La Sagesse, St David's
What's so special
Caribbean holidays can conjure up images of super-expensive resorts offering a very diluted Caribbean experience. But there are still some hotels offering value for money and authenticity. A prime example is La Sagesse, which has just been voted the best-value hotel in the Americas and Caribbean by The Sunday Times Travel magazine.
How they rate it
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"Think back 30 years to the Caribbean before the mass tourism," says The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "Tiny, slightly haphazard hotels on isolated beaches specialised in rum, fish and blissful indolence." La Sagesse "still fits that mould, a converted mansion with a sultry house-party vibe and just 12 rooms located close to one of the most romantic beaches on the planet." The hotel has been open for 14 years and many guests go back year after year.
Fish features heavily on the hotel menu with dishes dependent on what the fishermen catch that day. If that doesn't appeal there is also chicken, filet mignon and conch to choose from.
Doubles from £95 per night, room only. See www.lasagesse.com or call 00 1 473 444 6458.
La Luna, St George's
What's so special
The La Luna spa hotel swerves away from the path of many of its gargantuan neighbours and remains a small, intimate spa ideal for adults wanting to get away from it all. The hotel was recently named Tripadvisor's Travelers' Choice 2012 winner.
How they rate it
"Small, intimate and totally secluded, La Luna makes you feel a million miles away from it all," says Susan Emmett in The Times. This is a "low-key but stylish boutique hotel" with an open-air Balinese-style spa "tucked within a tropical rain forest just a step away from the sea". There are a lot of couples at this adult-focused resort (children are allowed to stay at certain times of year), but "the place is so discrete and understated that you are unlikely to trip over legions of loved-up twosomes."
The hotel's owners are Italian and there is a "splendid Italian restaurant" that "makes the best of the island's bounty and its own little kitchen garden". The carpaccio of conch "is beautiful as well as tasty".
Rates start from $365 for a cottage suite, room only. Find out more at the website at www.laluna.com or call 00 1 473 439 0001.
The best travel blogs
Save time and money with these travel blogs, as tipped by Alessia Horwich in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.
This is "an exhaustive resource on dining out in New York City" by Amanda Kludt and a team of journalists. You'll be the first to find out about new openings and the latest restaurant deals. "You can even organise the places at which you'd like to eat onto printable maps." The best feature is the list of last-minute Saturday-night reservation slots.
Aimed at those who love design, architecture and trendy places, this blog locates hip hang-outs in destinations worldwide. You'll have to sift through the sponsored posts, but do so and "you'll spot off-the-radar finds such as the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre, an observation pavilion in Norway, and Carousel, a vintage clothes shop in Dublin". You can print off free city guides or download them to your phone.
Head here for "in-depth listings and reliable reviews of the best bars in Paris, from vintage speakeasies to great wine bars". Blogger Forest Collins "has visited a different drinking den in Paris, weekly, since May 2008". As a result he "uncovers cocktail bars that would be almost impossible to find without a local tip-off". You can filter blog posts by location, opening days or even whether they have a terrace or a happy hour.
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