New Year getaway, Valentine’s day, popping the question, honeymoon or maybe you’re happily married but looking to rekindle a lifelong romance. Whatever the romantic occasion, here we’ve hand-picked five of the world’s idyllic romantic destinations and the best hotels to stay in while you’re there.
Lovers who are seeking an unforgettable destination should include Bali on their list of choices. For centuries, Bali has been known as an exotic oasis with some of the world’s best beaches and lush surroundings. In the balmy waters of southern Asia, the Indonesian island, complete with verdant landscape, volcanic lakes and cultural gems, is as close to paradise as they come, providing individual privacy in an exotic, romantic setting.
Enjoy spectacular sunsets in the late afternoon or sunrise in the morning on a beach, the lush jungle vegetation, and the rolling rice terraces. Bali’s fabulously rich and vibrant culture, reflected in festivals, dances and music, adds to the exoticism of this deeply spiritual island. At the end of a deeply relaxing day, come home to the exclusive Seminyak Beach. The 128 room Royal Beach Seminyak Bali is set amongst 4.5 hectares of tropical gardens. Along with two stunning pools, one right on the beach and another tucked into the garden area, the resort offers 17 secluded spa villas, each boasting a private whirlpool or swimming pool. The hotel is within walking distance of Seminyak Village, the home to some of the trendiest bars, restaurants and shops in Bali. Or snuggle up undisturbed in one of the beautifully furnished individual Bali Aroma Exclusive Villas. These villas offer guests a perfect home for those seeking a natural Balinese feel, style with privacy and comfort all together. Enjoy candlelit cuisine and sip champagne under the stars.
One tip to note: it’s wise to avoid monsoon season between December and March.
Paris is arguably the most romantic city on earth and there’s a good reason why the city emanates this perception. Wander the charming streets, beautiful public parks and ubiquitous street-side cafés and you’ll understand why it makes an unbelievably romantic setting. Indulge in the delicious world-class culinary delights and take in all the sights of the French capital. Take a moonlit cruise down the Seine. Visit the many famous art museums and head to the Museé Rodin to see the sculptor’s famous work “The Kiss”. There are few better places to put your arms around your lover than atop the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral. A short train ride away, visit the luxurious Chateau de Versaille, the elaborate palace of the notorious Sun King. Take a bottle of wine and a snack of baguettes and cheese to nibble on the grounds. Venture to the Ile Saint Louis (near Notre Dame), a great neighborhood for walking. The tiny island within the Seine has cute boutique shops, nice restaurants and nightclubs filled with locals. Be sure to try Berthillon, a delicious ice cream that can only be found in this small neighborhood. Choose from the many lavish hotels the city lays claim to. L’Athenee, a unique and charming boutique hotel that oozes 19th-century Italy, complete with all its romanticism is one winner. It’s a gem of a place with adorably classic decor and fabulous luxurious furnishings. Alternatively, Timhotel Elysee Montparnasse with its 1930’s facade highlighted by an Art Deco fresco, has a touch of modernity while fully respecting the great French decorative tradition.
Nassau, the Bahamas
All the Caribbean islands know how to pour on the romance, but Nassau Paradise Island in The Bahamas not only has the sublime pink sand and turquoise waters, but also offers a wonderful variety of places to eat, exciting nightlife, and great hotels. Stroll the cobblestone streets, indulge in watersports or sip cocktails overlooking the ocean. Whether you want to take a romantic horseback ride or carriage tour, the choice is yours.
Explore the array of charming pink colonial buildings of Parliament Square. Steal a kiss on a gondola cruise in the clear water around Nassau harbour as the sun sets. Make time to walk around historic Fort Fincastle, from where you can take in the magnificent sea views. Wander through the lush tropical grounds of Nassau’s Ardastra Gardens and Conservation Centre, past meandering canals and along forest trails. Write your names with a stick on the dreamy Pink Sands Beach. The red algae from the nearby coral reefs are what give the sand its romantic hue.
If it takes your fancy, visit the idyllic surroundings of the Out Islands, favoured by those who prefer their island life quaint, quiet, simple and barefoot. No footprints but yours, so remote and secluded that you feel like you are the only two on the beach.
Then head back to your luxury room and drift off into sweet slumber and perfect Caribbean dreams.
One option is A Stone’s Throw Away, an exquisite hideaway perched on one of the highest elevations by the coast. Indulge in a rare panoramic view of Nassau’s land and sea. The scenery boasts the best of the island’s natural wonders, from the native pine forest by Lake Killarney to the brim of the coral reefs that protect the glimmering beaches of west Nassau.
Another wonderful highly-rated option is the Marley Resort and Spa. This intimate world-class sanctuary echoes the enduring creative spirit and traditions of the Marley family. The luxurious 16 themed suites and deluxe accommodations blend the warmth of Marley history with ultimate comfort and convenience. Amid Nassau’s atmosphere of relaxed and artful living, Marley Resort & Spa is a true haven for travellers.
Tahiti evokes visions of an island paradise. It is the largest island in a cluster of 118 islands, grouped inside the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. For years and years, Tahiti has been a leading romantic holiday and honeymoon destination. With beautiful fine white sand beaches, warm crystal clear waters, emerald green mountains and spectacular scenery, words can hardly describe the beauty, serenity and magical essence of these islands. Deep valleys, clear streams, and high waterfalls make it a picture-perfect destination and help explain why its intimate resorts, small peaceful villages, and miles of quiet pristine beaches are considered one of the best places in the world for “alone time.” True romance is sleeping high above the turquoise lagoon waters in an over-water bungalow and there’s plenty to choose from here. Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa, a charming “boutique hotel” offers 28 overwater bungalows, 8 beach bungalows, 28 garden bungalows with private pool. It is a perfect blend of luxury and serenity making it an ideal destination for couples. Or choose Hotel Bora Bora, a treasure on the main island of Bora Bora. Capturing the beauty and mystique of French Polynesia, it offers thatched roof villas and bungalows nestled among tropical gardens and palm studded beaches. Tahiti is a perfect choice for a relaxing or active holiday. Some of the world’s best surfing, scuba diving, and snorkelling are found in Tahiti. The water temperature stays at a reliable 26°C – 29°C all year long – an almost perfect climate. Be sure to indulge in a romantic Polynesian-style spa treatment incorporating fresh flower baths, body wraps with banana leaves and fresh fruit masks.
Unforgettable highlights of any visit or honeymoon here are enjoying exquisite French Polynesian cuisine, beach strolling, relaxing in the sand, sunset watching, and walking through beautiful tropical gardens. Simply unforgettable!
Santorini, one of the 56 picture perfect Greek islands is famous around the world as one of the most romantic destinations for honeymoons and couple getaways. With its stunning sunsets, whitewashed villages, pretty blue domed churches, welcoming locals and views to die for you cannot but fail to fall in love with Santorini. There are plenty of sumptuous hotels and idyllic self-catering villas to choose from. You want this to be perfect, so opt for one of the suites at Absolute Bliss Imerovigli. Exclusively stylish and romantic, Absolute Bliss is a haven of generous Greek hospitality. Surrounded by natural environment, it is situated on the black volcanic rock of Santorini Caldera and with its traditional Aegean architecture and gorgeous views, it will offer you an unforgettable pleasure that you won’t forget. Alternatively, stay in the VIP Suites tucked in the cliff of the caldera, in the beautiful and artistic village of Oia. These unique apartments are the perfect blend of Greek luxury and tradition. Elegantly appointed with antiques and hand-crafted furnishings, it combines modern conveniences with Cycladic Island charm. The village of Oia, perches on the cliffs at the western tip of the island and makes for memorable sunset viewing —all the better when seen from atop the ruins of Oia’s sixteenth-century castle.
Choose any local restaurant perched high in the hills and overlook the Aegean Sea almost 1,000 feet below. Sipping wine and eating traditional Greek fare as the sun hits the water is a guaranteed romantic Kodak moment. Visit Perissa and Kamari beaches with their black volcanic sand, meander through the quaint ancient villages of Pyrgos and Akrotiri, and sign up for a romantic swim in the volcanic hot springs.
The only difficult part now is choosing which marvelous destination to go for!
Tags: Christmas, Christmas Traditions From Around the World, Santa, Santy
The countdown is now on all over the world. All of the preparations are in place. Santa and his elves have been busy preparing for his launch on December 24th!
Early on the 24th, Santa will be departing his depot at the North Pole to begin his 33-hour journey, delivering presents to children all over the world.
The man himself will be well-rested in preparation for his yearly epic journey around the globe, though no doubt he’ll be in need of a quick pit-stop on each of the continents.
Here, we have chosen the rumoured pit-stops of choice for him.
It’s expected that Santa will have presents for about 1.5 billion children around the world, and that he will begin his journey around Earth by travelling to New Zealand, where the time is thirteen hours ahead of Ireland and the UK and where children will already be asleep for a few hours.
From there he will travel to Australia, and then north towards Asia, taking in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan.
It’s rumoured that Santa will make his first pit-stop at South-East Asia’s tallest hotel, Swissotel the Stamford in Singapore, complete with its own helipad for his sleigh and reindeer to land with ease. The Stamford offers panoramic views of Singapore, Indonesia and parts of Malaysia with luxurious facilities offering Santa a brief respite on his long journey.
From there, Santa will continue west into Burma, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, through all the “Stan’s” to Georgia, Azerbaijan and north throughout Russia.
Here, in Moscow, Santa will make his second pit-stop at the beautiful Hotel National. The hotel, built in the Moscow Modern style, displays a “classicised” eclecticism, combining varied ornamented décor motifs from late classicism. The hotel’s elegant and opulent ambience will provide Santa with a few moments of leisurely relaxation before he’s off again.
Renewed and invigorated, Santa will take off on the next stretch, making his way south through Belarus and Ukraine all the way through to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Yemen. From there, he’ll make his way down through the horn of Africa, dropping off his gifts as he goes. By the time he reaches South Africa, assuredly, he’ll be in need of refreshment. Stopping in the heart of South Africa’s most beautiful metropolis, Cape Town, at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel and Spa, he’ll be provided the very best in luxury and comfort for his brief stay.
Here he can put his feet up while taking in views of the iconic Table Mountain.
Afterwards, his flight path will take him up into West Africa via Central Africa and north into Europe, covering the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Austria, and Poland through Germany then further north into Scandinavia before he eventually makes his way over to the UK and Ireland.
Taking a quick interval, Santa will rest at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in London. Built in 1884 in the style of a French Chateau, it is a stunning and charming setting to lodge in. Mixing 21st century decor with Victorian style, Santa should feel right at home here.
No time to rest for too long though! The next stretch is making the expansive trip across the Atlantic to North America. Starting in Northern Canada and working his way down into the United States, he’ll visit each of the fifty states making his deliveries. Down through Central America and around the Caribbean, Santa will progress towards the end of his trip when he enters South America in Colombia. Dashing through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, he’ll make his final pit-stop when he stops over in Rio de Janeiro. Here he’ll take a quick rest at the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Santa Teresa, located in the charismatic cultural and historical part of Rio. The boutique hotel oozes charm and sophistication and with its tropical design will make for highly-needed relaxation before Santa begins the final leg of his journey.
To conclude his trip and make the final distribution of gifts, Santa will fly down through Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, just in time for dawn on Christmas Day!
Tags: Ailwee Caves, Burren, Christmas, Christmas Experience, co clare, dublin, Dublin Zoo, Flights, hotel, Ireland, Kent, Lamberhurst, Lapland, Lapland UK, London, Santa, Santa’s Grotto, The Burren, Westfield Shopping Centre
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa’s Grotto!
Find out where to meet the man in red this winter with our guide to some of the best UK and Ireland’s Santa’s grotto.
As one of the world’s oldest and most popular zoos, Dublin Zoo is Ireland’s No.1 visitor attraction and this year it is providing the ultimate Christmas experience to come and visit Santa at his magical grotto. Located in the Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin city, the 70-acre park is home to some 600 animals in an environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience. Children will experience the magic of Christmas as they wander through the traditional and enchanting grotto and be greeted by Santa’s elves in the winter wonderland. The grotto will be packed with animated reindeers and elves working hard in Santa’s workshop. Young visitors will also receive a gift and photo to keep as a special memento of their time with Santa. The whole family can also enjoy a variety of festive fun including Christmas arts and crafts, face-painting and warm treats! After sharing their list with Santa, children can then explore the wonder of Dublin Zoo and say hi to all the new arrivals this year including bull elephant Upali, Sita and Suri the Asian lionesses, red panda cubs, meerkat pups and many more.
When: Every weekend in December and every day from Thursday 20th – Monday 24th December
Where: Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin
Cost: 8 for annual pass holders / €10 for non-annual pass holders. No pre-booking necessary
Nearest Hotel: Park Plaza Tyrrelstown, situated next door to The Phoenix Park.
Click here for more: http://bit.ly/SCVlzY
Ailwee Caves, Co. Clare
The Ailwee Caves lie in the heart of the Burren in Co. Clare, close to the pretty village of Ballyvaughan and make an interesting and unusual family fun day out. The caves are magically transformed into a winter wonderland from 30th November to 23rd December with the installation of Santa’s kingdom.
Voted one of the best grotto’s in Ireland on several occasions, party packs, face-painting, carnival entertainment and a Christmas market complete the festive atmosphere. You can also enjoy a complimentary entry to the Burren Birds of Prey Centre and catch a flying display at 12 noon or 3.00pm.
When Every weekend in December and every day from Thursday 20th – Sunday 23th December
Where Ailwee Caves, Burren, Co. Clare
Cost Check the website for booking info http://www.aillweecave.ie/
Nearest Hotel: The Falls Hotel and Spa is located very conveniently for the Ailwee Caves in Ennistimon, Co. Clare. Click here for more: http://bit.ly/UJVV0P
Lapland UK, Lamberhurst, Kent
This attraction is an authentic award-winning, immersive theatrical production which magically transports your child to Father Christmas’ arctic homeland and is a wonderful day out for all. Just some of the activities include decorating gingerbread in Mother Christmas’ kitchen, ice-skating, meeting husky dogs and sending a postcard from Father Christmas’ working North Pole Post Office. A personalised visit to Father Christmas himself in his snowy forest home completes this unique day which isn’t to be missed. Imagine the excitement on your child’s face when Father Christmas invites them personally to come and help in his Toy Factory this Christmas, a special memory they will cherish forever.
When 1st to 24th December 2012
Where Lamberhurst, Kent
Cost £44.50 to £64.50 per person plus booking fees
Nearest Hotel: Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel. Click here for more: http://bit.ly/YUBhOu
Westfield Shopping Centre, London
Visitors to Santa’s grotto at Westfield London shopping centre over Christmas 2012 enter a winter wonderland, when the popular children’s attraction reopens for the festive season. With amazing animation and 5D special effects, including wind, lights and elf dust, the Santa’s grotto at Westfield London offers an unusual festive family experience that’s bound to be popular with kids. Each child visiting the grotto will have their name and picture featured in the film, helping Elbow the elf on his journey to help save Santa’s presents from the good-elf-turned-bad.
When 22 November 2012 – 24 December 2012 10am – 8pm
Where Westfield, London
Nearest Hotel: K West Hotel, London is right on the doorstep. Click here for more: http://bit.ly/TJqXGc
Hyde Park, London
Meet Father Christmas at the Santa’s Grotto at Winter Wonderland, when Hyde Park is transformed into a breathtaking festive landscape complete with ice rink, Christmas market and circus. Hyde Park goes all Christmassy with the sparkly additions of rides and attractions including a Giant Observation Wheel and two circuses – ‘Christmas Circus’ and ‘Cirque Berserk’ – from the family-friendly Zippos Circus. Winter Wonderland’s ice rink, the biggest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. Entry to the site, including Santa Land and the Christmas Market is free. If temperatures drop and you need to defrost, there’s rustic revelry on offer around open fires, with hot cider, mulled wine and food for sale.
When 23 November 2012 – 06 January 2013 10am – 6pm
Where Hyde Park
Nearest Hotel: Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel is literally across the road from the park. Click here for more: http://bit.ly/Vo4ivB
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Tags: Madrid, New Years Eve, New York, NYE, Russia, Spain, Time Square, Times Square
While it may happen at different times, the celebration of the New Year is something that’s universally celebrated by all, every culture across the world has its own traditions and customs to ring in the New Year. It’s not just the time zones that are different, the build-up and the aftermath of New Year day differ from country to country.
Take Spain as an example, its countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta Del Sol square in Madrid. They also have a tradition to eat twelve grapes, one for each chime of the clock before it strikes midnight. If the person successfully does this, it will mean good luck and fortune for the year.
For the Russians, celebrations usually begin one or two hours before midnight. One of the traditions is to listen to the Kremlin clock bell ring twelve times on the radio or on TV; the last twelve seconds are spent in silence as they make their secret wishes for the New Year. When it reaches midnight, the Russian national anthem begins and people congratulate each other and exchange presents.
In the Philippines, most natives follow a number of traditions such as how they dress. For one, they believe that wearing clothes with circular patterns will attract money and fortune. Also, throwing coins at the stroke of midnight is said to increase wealth in the upcoming year. Other traditions include making loud noises to scare away malevolent spirits. They do this by blowing plastic horns called torotot, banging on pots and pans, or by igniting firecrackers and fireworks at midnight.
In Japan, people gather at the Shubuya crossing and the Zojoji Temple in Tokyo to ring in the New Year. Here they attach notes containing their New Year wishes onto helium balloons before releasing them at midnight.
Perhaps the most iconic location for New Year’s Day has to be New York, where everyone gathers at Times Square for the ball drop. A tradition since 1907, the 11,875-pound crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square begins descending at 11:59pm, as visitors count down the seconds to midnight.
For great deals and offers for all the destinations above click here: http://www.ebookers.ie/holidays/
Tags: Accommodation, activities, Attraction, Christmas, Christmas Traditions, Christmas Traditions From Around the World, Destination, flight, Flights, Holidays, hotel, Tradition, weekend
With only a month and a half to go, our attention is now being diverted towards the Christmas season. It’s difficult to ignore, shops are filled with festive goods and gift ideas, cities have decorations up and are preparing to switch on the lights and brighten up the high streets and TV stations are now hosting numerous Christmas ads.
These may be the signs which tell us that Christmas is fast approaching, but for other cultures, they do things a little bit differently. All over the world, there are different ways of celebrating the festive season and how each country commemorates the event gives us an insight into their culture and beliefs.
For Europe, this varies depending on where you’re based. For one, Germany celebrates Nikolaustag (Saint Nicholas Day) on December 6th. This day is when children leave out their shoes for Saint Nicholas to put sweets and goodies in them. He sometimes even visits them at schools or at public events. In every village, town and city, the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas markets) becomes a main feature until December 24th, when the Christmas trees are finally put up.
On the other hand, the Danes celebrate Juleaften (Yule evening) on December 24th. Here families eat a traditional evening meal which has roast pork, roast duck, or roast goose as the main attraction. When that is finished, families gather around the Christmas tree and sing songs while holding hands and dancing in circles. After that, the handing out of presents occurs where the children will do it or Father Christmas will appear and distribute them.
Heading over to Latin America, El Salvador sees the nation’s children celebrating the holidays by playing with firecrackers, fountains like the volcancitos (‘little volcanos) and sparklers named estrelliates (little stars). Older children and young adults get to display larger fireworks or Roman Candles and families hold parties where they dance and eat. After Christmas Eve, when the clock strikes midnight and leads into Christmas Day, everyone gathers around the Christmas tree to open their presents.
Moving over to Asia, for the people of Sri Lanka, the first of December is signalled by the sound of fire crackers at dawn, alerting everyone that Christmas is around the corner. It’s then that the Catholic community perform the first ritualistic task of merry making.
Finally finishing up in Japan, Christmas isn’t seen as a national holiday, but the effects it has on commerce makes it popular. The event has become a holiday for couples to spend time together and exchange gifts, but perhaps most bizarrely, an advertising campaign back in the 1970s by KFC has made eating at the fast food restaurant a national custom. Its popularity is so great; the chain has to take reservations months in advance.
Click here for great deals and offers on all destinations featured above.
Tags: Belfast, Christmas Market, Christmas Shopping, dublin, Galway, Ireland, Ireland Christmas, Irish Market, Limerick, Market
It may only be the start of November, but already shops and retailers are gearing up for the Christmas season. While the high-street shops will be frequented by busy shoppers, it’s also the time for the festive markets to set up their stall and showcase their wares, providing gift ideas that are both unique and interesting.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first by starting with Dublin and the first point of interest is the Docklands Christmas festival. Back again after a popular run last year, the market will be open to all on December 7th and will be running until the 23rd. There will be over 80 different traders located there and if the shopping isn’t your thing, there will be a number of fairground attractions to keep you occupied. To stay there is a lovely hotel just minutes away called The Clarion Hotel.
Dublin also hosts another Christmas market, this time located at the square in Tallaght. Open from November 24th till Christmas Eve, the market is more modest than what’s offered at the Docklands but will boast up to 50 different stalls and more than 1,000 Christmas lights, for any of those visitors fearing that they won’t be able to see everything.
Moving onwards to the west of Ireland to the cultural hotspot of Galway. It too will have its continental Christmas market opening up on November 23rd. running five days longer than last year due to its popularity – where it attracted over 400,000 visitors – the market will see traders from all across Ireland and Europe setting up and a number of different events held while it’s open. Why not stay on Eyre square and take in all the city has to offer. We would recommend The Park House Hotel.
Down south to Cork and its Christmas Market which will open on November 30th at the Grand Parade. Expanding upon last year’s effort, the event will see a full size carousel, gluhwein bar and outdoor stage that will keep everyone occupied if for some reason they tire of the many vendors setting up there.
Finally, we have the Christmas Markets at Limerick’s Milk Market. Beginning on November 30th, the Milk Market is the place to go for buying fresh, natural foods and other produce, and the festive season brings 60 different stalls and shops selling toys, books, fashion items and other potential gifts ideas that will leave you spoilt for choice. If you would like to relax after all that shopping why not relax in The Clarion Hotel.
Tags: Africa, Cape Town, Dubai, Mauritius, Phuket, Winter Sun
As the temperatures drop in Ireland, it’s only natural to look abroad for a touch of winter sun. A cold winter, with predictions of the return of dreaded winter Big Freeze last week and if that’s not enough to send you running for the airport, what is? Luckily, winter sun getaways are cheaper than you might think, with some gorgeous locations and brilliant discounts to be found on ebookers.ie.
Luxury needn’t cost the Earth and the three-star Mauritius Le Grand Bleu Hotel starts from just 54 euros per room per night. It’s a fairytale setting, tucked away in the picturesque fishermen village of Trou Aux Biches in the north east of the island. The Mauritius Le Grand Bleu Hotel is ideal for couples and perhaps the setting for a pre-Christmas proposal, too? http://bit.ly/P54CBA
Cape Town enjoys temperatures of around 22 degrees – the perfect escape from grey Ireland. The Southern Sun Cape Sun is popular with business travellers but luxurious enough for an indulgent break away, too. The gym includes a splash pool and you can expect to pay around 157 euros per room per night this time of year. http://bit.ly/XYxZqu
Dubai may have a glamorous reputation but it’s not overly expensive to enjoy some winter sun. The Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa is opposite the Dubai Museum and has won awards for its Arabic-style facilities. This award-winning hotel is also in the ideal location for shopping, close to the Meena Bazaar. Rooms start from 113 euros per night. http://bit.ly/TcfjhR
Go for a tropical Thai winter with a stay at the Deevana Patong Resort & Spa Phuket. It is a luxury oasis with rooms from just 17 euros per night, set among 12 acres of secluded tropical gardens in Patong Beach. You can chill on the beach or head off for something a bit livelier with Patong’s world-renowned nightlife within walking distance. Room service, spa and restaurants are extra. http://bit.ly/RIpqwJ
*Prices correct at time of publishing
Suzi Dixon is a freelance travel and finance journalist, and is a brand ambassador for www.mytravelmoney.co.uk
With shopping, going into the same place and knowing what to expect can wear thin pretty quickly and let’s face it, sometimes the joy of shopping is discovering a new place and just exploring. So what better way to do that then to plan a quick shopping trip away and find goods that you couldn’t possibly get at home. Whether it’s for yourself, for someone else or even (whisper it!) if you want to get your Christmas shopping done early, there are a number of fantastic destinations to head off to for a quick trip and hotels more than willing to accommodate you for competitive prices, especially with ebookers.ie.
When considering any trip away, London is usually the first place to come to mind so it’s no surprise that it’s also a popular shopping destination. From department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols to the numerous markets like Borough and Brick Lane, there’s something for everyone. The Victorian styling’s of the Gainsborough Hotel (€139.85 per night) makes it a quaint place to stay. Not only is it a four star hotel, it also has 24 hour room service and butlers to take care of your every need.
Starting off with Europe, if you’re considering something cultural, then Rome is the place to be. Booking yourself in the five starAldrovandi Villa Borghese for €187.50 per night. You mightn’t find a bargain, but what you will get is fantastic goods (especially leather and decorative items) and the mixture of department stores and traditional markets means you could easily spend hours just exploring.
Alternatively you could get on your bike and see everything that Amsterdam has to offer. Filled with a great mixture of trendy, antique and cheap goods, many of the roads are closed to cars so you’re at least guaranteed a peaceful shopping experience as the city hosts numerous ‘shopping corridors’ like Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat. The NH Amsterdam Centre Hotel is €71.14 per night and is within walking distance of Vondelpark, the Heineken Brewery and the world famous Rijksmuseum.
If you have your eye on the U.S., then the Big Apple is the most popular destination for shoppers. Boasting such attractions such as Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue and SoHo, you would probably need an entire year to see everything the city has to offer, but thankfully the Eastgate Tower Hotel (€139.31 per night) is located close to the more popular shopping districts so haling all those bags won’t be as arduous a task as it first appears.
Or if the east coast doesn’t do it for you, maybe somewhere a little sunnier would do the trick. Being the second most populated city in the U.S. (after New York), Los Angeles has an amazing range of shops, malls and retail outlets to wander around like the California Market Center and the LA Fashion District. If you’re looking for somewhere where you can recharge from all the hustle and bustle, you should consider the Best Western Carriage Inn (€75.08 per night). While it’s based within the outer areas of Los Angeles, the transport system will get you to the shopping district in no time.
Or maybe, just maybe, you want to do something completely different. Dubai is famous for its scorching heat and majestic buildings and true to form, it has amazing shopping facilities and even has its own shopping festival, taking place from mid-January to the end of February. The main place to stay in is the Auris First Central Hotel for €94.87 per night, which is located in the heart of Te-com, one of Dubai’s leisure and business district and five minutes walk from a vast number of facilities and shopping areas.
Shopping abroad can open your eyes to new things that you mightn’t have considered before so if you’re looking for something a little different, you’ve got many brilliant destinations to choose from. Go on, you deserve it!