luxury holidays

Europe

How To See The Northern Lights Through Your Own Glass Igloo

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Seeing the Northern Lights is pretty spectacular no matter where you are, but to see them from your very own glass igloo is the ultimate bucket list experience. 

 

I had a few requests from people asking how to get to ‘the place with the glass igloos’. It seems many people want to turn their dreams into reality, or spoil their partners for special birthdays or anniversaries. So I decided to do some investigating and find out how to see the Northern Lights through your own glass igloo. 

how to see the Nothern Lights
 

 

 
Kakslauttanen is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, during the aurora season from late August to late April. It is situated 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, so you can expect to find the cleanest countryside, the purest water (you can drink straight from the stream) and the freshest air from almost anywhere in the world.
 

 

 
However Kakslauttanen is not all about the igloos and the aurora. There are so many activities available, you will be spoiled for choice. Think snow mobiling, husky or reindeer safaris, ice fishing, tobogganing, cross country skiing and lots more. For a truly unique experience try their ice swimming and smoke saunas combination.

how to see Northern Lights in a glass igloo
 

 

 
There is a wide choice of accommodation, including log cabins, chalets, snow igloos and of course their famous glass igloos. They also have large glass igloos with a fireplace and sauna, that hold up to six people, if you want to bring a few friends or family along. 

Northern Lights
 

 

 

How to get there?

Kakslauttanen is located in Finland, but it is so far North that it is actually a 90 minute flight from Helsinki. Finnair fly from Dublin to Helsinki almost every day, but to get the connecting flight to Ivalo you need to take a morning flight which only operates three times per week. You will find alternative flights, but be careful, they will involve multiple stops with flying times over ten hours.

Another option is to spend a night or two in Helsinki before flying to Ivalo, this will give you more options with flights. Ivalo airport is only a short thirty minute transfer to Kakslauttanen and the hotel will arrange transport for you.

Northern Lights
 

 

 
I found a great deal on flights departing Patricks Day 17th March for four nights, for just €253 return. This should give you optimum time to see the Northern Lights and try some of the many activities available, including snow mobiling, cross country skiing etc.

There are various room types to choose from, but the price for four nights in a glass igloo is €1413 per person including breakfast and evening meal – this brings the total cost to €1666 per person for a four night stay, based on two sharing. Larger igloos for groups or families are also available.

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So now you know how to see the Northern Lights through your own glass igloo, the question is will you scratch one off the bucket list to experience a trip of a lifetime?

 

 

View flights here €253pp

View hotel here €2826

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

25 Bucket List holidays to inspire your next big trip.

 

Prices are correct at the 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 Sarah Slattery

Travel

Easter Deal to Croatia, Flights & 5 Star Hotel, 1st April, 1 week, €482!

croatia hotel

Always wanted to see Dubrovnik? Check out this amazing Easter deal to Croatia. Price includes flights, and five-star hotel with free cancellation!

 

The medieval city of Dubrovnik should be on everyone’s wish list. It is so well preserved and looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Walk around the city walls, take the cable car to Srd Hill and then catch the sunset from one of the many cliff bars. Although you can stay in the heart of the old town, I think the best way to enjoy it is to holiday in one of the resorts close by.

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Dubrovnik is actually quite small and can be packed with cruise ship visitors during the day. However, staying outside the centre, lets you have the best of both world. Relax by the sea or pool during the day and pop in the evening when the city is less crowded.

amazing deal to croatia
 

 

 
I have chosen the pretty town of Cavtat, a resort I stayed in with my family a few years ago. Once a small fishing village it is now a picture postcard resort, with upmarket hotels and crystal clear waters. Dine in one of the many restaurants that are dotted along the seafront promenade, and admire the sea views and mountainous backdrop.
 

 

 
If you fancy spending the day in Dubrovnik,  catch a water taxi from the shore, or hop on the local bus. For more details on visiting this incredible city, read my city guide to Dubrovnik.

amazing deal to croatia
 

 

 
You will be staying in the 5 Star Hotel Croatia  which is located on a peninsula with stunning sea views. This luxurious hotel receives excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and is a Travellers Choice award winner. On site facilities include an outdoor and indoor pool, spa, fitness centre and a selection of restaurants and bars. Rooms are contemporary and spacious with a balcony and free WiFi.

amazing deal to croatia
 

 

 
Fly from Dublin to Dubrovnik on the 1st of April and enjoy this amazing Easter deal to Croatia for only €482 per person. Price includes a seven-night stay with breakfast in one of Cavtats most popular hotels. The rate quoted includes free cancellation, if you wish to choose the non-refundable rate the price is even less! Want to change duration or dates? Simply edit the dates when you click on the links below.  
 
View flights here €183pp

View hotel here €299pp
 

 

 
Prices for this Easter deal to Croatia are correct at time of issue, but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made
 

Sarah

 

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Travel

Luxury Short Break in Sardinia in June, Flights & 5-Star Hotel, €415pp

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Treat yourself to a luxury short break in Sardinia and enjoy white sandy beaches, a picturesque old town and of course amazing Italian food…

 

With a direct three-hour flight from Dublin and a short a 10 minute airport transfer, you can be enjoying nice Italian food in the old town of Alghero, with one of Italy’s best beaches beside you! The medieval town of Alghero is beautifully preserved, with cobbled stone streets, trendy boutiques and a great food scene. There is also a beautiful white sandy beach in Alghero, which is not something that many Italian resorts can boast about.
 

 

 
If you like designer shopping then take a visit the Costa Smeralda, if only to window shop and see how the other half live! You might spot some celebrities while you are there, this is a very popular hang out for the rich and famous. If that doesn’t float your boat, take a trip to the neighbouring French island of Corsica and marvel at the stunning scenery – it is well worth a visit.

Sardinia, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
 

 

 
Fly direct to Alghero with Aer Lingus on the 14th of June and enjoy a luxury short break in the 5-star Carlos V Hotel for just €415 per person.  Price includes flights and hotel with breakfast for three nights. Located just 10 minutes from the airport, it is ideal for a short break. You can hop in a taxi and be chilling at the pool within a half hour of landing!
 

 

 
I stayed in this hotel many years ago and loved its seafront location and onsite spa. The outdoor terrace offers wonderful sea views and you can dine there during the summer months. However, the old town of Alghero is only a fifteen minute walk away which offers a superb selection of dining options.  The Carlos V is rated as Excellent on  Tripadvisor, making this luxury break in Sardinia superb value during the summer months.

luxury short break in the Carlos V Hotel, Sardinina
 

 

 
View flights here €185pp

View hotel here €230pp

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. Please note some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
 

 

 
Like travel deals? See more here.

 

Sarah

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Cruises

Luxury Caribbean Cruise & Stay Holidays, Flights, Accommodation & Cruise, From €1749!

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Take your pick from these luxury Caribbean cruise and stay holidays with flights, accommodation and a five-star Celebrity Cruise included.

 

I have teamed up with American Sky to bring you my top three Celebrity Caribbean cruise and stay holidays. I was fortunate enough to be on board one of Celebrity Cruises Solstice class ships, Celebrity Silhouette recently and I absolutely loved it! All of the holidays below include a seven night cruise on a Solstice class ship, either Celebrity Reflection or Celebrity Equinox. You can expect five star luxury with a wide choice of dining and entertainment on board. Interiors are bright and modern and they even have a real grass lawn! This gives a country club feel, I found it hard to believe that I was on a cruise ship.

But that’s not all…

As well as a fabulous seven day Caribbean cruise you can also choose to add on a few nights in Miami or the Florida Keys, or even both! I have also chosen a cruise holiday with a stay in Orlando, which should satisfy any thrill seekers. Check out my top three Caribbean cruise and stay holidays below and get planning your next cruise holiday!

 

 

3 Nights Miami, 7 Nights Western Caribbean Cruise: Flights, Accommodation & Cruise, €1749!

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

This is such amazing value, I am tempted to book it myself! Miami has been on my bucket list for a long time and this amazing offer includes a three night stay in Miami and a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Equinox. You will be staying at the highly rated Grand Beach Hotel, which is centrally located to explore the vibrant city of Miami. Shop till you drop, visit chic Little Havana or chill out on the beach right in front of your hotel. After three days in Miami you will board Celebrity Equinox for a Western Caribbean cruise. Visit the lively town of Key West, Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, and then swim with sting rays in the Cayman Islands! You will also have two full days at sea to enjoy the facilities on this luxurious cruise ship.

View offer here

 

7 Nights Orlando &  7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Flights, Accommodation, Car hire & Cruise, €1829! 

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Spend a week in the theme park capital of the world and enjoy the thrills of Disney World, Universal Studios and lots more. You will be staying at Westgate Palace which is right in the heart of Orlando, close to International Drive and all the theme parks. After a week of non stop action, drive to Miami and board Celebrity Reflection for a seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise. Your first stop will be Puerto Rico where you can visit the old town of San Juan or take a trip to the rainforest. You will also visit the small Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and St Kitts, where you can chill out on some of the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches, or go off the beaten track and zip line through the jungle. There are also three days at sea so you can enjoy all of the fantastic facilities that Celebrity Reflection has to offer.

View offer here 

 

3 Nights Miami, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise, 4 Nights, Florida Keys: Flights, Accommodation, Car Hire & Cruise, €1899!

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Start this holiday of a lifetime with three nights in the trendy Albion Hotel on South Beach, Miami. Explore this cool city or just chill out and people watch, it is that sort of place! You will then board the luxurious Celebrity Equinox for a seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Visit San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Kitts, where you can enjoy some of the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches, or seek adventure in their tropical rainforests. You will also have three full days at sea to enjoy this luxury cruise ship.

caribbean cruise and stay holidays

Your holiday doesn’t end there… When you disembark in Miami, you will pick up a hire car and drive to Key Largo, for a four night stay at the Ocean Pointe Suites. You can snorkel, go kayaking or chill out on the beach. Of course no trip to the Florida Keys would be complete without driving the ultimate road trip, from Key Largo to Key West, and with five days car rental included, you will have plenty of time!

View offer here 

 

I hope you enjoyed my top picks for Caribbean cruise and stay holidays and that this inspires you to book a Caribbean cruise. If you want to change the above itineraries, add on extra nights, or choose to combine with different city, contact American Sky, they will tailor make a cruise holiday to suit your requirements.

 

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

 

Like cruises? Click here for the latest cruise reviews and the best cruise deals.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Travel

Five Star Week in Crete Incl. Flights Over May Bank Holiday Weekend, €382!

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If you are looking for a luxury break away in one of Greece’s most beautiful locations, then this five star week in Crete is for you!

 

This super deal to Crete flies directly from Dublin into Chania, otherwise known as ‘little Venice’. It’s stunning harbour filled with old Venetian buildings and narrow streets make it a beautiful place to stroll around. The waterfront cafes and restaurants are packed with people enjoying the fabulous Greek food and the atmosphere is almost tangible. Many old buildings have been transformed into boutique hotels but they still retain the character of this great city.

five star week in crete
 

 

 
There are plenty of quaint shopping streets with local souvenir and craft shops as well as galleries and museums to explore. The surrounding area has numerous sight seeing options, the Samaria Gorge being the most famous. Explore the mountain villages or simply relax on one of Crete’s sandy beaches, the choice is yours.

five star week in crete
 

 

 
I found this great deal in the contemporary Cretan Dream Royal Hotel, situated at Kato Stalos Beach, just 6km from Chania, the location offers you the best of both worlds. You can relax in one of their luxury suites at this beach front hotel or choose to explore the vibrant city of Chania. The excellent facilities on site as well as the warm welcome guests receive are the reason that tripadvisor awarded it with a certificate of excellence last year.

five star week in crete

Fly direct from Dublin to Crete(Chania) with Ryanair on the 1st of May and enjoy seven nights in a junior suite with a sea view, at this 5* luxury hotel for only €382 per person. This includes breakfast and a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival – what fantastic value for a five star week in Crete!
 

 

 
View flights here €118pp

View hotel here €264pp

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.
 

 

 

Sarah

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Luxury Multi Centre Holidays in the Indian Ocean

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Luxury holidays in the Indian Ocean with a little adventure thrown in – the perfect holiday combination.

 

Barefoot luxury in the Indian Ocean is about as good as it gets when it comes to dream holidays, but sometimes it is good to combine a little adventure with beach time. Experience an action packed few days in Cape Town or Dubai before arriving by seaplane to your water villa. Think island hopping in the Caribbean sounds pretty good? Try Island hopping in the Seychelles instead! These are just some of the bespoke luxury holidays in the Indian Ocean that Hayes and Jarvis offer – there are so much more. They offer a staggering 36 different holiday styles in 60 destinations around the world. Read my blog post about Hayes and Jarvis luxury long haul holidays from Ireland, and here are four of their luxury holidays in the Indian Ocean to whet your appetite!

 

3 Nights Dubai & 7 Nights Sri Lanka, Including Flights & 5 Star Hotels,  from €1829!

Combine the glitz and glamour of Dubai with one of the Indian Ocean’s best kept secrets, Sri Lanka. This is the perfect multi-centre holiday! Visit the tallest building in the world, shop in the world’s largest shopping mall and spend a day in the Arabian desert. Adrenaline junkies could try dune bashing or sand skiing while romantics will love star gazing. Whatever you choose, a visit to the Dubai desert is a must! Of course no trip to Dubai would be complete without visiting some of it’s stunning beaches.

Dubai, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

You will be staying at the 5* Taj Dubai hotel. Considered one of the best hotels to stay in Dubai by tripadvisor, it is situated in one of Dubai’s prime locations. With jaw dropping views of the Burj Khalifa and the dancing fountain, this sophisticated hotel is just minutes from the Dubai Mall and the glamorous nightlife Dubai has to offer.

After three action packed days in Dubai you will fly onwards to Sri Lanka for seven nights. I went to Sri Lanka last year and fell in love with it. I climbed Sigiriya, a 660 foot tall rock fortress, visited the tea plantations, went on an elephant safari and still had plenty of beach time – and this was all over six days! Voted the best place to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet, once you go you will see why.

Sri Lanka

In true Hayes and Jarvis style, you will be staying in another 5* luxury hotel, the Taj Bentota Resort & Spa. This contemporary hotel offers fine dining, an authentic Jiva Spa and stunning views of the Indian Ocean. You can organise excursions to some of Sri Lanka’s highlights from here or choose to relax and enjoy this lavish hotel.

View offer here

 

South Africa and Mauritius: 3 Nights Cape Town & 7 Nights, All Inclusive in Mauritius, Including Flights, Transfers & 5 Star Hotels, from €3049

South Africa and Mauritius, what a superb combination! Spend three nights in one of the world’s best cities before relaxing in a luxury five star all-inclusive resort for seven days in Mauritius. Cape Town is one of my favourite cities, I have been twice and would go back again in a heart beat. Climb Table Mountain, drive the Cape Peninsula and visit Robben Island – these are just three of the ‘top things to do in Cape Town’. You will be staying in the legendary 5* Cape Grace Hotel. Located just minutes from the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, this is perfectly located to explore Cape Town’s tourist marina and the cultural hot spot of Bo Kaap.

cape town

Cape Town is a hard place to follow but a week in the luxurious all inclusive Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort might do the trick! They boast ‘the best all-inclusive resort in Mauritius’ and who am I to argue with that? Recently renovated, this five-star resort is located in the unspoilt south of the island. Facilities include an 18 hole golf course overlooking the Indian Ocean, a luxury spa and fitness centre and three swimming pools. You will be staying in a deluxe beachfront room and with all meals and drinks included in the cost of your stay, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your stay without thinking of the cost!

 

Maldives: Kuramathi Island Resort, Water Villa with Jacuzzi, Select All Inclusive, from €3199

You only have to mention the Maldives and the word ‘paradise’ springs to mind. Kuramathi Island IS paradise, but don’t just take my word for it, check out the thousands of reviews on tripadvisor that say so too! Numerous celebrities have holidayed here and it is one of the most sought after resorts in the Maldives for Irish holidaymakers. Arriving by seaplane is all part of the luxury travel experience, as is staying in one of the resorts’ water villas. Built on stilts directly over the lagoon, these luxury villas come with a jacuzzi and direct access to the Indian Ocean.

A holiday like this calls for complete indulgence, so the last thing you want to do is worry about how much spending money you will need. The best way to achieve this is by availing of the ‘Select All Inclusive’ arrangement in Kuramathi Island Resort. Not only are all meals and drinks included in the cost of your stay but the Select All Inclusive allows you to dine in ANY of the nine à la carte restaurants on the island. You can enjoy a selection of bottled wines with your meal as well as premium drinks at all times during your stay. You can also avail of the many water sports, including one Sunset Cruise and one trip to the neighbouring island Rasdhoo during your stay. Hayes and Jarvis have included a water villa and an upgrade to Select All Inclusive in the cost of this package.

Maldives one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Please call Hayes and Jarvis on (01) 691 7727,  or email for your exclusive quotation

 

Island Hopping in the Seychelles: 12 Nights, Including Flights & Hotels, from €3599

Island hopping in the Caribbean or even Greece sounds pretty cool to me, but island hopping in the Seychelles is on another level. If you want to do something that is NOT on the top 10 lists of holidays to take in 2019 – this has to be it! A holiday in the Seychelles have to be one of the most idyllic you could ever take. Spectacular beaches, exotic rainforests and amazing wildlife – need I say more?

Hayes and Jarvis have arranged this amazing package itinerary to paradise that takes in three of the Seychelles most idyllic islands. Visit one of the world’s best beaches in Praslin Island, feed the giant tortoises in La Digue and explore the country’s capital, Victoria, on Mahe Island.

In all three islands you will be staying in luxury hotels that receive excellent reviews on tripadvisor. Relax on one of the hammocks in the boutique hotel Coco de Mer in Praslin, stay in your own garden villa in Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie, La Digue and enjoy your own private plunge pool in the Carana Beach Hotel in Mahe. This amazing three-centre holiday includes all transfers and internal flights.

View offer here

 

These are just a sample of the luxury holidays in the Indian Ocean that Hayes and Jarvis feature. They can tailor make any holiday to suit your requirements. Talk to the expert staff and tell them whether you like fine dining or barefoot luxury, a family safari or an adult-only escape. No matter what your holiday style – Hayes and Jarvis will source the right holiday for you.

Contact them on  (01) 691 7727, call into their office at 18 Duke Street, Dublin or visit HayesandJarvis.ie  for more details. This post was sponsored by HayesandJarvis but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

DestinationsEurope

Seven of the Best Hotels with Infinity Pools

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The evenings are getting shorter and the nights are ever colder. This doesn’t mean you need to hibernate until Spring comes around. There is nothing like an outdoor infinity pool to not only make you feel like royalty, but also to warm you right up. Here is a selection of what I think to be seven of the best hotels with infinity pools across Europe.

 

Let’s be honest, when we remember our past, nobody remembers the routine things that you have done a thousand times before. The things that stand out in a good sense are the times when we decide to throw caution to the wind. If you are looking to bring more of these moments into your life, these seven hotels with infinity pools, should give you some inspiration to get the ball rolling.

1. The Cambrian, Adelboden, Switzerland.

The Cambrian Adelboden is an absolute gem nestled high in the Swiss Alps. Known for its fantastic array of wellness facilities you can enjoy one of the most breathtaking, panoramic views imaginable from their outdoor infinity pool. The picture is only a taster, nothing will ever compare to the real thing.

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2. St. Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot, Wales

Best Hotels With Infinity Pools: St. Brides Hotel Saundersfoot

This magnificent hotel in Wales overlooks Saundersfoot Harbour. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind and when you’re not getting pampered, you could be enjoying a meal in The Cliff restaurant. This could be a great option if bringing your car over to Wales or even flying to Cardiff and renting a car over there.

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3. Kings Street Townhouse, Manchester, UK.

Best Hotels with Infinity Pools: Kings Street Townhouse

Manchester is one of my favourite cities but this is a Manchester experience that you probably thought didn’t exist. The Kings Street Townhouse has a truly epic outdoor infinity pool, where you can enjoy the unique cityscape that this musical hub possesses.

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4. Epic Sana Lisboa Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal.

Best Hotels With Infinity Pools: Epic Sana

Lisbon is a beautiful and colourful city where it is always possible to pick up a travel bargain. The Epic Sana Lisboa Hotel offers you the chance to enjoy the Portuguese capital in style. Flights to Lisbon are always reasonably priced and you should be able to pick up a great price for flights in the off peak months too.

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5. NH Collection Grand Hotel Contento di Amalfi, Italy.

Best Hotels With Infinity Pools: NH Collection Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is just one of those rare locations that doesn’t need any assistance from Photoshop! It also is the perfect destination for an infinity pool. The mountainous setting offers you the perfect vantage point of the Tyrrenhian Sea and perhaps the perfect setting for a blossoming romance? 😉

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6. Hotel Riu Gran Canaria

Best Hotels With Infinity Pools: Hotel Riu Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are the gift that keeps on giving in terms of weather. It’s perpetual sunshine make it the ultimate escape from dull and dreary weather conditions. If you’re feeling like you need a bit of natural Vitamin D, the Hotel Riu in Gran Canaria fits the bill perfectly.

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7. Cave Tagoo, Mykonos, Greece.

Best Hotels with Infinity Pools: Cave Tagoo

If you’re looking to throw caution to the wind and have a bit of money to play around with, look no further than the Cave Tagoo in Mykonos. With a view that is quite simply one of most amazing you are every likely to see, a stay here would be a truly unforgettable experience.

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The nightly price of these hotels can vary depending on the season but if you play around the dates you should find something reasonable. If it’s out of your budget, why not consider staying one night as a part of your wider trip and book something cheaper for the rest? Luxury is there for everyone to enjoy, I hope this list inspires you to allow some into your life.

Please note that these links are affiliate links where we receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Martin McKenna – The Travel Expert Team

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Hayes & Jarvis – Offering Luxury, Long Haul Holidays From Ireland & Lots More…

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Offering luxury long haul holidays sounds pretty impressive anyway, but as I gazed longingly at the Hayes and Jarvis holiday brochures, I suddenly realised they offer so much more…..

 

Fancy volcano hopping in Costa Rica? Always wanted to see the gorillas in Rwanda, or is relaxing on a beach in Rodrigues Island more your style? Regardless of your holiday preference, I’d wager you are wondering where Rodrigues Island is right now! I must confess, I wondered too. Rodrigues Island is located in the Indian Ocean, a ninety-minute flight from Mauritius and is just one of the many paradise islands that Hayes and Jarvis feature.

Hayes and Jarvis holiday

Considering I search almost all of my travel online, I was surprised at how much I absolutely loved reading the Hayes and Jarvis holiday brochures! I came across so many destinations that I hadn’t really thought about visiting. Their brochures are so easy to read and it is refreshing to have everything you need in the one place. In minutes, I read how best to spend 48 hours in Bangkok, got expert tips about places off the beaten track in Japan and found out the best safari holidays for families. I love the ‘things to see and do’ section in each destination and how it tells you how long you should spend in each place, with possible multi-centre options.

hayes and jarvis holiday

For those of you who want to search online, their website is great too! They offer a staggering 36 different holiday styles in 60 destinations. It is common to see adventure, family and wellness holidays categories but Hayes and Jarvis go one step further. You can select foodie holidays, glamping holidays, cycling holidays, solo holidays, cruises, even hotels with swim-up rooms! They also have dedicated family safari holidays, rail, motorhome and sailing holidays as well as escorted tours and many more options. So whether you are a culture vulture or thrill seeker – Hayes and Jarvis can arrange the right holiday for you. My husband was reading this and couldn’t believe that they offered motorcycle holidays – they really cater for everyone!

Where do Hayes & Jarvis travel to?

When I think of the Indian Ocean, it is automatically Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles that spring to mind. Hayes and Jarvis also feature holidays in Reunion Island, Mozambique, Madagascar, and yes, even Rodrigues Island! You name it, Hayes and Jarvis can bring you there. Hayes and Jarvis feature far flung destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Bhutan that until now, you may have thought were not bookable from Ireland.

hayes and jarvis holiday

They also feature unusual resorts in traditional destinations such as Thailand. As much as I hate to admit it, I hadn’t even heard of some of the ‘Undiscovered Gems’ in Thailand that they feature.  So if you want to go off the beaten track and try ‘Tree Pod dining’ or enjoy an outdoor movie in the ‘jungle-enshrouded auditorium of cascading cushions’ – you can book it with Hayes and Jarvis. I should point out that Hayes and Jarvis offer holidays in main-stream destinations too, so if you fancy combining  Cambodia with Vietman, or travelling along the Garden Route in South Africa, Hayes and Jarvis can arrange that too!

hayes and jarvis holiday

It is not only unique and unusual destinations that Hayes and Jarvis feature, they also offer unique hotels all over the world. You can star gaze from your very own bubble tent in Mauritius or sleep in a tree-house in Kruger National Park . Want to sleep in an underwater room in the Indian Ocean? Hayes and Jarvis can arrange that too!

hayes and jarvis holiday

Consider yourself a ‘foodie’? Did you know that Lima has three of the top 50 restaurants in the world? Hayes and Jarvis offer a host of ‘foodie holidays’. Whether you fancy street food in Seoul, fresh sushi in Japan or a wine tram through Franschhoek, Hayes and Jarvis have it covered. If you prefer to take things at your own pace, you can choose one of their self drive holidays. Whether you choose the Great Ocean Road, the Pacific Coast Highway or the Garden Route, they will arrange as little, or as much as you like, on your road trip.

hayes and jarvis holiday

Personally I love that having kids doesn’t mean that adventure holidays have to stop! Their choice of family holidays in the Indian Ocean, America and South East Asia means you can still experience a little luxury in far flung destinations, with kids in tow. They even cater for hard to please teenagers! I’m not sure I’m ready for the motorhome across route 66 yet, but maybe next year….

hayes and jarvis holiday

So who are Hayes & Jarvis ?

Although a relatively new name to Ireland, Hayes and Jarvis are a sister brand to American Holidays and have been tailor making luxury holidays for 65 years. Hayes and Jarvis are based in Duke Street in Dublin and have a wonderful office where you can enquire and book holidays and consult with their expert staff. They also offer an appointment service so if you are planning a special trip or just want undivided attention – they can arrange that for you.


They have won a plethora of awards, including World’s leading tour operator, best long haul tour operator as well as individual awards for best holiday company to various destinations – you can see all of their awards here. One thing that I always watch out for when researching online are reviews from customers. With a whopping 4.9 out of 5 on Feefo – that is a remarkable achievement and speaks volumes!

Why should I book with Hayes & Jarvis?

So you might think that bespoke luxury holidays come at a premium…. Not necessarily! I was pleasantly surprised at some of the holiday offers available with Hayes and Jarvis. They have last minute offers to Thailand and Sri Lanka from €1599, including flights and luxury hotels, as well as complimentary upgrades and exclusive offers in a wide selection of hotels worldwide. As one of the UK’s largest long haul tour operators, Hayes and Jarvis have access to preferential rates from most airlines and hotels around the world, which they pass these on to their customers. In most cases they will be able to offer you special rates that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. You will also have the pleasure of dealing with experts who will be able to recommend the right holiday to suit your requirements. On top of this you have the security of a booking with a licensed and bonded travel agency, who are available 24/7 if the need arises.

hayes and jarvis holiday

Hayes and Jarvis go above and beyond to ensure that all your holiday needs are catered for. Talk to the expert staff and tell them whether you like fine dining or barefoot luxury, a family safari or an adult-only escape. No matter what your holiday style – Hayes and Jarvis will source the right holiday for you.

 

Contact them on  (01) 691 7727, call into their office at 18 Duke Street, Dublin or visit HayesandJarvis.ie  for more details. This post was sponsored by HayesandJarvis but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

Travel

All Inclusive Deal to Mexico, Flights & 5* Resort, 2 weeks, July, from €1469!

Snorkelling

It’s hard to believe it’s actually cheaper to go to Mexico, than go to a similar hotel in Spain! This All Inclusive deal to Mexico is amazing value at only €1469, for two weeks!

 

White sandy beaches, sipping margaritas, tasting delicious Mexican food and maybe even swimming with turtles – two weeks in Mexico sounds like a dream come true. At these prices, your dream can become a reality! Not only are all meals and drinks included in the price, but you will be flying DIRECT from Dublin airport to Cancun with all transfers and baggage included. I have teamed up with TUI to bring you this amazing deal, which includes a whopping €669 discount per person! There are no hidden extras and you won’t need spending money! This deal is valid on the 4th of June but TUI have direct flights to Cancun every Monday from the 4th of June until the 16th of July, so if this deal doesn’t suit you check alternative holidays here.

all inclusive deal to mexico

You will be staying at the 5* Grand Bahia Principe Coba which receives great reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence. There are two lake-style pools, with swim-up bars, where you can take advantage of the all-inclusive arrangement 🍸. There are six à la carte restaurants as well as the main buffet restaurant. Three à la carte dinners each week are included in the all-inclusive package. You can choose teppanyaki-style at the sushi place, pasta at Portofino or seafood at Pescador. You can also dine in some of the restaurants at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum and Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal.

all inclusive deal to mexico

Local branded drinks, including cocktails and wine are served free of charge until 11pm in the bars and 2am in the disco. There are also 24 hour snacks available. The rooms are not standard either. You will have a superior junior suite complete with a hydro-massage bath!

all inclusive deal to mexico

There are numerous watersports available on the beach. Included in the cost of your stay is one hour free use of non-motorised watersports including snorkelling, kayaks and catamarans, each day. Scuba diving, parasailing and jet skis are also available at an additional charge. On site there are floodlit tennis courts, football, basketball, volleyball, aerobics, gym and lots more. After an active day why not treat yourself to a Mayan holistic massage at the Spa or at one of the gazebos on the beach.

all inclusive deal to mexico

There is a wide selection of entertainment options in the evening. The hotel has an entertainment programme with shows and live music but there are also plenty of lounge bars if you fancy a quiet drink. The piano bar has live music each night too and the popular resort of Playa del Carmen is only 25 minutes away if you want a change of scene. Night owls will love la Rancherita disco while kids will be entertained by the kids clubs, mini water park, mini disco and the 60 consecutive minutes free WiFi, per device, per day.

Fly from Dublin direct to Cancun on the 16th of July and enjoy an all-inclusive deal to Mexico for only €1469!

Click here for more details:

 

Remember if this deal doesn’t suit you check alternative dates and hotels here.This post was sponsored by TUI, but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

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Travel

Ras Al Khaimah, Flights & 5 Star All Inclusive Hotel, €869 or Waldorf Astoria B&B, €889!

RAK3016f (1)

Looking for a sophisticated and relaxing alternative to Dubai? Ras Al Khaimah, or ‘Rak’ might just be what you are looking for. The diverse scenery in the rising Emirate includes white sandy beaches, desert dunes and rugged mountains.

 

There are a staggering 35 direct flights every week to the Emirates from Dublin airport. Many of you may have travelled to Dubai or stopped there en route to other destinations. Next time why not take the road less travelled and visit the quieter, more unspoilt Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah? You will discover a relaxed atmosphere, lower hotel prices but still the same great beaches and expansive deserts. But it doesn’t have to be completely relaxing…. RAK is home to the world’s longest zipline – Jebel Jais Flight. Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies can travel at speeds of up to 120kph to 150kph at a height of 1,680 metres above sea level on top of Jebel Jais mountain, and land on a breath-taking transparent platform completely suspended in air. 

If that sounds a little too adventurous for you, check out the the Al Hamra shopping mall or enjoy a round of golf at the championship Al Hamra Golf Course. If you want to try something completely different, why not explore the ‘Omani Fjords’ on a traditional dhow, visit a Bedouin desert camp or see ‘Rak’ by gyrocopter at nearby Jazirah Aviation Club. If all of this is not enough, let’s not forget the dazzling city of Dubai is only an hour away

 

Tropical Sky feature many holidays to Ras Al Khaimah but I have hand picked two favourites, the all-inclusive Double Tree by Hilton Marjan Island and arguably the best hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, the luxurious Waldorf Astoria.

Ras Al Khaimah

 

5* Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island, Flights & 4 Nights, All-Inclusive, €869!

Situated on a private white sandy beach, this five star resort is only an hour from Dubai, yet feels world’s apart. Seven seems to be the lucky number at the hotel with a choice of seven swimming pools, seven spa treatment rooms and seven bars and restaurants, including a roof-top bar. Sports enthusiasts will love the host of water-sports available, fitness centre and tennis courts. The resort is all-inclusive so meals and drinks* are included until midnight each day. For a full list of what is included on the all-inclusive arrangement, click here.

Ras Al Khaimah

Reviewed as one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most popular hotels by tripadvisor, it’s not only adults who love this hotel – kids do too! The aqua zone with water slides, kids club with climbing wall and large outdoor playground, will keep children of all ages entertained throughout the day. And for a limited time kids under 12 go free when sharing a room with parents! The hotel also runs a free shuttle bus every Tuesday and Saturday to the marine and waterpark at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, when you book an Aqua-venture or tickets to Dolphin Bay.

the best theme park tickets to buy in orlando

Fly from Dublin to Dubai and enjoy a four night all-inclusive stay at the five star Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island from only €869. Price includes flights, accommodation with meals and drinks and return airport transfers.

Click here for more details:

 

5* Waldorf Astoria, Flights & 5 Nights B&B, €889!

 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, a 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. This room is a King Classic Room which this offer is based on.

There is a also wide selection of international restaurants and bars to choose from. The half board deluxe package includes two complimentary drinks with meals and allows you to dine in their main buffet restaurant or use dining credit to eat in any of their 3 a là carte restaurants. Facilities at the hotel include an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool and a luxury spa. This spa has an undersea theme and uses our very own Voya seaweed products, which are produced on the west coast of Ireland. There are plenty of water sports available at the beach, including jet skiing, scuba diving and snorkelling. The chances are you won’t want to leave the hotel! Rated number 1 on tripadvisor and the 2018 travellers choice winner, this is amazing value for such a luxurious hotel.

Prices from €889 for a five night stay include flights, breakfast each day and return airport transfers!

Click here for more details:

 

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 🙂  *Note Eid Al Adha is the 21st of August for 4 nights, so alcohol restrictions will apply at this time.

Sarah

The Travel Expert
Long HaulRest of the World

4 Unique African Safari Holidays in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania

safari

From tented camps to luxury lodges, whether to self-drive or take a tour? Should you incorporate a safari with a holiday to South Africa or add on a week at the beach? There are so many different options to choose from when booking a African Safari holiday, check out my favourites.

 

When I went on my first African safari it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I know this may sound like a cliché but it was really more of a life experience than a holiday. We loved it so much that we booked a safari in Tanzania for the following year. Nothing compares to seeing wild animals in the African savanna, where you are the guest in their home. There are so many different safari experiences available and each one has a unique landscape, some with rivers, mountains and thick vegetation, while others will have wide open plains. The experience you have with each one is completely different and that is why many choose to try two or three different safari options within one holiday. Remember it is going to be a trip of a lifetime so make sure you do it right. Go in a 4×4 and not a small mini-bus, ensure you have a window seat for optimum viewing and at some stage opt for a tented camp or eco lodge to give the most authentic experience.

african safari holiday

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, who offer a wide selection of African Safari holidays. All prices include flights, accommodation and transfers or car hire. Safaris include two game drives per day and all meals.  Here are some of my favourite African Safaris, hopefully there will be one here to suit you 🙂

 

Luxury Cape Town, Winelands & Five Star Safari, Self Drive, 10 Nights €4799

A South African safari is one of the most popular for Irish holidaymakers. It was where I was introduced to it and is ideal for first timers. Of course it is not just the safari that attracts people to South Africa. During this luxury self drive holiday you will encounter many highlights, including a four night stay in Cape Town. Climb to the top of Table Mountain, drive out to the Cape of Good Hope or spend a day in Robben Island. Evening times can be spent along the cosmopolitan waterfront or at some of the trendy bars and restaurants in Camps Bay.

african safari holiday

After an action packed four days you will go to Stellenbosch for a three night stay in the Winelands, before finishing off your holiday at the five star Shamwari Game Reserve. This has been voted the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and Conservation Company for many years. Enjoy two game drives per day searching for the Big Five, (lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo) and stay in luxurious accommodation in an authentic African setting, with all meals included. As this is situated on the Eastern Cape, it is malaria free, so there is no need to take malaria tablets before you travel. The icing on the cake is that there are are no lengthy bus journeys back to the airport, as you will fly home from Port Elizabeth.

african safari holiday

Click here for more details:

 

Cape Town, Garden Route & Luxury Kruger Safari, Self-Drive, 11 Nights, €2879

Another South African classic, this time incorporating the Garden Route and Kruger National Park. Start your holiday with a three night stay in Cape Town before overnighting in the wine town of Montagu. Stays in Oudtshoorn, Kynsna and St Francis will ensure an action packed few days, seeing the highlights of the Garden Route. Drive as far as Port Elizabeth where you will return your car and fly to Hoedspruit. You will be met at the airport and transferred to Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Another one of South Africa’s finest, you will be staying in a luxury tent for three nights and will experience a truly authentic African safari. You will have the opportunity to spot the Big Five from your open top safari vehicle and enjoy tasty African meals which are included the price of your stay.

african safari holiday

Click here for more details:

 

Magical Kenya Safari, 4 x 4 Safari, Full Board, 7 Nights €2299

The Magical seven night Kenya Safari departs every Thursday and is one for the purists. There is a maximum number of seven passengers on each safari and you will visit the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Samburu and Aberdare National Parks. You are guaranteed a window seat in the 4×4 vehicle and if travelling as a family, you are able to pay a supplement to book a private vehicle.

african safari holiday

After a quick overnight in Nairobi you will drive North to Samburu National Reserve where you will spend two nights. The Ewaso Ngiro River here attracts elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions in large numbers. You will then drive to Aberdare National park where you will stay in the Ark Tree Lodge. There is a waterhole beside the hotel where animals come at night time; you will no doubt be viewing wildlife into the small hours. Your next stop is Lake Nakuru National Park where you will overnight. Expect to see white rhinos, lions, leopards, hippos and the endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. Your last two nights will be spent in the Masai Mara National Game Reserve, where you will overnight in Keekorok Lodge. This world famous reserve is not only home to incredible wildlife but you will also have the opportunity to see the Masai villages, a sight that is worth a trip to Kenya alone. You will then drive back to Nairobi where you can return home, or choose to extend your stay in Mombasa, Zanzibar or even Mauritius.

Click here for more details:

 

Taste of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar, 12 Nights, €3349

Safaris in Tanzania are so diverse. From the wide open plains of the Serengeti to the natural wonder of Ngorongoro Crater, it has been almost 20 years since I visited, but it is a holiday experience I will never forget. For anyone who has been following me, you will know that my safari in Tanzania was the best holiday experience I have ever had.  This once in a lifetime trip combines the Taste of Tanzania tour with a stay in the paradise island of Zanzibar. Your holiday will include over-night stays in Ngorongoro Conservation area and the Serengeti National Park, as well as a game drive through Lake Manyara, in search of the iconic tree-climbing lions that frequent there.

african safari holiday

You will have picnics in the bush and stay in unique accommodation. You can opt for luxury tented camps which offer a more immersive experience or luxury lodges with stunning views. After your five night safari tour you will be flown to Zanzibar for a seven night stay in the luxurious Dream of Zanzibar resort. Chill out on the beach, scuba dive in the Indian Ocean or explore the sights and sounds of StoneTown.

african safari holiday

Click here for more details:

 

 

The above are just a small sample of the African safari holidays that Tropical Sky feature. They can add on stays in cities, at the beach or even combine safaris in South Africa, Namibia or Botswana. Call Tropical Sky on 01 6649999 or click here for more details.

 

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

 

 

 

Travel

Discover Croatia on a Luxury Yacht! 7 Night Cruise With Flights, Meals & Lots More, €2234

croatia

I can hear it now, the sound of the captain saying ‘Pool’s open’, before jumping straight into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. Researching this fabulous cruise, I’m thinking how amazing it would be to discover Croatia on a luxury yacht….

 

I don’t actually need to read the full itinerary, I’m already sold! To see how the other half live, by spending a week in Croatia on a luxury yacht, it doesn’t get much better than this! For anyone who has been following me over the last few years, you will know that I absolutely LOVE Croatia. I spent a week travelling along the Dubrovnik Riviera two years ago, and every little village or cove we found was delightful, not to mention the fairy tale city of Dubrovnik. While Dubrovnik is on most bucket lists, I believe the real beauty lies in the surrounding islands, and the best way to see them, is by boat.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Croatia Tours are offering you the chance to holiday like a celebrity. You will visit the hidden gems of Croatia on board a luxury yacht. The deluxe ‘Maritimo’ holds up to 38 people and has state of the art facilities on board. The spacious sun deck has loungers all passengers, as well as a jacuzzi if you fancy some bubbles while you sail off into the sunset!  Hot and cold breakfasts are served each morning as well as a four course lunch in the afternoon. Seven staff are on hand to cater for your every need, and with 38 being the maximum number of guests on board – no doubt the service will be excellent! Kids are not allowed on this cruise, so you can expect plenty of time to sit back and relax, in calm peaceful surroundings.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Where does it go?

Itineraries vary slightly depending on when you travel but in both cases you will have the opportunity to overnight in the magical city of Dubrovnik. You can enjoy a free guided walking tour or go it alone. Choose to hike the famous city walls of Dubrovnik, or chill out and watch some tombstoners from one of the many cliff bars. For more info check out my Dubrovnik blog.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

You will also have the chance to visit many of Croatia’s famous islands.  Explore the salt lakes and National Park in Mljet or take the perfect instagram photo in the lavender fields in Hvar.  Hvar is renowned for being a celebrity hang out. Beyonce, Bono, Tom Cruise and even Prince Harry have all holidayed here. Stop off in the trendy city of Split before over-nighting in Korcula, which is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the Mediterranean. Expect lots of gourmet foods and fine wines in this lively city. Beach lovers will enjoy the famous famous Zlatni Rat beach, also known as the Golden Horn, a natural phenomenon, that is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best beaches. Another highlight will be the captain’s dinner when you overnight in Sipan Island.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Let’s not forget that you will also have the opportunity to jump into the sea when you come across a hidden cove; to explore a secluded bay with no one around and dock in the centre of the smallest village, something that would be impossible in a larger vessel.  There are daily swimming stops and you can get involved as much or as little as you like.  The phrase ‘it’s about the journey not the destination’, springs to mind.

Croatia on a luxury yacht

Costs and what’s included:

Prices for a one week trip on the on the 22nd of September is €2234. This includes flights, checked baggage, airport transfers, a seven night cruise with breakfast and four course lunch each day, two evening meals and lots more. You can also avail of free guided walking tours in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula and Split, a cable car ticket in Dubrovnik and entrance ticket to Mljet National Park.  See more details and the full itinerary here.

If you fancy chilling out in one of Croatia’s prettiest resorts, why not extend your stay? Price for the seven night cruise and a four night stay in the 5* Croatia Hotel in Cavat is only €2504. Click here for more details.

For anyone looking to fly independently, you can book the cruise without flights from €1600 per person.

 

For more details visit Croatia Tours or call them on +353 1 8780800.

 

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

 

Sarah

 

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Travel

Five Star Holiday to Croatia, 20th October, 1 week €498!

croatia hotel

Always wanted to see Dubrovnik? Check out this five star holiday in Croatia for only €498!

 

The medieval city of Dubrovnik should be on everyone’s wish list. It is so well preserved and looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Walk around the city walls, take the cable car to Srd Hill and then catch the sunset from one of the many cliff bars. Although you can stay in the heart of the old town I think the best way to enjoy it, is to holiday in one of the resorts close by. Dubrovnik is actually quite small and can be packed with cruise ship visitors during the day. However, staying outside the centre, lets you have the best of both worlds! Relax by the sea or pool during the day and pop in the evening when the city is less crowded.

five star holiday to Croatia

I have chosen the pretty town of Cavtat, a resort I stayed in with my family a few years ago. Once a small fishing village it is now a picture postcard resort with upmarket hotels and crystal clear waters. Dine in one of the many restaurants that are dotted along the seafront promenade and admire the sea-views or the mountainous backdrop. If you fancy spending the day in Dubrovnik,  catch a water taxi from the shore, or hop on the local bus. For more details on visiting this incredible city, read my Dubrovnik blog.

five star holiday to croatia

You will be staying in the 5 Star Hotel Croatia  which is located on a peninsula with stunning sea views. This luxurious hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and is a Travellers Choice award winner. On site facilities include an outdoor and indoor pool, spa, fitness centre and a selection of restaurants and bars. Rooms are contemporary and spacious with a balcony and free WiFi.

Fly from Dublin to Dubrovnik on the 16th of October and enjoy a seven night stay with breakfast and free spa access, for only €498 per person! Want to travel over the October bank holiday weekend? Simply edit the dates when you click on the links below. The total price for flights and a seven-night stay on the 25th of October is €620 per person. 

View flights here €101pp

View hotel here  €397pp

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made

 

Sarah

 

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Travel

5 Top Long Haul Holiday Picks in 2018

long haul

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, the long haul holiday specialists, to bring you five top long haul holiday picks for 2018.

 

If you are looking to try somewhere new, and in search of adventure, then go long haul in 2018.  From South Africa to Sri Lanka, Alaska to Australia, Tropical Sky will have a holiday to suit you. I have selected five of their top long haul holiday picks for 2018, all are recommended hotels and great value. Note all of these holidays are based on seven nights but you can extend your stay or even combine them with another destination. All prices include flights, hotels and transfers so there is no need to worry about adding on extra expense!

top long haul holiday picks

Maldives – Meeru Island Resort & Spa, 1 week, Full Board, €1499!

The Maldives are the islands associated with barefoot luxury, over water bungalows and incredible diving and snorkeling. Meeru Island Resort is the only resort found on the island of Meerufenfushi. Accessible by speed boat from Male (included in the price), you will be surrounded by picture perfect beaches and stunning lagoons. You can choose to spend your days lazing on the beach, take boat trips or even go island hopping. There is a spa and fitness centre in the resort as well as regular beach volleyball, in case you find lazy beach days too relaxing! There are five restaurants to choose from including the Hot Rocks where your meal is cooked in front of you on volcanic rocks.

Tropical Sky is offering a seven night stay on a full board basis, including flights and speed boat transfers from only €1499. If you are looking for some action at the beginning or end of your trip, why not combine this with a few days in Dubai.

Click here for more details:

 

Nashville & New Orleans Tour, 6 Nights, €1279!

Looking to try something different in 2018, check out two of America’s most fascinating cities, New Orleans and Nashville. You will start your tour in Nashville and visit the famous recording studios where Elvis and many famous artists recorded. You will also have the opportunity to see a live country music gig on Broadway.  You will then fly to New Orleans and experience one of the best jazz scenes. Visit the historic streets in the French Quarter, take a boat trip along the Mississippi on a traditional paddle steamer, and enjoy some delicious creole cuisine.

top long haul holiday picks

American Sky is offering a six night tour of Nashville and New Orleans from €1399 including all flights and hotels. Book before the 31st of January and you will save €120 making this only €1279! This tour can also be combined with other American cities. Why not visit Memphis or Chicago and complete the iconic music trail?

Click here for more details

 

Dubai, 5* All Inclusive at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, 4 Nights, €1299!

The worlds tallest building, the world’s largest shopping mall, the world’s only seven star hotel and now the world’s largest indoor theme park! Dubai never settles for anything less than the best! However bars and restaurants in Dubai can be expensive, so this all-inclusive deal in the luxurious 5* Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate is the perfect way to enjoy this great city. Centrally located with free access to the Riva Beach Club, you can enjoy city life, with the benefits of Dubai’s beaches. There is also a rooftop lap pool if you are not a beach lover. There are nine restaurants to choose from so you don’t need to worry about dining in the same restaurant each night. Families are catered for too with a kids club and play area. If you want to get out and about, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to the Riva Beach Club and Dubai Parks. For more info on things to do, read the top ten things to do in Dubai.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering a four night all-inclusive stay at the Movenpick Ibn Battuta from only €1299 including flights and transfers. This includes a staggering €500 discount and a room upgrade if booked by the 15th of January!

Click here for more details:

 

Mexico – All Inclusive at the 5* Moon Palace Cancun, 1 week, €1629 with $750 Resort Credit per person

Dine in any of their fifteen restaurants, have cocktails in any of their twelve bars or if you fancy a nightcap on your balcony – enjoy a drink from your well-stocked minibar. All of these are included in the price of your stay! And that’s not all … for a limited time you will get $750 resort credit per person, absolutely free!

The Moon Palace has everything you need on site for an action packed holiday, with numerous sports and entertainment options to choose from. All rooms come with a private balcony and a hammock as well as a double Jacuzzi in the bathroom. Families are well catered for too with family rooms, kids clubs, a kids waterpark. If you fancy a night out, 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.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering a seven night, all inclusive stay including flights and transfers from €1629 per person, which includes a €550 discount per person. For a limited time, you will also receive $1500 resort credit per room. Fancy bringing the kids? They have a ‘kids go free’ offer valid from the 22nd of June to 18th of August.

Click here for more details:

 

5* Luxury at Kata Rocks, Phuket, 1 week, B&B, €2049

Kata Rocks has been voted one of the top 25 resorts in Asia by Conde Nast and it is often classed as Phuket’s best luxury resort. Each villa has its own infinity pool with a outdoor sun deck and stunning sea views. Dining is superb with some of the best Thai food on the island as well as an excellent Mediterranean restaurant, which offers a romantic sunset dinner over looking the Andaman sea. The award winning spa offers 30 unique treatments and even children are catered for with a kids club, children’s menu and a choice of two, three and four bedroom villas. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the hotel, the town of Kata is only a short walk away, while Phuket Town or Patong beach are about 20 minutes by taxi.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering 30% off room rates if booked 60 days in advance as well as children ( under 12 ) dining free when accompanied with a full paying adult. Prices for a a seven night stay on a bed & breakfast basis from €2049 including flights and transfers.

Click here for more details:

 

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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