We're thrilled to have been recognised for our hotel sleuthery and honest reportage by some prestigious travel publications, including Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph and The Guardian, as well as industry insiders such as Travolution and the British Travel Awards.
Thanks to all of you who voted for us!
Good Web Guide 'Website of the Year' 2016
Best Travel Website (winner)
Family Traveller Awards 2015
Awesome for Families (runner-up)
The Telegraph Awards 2013
Best Travel Website (winner)
Conde Nast Traveller Awards 2012
Favourite Travel Website (runner-up)
TravelMole Web Awards 2013
Best Accommodation Site (winner)
Travolution Awards 2012
Best Accommodation Website (shortlisted)
British Travel Awards 2012
Best Online Hotel Booking Company (nominee)
Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards 2012
Top 10 Travel Website
Guardian & Observer Travel Awards 2011
Best Online Booking Service (winner)
Outstanding Website (winner)
"Das Portal i-escape hat rund 1500 ausgewählte Unterkünfte in mehr als 50 Ländern für Individualisten im Angebot, von schicken, preiswerten B&Bs bis zu teuren Villen. Ein praktisches Extra: Die jeweiligen Tester beschreiben ihre Erfahrungen in der Unterkunft und listen am Ende nicht nur die die Vor-, sondern auch die möglichen Nachteile auf. Das kann schlechter Handyempfang sein oder ein zu kleines Zimmer."
i-escape has selected around 1,500 accommodations in more than 50 countries aimed at independent travellers, from inexpensive B&Bs to expensive villas. A practical extra: the reviewers describe their experiences in the accommodation and list not only the advantages, but also the possible disadvantages. This could be bad cell phone reception or a small room.
Der Spiegel, Germany - 29 January 2017
"For me i-escape is my most trusted source of inspiration for holiday destinations and accommodation. It's so well researched and thoroughly documented, and its scoring system and pros and cons always ring true."
'My Favourite Websites' - Natalie Melton, The New Craftsmen
The Good Web Guide - 06 July 2016
"I was recently invited to a blogger event with the wonderful people at i-escape…and I don’t overestimate them when I say ‘wonderful’. The camaraderie that exists between the staff together with the passion for the job they do is plain to see. The fact that many of them have longevity with the company also helps to show what type of a business they run."
Click here to read the full post.
Victoria Visits (blog) - 23 January 2015
"For anyone not familiar with the site, i-escape find the best and most beautiful locations around the world. They are really selective about which hotels and venues they work with and a team member will review the place and state honestly the pros and cons of every location. They basically find the 'little gems' you might only have heard about from a friend without you having to search them out. If you book through them you spend exactly the same amount as you would do by booking direct but you also get a little extra at each place... little touches that make nights away that little bit extra special."
Click here to read the full post.
Tigerlilly Quinn (blog) - 22 January 2015
"For those who aren’t familiar with i-escape, it’s a website that finds exciting and unusual places to stay in locations all around the world. They also have a section dedicated to child friendly places which looks amazing. I had no idea that there were so many stylish places to stay with children."
Click here to read the full post.
Along Came Cherry (blog) - 20 January 2015
"i-escape is a great concept; they list stunning and unique accommodation all over the world, helping travellers to find real independent gems and one-off places to stay, and they offer great little perks for booking those places through them while also offering the best prices possible. Until recently I wasn't aware that they had a specific kids branch to the company, but after an evening talking about all things i-escape with kids and seeing some of the amazing places in their kids collection, I know without shadow of a doubt that we won't hesitate to use them to book family adventures in future."
Click here to read the full post.
Dear Beautiful (blog) - 19 January 2015
"Un site très confidentiel qui ne répertorie que des boutiques-hôtels, donc des petits cocons intimes, de vrais havres de paix pour citadins overstressés!"
An honest, comprehensive site that only lists boutique hotels, including small, intimate cocoons and true havens for overstressed people.
Le Figaro (France) - 15 December 2014
"For independent hotels at a variety of price points, you can’t beat i-escape. They specialise in the cool and the eccentric. (We’d never have found La Casa del Maestro in Seville otherwise.) It’s never let us down."
Emerald Street - 08 May 2014
We’re over the moon to have been named ‘Best Travel Website’ in the prestigious Telegraph Travel Awards, which were decided by votes from over 75,000 readers. Here’s what The Telegraph had to say:
“i-escape is one of the first websites I turn to when I’m planning a trip... This innovative accommodation guide and booking service, now in its 13th year, has built up a 1,400 strong collection of small, well-run and stylish hotels, b&bs and self-catering properties in Britain, Europe and long-haul destinations from Argentina to Vietnam. Most are small and independent - the sort of places you wouldn’t find out about anywhere else, and they range from five-star luxury hotels to converted barges. Each property on the site is inspected and reviewed in full, frank and accurate terms, with detail about the best rooms and features, and reference to any flaws.
"The site is easy to navigate and thoughtfully ordered so that you can search by country or by interest (there is an 800-strong collection of family-friendly properties for instance). What really sets it apart though is the design. From the moment you click on the home page, you’re drawn into a world of quirky riads, sun-washed seaside hotels and moonlit desert camps. It’s aspirational browsing at its best, though many of the properties are surprisingly affordable and i-escape is liberal with offers of extra nights, or seasonal discounts. This is the travel company I have recommended to friends more than any other.”
A big thanks to everyone who voted for us!
Click here for a full list of the winners.
The Telegraph Travel Awards 2013 - 27 November 2013
i-escape is delighted to appear in the top 5 in several categories of the Guardian and Observer Readers' Travel Awards, including 'Best Online Booking Service', 'Best Travel Agent' and 'Best Short Break Operator'. Click here for a full list of all the winners.
Guardian and Observer Readers' Travel Awards 2013 - 11 November 2013
i-escape is thrilled to have been named 'Best Accommodation Site' in these prestigious, independently judged awards, which are held in high esteem by travel industry insiders. TravelMole's Graham McKenzie said the awards focus on “strictly independent and above board judging in order that truly the best sites are rewarded for their endeavours, rather than what they spend with us”.
TravelMole Web Awards 2013 - 12 September 2013
“This is one of those websites that’s as fun to browse as it is to book with. With its clever dossier-style layout, i-escape is a joy to use, whether you’re just looking to find out more about a destination, or actually planning to try out one of its eclectic selection of recommended hotels (it tends to favour the quirky over chain properties).”
The Independent - The 50 Best Travel Websites - 07 June 2013
"i-escape sounds as if it should be an Apple gadget. In fact, it's a global selection of typically chic, small-scale places to stay. Most are hotels, but there are also lots of b&bs and self-catering properties, and many affordable as well as fancy options. Each recommendation has an impressively detailed review, based on a professional inspection. You know exactly what to expect, including any drawbacks, which are prominently flagged up in a list of "lows", and guest ratings from previous i-escape bookers are given too. Search options are brilliant - you can highlight places offering anything from organic produce to a private cinema.
And the winner is...
"i-escape.com sets the gold standard for online hotel guides - both for its inspiring and varied selection of places to stay to suit all budgets, and for its comprehensive, honest reviews."
Mail Online - The best websites for finding the perfect hotel for Valentine's Day - 30 January 2013
"Forget bland chain resorts, i-escape covers some of the world’s best boutique hotels, B&Bs and houses to rent – all in stunning locations. Each is individually reviewed by the site’s experienced team, and you can book direct… The team select some incredible properties, and there’s no doubting their sincerity when they say they don’t recommend places they wouldn’t stay in themselves. Each is inspected, reviews are warts-and-all and there are enough photos of each to make sure you know just what you are getting before you book."
The Times - Top 50 Travel Websites - 29 January 2013
"One of the most beautiful sites on our list, [i-escape.com] features amazing photos of boutique hotels worldwide. The reviews appear to be honest with up- and downside information. Rates are listed, and it includes substantial content about each property, including what surrounds it. This is where savvy Euros go for summer bargains at high-midrange to luxury properties generally off the tourist radar."
Travelweekly.com - The Most Useful Travel Websites - 12 October 2012
"[i-escape.com is] the best there is for pinpointing special places to stay, saying why they are special, and giving you sufficient information to make you confident enough to book."
The Daily Mail - 13 September 2012
“Reliably stocked with the world’s hottest properties, i-escape is crucial to any search.“
The Sunday Times Travel Magazine - 12 September 2012
"Runner-up i-escape.com showed remarkable consistency by achieving almost identical scores [to the winner], with top marks for its social-media profile."
Conde Nast Traveller Awards 2012 - 07 September 2012
"El equipo de i-escape rastrea el mundo en busca de los hoteles más
exclusivos para ofrecértelos con importantes descuentos o extras gratis, como el Pongwe en Zanzíbar."
The i-escape team scours the globe in search of the best exclusive hotels - like Pongwe in Zanzibar - and offers them with significant discounts or free extras.
Elle España - 20 June 2012
i-escape is delighted to have been voted one of the top 10 websites in the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2012. Click here for more information and a full list of the winners.
Wanderlust Awards 2012 - 03 February 2012
"i-escape is an online travel agent with a difference. It’s pretty much a travel magazine, packed full of guides to some of the world’s most interesting and inspiring destinations, on which you can then make bookings directly if you’re feeling adventurous. Simply pick a country on their map or drop down list that you’re interested in visiting, and you’ll get an easy-to-navigate page filled with tips on the best places to go, gorgeous boutique hotels to stay in (organized by price if you’re penny conscious). And if you have absolutely no idea where you’d like to go to, there’s a sweet “Inspire Me” button that will take you somewhere awesome the editor picked out, based on whether you like the beach, cheap ‘n’ chic city breaks, spa trips and so on.
"When it comes to booking your vacation, it’s very naturally built in with the site, easy to use, and generally stress free. And if you don’t believe me, it may help to know that i-escape just won the Guardian’s award for 2011 Best Online Booking Service."
All My Faves (website reviews) - 17 January 2012
"The boutique hotel website i-escape.com has added Corsica to its list of destinations. Five small but perfectly formed properties are listed in a range of locations - and not only on the beach. The Hotel Artemisia is a cool, modern design hotel in a mountain village with spectacular views..."
The Times - 14 January 2012
"...special hotels appealing to all budgets, reviewed in meticulous detail and often with i-escape negotiated deals."
The Telegraph - 07 January 2012
"Planning a holiday is truly half the fun - you can visit a thousand places in your head before you have to wield the credit card. The website i-escape makes the planning and dreaming stage almost half as good as the actual trip: not only are the hotels and destinations individually chosen and rated by price, range of activities and suitability for different occasions, but the photography is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.Spend half an hour perusing and see if you don't feel warmer already."
Woman - 01 January 2012
"i-escape's new family collection includes hip haunts where little ones can keep busy with reggae lessons (Round Hill, Jamaica), toy-filled tepees (Yab Yum, Goa), or even yoga and spa treatments (Hotel Esencia, Mexico); the hotels start from around £100 per night."
Sunday Times Travel Magazine - 01 December 2011
i-escape was delighted to be named Best Online Booking Service at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2011. Revealing the winners, the Guardian said: "This new category reflects one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry: online bookings. Both web-only companies and traditional tour operators and travel companies are represented in the top 20 but the honours go i-escape for its tantalizing collection of hand-picked places to stay around the world."
A big thanks to Guardian and Observer readers!
Click here for a full list of the winners.
Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2011 - 30 September 2011
We are delighted to see that in the 2011 WMA WebAwards, i-escape.com scored 63 points against an industry average of 52 points, and was duly honoured with an "Outstanding Website Award" for "work above and beyond the standard of excellence".
About the WebAwards:
The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web... Now in its 15th year, the WebAward program is the premier annual website award competition that names the best Web sites in 96 industries. Websites [are nominated by the public and subsequently] judged by a panel of independent experts.
WMA WebAwards 2011 - 14 September 2011
i-escape was voted one of the world's top 5 travel websites in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2011. We're thrilled, so thanks to everyone who voted for us!
Click here for more information on the awards and a full list of the winners.
Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2011 - 01 September 2011
"We probably mention this lip-smacking site most weeks, but it is our first port of call for gorgeous boutique accommodation around the world. Lots of photos, honest reviews by writers that list what's good and bad about the properties, tons of detail on the place and surroundings, rates through the season and a mix of mid-range to high-price luxury properties make it one of the best out there. And though they're not cheap, they're not all eye-wateringly expensive either."
The Guardian - Best Travel Websites Ever - 16 July 2011
"i-escape.com seeks out hip hideaways with a unique edge... There's everything from jungle tree houses in Brazil to historic palaces in Italy and beach huts in Zanzibar... Resorts don't pay to be featured so you're getting totally unbiased reviews, plus the costs are often less than if you go directly to the hotel yourself."
Cosmopolitan Bride - Must-Visit Honeymoon Websites - 01 July 2011
"Properties are carefully chosen and thoroughly inspected by i-escape, and from my experience usually turn out to be very appealing. Reviews go in to exhaustive detail about the location, rooms, facilities and food, and are pretty honest. Drawbacks are pointed out - for example, the Ajia Hotel in Istanbul can be a bit rowdy at weekends, and doesn't have great air-conditioning."
Daily Mail - Website of the Week - 27 June 2011
In an interview with Lili Barbery-Coulon, founder of ma-recreation.com...
"Avez vous un site favori pour préparer votre voyage?
i-escape: c'est avec ce site que je fais à présent presque tous mes voyages perso. Leur sélection d’hôtels est parfaite, avec des tas de budgets différents et on est certain d'éviter les hôtels horribles conçus pour les touristes en masse."
be.com (French style website) - 24 June 2011
"Websitet i-escape har gjort det til sit speciale at hjælpe rejsende med at finde helt særlige overnatningsmuligheder rundt om i verden. Rejsemagasinet Explorer faldt for det lækre website og viser her et udvalg af de unikke muligheder."
i-escape has made it its specialty to help travelers find unique accommodations around the world. Travel magazine Explorer fell for this lovely website and shows here a selection of unique places.
"Den hippe og moderne rejsende, der er træt af pakkeløsninger og turister i flok, lægger både tid, kræfter og passion i jagten på den helt særlige hoteloplevelse. Websitet www.i-escape.com har samlet spektakulære og enestående overnatningssteder, der graver sig dybt ind i hjertet og efterlader et lille stykke af verden i den besøgende. Her findes ingen kædehoteller og all inclusive resorts, men derimod små unikke steder med masser af sjæl og atmosfære. Der er alt fra øko-bjerghytter, familiære guesthouses og træhuse gemt i junglen til storslåede historiske paladser og private udlejningsejendomme, der alle byder på mindeværdige oplevelser ud over det sædvanlige. Et ekstra plus er, at samtlige muligheder værner om den lokale natur og kulturarv."
Hip and modern travelers who are tired of packages and crowds of tourists invest lots of time, effort and passion in pursuit of the unique hotel experience. www.i-escape.com has put together some spectacular and unique accommodations that dig deep into the heart and leave a small piece of the world in the visitor. There are no chain hotels and all inclusive resorts, but rather small, unique places with lots of soul and atmosphere: everything from eco-mountain huts, guesthouses and wooden houses hidden in the jungle to magnificent historical palaces and private rental properties, all offering memorable experiences beyond the ordinary. An added plus is that they all cherish the local natural and cultural heritage.
- Det er muligt at søge på en lang række kriterier som destination, interesser, sæson eller udvidet multisøgning som et usædvanligt sted til at holde forretningsseminar eller bryllupsrejse eller bare et sted, der er unikt, sjovt og endda billigt.
- Sitet er lækkert og stemningsfuldt, og det er nemt at navigere rundt.
- Priserne vises i realtid, så der er ingen overraskende gebyrer. Det er desuden muligt at få priserne vist i danske kroner."
- It is possible to search on a wide range of criteria such as destination, interests, seasonal or an extended multi-search, such as an unusual place to hold business seminar or honeymoon or just a place that is unique, fun and even inexpensive.
- The site is beautiful to look at, and easy to navigate.
- Prices are displayed in real time, so there are no surprise fees. It is also possible to have prices shown in Danish kroner.
Explorer (Danish travel magazine) - 16 June 2011
"When I-Escape say they've 'done the hard work for you', they're rather underselling themselves... Carefully selected and reviewed, the site lists more than 1,200 small hotels, lodges and house rentals across 45 countries."
The Independent - 50 best travel websites - 01 May 2011
"Een van de meest interessante websites om toffe hotelletjes op te speuren, is de Engelse i-escape. Enkele jaren geleden was dat nog een compacte website met een handvol bestemmingen. Tegenwoordig is het portfolio erg uitgebreid en vind je er een selectie van vaak erg betaalbare logeeradressen tot luxueuzere opties over gans de wereld.
"Alle hotels worden door onafhankelijke journalisten of schrijvers bezocht en zelfs de negatieve puntjes van het adres staan ook vermeld. Bij 'highs' lees je waarom je naar deze plek moet afreizen en bij 'lows' krijg je soms waarschuwingen zoals 'er is weinig parkeerplaats' of 'het hotel is meer geschikt voor koppels dan voor mensen die willen feesten'. Dingen die je best weet voor je boekt, kortom.
"I-escape is perfect voor wie snel kleinschalige logies zoekt en daar onmiddellijk en zonder veel geklik alle achtergrondinfo wil over te weten komen."
One of the most interesting websites for cool hotels. A few years ago it was a small website with a handful of destinations. Nowadays it is an extensive portfolio with a selection of very affordable hotels to more luxurious options all over the world.
All are visited by independent journalists or writers and even the negative points of the address are listed. In ' highs ' you read why you should travel to this place and in ' lows ' you get warnings such as ' the hotel is more suited for couples than for people who want to party '. Things you should know before you book, in short.
i-escape is perfect for those looking for small-scale accommodation quickly and immediately with all the background info you would like to know.
Reisblog Debbie Pappyn (Dutch/Nederlands) - 04 March 2011
"J’en profite pour partager avec vous une adresse formidable pour trouver des hôtels branchés et pas toujours hors de prix : i-escape.com. Ce site anglais répertorie des dizaines de lieux confidentiels et design, livre un avis très honnête sur chacun d’entre eux et garantie un prix non majoré voire même négocié à la baisse. De quoi rêver dès aujourd’hui à ses futures vacances…"
Lili Barbery-Coulon, Beauty Editor of French Vogue
French blog, ma-recreation.com - 10 February 2011
"i-escape offers detailed, insightful reviews of dozens of typically small-scale and chic places to stay in France."
The Telegraph - France 2011 accommodation guide - 16 January 2011
"You're not the only one who is confused. Since the first Hilton opened in 1925, chain hotels conquered the world. The term "boutique" was coined to describe the small, individual and often quirky properties that started to spring up in the 1980s to counteract the extreme predictability of the big groups. Blakes, in South Kensington, London, was one of the first.
"Trouble is, every Tom, Dick and Harry hotelier has jumped on the bandwagon, and now you'll find 200-room chain hotels that claim to be 'boutique'. Which, clearly, they're not. For good examples of what boutique should be, try websites such as mrandmrssmith.com, chicretreats.com, i-escape.com and luxique.com."
What exactly is a boutique hotel? - 05 December 2010
"My favourite website is i-escape.com, which I often look at just when I need to escape and relax mentally, even if it's only for 10 minutes. I don't spend a lot of time surfing the web, but this is the one site that I keep coming back to."
Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave at Dom Perignon
Financial Times, "How To Spend It" - 23 November 2010
"Online hotel bookings have rocketed in the last five years. Amanda Statham reveals the key players, and how to get the best for your buck.
Has a much smaller offer than the big boys, but it’s gaining a good reputation among the jet set. It’s popularity comes from first-hand reviews of more than 1,200 small hotels, lodges and hip house rentals across 45 countries, which have been handpicked and visited by expert reviewers. The portfolio covers all budgets (from under £50 per room to over £500) and all types, from five-star city hotels to beach villas and tented safari camps. And if you want further help planning your trip, you can call or email one of i-escape’s team.
Trustworthy, first-hand reviews and a highly selective portfolio of hotels.
Anyone that doesn’t have time to wade through endless lists of mediocre hotels and wants the best of the bunch instantly."
> See the full list
Executary News: Just a click away... - 25 October 2010
i-escape was delighted to be awarded 'Best Travel Agent' in the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2010 held in Cardiff Castle on 9th October.
Up against the likes of Expedia, Thomas Cook, Lastminute.com and Mr & Mrs Smith, we were thrilled to come joint first with Travel Counsellors (a Bolton based network of agents working by phone from home). We both acheived a 99.6% score, the highest rating out of all the 22 reader-voted categories. In their article naming the winners, The Guardian summed up i-escape as:
"a free accommodation booking service with a fantastic website showcasing the world's most gorgeous places to stay, from small stylish boutique hotels to eco lodges"
A big thank you to all you Guardian and Observer readers!
Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2010 - 09 October 2010
We're thrilled to have been voted among the top 10 travel websites by readers of the illustrious Conde Nast Traveller Magazine. Participants were asked to "nominate your favourite website for researching or booking a trip" and then rate them for various criteria, including 'accommodation' and 'news content'. We came 6th, with 79%. Onwards and upwards next year!
See the full list
Conde Nast Traveller (UK) - Readers' Travel Awards - 02 September 2010
We're delighted to learn that we have been shortlisted in the Best Accommodation-Only Website category for these prestigious industry awards, which are judged by a panel of business leaders and travel experts.
They are in their 4th year and previous winners include EasyJet, Tripadvisor and Travelsupermarket, so the pedigree is good. Keep your fingers crossed for us on 28th September when the winners are announced!
Travolution Awards 2010 - 01 September 2010
"In Tarifa, El Escondite del Viento is a quiet, brightly-coloured six-room haven - book through i-escape.com where you'll find more great hotels in the area."
Marie Claire (September 2010) - 18 August 2010
"It isn't only tour operators' websites that offer bargain holidays. For the best deals, you have to look farther afield. [Of the] luxury hotel specialists... boutique agent i-escape has a regularly updated deals category on its site, searchable by both destination and month."
How to Find the Best Deals - The Sunday Telegraph - 08 August 2010
We're thrilled to announce that we are the winners of "Best Accommodation Website" in the 2010 TravelMole Awards for the Travel and Tourism Industry.
We were one of 3 accommodation websites shortlisted by thousands of readers, which were then examined and judged by a panel of travel experts - and the award presented to us in a London ceremony on 17 June 2010.
Director Laila Ram, who collected the award, said "We're delighted that our recent redesign has obviously hit the target, and we'll continue rolling out more improvements over the coming months... the web is a fast-evolving arena and, rest assured, we won't rest on our laurels".
See a 3-minute video of the winners
TravelMole Awards 2010 - 18 June 2010
"With its impressively detailed reviews, www.i-escape.com is a great resource for independent bookings – if you're after a small, stylish hotel or guesthouse in Andalusia, Majorca, Ibiza, the Canaries, Barcelona or Madrid."
Daily Telegraph - Spain 2010 - 20 January 2010
"For independent bookings, i-escape.com offers detailed, insightful reviews of an impressive selection of small-scale and chic French hotels."
France 2010 - The Telegraph - 16 January 2010
We're delighted to discover that we've been shortlisted for the Good Web Guide "Website of the Year 2009", in which sites are nominated and voted for by readers of this respected guide. The final award is made by a panel of judges. As one of only 3 travel websites, i-escape.com was hailed for "helping discerning independent travellers to find and book exciting and unusual places to stay across the world."
See the full shortlist here
Good Web Guide - 01 January 2010
"i-escape.com is an excellent site for the independent traveller, with great boutique hotels options."
Irish Times - Serendipity in Sri Lanka - 19 October 2009
"Keeping your eye on your budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice luxury or choose second-rate destinations when you go away, says w&h travel guru Jane Hayward.
"[In Venice] doubles at the Novecento cost from £137 B&B - look for 15% off for early booking via i-escape.com, a neat little site that digs out bargain boutiques worldwide."
Woman and Home - Fab Getaways That Don't Cost The Earth - 06 October 2009
Marie Claire (October 2009)
Travel Insider: The latest weekend breaks and stylish getaways.
"With designer lodges, a sensational desert landscape and no jet lag, Namibia is a good choice for a winter adventure. Check out i-escape.com for the best places to stay, from tented camps to elegant B&Bs, starting at £64 a night for two."
Marie Claire - i-escape launches Namibia - 08 September 2009
Online resources for the picky traveler
"Finding hotel and destination information across a barrage of online sources ... can be an exhaustive and overwhelming exercise, particularly for those of us who like to tread off the beaten path, without compromising comfort, vibe or aesthetics.
"I’ve come to realize that exploration and adventure and comfortable chic are not mutually exclusive concepts in the travel space, they’re just a little more difficult to find. Here are two travel sites that seem to have a similar sensibility to mine.
"i-escape - offers a nice selection of “Hip Hideaways and Boutique Hotels.
"36 Hours - NY Times - an excellent resource for tapping into the local zeitgeist... though the 36-hour time period seems a bit ambitious for this traveler."
Battered Orange Suitcase - Best Online Resources - 19 August 2009
How to make your money stretch further when you go on holiday to Spain this summer:
"For an excellent selection of characterful accommodation, from b&bs to boutique hotels, try i-escape.com."
The Telegraph - Spain: budget holiday guide - 30 July 2009
"Watching the pennies doesn't have to mean staying in soulless budget hotels. Take a look at i-escape.com's new recession-chic guide to Europe's hottest hotels, villas and boutique B&Bs for under £100 a night. Casa Sibarita, a stylish 19th-century Spanish townhouse, near Valencia, is just a short drive from the beach, offering rooms at £44 B&B per night all this year. Find this hotel and others on www.i-escape.com."
Sainsburys Magazine: Recession Chic - 28 July 2009
"Without a doubt i-escape is one of our absolute favorite travel websites. We have used it to plan trips to Thailand, Vietnam and Croatia. The recommendations were all perfect – exactly what we were looking for. When I have the time and the money I will find all of the accommodations for my next big family trip through i-escape. I am thinking Greece or Uruguay next time around…two places I love!"
Sweet Peas & Stilettos - The Modern Mommy Guide - 25 July 2009
From hip replacements to hip hotels
"Once, the only parties associated with Madeira were the blue-rinse coach variety, but with a raft of new stylish places to stay the volcanic island is ﬁnally starting to rock..."
Nick Maes travelled with i-escape.com. i-escape.com features fine hotels on Madeira, including:
Estalagem da Ponta do Sol
The Guardian - Madeira - 25 July 2009
Best for Hotel Reviews:
"Who should you trust to pass judgement on a hotel? If you belive in the 'wisdom of crowds' go to TripAdvisor.co.uk, which boasts some 20 million reviews. If, on the other hand, you think that professional reviewers make better judges, try i-escape.com ... which caters to the boutique hotel market."
Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Top Travel Websites - 28 June 2009
"There are plenty of boutique hotels to be found in Madrid; i-escape offers the newest and funkiest ones."
Accommodation in Madrid - WhatSheWears.ie - 17 June 2009
"For a cosy holiday home with lots of character, book into one of the Terrace Houses, three 19th-century cottages in the hill town of Sirince, six miles from Ephesus. The little buildings have been carefully renovated with reclaimed marble basins, wooden sleigh beds and lovely lighting, including Chinese lanterns and wrought-iron chandeliers. A week in peak season costs £630, accommodation only, for a cottage sleeping up to four, with a local gift, for i-escape guests."
The Independent - summer breaks to Europe that won't bust the budget - 03 May 2009
"The site describes itself as "an independent, highly researched interactive travel guide and free online booking service". A user describes it as: "Everything Lastminute.com should have been - intimate, high-quality recommendations, a lovely brand experience.""
Media Week - 10 cult sites to watch - 21 April 2009
"Think recession-busting holidays are all youth hostels and camping? Think again. i-escape.com has launched an online Recession-Chic guide featuring Europe's hottest hotels, villas and boutique B&Bs for under £100 a night. How about a stay at the charming Casa Sibarita, a 19th-century house in the town of Rafelguaraf near Valencia, Spain, for £47 per room per night? That even includes breakfast. Book any of the places on the list through i-escape.com and you could also receive discounts and gifts on arrival."
The Observer - Recession Chic - 05 April 2009
"The website i-escape has cherry picked its favourite spots. It's such a good list, we've republished it.
"Holidaying in 2009 is all about getting the most for your money, but that doesn’t have to mean bunking down in a hostel, pitching a leaky tent or checking into a soulless budget hotel. Here's the pick from the larders of i-escape - all offers include a gift."
The Times Online - Boutique retreats in Europe for under £100 - 02 April 2009
"If you are looking for a stylish hideaway there's more than 1000 options on here, and it even has affordable hotels too. Each hotel comes with at least 21 images and highs and lows about the property, plus there's maps and advice on restaurants and activities."
Times Online: Best websites for booking places to stay - 18 March 2009
"I have my favourite hotel booking sites, namely Design Hotels, i-escape.com, Mr & Mrs Smith and Tablet Hotels. Why would I use a booking site and not just book direct with the hotel? I have booked direct before but some of the smaller properties don't have the best websites, or too much 'flash' for my liking, so it can be easier booking through one of the above, particularly when there are no booking fees.
"Of all of these, I have in truth only ever booked with i-escape.com. Why? Well, I have always liked the personal reviews with both highs and lows listed. After using the booking system I found it extremely easy and enjoyed reading reviews from other people. Would I use them again? Yes, I don't have to pay to be in a club and there is usually an offer available on booking."
Editor - Travel Notebook
Read her full posting
Travel Notebook - Hotel Booking Sites, Loyalty Clubs and User Reviews... - 17 March 2009
50 Best Travel Websites:
"A one-stop shop for tracking down independently owned, stylish and usually small places to stay around the world. Covering a wide spectrum, from budget self-catering properties to lavish boutique hotels, though more upmarket choices have been added as the site has developed, it's the quirky "hidden" choices that make i-escape's listing stand out from the crowd. All the properties it covers are rigorously and independently reviewed and it's gradually adding more destinations to its range."
The Independent - 16 March 2009
"A sign of the times. i-escape.com, the website that specialises in small stylish boltholes anywhere from Amsterdam to Zanzibar, has found a selection closer to home. Its latest collection features 60 "hidden gems" in the UK, from townhouse B&Bs and city apartments to eco retreats. In London, if you don't mind not being in the centre, the Church Street Hotel, nicknamed the Camberwell casita thanks to its Mexican owners and design, has single rooms from £70 and doubles from £90. Many of the properties have special offers, such as Fronlas in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, which is £95 a night B&B but has a 10% discount for stays of three nights or more."
The Guardian - i-escape's UK collection - 14 February 2009
"If you fancy a palazzo but don't have a princely budget, there are some alternatives to the high-end hotel option. In Florence, Johlea and Johanna Residences offer comfortable B&B accommodation in five different palazzi in a quiet residential area just north of the Duomo...
"This is one of several palazzi listed on i-escape.com. Another of its cheaper finds is Ca' della Corte, off Dorsoduro in Venice, a family run B&B in a 16th century palazzo with rates starting at €80 for a double...
"BB22 in Palermo, Sicily, is a boutique B&B set in a restored palazzo, with six sophisticated guestrooms and a small roof terrace."
Budget palaces - The Independent - 06 February 2009
Greece 2009: accommodation options:
"www.i-escape.com is an excellent source for appealing hotels and apartments to suit all budgets, which are covered in detailed, helpful reviews; strongest on Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and in Athens."
The Telegraph - 30 January 2009
"With many travellers now realising that you get more bang for your buck if you opt for city self-catering, the holiday rental industry is booming. Several upmarket chains have been launched over recent years, but it's also worth trying an independently owned place... i-escape.com has a collection of show-home apartments in European cities."
She Magazine - Stylish Self-catering - 29 January 2009
"I've long been an admirer of i-escape for its boutique-style choice of accommodation."
Times Online - 10 hot travel websites for 2009 - 29 January 2009
Susan d'Arcy writes:
"I love specialist hotel collections. These elite agencies scour the globe for the swankiest boutiques to put on their books, and - here comes the good bit - in return for being marketed by these prestigious companies, the hotels must pledge best-rate guarantees and pay commission for bookings that come via their websites.
We don’t pay a penny extra to use them. In fact, booking through these agencies often puts you first in line for perks such as a room upgrade. So, for a more civilised sort of saving, here are the companies to try.
www.i-escape.com (#2 of 8)
A management consultant, a private investigator and a travel writer combined to launch this clever website. Pithy reviews for its 1,000-plus properties helpfully supply the cons as well as the pros for each listing. You must register to book through the site, but that is free - and, as well as best-rate guarantees, you might get a complimentary bottle of wine or a massage thrown in.
You can ask for specific travel advice from its experts at no additional cost. It focuses on smaller properties (less than 30 rooms) and is particularly strong on budget digs and self-catering apartments in cities."
The Sunday Times - 25 January 2009
Hotel Guide - Our Selection
"The website www.i-escape.com stands out for its detailed reviews of carefully chosen boutique hotels and stylish B&Bs in Andalucia, Majorca, the Canaries, Barcelona and Madrid."
The Telegraph: Spain 2009 - 09 January 2009
Nikki Tinto, founder of hip travel website i-escape.com:
"Want an easy break with sunshine, beaches and good wine? Then get yourself to Glen Beach, Cape Town. A 15-minute drive from the centre, it's close to upbeat Camps Bay. The beach is small enough to feel your own, yet also draws serious surfers. Few properties have direct beach access but two stand out. The fived-bedroom White Villa is a sleek beauty with a plunge pool and a private path to the sea. Another gem is Glen Beach Villas penthouse, sleeping four. Book at i-escape.com."
Marie Claire - January 2009 - 13 December 2008
"i-escape.com has flagged up a trend for city pads designed by creative types that you can pass of as your own. We love the Riva Lofts in Florence: 10 studios transformed by Claudio Nardi (architect of stores for Dolce & Gabbana). There's also a pool, a lounge with honesty bar and a fleet of 1950's bikes to get you to the Uffizi."
Red Magazine - Autumn Escapes - 12 December 2008
Boutique properties: Winner - www.i-escape.com
"More than 1,000 reviews detail the high and low points of each listed property, from a bungalow in Bali to a château in Bordeaux. You’ll know what to expect, whether it’s a stellar menu or pesky highway noise."
Travel + Leisure: Top Travel Websites of 2008 - 01 December 2008
"In Plett, right on the bluff looking across the lagoon to the rolling breakers of the Indian Ocean, you have the magnificent Bay Lodge, another of the reputable i-escape.com's recommendations for South Africa..."
The Sunday Times - South Africa - 02 November 2008
"Tired of checking into the same old hotel? Try one of these more innovative options. Transformed by creative types, i-escape's new show homes are great places to bed down. With plush pads in some of Europe's most stylish cities, spend the night in a converted mill in Florence or serviced apartments in an 18th-century townhouse in Amsterdam."
Food & Travel - Show Homes - 26 October 2008
"The Beach Hut, Sri Lanka - through i-escape.com
You'll find the two-bed Beach Hut, with its polished floors, mosquito-net-swathed four-poster and private chef, 10 minutes from Galle near Unawatuna Bay. You enter the house by crossing a bridge of railway sleepers, the Indian Ocean is at the bottom of the garden and there's a pool to keep you cool, too."
Brides Magazine - Best Villas For Two - 16 October 2008
"From a 3-hour hop to a long-haul adventure of a lifetime, the globe's savviest travellers tell you where to go to warm up - whatever your budget:
Red's travel experts include:
Michael Cullen, editor of i-escape.com, which helps independent travellers find ununsual places to stay.
Michael selects 2 of the featured properties:
Ras Mbisi, Tanzania
Farm 215, South Africa"
Red Magazine - Secret Winter Escapes - 05 October 2008
"Simple, sexy and stylish - our pick of the world's coolest hideaways... judged by our editor and a panel of travel-industry experts:
Nikki Tinto, co-founder of i-escape.com, selects 6 of the winning properties:
Monte Velho Nature Resort, Portugal
Farm 215, South Africa
Puri Ganesha, Bali
El Cancho, Spain"
ELLE travel - Chic Shack Awards - 01 October 2008
"Christabelle Dilks is just back from scouring Costa Rica for the boutique hotel website i-escape.com... All of her favourite hotels can be booked at no extra cost through i-escape.com, with guests receiving added extras such as upgrades and flowers."
For the list of her top ten hotels, read the article online.
The Observer - Luxury in the rainforest - 14 September 2008
"Costa Rica, the land of surf and turtles, has a swell of new boutique accommodation options, now available through i-escape.com. Best pickings include Luna Nueva Lodge, 10 miles from the Arenal volcano, on a biodynamic farm in San Ramon. There's a solar-powered hot tub, springwater pool and organic food, with wood-panelled rooms or a separate bungalow, from $80 per night. Those who check into the green room now and again (surf speak for riding barrels) will find like-minded souls at the Harmony Hotel in Nosara, on the Pacific coast. With sunrise yoga, eco credentials and a 50s Hawaiian theme, it's no grungy surf shack."
The Guardian - i-escape.com launches Costa Rica collection - 13 September 2008
"Chain hotels with cookie-cutter rooms are great if you don't want surprises. But what if you like the unexpected, a place with some panache and style? Such places take more digging to find, so check into www.i-escape.com.
"A British site, it has a team of reviewers combing the world for one-of-a-kind hotels. [Some] are stylish. Some are rustic. Some are inexpensive. And some have crawly creatures traipsing through ...("not for those averse to wildlife", said one review). I like that it lists the "highs" and "lows" of the properties."
Los Angeles Times - Web Buzz: Rooms with Verve - 06 July 2008
"One of our favourite accommodation websites, i-escape.com, has expanded its Asian section to include some fab new pads [in Indochina]."
The Guardian - Trips and Tips - 05 July 2008
"i-escape is one of a growing band of on-line accommodation guides. It currently features around 900 places to stay across 35 countries; recently added destinations include Istanbul and Vietnam. Stylish, small-scale hotels and chic b&bs make up the bulk of the reviewed accommodation, though there are also some houses and apartments to rent.
Properties are carefully chosen and thoroughly inspected by i-escape, and from my experience usually turn out to be very appealing. Reviews go in to exhaustive detail about the location, rooms, facilities and food, and are pretty honest. Drawbacks are pointed out - for example, the Ajia Hotel in Istanbul can be a bit rowdy at weekends, and doesn't have great air-conditioning.
To check availability, you need to fill out a form, which i-escape emails straight on to the hotel - you can't just pick up the phone and book. Though coverage is gradually spreading, there are large chunks of the world -north America being one - where presently i-escape offers no recommendations."
Read full article and add comments
Travel Mail - Website of the Week - 19 June 2008
Winner of the 'Best Travel Website 2008': "There's a dark-horse winner here. You nominated i-escape.com in hefty numbers, even though it wasn't on our survey shortlist. A search engine featuring 'wonderful out-of-the-way hotels at 'a great variety of places and prices', it inspires real loyalty from voters. This testimonial speaks for many: 'It’s for people who like those special touches that make a holiday unforgettable – without feeling that you have to pay through the nose. And you can trust what they write.'"
Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Reader's Award 2008 - 02 June 2008
ESCAPE: BEST OF... SOUTH FRANCE
#13: The younger, hipper hotels - i-escape.com
"Hi Hotel in Nice has music and design embedded in its DNA... some rooms have giant movie screens as room dividers, and tables that turn into beds or metamorphose into baths."
Harper's Bazaar - July 2008 - 01 June 2008
The Great B&B Revolution:
In 2008, British bed and breakfast is hot... Nikki Tinto, of trendsetting internet accommodation site i-escape.com, agrees. "What B&B stands for now is 'more bang for your buck'," she says. "A room in a new wave B&B is basically as good as, or better than, a hotel room - at half the price. What you're lacking is a restaurant, but if there's a good one down the road then it's worth the sacrifice."
The Guardian - 17 May 2008
9 Ways to Think Outside the Hotel Room
"Red has long been a fan of i-escape.com. Their focus is on the atmospheric, locally run and quirky, [both] hotels and self-catering; and someone from the company has visited every property they feature. Expect anything, from a boathouse in Amsterdam to a loft in Paris."
Red Magazine - 01 May 2008
"As a general rule, if i-escape gives somewhere the nod, you can take their word for it. Of their Parisian offerings, the Apartment Blanc, hidden within an 18th-Century apartment block is the best value; with two bedrooms, an open plan kitchen/diner and a roof terrace. Guests also have the added perk of being in the heart of the 11th arrondissement, with the boutiques of the Marais and the excitable cafes and bars of Oberkampf within walking distance."
The Guardian's 10 top city-break apartments - 22 April 2008
"Credit crunch your holidays with these low-budget, yet high-chic hotels...
"1. Laidback cool in Morocco
Marrakech doesn't have the monopoly when it comes to chic hotels in Morocco. If you're heading further south to do the kasbahs and gorges, book into the small but beautiful Jardins de Skoura, through i-escape.com."
Grazia magazine - 10 Hot Hotels under £100 - 26 February 2008
"We come across so many travel websites that amuse, inspire and impress us, that we thought it was about time we shared them with you.
"1. If you really want to up the stakes at your next dinner party "guess where I'm off to next" exchange, check out the list of alternative hotels on i-escape.com. Book into one of these bizarre bolt holes and you'll out-do even the most intrepid of travellers with stories of your stay in the Brazilian hotel that's shaped like a spaceship, or perhaps the suite with a treetop hot tub in Zanzibar."
The Times: 10 travel websites to watch - 20 February 2008
"i-escape.com is an independent, highly researched interactive travel guide and free online booking service.
"Set up by Laila Ram and Nikki Tinto, the site features small hotels, guesthouses, retreats, eco-lodges and private rental properties all personally visited and reviewed in detail with photos to match.
"It is this depth of review that I find so useful as it is independent and obviously 'personally visited' rather than a press release from the property in question.
"Having used the website to book hotels myself, I can totally understand why it was recently awarded the best online booking service in the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards. i-escape.com finds the best places to stay and then makes booking them hassle free!
"It continues to add stylish places to stay from around the globe and with a monthly newsletter to look forward to, I am inclined to agree with Liane Katz from the Guardian who writes "i-escape.com is one of my favourite websites for finding stylish hotels from around the world"."
Travel Notebook.net - 31 December 2007
SLEEP AND SHOP: TOP 10
"One of the original style hotel sites goes from strength to strength, adding an Argentina section this winter."
The Times - 50 best travel websites of 2007 - 21 November 2007
"Earlier this year we asked readers of The Observer, Guardian and Guardian Unlimited to vote for their favourite travel firms and destinations. The results were revealed last week at a ceremony in Seville..."
BEST ONLINE BOOKING SERVICE 2007: i-escape.com
"i-escape.com did not even appear in the top 20 last year; this year it's leapt to the number one position. Set up six years ago, it now features 700 stylish places to stay around the world, from a new collection of affordable boutique hotels in Argentina to barefoot luxury in Zanzibar. Every single property on the site has been visited by the i-escape team and features a review and a list of highs and lows, making it one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly accommodation sites on the web."
i-escape wins Guardian - Observer Award - 04 November 2007
"To find a great little place to stay in Paris, or a top-notch country-house hotel in the Lake District, I refer to hotel guidebooks rarely these days. Why fork out for a book when just as good, if not better, advice is available on the internet, free of charge? So which of these websites are worth knowing about, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
This internet-only operation features about 700 holiday properties in 35 countries. The places to stay, which include apartments, villas and B&Bs as well as hotels, are typically stylish and small scale, and many are affordable. A member of the i-escape team has visited every one of them.
Pros: The reviews are excellent. Not only do they go into great detail but they also have useful summaries of a hotel's low, as well as its high, points. So the website will tell you that the bedrooms and bathrooms at the Hotel Mayet in Paris are small, and rooms at the Neri in Barcelona are sometimes not made up until late afternoon.
Cons: i-escape's geographical coverage is growing but presently it is very patchy. Like many of its competitors, the company makes money from commission charges on bookings initiated through its website. However, i-escape promises you will pay the same or less booking through them as you would do if you booked direct.
...AND THE VERDICT IS
Which is the most helpful really depends on what kind of hotel you're seeking. In terms of the reviews, i-escape's stands out for being consistently the clearest and most useful."
Fred Mawer, The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday - 30 September 2007
The Hotel Collection:
"Choose from a series of gorgeous Argentinian boutique hotels at reasonable prices with www.i-escape.com. Hosteria de Iruya, a mountainside retreat with terracotta walls in Salta province, has rooms from £29 a night; the elegant new Krista Hotel in Buenos Aires, with dark wood panelling and white marble floors, costs from £54."
The Observer - Pick of the Week - 16 September 2007
"Christabelle Dilks scoured Argentina to compile a new guide to boutique accommodation for i-escape.com. Here she picks eight of the best value places to stay...."
All hotels can be booked through www.i-escape.com/argentinaaccommodation.php
The Guardian - The Gaucho Club - 01 September 2007
"For a quirky and stylish selection, try i-escape.com. It inspects all its properties, which include a spacious boathouse in Amsterdam, a loft in the Marais district of Paris and a two-bedroom penthouse in Ipanema. In the trendy El Born district of Barcelona, it has a modern studio that sleeps four from £78 a night."
The Sunday Times - Renting a City Apartment... - 15 July 2007
"i-escape.com is one of my favourite websites for finding stylish hotels around the world."
Liane Katz in The Guardian - 16 May 2007
"i-escape's new Argentina portfolio features some of South America's finest hotels, including the ultra stylish and supremely romantic Home in Buenos Aires. Book well in advance and be sure to delete the Evita soundtrack from her ipod."
Groom Supplement, Brides Magazine, May 2007
Brides Magazine - What's new: Buenos Aires - 15 May 2007
"Aimed at discerning independent travellers looking for exciting and unusual places to stay in some of the world's most fascinating locations, i-escape is total travel eye candy. You can book through the site as well as getting inspiration for a dream holiday, and each place that is recommended is unique in some way, whether in its design, its natural setting, its owners or the activities on offer. A world away from the average travel agent."
The Information: #15 in the list of 50 best travel websites
The Independent - 50 best travel websites - 28 April 2007
"To find healthy stopovers as well as places to hole up, the excellently researched i-escape.com features hotels with character around the world."
Body & Soul Escapes - Caroline Sylge, April 2007
Body & Soul Escapes - 16 April 2007
"I am reliably informed by those in the know at i-escape that, having long lagged behind neighbouring Morocco when it comes to stylish places to stay, Tunisia may yet become the Noughties' hippest winter holiday destination.
"I can see why when I arrive in the picturesque coastal village of Sidi Bou Said . It's the perfect weekend destination, only three-and-a-half hours from London, small enough to explore over two days, and just big enough not to grow bored in...
"In the medina of Tunis we pass through the souks that ring the great mosque, housing quiet fez-makers and noisy silversmiths...
"Carthage, too, is a mind-blowing place even if, like me, you soon tire of ruins, statues and frescoes, however elaborate and well preserved."
Sean O'Hagan travelled to Tunisia with i-escape.com, and stayed in Dar Said, Dar el Medina and Villa Didon.
The Observer - Tunisia is the new Morocco - 04 March 2007
"Pack away your preconceptions - the Canary Islands are reinventing themselves as a hip winter sun destination...
For an excellent choice of small, independent hotels in the Canaries, try the website www.i-escape.com."
The Observer - Cool Canaries - 25 February 2007
"Looking for a weekend away that's a little bit special? Then why not eschew the big online travel agents and opt for websites offering accomodation that's a little more bespoke?
[...] i-escape.com specialises in properties beyond the ordinary. The site features 600 places across 30 countries, from the Elephant House in South Africa to the Georgian elegance of Number Sixteen, a Georgian townhouse in South Kensington."
The Guardian - 17 February 2007
"We found L'Orangeraie through the inspirational travel website www.i-escape.com, which lists amazing accommodation in Marrakech and throughout Morocco (in fact, all over the world)."
Yorkshire Living - 07 February 2007
"Miles of sandy coast, lush forest and dreamy deserts all within a three-hour flight of the UK. One thing Tunisia isn't known for is boutique hotels - unless you know where to look: www.i-escape.com."
GQ Travel - Nearest far-away places - 02 February 2007
"Log on to www.i-escape.com. A great site to plan your hols or just to dream of that girlie break in Brazil. Check out their newsletter!"
Company Magazine, Feb 2007 - 01 February 2007
"Tussen alle sites die ontelbare hotels tegen de laagste tarieven aanbieden, is www.i-escape.com een welkome afwisseling. Verwacht hier geen supergoedkope overdaad aan standaard shabby hotelletjes, maar wel de leukste, hipste, nieuwste en voor idere-budget-wat-wils-hotels."
29 January-4 February 2007
Viva Magazine (Holland) - 29 January 2007
"Still undecided about what to do for Valentine's? i-escape.com, an online collection of small hotels, riads, farmhouses and retreats has several last minute escapes."
The Guardian - 20 January 2007
"Boutique safari lodges are essentially small luxury hotels where you can also do game viewing. Many offer striking architecture, daily yoga classes and food to rival a Michelin-starred chef. One of the most spectacular is The Outpost, in the northern reaches of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The work of Italian architect Enrico Daffonchio, it has just 12 suites. Developed with a view to providing a sustainable income for the Makuleke people, it's also a fine example of modern safari lodge design. To book visit www.i-escape.com."
The Independent - The complete guide to luxury safaris - 20 January 2007
"i-escape has begun offering four boutique hotels, including Home Hotel, in Buenos Aires. "It's such an easy going place," said Nikki Tinto, co-founder. "There are so many boutiques and galleries. loft apartments are being done up all over town.""
Tom Chesshyre, The Times, January 2007
The Times - Feel at home in Argentina - 13 January 2007
Living Like a Local
"With chic apartments and homes-from-home opening in some of the world's hippest cities, i-escape.com predicts living like a local will become increasingly popular in 2007. Some of their favourites include a funky two-bedroom penthouse apartment with 70's styling in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. There is also a family-owned Dutch canal boat (sleeps 2-6) offering novel, well-priced canal-side accommodation in the Oud West residential quarter; and chic apartments in Barcelona's trendy Born district plus quirky walking tours for foodies, designers and culture vultures."
MSN Travel - Hot for 2007 - 31 December 2006
"My tip is i-escape.com, for unbiased reviews of chic bolt-holes."
Amanda Morrison, 'Ask Amanda', October 2006
Red Magazine - 01 October 2006
"i-escape.com, a website that markets small privately owned boutique properties is doubling its membership year upon year".
Wallpaper - 01 October 2006
"The hotel booking website i-escape.com was launched in October 2001 after its founders Ram, 42 and Tinto, 41 were overwhelmed by "the huge quantity, and poor quality, of information online". It now offers detailed reviews of more than 500 personally inspected hotels worldwide"
The Times - Cath Urquhart's Little Black Book - 16 September 2006
"There are a number of sites offering good rates for upscale rooms for short or longer stays. i-escape.com lists stylish hideaways in more than 30 countries outside the United States."
Roger Collis 'Questions and Answers'
New York Times - 10 September 2006
"Sustainable tourism minimises impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment and the conservation of local ecosystems," said Laila Ram, co-founder of i-escape.com. The U.K.-based website details unique and unusual destinations worldwide, each reviewed personally by the site's authors...
"Resorts and tour operators which adopt these practices can, in theory, grow forever "without destroying the host environment," Ram said. "The coral reefs on St. Vincent have actually improved since the arrival of Petit Byahaut," a 50-acre retreat on the Caribbean island."
Market Watch (San Francisco) - Sustainable Tourism - 28 August 2006
"i-escape.com is a hotel guide that reviews some of the world's best kept secret hideaways, from chic B&Bs to boutique hotels. From the 5,000 hotels, guesthouses and villas visited in more than 25 countries, only 500 have made it onto i-escape.com."
The Sun - 12 August 2006
"Hot stuff - i-escape.com, a website specialising in small independent hotels,... has introduced a collection of stylish B&Bs in Rio."
The Sunday Telegraph - Hot Stuff - 25 June 2006
"Laila Ram and Nikki Tinto, co-founders of i-escape, met at Exeter University, and have been keen travelling companions ever since. But it was while planning a trip to Cape Town that their passion for travel ignited a business idea. "We trawled the internet looking for a place to stay," says Ram. "We really wanted unbiased, useful information, and helpful categories like the best places for friends, for family, for romance, as a bolthole." Creating a website provided the very tool they had been looking for.
"The website, www.i-escape.com, is designed to give independent travel advice plus a wealth of accommodation reviews. Hotels do not pay to be on the site, nor does i-escape accept advertising. Instead it makes profits by taking commission on bookings made through the site. It was launched in November 2001...
"They now employ five full-time and two part-time staff. But their passion for travelling, discovery and sharing secrets is still the greatest motivation. ""I'm always looking for that great hideaway where I can spend two weeks," says Ram."
Harpers Bazaar - Our Big Idea - 02 June 2006
"i-escape is an imaginative selection of boutique hotels worldwide."
The Times - Top 12 luxury tour operators - 13 May 2006
100 Best Travel Websites From bookings to blogs, Gareth Scurlock picks the essential sites:
"www.i-escape.com - If you are looking for a stylish hideaway you won't find a better site than this. You will want to book immediately."
The Times - 100 Best Travel Websites - 29 April 2006
Miles Clarke lists the best sites for the traveller:
"www.i-escape.com - An inspirational site full of global hideaways and plenty of detail about the destinations’ advantages, pitfalls and political situations as relevant." April 2005
The Bulletin (Australia) - Hottest Travel Sites - 25 April 2005
Steve Keenan selects "the best sites in online travel today":
"www.i-escape.com - You won't find better if looking for a stylish, hideaway place to stay. Current specials look at Spring Escapes, Spain and the Canary Islands. I defy you not to want to book immediately." April 2005
The Times Online - The best travel websites - 20 April 2005
Best of the Net: North Africa
"The excellent i-escape.com recommends 26 chic villas, hotels, riads and kasbahs." January 2005
The Guardian - Best of the Net - 29 January 2005
Five of the Best Websites to help you to escape from it all this Christmas: "i-escape.com - upmarket and worth a visit" December 2004
The Times - Five of the best - 11 December 2004
"Why book with a dull mass market company when you can go with with one of the bright new kids on the block? Nikki Tinto, 38, from London, a former corporate intelligence officer, is a hotel fiend. Planning a trip over Millennium Eve in Cape Town for herself and a group of friends, she discovered there were no guidebooks or websites that "got you excited" about the city's hotels. An idea formed. And on her three-week trip, she spent about half the time checking out Cape Town hotels, enjoying it immensely. The result was one of the best websites recommending stylish, fun, hand-picked hotels across the world. Nikki or one of her team, including Laila Ram, 39, her co-founder and a Columbia Business School graduate, visit each one and take great delight in "making a discovery"."
The Times - Passion for Travel - 24 April 2004
Website of the Week - www.i-escape.com
"This site has established itself as a leading source of style hotels, and its winter newsletter focuses on South Africa's safari lodges and vibrant properties in Brazil. There are special sections on Venice and Chile. Need a special place to stay? Look no further." January 2004
The Times - Website of the Week - 17 January 2004
Hot Hotels opening in 2004
"Boutique in the African bush - and not a lot of people know about it (yet). Windermere Hotel (near Port Elizabeth, South Africa) is going to be the "gem", according to the people behind www.i-escape.com, one of the sharpest hotel webistes around." January 2004
The Times - 03 January 2004
10 Best Things in Travel for 2004
"Sri Lanka - This enchanting island off the sourthern tip of India has become the latest trouble spot... to progress from "no-go" to "go now"... For the island's best-kept secrets, go to www.i-escape.com" January 2004
Esquire Magazine - 01 January 2004
Top 10 Travel Websites
"www.i-escape.com Det er en oversigt over de mest fantastiske og skønne og dejlige overnatningssteder i hele verden. Ikke almindelige hoteller, men oplevelser. Bare det at læse om de smukt præsenterede steder er en drøm. Derfor passer navnet! Sikkert dumt af mig at afsløre - men jeg har en enkelt gang været i kontakt med folkene bag, og de var så søde, at de fortjener meget trafik på deres site - som man kun kan være misundelig over, at man ikke selv har fundet på at skabe! Og jo, jeg har også besøgt et af stederne - det levede fuldstændigt op til beskrivelsen, overgik den faktisk!" October 2003
Politken (Denmark) - 26 October 2003
Log on and take off... www.i-escape.com
"Concept: Independent reviews on best-kept-secret hideaways, to help you avoid traditional package holidays. You can book hotels direct on the site, but you'll have to find your flights elsewhere.
Verdict: A huge range of destinations and activities for all budgets, with insider tips and advice on health and safety - all for free."
Harpers and Queen - 01 June 2003
"Best of the Net: Dream Houses - www.i-escape.com "An insider's guide to the world's most irresistible hideaways." So far, so cliched, but i-escape.com is an awful lot better than the slogan suggests. It also draws attention to "family friendly" places."
The Guardian - Best of the Net - 08 June 2002
"i-escape.com has a great clutch of hand-picked places to stay for discerning travellers" May 2002
Food and Travel Magazine - 01 May 2002
"logon to www.i-escape.com, a website put together by three travellers who couldn't find the offbeat destinations they were looking for. Limited to places they have visited, it has detailed descriptions of the properties and towns featured. My search turned up the tiny Riad Gyvo in Moroccan coastal town Essaouira, where rooms cost just £45-60 a night." May 2002
Decanter Magazine - 01 May 2002
"If you prefer something a little more unusual, off the beaten track and in an unspoilt location, then i-escape.com should be your first stop this summer when booking a holiday. Combining the best of the traditional guidebook and a personal travel agent, it outlines some of the world's most irresistible hideaways. The i-escape.com team stay in all the recommended properties, offer unbiased information and advice and you book directly with the hotels to keep costs low. This is the true insider's guide aimed at independent travellers looking for hidden holiday gems." April 2002
Nine to Five - 23 April 2002
"If you're getting goggle-eyed with information while researching that trip on-line, then rest your eyes on www.i-escape.com. Elegantly designed and beautifully illustrated, this independently run, informative website offers honest accounts of hotels, lodges, villas and retreats across all price ranges all over the world. Search by country or by interest, peruse sample itineraries, note insider tips on the best watering holes and book on-line straight with the property." March/April 2002
Brides Magazine - 01 April 2002
"If you're the sort of person who's allergic to bland chain hotels and touristy beach resorts, take a look at www.i-escape.com, a new site dedicated to small hotels and villas in unusual locations around the world which are sensitive to local nature and culture. Hotels don't pay to go on the site, so the selection can claim to be unbiased... plenty of practical info ... site membership is free and you can book online... well worth a look if you want to avoid the holidaying hordes." February 2002
Time Out - 27 February 2002
Best of the Net: websites on Greece: "i-escape.com, still being built but looking very good already" February 2002
The Guardian - Best of the Net - 09 February 2002
"You choose the destination and www.i-escape.com will find the place to stay. With a small but growing range of locations and carefully selected accommodation, i-escape features worldwide alternatives to suit all budgets and tastes... Alongside extensive details of lodgings and facilities, i-escape includes important travel essentials and links to useful travel sites... " February/March 2002
Wanderlust Magazine - 01 February 2002
Sites that will make a glorious getaway: "www.i-escape.com - ideal for planning a treat. Discover locations far from the package crowds." January 2001
Daily Express - 08 January 2002
"10 best websites of the week: i-escape.com: get away on some divine holidays - visit a rainforest sanctuary in the hills of Dominica, enjoy mind and body treatments in a "spiced garden" or embark upon a beach holiday on private islands in India, Sri Lanka, Morocco or the Caribbean. The site's range of exotic holidays caters for friends who just want to go on a holiday together, couples seeking romance, families, thrill-seekers and plain old singles just needing to get away from it all for a while." December 2001
The Independent - 10 best websites - 01 December 2001
"If the thought of another British winter is too much, find your escape here - in rainforest sanctuaries and mind and body treatments in India." November 2001
The Times - 28 November 2001