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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

StayKation package in London

K WEST Hotel & Spa has introduced a “StayKation” package for only £90 per room, per night. This offers a saving of £391.85 (usual room rate £419 + VAT).

Available from now until August 31, 2009, The “StayKation” Package includes:

• Accommodation in an Executive Room
• Under 12 years sleep for free
• Unlimited in-room movies
• 20% discount in Kanteen restaurant on food only (not valid for breakfast)
• 25% off Valet Parking

Only a five-minute walk from Europe’s largest inner city shopping Mall, Westfield, K West is the perfect destination for the ultimate city break this summer. Popular with those from the music and media industries, guests are attracted by the cutting-edge design and relaxed ambience.

K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX
For reservations, please call: 020 8008 6600 or visit www.k-west.co.uk

Monday, 17 August 2009

Prime surfing season in the UK

EVERY UK surfer worth his salt knows that in autumn Britain enters prime surfing season.
Not only are the conditions perfect and the water still warm, surf enthusiasts enjoy more space – fickle summer surfers tend to leave once the summer is over. So to celebrate the upcoming season, Holiday-Rentals has compiled a selection of holiday properties in prime surfing locations in the UK, as well as in Spain and the US, to whet adrenaline junkies’ appetite.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, one of the beaches below is bound to appeal. For more surf inspiration worldwide, Holiday-Rentals also lists 260 holiday homes in South Africa and 83 properties in Australia, many in prime surfing spots.


Fistral Beach, Newquay

With its breathtaking rugged coastal scenery and seven miles of golden sandy beaches, Newquay is hands down the most popular destination in Cornwall. Fistral Beach is considered the UK’s surfing Mecca suitable for surfers of all levels. And for those who still crave some action after dark, there are numerous bars and clubs in the area.

www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p416749 - Modern, high-spec 2 bedroom apartment overlooking Fistral Beach. Perched on the desirable Pentire headland, this gorgeous property is only a short walk to Newquay town centre.
£420 to £1,025 per property per week

Woolacombe, Devon

Woolacombe is a surfing heaven on the North Devon coast. The beach is vast – three miles of glorious blue flag golden sands. It is also fast becoming renowned as the international surfing hotspot, ideal for beginners. Woolacombe is a quiet place, but for those demanding more in the way of nightlife, Ilfracombe is not far away.

www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p420279 - Stunning elevated 2-bedroom house with breathtaking views along Woolacombe Beach to Putsborough and Baggy Point. Located just a few minutes walk from the centre of Woolacombe, yet in a peaceful location with a beautifully landscaped garden and terrace.
£430 to £990 per property per week

Croyde Bay, Devon

Another stunning beach in North Devon, Croyde Bay is renowned for its reliable and powerful wave, making it great for experienced surfers. Croyde Bay is a quiet spot famous for its cream teas and sleepy villages, but there are several pubs in the area to keep holidaymakers entertained après-surf.

www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/420245 - Beautiful 1-bedroom bungalow within a very short walk of the golden sands of Croyde Bay, commanding a unique position with easy access via a level walk to the beach and pub.
£310 to £750 per property per week


Tarifa, Costa de la Luz

On good days, waves in Tarifa rise from half a metre to 2 metres. Storms in the Atlantic Ocean cause the swell reaching the Spanish Atlantic coast, so the best time for good waves are between October and May, when the storms are more frequent.

www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p65231 - Pretty 1-bedroom holiday chalet at the foothills of La Peña. With breathtaking views over white sandy beaches and the Moroccan coastline across the Atlantic, it's the ideal place for a great surfing holiday. For guests who surf, owners have tools for running repairs, saving on luggage weight and space. They also offer storage area for surfing equipment.
£304 to £478 per property per week


Waimea Bay, Hawaii

Waimea Bay is widely considered to be the birthplace of big surfing, with quality, consistent wave. In the summer, the waves are mellow enough for beginners. Towards winter, however, they swell to 30ft and become the preserve of experts.

www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p156303 - Spectacular beachfront 2-bedroom holiday home right on the beach, with ocean views from every room. There is no public beach access nearby to the house, therefore the beach remains mostly deserted.
£1,280 to £1,345 per property per week.

Monday, 10 August 2009

More people buying holiday homes in the UK

‘SALES to new customers buying holiday homes on our parks are currently 38% ahead compared to last year,’ say Haven.
‘Despite the credit crunch and so much economic doom and gloom we are selling more caravans to more couples and families than ever before. Sales figures at some of our parks, especially in Wales and Cornwall are showing an increase of more than 110% compared to 2008.’
Research conducted recently amongst new holiday home owners revealed that many of them simply wanted to make use of their money. ‘The money was sitting in the bank and not doing anything,’ said Mr Rorison, who bought a caravan at Haven’s Craig Tara holiday park in Ayr. ‘At least this way my family and I will get some enjoyment out of it. One of my friends had bought a caravan recently and invited me along to have a look. When I saw all that was on offer at the park I bought one too.’
With interest rates at an all time low the value of keeping money safely in the bank has never been less attractive.
Prices for a caravan holiday home on one of Haven’s parks start at around £14995 – and that includes the first years site fees and insurance. The average new purchase spend is around £18-19,000, with most people opting for a starter home to see if the ‘Owner’ lifestyle suits them. Opting to sub-let the caravan back to Haven during the season helps make it even more affordable although many new owners subsequently upgrade to more luxurious models - with top of the range holiday homes costing up to £70-80,000.
Mr and Mrs Davies recently bought a holiday home at Church Farm, less than 45 minutes drive from their own home in Worthing saying, ‘We were getting such a poor return on our money from the bank that we thought we’d buy a caravan instead.’ With his own chauffeur business and a lifetime of driving Mr Davies deliberately chose to buy close to their own home. He said, ‘I don’t want to drive all over the country to get the same as we have on own doorstep. I was very impressed with the site and we can use the caravan whenever we want.’
The Davies’ are not alone in choosing a holiday home so close to where they live. Most of Haven’s customers live less than 2 hours drive from their holiday home and some live even closer. Whilst initially this might be surprising, talking to new customers reveals some very sound reasons for buying so close to home.
‘Sometimes when we’re heading home from work we just turn left instead of right and go to the caravan instead,’ said one couple, ‘We’re really enjoying having a bolt hole by the sea.’ For others it’s almost an extension of their own home, using the extra facility to accommodate visiting friends and family, with the added benefits of all the facilities and entertainment on offer to keep their visitors amused.
One Owner from London said: ‘It means that if we fancy it we can just jump in the car and be at the park in just over an hour – we don’t have to plan or even pack. And with four children it will work out cheaper to have a holiday home than book family holidays overseas.’
In fact the research also revealed that many new customers had ‘just had enough’ of foreign holidays. Comments included ‘too much hassle’, ‘too expensive’, ‘the high value of the Euro’ and ‘by the time you’ve checked in, added on the flight and the inevitable delays it just takes too long’. ‘We’ve travelled a lot and been on lots of foreign holidays – but now we just want to stay closer to home’ was a common response, especially from more mature customers.
The idea that the ‘staycation’ has had its day is not borne out by Haven’s research. It would appear that people are re-discovering all that Britain has to offer – and realising that there are some very attractive holiday options much closer to home. So attractive in fact that they are shunning overseas holidays in favour of regular UK breaks in the comfort of their own home from home.
For more information about Haven’s 34 UK holiday parks and owning your own holiday home call 0871 230 1299 or visit www.havenholidayhomes.co.uk

Busy summer expected at Draton Manor Theme Park

DRAYTON Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, is expecting a busy summer despite Met Office predictions of unsettled weather throughout August.

The Met Office forecast for August was in stark contrast with the seasonal prediction issued in April, which claimed the UK was “odds on for a barbecue summer.” Some families may have been disappointed by the forecast, but those planning to visit Drayton Manor can rest assured they will still have great day out at the award-winning attraction.

All of the theme park’s thrilling rides, including G-Force, Apocalypse, Shockwave and Pandemonium, can be enjoyed in any weather. There’s also water coaster, Stormforce 10, to enjoy, which has long been popular with people who are happy to get soaked.

In addition to the outdoor rides, a new 4D Cinema opened earlier this year, allowing the whole family to get out of the rain and watch a film in 3D, whilst seated in chairs that react to scenes in the film by moving up and down, releasing bursts of air, bubbles and various smells.

Drayton Manor’s popular Thomas Land™ attraction is also unaffected by the weather, which means families can still enjoy the 12 themed rides based on the popular Thomas & Friends™ characters.

Thomas fans of all ages will also enjoy the new Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition, which is indoors at Farmer McColl’s Farm. The whole set has been painstakingly recreated to scale for enthusiasts to enjoy, featuring the familiar sights from the Island of Sodor and many of its most famous engines including Rosie, Edward, Terence, Trevor and Bulgy.

Those seeking cover from the rain can also spend some time in the theme park’s arcade, or visit one the numerous cafes and restaurants to enjoy some refreshments and dry off.

Colin Bryan, Managing Director, Drayton Manor Theme Park, comments: “We’ve already had lots of rainy days this year, but more families are choosing to holiday in the UK this summer and our mix of indoor and outdoor attractions means people are still enjoying a great day out come rain or shine.

“The Met Office has got weather predictions wrong before, so I would advise people not to worry about the weather and to come along to Drayton Manor because I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic time.”

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hotel with a chocolate theme

IMMORTALISE yourself in chocolate at a chocolate portrait painting session run by top chocolatier Gerry Wilton, who owns and runs the world’s first chocolate themed hotel!

At Gerry’s unique Grade II listed Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth, you can learn how to paint an amazing portrait of yourself in dark, milk and white chocolate, stay in chocolate themed rooms and indulge in the culinary art of making delicious Belgian truffles by hand at one of Gerry’s Chocolate Delight workshops.

There are also chocolate fountains, a chance to learn all about the history of chocolate and a Chocolate Bar, where you can treat yourself to a glorious handmade chocolate cocktail.

You can even learn how to match chocolate with wine and spirits in a unique chocolate tasting session inspired by the famous Belgian chocolatier Laurent Gerbaud, who has created and produced a range of chocolates designed to be eaten and tasted with wines such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as mulled wines, dessert wines and malt whisky.

For companies, Gerry also runs corporate “Apprentice” style chocolate team building events at locations nationwide, where teams get to take over a failing chocolate factory and turn it round, or work together to create a massive chocolate picture.

If you’re interested in finding out more about The Chocolate Boutique Hotel and its 13 unique chocolate themed bedrooms, go to www.thechocolateboutiquehotel.co.uk . For information on Gerry’s Chocolate Delight workshops, which are held at venues across the country, go to www.chocolatedelight.co.uk.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Apartments are a cost-effective alternative to hotels

A NEWwebsite,apartmentbreaks.co.uk, has been launched as a cost-effective alternative to booking a hotel in major city centres across the UK.

The user-friendly site allows visitors to view serviced apartments in 19 city centres and book directly online. The website is the brainchild of the directors of a major franchise of First Choice Retail and the directors of the leading Holiday Home Search Engine, Perfect Getaways.

Sales Director, David Palmer, said ‘More and more holiday makers are choosing a home-from-home when travelling abroad on their family holidays. However, until now, there has been very little opportunity to do so in major UK cities when going on a weekend break or to visit a concert/show etc. Apartment Breaks will revolutionise the City Centre break market, bringing a cost-effective alternative to hotels with more room and luxury living.’

0845 021 2211, www.apartmentbreaks.co.uk