Ana Capri – Bettola del Re

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When we were younger we couldn’t afford expensive hotels. It didn’t stop us from traveling, but sometimes we roughed it a little. Now we can afford better hotels, and enjoy them very much, but we also love the new classy B&B’s that are popping up. Bettola Del Re is one of the best.

It’s a very short walk from the beautiful little town of Ana Capri, which is full of shops and restaurants. Today we hiked down to the Grotto Azzura, then hiked into Capri, where we had a sumptuous seafood lunch. Ten beautiful miles we walked today.

The grounds of Bettola Del Re are perfect to while away the evening with a good book and a glass of local wine. The owners are friendly, welcoming and accommodating. Can’t fault the place in any way.

Now I’m exhausted and I think its time to sleep.

Buona Notte!

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Elegance at St. Ermins

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A little pricey, but well worth the experience. Beautiful, elegant and in Westminster so convenient for everything. Lovely!

Dallas Texas – Big Hair, Swank and Shoulder Pads?

I’ve lived in the US for over 20 years and became a Citizen back in 2004. Yes, the Queen is missing a subject, wonder if she notices.

This country still puts a smile on my face. Our home is Colorado, but we travel as often as possible.

Favorite cities in the US?

San Francisco and New Orleans! They have both lured me back more than once.

I also enjoy Dallas. My first visit was a quick business trip about ten years ago. I stayed in the jazzy Hotel ZaZa and was proudly shown the city by the locals. The Dallas skyline is amazing, especially at night.

Dallas at night

I returned to Dallas earlier this year, after my daughter’s career caused her to move there. I stayed once more in the Hotel Zaza, still lovely, but unfortunately, due to some badly behaved guests, my visit was spoiled. I’ll not stay there again. Dallas itself was very enjoyable. Great food!

My third exploration of Dallas begins Friday. This time I’m staying in the Downtown Marriott. Marriott’s are usually trustworthy!

The highlight of my visit (other than seeing my daughter and son in law), will be our meal in The French Room at the Adolphus Hotel, a birthday treat for a young lady turning 31. Yes, that means I’m getting really old.

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I always thought Dallas was the center of big hair, swank and shoulder pads. The swank is definitely still there, but it’s now a stylish, ritzy city that I’m sure I’ll get to know well. Stay tuned for my report on the French Room!

Dinner in Fairyland – Breakfast in the Clouds

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Hotel Villa Maria in Ravello has everything. Views, atmosphere and great food. It’s going to be very hard to leave here!

Roma – Anticipation

Three weeks from now I will be re-discovering Rome. The anticipation is overwhelming. Its been five years since my last trip to Italy. Memories of happy times and wonderful people flood back, particularly in the Grand Hotel Flora. Can’t wait to check in. I’m sure the staff will have changed, but the charm will still be there.

The excellent staff

The excellent staff

Hotel ZaZa – A wonderful experience – despite a hiccup

Last weekend I took a trip to Dallas to visit my daughter. Yes she’s flown the nest and has a wonderful job in a new city. Hey Dallas isn’t far from Denver. I’ve only been to there once before on business, and stayed in the beautiful Hotel ZaZa. I was eager to visit it again. It didn’t disappoint! It’s a glamorous boutique hotel. A little different to anywhere I’ve ever stayed.

Hotel ZaZa

The rooms are large and beautiful, the beds comfortable. Dragonfly (the restaurant/bar) is a wonderful place to linger and serves the best Skinny Rita I’ve ever tasted. Seriously!

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It was a very busy weekend in Dallas, graduation or something, and I was extremely lucky to get a room. Friday 15th May was my first night in the hotel, and I slept like a log.

Saturday came with a delicious healthy kale juice (love my juices ) and cup of coffee for breakfast and then my daughter joined me and we took advantage of the spa. She had a facial with Chantal or Chanel, can’t remember the exact name, but she was so good my daughter may go back regularly. I had a fantastic deep tissue massage from Juan. Excellent! My knots and tension disappeared.

After a long day exploring Dallas, I returned exhausted to ZaZa, where there was a large function taking place. Evening gowns and suits blended in well with the beautiful surroundings. “Oh no”, I thought “Its going to be a noisy night”

I went to bed and edited my upcoming novel for a while, and then read before falling asleep. As I drifted into slumber, I praised the hotel silently for being well sound proofed. None of the noise from the function downstairs reached me. Well done ZaZa……….and then I was awakened by an ear-piercing screech!

There was an argument in the hallway close by. I opened my door a crack and peeped out. Without going into details, I can tell you a small group of very pretty young ladies were brawling outside. They were obviously intoxicated because they were barely able to stand. The argument turned into an all out fight, which was comical because as they threw their punches, they were so drunk,  they lost their balance. One young girl proceeded to walk along the hallway towards my room, kicking her purse along in front of her and using words I haven’t heard in while. The disagreement continued for two or three hours with doors slamming at the end of each session.

ZaZa was in no way to blame for the bad behavior of a small group of very spoiled rude young people, who despite the attempts by ZaZa security to stop them, continued to act like idiots.

When I complained to Hotel ZaZa they were very sympathetic, and gave me reasonable credit for the inconvenience. This is a beautiful hotel. All staff members go above and beyond to help you enjoy your stay. They can’t know ahead of time that some guests will unruly and immature, but they did what they could to remedy it. If you go to Dallas, I highly recommend you give this hotel a try. You won’t regret it!

If you enjoy a good British (or German) Ghost Story, check out my other blog Stop Talking to Me or my novel Dead of July which is available on Amazon. 

Hotel Villa Maria – Ravello

Hotel Villa Maria

 

The Countdown is on, although it’s a long one. Ravello is the last leg of my Italian trip next year, but I am looking forward to it. Five days in this lovely hotel, walking down to Amalfi, the views, the food, the aroma, the people….ohhhhhh, I’m there already in my head. As always, I dream of Italy.

 

Hotels – Love the Grandeur

I love to travel and stay in Grand hotels. My favorite Hotels are the older ones, the Hotels with history. The Grand Flora in Rome is one of my favorites and I will go back one day. From its grand marble staircases, to it’s incredibly friendly staff, my vacation was complete. I was in Rome staying in a beautiful hotel.

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My home is the colorful state of Colorado, and Colorado has its own hotels. I have stayed in a few, but none compare with ‘The Brown Palace’ in Denver.

I had the pleasure of spending a night there this past weekend.

My only daughter is getting Married so we had an appointment at Best Designer Wedding Dresses in Denver — anna bé bridal boutique

We met in the Brown Palace and enjoyed a glass of champagne before visiting the beautiful Bridal Boutique, where we were greeted by Michael, the senior stylist. My daughter, myself and four of our closet friend enjoyed more champagne, whilst perusing the wonderful designer dresses. With Michael’s help we found a gorgeous dress, veil and belt. We celebrated with more champagne of course.

After another celebratory drink in a local bar, we made our way to Linger, where we had dinner reservations. Fabulous restaurant, fabulous dinner. We saved room for dessert at ‘Little Man Ice Cream’ and sat in the park enjoying a glorious August eventing.

Exhausted, I took a cab back to the Brown Palace to enjoy the peace, tranquility and Luxury of this historical landmark.

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Do you think it looks haunted? It is of course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gorgeous stained glass ceiling

Gorgeous stained glass ceiling

 

 

 

 

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The bed was so comfortable, that I wouldn’t have heard a ghost had one visited my room. I slept like a log. The following morning I enjoyed a wonderful complimentary breakfast at my window table, and then lingered for a while to take photographs.

Even though this gorgeous hotel is only forty minutes from my home, I felt as though I had stepped into a different world, or maybe a different era. Next time my crazy hectic life stresses me out, I will remember this little haven of tranquility and escape to it. Maybe it will inspire one of my future stories.

If you are in the Denver area, give it a try. You won’t regret it.

 

Dead of July (Small)

 

 

 

Hotels.com – The Saga Continues

So almost 24 hours later I got an email from Hotels.com who said they had been trying to contact me ALL DAY yesterday. I emailed them back and asked them to call me, which give therm their due, they did.

A young gentleman called Lloyd represented Hotels.com today and has been the only person there who seemed to have his act together. They had no record of my calling them yesterday. Hardly surprising as the only two times I got through I spoke to totally disinterested people who tried to pass me on to an elusive someone else.

Lloyd told me that the refund had been processed (it has not yet showed up on my credit card so why can’t they just CANCEL THE WHOLE THING) but I would still be charged a cancellation fee.

They still don’t get the problem, I was charged in GBP for a reservation I made in USD. Even if this was processed and refunded there would be a Foreign Currency fee. They don’t seem to understand that their customer service is the problem, a whole day and no one could talk to me.  By the end of the phone call I was told it would take seven days, but I would be refunded the cancellation fee. I am so happy I could throw a party (Please excuse my sarcasm, but really they made a mistake, not me)

If you are making a reservation through Hotels.com, make sure you check the hotel price too. This really wasn’t much cheaper than it would have been had I booked directly through the Hotel.

If you value customer service – book directly and avoid the likes of these people. It is definitely the first and last time for me. Now to call American Express to stop the charge at that end. What a total waste of my time.