Friday, July 18, 2008

A Barbados Holiday In A Top Barbados Hotel

A Barbados Holiday in a Boutique Hotel that few people have heard of might be the best accommodation in Barbados for you and your partner, especially if you are looking for intimate accommodation off the beaten track

Little Arches is rated by some people as the best hotel in Barbados, and there is some justification in this claim.

It is a small, quiet, and charming boutique hotel less than two minutes walk from the beach and 10 minutes from Oistins. This is a place in Barbados which is away from the main tourist areas, and with an uncrowded beach literally across the street which is completely free of tour buses.

Little Arches is a place where the staff are famous throughout the Barbados Hotel industry for the friendly way they conduct themselves and the way they will go the extra mile for their guests. From the moment your taxi draws up after a ten minute taxi ride from the airport, and the staff literally run out to collect your bags, things actually get better if that is possible. The pampering by the staff extends to lemon scented towels to hot sticky guests on loungers by the pool. It goes even further than that because when you go to the beach, which like all beaches in Barbados is public, a member of the hotel staff will carry sunbeds down there for you. This quality of service you may not get on the Barbados holiday you are thinking of booking somewhere else. Indeed this place is a real home from home.

The restaurant Café Luna above the hotel has really excellent food, especially mango shrimp salad, but excellent as it is, do go exploring because you will miss some great restaurants and some great food. The best fish you will eat anywhere is at the Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday on a Friday. It’s an event not to be missed, something that people travel to from all over Barbados, but for guests at Little Arches it is only a stroll down the beach. By the way the best fish is to be found where the queue is longest.

As befits top accommodation in Barbados you will enjoy the most stunning views of the Caribbean from the hotel, and the rooms, and the Palm Island Room as an example has a full kitchen, and a hot tub for two on the outside deck where there is also a table, umbrella and chairs, with a King sized bed, and room for a couch and a dining table. You will be completely ruined by the flat screen TV, CD Player, high quality linens and furniture, and last but not least high quality shampoos and soaps.

The hotel has ten rooms, each unique, and the grounds are beautifully maintained It is a classic boutique hotel, and could give you the perfect Barbados holiday, because it is small, intimate, and totally relaxing, and a quality you might not expect from its situation.away from the tourist areas. Another feature is the no children policy, which adds to the peaceful tranquil atmosphere.

The perfect Barbados Holiday could be spent at Little Arches definitely a top hotel in Barbados.

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A St. Barts Vacation Guide.

St Barths confuses you before anything else, because of the different spellings of the same name. Have you ever wondered whether St Barths, was in fact the same as St Barts, or for that matter St Barthelemy. Well in that case be reassured that all are one and one are all.

St Barthelemy is part of the French West Indies just north of the lesser Antilles near St Martin/St Maarten and St Kitts and Nevis. St Barts is a tiny island being only eight square miles in size, but like many other small things such as precious stones it is highly prized and expensive which is why it has become a retreat for the rich and famous., rock stars, pop stars, and even royalty.

This shouldn’t prevent you from going because it is a stunning tiny island with lovely white sand beaches, turquoise sea, and pristine coral reefs, and yet is very much more akin to the South of France than the Caribbean.

The reason of course for this is the fact that St Barts and France have been closely connected for centuries and until this day it is still part of the French overseas region of Guadeloupe. Oddly enough St Barths was once one of Sweden’s few overseas outposts nearly three hundred years ago, but other than the name of its red roofed capital Gustavia few reminders remain.

The main thing to do on a St Barths Vacation is to relax on the beach, and despite the minute size of the island there are more than twenty spectacular beaches. These range from the bustling St Jean and Grand Cul de sac to the more private Grand Saline, Gouvernier and Flamands. If what you are looking for is totally secluded bliss then go to Anse Colombier which can only be reached by boat or a half hour hike. You will find topless sunbathing, after all this is France in the Caribbean, so if it embarrasses you, then avoid Shell and Marechal Beaches.

The strong French connections also means that visitors would do well to be able to converse in French, and the currency is not the US dollar but the Euro. Apart from the language the most obvious sign of the French influence is in the cuisine, and it is remarkable to discover it has more than 60 gourmet restaurants. Another surprise is that many of the population is white and most residents are French Citizens.

There are considerable restrictions now imposed on hotel building, so no hotels can now be built with over 12 rooms and so the biggest hotel which is the Guanahani with 76 rooms won’t ever be seen again. There are no big chain hotels on St Barths, and many people go for the very upmarket villas.

Probably the worst thing about a St Barts Vacation is flying into a tiny runway with very little clearance on the way in, so the descent is short and pretty scary in small aircraft only, but the good side is that the pilots are specially certified, or maybe completely certified for such a landing!!

Having landed on St Barths for your vacation, you won’t feel like leaving ever again, and you won’t care how it is spelled St Barts, St Barths, or St Barthelemy!!

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Why Not Take A Cuban Vacation

A Cuban Vacation is something more and more people take with every passing year. Cuba and its capital Havana have become one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean.

What is there to do on a Cuban Vacation apart from sit on a beach, and drink rum and relax?

The fact is that holidays in Cuba are very much what you make of them, because apart from the beach and the rum, a Cuba vacation can be also cultural, exhausting, even breathtaking, but one thing is sure your visit to Cuba will be absolutely unforgettable.

To start with a Cuba vacation based on beaches, because Cuba has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. When you realize there is an almost six thousand kilometer coastline, with 289 natural beaches you will understand why there are several that are an outstanding place for a Cuba Family Holiday Package and Vacation Deal. At the north end of Cuba you find powder sand and a turquoise sea with waves from the Atlantic Ocean. In the south there is the warm Caribbean Sea with virtually untouched beaches. The more popular Cuba becomes as a tourist destination the more difficult it is to find quiet tourist free beaches.

The following are well worth trying on your Cuban Vacation

Cayo Santa Maria on the north east coast is a small island surrounded by coral reefs and seven miles of very quiet and untouched beaches.

Cayo Levisa is accessed by boat from a place about two hours west of Havana, and is covered by jungle surrounded by white sand beaches, protected by coral reefs and very picturesque.

Playa Ancon is to the south nine miles from Trinidad, has six miles of soft sand, is very sheltered and perfect for families. This is more popular but still uncrowded.

Cayo Largo is on the east side of the island and has some of the best diving reefs and white sand beaches. It takes a flight or a six hour boat trip to get to, so not touristy at all.

Playa Santa Lucia is a thirteen mile beach, with calm water due to the reef, and turquoise sea. Probably the most popular of the beaches mentioned but never feels crowded due to its size.

All of these beaches feature hotels eminently suitable for a Cuban vacation and certainly a Cuba Vacation Package can be arranged.

For those tourists who are looking for more culture, then culture vultures will love Havana. There are museums, and then for the music lovers there are salsa clubs and live jazz.

On the other hand you can take to the open road and discover open roads, classic cars, and breathtaking landscapes. As an example might be the breathtaking landscapes and charming caves at Vinales Valley.

For goodness sake hire a car, the roads are deserted, or perhaps do some horse riding. On the other hand there are significant numbers of wrecked ships to scuba dive and explore.

Cuba is exciting, and an amazing place considering it is still Communist, but nevertheless a Cuban Vacation will open your eyes to a perfect tourist destination, and you should be able to enjoy a great Cuban Vacation Deal.

A Caribbean Honeymoon On A Small Island Off St. Vincent

Why you should consider Young Island Resort off the coast of Saint Vincent as the destination for your Caribbean Honeymoon

A Caribbean Honeymoon spent on Young Island off the south coast of Saint Vincent could be just the little piece of heaven you are looking for.

Young Island resort comes heavily recommended by everyone who has stayed there because this is a resort where you will get top class service, fantastic food, a very good wine selection, and last but not least peace, quiet, and tranquility. Be warned this won’t be a Caribbean Honeymoon full of the nightly Jump Up, or even television in your room. Young Island resort is definitely not like that, but caters instead for honeymooners, and discerning guests.

For your Caribbean Honeymoon it is recommended that you have a cottage right on the beach, so that you can just walk out, go along a path and you hit the very nice fresh water swimming pool, which unusually for the Caribbean is open 24 hours a day every day.

The back door takes you across the patio and onto the beach, which is cleaned every morning, and so it is absolutely spotless. You can snorkel off the beach, having borrowed the gear from the man who looks after guests down there, probably best described as the beach attendant.

If you can book Cottage Number six which is a luxury cottage on the beach with a plunge pool, and behind the cottage hammocks and a gazebo.

One of the best things in an hotel on any holiday are waitress served meals, in other words non buffet. This always denotes a quality resort which Young Island certainly is, and this type of service should give the reader a big tip if they are thinking of making a booking on Young Island for their Caribbean Honeymoon. The food generally speaking is amazing, and you can expect a lot of beautiful seafood including freshly caught crab, lobster, scallops, as well as lamb, steak, poultry. Meals are taken in little thatched gazebos, and the view from the tables is incredible. The meals were described by someone recently as absolutely scrumptious, including and especially the home made yoghurts at breakfast

You may wish to be completely idle if this is where you are spending your Caribbean Honeymoon, but one bit of exercise you should take is to walk up to the top of the island. It may not be very energetic but the view is worth it, as is the walk along the beach at sunset and watch dusk at what is aptly called Sunset Point.

The staff at Young Island have ready smiles, and are friendly and very helpful.

The real beauty about Young Island resort is that it is small with not so many guests so you do tend to engage more people in conversation. This means you do meet some very interesting people, who are much like you because they too have chosen this superb Island resort.

Young Island is beautiful and the perfect spot for a Caribbean Honeymoon. There are masses of brightly coloured flowers which only adds to the romantic atmosphere.

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The Top Beach Resort In The Turks And Caicos Providenciales Island

Some research into The Tuscany Resort on Grace Bay, Providenciales Island Turks and Caicos to see if it would be a good choice for your Caribbean Vacation

Looking for a Turks and Caicos Resort on Providenciales, then look no further than The Tuscany Resort on Grace Bay.

It is the newest build, and so is at the end of the line, which makes it calm and peaceful compared to other resorts. There are 30 luxury suites, in this extremely private luxurious boutique resort.

The Tuscany Resort has been described as completely unbelievable, and so well thought out that it never seems to be crowded.

The suites in this gorgeous Turks and Caicos Resort are all 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, so they are perfect for families or groups of friends. It’s especially good for a group of friends because each bedroom has its own bathroom They are all beautifully decorated and equipped including a huge kitchen, a laundry room, and a very large well screened patio which opens off the large dining and living area, and is designed to give a floor to ceiling panoramic view of Grace Bay and the incredible turquoise sea that lies beyond it. Having said that it is important to avoid the first floor doesn’t have a view. Best of all try to get a suite on the fourth floor, and another tip is to avoid the middle suite because they are darker, and also you need to request a room on the outside of the building.

The décor of the suites are quite incredible with a tropical theme. The sun loungers, more chaise longues really give you the perfect end to the perfect day, with a glass of wine gazing at the Reef as the sun sets in an amazing display of different colours.

You won’t need the air conditioning, because of the cool breezes coming in through the doors.

Although the Tuscany resort has no restaurant you will find plenty within a short walking distance and in your suite you have everything you will need for a truly remarkable Turks and Caicos Resort Vacation.

One of the best things for many people is the fact that you can get massages in your room from Spa Tropique, just a phone call away. It could be a great way to spend the day, by going down to the beach for a swim, up to your suite for a massage, and then back to the beach again!

As to be expected in a high quality Turks and Caicos resort the pool is great, and the temperature is about right. Because the beach at Grace Bay is so nice you could well have the pool almost to yourself much of the time. It would however be a shame not to go to the beach, and you needn’t worry about be hassled by hawkers and vendors because it is illegal on the Turks and Caicos Islands. The beach and the water are so very clean it is amazing, so clear that you can see the fish in the water from the beach.

There are lots of restaurants to choose from close to the resort, varying from shacks to high quality high priced places, but excellent food to suit every palate and pocket.

The Tuscany Resort is a new kid in town, with a fast growing reputation, and if you want a quiet relaxing Turks and caicos Resort On Providenciales Island on Grace Bay then why look further than here?

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I Love Touring Paris - The Fifth Arrondissement

The 5th arrondissement is on the Left Bank of the Seine River in central Paris. It is often known as the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) although it's been a long time since many have spoken Latin there. Its population is slightly under sixty thousand and the district provides almost fifty thousand jobs. It is fairly small; less than a square mile (about two and a half square kilometers). This is one of the oldest districts in all Paris and offers some attractions dating back to the time of the Romans who never called it the Latin Quarter. The Roman town Lutetia was built in the First Century BC.

The Arenes de Lutece (Lutetia Arena) once held at least fifteen thousand spectators and considerably fewer gladiators. It was built in the First Century AD and included the longest Roman amphitheater. The 135 foot (over 40 meter) long stage hosted both plays and gladiator fights. There were probably animal cages as well, surely not for the plays. The upper level held the poor, the slaves, and women while the lower level was reserved for the big shots. Just in case the spectators got bored they did have a great view of the Seine River.

The city was sacked by barbarians in the year 280 and some of its stone was removed to build up the defenses. The arena was subsequently transformed into a cemetery, and then filled with the construction of city walls in the early Thirteenth Century. The arena was more or less forgotten; nobody knew where it was but neighborhood kept its name. The arena was accidentally rediscovered in the 1860s during the construction of a streetcar depot on the site. The famous Nineteenth Century writer Victor Hugo played a major role in preserving these ruins. The area became a public square in 1896 and is open to the public daily and evenings in the summer.

The Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) was established in 1980 by eighteen Arab countries and France. This Institute provides extensive information about the Arab world and promotes its cultural and spiritual values. The Institute also supports cooperation and cultural exchanges between France and the Arab world, especially in science and technology. In 1989 it won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The Jardin des Plantes is France's main botanical garden. It includes an aquarium, and a small zoo founded with animals from the royal menagerie at Versailles (not the two-legged variety). Its gardens include a rose garden, an alpine garden, an Art Deco winter garden, Australian and Mexican hothouses, and a maze.

The Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) was founded during the French Revolution. It was quite a center of scientific research. One of the winners of the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics, Henri Becquerel, held its chair for Applied Physics when he accidentally discovered uranium's radioactivity. Four generations of Becquerels held this chair from 1838 until 1948, which must be some sort of record.

The Musee de Cluny, officially known as Musee National du Moyen Age (National Museum of the Middle Ages) is perhaps the most outstanding medieval building in Paris. It was the town house of the Abbots of Cluny, dating back to 1334 but was rebuilt in both Gothic and Renaissance style starting near the end of the Fifteenth Century. The Musee de Cluny has a fine collection of important medieval artifacts, in particular tapestries, Gothic sculptures, and illuminated manuscripts. Herman Melville mentioned this museum in his famous novel Moby Dick.

The Thermes de Cluny are what remains of Third Century Gallo-Roman baths. Its best-preserved section is the frigidarium, the cold-water pool in which bathers dipped to close their pores after enjoyed the hot-water sections. Some of the original decorative wall painting and mosaics remain intact. These baths were poorly defended and probably destroyed by barbarians, those dirty barbarians, towards the end of the Third Century.

The Pantheon (from a Greek word meaning all the Gods) was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. It sits on top of Montagne Sainte-Genevieve and overlooks all Paris. While this is a great-looking building the architect died before its completion, and not all his plans were followed. The building was intended to be a church in honor of King Louis XV's recovery, but the French Revolution intervened and the Pantheon was transformed into a mausoleum. In alphabetical order, some of the great buried here include Braille, Dumas, Hugo, Marat (French Revolution leader disinterred after little more than a year), Moulin (French Resistance leader), Sklodowska-Curie, Soufflot (Pantheon's architect), Voltaire, and Zola.

The Latin Quarter is home to many universities and other centers of higher education, and naturally scads of bars, bistros, restaurants, and nightclubs. Some schools have relocated to more spacious quarters in other parts of the city or region, surely to the regret of their student population.

Of course you don't want to tour Paris without sampling fine French wine and food. My article I Love French Wine and Food - A Maconnais (Burgundy) Chardonnay reviewed such a wine and suggested a sample menu: Start with Pate en Croute de Grenouilles au Bleu de Bresse (Frog and Bresse Blue-Cheese Pie). For your second course savor Poulet de Bresse a la Creme-Trompettes de la Mort (Free-Range Bresse Chicken in Creamy Sauce with Horns of Plenty Mushrooms). And as dessert indulge yourself with Ile Flottante (Floating Island, a Meringue Island in a Custard Sea.) Your Parisian sommelier (wine steward) will be happy to suggest appropriate wines to accompany each course.

Diving Holidays For Single Travellers

Sharm El Sheikh offers some of the best sites for diving and snorkeling in the world. More Europeans learn to dive here than anywhere else in the world and the resort is ideal for diving holidays for singles, beginners and experienced divers alike.

The climate is hot, the water warm and clear and great for diving any time of year. However if you would like to dive in extra warm waters it is best to visit between the months of June and September.

Sharm El Sheikh lies at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula in the Red Sea. There are over forty dive sites in the region and nearly fifty dive centers. With such an abundance of dive sites on offer the variety of diving is amazing. From reefs, coral formations, walls and wreck, the dive sites are diverse and teeming with a range of marine life including jacks, snappers and barracudas.

With its pristine coral reefs and countless species of fish Ras Mohammed National Park and the Straits of Tiran are amongst the more famous dive sites. Ras Mohammed has some steep coastal cliffs that plunge underwater to depths of over seventy metres. The Straits of Tiran have four circular reefs surrounded by steep drop offs. More advanced divers can enjoy world class wreck diving by taking a day boat to Thistlegorm, if you are willing to brace the four hour boat trip or the slightly more bearable two and a half hour trip to Dunraven.

For divers Sharm El Sheikh offers unparalleled access to some of the best diving in the world. The beauty of diving is that it is a sport that can be enjoyed by individuals or as part of a group. Complete beginners can begin with an ‘intro dive’ to get them accustomed to diving in the Red Sea. Reassuringly all the dive centres have qualified English speaking instructors to accompany each dive, providing and running diving courses and diving experiences. Experienced divers who already have their PADI certificate can enjoy organized dives with fellow divers.

Aside from being one of the greatest diving destinations in the world, Sharm El Sheikh also has plenty more to offer its visitors. When you are not diving there are other watersports to keep you occupied such as swimming and parascending. Simply relax in the cosmopolitan resort or take the opportunity in between dives to do some desert exploration and visit biblical sites. Outside of the water test your skill and luck on the casino floors or for those that love to shop take a leisurely stroll through bazaars and shopping centres in search of curious and exotic finds. If you are a night owl you will get the chance to boogie the night away and meet like minded people.

Diving holidays to Egypt are available with most major operators but if you are traveling alone it may prove difficult to avoid paying a single supplement. However there are a few tour operators that specialise in offering diving holidays for singles, catered to the single unattached traveller.

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