Shinkansen magic

Arrived early at the station and saw there was a train an hour earlier than our booked and ticketed train. Can we change the tickets? Is it a long process? Will there be a charge? Will the station staff be unhelpful and bored by the request? If in the UK the answer to ALL the questions above would be yes – if in Japan it’s yes to the first question and no to the rest. 
We asked at the gate and were directed to the ticket office. The member of staff at the door took us to a ticket machine – old tickets in – choose train and seats on new train and out come old tickets and new tickets – all done no fuss, no bother and no charge.
On to the platform and off we go…


Great find – Rusticae Boutique Hotels

On a recent trip to Spain, realised that two of the hotels we had booked were from the Rusticae portfolio. Rusticae selects Boutique Hotels in Spain, Portugal, Morocco,
France, United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Túnez
and in South America, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and USA.

Not many because this is not any, only the best

  • More than 170 hotels in Spain
  • 63 hotels in South America
  • 27 hotels along the Mediterranean sea
  • 15 hotels in european capitals
  • 147 restaurants
  • 34 wineries
  • 22 spas

A great find

The OneandOnly Ocean Club Nassau

The One and Only Ocean club in the Bahamas is probably the best hotel near Nassau or even perhaps the best in the Bahamas. The rooms are great with wonderful views over the ocean – check out the Crescent wing which has a large rooms in colonial style with wooden floors and contemporary furnishings. Great bathrooms large oval baths and Moulton Brown toiletries in good size bottles!!

There are two main dining options and the food is good for what it is.

While the swimming pool is a little small and slightly disappointing the grounds are beautifully manicured and contain the Versailles garden which the previous owner developed in 1940s and 50s.

The staff are friendly and very helpful and there is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and rooms.

The beach is narrow but reasonable length and there is help with the sun loungers and drinks and a beach bar was being constructed while we were there. However this is not a private beach so there are people selling clothes etc and various water activities. You are also aware of the noise from people bouncing up and down on banana boats as they get towed in front of the beach as well as the jetskis and the particular smell of their fumes which waft onto the beach.

This hotel is part of the larger Atlantis group and you’re never far away from realising that – the television when you arrive is set to the Atlantis channel and much of the welcome pack has details of activities at the Atlantis hotel and resort.

If you need a stopover in this area the Nassau is fine and the Ocean Club is probably the only place you want to stay – but this really isn’t a vacation place in its own right. Large mass tourist hotels and huge cruise ships mean that the island is very much a port of call rather than a destination desert island in its own right.