In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • Corfu easter

    Villas in Greece for an authentic Greek Easter

    almost 8 years ago

    Greek Orthodox Easter is a huge celebration in Greece and particularly in Corfu where there are numerous luxury villas from which to enjoy the festivities. In Corfu Town once the sombre Good Friday processions have concluded all of the lights start to glow purple in the evening. On Easter Saturday large pots are thrown from windows to get rid of evil spirits. On Saturday night there is music and dancing and everyone lights a candle which must remain alight to bring in the good spirits. The traditional “Magiritsa” soup is served at midnight and finally the island is filled with the aromatic scent of spit roast goat for the celebration lunch on Sunday.

    This year Greek Easter coincides with the UK Easter holiday, with an additional `Royal Wedding’ public holiday making it one of the best times to travel and take minimal time off work. Luxury villa company, CV Travel has come up with a selection of villas in Greece from which to experience the colour of Greek Easter.

    Private cook and a bath on the balcony
    Arguably one of the finest luxury villas in Greece, Kaparelli House is located in the exclusive North East coast of Corfu with a breathtaking horizon pool, a master suite that includes a Jacuzzi bath on the balcony and far-reaching sea views. For rental over Easter, Kaparelli House comes with its own private cook to prepare daily breakfast and one other meal a day, perhaps a traditional Easter meal? A week’s stay costs £4200 for ten sharing, including maid service and welcome food hamper but excludes flights, which can be arranged on request, and food costs.

    Luxury villa that doesn’t cost the earth, 7 nights £285pp
    Luxury villas in Greece needn’t cost the earth and for a weeks stay over Easter 2011 Villa Mokoras on Corfu’s exclusive north east coast costs just £285pp based on ten people sharing. This price includes maid service, a welcome food hamper and car hire, with flights available on request. Villa Mokoras has wide open terraces, a built in barbecue and a freeform pool of varying depths.
    A villa in Greece over Easter
    Within an hour’s drive of Corfu Town, with its flamboyant Easter festivities, and a few minutes drive to the lively harbour town of Kassiopi, Villa Karakousi is in a great location from which to enjoy Greek Easter. The villa has spacious terraces and a private pool and can be rented for £2310 for six sharing, including car hire, maid service and a welcome food hamper. Flights are available on request.

    Villas in Greece straight out of the pages of a glossy magazine
    Straight out of the pages of an interiors magazine, Trifylli House is a Greek island villa that combines style with an unique setting amid the fabulous Rou Estate, a 200 year old stone baked hamlet, set high above Corfu’s north east coast brought back to life by a British architect and his holistic therapist wife. Privately located at the top of the village of just 13 houses, Trifylli House enjoys the benefit of a spa and one of the most breathtaking horizon pools shared by any villas in Greece, while having its own plunge pool and sunny terraces too. The price of £1640 / week includes maid service, car hire and a welcome food hamper and is based on four sharing. The price excludes flights.

    For further information and details of other villas in Greece, visit CV Villas.

  • Government endorses travel review websites

    almost 8 years ago

    The official star-rating for hotels should be phased out in favour of consumer-led reviews on the internet according to the government’s tourism strategy.

    The Department for Culture Media and Sport is to remove its official backing for the star system because it argues that it is out of date and does reflect value for money or what guests want. The government proposal argues that consumers are often given more truthful insights and holiday advice by fellow customers posting travel reviews on the internet of where they have stayed than the independent assessors who work for the national tourism industry. Travel and hotel reviews on the web are far more up to date than ratings. John Penrose, the tourism minister, said that customer websites enabled people to get clear and accurate information and travel advice, and declared that star systems were sometimes inaccurate. “We will encourage customer websites that improve the quality of information which visitors can use to choose the right holiday for them, so they make informed choices rather than discovering problems when it’s too late”.

    Source: Sunday Times

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  • News 6

    Star Clippers offers new unique eco-adventure with David Bellamy

    almost 8 years ago

    For the first time tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cruise the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the company of David Bellamy, one of Britain’s most respected authors, environmental campaigners, broadcasters and botanists.

    Bellamy will escort a group of Star Clippers guests from the UK on a week-long adventure in December 2011 on board the 170-passenger tall ship Star Flyer, visiting some of the world’s most pristine rainforest and beautiful beaches. The offer includes a private reception for the UK guests; two lectures by David Bellamy; and an escorted shore excursion with the botanist in Playas del Coco.

    Before Bellamy boards Star Flyer with the guests on December 11, the group stays for two nights at the five-star Royal Corin Hotel, with breathtaking views of the famous Arenal Volcano, one of the ten most active in the world.

    The week-long voyage from Puerto Caldera includes some of the most beautiful beaches and anchorages along the Pacific costs of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, among them the surf resort of San Juan del Sur; the half-moon bay of Playas del Coco, with spectacular wildlife; National Park Santa Rosa, famed for its cloud forest and wildlife; Samara, for kayaking and bird-watching; Puerto Carrillo; the National Reserve of Curu, with a good chance of spotting whales and dolphins; and the remote Isla Tortugas (overnight), before returning to Puerto Caldera.

    The 10-night tour costs from £2,239 per person and departs December 8, 2011. The price includes return flights from London to Costa Rica; transfers; three nights’ hotel accommodation; seven nights’ full board accommodation on Star Flyer; two exclusive lectures by David Bellamy; one shore excursion hosted by David Bellamy; guided tours on the pre-cruise section; and watersports from the ship.

    For more information, please contact [email protected]

  • News 5

    The world’s first cruise ship for epicureans is named in Miami

    almost 8 years ago

    The very newest luxury cruise ship on the sea is christened on Saturday 5th February in a ceremony attended by the ship’s Godmother, US TV personality and Entertainment Tonight presenter Mary Hart. Oceania Cruises’ `Marina’, the first ship in the world built specifically for epicureans, is the fourth ship in the Oceania Cruises’ fleet, joining Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Her sister ship, Riviera, is currently being built and will debut in April 2012.

    Marina has ten exceptional dining venues, comparable to the best shore-side restaurants, and is the first cruise ship to feature a hands-on cooking school. She is a ship of firsts, the new `Jaques’ restaurant, named after Master Chef Jacques Pépin, is his first namesake restaurant at sea; the ship also features Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites and luxurious accommodations by designer Dakota Jackson; a Wine Spectator wine programme and wine pairing in La Reserve, wine tasting centre; a Lalique grand stairway and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, with its complimentary SpaClub menus.

    After the Christening festivities in Miami, Marina sets sail Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, sailing a round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.

    Oceania Cruises’ new Marina has been purposefully designed to carry 1,250 guests to the world’s most alluring ports in elegance and style. Rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and illustrious leathers adorn public rooms. Facilities include 10 dining venues including six open-seating gourmet restaurants, an array of bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness centre, swimming pool and hot tubs.

    To find out more about Oceania Cruises, visit  or call 0845 505 1920.

  • Nearly one in five UK citizens 'to live beyond 100'

    about 8 years ago

    Many people can look forward to a card from the Queen, the government suggests.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said its figures suggested 10 million people – 17% of the population – would become centenarians.  These are based on Office for National Statistics population projections and life expectancy estimates.  Pensions Minister Steve Webb said "Many millions of us will be spending around a third of our lives or more in retirement in the future".  The DWP estimates there will be at least 507,000 people aged 100 or over by 2066, including 7,700 people aged 110 or over – so-called super-centenarians.

    Currently 11,800 people in the UK are aged 100 or over and fewer than 100 are over 110.

    The government figures suggest that of the more than 10m will go on to reach 100, 3m are currently aged under 16, 5.5m are aged between 16 and 50, and 1.3m are aged between 51 and 65.  About 875,000 are already aged over 65, it says.

    Source: BBC News Report – 30 Dec 2010

  • News 1

    Adventure Holidays for the Over 50's

    about 8 years ago

    The Daily Telegraph reports that the UK's more mature population is fitter, healthier and wealthier than ever before, liberated from the responsibilities of their children and taking a record number of gap years.  Statistics indicate that 80 per cent of the UK's wealth is held by the over-50s according to research organisation Tourism Intelligence International.

    "The over-50s are keener tna ever to see the world, and have a thirst for adventure, " says Archers Direct head of product David Binns. "They want to learn how to cook in Morocco, go walking in the Grand Canyon and explore South America.  Touring in Jordan and Morocco is proving particularly popular for 2011."