In Lanzarote’s sea of samey resorts and hotels, how do you stand out from the crowd? Well, you build a mini volcano in a nod to the island’s volcanic past and create a tiny “Lanzarote” around it. Et voila, you’ve got the most unique hotel on the island! That’s just what they did with Hotel Volcan, a popular Playa Blanca property, and that’s not the only thing this Lanzarote mainstay has going for it.
Unless you’re a business traveller, I’m guessing most of you have never set foot in Frankfurt, never mind considered it for a German city break. Poor old Frankfurt tends to get left behind in favour of the Berghain beats of Berlin or Oktoberfest madness of Munich. Well, for Irish tourists at least. But the oft-overlooked Frankfurt has lots to keep you entertained if you’re there on business or just passing through.
Despite the stuffy financial hub image, Frankfurt has plenty of pluses in its favour. With a population of just 700,000 people you’re never thronged by crowds on the streets, and, even though it has a highly efficient public transport system, you can pretty much walk everywhere. The city mixes old-style architecture with slick skyscrapers and, despite the cosmopolitan spirit, you won’t have to search far to indulge in a traditional apple wine or schnitzel.
Think of Tenerife and I’m willing to bet my handbag collection that fitness won’t be the first thing to spring to mind. Or in the top ten for that matter. But it should be.
5 million tourists flock to the volcanic island of Tenerife each year and for most holidaymakers, the Canaries tick the package holiday sun, sand and Sangria boxes. That’s great if you need some beach-shaped relaxation but, as host to four of Spain’s impressive 14 national parks, the islands have everything fitness fans need for an active holiday, with spectacular scenery and the balmy embrace of the sun to boot.
The Wild Atlantic Way might be stealing everyone’s tourism thunder this year but there’s another route slightly further north that avid roadtrippers shouldn’t miss.
Driving along the Causeway Coast – from Belfast Lough to the North Antrim coast and all that lies between – is one of the most scenic routes in Ireland, if not the world. Fact. Offering 120 miles of stunning sights and awash with natural beauty, this coastal route is also home to some of Northern Ireland’s most photographed landmarks and enough natural beauty to charm any intrepid traveller.
As well as passing through valleys and villages and spotting historic ruins, unspoilt beaches and rugged cliffs, you can even catch a glimpse of south west Scotland across the water. Gorgeous.
As a Dublin resident with an Aircoach stop 5 mins from her door (but I still manage to always miss it) , I rarely need to stay over near the airport before an early flight and, truth be told, I’ve only had this little luxury twice. Firstly, a bog standard stay at the Clarion (now a Maldron) and secondly, a more pleasurable – and bargaintastic – night at Bewley’s, which I would definitely recommend.
They say good things come in threes and so my third airport hotel taster came recently when I had the pleasure of visiting the Hilton Dublin Airport for a lovely dinner at the Burnell restaurant. After experiencing the Hilton Dublin in the city centre last month and finding it a sleekly businesslike hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to find its airport counterpart to be so homely. Continue reading
I know, I know, I’ve already gushed about the Art Institute of Chicago in my post here but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was on TV again at the weekend and it made me pine for the Windy City (and the life of a John Hughes movie teen). Most of all, it made me lust for an afternoon at the Art Institute. Continue reading
Geneva has more swagtastic 5 star hotels than you can shake a second hand copy of Fifty Shades of Grey at but the good news is the city is finally starting to embrace the boutique hotel trend (AKA my hotel type of choice). One such stylish stay is the Eastern-influenced East West, one of the city’s top boutique picks. A little touch of the orient-meets-hip boutique in the middle of Geneva? Sounds good to me.