Travel blog on one-of-a-kind travel experiences

Commendable hotels

“Boutique hotels” are small and personal hotels with an attractive atmosphere. They tend to boast stylish design and gourmet chefs.

Often times you will get to know the owners or hotel managers and talk to them about local peculiarities and their individual interpretation of a place.

Boutique hotels are our preferred way of staying abroad. As a nice coincidence, they are mostly situated in luxurious destinations and sometimes even close to spectacular golf courses…

Check out our list of personally recommended hotels here:

Cliffhanger: the Alila Jabal Akhdar Design Hotel

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No tour of Oman is complete without a stay at the spectacular Alila Jabal Akhdar Design Hotel. Deservedly so! Not only the hotel itself, but the location and the views are simply mind-blowing! Not to speak of the sunsets…

Glacier Boutique Hotel in Grindelwald: Design meets the Eiger North Face

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An ex-base jumper and her cross-triathlete husband together open a boutique hotel in Grindelwald. How will that work out? 

Smashing dinner drama at Queensland’s Wings Hinterland Retreat

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The chefs lose the plot at a luxury THIRDHOME on the Gold Coast… Justine Tyerman reveals all. ‘Quel drame!’

Nostalgic surfer chic meets Miami catwalk cool

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Justine Tyerman discovers the extraordinary QT Gold Coast which makes other hotels literally pale by comparison…

WHITE Exclusive Suites & Villas – as if summer never ends

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As I was googling places to stay for our Azores trip, I came across the WHITE Exclusive Suites & Villas. A “wow!”, escaped from my lips. I browsed a bit more in the picture galleries and I knew right away — this is it, let me at it!

Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort – a dream between mountains and sea

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During our Azores stay, we spent four nights at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort. For a hotel  location, it can’t be beat — and the owners Rodrigo and João knew it, too.

Six Senses Douro Valley – the luxury hideaway

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Six Senses is a prestigious Asian hotel and spa operator. With the wellness-sounding name and a reputation for sustainability that precedes it, I had read in 2015 about the opening of their first hotel in Europe. That bit of news stuck in the back of mind, until recently when we flew to the Azores with a stopover in Porto, in northern Portugal. Finally, I could check out that “little” hideaway; it would just take a quick side trip to the Douro Valley…

Armazém Luxury Housing in Porto – Design Hotel in a former iron warehouse

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Porto’s historical downtown is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it’s ok to touch the buildings anyway. Take for example the former Armazém warehouse, where once upon a time ironmongers came and went.

Vitznauerhof Hotel: luxury hotelier and flying Dutchman power duo

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There’s been a changing of the guard at the Vitznauerhof: Hotelier Raphael Herzog has taken up the baton on the shores of Lake Lucerne. He and his innovative gourmet chef Jeroen Achtien spoil their guests with stupendous service, watermelons, and fermented vegetables. Come again?

My Arbor Hotel in South Tyrol – a childhood dream comes true!

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As a child, I always wanted to spend a night in a tree house. At last — if a “few” years later — this dream came true! And the wait was worth it! It turns out I got to spend the night in a luxury tree house…

Carlo Rampazzi – Ticino’s “wild and crazy” star designer

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It was in the Hotel Valsana in Arosa that we first became aware of Swiss interior architect Carlo Rampazzi. After our recent stopover at the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona, which also bears Rampazzi’s signature touch, we just had to get to know the star designer in person.

Hotel Eden Roc Ascona: 5-stars with a wilding by Rampazzi

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Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona is the best vacation hotel in Switzerland. Maybe it has to do with the sensational location on Lake Maggiore or the impeccable service. But, for us, perhaps the biggest draw of all were the interiors by star designer Carlo Rampazzi.

Long Beach Mauritius – relaunched as «Chapter 2»

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It’s no secret for readers of our blog that we are very partial to design hotels. In Mauritius, near Belle Mare we made the discovery of Long Beach Mauritius that stands out from the rest! And not just barely… The many awesome luxury resorts that line the picture book beaches on Mauritius for the most part are built in the classical, colonial style. However, during one of my Internet patrols, I came across the Long Beach Mauritius. Clearly, here is a difference… Modern architecture at the Long Beach Hotel The hotel’s white, cubistic architecture contrasts hugely with that of the…

Valsana Hotel – a new bijou at the entrance to Arosa

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Arosa has a new landmark! With the Valsana Hotel & Apartments, a new bijou hotel stands out as you enter this resort village. Here is what to expect:

Storchen Hotel Zurich – Savoir-faire with tradition

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Why are there storks nesting on the roof of a five-star hotel in Zurich? . . . Justine Tyerman learns the legend of the ‘Haus zum Storchen’. She also discovers how ‘savoir-faire with tradition’ has saved the soul but polished the visage of a much-loved city landmark.

Tourists or not, Croatia’s Trogir is worth a visit!

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Trogir – another of Croatia’s little towns. Medieval, precious, and tourists galore. Even so, don’t miss it!

Croatia’s Falkensteiner Iadera Hotel – architecture, two gulls, and the sea

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Falkensteiner Iadera is a lavish design hotel with pools and just steps to the sea, with a sublime spa/hamam, and a breakfast buffet to die for. All as it should be… but, oh those gulls: look out below!

Istrian Riviera – from fishing port Rovinj to Opatija seaside resort

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Istria – where is that Croatian peninsula located again, the one where they come up with the world’s biggest truffles and peddle highly picturesque seaside towns?

My house is your house – feeling right at home in the HUUS Hotel Gstaad

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“Mis huus, dis huus – mis Herz isch es Hotel” (“My house, your house – my heart is a hotel.” ) Even though the song by Switzerland’s award-winnning rap duo Lo & Leduc (they rap in the Swiss German dialect) has absolutely no connection to the Hotel HUUS in Gstaad, I couldn’t get the catchy tune out of my mind during the drive there. Maybe it was that Latino groove?

Ophelia Restaurant at the Riva Konstanz and two tragic travel bloggers

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This post is about the time recently that saw us dining at the Hotel Riva Konstanz by Germany’s Lake Constance. We leave it to you, dear fellow traveler, to judge which was the greater tragedy: the story of the curvaceous Imperia, Shakespeare’s tale of the beautiful Ophelia, or how we failed to recognize the star chef of the gourmet restaurant that bears Ophelia’s name. Yes, a tragic tale, but true…

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