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Childhood holidays spent in the UK’s Costa del Bucket and Spade left Rachel with a deep longing to explore beyond the delights of Blackpool’s illuminated promenade. A journalist for 25 years, published in titles including The Telegraph, The Scotsman and You magazine, she’s fulfilled part of that dream by visiting destinations such as Finland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Mumbai and Canada, with not so much as a Kiss-Me-Quick hat in sight. She’s stayed in every type of accommodation (from overnight trains weaving across India to glass igloos in Finnish Lapland), so knows and appreciates a great hotel when she finds one.