Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hunter's Country House, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Anne and I visited Hunter's Country House in March 2007 which is a luxury small hotel located ten kilometres west of Plettenberg Bay in the Garden Route in South Africa.

Hunter's Country House is a family owned exclusive luxury hotel-a member of Relais and Chateaux hidden away in extensive grounds with a backdrop of the Tsitikamma Mountains.

Having left the main road we drove for some one and a half kilometres up a track to arrive at the gated entrance where, after providing brief details, the gates opened to allow access to the estate. After a few hundred yards we arrived at the front of Hunter's Country House to be immediately met outside by a member of staff who, after a warm greeting, escorted us to one of the lounges where we were provided with a complimentary pot of tea and biscuits whilst our luggage was removed from our car and taken to our luxurious suite.

All twenty three suites are located in mainly thatched cottages of varying sizes in the hotel's grounds. We were given an upgrade to a superior suite which was secluded a two minute walk from the main building. The suite had a delightful sitting area and was furnished with antiques and you had a real log fire which we lit in the evening. Our suite had air conditioning, mini bar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, private terrace with table, chairs and sun beds overlooking manicured gardens. The en-suite bathroom was huge with a double ended bath and separate shower and luxurious toiletries plus bathrobes.

Being the romantic couple we like candles in our bedroom. Although there were a couple of large candles already in the room I asked reception if we could have a couple of tea lights. Upon our return to our suite they had filled the room with twenty one tea lights each in a glass holder! Wonderful.

Hunter's Country House has beautiful lounges to relax in furnished with antiques. The hotel has three dining rooms in the main building decorated and furnished in an exquisite baronial style-dinner was excellent both the service and the quality of the produce. There is also a dining room outside for al fresco dining. Breakfast was outstanding with so much choice from the cold table together with cooked food to order- I had scrambled egg which was the best I have ever had.

Hunter's Country House loves children. There is an area set aside for the little ones with a small paddling pool, sand pit, swing and a children's house to play in- I am not doing this area justice! The hotel have put so much thought into these facilities for the younger ones.

Also, for the grown ups, there is a delightful swimming pool set in manicured gardens surrounded by well thought out sitting areas and tables. Sun beds are laid out with towels.

Hunter's Country House has its own small church known as the "Chapel in the Forest" in the grounds which we looked around-needless to say you would love to hold your wedding ceremony their as a couple did whilst we were at the hotel.

The guest to staff ratio at the hotel is excellent with someone always on hand without being intrusive. The laundry service is most proficient.

Hunter's Country House is indeed a small luxury exclusive hotel which is not to be missed.


Alan Hope

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Car Hire Murcia

When visiting the Mediterranean bathed region of Murcia, look forward to something more than breathtaking beautiful beaches, such as some natural beauties still to be discovered. It is the intriguing blend of natural charms and modernism which differentiate Murcia from the other regions of Costa Blanca. From the most desolated open natural spaces to modern residential neighborhoods to quaint little medieval towns. Nestled amidst the mountains of the Sierra de Orihuela and the Cresta de Gallo, Murcia boasts of the most sophisticated watering system in the region and is very famous for vegetables and thus happens to be the capital of the province.

Tips for your Murcia trip:

If Murcia happens to be the next pit stop in your holiday itinerary, make sure you rent a car. Local transport by bus or train is available, but if you want to witness something more than the beautiful beaches around the Costa Blanca and Spain, car hire in this region is a must. The city of Murcia can be reached via the national road E15 from Alicante or using the C415 from the Madrid direction. With Murcia being about 45 km away from the Airport car hire is a good option.Visiting Murcia during the summer period, without a car reservation in hand is not a very advisable thing to do! Also make sure to book your car before arrival at the Airport especially during summer months. Use your travel agency to get the best deal on Murcia car hire. But don't forget to compare pricing and availability over the internet. The Murcia airport lies 45 km outside of Murcia along the Mar Menor and is used by some English and German airlines offering cheap flights to Murcia.

What you need to remember while hiring a car at Murcia:

Car Prices: The rates for the same car vary a great deal from company to company. Compare basic rates and the extras. While some companies offer all inclusive rental packages, some charge for extras like insurance, mileage, the cost of additional drivers, airport taxes and other such fees.Many domestic and international car hire companies offer Murcia car hire at the airport. Check them out well in advance; so that once you are out of the Arrival terminal you have your car waiting for you.It is very important that you know what is included in the price you are quoted. If the company charges a basic rental rate with add on fees for extras, compare it with the all inclusive price of the other company. This will give you a more reliable comparison as you don't want to take the pains of comparing prices only to end up paying a higher price later.Compare daily and weekly rates of each company. The weekly rates are often cheaper i.e. if you need the car for four days, it may still be less expensive to reserve the car at the weekly rate.

Booking reference number: Get your car hire agreement in writing and be sure to get a confirmation/reference number. This number will help you avoid headaches later.

Car Type: Hire a car considering the number of people traveling and their age group. A standard family car seats 4 people comfortably where as minibuses, MPV's are ideal for those traveling in large groups. An economy car is anytime cheaper w.r.t rental prices as well as fuel costs.

Insurance: Taking insurance with a car hire is a very advisable thing to do. But before you do so, find out with your car insurance or Credit Card Company, if you are covered.

Advance Booking: Booking in advance with any car hire company is the best way to kick start your holiday planning because if you don't you will end up paying more than you thought. Also hiring a car after reaching Murcia will leave you with limited choices during the peak season. So why take a risk.

Documents: While hiring a car, you will need to provide car Hire Company with all the important documents like driver's license, proof of age, a credit card and insurance.

Car Condition: Inspect the car before you take possession of it. Make sure to check all damage is noted on the rental agreement. The aim is not to take responsibility for damage that was already there when you picked up the car.

Car Pick up and Drop Point: Another important comparison that you need to make is the cost of picking up your car from the airport or renting in the city. The difference could be from nothing to some considerable amount of money depending on the car rental company you choose. Commonly, it is cheaper to pick up and drop off the car in the same location.

Discounts: Look for discounts for your car hire. If you book with travel agent, you may get a discount on a car hire plus accommodation. Make use of any discount you can to save money.

The hot weather conditions; a limited (only 3 times a day) direct bus connection to Murcia City; and a train station 10 km away, most tourists opt for Murcia airport car hire with next most feasible option being a taxi hire from the airport.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Finding Cheap Flights to Spain

Make sure when you are looking to book your flight to Spain to enjoy the Spanish culture that you know what it is that you should be trying to do in an effort to get the most out of your flight when you are booking online. You should book your flights either really early or late, be willing to leave maybe a day early or late as well as trying to locate where the airports are located to see if you can find a local flight into that city.

Tip 1: Book your flight early or late

The best thing to do is to try and book your flight as early as possible in order to get the best rates possible for your flight. In many cases there will be a number of seats that are made available to early birds in order to fill the plane and drive up the prices for the people who are in need of a flight closer to when the flight is set to leave. In most cases it is recommended to book your flight at least 14 days in advance.

The other extreme is to wait until the very last minute. This works best if you have no concrete plans set out so as to be more flexible as long as you do not mind or have no true preference of where you are really going.

Tip 2: Be flexible

As far as flexibility is concerned you have to look not only at the city you are traveling to, but also surrounding airports are concerned. Look into where the locations are in proximity to where you are going. See if it conceivable to find a cheaper route that is close enough that the savings will be worth the drive to get where you want to be.

Some discounts or cheaper rates may also be available to those that are willing to work with the airline and deal with plane changes and layovers. If you are willing to deal with these then you will have the ability to get lower rates and be able to apply more money towards your vacation.

One last area flexibility can be helpful is if you are willing to alter your dates either one or two days in one direction or another. In many cases you can use these to your advantage. Possibly squeeze one more day out of your trip or save large amounts of money by leaving in the middle of the week as opposed to leaving on a weekend.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Buenos Aires Apartments

Buenos Aires has increased their popularity around the travel world. Many people discovered Buenos Aires City and recommend it for many reasons. There are people travelling to Buenos Aires for holidays, business and study planning. At the city are different cultures to enjoy and every excellent option for anybody.

You have many options of accommodations in Buenos Aires such as Hotels, Apart Hotels, Hostels, Hotels Boutique, Bed and Breakfasts and Furnished Apartments for temporary rentals. I recommend apartments in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires Apartments are the best option because is cheaper than a hotel and you have the privacy to live like local people and feel at home in Buenos Aires. You can rent apartments by day, week or months. They come fully equipped and counts with amenities to enjoy your stay.The apartments are located at the best locations in town such as Recoleta, where you can visit museums, historical places and exttensive area comercial; Palermo, the coolest area in Buenos Aires, its divided by Palermo Old, Palermo Hollywood, Palermo and Palermo New. Everyone have different styles but maintain the mystic of the neighbourhood; Downtown, Belgrano, Colegiales, Las CaƱitas, Puerto Madero, San Telmo and more.

Also you can travel around Argentina. North and South are good options to visit. By north you can visit San Juan, Iguazu Falls and Mendoza. By South you can visit Calafate and Ushuia between other destinations to travel. There are beaches, mountains and fields to spend your days, just you have to choose.

For more information please visit my site : Buenos Aires Apartments

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Select A Great Vacation Rental In Mexico

Mexico is a friendly and colorful country to visit with its rich culture and fun outlook on life. There is so much to do and see that it would be best experienced while living in the Mexican way.

You can get a vacation rental in Mexico which will see you staying in gorgeous villas and old historic buildings that lay testament to the culture of the Mexican people.

A vacation rental in Mexico can be quite cheap, right down to ultimate luxury. You can find villas that sleep up to 12 guests and some that are made just for a family of four.

You can choose if you wan to be on the beach front, on the mountain side or in closer to the urban center with music and dancing late into the night. You must fist decide which area in Mexico you would like to visit as there are many beautiful areas.

The Yucatan peninsula is lovely and has plenty of beach front vacation rentals, as do the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The costal areas offer large expansive houses that are surrounded by the natural beauty of the jungle.

Some of the larger vacation rentals have full staff members and chefs so that you can have your own private vacation and feel like royalty. In central Mexico you can find various cabins and villas and apartments that will give you an idea of what it is like to live in Mexico.

There is nothing fancy, just real life. This is great for those that will be touring most of the day as there are no pools or huge gardens.

The vacation rental in Mexico can be very modern and interesting, especially along the coastal area that are popular like Acapulco and Cancun. You will find circular patterns on the walls and there will be a sofa shaped in a semi circle.

Most of these paces have air conditioning as it does get very hot. You also get many colonial houses that are used as a vacation rental in Mexico when the owner is away during certain times of year.

To find out about a vacation rental in Mexico, you would have to search many websites to find the best one for you in the correct price range. There are hundreds to choose from in some areas so you should do this well before your vacation time.
Mexico Vacation Rentals With Activities

You should also plan to do some activities and site-see with the help of the information office as well as websites. You can usually find out from other travelers which places are the best to go to in terms of food and night life, but you can also see the ancient ruins and temples of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations.

There are plenty of shops where you can get souvenirs and buy fine jewelry, art, books, clothes and handcrafted furniture. Just about everything you can imagine will be right outside the door of your vacation rental in Mexico.

You can horseback ride on the beaches, swim with the dolphins, whale watch, bird watch, go on jungle tours, water ski, scuba dive, and much more.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Choosing a Hotel For a Vacation

Choosing a hotel for a vacation can be a lottery. There are so many things to look for. But where do you look for information? Travelers of all kinds can benefit from others' work and experience through useful tools that weren't available some decades ago.

The basics of how to choose a hotel include your general preferences about comfort, taste, and quality of life. For instance, think of the following things in no particular order: Do I want to be near restaurants, bars, and cafes? Must I have a comfortable bed, good showers, a good heating system and sense of style throughout the room? Is scenery important to me, what about cost per day and will I spend much time in the room at all? What if I spend nine hours per day outdoors? I guess the only important thing would be the bed quality then.

The "Tripadvisor" website enables the user to input their city and the date of check-in and check-out and get reviews and ratings of all the hotels in the area. It is not just limited to the United States as it incorporates Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and it indexes results from over 193 countries. Similarly, "Travelpost" is a similar tool with a different look but similar features.

If cost is the most critical component, then go with an online service like that lists discount hotels, last minute hotel deals and reservations featuring hotels for special events and rates for sold out dates. If location is more important, start by finding out what the most scenic spots in your travel destination are and find hotels around there.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Finding The Best Hawaii Beach House Rentals

Living and working in a Hawaii beach front summer town is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you can make a killing on Hawaii beach house rentals during the summer. One the other hand, it gets pretty overcrowded during the summer and pretty deserted during the rest of the year. Most of all, it can be hard to watch your whole town bought up by rich out-of-state folks who do not even live there for 9 or 10 months of the year.

Still, in the end I like running a Hawaii beach house rental service. It lets me take it easy most of the year, and who does not like to take it easy? I did not start out as a real estate guy. I was just someone with a little bit of money to fix up a house. The idea of a Hawaii beach house rental had not even entered my mind in the beginning.

I just wanted somewhere to live that was close to the water. I found a fixer upper that fit the bill admirably. It was just what I was looking for. I had thought about selling it and buying another one to work on, but then I saw how much money people were paying for Hawaii beach house rentals. The area was going up and up. I did not want to sell my house, and I really enjoyed living in it for most of the year, but I was alright with staying somewhere else for the summer. I decided to rent it out.

At first, the Hawaii beach house rentals was just a side thing. It gave me money to travel during the summer, and supplemented my living for the rest of the year. People like Hawaii beach rental houses by owner. Business was always good, because I would give them the personal touch that they wanted. I would make sure that the place was fully stocked with food, and that it was in good repair. I would even show them around the town when they first came for the summer. All in all, running the beach house rentals was a good deal. Life does not get any better than this! I highly recommend Hawaii beach house rentals.

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