Slow down the pace or speed it up on an all-inclusive break, says Aby Dunsby.
Spending a week sprawled out on a lounger soaking up the sunshine isn’t for everyone. That said, neither is ploughing down vertiginous slopes in freezing temperatures, and at heart-pumping speeds.
We’re all wonderfully different, and that diversity is reflected in clients’ holiday choices, with some deciding to spend their time slowing down and unwinding, while others get their kicks from signing up to as many activities as they possibly can.
All-inclusive breaks are just as varied these days, with resorts continuously popping up all over the world, from lazy Indian Ocean hideaways to gleaming Dubai mega-resorts complete with water parks, kids’ clubs, and evening entertainment galore. Whether clients are ready for thrills or want time to chill, there’s an all-inclusive break with their name on it.
Pause: What’s more romantic than sun, sea, sand and swaying palms? Barbados has long been seen as one of the world’s most relaxed, beautiful and glamorous destinations, making it a sure-fire hit with the couples-only crowd.
Sandals Barbados is located on the pristine Dover Beach and comes with a wealth of accommodation options, from beachfront butler suites to swim-up river rooms with easy access to the resort’s vast lagoon pool.
Those with a patio or terrace room have their own private outdoor tub to soak in, and if they’re after further relaxation, couples can head to the recently revamped Red Lane Spa for a treatment, or plump for a romantic meal in one of 11 restaurants. Prices start from £1,899 per person for a week, including flights and transfers.
Play: Over on the equally idyllic island of Saint Lucia, active clients can take in the stunning scenery of beachside retreat The BodyHoliday, while signing up to an impressive list of activities, from yoga sessions and scuba diving to tennis, golf, hiking and even abseiling and gorge walking.
The resort publishes a weekly activity schedule that would tire out even the most energetic of clients, with morning walks, meditation and sailing lessons merely a taster of what’s on offer.
Couples looking for some indulgence can splash out on the Ocean Front Penthouse, which boasts a huge tub, its own gym and a heated massage bed. The wellness offering is equally as impressive here, with daily complimentary spa treatments to reward clients for all that exercise.
Pause: The tranquillity of the Indian Ocean makes it a great choice for families with teens who are keener on topping up their tans than racing around on the beach.
Picking an all-inclusive hotel here means clients can ensure the whole family has fun without having to worry about the bill at the end. Kuoni recommends the Coin de Mire Attitude in Mauritius, a relaxed hotel which offers excellent hospitality and is just minutes away from a lovely beach. Clients can easily enjoy doing nothing by lounging in the hotel’s tropical gardens or near one of the two pools, while laid-back activities include glass‑bottom boat rides, snorkelling and table tennis.
Play: Dubai is unflinchingly popular with families thanks to its impressive array of child-friendly resorts and varied activities. Jebel Ali Beach Hotel is ideal for clients seeking an action-packed holiday, with facilities including a golf course, tennis courts, a private marina for sailing, and a stable for horse riding. For kids big and small, the main attraction has got to be the hotel’s floating Wibit Water Park, located on the resort’s private beach and bustling with inflatable obstacles to hop, jump and slide on.
Other water-based activities include a children’s pool, an aqua gym and a Jacuzzi. The hotel is also close to the new Dubai Parks & Resorts development, so clients with kids can be among the first to enjoy the new rides, attractions and water park.
Pause: Set on 500 yards of beautiful Mexican beach in Cancun, Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya is a boutique retreat focused on R&R, with all of its 90 suites set along the beachfront and boasting private terraces.
The resort’s Endless Privileges package includes private chauffeured airport transfers, all meals, drinks, a bottle of champagne and fresh fruit in suites daily.
The hotel is located in a protected national park with the world’s second-largest coral reef just offshore, making it ideal for avid snorkellers, while other perks include an award-winning restaurant, a complimentary catamaran sunset sail, and a free seawater treatment from the thalassotherapy centre.
Play: Luxury comes with an affordable price tag at Tui Blue’s two recently opened Turkish hotels. The brand’s Bluefit concept is designed with health-conscious clients in mind, and incorporates fitness, wellness and nutrition elements.
The hotels offer a healthy approach to eating, with choices including local vegetarian, vegan and low-carb options, and when clients are ready to burn off some calories, there’s the Bluefit Park, complete with special outdoor training facilities to enhance strength and endurance.
Bluefit guides can set out a bespoke training plan for clients, including nutritional tips, yoga and meditation classes, and a workout schedule.
Its Sarigerme Park resort is located on the Turkish Aegean, in the middle of a park complete with an outdoor fitness centre, and plenty of quiet areas with hammocks and lounge chairs for clients to recover on. Rooms start from €239 per person for a week’s all-inclusive stay.
Pause: Who said mountain holidays were just for skiers? During summer in the Austrian Tyrol, the climate is warm, the mountain air crisp, and clients can potter through charming villages, stopping to refuel on coffee and delicious slices of cake along the way.
Hotel Bon Alpina is set in the pretty village of Iglis, and is only a 15-minute bus ride away from the scenic Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck, which boasts picture-book pretty meadows where cowbells chime and holidaymakers stop off at its many cafes or wander through its baroque cathedral.
The surrounding fields and forests make for excellent walking opportunities. Or if that sounds too much like hard work, the hotel is equipped with indoor and outdoor pools, a spa centre with a sauna, steam room and Ayurvedic treatments, and weekly live music in the evenings. Inghams offers a week’s all-inclusive stay at the Hotel Bon Alpina from £734 including flights.
Play: If clients are seeking more of an adrenaline rush in the powder, suggest Neilson’s Hotel Del Clos in Andorra’s El Tarter, which boasts a large sun terrace looking out over the mountains and is perfectly located for those who like to be first on the slopes each morning. To keep little ones happy, there are four children’s clubs, plus a games room and a snow garden. The resort also offers a ski school pick-up and drop-off service and evening childcare.
After a hard day playing about in fresh snow, the adults can head to the wellness area, which offers a range of treatments including sports massages and Indian head massages, or sip sundowners in the après-ski bar.
The hotel is part of Neilson’s Mountain Collection, which allows guests free guiding and coaching services from skilled ski and snowboard instructors, and also gives them a queue jump to maximise their time on the mountain. Prices start from £435 per adult based on two sharing for seven nights from January 8, 2017.
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