While attending the festival in London last weekend, I also hopped into the 5-star luxury boutique hotel, The Milestone(*) to do a review for an online publication. While I no longer choose to bunk down in 24-bed hostel rooms mostly due to noise and stench, I am certainly not accustomed to luxurious digs and prefer down-to-earth 1-3 star properties or family-owned lodging.

For one, the cheaper the hotel, the more likely they’ll include free internet and breakfast!

Sarah Menkedick has so eloquently (and thoroughly) verbalized my shared feelings on luxury that you best read her post – The Luxury Orbit.

Yes, the property was lavish, attention was paid to every single detail, and the staff was extraordinarily warm so trying to pick apart the hotel and keep digging for negatives when there were clearly no significant misses would be an injustice on my part – personal preferences aside.

Here are a few more pictures from the property…

The main portion of a customized 5-course meal specially designed by the chef. While I thoroughly enjoyed every bite, the surprise bill of 75 GBP that hit me the next morning certainly left me with vending machine-style sandwiches the rest of the day.

No, I did not stay in this room. It is their most expensive at like a gazillion pounds per night.

Another room vibrantly decorated boudoir-style after a French actress from the 1800s, complete with fresh canapes. Again, not my room.

Yet another reason why us mortals shy away from Michelin-starred restaurants – two spoonfuls of food.

[Other Travel News]

Here are my latest articles from around the web.


9 Great Festivals to See in 2010
Voluntourism: 5 Ideas for Giving Back While You Travel

Sherman’s Travel

Bespoke Luxury Overlooking London’s Royal Gardens

National Geographic Traveler (Intelligent Travel)

Before Lent, Fatten Up with Semlor in Sweden


A couple of posts have been picked up by the Chicago Sun Times and Time Warner via BlogBurst.

Solas Award for Travel Writing

Stoked to have won the Gold Award under Travel and Shopping for this article – Walkway to Nowhere.

* – My one night room stay was comped.

  • Wow, this looks amazing and what great pics!

    By the way, I just thought I should let you know that this month Grantourismo is running a new competition with the theme ‘Food and Travel’, so if you have a memorable food experience from your travels please feel free to share it with us. We’d love to hear from you again!


  • Congrats on all of this travel writing success. I love the arrangement and colors of the first picture, but there are not nearly enough veggies… 3 pieces of spinach, come on!

  • The last picture made me laugh!

    Loved your article/post on Sherman’s Travel by the way. I can see that you had an exceptional stay at The Milestone.

  • Congrats on the award Lola!

    • @Wendy – Thanks!

  • Nice presentation of the dish. I like good restaurants.

    • @Filip – I definitely give them an A+ for presentation.

  • oops, just discovered it’s neither links or my computer– it’s the fodor’s site itself! temporarily offline. nevermind. 😉

  • Also, Lola, just a head’s up, I tried to read your Fodor’s pieces, but the links aren’t working (whereas the Sherman link is). Could be my internet/computer.

    And curious question about BlogBurst: Do the publications look through your blog for links to articles you wrote, or syndicate your actual blog? Something I’ve been wondering about.

    • @Simonemarie – Yes, the entire Fodors site is down for regular maintenance. They should be back up soon.

      Regarding BlogBurst, I think the publications search for various blog posts using keywords (I believe) and then choose from the list of blog posts that come up.

      I’m guessing that’s how it works because only certain blog posts were reprinted.

      Guess I need to better study and utilize BlogBurst to its fullest.

  • It looks beautiful, but strangely uncomfortable. Too much pomp and circumstance for my taste. My vast majority of experience is in little family-owned hotels and homestays, but I will say, the one night I slept in a Ritz Carlton — pure, unadulterated bliss.

  • rukayat

    lola this is rukayat from badore

    • @Rukayat – I know 🙂

  • rukayat

    tell me about . decided to treat my self to a stay at the mayfair hotel in london after paying what amounts to a fortune in my books got squeezed into a room that made me feel like alice in wonderland. complained bitterly to management and was finally moved to a better room goes to show that i deserved the room in the first place!!!!.

    • @Rukayat – Luxury hotels are fine once in awhile, I guess, but I tend to avoid them to keep myself grounded.

  • Tope

    That last plate is an insult!!! Lol

    • @Tope – Exactly!

  • Tope

    That last plate is an insult!!!! Lol..

  • papertrail23

    The two spoonfuls made me laugh out loud! So true!
    And I’ve never been a fan of hostels, enjoy occasional luxury hotel experiences, but always always prefer family and inn properties.

    • @Julie – Yes. And it’s frustrating too because the food is always delicious and asking for more spells bankruptcy.

  • Although I often stay in luxury properties for press tours, like you, I much prefer the small, family-owned inns. Much more character! The pix are lovely, though.

    • @Fly Girl – Thanks! Indeed, they tend to have so much character.

  • I agree – sometimes there can be too much service and too much attention. But I don’t mind the restaurant bill at all: as the husband of a Russian wife I have come to truly appreciate the liberal intake of caviar, smoked/poached/steamed/anything-really fish, and the odd glass of chilled alcohol.

    • Dylan – Haha. Yes! There definitely can be too much attention. Fish is just so darn expensive!

  • I hear you on the luxury. It’s kind of fun to stay for a night or two when it’s comped, but not really my cup of tea. What drives me crazy is that they always come into your room – to turn down the sheets, to leave a chocolate, to pick up your stuff, etc. I actually had an instance where they took a beer bottle to recycle that I was saving to take home for a collection. If I knew they’d be coming in between 7:00-10:00 at night, I never would have left it out on the counter!

    • JoAnna – Exactly! Really can’t hop from luxury hotel to luxury hotel. Always remember the “Do Not Disturb” sign! They should at least honor that.

  • Good thing you managed to get a comp on the room. The cost of the dinner was crazy enough. Yikes!

    And thanks for the photos. I like looking at pictures of places like this but don’t actually like staying in them. I just feel uncomfortable most of the time (and refuse to pay $20 for the Internet!).

    • Theresa – I’m with you on the looking but not staying part as well. Still can’t believe many expensive hotels don’t provide complimentary internet.