Eight of the best hotels in Barcelona

Exploring some of the Catalonian capital's swankiest hotels TLE’s guide to eight of the best luxury hotels in Barcelona is for those looking for an extravagant and memorable stay in Spain's second largest city. Barcelona, one of the most-visited cities in Europe, is full of architectural gems, restaurants and bars - as well 4km-long, man-made, sandy beach. With a flight from London taking just over two hours, it's the ideal city break.  Whether you're after serene rooftop pools with city...

Exploring a New Forest escape at a Mediterranean pace

Words by James Thompson The white pony sitting in the middle of the road had the right idea. Unhurried, unflustered, refusing to move for any of the honking cars that were quickly backing up behind him. Though why should he? This little corner of the New Forest belongs to him, and things move at a decidedly different pace around here. So, we carefully inched around our supine new friend and turned up the long driveway to the Burley Manor Hotel,...

Review – Low Wood Bay Hotel, Lake District

The Lakes is always the perfect gateway, but it seems so easy to get there, that I don’t bother as much as I should. So I was overjoyed to set off to the on the train to visit a place I had not been to for almost a decade. The Lake District National Park is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its natural beauty and cultural landscape. We were staying at Low Wood Bay a hotel overlooking...

The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa Midhurst: A truly historic hotel

By Anna Power The Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa is a truly historic hotel dating back to Tudor times, in the lovely English town of Midhurst, in the heart of the South Downs. Though the spa and parts of the hotel are clearly more recent additions, its original building, housing its lounge bar, restaurant and suites above, are beautifully preserved examples of the period, oozing charm and character with every creak of its timber frame, wobbly floors, latticed windows and...

Alexander House Hotel & Spa: Discovering genuine utopia

Utopia is one of the most misused words in the book when it comes to hotels and spas. High street salons that claim to offer a slice of heaven as the number 62 bus wizzes by and overzealous hotels with a hot tub and sauna insisting they pertain a certain shangri-la are all culprits of making a beautiful word sound so meaningless. But amidst the sham utopians spare a thought for the genuine artefacts, because if you look in the...

Staying at a luxury 20th Century hotel in the heart of Madrid…

Review: URSO Hotel and Spa, Madrid The URSO Hotel and Spa, named after Ursalia (the name given to Madrid during the Roman Empire), couldn't be better located. It lies in the Las Saleas area close to Madrid’s quirky, gay-friendly Malasaňa neighbourhood - known for its hipster bars, independent shops and cool cafes. Its proximity to the chic Chueca district and Gran Vía (Madrid's answer to Oxford Circus) makes it a prime location for getting to know both sides of Spain’s capital...

Spending the night with Mick Jagger at The Trafalgar St James, Curio Collection by Hilton

Overlooking London's sadly pidgeon-less Trafalgar Square, The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton is the first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in the UK. The hotel, opened late last summer, homes 131 bedrooms and 15 suites, all decorated in art deco style complete plenty of artsy reading material in the shape of fashion books by Alexander McQueen. Location 10/10 Located in the centre of London, just a matter of steps from Trafalgar Square, the aptly named Trafalgar St...

Discovering the secrets of Lake Como beyond the glitz and glamour

Lake Como is a wonderfully ostentatious playground for the obscenely rich and glamorous. But beyond the pizazz there is rustic, mysterious charm; even for those without the personal GDP of a small Pacific island. It’s easy to imagine Lake Como as a Knighstbridge-on-the-lake. A soulless den of laundered money pumped into multi-million pound villas, ghostly-empty for most of the year. An area seemingly only suitable for day-trippers and the hyper-rich. But, like Knightsbridge, there’s a reason people want to hide...

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