Tel : 01279 871188
E-Mail : joycek@travelorganiser.net

Your Personal Travel Organiser

Luxury Holidays around the world

The Rocky Mountaineer

What an incredible way to see Canada.  The Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train that winds its way at 28mph through some of the most spectacular and stunning scenery that is known to man!

Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver, Whistler – these are only a few of the magnificent places that you will visit during your Rocky Mountaineer adventure and you can choose from several different journeys.

Choose from Silver Leaf or Gold Leaf service with delicious meals and wine served to you at your seat. 

I have my own seat booked on the Rocky Mountaineer in September and can’t wait to experience what I know will be a fabulous trip.

All aboard!

Rocky Mountaineer Image courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

 

 

 

 

The Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train that winds its way across Canada taking in spectacular scenery as it goes.    There are various levels of service to choose from but why not go for gold!  Their Gold Leaf service is second to none.   Imagine soaking up Canada’s soul-stirring landscape from a bi-level glass-dome luxury carriage while nibbling on gourmet meals created by Executive Chefs. Sound like a dream come true? It is!  Hot gourmet breakfasts and lunches, morning scones and afternoon wine and cheese.  A custom-designed bi-level dome coach with dining car below and seating up top.  You will also enjoy an exclusive outdoor viewing platform, complimentary beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and gourmet snacks and complimentary baggage delivery to your hotel.

How breathtaking is this….

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Your Personal Travel Organiser can put together an itinerary to suit your individual requirements to include the Rocky Mountaineer if you wish.  Get in touch and let me know what you would like to do.  I would love to assist in planning your holiday to beautiful Canada.

 
 

Fly from Stansted to Australia!

Emirates have now been flying from Stansted to Dubai for over 6 months.  You may say – “been there, done that” but Dubai is not only a destination, it is also a gateway to other places.  You can use Dubai as a transit point to fly from Stansted to Australia, Capetown, Mauritius, Singapore, Hong Kong and a host of other wonderful destinations.

The Iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Who would have thought that from Stansted, the world could be your oyster.  Emirates has an amazing Business Class too – go on – treat yourself!

Your Personal Travel Organiser can arrange all of this for you – just the flights or flights and accommodation.  Do call on 01279 871188 for competitive rates – I would love to hear from you.

The Beautiful Island of Malta

I have recently returned from a lovely 6 nights break in Malta.

People generally say “oh I never thought of Malta”.  Why not??  It’s easy to get to and only around a 3 hour flight from the UK.  You can fly from most of the major and a lot of regional airports around the UK.  

Valletta – the capital of Malta was voted the European Capital of Culture for 2018 and well deserved it is too.

Regarding places to stay – there is literally something for everyone…..couples, families, singles – up to 5 star accommodation.  You can take your children to visit the Popeye Village which was the film set for the musical Popeye filmed in 1980.

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Game of Thrones filmed some of their scenes in Malta and Gozo.  The walled city of Mdina, which is truly amazing and also known as “The Silent City”, doubled up as King’s Landing, the island’s forts served as the Red Keep and the stunning natural arch known as the Azure Window on Gozo was the setting for Khal Drogo and Daenerys Taragaryen’s (the mother of dragons) wedding.

You can easily take a day trip to Gozo on the ferry which takes around 15 minutes or you can spend a few nights on Malta and a few nights on Gozo.  Victoria, the capital of Gozo is beautiful and home to the Citadel which is definitely worth a visit (lots of steps!) and offers stunning views over the island.

The Cornucopia Hotel on Gozo is so full of character and a great place to spend a few nights.  It has spectacular views of the islands.

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Malta and Gozo are inexpensive and offer a great climate – a bit mixed during the winter but still warmer than the UK!  The public transport is cheap and reliable, the people are friendly and the food and wine great and inexpensive.

What more can you ask for!  I can arrange this for you to suit your individual requirements.  It’s also a great wedding destination too.

Call me today to book your trip to Malta.

 

 

Special Offer for Antigua

COCOS Hotel on the Caribbean island of Antigua is offering a whopping 20% discount off of prices for summer 2019.  

COCOS is perched on a lush green hillside and sandwiched between two gorgeous white sand beaches. COCOS is an all inclusive resort for couples and adults only.  There are only 34 wooden cottages all with stunning views and large private balconies with hammocks. The menu is changed daily and the cost includes all food, drinks, tax and service charges.

Prices start from £1120.00 per person and flights are additional.  COCOS is also offering 15% off of  stays in January, February and March.

If you want to unwind, relax, chill out and just forget about the rat race for a short time.  Call me today to book your stay at COCOS on Antigua.

 

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Alfred Hitchcock in San Francisco!

 

San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Known for its year-round fog and Tony Bennett leaving his heart there, San Francisco is home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colourful Victorian houses. The Transamerica Pyramid is its most distinctive skyscraper. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison which is open to visitors and is reached via a rough 10 minute boat ride.  Only 3 men managed to escape from Alcatraz and although the prison authorities swore that they drowned at sea, there is apparently evidence to show that they in fact survived their ordeal.

 
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Fisherman’s Wharf, on the northern waterfront, is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread appear on almost every corner, as do stunning views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. There’s also a colony of sea lions to see and historic ships to tour.  At Ghirardelli Square, boutiques and eateries reside in the famed former chocolate factory.
 
Union Square is another favourite spot with numerous upscale hotels, boutiques, restaurants and galleries and of course and icon of San Francisco is the San Francisco cable car system which is the world’s last manually operated cable car system.
 
Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and you are into the peace and tranquility of the Napa Valley wine region.
 
So much to do in San Francisco – it’s great for a short break or even a two week holiday.  You won’t be bored – stay in the Vertigo Hotel which is like stepping back in time into the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.
 
Tempted?  Pick up the phone and call to book!
 
 

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Chocolate Brownies in Verbier

Sir Richard Branson’s ski lodge in the winter wonderland of Verbier has a few dates open from 4-11 February, 7-11 March and 18-26 March 2018.

The Lodge

The Lodge is a fabulous 9 bedroom retreat situated high in the Swiss Alps in Verbier – a skiing and snowboarding paradise.  It comes complete with staff including three gourmet chefs catering to your every need and dietary requirements.  All meals and drinks (including champagne) are included.

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, you can take a dip in the heated indoor pool or enjoy one of the two Jacuzzis. You can also have a game of pool or snuggle up with a glass of wine and watch a film.

I also have a fabulous recipe to share with you courtesy of  head chef Hugh – his mouth-watering Toblerone Brownies

 

Hugh, the Head chef has shared his recipe for The Lodge’s famous afternoon delight. Ingredients: 360g sugar, 3 eggs, 1 vanilla pod (seeds scraped out), 110g flour, 120g cocoa powder, 130g chopped Toblerone, 360g butter

• Pre-heat the oven to 175°C • Whisk the sugar, vanilla and eggs until light and pale • Sift together the flour and cocoa then fold in 1/3 of the flour and cocoa into the sugar/egg mix until fully incorporated • Then fold in 1/3 of the butter until fully incorporated – Repeat both steps until you have folded in all the flour and butter • Add the chopped Toblerone and mix • Cook in a 20cm baking tin for 30 minutes • To test the brownie lightly press the centre and there should be a little resistance • Leave to cool on a wire rack & serve

 

 

Hugh's Brownie pic

Enjoy!

The cost for the four night stay is £2550.00 per person excluding flights based on 2 people sharing a fabulous room.

Call now to book 01279 871188.

The Land of Fire and Ice

Happy New Year to one and all!

I had the good fortune to see in 2018 in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.  What an amazing country this is.  We stayed in Hotel Holt which is described as “an hotel within an art gallery” – fabulous artwork everywhere.

Hotel Holt is located only a few minutes walk from the city centre of Reykjavik with its majestic cathedral and quaint shops, restaurants and bars.

There were many highlights of this 4 night break – one being a trip to the world’s largest man made ice cave.  Several years ago, a team of Icelandic entrepreneurs dreamed of tourists not just exploring the surface of Iceland’s glaciers, but actually getting inside one. Four years and $2.5 million later, Iceland’s first man-made ice cave opened to visitors in June 2015.

The journey across the snowy surface of the glacier is undertaken in a 20 ton customised monster truck named “The Ice Explorer”,  which was acquired from NATO by Arngrimur Hermannsson. who is also one of the guides.  It was originally used by NATO as a cruise missile launcher. 

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Photo by Jenna Gottlieb
 
There is also a chapel deep within the ice cave where weddings can be conducted – the acoustics are simply amazing.
 
Iceland is also beautiful during the summer months when the snowy landscape is turned into beautiful green meadows, yellow flowers and fields of lupins.
 
Less than 3 hours flight from London, Reykjavik is definitely somewhere that you should visit. 
 
Call Your Personal Travel Organiser and I will be very happy to arrange this for you.
 

Escape from the Winter cold to Malta

I have recently returned from a truly amazing trip to Malta, often described as the “Jewel of the Mediterranean”.  I was invited to take part in a travel agency educational visit, which involved visiting several hotels on the island from the small and inexpensive Sunseeker apartments in Bugibba to the beautiful 5 star Phoenicia hotel in the capital Valletta.

We visited the beautiful island of Gozo by ferry which takes around 25 minutes.  The Cornucopia is a delightful farmhouse style hotel with loads of character and stunning views.  It is situated in the village of Xaghra (pronounced Shara) and not only offers guest rooms but self-catering bungalows too.  There is a swimming pool set in beautiful gardens, free wi-fi throughout, excellent restaurant and bar and the service is second to none.

While on Gozo, a visit to the Citadel is a must and Dwejra, with its dramatic coastal formations, where part of Game of Thrones was filmed.

Back on Malta, a visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta is a must – words cannot describe the beauty of this amazing structure.  The painting depicting the beheading of St John the Baptist by Caravaggio is the most famous work in the church and the largest painted by Caravaggio.  It is also the only painting that the artist actually signed.

If you want to spend some time on the beach relaxing, you can do this too.

I loved everything about Malta – the friendliness of the people, the cleanliness, the climate and….the fact it is only a 3 hour flight from London.

If you would like to spend a few days (or longer) in Malta, please do call and I will be more than happy to arrange this for you.

Amazing Australia

Have you ever been on a train from Adelaide through the outback of Australia and up to Darwin?  I have and it is a truly wonderful and memorable experience.

The train is called “The Ghan” after the camel drivers who worked in the outback of Australia in the late 19th and 20th centuries.  It’s a fascinating journey and takes in Alice Springs and Katherine.  The Ghan is 774 metres in length and has 30 carriages including crew quarters, restaurant cars and bars.  The guest rooms are very comfortable aboard the Ghan and most have en-suite with toiletries provided.  The Ghan is All Inclusive and the food and service truly excellent.  Lovely Australian wines are provided with meals and you can also enjoy your favourite tipple before and after meals.

Another wonderful trip is aboard the Indian Pacific and this train travels between Sydney and Perth – a fabulous way to traverse this mighty continent.  With 3 nights spent aboard – again, the guest cabins are comfortable and the food and service second to none.  Enjoy a lamb dinner in the outback and marvel at the Southern Cross.  With no pollution, the stars appear so close, you feel you could reach up and pluck one from the sky.

The Indian Pacific trundles alongside part of the Nullarbor Plain which is semi-arid and four times the size of Belgium.  If you are lucky you will spot kangaroos and wallabies from the panoramic windows on the Indian Pacific.

These are only two of the wonderful experiences available to you when visiting the vast continent of Australia. 

I have visited Australia several times and would love to assist with planning YOUR holiday to Australia.  Do call on 01279 871188.

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By Bahnfrend – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0