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9

Spending Christmas In A Holiday Lodge

The main benefit of being away from home is the wonderful fact of putting all chores on hold for the duration; a significant plus to anyone who has laboured mightily on Christmas Day, barely snatching ten minutes to listen to the Queens Speech before collapsing in an exhausted heap and going to bed before the children!

Amongst the drawbacks are that spending Christmas away from home can induce homesickness and the general unfamiliarity with foods and traditions can be a problem; even something as simple as knowing where the milk and sugar are for that necessary cup of tea! Sun-worshippers may like the idea of lying on a beach somewhere, sipping a tropical cocktail while snow and robins are the furthest thing from their minds; however many people prefer to stay in the United Kingdom for Christmas, if for no other reason than to have authentic Christmas weather, maybe even a snow flurry or two to create picturesque tableaux. Another drawback could be that family pets will need to be catered for, either at a boarding facility or having someone pet-sit for them.

Norfolk lends itself admirably to being the location for a holiday away from home; particularly one of the holiday lodges available in the area. Norfolk is absolutely beautiful; miles of flat countryside which should be dull but are not due to the wonderful diversity of plant, animal and birdlife to be found in the area. Rolling heaths interspersed with the occasional evergreen, windmill or church spire are plentifully watered by the many rivers and waterways that provide a vital ecosystem for the birds that flock here from all over the world. Coastal paths and the seaside do not have to be the property of summertime only; wintry walks will reveal a precious private shore life not hinted at in tourist-busy summer.

Many of the lodges come with a housekeeping service meaning that the family can go out for a lovely morning walk to explore the area or stock up on snacks and treats and come back to find everything beautifully clean and tidy. The lodge will provide sufficient privacy for everyone to relax and feel properly at home, in a way not always possible in a hotel or even at a relatives house. Imagine snuggling down in front of a genuine wood-fire on Christmas Eve, the flames sparkling off the tinsel and baubles, beautifully cosy while the frosty wind whistles outside what better setting for the best family Christmas ever? Some lodges may even have a provision for pets to accompany their owners; how wonderful to have the whole family all together for one of the best days of the year.

Norfolk holiday lodges at Christmas can provide a wonderful setting for a memorable holiday, a time of laughter, relaxation, family fun and giving magic!

11

The Perfect Vacation in Thailand

Go on and have the perfect vacation in Thailand. Don’t just go to Thailand following the trail of one of your friends who has already been there. Don’t also go to Thailand on the advice of your favorite Tour Operator or as per what you have just read in one of the Tour Guides or brochures. Be different. Go and do some volunteer work in Thailand instead. Mind you when you go as a volunteer in Thailand, you get more bangs for your bucks! You get to see the true Thailand, not the sanitized version that’s presented to millions of tourists who have visited Thailand before you. When you wish to go as a volunteer in Thailand the true Thailand will open up in front of you, the rural Thailand that’s unseen by the outside world unless some like you who go over to do volunteer work in Thailand.

So, what kind of volunteer work can you do in Thailand? Do you have to be a professional? Could just anyone go? Will you get adequate time off from your volunteer work in Thailand to be able to see the country and its villages? When you wish to sign up as a volunteer in Thailand you could take any of the several options that are open to you. You could take up teaching and be engaged with little children who could be taught English by you. You could participate in Thailand’s medical program or one in childcare. If you are interested in animals you would surely enjoy working for the welfare of gibbons or elephants besides sea turtles and rescued dogs. You need not be an architect or an engineer but you could participate in Thailand’s building activities and help in building a school, a home or a place for putting up destitute kids. You could also help in community activities such as in vegetable gardens or mini fish farms. Generally, you will need to work for only four days a week, leaving you with a long weeked to explore the countryside or the surrounding mountains. The perfect vacation in Thailand beckons.

Myself webmaster of Starfish Volunteers ( ) – a growing ‘not for profit’ volunteer and gap year organisation providing volunteer opportunities, volunteer Thailand, volunteer travel, community volunteering and volunteer work in Thailand.

15

Eastern Mangroves Hotel Complex In Abu Dhabi Is On Track For Completion This Year

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has announced that the Eastern Mangroves complex in Abu Dhabi is on schedule and is expected to be fully operating by the end of 2012.

The new complex will feature a five-star hotel for tourists taking Abu Dhabi holidays, as well as a number of residential buildings and a 30-berth marina.

The TDIC is developing the complex and the first phrase the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara – is due to be completed in June. The residential buildings and the marina are scheduled for completion in the last quarter of this year.

The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara is set against the citys eastern mangroves and has 222 spacious rooms and suites. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, in-room entertainment systems, flat screen televisions, and Wi-Fi internet, as well as bathrooms with rainforest showers, bath tubs, and Anantara bathroom products.

The Director of Operations Middle East for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and the General Manager of Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Michel Koopman, explained: “This is really about the quality, not the quantity. It’s about positioning and the quality of the restaurants and the spa. For me, it’s a hotel for a pampering weekend. It’s not a hotel for big tours or big MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] events. It’s not that.

“Our focus is on the quality of the experience and the long-term positioning of the hotel. Our focus is not to fill it up, but to make sure that we have the right clientele in.”

Facilities at the one of the newest Abu Dhabi hotels include the Pachaylen restaurant with Thai dishes; Ingredients, the all-day restaurant that offers international cuisine and two outdoor terraces; the two-level Mangroves Lounge where guests can relax and enjoy holidays in Abu Dhabi with a refreshing cocktail; and Impressions, the roof-top bar that offers comfortable sofas and views overlooking the city and mangroves.

During holidays to Abu Dhabi, guests can indulge in the Anantara Spa where they can enjoy a wide selection of signature Anantara treatments, a traditional Turkish hammam, steam and sauna facilities, and separate male and female areas.

The luxury Abu Dhabi hotel has an infinity pool and terrace, prayer rooms, a modern fitness centre, a business centre and Majlis, a ballroom, and a boutique shop.

19

Plan A Memorable Trip To The Exotic Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Indian tourism is appreciated a lot for its beauty and religious values, therefore tourists from different countries are attracted towards India. India has several beautiful tourist attractions and one of such beautiful places is Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is a group of islands which are situated at the stage of Andaman Sea and The Bay Of Bengal. Surrounded by water and natural greenery, the Islands are considered as the Honeymoon paradise for newlywed couples. Moreover, these are the most sought after islands across the world and grabs attention of every traveler.

If you have planned an Andaman and Nicobar Islands tour, then the major attractions you must visit are as follows:

Port Blair: Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman as well as the entry and exit point of these islands. The most popular tourist attraction in this city is the Cellular Jail and its sound and light show. The jail is popular worldwide as it is associated with the struggle of Indian freedom fighters. Ross Island, Viper Island, JollyBuoy Island and North Bay Island are other places around the city where you can enjoy water sports and other adventures like snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.

Havelock Islands: If you want to enjoy the adorable beauty of nature like the limitless blue sky, fresh air, amusing climate, magnificent beaches, influential palm trees & green surroundings, then nothing can beat the exotic Havelock Islands. Known for its incomparable beauty, the island is a must to visit. The charm and beauty of gorgeous Radhanagar beach is unparalleled and hence it is favorite honeymoon sport for all newly married couples.

Neil Islands: Neil islands are other popular islands of Andaman. It is well-known for its green forests and sandy beaches. Laxmanpur, Bharatpur and Sitapur beaches are best tourist spot for all beach lovers. Moreover, you can also enjoy the beautiful sea full of amazing corals and fishes on these islands. The beautiful water surroundings magnetize the adventure sports lovers to take pleasure of snorkeling.

Nicobar Islands: Nicobar Islands are also popular tourist spot where people visit to know about the tribal people and their life. Most of the Nicobar Islands are occupied by the tribal and if you love to know about their lifestyle, then these are the ideal tourist spots.

So, if you have not yet planned a trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, then plan it now as there can nothing is as beautiful as these islands.

20

Holiday Decorating More Fun With Holiday Flowers

This year when you are deciding how to decorate your home or office for the holiday season, don’t you dare forget about Christmas flowers and other holiday flowers! Flowers make such a beautiful addition to any home or office, and at the holiday season, special holiday and Christmas flowers are even more appreciated than ever.

During the Christmas season, most of us spend a lot of money, time and effort cleaning our house and decorating it for the holidays. We entertain our friends and family, go to parties, and admire holiday decorations. For most people, the centerpiece of holiday decorations is the evergreen Christmas tree.

Use of evergreens has traditionally symbolized the rebirth of the new year. During the holiday season it is generally the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. Not long after Christmas the days start to get longer. Traditionally evergreens were the only greenery available at this time of year, and decorating with them has always symbolized the ever-changing cycle of life.

But now we have many more options for holiday decorating, and flowers are among the most beautiful and cherished. Many flower decorating options exist for holiday decor around the house. Christmas themed floral decor brings brightness and color to your holiday decor. While most people opt for the vibrant colors of the poinsettia flower for their holiday decor, there are many flowers available to consider as possible choices for your holiday decorations.

It is easy to find local florists who sell holiday flowers. Arrangements of all sizes are available. Imagine a beautiful bouquet of red roses, white lilies, green leaves of holly, and baby’s breath as the centerpiece at Christmas dinner. Many florists use additional decorations such as ribbons, ornaments, and bells to add a little fun to the arrangement.

A thoughtful gift for the hostess of a holiday party is some Christmas flowers. This is a better option than searching for just the right bottle of wine because it will add to the seasonal decorations of the home. A bouquet of live flowers adds that special touch and lets the person know you care. There are many types of flowers that look great this time of year, like calla lilies and seasonal colored carnations. Tulips are also a nice option. Bring a gift everyone will like, and the other guests will also enjoy with pretty flowers.

If you’re looking to buy flowers, you can find them at local florists, supermarkets, and even from street vendors. Ordering flowers from your local florist in advance may result in a discount. You should also ask your florists about Christmas flowers. They know what flowers make beautiful holiday arrangements and can offer you seemingly endless options.

7

Waht About The Canary Islands

Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, especially with Europeans.

The seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands are well spaced out so that it is only a day’s sail between most of them. The Islands are part of Spain but they’re located much closer to Africa than the Spanish mainland.

Known to the ancient Greeks as The Fortunate Islands, the Canary Islands are indeed blessed with exuberantly green landscapes and a perfect temperate all year-round.

All the Canary Islands are like small isolated continents. These islands are best known for twelve months of glorious sunshine, making them an ideal destination for holidays throughout the year. Since the Canary Islands are a major European tourist destination, all the major islands have well-developed communication systems, airports, and ports.

Travelers should note that, although part of Spain, the Canary Islands are outside the EU trading zone.

Most people in the US have no idea where the Canary Islands are, and are afraid to show their ignorance by asking. They are part of Spain but they’re located much closer to the African cost than the cost of Spain.

Featuring approximately 26 species, the Canary Islands are one of the world’s best and most popular regions to watch whales and dolphins. Accepted history is, that the Canary Islands are named after the dogs, while the birds are named after the Canary Islands.

In recent years Gran Canaria has also emerged as an up and coming destination for a Canary Islands golf holiday.

Thinking of a holiday in Canary Islands? There are plenty of self-catering villas and apartments available for holiday and vacation rentals on the islands, all year round at very competitive prices.

Want to learn more about these amazing islands?

There are various kinds of maps of Canary Islands are available many of which are free for the asking from most travel agencies.

There are seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands, and there is only a day’s sail between most of them. Both the fruit and vegetables that are cultivated, and the fish caught in the coastal waters of the Canary Islands are found nowhere else in Spain.

The cuisine of the Canary Islands is much affected by tourism and of course mainland Spanish food. The Canary Islands are Spain’s tropical paradise and a fascinating holiday destination.

10

Complete Your Vacation With The Best Restaurants In Colorado

You can find many best restaurants in Colorado. If you are visiting the place, you must try to dine in any of its famous bistros. Colorado is not only popular for its tourist attractions, but for its tempting dishes as well. You will definitely remember your visit if you try the delectable menus offered in many establishments. Here are the things you can look forward to from them.

Affordable Food

The best restaurants in Colorado offer the most affordable yet delicious food. With even a minimal budget, you can find several cafes offering their special menus at discounted prices. Many of them promote some recipes on a regular basis. You can enjoy steak or chips on certain days of the week at a reasonable price.

Good Music

Nothing can beat the best restaurants in Colorado if they come with great music. If you want to relax during your stay, the soothing music played in the background will help you enjoy your vacation. During some days of the week, you can also listen and jam with live artists. Who would not want to dine in a bistro with live people serenading you? If you have a famous local artist in mind, check the schedule in the best restaurants in Colorado to see their performance.

Nice Ambiance

Many times, the food in different establishments are just the same and the only reason why one charges too high for them is the ambiance they create. If you want to experience unforgettable dining in the best restaurants in Colorado, you can do this by looking for a place with great atmosphere. If you go to a place with a lively mood, you can imbibe the vibes in the surroundings and feel good as well.

Colorado should be a part of your destinations if you want to spend a memorable holiday with your family or loved ones. By visiting the best restaurants in Colorado, you can complete your stay in the place and keep happy memories as you go home.

6

Siesta Key Beach – Sarasota’s Siesta Key Tops Best Beaches List!

Siesta Key Beach Ranks #1 Sarasota Attractions

“Siesta Key is the best beach in the whole entire world,” says 54-year-old world traveler John Martin of Australia.

“Every year,” Martin adds, “my wife and I visit Sarasota for this amazing beach. We’ve experienced beaches throughout the world. By far, Siesta Key offers the most beautiful white soft sand; it’s always cool & very clean. The blue-green almost is so glassy, warm and clear.”

Siesta Key appeals to all age groups:

*Kids love the water – roughly 3′ deep and mostly calm as far as 100′ from shore.
*Kids also enjoy digging in the sand.
*Older kids hang out near the sand volleyball courts or throw footballs and frisbees in expansive areas between Pavillion and water.
*Adults set up tents and beach chairs near the water, watching kids play and passersby stroll, jog & bike along the water’s edge.

Winner of the “world’s finest, whitest sand,” Siesta Key (Public) Beach extends along a half-mile of the most pristine white sands in the world. There is no sand comparable to Siesta Key’s. Even under the burning subtropical sun, it remains cool to the touch. Siesta Key has received many honors for its powdery white-sandy beaches including recognition as one of Americas Best Beaches,” Third Best Walking Beach in the USA by USA Today International Edition, and The Best of the Best Sand by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.

There is endless room to walk, plenty of room to find a spot to hang out for an entire day, over 800 public parking spots that fill quickly, and nearby Siesta Village with shops and restaurants.

Lifeguards positioned at several towers on the beach keep a watchful eye, protecting tourists from wondering out too far into boating territory. Picnic pavilions are available for groups at a nominal fee. Water sports of every kind add color and excitement to the Siesta Beach scene.

Siesta Key Public Beach amenities include:
. public restrooms, snackbar & gift shop
. showers and handicap ramps
. picnic areas with & without roofs
. picnic shelters & tables (8 – family size shelters)
. gazebo (holds uo to 60 people)
. large shelter (holds uo to 120 people)
. free lighted public tennis courts
. sand volleyball courts (on the beach)
. fitness trail
. playground equipment
. lifeguards on duty year round
. handicap beach chairs/wheel chairs available
. first aid

At the southern end of Siesta Key is Turtle Beach. The sand at Turtle Beach is a bit coarser than at Siesta Key. However, Turtle Beach is quieter. No lifeguards or food concessions, though you will find picnic tables, pavilions with grills, parking, and playground equipment.

Siesta Key Beach highlights a Sarasota, Florida, vacation or local lifestyle. Among all Sarasota attractions, visitors and locals alike treasure Sarasotas world-class beach experience. For people who call Sarasota home – whether part time or full time – Sarasota’s beaches and the tranquil Gulf of Mexico offer relaxing (and free) Sarasota lifestyle.

19

Survey Provides Insights Into Travelers’ Needs

While everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a “free lunch,” travelers do like to look for a free breakfast and will often select a hotel that offers one.

That’s just one finding from a recent survey-conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Best Western International. The survey findings offer some insight into what travelers of all ages look for when booking a hotel and what customer service means to them.

Here are some key highlights:

The top three considerations travelers indicated when choosing a hotel were price (78 percent), convenient location (64 percent) and free breakfast (49 percent).

Interestingly, travelers 55+ are more likely to choose a hotel based on convenience of location (70 percent) than younger travelers between the ages of 18 and 34 (56 percent), who don’t feel location is as important when booking a hotel.

On the other hand, younger travelers between the ages of 18 and 44 tend to book hotels that offer fitness centers and pools (45 percent).

Travelers of all ages agree that room service or a restaurant on-site is important when choosing a hotel (18-34: 31 percent and 55+: 31 percent).

Regarding customer service provided by hotels, U.S. adults who stay in hotels say that free parking (75 percent), the concept of feeling “at home” when they’re a guest (67 percent) and having a strong knowledge about the local area-and thus being able to share valuable tips and highlights (63 percent)-score highest when it comes to excelling at “customer care.”

Other top responses include offering free essential toiletries (beyond shampoo and soap) when they’re forgotten (63 percent), providing a free airport shuttle (54 percent), providing a free local newspaper or USA Today (51 percent), offering free products in the room (such as coffee, mouthwash or lotion) (35 percent) and providing a free bottle of water in the room at check-in (35 percent).

“For more than 60 years, Best Western has provided travelers with convenient locations and a range of amenities including breakfast and free high-speed Internet,” said Best Western’s Ric Leutwyler. “Guests who see the Best Western sign know that they can expect the same high level of customer care, comfort, service and value anywhere they go around the world.”

8

Experience fun at the beaches of Goa

Goa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Despite being among the smallest states, it attracts millions of people from all around the world. It is located in the western region with a coastline along the Arabian Sea. Goa is famous for its white sandy beaches, the British and the Portuguese architecture and the gothic churches along with some small forts. This place has a liberating lifestyle and an enchanting culture which gives it the party like feel.

There are ample hotels in Goa to satisfy the needs of the travellers. However people might prefer the Goa holiday homes as they provide comfortable accommodations at a very competitive price. With a private balcony that opens up to the view of the lush green palms and allows the fresh breeze to enter your room, the feeling and the view is enough to get you serenaded.

The hotels in Goa must be booked well before the planned visit. New Year and Christmas are the time of the carnival; it is the time when most tourists flock to this destination to have a great time. If you wish to spend most of your time on the beaches then make sure that your hotel is near one and if you want to spend some time in privacy then you can go for the Goa holiday homes.

The beach hotels in Goa are located strategically to provide every guest an uninterrupted view of the Arabian Sea and the white sand beaches along the coast line. Most of these hotels offer world class amenities, with 24 hour room service, a mini bar, television, refrigerator and an attached bathroom complete with the necessary toiletries. The staffs are extremely efficient which makes your holiday completely hassle free. You can satiate your taste buds with the authentic Goan cuisine available at the in house restaurant or at the various shacks along with the local drink fenny.

You can make your Goan accommodation a lot cheaper by making an advanced booking for better offers. You can also try and buy fully furnished apartments for sale in Goa. It will help you to cut a lot on hotel expenses apart from giving you the liberty of visiting Goa as and when you like, you’ll experience the advantages during the carnival, when it is difficult to find accommodation.

Yoyogoa provide fully furnished apartments for sale in Goa. Find hotels in Goa at out online website: