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December 2010

Holidays in Crete, Greece

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

The largest island in Greece, Crete boasts beaches, mountains, and enough myths to fill a lifetime of study. This is Zeus's playground, from the towering White Mountains to Mediterranean seashores. The region's temperate climate and 300 days of sunshine has proved irresistible to tourists in recent years, and hotels now pepper the landscape, serving a range of tastes and budgets for all types of holiday packages. The attractions, of course, have been here for centuries, from the ancient city of Knossos to the Samaria Gorge National Park.

 

Eat

Lotus Eaters, in Elounda, focuses on traditional Greek dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Fresh seafood and produce dishes are its specialty, and while many travellers rave about the food, the atmosphere is also worth the trip. Situated on the bay of Elounda, Lotus Eaters features sweeping water views, perfect for a romantic night out. Be sure to try the mussels saganaki and lamb dishes.  For holidays on a budget also check out holiday packages that include meals by comparing half-board deals.

 

Stay

The Hotel Anastasia in Stalis offers accommodations with mountain or water views and is just a short walk from the beach. Each room has a private balcony or terrace. The property has plenty of recreational facilities, including four pools, a basketball court, a mini-golf course, and a playground. Evening entertainment features live bands, game nights, and karaoke. Rates start at €30 per night and include breakfast and dinner.  Be sure to compare holiday packages that include both flight and hotel to ensure you get the best deal for your vacation.

 

Shop

Make your way to Odos Skridlof ("Leather Street"), Chania's traditional shoemaker street, for top-quality leather goods. Known for sturdy boots, the merchants in and around this region also produce sandals, belts, and satchels at reasonable prices. Rugs and souvenir shops round out the offerings.

 

Compare flights to Crete or check out cheap package holidays in Crete with airfare from the UK.

Holidays in Venice, Italy

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

An engineering marvel, Venice has attracted holiday visitors for centuries with its one-of-a-kind topography. Holidays in Venice are not complete without exploring St. Mark's Square or Ponte dei Sespiri (Bridge of Sighs), but you may find the best way to see the city is without any itinerary at all, and a willingness to get pleasantly lost. Wander the meandering streets and bridges over the canals at your leisure: You're never too far from a vaporetto (water taxi) pick-up or drop-off, so pick a stop and see where the day takes you. You'll be sure to find a surprise around every corner. 

 

Eat

It's been said that Pizza Al Volo in Campo Santa Margherita may have the best pizza in the world, and at the rock-bottom price of €2 per slice, it's worth checking out for yourself. There's no seating at this casual eatery, so settle down outside at the campo and dine while people-watching: You'll see locals and tourists alike enjoying the world-class scene.  

 

Stay

Travel back in time and enjoy views of the Grand Canal from your private balcony at the Hotel Antiche Figure. This 15th-century palazzo now serves as a charming hotel, featuring rooms with chandeliers, silk tapestries, and marble baths. Rates start at €99 and include continental breakfast.  Be sure to shop around to ensure you find the perfect Venice hotel for your holiday.

 

Shop

Rediscover the lost art of journal-keeping and create a memoir of your holiday with a visit to one of Paolo Olbi's three stores. Olbi, trained as a bookbinder, creates stunning frames, calendars, journals, and photo albums from Italian leather and other local materials; you'll also find a variety of stationery products for sale. Whether you want a thoughtful gift or a timeless souvenir for yourself, you'll find old-world craftsmanship, durability, and beauty here.

 

Compare cheap flights to Venice from airports in the United Kindgom.

Holidays in Rome, Italy

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Holidays in Italy are incomplete without a few days in Rome, the Eternal City. From ancient ruins to modern fashion, eye-catching architecture to palette-pleasing cuisine, Rome truly is a feast for the senses. Crane your neck to witness Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel masterpiece ceiling, channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with a run down the Spanish Steps, or pretend you're a gladiator at the Colosseum. Finally, to ensure a return visit (as the legend says), don't forget to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain before you leave this spectacular city.

 

Eat

Campo dei Fiori, a marketplace in the heart of Old Rome, offers delights for chefs and diners alike. If you prefer to cook for yourself, this market and the piazza's surrounding shops offer no shortage of fresh produce, baked goods, meats, spices, and more. However, if you just want to sample the wares, the square is also packed with trattorias, forni (pizza and bread bakeries), cafes, and gelaterias (ice cream shops). It's a perfect one-stop location to discover all of Rome's gastronomic treats while on holiday.

 

Stay

As a tourist's haven, there is no shortage of option for hotels in Rome.  Overlook some of Rome's most famous monuments by staying at The Hotel Navona, an accommodation situated between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Antique furnishings, frescoes, and fresh flowers are featured throughout the hotel; rooms have mini-fridges, air conditioning, and private baths. Rates start at €80 and include daily breakfast.

 

Shop

Rinascente, the first department store to open in Rome, offers a little something for everyone. A grand dame among the shops along Via del Corso, Rinascente sells fashion, jewelry, housewares, cosmetics, gifts, and more, all under one roof. If you have a favorite designer, you'll be sure to find his or her collections here. Giorgio Armani got his start here (designing store windows), so even if you're just browsing, you'll still find plenty to catch your eye.

 

Compare flights to Rome or check out cheap package holidays in Rome with airfare from all major airports in the UK.

 

Holidays in New York City, New York, USA

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Skyscrapers, Broadway, and Central Park. Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and Yankee Stadium. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Fifth Avenue. New York is the city of icons. Whichever ones you choose to see up close for yourself, you're guaranteed to be bowled over on a holiday in New York City.

 

Eat

Head to the East Village for a memorable meal at Cafe Mogador, a restaurant specializing in Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy a variety of tagines (slow-cooked stews), grilled meats, and cous cous dishes, all flavors bold and vibrant. In winter, the restaurant serves as a warm and friendly respite from the cold; in summer, sit out on the terrace and watch the world go by. Remember to bring your appetite—the portions here are generous.

 

Stay

New York has been critiqued for its matchbox-sized hotel rooms (often at sky-high prices). Not so at the Hotel Indigo Chelsea, a spacious and affordable option on West 28th Street. Guest rooms feature flat-screen televisions with cable, wireless Internet access, and bathrooms with luxury toiletries. The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness center, a restaurant, and a rooftop bar. Rates start around $180 per night.  Package holidays can also help with managing the price of New York vacations by booking flight plus hotel deals.

 

Shop

Find a treasure trove of shops and eateries at Chelsea Market. Situated on Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th, the Market offers one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs, plus housewares and specialty items. Find any type of kitchen gadget at Bowery Kitchen Supply, fine wines at the Chelsea Wine Vault, artisanal cheeses at Lucy's Whey, and trinkets of all kinds at Chelsea Market Basket. And with several delectable cafes and grab-and-go eateries sharing space with the stores, it's easy (and encouraged!) to nosh while you shop.

 

Compare flights to New York

Holidays in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Come to Vegas to be entertained on your holiday. Of course, there's the usual: Gambling, nightclubs, shows, and shopping. But in recent years, the city of Las Vegas has branched out: It's established itself as a culinary powerhouse, with celebrity chefs opening award-winning restaurants here. Spa culture is thriving, too, with big names catering to your pampering needs. And then there's just the spectacle. Where else can you ride a roller coaster through the New York skyline, see skyscraper-high fountains dance to top-40 hits, or witness pirates conquering a ship (and multiple times each night, at that)?

 

Eat

While full board holidays are sometimes the cheapest option, Las Vegas has an incredible number of options for restaurants, feasible on any vacation budget.  Thomas Keller's Bouchon, in the Venetian Resort, transports travelers to a French bistro. Casual yet elegant, Bouchon offers such classic French meals as duck confit, steak frites, and poulet roti. Be sure to save room for dessert, as decadent options including profiteroles, chocolate mousse, and creme caramel, are too good to pass up.

 

Stay

Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon offers a reprieve from the gargantuan resorts that dominate Las Vegas today. Located right on the Strip, this hotel offers rooms with flat-screen televisions, triple-sheeted beds, and coffeemakers. The property has a casino, two restaurants, a lounge, and a nightclub. Additionally, all guests have access to the pool at the Flamingo resort next door at no extra charge. Accommodations start around $40 per night.  Be sure to compare cheap holiday options by searching for flight and hotel package deals.

 

Shop

The Miracle Mile stores at Planet Hollywood are a shopper's paradise: Here you'll find women's and men's clothing retailers, home goods, luxury beauty and bath products, and specialty food stores. There are 170 businesses in all, so you can spend a good portion of your vacation here for retail therapy. Be sure to check out Sur La Table for unique kitchen decor and tools, ph the Store for a souvenir, and Bettie Page for vintage and retro finds.

 

Compare flights to Las Vegas

Holidays in Memphis, Tennesse, USA

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Like rock and roll, the blues, or soul? Then plan a holiday in Memphis, TN, the birthplace of these three distinctively American music genres. Pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, at Graceland; hear live music along Beale Street;  visit the Gibson Guitar Factory; and tour Sun Studios, the recording studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, and other legends got their start. This tuneful city is also known for outstanding barbecue, so be sure to come hungry.

 

Eat

Gus's World Famous Hot & Spicy Chicken may not look like much, but one bite and you'll know the investment is all in the food, not the ambience. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the outside, with minimal grease, Gus's fried chicken may just be the gold standard. Add on sides of fried pickles and fried green tomatoes, then wash it all down with a tall glass of sweet tea. Your taste buds will thank you.

 

Stay

The Peabody is a historic, well-appointed hotel, but what really makes it memorable are the ducks. Yes, you read that right! Twice each day, at 11 a.m. and five p.m., the hotel's trained ducks march through the lobby in a procession, part of a tradition dating back to the early 1930s. Accommodations feature flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet access, and 24-hour room service; some rooms are pet-friendly. The hotel has several restaurants, a fitness center, a spa, and gift shops. Rates start at $245 per night.

 

Shop

The Center for Southern Folklore sponsors a gift shop featuring work from local artists and craftspeople, with all wares celebrating the region. Works for sale include sculpture and pottery pieces, photography, albums, books, and the like. Take home holiday memorabilia such as a blues album from an area musician, praline pecans, or even fresh-picked cotton.

 

Compare cheap flights to Memphis

Tips For A Great Package Holiday

Posted December 22, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Holiday plans can often be fraught with tough decisions. Do you stay home or go abroad? Will the kids be bored? Do you book the flights and hotels separately, or opt for a holiday package deal? Well, we may not be able to choose your destination or keep your kids entertained, but we do have some tips on getting a great package holiday deal if you do decide to opt for one.

 

Start by spending some time shopping around, either on the internet or the high street. With so many options available, a careful comparison can often result in you saving a few hundred pounds off your package deal.  Be sure to also compare board options, as you can often save big with half-board, all inclusive or self catering versus hotel room only holidays.

 

Have a look through websites such as TripAdvisor that feature customer reviews of the hotels and destinations that you’re thinking of visiting. These help cut through the advertising fluff, and gives you a better idea of what to expect, from people who have actually been there and experienced it.

 

It also pays to check the company’s travel association member number before you go ahead and finalise your booking. Find out if the company you’re going with is a member of an association such as ABTA or ATOL. These associations may be able to help should you run into any problems with your tour operator.

 

Breaks In Agrigento – Agrigento Hotels

Posted December 8, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Agrigento Step back into the past with a visit to Agrigento. This Sicilian city is famous for its Valle dei Templi – the Valley of Temples, where the ruins of several Greek temples can be seen. Beautiful medieval buildings are also scattered throughout Agrigento, and the delightful old centre bustles with activity to this day. Stroll down Via Atenea and take in the sights, or enjoy a relaxing meal at an outdoor cafe here.  The local cuisine is unmissable – many dishes share both Greek and Sicilian influences, resulting in very tasty meals indeed!

See

The Valley of Temples – The Valley of Temples sits on a sunbaked ridge, not far from the centre of town. The Temple of Concordia is one of the best preserved examples here, possibly due to later Christians who turned the temple into a church. Other structures here include the Temple of Juno and the Temple of Heracles, both of which have retained most of their columns. Tombs and catacombs can also be seen in the complex, and a visit to the Archaeological Museum may help put these ruins into context.

 

Stay

Colleverde Park Hotel – Stay at the Colleverde Park Hotel for a stress-free visit to Agrigento. The hotel is sits on a hill overlooking the Valley of Temples, and is not far from Agrigento’s historic centre. Enjoy a delicious Sicilian meal in the hotel’s restaurant, with views that look out over the ancient Greek temples. Room rates start from £75.

 

Eat

Kalos – Head to this casual restaurant near Agrigento’s centre for a tasty Sicilian meal. Seafood plays a large part in Kalos’ menu. Start with a fresh seafood salad, then move on to pastas filled with plenty of clams, mussels or prawns. Other delights here include fresh fish, served piping hot straight of the grill, or fried in a light batter.  

 

Check here for Agrigento travel information

 

(Photo: liberainformazione.org)

Breaks In Adelaide – Adelaide Hotels

Posted December 7, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Adelaide-2 Adelaide tends to be bypassed by visitors in favour of other Australian cities, but there’s ample reason to treat yourself to a break here. The South Australian capital sits in the midst of lush vegetation, and enjoys sunny days throughout the year. Enjoy day trips to the vineyards just outside the city limits, or spend a few hours soaking up the sun at the beaches.  The North Terrace houses the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as a number of other museums and public sculptures. Need a break? Grab an outdoor table in a cafe and feast on Adelaide icons like frog cakes and pie floaters while watching the city.

 

Stay
Rockford Adelaide – Located in Adelaide’s vibrant West End, the Rockford Adelaide is great for those who want to discover the city’s cultural attractions. It’s not far from the famous Rundle Mall, so you won’t have far to go when your arms are loaded with shopping bags. Enjoy panoramic views while cooling off in the rooftop pool. The rooms have large windows that let in lots of sunlight, as well as comfortable beds and neutral tones that help you relax after a tiring day. Room rates start from about £85.

 

Eat

Jolley’s Boathouse Restaurant – Set in a wooden boathouse looking out onto the River Torrens, Jolley’s is the place to be for an elegant but casual meal. The dishes are influenced by Adelaide’s multicultural population, and feature fresh, seasonal ingredients. The current Christmas menu offers up caramelised pork belly with a tangy green mango salad, and San Daniele prosciutto served with grilled peaches and mascarpone.

 

See

 Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary – Come face to face with indigenous Australian animals in their native habitats at this wildlife sanctuary. Feral-proof fencing allows animals such as platypus, koalas and possums to thrive while keeping out feral cats and other animals. Enjoy the sanctuary at your own pace with a self-guided tour, or arrive later for a memorable nocturnal tour led by guides. 

 

Check here for cheap flights to Adelaide

 

(Photos: hello-aussie.com.au)

Breaks In Montreux – Montreux Hotels

Posted December 2, 2010 by BookingBuddy

Chateau-de-Chillon-3-c-Swiss-Image-400300 An enviable position near the Swiss Riveria, nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, has ensured that Montreux’s reputation far exceeds its size. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps, Montreux has proven to be a popular destination for the rich and famous since the early 19th century. Visitors these days include rock stars and jazz musicians who gather here for the annual Jazz Festival, as well as rugged hikers who use the town as a base for their trips through the Alps.

 

See

Chateau de Chillon – Perhaps Montreux’s most popular attraction, this extensive castle compound has inspired artists and poets through the centuries. Explore the atmospheric dungeons and see if you can find Lord Byron’s graffiti – he is said to have carved his name in one of the pillars when he visited. The Chateau serves as a sort of museum and grand function hall these days. Several rooms and buildings have been restored to their medieval splendour, and various parts of the castle can be rented out for parties and weddings.

 

Stay

Hotel Bon Port – Guests at the Hotel Bon Port will be delighted to discover they are only a short stroll away from Lake Geneva. The hotel is tucked away in a quiet corner in the centre of Montreux, and guests will be able to relax and soak up the tranquil ambience here. The rooms themselves are comfortable and fitted in neutral shades, accented with bright splashes of red and orange. Room rates start from £110.

 

Eat

Cafe du Globe – Settle down in this cosy little cafe and fill up on the hearty dishes on offer here. The menu here is full of rustic, regional dishes – plates of tagliatelle topped with mushrooms, lots of stews, and garlicky shrimp. Warm up with a cheesy fondue mopped up with lots of crusty bread, or tuck into the unpretentious chicken basket – pieces of chicken, served with chips and a side salad.

 

Check here for Montreux travel information

 

(Photo: greatrail.com)

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