The Big Six: Chic Caribbean guesthouses

This bohemian resort on Jamaica's south coast is an assemblage of colourful, artistic villas and suites inspired by Spanish, Moroccan and Indian architecture. Part of Chris Blackwell's Island Outpost collection, Jake's offers vibrant design enhanced with seashells, mirrors, mosaics or coloured glass. Rooms come with either garden or sea views. The charm mirrors that of its rustic location, far removed from the big resorts on the north coast.

A taste of Transylvania: Mark Hix recreates some delicious Romanian

A few weeks ago, Jason Lowe and I found ourselves in the middle of a field in a forest in Biertan, in Transylvania. We had been invited over to attend the Transylvania Festival, which was showcasing some of the best local artisan food producers – along with various ceramicists and copper still and cauldron makers who were selling their wares. Jason, who can never resist buying random culinary objects of desire on his travels, bought himself a lovely big old goulash cauldron and tripod (although I had a hard time persuading him to buy a full-blown copper distilling kit).

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Best for getting lost: Fez

Every great city is entirely itself and nowhere else. At the same time, they're all like ... somewhere. Somewhere that doesn't exist. A Platonic copy, perhaps; an embodiment of the idea of the city, whatever that may be. Morocco has several versions – all different – but in the end Tangier, Rabat and Marrakesh seem to me just rehearsals for the world's great masterpiece, Fez. In particular, the Bali Medina, the walled Old City, of Fez. The traditional Great City – traditional now, in our post-Enlightenment eyes – is a place of visual harmony, of vistas and prospects, squares, spires and domes. Old Fez is the exact opposite. The alleyways of the medina are so sinuous, straitened and overbuilt that there is, quite literally, no view. You never know what is around the next corner as it tilts down towards the river. You barely know where the next corner is. There is no angle that can lead the eye upwards more than 30ft. The rooflines are a mystery. The medina from the air reveals nothing about the medina on the ground. The eye is made useless.

Tips and deals of the week: 24/01/2010

Deals of the Week

Sunday in the Lakes for £9.99

Snap up one of 200 rooms in the Lake District that will be available from just £9.99 on 24, 31 January and 7 February. Go to

The Big Six: Luxury Forest Retreats

This sylvan retreat at the base of the Carpathian Mountains is set amid what was one of the largest privately owned forests in Transylvania until confiscated by the Communists in 1949. Now restored to the Mikes family, the estate is being rebuilt using funds raised from the guesthouse, restoring more than 60 species of trees and a vast artificial lake. A 16th-century outbuilding now offers simple, elegant lodgings.