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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Sextantio, Le Grotte della Civita Hotel Matera

I first saw pictures of the fabulous Le Grotte della Civita hotel on and I was captivated. It's an incredible place and I can't resist sharing some of the pictures. The hotel is stylish but simple beautifully expressed as a pared down luxury. It is  the perfect marriage of a modern aesthetic joined with the natural  beauty and architectural form of  the traditional cave dwellings or sassi as they are known in Matera. Romantic, sparse, elegant and cool in the face of the blinding summer heat, the Grotte della Civita is one of the most memorable places I have stayed and I highly recommend it.
Our room was long and had been dug right out of the hillside. the door was the only opening to the natural light and so the room was lit with candles and discreetly hidden and dimly glowing bulbs. With temperatures above 40 degrees we were happy to shut out the heat. Behind the bed was an enormous low egg shaped bath which you can see below, and behind that a smaller, but not entirely separate, bathroom.
As you can see even the loo is trendy! Everything here was   deliberately chosen, even the wilted flowers left casually on the dining room tables. 

The hotel is on the edge of the old city overlooking the countryside. With a small patio to sit out and admire the view the situation could not be more beautiful. 

Tip: We asked to see an number of rooms and there were all lovely. Even the standard rooms are quite large. We booked through Kiwi Advantage for a free upgrade which I recommend.