Accommodations We Love – Part 7by Jo - Tuesday, October 2, 2012
If our itinerary descriptions have whetted your appetite and you’re starting to daydream, let us help you set the stage with these splendid backdrops. Proudly announcing Accommodations We Love Part 7…with some properties from new departures in Catalonia, & Slovenia.
Although you may never want to leave this hotel situated between limestone rocks and hills because of its sheer tranquility, we offer you a compromise: we stay here for two nights while exploring rural southeastern France on the Languedoc tour. The Auberge de Val Mourèze is a gem; it’s located just a short walk from the quiet town of Mourèze and only has 18 rooms, so it really does feel like you have the place to yourself. After a long ride to Mourèze, you may be looking for a cool off dip in the pool; don’t despair, the Auberge has a refreshing pool on site. Our dinners will be provided both nights on its terrace, a wonderful place to share stories from your ride and savor French cuisine prepared by a father-son chef duo. If hiking trails within close proximity, a beautiful lake ride in the itinerary, and the welcoming smile of the hostess of the Auberge doesn’t convince you further, perhaps you’ll just have to hear the crunch of the gravel under your feet for yourself as you return to your hotel room fully satisfied with a tasty meal and ready for the next day of riding!
Have you ever wondered how patricians lived in the 18th century? The Hotel Santa Caterina will help satisfy your curiosity, as it is located in a renovated villa near the Roman Gate of Siena, Italy. The hotel’s veranda overlooks a garden and invites you to gaze out into the Tuscan countryside that you will have become so intimately acquainted with while pedaling on this tour. In a Tuscan-styled & decorated atmosphere that oozes ‘cozy’ and ‘relaxed,’ you’ll find yourself relishing its sitting room or outdoor patio after a stroll through one of Italy’s foremost art cities.
Immerse yourself in one of the oldest fortified towns in Spain and one of our favorite hotels on this new tour in 2013 – Girona and the Hotel Historic. Our first lodging is just steps from the Cathedral and part of a remodeled home in the old city – one of the best preserved Jewish ‘ghettos’ in Europe. With 8 unique rooms and apartments in their annex, we guarantee no room is alike. A combination of rock walls from the 18th century and modern timber-framed decoration is a fitting setting for a tour that blends old and modern as we begin our ride in sunny Catalonia. Just blocks from the hotel you can visit Girona’s Art Museum and hear the church bells from the Cathedral. If you aren’t the monument or museum exploring type, we recommend you explore the narrow streets and neighborhoods and people watching that make sitting in Spanish plazas such a delight.
A mere 200 meters separates our lakeside hotel from the legendary Lake Bled in Slovenia, but our day 7 hotel’s location is only the icing on the cake (or should we say the powdered sugar on your Krofi (doughnuts)?) at the Hotel Triglav Bled. Breakfast is served on the balcony or in the hotel’s garden, and we’re sure you’ll be so pleased by the expansive view and the Slovene house specialties that weave decided to stay here two nights for those on the Plus! tour. This historic hotel was opened in 1906 when the Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand christened the train station to connect Bled to Trieste and Vienna.
On a more flavorful note, a main goal of the Triglav is to heighten awareness and appreciation for Slovene culinary heritage, and one of the admirable aspects of this hotel is the way the management values and emphasizes the eating experience. Uroš Štefelin, one of Slovenia’s top 10 chefs, heads up a culinary school on location and focuses on local ingredients. Perhaps you’ll have the opportunity to try one of Uroš’ celebrated homemade ice creams of pear, buckwheat, pumpkin, or beetroot during your stay.
Jo - JoAnne “Jo” Baldwin was our Reservations and Marketing Associate from 2011 to March 1, 2014. She enjoys looking for new projects and places to visit, and always eager to try a new recipe or climb another hill (either on bike or on foot). She seeks to share various elements of local culture and history with our followers, particularly recipes. In 2014 Jo headed west towards Seattle to look for more hiking, camping, or skiing, but luckily for us she still shares her favorite recipes and travel stories in our Rambler e-newsletter.