29 January, 2013

The Ampersand: A London hotel bursting with character.

Finding the right hotel in London is a tricky thing to do, and today I like to think I've found something a bit different for you. The Ampersand is a hotel that not only gives you a rare homely feeling, but it's also in a great location - two minutes from South Kensington underground station.

The rooms are modern and beautifully appointed. The shower rooms have all sorts of complimentary goodies, and there is a mini bar which is stocked with complimentary soft drinks and water - a rarity in other London hotels that seem to want to get every last penny out of you.

It's not just the rooms that are tastefully decorated, but the whole hotel interior is very well designed. There is a lovely relaxed feeling about the hotel, mainly down to the superb staff, and it definitely beats many larger impersonal hotels.

The Ampersand is a short walk from the V&A and the Natural History museum, and South Kensington itself has a lovely feel about it, with countless restaurants and bars to choose from. London hotels can be hard to decide on, but the pictures above should tell you that this is just a bit different from the rest. If you want more info, click here.

25 January, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Amazing Architecture

I think as a traveller, you automatically become interested in architecture and today's photo features some stunning architecture I stumbled upon in Portugal. I had to snap the shot of the stunning building on the left which seemed to look just perfect. However, I loved the contrast of the fussy building beside it with its balconies and washing hanging out! 

If you come across something interesting on your travels, then take a photo and send it to me at the email address on my contact page with a couple of sentences about where it was taken. I'd love to see your photos.

22 January, 2013

The Charming House - Venice

The best things sometimes come in small packages, and today's hotel is small, and charming. It is in fact, called 'The Charming House DD724' and is located within walking distance of some great places in Venice.

The seven rooms have great facilities, and they have lovely features like exposed beams in the ceiling, and little fireplaces.

The hotel is in a beautiful but quieter area of Venice, which is what some people look for - to try and get away from the more touristy areas. It's the perfect base for exploring, and breakfast is included so you can fill up before you head out for the day.

Despite its central location the rooms are peaceful and, unlike many other hotels in Venice, it's contemporary and boutique. If that's what you're looking for, then this hotel fits the bill.

18 January, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Wintery webs

Today's photo has a distinct January feel to it with the grey skies and frosty cobwebs! I took it on a cold and frosty morning, and thought it was perfect for this month - which some people can find depressing now that the festive season is over. 
Personally, I quite like this month. When you get back to work after Christmas and New Year celebrations, it's a chance to start thinking about where you want to travel to, and explore this year. It's also time to plan that trip to escape the winter weather and get some sunshine! Happy weekend everyone. Have a photo to contribute? Get in touch through the address on my contact page.

15 January, 2013

Beauty in the Basque Country

I love featuring small hotels on Travel Lightbulb, and today's pick is a stunner. Hotel Iturregi is located in Getaria, which is a beautiful village in the Basque Country. Many guests drive down from San Sebastian (about a 30 minute drive) and France, while the hotel is just two hours from Bilbao.

Not only is it surrounded by vineyards, but it also has spectacular views of the coast and the village's lighthouse. The hotel opened in 2007, and there are just eight rooms on two floors. They're bright; spacious, and each one is uniquely decorated. There is also a stunning pool built as you can see from the photo above.

This is a fabulous place in which to relax, but there is also plenty to do in the local area. Surfing, Sailing, cycling and trekking are all available nearby. The village of Getaria is a working town with a small fishing port, but it's also a small beach resort with restaurants that specialise in barbecued fish.

Peaceful, stylish and friendly are the words that sum this place up. It's probably best for couples rather than families, as it is quiet. So if you're looking for a stunning hotel with a great location...this could be the one for you! If you want more information, visit the official website here.

11 January, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Palms and paradise!

Sometimes I find January a bit of a depressing month. Doesn't the house look bare when you take all the Christmas decorations down? So I thought I'd try and cheer you all up with today's travel photo.
It was taken on Harry Smith beach on the south east island of Barbados in the parish of St. Philip. It's one of my favourite beaches in the WHOLE world, as it's almost always deserted! In my opinion, it is the perfect place for a picnic with a loved one, and a dip in the crystal clear waters. 

If you have a photo you'd like to donate to Travel Lightbulb, then please send it to the email address on my contact page, along with a couple of sentences about where the photo was taken. Thanks in advance, and I hope this sunny shot brightens your day!

08 January, 2013

Destination tip for 2013: Cyprus

Every year, different destinations are tipped to be the new, hip place to go. More often than not, that means the crowds flock there - I had a friend who experienced that when she travelled to Morocco, and because it was the 'in' place, the sheer number of visitors there almost spoiled her trip. So why not choose a classic destination instead?

Photo courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
In my opinion, Cyprus is one of those destinations. While many say a destination offers 'something for everyone', I truly believe this Mediterranean island actually does suit everyone from couples, to families! Nothing beats Cyprus for a beach holiday, and the expansive coastline means there is a wide variety of beaches to choose from if you're looking for a secluded cove, or a more lively resort such as Ayia Napa.

Photo courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
If spending a holiday lying on a beach isn't your thing, then you'll be pleased to hear that Cyprus is also full of history. You can visit prehistoric settlements, and there are also fantastic examples of Byzantine art which you can see for yourself in Cyprus' painted churches with their colourful frescoes - ten of which have been put on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Photo courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation
So when should you go? Well it depends what type of trip you're looking for. Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers (May - September)) and sometimes rainy, but mild winters (from November - March).  Having said that, you can be very lucky -  I visited in December, and it was very warm and sunny everyday. With almost year-round clear skies and sunshine, it really is an all year round destination and a great island to explore.

04 January, 2013

Travel Photo Friday: Flying high

I don't know about you, but I'm still in a festive mood even though the party season is over for another year! I have been spending a lot of time thinking not only about where I want to travel to this year, but where I want to feature on Travel Lightbulb. As it's time for another travel photo, I thought I'd feature a great travel quote with today's pic, which was taken on an internal UK flight a few weeks ago.

I absolutely loved this quote when I saw it, and it's going to be my new motto! 
"I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are." Diane von Furstenberg
On that note, have a great weekend!

01 January, 2013

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it is 2013? I can't! Time certainly does fly when you're having fun! I have had a crazy busy year of travelling; working hard, and blogging and I can't wait for it all to continue this year. I am currently planning my trips for this year, and can't wait to see the sunshine having spent a few months in the cold UK! 

Wherever you are planning to go in 2013 may your travels be inspirational; educational, and (most importantly) FUN! Happy New Year to you and yours xx