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Accommodations We Love – Part 6

by ExperiencePlus! - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Grappolo_banner

We’ve chosen several multi-night stays in this edition of Accommodations We Love. We don’t stay longer at these hotels because we fear you’ll never want to leave!

Read up on hotels in Chile, Scotland, France, Argentina, and Italy this month. We apologize in advance; these hotel descriptions will make your decision on which tour to take even harder!

Cycling the Dordogne

In the center of the town of Sarlat sits the Hotel de Selves, our home base for three nights on the Cycling the Dordogne tour. There is a lovely patio, pool, outside green space, and gardens for you to enjoy, or you can explore the town with its abundant castles, medieval streets, and views of countryside homes that you’ll be able to enjoy on your rides. Sarlat is rich in history and offers a wealth of options for the foodie interested in sampling the cuisine of the Périgord.

Sarlat is known for its market days in the main medieval square called Place de la Liberté. We’ll be in town for a market day, so make it a priority to catch a glimpse of the region’s seasonal products and handicrafts! If you’re lucky, you may be serenaded by a musician or entertained by a street performer on your market stroll down Rue de la République. The freshest bread is for sale in the early morning; take advantage of this opportunity to immerse yourself in a local pastime.

Bicycling Chile’s Wine Country

In Chile’s Colchagua Valley known for its Cabernet, Carménère, Syrah, Malbec sit several small towns known for their rich culture and wine production.  Our hotel is in the center of Santa Cruz, one of the main destinations in the valley.  This colonial-styled building with brightly colored and vibrant rooms and spa will be your home for two nights, and serves as a premier home base for your explorations of the surroundings. You’ll hopefully notice the Peruvian furniture specially designed for the hotel in your room, a reiteration of the emphasis on genuine culture and craftsmanship in this region. Since you’ll be here for a while, there’s plenty of time to relax, enjoy the hotel and its grounds, and even take a stroll through the acclaimed Colchagua Museum just around the corner.  The valley itself has much history, from the days of the Mapuche tribes to the agricultural lifestyles of the pre-Hispanic populations and finally to the colonists and estate owners in the 17th to 19th centuries (many of those mansions are still present today). The wine in this region is internationally known and is Chile’s leader in the production of fine wines; what a better place to be stationed in the middle of your tour!

Bicycling Scotland’s Highlands Coast to Coast

Along a quiet road in the Cairgorm National Park in Scotland just outside of Ballater, Scotland lies a comfortable Scottish home sidled up to a golf course. With its expansive view from the big back windows and only 19 rooms, the Glen Lui Hotel will surely remain a vivid memory of your time in Scotland. With another two night stay, you are free to wander the neighborhood, walking up hills small and great to stretch your legs out in town or keep your eyes peeled to see the squirrels and deer frolicking in the green landscape. Since you have your own meals in Ballater, take the opportunity at least one night to savor the cuisine; it’s received rave reviews, see what you think! The staff is warm and welcoming, and will surely make your stay a highlight.

Cycling the Best of Southern Tuscany

The Hotel Al Grappolo d’Oro is located in a residence from the 19th century and is located in Torgiano, Italy. With only 15 rooms, you will feel like a resident yourself to enjoy the views of nearby vineyards and take in the Umbrian countryside. With a pool and adjoining garden, you’ll soak up this gem in the heart of rural Italy.

Since pottery is a mainstay and artisan specialty in this region, the hotel works to decorate the lobby with local artwork and pottery; you may find yourself looking to find a piece of your own to take home.  In addition, since you will be nestled amidst the rows and rows of grapes, be sure to savor the wine of Torgiano and start off your tour of Southern Tuscany on the right foot.

Bicycling Patagonia’s Lakes District

Villa La Angostura is a mountain village in Patagonia located in the Nahuel Huapi National Park looking out at the Cerro Bayo, a sizeable mountain in the Andes range. Pioneers came to this region in the 1930s and built wooden alpine style buildings, a similar construction to the hotel we’re staying in on day 3 on our Patagonia’s Lakes District tour. Our hotel is called Hosteria El Establo, or “the stable,” and is aptly named as we anticipate your time there will evoke a welcoming farm feel & night in a rural location. With only 14 rooms on the property, you can relax in the homey living room post-ride and enjoy a homemade breakfast with local products before your ride to Chile!

Bicycling the Castles of the Loire Valley

In the 18th century, travelers and pilgrims, tradesmen and guests passed through Azay-le-Rideau, France at this staging post in the center of town to restock, rest, and set off again. On our tour of the Loire Valley, you won’t have to run off too quickly, our hotel, Le Grand Monarque, is home for two nights, allowing you to take multiple trips to Azay-le-Rideau Chateau just meters from the hotel, and also to soak in the culture of this village in the heart of France. If you thought just the chateau was beautiful, this hotel will be a close runner-up with its white stones in the wall and centuries-old trees in the charming courtyard.