Sent by Musa Cobbler
Based in Worksop
Hello, I'm Judith and I live in the beautiful village of Elmton with my partner Roy and our West Highland terriers Daisy and Rosie.
If you are reading this, the chances are you are contemplating booking your perfect holiday or short break very soon. So let me tell you a little about myself.
My love of travel started 25 years ago when living in Greece. I lived around the Greek islands, mainly Corfu, Kos, Crete and Rhodes. Looking after holidaymakers on their special holidays helped me to realise how important your well deserved break away is, and when returning to the UK my desire was to continue to help my customers find the perfect holiday. I worked in a high street agency for a while but quickly began to realise that customers needed an agent who could offer any holiday, anywhere in the world, at anytime of the day especially in the evening after work, an independent agent they could get to know and trust with their travel plans. I became a personal Travel Counsellor 12 years ago and have not looked back.
I now create holidays anywhere in the world. I believe that your holiday should be unforgettable. Everything will be tailored to suit you. The personal contact I have with you through the booking process makes sure we miss nothing. It’s like having a friend book your holiday for you. All you need to provide is the idea, even if it is vague!
I still get excited about all my customers’ travel plans, whether it be a luxury/bespoke tailor-made holiday, long haul destination, package trip, cruise or an adventure tour.
As your Personal Travel Counsellor you will find that I’m refreshingly different from most other travel agents as I work from home, so I am available as times that suit you.
Planning a holiday really is this easy. I am also available 24/7 whilst you are away on holiday and with the myTC app you have access to all your travel documents and my contact details in one place – great ways to give you that all important peace of mind.
Please do not hesitate to call me and I will help you with your holiday requirements, or if you just need some friendly advice on your travel plans.
Get to know me and you’ll love the difference I make when planning your perfect holiday.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
19 June 2019
I am often asked ‘where do people usually go on honeymoon?’ I believe that a honeymoon is built on the wanderlust of going to somewhere together and bringing together your personal interests to make the perfect trip for you. Honeymoons are all so different, there are no set rules. This is the time to go somewhere that’s incredible and memorable to you! For some, there is nothing better than the thought of lying on the idyllic beaches of the Maldives or the Caribbean, for others it may be an Alaskan cruise, or a city break to New York and Vegas. A honeymoon is a such a special trip and I absolutely love helping couples put together this once in a lifetime dream holiday. Often, my clients will want a combination holiday. There are so many amazing places that can be combined, for example Dubai is a perfect stop off for a couple of nights en route to many other countries such as Thailand, South Africa or the Indian Ocean. Similarly, New York is a great stop over on the way to Cancun, Florida or the west coast of the US. There are also trips that combine to create a honeymoon with multiple experiences, such as a safari in Kenya followed by a beach break in Zanzibar, or a skiing trip to Canada followed by a beach trip to Hawaii or Mexico. If you have an idea of what you would like to do but are struggling to compromise on the perfect trip, it may be possible to combine your interests. All you need to do is ask and I will help in making your dream become a reality. Not into lying in the sun beach holidays? No problem, how about a self-drive across Canada full of outdoor activities, wildlife and amazing scenery. Or an incredibly scenic Norwegian Fjords cruise? Maybe visit the cosmopolitan cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, taking a scenic train in between the two? Fancy your time spent as the next David Attenborough, how about the Galapagos? Or maybe even travel across the world to New Zealand! I have lots of fantastic trips I can recommend or if you have dream destinations in mind but want some guidance on maximising your time and budget, please contact me as I would love to help you create your perfect honeymoon. You may even be thinking ‘I haven’t got a clue where to start’ I recommend you give me a call. Talking through your interests will allow me to give you some ideas and suggestions on where may appeal, and from there I guarantee we will find you your ideal honeymoon!
06 August 2018
The Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Central Park - with so many incredible landmarks to visit, New York City should be on everyone's travel wish list, and with so much to do and so many sights to see, it’s a destination that everyone should visit at least once. A trip during the festive season means everything feels just that little bit more magical, so take a look at some of my favourite things to do in NYC at Christmas time. Biking around Central Park Hire a bike for the afternoon and head off to see a different side of New York City. In the middle of the concrete jungle lies Central Park, one of the city’s most famous tourist spots. With over 800 acres to cross, hopping on a bike is the best way to get around and explore the sights. Be your own tour guide and stop off to check out the vast reservoir, take a break at one of the many coffee shops or simply enjoy feeling the wind in your hair. Visiting at Christmas time means you may be lucky enough to see the park with a beautiful dusting of snow - a truly magical experience. Just remember to wrap up warm! Top of the Rockefeller Center Visiting the Rockefeller Center is a must when in New York, but even more so at Christmas time. Stop to see the iconic Christmas tree which is placed at the doors of the Rockerfeller Center every year and snap the perfect shot or practice your moves on the famous ice rink situated directly below – a brilliant Christmas treat! The Rockefeller Center isn't just known for its attractions on the ground either, why not take a trip 800-feet above street level to witness the most breath-taking views of Manhattan? Visiting as the sun is setting allows an incredible view of the Empire State building as it stands out amongst the glistening lights of the city – a sight that truly cannot be beaten. 5th Avenue Considered as one of the most expensive and prestigious streets in the world, 5th Avenue is a spot you simply must visit - even if you are tempted to buy everything in sight! Packed with some of the world’s best designer shops, 5th Avenue gets a magical makeover at Christmas. From Macy’s to Barneys, the shop windows put on a festive show for the hundreds of passers-by. Even if bustling streets aren't for you, try to visit just one of the holiday window displays as you won’t be disappointed - Saks Fifth Avenue has a different theme every year and this Christmas just gone saw its windows transformed into scenes from a beloved fairy tale. Brooklyn Bridge Home to one of the most iconic skylines in the world, New York offers many legendary landmarks to explore. Of course, the breath-taking view from hundreds of feet in the air at the top of The Rock is a remarkable experience, but there are other ways to see the city’s sparkling lights. Wrap up in your warmest hats and gloves and head downtown to take a stroll across Brooklyn Bridge. Early evening is the best time of day to ensure you get a brilliant view and see the silhouette of the One World Trade Center soaring high above Wall Street. Once you’ve reached Brooklyn, grab your camera and make sure you take a shot of the unbelievable skyline.
29 June 2017
Isn’t it interesting how people's travel habits are changing? It was not so long ago that I was spending most of my time arranging European holidays to Greece, Spain and the Algarve. This year, even though the above are still as popular, my time is mainly taken up with my customers asking to help them tick off countries from their bucket list. The most popular trip I have been asked to arrange is trekking the Ica trail to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. I have arranged this trip as trek only and also incorporating the trek into a full 14 night South America exploration including visiting Cusco - a city in the Peruvian Andes, which was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture, and the Iguazu falls - waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. They are the largest waterfalls system in the world. The trek itself is a real highlight. The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. In just 26 miles (43km) it manages to combine beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. The final destination of the trail just cannot be beaten: Machu Picchu, the mysterious "Lost City of the Incas". You need a decent level of fitness to take part in the Inca trail. On the Classic 4 day Inca trail you will average 12km (7 miles) a day, and will need the endurance to trek over 4,000m passes where the altitude makes the going tough, and Inca stone stairs take a battering on your legs! This trip needs to be booked in advance as you need a permit for the Inca trail and these are limited. If you are interested in this trip please get in touch at least 11 months in advance.
04 January 2017
I have looked back at your travel in 2016 and what you have been asking me to find for you in 2017. Long haul travel is high on your wish-lists for 2017 with more of my customers asking for unique experiences and amazing destinations to tick off the bucket list. Even with challenging times ahead, Europe is still a firm favourite with families and couples who want a 7-night stay or have to travel in the school holidays. For holidays 14 nights or more you are definitely wanting to travel further afield, with 2 or 3 destinations included in the holiday. I have included my top hotel suggestions below; please get in touch for more information My top destinations for 2017 Peru Sublime landscapes, wildlife, history, culture - Peru has more than its fair share. Its famed snow-capped Andean peaks shelter the temples and fortresses of the Inca and other pre-Columbian cultures, linked by a network of paved trails. Much of Peru’s territory lies in the Amazon basin, swathed in tropical forest, surviving virtually untouched; but its diversity of exotic wildlife and vegetation is surprisingly accessible. Peru’s arid coastline is dotted with the haunting remnants of ancient cultures -easy to visit, a bit harder to decipher, always fascinating. Above and besides of all of this, the Spanish colonial heritage has survived to provide a living record of the richness of its art and architecture, from a humble village to imperial city, the visitor is spoilt for choice. The markets, music, and fiestas of contemporary Peru just add to the colour. I have customers already booked on the Inca trail for 2017. A real trekking adventure. New York You can’t get a big enough slice of The Big Apple. Rather than just staying in New York though, many of you are going beyond the city limits and continuing your stay in Boston, Washington and further afield to Las Vegas and San Francisco. You’re also venturing on into Canada, thanks to the great rail and air links which are available. My hotel suggestions: Wyndham New Yorker, Crowne Plaza Times square, The Westin New York Times square, The Beekman a Thompson Hotel Maldives The Maldives are as popular as ever. With plenty of new five-star resorts, including the new OZEN by Atmosphere, the refurbished LUX* South Ari Atol . The Kuredu island resort and spa are still at the top spot with a great choice of accommodation including beach and water villas. The Maldives continue to be the number one choice for honeymooners – and all-inclusive options are really attractive right now. Las Vegas The best place to let loose and have fun. Leave the world behind and immerse yourself in our endless entertainment options, world-famous restaurants, beautiful resorts, and more shopping than you could do in a day. From the classic casinos of Fremont Street to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas offers something to exceed your wildest expectations. Several airlines offer direct nonstop flights from the UK to Las Vegas, such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian Air and Thomas Cook. In addition to this, obtaining a travel visa is easier than ever, which makes your trip to Las Vegas seem that much closer. My customers visit Las Vegas as a short break or as part of a USA road trip. Part of the appeal to Las Vegas is what it can offer beyond the casinos, for instance, an excursion to visit an Indian tribe and horseback riding in the Grand Canyon. My Hotel suggestions The Bellagio, MGM grand hotel and Casino, The Aria resort and Casino and the Venetian Mauritius Mauritius is an ever popular choice, with travellers heading to the Indian Ocean for beautiful beaches and diverse culture. A safari in South Africa is very popular to twin with Mauritius. The Lux Grand Daube is an excellent choice if you are looking for all inclusive in Mauritius and for complete luxury choose the Constance le Prince Maurice. CRUISING Cruising has changed dramatically over recent years and the old stereotype of cruises being stuffy and formal, just for old people, no longer applies. Of course, if you want a formal, traditional cruise experience, there are still plenty of choices out there for you. Although, nowadays a lot of people want a different experience and with the vast range of cruises available, there is now something for everyone. The new super-ships have every kind of activity available, for adults and children, including excellent kids clubs. There is a wide choice of dining options available, formal and informal. You don't have to dress for dinner each night if you don't want to. There are a lot of more relaxed and informal ships to choose from now and a huge choice of itineraries and destinations, from the old favourites in the Med and Caribbean, to unique, specialist cruises, such as Antarctica and the Northern lights. Our cruise brochure is now available. If you would like to hear more about cruising with Travel Counsellors please let me know and I will send you a copy of the brochure.
08 January 2014
Well what a start to 2014. January, as expected, had started with a really busy first week. I am booking mainly family summer holidays. I am seeing great offers around at the moment including FREE child places and children for £1. A popular destination is Turkey and from April the entry requirements for the country will be changing. British nationals need a visa to enter Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports entering the country for a day trip, remaining in the port of embarkation and returning to the ship the same day. From 10 April 2014, it will not be possible to get a visa on arrival. If you’re arriving in Turkey after that date, you will need to get an e-visa online before you travel. Cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports entering the country for a day trip, remaining in the port of embarkation and returning to the ship the same day will continue to be able to enter Turkey without a visa or e-visa. This is the website you should visit - https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en Some unauthorised websites may charge for information about e-visas and for submitting applications. These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Turkish government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees for other services. If you hold a different type of British nationality (BN(O), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject), check visa requirements with the Turkish Embassy before you travel. Make sure your passport has a blank page for the visa stamp. If it does not, the Turkish authorities will issue an ‘Entry-Exit form’ and put your entry-exit stamp on there. You should carry this form with you in Turkey and present it to the border officers when you leave. If you plan to remain in Turkey for a period of more than 90 days, you should either apply for a longer stay visa before you travel, or get a residence permit from the local authorities in Turkey before your 90 day stay has elapsed. If you exceed the 90 day limit, you may be fined, deported and banned from re-entering the country. If you have any questions about entry into Turkey please do not hesitate to get in touch.
18 December 2013
Today, one of my very good customers will depart for Tenerife for two months. He does so every year to escape to the British winter. Tenerife is a great destination if you are looking for some sun when the days here are dark and miserable. In fact Tenerife is the top destination with my customers for winter holidays. THE SOUTH Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, with the popular resorts being in the south of the island. Holidays to Playa de las Americas offer you the best nightlife on Tenerife – as well as six sandy beaches and duty-free shops. This resort is a modern playground with an international atmosphere - perfect for families as well as young couples and groups of friends. The beaches are popular, water sports are brilliant and there’s a waterpark. There is an 18 hole golf course with views towards the resort centre and the sea. There are three dark sandy beaches, Playa del Bobo and the two Playas de Troya. Very popular in high season, they offer a wide range of water sports. Holidays to Los Cristianos combine the bustle of a thriving port town, the simplicity of an old-fashioned beach resort. Pretty as a picture, the sprawling resort of Los Cristianos is the perfect spot if you like a bit of sophistication from your holiday. More low-key than its playful neighbour Playa De Las Americas, you can take things easy here. You can stroll around the old town where you can browse the upbeat bazaars, or get busy in the bustling town centre with its sleek shopping malls, al fresco restaurants and bright bars. The Sunday market is also well worth a visit. But if your idea of holiday heaven is big on the beach life, Tenerife’s top beach, Las Vistas Beach is around the coast towards Playa de las Americas. Holidays to Costa Adeje are a cut above. The beaches have Blue Flags, the shopping comes with designer labels, and the hotels have luxury written all over them. If coming to Tenerife to simply chill out in peaceful surroundings sounds like your kind of holiday, Costa Adeje hits the nail right on the head. Forget high-rises and neon strips, Costa Adeje is life on the quiet side. Newly built, up-market and oozing tranquillity, this charming town spreads out from the glittering sands of the famous El Duque Beach. With its exclusive shops, chic restaurants and luxurious 5-star hotels, this destination really knows how to spoil its guests. Holidays to Los Gigantes take you to a lively seaside town with a bustling marina and black-sand beach – plus the awe-inspiring Giants cliffs. This tranquil has a charming, village-like ambience. What’s here in the way of things to do? There’s the glittering black sand beach and snorkelling. Best of all, it’s rarely crowded here. There are bars lacing the harbour offering great cuisine. Nightlife-wise, it’s a low key affair with friendly bars and restaurants specialising in fresh seafood. THE NORTH On the north coast is the resort of Puerto de la Cruz. Due to the trade winds hitting Mount Teide in the centre of the island the weather in the north tends to cloud over from midday. So if you are visiting Tenerife for the weather this is something to consider. With holidays to Puerto de la Cruz you get traditional restaurants alongside contemporary bars. The old town of Puerto de la Cruz, centres around the small fishing port which has remained remarkably unchanged. Old houses in the traditional style and the fishermen landing their catches give Puerto de la Cruz a charming atmosphere. The rocky coast with its three small black sand beaches is also the home of the newly refurbished Lido Martinez. The Loro Parque is a man-made nature paradise is in Puerto de la Cruz. CENTRAL REGION Tenerife's central region is a dormant volcano, the vast Mount Teide, which rises to 3,718m and is often described as the highest mountain in Spain. The Parque Nacional del Teide is centred on the vast crater at its summit. There are plenty of hiking routes on offer. Wrap up warm, though; the chilly upper slopes of Teide are a marked contrast to the heat of the coast. My top 5 recommended places to stay...... 1. Hotel Vulcano in Playa De las Americas 2. Parque Santiago Apartments in Playa de las Americas 3. Arona Gran in Los Cristianos 4. Dream hotel Gran Tacande in Costa Adeje 5. Hotel Botanico in Puerto De La Cruz
11 December 2013
At the end of the summer, good customers of mine stayed at the Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida. They could not praise the resort highly enough so I wanted to share this fantastic resort with you. When my customer came to me they were looking for a luxurious four bedroom villa with a private pool outside of Disney, but within a short driving distance of the theme parks. As they were travelling with small children they wanted their villa to be in a resort complex with activities so that they could spend a few days away from the theme parks and the children would still be entertained. They also wanted to be able to check in at the actual resort and not have to stop off at an office to collect a key. I recommended the Reunion Resort to them and it was exactly what they were looking for. Here is an overview of the resort…. The resort is nestled in a spacious 2,300 acres of lush parkland and landscaped gardens, located only 15 minutes from Walt Disney World and 20 minutes from SeaWorld and Universal. The Reunion Resort is an ideal destination for families looking for a wide range of facilities and spacious, luxurious accommodation. Guest accommodation ranges from beautifully appointed luxury 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments, 1 or 2 bedroom Grande condos, or 3, 4 or 5 bedroom villas with private pool, all of which are fitted with the latest modern amenities including DVD players and high speed internet access. Each of the accommodations also benefit from full kitchens and some with separate dining areas and private patios or balconies. There are 10 swimming pools to lounge around, plus the resort’s fantastic five acre water park, which combines thrilling water slides with a lazy river. The resort boasts three private championship golf courses designed by the diverse and enviable talents of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, which are certain to challenge beginners through to experts. Of course, even non-golfers will enjoy the verdant fairway vistas that can be enjoyed from most of the resort's elegant gated holiday apartments. There is also a fully equipped fitness centre, full service spa, tennis and a children’s club for ages 4 to 12. Four restaurants and bars include a contemporary American chophouse and a rooftop tapas lounge offering panoramic views of the resort and the Walt Disney World fireworks display. There are also several eateries at the water park and pool pavilion. Best For... Families who want to be close to the action of Walt Disney World, but still be able to enjoy the activities back at the resort. Best Avoided... Not ideal for anyone looking for a quiet, secluded atmosphere, although the private homes and villas do offer a certain level of privacy. I have been booking holidays to Florida for my customers for over 10 years now so have a comprehensive knowledge of all accommodations available, whether you want to stay on International drive, within the Disney parks or in a private home. Whatever your budget there is accommodation available. I also offer tickets to the theme parks and can recommend the best combination for your requirements.
05 December 2013
This week I wanted to share with you the best campaign I have seen in the cruise industry. Celebrity cruises have launched an offer that is applicable to all cruises booked up to the end of February 2014 and for all sailings from 1st February 2014 to 31st March 2015. You can choose TWO of the following offers for any European cruises, or ONE offer for worldwide sailings. This offer is for ocean view cabins and above. 1. Complimentary drinks package This incredible package includes a range of beers, wines and spirits, plus freshly squeezed and bottled juices. 2. Up to $300 (approximately £187) to spend on board Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage in the AquaSpa, engaging shore excursion or a romantic speciality meal for two. 3. Gratuities included Perfect to reward the staff who make your holiday so special, from cool towels at the pool, to refreshing drinks as you board the ship. LUXURY CRUISES Taking luxury cruises beyond your every expectation, Celebrity Cruises offers unparalleled service and stunning destinations. With simply superb facilities on board and a wide selection of indulgent activities, their luxury cruises take the traditional cruise holiday and give it a lavish modern luxury makeover. Celebrity Cruises sail their guests across the globe to destinations that most can only dream of. Enjoy private staterooms with sweeping balcony views, the finest service and award-winning dining to tantalise your taste buds. Wake up in a new destination with a wealth of activities right outside your door. On a luxury cruise with Celebrity, nothing is too good to be true. CRUISE ALL OVER THE WORLD Caribbean cruises take you on a tour of some of the world’s most culturally diverse islands, where the laid-back lifestyle will seduce your senses. Cruises from Southampton reach sea, sun and sand without the airport queues – explore the golden sands of the Mediterranean as easily as the rugged coast and rich history of the Baltic Sea. Head on an Alaskan cruise for some of the world’s most spectacular natural sights, closely rivalled by the soaring fjords you will see on our Norwegian cruises. You can also take a journey on the captivating Panama Canal cruise to see a whole world of influences in just 50 miles. There is more volcanic activity in the paradise of Hawaii, where a beachgoer’s dreams come true. Cruise from the UK to scenic Scandinavia for fabulous style and unforgettable views, whether it is snowing or the sun is out. The heat is definitely on when you sail on one of the Australia and New Zealand cruises – get on your bike, scale towers or lie on beautiful beaches, all under a baking sun. On the other side of the world, fabulous diversity makes South American cruises an experience you will never forget. Equally as exciting is the Asia cruise, where ancient mysticism and electric city life make an intoxicating mix. Or if a tropical twist is what you are looking for, take a look at cruises to the Canary Islands, where energetic Iberian culture meets the sizzling shores of the tropics. From one hemisphere to the other, there is a world of luxury aboard a Celebrity Cruise – and it is all yours to enjoy.
27 November 2013
I was very lucky a few weeks ago to meet up with the Constantinou Brothers of the Cyprus, Paphos Hotels, Athena Royal Beach, Athena Beach and the Asimina suites. I have been a great supporter of their hotels for many years so it was great to catch up and find out what is new, and what offers they have for 2014. Constantinou Bros Hotels are run by Cypriots and keep up the Cypriot tradition with their fine hotels, the emphasis being on gracious hospitality, good food and smiling, friendly staff. The company comprises four, 4 and 5 star hotels, all on the west coast of Paphos. The hotels are renowned for their prime locations and they meet with the needs of their customers perfectly. I will continue their excellent service by making reservations direct with the hotels and ensuring that your holiday meets all expectations. Here is a bit more information about the hotels…. Unique in Cyprus, the 5* Asimina Suites is an adult only all-suite property offering an intimate environment for all guest. Like its sister hotels, the Athena Beach and Athena Royal there is no doubt that Asimina provides a warm welcome to all its guests. Asimina consists of only 121 luxury suites all equipped with modern amenities and luxury touches. Some have private pools and include a private cabana on the beach where waiter service is on offer. Situated on Kato beach, Asimina offers an impressive range of hotel facilities and leisure outlets including an array of restaurants and bars including the stunning Kymata mediterranean restaurant on the beach. For summer 2014 you are able to book a deluxe all-inclusive package option offering fine dining and all drinks with pool and beach waiter service. There is a free half board upgrade for all bookings made before the 30th April for all 2014 arrivals. The Athena royal beach hotel is an adults only, four star, and waterfront hotel. Located next to its sister hotel, the Athena Beach, the Athena Royal Beach Hotel shares the same beach and is close to the centre of Kato Paphos and the fishing harbour. Offering a warm welcome, relaxing ambience and elegant accommodation, the hotel features 162 well-appointed rooms with spacious balconies and a range of modern amenities. Leisure facilities include three freshwater swimming pools, an indoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, tennis, shuffleboard, table tennis and mini golf. Five restaurants and bars include a buffet-style restaurant, an international a la carte restaurant and a pool bar serving snacks and desserts. There is an early booking discount of 5% for all bookings made by the 16th December. The Athena Beach Hotel is a waterfront resort catering for all families and couples. The superior 4-star hotel is on the sand and rock beach of Kato Paphos and offers the added bonus of easy access to places of historic and cultural interest as well as entertainment spots. 394 spacious guest rooms and suites offer a range of modern amenities including a refrigerator and drinks facilities, in addition to a private balcony or terrace. Suites boast fresh flowers, fruit and daily newspapers. The wide range of leisure facilities include three freshwater swimming pools, two tennis courts, table tennis, volleyball, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, mini golf, bowls and a range of water sports available down at the beach. For children there are two paddling pools, a waterslide and a playground. Five restaurants and bars include an international buffet, a more formal a la carte restaurant and a grill bar which is open during the summer. There is regular evening entertainment held in the hotel bar and special themed evenings and shows. There is an early booking discount of 10% for all bookings made by the 16th December.
19 November 2013
I just thought I would let you know that I am just back from the Travel Counsellors conference. There were more than 1200 Travel Counsellors, staff and people from tour operators and travel boards all over the world attending the three-day Travel Counsellors conference at Telford International Centre. On Friday night we were entertained by the cast from West End hit musical Jersey Boys before Rob Brydon, comedian and star of BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey took to the stage. The main conference itself took place on Saturday before Debra Searle MBE, who rowed across the Atlantic alone in 2002, gave a motivational speech and in the evening McFly performed their greatest hits. On Sunday it was the turn of West Ham vice-chairman and star of BBC’s The Apprentice, Karen Brady, to take to the stage. It was a fantastic weekend. This event is the highlight of the year for me. We always get a lot of celebrities and this year was no exception. McFly in particular were absolutely fantastic. We had more than 1200 delegates here from all over the world – people came from Australia and South Africa, such is the high regard it is held in. TV presenter Amanda Lamb was compere throughout the three-day event. So it is back to work now. I met new travel professionals and old friends. Too many to mention here but included small ship luxury cruise lines, Silversea and Hebridean Island Cruises. P & O introduced their new Fly-med cruises for 2014 and their new ship arriving in spring 2015, which will be called Brittania. Destination specialist African pride who provide luxury safari, travel and city holidays to Southern Africa, East Africa & the Indian Ocean provided us with a very entertaining presentation. I met the reservations team from the princess Yiaza in Lanzarote, and the Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus, also and the owners of the Paphos Hotels Athena Beach Hotel and the new Asimina suites, and the Sani Resort hotels in Halkidiki. I picked up lots of information from the tourists boards of Abu Dhabi, Aruba, Bermuda, Japan, Vietnam, Israel, Malta, Orlando, St Lucia and South Africa. Many airlines were there too including British airways, Air New Zealand, Emirates and Etihad, Qantas, Qatar and Virgin. It was great to see China specialist Wendy Wu Tours, who are a great favourite of mine, who offer fully inclusive and escorted tours to China, Indochina and India. I was very excited to be introduced to the newest hotel in New York, The Quin. It only opened at the beginning of November and it is, as expected, amazing. I met some new travel providers including Riviera travel who were voted the UK's favourite escorted tour operator, and also offer River Cruises. I also discovered that Collette worldwide are now offering RHS Garden Holidays. Of course the old favourites were really pleased to meet up again including Virgin Holidays, Cox and Kings, Club Med, Caribtours, Emirates Holidays and Kouni. The weekend was truly inspirational and I can’t wait to pass on my experiences to you. Please call me for a chat anytime.
16 September 2008
In the summer of 2008 my partner and I spent a fabulous two weeks in Corfu, Greece. We stayed in the resort of Arillas at the Marina Hotel. The hotel is right on the beach and our room had a full sea view. The hotel is run by very good friends of ours Anita and Vasili. We met them during 2000 when we were both reps for the resort of Arillas and of all the places and hotels we worked in during 10 years working overseas this is the only resort and hotel we return back to. The resort of Arillas is the perfect spot for relaxation. The beach is sandy and the sea is very shallow so safe for children. The resort is small having a couple of bars and shops and a handful of family-run tavernas – which are all excellent. Arillas is in between the resorts of St George North and San Stefanos and both linked to Arillas by cliff top walks. The original jetty remains in the resort and from here you can see the locals taking out their boats daily for the catch of the day. Arillas is well known for its sunsets and they are spectacular as the sun sets into the sea. Corfu is very special to Roy and I as this is where we met, so we hired a car for the 2 weeks and visited some of our favourite places. In the South of Corfu is the resort of St George South. Having the longest sandy beach on the island this resort is again very popular with couples and families. The nightlife is lowkey and centred around the restaurants and a few bars. The main feature of this resort are the watersports. The new All Inclusive Sandy Beach hotel is situated right on the beach and the watersports here are excellent. Our favourite place is off the beaten track in the centre of the island on the slopes of Mount Pantakrator. The deserted village of Perithia is a small town, originally built in Byzantine times. Its located in the mountains between Kassiopi and Acharavi. It is unique, in that it is almost completely uninhabited. At one point occupied by over 1,500 people, the village lost all its inhabitants due to population changes over the last century.There are now two tavernas in the old village and we stopped here for mountain lamb, bekri meze (spicy pork), greek salad and of course a jug of locally made wine. Corfu Town is the capital of the island and is one of the most interesting towns in Greece due to the heavy influence of the Venetians who for centuries controlled the island. Like the other Ionian islands Corfu was never occupied by the Turks, which gives it a character very different from the rest of Greece. The town is a maze of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Around every corner can you can find a chapel, old mansion or secret garden square. The cafes at the Liston: built by the French in the same style as those in Rue de Rivoli, Paris; is where we stopped to 'people watch' one evening. After refreshments we continued into the shopping streets which are dominated by gold and local craft shops. When driving around the island you cannot fail to notice the amount of olive trees that dominate Corfu. The locals will tell you there are 3 million olive trees on the island. Corfu is one of the greenest islands in Greece and even though they had had no rain since May the grapevines and fields growing aubergines and courgettes were flourishing. We even saw the local women on their donkeys transporting fire wood through the villages. There is something for everyone in Corfu. If you are looking sandy beaches then the resorts on the west of the island are best, such as Roda, Arillas, St George north, San Stefanos, Agios Gordios, Paleokastritsa, Pelekas and St George South. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing resort then look no further than Arillas and San Stefanos, and for a livelier holiday the resorts of Sidari and Kassiopi. I lived in Corfu for 6 years and know the island like the back of my hand - far too much to include in this journal. If you are thinking of visiting Corfu please give me a call as I have numerous hotel and resort recommendations for you. I am sure you will enjoy Corfu.
23 April 2008
In the summer of 2007 my partner and I spent a fabulous two weeks in Kefalonia, Greece. We stayed in the resort of Lourdas in the Ionian Sun apartments. The apartments were right on the beach and our room had a full sea view. The apartments were of an excellent standard, having all the self catering facilities you would expect including a microwave, kettle and toaster, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. We also had full air conditioning. The complex itself had a beautiful pool with a small Jacuzzi and a pool bar. The resort of Lourdas was very quiet and relaxing which was exactly what we expected. Along the beachfront road where we were situated was not the centre of the resort but still had a few tavernas. There are no bars or nightlife in this resort!! Along the beachfront as well as the few tavernas are plots of land where the farmers are kept busy tending to there peppers, aubergines, figs, olives and courgettes. The resort is backed by the tallest mountain on the island which is covered at the top in pine trees. Along with this view to the back of the beach, and clear views of Zakynthos across the sea, this provides extremely dramatic scenery. The beach itself is a mix of course sand and small stones. There are sunbeds and parasols on the beach and we spent a great deal of time here topping up our tans. We hired a jeep for the duration of our holiday. If you do not fancy this walk and you do not drive abroad there is plenty of accommodation in the centre of the resort and there is one taxi driver. The selection of restaurants in the resort centre was excellent and we found some traditional Greek tavernas and restaurants serving international cuisine. As we had the Jeep we made full use of it and explored the whole island. 85% of the island was destroyed by an earthquake in 1953 and having the Jeep we drove off road and found many villages that had been destroyed and deserted. Old Valsamata was our favourite and a very eyrie place to explore, with a lot of the cracked walls of the buildings and churches still standing. On the same day we visited the monastery of Saint Gerasimos who is the patron saint of the island. His withered body is on display in a silver coffin in the chapel. This area is rich in agriculture and they grow their own Robola grape. You can visit the winery but we chose to taste the wine in a local taverna with a selection Greek Meze (plates of local dishes). The capital of the island is Argostoli. The whole town was destroyed in the earthquake so this is a very modern capital. We spent a few nights in the main square of the town people watching. This is where Greek families come to enjoy the café atmosphere. Just off the square is the Lithostroto which is the shopping heart of the town. There are also many museums in the town. We had the best meal on the whole holiday in Argostoli in a local taverna on the harbour front. Captain Corellis Mandolin was filmed on the island and we visited Sami where most of it was filmed. Antisamos and Myrtos beaches which feature in the film and absolutely beautiful, and we found the best kept secret in Kefalonia which is the beach with the jetty that was used frequently during filming. The beach is Horgota beach and is very isolated and can only be found using a good map. In the north of the island are the resorts of Assos and Fiscardo. Assos is built on its own peninsular and is overlooked by a 16th century fortress. Most of the village survived the 1953 earthquake and you can see many of the old Venetian buildings still standing. We visited all the main resorts on the island including the largest resorts of Lassi and Skala. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops here but Lassi remains mainly low-key and particularly popular with families. In the busy resort of Skala you will find everything you need. The beach is long and sandy with plenty of sun beds, umbrellas, water sports and scuba diving. Having lived in Greece for many years it was a pleasure to return, but this time to an island we had not visited before. We found Kefalonia a very beautiful island with extremely dramatic scenery. The combination of turquoise sea, steep white cliffs and white sand beaches, combined with fertile valleys covered in grape vines and olive trees and the towering mountains make this island a gem and a must to visit.
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