It seems like a long time has passed since those three idyllic days in Hampshire. The clear blue sky and swimming outdoors temperatures, those days that we have now classed as our summer, having given up on any reemergence of the sun this year. Long gone! Continue Reading
Here I am. Back in London. Sitting on my bed. Grey outside. Very, very cold. Unseasonably cold. You know when you look forward to your holiday and when you are there you never think it’s going to end and you take it for granted? Well, I do. So well. You spend ages looking forward to it and it’s over. We so nearly stayed another three nighst. We were so tempted. You really need two weeks to properly enjoy Mauritius. To get into the swing of things and to relax. We split our holiday into two parts and the second was ‘beach, beach, beach’! Soft, white sand beach as far as the eye could see, fringed with palm trees to shield you from that wonderful thing called the sun that we don’t see very often here! And then, a turquoise sea; the picture postcard image, it truly was. Continue Reading
Two weeks in paradise is officially over. I’m writing this post in two parts because I want to tell you all about an amazing family-friendly destination and the two brilliant places that we stayed. We went to Mauritius for the first time. We are a very well-travelled couple, having taken advantage of the City money and needing the escape from stress there are few exotic places that I’ve wanted to visit that I haven’t been to already but amazingly, Mauritius always seemed to get overlooked in favour of the Maldives (quieter, but for de-stressing) or Thailand (colour and culture, smiles and sun). I love long haul. I love the exotic, the excitement of new and different cultures, the sense,s the smells. We have been adventurous in our time too but admittedly, in relative luxury (Bolivia and Peru come to mind). Continue Reading
This one is pretty new to me I have to admit. A UK beach holiday, that is. Well, it’s new for my current lifetime, however in my previous life as a carefree toddler and child, somewhere very close by did feature significantly in my life. What am I talking about, you ask? I’m talking about Dorset and more precisely, Sandbanks, near Poole and Bournemouth. According to Wikipedia; ‘ the 4th highest property value in the world’ is this small peninsula crossing the mouth of Poole Harbour. Also know as Britain’s ‘Palm Beach’ apparently! I didn’t see enough to feel qualified to truly comment on our overnight stay but I can say that I saw some stunning properties on the drive down to the hotel which sits in pride of place directly on the blue flag beach on its one side and a gorgeous view out to the natural bay of Poole Harbour on the other (hence rooms are either sea view or harbour view-neither too shabby!).
I mentioned earlier that Dorset played a large part in my childhood and that’s because my grandparents used to own a beautiful penthouse flat in Bournemouth, choc full of antiques and more importantly collapsible sun loungers which doubled as tents on their balcony. We spent many, many joyous days in the sunshine on that balcony or walking on the beach, playing crazy golf or on the pier with our Zaida (grandpa). You see, Bournemouth and it’s surrounds enjoys a very pleasant micro-climate with less rain and more sunshine than elsewhere so if you want to take your kids to the beach in the UK there is no better option.
I digress. I need to explain that my best friend has three children and has been raving about the Sandbanks Hotel to me for ages. In the past I tended to ignore her in favour of Ibiza, or the Maldives or Thailand or the French Riviera but last week whilst we were in the throes of a boiling summer week with temperatures spilling over the 30 degree mark we agreed to drive down from London (2 hours in no traffic but pick your time carefully!) with our 8 month old and spent a night there. This place is apparently the place to go with kids. Their kids club – The Funsters – is unrivalled and believe me, from seeing my best friend’s 3 kids being entertained from dawn ’til dusk I can see why. In fact, their kids club is one of the biggest draws for visitors to the hotel. That said, the room was comfortable, clean (my biggest bugbear) and modern with all the mod cons one would expect from a good four star hotel. Many, as ours did, have balconies with stunning views of beach and seaside that most forget exists in this country!
The hotel also has a lovely outdoor terrace with restaurant, bar and chillout area where people generally lounge all day, snacking, sipping Pimms and relaxing in between the beach or the sea. Along with sun loungers and off to the side, a children’s pirate ship themed playground ( that’s not forgetting that there is also an indoor pool to keep them occupied if the beach or the on site watersports academy weren’t enough!). For the adults there is also a steam room, gym and beauty rooms with access to the spa as well at the nearby Haven Hotel.
The Sandbanks caters amazingly well to people with young families and staff to guest ratio seemed very high. They are part of a group of four hotels in close proximity; FJB Hotels, so they also have a dine around option which is handy if you fancy getting out and about to explore. The food is plentiful and again with many options for the youngsters. So, all in all, I would say give it a go. But, be careful, if you are taking young children with you, you may be obliged to return over and over again!