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.
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.
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 @ 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.
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!
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.
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’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.
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, an unmissable destination if you find yourself on holidays in France near Nice.
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.
There are so many festivals these days that Purple Travel just had to help and show you the best festivals going on this year and we’ve picked Ibiza Rocks as one of our best for 2014. Irresistible HAIM or indie The 1975, what’s it gonna be? Well, why not both? Our favourite Ibiza Rocks has just announced its stunning line up for June 2014. So, get ready for the frenziest of festivals opening parties in the Rocks’ history!
The so-hip-it-hurts girl band HAIM from California is performing at Ibiza Rocks 2014 on 4th June and the crowd will get the chance to shake up with the sound of the band’s debut album “Days Are Gone”. These amazing girls are the winners of BBC Sound of 2013 and have already shared the scene with Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons. Anticipation is reaching fever pitch!
A week after, June 11th – same place, Mancunian group The 1975 will make music bunnies go bananas, playing their addictive indie pop hits Chocolate, The City and Sex out loud! Stay tuned to the Purple Travel blog for more Festival 2014 lineups soon. Don’t put it off, book you summer 2014 holiday to Ibiza with Purple Travel for the best deal!
Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth is celebrating the release of the new Hobbit film early, with a scary Smaug themed livery for its planes. A Boeing 777-300 has been specially touched up to show the dragon Smaug all the way down each side to celebrate the release of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.
The plane’s new livery is all part of a theme for Air New Zealand who pull out all the stops when it comes to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Last year there was a similar effort when various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey featured on the side of an aircraft. However, this year the mighty dragon Smaug voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch takes the starring role. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s been a privilege to collaborate with the film team and Director Peter Jackson; “we worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”
Where is hot in December? We’ve compiled our list of the best holidays in December so you can soak up the sun and start the new year with the best tan. Jumeirah Beach, Dubai 26C Exotic, hot and amazing shopping. Dubai is the perfect December holiday choice. Bring the kids, go for high tea in the Burj Khalifa and try not to laugh too much at anyone who’s stuck at home.
Funchal, Madeira 18COne of Europe’s best kept secrets, Madeira is a lush, green island with great beaches and friendly people. December holidays in Madeira are especially good thanks to its excellent New Years Eve Party.
Cancun, Mexico 28CBeaches, beaches, beaches and more beaches. Mexico and the entire Caribbean is truly beautiful anytime of year, but there’s nothing quite as nice as sunning yourself on a brilliant white beach and thinking of the snow back home. Book a cheap December holiday in Mexico now with Purple Travel.
Costa Adeje, Tenerife 22C Reliable all yar round for great weather, Tenerife and its black beach , buckets of water sports and traditional fishing villages make the Canary Islands a permanent December holiday ideas favourite.
Montego Bay, Jamaica 26CThe most indulgent resort on the island, Montego Bay is filled with upmarket, luxury hotels most of which are right on the beach. There are golf courses, water sports, day trips, buckets of sunshine and that special Jamaica rhythm. An especially good choice if you fancy breaking out and going wild like at no holds barred Hedonism resort.
Rauris, Austria 6cIf you like your holidays more traditional, why not grab a great value ski holiday in Austria this December. With a great choice of slopes, schools to help out any beginners and excellent apres-ski Rauris is a top notch December holiday experience.
Anjuna, Goa 27C Once a playground for hippies in the 60s, Anjuna in Goa is now more likely to be populated with young couples who want a relaxed, romantic getaway on golden sands and with great food. December in Goa is usually warm, so although it’s a long trip, it’s worth it.
Barcelona, Spain 10C Cheap and tasty tapas, cool bars and trips to the Nou Camp or racking up museum tickets at the Picasso Exhibition or the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s cheap flights and hotel make it a great December holiday idea. Just remember to wrap up well, it can get a bit chilly.
Banjul, Gambia 31C Get thesunshine, with no jetlag, Banjul is one of our winter holiday bestsellers. The tiny African country is packed with beaches made of soft sand, with perfect transparent water and plenty of cheap hotels.
Kate Power is community manager for Purple Travel. Connect with her on Google + now.
An absolutely unique town, Sentenil de las Bodegas is built on top of, within and underneath might rock structures, creating multi-level streets, and tiny winding alleyways. the 3,000 inhabitants of Setenil de las Bodegas in Cadiz, Spain seem to enjoy living in a gorge cut out of a mountain.
Even if you think it’s a bit weird, there’s no arguing with history, the town has had residents for thousands of years, from when they first started to carve their homes out of the sides of the mountain. Most are built under the cliff or into the hillside, creating spacious homes that always stay at the right temperature.