About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.

Top ski hotels in Switzerland

luxury hotel zermatt

Mapplr’s selection of top ski hotels in Switzerland Riffelalp Resort: luxury hotel high up in the Swiss Alps (Zermatt) Hotel Bellevue des Alpes in Kleine Scheidegg: grand hotel in the shadow of the Eiger The Lodge: Sir Richard Branson’s mountain retreat in Verbier, Switzerland (the ultimate in ski lodge luxury) Hotel Matthiol: cozy modern luxury […]

Top ski hotels in France

top ski hotels in france

If you are headed for the ski slopes in France and you still haven’t figured out where to stay, check out our list of the top ski hotels in France. Hameau Albert 1er: luxury hotel with Michelin star restaurant in Chamonix, France (top choice in Chamonix) Alpaga Hotel (Megeve) Le Chalet Zannier (Megeve) Hotel Koh-i Nor […]

Top ski hotels in Italy

top ski hotels in italy

Here is our list of the top ski hotels in Italy (in Corvara, Madonna di Campiglio, San Cassiano and more). Some of these hotels are family-owned (such as Hotel La Perla Corvara, our favourite in the Alta Badia region), which means you’ll get a lot of personal attention and excellent service. Hotel La Perla Corvara […]

The Thief Hotel Oslo: beautiful design, great location

thief hotel oslo

The Thief Hotel Oslo is a fantastic place to stay because of its gorgeous interior (and exterior) design and its location, a new district called Tjuvholmen, which is still a short walking distance from the center of Oslo. Tjuvholmen has a 2-kilometre seafront (which is pedestrian and bike-friendly) with numerous restaurants and cafes, and the […]

Japan tax free items now include cosmetics, food and beverages

japan

As of 1 October 2014, tourists in Japan can get a tax refund for cosmetics, skin care, food and beverage (e.g. sake) purchases in department stores and other shops offering tax-free shopping. This is big news for tourists who come to Japan to buy high-end Japanese cosmetics brands such as Shiseido, Cle de Peau, Lunasol, […]

Norwegian Air Shuttle 787 Dreamliner: Oakland, California to Oslo

norwegian air shuttle

This is a review of a Norwegian Air Shuttle flight in August 2014 from Oakland, California to Oslo, Norway, specifically the Premium Economy cabin and services. Norwegian began flying from Oakland airport in California to Oslo and Stockholm this year. Although it is a “discount” airline, Norwegian flies the latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner, unlike traditional […]

Travel guide to Alsace, France

travel guide to alsace

Mapplr’s travel guide to Alsace is designed for people who want to spend five days to a week in Strasbourg and the towns along the Route du Vin (Wine Route) in the Alsace region of France. My advice is to give yourself two to three days in Strasbourg to see all of the main sights […]

Villa Elyane: elegant historic B&B in Colmar, France

villa elyane B&B colmar

Villa Elyane is a splendid bed and breakfast (maison d’hôtes) in the heart of Colmar, one of the most popular cities to visit in the Alsace region of France. Villa Elyane has three rooms and two suites, ranging in price from 155 EUR to 250 EUR, all of which are decorated in a contemporary style […]

Le Chambard: historic hotel and gastronomic restaurant in Kaysersberg (Alsace)

le chambard hotel alsace

Le Chambard is everything you could want in a hotel set in the bucolic wine region of Alsace: historic, charming, recently renovated to modern standards and a food lover’s heaven. It is the home to a Michelin starred restaurant whose chef, Olivier Nasti, was awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2007. For those unacquainted with […]

Cour du Corbeau: historic hotel in the centre of Strasbourg

cour du corbeau alsace

Hotel Cour du Corbeau is one of the oldest hotels in France, having begun its life in 1528 as an inn or relay station for people traveling by horse-drawn coaches. One can count among its illustrious guests,  the Duke of Bavaria in 1570; in 1647, Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, who was […]