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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Risorgimento Resort, Lecce

In Lecce we stayed at the Risorgimento Resort just off the main plaza. The hotel is very modern, in what I felt was a rather cold style. I loved the location and the staff were very good but overall I wouldn't rave and if I returned to Lecce I would probably try somewhere else. The whole place feels like it was designed to look good in the photographs rather than to feel good as a customer. Unfortunately  it was a case of  image over substance. 

I love modern design but it need to be inspired, stylish, local and  grounded, particularly when it's found in historic buildings. For example of the places we have visited recently, the Hospes Palacio Del Bailio in Cordoba balances modern style perfectly in an older building. You can see the contrast in my blogpost  here. 

Our package included dinner and we had a meal at the restaurant on the roof which was one of the least interesting of our entire trip, though to be fair we did enjoy the breakfast buffet in the morning and the wait staff cannot be faulted. One of my biggest gripes about the hotel was the absense of comfortable public space. Given that the rooftop was closed until the evening the only place to sit outdoors was the small terrace off our suite. It seems extraordinary to me that a place can call itself a resort when there are no resort-like facilities (pool, garden etc.) and nowhere to  sit outdoors during the day.

We had a garden suite and while the bathroom was lovely and the room spacious I found the decor  uninspired. As you can see in the photograph above, the sofa was not comfortable and the dark wood felt rather generic. 

These are some photos of the terrace off our suite.

I don't like to write negative reviews. The hotel is certainly adequate, and the staff were very good, but the aesthetic didn't speak to me and I can't recommend it.