Tag Archives: St Petersburg

Hotel Review: Parador ‘Hostal dos Reis Católicos’ in Santiago de Compostela oldest hotel in the world

As a final treat to end off my Portuguese Coastal Camino walk last week, I booked the last night of my stay in Santiago de Compostela at the Parador ‘Hostal dos Reis Católicos’, a five-star luxury hotel located adjacent to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and closely linked in history to the pilgrimages made to the city, to pay respect to Saint James, whose remains are in a silver casket in the Cathedral. Continue reading →

Cape Town drops 10 places in Top 25 TripAdvisor 2016 Travelers’ Choice World Destination!

TripAdvisor cape-townCape Town has dropped to the 20th position in the TripAdvisor 2016 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 World Destinations list, from 10th last year, despite the extremely favourable exchange rate offered to tourists by our city. No explanation for the massive ranking drop is provided. and may be due to the stringent Visa Regulations!

The TripAdvisor 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards World Destinations list has just been published: Continue reading →

Ryan’s Kitchen opens spicy small-plate space in Franschhoek! (reposted)

Ryan's Kitchen exterior Whale CottageRyan’s Kitchen has re-opened in Franschhoek, in a space double its former size, in Place Vendôme at the entrance to the village.  The restaurant now focuses on ‘small plates’,  even though ‘small’ is a relative term!  Chef Ryan Smith has simplified his dishes, reducing the number of ingredients, and added more spice to those on his new menu, each dish introducing itself through its fragrance before one tastes it.

For the past four years the restaurant operated from what was the breakfast room of Rusthof Guest House higher up the main road, a tiny space that could serve no more than 30 guests at a stretch, and up to 400 plates in an evening. A major blow to the restaurant in July was the sale of the guest house to Mr Analjit Singh, and Continue reading →

Cape Town world’s Best City in Telegraph Travel Awards 2014!

Telegraph Cape-Town_3129517bCape Town has done it again, being named Best City in the World in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2014 by its readers for the third year in a row!  Vancouver and Venice follow in second and third position, respectively, this year. The motivation for Cape Town’s top position is written by Pippa du Bruyn, who is a Cape Town-based local travel writer and ‘destination expert’, including author of a ‘Frommer’s Guide’ to South Africa, and of  ‘A Hedonist’s Guide to Cape Town’.  De Bruyn surprisingly exaggerates our restaurants as ‘Michelin-rated‘ fare, and in describing Dyer Island near Gansbaai as being in Cape Town.  Her laudation for Cape Town follows: Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 27 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  It’s World Tourism Day, with a theme focused on water!

*   Klein Constantia has received excellent in-depth coverage on Nederburg Auction 2013 American key-note speaker Joe Roberts’ 1 Wine Dude Blog.

*   The American State Department has issued a world wide travel warning about potential terror attacks.

*   The first ProWein China will be held in Shanghai on 13 November, and all its 500 stands have been sold.

*   Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is placing pressure on SAA to reinstate a direct route between Cape Town and the USA. and she is routing for Miami, just having returned from a trade visit to that city.  Such a direct route would be beneficial for tourism.

*   Noise is the most common complaint of hotel guests in 19 tourist destinations, but Cape Town hotels are an exception in not receiving complaints about noise.  Modernity, location, and service speed are the most common compliments.  Cape Town hotels also ranked top on GRI (Global Review Index), the average online reputation of hotels, followed by Melbourne, St Petersburg, Sydney, and Dublin.

*   Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be paired with a 5 course dinner at Nobu at the One&Only Cape Town on 2 October, at a cost of R595. (received via newsletter from One&Only Cape Town)

*   Author E.L. James has launched a Fifty Shades of Grey wine Continue reading →