I have to say I love Facebook, it is my guilty pleasure and although I have to use it for work (I do…promise!), I also love to use it for seeing my friends children grow up and connect with friends I left behind in London.
Recently I asked the question of my friends, “What does luxury travel mean to you?” and the responses were brilliant and came from far and wide and from people I haven’t actually seen for over 10 years! The power of social media.
Here are some of the comments my friends made, do you agree?
“A very comfortable mattress and pillows. Very high quality bed linen. Gorgeous bathroom, with luxury branded toiletries (Cowshed, Aveda etc). A faultless standard of cleanliness EVERYWHERE…. Staff that have been well trained, are always helpful and friendly but not intrusive and requests are never too much of effort. Carpets and decor are always maintained… Beautiful smells and fresh flowers…. Attention to detail. Hotel in Norfolk comes around to your room at about 10pm with hot chocolate, homebaked cookies + sloe gin all complementary!! That makes you feel spoilt.” by H Cohen
“A really comfortable bed and top quality linen plus being waited on quietly but efficiently!! And really good food to choose garden fresh veg and really good local meat.” by A Rednell
Young Island: Relax and unwind on the most unique Caribbean island
This idyllic little island is situated just a stone’s throw away from St Vincent by boat and as you approach, all you can think is… wow, this really is the undiscovered Caribbean. The epitome of a Robinson Crusoe hidden gem, this charming resort features just 29 cottages scattered around the lush hillside and along the sandy beach on the ground level.
The island oozes charm and whilst being understated, it offers the elegance and personal service you would expect from a resort in the Caribbean. I arrived on a Saturday which was buffet night and I have to say, the food really exceeded my expectations. There was an array of mouth-watering salads on offer to compliment a choice of freshly grilled shrimp and meats. In addition to that, you could select as many slices of home-baked bread as you could wish for, including local flavours such as coconut and cinnamon.
I recommend booking into a Superior cottage for a good value package here – request to be along the beach and you could find yourself just footsteps away from the golden sand and be lucky enough to wake up to the gentle lapping of waves from the comfort of your bed. Not only will you be immersed in the nature that surrounds your cottage whilst you sleep, but you will also be able to shower in the open air in your own personal outdoor shower cubicle.
For an additional supplement, you have the opportunity to upgrade your cottage to a Luxury Hillside if you prefer the privacy of being totally away from it all and enjoy the fabulous sea views that come with it. In addition to that, you will benefit from a private plunge pool overlooking the ocean and can spend some time around your cottage basking in the sun if you decide not to walk down to the main resort.
Young Island is definitely a resort which caters for those who want a care-free, kick off your shoes style experience where food and service are of a superb standard. Find your inner-self and unwind from the comfort of the beach hammocks or around your private plunge pool where all you need to think about is which Caribbean cocktail to sample next!
Amazing 2013 Offer at The BodyHoliday at LeSPORT, St Lucia!
7 nights in a Luxury Room all inclusive with direct Virgin Atlantic flights and
transfers from £1,829 pp save £1,765 per couple departing 8th March.
Valid for travel between 1st March and 31st October 2013 book by 30th
November 2012 ORtravel departing 14th June from £1,499 save £1,290 per couple.
Fun For Little Swimmers And Adult Water Babies
-On A PADI Skin Diver Course At Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort-
For active families with little adventurers in tow, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives has just launched a new PADI Skin Diver Course, available for adults and children as young as eight. While snorkelling is limited to peering down from the surface, this short course enables avid water babies to venture deeper, making frequent surface dives to interact up close and personal with aquatic life.
Located in South Malé Atoll, Olhuveli is a beautiful island retreat with stunning beaches, abundant sandbanks and its own house reef. While on the skin diving course, guests will be provided with information on the equipment, dive science, the environment and safety – and then the fun starts. The best part is learning to use the mask, fins and snorkel so not a moment of action below the surface is missed.
The resort’s house reef, easily accessed from the jetty, provides a safe, current-free environment from which to discover the underwater world. Residing just metres beneath the warm, clear sea, it is inviting and nonthreatening – even for little mermaids and mermasters. Basking in sunlight, bright corals line the sandy seabed, offering the perfect habitat for restless damsel fish, bat fish, baby sharks and even turtles. Children will delight in chasing shoals of tiny silver fish from the shallows to the deep, while sea creatures of all types and varieties can be discovered, such as sea cucumbers and endangered giant clams.
The PADI Skin Diver course takes just over two hours, and is available from US$30 to US$60 per person, (including equipment and excluding taxes and service charges). On completion of the course, guests receive a PADI Skin Diver certification card, so they are ready for their next adventure.
Back on dry land, at night guests can watch manta rays, which seasonally come to the jetty to feed on plankton that is attracted by the floodlights. This is a wonderful spectacle for families to encounter after a day of watery adventures.
In addition to a five-star PADI dive centre, Olhuveli offers a fantastic watersports centre with fun tubes, banana boat rides, stand-up paddle-boarding, wake-boarding and the first licensed kite-surfing school in the Maldives. Additional facilities include a selection of restaurants and bars, two large pools, a Sun Spa and a free, daily kids’ programme.
New for 2013 and for the ultimate family celebration or romantic dining experience, the resort has just launched a ‘sand horizon’ destination dining experience, whereby seats are dug into the sand to dine on the beach, creating a beautiful ambiance.
Tropic Breeze (01752 880880 / www.tropicbreeze.co.uk) offers seven nights for the price of six at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives from just £1,585 per person (a saving of £80 per person). Available for selected departures in May 2013, the price includes return flights from Gatwick with British Airways, accommodation on a half-board basis, speedboat transfers, taxes and surcharges.
The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua – 7 nights from £1,750 pp, includes accommodation in a Junior Suite on half board basis (double occupancy) with 3 free nights, Virgin Atlantic flights from London Gatwick to Antigua and transfers to The Inn, available for travel completed between 1st and 30th November and 7th to 20th December 2012. Book through TROPIC BREEZE
(01752 880880) www.tropicbreeze.co.uk
East Winds Inn, St Lucia – 7 nights all inclusive over Christmas from £3,295 pp – Save £635 per couple!
Package price includes 7 nights in a Superior room, (based on double occupancy) direct British Airways flights from London Gatwick to St Lucia and transfers to the hotel. Offer
includes one free night. Valid for stays completed between 19th December and
6th January. Book through TROPIC BREEZE (01752 880880) www.tropicbreeze.co.uk
East Winds Inn, St Lucia, is a unique, small boutique Caribbean hotel in a
quiet location on La Brelotte Bay. The hotel’s 30 rooms are located in 14
gingerbread style cottages set in twelve acres of beautiful tropical
gardens. Classic, elegant, laid back and traditional, East Winds Inn is an
intimate hideaway right on the beach.
My friends joke that I should get a real job, they think because I talk about wonderful exotic holidays all day long that I am not really working. What they don’t realise is the weight of responsibility I feel when a client comes on the line, asking my advice and guidance to book their holiday. Some clients have spent a year or more saving their hard earned cash to spend on a holiday which they dream about all day long. Booking this much anticipated break is a huge responsibility because if they don’t choose the right hotel, island or airline, to suit them, then their hard earned cash and long awaited holiday becomes a nightmare.
In a short conversation or often an email, I have to truly understand the clients likes and dislikes to ensure that I can draw upon the knowledge I have as a Caribbean and Maldives specialist tour operator to match them to the right holiday. I can never understand why you would trust an online booking engine with your much cherished annual leave and saved up pennies – how does a booking engine tell you that there is building work going on at the next door hotel that might impact your holiday or say that you should consider booking the higher room category because it means you step right onto the beach.
It is for these reasons that our discerning clients choose to book with us, we give honest, helpful advice and guide people through the maze of information to ensure they get the holiday they are dreaming about. I was delighted this morning to get the below note from a client who booked a holiday yesterday, it makes all the work worthwhile.
Just to say thank you for taking so much time and trouble helping us to find what I am sure will be a super holiday. It was very helpful to talk to someone with such excellent local knowledge. We will certainly recommend you to friends and family as giving outstanding and very individual service. Can’t wait for February!!
with best wishes,
**OFFER** October Half Term in Grenada, Caribbean.
Includes 2 free nights + children under 16 stay FREE! MOUNT CINNAMON : 2 adults and 2 children holiday from £4,994 – saving £515!
This price includes 7 nights room only accommodation in a One Bedroom Suite, direct flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and return hotel transfers, complementary
Montessori Kids Camp – 4 to 11 years, babysitting (one hour per day), beach
club for tennis, volleyball/badminton, snorkelling, bocce ball, croquet,
*kayaking, *hobie cats (*experience needed), fitness centre, children’s menu,
cots, high chairs etc all available.
Tobago is home to over 200 species of birds, and birdwatching is one of the
most popular activities on offer at Blue Waters Inn. The hotel sits in
lush tropical surrounding, so don’t be surprised to see the cobalt blue head of
the Mot Mot perched on your balcony, the mischievous Bannaquit trying to nip
from the sugar bowl at breakfast, or even spy the national bird, the Cocrico
strolling the grounds. The Inn is located just opposite Bird of Paradise
island, a nature sanctuary since 1926, and this is just one of the tours
that can be arranged.
BLUE WATERS INN, TOBAGO 7 nights from £995pp
includes B&B accommodation at Blue Waters Inn (double occupancy) direct
Virgin flights from London Gatwick to Tobago and private transfers to the
Inn. Book through TROPIC BREEZE (01752 880880) www.tropicbreeze.co.uk
Birdwatching at dawn… The early morning is the best time to search for
wildlife. Morning dawns with the tropical Mockingbirds and chattering
Rufous-vented Chachalacas and a pre-breakfast stroll around the gardens may
reward sightings of the Black and White barred Anstrike and the jewel
coloured Rufus tailed Jacamar, the Blue grey Tanagar and Blue crowned Motmot
may also be seen. In addition Red Squirrels, lizards, an array of
butterflies also call the gardens their home while the fruit eating bat
becomes the focus of attention in the evening.
I visited Windjammer landing for 5 nights with my wife and 15 year old daughter and we stayed in a beautiful two bedroom villa with its own pool and had a fantastic time. The villas are very spacious, with fully equipped kitchen and utility room, large dining area and sitting room. One of the bedrooms had twin beds, the other a king size bed and both rooms have balconies – ideal for that early morning coffee while the sun rises!
Windjammer is set on a hill, so there are shuttles running all day and night to ferry you from your villa to the main area of the hotel where the restaurants, bars, beach and hotel rooms are located. All you do is pick up the phone and 5 minutes later a Windjammer Landings Shuttle Bus arrives, same procedure when you are ready to go home.
The all inclusive package was great value and all the restaurants are included as well as all drinks as far as I could tell! I didn’t try the spa, but Penny did and she said it was a very lovely experience – so much so, she went back several times!!
There is a kids club with activities for all ages, but Sophie preferred to stay with us, either on the beach or on the various trips out we took.
To summarise, the villas are great for families, as are the two bedroom suites in the main hotel building by the beach. The site is huge, so for couples, you wouldn’t really feel that there were many children around, so it would work well for honeymooners too, especially outside the school holiday dates.
Oh, one last thing, I gave up trying the included water skiing, they were very patient with me, but I guess it just isn’t for me! Others were having a fine time though, so if you need water sports to be included, this could be for you.