Travel: Where shall we go and who to ask?
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Travel: Where shall we go and who to ask?

Stuck for holiday ideas? Louisa Walters highlights places to consider this year

Louisa Walters is a features writer

  • Chateau de Montcaud
    Chateau de Montcaud
  • Campus de Gstaad
    Campus de Gstaad
  • Australia
    Australia
  • Zhouzhuang, the Venice of China
    Zhouzhuang, the Venice of China
  • Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
  • Goa
    Goa
  • Hillside beach resort
    Hillside beach resort
  • Glasshouse Edingburgh Hotel
    Glasshouse Edingburgh Hotel
  • Chia Laguna Sardinia
    Chia Laguna Sardinia

Turkish Delight

Hillside Beach Club is the ideal destination for a family break with a private beach and fabulous pool (as well as some adults-only quiet beaches), a fresh ‘baby buffet’ at the main restaurant, a baby park for ages 0-3, Kidside for 4-10 year olds and an Activity Center for 8-12 year olds.

Hillside has partnered with the British Film Institute to provide workshops where children can plan their own film and sit with their parents to watch their own creation.

www.hillsidebeachclub.com

Scottish High

A two-night Elite Whisky Experience at The Glasshouse in Edinburgh rightfully kicks off with a wee dram of Auchentoshan whisky.

Warm up in The Snug or enjoy the sunshine on the hotel’s roof garden, followed by a seven-course dinner, with a carefully selected whisky served alongside each course. A personal guided distillery tour is the highlight of the trip.

www.theglasshousehotel.co.uk

Hillside beach resort

French Fancy

Château De Montcaud, a beautiful hideaway in France’s rural Cèze Valley, boasts a wealth of history and culture, and offers elegance, exquisite gastronomy and flawless service. Active guests can explore the area by bicycle and discover Cèze Valley’s many untrodden paths. Foodies can choose between a new fine dining restaurant and a casual bistro.

www.chateaudemontcaud.com

Golden Goa

White-powder sands, swaying coconut palms and burning orange sunsets – Goa boasts some of the most extraordinary beaches in India. ITC Grand Goa is a new resort in the south of the island, with a range of restaurants and an indulgent spa.

www.itchotels.in

Goa

 

Fairy Tale Gstaad

Although it has been known since the 1960s as a retreat for the rich and famous, this movie-set fairy-tale village resort is so much more. Gstaad offers the longest skiing season in the Bernese

Alps and is also an enchanting, year-round destination with fabulous shopping, restaurants,  golf and nightlife.

www.palace.ch

Campus de Gstaad

China in your hand 

China is the top travel destination for 24% of Brits and this year the focus is on more authentic experiences. Air China has teamed up with travel expert and author Amy Fabris-Shi, who is based in Shanghai, to compile a list to encourage visitors to get off the beaten track. Visit the alleyways of Beijing, discover the intriguing Venice of the East, and cross one of the world’s longest glass bridges, where you can stare directly down onto the 590-foot drop.

www.airchina.co.uk

Zhouzhuang, the Venice of China

Monkeying Around 

The Monkey Island Estate opens next month in Bray-on-Thames. There will be 41 boutique bedrooms on this private island, as well as six individual luxury residences, a brasserie, stunning grounds and an innovative spa concept: The Floating Spa is based on a barge.

www.monkeyislandestate.co.uk

American diner

Mollie’s Motel & Diner opens this weekend in Buckland, Oxfordshire. Inspired by the classic American diner, Mollie’s is a motel, diner and drive-thru from Nick Jones (Soho House). Bedrooms, including (interconnecting family and bunk rooms) have king-size beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, high-pressure showers and Cowshed products in the bathrooms. Reservations are made through the Mollie’s app, which is also used to check in and out, order food and unlock rooms. OPENING OFFER: Rooms from £50 for three months from 30th January, subject to availability.

www.molliesmotel.com

Italian Action

Chia Laguna, a luxurious five-star resort in Sardinia, has the perfect remedy for parents looking to entertain energetic children: football and dance academies run by experts during May half-term and throughout the summer. As parents relax in one of the most beautiful settings in the Mediterranean, children can have their pick of Campioni’s football coaching experience or learn dance routines with dance pro ‘AJ’ Aimee Azari.

www.en.chialagunaresort.com/en/our-hotels

Monkey Island Hotel on a tiny island on the Thames in Bray

City breaks 

There are lots of 25% off deals on the Mr & Mrs Smith website but be quick as they need to be booked by 31 January. Villa Cora Florence, Nobis Hotel Copenhagen and Zetta Hotel San Francisco are just a few of the hotels on sale.

www.mrandmrssmith.com

ASK THE EXPERTS

David Pettitt

David Pettitt at Pettitts Travel says 2019 is the year to be adventurous. “Sri Lanka is great for families and couples alike with super weather, beaches and friendly people. It’s easy to get around and as it’s a small island distances are short. Once you’re there its relatively inexpensive. Summer is also a great time to go to Indonesia – there’s lots to see and do.” David also recommends Eastern Canada – Quebec, Ontario and Niagara Falls.

“For intrepid travellers who want to do something completely different Uzbekistan is a new hotspot, full of cultural interest, unusual architecture, markets and a high-speed train to connect it all up,” he says.

www.pettitts.co.uk

David Segel

However David Segel at West End Travel says the uncertainty of Brexit and the unstable pound are making people more cautious about spending on holidays. “The wealthy will always travel, but families looking to take children away will be keeping a close eye on exchange rates before committing. Spain is always popular and if the pound continues to fall hotels will start to price in Sterling,” he says. “Malaga, Marbella and Mallorca are great for families with lots of options for self-catering, which keeps costs down. Israel is popular and now that there is a lot of competition between the airlines it’s cheaper to fly there. The cruise market is very good value – now even young people are cruising!”For the more adventurous, David recommends South America, Brazil, Costa Rica and Australia. And if you’re considering Kathmandu this spring you might want to check out the seder night.

www.westendtravel.co.uk

Anthony Gothold

Anthony Gothold at Travelink says that families should look at Costa Rica. “With direct flights from the UK and lots of fun activities, summer is considered low season so it’s much more cost effective than going at Christmas. Thailand is another good long-haul option, offering culture, activities and sunshine. For older people or those travelling without kids, cruises are perfect, and river cruises are expanding so there is more choice – India is wonderful for the adventurous and Greece for those looking
to relax”. Travelink can offer kosher hotels with full-board options in lots of locations, including Crete.

www.travelinkuk.com

 

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