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Thursday, 31 December 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

JUST a quick note to readers and contributors to say thanks for your support this past year - and here's to a busy and prosperous 2010!!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

£40m of improvements at Haven parks this winter


THIS winter Haven Holidays are spending a whopping £40m on new facilities and improvements to their 35 family holiday parks in the UK.

They say, ‘The stay-cation is definitely here to stay. We’re investing in new facilities, new accommodation and new ways to make our holidays even better for families. And we’re including more in the price to make sure our holidays are really good value for money.’

New Space Bowls
Several million pounds will make swimming even more fun. All Haven holiday parks have heated indoor swimming pools and they’re always popular whatever the weather. This summer the pools at Combe Haven, near Hastings and Marton Mere, near Blackpool will both have fabulous new Space Bowls where fun-seekers can reach speeds of up to 50 mph as they’re propelled down the flumes. And there will be new terraces for sun-bathing, better changing facilities and a unique new ‘SplashZone Grotto’ at Rockley Park.

Free swimming lessons
This year Haven are planning to encourage even more children to learn to swim by providing FREE swimming lessons with qualified instructors. ‘We helped more than 40,000 kids to improve their swimming in 2009,’ say Haven ‘and hope that even more children will benefit in 2010. It’s really important that everyone should be confident and happy in the water.’
It’s not just about swimming – splashtastic fun includes all sorts of extra activities to keep kids happy in the pools. Check out the Water Walkerz – where you climb inside a giant inflatable ball to roll and bounce over the surface of the pool; AquaJets (James Bond style powered submersibles); Aqua Gliders (mini inflatable jet skis) and wacky sessions with giant fun inflatables.

Even more sports
Other activities on offer at Haven parks include golf, fishing, surf lessons, climbing walls, tennis and horse-riding. In 2010 several more parks will have Adventure Golf - more challenging than crazy golf and more fun than pitch ‘n’ putt! Next year Adventure Golf is new at Marton Mere, Littlesea in Dorset and Hopton Holiday Village near Great Yarmouth.
And Coke FC Football coaching will be FREE in 2010 – so you can learn a range of attack and defence skills, dribbling, shooting and top hints and tips for ball control and goal scoring.

Better accommodation
If you’ve never stayed in a caravan before – give it a try! They’re surprisingly comfortable and spacious and Haven are spending £12million to provide even better quality and more choice for 2010. Treat your family to an Exclusive or Platinum holiday home and you can enjoy even more space and luxuries such as ensuite showers, flat screen TV’s and heating throughout. Exclusive holiday homes even have a verandah where you can relax and enjoy stunning sea and lakeside views.
But for sheer value for money you can’t beat the comfortable Standard and Superior holiday homes with everything you need for up to six people.

Great entertainment
Daytime and evening entertainment at all Haven parks will include some brand new stage-shows for 2010, character shows featuring kids favourite’s Rory the Tiger and friends, music, dancing , professional cabaret, pantos, wrestling and international circus stars. Kid’s clubs are free of charge and there are special breaks with lots for under-5’s as well.
You’ll find Haven parks at some stunning locations around the UK with direct access to some truly breath-taking beaches and close to some of Britain’s favourite resorts as well.
And if you book your holiday before January 17th you can take advantage of some excellent early booking deals with three or four night Spring Breaks are available from as little as £129 for a family of up to six on a wide choice of dates and parks.
Click on www.haven.com or call 0871 230 1900 for immediate bookings, more information and details of other special offers.

Discounted holidays - book before New Year

There is a 15 per cent discount available at Vauxhall Holiday Park to anyone booking a week’s stay in 2010 if they book before 31 December.

The 5 star holiday park has a great choice of accommodation and facilities to suit all tastes and budgets and is situated in Great Yarmouth with its 15 miles of golden sandy beaches and many other attractions.

The V-Lounge, Falcon Range of accommodation, Adventure Climbing Wall and Laser Skirmish are all new for 2010, while visitors to Vauxhall Holiday Park can also enjoy the Indoor Tropical Water World, fully equipped gymnasium as well as football, tennis, adventure golf, kwik cricket, electric go-karts and much more.

There are a wide variety of luxury holiday homes available with prices for a week’s stay starting at £216* in the ‘Sandpiper’ which is ideal for a family of four, it has one double and one twin bedroom, a shower room, lounge and fully equipped kitchen.

For more information please call 01493 857231 or visit www.vauxhall-holiday-park.co.uk.

*including 15 per cent discount.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Show Haven you have the X-Factor!

AS JOE McElderry celebrates his victory and his debut single looks set to be the Christmas number one you might be wondering where to start in order to emulate his success.
Haven Holidays say ‘Don’t wait for the X-Factor – we’re looking for the H-Factor in our talent contests every single week at our 35 family holiday Parks!’
‘Haven’s Got Talent’ takes place throughout the season – so whether you sing, dance, play a musical instrument or fancy yourself as a comedian – the stage can be yours. Everybody loves the talent show and it’s a great way to start performing in front of an audience.
The talent contest is just part of a sensational programme of entertainment on Haven Holidays parks next year. Glitzy new stage-shows, brand new character shows with Rory the Tiger and his friends, professional cabaret, tribute bands, circus performers and pantos are all on the agenda for 2010. And there are Kid’s Clubs, sports and activities and first class facilities for families as well - talented or not there’s loads to keep all ages amused!
With 35 award winning family holiday parks in fabulous locations around the UK there’s a talent contest within easy reach. And with prices from as little as £129 for a Spring break for a family of four you’ll enjoy a great value for money holiday as well!
Call 0871 230 1900 or click on www.haven.com for immediate bookings, more details and early booking deals.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

kids keeping fit while on holiday


WE ALL know that it’s good to encourage even little kids to exercise – but have you thought about booking a break that will help them to have fun keeping fit on holiday?

Haven Holidays are so keen to get under-5’s up and moving that they’ve set up the Haven Fun & Fitness Sports Equipment Giveaway for pre-schools – and they’ve introduced a series of new breaks that include lots of activities especially geared for under-5’s.

The Fun & Fitness campaign is a great idea of real benefit to pre-schools and nurseries – now in its second year the programme has been endorsed by the Pre-school Learning Alliance to provide sports equipment for even more children. Pre-schools simply register on www.havenfunfitness.com and encourage parents to pledge their support on the website. If 70% of their parents sign up the school receives a pack of sports equipment – and if all the parents sign up they receive a bonus item as well. Easy – you don’t even have to make a purchase or collect vouchers! Bearing in mind that the kit available could be worth more than £200, clicking on a website is MUCH easier than selling cakes or raffle tickets to raise money for much needed sports equipment.

Haven’s new Fun & Fitness breaks are specifically aimed at parents with toddlers – which makes for a pleasantly relaxing environment if you have small children. It’s a real treat to take a break where having a toddler is the norm – not something that attracts disapproving glances from fellow guests who’ve forgotten the unique joys of holidaying with a three year old! And of course – there’s no need to tell them to sit still and keep quiet – they’re SUPPOSED to be running around and having fun!

Haven have come up with all sorts of activities to get little ones up and moving and in keeping with the ethos of the Fun & Fitness campaign – and they’re all included in the cost of the break.

There are Wake and Shake sessions with lots of equipment (much of which is available through the Giveaway ), a Water Confidence session in the swimming pool with instructors trained by the Swimming Teachers Association; Mini-Fencing, Tri-golf and Mini Archery. Kid’s favourite Rory the Tiger will be championing Sporty Rory’s Sports Day (make sure you’ve trained up for the parents race!) and there’s a Letterland Treasure Hunt with a free gift from Letterland to encourage kids to learn their alphabet.

Regular tot-friendly entertainment on the agenda of all the fun & Fitness breaks includes Annabel’s Creative Kitchen, Little Cubs Kids’ club sessions and character shows on stage with Rory the Tiger and friends.

And, when the little ones have finally given up in exhaustion you can always let them drop off to sleep in their buggies whilst you enjoy the evening shows - you won’t be the only family with a sleeping toddler out past bedtime!

Accommodation is in comfortable self-catering holiday homes sleeping up to six people. If you haven’t tried caravanning before and have a vague notion about cramped conditions, windswept fields and visiting a toilet block in the middle of the night you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Expect spacious comfortable lounges, well-equipped kitchens, two or three bedrooms, separate shower and loo – and heating. Kid’s love them because they’re like ‘proper’ houses but scaled down to toddler friendly proportions.

Four night Fun & Fitness breaks take place at all 35 Haven parks in 2010 on Monday 19th April, Monday 28th June and Monday 27th September and Monday 11th October. Prices start from around £129 for a family of four in Superior accommodation including the early booking discount if you book before the end of December.

Click on www.haven.com or call 0871 230 1900. And if your local pre-school hasn’t registered for the Haven Fun & Fitness Giveaway make sure they click on www.havenfunfitness.com before the end of January to secure a place on the scheme.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Staycation is here to stay, say Haven


EARLY predictions by Haven Holidays based on sales figures to date suggest that 2010 will be a busy year. They say, ‘The staycation is definitely here to stay!’

2009 was a record breaking year for Britain’s favourite family holiday company with more families than ever before choosing to take a UK break. Many of them enjoyed the experience so much they have already booked again for next year.

‘We have a choice of early booking deals available that include discounts for peak summer holiday as well as Spring breaks,’ said a spokesperson for the brand ‘but many of the more popular dates are already filling up. You can still make significant savings on the cost of your holiday at a choice of parks but unless you are flexible with dates and destinations it’s worth securing your holiday as soon as possible. Early birds really do get the best deals!’

Haven have a number of discounts available but due to the demand for UK holidays some of their special offers have already sold out.

Haven’s top money saving tips for 2010:

- April 23rd is showing good availability at most Haven parks and you should be able to save up to 50% on the cost of your holiday.

- Save even more by upgrading your holiday home if you can afford to. A 40% discount on a top of the range Seaview Platinum at Devon Cliffs for a family of four on May 7th will save you around £300!

- Take advantage of all that’s included in the price. Swimming lessons and football coaching are both free of charge at Haven next year – and so are kid’s clubs, daytime and evening entertainment and many of the activities for under-5’s.

- Save an extra 20% on ‘pay as you go activities’ – available at a number of popular Haven parks next year. It’s not just about saving money – you also get to pre-book the activities too!

- And ....finally, make sure you beat the VAT man! VAT increases to 17.5% at the end of December. Haven say, ‘You could be treating the kids to a fish and chip supper instead of forking out extra tax!

For immediate bookings, details of special offers and more information call 0871 230 1900 or click on www.haven.com

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Chance to dance with the stars


IF YOU are keen to be the new Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova - but still feel a bit like a John Sargeant or Lynda Bellingham - then this is your big chance!

Andrew Cuerden & Hanna Haarala, past stars of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, are hosting a new exciting holiday at the Carlton Hotel at TLH Leisure Resort on the English Riviera. This is a wonderful opportunity for dancers to learn and develop their Ballroom and Latin dance expertise under the professional eye of these sensational dancers.. With teaching every morning to include Mambo, Salsa, Tango, Quickstep, Foxtrot and Waltz and supervised practise sessions every evening an enjoyable dancing holiday is assured – and you just never know, it may be you next in front of Len Goodman and Bruno Tornioli!!

And whilst you are here why not take some well earned relaxation in our luxury Aztec Spa where we offer a wide range of Elemis treaments to ease those aching muscles – or have a St Tropez spray tan so you really are set to Salsa!

4 nts from 1 Feb 2010at the 3 star Carlton Hotel dinner, bed and breakfast and tuition from only £215 per person

To book this holiday call 01803 400500 and mention Dancing with the Stars.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Swiss Chalet recreated at London hotel


Swissôtel The Howard, London has built an authentic Swiss Chalet in its’ Garden Courtyard and launched it recently.

The chalet is a special venue for private parties and corporate events right in the heart of London. For the first quarter of 2010 Swissôtel The Howard, London offers a 10% rebate on the final bill for all events held in the Swiss Chalet within the month of January, February or March.

Traditional Swiss décors and handcrafted Swiss furniture has been brought to
central London from the Alps to create the charm, warm and cozy ambience of a traditional Swiss Alpine Chalet. Situated in a quiet oasis close to London’s Embankment, the Swiss Chalet at Swissôtel The Howard, London, has a size of 92 sq/m (990 sq/ft) and will be available for parties and corporate events for up to 250 persons when combined with the adjacent 12 Temple Place Restaurant.

To get a culinary experience of Switzerland, event packages include Swiss delicacies such as cheese fondue, Veal Schnitzel, petits–fours, Orange Brulée or Swiss wines. The Swiss Chalet can be booked as an event venue until 31st March 2010.

Every Tuesday until the end of March 2010 the chalet becomes a separate restaurant within the hotel. During the Swiss Nights traditional Swiss food is being served which includes cheese fondue, sliced cured meats, mixed leaf salad and dessert (apple strudel with custard or cherry cake with Chantilly cream). After dinner, in true après-ski style, guests can perch by the fire with a glass of mulled wine; a scene reminiscent of an evening in native Switzerland.

The chalet will be open for Swiss Nights from 6pm–10pm every Tuesday evening until 31st March 2010 and is £23 per person.