James Dunford Wood

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Member since
29th June 2007

Founder and former MD of Travelintelligence.com, James teamed up with online publisher James Blackwell to launch Worldreviewer in the summer of 2007.

James has spent much of his life travelling: from early voyages across the sands of the Sahara and up the Niger to Timbuktou, to one of the last of the 'Magic Buses' to run the route from the Charing Cross Road to Delhi, from jail in Morocco to the snows of Kilamanjaro. In between his own travels he worked in the film business, but his yearning for travel eventually took him back on the road permanently, working as a guide for a number of major tour companies throughout the 1990s. He led groups of tourists through the remoter regions of Central Asia, up the Yangste and along the more well trodden paths of Western Europe. More recently he was director and managing editor of 'London This Week' magazine, before founding Travel Intelligence with AA Gill in April 2000, and World Reviewer with James Blackwell in 2007.

Writing on Travel Intelligence

James Dunford Wood's activity

  1. July 2013
  2. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Data and Data Privacy

    Fascinating interview with Michal Kosinski on Data Privacy"

  3. January 2013
  4. James Dunford Wood reviewed Marrakech

    To get the best out of Marrakech, and to have the most authentic experience, you should book a riad in the Marrakech Medina. The list of places to stay from our partner the Hotel Guru has our best selection of really great places to stay, from luxury ria…"

  5. November 2011
  6. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post How to make money as a Travel Blogger

    A digest of a presentation at the recent Affiliate Window Blog event."

  7. September 2010
  8. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Simon Cowell Discarded in Hotel Rooms - a Masterpiece in Travel Trivia

    "Press release from Travelodge a masterpiece of travel trivia."

  9. March 2010
  10. James Dunford Wood wrote a holiday idea A Week in Central Europe

    Holidays ideas for a week in the golden triangle of Prague, Budapest and Vienna."

  11. September 2009
  12. James Dunford Wood rated Mayrhofen

  13. James Dunford Wood rated France

  14. James Dunford Wood rated Great Wall of China

  15. James Dunford Wood rated Paris

  16. August 2009
  17. James Dunford Wood rated Kyoto

  18. James Dunford Wood rated The Grand Canyon

  19. July 2009
  20. James Dunford Wood reviewed Vimy Ridge in North East France, France

    There is no more powerful experience than a visit to the cemetaries of the First World War in Northern France and Flanders - both to remind us of the horror of that war, but also the lost lives of those promising young men in the mud and the gore. The …"

  21. James Dunford Wood rated Quinta do Barranco da Estrada

  22. James Dunford Wood reviewed Quinta do Barranco da Estrada in The Alentejo, Portugal

    Rural hideaway of ten rooms in off-the-beaten-track Alentejo. One and a half hours from Faro, Frank McClintock's idyll is perfect for people who want to escape the pressures of big city life, and do absolutely nothing. On the edge of a magnificent lake, …"

  23. James Dunford Wood commented on Mount Kilimanjaro-How Hard is it to Climb?

    "I remember doing this climb when I was 22. I guess it depends on the route you take - we took 3 days up and 2 days down, the standard route, and it was tough at the end, when we got up at 3am to reach the summit by sunrise, but by no means undoable by a …"

  24. James Dunford Wood reviewed Florence

    "No travel guide to Florence fails to wax lyrical over this holiday destination - a spectacular example of a well preserved medieval Italian town, where modern urban planning has succeeded in preserving the spirit and historical fabric of the downtown are…"

  25. June 2009
  26. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post ‘Act of Kindness’ Travel Writing Competition

    writers launch GlobalGiving.co.uk’s travel competition with the chance to win a trip for two to visit a GlobalGiving.co.uk project."

  27. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Travellers to Thailand Beware

    Disturbing stories have been emerging recently of travellers being scammed at Bangkok airport."

  28. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hadrian's Wall in North East England, United Kingdom

    Named after the Emperor Hadrian, during whose reign it was begun in 122 AD, Hadrian's Wall marks the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. One more northerly wall was built, the Antonine Wall in Scotland, but this was of earth and turf, and temporar…"

  29. James Dunford Wood rated Site of Palmyra

  30. James Dunford Wood commented on Site of Palmyra in Palmyra, Syria

    "One of the most impressive of ancient cities, much of it still being dug up. Highly recommended."

  31. James Dunford Wood rated Ringstead Beach

  32. James Dunford Wood rated Barcelona

  33. James Dunford Wood rated St Mark's Basilica

  34. James Dunford Wood rated Venice

  35. James Dunford Wood rated Alhambra

  36. James Dunford Wood rated The Grand Museum (Giza)

  37. James Dunford Wood rated The Sphinx

  38. James Dunford Wood rated Abu Simbel

  39. James Dunford Wood reviewed Amberley Castle in South East England, United Kingdom

    You can't beat staying in a real 12th century castle (1103 AD). Or can you? This one certainly has the history and the romanticism, if you ignore the distant roar of the trains, the over-elaborate cooking and the rather strange cuddly toys in the four po…"

  40. April 2009
  41. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Travolution Summit 2009 - Stuff I Learned Today

    Initial thoughts and lessons from Travolution Summit 2009"

  42. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Birds Everywhere

    I'm staying deep in the remote Alentejo in Portugal, one of the last unspoiled wildernesses of southern Europe - and birds are everywhere, even on the wine bottles."

  43. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Taj Mahal to be Moved '800 metres to the South East'?

    Official: the Taj Mahal is sinking. Cracks which first appeared in 1652 have finally forced the Government of India to act."

  44. March 2009
  45. James Dunford Wood wrote a holiday idea Cultural Italy

    For a cultural holiday in Italy, a two or even three centre trip involving the great cultural centres of Rome, Florence and Venice."

  46. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Jersey Hotels Saudi Bonanza

    Two Jersey hotels were facing a tough credit crunch - until some wealthy Saudis turned litigious..."

  47. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Hottest Place on Earth in Ethiopia

    Home of the Afar people, the Danakil desert, or Danakil Depression, in north east Ethiopia has the hottest recorded average temperature on earth, trumping Death Valley in the US. Temperatures regularly hit the mid 40s. A mining company mined huge quantit…"

  48. James Dunford Wood commented on Monet's Gardens in North East France, France

    "Fantastic day out from Paris - best to take one of the organised tours, with a guide, to get the full benefit. However, if you want to spend longer here, rent a car and take a picnic."

  49. January 2009
  50. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Peggy Guggenheim

    A must see gallery (excuse the cliche) when you are in Venice. Built by a woman with a fascinating past."

  51. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post A Tale of Two Beaches

    Having just returned from Barbados, I am now an expert in what makes the perfect beach."

  52. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Hotels Hurting

    Reports from hotels over the Christmas and New Year period suggest that while occupancy levels are beginning to dip, what is of more immediate concern is that those who are still booking, are not spending so much..."

  53. December 2008
  54. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Travel Trends for 2009

    What sort of holidays are we all going to be taking in 2009? Here at World Reviewer we have consulted our experts and gazed into our crystal ball..."

  55. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post The Bourgeois Burghers of Bern

    I know this is an old story, as the survey is over a year old, but it's still quite revealing - it measured how long, on average, people is different cities of the world take to walk 60 feet."

  56. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Where's Cheap for Us Brits

    Practically nowhere! We've done a review of countries where the pound buys you more than a year ago, and guess who comes up as the best value, one of the only destinations we can get a deal in?"

  57. November 2008
  58. James Dunford Wood wrote a blog post Florence in Winter

    I've just returned from a short trip to Florence. What a great time of year to visit..."

  59. James Dunford Wood reviewed Cestello Annunciation (Botticello) in Florence, Italy

    Botticello's Cestello Annunciation of 1489 is a spectacular painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence - in the same room as the larger, more well known Botticellos, but along with the Simone Martini painting a few rooms away, a masterpiece of this genre…"

  60. October 2008
  61. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Chedi Hotel in Muscat, Oman

    "Great service, small hotel, with a good selection of activities: try the Dhow private charter, or a guided safari to Wahiba Sands, with dinner with the Bedouin."

  62. September 2008
  63. James Dunford Wood reviewed Rizong monastery in Kashmir, India

    A stunning monastery 70km out of Leh in Ladakh, high in the Himalaya. Isolated and magnificent, well worth the 3 hr bus journey from Leh through beautiful scenery. A working monastery, founded in 1829, with a school for children."

  64. James Dunford Wood reviewed Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Cruz, United States

    "Spectacular route - best driven north-south so you have the coast on your driving side. First stop Monterey, for the world famous aquarium, and in season (spring and late autumn), a trip out to see the whale migration. A visit to Carmel is also well wort…"

  65. August 2008
  66. James Dunford Wood reviewed Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados

    I first went to this hotel in the early 90s, when it was a luxurious (but not too luxurious) Caribbean hang-out with a fairly relaxed vibe. Even then it was a favourite choice for many UK-based corporate business leaders, as is the west coast of Barbados…"

  67. James Dunford Wood reviewed Coral Reef Club in Barbados

    The Coral Reef Club bills itself as 'elegantly casual', and judging by the clientele, at least in season, they have succeeded in attracting this standard. Family run by the delightful O'Hara family, the to-ings and fro-ings are watched over by the formid…"

  68. July 2008
  69. James Dunford Wood reviewed Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy

    "Piazza San Marco - St Mark's Square - is one of the grandest urban spaces in the world. The time to come is early evening - as the heat of the day is cooling, find a seat outside at the Caffe Quadri or Lavena and listen to the orchestra while sipping you…"

  70. James Dunford Wood reviewed Biarritz in South West, France

    "Interesting belle epoque town on the Atlantic coast in the lee of the Pyrennees, with a grand hotel, a glitzy casino, some great food and windy, romantic beaches. Great base for exploration of the Basque region - can get busy with French tourists in summ…"

  71. James Dunford Wood reviewed Lyme Regis in West Country, United Kingdom

    Charming seaside town on the south coast with a thriving arts community, great local shops, a picture perfect crescent beach (though packed in summer) and a harbour Cobb made famous from the French Lieutenant's Woman. Many of the rental houses and hotels…"

  72. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hive Beach Café in West Country, United Kingdom

    Wonderful beachside cafe in Burton Bradstock, selling a mix of local fare from the sea and seaside favourites. Gets packed in summer - so get here early. They hold regular beach parties, including samba-on-the-beach and pirate parties for kids. Ideal fos…"

  73. James Dunford Wood reviewed Sussex Safari in South East England, United Kingdom

    Not necessarily a unique concept, but another welcome addition to a growing trend towards experiential camping in the UK. Based on the South Downs, and moving location every month to avoid planning laws (a permanent camp needs all sorts of permissions), …"

  74. James Dunford Wood reviewed Sinai Desert in Egypt

    The Sinai Desert is a mountainous and historically significant desert that provides great opportunities for holidays. Invaded and ruled over centuries by outside powers (including the Egyptians, the Israelis and the British in recent years), the Sinai Pe…"

  75. James Dunford Wood reviewed Champs-Elysees in Paris, France

    The Champs-Elysees, or 'Elysian Fields' as translated into English, is perhaps the most famous thoroughfare in the world, more famous than Picadilly or Park Avenue. This wide 2km long tree lined street is spectacular for the fact that it links a view of …"

  76. June 2008
  77. James Dunford Wood reviewed Relais della Rovere in Tuscany, Italy

    "Charming 11th century Benedictine Abbey conversion, named after Cardinal Della Rovere, later Pope Giulio II, a patron of Renaissance artists Michealangelo, Rafeal and others. With just 30 rooms and a tranquil setting in extensive gardens, on the edge of …"

  78. James Dunford Wood reviewed Rügen Island in Pomerania, Germany

    Sunny and windswept holiday island on the Baltic, formerly in East Germany, three hours driving from Berlin. Popular with German holidaymakers but as yet relatively unknown. Perfect for children, with gentle beaches and no waves or tides. Large and ornat…"

  79. May 2008
  80. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Istria Peninsula in Pula, Croatia

    "Istria is famed for its food and wine - and its white truffles. There are truffle fairs held throughout September and October. It's a great place for holidaying - less crowded than other parts of Europe, with traditional hilltop villages and some grand o…"

  81. James Dunford Wood reviewed Kerala Backwaters in Kerala, India

    The Kerala Backwaters are a series of interconnected lakes, rivers and irrigation canals just inland from the Malabar coast in Kerala in southern India. They are highly popular with visitors to the region, as taking a boat along the backwaters is a great…"

  82. James Dunford Wood reviewed Ksar Ghilane in Tunisia

    Ksar Ghilane is probably the most famous oasis in North Africa - mostly because it resembles every Westerner's fantasy of what an oasis should look like - a clump of green palms surrounded by sand dunes, with a limpid pool in the middle. Unfortunately in…"

  83. James Dunford Wood reviewed Evia or Euboia in Sporades Islands, Greece

    Evia, better known as Euboia, is the largest Greek island after Crete. It's great for walking - and also for getting 'off the beaten tourist track' - as although their are alot of greek holiday-makers, mass foreign tourism does not impact here. Historica…"

  84. James Dunford Wood reviewed Beaune in Burgundy, France

    Famous market town in the heart of Burgundy, which hosts "Les Trois Glorieuses" or three day wine fair in early November. Wine buyers and merchants come from all over the world to sample the vintage of the preceding year, as the wine is transferred from …"

  85. April 2008
  86. James Dunford Wood reviewed Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain

    One of Europe's most famous public spaces, to rank alongside the Place Vendome in Paris and the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, the Plaza Mayor (pronounced 'platha maior') is the social hub of Madrid and comes alive at night, with bars, great restaura…"

  87. James Dunford Wood reviewed Cave of Grapceva in Croatia

    One of the first Neolithic sites to be discovered bin the Adriatic, dating from over 3000 BC, with hallways and chambers decorated in stalagmites and stalactites, this is site that should be visited by any visitor to Hvar. It's off the beaten track, in t…"

  88. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hvar in Croatia

    Hvar is one of the most charming islands off the Croatian coast, well known for its secluded sandy coves, archeological sites, (the island was at the centre of a thriving culture in 3000BC), and its hills of lavender, heather and rosemary. A creeping fas…"

  89. James Dunford Wood reviewed Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

    Roman Holiday, Fellini's 'Roma' - if we haven't been here, we have in celluloid. The fountain was one of many watery gifts from Popes to the people of Rome - as the ancients gave gladiatorial contests and built arches, the Popes gave fountains - for trad…"

  90. March 2008
  91. James Dunford Wood reviewed Gerewol Festival in Niger

    The annual beauty pageant of the Wodaabe tribe, West African nomads from Niger, which revolves around dance contests to identify the most attractive young men of the tribe. Every September the tribe, along with Toureg spectators, gather in the town in In…"

  92. James Dunford Wood reviewed Wadi Rum in Jordan

    Wadi Rum literally means 'High Valley' and is one of the most spectacular desert locations in Jordan - and consequently second only to Petra as a tourist destination. It's the place to go for an easily accessible 'desert' experience, whether hiking with …"

  93. James Dunford Wood reviewed Grand Hotel Central in Barcelona, Spain

    "The Grand Hotel Central is a new city-centre hotel, just yards from Barcelona Cathedral. They've branded it 'grand' on the basis that it will become a Barcelona institution - echoing the days of the grand old railway station hotels, where grand tourists …"

  94. James Dunford Wood reviewed Neri Hotel & Resort in Barcelona, Spain

    "Of all the hotels in Barcelona, the Neri is probably the most romantically positioned. Gratifyingly difficult to find, the hotel is right in the heart of the Barrio Gotic in a maze of small streets and alleyways just steps from the Cathedral. It's entran…"

  95. James Dunford Wood reviewed Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel in Barcelona, Spain

    "The Eurostars Grand Marina hotel by the port of Barcelona does not sound encouraging, and with 291 rooms you half expect a soulless conference centre. This is, however, Barcelona, and even conference centres are done with style. The Eurostars is a triump…"

  96. James Dunford Wood reviewed Duquesa de Cardona in Barcelona, Spain

    "The Duquesa de Cardona is a converted aristocratic townhouse close to the port on the edge of the Gothic quarter (barrio gotic). It is this proximity to the beaches as well as the heart of the old city that makes the Duquesa so popular, as well as its in…"

  97. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Pulitzer in Barcelona, Spain

    "The Hotel Pulitzer is a well located, central hotel with great designer charm. Dark wood floors and elegant white leather chairs set the tone in the light reception rooms, with a long bar and bright restaurant lit by a central lightwell in the rear. Huge…"

  98. James Dunford Wood reviewed Relais Saint Sulpice in Paris, France

    "The Relais Saint Sulpice stands right behind the neighbourhood St. Sulpice church on the left bank. The area is now one of the chic-est in Paris, full of small designer boutiques and artisan-style stores. First impressions are encouraging - a compact but…"

  99. James Dunford Wood reviewed Casa Howard in Florence, Italy

    "Howard's House is a picture perfect village house in a picture perfect Wiltshire village - one which remains almost feudal even today, owned almost entirely by the Keating family. The descendent of the family who sold the village to the Keatings 300 year…"

  100. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel de Sers in Paris, France

    "One of the best of the recent crop of design hotels in Paris, the Hotel de Sers is the culmination of an 18-month, 20m euro renovation of the old Queen Elizabeth, in an earlier 18th-century mansion that was once home to the Marquis de Sers. The success o…"

  101. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel de Buci in Paris, France

    "After 40 years in the same family you would expect this boutique hotel - formerly an artist's studio, and 400 years old - to have plenty of 'patina', and so it does. Despite recent and fairly extensive renovation - a/c, electric blinds, quality fabrics a…"

  102. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel du Danube in Paris, France

    "This very popular three-star is in a great left bank position and attracts repeat guests in droves, who often ask for the same room. It's that sort of hotel - rooms come in various flavours, each with their own aspect and collection of antique or individ…"

  103. James Dunford Wood reviewed Le Clos Medicis in Paris, France

    "Charming and quiet three star hotel at the top of St Germain - small rooms, as elsewhere in this area, but a real fire in winter, nice fabrics and dark wood make for a good cosy winter feel. Downstairs the breakfast area is tiny, but pleasant in summer i…"

  104. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Le A in Paris, France

    "The name of this hotel, Hotel Le A, sets the tone of what to expect - as the hotel literature helpfully points out, A is the first letter of the alphabet, the hotel is in rue Artois, and there are 26 rooms. Geddit? More pertinently, we feel, the way the …"

  105. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Le Senat in Paris, France

    "Le Senat, on top of the hill of St Germain, joins a growing list of Parisian three-stars, and two-stars, which have received the boutique makeover. What were formally often dingy walkups - with grumpy madames dispensing heavy brass keys to plainly decora…"

  106. James Dunford Wood reviewed Loggiato Dei Serviti in Florence, Italy

    "A top choice for hotels of character in Florence, the Loggiato dei Serviti is in a charming converted Renaissance palazzo just steps from Michealangelo's David. Many rooms are frescoed, baldachinos grace some of the beds, and cool stone, high ceilings an…"

  107. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Soho Hotel in London, United Kingdom

    "Apparently Kit Kemp, hotel design guru and Firmdale partner, likes to swap around furnishings between her hotels - the Soho, Charlotte Street, The Pelham and the rest; fed up with seeing a sofa in one of the public rooms, she has plenty of other spaces i…"

  108. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Balmoral in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    "In the world of hotels, Edinburgh boasts at least two distinctions - it is the last bastion of the great Victorian railway hotel and second, the smartest hotels here dispense with the word hotel altogether. The city sits astride the railway line like a m…"

  109. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Helvetia & Bristol in Florence, Italy

    "The thing that hits you first about this hotel is the smell - of old polish and fine leather. It's a well established grand dame of Florence, but one that has been modernised for 21stC tastes with elegance and style, while losing none of its classiness. …"

  110. James Dunford Wood reviewed JK Place in Florence, Italy

    "JK Place is a 20 room boutiqe in the charming but slightly off-central square of Santa Maria Novella. It has been created by the same architect who worked on the Ferragamo hotels, and the effect is a triumph of elegance and cool, modern eclecticism. Howe…"

  111. James Dunford Wood reviewed Albergo del Senato in Rome, Italy

    "The 56 room Albergo del Senato could hardly be better positioned. Slap bang next to the Pantheon, it is both a buzzing social centre downstairs, and boasts views from its roofterrace onto the bald pate of that astonishing building. Having said that, many…"

  112. James Dunford Wood reviewed Pershing Hall Hotel in Paris, France

    "This mini-Costes of just 26 rooms is named after the American general Pershing who stayed in the building during the war. What he would make of the trance music, the dimly lit corridors and the space-ship décor – mixed with 70s retro – is anybody’s guess…"

  113. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Metropole in Venice, Italy

    "This charming hotel has a lot of history – Vivaldi composed his Four Seasons in the breakfast room (he was choirmaster in a neighbouring church), and babies were changed on the breakfast room table, as the place was once an orphanage. A hotel for many ye…"

  114. James Dunford Wood reviewed Villa Laguna in Venice, Italy

    "Of all the views in Venice, one of the best is looking across the lagoon at St Marks, and it’s the one that you generally only get from the boat – or the exclusive Cipriani on the Guidecca. This small hotel, right next to the main Lido vaporetto stop, pr…"

  115. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel La Perouse in Nice, France

    "The entrance to this hotel looks uninspiring. Right on a busy corniche road, albeit with great views over the Baie des Anges, you would never imagine what lies behind. Even inside, the small reception area gives no clue. But once you go up in the elevato…"

  116. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hi Hotel in Nice, France

    "You approach this hotel with some trepidation. This 2003 design hotel is located in a square, concrete block, formerly an office building, and the cool, industrial entryway is all too predictable. However, once inside, the Hi Hotel warms up. The receptio…"

  117. James Dunford Wood reviewed Locanda Al Leon in Venice, Italy

    "Very friendly and very tiny, this locanda of just 9 rooms is in an ancient 15thC merchant's house a short way from St Marks and the Riva. A narrow wooden staircase leads to a small wood-paneled breakfast area and heavy original beams. Rooms are tastefull…"

  118. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Manfredi in Rome, Italy

    "If you can afford or don’t appreciate the trendy space age look of the Hotel Art, go next door and take the old fashioned elevator to the 3rd floor and discover an 18 room hideaway, recently renovated and run with friendly enthusiasm, rare for Rome. Ther…"

  119. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel de Crillon in Paris, France

    "One of just six 'Palace Hotels' in Paris, the Crillon is the only one still in French hands, owned by the Taittinger family. Perfectly positioned on the Place de la Concorde, it has for a while been trying to refashion its identity, faced by the brasher …"

  120. James Dunford Wood reviewed Lancaster in Paris, France

    "The Hospes Lancaster Hotel, as it is now known (to the disdain of a number of long term fans) is one of the most charming and elegantly restored townhouse hotels in Paris. The Lancaster is a jewel, with a small chinese garden for outdoor dining, and exqu…"

  121. James Dunford Wood reviewed Cliveden House in Cotswolds, United Kingdom

    "In the stampede to acclaim the latest designer makeover of a country house hotel, a more traditional model seems to be falling out of favour. Perhaps not in Scotland, because there they still echo with the eccentricities of their former lairds, and in a…"

  122. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Langlois in Paris, France

    "Formerly the Hotel des Croisés, the Hotel Langlois was renamed after the fictional hotel used in a French movie shot a few years ago. We had heard alot about it, and wanted to take a look for ourselves. The typically Parisian staff take a little while to…"

  123. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel d'Aubusson in Paris, France

    "The d'Aubusson is a four star hotel in the heart of the left bank. In a 17th century townhouse mansion, the hotel combines elegantly renovated historical detail, fine rugs, antiques and tapestries, with all the creature comforts to make it a favourite am…"

  124. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Locarno in Rome, Italy

    "As soon as you step in to the Locarno you feel you’ve arrived in a place of charm – if you appreciate, that is, worn parquet flooring and an old world feel. Built in 1925, it retains the unhurried atmosphere of a traditional albergo, in sharp contrast to…"

  125. James Dunford Wood reviewed Londra Palace in Venice, Italy

    "For the views you get on the lagoon and the prime position, the rooms here are a touch better value than their more exclusive cousins in the Danieli upstream. While the Danieli is all about history and tradition, the recently revamped Londra is cool and …"

  126. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Flora in Venice, Italy

    "It is the holy grail of hotel groupies everywhere to be able to find an affordable and character hotel of class in Venice and Paris. Venice is a tougher challenge, but in the Flora there is at least one outstanding candidate. Canals? Who needs them? Japa…"

  127. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Savoy in Florence, Italy

    "The Savoy is another stalwart of Rocco Forte's expanding stable of hotels, and being an Rocco Forte hotel you know what to expect: architectural integrity in the rooms (although here it has as much to do with stiff planning laws as the vision of designe…"

  128. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Lungarno in Florence, Italy

    "In Italian it means on the banks of the Arno, which is exactly where this now very trendy hotel is located, a stone's throw from the Ponte Vecchio, with the entrance off the wonderful (for antiques shopping) Borgo San Jacopo, and on the best side of the …"

  129. James Dunford Wood reviewed Gallery Hotel Art in Florence, Italy

    "Japanese minimalism may sound odd in the middle of medieval Florence, but in these cramped Florentine town palazzos it works extremely well. The idea in this hotel is to have a constantly changing art exhibition on the ground floor, a library of art book…"

  130. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Majestic Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain

    "The modern, clean lines of the cool reception area of the Majestic are impressive, as is the location on the fashionable and endlessly entertaining Passeig de Gracia. The bar is one of the more inviting, and chic-est, of those in town, decked out in plai…"

  131. James Dunford Wood reviewed Hotel Meurice in Paris, France

    Paris, for me, is a city to be lazy in. I want to wake up in my Louis Quattorze bed or my rooftop garret and walk out of the door and boom, I’m in the thick of it - either around St. Germain on the Left Bank or somewhere super-prestigious. The rue de Riv…"

  132. February 2008
  133. James Dunford Wood reviewed Shah Faisal Masjid in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    One of the world's largest mosques, Islamabad's landmark was built in 1976 after an architectural competition won by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay. Funded by and named after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, this mosque can hold up to 300,000 worshippers. T…"

  134. James Dunford Wood reviewed Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy

    The Doge's Palace - or Palazzo Ducale - is Venice's premier civic building, the seat of the Doge, or 'Duke' of Venice, the city's ruler for 1100 years up until Venice's conquest by Napoleon in 1797. Built in the 14th century, the Doge's Palace contains m…"

  135. James Dunford Wood reviewed Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

    This iconic medieval pedestrian bridge spanning the Grand Canal has been a commercial centre for centuries - the old stores and jewellery shops still remain on the bridge itself - rather like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence - though tourists need to have m…"

  136. January 2008
  137. James Dunford Wood reviewed Nashville Toffee in Nashville, United States

    A sinful place for toffee-lovers everywhere, almonds and cashews rub flanks with peanuts to produce some of the finest toffees and candies in North America. A package through the post for a loved one of almond toffee, sweet California almonds, 'Fancy Ind…"

  138. December 2007
  139. James Dunford Wood reviewed Skellig Michael in Southwest Ireland, Ireland

    Just off the Iveragh Peninsula is the sacred island of Skellig Michael, one of the most remote islands in Europe. Legend associates it with St. Fionan, the Irish saint, though it undoubtedly has spiritual associations way before. In the Middle Ages it…"

  140. James Dunford Wood reviewed Black Forest (Schwarzwald) in Freiburg, Germany

    The Black Forest, or Silva Negra as it was called by the Romans, is neither black nor truly a forest anymore, but a picturesque area of rolling hills, orchards and medieval villages that before the War was one of the most popular destinations for North E…"

  141. James Dunford Wood reviewed St Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy

    One of the finest churches in Europe, and one of the oldest, the present building dates from the latter part of the 11th century. Built in the Byzantine style, the interior is dark, incense-laden and heavily decorated in exquisite and ancient mosaics. Th…"

  142. James Dunford Wood reviewed Adrere Amellal Ecolodge in Egypt

    Cool ecolodge in an oasis 10 miles from Siwa, (8 hours by road from Cairo), this is well worth the effort getting to. Much written up by Conde Nast and the fashion rags, environmentalist Mounir Neamatallah's creation has no electricity, relying on solar …"

  143. James Dunford Wood reviewed Lübeck in Lübeck, Germany

    Known as the 'Queen of the Hanse', this former Hanseatic port, once the largest in Germany, was heavily damaged during WW2 but has since been meticulously restored. A history of literary culture (notably Gunter Grass and Thomas Mann) gives the city a ref…"

  144. James Dunford Wood reviewed Walking the Cinque Terre in La Spezia, Italy

    The Cinque Terre, one of Italy's most spectacular coastlines, is best enjoyed on foot, and this is indeed one of the most beautiful coastal walks in Europe, as well as one of the most accessible. A string on ancient villages - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corn…"

  145. November 2007
  146. James Dunford Wood reviewed Geysir in Iceland

    Geysir in south Iceland is the most famous springs or geyser (the word is derived from this Icelandic spring) on this volcanic island. Iceland sits atop a huge 'plume' of magma stretching 100s of km below it towards the earth's core, in the mid-Atlantic …"

  147. James Dunford Wood reviewed Anne Frank House & Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The house beside the Westerkirk where young Anne Frank hid with her family from the Nazi occupiers in WW2. Now a moving museum. Gets very crowded, so expect long lines in peak periods - or arrive early. There's a charming statue of Anne Frank outside the…"

  148. James Dunford Wood reviewed Juliet's Balcony in Verona, Italy

    OK, so this is somewhat of a tourist 'must see', with a courtyard jammed full of camera toting tourists, but the romance of the story can also be enjoyed in Verona as a whole - there's an inscription from Shakespeare's play just inside the gate, and when…"

  149. James Dunford Wood reviewed Haus der Musik in Vienna, Austria

    HAUS DER MUSIK is an interactive discovery museum located in the heart of Vienna's first district nestled between St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. A host of interactive installations playfully communicate openness to new things, unders…"

  150. October 2007
  151. James Dunford Wood reviewed Blue Mountains in Jamaica

    The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are famed for their coffee plantations - producing some of the best and most expensive coffee in the world - as well as the 7000 ft Blue Mountain Peak. Cuba can be seen from its slopes on a fine day. In the days of slavery s…"

  152. James Dunford Wood reviewed Treasure Beach in Jamaica

    This string of sleepy fishing villages on the less touristy south-west coast are a great way to see another side of Jamaica, off the beaten track. On offer: six miles of uncrowded beaches, with fishing trips and sightseeing excursions to local villages."

  153. James Dunford Wood reviewed Snowmobiling in Sweden in Norrland, Sweden

    From dense pine forests in the subartic region through to snowcapped mountain peaks, this is an experience available in few parts of the world - a snow safari by snowmobile arranged through the Ice Hotel."

  154. James Dunford Wood reviewed Marinelli Glacier in Magallanes, Chile

    The Marinelli Glacier near Ainsworth Bay has a vast colony of elephant seals. Many of the cruise ships from Puntas Arenas stop over here for the spectacular wildlife. "

  155. James Dunford Wood reviewed Black River Wildlife Trip in Jamaica

    A trip up the Black River looking for crocodiles is a highlight for many visitors. There is plenty of other wildlife to see on these trips, including a colourful array of birds, and the further up the river the denser the mangroves. This is a rewarding w…"

  156. James Dunford Wood reviewed Tortuga Bay in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

    A fabulous white sandy beach on Santa Cruz, with turquoise seas and marine turtles swimming off the rocks nearby (which gives the beach its name). There's a shallower bay just around the mangroves, perfect for kids. You might even be lucky enough to catc…"

  157. September 2007
  158. James Dunford Wood reviewed Festival of the Desert in Mali

    Created in Jannuary 2001, the "festival au désert" is held every year in Essakane, two hours from Timbouctou in Mali. This Festival seeks its origin in the big traditional Touareg festivities, such as Takoubelt in Kidal and Temakannit in Tombouctou - a…"

  159. James Dunford Wood reviewed Rocktail Bay in Kwazulu, South Africa

    Rocktail Bay is situated in the northern reaches of South Africa's Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. The area is wild and without any development. It offers a solitude that is found in few places on earth. Rocktail Bay is metres inland from the warm India…"

  160. James Dunford Wood reviewed Temple of Poseidon in Central Greece, Greece

    Only about half the columns remain of the Temple of Poseidon (god of the sea) on the end of Cape Sounion, but what makes this special is the fact it overlooks the Aegean, and the sunsets are spectacular here. This 5th Century BC temple is a popular day t…"

  161. James Dunford Wood reviewed Iguazu Falls in Mesopotamia, Argentina

    Iguazu Falls stretches 3 kms on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Taller than Niagara Falls, and four times as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horsehoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, the Iguazu Falls churn up over 450,000 cubi…"

  162. James Dunford Wood reviewed The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

    The most famous symbol of Rome, despite the crowds and the touts still one of the world's greatest monuments."