Mediterranean holidaymakers be warned – booking any hotel in the eurozone this season could induce a nasty shock.
Children’s activities, meals, snacks and a bar tab all contribute to a costly bill at the end of the holiday. For this reason, travellers looking to holiday in the Med are looking more closely at all-inclusive resorts.
Wings Abroad UK sales manager Chris Mansell said: “There is demand for this type of holiday where everything is included in the cost.”
But all-inclusives aren’t all equal. When looking at deals check whether they include branded international alcohol labels or local liquor. Activities and site facilities can also vary significantly.
Upscale: Four-star Fodele Beach Hotel
Where? Fodele in Crete
Why? A number of elegant buildings sprawl down the hillside to the beach. There’s beach volleyball, tennis and a gym and occasionally there’s a gala dinner.
Sell it to: Families and couples, but it’s not suitable for those with walking difficulties.
Sample package: Argo Holidays offers seven nights from £830 per person. The price is based on twin-share in an inland view room, including Gatwick flights departing
in June and resort transfers. (Tel: 0870 066 7070; argoholidays.com.)
On a budget: The Koala Hotel
Where? Resort of Kolymbia in Rhode
Why? It is a family-run hotel within walking distance to the resort’s facilities. It offers a swimming pool and a free minibus to the beach and easy access to the resort centre.
Sell it to: The hotel is great for families and couples.
Sample package: Libra Holidays offers seven nights from £455 per person. The price is based on twin-share and includes return flights from Gatwick departing in May and resort transfers. All meals, soft and alcoholic drinks are included. (Tel: 0871 2228181; libraholidays.co.uk.)
Upscale: Five-star Hotel Papillon Zeugma
Where? In Belek, one of Turkey’s most prominent tourism centres
Why? It’s big on facilities including tennis, squash, football, Turkish bath, sauna, fitness centre, pool games, archery plus windsurfing, canoes and water cycles. There’s also a spa and children’s club.
Sell it to: Couples who love golf and spas; directly opposite the hotel is the Gloria Verde golf course.
Sample package: A week costs from £739 per person with Cosmos, with buffet or à la carte restaurants, unlimited alcoholic and soft drinks, as well as flights and transfers. (Tel: 0871 6224254; cosmos-holidays.co.uk.)
On a budget: Hillside Beach Club
Where? Fethiye on a Blue Flag Bay
Why? It has excellent water sports facilities, two spas and a children’s club. There’s also a buffet restaurant and the adult-only Pasha on the Bay restaurant.
Sell it to: Families who want to leave their kids at the club and relax. The Silent Beach, which is a boat ride away, is a great spot to recuperate without the children.
Sample package: Seven nights from £554 per person, with Gatwick flights departing April 20. (Tel: 01733 417100; thomascook.com.)
Upscale: Five-star Fortina Spa Resort
Where? In Sliema, a town on the northeast coast of Malta
Why? This deal includes spa treatments, a cruise around Valletta’s harbour and another taking in the whole island.
Sell it to: This would appeal to empty-nesters, as well as those looking for some early sun and pampering.
Sample package: Up to April 4, Spa Travel is offering seven nights twin-share accommodation with flights from Manchester for £749 per person. (Tel: 01937 845678; spa-travel.com.)
On a budget: Qawra Palace Hotel
Where? On St Paul’s Bay on the promenade facing Salina Bay
Why? Scuba diving is available and this is one of the best places to dive in the Med, especially with all the wrecks.
Sell it to: Families who love water sports. It also offers waterskiing and windsurfing.
Sample package: Thomas Cook offers seven nights for a family of four departing August 4 from Gatwick from £2,239. (Tel: 01733 417100; thomascook.com.)
Upscale: Club Med Kamarina, Sicily
Where? It is on the southeast coast of Sicily in acres of parkland
Why? After a trip to Mount Etna, guests can be pampered in the spa, enjoy a Turkish bath or take a swim in Club Med’s largest swimming pool.
Sell it to: Active families as this is a good spot for explorers and sports enthusiasts.
Sample package: The cost is £1,150 per adult and £922 per child for seven nights. This includes Gatwick flights, transfers, all activities, an open bar and all meals. Prices are for July 4 and July 11 departures. (Tel: 0845 3676767; clubmed.co.uk.)
On a budget: Three-star Hotel Britannia Excelsior in Cadenabbia
Where? Lake Como, northern Italy
Why? The hotel will be newly refurbished for this summer and has a loyal following. The all-inclusive concept is unique for the Italian lakes and is not offered by many hoteliers in the area.
Sell it to: Suits couples, singles and the 55-plus markets. Some dates for single rooms do not incur a supplement.
Sample package: Free local alcohol. There’s show cooking for lunch and dinner. A nine-day coach holiday, which includes two nights’ overnight travel and six nights’ accommodation costs from £399. (Tel: 01942 824824; shearings.com.)
When it comes to Spain there’s often very little difference in price between the high-end and lower end in terms of what’s on offer to the trade in the UK.
Upscale: Four-star Hotel Estival Park
Where? La Pineda, just outside Salou, Costa Dorada
Why? It’s a good opportunity to make the most of Spain’s golden beaches and local traditions. There is a heated indoor pool, whirlpool bath, steam room, sauna and gym.
Sell it to: Couples looking for a quiet relaxing resort.
Sample package: Departures from March to October from £329 with Shearings. This includes two nights’ overnight coach travel. (Tel: 01942 824824; shearings.com.)
On a budget: Hotel Polynesia
Where? Costa del Sol
Why? New for summer 2009, rope swing-style bridges, an eight-metre high waterfall and huge palm trees all help to give the feel of a Pacific castaway island.
Sell it to: Families and couples looking for something new in the all-inclusive arena.
Sample package: Thomson offers seven nights from £415 per adult, twin-share, departing from Gatwick on May 5 with transfers. (Tel: 0870 160 7430; thomson.co.uk.)
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