Category - Get Inspired

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The real story on the best destinations 2014
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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel
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2014 Ski Holidays
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Purple Tips: Best Party Cities Europe 2014
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A Night Less Ordinary: Giraffe Manor
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Purple Tips: Planning Your Honeymoon
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Purple Tips: 11 Amazing Festivals 2014
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Purple Pick: The Best Ruin Bars Budapest
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Purple Tips: Hen Parties in Barcelona!
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Amazing Days Out: Incredible Flower Restaurant in France

The real story on the best destinations 2014

It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.

Best destination collage Square 640But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!

1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary

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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we take a step back in time for a night on a cabin in the Jane Hotel New York.

What’s the gimmick? Lovingly renovated, the Jane Hotel’s rooms are themed around the cabins on a ship, complete with galley style bunk bed rooms,  brass fittings, warm colours and big mirrors, storage under over beds and buckets of bohemian history. A stay in the Jane Hotel, with its retro-uniformed staff and period design  is filled with character and one that makes the most of the NYC experience.

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2014 Ski Holidays

2014 Ski holidays from Purple Travel

Feeling a little inspired by all the action at the Winter Olympics Sochi 2014 and want to give snowboarding or skiing a go? How about simply settling in for an evening of apres-ski? What do you mean you’re not really bothered with skiing? Filled with warming gluhwein and cosy sweaters, or maybe it’s an alternative music festival you’re after? We’ve got the best late deals for 2014 ski holidays right now for whatever type of ski break you’re looking for.

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Purple Tips: Best Party Cities Europe 2014

Check out our Purple Travel guide to some of the best parties cities Europe has to offer in 2014. Don’t agree? Let us know in the comments below.

Berlin, Germany. It can be hard to choose from the best party cities Europe 2014, but Berlin is an easy one. A sprawling city where weekends usually start on Thursday evenings and last well into Monday morning, there’s a great selection of cheap hotels and cool bars. House music is easily the most popular and clubs like WaterGate on Falckensteinerstrase 49, Cookies on Friedrichstrase 158 and Weekend on Alexanderstrasse 5 are almost clubbing institutions in Berlin.

Ios Island in Greece. Not technically a city, but Ios easily tops the list of the best places to party in Europe. A longtime backpackers favourite, trust me, it’s worth the ferry trek for hot summer all night parties. Start out in the clean lines of Far Out Beach Bar, before knocking back €1 shots in Orange Bar (the Malteser ones are epic!) Slammers Bar Ios, lives up to its name – you put on a helmet and get whacked in the head with a hammer after a shot, and Sweet Irish Dream only kicks off at 3am. Phew!

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A Night Less Ordinary: Giraffe Manor

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we have a night less ordinary at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya.

The WOW factor? The Giraffe Manor which is part of the Tamimi Group lets you get as close to a giraffe as you’re ever likely to get in your life. The Manor is a luxury hotel with its own herd of Rothschild Giraffe who wander around the property, nudging at your breakfast and generally being super cool new friends. The nature trail around the hotel goes through forests and dry lands and as well as giraffes it’s a natural habitat for warthogs, hyenas, different species of birds and every so often a leopard, so you’ll get up close and personal with all kinds of animals.

Giraffe Manor

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Purple Tips: Planning Your Honeymoon

Perhaps one of the best parts of planning your wedding is deciding what type of honeymoon you would like! Planning a wedding can be an extremely stressful – not to mention costly – experience, and it is not in anyone’s interests (least of all yours) for you to turn into a ‘Bridezilla’ or ‘Groomzilla’ before the big day! You should make the most of all the available resources to you. There are some fantastic online guides and wedding site directories which are designed to aid with all things wedding, and are a great place start.

It is wonderful to think that the honeymoon will provide a safe haven for the two of you to escape to once all the hustle and bustle of the big day itself is over.

You may already have a fixed idea of what type of honeymoon you would like – but if you are still a little in the dark, or you simply haven’t started considering it yet – here are some tips to get you started. Before you know it you will be jetting off to the holiday of a lifetime, and the first holiday together of your married life.

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Purple Tips: 11 Amazing Festivals 2014

Give your holiday a boost this year by combining it with an amazing festival. Whether you want to knock back pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day or fancy giving the air guitar world championship a go, you won’t miss out with our guide to some amazing festivals 2014.

Venice Carnival In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday the Venice Carnival is in full swing. Carnevale di Venezia is an elegant throwback to 18th century opulence. The bright and beautiful of the Italian city’s social scene arrive cloaked and masked for energetic, but pricey parties. Ideal for a luxurious weekend away. Venice Carnival happens between February 14th and March 4th 2014.

Venice Carnival via Purple Travel

Venice Carnival via @ Heatherbroster

St Patrick’s Day There is no better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than the Irish capital city of Dublin. It’s not limited to drinking pints, (although you can if you want!) the city pulls out all the stops for a wonderful festival with live music, dancing, parades and free events all over the place. It’s a top choice for a very quick city break, Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK. St Patrick’s Say is celebrated on March 17th 2014.

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Purple Pick: The Best Ruin Bars Budapest

A beer for under £2, a balmy evening and crumbling, atmospheric surroundings. Is this the perfect place ever for a bar? Welcome to the “Ruin Bars” of Budapest. Formerly a semi-legal set up, nowadays the Drinking District is one of the top must-dos on your next city break to Budapest.

Legend has it these bars first came into existence in the early 2000s, when a group of young guys were on the hunt for cheap places to drink and these homemade bars were first brought into existence. This is more or less how it works: derelict buildings are transformed with mismatched chairs. Gardens provide sunny terraces in the summer, with odd bits and pieces doubling up as furniture – one bar has a car instead of a table. Donated art gatecrashes the walls and a healthy dose of cigarette smoke and ten foot tall graffiti stains the walls; this is the real deal.

There’s a real community spirit around the Ruin Bars and the patrons range from retirees stopping by for a coffee, to university students on the hunt for a great bar. Here’s our pick of the best ruin bars Budapest. If you’ve got any more suggestions, we’d love to hear them in comments!

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Purple Tips: Hen Parties in Barcelona!

Escape to a land of sunshine and white sand beaches where jugs of sangria are always at the ready. Take a hen holiday to gorgeous Barcelona, Spain where you and your girls can live up your days in Mediterranean luxury and party your nights away in some of Europe’s most lively clubs. Spend the remainder of your freedom lapping up the sun rays in that new bikini, dancing until the wee hours, and spending precious time with your besties before you walk down the aisle. A hen party in Barcelona will be a trip that none of you will ever forget, a memorable holiday that will only be trumped by the big day itself.

Use your downtime on hen parties in Barelona to explore the art scene.

Barcelona is a city that truly has it all. While Spain’s coastal oasis may be best known for its crystal blue waters and fruity alcoholic beverages, the art and culture scene of Barcelona is unparallelled. Thanks to one out-of-the-box Catalonian architect by the name of Antoni Gaudí, you and your hens can take in some of the most famous architecture in the world.

The Segrada Familia will wow you with its quirky larger than life style, and though it remains unfinished, it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. After you have climbed to the top of the cathedral’s steps you can all hire bikes, burning off all those delicious tapas you consumed, to Gaudí’s Park Güell. Park Güell offers unrivalled views over the city and is the perfect place to sit down with a picnic, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Finish your day of culture with a visit to the Picasso Museum, which houses over 3,500 works by the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. After all that sightseeing, you will no doubt be ready to unwind with drinks at one of Barcelona’s beach side bars- luckily for you the choices are infinite.

Barcelona Hen Party2

Spend an afternoon with a champagne picnic in Gaudi’s famous Park Güell.

Take up a new activity and return to the UK with Spanish skills.
A hen party is about more than celebrating the end of an era, it is about spending one last moment cherishing great friendships that have brought you to the next chapter of your life. Sign up for one of Barcelona’s many group activities, and spend some quality time together learning something new.

Take a ‘Hot Like Me Dance Class’ which will teach you and the hens how to shake it Spanish style, and be welcomed by a glass of bubbly cava and a professional instructor who will prepare you for Barcelona’s hottest dance clubs. If you’d prefer to save your energy for the after-party, why not sign up for a Spanish wine tasting where you will learn about (and taste!) some of Spain’s most popular wines.

Celebrate your impending nuptials with a night on the town- Barcelona style.
Sometimes hailed as the best party city in Europe, Barcelona will not disappoint you with its selection of unique bars and energetic nightclubs. The Spanish are notorious for starting things late in the day, so you can expect to party with the girls until the sun comes up. There are cocktail pub crawls, beach bar crawls, and even Barcelona night guides to hire to ensure you have a great time. If you are feeling lucky you can start at one of the city’s posh casinos and try your luck at winning a big pile of cash to put towards the wedding day – or maybe just a new dress.

Barcelona Hen Party1

Barcelona’s beaches are always a great choice for some hen holiday fun!

Barcelona is the ultimate haven for a girl’s escape. Say goodbye to the cold and windy UK weather, and hello to sunshine and warm waters in Spain. Big congratulations on your upcoming wedding day, now get out there and celebrate your last days of singledom with a hen’s holiday in one of the most fun cities on the planet.

Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer who hopes to one day save enough money to be approved for an auto loan. She is also author of the travel blog The Fly Away American, and constantly reminisces on her days of living in Barcelona.

Amazing Days Out: Incredible Flower Restaurant in France

There is an incredible flower restaurant in France which is made completely of organic blossoms and greenery. It’s called Mas Provencal and we think it’s safe to say these pictures don’t even do it justice. Found near the beautiful city of Nice on the outskirts of Eze Village on the South of France, it’s more fairyland than regular restaurant and has more flowers than tables! Every inch is covered with hanging baskets, floating ivy, blooms of every type imaginable from roses to orchids and more.

Like something from Alice in Wonderland, customers are invited to pick some grapes or cherry tomatoes that hang from the ceiling as they enjoy a luxury meal. Wilting flowers are replaced every day to keep it sweet smelling. The menu includes roast pig on a spit, and veal cooked on coals. It’s hard to tell if this is a greenhouse you can eat in, or a restaurant that happens to be florally inclined! Either way, we love it.

Dinner at Mas Provencal costs from US$250-300.

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