Hotel

Fuerteventura and an eternal spring

Why does Fuerteventura always boast sunny days and a pleasant climate? The eternal spring climate is the result of the Canary Islands’ close proximity to Africa, the currents of the Atlantic Ocean and the trade winds. All this combined offers guaranteed good weather for all visitors to the island.

Fuerteventura, like the rest of the Canary Islands, boasts an excellent location that enables it to enjoy all year round good weather, even in the normally crueler winter months. This means that seasons do not dither from extreme to extreme and rather remain quite stable. Not too hot; not too cold. A never-ending spring.

The island is lucky to be located in the so-called “subtropical zone”, closer to Africa than any other European continent, with its warm winds and calm haze; characteristics that are very typical of its climate. The permanent Atlantic Anticyclone makes it so that it hardly rains and that, even though there’s always going to be a few clouds in the sky, they’re not a threat to days spent on the beach.

The average temperature in Fuerteventura is marked by the humidity caused by the thermal sensation that is very different to what it says on the thermometer (which never falls below 18-20°). The trade winds regulate this sensation so that the temperatures drop to what their natural location calls for.

These Canary Islands winds come directly from extreme zones, from the poles (in the case of Fuerteventura, the North Pole, around the 30th parallel of the famous Azores High) and find themselves in the zone of Ecuador, crossing the high and low altitudes. On this island, the winds blow quite fiercely, thus the reason for the island’s other name as the “windy island” and the reason why so many windsurfing enthusiasts take a trip to the island.

The most humid zones are those with low altitude; those with the coldest and driest peaks. Thanks to this phenomenon, Fuerteventura boasts lush and tropical forests as well as mountains so bare, they bear likings to deserts. This brings lots of advantages to the island, with good agricultural production in populated areas; some even closeby to the sea, making it so the food is full of varied ingredients that are produced on a large scale and last all year round.

Both winter and summer are good times to enjoy the island. On one hand, winter is good because everything is a lot more relaxed, with a lower influx of tourists and holidays have a more homely and family feel to them. On the other hand, spring and the months of May and June especially, offer many different proposals: beaches are quiet, vegetation is in full bloom and the island starts offering more programmes and activities to join in.

In the southern zones like Costa Calma, Esquinzo and Playa Jandia are the best climate-wise. In these zone, you’ll find all types of hotels but if you’re travelling with children or with your partner, stick to some of the most recognised ones online like the IBEROSTAR Fuerteventura Palace, IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas and IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas Park; as well as the H10 Sentido Playa Esmeralda, H10 Tindaya or SBH Costa Calma Palace.

 

To get around easily, our recommendation is to hire a car so that you can move freely around the island, although, even though in the south there’s not much reason for leaving the zone, there are many hidden zones within Fuerteventura that are definitely worth a visit.

Get ready to enjoy the South

The South is always a good place to escape to. Throw yourself into the adventure with your eyes closed. Fill the car with your junk, put your suitcases in the car, grab the children and leave, at that exact moment the word “holiday” rings true. Yes, there is nothing like Andalusia to ensure sun, perfect beaches, ever-lively beach bars, refreshing drinks and fun for all ages, all at your fingertips. So, yes, you heard right: Easter is coming and it’s time to head South!

But out of the whole South that opens before us … where do we choose to stay? On this occasion we’ll dive in and opt for 2 classics: Cadiz (well, the coasts of Chiclana) and Malaga (well, Estepona).

If you stay with the ‘gaditana’ option, you will have some spectacular beaches in which to enjoy the tranquillity and the beauty of one of the best-conserved coastlines in Andalusia. Cliffs, secret coves, beaches with impossible waves in which to show off your surfing skills, taverns where there are endless tapas and parties…. a lot of partying. It is an ideal destination if you are getting away with friends, but if you go with the family, don’t worry: there are a billion ideas for having fun with the kids.

From the beginning you can choose a hotel for families in Chiclana that guarantees you free time. This is possible because the kids will have their mini club, their swimming pool with water games and their special monitors to help them to enjoy their inexhaustible energy while you can lie in the sun, lapping it up in a state of nirvana. After all a little rest doesn’t hurt anyone 😉

In Cadiz do not miss:

– Try a little golf: there are magnificent courses and hotels usually offer discounts.

– Dedicate a whole day to walking around the capital and to viewing its monuments.

– Eat, eat and eat everything you fancy because everything is great.

– Have a drink in the beach bar. A classic.

– Take an excursion through the natural landscapes: don’t forget the camera.

But if Malaga holds more pull for you, be prepared because the coast of Estepona has all that Cadiz has. Here the atmosphere is mainly geared towards families, with the combination of sun-beach-fine foods and partying and this is for all ages. In Estepona there is always something to enjoy with the family, so the best thing to do is, before you take to the road, research the list of activities for Easter in the area and take note of the events that you really can’t miss (and that go beyond the traditional processions).

For rest and relaxation, the most comfortable option is an all-inclusive hotel in Malaga, such as the Saladillo beach resorts, which have everything to entertain you without leaving your facilities: swimming pools, restaurants, relaxation areas, areas for children … And a key location in front of the beach itself.

In Malaga do not miss:

– Visiting the capital: the Picasso Museum, the huge castle that watches over it and its urban beaches.

– Enjoying the lively nightlife of the famous Larios Street.

– Touring the Estepona coastal villages.

– Try spit-roasted sardines by the sea.

For updated information on the list of events and ideas for enjoying these two unique destinations, consult the tourism websites of the Costa del Sol and Cadiz. Also the ‘Andalusia Tourism’ site has interesting suggestions for routes for both the natural environment and gastronomic heritage.

4-stars in Madrid

Madrid is a great city to plan an improvised visit any weekend of the year. It is easy to get cheap accommodation and with so many things to see and do you will never struggle to fill your time with interesting and fun activities. However from time to time, you shoudl enjoy one of Madrid’s 4 and 5 star or even boutique hotels. You choose 😉

We are talking about luxury hotels. Giving ourselves a little bit of love and pampering in a place where design and small things matter, where the attention to the guest is impeccable (never intrusive or annoying) and to relax here is an experience that you want to repeat every day of your life.

The 4 and 5 star hotels in Madrid are specially maintained as the original establishments. This is because the competition provided by medium and large hotel chains has led them to create authentic oases of relaxation in the centre of the Spanish capital. Shelters for both travellers on business and those who decided to spend a couple of days touring the big city.

If you look, you shall find. Quality, with services that will make you want to stay there forever and at a price that you won’t believe. But it’s real, I assure you! The competition means you have to offer the best prices.

In most of the 4 and 5 star hotels in Madrid you can enjoy of staying in symbolic buildings in the capital, overlooking Gran Vía, with works of art covering the interior and some are even exclusive rooftops transformed into places to meet during sunsets and evenings in Madrid.

Gastronomy is another positive of these more upscale accommodations. Not everything is necessarily Michelin star but it does offer that gourmet touch that will leave you wanting to enjoy it over and over again. Breakfasts are usually the best: balanced, healthy and varied for any palate to enjoy and never leave you hungry.

Some have bars offering cocktails, where you can have your first drink before heading out to enjoy the nightlife of Madrid, which never disappoints.

For your sleeping arrangements, there are those with rooms for groups, perfect if you go with your friends, or with the whole family. Others have themed them, with exclusive designs that will take you to another world. All have private bathrooms inside the room, which is always a plus, and some even offer state-of-the-art showers with hydro massages.

The standout boutique hotels of the chain Petit Palace. For example, the Petit Palace Plaza de España and the Petit Palace Santa Bárbara offer free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, computers and in-room connection, and even tablets during the stay to check whatever you need or to make the most of your Netflix account even when you travel.

New Year’s ideal holiday destinations

Whilst Christmas is meant for being with family, New Year’s Eve is meant for spending time with friends, your partner or even for grabbing the kids and travelling to somewhere completely out the way of your normal routine. Indeed, it’s the last event of the year, the best way to say goodbye to everything that’s happened, let it become memory, and start enjoying new experiences in 2017. But, which destination should you choose to spend New Year’s?

Undoubtedly, the most famous New Year’s party in Spain takes place in the Puerta del Sol (public square) in Madrid. However, New Years can be magical practically anywhere in Spain or Europe if you choose well in regards to who you spend it with, which hotel you stay at, how you dine and where you celebrate it so that you can party hard till the sun comes up. Alternatively, if you prefer a quieter New Year’s you can always rent a cottage in the country with friends or all the family and spend the last few days of 2016 playing board games, telling stories around the fire, practicing adventure sports and going for long walks…

City lovers and those who just seek rest and somewhere comfortable are sure to find a good hotel with all services included; equipped with everything you need, with special dishes and New Year’s menus, and , if it’s not too much to ask, a spa; so as to arrive in 2017 more relaxed than ever . For those going with all the family, our recommendation is a family hotel in a place with activities for the children always at hand,  surrounded by nature to keep them entertained whilst at the same time giving you time to relax in a charming environment, far away from the city and the stress of everyday life.

A lot of New Year’s trips are bought as Christmas presents so there’s no excuse not to travel to a different destination.  Plane tickets and hotel bought means all that’s needed is to pack the suitcase and get set to enjoy the trip. Others prefer to plan ahead and organize down to a T, taking more advantage of the days and preparing trips to foreign cities, after all who could say no to celebrating New Year’s in Athens, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, London or Prague…

However, we personally think there’s no need to leave Spain in order to find an ideal spot to welcome the New Year. Mountain destinations like Andorra or the Catalan Pyrenees are a classic and wise choice.  But if instead of mountain destinations you prefer the tranquillity of the sea and a gentler climate, we propose: Huelva, Almeria, Ibiza, Tenerife or Majorca. Apart from their city centres boasting a great number of family-orientated activities, you can also enjoy the long stretches of coastline with incredible beaches, almost all-year round mild temperatures and an exciting array of nightlife from the tapas bars of Andalusia to the glamour of Ibiza.

The Canary Islands are easily the ultimate holiday getaway. There, the hotel business is ever active during the Christmas holiday season and has a long history of being an ideal place amongst Europeans for spending the last days of the year on its beautiful and infinite beaches.  The area of Jandía beach, in Fuerteventura, is frequented more by families, whereas the town of Corralejo, with its impressive dunes, holds a lot of interest for young couples and middle-aged holidaymakers. Tenerife’s city centre and Costa Adeje are ideal for families who live well and are looking to enjoy themselves under the sun, making an impression in their Santa Claus hat and bikini. Hotels like Iberostar Anthelia (referred to as, on many occasions; the best all-inclusive hotel of all of Spain) or the Barceló Corralejo Bay (adults only) are luxurious authentic alternatives to end the year like you deserve.

In general, any part of the Canary Islands, from Lanzarote to El Hierro is full of possibilities if you want to spend your New Year’s somewhere different.  Flights and accommodation are a lot cheaper than in the summer and, other than the incredible parties, the weather is ideal for swimming whilst enjoying the fact that there are less people, as much in where the main touristic attractions are as on the beaches and in the most significant towns. You could even take part in more authentic activities or get to know local popular customs and traditions that in summer are lost under the demand for general entertainment. This could help you learn more about your destination.

When planning your New Years trip it’s best to book accommodation for at least 4 days, especially if the destination is at least a 2 hour flight away from home. You should aim for accommodation at a central location close to nightlife and all key events or shows celebrated within the city. On the other hand, if you pick a quieter and calmer destination, opt for accommodation less central to the city but still with everything you need to have a great experience: spa, golf, gourmet gastronomy… Skimp on some things but not on accommodation, for in winter, good accommodation is the base of a great holiday.

Although during Christmas lots of hotels in beach destinations are closed, it’s important to consider that it’s a lot straightforward and financially beneficial to find a good hotel in these coastal areas open during New Year’s. Hotel chains like Garden Hotels, for example, own hotels open during the Christmas season in lots of destinations that we have previously talked about: CalaMillor Garden Hotel (Majorca), Cabogata Garden Hotel & Spa (Almeria) and Garden Playa Natural Hotel & Spa (Huelva).  For the best options in the Canary Islands you have Barceló and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.

Fashionable places in Barcelona

Vincci Mae

Barcelona is one of those cities that never stops, never ceases to evolve, grow and rebuild itself. It is a hub of creativity and cutting-edge design, where new ideas are thought up, their fashion spots change year after year, season after season and sometimes even month after month. So the Barcelona you visit today is probably unlike the one you visit tomorrow.

Modern, young and restless. Profoundly Mediterranean and dedicated body and soul to being always one step ahead of other European capitals, Barcelona is a place constantly on the boil in which to connect with the latest trends in fashion, design and art. Just going out you will meet face to face with elements to inspire you: street artists, exhibitions, catwalks, emerging markets, professional multi sector events … The agenda of suggestions for Barcelona is infinite and so changeable like the fashions.

In the same street, in the same neighborhoods and in its beautiful buildings today one thing is happening and another tomorrow. The continent matters little, it is the content that makes it on the first line of fire. It is not surprising that where before there was only a vegetable market today you can enjoy an outdoor concert or buy the choicest and most varied products that one can imagine. From overnight, the transformation of legendary areas in the city can be so radical that one can effortlessly enjoy every new experience.

 By day

One of those areas of fashion where you will always find something different is the MACBA Square. In addition to the agenda that the Museum of Contemporary Art itself offers, the little square that opens in front plays host every weekend to timed and different events which are mixed in with young people practicing with their skateboards, people sitting reading in the sunshine and others who are just passing through. Storytelling for children, street theater, exhibitions, craft markets … The surprise is guaranteed.

Another area that has regained its charm and is more fashionable than ever in Barcelona is the Mercat de Sant Antoni and the bars that surround it: on  ‘Vermouth’ Saturday mornings dozens of people congregate here wanting to share a good conversation with a glass and a snack.

At night

In Sants you will also find a lively atmosphere, with bars and restaurants offering dishes of every type from all corners of the planet and nights that last until the wee hours. Some of the squares are considered classic places to be on a Saturday or for a snack during the week after work.

The streets nearest the port and the Barceloneta have again filled with ideas. The bars and restaurants that have opened in the lower area of the Ciutat Vella are top rated by travelers and residents. They are perfect for dinner with friends and then going out to the center without having to take the car. In addition, the area of Poble Nou and the Raval are close by.

From the air

Without changing area, the roof of the hotel Barceló Raval is another must: ideal for sunsets with a cocktail and an exclusive atmosphere It has become the place to be for the coolest of the Barcelona meeting.

Another hotel that has become a hot spot in Barcelona is the Vincci Mae hotel, the roof of which roof is one of the most popular for enjoying aerial views of the city today. Tip: If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, see the Vincci Mae hotel offers, you can stay in this designer hotel for less than you imagine. Of course, book well in advance because the rooms at the Vincci Mae disappear quickly. To get the lowest price available online, always book directly via its official website: you ensure the lowest rate and personal attention, without intermediaries.

To eat

Brunch in downtown Barcelona every Sunday is already a ritual. To get a table at some of the bars which offer it, requires patience or early mornings: they are full from 10 in the morning until past 3.00 in the afternoon. An example of the success of this fashion of Anglo-Saxon origin is the Brunch & Cake, which has two establishments in Barcelona and you can turn up without booking to both but both sometimes there’s a waiting list.

To buy

The fashionable shopping areas you will find in the little streets of the Born and also in the vicinity of the University and the MACBA. These areas are where in recent years the stylish vintage clothing shops and second-hand accessories can be found and these are the most famous in the city. There are also boutiques and small shops of decorative objects, jewelry and designer crafts.
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Options to take advantage of the ‘Puente del Pilar’

This October we are in luck: the Pilar festival falls on Wednesday and at the least you can take a couple of days -before or after the festival- and have a long weekend escape. Just in case you miss the opportunity, here we are giving you three interesting choices to feel once again, we’re on vacation!

Summer fans? You miss the beach and sun already? Don’t miss our first 2 options for this next break: a beach hotel in Marbella and a hotel in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza. Luxury destinations and 4 star hotels so you do not miss out on anything during these days that we are going to steal from your 2016 work calendar. The third is specially designed for urbanites, those who want to enjoy both day and night: a hotel in Madrid’s Gran Via.

Marbella, the beautiful

Feel like a star in one of the most desirable places in the world to enjoy a few days of sun and beach. Yes, where else but Marbella? The tourist capital par excellence of Malaga (not to say all Southern Spain) opens its doors to the most spectacular beaches and the most exclusive services… And the best is that prices are much cheaper than in summer. Accommodation is cheaper and there are fewer tourists so the prospects are more appealing. Don’t forget to stroll through Puerto Banus with your finery, go shopping and give yourself a treat, get close to Malaga city to savor the most traditional tapas and kebabs or lose yourself in the white villages of the Sierra.

Ibiza, always Ibiza

The white island is less frenetic and is even more spectacular than ever. Without all the usual bustle of July and August, with less noise but with the same stunning coves of turquoise waters, Ibiza is the perfect place to unwind during these October bank holidays and to treat yourselves to some luxury. As in Marbella, although not a cheap holiday destination, the prices at this time of year are much more affordable and services are still great. Many of the clubs have closed for the season, so it is best to plan a quiet, relaxing trip. If you go with children, the ideal choice is the town of Santa Eularia des Riu and its surrounding areas (SantCarles, Santa Gertrudis…) where there are lots of activities and areas of interest, which are ideal for the whole family to enjoy. If you’re a couple, there is nothing like renting a car upon arrival and losing yourselves looking for hidden spots throughout the island.

Madrid for party animals

The capital of Spain is always a good choice, especially if we are thinking about a break. In autumn the city is resplendent with activity: the new theater season, music, art galleries and museums … And, of course, the tapas spots, its traditional vermouth and its nightlife. Madrid is perfect if you go with friends or with your partner: you can move your air and use the time as ever. In order not to get stressed going from one place to another, opt for accommodation in the center. Remember that hotels in Madrid are generally fairly inexpensive and if you’re not made of money, you can find a good deal, even choosing a 3 or 4 star hotel. Before traveling, check the billboards and ‘what’s on’ lists: it’s advisable to book directly or buy tickets in advance.