Friday, May 31, 2013

A Tailor-Made Honeymoon in Vietnam

Honeymoon with a tailor made holiday in Vietnam from Responsible Travel.

This fantastic journey through Vietnam begins in the North, where you will land in the charming city of Hanoi - your first stop. Spend a couple of nights here exploring the Old Quarter, wandering around the Hoan Kiem Lake and visiting the many sights of the city. Next you will take the overnight train up to the Tonkinese Alps, arriving in the small town of Lao Cai early the following morning and spending a few days trekking and exploring the minority villages and colourful markets around Sapa. After returning to Hanoi you will head out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, where spending a night on board a traditional junk is the ideal way to see this stunning area in style and comfort.

Moving onto Central Vietnam spend two nights in the old Imperial city of Hue, visiting the Emperors Tombs set on the Perfume River and explore the old Citadel with its stunning architecture and intriguing history. Hoi An is the next stop, a charming old town with streets bustling with tailors, fine restaurants and a pretty stretch of beach just ten minutes out of town for your relaxation. Finally your last couple of nights will be in Saigon, a buzzing thriving city teeming with people and mopeds, as well as many interesting sights such as the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. A great place to end your trip and pick up any last minute shopping before flying back to the UK. Best time to travel There is no best time of year to do this itinerary due to the varied and somewhat unreliable weather patterns spanning the country. Notoriously difficult to predict with any accuracy due to the several micro climates and the conflicting monsoon patterns that affect the weather, Vietnam has become even more unreliable in recent years as a result of global warming. The winter months of 2007/08 were especially harsh, with some of the worst weather in the region for over 40 years. Historically speaking, the north, the south and the central regions all have different weather patterns. The north and south are generally wet and hot and humid in our summer months, with the central region being hot and dry then. In our winter months the central region is monsoonal, experiencing strong typhoons on occasions. At this time the north will be cold and possibly some slight rain, while the south will be warm and dry.

For this itinerary therefore, if you were to travel in January/February for example, you are likely to experience some fairly cool temperatures in Sapa, Hanoi and Central regions, mist and cloud on Halong Bay, yet Saigon will be hot and dry. Travelling in July/August you are likely to experience some rain in Sapa, Hanoi and Halong Bay, however temperatures will certainly be much warmer than in winter months, with beautiful hot and dry beach weather in the Central regions, and some humid and wet spells in the South. Due to the three separate microclimates in Vietnam, it is virtually impossible to travel the full length of the country in any month of the year without experiencing some bad weather somewhere along the way. Once you have chosen when you would prefer to travel, the answer is to expect the unexpected in Vietnam.

Visit Responsible Travel.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Honeymoon at Huka Lodge

There are few places in the world that offer such a perfect setting as Huka Lodge for a truly romantic honeymoon.

Offering absolute privacy and an elegant luxury, Huka Lodge has created a new Honeymoon offer which indulges those new bridal couples in search of the perfect post-wedding escape. This Huka Lodge Honeymoon offer includes:
  • Accommodation for two, for two nights, in a riverside Junior Lodge Suite at Huka Lodge.
  • A chilled bottle of fine French Champagne waiting in their suite on arrival.
  • Guaranteed private dining in a choice of over 20 romantic indoor and outdoor locations.
  • Pre-dinner drinks and canapés, superb five-course gourmet dinners and full country breakfasts (including breakfast in bed, if desired) during the entire stay.
  • Turn-down gifts of handmade nougat and a perfumed Jo Malone candle on the first evening and on the final evening an inscribed copy of Worlds Apart – The Huka Retreats, the new coffee table book, as a reminder of such a special time together.
  • Late check-out.
Priced from NZ$954.00 per person, per night on a double/twin occupancy basis. Includes use of all Lodge facilities and return Taupo Airport transfers. 
  • 01 May –30 September 2013 inclusive = NZ $954.00 per person, per night
  • 01 October – 14 December 2013 inclusive = NZ $1,178.00 per person,
    per night
  • 15 December 2013 – 31 March 2014 inclusive = NZ $1,649.00 per person,
    per night
This Honeymoon stay is also available with accommodation at the Owner’s Cottage and Alan Pye Cottage. Rates can be provided on request. Helicopter transfers are also available and prices can be advised accordingly. All prices quoted are in New Zealand dollars and include GST of 15%. This offer is subject to availability.

Huka Lodge is a sister property to Dolphin Island, Fiji and Grande Provence Estate, South Africa. All three properties comprise The Huka Retreats and are the vision of their founder, entrepreneur Alex van Heeren. 

Visit Huka Lodge.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sand, Soccer and Sun in Tahiti this September

Air Tahiti Nui is gearing up for Tahiti’s first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup this September with some hot high season deals.

From September 18-28, Tahiti and her islands will be abuzz with football fanfare as the world’s best beach soccer teams pour into Papeete for the first Pacific-hosted tournament.

Air Tahiti Nui General Manager New Zealand Australia Mark Hutchinson said there were still seats available during the month and hotels on Tahiti and her surrounding islands had reported that there was plenty of availability. 

“September is always a great time to visit Tahiti – it’s typically Tahiti’s driest month and visitors are treated to ideal average temperatures of about 28C. This year, there is the added bonus of catching some beach soccer action,” Mr Hutchinson said.  

“We expect to see lots of Australians and New Zealanders flock to the region for their chance to combine their love of sport with some fun in the sun and encourage holidaymakers to book now for a great September escape.”

Visit Tahiti this September with these great value Tahiti Travel Connection packages:
  • Seven nights at the Intercontinental Tahiti in a lagoon view room, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui including taxes, transfers throughout and a full day Papeete city and Tahiti island tour, priced from $3265* per person twin share.
  • Seven nights, including five nights at the at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea in a garden bungalow with private plunge pool, breakfast daily, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui including taxes, inter-island ferry, transfers throughout, one night pre and post accommodation in Tahiti plus a half day circle island tour of Moorea and a sunset cruise, priced from $3370* per person twin share.
  • Seven nights, including five nights at the Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow, breakfast daily, return economy airfares with Air Tahiti Nui including taxes, inter-island flights, transfers throughout, plus one night pre and post accommodation in Tahiti, priced from $4210* per person twin share. Also includes a glass bottom boat tour and 4WD adventure safari tour.
For more information visit Air Tahiti Nui. 
*Conditions apply. On sale now and available for travel during September including the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup from September 18-28, 2013.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Save USD$4000 per Night at Semara's Newest Luxury Villa

Travellers the world over have developed a love affair for the freedom and flexibility of the villa escape in Bali and Semara is at the forefront of this latest holiday trend.

Villa Gajah Putih, one of Bali's original villas and a landmark in the Canggu area is now managed by Semara Resorts Group.

Normally USD$8,000++ per night in high season, the nightly rate has been reduced to just USD$4,000++ per night for stays in July and August including access to three seven-seat vehicles and drivers daily plus return airport transfers.

Comfortably accommodate up to 22 persons, the expansive luxury villa is located on absolute beachfront at Pantai Berawa (Berawa Beach), just 2km from the now famous Potato Head Beach Club and 3km from Ku De Ta.

The beach is well known as a quality surf break and a perfect place for viewing the spectacular Bali sunsets.

Extensively renovated in 2012 with careful consideration given to retaining its distinctive Balinese features, the villa can now be described as Indonesian Plantation style.

The seven-bedroom estate is set on 1.63ha and offers a tennis court, large swimming pool, vast lawn and coconut grove, home cinema, professional kitchen and more than 20 staff including personal butler and chef.

Each bedroom has at least one wall made entirely of glass overlooking the ocean or gardens of the property. The floor and ceilings of the bedroom are made of unique polished ironwood, whilst the ensuite bathroom has marble walls and floors. Most bathrooms have double vanity, double shower, a large bathtub and bidets.

For the ultimate villa experience guests can enjoy dining privately with a menu prepared by the villas personal chef.

Guests can choose from a wide range of meals including sampling Indonesian specialities, International fare or even a seafood BBQ dinner.

All produce is sourced from local markets and delicatessens that have imported items from around the globe.

The villa is capable of hosting intimate weddings, special celebrations and large events. With its expansive grounds one can easily entertain 300 guests.

Villa Gajah Putih is truly one of Bali's most distinguished properties.

Visit Semara Resorts Group.
++Subject to 10% service and 10% government tax charge.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Semara Website Specials - Book Now

Book to stay at Semara Seminyak by October 31st, 2013 to receive these website specials!
  • 65% OFF from USD 95++ per night - Standard, Poolside and Executive Suites for June and July.
  • 50% OFF from USD 135 ++ per night - Standard, Poolside and Executive Suites for August, September & October.
  • 20% OFF - Stay 7 Nights Pay 6 Nights - Superior Poolside and Presidential Suite.
Specials include a 20 min Spa Sampler per adult, 2 Hours Cubby House Kids Club per child daily, Free Yoga Class Daily (except Sunday), Free Gym, Free WiFi.

++ 10% Govt Tax & 5% Service Fee. Based on Poolside Room.

Visit Semara Seminyak.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Popular Lau Cruise gets Second Departure -
Captain Cook Cruises

Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji has released a second departure date for is its 11 night Lau cruise after the first departure scheduled for October 22, 2013, immediately sold out. The second departure is scheduled for 22 April, 2014.

The Lau cruise, which visits the Northern region of the Lau Islands, visits a part of Fiji never seen by tourists before. 

“We are so happy that we can offer a second Lau cruise, due to the first cruise being so popular and filling so quickly. This is a really unique cruise and we have worked so hard, using local knowledge and advice, to put together a fantastic 11 night itinerary that will allow passengers to experience a remote and unspoilt part of Fiji.” Says Jackie Charlton, Managing Director of Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji. 

Invited to visit these incredible islands by locals eager to share their beauty, the 11 night Lau cruise will visit the untouched northern island of Lau - Wailagilala, Lau’s largest Island - Vanuabalavu, the most beautiful Island in the Lau group - Fulaga, the uninhabited Vuaqava, Kabara - known for its wood turning and Tongan heritage and the untouched white beaches of Totoya Island. 

On the way to and from the Lau group the cruise will stop in at Yanuca Island, Savusavu Bay and Kadavu, famous for its wildlife and underwater world. 

Passengers can also sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views as they cruise through the Bay of Islands, renowned for its beauty, pristine waters and spectacular scenery and the central Lau Group, passing Islands such as Lakeba, Oneata, Komo, Namuka-i-Lau and Yagasa. 

Exciting activities over these 12 days include Kayaking or river tubing on the Nasakawa River, mountain bike riding through hills, valleys and villages in Savusavu Bay, visiting a crater of an extinct volcano at Cobia, fishing at Wailagilala, visiting Fijian and Tongan influenced villages and schools, attending a local church service, exploring the flora and fauna of the Vuaqava region, a traditional Meke, Sevusevu and lovo feast and endless swimming, snorkelling and diving in the clear blue ocean water off picturesque islands and in beautiful lagoons. 

If a day trip isn’t for you, passengers can also stay on-board and be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa offering a range of body treatments, work out in the ship’s mini gym or simply relax on the sun deck by the spa or pool or grab a cocktail at the pool bar. 

Dining is another vital ingredient of these amazing cruises. Whether it is an alfresco luncheon, a casual barbecue or table d’hote dinner, all food is prepared on board from fresh local and imported produce and cultural on-board entertainment adds a special flavour to the mix. 

The Discovery Lau cruise departs Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 1.00pm from Port Denarau and disembarks on Saturday 2 May, 2013 at 9.00am at Port Denarau. 

The 11 night cruise is priced from $3430 per adult twin share and includes accommodation, all meals, daily stopovers and water activities, guided village, school and island tours, glass bottom boat excursions, Marine Biologist and cultural talks, on-board entertainment and use of the ship's facilities including swimming pool, spas, pool bar, sun deck, sauna, cocktail bar, day spa and library.

Visit Captain Cook Cruises.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Air Tahiti Nui Hosts First Inflight Wedding

Air Tahiti Nui has held its first inflight wedding ceremony 10,000m in the air somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean between Paris and Los Angeles with a British couple celebrating their union on flight TN07 en route to Tahiti for their honeymoon.

For Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant, it was their 42nd wedding ceremony as the pair 

travel the globe exchanging vows in unique wedding locations, including a horseback wedding in Canada, a wedding in an Ecuador temple on the Equator and even a ceremony officiated by Martha Stewart in New York, all in search of the perfect 
place to wed.

During the 
Air Tahiti Nui ceremony, the bride and groom walked down the aircraft aisle and met in the first row where the flight’s chief purser recited the ceremony in English and French before declaring the couple united as “2 people 1 life”.

In front of the aircraft full of travellers, Alex and Lisa each vowed to be “life long travel partners” before placing the national flower of Tahiti, a Tiare flower, behind each other’s ears as a symbol of commitment.

The couple celebrated with passengers, who had the opportunity to sign a guest book, before retiring to business class for celebratory champagne and sugared almonds.

Upon touching down in Los Angeles, the couple tweeted, “We are SO on our way to Tahiti and have just held our 42nd wedding ceremony INFLIGHT with Air Tahiti Nui! It was AMAZING! An incredible team made us so welcome and helped us celebrate!”

Alex and Lisa will spend a week exploring the Society Islands including two more Tahiti-style weddings at a cultural village on Moorea and also in a glass-bottomed overwater chapel at the Intercontinental Resort Bora Bora.

According to the couple’s website 2People1Life, they are planning to spend five months driving around Australasia with their three-year adventure slated to end down under in July 2014.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Honeymoon in Heaven

There are 15 words in Fijian for heaven and Yasawa is the first. Revel in a secluded area renowned for its beautiful pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear swimming waters. No other resorts, no televisions, no traffic and no mobile phones. The 18 traditionally thatched beachfront bures are understated luxury, hidden among palms, each air-conditioned with its own thatched beachfront hut, a pair of outdoor day beds, a discreet outdoor show on its own sundeck and a hammock strung between the palms. All gourmet meals, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks and most activities are included.

Visit Yasawa.