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The iHi Independent Hotel guide

Good small hotels  - a selection of Independent hotels with character  2024

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iHi is Independent-hotels.info 

A directory of small friendly hotels for discerning independent travellers. Hotels with character for all budgets, from  best bargain  low-cost hotels, to good value quality boutique hotels.

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Britain   France   Spain    Italy.   Other countries : Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia


Hotels for the discerning and independent traveller. Welcome to the guide.
This guide offers a succinct overview of carefully selected small independent hotels in Europe, offering calm surroundings and a pleasent environment for your overnight stay.  From popular locations like Andalucia the French Riviera to really out-of the way spots in deepest inland Spain and greenest France, iHi offers a carefully selected choice of hotels for travellers who want to avoid the monotony and predictable sameness of stereotyped international chain hotels.
    While most directories of "character hotels" tend to list mainly or exclusively upscale "boutique" hotels with prices beyond the budget of many travellers, iHi looks out for character hotels of all sorts and for all budgets. So even if some of the independent hotels listed in this directory have signed up to exclusive boutique hotel referral chains, others do not belong to any network or chain of independents.

The best hotels?
    Are these the "best hotels"? Well that depends what you mean by "best" . While this guide does include some four-star and even five-star hotels, it doesn't go for the big glitzy hotels where most of the guests are glitterati, stars or businessmen on expense-accounts. Most of these belong to big hotel chains anyway. Although the iHi guide does include some good boutique hotels, we don't include those whose prices exclude most ordinary mortals.  For iHi, and for many ordinary travellers, the best hotels are small hotels where the welcome is friendly, the rooms are comfortable, the atmosphere is warm, and you can get a good night's sleep.
     The hotels listed tend to be small to medium-size establishments, friendly hotels with character, often off the beaten track and in quiet locations.  Generally speaking, hotels have a maximum of 40 rooms, though the number may be higher in city locations. You will not find in this list any large hotels, or concrete tower blocks. There are some small luxury hotels and boutique hotels - but most of the establishments listed are just pleasant middle of the range hotels for ordinary travellers. There are hotels with stars, and without stars,  with restaurants and without  restaurants, hotels with spas, with saunas, with jacuzzis, with fitness centres, with pools; but also simple hotels with little more to offer than excellent value for money, cleanliness, character,  charm and a good night's sleep.
 Other accommodation and further information

is not one of your standard Internet "guides" to hotels. Independent-hotels.info only lists friendly hotels that have been chosen for their qualities, location and value. That's why our lists are short. No hotel gets lited here unless it gets good user reviews and/or it has been recommended to us by travellers.

Online hotel booking :  

Most of the hotels in this directory can be booked online, but this is not always the case. For some hotels it is necessary to contact the hotel directly. This can usually be done by email, in English. .You may well find that online booking sites offer you better rates than you will get by contacting the hotel directly - but this is not always the case. Generally, individuals contacting hotels directly - notably those who turn up at the door without a reservation - will be charged the "rack rate" - or standard price for the room. Yet there is often room to negotiate a price, espcially for an out-of-season booking. 

iHi qualities
     This guide specialises in hotels that have very good user reviews, and meet our criteria concerning location, value for money, character and quality. Hotels can apply to be listed in iHi, but will only get approval if they meet our criteria .
     We welcome recommendations from visitors, will check out hotels that you recommend to us, and list them if suitable.
     With a few exceptions, all hotels listed in this guide are independently owned and run. A few of the hotels listed belong to "referral chains", which are not really chains, but groupings of independent hotels using a common label, such as Logis de France. Just occasionally the iHi guide includes hotels belonging to small chains of character hotels, notably when these meet all other selection criteria, reflect our values, and appear to be a better option than any independent hotel nearby.

Location : iHi looks for hotels in quiet locations: this does not mean only hotels in the heart of the countryside, as that would be too restrictive. Quiet hotels include those that are not located on busy streets; many are in the country, but we also include urban hotels located in relatively quiet locations in town centres or residential districts.

     The  iHi guide depends on the reliability of user recommendations; we endeavour to make thorough checks on any hotel website recommended for inclusion in this directory. No hotel sites included in this directory are in any way connected with this guide; for this reason the iHi guide cannot under any circumstances be held liable for the information provided, nor for the accuracy of content appearing on the private websites of any external website, hotel or establishment listed in the guide. 

In the meantime, happy travelling!

Information for independent hoteliers...
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