Archive - 2013

1
Unexpected Beaches for Stag And Hen Parties
2
A night less ordinary: the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide
3
Purple Tips: How to book cheap luxury holidays
4
Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have
5
Purple 10: Badass Hotel Waterslides
6
Amazing Floating Hotels
7
Purple 10: hot swim-up bars
8
Purple Tips: what NOT to do in Barcelona
9
Off the beaten track: Cano Cristales, the River of Five Colours
10
Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

Unexpected Beaches for Stag And Hen Parties

This one’s for all the guys and girls who want something a little bit more off-the-beaten track than your average beach. Hen parties and stag parties these days tend to be over the top but some grooms and brides just want to have a relaxing getaway to keep calm and carry on ahead of their big day. If you think sunbathing in California or Hawaii is too obvious or if you, can’t stand tourists, why not take the road less travelled? There are plenty of secret and unexpected beaches around the world, hidden gems reserved strictly for locals or connoisseurs.

Blijburg aan Zee, the beach in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam Beach from Purple Travel

Image via @ webted

Amsterdam is the proud owner of 165 canals, but, did you know it also has an achingly hip beach set on an artificial island in the middle of the city lake? Blijburg aan Zee is the place to be during the summer, with DJs playing day and night, regular art events and lots of beach activities like campfires and sandcastle building competitions making it the real deal. Perfect for a lively hen or stag do that’s pretty close to home.

Rockaway Beach, New Yorker’s weekend escape

New York Beach from Purple Travel

New York Beach via @ Moonman82

This funky destination is located in Queens, New York and it’s the only official surfing destination in the Big Apple. It’s a great find if you’re looking for that bohemian beach destination in New York, making it a great addition to the city’s assets. It’s the newest hipster destination, but don’t let that put you off, it has great food and plenty of atmosphere. This is for the cosmopolitan hens who want the best of city break with a bit of beach thrown in.

Cadaqués, the artist beach in Spain

Spain beach from Purple Travel

Image via @ cobachoj

Spain is a pretty obvious choice for travellers. But, there’s a reason tourists queue to visit Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearic Islands. If you’re in love with the Spanish way of life, but feel tired just thinking of tourists crowding your every move, try Cadaqués. This Catalonian town was an artist resort and inspired brilliant minds, especially surrealist painter Salvador Dali. You can even visit his house or learn more about him at a really good museum dedicated to his genius in Port Lligat, a neighbouring town. Perfect for a stag or hen with an artistic streak.

Phu Quoc, the (still) secret island of Vietnam

Vietnam beach from Purple Travel

Image via @ ZoeShuttleworth

Tourists in Southern Asia have been known to ignore this beautiful island and choose more popular destinations like Phuket or Koh Samui. Phu Quoc is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and it boasts pristine beaches, fascinating reefs and hard–to-forget authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Get it while it’s still fresh and untouched by popular tour guide books. This is a long-haul stag or hen destination that you’ll never forget.

Capo Sant’Andrea, the island within an island in Elba

Sant Andrea from Purple Travel

The Mediterranean island is where Napoleon famously was famously exiled. Fishing villages, ancient castles and green hills are just a few sightseeing gems for you and your friends in Capo Sant’Andrea. If you’re looking for serious beaches and serious partying, then this little island has exactly what you need.

No matter if you’re looking for a city escape or a secret beach on a dream island for your hen or stag party, there are more choices than you’d think. New York, Amsterdam Copenhagen, and Barcelona are just a few cities where local beaches are a perfect destination for an all-boys/all-girls vacation, while splendid islands and fishing towns in Vietnam, Spain, Estonia or Tasmania will give you the perfect holiday without transporting you to Touristville.

Amber Kingsley is a travel writer and has contributed to several travel sites and blogs. She loves spending time at the beach with her puppy Charlie and is always looking for the hidden gems of a city on her travels. She would loves finding out about more secret spots through her readers!

A night less ordinary: the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide

Every week, we keep an eye out for the most weird and wonderful hotels on earth. From caves to igloo styled hotels, expect the unexpected and a night less ordinary. This week, the Majestic Minima Hotel in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Image via @ www.majestichotels.com.au

What’s the gimmick? Art buffs, visiting Adelaide in South Australia can now enjoy a unique artistic experience in a hotel, whose rooms have been turned into true paintings. Opened in 2008, the Majestic Minima Hotel has won a place among the city’s most alternative and special accommodation. The Majestic Minima Hotel made an avant-garde renovation, turning its rooms into exceptional works of art.

Why stay? Guests can spend a night in an art room, which they will choose from the hotel’s online gallery. Options are ample and extremely interesting, as room themes vary, from romantic patterns to colourful designs.

The WOW Factor? Many South Australian artists were called to visually represent their take on the theme of ‘creativity and creation’ in each one of the 46 rooms. The walls and ceiling in every room have been adorned with reliefs or wall paintings similar to the art of graffiti.

Stays at this one of a kind hotel start from £65 per night. 

Purple Tips: How to book cheap luxury holidays

Forget about a years of saving, get these top tips for cheap luxury holidays from Purple Travel.

Low cost luxury from Purple Travel

1. Book your tickets as soon as possible. That way, you can benefit from online offers and early bird discounts.

2. If you can’t book that early, go for last minute when companies are trying to get rid of the last few seats on a flight, or last few rooms in a hotel.

3. Be flexible in terms of date and time of your departure. It’s cheap to fly on a Tuesday, than at the weekend.

4. Off season bookings are also a cost effective solution. You can head to all Mediterranean destinations in September where the weather and sea are still as warm as in the middle of July. Plus, you’ll get cheap accommodation and most probably have the beaches for yourselves…not bad at all!

5. Consider reducing the length of your trip. Instead of dreaming a 10-day stay in a luxury hotel, why not opt for a five day stay, which might be a more realistic plan for your pocket.

6. Book your flight with a low cost airline, to save more money for a better standard hotel. After all, when you’re swimming in the pool of your 5-star hotel, the flight will be a faded memory.

7. Do not reject all-inclusive options that will save you big money from daily expenses such as food and drink.

8. The closer, the cheaper. Choose nearby destinations that require low cost travelling.

9. Read the reviews and comments of other travellers about the accommodation and airline you’re about to book and avoid unpleasant surprises.

10.  DO visit our cheap holidays website Purple Travel for the best deal to wherever you wish. Your dream holiday is just a click away.

Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have

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For anyone who loves snowboarding, skiing, and all things off piste, as well as knocking back the Schnapps, putting on ridiculous costumes and dancing on all night, then we want to let you in a little secret: it’s called Snowboming 2014 and it’s happening in Mayrhofen, Austria 7-12 April 2014.

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The huge snow sport/music hybrid has just announced its latest headliners who’ll be taking to the snowy stages. The 25 million record selling Prodigy will head the Forest Stage for an awesome adrenaline fuelled night. Joining the party is The Chemical Brothers (DJ set), Chase & Status are bringing their dubstep infused beats, Rudimental will hit the slopes and Groove Armada round out the line up that also includes Four Tet, Daphni and Anthony Naples.

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If you still can’t get your head around the idea, let us fill you in: Snowbombing is a festival that focuses on the random. All day the slopes are filled with skiers and boarders of all abilities improving their skills or relaxing at the spa of a 5* hotel.

Arctic Disco // Snowbombing 2012

After night falls, the best musicians and DJs fill unique stages across the mountains, including an igloo on top of the world and an enchanted forest! Snowbombing is heading into its 15th year, so you know it’s doing something right, especially when it gets reviews like: “The Greatest Show on Snow.”

For more info on tickets check out Snowbombing.com. All images courtesy of Snowbombing 2014.

Purple 10: Badass Hotel Waterslides

Purple 10 hotel water slides. Looking to impress the kids, while relaxing in a luxury hotel? Look no further than this selection of hotel waterslides – the hotel part for you, the waterslide for the kids!

Hard rock hotel Kuta Bali

Image via @ bali.hardrockhotels.net

1.       Hard Rock Bali, Kuta, Bali

Being the first Hard Rock hotel in Bali, Kuta beach, this property has been decorated in a 50’ style. Note, that the hotel features the biggest swimming pool all over Bali, 22 suites and a wide selection of waterslides to keep youngsters busy!

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Image via @ luxurylaunches.com

2.       Atlantis, The Palm- Dubai, UAE

Arm yourself with courage in case you wish to try a high-speed drive in the infamous “Poseidon’s Tower” waterslide, diving 9 floors down ending up in an underwater aquarium-tube with sharks and stingrays.

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Image via @ www.marriott.com

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Amazing Floating Hotels

Amazing Floating Hotels Around the World: If you think about it, land has been way over estimated, so, here at Purple Travel, we’ve found the best floating hotels, to stay somewhere really different.

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Fab 4 Hotel, Liverpool – If you’ve never sung Yellow Submarine in the shower then, well, you’re lying! Now you can get a step closer to the Fab Four’s favourite floating ferry! It’s all thanks to a British businessman, Alfie Bubbles, who converted this original 25-metre long submarine to a hotel in 2012. Its interiors have been inspired by the 60s; however it features all modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi connection and 3D TV sets.

An overnight at this avant-garde accommodation costs approximately £146.

sweden

Salt and Sill, Klädesholmen, Sweden – Salt & Sill hotel is found in the western coast of Sweden and consists of 6 two-storey floating structures. It’s the first floating hotel in Sweden and an exceptional choice for fine dining.  Guests can choose among 23 rooms, one of which is a suite featuring a separate platform with sauna.

Prices vary from season to season, but start from 1990 SEK from January to March and October to November.

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4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia – The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge consists of twelve luxurious residencies on the banks of Mekong River and is located in a secluded area of the rainforest. However, all 45m2 rooms feature a Wi-Fi connection, mini bars and flat-screen TVs. This green accommodation offers a water bio-cleaning system and has also been made with eco-friendly materials.

Prices start from USD 203.15 for one person.

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Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach, California – History buffs would surely want to visit the Queen Mary Hotel, which arrive at Long Beach in 1967, after travelling for 37 years in the open sea. It weighs 81237 tones, featuring 314 rooms and suites, as well as 2 bars and 2 restaurants. Watch out, though, the ship is considered to be…haunted!

Prices start from $88.

myanmar

All images via @ www.metrogreece.gr

 Shwe Inn The Floating Resort, Myanmar – This floating hotel is unique in Myanmar and opened to the public in 1996, over the tranquil Lake Inle, including traditional retreats and a swimming pool for guests that prefer not to swim in the lake waters. The famous Heya Ywama market is very close by boat, and the staff can arrange canoe cruises and hiking in the surrounding villages.

Prices start from $120 in the off season.

Purple 10: hot swim-up bars

Who doesn’t like holidays with a little luxury now and then? Eh… nobody, right?! So, we’ve got the best ideas for swim-up bars. These are more like little slices of luxury (mostly in the Caribbean) where you don’t even need to get out of the pool to enjoy a cocktail or a beer. Could you imagine anything more luxurious? Us neither, that’s why we’ve found the 10 best swim-up bars anywhere. Ever! Enjoy.

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1.      Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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2.      Room Mate Grace, New York City

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3.      Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica

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4.      The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos

 

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5.      Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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6.      ClubHotel Riu Negril, Jamaica

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7.      Dreams La Romana, Domincan Republic

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8.      Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino

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9.      Bel Air Collection Resort and Spa, Cancun

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All images via @ oyster.com

10.   Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas

Purple Tips: what NOT to do in Barcelona

Boasting fine dining, iconic buildings by Gaudi and wild nights, the Catalan capital can easily charm you, if you treat it like the locals and not as a tourist. Real Barcelona is found away from busy Las Ramblas, in beautiful neighbourhoods like Gràcia and Poble Nou. So, here are Purple Travel’s tip’s to live like a local in Barcelona.

barca

Images via @ rob4xs , J.Cañadas , mariotomic.com , unicoletti

1. Don’t overdo it on the Michelin awarded restaurants: in a city with 21 Michelin stars, gastronomy is a trademark; however, menu prices can often reach your room rate. Alternatively, head for the tapas restaurants that are on every corner and filled with all manner of delights. We like La Cova Fumada on Carrer Baluard or Elisabets on Carrer d’Elisabets. Cheap, cheerful and tasty.

2. Avoid city beaches: Although the beach in Barcelona is pretty good, during the summer it can get a little busy. We’re talking tourists, locals and pickpockets. If you simply can’t stay away, pick a good spot at the W Barcelona Hotel. Otherwise, hop on a cheap suburban train to Sitges, a lovely little town with little whitewashed houses and long, golden sand.

3. Don’t take the metro: Barcelona is one of the most packed European cities in terms of attractions, sites and Points of Interest so walking around is the best way to discover the city. Alternatively, you can rent a bike, Barcelona has an extensive cycle path.

4. Don’t queue for hours/squeeze in the busiest tourist sites: Everybody wants to visit La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s unfinished church. In fact around 3 million visitors pass through its gates every year. To skip the crowds, attend the daily mass in the church crypt where you can enter from a separate gate.

5. Don’t bother with  LaBoquería: Since Barcelona’s rapid growth in popularity as a city break destination, its central market has grown with colours and aromas, and lots of dodgy fake souvenirs and fast food restuarants. Our tip is to skip the central market altogether and hunt out the smaller local shops in different neighbourhoods. We like the renovated Mercat de Santa Caterina in El Born boasting an impressive stained glass ceiling.

Off the beaten track: Cano Cristales, the River of Five Colours

Cano Cristales is an impressive river in Serrania de la Macarena in Colombia. It is often called the “River of Five Colours”, “The Liquid Rainbow” or even “The most beautiful River in the World”, thanks to its amazing colours, such as yellow, green, blue, black and the cheerful red of the plant Macarenia clavigera, which is found on the riverbed and makes the river so unique and wonderful.

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Images via @ www.metrogreece.gr

Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)

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Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons

The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.

Pic museum 2 from Purple Travel

Pig museum germanyImages via @ Wikicommons @ dhaun & @ Stuttgart Tourism

Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.

There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.

To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:

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