As a seasoned globetrotter with a passport brimming with stamps, how could you be expected to narrow down your list of favourite places to stay? That’s exactly what we asked of Jo Symons, Commissioning Travel Editor at The Daily Telegraph, who tipped us off with three of her stand-out spots.
Fuente de la Higuera, Andalucia (where I’m relaxing in the photo!)
Whether you choose a grand hotel or a small B&B, it’s the atmosphere that makes a stay really memorable.This small hotel, set on a hill outside Ronda, gets it just right. Laid back but with great attention to detail, it has stylish rooms, a lovely small pool, friendly staff and sweeping views across olive groves and plains to the mountains beyond. The food is spectacularly good.
Bruce Castle, Normandy is one of my favourite B&Bs in the world. A convincing replica of an 18th-century chateau, it’s run by the delightful Fontanets who create a happy and welcoming atmosphere. The large sunny sitting room and three en-suite bedrooms are decorated (without a hint of preciousness) with good antiques and paintings and there’s a peaceful and beautifully tended garden. Breakfast – the table laid with antique linen and silver – includes freshly poached fruit and home-made jams. It’s well placed for the Cherbourg ferry, and for exploringthe lovely Cotentin Peninsula and D-Day beaches.
Northcourt, in the peaceful Isle of Wight village of Shorwell, is one of the loveliest of the local manor houses, but the real highlights here are the spectacular grounds that reminded me of a mini Lost Gardens of Heligan. Rooms are large, comfortable and traditionally furnished – and the friendly hosts provide an excellent breakfast. It’s all great value. Superb walking, beaches and the rolling countryside of West Wight are nearby.