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Rustic holidays

WHILE hotels offer a luxurious opportunity to be pampered, it's sometimes nice to be able to feel at home even when you're away. In fact, vacationing in a home-like setting can be an extraordinary experience in itself.

For a "homey" vacation, visit travel site The Common Pursuit, a personal collection of vacation homes and accommodation that have a more personal touch than a chain-hotel. It was founded by London-based graphic designer Hannah Woodcock, who created her list after a vacation to an eco-friendly cabin in England's Lake District called the Love Shack which enchanted her with its rustic charm style.

The website is easy to navigate, with a list of 23 destinations to choose from that are all centred around elements of "understated or alternative luxury".

Her list is made up of places she finds on the Internet, from news agencies like the Monocle and Sunday Times as well as design websites like Architizer and Remodelista. Each accommodation is accompanied by a short description with beautiful pictures that make it truly hard to pick a favourite. There are also links to each hotel's website so that you can make bookings and enquiries.

Woodcock has admirable taste and the choices she's made are unique, personal and makes your travels cosier. Some of the hotels even have interesting off-beat things to do.

For example, the Daniel hotel in Vienna, Austria, offers Vespas and bicycles to explore the city with. The hotel calls itself a materialisation of "smart luxury" that doesn't pressure its guests into anything; instead it offers opportunities and inspiration. It even has a fully furnished trailer in the garden which you can rent for €112 a night.

Even if you don't get a chance to travel to these places, Woodcock's pickings certainly offer great inspiration and design ideas for your home. Learn more at www.thecommonpursuit.com.

This story appeared in The Edge on June 25, 2012.

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