See what LOTUS’ February 2019 calendar has to offer
With February just around the corner find our top picks for the best romantic trips for Valentine’s Day and family breaks for the half term school holiday.
ROMANTIC TRIPS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
VALENTINE’S DAY UNDER THE STARS IN THE CANARY ISLANDS
Often referred to as ‘La Isla Bonita’, the Canary island of La Palma is an idyllic location for couples looking to escape to a secluded picturesque destination.
An official UNESCO Starlight Reserve, the island’s natural beauty is the perfect backdrop for couples to enjoy a mesmerising Valentine’s experience. Lovers can spend a romantic evening at the Teneguia Winery and enjoy a gourmet dinner surrounded by 500 year old vineyards, followed by a wine tasting and stargazing experience, pairing the regions famous Malvasía wine with local artisanal cheese whilst admiring the glittery night sky.
INDULGE IN THE ULTIMATE ROMANTIC CITY BREAK AT BLESS HOTEL MADRID
Newly opened BLESS Hotel Madrid, located in the heart of the Salamanca district, provides the perfect place for a relaxing, romantic city break. Built around the concept of Hedonist Luxury, the BLESS brand offers guests a luxurious stay with sensory experiences such as “BATHOLOGY”, involving a personal butler creating a bespoke bathing experience and “BLESSEDBED”, allowing guests to personalise their moments of rest with luxurious bed linen and sleep scents.
For some blissful, quality time together, duos can pay a visit to the BLESS Hotel Madrid Spa boasting a hydrotherapy circuit, a menu of revitalising massages and couple's cabins where partners can relax with an element of privacy.
After a day of pampering loved up guests can spend an evening at the hotel’s signature restaurant, ETXEKO headed up by the world famous Basque chef, Martin Berasategui, holder of ten Michelin stars and enjoy a romantic fine dining experience.
Prices for BLESS Madrid start from £328 per room, based on a deluxe room on a room only basis. For more information visit: https://www.blesscollectionhotels.com
JET TO THE CANARY ISLANDS FOR A TROPICAL GETAWAY
The picturesque island of Fuerteventura in the Canarian archipelago is home to the luxurious Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real. Surrounded by turquoise waters and the soft white sand dunes of Corralejo Natural Dune Park, the hotel provides an idyllic location for couples to enjoy a sun-soaked break away.
This Valentine’s Day, couples can enjoy a romantic meal at La Cupula, a fine dining restaurant headed up by Michelin-star chef, Carles Gaig. The themed black-tie evening is filled with red roses, messages of love and a three course meal.
To add a touch of sparkle and romance, loved up holiday makers can indulge in a day of pampering at the hotel’s state-of-the-art Spa Bahia Vital. In addition to the hydro-therapy circuits, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, treatments for two are also available to book.
Romantic valentines’ dinners start from £84, including the meal, roses and cards for two people. For more information please visit: www.atlantisbahiareal.com/en/.
Alpharooms (alpharooms.com/0114 407 0241) offers seven nights in Fuerteventura from £757 per person based on two adults sharing, staying at the five-star Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real on a bed and breakfast basis, flying from London Stansted on 11 February 2019.
ENCHANTING ESCAPES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Efteling, the fairy-tale theme park in the Netherlands, is packed with enchanting rides, attractions and shows, largely inspired by Brother’s Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. The fantasy-themed park’s location, hidden among woodland and lush forests and cloaked in a magical atmosphere, makes the park a surprisingly romantic destination that couples can share with their children.
Loved up duos can enjoy the attractions that the Fairytale Forest has to offer such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Guinevere’s Bridal Gown, illustrating classic love stories. Couples can also enjoy fantastical and romance inspired rides including Gondoletta, a gentle boat trip on the park’s central lake, Droomvlucht, where unicorns and animals come to life in an enchanted forest, and Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy, Efteling’s newest ride, offering an enchanted experience.
To complete the fairytale theme, families can stay in one of the themed suites at the Efteling Hotel. The Sleeping Beauty Suite is one of the hotel’s most romantic rooms, featuring two regal double beds, a luxurious sitting area, and themed games, including a spinning wheel to send guests off into a deep sleep. The suite which is available from €515 per night based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing and includes breakfast and two days entry to the park.
For more information visit: https://www.efteling.com/en/hotel/theme-suites/sleeping-beauty-suite
MAKE MAGICAL MEMORIES IN MALLORA
Moonlit walks along the sea front, days spent browsing local gastronomic markets and afternoons lost lounging on terraces in the warm Mediterranean sun - Palma offers the perfect setting for couples looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day away from home.
Romantic pairs will be spoilt for choice of intimate boutique hotels such as the recently opened Hotel Mama on the Plaza de Cort and the five-star Hotel Summum, boasting rooftop terraces with panoramic views, underground candle-lit spas and luxuriously comfortable rooms, all designed to make this dreamy day as special as possible.
Palma will delight foodie-couples wanting to try a new cuisine on Valentine’s Day, with an abundance of tapas bars such as La Rosa Vermutería featuring classic dishes such as made-to-order tortilla Española, octopus and Iberian ham. Bustling food markets such as The Mercat de L’Olivar showcase the city’s fresh produce, and cocktail bars such as The Brass Club serve exquisite cocktails by award-winning mixologist Rafa Martin, making the perfect date.
The city’s fine cuisine, combined with awe-inspiring architecture such as the gothic-style cathedral, La Seu, tree-lined shopping boulevards, enchanting cobbled streets and world-class museums including the contemporary arts museum, Es Baluard makes for an ideal Valentine’s Day escape.
Stay at the beautifully designed and characteristic Sant Jaume – a five-stay luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Palma. A one night stay is priced from £153 based on two people sharing a standard room. www.boutiquehotelsantjaume.com
ROMANTIC WEEKEND BREAK FOR BUSY COUPLES IN GUERNSEY
For a romantic break a little closer to home, Guernsey is an ideal hassle-free getaway – the island seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of life on mainland UK, despite being relatively close in both distance and travel time.
One of the most romantic spots on the island is the southern bay of Moulin Huet - a beautifully tranquil piece of coastline that inspired Renoir with some of his finest paintings. Next to Moulin Huet is Petit Port, an idyllic, sandy and secluded bay which is where two characters from the bestselling novel ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ first met. The love story was made into a film, released in April 2018, and follows life in Guernsey during the island’s German occupation in World War 2. Couples can enjoy long walks over the rolling clifftops, through verdant countryside and along golden beaches before settling down in one of Guernsey’s many restaurants to indulge in freshly-caught seafood and a G&T with local gin.
The Old Government House, the only five-star hotel on the island, sits in the heart of St Peter Port and oozes romance with its historic rooms and elegant furnishings. Its ‘Celebrate’ package is designed for couples looking to spend a romantic night away and includes a bottle of Champagne, Hotel Chocolat chocolates and 10% discount on all treatments in the spa with a two night B&B stay.
BARGAIN BREAK FOR TWO
TransferTravel.com, an ‘eBay-style’ web platform that allows consumers to find bargains through re-selling holidays that are pre-booked and no longer feasible to the traveller. Transfer Travel offers four nights in Malta for £140 per person on a room-only basis, based on two people staying at the Solana Hotel & Spa and flying from London Gatwick on 11 February 2019.
FAMILY BREAKS FOR FEBRUARY HALF TERM
With February half term just around the corner it’s time to escape the winter blues and enjoy some family fun jetting off to long and short haul destinations. Here are some of LOTUS’ top picks of where to travel to this half term.
ROCK OUT AT HARD ROCK HOTEL TENERIFE
With five-star facilities, a full activity programme and an immersive musical experience, Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife is a great destination for a half-term getaway. The Tenerife hangout is located on Tenerife’s southern coast in Playa Paraiso near Adeje and has been created with the whole family in mind. With three pools, a huge man-made lagoon, three free tiered kids clubs (for kids from six months all the way up to teens), as well as a Rock Spa®, Body Rock® gym, six restaurants and a beach club, the property offers something for every member of the family. The hotel’s ‘Sound of your Stay’ music programme allows guests to enjoy a free in-room Fender guitar lesson with headphones and amplifier or become a DJ for the day with mixing equipment including a Traktor Kontrol Z1 controller and laptop that connects to the in-room stereo surround sound systems. For more information visit www.hrhtenerife.com
Jet2Holidays offers seven nights at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, bed and breakfast, from £559 per person, based on two adults and two children sharing. Price includes return flights from Manchester on 21st February 2019, with 22kg baggage allowance and return transfers. For more information visit www.jet2holidays.com or call 0800 408 0778. *All prices and availability correct at the time of issue.
LEARN TO PLAY TENNIS LIKE RAFA NADAL AT MEXICO’S NEWEST HOTSPOT
The first of a new line of sports centres by Rafa Nadal will open in February 2019 in collaboration with Palladium Hotel Group in the north-east of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre Costa Mujeres will be part of the facilities of Palladium Hotel Group’s new luxury development in Costa Mujeres, including the five-star family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa. The new Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre Costa Mujeres will offer tennis programmes, developed by Nadal and his team, for all levels and ages to hotel guests and local residents. Other facilities for sporty families at the all-inclusive hotel include four swimming pools, plus one exclusively for children, three-tiered kids clubs, activities such as snorkelling, diving, yoga and pilates, and live shows at the open-air amphitheatre. The world-class Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre will offer a peaceful space to relax with thermal water circuit, featuring spa pools, water beds and bubble seats, as well as a range of wellness treatments. Every room boasts a balcony or terrace overlooking the impressive views of the resort and out to sea, while some rooms have premium features like direct access ‘swim-up’ pools or hydro massage hot tubs on their private balconies. Nine restaurants offer a culinary world tour from Italy to Japan, and Thailand back to Mexico, and there’s also a beach club offering refreshing cocktails and Mediterranean style fare by the sea. For more information visit.
First Choice offers seven nights at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa on all-inclusive basis, from £1,325 pp, based on two adults and two children sharing a Junior Suite. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow on Sunday 17th February, 23kg baggage allowance and coach transfers. For more information visit www.firstchoice.co.uk
BOOK A LAST-MINUTE SKI BREAK
With plenty of nursery slopes, a warmer climate than the Alps, great value après-ski and a superb English-speaking ski school, Andorra is a ski destination highly recommended for beginners and families. For the 2019 winter season, Neilson has added Neilson Chalet Hotel Micolau to its Andorra collection. The hotel is ideally located in the small but idyllically formed resort of Arinsal in the Vallnord ski area, which as well as plenty of options for all levels of skier including a large freeride area and children’s park, has a good selection of restaurants, bars and family activities. The Micolau itself is centrally located in one of the resort’s oldest buildings but local stone and solid wooden beams are accentuated by brightly coloured interiors and contemporary furnishings. A small bar, daily afternoon tea and freshly prepared evening meals with complimentary wine make this a great place to catch up with friends and family after a day on the slopes.
Neilson offers seven nights at Neilson Chalet Hotel Micolau from £1,317pp based on a seven-night stay for two adults and two children departing from London Stansted on 17 February 2019, on chalet board. For more information visit www.neilson.co.uk
SPEND AN EXCITING HALF TERM HOLIDAY AT THE FANTASIA BAHIA PRINCIPE TENERIFE
Five-star all-inclusive luxury Fantasia Bahia Principe, which recently opened on the Canary Island of Tenerife, offers the perfect setting for families looking to spend a half term holiday abroad in the sunshine.
The new property features a host of facilities and entertainment that will keep children, as well as mum and dad entertained throughout the half-term break. Younger children will love the nightly shows taking place in the hotel's mesmerising fairy-tale castle located in the centre of the property, whilst the older ones will enjoy disappearing to the exclusive teen's club known as "THE LOFT", which comes complete with private disco and a leisure recreational area.
Whilst the children are spending time in the hotel's exclusive splash-filled waterpark, or swimming in one of the property's seven swimming pools, parents can indulge in a special pampering session in the hotel's exclusive spa, or a romantic meal for two in one of the restaurants. A one night stay at the Fantasia Bahia Principe in a Junior Suite is priced from £330 based on two adults and two children sharing.
For more information on the Fantasia Bahia Principe please visit: www.bahia-principe.com
SET OFF TO EXPLORE THE DESERT OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND VISIT SHARJAH
Families can explore the wonders of the Middle East and visit Sharjah, the third largest emirate in the UAE. Sharjah, rich in cultural history, offers fun for the whole family as it plays host to archaeological sites, exotic beaches, wildlife conservation reserves and historic mosques as well as contemporary hotels and a vibrant modern arts scene.
Adults and children can enjoy a fun-fuelled day out at Sharjah’s Al Montazah Parks, the emirate’s newest attraction for families. The parks include the impressive Pearl’s Kingdom waterpark featuring 35 rides, a wave pool, a slide tower and kids’ area. The attraction also boasts an exciting amusement park, Island of Legends, inspired by a story based on a time travel journey.
For action-packed adventures families can pay a visit to Mleiha Archaeological Site, where children and parents can explore the excavations of the Umm an-Nar tomb, embark on a thrilling desert ride on Polaris quad bikes and paraglide over breath-taking views. Guests can then enjoy an overnight stay, which involves a star grazing experience, dinner and breakfast included in the package.
The fun doesn’t stop there as families can also see what a day in the life of a traditional Emirati entails and visit Al Dhaid Camel Race Track where guests can watch Camel Racing, the centuries-old Bedouin local sport. Family members can enjoy free admission to the amazing spectacle which provides an exciting and unusual day out.
Southall Travel offers seven nights at the 4* Golden Tulip Hotel from £666mpp. Price includes return flights from London Stansted Airport on 17 February 2019 and seven nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. For more information visit www.southalltravel.co.uk
For further information, please contact Holly Ingram, LOTUS, firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 953 7470.