With the feel of a travel writer’s notebook, this clear new site gives inspiration on where to stay, play and get a cultural fix
This is part of our new series looking at great travel websites. If you’ve found a good travel site recently, post a comment below or tweet us @guardiantravel
Imagine gaining access to a travel writer’s notebook. Except that instead of being a realistic mess of on-the-road scrawls and coffee stains, it has been fully souped up, neatly edited, and designed to a high standard.
That’s how it feels flicking through HotelsWeLove.com, which launched in July and covers 10 world cities (Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Istanbul, London, Marseille, Milan, New York City, Paris and Shanghai). Behind it is Australian travel writer Rachael Antony (Lonely Planet, Wallpaper*, Vogue Living) and French television producer and ex-Lonely Planet staffer Laurence Billiet. Between them, they have lived all around the world, before making their current base in Paris.
“It’s a sort of ‘anti-TripAdvisor’, where ‘less is more’,” they say of the site, which breaks their accumulated knowledge down into bitesize chunks, often letting the pictures do the talking.
Choose a city from the sidebar, then click on “Think”, “Play” or “Sleep”. “Sleep” features their pair’s favourite hotels – and, as a sign of the times, there are a few AirBnB properties in the mix, too, such as this bric-a-brac-filled apartment in Le Marais, Paris. The “Play” section gives tips on where to eat, drink and visit (recommended places are pinned on a map that can be enlarged and printed out). Perhaps most interesting is the “Think” part, which gives a list of where to look for background information to get you in the mood for your trip, from video clips and books to newspaper articles and movies.
Coming up next in the series is Venice and after that, more surprisingly, Palm Springs. “Because it’s like a large open-air museum for modernist architecture,” says Rachael.
Similar site worth bookmarking
The Culture Trip: This is another passion-driven personal project, and this time run by an academic, Dr Kris Naudts. Ideal for travellers who want to get under the skin of the places they visit, it allows you to pick a country and get to grips with what makes it tick – not just those made-for-tourists hotels and attractions, but its whole cultural landscape, from art exhibits to local authors. It’s a great resource and Naudts has set his sights high: “The concept is currently being expanded beyond art, literature and film into music, apps, galleries, events, accommodation, restaurants and tours – for every single country in the world.” Books and films can be bought directly from the site, making it great for armchair travellers as well.
Link to article: feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663875/s/30c81366/sc/4/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Ctravel0C20A130Csep0C0A40Ctop0Etravel0Ewebsites0Ehotels0Ewe0Elove/story01.htm