We’ve been really excited to see the votes flooding in (over 9000 of them!) for the hotels shortlisted in our inaugural i-escape Extra Mile Awards. Some of the categories were very closely contested, with the winning spot changing hands right up until voting closed.
We’d like to thank all of the hotels involved, whether they made the top spot or not, for going above and beyond for our guests. And as a special thank you to you for voting, we’re offering you an exclusive 10% cashback at all of the winning hotels – scroll down to the bottom for details.
Now without further ado (drum roll please…), here are the winners of the i-escape Extra Mile Awards 2016!
The best way to reach this magical guesthouse high in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains is by donkey – an incredible and fitting start to a stay at a traditional douar (house) in a stone and pisé village, lit by candles rather than lightbulbs.
The design at this stunning eco hotel is blindingly unique, taking the colours and designs of India and Morocco and blending them with modern minimalism and lots of imagination. The results? Extraordinary bedrooms and irresistible bathrooms: beds framed with driftwood, gold Chinese cabinets, pod-like wood-burners suspended from ceilings, burnished silver lamps, and indoor-outdoor tubs lined in concrete.
Are you an avocado lemonade girl or a Peking duck whiskey fella? The mixologists in this funky urban hotel’s Clarendon Cocktail Cellar will expertly assess your likes and dislikes, then present you with your perfect cocktail match.
Sip cocktails and gaze over a spectacularly surreal landscape of lava fields, geysers and steaming rivers. If you’re lucky, you may even see the Northern Lights dance from the glass bar at this contemporary Icelandic hotel.
The kitchen gardens are the heart of this country hotel, tended by 5 full-time gardeners. Imaginative menus are driven by what’s perfect for plucking, and every plate is infused with fresh herbs and decorated with edible flowers. There are 7 different types of mint alone, including banana mint and chocolate mint, which taste astonishingly like their namesake. Takes mojitos to a whole new level.
B&B is taken to a whole new level at this beautiful guesthouse in central Bath. First and foremost a family home, it’s infused with a relaxed vibe, and in the mornings owners Neri and Patrick cook up superb feasts which reflect their joint heritage. Choose between a zingy Turkish spread (crispy halloumi, feta-filled bogrek pastries and a herby salad with pomegranate) or a Full English (locally sourced sausages, eggs and bacon) – both delicious.
You might expect an outing to a private sandbank in the Maldives, but this stunning setting is Portugal. The Ria Formosa National Park is full of such beautiful island beaches, many of them deserted. Be whisked to one by speedboat and left with a gourmet picnic to spend the day in glorious romantic isolation. Unforgettable.
The outstanding Herb House Spa at this New Forest hotel is a cut above the norm, with a living roof garden where you can unwind among wildflowers and a mud hut where you daub yourself in cleansing clays. Of course there are also 10 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a Caldarium and steam room… Divine.
Both of these beautiful boltholes at the very tip of Scotland have 2 clawfoot tubs: one inside, and one outside on the private terrace, where you can soak under the stars and drink in vast views of water and sky. Come in winter and you may well see the Northern Lights.
This remote Sri Lankan hideaway – a cluster of thatched mud huts enveloped in nature – has its own organic farm, which provides the ingredients for lunch and dinner. They compost organic waste, and no chemicals are used on site. There’s no electricity or pool to drain local resources or water tables; just one solar-powered generator. Most impressively, the entire project is not-for-profit and all staff are local.
All the renovated cottages in this once-abandoned hamlet are stunning, but owners Manuel and Victor surpassed themselves with their vision for the former infant school. Split into 2 rentals – Girls’ House and Boys’ House, with the traditional entrances still in place – it features ancient maps, blackboards, miniature desks and anatomy figures in the living rooms. Out back, the playground has been retained. Quirky and super-cool.
Owner Amélie has poured love and passion into renovating this old farmhouse, and her happiness is infectious. She provides invaluable insight into the area, and her attention to detail is exceptional (picnics for days out, sarongs for the pool). She’s joined by mother Françoise, who cooks up delicious meals. Guests describe her as ‘a treasure’, ‘the perfect host’ and ‘welcoming, hospitable and helpful’.
Our kids loved the unusual wintry adventures on offer near this beautiful B&B / chalet rental, including husky sledding and bob-sleighing. You can also ice-skate and learn to ski or snowboard. Or come in summer for zip-lining, mountain biking and wild swimming in freshwater lakes.
At this thought-of-everything countryside farm, a babysitter comes to your apartment one evening so that you and your partner can dine out at the fantastic local restaurant. They then pick up your child(ren) at 7am the next morning and take them to a breakfast pyjama party, meaning you can have a lie-in! Red-wine over-consumption positively endorsed.
This hotel runs brilliant mini versions of the adult activities for littl’uns – adventure safaris and private meals – plus tracking and orientating courses, camouflage face painting, crafting with African beads, and even creating bushman paintings. Sweetly, staff put a different animal-related book on your child’s bed each night, such as How The Zebra Got Its Stripes.
As a thank you for voting, we’re offering you 10% cashback at any of the winning hotels listed above for bookings made during the month of December. All you have to do is write “Extra Mile Awards” in the comments box when you make your enquiry/booking and we’ll refund you 10% of the accommodation cost quoted in your booking (terms and conditions apply – see below). Happy travels!
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Terms and conditions
Cashback applies to any booking confirmed before 31 December 2016 at one of the winning hotels listed in this blog post
You must write ‘Extra Mile Awards’ in the comments box when you make your booking/enquiry
Bookings are subject to availability and may take a day or more to be confirmed
Stays can be taken at any time during 2017
Cashback will be 10% of the accommodation cost quoted in the booking
For bookings at Villa Pedra, cashback will be refunded after your stay; for all other hotels, cashback will be refunded after your booking is confirmed
Refunds will be made to the card used to make the booking