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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 …

On the Beach in Burma - a Few Days in Ngapali

For additional Burma posts click here.
Burma may not be your first choice for a beach holiday, but it's  great way to relax for a few days between all the touring and temples. Don't expect any night life but if you are looking for a few days of sun, a pretty beach and some relaxation it's a fine option.
We spent four nights and did very little. We ate at the small beachside restaurants with our toes in the sand, lay in the sun and walked up and down the beach. Everyday local women walked past selling fruit and we ate fat sweet mango they cut up in front of us.
The small restaurants sold simple meals of grilled fish, crab and prawns, delicious!
It was lovely to walk down the beach and stop for a drink when it got too hot.
Fishing is vitally important to the local communities and along the beach you can see colorful fishing boats and fish being laid out in the sun to dry.
 Every evening the local boys came down to the beach to play football as the sun set.
We stayed at the Thande Beach Resort which is a mid range option right on the  beach, I picked it because it was available, reasonable and had a pool. The travel agent recommended a sea view room but  to save $100 a night I opted for a garden room, foolishly assuming the only difference would be the view. Unfortunately this was not the case. Drive by a desire to exploit  the increasing demand, the owner of the property decided to build several blocks of rooms right next to the main road. The room was small, dark and noisy with a drab balcony. I was not happy, our room was nothing like the rest of the resort, it was like being in an entirely different hotel at the back of the property. When I spoke to the manager she admitted that these garden rooms weren't comparable with the rest of the resort but she couldn't do anything for us as they were fully booked. If we returned I would forget the pool and  try the Cherry Yoma further down the beach which looked charming.
The hotel had a lovely promenade above the beach which was a lovely place to sit if you were looking for a shady spot.
Here's where we had breakfast every morning...
 So much fun and the perfect break between admiring temples at Bagan and Mrauk U.
 When can we go back?