Book flights to Barbados for romance and fun

I’d had high hopes before embarking on my trip to Barbados, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that struck me most about this small but perfectly formed island in the east of the Caribbean was the sense of romance that seemed to pervade virtually every street, beach and bar. Benefiting from superb weather, stunning beaches, sumptuous cuisine and welcoming locals, it makes the ideal vacation spot for loved up couples.

Follow my Footstep to the Sunset. Barbados
Image by Berit Watkin , used under the Creative Commons license

Where to stay

I’d received mixed advice about where to stay on this sun kissed island. If it’s surf you’re after, head to the east coast. There, you’ll find stunning scenery and plenty of waves. However, like many of the people who venture to Barbados, my partner and I opted for one of the relaxing resorts on the west coast. This sheltered stretch benefits from beautiful sandy spots, calm seas and plenty of luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Take a picnic tn the beach

Turtles !
Image by Shayan (USA), used under the Creative Commons license.

It’s easy to spend day after day simply sunbathing and swimming while in Barbados, but if you really want to make the most of your time there, it’s a good idea to organize the occasional special date. You certainly won’t be short of options. One of my favourite holiday memories involved taking a simple picnic to Gibbes Beach. This 300-meter stretch of sand has to be one of the most scenic on the entire island and it lacks the commercial look and feel of many of the other coastal spots. The beach is bordered by tall trees, adding to the sense of seclusion. This also means there’s plenty of shade if you want to escape the sun. Take along a picnic and taste the island’s famous rum.

Dine in style

No trip to this destination is complete without at least one high-end meal. You’ll be spoiled for choice when perusing the array of eateries on offer. Wherever you end up, look out for local delicacies like flying fish. Another unique flavour comes in the form of sea urchins, known in Barbados as ‘sea eggs’. Around 17 different species of these creatures can be found around the coastline and they are usually steamed, but if you’re feeling brave, you can eat them raw.

Head inland

Another top date tip is to head inland to the island’s lush interior. Boasting fields of sugar cane and beautiful botanic gardens, this rolling terrain is superb for a romantic stroll. It’s also well worth checking out one of the island’s plantation houses. For example, right at the heart of the island lies the 350-year-old Fisherpond Plantation House. Set in immaculate grounds, this fascinating building lets you step back in time to the island’s colonial past. We missed it, but if you’re there on a Sunday, you can also sample a planter’s buffet lunch while listening to live piano music.

Time your trip

To get the most from your holiday, it’s a good idea to book your flights to Barbados and time the trip carefully. Travelling in the winter, we enjoyed virtually unbroken sunshine. January through to April is generally considered to be the best time to visit the island as these months are the coolest and least humid. Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to this window, but if you don’t want to get wet, avoid the official hurricane season. This runs from June to November.

With a little planning, you can enjoy a romantic break like no other in this corner of the Caribbean.

One of Life’s Greatest Architectural Designs: The Asian Las Vegas

Asia had longed to recreate something of the same ilk as Las Vegas’s notorious and world-renowned Strip. After years of planning and many leading architects and engineers sniggering at the prospect of building something on reclaimed land, the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino opened its doors in 1999 in Macao.

It cost a whopping 2.4 billion to build according to Twisted Sifter. The architects have enthused the casino grounds with smatterings of cities from around the world. Take its spin on Venice for instance: a plethora of gondolas, a faux St. Mark’s Square and the Venetian’s very own take on Venice’s magnificent Grand Canal, and you get the picture that this casino wasn’t built on a whim.

The_Venetian_Macao_SanLucaCanal
Photo from wikimedia.org

The Venice-themed part of the Venetian alone has space for over 1,000 rooms, which contributes to their considerable amount of hotel suites that make the Venetian the biggest hotel in the world.

It also has a Canyon Ranch Spa Club that spans a staggering 65,000 square feet and 16 restaurants that serve cuisines from around the world. It also is a regular for high-profile boxing events. There are also two museums on the grounds of the Venetian: the Guggenheim Las Vegas and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum.

But its original purpose for being built was to offer visitors and residents of Macao a gaming mecca to be proud of. It would later be dubbed the Las Vegas of Asia—and the biggest casino in the continent by some way. It features a gaming floor of 546,000 square feet underneath a spectacular domed ceiling, making it the largest gaming floor in the entire world. There’s also live entertainment day and night at the Venetian.

TheVenetian_Macao_Great_Hall"
Photo from wikimedia.org

Undoubtedly, apart from the architectural splendor of the Venetian, its main appeal is the myriad of entertainment options that it offers its patrons. The Las Vegas Sands, who owns the Venetian, knew that they’d have to offer guests more than just gaming to help maintain healthy profit margins – something Vegas casinos have struggled to do over the years.

When the groundbreaking InterCasino ushered in online casino gaming in 1997, casinos had to rethink their business models to compete with the more convenient online options that gaming enthusiasts were now presented with. This is why many began offering a wide range of entertainment options – something Las Vegas Sands didn’t want to fall foul of when they created the Venetian. And that’s where the beauty lies with the Venetian: its many creations and live shows.

So if you think you’ve already enjoyed everything Las Vegas can offer, try something Macao on your next holiday. The Venetian is one of the most spectacular sights of architectural brilliance you may well come across—and it’s only a 30-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. It’s an experience that’s definitely one for the books!

London’s Best Green Spaces

Spring is on its way, and in order to get through the misery of the storms and the current chilly weather, it’s nice to look forward to days spent in the sunshine outside. Why not start planning a trip somewhere over the Easter period to enjoy new scenery and the great outdoors when the temperature warms up a little and you can shed a few layers exploring new places? London might not be your first thought when considering green areas, but, in fact, it has some of the best parks in the country, with lots to explore and the city right there if you tire of grass and trees. Here are some of the best green spaces in London:
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Orlando for Adrenaline Junkies

A holiday for some means relaxing by a pool or on a beach without having to think about anything for the duration of their break. They go home refreshed, de-stressed and relaxed. For others, however, no holiday is complete without a large dose of adrenaline, and thrill-seeking is the name of the game when on holiday. If this is you, then Orlando is a great place to visit, as it is theme park central. Take a look at the Co-operative Travel holidays to Florida and decide which of these hair-raising rides you’ll experience first.
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Honeymoon in Barbados

Barbados is tailor made for honeymooners. If it’s romance and relaxation you want, then look no further. Alternatively if you want to up the pace a little, you won’t be disappointed. Barbados boasts beautiful white sandy beaches, coral reefs, stunning sunsets and luxury accommodation. With its British colonial heritage and vibrant Bajan culture, it’s a melting pot of Caribbean and British flavour. Flights to Barbados are regular and good value (see http://book.flythomascook.com/cheap-flights/to-Barbados-Caribbean/ for some real bargains) which means you have more room in your budget to spoil yourselves once you get there.

With its history, Barbados does of course have some stunning architecture to be seen throughout the island. There are deserted beaches on which to relax and soak up the Bajan sun, along with some of the most luxurious hotels and romantic restaurants in the Caribbean. For those who prefer to be a little more active there’s golf, hiking, snorkelling, fishing, scuba diving and horse riding, plus a long list of excursions to suit every taste. These are some of our favourites:
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Dining Out in Borovets: Top Places to Eat

A hard day on the slopes warrants a good slap up meal afterwards, and while you may be in catered accommodation, heading out for dinner in a local restaurant should be enjoyed at least once during your holiday. While skiing in Borovets, it becomes apparent that Bulgaria offers the wonders of skiing on a budget, but the resort certainly doesn’t shirk on restaurants and eateries. So it may be worth to take a look at some of these highly recommended local places. Continue reading “Dining Out in Borovets: Top Places to Eat”

Look Ahead to Summer: Majorca Vs Rhodes

Note: This is a guest post

It’s never too late to consider the various options for a summer holiday this year. Starting to get the ball rolling now also means that you could benefit from some fabulous last minute offers when it comes to booking your chosen resort.

While there are destinations all over the world that are perfect for a summer jaunt, often, family and finance issues mean that many people choose to stay a little closer to home, making short haul resorts the ideal choice. With many providing excellent value for money too, you can’t go far wrong – especially with the massive selection of European islands waiting for you to visit.

But which do you choose?

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Where Will 2013 Take You?

NOTE: This is a guest post

Ah, holidays. It’s the annual escape that we look forward to all year, when all that saving, working and scrimping finally pays off and we can reward ourselves with a week or two on a beach, relaxing by the pool, taking in magnificent scenery and eating out every night – just because we can!

If you’re hoping to jet off this summer, now is a great time to start hunting for deals on your ideal getaway. Many tour operators advertise discounted breaks in the New Year and with the summer season still a few months off, you’ve got plenty of time to save some spending money and pay off the cost of your holiday between now and your departure date.
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