The coolest thing I’ve seen in ages…One Fine Stay: The Unhotel

Today, I came across one of the coolest things I have ever seen in all my years as a hotel obsessive – One Fine Stay. Basically, in a nut shell, it is the real life, living embodiment of the Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet house-swap-come-romantic-comedy that captured our hearts in the film, The Holiday, in 2006. Okay, so it was kiiiind of Jude Law that stole our hearts, but the scene that brought us Kate Winslet’s oh so British arrival in the LA mansion was complete gold.

So, as I was saying. People let out their homes and you can book to stay in them for a few days, just as you would a hotel. You can even book online, just as you would do for a hotel. Its super easy! The best part is, as if you weren’t sold already, is you even get the hotel treatment, even though you’re staying in someone’s home. The guys at One Fine Stay are on hand for anything you need 24/7. They’ll either sort it for you over the phone, or pop on over like a handy, constant beck and call, neighbour! You also don’t have to sacrifice your haul of mini toiletries! They even sort all of this for you too, and there’s optional maid service, so you still don’t have to make your bed! It really is a home away from home, with a sprinkling of the glitter and glamour that you get with a hotel stay. Basically, you get total control of the sundae (your holiday), and One Fine Stay are the cherry on top! They even have a ‘home truths’ section on each property, giving you the black and white downsides or limitations, i.e. lack of TV.

Obviously, the downside would be that you do have to be super duper careful. No crazy parties and a smashing spree of the mantlepiece’s resident ornaments! These properties are owned by the world’s elite. Treat their home as if it were yours.

So, having been completely stunned and elated by the entire idea, I gave the website a good old scour, and picked out some of my favourite properties, to show you what sort of thing is available! These beauties will certainly make you reconsider your next visit to Late Rooms 😉

MAYFAIR – LONDON, UK

One Fine Stay have branded this property the bricks and mortar embodiment of George Clooney or Marilyn Monroe, and take a peep inside and you’ll see exactly why. Boasting two original fireplaces, an all round opulent feel, and artistic furnishings, this two bed two bath 17th century property is the ideal spot for a luxury stay in the British capital. Nightly rates around £400.

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CHELSEA – LONDON, UK

If, like me, you’ve been embarrassingly transfixed by the likes of Marc Francis, Spencer Matthews and Millie Macintosh on Made in Chelsea, then a couple of nights pretending you’re part of the glittering wonderland that is Chelsea life, would be an absolute dream.  With One Fine Stay, you most certainly can. This property on Cheyne Walk comes complete with amazing views from the chic balcony overlooking the harbour, vintage style interiors and an all over air of purity, evident from the abundance of white hues. Also with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, you and three friends can make like the MIC cast from £280 per night. All of the upper class amenities of the Royal Borough are all close by too.

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NEW YORK, USA

This New York Soho loft looks like the set of so many American sitcoms, namely New Girl. The exposed brick and high ceilings just exude the coolness of your average New Yorker, and you can get a slice of the action from $299 per night. The owner is an architecture and design connoisseur, with a love of photography and contemporary art, which is evident across the decor of the open plan living room of the apartment. The stylish bed (photographed) is a unique touch to the classic white themed bedroom, with a door-less three step decent to the artistic bathroom. Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 15.45.10 Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 15.45.20 Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 15.45.39

PARIS, FRANCE

This Parisian apartment is owned by the coolest Grandmother I’ve ever heard of. The site states that when she’s not sipping on a café crème, she’s chatting on Instagram and Facebook. Now she sounds like my kind of temporary landlady to me! Her hip-ness is reflected in her elegant, classic styled apartment, featuring original parquet floors. Vintage, antique furniture graces the living space, while a contrastingly modern kitchen depicts the fun and wild character of its owner. Located on the Rue Raynouard, this apartment is nestled in a quiet and secluded spot, close to the River Seine.

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I really could blog all day about these properties, but I’ll let you explore the rest for yourselves. Its giving me inspiration for my next birthday, actually. I’ll be 23 next June (scary!), and perhaps whisking myself and my closest girls off somewhere to pretend we’re rich and famous for a few nights would be so much fun. Pamper nights on the leather corner sofa, living it up like locals on the streets of some of the best cities in the world, and dinner parties on the glass dining tables?! Perfection!

Have a good week, all! Only two days til Friday!

All my love

Coco xx

All photographs remain owned by One Fine Stay.

A Secluded Sanctuary: Limewood Hotel, New Forest

Today’s post is one I have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks now. Its a gorgeous spot in the New Forest that I just have to tell you about. While I constantly plug the bright lights and the big city of London, and am not usually a countryside, middle of nowhere type of girl (despite having grown up there), this spot is a haven for relaxation and luxury, and one of the few exceptions to my rule.

Limewood Hotel, based in Lyndhurst in Hampshire, surrounded by green forests and neighbours to a whole host of wildlife, is a Regency county manor house. On site is a luxury spa, Max’s Bar (home to the best Martini in Hampshire) and15 boutique bedrooms and 14 delectable suites, many boasting private gardens, open fires, and glamourous bathing facilities.

My recent visit was for Afternoon Tea for my 22nd birthday, and I can tell you, it was certainly better than a lot of teas you will find in London (yes, you heard it here, I badmouthed London. Don’t tell anyone!). At £23.00 per stand (which includes four finger sandwiches, two scones and four cakes), you can share one between two people, and its just the perfect amount. The scones were fresh and warm, and the cake selection was one of the best I have ever tasted. The best part has got to be between the tiny plant pot (yes, plant pot) of rich chocolate mousse, and the smooth, moist carrot cake cubes, so definitely save those ’til last! They also offer huge range of loose leaf teas to choose from (though I admit I was boring and stuck to English Breakfast), and we also sampled their lattes. As self confessed coffee addicts, we can be hard to please, but the sleek glass tumbler of rich, smoothly blended beans really did impress.

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Picture: My own

The service is faultless, and I don’t think the words ‘short staffed’ and Limewood have ever been used in the same sentence. There are elegant, waistcoat wearing barmen on every corner, and a blonde haired young chap donning a tan leather greeted us at our car (which we were able to park on the lawn, might we add) and showed us through to the Hartnett and Holder Co. restaurant.

The hand lotion in the bathrooms is to die for, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore the grounds during your visit. Open plan and natural without being overwhelming, the grounds of the hotel boast two tree swings (oh yes!), floral trellises, quiet seating areas, patio terrace and sculptures.

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Pictures: My own

I am yet to sample the Herb House Spa, which opened in late 2010, so is still brand spanking new. Amidst peaceful treatment rooms and sun beds surrounding the outdoor steaming hot bubble pool, the spa offers a Mud House, Hydropool, Caldariam, Massive Forest Sauna, and an indoor swimming pool.

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Picture from: Limewood Hotel Website

For £195 per person, the retreat for two includes a choice of various massage or facial treatments, Mud House, set lunch in Raw and Cured (spa restaurant) and full use of the spa facilities all day.

This place is a real treat. Even if you’re next pay cheque is going on car repairs or rent, pop in for a coffee or a cocktail. The grounds sell themselves and you’ll get to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere before booking in your spa day or mini break 😉

Oh, and follow Limewood Hotel on Twitter @LimewoodHotel, and Instagram @limewoodhotel! (And meeee, if you want to! @Scrambled_Emma!)

Toodles

Coco

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Picture: My own

Im wearing: Baroque cigarette trousers, Next; nude peep toes, New Look; chiffon camisole, Primark (whoops); white blazer, Next; cube necklace, Accessorise.