06 February 2019
In light of the cold, drab weather haunting much of the UK right now, you’re probably thinking that summer couldn’t come soon enough – and we agree because there are some amazing destinations you can be jetting off to later this year. Here are some of our standout spots you could be visiting this July.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are must-see destinations but if you’ve already ticked those off your list or if you fancy something a little different, then Oman is a good call.
Al Bandar is one of two hotels and the main focal point at the humongous Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort, which quite rightly feels like a destination in itself. The close to 200 sea-facing guestrooms at this five-star deluxe property boast an Arabian inspiration and many offer lush views over the Gulf of Oman or the deep turquoise blue waters of the Sea of Oman.
Not every hotel has its own art gallery but this one does, and after you savour the exquisite Arabian flavours of tender roasted meats at Al Tanoor restaurant, you’ll still have another eight food outlets to dine at. With so many options to recharge and refuel, there’s little reason to leave the resort but if do you venture out, Oman’s port capital of Muscat is just 20 minutes away.
You want to be a part of it, and there’s no better base to get stuck into the Big Apple than staying just off Times Square at the recently renovated Hilton Times Square, which offers modern, comfortable and spacious accommodation a baseball’s throw away from Broadway theatres and some of the best shopping and nightlife New York City has to offer. During your stay, expect boutique style accommodation, hospitality of the highest standards, and all the amenities you need for a memorable trip.
Another great New York hotel is Affinia 50 New York. Fresh from a $19 million top-to-bottom redesign, this boutique hotel in Manhattan’s Midtown East is ideally placed to explore world-famous attractions like Saks Fifth Avenue and the Rockefeller Centre. Guests can expect to stay in an artistically appointed and spacious room with a fun living space to recharge after a fun-filled day in the city. For a bit more space, go for the Guest Room Deluxe which can accommodate up to three people and includes a pull-out sofa bed.
“Central Park is amazing in the winter, but in the summer, its outstanding beauty shines through with those incredible tall buildings hovering in the background. After a lovely walk embracing the views, we took in Sunday brunch at the Boathouse - what could be better than sunshine, jazz and a New York Burger?”
Adalaine, Travel Counsellor
Designed to mimic a Thai village, the five-star Melati Beach Resort & Spa is one of Koh Samui’s leading resorts and is set beside a white-sand beach amid landscaped tropical gardens.
Most of the 77 suites and villas at this luxurious hotel come with private pools, while the more lavish villas boast extras like private gardens with dining areas, home theatres and an in-room spa service.
It’s quite simply a haven of relaxation and its spa is the resort’s crowning jewel, offering revitalising ‘Indigenous Coconut Experiences.’ These award-winning treatments combine a unique blend of natural ingredients and traditional herbs with modern massage techniques for a totally unique relaxation. There’s even a spa room for the kids!
Come meal times, you can dine at the Kan Sak Thong Restaurant, specialising in the finest authentic Thai cuisine and fusion cuisine, or The View Restaurant on the beachfront, serving Mediterranean and international menu and fresh locally caught seafood.
With two swimming pools, a pool bars, lobby bar and beach bar, you’ll never struggle to stay refreshed. Seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in Koh Samui’s fascinating culture with activities like Muay Thai boxing, Thai cooking classes, eco safari tours, seabed walking and reef snorkelling.
If ever a resort adopted a ‘quality not quantity’ attitude, it’s Paradise Island Villas in Crete. Consisting of just 12 elegant, yet minimally styled villas, this exclusive five-star boutique resort combines discrete personal service with comfort and luxury to serve up a fresh slice of paradise.
Each villa has been individually styled to create its own personality and comes with private gardens, a swimming pool, a custom-made mattress bed with white cotton and silk linens and a choice of beautiful pillows for a perfect night’s sleep.
Another great choice for families is the five-star Anemos Luxury Grand Resort. Recognised as Europe’s Best Luxury Beach Hotel and Best Luxury Honeymoon Hotel at the 2018 World Luxury Hotel Awards, it’s a luxury seaside haven and sits next to the longest coastline of northern Crete overlooking the Cretan Sea.
It’s easy to unwind here. Take to a sun lounger on the sandy Blue Flag beach, snorkel the clear Mediterranean waters and indulge with a soothing olive oil and raki massage at the spa.
The Anemos’ various rooms and suites incorporate the Greek and the local Cretan architecture with luxurious, modern facilities and amenities. Some come with a private or sharing pool, but everyone has access to the four outdoor and single indoor pools.
“For a more relaxed time away from any hustle and bustle, I would recommend a trip to the old village of Hersonissos. Here, you can immerse yourself in the Greek culture and way of life, which is more laid back and carefree.”
Steven, Travel Counsellor
One of the most prestigious resorts in the world, Sandy Lane is unquestionably a jewel in Barbados’ crown with a world-class reputation for a flawless blend of luxury, elegance and exclusivity.
The welcome is as warm as the climate and the guest services really go the extra mile, making every stay at Sandy Lane a special one. Every guest at the resort is welcomed by airport concierge on arrival and transferred from the airport in an executive car before being greeted with a welcome cocktail at the resort.
Sandy Lane’s spa was voted the number one hotel spa in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas by Travel + Leisure. It’s great for golf too, with its famous Green Monkey course - an ultra-exclusive 72 par, 7,343-yard golf course carved from an old limestone quarry to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for golfers.
Dining at Sandy Lane is always an event. From the effortlessly Mediterranean ambience of L’Acajou to the quintessentially Caribbean Bajan Blue via lighter bites at the idyllic Spa Café, all dishes are created by passionate and talented chefs using only the finest ingredients.
Thinking about setting sail with Celebrity Cruises this July? Well now is the time to book because you can save big and enjoy a raft of additional benefits when you book a Mediterranean cruise before Monday 4 March 2019.
Guests who book an eligible cruise with a departure date between 15 May and 29 September 2019 will enjoy a free Classic Drinks Package each (worth up to £754 per person), 50% off the cost of the cruise fare for the second guest, up to $200 onboard spend per stateroom on Oceanview and above room categories, additional guests will receive $100 onboard spend per person on Oceanview and above room categories, and free gratuities for all Celebrity Edge European sailings.
All of Celebrity’s ships are packed with things to do, whether you’re travelling solo or with a large group. There’s rarely a long gap between us hearing how guests aboard Celebrity’s ships were wowed by the cruise line’s service and dedication to going the extra mile and making passenger experience the best they can be.
If you would like to book your July escape, contact your Travel Counsellor and enjoy exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.