Best of 2016 (1) – Accommodation

The annual awards. This category is for accommodation.

I’ve been really lucky with places to stay on my travels this year. Quite a bit of research goes into it, of course, but still.

Dr D made two choices – the places we stayed in Innsbruck and Meißen.

Goldener Adler, Innsbruck

Excellent choices too. I can’t judge them on value for money, however. She paid.

When she visited Scotland in August, we stayed in a superb Dunvalanree Hotel in Carradale (Mull of Kintyre, Argyll & Bute). It’s as good as it looks in the photo.


Our other night in that part of the world was on nearby Gigha. An excellent bed & breakfast.

In February we stayed in bed and breakfasts as well on the Black Isle (just north of Inverness) and near Dunkeld (north of Perth) on a trip to Nairn for a funeral.

Cuil-an-Duin, Ballinluig (bedroom view)

We were very happy with both.

For my solo trip to Rīga it was back to Airbnb, and the apartment I got was perfect.

Home from Home

On my island hopping trips, the Seaview bed and breakfast in Fionnphort was friendly and comfortable. Excellent value midweek and in June it was still outside their main season. If you can see Iona from your bedroom window, that’s a bit special.

Iona from Fionnphort

The Tin Church on Seil was very different.


It was self catering, so more like the apartment in Rīga. I was delighted with it as well.

I shouldn’t forget Wales either. I had two lovely nights in another friendly B&B – the Tyn Y Fron in Betws-y-Coed.

5* Welsh Breakfast

I stayed in a couple of hotels on business trips, in Sheffield and Newcastle. The Novotel in Newcastle was very good, but the Holiday Inn in Sheffield was dreadful.

Did I forget anywhere?

Making a choice of the best has been very difficult with so many really good experiences, in quite diverse establishments and locations. It came down to deciding between the Dunvalanree Hotel and the Rīga apartment.

The Dunvalanree has a stunning seafront location in quite a remote area. The room was lovely. We ate dinner in the hotel and it was top class (as was breakfast next day, although our appetites were jaded). The hosts were friendly and helpful. Even the weather did its bit!

Bedroom View

The apartments is a split level penthouse in Slokas iela on the west bank of the Daugava River, in the quiet Dzirciems suburb but only 5-10 minutes by tram to the city centre. It is immaculately decorated and has a stunning view towards the city.

The City

I was in the city to watch my son playing in an ice hockey tournament and that was fun in itself.

I’ve visited Rīga 8 or 9 times over the years and most of the visits were for work. Being able to relax and enjoy it for 4 days was fantastic.

Lazy Sunday Morning

The decision? The Rīga apartment.

ⓒ iain taylor 2016

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