Airbnb’s top 10 most popular stays have been revealed
Itching to discover where the most diehard wanderlusters among us are wish-listing? We’ve got the lowdown on the 10 stays around the world that have caught the attention of the people – and for good reason. Amalfi Coast villas, Joshua Tree cabins, Marrakech riads and even a secluded Aussie property, these Airbnb gems clocked up the most likes on the site’s Instagram page in 2018. And when you see the images, it’ll be crystal clear why each of these incredible places deserves a spot in the top 10.   So, the only thing left to ponder is… will you bag yourself a stay before everyone else does? Fingers and toes crossed for you. 10. The Triangle Siargao – General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines Got a grown-up fascination with teepees? Well this life-sized A-framed cabin in the Philippines is sure to tickle your fancy – it sure did for the 45,000-odd people who liked it on Instagram. Thanks for the pic, @thetriangle.siargao! [caption id="attachment_46224" align="alignleft" width="600"] The magnificent Triangle Siargao[/caption] Tucked away in the jungle, this property may look a little secluded, but you’ll have more than enough to live with, two friendly dogs as your welcome party and an indoor swing to pass the time. Pretty cool, eh? 9. Exclusive Villa with Private Dock and Swimming Pool – Piano di Sorrento, Italy Well, this is living, isn’t it? A cliff-side Amalfi Coast property that’d make anyone want to pack their bags and head for Italy. It’s not hard to believe this blue-soaked shot by @lizbedor received over 49,000 Instagram likes. [caption id="attachment_46223" align="alignleft" width="600"] A private oasis in Italy, anyone?[/caption] The property has its own private dock: the ideal starting point for a daily of sailing or the setting for a simple stroll after your private pool swim – whatever you prefer really. 8. Incredible Apartment & Views! Pool! – Perledo, Lake Como, Italy Was there ever any doubt that a Lake Como property would feature in this list? Not in our book; it’s one of the most magical places on Earth – and this photo captured by @sssoph90, which garnered almost 50,000 likes shows you why.   Situated high above the village of Varenna, you can see why visitors are itching to stay here, and we haven’t even mentioned the property’s three balconies, which happen to be just perfect for stargazing. 7. Vintage Design and Contemporary Art at Casalibera – Trastevere, Italy This could be the only balcony in the world where you don’t mind staring into the neighbour’s – and vice versa.   Set in Rome’s trendy Trastevere neighbourhood, this stylish apartment is the perfect place to sit with a good book and a glass of wine and watch the world go by. It’s no coincidence that the photo, taken by @jonisan, amassed more than 50,000 likes.   The apartment feels serene but is also within walking distance to all things Roma, which means – you guessed it – incredible pizza is never too far away. 6. The Boat House – New South Wales, Australia Hooray, Australia made the cut! Yep, a blissful little oasis on the NSW Hawkesbury River that can only be accessed by boat. Imagine laying out on the sun-kissed deck all day long, winding down the clock with a glass of wine.   It’s no wonder this pic, taken by @sarahlianhan, racked up over 55,000 likes. [caption id="attachment_46222" align="alignleft" width="600"] Some pretty nice Australian real estate[/caption] All we want to do is lay out on the property’s private pier and swim to the secret beaches scattered around the home. 5. BEAUTIFUL RIAD – Marrakech, Morocco Well this is not your average poolside by any stretch of the imagination. This stunning Moroccan homestead is your own private piece of heaven during your stay, ideal to curl up with a good book in, and waste the day in utter bliss. [caption id="attachment_46221" align="alignleft" width="600"] Moroccan paradise[/caption] The photo taken by @theresatorp was liked on Instagram just under 60,000 times and we can see why, we feel positively peaceful just looking at it. 4. Joshua Tree Campover Cabin – Joshua Tree, USA Tell us, where on Earth can you stay at a place with a lookout reminiscent of a setting of an old Western movie? Looking at this photo, you almost expect Clint Eastwood to ride by on horseback, tilt his hat in your direction and say, ‘nice digs’. [caption id="attachment_46220" align="alignleft" width="600"] Joshua Tree perfection[/caption] It’s no surprise this image taken by @alalam100 received over 65,000 likes on Instagram.   The Joshua Tree cabin is the perfect spot to appreciate the calm of the Mojave Desert and provides pretty much undisturbed daily sunrises and sunsets. Bliss. 3. Willow Treehouse – secluded, unique, and romantic – Willow, NY, USA A modern version of Robin Hood-style dwellings, this treehouse gives guests that ‘you’re on your own’ feeling in a somehow soothing way. During your stay, the swimming pond nearby will be your best friend, before you ascend up to your bedroom loft and take in the stars.   The treehouse is located near Woodstock in New York state and this image alone shows you why visitors are drawn to this woodland escape.   2. Lazzarella Room in Old Mill – Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy Like something out of a romantic movie, this Ravello property perched above the Amalfi Coast screams ‘Italy’ in every stereotypical sense – and we couldn’t be more pleased about that.   The vine-strung window looks out to the quaint town and hillside, and immediately gives you both the feeling of peace and the thirst to get out and explore.   The image is taken from the dining room of an old mill that has been turned into a homestead, just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Amalfi Coast.   1. LUC 22 Boutique Alpine Retreat – Queenstown, New Zealand Imagine staring out a window from the comfort of your bath tub and seeing this. By ‘this’ I mean a stunning vista of horizon-stroking mountains, a smooth pool of bright blue water and a crisp, cloud-covered sky. That’s what you’ll get when you choose to take your baths at this Queenstown alpine retreat, which overlooks the stunning panorama of Lake Wakatipu. [caption id="attachment_46218" align="alignleft" width="600"] The most impressive AirBnB view of all[/caption] It’s not hard to determine why this place scored the number one spot with almost 110,000 likes. Can we stay?! Image taken by @chachi86.
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Rome piazza hotel
Review: Hotel Abruzzi, Rome
Quentin Long finds that location is key when it comes to a hotel in the Eternal City. If you are visiting Rome, you really want to stay in Rome – in the heart of those narrow cobbled streets, gorging yourself on all that is the Eternal City; that languid sense of time immemorial that comes from a place that has burned bright for more than two millennia.   There are countless locations from which to indulge yourself: Piazza Navona and Bernini’s formidable fountains, card-shredding shopping-joy along the Via dei Condotti and the Spanish Steps; the humbling ruins of the Colosseum and the Forum; the winding streets and nooks of the Campo de’ Fiori.   From this embarrassment of riches, a humble hotel on the Piazza della Rotonda offers perhaps the best place from which to explore the city.   With incredible views of the Pantheon, Hotel Abruzzi has that most sought-after of assets: location.   Our Junior Suite exploits this wonderfully – a real room with a view.   A mere 30 metres from where we stand, the enormity of the Pantheon is almost palpable.   Like Brunelleschi, who studied the Pantheon when developing the engineering solution to construct the dome of Florence’s Duomo, we find ourselves mesmerised by this ancient structure. [caption id="attachment_30959" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Modern rooms have perfect views of the Pantheon.[/caption] The room is in complete contrast to the view: a crisp, mostly white space with flashes of orange and one entire wall emblazoned with a photograph of the Arch of Titus and columns from the Forum.   Our suite is surprisingly roomy (for Rome) and the hubbub of the crowds below makes it something of an oasis.   An exposed wooden beam breaks up the clean modern space; something that carries through to the small but well-designed bathroom.   Most importantly, there’s a decent air conditioning unit, perfect for an afternoon snooze to recharge before a night of carb loading.   The cafes of the Piazza della Rotonda act as de facto hotel restaurants. The reception desk hands out vouchers for whichever particular cafe is serving the included breakfast.   A pre-dinner Campari and blood orange at one of the piazza cafes and people-watching as the sun sets is la dolce vita at its finest.   Considering its location, Hotel Abruzzi is surprisingly unpretentious.   The check-in area can hardly accommodate more than two people and to access the (world’s slowest) lift you walk up one flight of narrow steps.   Don’t fret about your luggage, there is a hotel porter on hand.   Hotel Abruzzi does the most essential things brilliantly; its staff are helpful, the rooms are welcoming, the views and location unbeatable.   Just like the engineering masterpiece over the road, it’s a classic that will stand the test of time. IT   Details: Hotel Abruzzi Piazza della Rotonda 69, 00186 Rome, Italy; hotelabruzzi.it   The IT Verdict The perfect Rome hotel for those who want to soak up the city, literally from their window. Location: 9.5/10 Unbeatable, in the heart of the old city with views of the Pantheon. An easy walk to all the sights.   Style / character: 5/10 There are very few common areas but they are clean and tidy.   Service: 8/10 The concierge and staff are great at making reservations and giving sound local advice.   Rooms: 8/10 A modern fit-out with ample space by Rome standards. Good design and a thoughtful aesthetic.   Food and drink: 5/10 The cafes that provide breakfast have a typical Roman offering but there is no on-site restaurant.   Value for money: 8.5/10 A Junior Suite during the height of summer averaged $483 per night including taxes and charges.   All IT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.
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A Tuscan villa overlooking Panzano in Chianti, Italy.
What you need to know before booking a Tuscan villa
We've all dreamed of ditching the daily grind and escaping to Tuscany but before you book your romantic hideaway, here are some essential questions to ask yourself...
Rome, Italy
A millennial-style five-minute guide to Rome
It’s time to do as the Romans do in the Eternal City, with our guide to eating, drinking, shopping and everything in between. Ciao, welcome to Roma Getting from the airport to the city is easy:   From Leonardo da Vinci Airport The Leonardo Express train (treno), which sadly does not lead to Mr DiCaprio, will get you to Rome Termini Station in comfort. Departing from Platform 24 every 30 minutes, this non-stop, first class service takes around 30 minutes and costs only $16.   From Ciampino Airport Terravision runs buses (autobuses) every 20 minutes. Travel time is 40 minutes and it’s only $6.   Taxis Taxis can be expensive with a set fee of $58 from Leonardo da Vinci and $43 from Ciampino with a luggage fee of $1.50.   Make sure they have a ‘SPQR’ city coat of arms as Roman taxi drivers are known to take tourists for a bit of a ride.   "Where is the bus?" = "Dov’è l’autobus?"   "Where is the subway?" = "Dov’è la metropolitana?"   "Where are the taxis?" = "Dov’è sono i tassì?"   Trasporto (transport) By bus ATAC buses are the only public transport option in the ancient centre with services running from around 5:30am til midnight. Be sure to validate your ticket on board to avoid on-the-spot fines.   A ‘Metrebus Ticket’ is from $9 for a day to $35 for a week; they can be used on metro, buses and local trains and are available to purchase at metro stations, newsstands and kiosks.   By foot Don your Roman sandals – or some comfy walking shoes – and hit the pavement. Book a hotel in a central area like Piazza Navona for reasonable walking distances to the major sites: Pantheon (7 mins), Trevi Fountain (14 mins), Spanish Steps (18 mins), Colosseum (25 mins), Vatican (28 mins).   By tour Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it can be seen in a day (well, kind of) with the hop-on/hop-off bus for sightseeing from $36; city-sightseeing.com   "A map, please." = "Una mappa per favore."   Mangia, Mangia! (Eat, Eat!) [caption id="attachment_45407" align="alignnone" width="854"] Enjoy a gelato in front of the iconic Trevi Fountain.[/caption] Pizza Pinsere Roma, Via Flavia 98 – Mon to Fri   Pizzarium, Via della Meloria 43   You’ll pay around $1.50–6 per slice.   Gelato Come il Latte, Via Silvio Spaventa 24-26   Gelato D’Autore Salaria, Via Salaria 260   You’ll pay around $3–6 for a scoop.   Wine (vino) Al Vino Al Vino, Via dei Serpenti 19   Cavour 313, Via Cavour 313 – closed Sundays in summer   You’ll pay around $4.50 for a glass.   Coffee (caffè) Caffe della Pace, Via della Pace 3/7   Rosati, Piazza del Popolo 4/5a   You’ll usually pay around $1.50 for a coffee. Drink standing at the bar as it costs less than sitting at an outside table.   You'll also pay around $1.50 for a bottle of water (acqua), $4 for a beer (birra), $4 for a sandwich, $20 for a meal.   "The bill, please." = "Il conto, per favore."   Giro turistico (sightseeing) [caption id="attachment_17526" align="alignnone" width="668"] The Colosseum[/caption] We’ve all heard of the Colosseum, but have you heard of ...   Ostia Antica Around 30 kilometres from the heart of the city, Rome’s forgotten harbour city, Ostia Antica, was once a thriving port at the mouth of the Tiber River.   Some of the ancient ruins date back to the 4th century BC. $12 entry; guided tours also available.   Basilica of San Clemente A short stroll from the Colosseum, this relatively unknown Renaissance-era basilica is well worth the visit for what is hidden beneath its surface.   In 1857 excavations uncovered a fourth-century cathedral below the street level site; and below that again, a first-century building.   Incredibly, there are also remnants of a fourth stratum that was destroyed by fire in 64AD.   The main church is free to enter, but the lower levels cost $7.   "Where is the bathroom?" = "Dov’è la toilette?"   To il mercato (market) [caption id="attachment_45408" align="alignnone" width="854"] Campo de Fiori Markets[/caption] Campo de Fiori Markets A delightful open air market with flowers, fruit and veges and the scent of fresh pizza lingering in the air.   Monday–Saturday, 8am–1:30pm   Porta Portese Flea Market The streets of Trastevere, just south of Vatican City, come alive every Sunday with peddlers selling all sorts of knick knacks.   Vintage reigns supreme here: scour around for retro sunglasses, second-hand designer clothing, hard-to-find records and used books.   Sundays, 7am–2pm. Get here bright and early to beat the crowds!   Via Condotti Starting at the base of the Spanish Steps, this hub is arguably known as Rome’s swankiest shopping street.   Max out your credit card or fog up the windows at designer stores like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, to name drop a few.   "How much?" = "Quanto costa/costano?"   The best albergo (hotel) Piazza Navona is a great central spot to base yourself.   This maze of narrow alleys, dating from the Middle Ages, is buzzing with sidewalk cafés and bars, street artists, musicians and some magnificent architecture.   Our picks in this area:   Hotel Adriano [caption id="attachment_45410" align="alignnone" width="1067"] Hotel Adriano deluxe room with terrace.[/caption] Located just steps from the Trevi Fountain, this cosy and neat hotel has smaller classic rooms to larger apartments.   Our fave is the deluxe room with its private terrace boasting views over Rome’s roof tops.   From $319 per night for a deluxe room. hoteladriano.com   Hotel Abruzzi This family-run hotel is worth booking for its view of the Pantheon alone, which is literally a stone’s throw away.   All 26 rooms have been recently renovated.   From $370 for a double/twin room with a view. hotelabruzzi.com   Hotel de Russie Described by Jean Cocteau as “Paradise on Earth” , this hotel is the definition of luxury with 122 individually designed rooms and suites, a divine spa and a beautiful garden restaurant headed by a two-Michelin starred chef – all located beside the Spanish Steps. From $896 for a classic room. roccofortehotels.com   J.K. Place Roma The sister property of the gorgeous J.K. Place Capri is an elegant newcomer to Rome’s luxe landscape.   It is located a stroll from Via Condotti and the Spanish Steps beyond, and boasts a mix of contemporary and antique designs.   From $1016 per night for a J.K Classic Room. jkroma.com   Portrait Roma This hotel is part of the Lungarno Collection, founded by Salvatore Ferragamo, and is located above his store on the prestigious Via Condotti.   There are 14 unique guest rooms, some with views over the Spanish Steps, and a gorgeous rooftop terrace with an open fire.   From $1281 for a portrait studio. lungarnocollection.com   "Good night!" = "Buona notte!"   By Megan Arkinstall and Patrick Higgins If you like the look of a Rome getaway, make sure you check out our Rome travel guide, so you can ensure you read up on the very best the region has to offer!
Staying in a Tuscan villa, ranked #34 in our countdown of '100 Ultimate Travel Experiences of a Lifetime'.
34. Stay in a Tuscan villa in Italy
Ranked #34 in our countdown of '100 Ultimate Travel Experiences of a Lifetime'.

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