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the romanos costa navarino

Posted in News on April 11th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

costa navarino 150x100 300x200 the romanos costa navarinoWe’re delighted to have recently added The Romanos Costa Navarino on the Peloponnese coast of mainland Greece.  It’s an exceptional 5 star luxury resort that’s ideal for both couples and families. We particularly like the beautiful setting and remarkable choice of land and water sports available.  There’s most definitely something for everyone here, whatever their age of preference.  Racquet sports include tennis, squash, padel and badminton.  Other land activities include hiking, mountain biking, fitness training, yoga and pilates.  For water sports enthusiasts, there’s surfing, kayaking, kite surfing, padel boarding, wind surfing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Of course, if you just want to switch off and relax you can do that too!  Put your feet up beside the pool or on the beach, or treat yourself to some indulgent pampering in the resort’s fabulous spa.  Parents can relax in the knowledge that their children are happy and entertained. The children’s club looks after the wee ones from the age of 4 months to 12 years old.  Best of all, there’s a fantastic aqua park for thrills and spills for all the family.

The resort is located on a wonderful stretch of coastline, surrounded by forests and in easy striking distance of a selection of gorgeous beaches.  For the quality of service, facilities and accommodation, we think this place is excellent value for money at the luxury end of the scale.  For example, a week in July for a family of 5 is from £7,340, including flights and transfers.

We have added The Romanos Costa Navarino to our pick of the best family resorts in Europe.

corfu villas

Posted in News on March 4th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

atolikos house corfu 300x160 corfu villasCorfu has long been a popular destination for a sunny, uncomplicated villa holiday with friends or family, and it’s easy to understand why.  With green hillsides, pretty beaches, clear blue seas and our fabulous selection of villas to suit every budget and size of party.  Our villas are all located in the north eastern corner of the island, sprinkled along the coast near Kassiopi, San Stefano and Avlaki beach, ranging from 2 bedrooms to 6 bedrooms.  All have swimming pools, comfortable accommodation (ranging from clean and simple to stylish and luxurious), outdoor dining terraces, sensational views and convenient access to nearby beaches, shops and tavernas.  And, if you wish, we can organise a cook, a boat, a visiting yoga teacher, personal trainer or massage therapist, or even a hiking or mountain biking guide to take you out to explore the island’s magnificent interior.  If you’re looking for a family holiday with teenagers in tow, we would recommend being near Kassiopi as this lovely little harbour town is the ‘most happening’ for evening entertainment.

Here’s some villa options to get you started:

We know the island well and have first hand knowledge of all the villas in our carefully handpicked portfolio, and we would be delighted to help you select the one that’s most appropriate for you.  If you are able to visit the island outside of July and August, prices halve – at least!  For a full list of our featured villas, please see where to stay in Corfu – but remember, we have many more villas on our books apart from the ones featured on our website.

shillim estate retreat & spa

Posted in News on February 25th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

meditation on shillim peak 920m 300x200 shillim estate retreat & spaWe are delighted to add the superb Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa to our portfolio of recommended destinations in India.  Opened in 2003, the estate spans 320 acres of pristine countryside (including lakes, rivers, waterfalls and mountains) about 2.5 hours drive south east of Mumbai.  Offering a sanctuary for the body, mind and spirit, the retreat features ecologically designed all-villa accommodation with butler service, extensive dining options, one of the largest wine cellars in India and among the largest and most comprehensive spa facilities in Asia that encompasses 70 acres and offers more than 150 treatments. The retreat is designed, built and operated with sustainability as its core commitment.  We love the stunning meditation cave and recommend this fabulous new resort for two key purposes.  First, if you are just looking to relax and rebalance, you can immerse yourself in the spa experience, meditate, practice yoga and sleep deeply in one of the beautiful villas.  Second, if you prefer to be active, there’s so much to do: horse riding, mountain biking, working out in the gym, hiking (try climbing Shillim’s 920m peak) and fishing.  So, for couples with differing agendas – the Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa should keep both halves more than happy!  Guests can enjoy fine dining whilst maintaining a regime of good nutrition and even customise their experience with ‘Dining by Design’, which allows you to choose the setting. Why not try lunch by the beside a waterfall or breakfast on a lush forest plateau?

easter holiday ideas

Posted in News on February 23rd, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

fabulous surf ing and yoga at paradis plage 300x200 easter holiday ideasIf you’re looking for some inspiration about what to do and where to go for a holiday at Easter, you can either take advantage of our clever ideas by month widget which shows you, from a weather perspective, all the best places to travel to in April or, read on, and see some of our more specific holiday ideas (where the weather will also be warm and sunny too).

Ideas for families

Morocco:  Head to the Morocco coast and stay at Paradis Plage, set on an amazing beach.  It’s excellent value and perfect for body boarding and surfing (lessons available for 8 year olds upwards), yoga, spa, and star gazing beside the beach fire.

If you would like to combine it with a trip to Marrakech and / or a few nights in the Atlas Mountains, have a look at some of our Morocco itinerary ideas.

Turkey:  Also great value, and brilliant for families, Gardens of Babylon on the south coast of Turkey, near Bodrum, will keep everyone happy and entertained.  Water sports, kids club, yoga, pilates and tennis are all included.  Spa treatments, however, are not.  For a more sophisticated and luxurious holiday, and priced accordingly, we would highly recommend d-hotel near Marmaris.

Best family resorts: for more ideas and to view our top 10 recommendations, please see best family resorts

Ideas for adults

Fitness:  fly to sunny southern Spain for an energising week of fitness training with fitscape and be put though your paces by their excellent team of trainers.  Stay at the charming and very comfortable Monasterio for a week from 16-23 April.  Perfect for solo travellers who would like to join a group of like minded people.

Relaxation:  head to Aava Resort & Spa in Thailand for a relaxing week in the sunshine.  Set on an amazingly beautiful, deserted beach and offering a daily programme of wellness classes, this is pure bliss and remarkably good value.

Yoga: join a destination yoga retreat to Zening in Cyprus from 16-23 April.

Detox or weight loss:  hidden in the peaceful rolling hills about 30 minutes north of Marbella, Shanti Som is a gorgeous boutique hideaway offering excellent weight loss and detox programmes.

Hiking:  fly down to exotic Morocco for a few days hiking in the Atlas Mountains.  Combine with a couple of nights in Marrakech.  See a couple of Morocco itinerary ideas.

If in doubt….

Whether you’re looking for a family holiday or one just for yourself, our travel experts can help you decide on the best Easter holiday option for you.  Please just call us on 020 8968 0501 or simply send us an email with an outline of what you’d like to do and we will make some recommendations for you.

meditation retreats

Posted in meditation, News, yoga on February 13th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

YogaMeditation 1 300x202 meditation retreatsOver the past couple of years, we have noticed an increase in the number of people seeking a holiday that includes an element of meditation.  Thus far we have recommended joining a destination yoga holiday to Italy, Spain or India where the ‘restorative’ evening yoga classes tend to include a period of meditation.  Destination yoga offers 7 night retreats from an all inclusive price of £850 and has an extremely high percentage of repeat guests.

In summer 2013, a new resort in Cyprus – Zening – opened with the justifiable claim to being Europe’s first resort dedicated to yoga, meditation and wellbeing.  Yoga and meditation classes are available every day.  7 night all inclusive holidays to Zening are priced from £795.

More recently, one of our favourite luxury hideaways in India – Shreyas – has introduced a 7 night / 8 day meditation retreat.  We think it’s a perfect introduction to the essence of Shreyas.  The programme includes a well-balanced itinerary of yoga, meditation and pranayama sessions, rejuvenating massages, cooking classes, community exercises and nature farming.  The gurus at Shreyas offer those guests that are interested ‘guidance along your spiritual path.’  7 night / 8 day all inclusive meditation retreats at Shreyas are from £1,775.

Also in India, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the recently opened Vana, offers a unique Tibetan Healing programme.  A retreat crafted around Vana’s unique tibetan healing offering can address almost any aspect of wellbeing from physical to spiritual. With doctors and therapists trained at the Men-Tsee-Khang, an institute of medicine and astrology set up by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Vana offer all aspects of this profound healing tradition including consultations, treatments, supplements and meditation.  Tibetan healing treatments include ku nye, dhugs, lum, hor kyi metsa and gom and are offered with complete authenticity.  7 night all inclusive programmes from £2,060.

We expect that holidays to re-balance the mind through meditation will become increasingly popular and look forward to further extending our portfolio of recommended destinations for this.

job opportunity

Posted in News on February 11th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

job opportunity 300x297 job opportunityWe’re hiring!  Are you (or do you know) a personable university graduate interested in joining our team in the world of travel? Based at our fun, busy, rapidly growing London office in Ladbroke Grove, W10.  Salary negotiable, subject to experience.

The Healthy Holiday Company is the UK’s leading provider of healthy holidays, with 4 brands – in:spa which offers health, fitness and detox retreats, fitscape which offers fitness holidays, destination yoga offers specialist yoga holidays and The Healthy Holiday Company, for bespoke healthy travel worldwide. The company is now looking to recruit a holiday co-ordinator to join our busy office near Ladbroke Grove. This role will be providing key support for the team and will require a highly efficient and organised individual, who can manage a variety of tasks and be pro-active on a daily basis. The candidate must be bright, personable and have excellent computer skills.

Like to find out more?  Please see details and how to apply

recent additions to our portfolio

Posted in News on February 5th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

pool and gardens 300x198 recent additions to our portfolioAfter recent visits from one or more of our team, we are pleased to now also be able to recommend the following hotels:

The Capaldi, Morocco: located in the foothills of the mountains, half way between Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, the Capaldi (pictured) is a charming 23 bedroom boutique hotel that’s perfect for a mini break. You can just relax by one of two swimming pools or be pampered in the little spa or, if you want to be active, it’s got a fitness studio and is well located for walks or more arduous hikes, mountain biking or jet skiing round a nearby lake.  From £145 per room per night.

La Residence, South Africa: located about an hour from Cape Town in Franschhoek, La Residence is in a class of its own, exuding luxury and splendour, with enchanting mountain views in every direction.  Franschhoek is the perfect destination for foodies and wine lovers.  Our horse riding trips between vineyards is always very popular.  From £350 per room per night.  Combine with a stay on the beach in Cape Town.

Kandooma, Maldives: fabulous 4 star deluxe resort that’s perfect for surfers.  It also just happens to be one of the best value resorts in the Maldives.  7 nights from £1,650 on a full board basis, including flights and transfers.

Sugar Beach, St Lucia: sensational beach resort (formerly the Jalousie Plantation) that enjoys a remarkable location on a hillside between the two famous pitons, surrounded by 325 acres of lush tropical gardens brimming with mango, coconut and papaya trees.  Time to head to the Caribbean?  7 nights from £1,640 including flights and transfers.

Mia Resort, Vietnam:  luxury accommodation combined with outstanding value.  This ultra stylish beach retreat near Nha Trang magically succeeds in being suited to families, couples looking for a romantic break and groups of friends who want to chill out.  7 nights from £1,190 including flights and transfers.

surfing maldives

Posted in News, surfing on January 25th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

surfing 300x219 surfing maldivesWe are pleased to add the fabulous resort of Kandooma to our portfolio of luxury destinations in the Maldives.  If you’re looking for a great value holiday, this excellent 4 star deluxe resort, may be just the ticket.  And, if it’s surfing that you’re particularly interested in, then Kandooma is the place to go.  A speedboat ferries you across the turquoise waters from Malé International Airport to this contemporary resort hotel in just 40 minutes. Slip into island life from the moment you arrive…

Kandooma offers world-class South Malé Atoll diving and surfing on your doorstep. The funky beach villas ooze style and boast luxury touches like outdoor showers and iPod docking stations. With cool, contemporary island design, this innovative island resort brings a funky vibe to the Maldives. Experience utter relaxation but with myriad entertainment and activity on hand.  We can offer you 7 nights in a Beach View Villa on a full board basis from £1,650 per person sharing, including return flights from London and speedboat transfers.  The number of surfers on the island is restricted to a maximum of 30 per day and the resort, in partnership with Australia’s The Perfect Wave, offers surfing packages from US$90 per day.  Find out more about Kandooma

We also offer surfing holidays in Bali, South Africa, Morocco and Portugal.  To review all our recommended surfing destinations, please see all surf holiday destinations 

a visit to aava resort & spa, thailand

Posted in News, wellness on January 23rd, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

sunset 300x166 a visit to aava resort & spa, thailandKathryn Brierley, a founding Director of The Healthy Holiday Company, and her husband spent a blissful week at Aava Resort & Spa in December 2013.  Here’s Kathryn’s write up of their experience:

Atte and Kati, a young Finnish couple, were backpacking around Thailand in 2008 when they found Khanom – a fishing town on an undiscovered stretch of coastline in Southern Thailand – and fell in love with the area – so much so, that Atte bought a plot of land as an investment.

Soon they were drawing up plans for a small hotel. They are now happily living in Khanom as owners/managers of Aava with their two young  fluent Thai-speaking children.

Aava is a chic, modern design hotel – a small 28 bedroom, boutique property, right on a 9km stretch of unspoilt beach. It offers all the charm and amenities of a resort hotel and yet is miles from the next closest ‘tourist’ spot. Our pool villa had stunning sea views – a generous sized bedroom and bathroom with outdoor deck and steps descending into the pool. Some other room categories are set back from the pool and don’t have views to sea, but all rooms have the same sleek Scandinavian styling

Given the remoteness of the resort, and therefore logistical challenges faced by the Finnish chef of sourcing some items, there is a natural focus on local fruits, vegetables and locally caught fish. The menu therefore has some delicious light healthy choices, but larger appetites too are satisfied by an extremely comprehensive international menu. My favourite was a steamed white snapper with Thai lemon chilli and garlic sauce, while my husband loved the Lamb rack with port wine sauce with Mediterranean herbed crispy potatoes. For guests on a health kick, the chef has created a special healthy light menu and for guests not on a health-kick, they have a great dessert as well as cocktail menu (the apple, lychee and lemongrass martini went down a treat after dark)

Yoga, tai chi, Thai kick-boxing and stretching are all offered by the multi-talented, enthusiastic Check, an ex-Kamalaya professional, who has trained Kate Moss and Oliver Stone during his career. Kati has lost over 30kg since she started training with him and embracing a light local diet. His Thai boxing class was excellent and a serious challenge and his vinyasa yoga class was strong with good structure and sequencing. Check delivers results but with a wide smile and is the one-man go-to for all wellness activities. We treated ourselves to a few deeply therapeutic massages in the small spa. As with all the staff at Aava, the therapists are charming, smiley and genuinely happy to be working there.

We enjoyed a couple of excursions from the resort – the local market in Khanom is a must (Sunday and Wednesday) to experience local life. We were the only western faces in the crowds. We then moved on to swim by a stunning local waterfall and again, not a tourist in sight. Our visit was at the end of the monsoon season and therefore the sea conditions weren’t perfect for spotting the rare pink dolphins, but we would urge anyone else to head out in the long tailed boat to see these beautiful creatures close up.

Who stays at Aava? The resort was quiet when we were there with a couple of families with very young children (enjoying exceptional levels of care by the wonderful staff), but Aava is really be the perfect quiet base for anyone – it’s personal enough for the single wellness traveller looking for fitness,yoga or relaxation to feel at home, and is also spot on for couples and families looking for a quiet and authentic taste of Thailand. There are plans afoot in the medium term to add some more rooms. We would urge a visit while the hotel is still small and very beautiful.

What does it cost? The Healthy Holiday Company has 7 night holidays to Aava Resort & Spa from £1,285 per person sharing, to include 7 nights accommodation in a Deluxe Bungalow on a half board basis, complimentary access to all daily wellness classes, private airport transfers and return flights from London.  For full details about the resort and everything it offers, please see Aava Resort & Spa

vana retreats

Posted in detox, News, wellness, yoga on January 8th, 2014 by Simon – Comments Off

suite 300x200 vana retreatsWe are very excited to to welcome Vana, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, to our portfolio of luxury wellness resorts.  Vana’s team of specialists carefully tailor make wellness programmes to each individual’s requirements, crafted around 7 inter-connected components, namely Ayurveda, Tibetan Healing, Yoga, Natural Healing, Spa, Fitness and Aqua.

To keep everything nice and simple for clients, all programmes are priced identically and split in to two different categories: immersed or involved.  Immersed programmes are more comprehensive and benefit from more inclusions and are slightly higher priced as a result.  The only other variation depends on whether a guest elects to stay in a bedroom, a suite or a villa.  For example, a 7 night wellness ‘involved’ programme staying in a Garden Bedroom costs from £1,175 whilst an ‘immersed’ programme in a Garden Bedroom starts at £1,425.  Prices are full board and include all ingredients of the programme, return flights and private airport transfers.  We think this is great value, particularly as Vana is both stylish and luxurious and their team of specialists is world class.  The wellness programme options include Ayurvedic therapies, detox, de-stress, weight management, yoga, beauty and relaxation.  There’s even a programme called ‘don’t know’ which would allow the specialists to work with the guest on arrival to create their recommendation for the best wellness programme for that particular guest.  Indeed, during the arrival consultation, the specialists may advise a variation on the programme selected.  Thus ensuring that everyone receives exactly what they really need during their stay at Vana.

For further information and photographs, please see Vana.  If you would like to discuss a retreat to Vana, please call us on 020 8968 0501 and one of our experts will gladly talk you through everything.