Hotel Missoni Edinburgh

I have the bag. I have the towels. I need to upgrade to a full blown Missoni experience.

The Missoni hotel in Edinburgh is beckoning; calling out for a weekend away. While the Edinburgh Fringe festival would be the perfect time to visit, those who are not organised enough (see:me) will have to make an autumn visit.

The suites look lush (read:expensive) but the normal rooms look stylish enough to justify the coin. Let’s face it, they had me at Missoni bathrobes….and the afternoon tea with Missoni tea sets.

I want to go to there.


Hotel L’Antico Convitto, Amalfi Coast – June 2012

In my head I always thought that the Amalfi Coast was a destination for movie stars. The dramatic coastline, private yachts, fine dining etc. I.e. not a place I could afford. And while this might be the case for some of the 40km coastline, I was pleasantly surprised that there is still good value accommodation right in the thick of it.

Hotel L’Antico Convitto is located in Amalfi Town, one of the quieter and more reasonably priced towns on the Amalfi Coast. The hotel is in prime position – behind the famous Saint Andrews Cathedral and Piazza Duomo, and just off the main street that winds up the hill. Not that you will have to worry about getting there as the lovely hotel staff will pick you up from the bus station in a golf buggy and drive you and your luggage to the hotel door. Very amusing and very handy. Once inside, the hotel staff greet you like long lost relatives, and I immediately WANT to be in their charming Italian family. Detailed guides and explanations for all the local sites and activities, a full run down of breakfast and the upstairs terrace and we are ready to go.

We get upgraded to a family room (not sure why?) and the apartments are spacious, with a full lounge and kitchen area and huge windows that open up to views of the hillside villas and apartments. The bedroom is a little dark, but perfect for afternoon naptime, an essential when catching stupid o’clock Easyjet flights. So it might not be a designer boutique hotel choice – but it is basic, clean, spacious and all that is needed for a short Italian weekend break.

But the best of the hotel is not the room, but the rooftop terrace where the true beauty of Amalfi is presented before you. Views out to the ocean, the rooftops of multi-coloured houses, the church bells, the mountains….oh it is too much! Breakfast can be brought up to the terrace, and sun loungers laid out on the balcony are perfect for breakfast round two (the lemon filled doughnuts are to die for).  Props to the kitchen staff who could keep up with our expresso orders AND brought them up to the terrace for us (even though I don’t think this was meant to be part of the service!). The breakfast buffet is extensive and provides a good opportunity to try a few of the local delicacies –i.e. lemon everything. Fine by me!

What I love about Hotel L’Antico Convitto

–        the staff. I am looking at you Antonella, who was quite possibly the most lovely front of house staff member I have ever met.

–        The location – 5 mins to the sea, 5 mins to food, 5 mins to the piazza, a supermarket downstairs – there is nothing we needed that could not access in minutes. Including the gelato bar that sells Amalfi gelato, a creamy lemon dream with biscuit pieces also known as ‘my new favourite thing about Italy’.

–        The tiling throughout the hotel – i just love it.

Hotel lady tips

–        Pizza – best pizza we found was around the corner at Pizzeria Donna Stella. Beautiful garden terrace, great pizza.

–        Gelato – all of it.

Six stars?

A potential new development in Bangaroo in Sydney backed by the Packer family is being marketed as a ‘six star’ luxury property. While the rating doesn’t technically exist (currently it only goes up to five), there is something intriguing about what elements of luxury could push it over the current scale.

Not one to shy away from luxury, i would happily devise the criteria for AAA Tourism Australia so that they can properly define 5 star + hotels. Just saying.