Your top 10 destinations for the year (aka 2015 year in review)

Here I am at 7:40 in the morning of the 31st of December 2015 writing my final post of the year.  Traditionally this is when I would tell you about my blogging stats, and analysing my year in blogging.

If you’re a bit curious about this, here is a link to my annual report in the spirit of full transparency and humility!

Top 10 destinations

The best travel posts of 2015

But this time, I want to talk about you, my dear readers, who have stuck by me this year, even if I had been a bit amiss recently. I have been really humbled and chuffed to keep a loyal following and even more to have many of you joining the mailing list.

So where did you go or wanted to go this year? Recapping my best 2015 posts in terms of views is a good indication.  Here we go (in ascending order).

10. Europe-  46 gorgeous holiday rentals for the best summer ever

So this one is not a destination but a collection of various villas that you can rent around Europe.  Giving you tips about villas that are stylish and good for families is the different angle of my blog (versus many blogs that are only about hotels) so it’s great to see that you are interested in this.  Let me know if you want more of these (hint: yes, I’m doing the classic “reader survey”).

9. Paris – 4 more cheap boutique hotels in Paris that are affordable yet stylish

Paris is always a good idea and I love that you are able to experience it with a lower budget. Every time I go to Paris I try one of those (I was in Hotel Arvor two weeks ago, review coming soon) and thankfully my choices here always deliver! I also loved doing the Paris series in February. Lots of great tips from my local friends so go check it out.

8. Umbria, Italy – Delicious (litterally) bed & breakfast in Umbria -Il Ghiottone Umbro

I predict Umbria to be the next Italy popular destination in 2016.  Puglia has done a great job promoting themselves and look at how many people want to go/have been there.  I noticed a lot of nice hotels, villas or charming B&Bs opening there so it’s a good sign.

Casas do Coro, boutique hotel and self-catering in Portugal, beautiful setting of an outdoor diner
A nice table setting at rental place and hotel Casas do Coro, Portugal

7. Mediterranee- 16 beach boutique hotels in Italy, Portugal and Croatia

Being by the beach with a pool with a family-friendly atmosphere and a decent price is my most frequent request! And it’s actually not easy to find boutique hotels by the beach, they are often big resorts, which as you know are not our (and yours either) cup of tea. This was one of my personalised travel plans that I offer as a service and it took me a lot of time so I’m glad to see that it was helpful to others as well.

Full disclosure there: I used to do offer these for free but given that about a third of the people I did it for never replied to what I was giving them, I decided to charge for it. I won’t get rich from it but it allows me to help people who are genuinely interested!

6. New Forest, UK – A New Forest luxury cottage for the family – the Old Sir Walter Tyrell

Another house rental and this time in the UK.  I suspect that if I was finding more beautiful places like this one, many of you would be interested.  Let me know (yep, second plug for the survey!).

5. and 4. Ile de Ré, France –  5 holiday lets in Ile de Ré and  7 Ile de Re cheap hotels and b&bs

Totally with you on that destination.  Ile de Ré is just a wonderful island perfect for a great family holiday.  We’ve been about five times and always had a blast. You just have to be prepared for not guaranteed sunny weather….

Ile de re map on wall

3. Costa Brava, Spain – A family-friendly villa rental with pool for a sunny holiday in Spain

… which is why this year we went to Costa Brava and gosh was it hot and sunny and perfect.  Villa Cristal was a hit with many of you and we rented it! I still have to do a full review but I can just say that it’s worth it.  Costa Brava is also a wonderful, not that well known destination in Spain for foreigners. It is however very popular with Spanish people so it gets VERY busy!

2.  Oxforshire, UK – Soho Farmhouse by Soho House

This has been THE opening of the year in the UK: a kind of classy version of a summer camp for adults.  Actually the post I did last year with the plans still get many views and those two other posts with the first images (before their site went live) were very popular. I am trying to convince Mr Big to go so that I can do a review for you but, as he works in communications, he doesn’t want to bump into the clients or colleagues that undoubtedly would be there.

1.  Lake Como, Italy – 7 romantic hotels in Lake Como or Lake Gardia, Italy – holiday challenge #14

Ta da, the winner all around is the lake regions in Italy.  Another personalised travel plan (formerly called “holiday challenge”) for a reader. Both my sister and my parents went to visit that region also this year.  And a lot of people on Pinterest click on the image there to land on the post so it’s clearly a top destination.

Villa d'Este, luxury hotel on the shores of Lake Como. Very classic Italian palace with a floating pool. Prices are on par with the location and style. So probably best to keep it for this special romantic trip. From 500 Euros a night
© Villa d’Este

Tell me more about what you want to read

So, have you been to some of these places? Would you like more posts about some of these regions? Are there different types of content you’d love to read on the blog? If you could spare 5 minutes to fill out this survey, I would be really grateful.

Happy New Year!

Now off to buy our food for our New Year’s Eve dinner. We are lucky to start with my mum’s home made foie gras (I know, the French are lucky!) and then oysters, roast beef and nice meringues from Les Merveilleux de Fred as desert.  All of this while we watch a good movie just the three of us.  I hate big New Year’s Eve parties!

Hope you have a fab evening and an even better 2016.   Thanks again so much for your time with me here this year and hope to see you again next year.

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