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Here we are on the second part of our Cretan luxury holiday. Still in Elounda, it’s where the majority of 5* hotels are. We are at the Domes of Elounda a luxury boutique resort. A favourite with families, its sandy-beachside kids club run by the trusted Worldwide Kids Company (they run the one at the fabulous Sani Resort in Halkidiki where we will be jetting off to for the last week of our holiday).
This review is of a favourite of mine just over an hour from London on the Essex/ Suffolk borders in gorgeous Constable country. A cosy, luxurious country house hotel with fine dining restaurant, tennis, spa and year round outdoor heated pool. Perfect for a family break or a romantic getaway.
“Leave Alexander at home”, and “go away just the two of you” both ignored in the past due to kid’s club. It just didn’t occur to me. However, enough was enough and after four months of broken night’s sleeps we gave in and embraced a weekend away sans enfant. Oh boy, has it given me a taste of this newfound freedom!
Holiday body ready! The girls at Perfect10 have been round to preen me to within an inch of my life with a pedicure that is still intact as I write! Our Cosmolite cases packed and a Kabbee to Gatwick (new amazing mini-cab app that books and pays in one go!) A comfortable flight on a brand new Easyjet plane to Heraklion and we have arrived. Stepping off the plane in Crete we shoot to Hertz to pickup out car and we are off.
Well, we’re off skiing. Whoopee!! I love skiing and have skied all my life. My parents went skiing on their honeymoon so I think it’s in the blood. I started at five and given that Alexander has now reached the ripe of old age of two and nearly a half I thought that it was about time to get him used to the white stuff – they say; the earlier the better.
At last we have made it to Devon. Dartmoor to be precise. It’s the furthest south in England that I have ever been, having holidayed as a child either in Italy over the summer and Switzerland or France in the winter. My Dad was an avid skier and a Europhile so there wasn’t much time for all the beauty of the British Isles. Having said that, my grandparents lived in Bournemouth part of the year so I did visit Dorset quite a bit which as a kid I absolutely loved. As an adult, I’ve certainly globetrotted but again to more exotic climes, always escaping the ‘dreary’ British weather. I know that I’ve been missing out. We have a stunning country just on our doorsteps. I’ve done the obligatory Cotswolds, been to Edinburgh but Devon, Cornwall, the Highlands and the Lake District are all on the travel bucket list.
Well it’s not been very long since our last visit to Bath when just a few months ago it was hitting the thirties in centigrade and were swimming in an outdoor pool and languishing lazily in the garden. No time nor inclination to even take a peek into the city despite my love of Bath. This time we are back for what must be at least a sixth time and we are staying bang in the centre to take full advantage of all it has to offer. It’s small but perfectly formed with something for everyone. Me, personally, I’m looking for food (lovely cheese shop) and some retail therapy, or at least some window shopping. We are on a whirlwind tour en route to Devon. It’s a bit too much to do the whole four and a half hours in one with our toddler so a stop in between for a day mooching around Bath and eating dinner in a three AA rosette restaurant seemed hardly a hardship.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to interview the charming chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines. As a bit of a plane geek, this suited me down to the ground. Not only do I like luxury hotels, for me, the getting there is already part of the holiday and the on board experience is important to me. We are a family of fair skinned people – bar my husband – my eldest son of four is pale like me, burns easily and doesn’t tan and my ten month old has virgin baby skin that needs top Mitch protection.
It’s not long ago that I finished my review of Sani, that wonderful resort just 45 minutes from Thessaloniki. Greek Experts feature another hotel that was on my radar. A Small Luxury Hotel of the World, a brand that I trust, also a Macedonian Hotel; Eagles Palace sits on the third peninsula of northern Greece . We are a nomadic and adventurous family at heart so a two day visit at the end of a wonderful ten days was in order. The 90 minute drive through stunning mountainous scenery gave us a chance to take in some of the countryside and villages and soon we had arrived at our next luxury pick, on the approach to the mystic mount Athos. A family-owned gem, this hotel offers luxury accommodation; rooms, suites and bungalows with private pools overlooking the golden sandy blue flag beach and crystal-blue sea. Known as one of the best beaches in Halkidiki, the view from the terrace is breathtaking.
So I’m back from my travels with the family. Our summer getaway is just a day behind us with our newfound friends still lounging by the pool in Greece. It seems such a long time ago that the two hotels caught my eye on the Greek Experts website. They cover the luxury bases well with amazing prices! My imagination was sparked and my research was done. Flights booked with Easyjet for the best travelling times and away we went. And not just away we went in any old way, no, away we went in the height of luxury and comfort. Well, as much comfort as you can have at 3am but hey, it does mean that you don’t spend the whole day travelling and you can look forward to lunch by the pool!