Planning an upcoming trip to Portugal, I came across the delightful Carmo’s Boutique Hotel in Ponte de Lima, Portugal – what is said to be the oldest town in the country.  Carmo’s Boutique Hotel is a fifteen-room, super romantic getaway that should be part of your next trip to Portugal.  Not far from Porto and the Douro Valley, the hotel is a perfect point for exploring Portugal’s stunning north.

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The gorgeous glass and concrete property melds playfully into the beautiful landscape. Even more interesting, the modern building is decorated in a style more reminiscent of a noble family home than a stark boutique hotel, making for a casual and intimate experience.

Even with just fifteen rooms, Carmo’s Boutique has an elegant restaurant with a strong attention to wine, personal service, and the flavors of the region.  The hotel also features a full spa – one of the most unique offerings is a bath in 280 liters of pure goat’s milk! I’m intrigued!

Set among amazing scenery with outdoor terraces, a stunning pool, and a gorgeous town, you really should check this place out.

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Four Seasons, one of my favorite hotel chains, just announced a pretty revolutionary app that takes travelers beyond the standard reservations and information focus of existing apps that many hotels have.

Four seasons App

The new Four Seasons app brings the technology and anonymity that we have come to love to the hotel arena.  It is a do-everything program that lets guests check in, order room service, request transportation, order a fluffier pillow, schedule turndown service, and more. Forget needing to call down to the spa to book a massage – it’s on the app.

What’s great is that every Four Seasons hotel is linked up to the app, so there is no guessing if you will have access to certain services or amenities.  Of course, you can always call a human too!

While hotel apps are not new, Four Seasons has definitely gone beyond what is presently in the market.  Hopefully we will continue to see this push toward technology in hotels as they pursue differentiation in an increasingly competitive landscape.

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Just looking at Atami Fufu transports me back to magical, amazing Japan. The ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns, embody the culture, tranquility, and attention to detail of the country.
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The beautiful Atami Fufu ryokan embodies the very essence of omotenashi, the Japanese fine art of hospitality, whose attitudes and practices have been refined over centuries.
You first encounter Atami Fufu ryokan as you cross a bridge over a rushing brook, warm from the Atami hot spring source. An enormous rock sculpture announces that the ryokan is both luxurious and innovative in its approach to personalized service, as you ease into the delightful, relaxing Fufu experience.The hotel with its 24 guest rooms mixes tranquil Japanese design with western amenities, like zen beds and modern sofas. The style is seamlessly blended creating a wonderful and relaxing ambiance.Atami Fufu’s “Yumeoto” restaurant is fantastic: in the spirit of the Japanese “wabi-sabi” aesthetic the chef prepares Teppanyaki using carefully selected ingredients, served in a tranquil and sophisticated atmosphere.

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Praia Verde Boutique Hotel: Algarve, Portugal

May 3, 2015

I’m in the process of planning my next trip to Portugal and sadly will not have time to visit the Algarve. Right now, I’m wishing that I were relaxing at the casual chic Praia Verde Boutique Hotel. Charming and unique, the hotel sits at the spot where dense pine forest meet the blue Atlantic waters. […]

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The Decadent PalazzinaG – Venice

April 19, 2015

Ciao Italia! If you are staying in Venice, PalazinnaG is the place to be!  Even forgetting its amazing location on the Grand Canal, this hotel is stunningly amazing.  Imagine amazing interior design by Phillipe Stark in an historic Venetian building:  ancient framework artfully integrated with sleek modern materials and contemporary design. With no reception desk […]

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Inkaterra Opens its Fabulous Hacienda Urubamba in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas

April 9, 2015

Immersed in the countryside in a gorgeous area of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba opens with 12 rooms set in the Casa Hacienda with grounds spanning approximately 100 acres. With architecture and interiors inspired by the area’s cultural history, the contemporary hacienda-style hotel was designed by Denise Guislain-Koechlin with the support of her husband, […]

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Drift Away to Su Gologone, a Sardinian Paradise

March 17, 2015

You need to check out the wonderful property, Su Gologone, on the island paradise of Sardinia.  Surrounded by geraniums, hydrangeas, bougainvillea and prickly pears, the hotel is a magical getaway. Su Gologone is all about the tradition, art and culture of this distinctive part of the world – every detail expresses the authenticity of this land: […]

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Head to Georgia (the country) – Rooms Hotel Tbilisi

March 2, 2015

Tbilisi, Georgia may not be on everyone’s tourist radar, but after an article in Monocle a few years back, it’s had me intrigued.  When I came across the Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, I thought that a visit might be in order.  Tbilisi is a cultural city, brimming with museums, galleries, and eastern history.  It’s hearty food […]

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London’s Wildly Unique Town Hall Hotel

February 15, 2015

Watch your step, because you’re going to want to run to East London’s Town Hall Hotel! Located in London’s edgy neighborhood of Bethnal Green, Town Hall Hotel is in a lavishly decorated historic municipal building mixing traditional and Deco styles. The property features stately sweeping staircases, marble floors, towering ceilings, apartment-style rooms and a stunning brass, marble-clad swimming […]

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The Art Nouveau Miss Clara – A Stockholm Treat

August 13, 2014

In the magical center of Stockholm, one of my favorite cities of the world, sits the wonderful Miss Clara Hotel.  Resident in one of Stockholm’s most delightful Art Nouveau buildings, Miss Clara amazes with her architectural turns and elements of beauty, but she also impresses as a top class hotel. Digg this postRecommend on FacebookTweet about itSubscribe […]

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