We know how hard it can be to try and choose a holiday destination let alone the destination and then a hotel. You look forward to your summer holiday all year and then what if it’s a flop? Or it doesn’t meet your needs?
Luckily, Purple Travel is here to help you find hotels in Kos that you can rely on for an excellent time on holiday in Kos. We’ve chosen these hotels on our list because of their high quality standards of service and the great feedback that we get from our customers.
Mitsis Blue Domes is a newcomer to the scene and opened in 2010. Since then it’s garnered a good reputation among hotels in Kos for the amount of facilities available and its first-class service. Read More
I was so happy to hear that TBEX, the travel blog exchange will be held in Athens, Greece in 2014. There’s a simple reason for this. Although I’m not from here, it’s been my home for the past three and a bit years. In that time I’ve come to feel very proud of Athens: it’s lively and vibrant, friendly and fun, parties go on all night, food is incredible and so cheap and is nothing like what you see on tv… it’s much more than that. Everyone knows about the sites like Anafiotika, The Acropolis, and Plaka. All incredible sites that I never get tired of… but I wanted to share some practical local knowledge – when you first arrive somewhere, where should you eat, drink or dance? This list is a bit nightlife heavy and I could have kept writing all day – but seriously, who would be still going on page 55? If you’ve got any other questions about local stuff to do or see during TBEX Athens, please feel free to get in touch, I’ll do my best to help out.
Head for the Acropolis, but instead of turning right up to the Parthenon, turn left and watch out for a metal staircase that leads you up to the open rocks opposite. A free and lovely place to soak up a glorious sunset behind the ancient temple. Known to locals or me certainly) as the slippery rocks, it’s best to wear good shoes up there. There are also lots of bars with great views in Athens, I’ve been to many of them. If you’re in Monastiraki avoid A for Athens. The overpriced drinks and rude staff don’t help you appreciate the view too much. Instead, head for the roof of the AthenStyle hostel for decent value drinks and a panoramic terrace or the cool surrounds of a 6th floor roof bar called Sole e Luna in a hotel in Neos Kosmos, where you can find a sunset to rival the Monastiraki bars and enjoy an expertly made Mojito.
We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From ship-shaped hotels to underground suites, expect the unexpected. This week, we look at a night less ordinary at the Bubble Hotel, otherwise known as the Mullihotell in Saaremaa, Estonia.
What’s the gimmick? A bubble-shaped room practically surrounded by nature. The room is partly transparent and has a curve that’s maintained by air constantly blowing towards it.
Why stay? The bubble is like a typical hotel room, apart from the fact that it’s a bubble and completely surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of Mother Nature. Although as comfortable as any accommodation you could ask for, the bubble doesn’t actually offer a bathroom, so visitors can use the toilet and washing facilities of the neighbouring guesthouse.
The WOW Factor? Located in the magnificent fields of Aadu Touristic Farm in Saaremaa, the Bubble hotel offers its guests the chance to enjoy a night in nature, with the starry sky as their roof.
Hotels, in particular 5-stars, are made to satisfy every customer’s needs and tastes. But, it’s fair to say, some of them are taking that task a little too seriously. Here are the 10 weirdest hotel services we’ve heard of… This is of course open to change!
For the forgetful amongst us, the Standard Spa Miami Beach has its own beach vendor in case you’ve left your itsy-bitsy-teenie-weeny back home in Blighty.
2. Goldfish for hire
Probably a handy thing to have around if you’re feeling lonely, one Cheshire hotel offers guest their own pet fish for the duration of their stay. For £5 ‘Happy’ the goldfish can come and stay in your room.
3. Sex Toys
The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada is one of a growing number that offers a list of sensual toys. It has a ‘pleasure menu’ where you can take your pick of locally supplied playthings.
4. Social Media Butler
If you fancy switching off, but still want to share your envy-inducing instagram pics, tweets and status updates then the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington has what you need with its social media butler.
5. Soundtrack concierge
If you’ve ever had an earworm, or a song that you just need to hear right now, or just need some in-room party music suggestions, why not take up the offer of a soundtrack concierge who’ll develop a playlist just for you?
6. Celeb for a day
The Geejam Hotel in Jamaica offers a recording studio where guests can sing to the top of their lungs and release their inner popstar. Working with the studio’s engineers you’ll find out about the process of recording your very own CD.
7. Dog surfing lessons
California’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa offers doggie surfing lessons for man’s best friend. Instructors from the surfing academy bring little Rover or Rex to catch their first waves without wiping out.
8. Vibe Manager
If you’re not partying quite hard enough, then head for the Ritz-Cartlon on Palm Beach, Miami which offers a personalised party manager. Your evening escort is on hand to create playlists, offer a cigar or knock up a cocktail for your delectation.
9. Fairy service
Not content with regular concierge servics, the Barnsley Gardens Resort in Atlanta, Georigea, offers a special service of a fairy godmother, who offers to fulfill dreams and wishes. For customised evenings with your significant other, ‘Love Spells’ or over the top proposals the Fiary is on hand to help you.
10. Sleep concierge
A growing number of hotels are drawing customers in with the promise of a good night’s sleep. A sleep concierge assess sleeping habits, recommends pillows, offers a bedtime snack of can organise a relaxing massage to help you drift off.
ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios: Seriously, this is one fabulous Jamaica hotel. Right on the beach of Mammee Bay in Ocho Rios, the ClubHotel is surrounded by woodlands and waterfalls. It offers the perfect mix of total relaxation and endless activities. The hotel is very close to Dolphin Cove, where a guide will take you to swim with dolphins (or even sharks!) and the Dunn’s River Fall, one of the most beautiful in the world is perfect for a day trip.
Best on a budget
Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios: Diving, waterfalls, plunge pools, powder soft sandy beaches, is that your idea of a good time? Then the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa is just the ticket. This all inclusive 730 room palace has plenty of restaurants, bars, kids club and boutiques, all in the beautiful, Caribbean surrounds that Jamaica is famous for.
Great huts: If you’re feeling a little adventurous about your holiday, how about a night away in a hut or a tree house? Yes, we did say hut, but don’t let that put you off. These Great Huts are off the beaten track luxury accommodations, with stunning cliff side views and hammocks everywhere. Choose from the different amazing structures on offer, you can even stay in the Queen of Sheba hut! We’re sure it’s fit for a queen.
Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica: A Victorian style hotel, right on the beach, you can go from bed to beach in just seconds. Here it’s all about complete relaxation in the sunshine. The 840 room hotel has a spa, excellent restaurants and on top of the white, sandy beach there are three interlinked pools to swim in, countless loungers, beach umbrellas and towel service. Everything is looked after at the Gran Bahia Principe.
The Sandals Montego Bay: is surrounded by a tropical setting and right on a white sand beach, offering a slice of heaven for your holidays. Here, guests can experience the true Caribbean spirit and chill out all day long, tasting mouthwatering cocktails.
Perfect for kids
Breezes Trelawny Resort & Spa, Falmouth: This gorgeous hotel is really a sight for sore eyes. With four (count ‘em!) swimming pools to choose from, two water slides and that absolutely perfect, white sand and stunning blue waters that Jamaica is famous for, it’s a hotel that’s really close to our hearts. It’s just a couple of miles from the centre of Falmouth where you’ll find a mix of history and shopping, restaurants and bars. You couldn’t ask for more!
This lavish, 173-room resort makes its focal point an expansive terrace with an infinity-edged pool. The Six Senses Spa is another major attraction, offering traditional-style hammam, as well as an array of top-standard treatments. The rooms at Barbaros Bay follow the motto ‘living spaces are an expression of our souls’, each one designed to channel space, colour and form to enhance the beauty of the view from your floor-to-ceiling windows. On your walk-out balcony or terrace, you can drink a glass of champagne, while the turquoise blue Aegean embraces you peacefully. In the restaurant, garden-fresh ingredients are cooked with pure inspiration, from Barbaros Bay’s top chefs, whose innovation and mastery is clear in the gourmet breakfast cooked for you each morning. Understated elegance is key in this hotel, and you can’t fault them there. Certainly one of the top Purple Travel choices for hotels in Turkey.
Palace is surely the correct word here. The Delphin Palace Hotel, situated on Lara beach has its own 230 metre private sandy beach with clear blue waters. Its 390 rooms, including one special Pink Moon Honeymoon Suite, one King Suite and one Presidential Suite, each have a mini bar refilled daily, a direct telephone, satellite TV, balcony and parquet floor. Though the food is all-inclusive, choices are not limited choices and the highly-rated food ranges from sushi to barbecue and champagne breakfasts. In addition to the a la carte dining and main restaurant options, there is a 24-hour lobby bar and juice bar at no additional cost. Even the mini-bar can be accessed for free. You only have to read a few reviews to get a grasp of the level of this hotel – the only complaint you will find is that A couple of plans for sightseeing were ruined because there was almost no reason to leave the hotel. There are computer games, free Internet, tennis, water slides, a movie theatre, discos and more on site.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was once the residence of the last Ottoman Sultans. Now, restored to its former glory, the luxury hotel prides itself on a marriage of traditional Turkish hospitality with up-to-the-minute five-star standards. The architectural grandeur of the palace is enhanced with all the modern comforts a deluxe hotel should possess, dramatically situated on the shores of the Bosphorus. A peaceful resort ambience in the centre of the city, this 315 room ‘palace’ is also within close walking distance of the harbourside district of Ortakoy, a fascinating area full of seafood restaurants, specialty antique, ceramic, jewellery shops and a colourful street market at weekends. And if you can drag yourself out of the lavish surroundings of the hotel for long enough, there are some of Istanbul’s most famous open-air restaurants and nightclubs close by too.
Sumahan on the Water was once the industrial factory that distilled the high proof ingredient for “Raki” – the famous Ottoman drink. This restored nineteenth century construction is an uncommon example of what really is a solicitous transformation of an historical building, particularly for Istanbul. The hotel combines exceptional design with a respect for the sites’ historical context; Suma is the word for unadulterated spirit, whilst han was the word for inn in Ottoman times. Situated on the waterfront of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, the Sumahan has just 20 rooms. However, each accommodation is accredited with its own, individual design, sensitively done to showcase the architectural style of the building itself. Along with its own special character, each room has a spectacular view of the river Bosphorus, the divide between Asian and European Istanbul.
The Istanbul EDITION is an exclusive hotel, which boasts a fifteen-story tower with 78 guest rooms and an outstanding, full-floor penthouse. Its multiple venues include a three-story spa by ESPA, the Cipriani restaurant, the Lobby Bar, a drawing room and even a screening room and in-built nightclub. Constructed in the form of a intricate jewel-box, each room includes an entrance vestibule, bedroom area, work station and seating area with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the city. The guest rooms feature Bang & Olufsen state-of-the-art oversized flat screen LCD televisions with integrated stereo; custom imported linens; complimentary high-speed wireless internet; fully stocked mini-bars and 24-hour room service. At Istanbul EDITION, you will find serious luxury.
Arnavutköy (meaning Albanian village) has to be one of the most beautiful suburbs in Bosphoros. Its shore is lined with pretty, wooden art-nouveau style houses and a row of excellent eateries gaze onto the waterfront. Tucked shortly behind these is the bijou Villa Denise, a hotel that charms its guests with luxurious, colourful, Topkapi Palace-inspired fabrics. Small kitchens and microwave ovens inside the rooms mean you can still make yourself at home and feel comfortable, even amid the grandeur. Although you probably won’t be cooking much once you discover the unexpected Spanish restaurant on the ground floor, an amazing, hidden treasure, well away from the tourist rush.
A supreme escape in a pin-drop peaceful countryside location, the Letoonia Golf Hotel overlooks the Acisu River and the glistening Belek Sea. Boasting top-notch facilities that extend the hotel’s own private golfing range, guests will find it hard to leave the fabulous pool complex that’s set inside the hotel’s lush lawns and swishing palm trees. That’s fine though, as there are five impressive pools to choose from, including the tropical lagoon-style pool along the hotel’s front, the rectangular pool that’s perfect for swimming laps and if you want to escape the heat, there’s even a peaceful indoor pool. The service is unbeatable; guests can even take free lessons from golf pros on the hotel’s own driving range or putting green. Or if golf’s not your thing, try your hand at watersports, tennis, and basketball or drop in at the fitness centre where you can work out, take a yoga lesson or join in an aerobics class. After burning all those calories, you can then lavish in one of the three atmospheric restaurants, serving seafood, Turkish and Asian dishes.
You won’t find bigger luxury than here, literally. Kusadasi Aqua Resort Hotel is set in seriously extensive grounds, equipped with numerous swimming pools, slides, loungers, parasols and pool bars to enjoy. As if this wasn’t enough, there is also a full programme of day and evening entertainment, including beach activities and a large theatre to enjoy shows in; there is a games room with snooker, bowling, playstation, kids club, toy room, indoor and outdoor playgrounds; and there are numerous sports facilities including tennis courts, table tennis, mini football, basketball, beach volleyball and a pony club. A pony club! This place is huge. For when you need to chill out from the constant bombardment of entertainment, there is a spa offering Turkish baths, massages, various other treatments and a gymnasium.
Guests can enjoy a bite to eat in one of the two main restaurants or one of the five a la carte restaurants serving Turkish, Exotic Asian tastes, Italian specialties, steaks and fresh seafood. Think Disneyland in Turkey.
A mini Amsterdam in Turkey, the Orange County Resort Hotel mimics the unique Dutch architecture of the sixteenth century. Set on the coasts of Kemer, between the magnificent natural view of the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean, Orange County takes its theme from the fishing village of Volendam located near Amsterdam. Inside charming Volendam houses designed for families with children, are 513 luxury rooms, including some specially decorated Van Gogh rooms. The grounds also boast a pool area of 5000 m2,a magnificent private beach and wharf, exceptional international cuisines, nightly entertainment and daily activities, including poolside aerobics.
If you’re looking for one of the most unforgettable hotels in Turkey, meet the Kremlin Palace. Built on a sandy beach, the hotel boasts some magnificent architecture, modelled on the original Kremlin Palace in Moscow, which was intended to emphasize the greatness of the Russian autocracy. The entrance, named the ‘Gate of Resurrection’, is a near copy of its original which is situated at the entrance of Kremlin Square in Moscow. Likewise, the main building which comprises a stylish lobby, main restaurant, reception and conference centre, is almost a perfect copy of the ‘Museum of History’. All rooms are situated in 4-6 storey building blocks equipped with 10 elevators, a la carte restaurants, a spa and a fitness centre, pools, beach and unique convention saloons. You’re certain to feel like royalty in the ‘wow factor’ hotel.
For more on hotels in Turkey, call Purple Travel now on 0207 993 9228.
We’re all about the Algarve, specifically the lovely seaside town of Albufeira. It’s got the Old Town that’s perfect for long lazy strolls in the sunshine. Over the hill you’ll find The Strip, packed with neon bars and all night parties. It really offers the best of both worlds.
So if you’re stuck for a place to stay, here’s our top 5 hotels in Albufeira.
Family friendly: The Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel Apartments have practically every facility you could think of, from one bedroom apartments to duplexes. The MGE restaurant and pool side snack bar are great for keeping little ones topped up, while the multi use court for basketball or football, mini golf course and video game room will keep even the moodiest teenager busy. That’s before you even get to the pool, nearby beach or the selection of water parks you’ll find around.
It might not be as famous as Italy’s other cities like historic Rome or Pisa with its leaning tower, but we think it’s fair to say Florence is a cultural, artistic and romantic capital all its own. Find out more in our guide to Florence things to do:
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The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a small city filled with architectural marvels, cultural delights, breathtaking masterpieces, stylish Florentines and an atmosphere you could dip a spoon into. The birthplace of the powerful Medici family, Florence became a haven for aristocrats, architects and artists. A who’s who reads something like Botticelli, Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto and possibly the greatest of them all Leonardo Da Vinci. That’s quite a lot of name dropping and we’ve barely hit the tip of the iceberg.
#1 This could be our personal favourite. The Batman hotel room built to resemble the Bat Cave. Everything is themed from the tv, shower even to a replica of the utterly cool Batmobile. It’s hard to think of a better start to our list of 10 film inspired hotel rooms.
#2 The Pacific Inn Motel, Forks, USA. For the Twi-Hards amongst us, you can sleep under framed pictures of Bella, Edward or Jacob and get a real feel for the town where the novels are set. Even Bruce Wayne would be impressed.
#3 Tron Suite at the ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Around 200km inside the Arctic Circle is novelty enough, but when you find a room made of ice and designed to replicate the imagery from the Disney film Tron: Legacy, then you’re unlikely to forget it.
#4 Time will probably tell if the Pirates of The Caribbean films will go down in history as classics, but for now Disney has immortalised the films in the form of a hotel room. The pirate experience begins immediately – the doorbell plays ‘yo, ho, ho a pirate’s life for me.’
#5 Luke Skywalker’s house in Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll recognise the dusty landscape here as that of Tatooine. The rooms are surprisingly cosy, built in a traditional style dug from the sites of the caverns. If you’re not a fan, then this hotel is probably not for you. Image via @ RapidTravelChai
#6 Endless mirrors, golden tickets and an Hammam – very James Bond at the Suite dedicated to 007 at the Seven Hotel Paris Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#7 Paris has a bit of a monopoly on intriguing hotels, in fact the Seven Hotel has a second one up it’s sleeve with the Alice Room. Dedicated to Alice’s journey through Wonderland, it’s got a rabbit hopping from the wall, psychedelic settings and two toilets with a chessboard in between. Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#8 At the drive-in a bed for five. Perfect for film buffs, the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart has a car shaped bed (that fits 5) and offers the feel of a drive in movie experience. Image via @ V8 Hotel
#9 It hasn’t quite become a movie yet, but just give it a little while. After the whirlwind success of 50 Shades of Grey, hotels are cashing in on theming up rooms to incorporate all things Christian Grey. The Heathman Hotel, USA is offering a 50 Shades of Grey holiday, you might remember it’s where Ana and Christian had an initial encounter. Just don’t forget to bring your own cuffs and whips. Image via @ Heathman Hotel PDX
#10 This is impressive whether you’re a Hobbit fan or not. Much love has been put into creating a dedicated ‘Shire’ experience in the lovely surrounds of Montana from gigantic mushrooms, a troll house, Hobbit trails, and even Gandalf’s hat in the room. Image via @ Hobbit House of Montana.