Based in Curdridge

Lucy McNeil

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It's Nice To Meet You

If you’re looking for a holiday, then I’d love to help!

My name is Lucy McNeil and I am a Travel Counsellor based in Curdridge near Southampton. I live here with my husband and two young children but I’m originally from Carlisle in Cumbria where my family still live.

I have always loved travelling and experiencing what the world has to offer, and being a Travel Counsellor allows me to arrange your holiday so that you can do the same. I have over 20 years’ experience as a travel agent and I specialise in luxury long haul, skiing and family holidays, but I can easily organise all aspects of your travel requirements using our award-winning booking technology. I have also worked for the leading cruise companies P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises, so I have an in depth knowledge of the cruise world too.

During my time in the travel industry I have been fortunate enough to visit some amazing places around the world including New Zealand, the Caribbean (including Barbados, Tobago and Antigua), Dubai, Mauritius, Iceland and New York. I have also visited many of the European holiday resorts with my young family including Tenerife, Crete, Majorca and Ibiza so I can give expert advice on great places to travel when you have children.

I love sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with my customers and like to research their holidays as if they were my own. Customer service is my number one priority and I want my customers to receive the very best professional friendly service every time they book with me. You can also be guaranteed that your hard-earned money is safe as here at Travel Counsellors, with ATOL protection and our unique financial trust.

So if you are looking for expert personal service then give me a ring or send me an e-mail and I can help you today.


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My Blog

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.

Our Sardinian Adventure!

04 September 2018

As a family of four and the nature of my job we have been to some lovely places and had some truly amazing holidays. However, this year we wanted something a bit different and after speaking to a lovely friend at a local tour operator Sardinian Places she recommended the gorgeous Le Dune Resort and Spa, located on the North West coast of the stunning Italian Island of Sardinia. After a lovely short 2 hour flight, we landed at Olbia airport which is on the North East of the Island in the Costa Smeralda region. We were soon through the airport and met our taxi driver waiting in arrivals and whisked straight off for the 90-minute transfer (which was rather windy and took in some great scenery!) We drove up the short road to the arrivals point at the resort, one thing to note is that there are 5 hotels located within the grounds of Le Dune so once we established we were staying at Le Sabine we headed off to the reception area in a golf buggy which the kids loved! We wound our way through little tree-lined lanes past a piazza with a bar, shops, a stage, an amphitheatre and a spa before we came to Le Sabine reception. The hotel is quite rustic, it’s a 4*, so no fancy contemporary designs just beautiful Italian charm and I loved it! We settled into our room which was a lovely 1 bedroom suite, again not fancy but immaculately clean and loads of room for the four of us. The buildings are all low-rise and look out onto tree and shrubbery which to some may not be appealing but to us, it wasn’t a problem. We decide to venture to the pool and wondered whether we might not get a space! We usually take our foreign holiday in the May half term when most resorts are busy but it was such a pleasant surprise to find the pool was really quiet and peaceful, sunbeds were plentiful and the bar served cold beers…what’s not to like! The resort has 10 restaurants, mostly buffet style and some carried a small surcharge but most were included in the half board offer as was house wine and water. We ate at the restaurant situated in the Le Sabine hotel and the food was delicious, plenty of seafood, pasta, and meat! Our days were mostly spent in the same routine which involved Ava heading to kids club for a few hours, Archie doing an hour or so of football, Tony in the gym and me holding fort by the pool! One of the reasons we chose Le Dune is because of its renowned kids facilities (whilst writing this I checked their Facebook page only to see they had won another award for their kids clubs). The kids club is split into babies, mini club, junior club, and teen club so pretty much every age was catered for. The activities were varied and included arts and crafts, trips to the beach, horse riding and singing and dancing. The beauty of Le Dune is that its clientele is mostly Italians from the mainland, a good few French and the Brits were the minority, meaning our children met lots of international kids and staff. There are tons of other activities here not just for kids, you can brush up on your tennis skills, do a spot of yoga up by the pine trees and even go for a horse ride with the resort’s own stables. What I think stands out at Le Dune, however, is the Italian hospitality. They are so friendly and professional and super cool, I found myself mesmerized by the beautiful language they spoke and desperately wishing I’d studied a language! One last thing that wowed us was the entertainment, almost every night we headed up to the huge amphitheatre where they put on a kids disco before the ‘real’ entertainment started. There were wonderful shows which were so well staged, the singers and dancers were amazing and after seeing some pretty average (and totally hilarious) hotel entertainment in the last 10 years this was by far the best we had seen. But if shows aren’t your thing you could always sit in the Piazza and have a drink, listen to one of the many bands on the stage or watch the side shows often appearing on a theme night. They even had a nightly play park next to the Piazza where kids could go to play on bouncy castles, zip wires and pedal go-karts (all whilst parents enjoyed a G&T or beer!) All in all, we had a wonderful holiday and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Resort & Spa Le Dune especially for families looking for a fun, varied holiday in a beautiful setting.

The Beautiful Island of Mauritius

16 March 2018

Well here we are hurtling through 2018 at a rate of knots and thankfully Spring has sprung…although as I write this the weather is turning again just as the kids break up for the Easter holidays – typical! As a lover of all things travel I love to attend as many training sessions, webinars and events as I can to improve my knowledge and help me to advise my lovely clients as best I can. This week I joined some of my fellow local Travel Counsellors to hear all about luxury holidays to Mauritius. Now we all need some luxury in our life even if it’s just for a special occasion! I thought I would send you off into the world of 5* food, service and facilities. Mauritius is a beautifully diverse island dotted next to Madagascar in the gorgeous serene waters of the Indian Ocean. I have been lucky enough to be visit Mauritius and I loved the fact that the island offered so much. The island is 12 hours flight from the UK but due to its location only four hours ahead so no jetlag which is great for those who suffer! The official language is English, but many residents speak French and Creole, so you can imagine the culture is very diverse. The interior of the island is mountainous with a tropical climate whilst the coast is littered with white sandy beaches and aqua blue seas – from one extreme to another! The best time of year to visit is between March and June and September and December where the temperature will be at least 25 degrees and up; although our summer months of July and August are also great months with little rainfall but slightly cooler temperatures. The hotels on Mauritius are as truly stunning as the scenery and offer something for everyone. A few that I want to mention are the Shandrani which enjoys a great location on a private peninsular down on the South East coast and the Trou Aux Biches situated on the best beach in Mauritius on the North West coast. Then there’s the young and lively Le Mauricia which sits in a fab location on the North West tip of the island in the bustling village of Grand Baie. The Shandrani is a fantastic hotel that offers guests an all-inclusive experience with four fantastic restaurants, a blissful Clarins Spa, Free kids club and even a sailing club! The hotel has three beaches, one of which is called ‘Wild Beach’ where the water sports are plentiful. The rooms are beautifully light and airy, and many have a delightful beachfront setting. Those with bigger families can enjoy space in the hotels two-bedroom apartments. This hotel which is classed as a 4*+ has so much to offer guests that I’d love to go here myself! The other hotel I love is Trou Aux Biches (pronounced ‘trow-beesh’). This resort is renowned for its laid-back luxury with exceptional hospitality – so much so that the general manager Fatima will remember your name after meeting you only once! The beautiful hotel has six restaurants serving Creole and Mediterranean dishes as well as Indian and Thai food. The calm seas and white sandy beaches at Trou Aux Biches make it a truly romantic setting for weddings and honeymoons; plus, with all-suite accommodation you can relax in the most amazing surroundings, even enjoying a beachfront suite with a private pool. Imagine that! And last but not least is the vibrant fun packed resort of Mauricia which enjoys a great location in the bustling coastal village of Grand Baie which makes it ideal for a fun packed holiday! With beautiful rooms and apartments, you can base yourself here and enjoy any manner of water sports including water-skiing, windsurfing sailing and snorkelling. For those wishing to take advantage of the sunshine there’s two large pools to laze by and take the occasional dip! By night the lovely little village of Grand Baie offers laid back bars and restaurants and even La Rhumerie, a nightclub open 6 nights a week! Of course, those of you with children will find this place great too as they have a kids club for 3 to 12 year olds keeping them well and truly entertained whilst you enjoy your holiday too! If all of this hasn’t whet your appetite for a lovely Indian Ocean holiday I don’t know what will! Give me a call if you fancy some luxury!

A guide to choosing the right ski resort!

20 March 2018

As I’m sat here writing this blog it’s snowing outside as ‘the Beast from the East’ is making its presence known and it got me thinking - it’s time to book a ski holiday! Skiing is not everyone’s thing, but I am a self-confessed snow junkie – I even met my husband on the slopes so talking about skiing is one of my favourite things! I think what I love most about it is it is completely different to anything you do in your normal day-to-day life. Putting on uncomfortable boots and attaching two long planks of wood (or one long board if that’s your thing) to said boots and then hurling yourself down a massive hill, and then repeating that about 10 times until you can’t stand up anymore. What’s not to love? It did used to be fashionable amongst the elite but now, thanks to the wide variety of ski companies, it’s so much more affordable. Where to start with such a huge topic? I thought I’d give my top tips on choosing the right holiday for you, starting with how easy it is to get there. Nowadays quite a few companies fly from Southampton to Chambery in France, Geneva in Switzerland and Innsbruck in Austria. From those airports the ski areas you can transfer to are endless. Flying from Southampton makes a huge difference to the overall trip as, more often than not, the transfer from airport to mountain can be up to three hours depending on how high up you’re going. Don’t let that put you off as there are many resorts that are around 1 ½ hours transfer so that’s a bit more doable! When choosing a resort, it helps to have a think about a few things. What level skiing/boarding you’re looking for, who is travelling and what everyone wants from their holiday. I’ve been a few times now and with different sets of people, from my girlfriends (that’s when I met my hubby) to my family including my 60-year-old parents and then my own little family when my son was only two! Lots of resorts offer great après ski action such as Val D’Isere in France, Pas de la Casa in Andorra and Verbier in Switzerland, with plenty of pubs and bars offering to ease your aches and pains with copious amounts of gluhwein! If you’re looking for a great family resort, it’s best to see what there is on offer off the slopes too, as little ones can only handle so much slope time. I’d recommend Alpe D’Huez as the slopes are set right behind the town so there’s lots of ski-in and ski-out accommodation and there’s lots going on in the town including a large communal pool. A word of warning - apparently men have to wear Speedos to swim in it! The other resort I would recommend is Alpbach in Austria. This pretty little village in the Tirol mountain range is compact and has some lovely sunny nursery slopes for the little beginners. It also has an ice rink and communal swimming pool for some fun off the slopes. For serious skiers and boarders who are looking for height and great off-piste actions there’s lots of great resorts. One I’d recommend is St Anton in Austria. Catch the cable car above the main area and from here a five-man gondola carries you the last few hundred metres to expert-only terrain and the notorious Valluga Nord off-the-back descent to Zurs. (This all sounds scary to me but my “expert” hubby assures me it’s awesome!) The other thing to consider when looking for the perfect ski holiday is the type of accommodation you’re after. Some people like the flexibility of self-catering which is usually the cheapest option from a booking perspective but depending on the resort it can be very expensive to eat out; Switzerland and Norway in particular. The other options are half board hotels, where breakfast and dinner are included, or my favourite: the catered chalet. Going for this option is great, especially with kids as you are in smaller accommodation so perhaps lodges holding between 8-16 people and you have a chalet host at your beck and call! They make you a hearty breakfast, put on a splendid afternoon tea for the well-deserved post-slope sugar rush and then cook a four-course dinner where wine is generally free-flowing! The chalet host usually has one day off in the week which allows you to go out and enjoy one of the many restaurants the resort has to offer. There you are, choosing a ski holiday in a nut-shell! If you are thinking of planning your ski holiday now is a great time to do it so give me a call on 01489 858270 or send me an e-mail lucy.mcneil@travelcounsellors.com.

Great places to explore in America

28 March 2017

Friday 20th January 2017 will be remembered as one of the most important days in US history and only the next 4 years will tell whether it was a good day or a bad day at the (oval) office! With Trump’s inauguration call to arms message being to ‘Make America Great Again’ it got me thinking about all the amazing things are great in America - travel related of course! I’m a big fan of the US and there’s still lots of it I am yet to explore so I thought I would give you some of my American bucket list destinations - maybe it will feed your desire to explore it too. Number One on my US bucket list is the Napa Valley and this is mainly because in my head I have a vision of warm balmy Californian sunshine beating down on the gloriously juicy grapes on the beautiful vines, and then there’s me sat on a wooden rocking chair with my one true love overlooking the wine lands with a glass of icy cold Sauvignon Blanc muttering something about this being the life! Now in reality I’m not sure if this would ever happen, but I know for sure that if it did it would be warm and balmy and the wine will be ice cold!! The Napa Valley is the very well know wine region set inland from the Californian coast just north of San Francisco and east of Sacramento. Fly into San Fran and take a car up to Napa where there are hundreds of wineries dotted up and down this prime wine-making area and many you can just pop in and visit and do a little wine tasting of course. Many have accommodation (so I can have my moment) and are family owned so give a very authentic experience, and of course you can really enjoy the wine without the worry of driving. Number two has to be skiing in Colorado – home to some of the best known ski regions in the world, home to 26 areas and resorts such as the very glamorous, celeb-packed Aspen to the family friendly Breckenridge. Set on the Rocky Mountain range (which actually spans from Eastern Canada down to New Mexico) Colorado has something for every ski and boarders taste. It also has the advantage of having an extended ski season with some resorts such as Arapahoe opening as early as mid-October and with ride able snow through to July. This is due to its base being at 11,000 feet above sea level and some resorts reaching 14,000 feet - now that’s pretty high! It’s become more affordable for Brits too as often prices are very comparable to European ski resorts during peak seasons and with the guarantee of snow and excellent facilities in resort American skiing has become a very real choice for British skiers. Number three and we move over to the South East Coast and the art deco lined streets of Miami. I have another vision here and it involves alcohol again so bear with me. I’m sitting drinking a margarita on the palm-tree lined streets of Miami Beach, the sea is lapping the warm sand and the sun is just about setting - are you with me? Miami is one of the coolest cities in America with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene and it’s become a mecca for the young folk to flock here at any time of the year due to the temperate climate and gorgeous beaches. It’s got a great live music scene too with many big names choosing Miami venues for their fans to congregate. Upcoming acts to perform in Miami are Radiohead, Flo Rida, Barenaked Ladies and even Andrea Bocelli. The choice of places to get your head down is pretty extensive too with amazing hotels from 5 star Fontainebleu where glamour meets modern luxury to the 3 star Marseille where you can find affordable luxury just one street from the beach. Number four is a popular for animal lovers and a must-see for bear hunters (not actual hunters!) – Yosemite National Park. With its nearly 1200 square miles the park is the most amazing place with giant waterfalls, ancient sequoia trees and powerful glaciers. The park is at its busiest in the summer months between April & October and driving through the park can be quite busy. You can stay in various different accommodation from lodges to camping and backpackers hostels too. Reservations are usually required for all types of accommodation so forward planning is key for your trip to Yosemite. If you can get in and avoid the crowds you are sure of seeing one thing - all-encompassing beauty. The park is home to over 400 species of animal including the famous grizzly bear which is on the endangered species list and 800 miles of trails where you can explore the vegetation zones. All in all it’s well worth a visit and you never know you might get to Yogi too! Number five and we head down to New Orleans, Louisiana or NOLA as it’s affectionately known by. Set at the mouth of the world-famous Mississippi river the rich history and culture of New Orleans is evident in every corner of the city. After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the city has fought hard to get back to any normality but by always having hope and their faith the people of New Orleans have kept strong albeit in diminishing numbers as people settled outside of the city. But this all adds to the amazing history of this fascinating city which is well known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and being the birthplace of jazz music. The French quarter hosts many jazz bars and music venues and the city is the home of the colourful carnival known as Mardi Gras – with NOLA residents planning events and costumes for months ahead. Many people like to see New Orleans either pre or post cruise as the city has a large port where many cruise ships depart from or make calls to. Or why not make it part of a musical multi-centre trip taking in Nashville and Tennessee to the North. So there’s an insight into my US bucket list and don’t forget if they’re on yours too give me a call and I can help you tick another off the list!

New Zealand's South Island

20 March 2018

New Zealand – the pie capital of the world apparently. No I didn’t know that either! I visited the South Island about nine years ago and this fact eluded me, however, a client went a couple of months ago and assures me this is the case! Less about pies and more about the most amazing place on the planet - well I think so and so does my client! We had friends who moved to New Zealand so it was a great excuse to go not once but twice in the space of six months and the scenery, the people, the way of life were enough to make my hubby and I consider moving there. We didn’t in the end because strangely enough it was just a bit too quiet for us. For a holiday of a lifetime though, this is your place. The list of activities you can do is endless so I’m just going to mention a few of mine and Ed’s favourites but as usual if you want to know more just give me a shout! Let’s start with the best way to get around! My mother-in-law is a massive fan of NZ and she described it perfectly when she said that the country is so user friendly for visitors – especially us Brits. They drive on the same side of the road as us which helps (even I managed to drive in NZ and that is saying something!) I would recommend hiring a camper van. They come in many different forms from ‘billy-basic’ to ‘totally-rad’. A mid-price camper van will probably set you back around £850 for a week in high season. NZ also allows you to pull off the road. You can’t visit New Zealand’s South Island without going whale watching. The relatively calm waters of Kaikoura on the NE coast offer a year-round home to the giant sperm whale, and a typical boat trip usually may encounter New Zealand fur seals, pods of dusky dolphins and the endangered wandering albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales. A 2.5-hour trip costs about £60pp. Moving down onto the West Coast of the South Island you will find the most amazing and unbelievably cool glacier, Franz Josef. The day we climbed the glacier I was a bit unsure as to what I was getting myself into especially when I put the soggy boots on that had been worn a hundred times and were wet through. I soon changed my tune when I walked to the bottom of the glacier and was faced with the most stunning sight (one of many on our trip). I’d never experienced anything like the scenery I saw that day, it was literally like something out of the ice age! A Glacier walk costs about £140pp. The second time we went to NZ we went in July so it was winter out there, which meant only one thing for us - skiing! We took a road trip and drove down to Wanaka where we hired a fabulous house which overlooked the lake. We spent many evenings lounging in the hot tub after a long days skiing! The ski area nearby is called Cardrona and yet again the scenery blew me away. I can’t really put it into words (which is unfortunate as this is a travel journal) the jaw dropping beauty and sheer awesomeness that meets you when you stop at the top of the mountain to take your breath! I think you may be getting the idea! An hour south and you find yourself in the adrenalin-junkie heaven that is Queenstown. Most things that go on here involve ropes, bridges, rafts and beer! We went white water rafting and I have never had so much fun in a life jacket and helmet ever! It’s scary, brilliant and totally puke inducing but I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Of course, you can do lots of activities that don’t involve water and perhaps require more air such as bungee jumping and sky-diving, the choice is yours. Or of course you could just sample a delicious lamb shank washed down with a glass of bone dry Sauvignon Blanc which sounds much more my thing! If you like what you read, get in touch, I can put together bespoke itineraries that fit your time and budget constraints and ensure you have a trip of a lifetime!

My Wonderful Night Onboard P&O Cruises newest Ship Britannia

04 June 2015

Walking into Ocean Terminal down at Dock Gate 4 in Southampton I could tell something big was happening, something iconic, and something historical. It wasn't just the buzz and excitement of the press and the hundreds of travel agents waiting to board P&O Cruises’ newest ship Britannia for an evening of food and wine. It wasn't even the fact that the Queen was somewhere in the vicinity enjoying lobster mornay and sampling English Sparkling wine. No, the real spectacular was that everything about this event and indeed this magnificent new ship, was British. (It may have been built at Fincantieri ship yard in Italy but that is a minor issue.) Britannia’s bow is adorned with the Union Jack, the huge bottle of bubbles that smashed against the side of the ship when she was christened wasn't champagne, it was English Sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate on the South Downs and even the fabulous new Cookery Club is quintessentially British! I'm a fan of cruising, it spans back from when I worked for the Agency Sales team at Carnival in Southampton. You seem to eat, sleep and breathe cruising and you either love it or hate it! Don't get me wrong I understand people's preconceptions of the traditional cruise where stuffiness meets long boring days at sea. But P&O Cruises have recognised that they need to appeal to a younger audience if they are to survive and Britannia is the girl for the job! After a short wait to embark due to the Queen enjoying her lunch, I finally boarded and upon entering Britannia’s huge atrium you can immediately tell she is modern, innovative and engaging - not words you would have necessarily used for British cruise ships until now. They have brought in a team of designers from 5* hotels such as The Langham and the Mandarin Oriental and you can tell. She is understated luxury without being ostentatious or stuffy. I felt like I could bring my two young children here without fear of being told to get their hands off the paintings and to keep them under control. After all this is a family friendly ship and built with the discerning British family in mind. I headed off to discover what else Britannia had to offer and came across one of those innovations I mentioned earlier, the new Cookery Club towards the aft of the ship. I was blown away with how amazing it was. There was work stations with brand new Kitchen Aids and pestle and mortars, it was an amateur chef’s dream. On selected itineraries P&O Cruises are offering cookery lessons with one of their food heroes (James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Eric Lanlard, Atul Kuchar & Olly Smith) and as I'm a foodie this is music to my ears. They also have a chef’s table for an intimate meal cooked by one of these amazing chefs. I meandered on and checked out the kids’ facilities, I almost felt like being a child again myself as they are so well catered for. Adults can definitely wile away couple of sunbathing hours whilst the kids entertain themselves in the various settings from the nursery up to the teen pool area. The only slight downside I feel to cruising is that the cabins are quite small and a family of four would feel very snug in one of the balcony cabins let alone an inside cabin. There are of course Suites that cater for families but these can be quite pricey and I think long days at sea could potentially induce cabin fever! However, don’t let this put you off as the facilities on board Britannia really do make this a fantastic holiday for young and old. If you’re looking for a cruise or any other holiday or travel arrangements, please feel free to contact me. I can offer you over twelve years of travel industry knowledge and expert customer service. All of our holidays are 100% financially protected and using our award winning booking technology our prices are very competitive. Call me today on 01489 858270 or e-mail me on lucy.mcneil@travelcounsellors.com.

My fabulous family holiday at Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

20 March 2018

This travel journal comes direct from my sunbed with a Mojito in hand! Jealous? You should be because it's absolutely fabulous here! I'm on location in the beautiful five-star resort of Aphrodite Hills on the South West coast of Cyprus. The resort is so-called as, according to Greek mythology, this is the place where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, rose out of the sea. With the rolling countryside and the stunning views out to sea it's easy to get lost in the mythology! Gushiness aside, this resort really does have it all. I was lucky enough to be shown round the resort by the lovely Maria who is the Sales and Marketing Representative for Aphrodite Hills Residences and it was great to get an insider’s view of what the place has to offer. I definitely wasn't disappointed. I'll start with the great range of accommodation available. From one-bedroom apartments equipped with all the mod cons and set around a shared pool to five-bedroom elite villas set high on the hill with gorgeous views out to sea and a private pool of your very own to view them from. They are all privately owned so each apartment or villa is individually decorated giving a lovely home from home feel. They're all huge too. Apparently, the Cypriots build on a large scale and you can tell when you look around the accommodation. There is also an 18-hole golf course that stretches out across the East and West plateau of this vast resort. I'm not a golfer but I have it on good authority that it's a pretty decent course. The views out to sea certainly help with the game! Of course, no five-star resort is complete without a spa. The Retreat Spa at Aphrodite Hills is probably one of the nicest I've seen. It has 27 treatment rooms and numerous other areas to cater for every sense. Relaxation is the name of this game! However, if you want to keep yourself fit whilst your away, they have a gym with a resident fitness trainer and loads of good classes such as cardio kick, Zumba and Pilates. Watching all those people physically exerting themselves really helped me work up an appetite so I walked around the village square where there's an array of restaurants catering for different tastes, from Italian to Indian and of course traditional Cypriot fayre too. And if you have a sweet tooth there's even a Haagen Daaz shop too! Whilst having a walk around the village square we came across a small chapel where they were preparing to hold a wedding. It was decorated with beautiful lilies and white linen on the chairs, idyllic doesn’t even describe it. I enquired with Maria about the weddings and how easy it is to arrange such a massive event for the bride and groom. She told me about Natalie who is the wedding coordinator who takes all the stresses away and deals with everything from flowers to food. I was almost tempted to ditch the hubby and find someone new just to experience a wedding in paradise! The kids don't miss out here either. There's a brilliant kids club that runs from 10am to 6pm where the kids can play and have fun whilst you soak up the sun or play a round of golf! They also have a tennis academy which has been designed by Annabelle Croft and she often comes out here to teach some sessions. This along with the football academy really does give you and the kids a great range of activities if laying by the pool isn't your thing, although it really is my thing! If all of that doesn't entice you to visit Aphrodite Hills perhaps the all-inclusive five-star hotel might! It's run separately to the residences and is part of Thomson Holidays’ Sensatori concept which is designed to cater for UK holidaymakers looking for family friendly luxury but also with great adult facilities too. Cyprus is a great place to visit, be it Aphrodite Hills or some of the other great hotels and apartments on the island. It's very friendly as everyone speaks English and they even drive on the same side of the road as the UK. There's plenty going on in the major resorts of Paphos, Limassol and the clubbers' Mecca of Ayia Napa. There are also lots of pretty villages with traditional Cypriot buildings and there's even some vineyards which are definitely worth a visit. The weather is pretty good year-round with average winter temperatures of 15 degrees and summer highs of mid to early 30's. And with flights from Bournemouth and Gatwick it's only a 4-hour flight so very easily accessible. If this all sounds like your little piece of paradise give me a call!

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This time I have just booked flights - and what a delightful experience it's been so far. Now planning to go away in Spring next year and we'll book through Lucy. Customer service like I thought had been totally forgotten in our automated world! Such a refreshing change. Pricing between going direct and booking via Lucy is very small (I was pleasantly surprised) with the difference more than justified by Lucy's attention and assistance. Next time I will not even bother looking online at all (it's a nightmare!!!) - I always used to book direct to save that little extra money (but think I spent at least that in lost work!). Thank you.

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Lucy took the time to chat to me to really find out what we wanted as a family, and came up with several options. We are really pleased with the package she has put together for us, at a price we feel is competitive.

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As always Lucy provided an excellent service providing us with a range of options to suit our needs and assisting with the booking in a timely manner. Lucy always makes deciding on and booking a break a stress free experience.

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I've already recommended Lucy to a friend and they’ve booked something. Fantastic service and communication, makes booking a holiday so much easier.

Sent by Miles Foskett

Took the stress out of getting my kids away. Was great to deal with, ascertained my needs and delivered first time at a reasonable price. I have already sung Lucy's praises both verbally and on Facebook. A great experience, a big, big, big thank you Lucy McNeil!

Sent by Ann Picton-Jones

Excellent and prompt service. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend Lucy.

Sent by Karen Collins

Lucy was brilliant in searching for our exact needs for a break in the sun, Very helpful and also prompt in replying to my numerous questions. Found us just what we required, we can’t wait to go. Would highly recommend her to all my friends.

Sent by Julia Scarborough

A very professional service from Lucy, who was also very personable.

Sent by Russell Miller

If the holiday is as chilled as the booking experience, we are on to a winner! Would definitely recommend for a hassle free holiday search, knowing you are getting the personal touch of an expert.

Sent by Jamie Muir

Lucy has been brilliant form day one, always really quick at getting the information we needed without any trouble and looking at the options that suited us rather than the travel company. We will be using Lucy for all our holidays in the future, the personal touch to the whole process is worth every penny.

Sent by Christine Grew

For someone looking for a Travel Counsellor I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Lucy. Passionate about her job, she listens carefully to the needs of a client to achieve their ideal holiday. This is the third year we've used Lucy to help us plan our holiday.

Sent by Laura Hawtin

This is the second time I've booked our family Summer holiday through Lucy. It's such an easy process and takes so much stress out of the process. This year we're travelling with my sister's family too, so Lucy had to find a holiday to suit both our criteria, and that would fit us all in - she came back with a good selection of holidays very quickly and we're now all booked. I always recommend Lucy to my friends and family!

Sent by Duncan Chilvers

The patience of a saint! We met Lucy at a wedding fair and asked for her help in planning our honeymoon. We had clear ideas of what we wanted, a safari followed by a relaxing beach holiday. You’d think that was easy but trying to fit it around the wedding dates, kids’ exams, work commitments and the one thing we had not really considered… the weather conditions at our chosen destination was quite a challenge. With Lucy’s help we finally picked and booked the holiday of our dreams. Without her guidance and knowledge, had we just picked out of a brochure, it wouldn’t have been as wonderful as it turned out. Both hotels selected by Lucy were amazing and I doubt if we would have ever found the safari lodge without someone with Lucy’s knowledge. We bombarded Lucy with questions as we got closer to the day and she was brilliant at sorting all of them out and we set off for distant lands confident we would be looked after at all the stages. We had a few problems with the flights, but Lucy was very quickly able to step in and sort the airlines out. Again, not something I would have thought the high street travel companies would have done. We will certainly be using Lucy in the future for family holidays.

Sent by Liz Wylie

Lucy has been an amazing help with our family holidays. Her expertise has enabled us to experience quality time together in great locations and hotels. She takes away the stress of worrying about any aspect of the holiday, organising everything from flights, seat reservations, transfers and hotels. Her knowledge means that you can rely on her to find the right holiday for you. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Sent by Debbie Nicholson

A friend of mine recommended me to Lucy, I'm so glad she did, Lucy's been very helpful and professional. I had to change a few things due to circumstances but she sorted everything out for me. Would definitely recommend Lucy to my friends and family.

Sent by Tracey Thomas

Fantastic service from Lucy, will definitely be recommending her to friends and family!

Sent by Kate Dunkley

Lucy took time to find out exactly what we wanted and then did excellent research, making some suggestions we hadn't considered. We greatly appreciated her expertise. She was efficient and friendly and we can't wait for our holiday.

Sent by Laura Hawtin

Lucy has taken all of the stress out of searching for a family holiday that will please everyone. I would've easily spent every evening, for weeks, searching through suitable destinations, accommodation, flights etc.. but, after speaking to Lucy about our requirements, she came back very quickly with a selection of holidays and we were able to pick one there and then. I used Travel Counsellors back in 2009 to book my multi-destination honeymoon and am now kicking myself that I didn't think of using them for family holidays sooner. This is definitely how I will be booking holidays from now on.

Sent by Sarah Wedgbrow

Lucy was brilliant, fast response on all emails and really put my mind at ease with any questions i had regarding my booking. We would definitely recommend lucy to any friends and will be booking through her for any future holidays!

Sent by Nathan McCathie

Dear Lucy, The family & I are so pleased with everything you have done for us. From start to finish your service was thorough, detailed as well as speedy. We have never been able to sit on the sofa, late at night and have our questions answered within minutes. We are very indecisive people and you guided us through the process and found us a fantastic deal. We will recommend you to others. Many thanks Mr & Mrs McCathie

Sent by Louise Lovelock

Excellent service from my consultant Lucy, this is the second time I have requested Lucy's services and have been impressed with her speedy and professional response and service. I have recommended her to family who have also booked their travel with her.

Sent by Spencer Wright

I want to recommend Lucy McNeil Travel Counsellor to everyone. We booked our holiday this summer to Mauritius with Lucy. She can arrange holidays anywhere world wide. There were several complications for Lucy to iron out from hotels and airline and she did so in an unbelievably efficient and effective way. I can 100% recommend her to answer the question "where shall we go next summer"!

Sent by Sarah Butler

We have just returned from our third holiday that Lucy McNeil has arranged for us. Once again Lucy found us the perfect holiday. We travelled to Cape Verde after Lucy suggested it to us and we are so pleased she did. A perfect hotel and as we have small children all our requests were dealt with. Thank you Lucy and we look forward to booking the next trip!

Sent by Caroline Allen

Absolutely amazing from start to finish incorporating all our needs and adapting to our many changes for the perfect honeymoon. Great lady, would recommend and use again. Thank you.

Sent by Mel Clarke

Thank you so much for all your help organising our holiday to Corsica! I didn't know where to begin and was getting quite stressed out about it! You took all the hassle away. The town we stayed in was perfect, exactly the sort of place we like, lots of great restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere. The hotel was perfect too. Everything was brilliant, thank you so much. I will definitely be back in touch next time we are thinking of going away.

Sent by Gemma Smith

Another big thank you to Lucy for arranging my latest adventure to Cape Verde. The four of us had a lovely holiday at the Melia Dunas hotel on the Isle De Sal and it was made all the easier with travel arrangements thanks to Lucy. I will of course be coming to you again Lucy as you always find the right location and hotel to suit. Thank you so much.

Sent by Liz Reynolds

Just wanted to send you an email whilst I'm in enjoying the sun (OK, I'm bragging just a little). To say thanks again, the hotel is fab, the food is proper yum and the deal you found for us has been perfect.