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Barbados Baby! 1 week Flights & 4 Star Hotel, All Inclusive, €1599!

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Barbados is one of my favourite islands in the Caribbean. It has stunning beaches, great night life and so much to see and do, it’s not surprising people come from all over the world to live here. Experience it yourself this summer with a choice of two amazing Barbados deals from Tropicalsky.ie

 

There are so many different nationalities living in Barbados that you feel like you belong as soon as you step off the plane. Everyone speaks English and they even drive on the same side of the road as us! Speaking of which, you can drive around Barbados in a few hours, it’s a lot smaller than you might think. Barbados although perfect for a romantic holiday, offers so much more. The island is full of interesting sights, the night life is excellent and the water-sports are second to none. It is home to some of the best surfing in the Caribbean but if that’s not your thing, you can go swimming with turtles instead! For more info on Barbados read my blog here.

Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

There are two sides to the island that are sold widely from Ireland. The lively South Coast is home to the capital, Bridgetown and is where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The West Coast is quieter and offers a calmer more relaxed vibe. This is where the islands top hotels are located on the crystal clear Caribbean Sea.

I found two amazing deals staying in the exclusive West Coast but without the expensive price tag! The ‘adults only‘, 4* Sugar Cane Club is rated number 1 on tripadvisor and receives excellent reviews. It is a steal at only €1,599 per person in May, June, July or August. You will have a specious one bedroom suite, a choice of swimming pools, a gym and a spa to unwind after all the hard work 😉

Barbados

If you fancy bottomless cocktails,  a choice of dining options, free water sports and plenty of on site entertainment, then the all-inclusive Almond Beach Resort is the one to choose. Also situated on the West Coast, this beach front property is actually next door to Sandy Lane! You just have to pop by for a look – sure it would be rude not to! I stayed here a few years ago and had a fantastic time. It’s a great place to try lots of new activities that you may not normally try, like paddle boarding, kayaking or reef fishing. They even offer glass bottom boat and speedboat rides, and all of these are complimentary!. They have plenty of land activities too including tennis lessons, yoga classes, golf practice range, gym and even beach cricket (well it is Barbados)! There is nightly entertainment and a weekly beach party – the overall vibe here is fun! There are two restaurants on site, (including the one in the pic below) and the all-inclusive package also allows you to dine in the nearby Sugar Cane Club once during your stay.

Barbados

The Almond Beach Resort is highly rated on tripadvisor and is priced at €2089 per person, including flights, accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and transfers. This price is based on travelling in September or October but there are plenty of other dates available, just check in with the sales team in TropicalSky.ie or click below.

Click here for more details on the Sugar Cane Club:  €1,599pp

 Click here for the Almond Beach Resort; €2089pp

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
AmericaDestinationsFeaturedLong Haul

Barbados

Barbados

You only have to mention the word Barbados to anyone and you can see they are mentally wishing they were there, sipping cocktails on one of its stunning beaches.

In fact I have yet to speak to someone who didn’t like Barbados. There are more than 700 islands in the Caribbean but for me Barbados is the jewel in the crown. Some islands are blessed with the world’s best beaches,  some with dramatic landscapes, others have UNESCO world heritage sites and vibrant nightlife. Barbados has them all!

There is a great vibe from the people you meet. I know this may sound like a cliché but everyone is happy!  You will find people from all walks of life who emigrated there for a better lifestyle. Barbados is English speaking, extremely safe and you really get a feeling that you could actually live there.  I have visited other Caribbean islands and you usually feel like a tourist, in some cases an intruder and you certainly wouldn’t feel safe wandering around the streets alone at nighttime. Although more developed than some of its neighbours Barbados still has a Caribbean feel, with plenty of charm and character to savour.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

Some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean are here too. Choose mouth watering sandwiches from Cutters at Crane Beach where you can even order from the beach and they will deliver it to you. There are numerous Bajan restaurants that are very affordable but if you are on holiday for a special occasion or if you simply have some money to spend, you have to visit The Cliff. It is one of the best known restaurants in Barbados, both for the quality of its food and for the stunning setting. Perched on a cliff edge overlooking a bay where sting rays happily swim by, it is breathtaking. The torch lit decks enhance the dramatic effect and although it is expensive, I guarantee you, it is worth it. Make sure you book in advance and ask for a table with a view.

The Cliff Restaurant, Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Barbados is actually a very small island, 34km in length and 23 km wide, yet extremely diverse. We hired a local ‘moke’ and drove around the whole island in a day. The east coast is renowned for it’s excellent surf. Bathsheba beach is a cool place to hang out and watch the ‘billabong ‘bodies catching the waves.

The south coast has some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean and tends to attract a younger crowd or couples who are looking for budget accommodation. Although St. Lawerence Gap is the most popular spot for nightlife make sure you take a trip to Oistins where every Friday and Saturday night they have a wild street party. The south coast is also home to the capital Bridgetown. This bustling town, although not that appealing, offers plenty of sightseeing  and some of the best shopping on the island.

Barbados Surfer, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

The west coast is home to Sandy Lane, need I say more? This part of the island is a real celebrity hang out , however there are plenty of affordable hotels if luxury resorts are not in your budget. The Caribbean sea here is very calm and completely contrasts the Atlantic on the east coast. The white sandy beaches and clear water are pure heaven for sunbathing or swimming.  There are plenty of  boat trips available from here without having to venture too far out to sea, you can swim with turtles, go snorkeling or try your hand at scuba diving.

Barbados by The Travel Expert

There is a wealth of trips that are worth doing while you are in Barbados. A visit to a Plantation House is one of the most popular excursions. George Washington’s House, St Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation House are particularly impressive. You can also visit some of the nearby Caribbean islands. I took a trip to the Grenadines and spent the day on board a catamaran visiting some of the worlds most stunning beaches – it was heaven! If you have some time to kill before you fly home you can step on board an original Concorde aircraft. Situated in the airport this experience costs approx €15 and is worth it if you are even remotely interested in airplanes.

In terms of weather, January through to April is the best time to go, it is less humid and usually dry. The rainy season is August to October so best to avoid travelling at that time if possible, but for the other nine months of the year it is amazing!

 

Sarah

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Travel News and Reviews

All The January Travel Sales In One Place

plane and beach

I have searched the web so you don’t have to! From flight sales to ferries, tour operators to theme park passes,  here is my round up of the best of the January travel sales.

 

Package Holiday Sales:

January travel sales

TUI has released 1000’s of Free Child Places for the January travel sales, as well as savings of up to €220 per person on selected holidays to the Canary Islands, and €150 discount on solo holidays. They also offer a low booking deposit of €75 per person and a discount of €75 off all holidays over €1000 in value and  €125 off holidays over €2000 in value, departing between the 1st May – 31st October – use Promo Codes SAVE75 and  SAVE125 respectively. All of TUI’s prices includes flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage.

Search & book here
 

Posts you might like:

How to choose the right family holiday for you

My top picks for Free Child Places this summer

My top 10 waterpark holidays

My top 10 family holidays in Greece

My highlights for Summer holidays with TUI
 

 

 
Sunway is offering €100 off per booking  for 7 nights package holidays to Salou, Turkey, Lanzarote and Portugal. Low deposit of €50 per person secures booking and all of their package holiday prices includes flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage.

See more here

 

 

 


 
Breakaway.ie, the official agent for Disneyland Paris, is offering up to 20% off hotels and park tickets with free dining. This super deal is available throughout 2020, including school holidays.

See more here
 

Love Holidays has up to 35% off summer holidays. You can book with a small deposit and pay off monthly online.

View offer here
 
Topflight is offering €50 per person off ALL holidays including Italian summer holidays, cruise holidays, escorted tours and ski holidays.

See more here
 

 

 

Long haul holidays:

january travel sales

 

Tropical Sky’s January sale has discounts of up to €950 per person on a range of luxury long-haul holidays including Dubai, Mexico, Thailand and Barbados.

 
See all offers here
 

 

 
Hayes & Jarvis, the luxury long haul tour operator, is offering €150 off its wide range of twin and multi-centre holidays. Highlights include a 12-night Bangkok, Elephant Hills and Khao Lak luxury holiday and nine-night Vietnam tour. Book by 31st January. 

See all offers here

 
G Adventures Great Adventure Sale includes up to 25% off 350 itineraries for 2020. Book by 31st January.

See more here

 
january travel sales
 

 

 
Sunway’s Great Cancun Sale has up to 50% off rooms at Dreams, Secrets and Now resorts. Price for a seven-night, all-inclusive stay a the 5-star Now Sapphire is only €1139 including flights, transfers and checked baggage.

View offer here

 

Posts you might like:

9 All Inclusive long haul holidays  you wont want to miss

Luxury multicentre holidays in the Indian Ocean
 

 

 

Theme Park Passes / Attraction Tickets:

january travel sales
 
AttractionTickets.com is offering adults at kids prices on ALL major Orlando theme parks and the Kennedy Space Center.

See more here

 

Posts you might like:

The best theme park tickets to buy in Orlando

The best tickets to buy in Port Aventura
 

 

 

Cruises:

january travel sales

 

Royal Caribbean Cruises new WAVE deal includes buy one cruise fare you can get up to 60% off the 2nd cruise fare, up to €280 in savings per stateroom and kids fares from €99! They also have a low deposit of only €100 per person. Book by 31st March.

See more here

 

MSC Cruises is offering a free premium drinks package, when booking a Fantastica experience cabin on selected summer and winter sailings. Book by 22nd March.

See more here
 

 

 
Uniworld’s 100th anniversary celebration event has discounts of up to 30% on over 200 cruises throughout Europe and Asia – with savings of up to €1,500 per person.  Highlights include Venice & The Gems of Northern Italy cruise which is reduced from €3099 to €2169, departing 7th June.

See more here

 
Celebrity Cruises is offering savings of up to €200 per stateroom on sailings from Southampton or Dublin, and offering $700 FREE onboard spend! You can also choose two perks from the following: drinks package, gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi or an additional $300 onboard spend.
 

View offers here

 
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering up to 30% off cruise fares if booked by 20th January. You can also select from two of the following for just €99: premium drinks package, speciality dining package, WiFi or shore excursion credit.
 
View offer here

 

 

 

Princess Cruises is offering an onboard savings package for €39 per person per day which includes a premium drinks package, gratuities and unlimited WiFi. They also have a low booking deposit of €50 per person.  See you travel agent for more details.

 
Marella Cruises is offering €200 off all sailings from May to October 2020. See your travel agent for more details.
 

Like cruise holidays? See all my cruise reviews here. 
 

 

 

Flight sales:

aer lingus january sale

Aer Lingus’ ‘European flight sale has up to 30% off flights to Europe for travel between the 1st March and 15th June – you must book by the 21st January. They also have flights to the USA from €189 each way if booked as part of a return trip. Price is available for travel from the 1st of April to the 15th June. There are 3 million seats on offer, although not during the peak summer months.

See more here
 

 

 
Ryanair is offering up to €30 off 1 million seats travelling from April to August. Book by 12th January.

See more here

 

Qatar Airways are now flying twice-daily from Dublin airport to Doha this summer. With return airfares from €517 to Bangkok, €769 to Sri Lanka, €849 to Maldives and €877 to Seychelles. Book by 23rd January.

See more here

 
Etihad’s Global Seat Sale includes return airfares to Abu Dhabi from €399, Bangkok from €525 and Sydney from €899. Book by 22nd January.

See more here
 

Emirates’ seat sale includes return airfares to Dubai from €549, Kuala Lumpur from €569 and Phuket from €679. Book by 26th January.

See more here

 
It is worth pointing out that travel agencies can offer package deals based on these sale airfares. It is always worthwhile to check with a travel agency before booking to see if they can get you a better deal.
 

 

 

Ferries

january travel sales

 

Stena Line is offering 25% off travel to Britain and France on the Dublin – Holyhead, Rosslare – Fishguard and Rosslare – Cherbourg routes. Use promo code Cracker25 on their website.  Must book before the 8th January though, so you will need to act fast!  

See more here

 
Irish Ferries is offering 25% off on all ferries to Britain and 10% off all ferries to France. Secure booking with €100 deposit and book before 14th January.

See more here
 
Brittany Ferries is offering up to 20% off holidays if you book before Tuesday, 11th February. This deals include ferry crossing from Cork to Roscoff and accommodation in mobile homes, houses or hotels.

See more here
 

 

 

Various:


Hotels.com is offering 8% off hotel bookings using code AFFHCOM120. Book by 5th February for travel up to 31st July 2020.

Search hotels here

 

Hoppa is offering 30% off airport transfers booked by the 31st of January.

See more here
 

 

 
January travel sales prices are correct at time of issue, but are subject to change. Note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

AmericaFamily HolidaysLong Haul

Top 5 All Inclusive Caribbean Resorts for Families

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Want to go somewhere exotic but keep the kids happy too? With water parks on-site and camping adventures on the beach, these are my top five all inclusive Caribbean resorts for families.

 

5* All Inclusive, Moon Palace Resort, Cancun

All-inclusive in the Moon Palace means just that. You won’t hear ‘this restaurant is not included’. You can dine in any of their fifteen restaurants, have cocktails in any of their twelve bars, or if you want a night a nightcap on your balcony – you can have a drink from your well-stocked minibar. All of these are included in the price of your stay. And thats not all… Kids 17 and under stay, play and eat free on selected dates. Now you can see how this is one of the best all-inclusive Caribbean Resorts for families!

You also get a whopping $1500 resort credit if you stay for seven nights, or $2500 resort credit if you stay for twelve nights or more! You really need no spending money. With your resort credit you can enjoy motorised water-sports, a round of golf or some spa treatments. All you pay is a 16% service tax.

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

There are two kids pools, and one has a splash-zone water park. There are kids clubs, a teen lounge and a games room, as well as a regular day and evening entertainment programme. Children will enjoy the multi-sports court and the wide selection of water-sports available, including kayaking, paddle boats and diving. There is also an 18-hole mini-golf course, beach soccer, pool and beach volleyball, basketball, tennis courts and table tennis available.

Adults are well catered for too, with a large freestyle pool, two swim up bars, six double-whirlpool tubs, two fitness centres, Spa, 27 hole golf course, yoga , pilates and lots more.

All Inclusive Caribbean Resorts for Families

The deluxe resort-view rooms sleep four and an infant, and come with a double Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a private balcony, and almost all have a hammock. There are also family deluxe rooms which are two bedroom suites and sleep up to 6, with Xbox/DVD players and child-friendly snacks in the minibar.

This resort is highly rated in TripAdvisor, won a travellers choice award and is considered at Platinum level from Greenleaders. If you fancy a change of scene, Cancun is only a half hour away and you can also explore the nearby islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujieres. The Moon Palace also happens to be sitting on a stunning white sandy beach facing the Caribbean Sea, so it’s fair to say you might not want to leave it…

Prices from €4499 including flights, transfers and a seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis, based on 2 adults and 2 children ( under 12) sharing.

Call for quotation

 

See more here

 

5* All Inclusive Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic

This luxury resort is one of the best on the island, receives outstanding reviews on TripAdvisor and is available from only €1,189 per adult. Children will love the Pirates Water Slide and the super kids clubs. The Explorers Club caters for kids from age 3 – 12 and runs from 9am to 10pm. This fully supervised club is free of charge to guests and offers superb games and activities throughout the day, including an ocean trampoline, water slides, treasure hunts, movies on the beach and campout adventures! Teenagers will love the Core Zone Teens Club for 13 – 17 year olds, open from 9am – 12am! They have water based activities, video consoles and a rock climbing wall, as well as social events including a teens disco. 

all inclusive family resorts in the Caribbean

Don’t worry, this is a super resort for adults too. The location is fantastic, with tropical gardens and a stunning beach, you have the best of both worlds.. The award-winning swimming pool meanders through the resort and even has a swim-up bar. There are eight different dining options, nine bars to choose from, and your minibar is stocked daily. You don’t even need to leave your lounger when you want a cocktail, as they offer waiter service at the pools and beach.

Prices from €3349 based on 2 adults and 1 child sharing a standard room or €4999 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing a Preferred Club Junior Suite. Prices including flights, transfers and a seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis.

Call for quotation

 

See more here

 

4* All Inclusive Sugar Bay, Barbados

Barbados is one of my favourite islands in the Caribbean. There is so much to do, and it is so easy to get around – they even drive on the same side of the road as us. The Sugar Bay Resort is located on the lively South Coast, close to Bridgetown, so if you are looking for a fun all-inclusive holiday, with plenty of action close by, then this is the place for you!  The Caribbean vibes are evident throughout the hotel, with colourful buildings and a lively atmosphere. The Sugar Bay has a choice of family rooms available, with suites sleeping two adults and 3 children and large two bedroom oceanfront suites sleeping up to six adults.

Kids will be spoiled for choice with the various kids clubs, games room and playground available. There is a crèche for children aged from 4 months to 2 years, a kids club from 3 – 11 years and a teens club for 12 – 16 years. Teenagers even have their own clubhouse, where no adults or younger siblings are allowed. Kids can also enjoy non-motorised water sports at no extra cost including kayaking, snorkelling and booogie boarding. Windsurfing, jet skis, banana boats and sailing are also available at an additional charge. The free WiFi is available throughout the resort, this will no doubt be a big hit for teenagers too.

Adults are well catered for with a choice of swimming pools, and one has a swim-up bar. There is also a jacuzzi, fitness centre and spa. There is a great choice of dining options available including the Sizzle Steak House and the adults only Asian-fusion restaurant, and UMI – where you can dine twice a week as part of the all-inclusive arrangement. Before you dine, a visit to Colin’s Beach Bar and Grill for sundowners is a must.

Highly rated on TripAdvisor with excellent reviews, this is one of the best all-inclusive Caribbean Resorts for families. 

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

 

Prices from €5499 including flights, transfers and a seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis, based on 2 adults and 2 children ( under 12) sharing.  Note first child (aged 16 and under) stays FREE all year round. 

Call for quotation

 

See more here

 

4* All Inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua

Set upon 30 acres of white sandy beaches and bordering the Devil’s Bridge National Park, this is the picture postcard setting. Nature lovers can enjoy the many nature trails and wildlife in the National Park, and take a boat trip to nearby Bird Island. There are also many historical sites nearby as well as the Devil’s Bridge, which is a natural rock arch with geysers and blowholes. If however you just want to chill out on the beach all day, you have two to choose from.


There is a host of water-sports available. Wind surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, hobie cat sailing, pedal boats, stand up paddle boarding and water hammocks, are all available as part of the all-inclusive arrangement. There is a kids club from ages 2 – 12 years open from 9am – 10pm which has an outdoor play area and splash pool.

For children aged 8 or older, there are lead activities including sailing, kayaking, nature walks, swimming, paddle boats, arts & crafts & beach games. Older kids can enjoy the games pavillion, 18-hole mini golf course, tennis centre, volleyball or the teenagers room with pool tables.

All rooms are large junior suites with Caribbean-style décor and verandahs with beautiful views. There are also two bedroom villas with a private pool, where currently kids stay free.

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

Adults can enjoy the Tranquility Body and Soul Spa, fitness centre, fitness and cookery classes, as well as the many nature walks nearby. There are four restaurants to choose from and a children’s restaurant in the kids club.

Highly rated on TripAdvisor, this exclusive family resort has everything you need for a tropical beach holiday.

Prices from €4249 in a standard room or €5699 in a 2 bedroom villa, including flights, transfers and a seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis, based on 2 adults and 2 children (under 12) sharing.  

Call for quotation

 

See more here

 

4* All Inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort, St Lucia

The multi award-winning Coconut Bay Beach Resort boasts being the only premium all-inclusive resort in St Lucia. Adults and children are catered for brilliantly here, with a separate adults-only wing. ‘Splash’, the family-friendly wing, is home to CocoLand, St Lucia’s largest water park. There are nine restaurants, seven bars and five swimming pools – this resort is situated on 85 acres, it is safe to say you won’t need to leave it.

There are many rooms to choose from, including two-bedroom interconnecting rooms and family rooms which are located in the family ‘Splash’ wing. This Splash wing has everything you could possibly want for the ultimate family holiday. You are even provided with a local mobile phone that you can contact your kids at any time, and vice versa.

The water park has water slides, a Coconut Cannon water ride, as well as a lazy river. The Kidz Klub caters from newborn up to 12 years, and there is a petting zoo with feeding stations, so kids can interact with the animals.  There is also a watersports centre with a host of activities included in the cost of your stay, as well as four tennis courts, basketball courts, paintball and a daily and evening entertainment programme.

With excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and a certificate of excellence award winner, this is the ultimate family resort, and often classed as one of the best all-inclusive Caribbean Resorts for families. 

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

Prices from €5499 including flights, transfers and a seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis, based on 2 adults and 2 children ( under 12) sharing. Note first child stays free on selected dates.

Call for quotation

 

See more here

 

So now that you have seen my top five all inclusive Caribbean resorts for families, the only decision is which one to choose? Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like family holidays? See more destination reviews and the best travel deals here.

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 
DestinationsEuropeFamily Holidays

The Ultimate Guide to Sani Resort – Which Hotel To Choose & Why It Is One of Europe’s Best Family Resorts

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7km of white sandy beaches, a private yacht marina, 24 restaurants and mind-blowing facilities – is Sani Resort the best family resort in the Med?

 

Trying to find a luxury hotel that caters equally for adults and children is a challenge. That perfect balance of kids entertainment (without the noisy pool games) and great family restaurants (without the obligatory pizza and nuggets) is not easy to find. Don’t get me wrong, my kids eat pizza and chicken nuggets at home, but when I am spending my hard-earned cash on a five-star hotel, I like to see quality food on the kids menu. 

sani dunes pool restaurant
 

 

 
According to TripAdvisor, Sani Resort is one of the Top 10 Hotels for Families in the World, one of the Top 5 Hotels for Families in Europe and the Top Hotel for Families in Greece – they are some achievements!

I heard of Sani Resort’s superb reputation when I was a travel agent, and wanted to visit for many years, but until recently there were no direct flights from Ireland. Thankfully Ryanair made Sani Resort much more accessible, with direct flights to Thessaloniki from Dublin Airport. Best4Travel are one of the top sellers of Sani Resort in Ireland and were invited to see the resort first-hand. Luckily for me, I was invited too, and I tagged along with a group of travel agents for the weekend.

vosporos restaurant sani resort
 

 

 
The airport transfer set the tone. The 10-seater minibus had sparkling wine, as well as a large TV screen showing us spectacular drone footage of Sani Resort, which is located on a 1000-acre private estate. There are five different hotels: Sani Beach, Sani Club, Sani Dunes, Porto Sani, and the top of the range Sani Asterias. Each offers a different experience and is furnished with its own unique style, although all hotels are located close together. It was great to be able to see footage of the vast resort from above, and see the location and facilities of Sani Beach Hotel, where we were staying. The excitement was building…

sani resort
 

 

 
The WOW factor kicked in the minute we arrived at Sani Beach Hotel. We didn’t have the usual queue to check-in at reception, instead we were invited to relax in the lobby with a glass of bubbly, while we filled out our details on the check-in forms. A few minutes later one of the friendly staff arrived with our room keys.
 

 

 
I was staying in a standard room, which I felt was just average compared to the luxury of the resort in general, but adequate nonetheless. It did, however, have a fabulous sea view. I looked out from my balcony, gazing at the colour of the sea, the golden sandy beaches and the surrounding mountains – the view was stunning.

sani beach resort
 

 

 
I have been to Greece many times, but this felt completely different. In fact this could be seen as a negative if you are specifically looking for a Greek-style holiday – not for me though! I felt like I was in the Caribbean, and not Barbados or one of the larger islands, more like a small paradise island like Tobago or one of the Grenadines. The combination of the lush green pine forests and the turquoise sea is stunning – the Sani Peninsula is a piece of paradise. 

sani resort
 

 

 
We were staying for two days. We spent one day touring the five hotels (see below) and the second simply enjoying our surroundings. The sense of wonder never left me. Everywhere I went the service was impeccable. There was someone standing at the beach handing you a fresh towel every day, no fumbling for towel tokens.

There is a complimentary Babywatch system, where you can leave your child with qualified staff at the beach, while you and your partner pop in for a quick swim, or enjoy a walk on the beach – without having to book a crèche session. There are adult-only pools, children’s splash pools and a host of facilities for adults and children of all ages.

The Dine Around system (more below) is the best I have seen, and the restaurants have separate toddlers and kids menus. Everywhere I looked there was a stylish bar with sea views – probably because there are 19 of them! There is waiter service while you sunbathe at the beach and an ice-cream van touring the resort offering children free ice creams. Sani Resort anticipate your every whim.

sani beach hotel
 

 

 
Sani Resort has various boat trips available, but a morning cruise is one that is included in the price of your stay. Needless to say we didn’t let this opportunity pass us by, and set off early morning for a cruise around the Sani Peninsula. The views were spectacular and the Aegean Sea was crystal clear. The boat docked for an hour to allow us to time to swim and take in the views. It was perfection.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When we arrived back, we all retreated to our favourite parts of the resort. Mine was Bousoulas Beach, a 5km stretch of white sand – it must be one of the best beaches in Greece. I enjoyed some alone time there, sunbathing and swimming before retiring to Bousoulas Beach Bar. This all-white bar overlooking the sea is the picture perfect beach bar. I watched the sunset with cocktails in hand – it was the perfect end to a perfect day.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dining at Sani Resort:

With a staggering 24 restaurants to choose from, it is easy to see why people rarely leave Sani Resort during their stay. Not only is the choice of dining options so vast, but the quality of food is superb. Many menus were curated by Michelin star chefs and many restaurants hold international and national awards. Sani Resort’s gastronomy flagship Water Restaurant, had its menu curated by three-Michelin-star chef Mauro Colagreco, while the menu at Japanese restaurant Katsu was curated by Katsuhiko Hanamure, of Nobu fame. 

dining at sani resort
 

 

 
There are restaurants in each of the five hotels as well as a great selection at Sani Marina. We dined at Vosporos  Grill at the marina and it felt like an independent restaurant, rather than part of a hotel. There are Mediterranean, Italian, French, Asian and Greek restaurants, all beautifully furnished in their own unique style, and most with stunning sea views. 

sea view at sani beach hotel

The Sani Dine Around programme allows you to dine in 22 restaurants throughout the resort as part of the half-board or full-board arrangement. Each restaurant has a set-menu that is part of this dine-around arrangement, but if you wish to choose from the à la carte menu, a meal allowance of €20 – €40 per person, depending on which hotel you are staying in, will be deducted from your bill. 

sani resort
 

 

We enjoyed delicious buffets, a tasty lunch at the marina, and an impressive dinner at Ammos Restaurant, but it was nothing compared to the gastronomic feast we had at The Grill by the Pool Restaurant, in Sani Beach Hotel – it brought the meaning of ‘surf and turf’ to a whole new level! As well as the delicious quinoa, beetroot and goat’s cheese starter, I enjoyed a massive tomahawk steak with juicy lobster and the largest king prawns I have ever seen.

sani beach resort dining

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly eat another bite, one of their signature desserts, Armenoville, was placed in front of me. One of my colleagues had visited before, and told me it was the best dessert he ever tasted, so I had to give it a try… This ice-cream-type-cake with nougat and chocolate reminded me of an ice-cream white chocolate Toblerone. It was delicious – if you are visiting Sani Resort, you have to try it.
 

 

 

Entertainment at Sani Resort:

As well as the sports facilities listed below, there are group activities organised during the day, such as bird watching in the Sani Wetlands, morning cruises and wine tasting trips. Each hotel has its own spa too, offering thermal suites, various treatments and fitness classes.
 

 

 
There are some great evening entertainment options too. The open-air Garden Theatre shows West End-style productions six nights a week, and the choice of 19 bars ensures you can try a different one each night, and still not visit them all! Internationally recognised DJs will let you dance the night away, or if you fancy a more relaxed vibe, you can find live music in many of the bars and restaurants.  

sani cocktails at sani resort
 

 

 

Sports Facilities at Sani Resort:

Sani Resort is one of the world’s top family resorts, so kids clubs, entertainment and sports activities are a given. What sets Sani Resort apart is the quality of these facilities. Sani Resort doesn’t just have tennis courts and football courts. Sani has a tennis academy in collaboration with Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre, and a UEFA-approved soccer pitch with football coaching sessions, in association with Chelsea Football Club. Children can enjoy a football camp with qualified coaches in various camps ranging from age four to sixteen years, and a Chelsea FC Foundation kit is given to all attendees. 

sani resort chelsea football academy
 

 

 
I spoke to the coaches at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre and was amazed to learn that they were flown to Spain, where they trained for a month with Rafa Nadal’s coaches, before opening the centre in Sani Resort. They use many of the same techniques when coaching, and lessons are available to adults and children, both private or group lessons. 
 

 

 
Sani Resort also has a KTM bike club, using the Fat Bike and Go-Pro cameras, and a PADI Scuba Diving Centre offering many diving opportunities, including shipwreck diving. 

Many activities are free of charge including the Sani Adventure Park, with high ropes and zip lines, archery, aerobics, hiking and paddle-board yoga. Selected sports such as waterskiing, catamaran, canoeing, parasailing etc incur extra charges, as well as the soccer camp, tennis lessons and diving.

TOP TIP: Pre book all kids clubs, soccer and tennis camps before you arrive.  

sani adventure park
 

 

 

Kids Clubs at Sani Resort:

Sani Resort has kids clubs for children aged 4-11 years and a separate teen club for 12-17 year olds. There is no extra charge for the kids club, but it MUST be pre-booked. I was shocked to hear of families who had paid a lot of money to come to Sani Resort, but couldn’t use the kids clubs because they were booked out. As well as the usual arts and crafts and mini discos, you can expect Olympic games, kids aerobics, banana boats, gymnastics and organised excursions.

sani beach sports

 

 

 

Baby & Toddler Facilities at Sani Resort:

Babies and toddles are very well catered for at Sani Resort. The Sani Crèche Club is available for children aged 4 months – 4 years. Lunch is provided and is free for children under two years. This must also be booked in advance and an extra charge applies.
 

 

 
Bottle warmers, sterilisers and baby phones are supplied free of charge to your room, just advise your travel agent at the time of booking that you require them. There are special baby, toddler and children’s menus at most restaurants, and buggies, bikes and trikes are available for hire. As previously mentioned, the Babywatch babysitting programme is complimentary on all beaches for 30 minutes each day. There are also baby swimming lessons from age 6 months – 4 years (extra charge) available at the indoor pool in Sani Club.

sani resort babewatch
 

 

Sani Resort – What is the difference between all five Sani Resort hotels?

We were brought on a full tour of the five hotels in Sani Resort, so we could fully assess the differences between each one. All hotels are 5-star but all are built in their own unique style. Each hotel has a choice of restaurants, bars, swimming pools and its own spa. I felt the decor in Sani Club was a little dated, but we were told it was being completely renovated during the winter time.

Sani Resort only opens from April – October each year, so all refurbishments and new amenities are added during the winter. Everywhere is freshly painted and gardens are fully maintained, so you will never see work being carried out during your stay. 

sani resort
 

 

 

Sani Beach Hotel:

This is the largest of all Sani Hotels (392 rooms) and one of the lowest in price. This is where we stayed and I would very happily stay here again if I was to return with my family. I loved its proximity to Sani Resort’s best beach – Bousoulas Beach. There are also two other beaches, four restaurants, six bars, plenty of entertainment and a spa on-site. As well as standard double rooms, there are junior suites and one- and two-bedroom family suites, with various views and locations throughout the resort. It is the liveliest hotel of the group and not as exclusive as the others – perhaps that is the reason for the lower price point. 

sani beach hotel
Check prices here
 

 

 

Sani Club:

Sani Club is a little more discrete than Sani Beach. It is still a large hotel, with 253 rooms, although it is located on a hillside, a little further away from the other hotels.  Rooms are more spacious here and they have a great selection of garden bungalows too. There are three bars, four restaurants, and a superb fitness studio with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea.  

deluxe room with private garden at sani club
Check prices here
 

 

 

Porto Sani:

This is an all-suite hotel, located right beside Sani Marina, so it’s the best choice if you are holidaying as a couple – or if you happen to have your own private yacht! Actually it has some great family suites too, but it is more suited to families who are looking for relaxed elegant surroundings. It has a feel of a private club, with only 99 rooms. There is an adult-only pool here, and you also have access to the Sani Suite Collection service

sani marina - sani resort
Check prices here
 

 

 

Sani Dunes:

Sani Dunes is Sani Resort’s newest hotel. It was built in 2017 and has 146 rooms. It actually felt brand new when I walked inside, with contemporary and stylish decor. Although this was my personal favourite, it felt almost felt like an adult-only resort – I didn’t see many children splashing about in the pool area. It has the largest heated swimming pool in Greece that comes with luxurious mattresses and king-size umbrellas. There are three restaurants, three bars and a state-of-the-art spa.  

sani dunes hotel
Check prices here
 

 

 

Sani Asterias:

Sani Asterias is the most exclusive of all Sani Hotels. With just 57 private suites, a private beach and home to the famous Water Restaurant – this is the place to go if you can afford it. We saw the three-bedroom deluxe suite with private pool and all I can say is WOW! Can I sell my house tomorrow and move in? The furnishings are exquisite, there is a walk-in-wardrobe, a TV that pops out of a table at the end of the master bed, the private swimming pool is enormous, and as for the bath…

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Check prices here
 

 

 

Is Sani Resort worth the expensive price-tag?

Sani Resort is without a doubt the best family-resort I have been to in Europe. There is a reason it has been voted one of the top 10 hotels for families in the world – it really is that good! If I had the means, it would, without a shadow of a doubt, be my go-to place for a week in the sun every summer. It has everything I could possibly wish for. It felt like I was somewhere exotic, yet was only a short flight away from Dublin Airport.

Yes it is expensive, and it is certainly not for everyone. The prices in low-season are better value, and there is an early booking offer with free upgrade to full-board, which is worth looking at. However, it is not the type of place you visit if you are price conscious. It is a top-class resort in a beautiful setting, with amazing facilities and superb dining options. If this is what you seek, then book it, you won’t be disappointed.

sani resort sunset cocktails
 

 

 

Where to book Sani Resort:

I travelled with Best4Travel, who were invited because of the level of business they give Sani Resort. Eight of their staff travelled on the trip so have first-hand knowledge of all the hotels and will be able to recommend the right hotel for you. Call them on 1800 814 000 or visit their website for more details.
 

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

 
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My Top Picks For Autumn Holidays At Home and Abroad

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Fancy a break away before the end of the year? I’ve got staycations, cruises, city breaks and long haul holidays. Check out my top picks for autumn holidays and get planning!

 

Last minute European sun holidays:

Tour Operators, TUI and Sunway have lots of last minute autumn holidays available. They have already paid in advance for flights and accommodation, so if you are looking or a week in the sun, they should be your first port of call. I have picked some favourites below, but bear in mind prices may change, as these are last minute holidays.

Aer Lingus September sale is also worth a look. They are offering flights to Europe from €24.99 one-way for travel between the 1st October and 16th December.

Gran Canaria: 10th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €350 

View offer here

 

Sicily: 5th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €449

View offer here
 

Crete October Mid Term Break: 5* Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Half Board, from €799; 2ad & 2ch from €3155

autumn holidays in crete

I holidayed in this same resort during the summer with my family. The hotel has a superb beachfront location, and is close to the beautiful towns of Chania and Rethymno. 

View 2 sharing here View family offer here 

 

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort
 

 

 

City breaks:

 

Vienna Weekend Break: 5th October, Flights & 4-Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €238

This is a super deal to see one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. You will be staying in the highly rated 4-star Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna hotel which is located in the heart of the city and close to all the attractions. Price of €238 per person includes flights and hotel accommodation for three nights, departing Saturday the 5th of October.

holiday deals

See more here
 

 

 

Venice Short Break: 23rd October, Flights, Hotel & Gondola Ride, 2 Nights, €285

It is rare to see such a good special offer to Venice, and even more rare to see a gondola ride included! The price of €285 per person includes return flights with 10kg hand luggage per person, two nights in a 3* Hotel San Zulian and a free gondola ride. This hotel is superbly located close to St. Mark’s Square, and receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.

autumn city breaks

View offer here
 

 

 

Disneyland Paris, Halloween Festival, 2 ad & 2ch, 3 Nights inc Flights & Park Passes, €1473

Halloween and Christmas festivals at Disneyland Paris run almost consecutively from the end of September right up to the 6th of January, so it is a great time to visit. If your children are not in school yet you can get great value autumn holidays, departing September and October. I found a great deal over the October Mid Term Break, departing Friday the 1st of November for 3 nights. Price with flights, hotel and park passes is €1473, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

halloween festival at disneyland paris

See more here

 

Read: The best time to visit Disneyland Paris.
 

 

 

Cruises:

 

5* Celebrity Edge, 10 night Spain & Monaco Fly Cruise, €1820

Celebrity Edge is one of the world’s newest and most luxurious cruise ships. Its unique design includes the world’s first ‘Magic Carpet’ a cantilevered, floating platform that rises 13 stories above sea level, with a full bar, open-air dining area and space for live music. Edge also has an adults-only Solarium and a rooftop garden, as well as the usual facilities and dining options you would expect from a world-class cruise ship. This cruise sails from Rome on the 11th of October and visits, Naples, Santa Margherita, Monte Carlo and over nights in Barcelona. Price for flights, and cruise on a full board basis is €1820 per person. Upgrade to an oceanview stateroom for an additional €440, and receive a classic drinks package and $300 onboard spend per stateroom.

autumn holidays

View offer here  

 

 

 

October Mid Term Break: 9 Night Med Cruise, MSC Preziosa, €855pp

cruise holiday deals

This exclusive deal on MSC Preziosa is ideal for anyone who is tied to school holidays. Visit France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco over 9 nights. Price of €855 includes flights, cruise with meals and entertainment and gratuities, staying in an interior cabin. Cost for 2 adults and 2 children is only €2730, staying in a balcony cabin.
 
View offer here
 

 

 

U River Cruises: 21st September & 8th October, Cruise only €899 – save €400

holiday deals

Sail along the Danube from Regensburg to Budapest over eight days in a luxury 5-star river cruise ship. Price includes meals and excursions, flights are extra. Note the €400 savings will not show online – you need to call a U Specialist on 01 906 9408 or your local travel agent to avail of this special discount.  

Read my review of U River Cruises – luxury river cruises for younger travellers.
 

 

 

Rest of the World:

 

12 Nights Thailand holiday: Bangkok, Elephant Hills & Khao Lak, Inc Flights & Transfers €2099

I love when a holiday combines a beach stay with a little adventure. If I can manage to add a city to the mix too, that is even better. I have researched various Thailand holidays, as I would love to return, and this one ticks all boxes. This Thailand itinerary combines bustling Bangkok and an ethical elephant safari, with some relaxing beach time. If all of that isn’t enough to tempt you, there are luxury hotels included too. Your stay at Elephant Hills luxury tented camp also includes all meals and activities. 

autumn holidays in thailand

See more here

 

Read: The best Thailand Itinerary – Bangkok, Beach and Wildlife
 

 

 

Barbados: 4-star All Inclusive Resort inc Flights & Transfers, 7 Nights, €1399 

last minute deals

Treat yourself to a week in the brand new Sands Barbados Hotel. There are savings of up to €690 per person if you book by the 30th of September. The hotel is currently undergoing a ‘soft opening’, hence the super prices. Some restaurants or facilities may not be in operation, see more details on the link below. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay on an all-inclusive basis is only €1399, departing in September or €1439 in October/ November.

View offer here
 

 

 

G Adventures Costa Rica  Tour – 25th October or 1st November, €729 

This 8 day classic group tour is so on trend at the moment. Despite white water rafting, the wildlife safari and zipline activities, this tour is suitable from age 12, and there is no upper age limit. Enjoy swimming in waterfalls and natural hot springs as well as some chill time on Costa Rica’s amazing beaches. Group size are between 12 and 16 (max ) and it is suitable for most fitness levels. Price of €729 includes all accommodation, tours and some meals – sole travellers can share, or can pay a supplement for a single room. Flights with United Airlines via Newark are available from €701.
 
g adventures costa rica
 
 
 

3 Nights Dubai and  7 Nights All Inclusive Mauritius stay Inc Flights & Transfers, from €2519 

This wonderful two-centre holiday offers the perfect mix of city and beach. Spend three nights seeing the sights in Dubai while you stay in the luxurious 5* Hilton Dubai Creek, followed by seven nights relaxing in the all-inclusive 4* The Ravenala Attitude hotel in Mauritius.

See more here
 

 

 

Staycations:

 

SuperValu Getaway Breaks

SuperValu Getaway Breaks are great value for anyone looking for a last minute staycation. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a SuperValu shopper to purchase them, although if you are a Real Rewards member, you can accumulate valuable Real Rewards points. They have over 300 hotels on their website, including an Inspired Collection of four and five-star hotels. They are currently offering €20 off their 2-night stays for travel before the 31st of December. Luxury hotels like The Brehon in Killarney is €125pp for a two-night stay and the 5* Sheen Falls Lodge is only €150pp for a two-night stay.

supervalu getaway breaks

 

I am just recently back from Waterford and the Munster Vales, where we cycled the Waterford Greenway and enjoyed delicious food in Waterford’s foodie capital, Dungarvan. I found great deals staying in the Park Hotel or Gold Coast Resort, Dungarvan. Price for a two-night stay, with breakfast, is only €75 per person departing on various dates in September / October. There is a leisure centre and gym in both and the 18-hole championship Gold Coast Golf Course is adjacent to the Gold Coast Resort.  Dungarvan is also on the Waterford Greenway, so this is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an active break.

See more here

 

Read my top things to do in the Munster Vales.
 

 

 

Center Parcs

I was delighted to visit Center Parcs Longford Forest this summer – it really did live up to the hype! Prices during the summer months are high, so Center Parcs is an ideal choice for autumn holidays. Prices for a three-night weekend break in October are €559, based on a 2 bedroom Woodland Lodge. If you want to travel over the October bank holiday weekend, the price increases to €999, but the real value is departing on the 1st of November, the kids are still off school, and the price is only €699. Children are back to school on Monday the 4th, so you can choose to return on the Sunday night if you don’t want to take the kids out of school for a day.
 

 

 
Center Parcs will also have a Winter Wonderland theme starting on the 8th of November, where the forest will transform into a magical winter playground, with snow, lights and festive decorations. You can also visit Santa,  additional charge applies.

autumn holidays in ireland

 

See more here

 

Read my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest.
 

 

 

Taste the Island promotion.

This year sees the start of a three-year initiative from Tourism Ireland to boost domestic and international tourists to Ireland, outside of the summer months. They have introduced a ‘Taste the Island’ celebration, where we are showcasing the very best of our food and drink culture. There are events on throughout the country, so if you are planning autumn holidays, find out what’s on here. Many hotels have embraced this theme and are offering stays with special ‘Taste the Island’ menus. Lough Rynne in Leitrim, which is available on SuperValu breaks, Actons in Kinsale and Clew Bay in Westport are just some of the hotels involved. There are events on throughout the country – you can see what’s on here.
 

 

 

Like holidays in Ireland? See more here.

 

Stenaline UK Breaks

Stenaline is offering two-night breaks to Scotland, England or Wales with return ferry travel by car included from €145 per adult sharing. Kids under 16 travel free by ferry, but there may be supplements for hotels. Take your pick from hundreds of hotels and apartments including Alton Towers and Legoland. This offer is available for autumn holidays and for travel until the 31st of March 2020, but needs to be booked by 30th November 2019.
 

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my top picks for autumn holidays include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 
Sarah 

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3 New Luxury Long Haul Destinations from Ireland for 2020

Treehouse-villas-compressor (1)

Looking for somewhere new to try in 2020? I’ve got secluded tree houses, paradise islands and all-inclusive resorts – check out these luxury long haul destinations from Ireland and get planning your next dream holiday!

 

I love my job, but writing this post is a health hazard. I have just found three luxury long haul destinations from Ireland to add to my ever-growing bucket list! I can’t decide whether I want to stay in a unique tree house in Thailand, go back to one of my favourite destinations – the Maldives, or enjoy Calypso music in the Caribbean. Can I have all three please?

luxury long haul destinations from ireland

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to bring you some new luxury long haul destinations from Ireland that I believe you need to know about! Tropical Sky is a tour operator that I work with regularly. They offer a wide selection of luxury long haul holidays from Ireland, including these three beauties. Tropical Sky can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to combine one of these hotels with another destination, or choose to stay shorter or longer in a particular hotel, just talk to the dedicated sales team and they will organise the perfect holiday for you.

Tropical Sky Holidays

 

5* TreeHouse Villas Thailand: 7 nights B&B from €1749 Including Flights

I am actually torn when telling people about this place – I believe it is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. Imagine entering your own private tree house by suspension bridge – this adult-only luxury retreat is like nothing else I have seen. The location alone will give you the wow factor, and this before you step inside the TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao. Koh Yao Noi is an idyllic island located in Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi in Thailand, and TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao is located right on the northern tip.

The TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao is surrounded by tropical rainforests, turquoise waters and dramatic limestone cliffs. Although it sounds almost like a retreat, you can also hire bicycles and explore the nearby villages and sandy beaches. Don’t let the name fool you either, TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao has its own 400-metre secluded beach and offers many water activities including sea kayaking and fishing. However if you just want to relax, you can enjoy a wide selection of spa treatments, twice daily yoga classes or a Thai cookery class. 

luxury long haul destinations from ireland

There are 32 villas, each with their own private pool, jungle shower and hammock-shaped bath. If you prefer a single storey, you can opt for a beach villa, although personally I think there is something magical about walking across a suspension bridge to your bedroom.

You can enjoy meals in a choice of two restaurants or opt for romantic in-villa dining. The TreeHouse Villas Kho Yao must be one of the world’s most unique hotels.

luxury long haul destinations

See more here

 

5* Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa: 7 nights All-Inclusive from €3239 Including Flights

The Maldives is one of the most idyllic destinations I have ever visited and I would love to go back. No amount of superlatives do it justice, and anyone I have spoken to who has visited has had a similar reaction. When I heard of this brand new, 5-star deluxe all-inclusive resort – that is already a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, I was sold!
 

 
The Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa is built to blend perfectly with the environment. The result is a modern design with natural materials, including thatched roofs, surrounded by 1.5km of pristine white sand. There are 120 villas and you can choose whether you want to stay in a beach villa or have direct access to the Indian Ocean by staying in a water villa.
 
 
You will arrive by seaplane, which is included in the cost, as is unlimited dining and premium branded drinks throughout your stay. Their deluxe all-inclusive arrangement allows you to dine in any of their four restaurants and enjoy drinks from two bars, or on your own private balcony, as your minibar is refreshed daily with beers, wine and snacks. One boat excursion is included per seven-night stay, as well as group snorkelling excursions, non-motorised watersports and evening entertainment.
 

 

See more here

 

4* The Sands Barbados: 7 nights All-Inclusive from €1829 Including Flights

While this hotel may not be as luxurious as the previous two, I think it deserves a place on this list because of its superb location, and because it is brand new! I also love Barbados: it is so diverse, it is easy to explore and it epitomises the Caribbean dream.

Barbados, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

Officially opening on the 1st December 2019, this all-inclusive hotel is located on a pristine sandy beach on Barbados’s lively South Coast. Its contemporary decor and spacious rooms make it an ideal choice for families or couples – the two- and three-bedroom suites are sure to please families looking for luxury long haul destinations.

Its beachfront location is ideal for the array of watersports available. Non-motorised watersports such as kayaking, snorkelling and body boarding are part of the all-inclusive arrangement, as are meals and drinks. There are two restaurants and two bars on-site as well as a gym and a spa. 

Top three Bali holidays from Ireland

The ultimate guide to choosing the right honeymoon

 

This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 

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The Best Five Star Hotels in the Caribbean

necker island room

Looking for luxury on your next trip away? I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to bring you the best five star hotels in the Caribbean, with flights and transfers included.

 

Necker Island, Sandy Lane, Jade Mountain, are all hotels that I have dreamed of staying in. In fact I had cocktails in Sandy Lane some years ago, before sheepishly walking back to my four-star hotel next door! Did you know that Tropical Sky feature these hotels and many more luxury hotels in the Caribbean on their website? From Mexico to Mustique, you name it, they have it! If you fancy visiting two different Caribbean islands in the one trip, they can arrange that too, or if there is a particular Caribbean island or hotel that you are interested in, call one of their Caribbean specialists and they will source it for you. I have listed just five of the best five star hotels in the Caribbean below, but visit the Tropical Sky website and you will see many more.  

five star hotels in the caribbean - sandy lane

 

Sandy Lane, Barbados: 7 nights Bed & Breakfast from €4499 including flights & transfers

Even the word Barbados conjures up stunning images in my mind, add a stay in Sandy Lane and you have one of the world’s best holiday locations. I loved my holiday in Barbados and I combined it with a trip to the Grenadines. We spent a day visiting deserted beaches on a catamaran  – it was an incredible experience. However, if you are staying in Sandy Lane, you may not want to leave…

five star hotels in the caribbean 

Sandy Lane is one of the Leading Hotels of the World and also happens to be Irish owned. Located on Barbados’s exclusive West Coast, it offers luxurious accommodation, fine dining with first-class service, three golf courses and stunning sea views. If you can manage to tear yourself from the 7,500 square foot swimming pool with cascading waterfall, the white sandy beach that it is famous for is right on your doorstep. As well as deluxe rooms for couples, Sandy Lane is renowned for its private villas which are a great choice for groups or large families.

five star hotels in the caribbean - sandy lane barbados

See more here

 

Jade Mountain Hotel, St. Lucia: 7 nights All Inclusive from €3619 including & transfers

Known as one of the most romantic Caribbean islands, St. Lucia mixes palm-fringed beaches with tropical rainforests, the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean and adventure with pure relaxation. The iconic twin peaks of the Pitons are practically asking to be climbed. The larger of the two, Gros Piton is the easier to climb and is worth the six-hour round trip if you like a bit of adventure.

Jade Mountain - five star hotels in the Caribbean

One of St. Lucia’s best hotels, Jade Mountain, is the perfect place to relax after your climb. It is located on a hilltop overlooking the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. This is a nature lover’s paradise. Their rooms, or sanctuaries as they like to call them, have a private infinity pool, no TV and even WiFi is only available if requested. If escapism, adventure, romance and luxury are what you seek – look no further.

Jade Mountain St Lucia - five star hotel in the Caribbean

Tropical Sky have an exclusive offer to Jade Mountain Hotel. You will receive one free night if you stay four nights or more plus receive a free upgrade to All Inclusive, for travel between now and 31st October 2019. This is a massive saving up to €1,500 per person if you book before 31st July 2019. Price above reflects this upgrade.

See more here

 

Curtain Bluff, Antigua: 7 nights All-Inclusive from €3419 including flights & transfers

Located in the northern Caribbean, Antigua boasts year-round sunshine and has a surprising Mediterranean feel. As well as stunning white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, there is an abundance of history and cultural heritage sites to be explored. Don’t miss a day trip to its pretty capital, St. John’s, and the Sunday evening party at Shirley Heights – its calypso rhythms have been celebrated for more than 25 years.

five star hotels in the caribbean

Flanked by two beaches, Curtain Bluff is located on the southwest coast of Antigua with sublime sea views from every angle. Relax in a hammock on Surf Beach or enjoy the many watersports that are included in the cost of your stay, on Bay Beach. Curtain Bluff is a luxury all-inclusive resort so as well as watersports and activities, meals and drinks are included too! Featured in culinary magazines around the world, Curtain Bluff is famous for it’s top-class cuisine and impressive wine cellar. 

Tropical Sky have many exclusive offers to Curtain Bluff hotel. You can save up to €820 during summer 2019, €600 for summer 2020, €900 for stays in March 2020 and €500 for stays from 26th October – 31st January 2020, excluding Christmas holidays.

See more here

 

Spice Island, Grenada: 7 nights All Inclusive from €2889 including flights & transfers

This tiny island in the heart of the Caribbean Sea is just 22 miles long, yet has over 45 beaches! It offers unspoilt beauty both on the coast and in its rainforests and waterfalls. Known as the ‘Island of Spice’, Grenada is equally famous for being a diver’s paradise, as it is home to the largest shipwreck dive site in the Caribbean. 

five star hotels in the Caribbean

Located on one of the Caribbean’s, if not the world’s, best beaches, Grand Anse beach, the Spice Island Beach Resort Hotel is one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems. It offers understated luxury with contemporary style, in a relaxed atmosphere. As this is an all-inclusive resort, meals and drinks are included in the cost of your stay.

With only 64 luxury beachfront suites, you can expect a personalised service where the staff will know you by name. Many suites have private plunge pools, outdoor dining terraces and four-poster canopy beds. A complimentary, stocked in-room mini-bar is also part of the all-inclusive arrangement. Spice Island Beach Resort is a 100% smoke-free environment, even e-cigarette smoking is prohibited in guest rooms and all public areas. Spice Island Beach Resort has been ranked number one resort in the Caribbean by TripAdvisor reviewers and Prince Charles and Camilla stayed there in March of this year – need I say more?

five star hotels in the Caribbean - spice island grenada

Tropical Sky have many exclusive offers to Spice Island Hotel. You can save up to €500 per person and avail of free child places.

See more here

 

Necker Island, British Virgin Islands: 7 Nights from €19899 including flights & transfers

I couldn’t write a post about the best five star hotels in the Caribbean without including Necker Island – although I’m not so sure describing it as a five-star hotel does it justice! Necker Island is probably the most luxurious place to stay in the Caribbean. Richard Branson’s private island is famous for its exclusive location and celebrity guests. You can opt to stay on your own, or if you really want to splash out, you can book the whole island for an exclusive party – maximum 30 guests. There is a luxury spa on the island and a host of watersports available. With a range of dining options, including a floating sushi bar and private candlelit dinners, this really is a holiday destination like no other.

five star hotels in the caribbean - necker island 

See more here

 

I hope this post will help you if you book one of the best five star hotels in the Caribbean. If you wish to add on extra nights or combine a stay in the Caribbean with a visit to the USA, contact Tropical Sky and they will be able to tailor-make a trip to suit you. 

 

See all Caribbean holidays here

 

Like this post? You might like:

 

A handy guide to choosing the best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico & the Dominican Republic.

Top 5 all-inclusive Caribbean resorts for families.

 

This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 14th May 2019

Best Travel Deals

In this weeks’ best travel deals I have last minute holidays to the Algarve, summer in Cyprus, Barbados and Prague, a family trip to Rome, an amazing cruise to Hawaii and Mexico and an early booking offer to Lisbon for next Easter.

 

Best last minute:

Escape to the Algarve this weekend and stay in the popular 4* Paraiso apartments for just €299. Price includes flights, transfers and checked baggage for seven nights, departing the 18th of May.

View offer here
 

 

Best summer sun:

Enjoy a week in sunny Cyprus in July. Price for flights, transfers, checked baggage and a seven night stay in the popular Pagona apartments in Paphos, is only €498 on the 17th of July! 

View offer here
 

 

Best family deal:

Combine culture with fun by bringing the kids to Rome this summer. Stay in a 2 bedroom mobile home at the highly rated Camping Fabulous. There is a waterpark on-site, beaches nearby and you are also within easy reach of the centre of Rome – what more could you ask for? This super deal caters for 2 adults and 3 children and costs €1575 including flights and transfers on the 19th of June, for seven nights.

View offer here
 

 

Best cruise:

Two places that have been on my bucket list for ages, Hawaii and Vegas are both included in this amazing cruise holiday! Spend three nights in Las Vegas and 2 nights in San Francisco before cruising to Hawaii and Mexico for 15 nights on the luxury Grand Princess. Price for all flights, 4 star hotels and cruise with all meals included, is only €2239! When you click on the link below make sure to scroll down to see all the dates available.

View offer here
 

 

Best long haul deal:

Go to Barbados this year and save up to €300 if you book before the 31st of May. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay in the highly rated Bougainvillea apartments, with breakfast included, is only €11o9!

View offer here
 

 

Best city break:

Round off the summer with a city break to Prague. Stay the highly rated 4* Duo hotel for only €222 on the 28th of August. Price includes flights and hotel for three nights.

View offer here
 

 

 

Best early booking offer:

Get ahead of the crowd and secure an early booking offer for Easter next year. Flights to Lisbon are on sale already for just €110 return. I found great deals on hotels too, so you can enjoy Easter weekend in Lisbon for just €199!

See more here
 

 

Best staycation:

Think you can’t afford a night away? Think again! This super deal to the popular Lough Allen hotel is amazing value! Stay in a standard double or twin room with full Irish breakfast, €20 spa voucher per person, unlimited use of the leisure centre, and late check-out by 1pm, for only €59 – that’s less than €30 per person! #NoExcuses

View offer here
 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

Travel

Jetline Cruise Launches in Ireland With All Inclusive Cruise and Stay Holidays from €1139

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From the Mediterranean to Mexico, Alaska to Antartica, Jetline Cruise offers a wide range of exclusive cruise holidays, with all cruise companies, to destinations all over the world. 

 

Did you hear that Jetline Cruise have launched in Ireland? For cruise fans, this is a game changer! Forget about your run-of-the-mill seven day Med cruise – Jetline Cruise will include three nights in Lake Garda afterwards! Many of us want to get away for longer than seven days, or extend a seven-day cruise with a few days in a city or resort. Jetline Cruise have listened to their customers feedback and have customised a huge range of bespoke cruise holidays, that are unique to the Irish market. Not only do they offer exclusive cruise holidays, but their prices are incredible too!

jetline cruise

Jetline Cruise have also broken the boundaries in terms of destinations. They have a long standing relationship with all of the major cruise lines and offer cruise holidays all over the world, including Alaska, Asia, Antartica, Hawaii. They even offer cruises to the Galapagos Islands! Instead of booking a Caribbean cruise with a stay in Miami (they do that too by the way), why not combine a stay in Barbados with a cruise around the Grenadines and some of the smaller Caribbean islands, on a luxury tall ship?

It’s not all about far flung destinations, they also have a super all-inclusive cruise and stay in Majorca from €1139! These are just just a sample of the great holidays from Jetline Cruise, check out their website for lots more cruise deals from Ireland. I loved searching the Jetline Cruise website and I was delighted to be asked to choose three of my favourites, to give you a flavour of what Jetline Cruise can offer.

 

Jetline Cruise

 

Lake Garda & Royal Caribbean Cruise from €1339 Including Flights, 4* Hotels & Transfers

Not only is this my favourite Mediterranean cruise itinerary, but you also get to spend time in Lake Garda and Venice too! Jetline Cruise really knew what they were doing when they combined Royal Caribbean’s Greek Isles and Croatia cruise, with such great Italian cities. I have holidayed in Lake Garda twice and loved it and this super deal includes a three night stay there, which is just enough time to catch the highlights. You will then travel by 1st class rail to Venice, where you will spend the night, before starting your cruise the following day.

jetline cruise

Visit the Croatian cities of Split and Dubrovnik before cruising to the bucket list island of Santorini and to the mainland port of Katakolon, before returning to Venice for your flight home. The cruise itinerary will vary depending on the date you choose, Montenegro, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Kefalonia are also possible cruise stops. When you click on the link below, simply scroll down to select the date and itinerary that suits you.

jetline cruise

No matter which cruise itinerary you choose, you will enjoy a fabulous week on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Rhapsody of the Seas boasts contemporary styling and floor to ceiling windows, that ensure stunning ocean views. There are numerous restaurants on board including their famous steak-house, Chops Grille, Japanese at Izumi and fine dining at Chef’s table. With superb broadway shows, the ShipShape Spa, a choice of swimming pools and eight bars – you may not want to leave!

jetline cruise rhapsody of the seas

Prices start at €1339 which includes flights, transfers, hotel & cruise, departing in October. However Jetline Cruise have secured deals throughout the 2019 and 2020 season. Simply click on the link below and scroll down to find the date that suits you.

 

View Offer Here

 

Tokyo, Mount Fuji Bullet Train & Japan Cruise from €1849 Including Flights, 4* Hotel & Transfers

Japan is so on trend at the moment, the number of visitors to Japan has actually doubled in the last few years. Instagram is full of images of a white tipped Mount Fuji and of blooming Cherry Blossoms and let’s not forget that Japan is hosting the rugby world cup this year. Japan is the country that everyone is talking about and this amazing deal from Jetline Cruise allows you to see all the highlights, without the expensive price tag. The price includes flights, transfers, a three night stay in Tokyo with breakfast, a ride on the rapid Bullet Train, a full day Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi tour and an eight night cruise on Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess. You will visit Okinawa, Ishigaki and Taipei before returning to Tokyo for your overnight flight back to Dublin.

jetline cruise japan

The Diamond Princess has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and now offers a ‘ Movies under the Stars’ giant screen, a luxury spa and fitness centre as well as a host of entertainment options. If Japanese food is not your thing, don’t worry, Princess Cruises offers a wide selection of dining options including the popular Sabatini’s Italian restaurant which serves up delicious home made pasta dishes.

jetline cruise princess cruises

 

Prices start at €1849 which includes flights, transfers, hotel & cruise, departing in November. However Jetline Cruise have secured deals throughout the 2019 and 2020 season. Simply click on the link below and scroll down to find the date that suits you.

 

New York Stay with Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise from €1269 Including Flights, 4* Hotel & Transfers

Imagine cruising into to New York city on the iconic Queen Mary 2! Audrey Hepburn and Clarke Gable have cruised on this luxury liner and now you can too! It is incredible to think that you can cruise on this opulent ship and enjoy a three night stay in New York for only €1269, this has to be one of Jetline Cruises’ best cruise deals! 

jetline cruise to New York

Cunard’s flagship cruise-liner, the Queen Mary 2, was remastered in 2016, with a staggering £90 million makeover. She has all the glitz and glamour associated with traditional cruising, but now has contemporary styling too. Expect fine dining, the best wine cellar at sea, exceptional service and sophisticated shopping.

There are five main dining options on board, all included in the cost of your cruise, as well as two speciality restaurants which incur a charge. Of course no Cunard cruise would be complete without their signature afternoon tea, which incidentally is included in the price of your cruise.

Entertainment is what you would expect from Cunard – world class. From West-End style shows in the grand Royal Court Theatre to string quartets in intimate bars, the choice is yours. The Queen Mary 2 has a full-scale planetarium, famous speakers giving informative presentations, the largest library at sea and a luxury spa. This really is cruising at another level.

jetline cruise to new york

You can choose to cruise from Southampton to New York and fly home direct to Dublin or vice versa. Both have their advantages! Arriving into New York by cruise ship is incredible experience, however if you choose to cruise on the return you won’t have to endure a tiresome over night flight. Both options include a direct flights to or from New York and flights to and from Southampton, a three night stay in a four-star hotel, entrance tickets to the Empire State Building and airport transfers.

 

View Offer Here

 

Although relatively new in Ireland, Jetline Cruise is a multi award winning independent cruise operator, which has been selling cruises for 18 years to 250,000 customers. Their specialist cruise team will be able to advise you of the best cruise to suit your requirements and their product team have created unique cruise holidays, that you won’t find elsewhere! You also have the peace of mind of knowing that Jetline Cruise are licensed and bonded in Ireland, so your booking  is 100% financially protected.  

 

 Visit Jetlinecruise.ie for more details

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Jetline Cruise but all views, as always, are my own.

 
Best Travel Deals

The Travel Expert’s Best Travel Deals – 26th February 2019

best travel deals

In my best travel deals this week I have last minute holidays, Easter in the south of France, two weeks in Zakynthos from €475, a super deal to Barbados, city breaks from €122, a flash sale from Aer Lingus, cruise deals you won’t want to miss and lots more…..

 

Best last minute:

Jet off to the Algarve this weekend where temperatures are forecasted to be a balmy 21 degrees. Flights and hotels are so cheap in the winter time so you might as well enjoy some luxury for less! I found a great deal staying in the 5* Grand Muthu Oura View Beach Club, price for flights and a seven-night stay is only €259 per person.

View flights here €80pp

View hotel here €179

 

Best spring summer:

There are so many amazing deals if you can travel in May. Try a week in Cyprus for €321, an all-inclusive week in the Costa del Sol for only €462 or two weeks in Zakynthos for only €475! All deals include flights, transfers and checked baggage. Use code SMILE to save €100 off the listed price of all holidays over €1000 in value.

See more here

 

 

Best summer sun:

Sunway have launched an amazing promotion where you can book your summer holiday for only €1 deposit! Choose great family holidays in July or August, or get a few friends together and enjoy a week in the Canary Islands for €297 in September. They also have great deals to Turkey for only €399 on the 31st of August. All prices include flights, accommodation, transfers and checked baggage. Simply book with a €1 deposit and pay the balance 10 weeks before departure!

See more here

 

 

Best long haul:

I absolutely loved Barbados and found this great deal staying in the 4* Bougainvilla apartments, on its lively south coast. You are close to all the shops, bars and nightlife and of course the stunning white sandy beaches. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay is only €1179. This includes a €500 saving if you book before the 28th of February – so you better be quick!

View offer here

 

 

Best cruise:

Princess Cruises have amazing deals this summer with flights included. Choose a Med cruise for only €989 on the 10th of August, a Caribbean cruise for €1349 on the 8th of June or my personal favourite, a ten-night Panama Canal, Costa Rica and Caribbean cruise for only €1769 on the 7th of October. All prices include flights from Dublin and if you book before the 28th of February you can get up to $500 on board credit!

See more here
 

 

 

Best family deal:

If you’re looking to get away for Easter holidays, this super deal to the South of France might do the trick! Fly from Dublin to Nice and enjoy a six-night stay in the highly rated La Baume campsite in Fréjus. Complete with a large pool with slides, a jacuzzi, numerous activities for adults and children and a choice of bars for evening cocktails – check out the reviews on tripadvisor if you still need convincing. Price of €1575 includes flights, car rental and a six-night stay in a 2 bedroom mobile home, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

View offer here

 
 

Best city break:

Gohop have a host of city breaks on their website from as little as €122 including flights and hotels. Choose a two-night stay in Munich from €122, a two-night stay in Barcelona from €152 or three-night stay in Lisbon for €162.

See more here

 

 

Best staycation:

Take a trip to Belfast before the end of April and get this amazing deal staying in the heart of the city. Price for an overnight stay in the newly opened Maldron Hotel with a full Irish breakfast, evening main course and side, early check in and late check out is only €55 per person!

View offer here

 
 

Best seat sale:

Aer Lingus are having a flash sale to European destinations for travel from the 1st of April to the 19th of June (excluding Easter holidays).  Save up to 25% if you book before the 28th of February.

See more here

 

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 
Sarah

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Long HaulTravel

5 Ultimate Luxury Holidays With Free Upgrades And Exclusive Offers

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From Mexico to the Maldives, Barbados to Thailand, check out my top luxury holidays with free upgrades and exclusive offers.

 

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to bring you some of the best luxury holidays for less. Want all-inclusive hotels where spa treatments, tours and golf are included? Fancy an over water bungalow in the Maldives with an upgrade to full board? Maybe a free upgrade to a jacuzzi suite in Thailand or perhaps up to 50% off in Sandals Barbados… These are just some of the amazing luxury holidays on offer with Tropical Sky.

 

Hurawalhi Island Resort – Maldives

From €2409 with seaplane transfers for seven nights.

The Maldives are probably one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Over water bungalows, pristine white sandy beaches and an underwater paradise, it is not surprising that the barefoot luxury of the Maldives is on everyone’s bucketlist. Hurawalhi Island is a picture postcard island resort that encapsulates the image of the Maldives. Complete with the world’s largest undersea restaurant and over water bungalows that lead right into the crystal clear waters of the lagoon, it is an adults-only paradise island. There are plenty of other restaurants to choose from it you want to eat above sea level, as well as an infinity pool, a luxury spa and a host of watersports. Watch the sunset from the Coco bar or the Champagne Pavillion and if you fancy a lively night, there is a choice of evening entertainment including live music and even a disco!

Tropical Sky are offering a free upgrade to full board when staying in an Ocean Villa, Ocean Sunset Villa, Ocean Pool Villa & Ocean Sunset Pool Villa, if you travel from the 1st of November to the 30th of April and book before the 31st October. Prices start at €3589 in one of only 15 luxurious ocean villas which are nestled in stilts over the water ❤️ This includes a saving of €1000 per person and includes flights, seaplane transfers and accommodation on full board basis.

Click here for more details

 

The Paradise Koh Yao – Thailand

From €1039 on a bed & breakfast basis in a jacuzzi studio for seven nights.

If you are looking for one of Thailand’s best kept secrets – you found it! Koh Yao No is located an hour by boat from bustling Phuket, yet world’s apart. This romantic hideaway is perfect for anyone looking to experience unspoilt Thailand without breaking the bank. With stunning views over Phang Nga Bay, this is where you will enjoy lazy beach days with your loved one. There is also a large infinity pool, twice daily open air yoga classes and a host of watersports available.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive offer of a free upgrade to a jacuzzi studio, yes your own private jacuzzi in your room! You will also receive 1 hour spa aromatherapy treatment for two per stay, if booked by the 31st of October. And that’s not all, if you book 60 days before arrival you can save an additional 20% discount on the hotel cost! Prices from €1039 on a bed & breakfast basis in a jacuzzi studio.

Click here for more details:

 

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

From €879 on a half board basis for six nights

Only an hour from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, or ‘Rak’, has white sandy beaches, desert dunes and rugged mountains. Explore the ‘Omani Fjords’ on a traditional dhow, visit a Bedouin desert camp or see ‘Rak’ by gyrocopter at the Jazirah Aviation Club. The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah was inspired by Arabian palaces and the building is an architectural masterpiece. It’s location is perfect too. Situated on it’s own private beach it also has the luxury of a dramatic mountain backdrop, an 18 hole golf course and the Arabian Gulf, all visible from the hotel. The interior also has the wow factor. The stylish décor compliments the five star service and facilities on offer. There is a wide selection of international restaurants and bars to choose from, a luxury spa, golf course and swimming pool. Check out the short video below and you will see why it is rated number 1 on tripadvisor.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive offer of a free upgrade to half board with free airport transfers if you book by the 31st of October. You can also avail of a free upgrade to a sea view junior suite with balcony, if you book by the 9th of October.  Prices from €879 for a six night stay in June.

Click here for more details:

 

UNICO – Mexico

From €2099 on a premium all-inclusive basis for seven nights.

Imagine staying in an all inclusive hotel with spa treatments and golf included, where you can take Mayan jungle tours, sailing trips or swim with dolphins, and just pay a 20% service fee. UNICO 20°87°’ differs from other luxury hotels because of their unique all-inclusive offering. With personal training sessions, spa treatments, water-sports and incredible tours included in the price, this is an all-inclusive resort like no other. All you pay is a 20% service tax – see a full list of inclusions here. UNICO 20°87° is a brand new adult-only luxury hotel, located on a stunning beach and is the best hotel in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, according to tripadvisor. It’s contemporary décor manages to incorporate traditional Mexican style with lavish furnishings. They also offer unique cultural experiences, including cookery classes and a cocktail hour in a nearby Mayan village. There are three swimming pools, a wide variety of dining options as well as a luxury spa and yoga and exercise classes on the beach. Rooms are not standard either, choose an Alcoba swim up pool room or a room with an ocean view and an outdoor spa tub. You even have your own personalised Anfitrión, or host, available 24 hours a day.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive saving of €200 per person with unlimited select spa and beauty treatments included in the all-inclusive package (20% tax paid locally). Prices from €2,099 per person for seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis.

Click here for more details:

 

Sandals Resort, Barbados

From €2379 on a premium all-inclusive basis for seven nights.

Barbados is one of my favourite Caribbean islands. It’s combination of amazing beaches, UNESCO world heritate sites and vibrant nightlife means there is something here for everyone to enjoy. It’s cosmopolitan population means you are as likely meet an Irish man behind the bar as a Bajan. In multicultural Barbados, anything goes. Read my Barbados blog for more info.

Sandals Barbados is the ultimate couples only resort. The unique all-inclusive offering includes unlimited fine dining in eleven different restaurants with your choice of premium branded drinks from seven bars. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, Sandals also offer unlimited scuba diving and other water sports included in the price of your stay. It’s location close to the lively St Lawrence Gap gives you the option to pop into town if you fancy trying one of Barbados’ legendary street parties.

For a limited time Tropical Sky have a staggering 50% off at Sandals Barbados. Price for flights, transfers and a deluxe room on a premium all-inclusive basis is €2379 in November, €2629 in April, May or June or €2789 in July and August.

Click here for more details:

 

Why not start your luxury holidays in style, by flying business class. Go one better and enjoy a free upgrade to first class when you purchase a business class ticket with British Airways to Mexico, Canada or the USA. Travel by 31st December.

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by TropicalSky but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

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Top Ten Holidays For Girls

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Planning a girls weekend away or something further afield? Check out my top ten holidays for girls for some travel inspiration.

 

1 New York Shopping Trip.

A New York shopping trip has to be one of the top ten holidays for girls! Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Century 21, Chinatown, the list is endless! Although shopping maybe the main reason for going, it will probably not be the highlight of your trip! The buzz of Times Square, the trendy scene in Soho, Central Park and the World Trade Centre – there are so many sights to see. Don’t forget the obligatory ‘ Sex and the City ‘ tour and check out my blog on 25 things to do in New York here.

Top ten holidays for girls

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2. Sun and fun in Marbella.

A girls holiday in Marbella is all about style and sun. Party until the small hours and then chill out in one of the cool beach clubs during the day. Do some designer shopping in Puerto Banus before having a drink in Sinatra’s bar. However, if you don’t want the club scene, the old town is pretty cool too, without requirements to wear the latest fashion labels or have HD brows! But if you seek the glitz and glamour that Marbella is renowned for, remember the saying, ‘no carbs before Marbs!’.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

3. A weekend in Dubai.

A classy choice for a long weekend away, Dubai ticks all boxes. Enjoy year round sunshine, five star deluxe hotels and the world’s largest shopping malls! Dubai is also a great choice if you fancy some action. Take a desert safari, visit the world’s tallest building, check out Palm Island and have some afternoon tea in the Burj Al Arab. If all this isn’t enough, you can even try skiing! Check out my blog on the top ten things to do in Dubai if you still need convincing.

top ten holidays for girls
 

 

 

4. A holiday in the Côtes d’Azur.

The South of France is always a good idea, and a great choice for a girls holiday. Choose the stylish resort of Cannes, the old towns of Nice or Antibes or the glitzy resort of San Tropez. The train hugs the coastline so you can take a day trip to Monaco or even pop into Italy for a bite of lunch!

top ten holidays for girls
 

 

 

5. Paris in the spring.

Paris is the sophisticated choice for a girls weekend away. Visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and take a stroll around Montmartre. Let a street artist draw your caricature while getting the best view of the city from the Sacre-Coeur. Of course no trip to Paris would be complete with some shopping in the Parisien boutiques on Avenue Montaigne, or the famous department store, Galeries Lafayette!

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

6. California.

For a longer holiday, take a trip to California. Enjoy celeb spotting in LA, stroll down Rodeo drive and have some cocktails in West Hollywood’s trendy bars. There are so many cool beach towns to choose from, Malibu, Santa Monica, Long beach, are all close by. For the ultimate Thelma & Louise story, hire a car and drive the Pacific Coast highway, from San Francisco to San Diego. For more inspiration read my blog on my California road trip here.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

7. Island hopping in Greece.

The Greek islands offer something to suit everyone. Visit the stunning island of Santorini and see the most spectacular sunsets. Party all night in Ios or Paros or have a Shirley Valentine moment in Mykonos. If you don’t fancy island hopping, the larger islands of Rhodes, Crete or Kos offer a great choice for a weeks holiday, easily reachable by direct flights.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

8. A full moon party in Thailand.

Clearly a full moon party is not for everyone! However, if you are lucky enough to be travelling the world in your twenties, then the all night, full moon party, just has to be on your list! For the rest of us – well you are as old as you feel, right?

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

9. Barbados baby.

One of my favourite Caribbean islands, Barbados has it all. White sandy beaches, great night life, some incredible restaurants and plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets. Unlike some of its neighbours, it is not full of honeymooners! There is great night life on the south coast and plenty to see and do. For the ultimate beach experience take a day trip to the nearby Grenadine islands – pure bliss! Check out my blog post on Barbados here.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 

10. Party time in Ibiza.

Contrary to what you might think, nightlife in Ibiza is not just for students. In fact some of the towns have evolved to offer some chic trendy bars and hotels, albeit with a hefty price tag. You can still party all night in San Antonio and enjoy the famous Ocean beach, or the original sunset bar, café del mar. But if you want a more sophisticated choice, choose the cool Ushuaïa or Experimental Beach Club, before dancing the night away at Pacha. Enjoy some boutique shopping in Ibiza town too and some cocktails at Bar 1805.

Top ten bucket list holidays for girls
 

 

 
I hope you enjoyed my top ten holidays for girls and that they helped you with your travel plans. Have I missed any of your favourites? Please comment below I would love to hear from you 🙂

 

Like this post? Why not pin it!

 

Happy trails!

 

Sarah

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Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

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We all have different tastes and budgets, so I think it is fair to say that there are no perfect honeymoon destinations that suit everyone – well maybe Bora Bora…

 

Lets face it, if we had unlimited holidays and unlimited cash, we would probably all like to stay in a beach villa in the South Pacific. However, being realistic, we need to remember not everyone can take three weeks off to travel the world, and many of us have limited means. You also have to make sure to check the weather before you book, as it could be the rainy or even hurricane season in your dream honeymoon destination. Here are my top  honeymoon destinations – there should be one here to suit you.

 

 

 

1. Short on time – The Amalfi Coast

top 10 honeymoon destinations

For those of you who only don’t have lots of annual leave available, a week in Italy is the perfect choice. Stay in a deluxe hotel in Positano or Ravello and live like a celebrity. Visit the isle of Capri, take water taxis along the coast and soak up the Italian atmosphere.  Bellisimo!

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

2. Short on cash – Greece

top 10 honeymoon destinations

I love the Greek islands and if you are getting married during the summer months, then Greece is a great choice. Swim with turtles in the turquoise waters of Zakynthos, explore the hilltop town of Lindos in Rhodes, or chill out in a five-star hotel in Crete. I stayed in a luxury hotel near Chania and loved it.

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort.

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

3. Like All Inclusive? –  Cancun.

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you want a luxury hotel with all meals and drinks included, then Cancun is best for value. Cancun is perfect for anyone who wants to be pampered, without moving too far from your hotel.  Many honeymooners feel exhausted after the wedding, so all-inclusive holidays suit perfectly. You could however, mix it up a little and add in a few days in New York or Vegas on the way back….

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

4. Play it safe! – The Maldives

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you want pure luxury, idyllic beaches and want to wear flip flops for the week, the Maldives is for you. It is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, but can still be affordable. Combine with Dubai for a great combination of city and beach.

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

5. Tick all boxes – Island hopping in the Caribbean.

top 10 honeymoon destinations

This is a great choice for couples who primarily want a beach holiday, but want a bit of adventure thrown in. Barbados, The Grenadines, St Lucia and the Cayman Islands, it’s hard to believe they are all so close  – yet so different. If you don’t fancy to much packing and unpacking, try a Caribbean cruise and see them all on day trips!

Read about my stay in the Maldives here

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6. Like adventure? – South Africa

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South Africa is one of my favourite honeymoon destinations. It is the perfect place to mix adventure with beach time. Drive the garden route, go whale watching, take in a safari, explore Cape Town and finish off your honeymoon by chilling out on a wine estate.

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7. Road trip? – California

top 10 honeymoon destinations

There is nothing like the wind in your hair as you drive the Pacific Coast highway in a convertible. Combine San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and if  you have three weeks to spare, try to take in the national parks too. Drive from LA to Scottsdale, on to Vegas before hitting Death Valley and Yosemite. From there drive to San Francisco and hit the pacific coast highway back to LA. For a two week trip, make it simple, fly to San Francisco and drive the PCH to San Diego. 

Read the best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway.

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8. Adrenaline Junkies – Florida

top 10 honeymoon destinations

Surprisingly this is a really popular honeymoon choice. If you are looking for non-stop action, then Florida is hard to beat. Mix it up a little and combine with New York or Vegas, or why not add on a Caribbean cruise?

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9. A bit more exotic – Thailand

top 10 honeymoon destinations

Thailand is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. Choose to relax on one of its many beaches or choose to combine a stay in Bangkok and Thailand’s cultural centre, Chiang Mai. Opt for five-star glamping in the Elephant Hills Camp, go island hopping in the Andaman Sea, or shop till you drop in Bangkok. Who says you can’t do it all?   

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10. The world is your oyster – Australia

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you have plenty of time on your hands, and plenty of cash – then it has to be Australia! See the sights in Sydney, marvel at Ayers Rock and explore the world’s most impressive underwater paradise at the Great Barrier Reef. There is actually so much to see and do in Australia – way to many to mention! And if you manage to tour this massive continent and still want some more action – hop over to New Zealand…

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Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 

 

 

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Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura

You could be excused for thinking you were in the Caribbean when walking along the seashore in Correlejo. 

Fuerteventura’s Beautiful Beaches

The white sandy beaches are really stunning and not at all what you would expect in the Canary Islands. The sand dunes that are the national park stretch for miles and the visual combination of the mountain backdrop makes for a truely magnificent sight. I had to pinch myself,  I felt like I was back in Barbados.

I am a beach lover so Fuerteventura for me is fantastic. It hosted the world wind surfing and kite boarding championships last year and definitely has that sporty feel to it. There are surf shops on every corner and plenty of long haired Australians wandering around with boards under their arms so it definitely has that edgy vibe.

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Corralejo

There are two main resorts featured from Ireland, Correlejo and Caleta de Fuste, or Costa Caleta as it is also known. Correlejo, once an old fishing village it still retains that authentic feel yet has a 10km blanket of white sand beside it to sweeten the deal.

There are great restaurants around the harbour and  plenty of trendy duty free shops as well as ‘Music Square’. This is also the spot where the ferry leaves to go to nearby Lanzarote, or Isla de Lobos, trust me, a day trip worth taking. Try an introductory dive or some snorkelling, it would be difficult to find a better place in Europe to do this.

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Caleta de Fuste

Caleta de Fuste is very popular with families as the man made beach there is very shallow and extremely safe for young kids. It is a purpose built resort though so lacks the authenticity that Correlejo has, although comes complete with mini golf, kids train and plenty of kids clubs along the beach.

3There is a fantastic choice of self catering and all inclusive family properties and the prices are such good value. The restaurants here and generally all over the island cater extremely well for families and wont break the bank.

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Fuerteventura by The Travel Expert

Things To Do in Fuerteventura

Like many other Spanish resorts Fuerteventura has plenty more to offer than just beaches. There is a waterpark in Correlejo as well as a fantastic animal park, the Oasis Park in Jandia. You can get up close with the animals here, even take a camel safari or take in a show. There are two bird shows as well as a sealion and a reptile show. It is a great day out for all the family and one I would highly recommend.

If you are travelling as a couple you have to visit El Cotillo. Renowned for its amazing beaches and lagoons it was voted one of the 10 best beaches in Spain by Tripadvisor last year. A traditional fishing village, it has the most picturesque little harbour with local restaurants serving freshly caught fish – and they are cooked to perfection! This is the windsurfing and surfing Mecca of the island so bear in mind it can be very windy! You can find some sheltered spots for sunbathing but my advice would be to bring a jacket! 

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Fuerteventura is less developed than the other Canary Islands but that is part of it’s charm. It has year round sunshine, is great value for money and has some of the best beaches in Europe, what more could you ask for?

Sarah

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