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Once upon a time…

I’m a sucker for a good story. As a teenager when I was trying to fill my head with a million facts in preparation for an exam there were some bits of information that stuck and some that refused to take hold. The one’s I remembered when sat in those big halls writing against the clock were those told to me by teachers who taught with stories. History, for example, is not enjoyable if simplified down to a list of dates and occurrences. My teacher painted a picture for us, told us how the protagonists might have felt, what motivated them, the social and cultural backdrops and so on. It felt like we were there and as such I can still, to this day, tell you tales from the American Civil War. I’d imagine you probably don’t want to hear them though so I shan’t share.

However, this concept of a story is one that has always fascinated me. The best bits of my life to date, and no doubt the best bits to come, are stories that will stay with me forever. And many of those occurred while travelling to incredible places.

The Small Luxury Hotels Be a Storyteller month resonated with me for that reason. They are quite right to focus on storytelling and yet when most people talk about travel they don’t tend to talk in terms of stories. They’ll tell you how big the spa is, how many rooms there are, distance to the airport, what facilities are available. But that stuff, while important, isn’t at the heart of a holiday. At the heart is spending the night in a luxury tree hut overlooking the Thai jungle. At the heart is discovering the wildlife of Kenya while staying in a luxury tent. At the heart is the things we do, the tears we cry, the laughs we have, the awe that is inspired, and the moments that turn a flight and a hotel stay into something else. The power of the best hotels is that they put you in the perfect place to make a story happen.

SLH is spending this month recognising the power of a story and demonstrating how it, with the help of the people that work at 520 independent member hotels across the globe, can help you write them.

Here are some suggestions of places where your next story could come to life from club members who have already written theirs…

Terry says: “Don’t just stay in Rome – take a train or drive to Frascati in the hills! Find Piazza San Marco and eat the most wonderful Italian food. It’s simply stunning!”


Olav says: “You must go to Fish Works Restaurant on Swallow Street, which is just off Regent Street. It specialises in super fresh and delicious seafood and offers a fine wine list!”

Tiffany says: “On a warm Friday evening, take a walk below the Pont Neuf where you’ll find all the young Parisians gathered around outdoor picnic tables next to bars, and restaurants. It’s a great place to simply soak in the scene!”


Katie says: “Definitely stop by Kashkaval Garden on 9th between 55th and 56th for the most amazing atmosphere and fondue!”


SLH would love to hear more of your stories so please do share them! I’m off to have a story-free evening doing some laundry and watching a bit of television. Roll on my next holiday!

See you next week.

Melissa. x

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