Deal of the Day: save over £1000 on thatched villa stay in the Maldives

August 7th, 2014

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Holiday details: enjoy a seven-night stay at Kanuhara, Maldives with Western & Oriental. Stay in a thatched roof villa and take advantage of the resort’s tennis courts, squash courts, beach volleyball and watersports including 40 nearby dive sites and dolphin spotting trips.

Price: from £1,935 per person (a saving of £1,005 pp) based on two sharing a sunrise beach villa on a full-board basis. Price includes economy flights with Sri Lankan Airlines from London and seaplane transfers.

Date: book by 31 October for departures between 1 November – 21 December 2014.

Book with: Western & Oriental or call 020 7666 1234.

Deal of the Day: save over £240 on two-week studio stay on the island of Kefalonia

August 6th, 2014

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Holiday details: Sunvil Holidays are offering a 28% discount on a two-week stay to Apollonia Studios on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. The property is located right on the water in the village of Assos, and each studio has a private veranda with ocean views. A beach and handful of tavernas are just a minute away on foot.

Price: £669 per person (a saving of £243 pp) based on two sharing on a self-catering basis, including flights (Manchester) and transfers.

Date: departing 23 August 2014.

Book with: Sunvil Holidays or call 020 8758 4758. 

Deal of the Day: save 30% on eight sharing a private villa in Ibiza, with private pool

August 5th, 2014

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Holiday details: stay for seven nights at Can Colina, Ibiza, and save up to £4,840 in total. This six-bedroom villa, complete with private pool, is situated just 10 minutes from Ibiza Town and Talamanca beach. Alternatively, the nearby Santa Gertrudis is renowned as the artistic and gourmet centre of the island. Many of the island’s best beaches and restaurants are within a 15-minute drive.

Price: from £1,410 per person (a saving of £605 pp) based on eight travelling. Price includes seven nights’ self-catering accommodation, flights from London Gatwick to Ibiza (other regional airports may be available upon payment of a supplement) and car hire.

Date: departing on 18 or 25 August 2014.

Book with: Simpson Exclusive or call 020 3411 4399.

Meet the Boss: Emma Barnett, MD of Tots Too

August 4th, 2014

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In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk to Emma Barnett, Managing Director of Tots Too. Emma founded Essential Escapes in 2002, following a career in luxury travel which saw her travel extensively around the globe visiting some of the world’s top spa destinations and resorts. Now a mother of four, she launched sister company, Tots Too, to help parents find the world’s best spa resorts with second-to-none kids facilities so that Emma, and parents like her, could continue to enjoy the luxury spa holidays she had enjoyed before the arrival of children.

Q. Please tell us about a great holiday memory from your childhood.

I went to Hawaii on a business trip with my dad and remember, even at the age of six, thinking how exotic it was. I learnt to swim in a huge pool, ate chicken and chips in a basket with club sodas every day for lunch and remember hula dancing round a giant pig on a spit.

Q. What three items are always found in your hand luggage?

iPad, Dr Haushka hand cream and lip gloss.

Q. If you could spend next weekend anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

I love Indonesia. The people are so warm and hospitable and the food is amazing. There is a real spirituality to the country and it’s one of the few places that have evoked very strong emotions in me. I love Asia but I find Indonesia to be the most magical.

Q. Please tell us about a particularly challenging booking you have handled.

We had a client who wanted us to fly over a string quartet for him to serenade his wife. Easy in the UK but not so easy on a small Greek island. Needless to say we did manage it.

Q. What has been your most enjoyable holiday in recent years?

I went to Daios Cove in 2012 when I was heavily pregnant with number four and had my three other kids in tow with the youngest being only 13 months. The fantastic kids club run by WWKC, the head of guest services and restaurant hostess Ana all helped to make it very easy for me. We had three hours off every afternoon and babysitting for the baby every evening. We were always given the same great table at breakfast with amazing personal service and room service at 6pm every day with the most delicious food for the kids. Everything ran so smoothly that I truly relaxed on this holiday. Unimaginable, really, considering.

Q. And what has been your all-time worst holiday experience?

I booked a diving holiday in Watamu, Kenya, for my sister’s 30th birthday. The first week of the holiday was an amazing uber luxury safari experience in the Masai Mara (paid for by my previous company) so when it came to me paying, the standards had to drop! The hotel was awful with dirty rooms, depressing public areas and some very dubious clients. It didn’t help that the weather was bad for the whole week, the food was inedible and the diving conditions were very unfavourable. It was the longest week of our lives.

Q. What luxury would you take to your desert island?

A martini – my outlook is always a lot sunnier when I’ve had a martini.

Q. What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

Good childcare. When the kids are happy and entertained, that’s one less job for the parents to think about and then they too can relax and enjoy the things they wouldn’t normally have time for at home like spa treatments or romantic dinners.

Q. Tell us your favourite hotel – one for business, one for pleasure.

Hotel for pleasure is the Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife and for business it would be The Oriental in Bangkok.

Q. What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

Our family experiences for kids that are a bit older – we’ve started with exclusive jungle safaris in Sri Lanka which has been a huge hit so far. There is more in pipeline but I can’t divulge too much at this stage.

Thanks, Emma.

Deal of the Day: save £390 on a five-star Cyprus holiday with three pools

August 1st, 2014


Holiday details: stay for seven nights for the price of five at the five-star Anassa, Cyprus. Surrounding the three freshwater swimming pools (one heated in winter) are large sun terraces. There is an indoor pool, a gym, tennis and squash courts, sauna, steam baths and an indoor exercise seawater pool.

Price: £1599 per person (a saving of £390 pp) in a studio suite on a b&b basis, including flights from Manchester and transfers.

Date: departing 29 September 2014.

Book with: Prestige Holidays or call 01425 480400.

Deal of the Day: save £236pp on a 2-bedroom villa in Corsica

July 31st, 2014

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Holiday details: Corsican Places is offering 7 nights at the two-bedroom villa Casarella Cesarina in Calvi Town, Corsica. Just a 15 minute stroll downhill to the beaches, shops and restaurants of Calvi town centre, the villa has a large terrace, whilst the pool area sits at a lower level by a garden of flowers and mature olive trees.

Price: £999 per person (a saving of £236pp) based on four sharing and includes return flights Manchester – Calvi (Corsican Places’ charter with Flybe), car hire and a welcome pack. Alternatively, fly from Stansted – Calvi (Corsican Places’ charter with Titan Airways) from £1029 per person, saving £206pp from brochure price.

Date: valid for Sunday 24 August 2014.

Book with: Corsican Places or call 0845 330 2113.


Deal of the Day: save £224 on 11-day Moroccan cuisine adventure

July 30th, 2014

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Details: experience an 11-day tour of Moroccan cuisine, from street food to fine dining, on Intrepid Travel’s Real Food Adventure.  Learn how to prepare the perfect cous cous during a demonstration run by local women, experience Moroccan hospitality in a homestay and learn how to become a pastry-maker using ancient cooking techniques.

Price: from £671 per adult (a saving of £224 pp) including accommodation, selected meals and a local guide. 

Date: departing 15 September 2014.

Book with: Intrepid Travel or call 0808 274 5111. 

Deal of the Day: save £600pp on beachfront five-star hotel in Mauritius

July 29th, 2014

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Holiday details: stay for a week at the five-star Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius. Enjoy the seven high-class restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool and a host of activities available including scuba-diving, water-skiing and kite surfing.

Price: from £1219 per person (a saving of £600pp) based on two adults sharing a room on half-board basis and include scheduled return flights with Air Mauritius from London Heathrow.

Date: for departing between 1 – 15 September 2014.

Book with: Tropical Sky or call 0843 249 5361.

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