Great Places to Stay

by Dee Andrews

Where to stay when traveling is as important to me as the destination itself. I want a “home away from home.” A place to nest, put my feet up at the end of a day and savor my discoveries. I also want family friendly lodging where my kids can kick back and relax as well and not be on top of me.

The one element all of my best places to stay have is a sense of place. Perhaps its the view, the animals in the barn next to me, the history or the architecture, but I want something about my surroundings to connect me and make me feel like a local, at least for a few days.

Here are some of my favorite hotels, apartments, villas, tents, bed and breakfasts, riads, cottages, caves and cabins.

Cottage, Country House, Finca in Spain

El Sequer in Benimeli Spain
El Sequer in Benimeli, Spain is a Mediterranean farmhouse called a “riu-rau” that was formerly used for drying grapes to produce raisins. It is in the tiny village of Benimeli, with views of the church and Rectoria Valley spread out before you. One of my favorite experiences was the church bells ringing the hour.

Villa in Greece

Skiathos Greece Cape Pounta Villas
Cape Pounta Villas on Skiathos, Greece. The villas are fabulous, but the views over the pool down to the town of Skiathos are what make this place! Be sure to book a day of boating with the owner Diamantis. Nothing like a local to show you the island.

Apartment in Salamanca, Spain

Across the Rooftops of Salamanca Spain
Casa de la Luz in Salamanca, Spain is a wonderful, spacious three bedroom apartment not far from the Plaza Mayor. The best things about this apartment were its central location, amazing views over the rooftops to the cathedral, especially at night, and the homemade Spanish tortilla with which the owner’s mother welcomed us.

Cabin in Colorado

crested butte colorado pioneer cabins wild rose
The Pioneer Guest Cabins in Crested Butte, Colorado are the perfect place for glamping, glamorous camping in the mountains of Colorado. Near the quaint and historic town of Crested Butte, mountain biking trails, skiing, and river rafting. Eight cabins make it a perfect place for groups and families.

Cave Hotel in Turkey

Gamirasu Cave Hotel Terrace
The Gamirasu Cave Hotel in central Turkey was a fascinating and comfortable place from which to explore the surrounding Cappadocia countryside. The best part was the concert one night up in the caves by the Whirling Dervishes.

Country Inn, Bed and Breakfast in Spain

La Fuente Hotel in Ronda
Hotel La Fuente in Ronda, Spain is like spending the weekend with friends in the country. Amazing views and food… and the bull frogs singing is not to be missed.

Hotel in Italy

Hotel Marmorata in Ravello Italy
Best Western Hotel Marmorata of Ravello, Italy on the Amalfi Coast. Yes, this is a Best Western! The hotel is perched on the side of a cliff giving the feel of being on a ship. The stunning Mediterranean coast is out every window.

Riad in Morocco

marrakesh riad maison do room
Maison Do in Marrakesh, Morocco is a restored riad in the heart of the medina. The architecture was magnificent, as was the hospitality and meals. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace.

Bedouin Tents in the Sahara Desert

Bedouin Camp in Sahara Desert
Journey Beyond Travel put together a fabulous itinerary for our family through southern Morocco, including the camel trek into the Sahara and camping in Bedouin tents.

I put a lot of research and consideration into finding kid-friendly hotels and great places to stay for my family. Two great resources I use for finding unique places to stay are GoNomad and Darn Good Digs. Darn Good Digs especially is great for finding unique and affordable lodging around the world.

Share you favorites! Where in the world do you like to put your feet up?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anitta Cave Hotel September 9, 2011 at 1:59 am

A traditional Cappadocian zone White stone made lovely hotel (19 roomed) in heart of Cappadocia located near Goreme and center of Cavusin location.

Anitta Cave Hotel has 19 rooms (15 Standard rooms, plus 4 cutted Stone made superior rooms) in and all rooms has Bathroom/toilet cabin, heating system, hairdryer, confortable beds, Old historical carved Churchview rooms, Garden view rooms, rose valley view room, panoramic view room, regular Balloon depart field rooms.

We have 7/24 Free pick-up service any time any Bus station around Cappadocia to our hotel.

Dee Andrews September 9, 2011 at 7:46 am

The Anitta Cave Hotel sounds lovely. I can’t say enough about the fascinating region of Cappadocia in Turkey. Go try it out!

Mary Bell Boltwood September 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for a great and inspirational blog!

Would you share where you stayed in Javea? I am interested in staying there for 2 weeks in Dec/January 2011/2012 with my family with 3 young children. I hope to not have to rent a car so I can’t figure out where exactly to look for a house/villa/apartment that is in walking distance to everything. My primary interest in for my kids to interact with Spanish children in parks…do you think that would be possible or is it mostly tourists?

Dee Andrews September 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Hi Mary,

We rented a villa “outside” of the main parts of Javea and definitely needed a car. So I’ll tell you a little about each of the three distinct sections of Javea which might help focus your search for a place to stay. Most tourists stay in the Arenal, the sandy beach area which has a long boardwalk, tons of restaurants and shops, and play areas for young kids there in the sand. If you won’t have a car, this would probably be the easiest and I imagine there are many condos/apartments for rent. Also, given the time of year you’ll be there, you’ll find far less tourists and more of the locals enjoying the Arenal. We went with many families every Friday after school down for coffees and playing until dark. The water is too cold, but there are kids everywhere after school and the parents enjoying the cafes.

The “port” is further down the sea and is definitely more Spanish. Many Spanish families live there and it too has many shops and restaurants. It’s beach is a rocky beach. It was my favorite spot for coffee in the mornings looking out to the sea. Stunning. THere are parks around there too and more SPanish kids around. You would be able to find rentals here too; just search for the Port. It would be a long walk down the beach to the Arenal, but doable. In the summer there is a little tram that takes people back and forth but I’m not sure about in the winter. There may be a local, city bus that goes back and forth.

The third area is the “old town,” up the hill from the Port, several miles. The old town is everything you think of a small Spanish village. Winding streets and mostly all locals and restaurants and shops that cater to the locals. I would guess finding an apartment to rent would be more difficult. I’d probably recommend one of the other two areas and then visit the old town perhaps by bus if you won’t have a car.

Your kids meeting Spanish kids may be more difficult than you think; I found it so and we lived there a year!

Good luck, have fun!


bed and breakfast edinburgh December 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

What a stunning selection of locations… I feel like going to Morocco just for that Maison Do

Lake District Accommodation February 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

What a great article with some amazing places. I love the thought of the cabin in Colorado. Glamping, Mountain biking, skiing and river rafting! What more could you want from the great outdoors?
This has got to be on my to do list.

Thanks for sharing

Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk April 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I really want to go to the one in Greece it just looks beautiful and Greece has always been a part of my dream vacation

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