see * Jamaica Gallery *



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St Lucia:-

Villa Caribbean Dreams:

A beautifully situated Villa with spectacular views from the southerly most tip of the island at Moule a Chique it is just 8mins drive to the international airport. I hired a car while I was there as the island has many gems to explore for those interested in windsurfing this is an ideal location. The owner Brigitte is a very colourful character she is welcoming and attentive. I travelled with her and some friends to the Jazz Festival and she took me to Balenbouche and introduced me to the owner a good friend of hers. She has 2 very friendly dogs and a few cats so not suitable if your not an animal lover or have allergies. I stayed in the main house and enjoyed a hearty breakfast layed out on the huge decked balcony overlooking the Caribbean sea the ambience really takes some beating. The deck has sunbeds for you to just laze on read or wait for the sun to set on another beautiful day in paradise. There is also a self contained Rainbow Apartment and the pretty Creole House that shares the garden and views they are equally as colourful as Brigitte herself. St Lucia itself is incredibly lush and one of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean the people are relaxed and extreemly friendly I felt completely safe at all times here. St Lucia is rarely cloudless but the sun peeping in and out of the clouds sometimes creates a welcome relief from the heat of the day. Would I go back? oh yes

To see more images of St Lucia go to these galleries >>>.... St Lucia & Jazz Festival

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Trinidad de Cuba:-Casa Munoz

Anyone visiting the beautiful Colonial City of Trinidad de Cuba would be warmly welcomed and could not fail to enjoy a stay with Julio and his family wife Rosa daughters Maria & Carmen the family also includes 3 dogs and a young horse named Luna de Miel (Honeymoon) who is stabled in the courtyard. This Casa Particular (Staying with Cuban Families in their home is the best way to appreciate these wonderfully friendly people and their lives) is a beautiful quite grand Colonial House tall ceilings antique furniture large bedrooms that are being given en-suite facilities. It is situated very close to the Plaza Major (Main Square) the prettiest and second most important in Cuba. Julio is a photographer and can arrange workshops Trinidad really is a photographers dream destination cobbled streets,1950's American Classic Cars, Historic Colonial Colourful Architecture and friendly people outside of the city mountaneous pretty countryside and a beautiful beach. Julio is a horse trainer that uses natural methods (like the horse whisperer) he also with a few friends started "Diana's Project" named after his horse that tragically died in an accident. The idea is to educate owners and provide much needed supplies for equine care it is a real problem as there are no shops in Cuba for this.




Havana:-Casa Malecon Mora

Havana needs no introduction itself but finding a cosy well situated welcoming Casa Particular does found through an agency who themselves were efficient and easy to deal with. This Casa is in a breathtaking position directly opposite the Hotel Nacional a 1930 built historical landmark connected in its heyday to Al Capone it is the venue for the popular Parisien Cabaret. I walked to Havana Vieja Plaza de Catedral and El Capitolio with ease although it is easy to jump into a little Coco taxi shaped like a coconut and bright yellow . The Malecon is the meeting place for Habaneros and young lovers looking out to sea from the penthouse terrace the people below giving life's accent of all human behaviour. Inside the Casa is well cared for the bedrooms are large and with en-suites furnished with antiques and cosy. But the ace card of this Casa is the owner Moraia's aunt Lesida called Chucha a lovely person a wonderful host and quite the best cook in Cuba I'm sure, her juice made daily from fresh fruits was something to get out of bed for. My meals were served and beautifully presented on the terrace where Chucha would join me only when she felt I was ready to chat. Forget hotels you couldn't get better service than this anywhere!!


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