We unearth beautiful little hotels, boutique B&Bs and gorgeous rentals in some of the world's most stunning locations. Our 1,500-strong portfolio covers everything from country hotels to city apartments, beach houses to mountain B&Bs, family-friendly villas to honeymoon hideaways – across all budgets, from under £50 to over £500/night. Our key criteria?
Yes, our team of in-house writers and roving reviewers stays at every property on our site. That's how we're able to write such a detailed, personal and authoritative review. In a very few cases, while we await the best opportunity to travel, we write a holding review (labelled "awaiting i-escape review").
Exactly - with a free booking service and expert travel advice on tap. Call our team of consultants with questions about the accommodation or booking process. Browse our recommendations and blog for inspiration. When you're ready to book, please go through our site. We guarantee that you won’t pay any more than if you booked directly - and you’ll often get a free extra, such as a massage or a bottle of wine, to say thank you.
From any hotel page or listings page, click Book Now (or Check Availability), then select your dates, preferred room type and occupancy. In most cases you will have to wait a few hours for the hotel to confirm the price and availability; in others, these will show immediately – in which case you can (assuming you’re ready) book it with a credit card.
Some hotels keep their availability constantly updated on i-escape, either using software or manually. But some of our smaller properties don't have the resources to do this, so they handle enquiries on a request basis i.e. you submit your dates and they quickly reply yes or no. We don't want to rule these places out: they're some of our favourite, under-the-radar gems. You won't find them on mainstream booking sites; or if you do, they often show full when they're not (as a precaution against overbooking). Our request system gives you the best chance of finding availability: even if they are full, owners can suggest alternate dates, or workarounds by changing room midstay. And you can ask questions before deciding.
Yes – in most cases you can hold it for 2-5 days, and i-escape is one of the few booking systems to allow this. If you’re juggling several places in one itinerary, or if you’re trying to get a group of travellers together, this can be especially useful.
Indeed you can – just specify the number and the ages of your children when booking. Each room or lodging shows the maximum occupancy and the exact bed types available, and the price updates automatically as you select. We have taken great care to get those details right, because we know they’re important (most of us travel with kids too). If the numbers don’t go as far as your group size, that’s because you’ve exceeded the maximum occupancy; don’t ignore that, because one of you may end up in the corridor.
In most cases, you commit a small deposit when you confirm your booking, and pay the balance either on arrival or shortly before. In some cases, your credit card details are taken but not actually charged until you stay (or, of course, if you cancel after their cancellation fees kick in). You’ll see which applies when you enquire – look under Payment and Cancellation Policies. You will need a credit card for all bookings.
We are PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, which means that we don’t store your full card details, we use the safest encryption when sending any sensitive data, and we have a rigorous code (including log tracking, file integrity monitoring and penetration testing) to protect ourselves from cyber-attack. If you have any concerns about our credentials, you are welcome to email or call us directly - or even to visit us in Bristol.
If you are having problem making the initial deposit payment by credit card (e.g. you've forgotten your 3D password, or the card is not being accepted), then call us during office hours and we can process the payment offline using our Chip and Pin machine.
No. None at all. We never charge any booking fee (or "service fee" as Airbnb call it), nor any credit card surcharges or membership costs. You pay exactly what the hotel quotes. (In a few cases, the property itself levies a small credit card charge due to their own banking costs, but this applies whether you book through us or directly, and you will be notified in advance).
Simple: all participating hotels make a promise to us - which we pass on to you - that you will not get a better price on a like-for-like basis, either through their site or any other publicly accessible site. If by any chance you think you have found a better deal, please email us with details of your i-escape quote and the competing offer and, assuming it meets those criteria, we’ll match it. (Make sure you’ve accounted for taxes, breakfast etc). But we'd be very surprised if you do: we have a team of mystery shoppers combing the internet all the time, so that you don’t have to.
Yes - our partner hotels regularly send us exclusive offers which are advertised in our monthly newsletters and in our Offers section. Many are exclusive to i-escape: you won’t find them anywhere else. And most hotels offer i-escape guests extra perks on arrival - room upgrades, champagne, massages etc. Occasionally, we run special promotions which require a code when booking - be sure to follow us in the usual ways.
i-escape is aimed at independently-minded travellers; we'll supply travel inspiration and help you sort your accommodation, but you'll have to book your own flights or transport. We list the airlines serving each destination (click on “Getting There” in any hotel’s Location section), and we recommend our favourite car hire and travel insurance companies, based on over 15 years' experience. If you need transfers on arrival, either ask the hotel (we indicate typical costs), or check our Location > Getting Around link, which summarises local transport options. If that's all too much and you just want someone to propose and book a bespoke itinerary for you, see our recommendations for Tailormade Tour Operators.
No, for the simple reason that we don't handle your money. You pay the hotel or supplier directly. Your booking will show what payments are expected, and when. We take due steps to ensure that our featured properties are fully legal, licensed and financially secure; but as a precaution (not least in case you are unable to travel) we recommend that you take out travel insurance. We have been operating since 2001.
From 9am-6pm Monday-Thursday, and 9am-5pm Friday (UK times).
Our contact details are here
Hold on a moment, we don’t just list properties – we select them painstakingly, we visit them in person, and we write a detailed review – including Highs and Lows. For the full lowdown, read this page first and then apply here.
Ah, you’ll be wanting our Kids Collection – over 800 of our most family-friendly hotels, house- and apartment rentals, reviewed by parents for parents, and packed with practical details on everything from stair gates to craft clubs and adventure activities.
That’ll be our Honeymoon Collection – over 600 of our most seductive boltholes, reviewed by couples for couples, and chosen for their utterly sensuous bedrooms, their pampering spas, their secluded location or private beaches.
Yes, we list our favourites for all these, and more. You'll see all our top-rated places first, with a note to explain why (hover over the rating). You can then whittle them down by location, price etc.
Yes, yes and yes: check out our Editor's handpicked hotlists for these and more - including ski chalets, barefoot luxury and teenage kicks.
Most certainly. Bland chain hotels. Run-of-the-mill guesthouses. Amateurish house rentals. Unvetted private apartments. Over-decorated, overpriced design hotels. Under-staffed, underwhelming hostels. And anywhere that we don’t really love and wouldn’t rush back to given a few days’ leave.
It’s a mystery – and a source of great sadness to us. But don’t let others miss out: share the love with your facebook friends, your twitter followers and your real-life, flesh-and-blood mates. They’ll thank you for it.