Sent by Natalie OBrien
Based in Stockport
Hello my name is Victoria and I am your personal Travel Counsellor!
What makes booking with me different? It's my passion for travel and for customer service!
I believe that booking your holiday should be an enjoyable, exciting experience so with 23 years of travel experience, I pride myself on offering a bespoke personal service to ensure all of your travel arrangements; be it a package, tailor-made, cruise, ski, flight only, hotel only, even attraction tickets or any other little extras that will make your holiday extra special and create memories than remain.
I believe in finding the right holiday to match my client’s needs, so imagine being able to arrange your next dream trip from the comfort of your own home or office at a time which suits you. And you will always be able to pick up the phone and speak to me for any of those questions that crop up.
As I have access to and close relationships with hundreds of suppliers, this means that I can offer a level of choice that simply cannot be found of the high street and this allows me to tailor-make exactly the right holiday for you at a competitive price.
I am also your sole point of contact, not just through the choosing and booking stage of your holiday, but your contact during and after your trip, to help you deal with any questions that may arise. Having worked in the industry for so long I have had the opportunity to visit some amazing places and become an expert in others! I think Italy is an amazing country, I love the history here, Dubrovnik is my favourite European city and I love to Cruise, as I believe that it’s the best way to see the world!
I am also a USA and Canadian Bespoke Specialist and I will be able to help you create your trip of a lifetime whether that is riding a Harley Davidson along Route 66, listening to live Country Music in Nashville, trying the wines in the Vineyards of the Napa valley, discovering your inner Cowboy/Cowgirl on a working Ranch, feeling the fury of Niagara Falls or even just relaxing on some beautiful beaches of Florida, the Sunshine State - whatever it is you would like to tick off that Bucketlist, I can arrange it for you!
One of my favourite places is Western Canada. I love the Canadian Rockies and adore the city of Vancouver but I am USA obsessed, I just love a good self drive on those open roads of America! Having a family myself, I also understand and have first-hand knowledge in finding the best resorts and hotels which cater for our little and not so little ones. So please contact me for any help and advice on family holidays!
My business is based purely on providing my customers with the highest possible levels of personal service so for a fast, friendly and efficient stress free way to book your next holiday give me a call or drop me an email and I would be delighted to assist you with your holiday plans.
I look forward to speaking to you in the future and turning your holiday dreams into reality.
You too could be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Dianeyland Paris!
Take a look at why you need to venture further afield in Portugal and discover the culture, history, food, nature, cobbled streets, old cities and wine!
Here are the 5 main reasons why booking with me is different to booking anywhere else.
I hope you enjoy reliving your travel memories with us as you watch our film, and when you’re ready to travel again I’ll be here for you.
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.
06 October 2014
Texas' capital Austin has a slogan, "Keep Austin Weird" and once you have visited this quirky, small (but the US fastest growing city) place you will totally not want it to change. Around a nine and half hour flight from London (BA now fly direct from Heathrow) you arrive in a small airport, easy and quick to clear customs and in around 20 minutes you are Downtown. Austin is a walkable city and this is the best way to see all of the sights, and you never actually know what sight you will come across! With a clear lack of chain shops/restaurants you immediately feel you are somewhere different (apart from an odd Starbucks, all of the shops and restaurants are independent and chain stores are banished to out of town malls). Famed for being the world’s live music capital, this city does not disappoint. Come nightfall and just before, as you walk through the streets you hear all types of live singers coming from the bars, clubs and restaurants. 6th Street is popular with the young crowd and is Austin's answer to New Orleans Bourbon St, attracting the students from the University whereas the Warehouse District is a little more chilled. Every eating or drinking venue seems to feature a band or artist. And every March this city hosts the famous South By South West Festival when every film and music star in the world descends on Austin to play these little venues. Food also plays a huge part of Austin's quirkiness, from amazing 5* steak restaurants (ALC Steak Restaurant was amazing!) to BBQ in all shapes and styles, food trucks are everywhere and a breakfast burrito from one is a must! After all of this food, drink and music you may want to get some fresh air and you can do this along the banks of the Colorado River (actually a lake due to dams). Joggers, walkers and bikers use the waterside pathways and kayakers and paddle-boarders float down the river. For those who don't mind chilly water there are lots of swimming places in the river, very popular in the Summer months when it is hot, hot, hot! A 'must see' are the bats - yes, bats. 1.5 Million Bats live under Congress Avenue Bridge and every evening at dusk they go a-hunting, all 1.5 Million of them and it is a spectacular event not to be missed. You can either stand on the bridge, as hundreds do to watch this or take a "Bat Cruise" which takes you down Colorado River for a little while then brings you back for a bird’s eye view. You have the State Capitol Building at the other end of Congress Avenue, a copy of the White House in Red Granite, and close by the Bullock Texas State History Museum, all great to get a feel of Austin's and Texas, The Lone Star State's fascinating history. Where to stay? There are a number of hotels in Downtown Austin, you have your Hyatt, Omni, Hilton, Crown Plaza, Radisson etc which are pretty standard throughout the world, yet in Austin each hotel has something just to remind you of where you are! For example the Radisson Lobby has a Long Horn Chandelier, open fires and a strong smell of leather! For something a little special The W is next door to Austin City Limits, where all of the bigger music stars play their concerts. This hotel has rock star prints in all of their hotel rooms just to give you a reminder that you are not in any old W Hotel. If you prefer something with a little more history The Driskill is an iconic and historic hotel now a member of The Historic Hotels of America. Cocktails at The Driskill are a must and most will be accompanied by live music - what else? If you wanted to get out of the city for a day or more, The Hill Country is beautiful with lots of quaint little towns a villages that time forgot makes you feel like you are on a set of a Western and driving through the Bluebonnet fields it takes your breath away. Or a day out on the old Texas Railroad? Take an old steam train to Burnet, have an amazing BBQ and watch the Burnet Gunfighters Show - you will feel like cowboy/girl! All in all, Austin has something for everyone. It is 'old style' USA where everyone is friendly, where they dance in the streets because they are in a good mood, where there is always a gentle smell of BBQ and the sound of live music. A visit to Austin heightens every sense you have, makes you feel good and most of all makes you want to protect the quirkiness of this city, so please everyone, help "Keep Austin Weird"!
06 September 2013
I am finding it hard to describe Vegas without thinking that you have read it all before. We all have seen Vegas on TV, in films etc. and it is exactly as you see it, big, bold, bright and busy! However, Vegas is a destination which you can change to suit you and there is something for everyone here. On flying into Las Vegas, I could understand why people are attracted to this colourful oasis in the desert. The huge buildings rising out of the desert, a Pyramid, Towers, Castle are just a few of the huge shapes which form these gigantic hotels - each one home to thousands of rooms. I stayed at the MGM in the West Wing. On entering the lobby (one of the few hotels where you don't have to pass through the casino to get to the Lobby) you are met with the continuous sounds of bells, chimes and other beeps which entice you into going to see what is going on. The MGM is the world’s largest hotel boasting over 6000 rooms, 5 outdoor pools, 19 restaurants...I could go on forever! Children are not allowed, by law, in the casinos and have to quickly move through them if en route to another part of the hotel which would make you think it is not suitable for families, however Vegas is a playground for every age! Each hotel deserves a visit to see the wonders that it offers, the pool areas of each hotel are amazing in their own right. Each hotel offers incredible facilities with restaurants to cater for every taste and budget, shows for all ages from the X-Rated Zumanity by Cirque Du Soleil (at the New York New York Hotel) to the amazing Lion King (at Mandalay Bay) and everything in between! Concerts, sporting events, EVERYTHING is found in this city in the desert. The Circus Circus hotel would entertain a child for at least a week without leaving the hotel! All of this and you have not even ventured out of the city yet. There are hotels to suit every taste and budget. You can choose a non-gaming hotel if you prefer, a large themed hotel on the Strip (as Las Vegas Blvd is commonly known), a more motel-type hotel downtown, the choice is endless so I would advise not to rush into making a decision on where you would like to stay but to look into your options and find one, and you will find one, which suits all of your needs. One thing about Vegas hotel rooms is that all of the ones I was lucky to see were very spacious and that was from the 3* right through to the 5-6* deluxe options. All rooms could easily fit a family of 4. Such hotels like The Wynn, The Encore, The Venetial etc (Plus lots more!) have "Suites" as their standard rooms and are huge. Once you have tired of taking advantage of the facilities the hotels offer and fancy a change you are in a position to do so much. Some visitors prefer to only spend a few days in the city and travel on to cities like Los Angeles (Just a few hours’ drive through Death Valley and a beautiful, fun, easy drive) while some travel North towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mammouth Lakes, Yosemite National Park etc. Or you could spend days exploring the National Parks close to Las Vegas such as Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon. These can be done as a self-drive leaving Vegas or you can get tours from Vegas where you travel by fixed wing plane or helicopter - your choices are endless. In my opinion, you cannot go to Vegas without taking a visit to the Grand Canyon. Whether it be by coach or flying, the scenery is to die for and it takes your breath away. Again, the options you have with these tours to the Grand Canyon are endless, you need to find the perfect one for you and your party. I am only touching on this city very briefly and all that it offers. We all know about the Little White Wedding Chapel, Elvis Tributes, slot machines, gaming tables, all night clubs and this is easy to experience however for those not looking for the party by night/sleep by day option there is a whole world to discover in Vegas and everyone who visits can make this city their own.
16 November 2009
For a quick and easy break in the sun, nowhere is as accessible and fits this description as Marbella, Cost del Sol, Spain. Only a two hour flight from the UK (and if you check in on-line you do not even need to hang around the airport for two hours) it is quicker than a train from Manchester to London! May is not a busy time for Spain, especially the beginning, so flights are really reasonable at this time of year, making it also very affordable. Marbella is about 40 minutes or so drive from Malaga Airport and you can get a bus from outside the terminal, hire a car (a very easy drive) or pre book a transfer. The bus is the cheapest, however pre-booking a transfer is the easiest and quickest way of getting to your hotel and that is what I chose! There are so many hotels and apartments to choose from in Marbella, to suit all tastes and budgets. I stayed at the Gran Melia Don Pepe Hotel which is situated along the "Golden Mile" and in walking distance of everything Marbella has to offer. A great location and a fantastic hotel, it is a beautiful 5* property with spacious rooms, nice balconies overlooking the pool and sea. The standard rooms are very comfortable with all of the amenities you would expect from a 5* hotel. The Don Pepe has a beautiful outdoor pool area, however the downside of going at this time of year is that the swimming pool was so cold it was impossible to swim in the outdoor pool, however there is an indoor pool which is heated. The grounds of the Don Pepe are very pretty and it was so lovely to lay on the very comfortable sunbeds in the grounds or around the pool in the warm Spanish sun and be served a cool cocktail from the very attentive hotel staff! The hotel has 3 restaurants which are very nice however are quite pricey. Marbella has an abundance of bars and restaurants and although slightly out of their season most are open so you are spoilt for choice of where to go. The Don Pepe has a children’s club which operates only during their peak season so there are no children’s activities as such at this time of year. However for the very little ones who are too young to go to the clubs, the weather is a great at this time of year - not too hot, the hotels, beaches and restaurants are not busy and there are some small play parks along the golden mile to keep the little ones happy. Marbella is a very well known and popular holiday destination and can get very busy throughout July and August so May was a lovely time to get a feel for the town. The weather is warm although a little chilly in the evening and for anyone looking for a nice simple weekend getaway to relax I would recommend Marbella anytime.
27 April 2009
We decided to have a weekend Theatre break in London with the kids. To take the hastle out of travelling we chose the train, from Stockport, Cheshire to London Euston in under 2 hours, fantastic! First class travel was reasonably priced and the carriages were very spacious making the less than 2 hour trip a doddle with a 3 and 5 year old. We then took the underground to Waterloo, one of the closest stations to our chosen hotel, the 4* Park Plaza County Hall Hotel, a hotel I throughly recommend especially to anybody staying with children. The hotel lobby is small, the staff welcoming. The hotel is 14 floors high and rooms have floor to ceiling windows with views over Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye which facinated my two, especially as our room was on the 11th Floor which we got to in a glass lift with allowing views over the hotel atrium, again to the delight of the kids! The rooms are spacious, like a 'Studio' room, open plan double bedroom leading to a living area which again sleeps 2 people, ideal for a family. There is also a fridge and microwave, again extremly handy for any families with children or babies. The hotel itself provides children with little goody bags which keeps them occupied while you unpack. We had booked tickets for the Matinee performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph" and the children were so excited, booster seats for young children are always available at the larger theatres and are great so always remember to ask for them on arrival at the theatre. The show was fantastic, really upbeat with Tyler and Connie singing along with every word! It was then a lovely walk back along the Embankment from the Strand to The Park Plaza Country Hall Hotel, over Millenium bridge and past the London Eye. After a lovely english breakfast, our second day began with a boat trip up the Thames to the Tower Of London, the 20 minute journey was much easier than the tube and lots of fun especially as we approached the raised Tower Bridge, iwhich is a fantastic sight. A great sight seeing day at the Tower Of London and Tower Bridge, a great tourist attraction for all ages. After a long day we took the children for dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly - a restaurant to recommend to any family, the children love it! Being a guest in executive room at the Park Plaza, gives you full access to an Executive lounge with complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee all day, breakfast until 11ish and snacks early evening with wine or beer which is a nice way of having an evening drink with young children before heading back to the room. After a morning at Buckingham Palaca, Horse Guards Parade and St James Park we get a taxi back to Euston Station for our train back to Stockport, an easy, relaxing way to end a lovely weekend in Englad's capital city. Originally from Essex, I used to work in London and am no stranger to the country's capital however actually spending a full weekend of sightseeing, staying in a nice hotel in the centre of this bustling city makes you realise what a historic, facinating and amazing city London is and it is nice to appreciate what amazing places London is home to. So even if you live 20 minutes away, I recommend taking a weekend out and immersing yourself in all London has to offer, you may just rediscover it.
01 September 2008
After a 2 hour flight from Manchester to Malaga (Which is about all I can do with my 2 children who are just 3 and 4 years old! It would not be fair on the rest of the plane to travel any further!) we collected a 7 seater as we were travelling with my parents too (I find it very handy to travel with them! Great baby sitters!). It was just short of an hours drive to Duquesa where we had booked our apartment and this drive was easy enough, one straight road really. The port of Duquesa is very pretty and small with a few shops and restaurants - just perfect for a weeks relaxing break. We chose the Duquesa Village to stay as this is a very new development away from the Port (About 3-5 mins drive). The apartments were "Home from Home" and my family had a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment over looking one of the pools in the village (Pools have life guards from 15th June - 15 Sept only each year). This apartment was really lovely and perect for my family. My parents apartment was a lovely 2 bed that was not suitable for young children as it had a low balcony, cream leather sofas etc etc but perfect for them. The pool area was so clean, being slightly "out of season" it was not full and we were able to get sun beds for our party and another family of 4 who joined us very easily, although I would imagine it to get busy during the summer months. The weather itself is great in Spain in June, not too hot and not cold so great for young children. Duquesa is good for golf and is close for days out to Gibralta, Marbella, Granada, Mijas (Anywhere in the Costa del sol or Andalucia regions) Infact you could fly into Gibralter and it is about 25 minutes drive, however I found the flights into Malaga cheaper and more convenient. It also has grey sandy beaches with a long promenade that is a lovely walk into the neighbouring town of Sabinillas (Larger town with more shops, banks etc) We found there were supermarkets within a 2 minute drive, a small one in the Port or the larger "Eroskis" on the main road or even Aldi's in Sabinillas! I would recommend this place for families or couples looking for a relaxing break away from the tourist towns like Marbella etc, however we found car hire IS ESSENTIAL so if none of your party wants to drive then this would not be suitable. I would not say it is somewhere for groups of youngsters to go as the only nightlife is a couple of bars and restaurants in the port. It was perfect for our family break!
01 September 2008
Disneyland Resort Paris - Wonderful! For people who have small children and for those who don't, I think that the Disneyland Resort in Paris is great fun. Easily accessible, I flew into Charles de Gaulle from Manchester which was a very quick and easy flight. Charles de Gaulle is a large airport, however Jet 2 have a small terminal a little way from the main larger terminals so it is quiet and not stressful when you land. Disney itself is about 45 minutes drive and you can either get the Disney Magic transfer about Eur12 per adult (Big yellow bus with Mickey Mouse on - You cant miss it.......) These are about every 40 minutes or taxi's are a-plenty at the airport. When we arrived we just missed the Disney bus so a taxi said he would take us for the same price which was great as it was FREEZING! (Do not forget thermals or waterproofs for this time of year) I had booked into the Newport Bay Hotel, a Disney Hotel and was told it was the furthest walk, however when I arrived it was only a couple of minutes longer than the New York (Which is situated at the opening of Disney Village opposite Newport Bay) and about the same as Sequoia Lodge (situated to the right of the Newport). All hotels are separated by a lake. So the walk was fine even with 2 small kids. The hotel itself is Disney, I don't think I can describe it any other way! Its bustling, happy, very very large, busy and caters for children down to the ground. The rooms all sleep 4 whether in 2 double beds or a double bed and bunk beds and most rooms are interconnecting so if you have older children you can have them in a seperate room AND keep an eye on them at the same time! The park itself opened at 8.30am for residents of the Disney hotels and this is a great time to do the big rides as you will not have to queue. We found we could either have breakfast at the hotel (Continental breakfast) or in one of the cafes in the Park - we just had to book our time at reception. Eating in the park was quick and easy however it was very busy. The rides and attractions are great fun for all ages and you need at least one full day in each park to get the most out of it. Characters were easily accessible too which surprised me as I have been to Florida Disney and found huge queues to have your picture taken with characters, however every morning in our hotel my children were greeted by Goofey or Minnie which set them up for the day even BEFORE breakfast. You can pre book character breakfasts in which you are guaranteed your characters and you can also prebook character meals and pre Prince/Princess dinners. These characters are harder to meet so if you have a child obsessed with Belle or Sleeping Beauty it is worth doing as it is very magical for them. The Mickey Cafe in the Village was great for an evening meal, it's just a diner, however at 6.30pm, 8 characters come in and visit everyone and the children loved it! There is also a Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Anettes Diner plus many more or we could choose from the restaurants in each of the hotels. For those wanting nightlife, the hotels have bars and there is a nightclub in the Disney Village however we found the days so tiring even without kids I am not sure if I could have made it to "Hurricans Disco"!! All in all thoroughly recommend Disneyland Resort Paris AND the Newport Bay Hotel or any of the other Disney Hotels and for a 3 night break - its fun for everyone! And what ever you do...see all of the shows and parades, they are a must!
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