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Interview with Tanya Schliff of DirectoryofHotels.com

Tanya SchliffTanya Schliff is  founder of DirectoryofHotels.com, a unique hotel guide focusing on global travel.    She started the site  because  she found that,  when researching  her own travels, there were very few resources that gave  her direct access to the hotel for questions and reservations.  She favours independent travel rather than using booking agents or travel agents and believes that travellers benefit greatly from having direct contact with the hotel they have chosen. What is it that  you do exactly?
As Founder and Editor, I write reviews and report on “all things” travel for our blog, TravelerWIRE and our monthly newsletter, answer questions from our readers and am constantly researching new and exciting places of interest.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I am not going to lie, traveling is a blast and I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do. In addition, I get great pleasure from having the creative freedom to write about, promote and support the hotelier, especially bringing light to the small to medium properties.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
It is very difficult to pick just three, as every travel affair will always have a place close to my heart. Four Seasons Bali at Sayan and Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia – I had the pleasure of staying at both properties in Bali, they are each different experiences and not to be missed. Jimbaran Bay brings traditional old world charm, cool breezes, sprawling grounds, rocky peninsula and gorgeous views of the vast blue sea.   The villas are over 2000 square feet, comprised of three thatched roofs including an outdoor living area, the abode with a king-sized canopy mosquito-net bed, sandstone floors, indoor/outdoor shower and each with a private plunge pool. Sayan is situated close to Ubud, an artist ´s colony in hills, and is structured with modern lines.   The entryway is stunning, and infinity edged lotus pond overlooks the Ayung river and surrounding rice fields. Again the villas, are striking with a modern Balinese twist, outdoor dining area, deep soaking tubs, separate dressing areas, private outdoor plunge pools.   No stone left unturned. Maroma Resort & Spa, Mayan Riviera, Mexico   –  a secluded oceanfront resort and spa where everyone calls you by name.   One sip of there house margarita, scented with anise, and you won’t want to leave. My favorite experience was the Temazcal where I endured an extraordinary ancient Mayan rebirthing ceremony (reminiscent of a North American Indian sweat lodge) where super heated lava rocks doused with herb-infused water create an intoxicating and healing experience. Il Pelicano, Porto Ercole, Italy –  a stylish and exclusive retreat with an outstanding restaurant and wine cellar and an equally profound and intimate bar. Surrounded by centuries old olive trees and situated above the Mediterranean Sea with a path that leads down to a heated seawater pool and beyond a sunbathing rock platform by the sea.   The property was awarded the “Purple Lily” by Relais & Chateaux and exudes old Hollywood glamour filled with romantic history.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
I have had the pleasure of dining at some wonderful places, but this little restaurant in the medieval village of Capalbio, Le Mura, was something special. Delivering a surreal and intimate dining experience, Le Mura’s hosts, a husband and wife team, where Roberta cooks and Gerry guides you through local history in their cozy home, formerly the castle bakery.   There is no menu at Le Mura, only four tables each night and everything is fresh and made to order. Even as the only guests that night, our experience lasted no less than 5 hours. If you are lucky, like I was, Roberta took me into the kitchen where I threw on a chef’s cap and she taught me her recipes for the evening. All local delights and masterful creations like wild boar, rabbit and freshly made pasta. Magical! Guests have included the likes of Mario Batali.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Living so close to Los Angeles, where my husband is a native, it is not difficult to bump into celebs from Madonna at L’Orangerie, Paris Hilton at Peninsula Beverly Hills to Gwyneth Paltrow at Esperanza Resort.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
I have always dreamed of hunting the winter white truffle in Piemonte, Italy.
Thanks, Tanya. Le Mura sounds like a fascinating little find… how did you get to hear about it?

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Tanya- my fiance and I are traveling for 4.5 weeks through Italy this summer and was wondering if you would rather be at Castello Del Nero or at the Il Pelicano. Was it a great mid point to explore Tuscany or too out of the way?
    How about Le Mura- I am dying to eat there. How can I get into that kitchen for the same experience you had?

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