I am often asked by friends and family for holiday recommendations or even to find them a holiday. Finding a great holiday can be blooming tricky and time-consuming task. I don’t mean to brag (although I totally am ;P) but every holiday I have booked has been amazing!! Of course, a good holiday is what you make of it. Any holiday can be good or bad depending on your mood but I have always been thrilled with the locations and hotels I have booked for both summer and city breaks. I thought I would share my process in seeking out those gems and name the hotels that I have stayed at that I can remember off the top of my head in different countries where I have loved the hotel and the location.
TOP TIPS FOR HOLIDAY SUCCESS
It can take time to find your dream holiday but allow yourself that time, each lunchtime or evening whilst keeping half an eye on the Love Islanders latest antics. When it comes to booking a holiday you do not want to rush the task. I have heard rumours that the time of the week you book is imperative and that on Tuesday evenings the prices are often higher. I’m not certain if this is true with regards to the exact time and day of the week but I have found that the stored cookies thing is true. When I have been to book a holiday a few days after researching the price has gone up. I suggest you either delete all your cookies or do your research on a different laptop/tablet/mobile than the one you are going to book on.
It may be a bit cheeky but my first port of call once I have decided on the country is to go onto the Mr & Mrs Smith website and see which hotels they recommend in the country. They only recommend the most lush holiday spots, I always trust their opinion. Sadly I have always found much cheeper option on other holiday providers websites so I use them solely as a research tool. If I can’t find their recommendations anywhere at an affordable price I will then use the following 5* tactic. I go onto the typical sites including Olympic Holidays, Thomas Cook, TUI etc then input the country and dates I want and only search 5* hotels. If I can’t afford any of the 5* hotels I open up the search to 4* hotels. If I can’t find anything in those two brackets I move on to a different country of choice. I am a homebody and I need my creature comforts when in a strange and unfamiliar place, therefore I really need my hotel abroad to be lovely and a complete safe haven.
I always check my hotel on Trip Advisor. I couldn’t believe it when I was booking our holiday in Zante at Zante Maris Suites and there was not a single negative review. This is totally unusual, some people are grumpy and have a cruddy holiday and write rather unfair reviews on trivial problems. I do however sometimes get sidetracked by these negative reviews. I do also quite like to have a look at the customer hotel holiday photos as they portray a much more realistic view of the hotel than the professional holiday snaps.
Another place that I research my potential holiday is Instagram. Some hotels have an Instagram account and you can look at photos they were tagged in by real holiday makers. If they don’t have an Instagram account you are still likely to find the hotel through a hashtag or location where holiday makers have taken photos and geotagged their location. Our latest hotel we went to didn’t have an Instagram account but lots of Instagrammers and holiday makers had shared pictures of them swanning about drinking cocktails and hanging out on their balcony private pools and it all looked ever so dreamy and I could picture myself there too.
A great way to check if you really want to pick a holiday spot is to use Google Maps street view. These images are often taken out of season and even the most dreamy holidays I have been on, such as our honeymoon at Bill & Coo in Mykonos looked a bit daggy on Google Maps even though it wasn’t daggy, even in the slightest. Use the street view to map your route to the local town, can you walk there? Is the beach near? Are there restaurants close enough?
MY FAVOURITE HOTELS
ZANTE – Zante Maris Suites
RHODES – Atrium Palace
CRETE – Insula Alba
MYKONOS – Bill & Coo
FLORENCE – Continentale
VERONA – Palazzo Victoria
ROME – The Westin Excelsior
(I stayed in these 3 hotels whilst filming a commercial, so I didn’t pick them but they were amazing, especially the one in the West)
SOUTH – Sheraton La Caleta (Adeje)
NORTH – Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey (Santa Cruz)
WEST – Melia Hacienda Del Conde (Buenavista)
I hope my holiday booking tips can help you too. Have you got any other tips that you have used which I need to include? Or, any amazing hotel holiday hot spots that I have missed off my list?