romantic holidays

Destinations

Top 10 Indian Ocean Holidays for 2017

beach-hut-237489_1280_opt

The Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Zanzibar.  Some of the world’s most stunning destinations are all so close together. Check out my top 10 Indian Ocean holidays and tick one off your bucket list!

 

Expect breath-taking beaches, underwater paradises and year round shine. All of the islands are competing for the luxury market, honeymoons and special occasion holidays. The result is deluxe hotels, supreme service and unforgettable experiences available throughout. The islands of the Indian Ocean don’t only offer sun and sand, there are also cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. And for those who want a little more adventure, why not combine with South Africa, Tanzania or Dubai. But which islands to choose and where to stay? Here are my top 10 Indian Ocean holidays…

Maldives

Maldives are the islands associated with barefoot luxury, over water bungalows and incredible diving and snorkeling. There are almost  twelve hundred islands but only 200 are inhabited and of those 200, only 105 are island resorts. Hotels in the Maldives are breaking the boundaries here with underwater restaurants, outdoor showers, and water villas with glass floors so you can see the tropical fish at any time. Some resorts offer private islands for honeymooners so you can literally have an island all to yourself.  These luxuries can come with a hefty price tag but more and more hotels are offering all-inclusive packages so once you arrive, you will need no spending money. If you are looking for some action at the beginning or end of your trip, combine this with a few days in Dubai.

Top 10 indian ocean holidays

Where to stay:

 

Best value: 4* Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, All-Inclusive basis

Set on its own private island, accessible by speed boat, need I say more? With picture perfect beaches, a fitness centre and activities on site, everything you need is right here. As this is all-inclusive you can enjoy sundowners every evening from your own water bungalow. Prices from only €1549 for seven nights, including flights, accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and speed boat transfers.  Click here for more details:

 

Blow the budget: 5* Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, B&B basis.

Spread across two islands this is one of the world’s best luxury resorts. This is home to the famous under water restaurant, Ithaa, which features on almost every travel bucket list. There are 11 other restaurants here including celebrity chef dining and a teppanyaki restaurant served on the beach, the choice is superb. If you stay between the 20th of April and the 30th of September you receive FREE upgrade to Half Board!  All villas come with outdoor shower and some have their own private plunge pool. Prices from €2759 for seven nights, including flights, sea plane transfers and accommodation on a B&B basis.  Click here for more details:

 

Mauritius

Five star hotels on white sandy beaches with year round sunshine. Sounds perfect! However Mauritius offers so much more. Whale watching, waterfalls and water-sports, fine dining to creole cooking, Mauritius is an island of contrasts. Paradise beach resort one minute and deep in the jungle the next. Mauritius is renowned for great wildlife and sports enthusiasts will love it’s selection of golf courses. The combination of European, Asian and African influence has created a truly cosmopolitan feel and a island full of culture.

Top 10 indian ocean holidays

Where to stay:

 

Great value: 5* Maritim Resort & Spa, All Inclusive basis

Set between 60 acres of tropical gardens, on a magnificent beach, between the capital, Port Louis and the tourist centre of Grand-Baie, the location of the Maritim Resort and Spa is perfect! There is an infinity pool, plenty of on site activities and a wide selection of watersports available. As it is an all-inclusive resort, meals and drinks are included in the price, you even have your own stocked minibar included in the price. Prices from €1609 for seven nights, including flights, hotel on an all-inclusive basis and transfers. Click here for more details:

 

Blow the budget: 5* Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa, Half Board basis

Set amongst 27 acres of gardens with stunning seaviews, the Maradiva Resort and Spa is paradise personified. Villas have their own private pool and come with a butler service. The luxury spa offers a choice of treatments, a hydrotherapy pool and there is a fitness centre with yoga and aqua yoga. Watersports are plentiful as are the dining options. Prices from €2239 for seven nights including flights, transfers and villa on a half board basis. Click here for more details:

 

Seychelles

Another archipelago of 115 islands, the Seychelles is a top honeymoon destination. Unlike the Maldives, you will find jungle terrain and small cove beaches amongst picture perfect stretches of white sand. Go island hopping, try some scuba diving or witness their giant tortoises. If you fancy a change of scene, Victoria, the capital has a great choice of bars and restaurants and a bustling indoor market.

Top 10 indian ocean holidays

Where to stay:

 

Best value: 4* Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, B&B Basis

This quiet relaxing resort is located on a great beach on the west coast of Mahe. There is a choice of restaurants, a wide selection of watersports, a relaxing spa and fitness centre with yoga classes. Families will enjoy the on site kids club from age 4 – 12 years. Prices from €1319 for seven nights, including flights, accommodation on a B&B basis and transfers. Click here for more details: 

 

Blow the budget: 5* Banyan Tree, Seychelles B&B basis

Secluded villas with your own private pool and sun terrace, this is the perfect romantic getaway. Situated on a stunning beach with a freeform infinity pool, luxury spa and fine dining, it doesn’t get much better than this. Prices from €2569 for seven nights, for flights, villa on a B&B basis and transfers. Click here for more details:

 

Sri Lanka

Another island of contrasts, Sri Lanka’s coast is full of tropical white sandy beaches while inland there are tea plantations and rolling hills. Home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka’s culture and traditions are worth a trip alone. Sri Lanka is an ideal two centre holiday. Visit the world’s only elephant orphanage, the capital Colombo and the world heritage sites before relaxing in one of the five star luxury beach resorts. You can also combine Sri Lanka with the Maldives, only an hour’s flight away, its the perfect Indian Ocean combination.

Top 10 indian ocean holidays

Where to stay?

 

Best value: 4* Club Hotel Dolphin Waikkal, All-Inclusive basis

This modern resort is ideally located on the west coast, beside a sandy beach. The large swimming pool and on site activities make it a great choice for families too. Highly rated on tripadvisor and with all meals and drinks included, this hotel is hard to beat for value. Prices from €1089 for seven nights, including flights, transfers and hotel on an all-inclusive basis. Click here for more details:

 

Blow the budget: 5* Jetwing Lighthouse Galle, B&B basis

Sri Lanka’s leading spa resort and one of the small luxury hotels of the world, this is the ultimate place to stay in Sri Lanka. It is situated on a pristine white sandy beach with stunning sea views and mixes modern decor with classic styles. The service, food and facilities are first class. Prices from €1349 for seven nights including flights, hotel on a B&B basis and transfers. Click here for more details:

 

Zanzibar

One of my favourite holidays,  I combined a safari in Tanzania with a week in Zanzibar.  It’s slow paced relaxed vibe is just what I needed after an action packed safari. Complete with unspoilt white sandy beaches and warm waters, many choose to relax here and rarely leave their hotel. Those who do will find a capital, Stone Town, full of character and charm and a jungle interior waiting to be explored. The plantations are famous for spices, in fact it is often referred to as the ‘spice island’ and if you look closely you may spot the red colobus monkeys that roam freely here.

Top 10 indian ocean holidays

Where to stay?

 

Best value: 5* Dream of Zanzibar Resort, All-Inclusive basis

This luxury beach front property has five restaurants and three bars so there are plenty of places to enjoy the all-inclusive facilities. There is a watersports centre, multisports court and gym if you need to work off those extra calories! If you just want to chill out an relax there are two pools, a luxury spa and of course there’s the stunning beach. With prices from €1439 including flights, all-inclusive accommodation and transfers, for seven nights, this is exceptional value for a 5* resort. Click here for more details:

 

Blow the budget: 5* The Residence Zanzibar, Half Board Basis

This elegant hotel is located on one of the island’s best beaches. It’s modern decor mixed with traditional themes make it the idyllic choice on the island. The resort has sixty six villas, each with a private pool, stunning sea views, private gardens and a personal butler. There are thirty two hectares of gardens, pool, fitness centre, spa and a selection of watersports available. With prices from €1619 including flights, villa on a half board basis and transfers, for seven nights, this is not as expensive as you would expect for such a luxurious hotel. 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
AmericaDestinationsFamily HolidaysLong Haul

St Lucia For Romance, Adventure And Family Fun

jademountain-saintlucia5_opt

Palm fringed beaches, crystal clear waters and dramatic tropical rainforests. The Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean, old plantations and modern resorts, waterfalls and watersports, St Lucia has it all.

 

Although known as one of the most romantic Caribbean islands, St Lucia is not just for couples. It’s mountainous terrain makes it ideal for adventure sports, while families love the all-inclusive resorts, numerous watersports and rainforest adventures. I holidayed in St Lucia with my husband and we absolutely loved it. There was so much to see and do, I would highly recommend a visit! Here are my top picks in St Lucia for romance, adventure and family fun.

St Lucia

 

Romance

St Lucia and romance go hand in hand. The combination of palm fringed beaches and tropical rainforests make it the picture postcard island. Try scuba diving or snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea, take a hike through the spectacular rainforests or bathe in the Toraille waterfall.  Treat yourself to fine dining at Cliff at Cap Restaurant and enjoy a sunset cruise Caribbean style. St Lucia is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.

Where to stay: – Rendezvous Hotel

For the perfect romantic beach hotel, it has to be Rendezvous. This adult only, boutique hotel is situated on two miles of white sand beach. It’s all-inclusive too, so you can relax on a sun lounger and have the fantastic staff bring cocktails as often as you like! There are two swimming pools, a jacuzzi and a spa. Renowned for its superb cuisine, this classic hotel can do no wrong.

beach-84631_1280

 

Nature & Adventure

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. The views of St Lucia and the Caribbean Sea are stunning and it is also the cool thing to do when you are there! If hiking is not your thing try a segway or island buggy tour. Visit the colonial plantations in the south of the island, try a volcanic mud bath and end your tour with a bathe in the Toraille waterfall.  If you are staying in the north, The Babonneau rainforest near Rodney bay is a great day out. Try their zipline and release your inner Tarzan! Watersports are plentiful too, with snorkelling, sailing and kitesurfing being the most popular.

Where to stay: – Jade Mountain Hotel.

For a once in a life time luxury experience it has to be the Jade Mountain hotel. One of St Lucia’s best hotels,  it is located on a hilltop offering stunning views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. This this a nature lovers paradise. Your room, or sanctuary as they like to call them has a private infinity pool, no TV and even WiFi is only available if requested. If escapism, romance and luxury is what you seek – look no further.

St Lucia

 

Family Fun

St Lucia is a great choice for a family holiday in the Caribbean. The calm Caribbean Sea is perfect for snorkelling even with small children. Kids will see the colourful fish and marine life in the shallow waters. Depending on where you are staying you can book a day trip with equipment rental included through most hotels. Dolphin and whale watching tours are a great choice for day out. Teenagers will love the many ziplines available through the Rainforest Adventures. Most have a minimum age of 12 or height restriction of 50″ but the Treetop adventure park includes a mini course with suspended bridges for younger kids.

Where to stay: The Coconut Bay Resort.

The Coconut Bay Resort is an ideal choice for families. There is a dedicated family wing which has it’s own waterpark, complete with lazy river and a host of slides. The Cocoland kids club is perfect for kids up to age 12 and there are plenty of on site activities and entertainment for all ages. The petting zoo has interactive zones where kids can pet and feed the animals. There is a separate adults only area in the hotel so you can chill out and relax while the kids are happy at the waterpark. Just sign in and sign out using a local phone and your kids can contact you at any time! The all-inclusive arrangement is great for families too, kids can help themselves to drinks, ice creams and snacks during the day.

St Lucia

I think it’s fair to say that St Lucia is one of the Caribbean islands where everything is possible. Young or old, thrill seeker or beach lover, St Lucia safely ticks all boxes. For more details and advice on resorts, contact the experts at Tropical Sky.ie . Their staff have visited the hotels and will recommend the right hotel for you.

 

Uncategorized

Zanzibar, 14th June, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel, Half Board, €1259!

zanzibar

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Zanzibar some years ago and trust me, the word ‘paradise’ is an understatement!

 

The beaches are right out of a romantic novel. Zanzibar is the Indian Ocean, so you can expect amazing white sand and warm waters. Although Zanzibar is full of luxury hotels, most of them blend into the environment and it almost feels unspoilt. Watching the locals fishing in their dhows, while you chill out on a hammock, is typical of the lazy days you can expect there.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Of course if you want action, you can have that too. The capital Stone Town is worth a visit. It feels almost medieval with bustling bazaars and a Marrakech style medina. Zanzibar is an underwater paradise, it is the perfect place to try snorkelling or scuba diving. In fact my husband got his PADI dive licence there in five days!

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

I found a great deal in the luxury Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa Hotel. Situated right on the beach with rooms set in traditional round bungalows, it offers all mod cons yet retaining the island’s charming character. All rooms face the sea with large patio doors leading out to a  balcony or terrace.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

This deal includes breakfast and evening meal each day and with three restaurants and bars, you have a great choice of dining options. Facilities at the Ocean Paradise Resort include a large pool, health and fitness centre and an abundance of water sports to choose from, including a PADI dive centre.
The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Fly from Dublin to Zanzibar on the 14th of June and enjoy a seven night stay at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa for only €1259 per person. This hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and is also a travellers choice winner. This is a great time to visit Zanzibar as average temperatures are a balmy 25 degrees and there is little rainfall. Price includes flights, accommodation on a half board basis and all taxes. Other dates are available at a supplement.

 

Click here for more details:

 

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

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Uncategorized

Zanzibar, 14th June, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel, Half Board, €1229!

zanzibar

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Zanzibar some years ago and trust me, the word ‘paradise’ is an understatement!

 

The beaches are right out of a romantic novel. Zanzibar is the Indian Ocean, so you can expect amazing white sand and warm waters. Although Zanzibar is full of luxury hotels, most of them blend into the environment and it almost feels unspoilt. Watching the locals fishing in their dhows, while you chill out on a hammock, is typical of the lazy days you can expect there.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Of course if you want action, you can have that too. The capital Stone Town is worth a visit. It feels almost medieval with bustling bazaars and a Marrakech style medina. Zanzibar is an underwater paradise, it is the perfect place to try snorkelling or scuba diving. In fact my husband got his PADI dive licence there in five days!

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

I found a great deal in the luxury Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa Hotel. Situated right on the beach with rooms set in traditional round bungalows, it offers all mod cons yet retaining the island’s charming character. All rooms face the sea with large patio doors leading out to a  balcony or terrace.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

This deal includes breakfast and evening meal each day and with three restaurants and bars, you have a great choice of dining options. Facilities at the Ocean Paradise Resort include a large pool, health and fitness centre and an abundance of water sports to choose from, including a PADI dive centre.
The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Fly from Dublin to Zanzibar on the 14th of June and enjoy a seven night stay at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa for only €1229 per person. This hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and is also a travellers choice winner. This is a great time to visit Zanzibar as average temperatures are a balmy 25 degrees and there is little rainfall. Price includes flights, accommodation on a half board basis and all taxes. Other dates are available at a supplement.

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

AmericaAsiaDestinationsEuropeLong HaulRest of the World

Top Ten Romantic Destinations

travel-1038095_1280_opt

It wasn’t easy trying to come up with a list of the top ten romantic destinations – let’s face it Italy probably has ten on it’s own! I had to narrow it down to my personal favourites so I hope you like them…

The world is full of romantic places but sometimes it’s what happens in a particular place that makes it romantic. Let’s face it The Eiffel Tower doesn’t look particularly romantic, but proposing in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, is one of the world’s most romantic places to propose. Hopefully you can take some inspiration from these romantic destinations and plan you own romantic getaway.

 

 

 

 

Paris, France

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

It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and sip champagne from the bar at the top. As I mentioned previously, it is one of the most romantic places to propose! If that’s not your thing, take a stroll around Montmartre and enjoy the views from the Sacré Coeur, or relax and absorb the city from a boat trip on the Seine. Finish off your day with some classic French cuisine in one of it’s many brasseries – formidable!

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights
 

 

Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Whitsunday Islands one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

My trips around Australia led me to some pretty spectacular places, but the one place that stands out in my mind is Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands. It is still probably the best beach I have ever seen, and one that I will find it hard to beat. The sand is amongst the purest in the world, it is so fine you can even use it to polish your jewellery!

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Tuscany, Italy

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

The Ponte Vecchio bridge n Florence is full of couples browsing it’s jewellery shops – just looking for the right one, and Florence’s Duomo is one of the most impressive I have ever seen.  The city is so easy to navigate, and even a casual stroll taking in the Italian style is enough to bring out the romance in you.

If you have time, take a trip to the Tuscan countryside and visit Siena, San Gimignano or the Chianti wine region. In fact Im struggling to decide which is more romantic, Florence or the surrounding countryside…. For more info on Tuscany, read my blog.

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Venice, Italy

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

A trip on a gondola and a coffee on St Mark’s Square – it has to be done right? Ignore the expense (they both cost a small fortune) – the views from both are breathtaking. The small winding streets and bridges are a pleasure to explore. Where else will you find a city of such scale and beauty built on water?

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Maldives

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

White powder beaches, year round temperatures of 30 degrees, each resort is on its own island and you generally arrive at your hotel by seaplane – the Maldives is pure paradise! The laid back atmosphere means that even in deluxe hotels, the dress code is casual – so girls, no need to pack ten pairs of heels!

Read about my magical stay in the Maldives

Read: Maldives holidays – the best resorts in the Maldives

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Hawaii

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

This multicultural paradise is vastly different from the paradise islands of the Indian ocean or South Pacific. You will see college students on gap years, mingling with honeymoon couples in five star resorts. There are six main islands, each offering something different. The combination of rugged landscapes, waterfalls, volcanoes, superb beaches, and the relaxed vibe, ensures a holiday in Hawaii will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Bora Bora

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

I debated between Bora Bora and Tahiti – both in French Polynesia and both absolutely world class romantic destinations. No matter which island you choose, you just have to have an overwater bungalow. I think it was the Four Seasons Hotel in Bora Bora that won it over for me –just take a look!  

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Lapland

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

Lapland is not all about Santa you know! If you like the snow then there is nowhere better. It really is a winter wonderland and will definitely fill you with child like wonder. From late August to late April this is the best place to watch the Northern lights. Why not stay in a glass igloo and watch the Northern lights from the comfort of your cosy bed.

Read: How to see the Northern Lights through your own glass igloo.

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, one of the top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Santorini has to be on everyone’s bucket list. That picture postcard that you see on almost every advertisement for Greece – how could you not want to go there? Every time I see it, I picture myself sipping a cocktail in a small Greek taverna, watching one of the most amazing sunsets. One of the world’s most romantic destinations – absolutely.  Top Tip: Try to avoid peak summer months, the crowds might ruin the romance.

Read: 10 Amazing Airbnbs in Santorini, Caves, Windmills and Private Pools

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

Tanzania

Despite travelling to over 50 countries in 30 years, our holiday in Tanzania is still my favourite travel experience. The deluxe tented safari camps and the most spectacular game viewing – we experienced nature at it’s very best. And then we finished off our trip of a lifetime by relaxing on the beach in Zanzibar – pure bliss! 

Read about my safari in Tanzania here

South Africa safari,the travel expert,sarah slattery,wildlife,trip of a lifetime

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

I would love to hear your favourite romantic destinations – please comment in the box below.

 

 

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert

 

Uncategorized

Luxury All Inclusive in the Geranios Suites & Spa Hotel, Fuerteventura, 1 week, €569!

geranious_opt_opt

This deal to Fuerteventura offers the best of both worlds. Stay in a deluxe hotel, right on the beach and have all your meals and drinks included in the price!

 

The Geranios Suites & Spa is a luxury beach front hotel in an outstanding location, offering excellent service and a host of on site facilities. Situated only ten minutes from the airport, you can be relaxing by the sea with a cocktail, within an hour of landing! Feel spoilt with a spacious junior suite equipped with all mod cons, including a kitchenette with microwave. The pool area is stunning, although so is the beach, so the hardest decision you will have to make each day is where to sunbathe!

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

If you are feeling energetic you can enjoy a game of tennis or squash, work out in their gym or try one of the many water sports available at the beach. Reward yourself with a trip to the spa afterwards and enjoy a massage, or simply relax in the sauna or whirlpool bath.

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

Although meals and drinks are included in the price of your stay, if you fancy a change of scenery the resort of Caleta de Fuste is only five minutes walk away. Complete with plenty of bars, shops and restaurants – it’s lively – but without being rowdy!  You can also take a trip to some of the other resorts on the island, Correlejo or Jandia being the most popular, or take the ferry to nearby Lanzarote. Suffice to say there is plenty to do in Fuerteventura if you are up for it.

The Travel Expert's luxury all inclusive deal to Fuerteventura

The Hotel Geranios Suites and Spa have an early booking discount of €140, throughout the Summer months.  Prices including flights from Dublin or Shannon and a seven night stay on an all inclusive basis, start at €569 for selected dates in May. Travel in June from €689, July from €955, August from €765 and September from €535. Click on the link below to see the full range of dates and prices.

So go on, kick start yuur Summer, go luxury all inclusive in the Geranios Suites & Spa hotel – you deserve it!

 

Click here for more details:

 

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Pin It on Pinterest