Booking Last Minute Summer Holidays with The Travel Snob

While I am an advocate of booking your holidays far in advance, I’m also guilty of last minute tourism myself! As a travel agent who has seen over 115 countries and stayed in thousands upon thousands of hotels around the world, it’s about time that I share my secrets to booking last minute holidays, I’ll also make sure to include what things to do in every country I’ve visited.

If you’re looking to get away from whiney kids complaining about sun cream getting in their eyes and huge groups of stag dos parading the streets, avoid booking your summer holiday at the end of July or through August. While I can’t guarantee they will be no crying children or laddish men, booking during off-peak periods such as Whitsun week or late August can ensure you see less abs and more of your dream holiday destination.

Don’t be distracted by price cuts, promising you a great deal of ‘savings’! A holiday is a holiday, and prices are constantly shifting to reflect a supply and demand. What you should be focusing on is what is included in the quote!  Whether it’s in-flight meals, resort transfers, breakfast or half board, these packages are seen as a standard in many package holidays, but extras such as massages and free upgrades can be added depending on the quote.

There is no magic shortcut to finding a last minute holiday. Just like you would trying to book your typical holiday, it’s about searching for the right destination for you and your family. Now you may be a fan of price comparison websites, but how often have you look and found your dream holiday?

Maybe the lucky few but it’s certainly not common. When you book with The Travel Snob, you’re always in luck! With access to thousands of suppliers around the world and years of luxury travel experience, who better to book your next holiday with – even a last minute one!

From the finest boutique hotels to the most luxurious 5-star resorts, I can match the perfect holiday experience to your specific tastes. To find out what I can do for you, call 07990 018018 or email david@thetravelsnob.co.uk.

The ‘Hottest’ Places Every Month of the Year

Partying in Budapest for New Year, strolling the cobbled streets of Rome in March, exploring the beaches of California in the July heat and back to Europe to discover the Christmas markets, it sounds like a dream year in the life we all want.

Now, I don’t intend on making you jealous but if you are particularly lucky to travel the world each month of the year, then this guide might come in handy!

Here are The Travel Snob’s best places to travel, month by month:

January

With the excitement of Christmas and New Year over and the dreaded back to work blues settling in, what a perfect time to book a holiday!

If you need to get your dose of sunlight to start the New Year, I suggest visiting the Caribbean or Australia where temperatures reach up to 30 °C. However, if warm weather is your nemesis, maybe hit the slopes of the Alps or hunt for the Northern Lights in Norway to enjoy a true Winter Wonderland.

 February

February commences the month of love, making Paris the perfect option for a quick weekend getaway. However, if you want to go further afield, February is the perfect time to visit countries in Asia as typhoon season is over at this time. That means Nepal, Burma, India and the Philippines will all be ready to explore and in perfect weather!

I suggest avoiding countries such as Indonesia, the Seychelles and Polynesia as well as Madagascar and Mauritius as February is their peak rainy season and where there are high risks of cyclones.

March

The start of spring also means the beginning of good weather across Europe. Italy around this time could be the perfect quick city break, especially if you want to go somewhere that’s not busy in the typical tourist spots. If that’s not your thing, jet off to Florida where the weather is warm and hot without being unbearable.

April

Fully into spring, April sees the blossoming of Tulips in Amsterdam, making it the perfect time for a trip to the country’s famous tulip fields. The US is also still a great option for Spring time, so why not go all out and take a month long road trip across America? Start in Florida and finish your trip in California, you can cruise across America for the fraction of peak prices.

May

Prior to summer, sneak in a romantic holiday break to the Philippines and Bahamas, which is a slice of paradise around this time of year. With more than enough sunshine, perfectly white sand and breathtakingly turquoise seas, the Philippines and Bahamas are well recommended around this time. 

June

Europe is perfect around this time, particularly in the north! Visit Sweden, Norway and Finland to enjoy days of endless daylight through their ‘white night’ period. Canada is also perfect in July when they host Canada Day as well as The Montreal Film Festival and International Jazz Festival.

July

Not a fan of the heat? Take a look at holidays in Peru and Bolivia! July sees an end to their rainy seasons and instead the two countries get days of constant sunshine. It can be chilly however so make sure to bring a few extra layers.

During summer, stay away from Asia where it will be the height of monsoon season.

August

You can never go wrong with the Mediterranean coast of Europe in August. With plenty of sunny days and tranquil beaches, Croatia is glorious over this time, plus you can enjoy numerous festivals from music to food while you’re there.

September

Ever wanted to go on safari? Now’s your chance! Countries in Africa like Zimbabwe will be in its dry season offering ideal temperatures of 27°C and cooler nights. Even Namibia, which is in its winter period, will be dry and sunny making it the perfect time to spot some iconic African wildlife.

October

If you’re already missing the summer sun, taking the trip to countries within Africa, the American states or cities in Argentina mean you can still top up that tan even in Autumn.

November

It’s about the time everyone starts preparing for the festive season, which is why November is the right time to visit Christmas Markets in Germany to embrace the festive feeling. However, if you want to banish the winter blues, head to Hawaii or Morocco where the temperature is still high (20°Cs). 

December

With Christmas and New Year on the horizon, December is popular for skiing, particularly in France and Spain or the Swiss and Italian Alps where snow is plentiful. However, for an unforgettable winter sun holiday, explore the Caribbean islands where you can see fantastic coral reefs and tropical rainforests, scuba dive, fish and hiking.

Interested in any of the places I mentioned in my month-by-month holiday guide? Call 07990 018018 or email david@thetravelsnob.co.uk to find out what bespoke holiday I can create for you.

Last Minute Holidays for Summer

Take advantage of the bank holidays in May and book your last minute summer city break with The Travel Snob. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the sun and sea or exploring the many corners of Europe, this bank holiday is a good excuse to grab your laptop and banish the work blues with some holiday shopping!

Here are The Travel Snob’s top last minute holidays and city breaks for this summer:

From just £765pp, you could be travelling to the gorgeous Caribbean island of Barbados for 7 nights. Right in the heart of St Lawrence Gap is the Time Out Hotel sitting amongst the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling city. Chill out in the hotel’s fantastic sports bar and catch up with the latest sporting events, or head over to Dover Beach and try your hand at the variety of watersports available.

If you’re more about exploring cities than lounging on the beach, try Singapore this summer! For £849pp, you can spend. 5 nights in the centre of Singapore. Situated along the historic and picturesque Singapore River by Robertson Quay, the 4* Copthorne King’s Hotel enjoys a central location to this multicultural city. Not far from all of the shopping, dining and entertainment districts such as Chinatown, the hotel offers 310 modern rooms with use of the modern, outdoor pool and miniature golf course. 

Finally if you’re looking for a truly luxury summer getaway then Dubai is the place to go! From just £910pp, you and your family can have the pleasure of staying in the 5* Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa which provides a truly luxury experience. Dotted on Dubai’s picturesque Jumeirah Beach, this hotel boasts spacious and stunning hotel rooms and suites with luxury touches such as designer bedding, flat-screen TVs and views of the beach. Guests at the hotel can also enjoy use of the state-of-the-art spa, lavish dining options and fully equipped gym and fitness centre.

To book your last minute summer getaway, call 07990 018018 or email david@thetravelsnob.co.uk

Celebrate England’s Best Beaches on St George’s Day

When I think of the best beaches in the world, England is not the first place that comes to mind, but if you don’t mind a spot of drizzle occasionally and the odd light breeze, England’s beaches can be the perfect weekend away you need for you and your family.

Watergate Bay, Newquay

If you ask any Brit what the best beaches are in England, there will most likely be a mention of Cornwall. And it’s easy to see why these shores are so iconic to the British population.

Watergate Bay is 3 miles of soft, golden sand beach with cliffs and caves lining the shore from Newquay to the North Cornwall coast. Enormous waves from the Atlantic produce the perfect spray for surfers and kite surfers while peregrine falcons, sea gulls and fulmar’s wheels watch on overhead.

Stay in an idyllic beach hut by the shore before popping down to the sand to spot strawberry anemones and crabs amongst the rock pools and book a surf lesson with Cornwall’s elite surfing academies.

Blackpool Sands, Devon

If you fancy the atmosphere of a beach holiday without breaking out the passports, Blackpool Sand beach could be your perfect getaway this summer.

Just three miles southwest of Dartmouth, Blackpool Sands is a sheltered and peaceful crescent on the South coast waiting to be discovered by you and your family. Popular with families, this beach’s clean and calm, turquoise waters is a great spot for swimming as well as sailing.

Studland Bay, Dorset

There’s nothing quite as nice as fine sand beneath your feet, and I know what you’re thinking – powder-white sand in the Maldives, but what if I could promise you this luxury in England?

As a glorious slice of the natural, English coastline, Studland Bay has miles upon miles of soft sand beaches and heathland with views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. A for fans of watersports, this beach is a heaven as the Atlantic blows in the wintry surf.

Want to take a short break this summer to one of England’s tremendous beaches? The Travel Snob can find you the perfect luxury weekend break without going too far from home. To find out more information about England’s best beaches, call 07990 018018 or email david@thetravelsnob.co.uk

Stress Awareness Month: Why going on holiday is good for you

Everyone loves a holiday; in fact I’m quite partial to a holiday myself! What’s not to love about a two week getaway; sipping cocktails on a powder-like, white-sand beach just steps away from a luxury 5* resort in The Maldives!

But did you know going on holiday could also make you healthier?

Improves Heart and Brain Health

Research by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has revealed that holidays can decrease a person’s risk of heart attack and depression as well as improve the health of their brain.

Why is this? Well, Dr. Paul Nussbaum, president and founder of the Brain Health Center, said travelling is good for keeping the brain healthy because “it challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments.”

That’s why older generations are now being encouraged to continue travelling in their retirement as it keeps them active and healthy. Tourists often walk up to 10 miles a day while traveling so whether it’s walking around museums or strolling around new cities to see the sights, these challenges can keep seniors healthy and in shape without pushing themselves too hard.

Reduces Stress

Travelling is also the perfect way to relieve stress from work and personal life.

Taking the time out to breath in the fresh air and soak in the sunshine can greatly reduce your stress. Research has shown that spending time in the fresh air increases the oxygen in our blood and gives us more energy.

Also going out and doing things you enjoy will give you time to recuperate from the stress of the workplace. Whether you spend your time mountain climbing, riding rollercoasters or just sitting on the beach, sitting back and relaxing and just enjoying life’s good things is the perfect stress relief.

Improves Sleep

Research has also shown that going on holiday can improve your sleep pattern. In fact, in a study, participants had their quality of sleep and reaction times monitored before, during and after their holidays. Researchers found that after two days on their holidays, their sleep had improved by an hour and their reaction times improved by 80 per cent.

Feeling stressed and in need of a holiday? As a self confessed Travel Snob, I am able to recommend the finest, most luxurious destinations and accommodation around the world. With over 112 countries and 1,000s of hotels and restaurants tried and tested, rest assured that as The Travel Snob, I will create the very best holiday for you.

Feel free to call: 07990 018018 or email david@thetravelsnob.co.uk for more information.

Planning the Perfect Honeymoon with TravelSnob

For some couples, often the honeymoon is more important than the wedding itself. Not only is the post-wedding holiday a chance for the couple to rest after months of wedding planning and spend time alone together, but for some it’s the trip of a lifetime! However, it doesn’t take much to turn the perfect holiday into the trip from hell.

Here are my top tips to make sure you have a fabulous honeymoon:

You get what you pay for

After spending huge amounts of the wedding day itself, it may seem sensible to scrimp on the honeymoon budget. Just remember, you get what you pay for!

Don’t let yourselves be suckered in by cheap holidays that guarantee you and your partner a luxury experience. In most cases, it only leads to more problems down the line such as hotel rooms with more stains than a dirty dishcloth or restaurants that give you nothing but a side of food poisoning.

Keep an Eye on the Time

A luxury beach hut in the Maldives, or a resort in the Seychelles is great but if you only have a week to experience it, you will come back off your honeymoon more exhausted than when you left.

Those with a limited timescale for their honeymoon may want to look at city breaks in Europe. Particularly perfect for honeymoon couples is Rome, one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Take a stroll down the centro storico where the city is alive in a magical glow as monuments and streets are alight by quintessential street lamps.

Use a Travel Consultant

Using an expert can be of value when planning a trip to a destination you have never visited before. A good travel consultant will take the time to arrange the perfect honeymoon for you, giving you insider information about the destination, hotels and local activities whilst finding you the best rates and securing perks. Equaling a stress-free booking experience for you and your other half.

Need help planning your perfect honeymoon? I’ve travelled to 112 countries, 100’s of hotels and 1,000’s of restaurants around the world so who better to book your trip of a lifetime with? Call me on 07990 018018.

Holiday Help: Travel Issues You May Face

When travelling abroad, it can be easy to run into trouble. From stolen belongings to missing your flight, we at the Travel Snob can help you with any of travel issues:

Your purse/wallet is stolen.

 If your wallet is stolen, you will need to contact the local police straight away and make sure you get a copy of statement you made. Once you’ve done that, report any missing cards to your bank. Depending on the bank, they may be able to send you a replacement card within 24 hours to three days to use for the rest of your holiday.

Otherwise, if you are in need of money desperately then contact a friend and get them to send it to you through an online money transfer operator like Western Union where you can collect it from a shop or bank.

You miss your flight.

Missing a flight can happen to the best of us, so first of all don’t panic! There’s no point sprinting through the airport instead with your head hung in shame, you must notify a staff member that you have missed your plane. They will have you “decontrolled” where you are lead through the airport like a naughty school kid to the arrival halls where you have two options.

Now that you’re decontrolled, you must head to the ticket desk for the airline you were flying with and a member of staff will help you to find another flight. Some airlines will help you out and offer a “rescue fee” otherwise you will be paying the full price of a ticket. If you cannot find another flight to your destination then you should check the other airlines for their next flights.

You lose your luggage.

There is nothing worse than waiting for your luggage to arrive on the carousel and it not arriving. If you know for definite that your luggage is not in your destination then go to the airline’s counter to file a report. The airline may offer you a bag of essential items i.e. toiletries and will take your contact details. When your luggage is ready to be collected, you will be contacted but until the time you are reunited, speak to your hotel reception. They may be able to offer you money to buy spare clothes. Once you’re back from your holiday, remember to speak to your travel insurance who should cover your luggage lost with compensation.

If disaster strikes while you are on your holiday, you can count on David! When you book a holiday with David, you will be able to available to catch him on his mobile 24/7. Whether you’re booking a holiday or got a travel issue, get in touch on 07990 018018.

A year in the life of a Travel Agent !

I cannot believe I am writing this so soon – where has the year gone?

As a quick update for you all – this has been one hell of a year.  I could not have done this without my amazing customers, who I prefer to call friends, you have all been stars – thank you so much for the recommendations – I am almost at the stage now where there is no need for me to advertise, as you guys seem to be like my very own sales team.

January started on such a high – the busiest month in Sales and I managed to break the record for the most sales in one month totalling £186’000 – Iimg_7614 was busy.  I am looking forward next month already – with enquiries already starting to pile in..

 

As I had just turned 50 – it was a BIG trip planned with friends  – a few days in Hong Kong – one of favourite cities, and then to Da’Nang in Vietnam, my first ever Spa Inclusive Hotel at the Fusion Mia which has won the award several times for Best Spa Hotel in Asia – and we loved it…

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February I rewarded myself with a little weekend in Paris – one of my favourite places to go for a few days, staying at the wonderful Hotel Josephine and of course a visit to La Duree where they sell the best macarons in the World!  img_8058

 

 

 

 

 

 

March – any year isn’t a year without a short break to Cascais just outside of Lisbon, I just love this place and with our favourite restaurant just steps away from the amazing Farol Design Hotel this is the place where we return to each year – although nothing booked so far…  Hint Hint Georges!!!

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April was one of the Franchise Retreats in Marbella The Travel franchise assisting the new recruits on how to run their business and hopefully catch me up in Sales!

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May – and my first trip to the Caribbean of the year and a Stay at Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica.  Its pretty good writing ‘my first trip of the year to the caribbean” almost sounds like I am showing off.   I loved it here – so much that I have booked to go back in 2017 already.

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June – and as I said – my second trip to the Caribbean – another Sandals trip to see ALL the hotels in St Lucia and then Antigua, which I absolutely loved.  I have become one of Sandal’s Top Sellers as a result of my trips now, and find it really easy to select the right resort for people. I love my job!

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July – We went to Italy for a long weekend to the Christening of a friends beautiful daughter, then up to Lake Como the North of Milan, Villa D’Est has to be one of the most romantic hotels in the world, in the most stunning of locations.

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It was weird waking up on our last day in Italy thinking to ourselves – yeah – we’re going on holiday tomorrow!!  As the day after we got back from Italy we went to Madeira for the first time ever.  I loved it.  Was really surprised at the high level of accommodation and amazed myself at the quality of the food.  That won’t be my last trip to Madeira for sure.

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August – a weekend in Budapest.  We were lucky to be there for St Steven’s day and saw the most incredible Firework Display.  I fell in love with Budapest too.

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September – a weekend trip to Amsterdam – staying centrally and doing our usual SegWay city tour.  We managed as we usually do in many cities, to track down a Lebanese Restaurant and loved it.  We really enjoyed the city and of course the food in general.

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I also went to Crete with friends for a fly n flop – staying in Malia – we rented a Villa with stunning views of the Mediterranean in a Hotel Complex which was to Die for – complete rest and relaxation, with the usual space you get with a villa, but with room service and of course cleaned three ties a day!  Bargain!

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October – this was the only month other than January where I did not actually go away!  Although I did attend another retreat in Marbella in September which ran into the 1st of October so maybe we can count this?

November – saw me heading off to Mauritius for 12 days of hotel visits.  I now feel as if I am the total expert on Mauritius having visited all the coasts and really got to experience many of the hotels here.  What an amazing trip that was? Mauritius suites just everyone, families, friends or couples wanting a bit of spoiling and romance – there are a few hotels on my personal list i shall be going back to for sure.

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December – wow you have come round quickly – When I got back from Mauritius I flew up to Scotland to the Trump Turnberry for the UK Travel Awards – where I only went and got the Winner of Winners Award for being the Best UK Travel Agent…   I was shocked!!

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I am heading to Lapland this week to see Santa and the day after we get back, we fly to Puerto Rico for a weeks relaxation – after all this traveling I am certainly go to need it..

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I have had the most amazing year and as I said – I have just the best customers in the world that I send all over the world.  Thank you to you all – may you have a great Christmas and New Year, I know lots of you are already away celebrating – I will raise a glass to you all wherever you are in the world.

Already booked for 2017 we have Copenhagen, Geneva, The Bahamas and Jamaica…  So I need to get plenty more trips in to beat this year…

Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year and I look forward to helping you all allover again in 2017..

If someone is reading this that is not yet a customer – then feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 7990 018 018 or drop me an email at David@thetravelsnob.co.uk

 

 

Win a holiday EVERY QUARTER

WHICH ISLAND IN THE MALDIVES??

I was lucky enough to live just a short flight away from the Maldives so had the chance to visit on many occasions. When you set your heart on those crystal clear waters and pristine white sands that finding the right island to stay on is important to you. As an independent travel agent I get the chance to work with the world’s top holiday suppliers of holidays – along with the help from my friends at Kuoni, we have put the following together to help you chose which island is right for you…
When you picture your ultimate luxury escape to the Indian Ocean, you want everything just so – the way you’ve always imagined it. You may want to dive off your water villa into turquoise waters to meet the vibrant marine life beneath, you may want to be sipping a sundowner on white sands after your evening’s a la carte dining or you may want to be making waves on a dolphin watching excursion or sunset cruise. So here are 11 hand-picked Maldivian resorts, along with why you would stay on them, to answer that all important questions:
FOR DIVERS Natural, rustic and one of the friendliest resorts in the Maldives, 3* Biyadhoo is a haven for divers, with a wide range of top dive sites nearby to choose from. Its renowned PADI dive school is particularly popular, with excellent instructors ready and willing to advise you on which of the local dive sites are best suited to you and your ability. If you’re not a diver but would like to try your hand at snorkelling, the spectacular house reef has 7 different passages to explore; each offers the opportunity to get up-close to reef sharks, rays and turtles. I have to say, I have stayed on a few ECO Islands, and they are by far my favourite – basic, down to earth and people are there to embrace the wonderful natural waters that the Maldives have to offer.
FOR FOODIES Enjoy culinary delights from all over the world at 3½ * Kuredu Island Resort that’ll be sure to satisfy your appetite. Along with 4 sumptuous buffet restaurants, you can also indulge in à la carte dining, including some of the tastiest dishes in the Maldives. Choose from The Far East, with a focus on Japanese delicacies, fresh seafood at The Beach, and Mediterranean cuisine at Franco’s, with herbs and spices fresh from the island’s greenhouse. A real treat for your taste buds.
FOR THOSE WHO LIKE CHOICE A tropical paradise of palm trees, white sandy beaches and sparkling, clear turquoise waters, 4* Meeru Island Resort & Spa has one of the largest ranges of activities and facilities in the Maldives. Not content with offering as much or as little as you’d like to do, Meeru also has the most choice when it comes to accommodation – which is why so many people return each year! Available are 5 accommodation types each with their own benefits, including Garden Rooms, Beach Villas, Jacuzzi Beach Villas, Water Villas and Jacuzzi Water Villas. One thing is for certain, you won’t leave disappointed
FOR THE COCKTAIL CONNOISSEURS A top 4* Kandooma’s The Kitchen is the resort’s well-known The Deck, a cool rooftop terrace that provides the best spot on the island for an unforgettable sundowner. Sample the talented head bartender’s astonishing cocktail menu, listing some of the most delicious drinks you’ll ever try, from timeless classics to modern inventions, including the bartender’s favourite – the Bird Tail Martini. Catch the sunset, moonlight or twinkling stars in the open air and delight in an after dinner treat that you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
FOR COUPLES WHO WANT ROMANCE If it is privacy and intimacy you’re looking for, 4* Veligandu Island Resort & Spa is perfect for a couple’s hideaway. In a secluded, peaceful and natural setting, complete with its own crystal clear lagoon, you’ll be encouraged to adopt the laid-back “no shoes, no news” bare-foot policy. This includes when walking along its glorious sandbank from which the resort takes its name – ‘Veligandu’ means sandbank in Maldivian. For added romance after your sandy stroll, dine under the stars at the Madivaru restaurant before retreating back to your spacious, thatched roof villa either on the beach or over water.
FOR FAMILIES Head to 4 * Chaaya Dhonveli from November to February and you could have the time of your life with your family in Maldivian paradise. Staying in a two-storey Garden Bungalow (only bookable through us during this time), you’ll be able to make the most of this resort’s dramatic surf break to one side of the island and its turquoise lagoon, perfect for snorkelling, on the other. With plenty to keep the kids and yourself busy, you can head to the spa, learn to dive, take on the resort’s watersports, challenge each other to a game of volleyball, table tennis or badminton, go dolphin watching or embark on an island hopping adventure!
FOR THE ULTIMATE IN WATER VILLAS Home to some of the most stylish water villas in the Maldives, 4* Diamonds Athuruga is one of the Indian Ocean’s ultra-contemporary resorts. Just like its sister island 4* Diamonds Thudufushi, its relatively new white water villas have proven to be some of the most well-maintained residences in the South Ari Atoll. With huge, open wooden decks built on stilts over the water, here you’re able to choose between sunset or sunrise views whilst being surrounded by the brightly coloured marine life of the resort’s coral garden. Don’t forget to make the most of your experience and dine in the overwater à la carte restaurant for Water Villa guests only.
AND FOR THOSE THAT WANT ULTIMATE IN LUXURY There are indeed endless Islands that offer the ultimate in luxury, the http://www.kurumba.com would certainly be on my list of doable favourites. If you stay for a week, you could eat in a different restaurant every night! The Baros Maldives, is another haven for food lovers and those that appreciate architecture, even in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Constance Moofushi combines, luxury, stunning water villas, diving and eating all in one go – this is by far one of the most elegant ‘barefoot chic’ resorts you will see. My final choice here would be the Niyama Resort – this place really has everything – including popcorn machines in the room AND an underwater night club (accessible only to those on the island)
For any of the above resorts and of course many more, you are welcome to contact me, I am happy to come over and meet with you to discuss the many options available…
david@thetravelsnob.co.uk 07990 018 018