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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

Komeneka at Tanggayuda

The Komenka at Tanggayuda is a great place. It isn't the fanciest hotel in Bali (that would probably be one of the Amans) but it's pretty damn nice and it may be the best value. I'd call it midrange luxury - with some amenities but not all. However, it's a remarkably well designed property and the service is superb. I had booked into a pool villa room and while it wasn't as spacious at the Royal Pita Maha, it was incredibly well designed with a desk behind the bed and a sitting area at the foot of the bed.

The pool was for plunging rather than swimming but, as you can see,  it had a lovely pavilion beside it  with views across a small gorge, unfortunately here's where things started to go wrong...Someone was wheedling a loud chain saw through the adjacent hillside. Each time it stilled we drew breathe and thought, it's finally stopped, only for it to start back up a few minutes later. All of a sudden it was much harder to appreciate the aesthetic details.
Despite the flower heart on the bed I wasn't feeling the love! At dinner I asked if they had any idea when the noise would stop? At breakfast they got back to us, explained it was on a piece of land across from the hotel and that they had no idea and no control over when it would start up again. 
I appreciated their honesty and that they got back to me, even if it was bad news. But they didn't stop there and before I knew it (and without any further complaint) we were touring the best suite they had available. We were welcome to stay here but the noise was persistent and  I while the suite was attractive it felt rather cold. I preferred the smaller room which had an organic modern feel that combined wood and stone effectively.
Here are some pictures of the suite, below. As you can see the pool is larger but it has less charm and a less Balinese aesthetic. The bathroom is very enormous but it doesn't have the lovely stone bathtub.
The bedroom is far larger but it felt rather soulless to me. Overall it's a cleaners, simpler modern design without the decorative organic elements that I loved in the other room. We said that we appreciated the offer of the suite but that we preferred the smaller room
Unsolicited, they offered to see if there was a pool room available in their Bisma property. I was bowled over by the effort they made, and their sincere desire to see  that we were happy. More on Bisma to follow....
Here are some pictures of the public spaces in the hotel.

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