Sometimes you come across hotels that you can not keep to yourself. Because they are special, the environment they are in is amazing, and the surrounding culture is so different from Western life that you feel far from the real world. I have a few of those places and look forward sharing them with you.
1 – Morocco, Marrakech, Riad Lola – Morocco is an amazing country and if you speak a bit of French it is not the hardest to travel in. Yes, you should visit all of the King Cities, but for me the one not to miss is Marrakech. And here in the middle of the Meidina there is Riad Lola. Behind a heavy wooden door, next to the tapestry shop and the jeweller you will find an oases of calm, where decoration supports the Moroccan atmosphere, and hospitality is the warm cloth that embraces you. And we are not talking expensive here, it is one of the affordable ones that you can find via Airbnb.
2 – USA, New York, Ace Hotel – New York is a different kind of paradise. It is the city that will drive you crazy or you will love, because of the diversity, hectic always-on pace of life, and unique environment. And the Ace hotel is just that. In the middle of the fashion district, you will find all hip and happening here. With a DJ in the afternoon, yoga in the basement to chill, and green conscious policy this might be all what you sometimes need to escape.
3 – Costa Rica, Montezuma, Ylang Ylang beach resort – this spot seems as the decor for the Truman Show; at any give moment you expect that they will turn on the light, say ‘cut’ and you turned out to be on a movie set. Located at the Ocean Pacific coast, the tropical forest is all around you. Which means that you have iguanas on your doorstep, howling monkeys waking you up quietly in the morning, beach huts with see view, and colourful birds and butterflies circling around your head. Add to this yoga to release your stress, organic food, a lovely swimming pool and I think we have found paradise.
4- Scotland, Speyside, Easter Elchies House The Macallan – this is a special one, because it can not really be booked, but you are invited by The Macallan. When in the spirits industry working for this brand I had the pleasure of being invited and learning all about this amazing whisky while enjoying the Speyside scenery. Scotland is so beautiful that you take the weather for granted. The distilleries – invited or not – are always worth a visit to learn about the spirit that has conquered the world.
5 – Indonesia, Bali, Balangan beach huts – take your flip flops, surf board and hit the Balangan beach in Bali. Your life will be transformed into getting up at 5am to see whether there are any good waves, learning to read the tide schedule, and waxing your board. The basic restaurants at the beach offer the most simple huts on the first floor for you to stay. But really, with some amazing fresh seafood at your finger tips, surf dudes company and the great Indonesian culture what else would you ask for?