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Secret Hotels: Extraordinary Values in the World's Most Stunning Destinations Paperback – September 1, 2007
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So what can you get for less than $250 a night?
You'd be surprised.
The editors of Budget Travel challenged themselves to find resort hotels "that don't show up on big online booking engines or get written about in fussy travel magazines."
They discovered an interesting, unreported truth: Not everyone who goes to live in a beautiful place is filthy rich. Some bliss-seekers have just enough capital to get themselves there and make the down payment on a property. A season of sweat equity later, and they're the proprietors of a small hotel --- a human-scaled retreat, "run by real people for real people, and run with love."
This book features picture-and-text profiles of eight destinations: Provence, Bali, Cornwall, Costa Rica, Tuscany, the Caribbean, the French Riviera and Tahiti. I've spent a fair amount of time in Provence, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, so those are the sections I read most closely.
Provence: I expected to find all the recommended hotels far from the madding crowd, tucked away on rocky hillsides in the Luberon. Well, the Mas du Loriot (the book says it's $63 to $157 a night --- but that was before the Euro began to stomp the dollar) is in those hills, but that's a good thing: Each room has a private terrace overlooking lavender fields. If you're off to see the Pont du Gard, La Begude Saint-Pierre ($88 to $251) is nearby; with welcome candor, the text alerts you that a few of its 23 rooms are right near the road. There's an urban hotel in Arles, a 12-room inn just five miles north of St.-Remy, a 23-room charmer five minutes from Avignon, and, to round it off, an auberge in a 12th century building in the Luberon.Read more ›
The color photos, by the way, are worth the price of the book alone. Erik Torkells sure knows a good deal when he sees one--of course; HE IS the editor of "Budget Travel" magazine. His descriptive style of writing and the behind-the-scenes stories with the innkeepers are a testimony to good travel writing. The hotels, typically priced at $200 or less a night, may just get you out of that easy chair to start dusting off the luggage--IF you can find affordable airfare to such destinations as Provence, Tahiti, Costa Rica and the French Riviera!
Stacy Lytwyn Maxwell, Author/Book Reviewer/Teacher
CONSUMMATE CONNECTICUT: DAY TRIPS WITH PANACHE