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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Tcherassi Hotel and Spa Cartegena - A Hotel Review

Designed and owned by the Italian  designer  Silvia Tcherassi, the Tcherassi Hotel and Spa exudes  a chic, modern, tropical style. With only eight rooms it's a boutique hotel on an intimate scale. It's often fully booked so don't expect to get that upgrade you were hoping to get on arrival. However, the good new is it's just so charming and  every bit of the compact  space is used in innovative ways, even the vertical spaces are well used including a living plant wall directly across from the restaurant. I loved the waterfall that runs down a glass wall enclosing the small bar, you can see it below - where it runs into the pool. 

Although this is a small hotel it has been well designed with a range of public spaces which provide plenty of different areas for you to relax or read, including the beautifully designed open library  below. It looked like a magazine page come to life!
The hotel is designed to draw the eye, which gives the places a more expansive feel. From the restaurant you can see the beautiful living wall rises up a full two stories. It was a joy to come down here for breakfast in the morning and we enjoyed an excellent Italian meal one evening. Do book in advance as the restaurant Vera is very popular with visitors who are not staying in the hotel.
The whole place is very well designed. For example below you can see how they use mirrors  on the back wall of the restaurant to reflect the light and open the space up. It was lovely to have breakfast here every morning, particularly because they served it till noon, that's my kind of hotel ;).
Each room is individually furnished but they share a simple luxury with elegant bathrooms and clean lines. Our room was on the right of the corridor below.
When we arrived in our room we were happy to find we loved the elegant decor  We were enjoyed this lovely fruit plate which was left as a welcome, always a nice touch.
The bathroom was open with double sinks, glass partitions and a beautifully high ceiling with skylights which brought in lots of light. All of the pictures and fittings were well designed and well chosen.
From the balcony hallway outside the room you could look down on another sitting area beyond the small bar. The sofas are on a glass floor over another  small pool.
There's a small pool on the roof which I enjoyed - right up until this sad looking umbrella fell on me! Not quite so amusing at the time as it smashed my drink  and there was glass everywhere. Happily there was no harm done but everyone was very kind as I did get rather a shock!
Overall we very much enjoyed our stay at the Tcherassi and I would recommend it. I felt it was well located, stylish, intimate and quiet. The service was good enough and we enjoyed the food including the lavish breakfasts which were served till noon! This is a property I would return to.
Tip: Cartagena is by far the most expensive city in Colombia and you will spend much more here than anywhere else in the country. Hotel rates at some properties were prohibitive and for me there was no value to be had a flagship properties like the Sofitel Santa Clara. I highly recommend the Tcherassi or similar boutique properties which offer far more value for money and a more intimate experience. Book the Tcherassi through KIwiCollection.com the possibility of  a free upgrade and a hotel credit. 
























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