.: Hanbury Manor @ Marriott Country Club :.

As you probably have noticed, I’ve really enjoy spending a weekend in a Country Club. You will find mostly golfers or people attending a wedding there, but I really enjoy all the greenery and the peace and quiet. Our last weekend away was in Hanbury Manor by Marriott.

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

Loved the Oak Hall

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

The room was a classic Marriott style, nothing fancy but comfortable. Our room was similar to this one

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

As soon as I arrived to my room, had some chocolates waiting for me

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I’ve really enjoyed exploring the different rooms.

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We’ve ended up our afternoon with tea & G&T for him

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Next day we’ve spend a good part of the afternoon relaxing in the pool. For me it really felt amazing with my 7 months pregnancy

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

It really felt good to relax before baby arrival 🙂

.: Missing Alentejo :.

Last time I was in Portugal was back in March for his birthday. It felt so good to see family and friends and marvel myself in all the food (we have so many hidden treasures, you can check a few here).

But now that everyone is going on holidays, I’m really craving for a holiday in one of my favourite regions in the world: Alentejo. As I can’t fly for a few months still need to wait for February next year (oh I’m seriously counting down!!!). but no matter what need to do a little escape to explore Alentejo once more. (You can see my previous posts about Alentejo here)

Places to Stay

Ecork Hotel

As the name suggests, the inspiration for this place is an eco hotel where they try to use of the best products in the region: cork! I love cork! Would love to have one of these bags!

 

For more bag inspiration you can check Pelcor’s website here.

Back to the hotel, look at this amazing view?

You can see their special offers here.

Torre de Palma, Wine Hotel

As the name suggests, it’s an hotel centred around of the best things about Alentejo, the wine! They have their own vineyard

Love this minimalist space

Prices start at around £126 per night, but you can check the offers here and the wine experiences here.

L’and Vinyeards

Similar to the one above, with modern architecture. Love this place

If you can try to get one of the sky suites as you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing sky! Because of there are almost no cities in Alentejo, most of the places are small villages and small houses in open air field, you have the most amazing sky, full of stars!

For all the offers and experiences check here. Rooms start around £153.

Herdade do Amarelo

This place, is a gorgeous traditional place, perfect to disconnect from the world and just enjoy the estate itself.

What do do in Alentejo

  • Loads! Ensure you get at least a wine tasting experience, but you should be able to explore some of the vineyards as well!
  • Balloon ride – that’s right, Alentejo is so gorgeous that it’s worth to wake up early in the morning and see the sunrise
  • Eat – Most of the places above have their own restaurant and really good chefs, but any small restaurant will have their own wonders. The food in Alentejo is just superb!
  • Explore – It’s the perfect place to drive around the coast and explore the gorgeous coastal beach. It’s one of the most beautiful coasts in the world, I’m sure about that!

It’s quite easy to see why I miss Alentejo so badly right? So looking forward to be back!

.: Inspiring houses :.

Still stuck thinking about all the christmas gifts you still need to buy? Lacking ideas? What about giving them moments?

Me and my sister just agreed to buy something really small for each other, just to have something to unwrap, but rather than spending a lot of money in something we might not need, we’ve agreed to spend a weekend together in Bordeaux as our gift. Me and by other half are planning a trip to Japan next year and we’ve just been in NY for my birthday, so we’ve also agreed that we’ll buy something small for each other and just enjoy our time together.

I think I’ll keep on following this trend for the next christmas as well. One of the most unique gifts is to offer moments your loved ones won’t forget. So what about a stay in quirky and amazing houses? I would be quite happy to get a weekend away in any of these:

The Hobbit House – Cornwall

I’ve actually seen this one being built as part of Grand Designs

The living room is so amazing!

Decoration with old wine bottles, who would say the effect would be so nice?

From £136 you can stay at this place. For booking check here.

The Tree House

Hands up for those of you who had a wish to have a tree house! I did, so what about a stay in a luxurious one?

Starting at £183 a night you can stay in this amazing place.

The Cork Hotel

What about a stay in the first cork hotel in the world and watch the stars in one of the best wine regions in the world (Alentejo)

You can stay here from £50! Oh yeah!

Six Senses Douro Valley

Speaking of wine, couldn’t forget the brand new Six Senses in Douro Valley. Really looking forward for a stay in this place

Would be so happy to wake up with this view

Starting at £210 per night, this can also be your view.

Mr & Mrs Smith Santorini

Speaking about luxurious hotels, Mr & Mrs Smith is on top of the list. Add up to that one of the most romantic locations in the planet and be prepared to be amazed (one girl can only dream!)

 

Glass Igloo

This is for sure one of the most shared hotels in social media, and no wonder why? If this is not a lifetime experience, then I don’t know what is

This is around £400

I’ve kinda behaved this year, I’m sure I could stay in one of these!
What was the most special place you’ve stayed? Where are you looking forward to visit?

.: A home away from home – Snowdania :.

We just had a really relaxing weekend in north Wales (Snowdania), which sounds funny to think of it considering it was also the storm weekend “Desmond” (more on BBC news). Even on Friday, at the beginning of the storm I could barely open the car to get out. It was mostly really windy and rainy. Non stop rain for the whole of Saturday, even this morning it was still raining. Yes I know it’s north Wales and it’s expected to rain, but not like this and not with such strong winds.

“If a place is beautiful on the rain, you know it’s just beautiful” So we’ve agreed that we’ll be back.

Why did we decided to go to North Wales?
Well, this time it was his idea. 99% of the time it’s really me deciding where to go and book everything, this time he had the idea and I did the rest. He wanted to go there because of the Evo Triangle. He loves driving, and Evo Triangle it’s classified as one of the best roads in the UK to drive. It’s pretty bumpy and curvy and he had indeed lots of fun driving it

For me, the main reason was the beauty of the countryside.

Where to stay?
Imagine waking up surrounded by a peaceful scenery, in a cosy farm house. That’s what I wanted as well. After my usual research I found this place “Plas Gwyn

Plas Gwyn bed & breakfast, Dolgellau, Snowdonia National Park from Plas Gwyn Bed & Breakfast on Vimeo.

Oh boy, I couldn’t be any happier. We had such an amazing stay! It was really easy to find this place, in the centre of Dolgellau. As soon as we arrived, after our trip to Evo Triangle, we were welcomed by a smiley Julie. She took us to our gorgeous room Miss Margarets & Miss Gladys room. She also explained us the area and recommend a few places for food and drink afterwards. And something really surprising to me: “at what time do you want to have breakfast?” Yes! That’s right, you have a choice! Which is something I had never seen before. We’ve decided 07h45 so we would have time to make most of the sunlight in the morning (well we were hoping for some, barely did we know that we would have none).

The house maintained all the classical features with modern touches. Every single detail aims to make you feel comfortable.

 

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The bed was really comfortable and cosy as a bed needs to be

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Modern features are always welcome!

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Such an adorable working space

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Oh I wish I had a fireplace place like this in my bedroom! I never had one in the house, but would love to.

One of my favourite areas in the room was the window and the lovely place around it:

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Could wake up to have a view like this every day

 

 

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Look at this china, so beautiful!!!! I couldn’t resist to have a tea and just sit in this space watching the window before going out again. Notice the little package next to the tea? That’s handmade by Jan . It looks and taste like a small fluffy scone, and it was so delicious! Loved the detail of having a plastic bag with the hotel logo on it.

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Books below the window, isn’t this perfect? Could imagine myself sitting next to the window just reading a book for hours.

The bathroom was really lovely as well, I fell in love with the shower. If I ever have my house again I want a shower like this, in stone. Love it!

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This is the perfect country house, it really is! Breakfast next morning was really delicious as well. They’ve offered us a few options from just toast and eggs, to a cooked breakfast with fresh ingredients.

And ahhhh, the wifi was really good. Better than most hotels I normally stay which considering we were in the countryside was a surprise.

He spent the whole weekend saying: “I feel so relaxed” and I felt exactly the same. It was rainy, stormy, as miserable as weather can be, but yet we’ve managed to make most of it. Thank you to Julie & Jan for making this weekend home away from home 🙂

.: 8 Nights in NYC – 8 Rooftops :.

Can’t hardly believe my first time visit to NY is almost there! Most of the people I know have already been at least once, even my sister managed to get earlier in the year as well. But we’ve never really managed to reconcile our holidays long enough to be able to go, or prior to that when we left university we didn’t had any money. But hey, finally going 🙂

One of the things one must do while in NY is to explore the skyline, and a very good way to do so is to explore the different rooftops in the city. So I’ve decided to create myself a list of 8 rooftops I want to visit. I’ll confirm back those I managed to visit in the end – it will also depend on the weather, as November is not necessarily quite hot, and if it doesn’t rain I’ll be extremely lucky!

In no particular order:

W Downtown Terrace 

Sky Room

 

Tip – There is an happy hour Tuesday to Friday 5PM – 7PM

Bar d’eau

 

Rooftop Lounge Library Hotel

This one looks so romantic

Gallow Green

This one looks beautiful as well and a bit more weather proof

Sheltering Sky

The Strand

This is probably one of the most well known and also most expensive!

The view I’m expecting to get from my hotel

Yes that’s central park outside!

For the last night, the view will change to Times Square

Any recommendations from your side? Which rooftop should I really visit?

 

.: Boutique Hotels – The Bristol Hotel :.

As you know, I tend to stay a lot in Marriott hotels mostly so I can make the most of my points and enjoy a few weekends away, but once in a while I do enjoy experimenting a boutique hotel, like the one for my weekend in Cornwall.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of staying at the Bristol Hotel and I was seriously impressed!

Location – In front of the river in the Bristol Harbourside

The staff was really polite and friendly throughout my stay, then I reached my room which I felt was brilliantly decorated:

Love the chandeliers, so original!

The desk space, quite modern and neat

And I guess You’ve already noticed my favourite item in the room, the nespresso machine!!!! A few other details is that there were a few universal adapters, for people with European chargers.

A silly selfie on the coffee machine

Yes you can see me reflected on the machine 🙂 In most of the big brand hotels a nespresso machine only comes with upgraded rooms, but in the Bristol Hotel it’s quite the standard. Thank you guys!!!

Bathroom items:

I didn’t took pictures of the breakfast, but it was really delicious and you can see the river just in front of you.

Restaurant / breakfast area – Official Website

I have to say I had a great and experience at this hotel and I may be staying over again, even if there’s no points included.

.: Give me a pillow and some warm food – Germany:.

While I haven’t touched my photos yet… sharing where we’ve stayed and restaurants we’ve visited.

Transport

The best way to get from the airport to the city is by taking a train. There are regular trains from the airport to the city centre (5.30€ per person) or even to nearby cities such as Cologne, Duisborg, Essen, Bochum, Dortmund (I still know the sequence by heart!). You can buy the ticket straight at the sky train station in the airport. From the city centre you can either walk or take a taxi which is what we did. It was around 10m journey and we’ve paid €10. You can also take the underground or any bus, it costs €2.50 per journey.

Hotel

First night we’ve stayed in Dusseldorf Courtyard Hafen – which is located in the harbourside of Dusseldorf, roughly 20m walking along the river to the city centre.

(Note all the photos below, except if mentioned, were taken from google)

The fireplace – as mentioned in the previous post – was gorgeous

Our room was pretty spacious and comfortable bed too

View from our room (with my mobile phone)

Service was really friendly throughout our stay and as I know this is critical for some of you, the wifi was pretty good too.

Dinner @ Dusseldorf

Because our flight got delayed, I ended up not going to the Christmas markets in the city, but we’ve decided to have some food in the hotel itself.

Beer!!! It’s so good

The food wasn’t that great to be honest, I felt I had too much cheese. His chicken tasted pretty much the same as my pasta

For dessert we had the applestruddle – again ok but not that brilliant

Lunch – Cologne

For lunch we had a currywurst in the Christmas market. I didn’t took any photo so I’m using google’s

 

 

The best one to me is the Bochum one here (offical website link)

Hotel in Cologne

We’ve stayed in the Marriott Cologne, as it was the perfect location near the main train station

The lobby of the hotel is really beautiful

I have to stay I was a bit disappointed with the service at the reception. There was a big queue and I was dismissed quickly because my room wasn’t ready yet. I’m glad I was a platinum though! But I didn’t let myself to get down as I was counting on a view of my room and the comfort of the famous marriott beds! We left our luggage with the concierge and off we went to explore the markets.

Once we’ve returned after a few mugs and gluwhein’s later, our room. Loved the decoration! A mixture between the Renaissance Zurich (which is still my favourite decor) and the Austrian one – his favourite

The lounge – Pretty big actually!

The view from the lounge

For dinner I wanted a nice German spot, but it was full already (Weinhaus Vogel) so we ended up to one which we’ve noticed while exploring the Christmas Market – Toro Negro

Lovely location, environment but terrible service. We felt really ignored! Poor poor service, gladly the food was really good, The meat really tasty and tender and the potato really tasty too. For the first time in a while we didn’t left any tips

At least it wasn’t expensive

Because a restaurant isn’t only about the food, I was glad once I was out! Really poor service

We then went to enjoy the Christmas markets and had an amazing sleep in our comfortable bed 😀 Breakfast next morning was pretty good too (we had it in the lounge) and headed back to Dusseldorf.