Five Best Agatha Christie Haunts

As a week celebrating the writer's work begins, Rhiannon Batten follows in her footsteps

One of the Caribbean's most traditional retreats, this Bajan-style former private house is set in 12 acres of landscaped gardens and overlooks an idyllic white sand beach. Agatha Christie stayed here in 1956, the first year it opened as a hotel, and is generally thought to have based her book A Caribbean Mystery on it. When the BBC dramatised the story in 1989 they bolstered speculation by filming it at the Coral Reef Club. But, while the hotel is still family owned, things have moved on since Christie's day. Recent re-development has seen the rooms refurbished, and the addition of a new swimming-pool area.

Coral Reef Club, St. James, Barbados (00 800 5254 8000; Double rooms start at US$320 (£178), room only.

Imperial Hotel, Torquay

Harrogate's Old Swan Hotel may get more Christie name-checks (it was there she "disappeared" to in 1926 after news of her husband's affair) but, until its £4.3m refurbishment is completed at the end of the year, it won't be nearly as luxurious as the Imperial. The latter was built in 1866 and benefits from a link in print with the Torquay-born author; Peril at End House and Sleeping Murder both feature the thinly disguised Imperial. Torquay also celebrates the inaugural Agatha Christie Week from 12-17 September with a series of plays, talks and open days. For more information visit

Imperial Hotel, Park Hill Road, Torquay, Devon (01803 294301; Doubles start at £180, room only.

Venice-Simplon Orient-Express

Christie based much of her writing on real locations, and in this case it was a shifting one. After she travelled to Istanbul on the Orient-Express in 1928, it wasn't long before the most glamorous train in Europe made it into what was to become one of her best-loved novels, Murder on the Orient Express. Today, while travellers can choose from a range itineraries, the concept on board has hardly changed. Expect white-gloved personal stewards, polished wooden carriages, crisp linen tablecloths, gleaming French silverware and expertly put-together cocktails. Not to mention some of the world's most extraordinary dinner-table views.

Venice-Simplon Orient-Express (0845 077 2222; One-way trips between London and Venice start at £1,350 per person.

Nile Cruise Egypt

Voyages Jules Verne offers several boat trips along the Nile but the best one for recreating the atmosphere of Christie's thriller Death on the Nile is its seven-night King Fuad's Nile Steamer trip. Centred on the SS Karim - a 15-cabin paddle steamer that once belonged to the Egyptian king - up to 30 people can be accommodated in wicker-chaired, G&T-soaked decadence for this leisurely amble down one of the world's greatest rivers. The slower pace leaves plenty of time to appreciate the ancient landscapes along the way. Side trips include Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and Karnak, as well as an optional detour to Abu Simbel.

King Fuad's Nile Steamer (0845 166 7003; Prices start at £795 per person, including flights, transport, seven nights' full-board accommodation and most excursions.

Burgh Island Devon

Set on a private island, 200 metres off the South Devon coast, this listed Art Deco hotel is reached either across the sands at low tide or, rather less elegantly, by sea tractor. Guests are afforded plenty of modern comforts, but the real selling point here is the history. Famous visitors have included Louis Mountbatten, the pilot Amy Johnson, Noël Coward and, of course, Agatha Christie. She wrote And Then There Were None and Evil Under the Sun in a specially-commissioned beach hut at the hotel and the television adaptation of the latter was filmed here in 2001.

Burgh Island Hotel, Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon (01548 810514; Doubles start at £275, including breakfast and dinner.

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living