Category - Destination Guides

Purple Travel gives you the best tips about what to eat, drink and do on cheap holidays across the globe

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A Night less Ordinary: Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin
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Purple Pick: June Holidays
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OMG! World’s Best Beaches
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Purple Tips: best beach bars in Greece
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A Night Less Ordinary: Hamster Hotel
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A Night Less Ordinary: Cinderella’s Castle
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A night less ordinary: inside a capsule hotels
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Get your hands dirty at The Chocolate Hotel
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A Night Less Ordinary: Jules Undersea Lodge
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Istanbul Best European Destination 2013: What’s it all about?

A Night less Ordinary: Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin

We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From panda-themed hotels to converted silvermines, we explore the weirdest hotels in the world in our A Night Less Ordinary series, so you can expect the unexpected. This week, Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht in Jeongdongjin, South Korea.

shipshaped hot 1

Image via @ www.metrogreece.gr

Ship shaped Hotel in S. Korea (Sun Cruise in Jungdongjin) !!

Image via @ www.itdunya.com

Whats the gimmick? Why would anyone want to stay in a stationary cruise ship? We’re not really sure either, but this one has been packing them in since it first opened in 2002. It’s the world’s first on-land cruise-theme resort, 45m high and weighs around 30,000 tonnes. “On board” visitors can stay in one of 211 rooms, complete with nautical themes, and porthole windows.

The-Sun-Cruise-Hotel-and-Resort-in-Jeongdongjin-South-Korea

Image via @ www.itdunya.com

Why stay? You can’t deny it’s something a little different. Right on a cliff overlooking Jeongdongjin, it’s a popular choice for couples who want amazing sun rise views. On top of that there are great restaurants, swimming pools and a revolving club.

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Image via @ www.itdunya.com

The WOW Factor? If you’re scared of the water or even want to experience something truly different, the cruise ship hotel probably delivers it. The owners say: “The owners were inspired by Titanic, but they dropped the anchor on a mountain to feel more secure”.

Rooms start at pocket-friendly £45.12 per night.

Purple Pick: June Holidays

Majorca from above

Image via @ Tom Tolkien

Balmy in the Balearics Ideal for cheap family holidays, Majorca, one of the most famous of the Balearic Islands has a whopping 42 Blue Flag beaches, with calm, crystal clear waters, fantastic weather and lots of water parks that’ll keep children of all ages busy. June holidays in Majorca are also a good choice because it’s little before the summer crowds arrive, but you can still expect about eight hours of sunshine and highs of 27 degrees.

Grecian Getaway Obviously, the Greek Islands are firm favourites for cheap holidays in June, but don’t knock the charming Halkidiki coastline. Made of three ‘fingers’ jutting out of the mainland in the north, these offer something a little different. The beaches are nothing short of spectacular and you’ll find really great value holidays, especially for last minute bookings.

You should read… the six most terrifying rollercoaster rides in the world

City breakers June is a great time to take advantage of a quick city break somewhere in Europe. Barcelona has some great bars, a city beach and tonnes of hotels and apartments for a short break or a longer getaway. If you’re looking for a great summer festival, then Sonar at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona is the cutting edge choice. We like the idea of a boozy weekend in BCN so if you’re looking for the best bars in Barcelona, you should definitely include La Leo, on Calle Sant Charles 32, the tango themed Tinta Roja, Carrer de la Creu Molers 17 and the jazzy 23 Robadors in the Raval area.

Cuba calling The Caribbean is always a good choice, thanks to its year round great weather and brilliant value. Cuba is a top choice in June, where you can combine a bit of cultural discovery in the capital Havana, with the chilled and idyllic beaches of Varadero. Perfect for a honeymoon or a couple’s getaway.

You should read… Purple 10: get noticed on the beach

Trying out Turkey Antalya in Turkey is part city, part beach offering the best of both worlds. In June it won’t be hugely busy, but should still be warming up nicely so you can spend long, lazy days on the fabulous beaches, and nights out in the nearby clubs or eating out. There’s even the SunSplash Festival between 2-9 and featuring the likes of Gilles Petersen, Mad Professor and Jamie Lidell and a big emphasis on yoga, healthy living and foods. Find out more at their site here.

Clubbing in Cyprus Cyprus is excellent value for June holidays. If you want to party, the clubbing haven of Ayia Napa is a no-brainer. The nightlife is epic, there are countless bars, clubs and restaurants to suit every kind of music lover. We like the Castle Club, Club Ice and Club Sin. The beaches are made for long days of nursing a sore head, while if you’re feeling up to it, there is a top selection of water sports too like wind surfing, diving and surfing.

Image via @ Oscarparadela.com

OMG! World’s Best Beaches

Stop what you’re doing. We’ve got your summer holiday sorted right now. News giant CNN has just released it’s 100 best beaches… in the world. Nice right? You’re telling us.

Grande Anse Beach, on La Digue Island, Seychelles takes the top spot, thanks to its secluded, hard-to-get to location. But they’ve also included a few that are easy to get to. Here’s our pick of not-quite-out-of-the-way beaches that are realistic options for next summer.

Falassarna Crete

 Image via @ Titanas

Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece Crete, one of the most popular resorts from the UK, has Falassarna Beach, with an endless stretch of sand, and the biggest party on the island held on the first Saturday of each month. It’s at #100 on the list of World’s Best Beaches.

Rab

 Paradise Beach, Croatia via @ Wikicommons

Paradise Beach, Rab, Croatia Apparently the birthplace of skinny-dipping, Paradise Beach in Rab, Croatia is at #90 in the list.

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La Concha beach via @ Javi S & M

La Concha, Spain Lined with a wealth of tapas bars, cafes and restaurants, La Concha is the perfect city beach, as the sea is absolutely worth a dip. Hits at #82.

Las Salinas

Las Salinas via @ sky_hlv

Las Salinas, Ibiza, Spain Only two Spanish beaches make the list, the second on in Ibiza, where Las Salinas is where most of the partying takes place. It makes #81.

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Balos Beach via @ cabrito

Balos Beach, Greece Another Cretan choice, at #35 Balos Beach is all about colours – turquoise, blue and pinks, it even has a secret cave that’s worth exploring.

Navagio

Image via @ Jaded_j

Navagio Beach, Greece Maybe the most famous beach in all of Greece, Navagio where an old smugglers ship has washed up, can only be visited by water taxi, and it’s well worth the trip. It’s at #32.

Also on the blog… 5 Brilliant Beach Bars in Greece

Luskentyre

Image via @ Kelvyn Skee

Luskentyre Beach, Outer Hebrides Who would have thought a Scottish Beach would beat competition from the likes of Greece, the Caribbean and Spain? Well, that’s exactly what’s happened with Luskentyre Beach in the Outer Hebrides. Perfect for hiking and fresh air, you won’t get a tan at #16 but it is very beautiful.

Tulum

Image via @ kololo

Tulum Beach, Mexico Mexico’s Tulum beach makes it much further up the list at #12. Famed for its breathaking golden sands, perfect turquoise water and the historic Yucatan cenotes.

Purple Tips: best beach bars in Greece

Along with the perfect, well kept, golden sandy beaches, sparkling, crystal clear warm waters and buckets of sunshine, Greece is famous for its beach bars. Make it a mega summer with our top 5 best beach bars in Greece. Sit back, relax, grab a cocktail and enjoy!

Beach Bars in Greece: TherosImage via @ anjči

THEROS WAVE BAR, Santorini
On the exclusive Eros beach in Santorini, you’ll find the exotic Theros Wave Bar. Made entirely of wood and right on the beach, there are plenty of loungers, transparent warm waters, and excellent service, it’s a relaxed choice for day or night to enjoy a refreshing mojito.

Beach Bars in Greece: superparadiseImage via @ Diego Cosenza

SUPER PARADISE, Mykonos
Just outside Mykonos Town, Super Paradise is where to see and be seen. It’s one of the most alternative beach bars on the island. It’s found in a beautiful bay, is nude friendly, and has excellent fresh cocktails. They say it best: “Super Paradise is for almost everyone who wants to have fun in the sun amidst an eclectic crowd, with or without your clothes.”

Banana beach barImage via @ banana beach bar 

BANANA BEACH BAR, Skiathos
Loud music, great cocktails, a stunning beach; you’d be hard pushed to find a better beach bar on Skiathos than Banana. Go with your mates to get your night out started, or with your other half to soak up a dreamy sunset.

UPDATE: It is believed that Banana Beach Bar might be closed now but there are other bars on Banana Beach so don’t worry if you go we are sure you will find an excellent place!

Aloha

Image via @ sundayfundays

ALOHA BAR, Corfu
One of Corfu’s trendiest venues, the Aloha Bar packs them in all day and all night. The sun, sea and sand is the perfect combination for really letting loose on holiday and the cocktails are to die for.

manassu

Image via @ Nick Papakyriazis

BEACH BAR MANASSU, Sithonia-Halkidiki
The beaches in Halkidiki are like a secret that only Greeks know about. They are practically perfect, and just because it’s not an island does not mean you should stay away. The Beach Bar Manassu is a great choice. It is renovated every year to give customers a new experience every time. Its unique architecture, great service and delicious cocktails make it a must-see on any holiday.

A Night Less Ordinary: Hamster Hotel

From the sublime to the ridiculous, we collect the best in weird and wonderful hotels every week for our series called A Night Less Ordinary. From sleeping underwater to spending a night in a silvermine suite, expect the unexpected. This week it’s the Hamster Hotel.

Hamster Wheel 3

Image via @ Amusing Planet

What’s the gimmick? If you spend your time daydreaming about living like a hamster, then never fear! A clever group in Nantes, France has opened La Villa Hamster, to offer you this weird, but certainly unique experience.

Hamster Wheel 1

Image via @ espadrilles et champagne

Why stay?We wanted to create an eccentric hotel, so we decided that the funniest would be an animal-themed accommodation”, said Yann Falquerho and Frédéric Tabary, the guys behind the idea. La Villa Hamster has all the amenities needed for larger than life hamsters, from a huge (romantic) running wheel made just for two, a metal water tap, and a bathroom which is simply a large bowl of wood chips. There is one concession to human comfort in the form of a double bed, accessible only by stairs.

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Image via @ Amusing Planet

The WOW factor! For the ultimate experience guests are given hamster masks during their stay. The cost for an overnight in this bizarre hotel is around €150.

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Image via @ thechive.com

A Night Less Ordinary: Cinderella’s Castle

We try to find out about hotels that are out of the ordinary, from the sublime to the ridiculous A Night Less Ordinary is all about a nights sleep with a difference. From sleeping in a silver mine, to spending a night in a hotel made of cake, expect the unexpected.

What’s the gimmick? We can’t imagine more of a dream come true for a little princess, than a night in Cinderella’s Castle. The dream room was made real by Disney bosses in 2005, at the Magic Kingdom.

Why Stay? It’s got antique furniture, huge shimmering mosaics and all the comforts you can imagine. Top that with some extra special modern touches such as the jacuzzi suite and you’ve got a stay that’s made for royalty!

The WOW factor? A little Princess’s dream has never seemed more realistic.

Cinderalla Room 1 Cinderella Room 3 Cinderella Room 4
Cindererlla Room 2

All images via @ Buzzfeed

A night less ordinary: inside a capsule hotels

We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From panda-themed hotels to converted airplane cockpits expect the unexpected. This week, it’s the infamous capsule hotels of Japan.

027006-capsule-hotel-china  Image via @ www.theaustralian.com.au

Would you ever think of staying in a capsule-shaped hotel room? If not, then no need to feel bad, we’ve heard it’s not all that pleasant, but everyone has their wants!

Although capsule hotels have become popular in Japan, they haven’t really caught on in Europe, as it’s a bit like sleeping in a sort of slight larger coffin! However, the true purpose of this weird accommodation is rarely mentioned, so most people seem to think it’s a widespread trend in Japan.

Why stay? This type of tiny room with (usually) just a bed was developed to save money and time in case commuters missed their last train home (taxi rides are crazy expensive) or for travellers seeking a cheap overnight stay.

You Should Read… A Night At The Cake Hotel

What’s included? A night’s stay usually costs around £13, while there are some others around £17. The prices will get you ship shape in as much luxury as you can find on a tiny, capsule shaped mattress and, if you’re lucky a tv over the door. The big thing about these hotels though is admission to the  ofuro a spa style bath, just remember to take a shower before entering, the water is not changed too often.

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 Image via @ commons.wikimedia.org 

 capsule hotel

Capsule Hotel via @ Clango

Capsule Hotels might not suit absolutely everyone, but if you use your imagination and see it as a space station, it could be quite an interesting experience!

Get your hands dirty at The Chocolate Hotel

Every week we take a look at weird hotels around the world for A Night Less Ordinary. How about a James Bond themed room? Or maybe you’d prefer a movable hotel in Brazil? Either way, stay tuned to A Night Less Ordinary for the very coolest and whackiest hotels from all over the world. This week we look at a Chocolate hotel.

Hot on the heels of a promotional hotel made entirely of cake comes The Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth. From chocolate weekends, cocoa themed Valentines celebrations or melted choco-flavoured anniversaries this place has it covered.

Chocolate Hotel Pic

Images via @ DesignTaxi

Although the rooms can’t actually be eaten like the cake hotel, this is the next best thing, with 13 confectionery themed rooms, chocolate cookery classes, chocolate slumber parties and chocolate cocktails in the hotel’s bar. There are chocolate fountains in every room, chocolate workshops where you can learn to make all kinds of chocolatey treats and even a chocolate shoe workshop. A night in the Chocolate Boutique Hotel will set you back between £65 and £170 per night.

A Night Less Ordinary: Jules Undersea Lodge

We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From converted silvermines to igloo style hotels, expect the unexpected. This week, Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida.

jules undersea lodge 2

What’s the gimmick? First of all, to get into the lodge you have to dive 21 feet underwater. Once you get there, it will feel like you’ve discovered a secret underwater sports club! Divers can book overnight stays in either of two rooms, perfect for a romantic dip in the sea.

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Why stay?  Well, for the aspiring explorers, Jules Undersea Lodge would certainly be a walk in the footsteps of legendary explorers, such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Edwin Link, and Ian Koblick. Visit this underwater lodge to experience the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, or to simply test your scuba skills.

Jules-Undersea-Lodge-room

The WOW Factor?The big plus of each room, is the 42 inch porthole looking out into the ocean. Better than any tv, you’ll be amazing by the mangrove lagoon, where Jules is found and there are tonnes of tropical fish and sea creatures to look at. The JUL for Two Package costs about £530 for an overnight stay, Pizza delivery dinner and breakfast inclusive.

Read more: The World’s Best Underwater Hotels

Istanbul Best European Destination 2013: What’s it all about?

You may have heard that Turkey’s second second city, Istanbul, has been voted this year’s best European destination in a public vote. But if you’re left wondering what all the fuss is about, take a walk through this ancient city with this week’s infographic.

Istanbul Infographc

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