Do we need an excuse to enjoy a pampering session? While it’s something that isn’t always a regular occurrence, it’s definitely an afternoon that is well deserved every once in a while. What better way to enjoy some ‘you’ time than an opportunity to relax, unwind and recharge your batteries. Make a day of it, take your best friend and head for the big smoke, where the choice of spas is extensive.
Perhaps you could incorporate the afternoon into a weekend away with your friend or family member? You don’t have to worry about spending too much on accommodation either. Visit https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/book/london-hotels and you could benefit from affordable hotel rooms, meaning you have more cash to splash on a massage, wrap or facial.
But which one do you choose? As a visitor to the city, you may not be familiar with which spas are recommended or which ones to avoid like the plague. Check out some of these top choices so that your visit is as calming and tranquil as possible.
Exercise Pool at the Sanctuary
You may recognise the name of this one due to the range of products it has developed for the high street. It is one of the favourites for those visiting the capital in search of a chance to unwind. Prices vary, depending on what you’re after, from back, neck and shoulder massages for £45 to body wraps for £110.
Located in the heart of Covent Garden, it would be a perfect addition to a day in the capital, whilst ideally situated to give you the chance to explore as well. Make sure you take your own flip-flops though, because they’re not provided.
On a budget? Spa London offers reasonably-priced, quality treatments ranging from Turkish Hamams to the signature Gym & Tonic which involves stripping your body of all the grime build up, leaving you fresh as a daisy.
Whether you choose its flagship spa in Bethnal Green or the newest addition in Islington (housed in the Ironmonger Row Baths), you can be sure of an indulgent afternoon that won’t break the bank.
If you are concerned about the lotions and potions that are used in the treatments, look no further than the Aveda Institute. Located on High Holborn in Covent Garden, this purveyor of natural, plant-based products means that the oils, hair products and skin treatments are all kind to your body without any added nasties.
The Berkeley Spa
Fancy relaxing in the roof top pool as part of your spa experience? You can at the Berkeley, set in the heart of London overlooking Hyde Park. A favourite with celebs, you may bump into a couple of famous faces, but don’t let the starstruck feeling overpower the real reason why you’re there – because of the quality pampering and beauty treatments.
Whether you choose to head to one of these spas or decide on something different, if you book a reasonably priced hotel by visiting https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/book/london-hotels, you will have the spare cash to enjoy some real pampering opportunities this summer.
The Berkeley spa
If the ancient Romans had the know-how and resilience to become rulers over much of the world, those qualities are still abundantly recognisable in their modern day descendants. Young Romans are unstoppable when it comes to partying. It is as though they challenge the morning light to get in the way of their dedication and commitment to some serious night-time revelry and they have an oversupply of venues in which they constantly throw down the gauntlet.
Young visitors to Rome will be awed by their day-time excursions to the city’s many and renowned historical sites, but their jaws will certainly drop when they discover night-time excursions that are fast becoming legendary. Thursday to Sunday are when partying is at its most hectic, committed and continuous; literally until happy exhaustion claims its final victim. Rome’s watering holes stand ready to imbibe a festive spirit in anticipation of a long and seemingly endless night of frivolity and dance. Pubs like Mad Jack’s are packed with enthusiasts and they serve them well.
splendid at night
Mad Jack’s is a typical Irish pub, which, in the hands of its young and dynamic new owner, serves up exactly what customers want. Situated at 20, Via Arenula in the heart of Rome, its wood-fired ovens provide authentic Roman cuisine, as well as a variety of salads, pasta and burgers. Big screens satisfy avid sports fans who can enjoy any of a multitude of spirits, draught beers, wines and liquors, while they raucously applaud the latest football, rugby or tennis match. The Ice Club Roma provides a unique, if shivering, alternative, although Arctic anoraks are a prerequisite. Close to the Colosseum, this bar is constructed entirely of ice, which makes those tequila or vodka shots vital to survival. There is no better place to undertake the thawing process than in one of Rome’s vibrant clubs.
54 Via Galvani, is the home of On The Rocks; a pub, dance club with music that ranges from Euro Techno to American hip hop. Dance the night away in a cloud of manufactured fog and, should hunger pangs strike, there is a small café on the street corner that provides good food 24/7. The club is extremely popular with students from around the globe, as is The Art Café on Viale del Galoppatoio 33, which is considered by many to be the current hot spot in Rome. The cover charge is pretty expensive and the dress code is trendy and chic, but with its spacious dance floors, private lounges and funky music, this club, situated in the Villa Borghese underground parking system, is always a crowded house.
Rome’s night life caters to everyone and there is a club for every musical preference. Prices vary from very affordable to OMG, but the party atmosphere is definitely not dependant on budget and is as thick, heavy and edgy in any price range. There is a night-time vibe in Rome that is almost incomparable and the Eternal City guarantees an eternal celebration of life.
Rome is a brilliant place to visit if you’re looking for a holiday to relax and sightsee in the day, and then looking for something a little livelier at night and you can fly direct from all the main UK airports. If you want to save your money to spend while you’re on holiday, consider booking direct with your hotel and using a flight comparison tool like momondo.co.uk to find yourself a good deal.
Mad Jack’s (image via tripadvisor)
Author Bio: David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, art and culture. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter
Biking is becoming a more frequently used way from getting from A to B and not to mention the Tour de France coming to the UK, it’s no surprise that biking holidays are in high demand. There are so many choices and different destinations you can go it could become hard to make a choice, so i’ll narrow down the best road and off road cycling holidays.
Quantocks – image via http://www.redspokes.co.uk/
Quantock – UK (Off-Road)
This route overlooks the Bristol Channel where you have a fantastic view over Wales. On the trip you get to climb up Quantock Combe’s wooded single track, which opens out onto the moors. If speeds more your style there’s a massive single track descent bringing you the excitement you may crave, at the end of the route there is a Rose and Crown inn where they serve quality real ales, which is perfect after a tiring days biking.
Lake Districts – UK (Off Road)
Stunning views of the Pennines and the Lake District whilst getting a qualified guide to assist your trip on the trail and make the best possible experience for you. There are perfect trails for first time mountain bikers to improve and become more confident as well as tricky descents, its a holiday for anyone to enjoy. If all that biking tires you out there is Jennings Pub located on the route that serves hot food and cold drinks perfect for a nice rest bite.
Chilterns – UK (Road)
A casual cycle through the lovely Chiltern hills across miles and miles of quiet rural roads with delightful village greens perfect for picnics with the family or friends. Along the route there are all sorts of different hills in many different atmospheres, discover the joys of lightweight road biking on this holiday. As if all that isn’t enough there is a 16th century Red Lion inn perfect for a refreshing beverage after your long day of road cycling.
Loire Valley – France (Road)
An easy paced ride with rest days across a magnificent route of france, passing through the famous villages of Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry and Usse whilst enjoying all their famous wine vineyards across the route. This unique opportunity is not one to be passed up with all the beautiful historic sights to enjoy, A great holiday to be enjoyed by the whole family with the range of children from the age of two.
Catalan Coastal Cycling – Spain (On & Off Road)
If sun drenched villages, wide sandy beaches and beautiful bays are for you then this holiday is perfect. Quiet roads perfect for first time cyclist to enjoy the road without being nervous, with the lovely sea breeze it isn’t too hot to cope as you bike across the landscape passing high quality hotels and luxury castles on the way.
image via http://www.catalanadventures.com/
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Are you thinking of taking a trip out to Cancun for your summer holiday? If not – you should be! Cancun, also known as the nest of snakes, is a popular tourist destination all year round, and for good reason: the beautiful golden sands lend themselves well to holiday makers who like sun, sea, and relaxation, while the incredible ruins of the ancient Mayan civilisation are truly awe-inspiring, whether you’re a history buff or not.
The best way to experience the joys of Cancun is by staying in an all-inclusive resort – this way, you get everything taken care of, from authentic Mexican cuisine to the very best in tropical cocktails.
What Makes Cancun Different?
Going to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun will be an experience unlike going to a similar resort somewhere else – because Cancun is neatly placed between the United States and the continent of South America, the people you encounter will be staggeringly diverse, meaning that you’ll get to meet and make friends with people from all over the globe.
Cancun attracts a wide range of travellers – if you like to drink and to party, you may have heard that it’s a popular destination for Spring Breakers: American college students descend on the city over the Easter holidays for some drunken revelry. If that sounds appealing to you, just look at the dates for Spring Break and fly on over then to have a really wild time!
If you would prefer to have an interesting and relaxing break; say, drinking cocktails in the sun, scuba diving down to an underwater art gallery (yes, this really exists!), or exploring ancient ruins, we’d suggest coming in the British summer, which is the Mexican winter. The reason for this is simple – the weather is amazing and tourist season is in full swing. Coming in the Mexican summer will leave you ravaged by hurricanes. Visit World Weather Online for a full breakdown of the typical weather in Cancun.
Why Go All-Inclusive?
Whether you choose to budget and fly with Cheapflights.com or go all out and book a luxury cruise, an all-inclusive resort is simply the best place to stay. For a start, most of the most luxurious places are part of all-inclusive resorts, and you’ll find that they often come with their own private stretches of golden sands or scuba diving spots.
A number of the most famous outdoor markets happen to take place within walking distance of the Hotel District, meaning that you won’t have to travel far to experience the delectable street food or get some amazing bargains! Whether you want some kitschy souvenirs like custom tequila shot glasses or you’re after some authentic fashion items – such as huipiles and huaraches – the markets are the place to go.
Often, your all-inclusive resort will offer you a range of facilities and activities, in addition to the free-flowing food and booze. These may include great things to do like a bunch of different water sports, or even guided tours around the Yucatan Peninsula. Ask around before you book to find the one which best caters to your tastes!
image via http://good-wallpapers.com
image via http://www.discoverqueensland.com.au
Whenever Sydney, Brisbane or any part of Australia comes up in a conversation, I would be reminded of my first ever childhood friend who gave me a koala plush toy, one that I treasure until now. Yes, 22 years later and I still have the lovely little koala and I’ve associated both of them to anything about Australia. It would be nice to see her once again, perhaps take a trip down memory lane or better, somewhere at the land down under. Australia, and Queensland have a lot to offer when it comes to tourism and Brisbane is one of the cities worth visiting this summer. What with its many parks and wharves and the first ever koala sanctuary, it’s a must-see city for the adventurous.
Here are some of the top vacation spots one shouldn’t miss when in Brisbane.
1. Brisbane Forest Park. A place where waterways meet, Brisbane forest park is home to the Walk-About Wildlife Centre. The centre in turn features Australian wildlife on display at that includes Australian native birds, a platypus, sugar gliders, wallabies, wombats and other animals we wouldn’t see around or in any other parks.
2. The Old Museum Building of Brisbane. Originally called the Exhibition Building and Concert Hall, it was built in 1891. It is home to the Queensland Youth Orchestras, who use the building as a rehearsal, performance and office space. The building is also home for theBrisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Youth Choir among other performing groups.
3. City Botanic Gardens. The perfect spot to read a good book or have lunch under cycads, palms, figs and bamboo trees. Don’t be surprised to see brides and grooms brimming with happiness as you stroll around this garden, it’s a favorite wedding venue too.
4. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Wanna hold a real koala? This is the only place for it. The sanctuary began with two koalas called Jack and Jill and now holds kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas, and other reptiles as well as kookaburras, emus and cockatoos. This place will be especially enchanting for kids and kids at heart or the animal-love in us all.
5. Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Kangaroos – another lovable creature native to Australia, so popular that a rock climbing area. Try it for yourself or if you ain’t the type then spend some time for barbecue just by the foot of the cliff.
There are a lot more places that one can explore in Brisbane, that a week would not be enough, with all the scenery, river and those, a cruise should also be in order. Or one can book car hire in brisbane with DriveNow and simply drink in the beauty of the surrounding, the sunsets and take a million photos of the wildlife that is native only to the land down under.
image via http://www.insidecolby.com/
That time passes by is true and something we can’t escape. Even if we want to stay in a certain moment longer, it’s just not possible – unless of course you find the magic nut that will take you back in time as you please.
So March is here and spring is coming – and there’s spring break. What have you planned to do for the week-long (or more) vacation? We plan to visit Berlin, it’s just close so 3 to 4 days would be really fine. If you haven’t decided yet and if tickets and accommodation are still available, here’s some travel tips for March break for you (although they are actually my personal picks).
Spring break is the best time to visit Japan. Do Hanami (flower viewing) and watch hanabi (fireworks) on display. Sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom around March to May and it is Japanese tradition to view them during this season. While you’re at it, join a hanami party and eat bento under one of them mesmerizing cherry tree in full bloom.
enjoy lunch under cherry trees (image via http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com)
Not being biased but March is a great time to visit the beaches of the Philippines as well. Beaches in Palawan, Boracay and Puerto Galera are the more obvious choices but Laiya in Batangas is fast becoming the new tourist destination. What with its whites sand beaches too and unadulterated blue waters, it’s a paradise worth going for a long travel to.
And yes, Panglao in Bohol, Bantayan Island in Cebu, Samal in Davao and Camiguin (no matter where) should not be off the list. But, I personally would love to experience a dive at the UNESCO World heritage site; the Tubbataha reef. And perfect too since it is most easiest to go there from mid-March to mid-June.
Acuatico Resort, Laiya, Batangas image via http://www.acuaticoresort.com.ph
In the U.S.
Washington D.C.’s national flower would also be cherry blossoms. Every year, on March 27, the city commemorates the friendship between Japan and the US with a festival very similar to hanami. Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo donated cherry trees in 1912 to the US government on that day. Today, the event gathers photographers and enthusiasts all over the world for a view of thousands of blossoming cherry trees with either the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington monument and the Potomac river at the background. It’s the best time to get the chance to visit the White House, rather, get a good view of the lovely architecture, if you’re still into it, probably see America’s first black president.
annual cherry blossom festival, Washington, D.C.
image via http://thefabweb.com/
Orlando and Palm Springs, Florida; San Francisco and San Diego in California; Las Vegas, Nevada and Houston, Texas are some of my other choices. Definitely warm in those regions by March.
Somewhere in South America
Another World Heritage sight worth visiting come March is Peru’s Macchu Picchu. Well, it’s for history buffs like me and probably second only to the fact that a close friend of mine is from Peru. I would love to visit her hometown of Lima and explore the ancient site and practice my very little knowledge of Spanish, somehow.
ruins seen from Huayna Picchu
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Paraguay…ahhmmm basically all the cities down south are on my list… Just can’t get Peru off the top of the list!
Paris, France; Venice in Italy, London in the UK, and any of Spain’s enchanting city would surely be the first picks but why not try any of Greece’s lovely islands first?
Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Santorini and of course, had the strikes subsided, Athens are great choices. It doesn’t matter where, it just matters that it’s anywhere in Greece.
image via http://factspod.blogspot.com
Haa Valley, wikimedia commons
One of the least explored places in Asia and also the happiest country in the region is the Kingdom of Bhutan. That fact alone makes me want to see the place, it is on number 18 in this list of places I want to visit but I won’t mind seeing it first.
Unassuming yet enchanting. That’s perhaps the best description for Bhutan. The country, one might say, is still unadulterated. The greenery and the mountainous landscape even though seen only in photos would give you a feel of fresh air and cool breeze.
So what do you do in Bhutan in case you decide to visit? Try the following:
1. Visit Dzongs. Dzongs or Zhongs are a type of fortress architecture. They serve as the religious, military, administrative, and social centers of their district. Mostly, half is an active government facility and the other half is open to monks and to the public for prayer. Some of them worth seeing are Dzong at Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong fortress, Rinpung Dzong at Paro and the Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzonga at Punakha which is said to be the most impressive.
2. Buddha Dordenma. See one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world. With a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters), this Buddharupa is made of Bronze and gilded in gold. There’s also the Kuenselphodrang nature park just below the statue for added recreation.
3. Temples and Monasteries. There are a number of temples and monasteries all around Bhutan but one is most especially famous being located at the cliffside of the upper Paro valley that it appears to be hanging. Called Tiger’s nest, the monastery is more popularly known as Paro Taktsang. The visit would be a challenge as you have to walk a lot going up. Consider this a fitness and spiritual visit in one trip.
4. Jigme Dorji National Park and Motithang Takin Preserve. Bhutan’s national animal is called Takin, it looks like a crossover of a cow and a goat that many who have seen one says it’s quite unique. They can be seen mostly at these two locations but more prominent at the preserve. The National Park also houses a number of other animals and birds which nature-lovers would be happy to encounter.
5. Handicrafts and weaving. Bhutanese law requires all Bhutanese citizens to wear the national dress in public areas and as formal wear. Thus, Bhutanese clothing is very unique and the weavers have perfected their hand-weaving traditions to create a fashion sense all their own. You might recall Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, the queen consort of Bhutan, as the wife of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck during their marriage, though a commoner she was the subject of many magazines for her beautiful Kira wedding dress. The dress was woven from raw silk a, she wore a light yellow tego (long sleeved, short jacket-like garment) and a kira colored red, yellow, green and white, along with red earrings to match her red wonju (long-sleeved blouse).
There are shops were you can buy weaved products and local handicrafts, there are museums where royal clothing are displayed and where you can also buy them.
6. Food. Bhutan is widely vegetarian. This is a good way for one to go on a kinder diet, thus not only becoming healthy in the process…along with a lot of walking, a close encounter to nature and rubbing elbows with monks, you are sure to see the world in a different light after experiencing the life of the happiest people in Asia.