La Gomera: The Canary Islands’ Best Kept Secret for a Winter Sun Escape

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As temperatures plunge across the UK, a hidden gem in Spain waits to be discovered by travellers seeking a holiday of natural beauty and winter sun. La Gomera, the second smallest of the Canary Islands, is renowned all year-round for its sun kissed, sub-tropical climate, stunning scenery and leisure activities, offering a dream destination that’s truly different from the rest.

The unique experiences of La Gomera, where mild temperatures rarely dip below 18 °C, begin with a short flight or ferry from its larger Canary neighbours, Gran Canaria and

Tenerife. Upon stepping foot on La Gomera, visitors are greeted by volcanic cliffs and dramatic ravines that crisscross the island’s lush landscape. From there, La Gomera has something to offer everyone, from beach lovers to adventure seekers to food lovers alike.

Those looking to spend a day on the shore can find one of any style on La Gomera. For something more secluded, visitors will be happy to find that many of the island’s beaches are only accessible by foot. Near the fishing village Playa Santiago on the south coast, Playa del Medio’s gentle surf is perfect for a relaxing day in the sun. In the northeast, just a few kilometres from the town Hermigua, lies Playa de la Caleta, whose crystal clear waters and black sandy shore are amongst the island’s prettiest sights.

Rougher waters can be found between the high cliffs of the north coast, such as at the wind-swept Playa de Vallehermoso, however the Parque Maritimo, an idyllic retreat with salted pools, is a peaceful neighbor and a must visit for families with young children. Closer to the island’s brightly coloured capital, San Sebastián, the isolated coast of Playa de Avalos, cloaked under palm tree groves, provides visitors with a quiet haven in a rural location.

Adventure seekers who enjoy a more active retreat off the beaten path will find a walkers’ paradise on La Gomera’s wide network of trails, whether they prefer to move along at an easy pace or to take a strenuous hike through difficult terrain. Visitors who enjoy history can follow in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus at San Sebastián, the departure point for the Italian explorer’s journey to the New World. At the heart of the island is the mystical Garajonay National Park, one of the oldest laurel forests in Europe and a UNESCO

World Heritage Site, where trekkers can hike through dense evergreens and hardwood trees while witnessing a diverse range of native plants and animals. To the west at Valle Gran Rey, sloping roads curve between valley and sea, flanked by vivid views of rugged mountains, tropical gardens and banana trees. Hikers can also join guided walking tours for a worry- free way to enjoy La Gomera’s striking surroundings.

For those culture vultures, the village of Agulo is home to a historic centre, the rural church of San Marcos, and the picture-perfect viewpoint of Mirador de Abrante. Further south, in the quaint region of Alejeró visitors will be greeted with the beautiful portal of the ancient church of El Salvador, built in 1512 and a paramount part of La Gomera’s history.

After spending time at the beach or traipsing around the island, foodies will find that the exotic flavours of Gomeran cuisine satisfy every taste. Watercress soup, which is served on wooden plates, is a traditional culinary mainstay.

Almogrote, a creamy paste made from cheese, peppers, olive oil and herbs, is a deliciously intense appetiser that is usually spread on toast. Papas arrugadas, or boiled potatoes served with a fiery pepper sauce, called Mojo, is a great choice for a hearty meal. Or for something sweeter, Miel de palma, a palm honey made from the sap of the Canary Island Palm tree, is sure to impress.

Those in search of a holiday unlike any other need not look any further! With everything from year-round sunshine and tranquil beaches to walking trails with breathtaking views, distinctive cuisine and much more, La Gomera is the Canary Islands’ best kept secret for a winter sun escape.

Notes to Editors:

La Gomera is one of Spain’s most famous Canary Islands, located off the coast of Africa. Flights run regularly from the UK to Tenerife where visitors can then enjoy a short ferry ride to the island within 50 minutes. Alternatively, guests can fly to Tenerife North from the UK and board a 30 minute connecting flight to La Gomera.

For more information, please visit:

Website: www.lagomera.travel http://www.lagomera.travel/canary-islands/la-gomera/en
Image Gallery: http://tinyurl.com/zjc3akj

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A Collection of Greece’s Best: Luxurious Retreats for a Stress-Free Summer Break

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Think of pristine sandy shores in north- eastern Crete, lavish
facilities on the Athenian coast and melting sunsets in Santorini;
there is no need to cross continents to find luxury at its finest.

Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas, Crete

Cost: A luxury sea view double room, based on two people sharing with a B&B basis, starts at 265 euros per room, per night.

Situated along one of the best seashores in Crete, stands the glamorous Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas, awarded ‘Europe’s Leading Beach Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards, 2015.

The property offers comfort and privacy to even the most discerning guest; with an array of accommodation ‘clubs’ including the Comfort VIP Club, home to luxurious bungalows, the Sports Club showcasing private gyms and the Yachting Club boasting waters- edge Villas, visitors are spoilt for choice.

Elounda Beach is a proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World, and a ‘hot spot’ for celebs; its lengthy stretches of golden sand, award winning gastronomy, heavenly Chenot Spa and unparalleled service, make it easy to see why.

VIP’s have become regulars at the property; A-Lister’s include Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga who have lapped up the luxury of Elounda Beach’s charm. With the hotel providing helicopter and private jet services, limousine transfers and private butlers, it is safe to say it solidifies its reputation as a preferential choice for the showbiz world.

 

Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athenian Riviera

Cost: A luxury sea view double room, based on two people sharing with a B&B basis, starts at 278.40 euros per room, per night.

 If you’re looking for the culture of a city break but crave sun, sea and sand, Grand Resort Lagonissi, the 5* dreamy resort on the Athenian Riviera, has the answer. The luxurious resort, set in a tranquil paradise, along the pristine Apollo coast, gives guests the luxury of relaxation, whilst being a mere 50 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Lagonissi is home to 26 accommodation options including: Luxury Sea View rooms, Mediterranean Suites, Residential Cabanas and the unparalleled Royal Villa (with indoor and outdoor heated pool, private gym and massage centre), ideal for those looking for the ‘wow’ factor.

Grand Resort Lagonissi is known for its scenic location, incredible facilities, dining experiences and, its impeccable hospitality. The resort prides its services for being ‘tailored to cater to every individuals needs’. From concierge services, travel arrangements, shopping assistance and VIP transfers the alluring seaside resort goes above and beyond for all its guests.

Famous faces that have chosen to retreat at the resort include: renowned footballer Christiano Ronaldo, Kylie Minogue and global heartthrob, Leonardo Di Caprio! If that wasn’t ‘red carpet’ enough, the entire Mama Mia cast stayed at Grand Resort Lagonissi whilst filming the award-winning feature.

Along with stylish amenities, Lagonissi offers numerous excursions into the city of Athens for those keen to explore the ancient sites and heritage of the capital. If you are tied between the excitement of a city break and the temptation of a relaxing haven, why not have both?

 

Canaves Oia Luxury Properties, Santorini

Cost: A classic suite with caldera view, based on two people sharing with a B&B, starts at 351 euros per room, per night.

Venture further South, to the boutique island of Santorini and fall in love with one of Greece’s hidden gems: Canaves Oia Luxury Properties. The complex, consisting of a hotel, suites and a villa, has been awarded the number one resort in Europe this year; its scenic views of the caldera, unparalleled luxurious nature, beautiful décor, unrivalled privacy and lavish touches ensure Canaves Oia lives up to its first class title.

The resort, located on one of Santorini’s highest peaks and shadowing the picturesque town of Oia, is home to; authentic-white washed architecture, contemporary amenities, lavish furnishings, breathtaking views and outstanding services, placing Canaves Oia as THE idyllic choice for honeymooners and couples alike, looking for those extra special qualities.

Being Santorini’s celebrity hideaway, Canaves Oia has not fallen short on superstar visitors, guests include: multi-talented film director/actress Helen Hunt and basketball hero Kobe Bryant. The island of melting sunsets and fine wine has also caught the eye of Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie and the Kardashian clan!

Why not spend this summer ‘livin it up’ like a celeb in one of Greece’s finest retreats…!

 

Notes to editors:

Elounda Beach Hotel
Website: www.eloundabeach.gr
Image Gallery:    https://plus.google.com/photos/100547036652201491737/albums/6029285004043720241?banner=pwa 

Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas proudly won the award of ‘Europe’s Leading Beach Hotel 2015’ at the 22nd anniversary of the World Travel Awards.

The property is a member of The Leading Hotels of The World.

Elounda Beach is located on the northeastern coast of Crete, with a view over Mirabello Bay. It is 40 minutes’ drive from Heraklion International Airport.

The resort was established in 1971 and was one of the first luxury hotels not just in Crete, but also in Greece. Its reputable heritage is what has secured a loyal customer base and A- list clientele and the property continues to lead the way in the luxury travel sector.

 

Grand Resort Lagonissi
Website: www.lagonissiresort.gr
Image Gallery: https://plus.google.com/photos/100547036652201491737/albums/ 6012542192999433505

Grand Resort Lagonissi is part of the Helios Hotel Group.

Recognised as a leading hotel in the world since 2001, the 5-star resort is one of the most prestigious gems in Athens.

Located 50 minutes from the vibrant Athens city, 15 minutes from Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, 60 minutes from major Piraeus Ferry Port & 30 minutes from Lavrion Ferry Port.

 

Canaves Oia Luxury Properties
Website:  www.canaves.com
Image Gallery: http://canaves.zenfolio.com/  Password:  @canaves@

Canaves Oia Hotel (which originally opened its doors in 1985) was previously known as part of ‘Canaves Oia Hotel & Suites’ however, after expansion ‘Canaves Oia Hotel’, ‘Canaves Oia Suites’ and ‘Canaves Oia Villa’ are three distinct and separate properties but share the same owners, philosophy and quality standards.

Facilities and Information: ‘Canaves Oia Hotel’ has 17 suites in total, 10 of which come complete with a plunge pool. The property is modelled on a boutique aesthetic, with the all-white, contemporary interiors complemented by warm sandy tones and antique furniture accents.

Location: Situated in Oia, a unique and picturesque village on the northern tip of Santorini Island. All facilities are shared between guests of both properties.

For all media enquiries or to enquire about press trips, please  contact: phoebe@prmediaco.com

Trick or Treat: Halloween Spectacular at Europa-Park

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Prepare for a scare fest like never before as monstrous zombies, ghastly ghouls and bloodthirsty vampires awaken for another year of thrills at Germany’s largest theme park resort. From 26th September – 8th November 2015 Europa-Park opens its gates to the ultimate Halloween extravaganza, ensuring a frighteningly fun day out for all the family.

Bestowed the prestigious title of ‘Best Amusement Park Worldwide’ at the 2015 Golden Ticket Awards once again, Europa-Park has solidified its reputation as one of the world’s greatest theme parks. This Halloween the park is set to build upon this accolade by showcasing its unparalleled entertainment offering through an elaborate display of Halloween decorations and exciting events, guaranteeing an extraordinary atmosphere.

With around 180,000 different shaped pumpkins, 15,000 chrysanthemums, 3,000 bales of straw, 6,000 corn plants, spider trees and ghostly illuminations covering the landscape, round every corner there is a new autumnal adornment to wow visitors. Take a stroll through ‘Grimms’ Enchanted Forest’, where colourful pumpkin imps await discovery, or wander down to the gigantic 80m2 fruit dinosaur, made up of more than 20,000 apples and experience just some of the special features characterizing Halloween during Europa-Park 40th anniversary year.

Even the park’s rides will be given a sprinkling of Halloween magic. Looming proudly over the European themed lands, the world’s biggest pumpkin invites brave visitors to take a ride on the Pumpkin Coaster at breakneck speeds. With sparkles, scary music and mist, the ‘Feria Swing’ coffee cups in the Dutch area will also be transformed, offering a totally new backwards riding experience.

Those wishing to take a break from all the adrenaline charged attractions can enjoy the numerous themed shows. ‘Spook Me! The Europa-Park Musical’ is back for a second year, providing an eerily beautiful treat in the Teatro dell’Arte, telling an inspiring story of love, courage and freedom. Young visitors can also have their first supernatural experience at the Euromaus-Halloween-Show, or immerse themselves in the 4D film ‘The Time Carousel’ at the Magic Cinema, before heading to the spine-chilling Happy Halloween Parade, where monsters and all sorts of creatures of the night storm through the park.

However, for older guests the excitement doesn’t end there. Since 2007, Europa-Park famous ‘Horror Nights’ have left thousands of visitors shuddering in fear. Branded ‘Best Overseas Scare Event’ for the fourth year in a row, at the ScareCON Annual Recognition (SCAR) awards this year, the event reigns victorious against other Halloween experiences from all over the world.

 Picture realistic horror film sets with impressively lifelike monsters lurking in six uniquely themed escape houses and 3 scare zones where, through a combination of special effects and masterful makeup, the horror of the cinema screen is transformed into reality. Areas include the secret laboratory, a clinical cavern where live actors bring to life an army of crazed test subjects, ‘Nightmare-Escape’ where the villainous ‘Night Grabber’ lays camouflaged in darkness, poised to strike fear into the hearts of those who dare to enter and ‘The Cave’ a tunnel of enclosed passages entombed deep below the earth’s surface, hiding mutated monsters.

From here the terrifying journey turns bright technicolour in the ‘Big Shoe Casino’, a gambling hell where one armed bandits, jokers and clowns play poker against the background of cheerful circus music. Further along the trail, an Egyptian excavation site, labelled the ‘Undead Delivery Corporation (UDC)’ leads unknowing groups into a warehouse hiding an army of zombies, reigned by the park’s most haunting figure Master X. This avaricious leader also features in the final horror house, ‘The Mansion’, exclusive for ExpressPass guests. An immortal consumed by power, this tyrant’s challenging maze is the ultimate test of intellect, with a number of puzzles and tests ensuring exit is no easy feat.

Once these perils have been navigated its time to join the immortal, who celebrate every weekend and dance the night away at the park’s aptly named ‘Vampire’s Club’. With so many spooky options from day to night, it’s safe to say that Halloween at Europa-Park truly does offer something for everyone…

Recharge, rejuvenate, relax… Wellness holidays in paradise on Mexico’s West Coast

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With travellers increasingly seeking to escape the monotony of the daily grind through wellness experiences around the world, discover a destination that should definitely be on your radar…

 Whether you want to soothe your mind, care for your body, or just seek rest and relief from daily stress and constant connectivity, in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two idyllic, coastal resorts in Mexico it’s easy for your troubles to melt away.

Picture an unparalleled natural setting where tropical jungles blend with pristine, golden shorelines and imposing mountain ranges; a place where visitors are able to have direct contact with nature. This part of Mexico also has guaranteed year round sunshine, which has proven health benefits including increased Vitamin D, which supports the immune system.

Wellness retreats in the areas make the most of the beautiful natural environment, offering more than just traditional spa treatments. Surf lessons, fun beach games and yoga, are just a few of the activities that accompany world-class accommodation here. Check out the top retreats in each region:

In Puerto Vallarta, Xinalani Retreat (www.xinalaniretreat.com) is an exclusive, tropical eco retreat with a unique approach, sure to impress even the most discerning guests. The resort combines state-of-the-art yoga studios with beautiful, eco-chic accommodation, delicious, healthy and authentic Mexican food; relaxing spa treatments and warm hospitality. As well as stress reliving activities, guests can opt for an adventurous experience, such as the Temazcal Prehispanic Ritual, which takes place in a traditional sweat lodge. During this process a Shaman guides participants through antique protocol, invoking elements to purify the mind, body and soul.

In Riviera Nayarit, Haramara Retreat (http://haramararetreat.com/), which describes itself as a place “where Robinson Crusoe meets Architectural Digest”, is a secluded, tranquil hideaway in the picturesque surfing town of Sayulita. Offering a range of award-winning restorative programmes, from yoga to spa to hikes, as well as professional teacher trainings and workshops.  The accommodation is also out of this world, with snug, thatched roof cabañas nestled into the hillside, offering mesmerising views of the Pacific.

Family Adventure Holidays in Luscious La Gomera

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La Gomera, the Canaries boutique hidden gem, provides the perfect adventurous get-away for some much needed family bonding time. Just 50 minutes boat ride from its neighbour Tenerife, La Gomera boasts yearlong sunshine, unparalleled natural landscapes, extraordinary wildlife, secluded beaches, quaint villages and delicious gastronomy. Family holidays should be enjoyed to the maximum and with the island being full to the brim of exciting experiences, there are activities for all members to enjoy.

What to do?

For those who enjoy the beauty of nature, trekking through rural trails, and capturing ‘snap-happy’ moments, the islands Garajonay National Park is a must-see. The peaceful paradise received its name after the legendary tale of two lovers, who took their lives for love, a Romeo and Juliet parallel. This story in itself brings a magical, mysterious atmosphere to the park, and provides an educational tale to the experience.

Families can traipse through the luscious forests and encounter 2000 species of plants and many unique invertebrates, vertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and birds, including the giant lizard which can grow up to half a metre long! There are well-marked trails and knowledgeable rangers on hand at all times, to provide visitors with information on the parks heritage. For a spot of lunch, guests can visit the little village of El Cedro, just north of the Garajonay National Park which is home to traditional Canarian architecture.

Diving and Watersport activities on the island are a guaranteed fun-fuelled day out for the entire family to enjoy. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, there are plenty of diving options to enjoy within the island, providing endless hours of fun. One of the most popular beaches of the island, Playa Santiago, proves a perfect spot for families who enjoy snorkelling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding activities. With over 92km of unexplored coastline, caves, & deep reefs the marine life of La Gomera is unparalleled. For the ultimate experience, guests can take part in a Night Dive, to explore the underwater world and encounter nocturnal species- a simply breath-taking experience! http://www.lagomera.travel/canary-islands/la-gomera/en/planning/activities-in-la-gomera/

If you would prefer to stay dry, why not take a stunning boat trip round the beautiful coastline and marvel at the scenic views La Gomera has to offer. Families can spend the day wildlife watching- witnessing impressive species such as ospreys, shearwaters, turtles, dolphins and even whales! Guests can also explore caves and unspoilt hidden coves.

The sea-life is of course a highlight of the destination, however there are endless sights to be explored on land. A family bike ride around the island is a must-try, guests can hire bikes from Valle Gran Rey, the legendary valley of the King which is home to terraced landscapes, numerous palm trees and colourful gardens- a must-see in itself. Visitors can ride up the rural mountainous road and explore impressive coastline views, idyllic settlements and bursting banana trees. On return, an afternoon dip in the atlantic followed by a dinner under the melting sunset is ideal.

La Gomera is home to many more exciting and cultural activities, including Clay Pottery making, Weaving, Golfing and Hiking. All actives are family-friendly, educational yet extremely enjoyable. Find out more at:
http://www.lagomera.travel/canary-islands/la-gomera/en/explore/top-experiences-of-la-gomera/

There are an array of beautiful, boutique accommodation options throughout the island, each home to unique qualities and characteristics. For those who enjoy incredible views, warm hospitality, sporting activities (especially golf), traditional highlights and much more, La Gomera proves the idyllic retreat. If you are looking for an authentic stay, visit the charming villages in the North, home to ancient, rural apartments tucked away down crooked lanes. For those sun worshippers who enjoy blissful views and endless golden rays, the Southern coast of La Gomera hosts many cliffside hotels, with unparalleled views of the ocean and luscious landscapes.

To find out more about where to stay, visit: http://www.lagomera.travel/canary-islands/la-gomera/en/planning/find-your-accommodation-in-la-gomera/ for excellent advice and booking information.

From hippie towns to luxury resorts: Diverse landscapes on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

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Whatever your personality and holiday preference, there is an area to suit everyone in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two idyllic, neighbouring areas in Mexico. Take a look at this round up of some of the most breath-taking places to visit in the regions:

 

Puerto Vallarta 

Conchas Chinas

An exclusive area, full of inclined, winding roads offering spectacular, hilltop views of Banderas Bay. Aptly named after the rare shells found only on the local beaches there, the town has been dubbed ‘The Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta’ and is mainly home to residential housing, along with many condominium and hacienda rentals. Top place to stay: Grand Miramar Resort (http://www.grandmiramar.com)

 

Romantic Zone

Old Vallarta, just south of the Downtown area, is the busiest part of Puerto Vallarta. Packed full of quaint cobbled streets, with more shops, cafes, bars and restaurants per square foot than anywhere else in town, the ‘Romantic Zone’ is a cultural hub. Top place to stay: Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa (http://www.playalosarcos.com)

 

Marina Vallarta

Just 5 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport, you will find the exclusive Marina filled with yachts, boats and charters. Built during the most active years of the city in the 1980s, apart from the boats there is a championship 18-hole golf course and a number of gourmet restaurants. Top place to stay: Velas Vallarta (http://www.velasvallarta.com)

 

Riviera Nayarit

Bucerias

Upon arrival in this traditional Mexican town it is hard not to be charmed by the unspoilt cobblestone streets and brightly coloured houses. It is easy to see why the area is one of the most well visited destinations in Riviera Nayarit, with serene ocean views, hospitable locals, lively bars and the best spot for Kitesurfing in the vicinity. Top place to stay: Royal Decameron Complex (http://www.decameron.com/promosite/index.php/en/decameron-com/mexico-hotels/riviera-nayarit/royal-decameron-complex/)

 

Punta de Mita

If celeb spotting and the lavish lifestyle is your thing then Punta Mita is the place for you. Secluded in a private, gated area this exclusive, luxurious getaway has six miles of pristine, white sandy beaches, surrounded by green hills and opulent resorts to suit even the most discerning traveller. It is also famous for its iconic Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses, relaxing spas and sophisticated boutiques. Top place to stay: St. Regis Punta Mita (http://www.stregis.com/puntamita)

 

Sayulita

Sayulita is an iconic, traditional fishing village renowned for being a surf lover’s paradise. A chilled out environment, where music and celebration fill the air and dazzling sunsets fill the sky, it is perfect for adventure lovers, comfort seekers, or wedding & honeymoon couples. Top things to do include horseback riding along the beach, shopping at one of the many small businesses selling delicious, traditional dishes, visiting the quaint art galleries and dining at the elegant beachside restaurants. Top place to stay: Hamara Retreat (http://haramararetreat.com)

 

Europa-Park Hotels: The ultimate short-haul getaway

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If you’re looking to get away from the dull monotony of the daily grind, there is nothing better than a stay at Germany’s largest resort theme park – Europa-Park. From 4-star luxury, to outdoors camping, the park has it all…

Hotel Bell Rock

Proud and graceful, the red-and-white lighthouse, defining symbol of the new 4-star Superior Hotel Bell Rock, will safely guide travelers into the holiday harbour. Three integrated restaurants offer a wide range of culinary delights to both hotel guests and visitors who are looking just to get a taste of New England, from a high-quality buffet restaurant with integrated show cooking area and open grills, a fine-dining restaurant in the lighthouse with viewable kitchen area and an à-la-carte restaurant.

The particular theme of the new experience accommodation is revealed very clearly by the typical wooden buildings with their unmistakable roof lines. The New England style, with its light and bright rooms, maritime accessories, high-quality antiques and range of sumptuous handicrafts invites the visitors to sail away, back to the early days of America. Whilst junior hotel guests slumber happily in cozy wooden boats, 35 individually themed suites and six tower suites located in the lighthouse offer an unusual panorama. The 300 m² ship-like pool and the Europa-Park Fitness-Club with training equipment and different saunas leave no wish unfulfilled.

 

Hotel Colosseo

Lovers of Italy will soon find that the Hotel Colosseo captures a piece of their heart alongside the beautiful country to the south of the Alps The largest single hotel in south-western Germany, with its 1,450 beds, the Italian-style 4-star Superior Hotel Colosseo simply bubbles over with vivacious joie de vivre. The interior of the true-to-life building reveals four elaborately themed suites designed to spirit guests away to Italy. Imperial wall paintings, exquisite furniture and majestic baths are the outstanding features of the Suite Cesare e Cleopatra.

The Hotel Colosseo, with its 350 rooms, 22 of which are themed suites with superior fittings, provides as much space as you could possibly want for the Italian “Dolce Vita”. As the visitors’ eyes wander along the facades with their typical Italian design, they are momentarily arrested by the balcony of the stylish Bar Colosseo, right up in the fifth floor. Alongside the popular and fashionable bar, the Bar Commedia dell`Arte on the Piazza Roma, with its cafe and gelateria and large outside terrace, is the perfect place to hang out. The hotel also boasts restaurants and meeting rooms, for example the La Scala ballroom. After a day of informative company presentations, the Roman bath with its heated outdoor pools, sauna and steam bath is a great place to relax, with eight treatment rooms, all preserved in the style of the Ancient World.

 

Hotel Santa Isabel

In the style of a Portuguese monastery, this 4* superior hotel has an acclaimed wellness area and an azure outdoor swimming pool creating the ideal place to switch off. Whilst the bewitching scent of traditional monastic herbs wafts across the water, children race around and let off steam in the Pueblo del Agua water playground. Shady arcades give the sun-baked guests quiet moments to draw breath and dream their dreams. The azulejos – colorful mosaics tastefully arranged in the reception hall – tell ceremonial tales of long-forgotten ages. The Hotel Santa Isabel has 290 beds, two large conference rooms on the first floor and a quaint cellar room that can be hired by partygoers looking for that extraordinary atmosphere.

 

Castillo Alcazar

The fortress hotel Castillo Alcazar towers majestically over the surrounding 4-star hotels. In the extravagantly and uniquely decorated suites, roughly hewn stone meets delicate furniture and charming wall decorations. The inspiring contrast between the wild and romantic castle life and ultra-modern interiors is displayed in all its facets. The pomp of the age of Spanish knights sees guests sleeping in the opulence of ornate and splendid beds.

Romantics will find happiness in the ninth-floor Bar Buena Vista as the last rays of sunlight span the space between heaven and earth like delicate filigree pillars, only to merge with the enchanting illumination of the hotel pool, in which swimmers swim their evening lengths. But it isn’t just the picture-postcard view that makes the bar so popular with night owls. Cozy corner sofas, where Orient and Occident collide, are rarely empty of guests reclining in the midst of glittering brocade as they review the events of the day like feudal overlords.

 

Hotel El Andaluz

The 4-star Hotel El Andaluz, the first hotel in a German theme park, which dates back to 1995, boasts individually designed rooms, which prove that tradition and modernity are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A flowering garden of palms forms the centerpiece of the Spanish finca. The bewitching plenitude of scents around the heated hotel pool offers a true feast of delights for the senses. Tiled terracotta floors with original Spanish tile mosaics make for an authentic vacation experience. 192 family-friendly rooms and ten suites transport guests in the Spanish summer villa with its Mediterranean elegance away to the South. Hotel guests at El Andaluz are also in for a real treat this coming season! To celebrate the new blockbuster attraction “ARTHUR – In the Minimoys Kingdom”, Europa-Park’s most extravagant indoor attraction, three hotel rooms have been transformed into a nature adventure.

 

Camp Resort

Adventurers will experience a wild and romantic vacation around the campfire in the Camp Resort. Junior cowboys and Indians can try to outshine each other in genuine Indian teepees, covered wagons and log cabins. A recent addition has been Winnetou’s Honeymoon Suite, opened last year and redolent of the romanticism of the Western The log cabins, which offer rooms from 4 to 16 people, are perfect for school trips and groups. The adjacent caravan site offers a further 1,200 accommodation spaces for lovers of camping. Guests can happily splash around in the nearby bathing lake before grilling sausages round the camp fire. And if you don’t relish the thought of cooking your own quarry, you can bite into juicy Texas burgers, Western steaks and spare ribs in the 190-seat “Silver Lake Saloon”.

 

Feast on the flavours of Mexico on the Pacific Coast

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As ‘Restaurant Week’ fast approaches in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two enchanting regions in Mexico, discover why they are unsurpassed hotspots for food lovers…

Arguably the most important culinary destinations in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit combine many cultures together with their diverse range of cuisines, from traditional Mexican dishes, to Asian fusion, creating an exciting journey for the taste buds.

Celebrating this gastronomical diversity, ‘Restaurant Week’ returns to the areas for the 11th year running, in the form of a 17-day festival from May 15th – 31st 2015. Involving over 35 regional restaurants from along the coast, offering special menus and pricing for this period, ranging anywhere from $199 to $299 Mexican pesos per person (Between £8 – £12). With the tagline “The Restaurant Event That Pampers Your Palate”, it’s a fantastic way for restaurants to showcase their creativity and inject passion into their dishes, giving an overview of the varied tastes on offer, to visitors and locals alike.

Set against breathtaking backdrops, from tapas overlooking the Sierra Madre mountain range, to fresh seafood on a pristine, sandy beach in Riviera Nayarit, there are endless options for a one-of-a-kind dining experience here.

 

In Puerto Vallarta some of the best restaurants taking part in ‘Restaurant Week’ are:

Coco’s Kitchen and Wine Garden (http://www.cocoskitchenpv.com/)

Serving up the freshest, homemade meals with a stunning garden area, Coco’s Kitchen is a local favourite for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

Si Senor (http://www.sisenorgarden.com/english/)

A family-run Mexican restaurant set in a tranquil garden in the heart of Puerto Vallarta’s trendy downtown area. The dishes expertly blend traditional Mexican ingredients with creative interpretations to compose some of the best food in the city, from the mellow flavors of Oaxaca, to the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine from Veracruz.

 

In Riviera Nayarit some of the best restaurants that are participating in ‘Restaurant Week’ include:

Tuna Blanca (www.cafedesartistes.com/tuna-blanca/)

Located in celeb-hotspot Punta Mita, Tuna Blanca by café des Artistes, offers a diversity of flavours, textures, smells and colours from Mexico using fresh, organic ingredients by their gourmet chef, in a chic and romantic atmosphere.

 

Hotel Cielo Rojo – Bistro Organico (http://www.hotelcielorojo.com/english/bistro-organico-restaurant.html)

A fresh restaurant in charming San Pancho serving up fresh seafood and fine selections of tequila/wine, all for a very reasonable price.

Sun, Sea, Sand and Adventure: Family Holidays on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

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With many families looking to venture outside of Europe and experience somewhere different this summer discover the latest child friendly destination taking the UK by storm…

Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, two stunning neighbouring regions on Mexico’s Pacific Coast offer something to suit all ages and interests.

What to do

Those looking for a family beach vacation will love Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with over 250 miles of coastline and endless beaches it is perfect for walks, surfing, building sand castles, playing beach games and just plain old sunbathing.

In Puerto Vallarta be sure to pay a visit to Playa Conchas Chinas, a stunning beach stretching out to the Sierra Madre Mountains, while in Riviera Nayarit Playa de Sayulita is the ideal place to unwind.As well as relaxation, there are also a number of family adventures to be had in the regions. In Puerto Vallarta there are a number of excursions, such as the jungle canopy adventure run through Vallarta Adventures, suitable for children aged 8+. With elevated treetop platforms, a wobbly climb up a 50ft high Crazy Ladder, Tarzan Swings, plus suspended walkways and hanging bridges, this playground in the trees provides endless excitement.

The adventure continues 3.5 hours north of Nuevo Vallarta (Riviera Nayarit), in San Blas, an idyllic fishing village best known for its friendly locals and delicious fresh specialty cuisine, considered a bird watching paradise. Take a cruise down the river La Tovara through mangroves, visiting the crocodile reserve and exploring rustic towns and historic ruins, delivering a truly authentic experience.

For more fun in the sun, Aquaventuras Water Park in Riviera Nayarit is a great choice for a full day of activities and is conveniently located just minutes from the Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Zone. With large pools, a ‘little water world for kids’, 10 water slides and toboggans and a relaxing lazy river the park is equipped with everything you could wish for. Visitors can even watch amazing dolphin and sea lion shows starring acrobatic marine animals, or get up close during a swim with dolphin and sea lions program that lets you interact with these fabulous marine mammals for a truly unforgettable experience.

If wildlife is a passion then it is interesting to note that the areas are home to a wide variety of rare species. With over 300 species of birds to see, Puerto Vallarta’s exotic Botanical Gardens are the ideal place to see these tropical creatures, with special trails on offer. In Riviera Nayarit there are also several prime deep sea fishing spots for both novice and seasoned sport fishermen, such as Punta Mita where the family can get involved in catching anything from common tuna to Amberjack and Roosterfish – you can even end the day in a local restaurant cooking up your catch.

Where to stay

In Puerto Vallarta:

Sunset Plaza Beach Resort & Spa (http://www.hotelsunsetplaza.com/en/)

This fashionable property is built with families in mind. As well as a great range of amenities for adults including a spa, high-tech gym and lively lobby bar, there are also a lot of things for kids too. The well-manned kids’ club features fun daily activities, a playground and kids pool.

Holiday Inn (www.ihg.com/holidayinnresorts/hotels/us/en/puerto-vallarta/pvrfs/hoteldetail)

For a more mid-range budget hotel this hotel delivers pretty much everything you could want. There’s a large pool and a separate kids pool with mini water slide. Additionally, there are two tennis courts and a games room with air hockey and X-Box stations. For children aged 4-12 there is a Kids’ Club, which has supervised crafts and activities and special Kids’ Suites are available for families.

In Riviera Nayarit:

Four Seasons Punta Mita (www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/)

For a luxurious experience in Riviera Nayarit the Four Seasons is known for its outstanding children’s program, which includes not only kids menus at the restaurants and the free use of cribs, but also welcome gifts, free baby toiletries, a fun lazy river, large suites and villas suited for families and babysitting services. Plus the resort’s fantastic kids club even has a tree house, a playground and a movie theater!

Royal Decameron Costa Flamingos (www.decameron.com/promosite/index.php/en/)

Located in Bucerias this all-inclusive hotel oozes fun through its bright color scheme and exciting live shows. On the seven-acre plot there are a number of great amenities geared towards families including a kiddy pool, outdoor tennis courts with free lessons available, free use of non-motorized water sport equipment, a soccer field and bicycles for loan.

Europa-Park – The ultimate family fun destination

europa

One of the most popular theme park resorts in Europe, Europa-Park offers a unique take on the traditional theme park with 13 enchanting European themed areas and endless options to engage the whole family…

Located in the picturesque town of Rust, in Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany, Europa-Park brings excitement to the area through over 100 attractions and international shows, which offer fun and entertainment for everyone young and old.

Experience a thrilling adrenaline rush on the park’s 11 rollercoasters, which are not for the faint-hearted! From the new ‘Arthur – In the Minimoys Kingdom’ (the most intricate indoor attraction in the entire history of Europa-Park), during which passengers fly through a dreamlike world in rotating cars suspended below a track, to the extreme ‘Silver Star’ coaster, where you can soar through the air at 130 km/h, there are ride options for all ages.

For a calmer experience there are also endless possibilities here. Enjoy the entertainment provided by more than 275 international artists with over 6 hours of show time, dine at one of the park’s 54 internationally inspired eateries, or simply take a stroll through the themed lands from England, France, Russia to Iceland, admiring the typical national architecture along the way.

If you want to turn a day trip into a unique family break then Europa Park also has it covered with its vast range of accommodation options, catering for nearly 6,000 visitors. The park’s own 4-star hotels “El Andaluz” and “Castillo Alcazar”, as well as the 4-star superior hotels “Colosseo”, “Santa Isabel” and “Bell Rock” offer something to please every palate. The themed restaurants “Castillo” and “Don Quichotte” present a very special highlight for this anniversary year: freshly served meat kebabs of the finest quality await guests in the “Castillo” gourmet buffet, while “Don Quichotte” combines lava stone front cooking with a giant salad buffet. The ambience and interior decor of the five park-owned theme hotels are perfectly balanced: visitors can discover the excitement of living in a castle, enjoy “la bella Italia”, live by the motto “viva España” or delve into the history of New England. Or if you prefer, get back to nature in the Camp Resort, with its teepees, covered wagons and quaint old log cabins.

Since opening its doors in 1975 this family business has blossomed into by far the biggest theme park in Germany, with more than 5 million visitors last year and 100 million visitors in its lifetime making it the best-attended seasonal leisure park worldwide and a success story that is continually growing…

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