Well – what an eventful couple of weeks this has been! We’ve had the sad demise of Flybe and the escalation of the Coronavirus, forcing Italy into complete lockdown.
No country is immune of course but I am pleased to report that at the time of writing, the beautiful British Virgin Islands remains coronavirus free but has procedures in place for immediate isolation should anyone become infected.
This is an excerpt from a statement issued by the BVI’s Minister for Health and Social Development the Hon Carvin Malone….
“While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our Territory, we are keeping a high level of vigilance and monitoring the global spread of the virus.“
And another excerpt from a statement issued by British Airways……
ENHANCED AIRCRAFT CLEANING
The cleanliness of our aircraft is of utmost importance. We have reviewed and made changes to our cleaning programme for aircraft including increasing our cleaning teams and audit inspections. Our disinfectant cleaning fluids are used on every aircraft after each flight to thoroughly clean all hard surfaces in the cabins and lavatories.
All our aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters which remove particulate and bacterial contamination and provide passengers with clean air. They provide the same level of air filtration as hospital operating theatres.
Responsible and reassuring words indeed. In the past, we’ve had to deal with SARS, Swine Flu’, Bird Flu’, to name but a few. All of them came and all of them went. COVID-19 will be no exception.
Instead of allowing this to dominate all of our lives, I urge you to think of happier things…..swaying palm trees, sparkling turquoise waters, white sand beaches, boats bobbing around on the warm sea.…you know where this is going right?
Pick up the phone and talk to me about booking your next holiday to the beautiful BVI and…..this could be you
How many of you have been to Canada? How many of you would love to go back to Canada? How many of you have never been to Canada and would love to go?
Until the 15th September I fell into the last category. I flew into Toronto and visited the stunning Niagara Falls followed by a visit to Niagara on the Lake which is an old-fashioned town and was like stepping back in time. Dinner on one evening was at the top of the CN Tower in their revolving restaurant affording spectacular views of Toronto by night.
See below – some adventurous folks zip-wiring towards the falls!
My accommodation was at the Fairmont Hotel which could not have been more central and an hotel that I can highly recommend. Everywhere is walkable and it is directly opposite Union Station which has an excellent link to Pearson International Airport. The Fairmont is not the usual run-of-the-mill hotel – it’s interesting, traditional and is used for filming various TV programmes such as the “Handmaid’s Tale”, “Suits” and other famous productions.
My end destination was Vancouver but instead of flying directly from Toronto, I flew to Calgary and boarded a Brewster coach for Banff where I spent the night at the Banff Caribou Lodge. The following morning I boarded the Rocky Mountaineer and spent the most amazing 2 days aboard this luxury train where I was served gourmet meals and excellent wine while marvelling at the stunning scenery that Canada has to offer. There are countless photo opportunities and I was constantly snapping away either from my seat in the glass dome or from the viewing platform. This is the way to travel through Canada and the Rocky Mountaineer offers several different routes.
Vancouver was just as spectacular and a visit to Vancouver Island is a must. Ferries from Seattle go directly into Victoria which is the capital of British Columbia and it is easy to jump on a hop-on hop-off bus here too. My day was finished off beautifully with afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel which sits majestically on the harbour front.
From the deck of the BC Ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, I was lucky enough to see 3 whales enjoying an afternoon playtime. Something that surprised me too was the shopping opportunities aboard the ferry! Quality clothes – coats, jackets, jeans, skirts, accessories etc. etc.. Very dangerous! I am now the proud owner of some really neat blue Kesa trainers but really could have gone mad in this shop!!
I cannot recommend a trip to Canada highly enough. If this has tantalised you, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone if you would like to know more. I can book flights, accommodation and the magnificent Rocky Mountaineer.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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.
Image courtesy of 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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.