New Openings, tours, flights and trends for 2017

Pack your suitcases and head to the airport! 2017 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for travel with several new openings, tours, flight routes and anniversaries.


Hotel Openings

Only YOU Hotel Atocha expands property portfolio in Madrid

Only You Hotels has added a second property in Madrid with the launch of a new centrally-located property, Only YOU Hotel Atocha. The new urban-style hotel was designed by prestigious Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán and is within walking distance of the best city attractions. The hotel includes 205 elegant rooms, spread across seven floors as well as a gym with a personal trainer service and running club and multiple dining options.

Dining options include ‘Trotamundos by Spoonik’, offering a fusion menu and ‘The Bakery by Mama Framboise’ in the style of a New York deli. Double rooms at Only YOU Hotel Atocha are priced from £143 (€160), with breakfast courtesy of the hotel. www.onlyyouhotels.com/hotel-atocha

Five star Sani Dunes Hotel to open in Halkidiki

The Sani Resort, located in the Halkidiki peninsula, has announced the opening of a new five-star Sani Dunes Hotel, which is due to open in June 2017. The investment stands at £20,573,824 (€24.2 million) and the hotel will be built on 41 acres of land – comprising 136 rooms and suites, three restaurants, an indoor pool and spa. Sani Dunes promises to provide exceptional cuisine and a grown-up environment, although children over 12 will be able to stay. The hotel will be home to an open-air Garden Theatre providing a full schedule of entertainment, musicals and shows, while each year Sani plays host to the Sani Festival - one of the Mediterranean's leading musical celebrations – which will begin on 8 July 2017.

Double rooms with a pool view at Sani Dunes Hotel start from £495 (€554). www.sani-resort.com/en_GB/our-hotels/sani-dunes-hotel / www.visitgreece.gr 


New Tours

RHS Garden Holidays launces five-day ‘Private Gardens of Guernsey and Sark’ tour

The escorted tour includes some of the island’s most beautiful private gardens, the renowned Guernsey Clematis Nursery and a visit to Sark, with departures in June and September. The tour is priced from £1,195pp and includes four nights’ accommodation with breakfast and dinner in Guernsey and Sark, return flights from London Gatwick, return ferry crossings between Guernsey and Sark, private garden visits and the services of a tour manager. www.rhs.org.uk/shop/rhs-garden-holidays/Holidays/Private-Gardens-of-Guernsey-and-Sark / www.visitguernsey.com

Sherpa Expeditions offers self-guided walking holiday around Guernsey, Herm and Sark

The seven day / six night tour follows The Channel Island Way with daily walks ranging from 4.1 miles to 18.25 miles. Guests cross bays and beaches, walk along rugged cliffs, quiet rural villages and past historical fortifications, with luggage transferred separately between each accommodation. The tour includes an optional additional two nights on Alderney. ‘Guernsey Islands – Channel Island Way’ is priced from £525pp based on two people sharing a twin room, plus £100pp for the Alderney extension. The tour is available between April and October and the price includes B&B accommodation in guest houses and hotels, luggage transfer and information pack with route notes and maps. http://www.sherpaexpeditions.co.uk/Self-Guided-Walking/United-Kingdom/Guernsey-Islands-Channel-Island-Way / www.visitguernsey.com

New worldwide tours from Wendy Wu Tours

Following the success of their first worldwide tours earlier in the year, Wendy Wu Tours has unveiled eight new tours taking visitors to New Zealand, Australia, Namibia, Russia, the Galapagos, Peru, Ecuador, Patagonia and Costa Rica. Highlights include the 16-day ‘Colours of Costa Rica trip (from £3,790pp) and the 16-day ‘Namibia: Wildlife & Wilderness’ (from £4,590pp) that includes trips to the Namib Desert that was recently explored on the BBC’s Planet Earth Series.

New Flights

Europe’s first direct flight to Honduras launches

Air Europa will offer non-stop weekly flights between Madrid and San Pedro Sula, the capital of Honduras from April 2017. This is the first direct flight to the Central American country from Europe, adding to existing routes via the US, and will offer connections to Central America at more economical fares. Return fares start from £632 ($780). www.aireuropa.com / www.visitcentroamerica.com

Jet2 announces Greek departures from new Stansted base

Jet2 will fly to four new Greek destinations for summer 2017 from its new base at Stansted Airport. Flights will depart to Crete (Heraklion), Kos, Rhodes and Zante in 2017, providing more opportunities for travellers from the south east of England to reach Greece. The Jet2 Birmingham base also has new flights to Crete and Rhodes. One way flights start from £70. www.jet2.com / www.visitgreece.gr

British Airways unveil new flights to Zakynthos

British Airways will fly to the Ionian island of Zakynthos from 3 June 2017. There will be two flights a week to the island from London Heathrow Terminal Five. Located south of Kefalonia, Zakynthos is famous for its beaches including Navagio, as well as the beautiful Blue Caves that travellers can visit on a boat trip. www.BritishAirways.com / www.visitgreece.gr

Trends and Anniversaries

70 years since India’s independence from the British Empire

2017 marks 70 years after India’s Independence from the British Empire in 1947. Wendy Wu Tours has three new India tours including the 22-day ‘Enticing India’ trip from £2,990pp which visits the Red Fort in Delhi where the anniversary celebrations take place each year on 17 August with a 21 gun salute. Guests will also travel down the River Ganges, marvel at the Taj Mahal, admire Khajuraho’s ornate temples, discover the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur and spot Bengal Tigers in Ranthambore National Park. There is also the 23-day Trans Himalayan Journey from £3,790pp where guests can travel through the Himalayas to the state of Ladakh including the chance to explore colonial Shimla, a visit to the mountain town of Leh and experience the Hemis Festival. www.wendywutours.co.uk

Visit Japan in 2017 before the crowds

With the Rugby World Cup (2019) and the Olympics (2020) heading to the Japan in the coming years, there is going to be increased interest from UK travellers over the next 12 months. In summer 2017 London will welcome an extraordinary new building to introduce the city and its visitors to Japanese culture. Japan House will be a home of Japanese creativity, design and hospitality, offering events, restaurants, and a place to discover more about this fascinatingly diverse island nation.

As part of their first-ever dedicated Japan brochure, Wendy Wu Tours’ has created a new Discovery Tour, ‘Trails of Japan’ (from £4,890pp). The 13-day itinerary allows travellers to experience the quirky side of Japan, including immersing themselves in the sub-culture of Harajuku in Tokyo, visiting the exhilarating Robot restaurant, watching a Sumo wrestling match, as well as a journey to the sacred town of Koya-san and meeting the adorable snow monkeys. www.wendywutours.co.uk

The rise of the 50+ female adventure traveller.

Wendy Wu Tours has seen a 13% increase in the 50+ solo female traveller in the last three years, compared to a 8% increase amongst males of the same age. Booking trends also reveal that this demographic is increasingly opting for longer and more adventurous tours when compared to their male counterpart.

Additionally, 50+ solo female travellers are 15% more likely to opt for longer tours (over 21 days) than those booking in couples. The operator has seen the 50+ solo female traveller increasingly seeks more adventurous and longer tours. Whilst traditionally this group opted for more classic touring options, in the last year, demand has shifted towards itineraries that offer more free time, more adventurous pursuits and more off-the-beaten-track destinations. www.wendywutours.co.uk


For editorial opportunities, please contact Katie Petherbridge at Lotus (katie@wearelotus.co.uk / 0207 953 7470)