From the Las Vegas hotel where the smart gamblers go, to the ultimate beach view stay, readers share their tips for places to stay when you want to escape the winter bluesNungwi Village
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Winning tip Hotel Abertih, Mirleft, Morocco
Mirleft is a tiny town deep in southern Morocco with three beautiful beaches (amazing rock arches), stunning sunsets and the friendliest people on the planet. We stayed at Hotel Abertih, right on the main street, with bags of character and freshly caught fish for dinner. Hire a car for £14 a day (it’s two hours’ drive from Agadir) to visit the coast and desert communities. It’s 23C in January, over 50C in summer. Perfect to visit now. I didn’t want to leave.
+212 528 719304, abertih.com, doubles from £22 B&B
Tropicana hotel, Las Vegas, US
Las Vegas can seem to be all expensive but personality-free hotels but not the recently renovated Tropicana. It has a lovely pool and grounds, and is on one of two main intersections of The Strip. The new “bungalow” rooms are lovely for a few dollars more. They are not bungalows, but have balconies (rare in Vegas) and are part of the original motel built in the days of the Rat Pack.
+1 888 381 8767, troplv.com, doubles from $53 a night
Taragala Place, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is more accessible and safer than ever and offers much more than beaches and sun, with great parks, culture and food. Taragala Place, a pair of cabanas in the Kalametiya bird sanctuary, offers all this in one stunning spot down a dirt track. You can watch peacocks and monkeys from the veranda or walk down to the beach, where there are no hawkers, just wide sands and the Indian Ocean.
+94 777 889904, taragala.com, doubles from £48 a night B&B
Byron Beach Resort, New South Wales, Australia
Near Brisbane we stayed in a lovely place called Byron Beach Resort. Three of us shared a pretty basic room but it was cool and shady, 100m from the sea, and the wind kept the temperature bearable. Byron itself is fab – yoga studios, chilled vibe, surfing, relaxed eating and great live music.
+61 266 857868, byronbeachresort.com.au, doubles from £34 a night
Vincci Tenerife Golf, Miguel de Abona, Tenerife
Our favourite winter bolthole is minutes from Reina Sofia airport, in Tenerife’s sunny Golf del Sur. Perched on a rocky peninsula, the hotel overlooks the traditional Canarian fishing village of Los Abrigos, where harbourside restaurants include highly-rated Los Roques. Rugged coastal walks, wild, windy, golden beaches and Mount Teide national park are all within reach.
+34 922 71 73 37, vinccihoteles.com, doubles from €127 B&B
Villa Esthela hostel, Antigua, Guatemala
Let the sun gently wake you as you breakfast among volcanoes. The large roof terrace provides great views of the colonial town, while bright hammocks and foliage create a hidden paradise. Later, the adventurous can climb Pacaya, the most accessible of the volcanoes and toast marshmallows in the heat at the top to celebrate.
+502 5330 0774, hostelantigua.com, doubles $20, dorm beds $6.50
Kannur Beach House, Kerala, India
At Kannur Beach House, our simple room had a wide balcony overlooking a coconut grove and facing a lagoon and the sea. If you want marbled halls and a glitzy bar, this is not for you. If you like a bathroom half open to the elements (cold water only), barefoot living and birds, dogs and insects serenading you at night, you’ve found the right place.
+91 98 4718 4535, kannurbeachhouse.com, half-board doubles from £30
Cormoran Lodge, Lake Kivu, Rwanda
Lake Kivu has spectacular scenery and a perfect climate. Cormoran Lodge has spacious cabins on stilts looking over the lake, and relaxing or high-energy activity: kayaking along the lush coast, birdwatching, or sipping delicious fresh plum juice on the manmade beach. On a clear night, you can see the red glow of Mount Nyiragongo over the border in Congo.
+250 728 60 1515, cormoranlodge.com, doubles from $180 a night
Wadi Rum, Jordan
In the desert, we learned how a Bedouin makes fresh soap with a thimble of water and a few leaves. Khaled, our guide, revealed water under a thin crust of creamy dust in a dried up ravine. We climbed pink sand dunes, and picked plants which have been used by nomads to settle the stomach for centuries. We could have explored on horseback, but chose the 4WD option. Best of all we slept in a Bedouin camp. Eschewing the goats-hair tent on offer, we dragged our beds outside. In the profound silence, the wind ruffled our hair as satellites and shooting stars raced across the sky.
+962 777 540 229, rumshines.com, one night jeep tours £34pp including food, transport and entertainment
Emily Moon, Plettenburg Bay, South Africa
Emily Moon is a river house next to the beautiful Bitou river on the Garden Route. The views across the valley are spectacular, especially from the terrace of the restaurant at sunset, or from the balcony of your lodge. Paddle one of the house canoes along the river and see rare kingfishers and otters, or just watch from the secluded pool. Drive a short distance to the coast and walk in the wild nature reserve of the Robberg peninsula, then surf in the bay.
+27 44 533 2982, emilymoon.co.za, doubles £160 a night B&B