Category Archives: Travel

Aliathon Holiday Village in Paphos

We’re having our holiday here as I blog about this here. We flew with First Choice and when you land and do to the reception point, we gave our names and we received our hotel pack, so we were virtually checked into the hotel at the airport. The transfer to the hotel via coach was only about 20 minutes, you just need to see your luggage off the coach and go to the hotel reception to hand in the filled in form you received from the airport and you get your room key cards. We were then whisked into a golf buggy along with our luggage by the porter, we can see the hotel staff were really friendly already.

A tip here, make sure you specify any requirements upfront before you arrive as they do really deal with it. We only asked for a pool view room which they accommodated for us, however we didn’t specify a high floor so we got a ground floor room. They checked our requirements, and right enough it didn’t mention we wanted first floor, but we managed to change the room the next day though so they are very accommodating, albeit it is easier to do in March which is still pretty quiet here, the hotel is only about 50% full.

This is the view from our apartment 1205 in the fishing village.

The fishing villa apartment is great, they have the living area and the sleeping area separated, so great when you’ve got kids. When they go to bed you can still watch TV in the living room!

The bedroom is a good size with an additional patio door to the balcony. Facilities in the apartment includes a safe, hairdryer, TV in bedroom, drinking glasses, kitchen sink, cooker, oven and travel cot on request. 

The gym is great, plenty of free weights! I was the only person using it just after 2pm.

In the evening there is children’s entertainment in the main indoor stage, they have the entertainment team performing a live show that children can dance and interact with.

 

Center Parcs Whinfell Forest Penrith

We visited Center Parcs for the first time ever. My wife, I and our 16 month old son in tow, we had a four bedroom lodge to accommodate us and 2 couples and their baby each. Even though it was 3 couples and 3 babies in total, we had to book a four bedroom lodge as a three bed was not allowed for health and safety reasons.   

The Lodge

We had lodge number 25 in Lake Beck, a very nice lodge with 2 car loading spaces in front  of it, quite close to the bins on the  main path for us to dispose nappies! The living area was big, couch that would easily site 5 people along with 2 single seater sofas. Was pretty impressed with the large 8 seater  dinning table. The kitchen was open plan type with lots of crockery and cutlery provided. The 4 bedrooms were quite small, 2 double bed and 2 twin beds, one room with a tv.we all had brought our own travel cot however they do provide a wooded cot in the dinning area. Our cots just managed to fit into the bedrooms, I can say the one they provide will not really fit into any of the bedrooms. There was a hoover provided, iron, board, hair dryers and towels. 

Some tips on what things you may need day to day that they do not provide:

  • Washing up liquid
  • Cooking oil
  • Kitchen roll
  • Cling film and foil
  • Shower gel and shampoo
  • Toilet roll (you get 2 rolls provided) 
  • Slippers

Hotel Saint Dominique

We visited Paris recently in August and we stayed in this little boutique called Hotel Saint Dominique on 62 Rue Saint-Dominique. It’s located within the 7th arrondissement of Paris and you could actually see a bit of the Eiffel Tower from outside the hotel. In fact, we loved the location, 10-15 minutes walk to the Eiffel Tower and it was only a few minutes away to the nearest metro station.

We had a room on the fourth floor at the back of the hotel looking out onto the courtyard. It was probably better that way because the front of the hotel is on a relatively busy road so it meant it was a bit quieter during the night.

View looking onto the courtyard
View looking onto the courtyard

As I said at the beginning, the hotel is pretty small but I guess its like that for most Parisian hotels. The room we had was a strange shape, it had a long hallway which adjoins the bedroom on one end and the bathroom at the other.

Front door and main hallway looking into the bedroom
Front door and main hallway looking into the bedroom

We had to unpack the suitcases because the bedroom was pretty small. So the suitcases went under the bed and we lived out of the wardrobe. This wasn’t a problem, the wardrobe had plenty of space for the week we stayed for. The room had a pod type coffee machine which we used a few times, they do resupply the pods everyday.

Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathroom
Bathroom

Overall, my wife and I totally loved the hotel. The staff were nice and helpful when we need directions. Every morning on the way out the hotel the receptionist would ask us if we were heading out for the day, so that they could do house keeping.

We had breakfast most mornings at a bakery/cafe next door to the hotel called Le Moulin de la Vierge, it was fantastic with plenty choices of pastries and hot food. (A month or two after the holiday, we say the same bakery feature on one of those short videos on Ready Steady Cook!)

The Top Of The Rock at The Rockefeller Center

When we visited New York back in 2013, we decided to view New York city at “The Top Of The Rock” which is an observation deck on top of the Rockefeller Center. The two main reason for choosing this over the Empire State Building was one, less people and two, we get to see the Empire State Building itself. The Rockefeller Center is just a short walk from Radio City, at the bottom there is a pretty water feature, good for a photo opportunity and a number of shops for those shopaholics.

Looking Down on New York

Looking down from the Top of The Rock

Central Park

Central Park

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

We arrived about 10am and there were no queues outside. Once we got inside and up to the ticket area, we only queued for about 5-10mins. Once you hace your ticket, you go up the lift and follow the route for the viewing platforms.

As you can see from the photos the view is spectacular! The morning we went on was a little cloudy and even at that, you call still see a fair bit of New York. The viewing areas were not too crowded, probably because we arrived early or, the fact it was a little foogy might have put some people off going that day. Although seeing the rooftop myself, I have to say, it is quite spacious.

Anyway, I loved the view you get from the Rockefeller vantage point and I would thoroughly recommend it.