Part 10



Ghanerao Hotel sits at the edge of the Aravalli Hills in a small rural village dominated by craftsmen. It mixes English country-house tranquillity with Indian symbolism. The Ghanerao family have lived there for 400 years and today, Sajjan Singh and his wife have opened their home to  paying guests. The facilities are basic, with hot water arriving by bucket, but the spartan aspects of life at Ghanerao just add to its appeal.


One of my favourite hotels is the Hermitage Hotel on New Zealand’s South Island which I came across by chance when I was climbing. We had been flown up to near the top of a glacier and had climbed to the peak and then had to walk all the way down. When we finally reached the bottom, to my astonishment, there was this hotel. It was on its own in the most stupendously beautiful countryside, very wild and very high up. To come down the mountain battered and exhausted and find yourself in extreme luxury, with a man playing Cole Porter on the piano, was extraordinary.


On the south-west of  Mauritius, the Paradis Hotel is isolated on its own peninsula in one of the quietest corners of the island. If  you drive from here, the road winds along the coast past beaches with no-one on them  but  fishermen. The hotel isn’t small and there are plenty of takers for the free watersports, but you can easily escape from all the other people along nine kilometres of private beach; you have only to swim a few yards out into the Indian  Ocean and you can barely see the hotel for

palm trees. Sit on the beach in the evening when everyone has gone and as the light drains from the sky you’ll feel far away from everything.


The Ladera Hotel in St Lucia has one of the Caribbean’s most dramatic settings. Quiet and far off the beaten track, it stands at an altitude of 1,000 feet, its open rooms looking out between the twin peaks of the Pitons to  the Caribbean Sea – some view first thing in the morning! The style is colonial, with furniture in mahogany and greenheart wood, and four-poster beds screened with muslin netting.


This hotel, on Biiyukada in the Princes Islands is the perfect place to escape the noise of Istanbul. The islands are only an hour by boat, and are simply idyllic. There are no cars, only horse-drawn carriages and fabulous twenties wooden architecture. The islands are a cross between Key West and the Old South, and the landmark  building is the Splendid. All in wood, painted white with red domes, it’s a copy of a turn-of-the-century hotel on the French Riviera. Today it’s a little run down, but has lost none of its charm.


In the tiny village of Etoges, in the heart of Champagne, is a beautiful seventeenth century chateau. Surrounded by a moat with two swans, the chateau, until recently a family home, has 20 rooms which are all different, some with four- poster beds – one even has a large billiard table. There are special weekend rates for two nights with breakfast and dinner plus

complimentary champagne (their own brand – if you want to take some home).


The Fairview is that rare bird in Africa – a comfortable hotel that hasn’t decked itself out in feathers of upmarket gloss and tasteless luxury. It’s an indispensable staging post, always full of travellers recuperating from one safari and planning the  next.  Overnight guests have been known to arrive, take one look at the gardens, the bedrooms and the  dining-hall menu, and decide on the spot to stay for a week. There are even apartments set aside specially for those who make up their minds to settle in for a few months. The hotel’s leafy acres and scattered buildings are laid out on Nairobi Hill, a world away from the overhead bustle of the city centre. I don’t know of anv better place to sit and watch the sudden African sunset, sipping draught beer and looking forward to a hearty dinner – Praised zebra and two veg, following by jelly trifle.


The Duke of Windsor was the first to sign the visitor’s book at the Hotel Splendido. Ever since, a galaxy of the fabulous has drifted in and out of the hotel’s portals to play, stay and be seen: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Nowadays, you are more likely to find yourself in the company of a soft drinks billionaire or  a   rubber-tyre   heiress.   But this old Monastery-turned-villa- turned-hotel is still, as its name suggests, quite splendid and  there is enough reflected glamour to perk up any weekend break. Deliciously simple food in the restaurant and the finest Persian rugs and homemade pasta.

Answer questions 1-15 by referring to the magazine article.

Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet.

For questions 1-15 answer by choosing from paragraphs A-H on page 5. You may choose any of the paragraphs more than once.

Note: When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.

Which hotel(s)
is the owners’ home? 1 ……….
are not luxurious? 2 ……. ..
offer mountain views? 4 ……….
includes participation in leisure activities in its price? 6 ……….
is so pleasant that guests may stay longer than planned? 7 ………
is said to be attractive on account of its simplicity? 8 . . … .
are in buildings which originally had a different function? 9 …….. . 10 ……….
looks like hotels found in another country? 11
is described as being in a most unusual location? 12 ……….
has not been well maintained? 13 ……….
currently attracts a new type of guest? 14 ……….
is said to be untypical of hotels in that part of the world? 15 ……….