Monthly Archives: April 2014

Olé Hotels: a line of family hotels in the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands are a common destination for that type of public looking for a family trip. The good weather conditions, their attractive beaches and the quality of services offered by these islands, make of them a perfect option for family tourism.

Olé Hotels have created a line of family hotels in the Canary Islands, with services focused on the needs of the guests. Specifically, they have two 4 star rated hotels in Lanzarote and Tenerife: Olé Olivina Lanzarote Hotel and Olé Tropical Tenerife Hotel.

Ole Olivina Lanzarote Hotel pool

Olivina Lanzarote is a family hotel located in Puerto del Carmen, next to Los Pocillos beach. Tropical Tenerife is a 4 star sated hotel in Adeje coast, situated in the famous beach Las Américas.

Both hotels share a common denominator: they are located next to the beach and have services specially aimed at families. The nearness to the sea is an important advantage for those who travel with children, since they do not see themselves obliged to go far (bearing in mind what this entail when you travel in group) to enjoy the sea.

Besides, both Olé Hotels have designed a portfolio of services thinking of comfort for families that stay in these accommodations. Both have All-inclusive accommodation, so you can consume as much as you want in the buffet restaurant, bars and coffee shops of the hotels.

Ole Tropical Tenerife Hotel room

Their facilities also include gym, sport activities and swimming pools for kids and adults with solarium terrace and gardens where children can play. They also offer services specialised in children in these hotels in the Canary Islands such as a miniclub and entertainment program specially designed to keep the children amused while their parents rest or relax sunbathing next to the pool.

These accommodations are a stupendous option for those who travel with family to the Canary Islands looking for sun, beach, fun and rest. All this converging in a marvellous destination like the Canary Islands, surrounded by beautiful beaches, good weather and the best services within everyone’s reach.

Holidays with family in Lloret de Mar

The Catalonian coast has many attractions, wonderful beaches and an enviable Mediterranean weather. Lloret de Mar beach is one of those places that attract the attention of national and international tourists. A lovely village with fishing tradition, considered one of the main tourist points of the Girona Province.

Lloret de Mar has different places of tourist interest, although, probably, the most outstanding of this destination is its charming old quarter and its beautiful beaches and coves with crystal-clear water.

Lloret de Mar

In addition, the accommodation and leisure offer is extensive in this enclave of Costa Brava. In this post we will talk specifically about a homely hotel in the centre of Lloret de Mar, considered one of the most complete family hotels in Costa Brava.

It is the María del Mar Hotel, a nice family hotel situated in the centre of Lloret de Mar. It is 300 metres away from the beach and its promenade. But, besides being close to the sea, it is also surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops, so it is ideal for spending some holiday days with your children.

It has double and triple rooms, with the possibility of extra beds to make your family stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. It also offers complete services for those who travel with family, such as swimming pools for kids and adults, miniclub and entertainment for children and adults alike.

Hotel del Mar

You can also enjoy its café bar and several buffet restaurants in the hotel, à la carte dishes, grill and show cooking. There are at guests disposal several reading and games rooms, party room and TV.

And to ensure you have a really good experience in this hotel in Girona beach, there is free wifi in all the rooms, as well as an internet corner with computers at your disposal.

Lealtad Plaza, a luxury hotel in the best area of Madrid

This week’s review is dedicated to one of those hotels in Madrid that make of this capital a top level tourist destination: Lealtad Plaza Hotel, located next to the square which gives it its name, is one of the most ideal areas of Madrid for enjoying the art and the lively atmosphere of its centre without giving up the most exquisite peacefulness.

Lealtad Plaza is a 4 star rated hotel next to Paseo del Prado, very frequented by travellers with a medium-high spending power  and very demanding with the attention and services.  The excellence of this lodging can be easily noted in its staff -one of its most famous values- and its facilities’ quality, with a impeccable design  and spaces specially created thinking of the guests’ needs.

Hotels in Madrid

Hotels in Madrid

Although price is in line with its excellent quality and night costs more than 50 euros per person, you could consult from time to time the official website of the hotel, since they have interesting offers: 15% discounts for booking in advance, free breakfast, weekend getaway plan in Madrid…

It is not indeed a cheap hotel, but this is precisely the warranty for those who book it: everything in Lealtad Plaza is a real luxury.  From the attention to its guests, to its rooms in the centre of Madrid, it is one of the few hotels in Madrid equipped with computers, iPad, free wifi, hydromassage shower…

Petit Palace Hotels in Madrid

Petit Palace Hotels in Madrid

Just one step from El Retiro and Prado Museum, this hotel offers a design that combines all the modernity inspired in the new Madrid with the classicism of a lordly Madrid, inheriting the best of the past centuries.  Its restaurant also reflects that mixing of styles and offers a perfect space for celebrating business dinners.

Regarding its most outstanding services, it should be noted that it is a hotel in the centre of Madrid with free bicycle rental, discounts in a near car park for those who want to go across the capital by car, and with a  left-luggage office, this make of it a really interesting place for a weekend getaway and, especially, for business travels.

The keys:

  • Hotel with free wifi in the centre of Madrid
  • pet friendly accommodation next to El Prado.
  • Exclusive Junior suites with private terrace.

For gastronomy lovers: La Cocina de Mencey

Eating is one of life’s great pleasures and there are those who dedicate their lives to delight us and share their culinary knowledge.  Today’s post is dedicated to a spot that really meet the expectations of the gastronomic delicacies enthusiasts:  La Cocina del Mencey.

Located in Santa Crux de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, La Cocina del Mencey belongs to the renown Iberostar Hotels and Resorts hotel chain, and has not only a restaurant, but also a classroom where you can take courses in order to understand this sought-after art more deeply.  The team of chefs of the Mencey Cookery Classroom are both creators and teachers, making of this a perfect place for pleasing the taste with a new range of flavours or for inventing them.  You can take a cooking course with a group or a private course with friends or family, you can use this exceptional space to organise parties or dinners and enjoy a show-cooking, or if you prefer, book the place with or without chef for private events or business meetings.

Now, if you feel like sitting and making your senses shudder, Los Menceyes Restaurant is your place! One of the most recognized restaurants in Tenerife, where you can find the best seafood, the traditional regional dishes and the most exotic and exquisite combinations your palate has ever tasted.  Its variety of wines, dishes and desserts made of fresh regional products, turn it into a must-visit restaurant of reference in the Canary Islands.

And for a night with a good company… Gastro & Music Nights in the Iballa Cocktail Bar, live music, snacks, cocktails, tasting and an incomparable service, the staff is so kind and dishes so delicious that… if I had an addiction, it would be the gastronomy.

A perfect hotel for events in Vallnord

Andorra is a stupendous destination for skiing, shopping or touring, but also a perfect place for events organisation. Its incredible surroundings and the quality of services offered by many hotels specially made for these types of events, make of Andorra a special place for organising weddings, celebrations and incentive trips.

St Gothard Andorra Hotel is a good example of this. It is a modern and cosy hotel for events in Vallnord, in La Massana parish, Andorra. It is placed in a spectacular mountain setting, from where you can appreciate an incomparable landscape. Next to it, you will find a chair lift going directly to the Arinsal ski station, one of the most famous of Vallnord.

The nature and peace of this place create a magical environment, turning it into a magnificent scene for all types of events. Besides, St Gothard Andorra Hotel has all the services you can need to make your celebration a perfect one.

First of all, this mountain hotel in Andorra has 4 meeting rooms equipped with panels which can be arranged according to the organisation of your event:

–          Arinsal room has an area of 272 square metres and can lodge up to 300 people.

–          Seturia room has an area of 190 square metres and a capacity of 220 people.

–          Pal room has an area of 143 square metres and can lodge up to 150 people.

–          Comapedrosa room has an area of 101 square metres and space for up to 100 people.

In addition, hotel has also three restaurants, disco, garden and a big car park, this is the reason why celebrations can be perfectly carried out in this hotel with all the comforts. It flawlessly mixes space, especial atmosphere and essential amenities to give your event the importance it deserves.

5 places to visit in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands, is plenty of proposals for those who travel with partner or children.  Sports, culture, cuisine and, of course, beaches, make up a full trip plan.  It is known as “the miniature continent” because there converge all types of landscapes: Maspalomas, Mogán and Amadores beach, Agaete…

If you travel to Gran Canaria just for a few days, you cannot miss this short list of essential things to see and do in the island.  It is just an appetizer, because probably you will want to come back.

Bungalows Parque Golf

Bungalows Parque Golf

    1. Mogán harbour: If you stay in one of the apartments of Amadores beach or in a hotel in the Mogán area, you must feel the incomparable atmosphere of this marina and its charming fishing town.  In the surroundings, beaches are ideal for swimming, even for kids.
    2. Maspalomas dunes: one of the magical places of Gran Canaria. It is a protected natural space located in the south of the island, in the San Bartolomé de Tirajana municipality.  In this natural wonder you can see two different areas, the dunes and the Maspalomas pond.  One of its main attractions is its big beach which stretches to the Atlantic under the Maspalomas lighthouse’s watchful eye.
    3. Jardín Botánico Canario: Situated in the Tafira area, this splendid garden gathers samples of all the plants and trees species of the Canary archipelago.  One of the most interesting experiences is swimming in one of its lakes.
    4. Tejeda and San Mateo: They are two of the most charming and traditional villages of Gran Canaria. To take advantage of the island, many opt to hike from the coast to the Tejeda summit. You can also enjoy their incredible peacefulness, and besides, some of the most exquisite dishes of the cuisine of Gran Canaria, such as the sweet egg bread.
    5. Presa de la Sorrueda: This dam located in Santa Lucia de Tijarana is one of the most striking natural environments.  Ideal for hiking and trekking lovers, it has the most important group of palms of the Island.  Its vantage point offers matchless views and a perfect scene for photography lovers.
Palmera Mar Apartaments

Palmera Mar Apartaments

A short selection of cheap hotels and apartments in Gran Canaria, now that Easter is just around the corner.  Ideal for last minute reservations:

Spring in El Retiro

El Retiro in Madrid is a great oasis of the Spanish capital, a corner where you can forget the traffic, purchases , stress and frantic life that confront us every day in this large city.  It is beautiful during the whole year, but in spring it boasts its highest splendour and, on weekends, it is a meeting point for those who visit or live in the centre of the capital.

Gardens of El Buen Retiro, with lake, boats, exhibitions in El Palacio de Cristal, puppeteers and jugglers, form a unique attraction in Madrid that must be enjoyed with calm, as when you savour a delicious dessert.

El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park

A good option to experience it is organising a picnic day, an ideal plan both with partner or children.  If you stay in some hotel close to El Retiro, it is likely that they make you something cold to take-away  or there are a lot of shops and take away restaurants where you can buy a sandwich or a lemonade to recharge batteries before going to the park.

For this flowers time, when plants offer their best side, one of the most interesting areas of El Retiro is the botanical path, which passes along 8km and from where you can watch almost a hundred of species of different trees, among which you will find the oldest tree of Madrid.  Giant sequoias, orange trees, Japanese maple, almond trees, acacias, olive trees, strawberry trees… If you really want to make the most of the trip and live near to the charm of this park area, you can book a room with views to El Retiro next to the Alfonso XII street.

Other of the most comfortable places for a spring picnic in El Retiro is the pier area, next to the botanical route and Fuente de los Galápagos, or Palacio de Cristal, where you will find several nooks to lie down and relax under the trees shade.

Petit Palace Hotels

Petit Palace Hotels

Spring art in El Palacio de Cristal

El Palacio de Cristal in El Retiro has an exhibition room which is one of the two seats of the Reina Sofia Museum.  Free entrance all the days of the week, from April to September (except May 1th), in a uninterrupted schedule from 10 to 22 hours.

If you get accommodation close the El Retiro park for this Easter, you could enjoy the art exhibition of the French Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster named Splendide Hotel. It intends to be an interactive exhibition where public is who gives meaning to it.  The subject is about literature and cinema as art forms and their limitations when it is time to transmit sensations.

The exhibition, opened the last March 14th, will keep open until August 31th of this year.

Accommodations in Madrid linked to this area of the city:

5 hotels in Benidorm for this Easter

Easter is almost upon us! 2014 Easter holidays are just around the corner and, if you have not yet chosen a destination or plan, it is time to get you act together and organise a getaway, even though you go next door.  This is the best time for getting ready for the summer, so it is not advisable to waste the opportunity of escaping a short time to the beach and practice any of our favourite mountain sports.

Our today’s proposal is dedicated to those procrastinators who want an easy, cheap and funny destination for spending 4 days of sun on the shore of the Mediterranean: here you have a short selection of hotels in Benidorm for this Easter. All of them offer average prices and varied services, for those travelling with family and for those wanting a getaway with friends or partner.  Read and choose yours.  See you in the beach!

Flamingo Playa Hotel

Flamingo Playa Hotel

The Benidorm hotel

To enjoy a luxury Easter with a good quality-price relation and comfortable services next to the Poniente beach, we suggest to you a 4 star rated hotel in Benidorm, a real experience in itself: Gran Hotel Balí, the highest hotel of Europe which, besides boasting incomparable views, has all kind of surprises: artificial lake, disco, vantage point terrace… An unique opportunity for resting in a room with the best views of Benidorm.

Belonging to the Bali Group, there are two options of cheaper hotels in Benidorm: Benidorm Centre Hotel, a 4 star rated accommodation just 10 minutes away from the old quarter of Benidorm for all types of travellers; Cabana Hotel, in Poniente beach.  This last one is very recommended if you travel with family or if you want a bit of peacefulness.

Views of L’Aigüera Park

If you want to stay in a hotel in the centre of Benidorm, you will find just some metres walk from the city hall the Prince Park, a 3 star rated accommodation in L’Aigüera Park with a good quality-price relation: triple rooms. swimming pool, entertaining, car park, cuisine… We have chosen it because it is a refurbished hotel, with modern and functional design and spacious rooms, although its strong point is the excellent location.

Adults Only Easter

If you have been thinking of taking advantage of the Easter to take a breather and leave the children with the grandparents, looking for an Adults Only hotel in Benidorm is an option you should take into account.  Usually, they are more stylish hotels for a bit higher price, but, in truth, it is worth it: spa, gourmet cuisine, Adults Only entertainment, quiet atmosphere, comfortable suites with hydromassage bath… Everything just one step from the beach. One of the hotels in Benidorm that meets these criteria is the Mónaco Beach & Spa, belonging to the Sandos chain.  Now it has several on-line offers giving you the possibility of booking with discounts: for golfers or long stays, ideal if you are fortunate and can prolong the Easter.

Bristol Benidorm Hotel

Bristol Benidorm Hotel

Holidays at the best price

For tight budgets, we have chosen one of the classics of the hotel offer in Levante beach: Marconfort Flamingo Playa, an All Inclusive aparthotel in Benidorm, very appreciated by travellers thanks to its price, kind staff, peacefulness and apartments especially designed for families.  Despite being a 2 star aparthotel, it offers interesting services such as swimming pool, solarium terrace and free wifi in the common areas of the accommodation.

Hotel in the centre of Benidorm

Among all the hotels included in this small list, the Bristol Park Hotel is the closest to the old quarter of the city.  It is an 3 star accommodation in Benidorm, economical and very comfortable.  Its main strengths are price (from 20 euros booking more than 10 nights) and its services: swimming pool, solarium, restaurant, bar, playground and free wifi.

Hotels for different people

Have you ever returned to a place you have been before and, suddenly, find you facing a completely different image. It is not that the destination had changed, cities move too slowly, but you did… or your companions did, and this makes the experience completely new, not better or worst.  Different.

Escaping to Madrid with friends to enjoy a weekend with unending nights is not the same that travelling to the capital and staying in a hotel in the centre of Madrid with the entire family to assist to a musical or peacefully walk by El Retiro. These differences have always been but, until very recently, the alternatives to create a trip in accordance with the needs of the traveller were an Utopia: neither hotels responded nor the destination took advantage of those special features that make it so multiform (especially the big cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia).

Petit Palace Museum Barcelona Hotel

Petit Palace Museum Barcelona Hotel

Motivations for travelling and the company mark the trips today, and it seems that, at last, the tourist industry, in general, and the hotel industry, in particular, have noted this difference and devised more and more specialised proposals to attract and cultivate the loyalty of the traveller.

Many could thing that hotels in the Canary Islands are all identical, that it is the same to stay in a beach resort in Jandia or in a hotel in Corralejo, but  quite the contrary, every accommodation offers a completely different trip plan, focused on resting and family, or on relax and wellnes for singles or couples.  Two different trip concepts, two unalike types of tourists.

These distances can be better appreciated from urban hotels in Barcelona and accommodations in the centre of Madrid:  hotels in the big capitals of our country seem to throw themselves (finally!) in the last years into looking for precisely that, differentiation, into offering personalised services that go beyond a mere place for resting.

In this way, many hotels in Seville, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid have bet on completely remodelled spaces, with designs especially focused on a type of traveller: art lovers, music fans, people looking for traditions and the essence of the places they visit…. Proposals are more and more diverse and surprising.  A good example of it is the Museum Barcelona Hotel, belonging to the Petit Palace chain of urban hotels, which have been previously mentioned here.  It is a hotel in the centre of Barcelona, allowing travellers to enjoy an accommodation in an authentic modernist house, the old Garriga Nogués house, one of the most famous works made by the artist Enric Sagnier.

With less surprises, we can also note this revolution in beach resorts in destinations like Fuerteventura or Majorca, or in the golf hotels in places like Jerez: services have been specializing for centring on very specific types of users knowing what they are looking for when they travel and wanting to book a hotel that is more than the headquarters of their trip.  They do not care about paying, but care about the quality and adaptation of the services to their need.

This is favouring hotels specialised in couples, resorts for families with small children and hotels for friends.  These last ones have really began to appear in the last seasons, with a clear commitment with linking music-night-youth.  Stag and hen parties, reunion of thirtysomething friends, special parties… Trips with friends gain ground and, in this case, there are clear examples of a good response to the demand: the proliferation of hotels with djs in Majorca and Ibiza, or even the hotels in Benidorm for music lovers, such as the hotel that will be inaugurated in May in the centre of the capital of Costa Blanca: Benidorm suites.

For children, some of the best hotels specialised in families are still the Flintstones Hotels, which belong to Sol Hotels, one of the hotel chains of the Melià Group.  Its hotel for children’s concept has been around all over the world and has become a reference.  They are hotels made like theme parks for the little ones, with a team of professional instructors and facilities in proportion to the kids as the key points.  Options for parents in these hotels have been swelling as time has gone by, at the same time this concept consolidates as a camping  where the main character are, really, the children.