I was recently invited to a blogger event with the wonderful people at i-escape…and I don’t overestimate them when I say ‘wonderful’. The camaraderie that exists between the staff together with the passion for the job they do is plain to see. The fact that many of them have longevity with the company also helps to show what type of a business they run.
Held at the beautiful ‘At The Chapel’ boutique hotel in the lovely surroundings of Bruton, Somerset, I was rather pleased to have an event much closer to home than those I am used to. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and straight away I got talking to Sarah who explained to me how i-escape work, what they stand for and we also chatted about my blogs.
‘At The Chapel’ have their own bakery and we were served some very tasty canapes followed by traditionally made pizzas. The Clubroom where the event was held was a cosy room and hadn’t lost any of it’s original features – which included a rather daunting well in the floor! It had a grating over it of course.
After a chat with a number of familiar blogging faces, we sat down to listen to a talk about i-escape from both Sarah and the new content editor, Nadine. They went into detail about how the company operates and, in particular, with details about the i-escape With Kids service.
i-escape.com are dedicated in helping travellers find exciting and unusual places to stay in some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating locations.The images they showed completely proved that. They were absolutely stunning. They individually vet the 100 plus enquiries that they get from hotels every week and, generally, only 2 tend to get selected for a visit. That isn’t the last process in the chain though. The visit has to be satisfactory enough for them to then feature in their growing collection of small hotels, guesthouses, retreats, eco-lodges, private rental properties and travel experiences. They also include something that is very important to me – and something I also maintain – they review with total honesty and great detail.
Each place that they select is unique in some way. It could be in its design, its natural setting, the owners or the activities they have on offer. They feature such places as jungle treehouses and historic palace. It is refreshing to find that they do not insist on star ratings or rate according to cost. What they are looking for is a memorable experience. The only things they do try to ensure is that the property is sensitive to local nature and culture, in order to preserve the environment.
After the talk, we were invited to take part in a holiday match. We were asked to provide our specific must-haves for our holidays. So, what was I given?
The first was the Azur Hotel near Antalya, Turkey. It is informal, extremely affordable and is the perfect spot for 4 to 12 year olds. Grace would love the large pool with kids section as well as the stunning Cirali beach which offers boat trips. They have their own wooden cabin and stone bungalows and the relaxed breakfasts and fresh food sound idyllic for me and Ross.
The second was The Rosevine, a family friendly hotel set in a Georgian mansion in Cornwall. For the kids there is a well-equipped playroom, trampoline, climbing frame and Wendy House. For the grown-ups there is an adults-only drawing room with wood-burning stove and G&Ts (sounds good to me!). There is also a swimming pool and the safe, sandy beach is at the end of the lane. Oh, and the views look stunning!
The end of the evening came around much sooner than I had thought it would – always the sign of a great event. We were given a rather nice goody bag at the end of the evening, full of goodies that I will definitely make use of.
With thanks to the staff at i-escape for inviting me to this event.