Travel and Resorts

Travel, Cruises, Resorts, Tourism

Old travel pages from 2007 and Before

Travelling to Hell and Back

“It’s not a place where travellers first think of staying,” smiles Shige Takezoe, who with his wife Diana, owns Hell Barn Cottages in North Chideock.

“There are various stories about how this part of Chideock got its name. Some say Greeks came here and built a temple called Hellas but this is disputed by local historians who say the Greeks only got as far as Devon. Others believe that Christians visited on a pilgrimage and made their home here. Then of course there was the Black Death where corpses were buried in the tumuli. Basically nobody knows why it is called Hell but it’s a beautiful place,” says Shige, who purchased the holiday business with its three cottages in 1996. “It’s very much an international business with 20 per cent of holidaymakers coming from abroad as far away as India and many French and Germans regularly staying. It’s only a 12-hour drive from Munich.”

By Tim Saunders - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - Full Story

Auckland Harbour Bridge - Permanent Multi-Coloured Lighting

The Auckland Harbour Bridge will soon have permanent multi-coloured lighting, which – in a world first – will be powered by solar energy and battery, and can be transformed into lighting displays for special events.

The iconic landmark will be the first bridge in the world to have all of its lighting – operational, structural and special event – able to be powered entirely by solar-stored energy. The LED lights will be individually controlled, capable of transforming the bridge with lighting shows for special events and occasions.

By News on the Net - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - Full Story

Mahekal Beach Resort Launches “Catch of the Day” Program

Playa del Carmen’s Mahekal Beach Resort have just launched an all new “Catch of the Day” program offering an unmatched foodie experience. This true fish-to-fork specialty in an interactive atmosphere takes place twice-a-week when local fisherman pull right up to the Fuego beach in front of Mahekal and Executive Chef Nerey selects his menu items for the day, right off the boat, so you know it’s fresh. Diners relish everything from fresh grouper, tuna and blond fish to lobster and octopus.

By News on the Net - Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

Mahekal Beach Resort: Playa del Carmen

Nestled between the dense Riviera Maya jungle and Playa del Carmen’s longest stretch of beach lies Mahekal Beach Resort, the only resort of its kind in all of Playa del Carmen. Unlike other high-rise, corridor hotels, elevators are not found at Mahekal, and the buildings are not much taller than the palm trees surrounding them. Hand-laid, hidden stone pathways lead to 196 private, palapa-style bungalows, all steps from the sweeping, sandy beach, complete with open-air terraces, crochet hammocks, personal plunge pools or outdoor moon showers. This authentic raw-luxe retreat embodies a Swiss Family Robinson feel with high-end finishes and touches of Mayan culture. Greeted with crisp Caribbean scents, lush vegetation and colorful bougainvillea, Mahekal — which means “magical” in the ancient Mayan language — offers a memorable, magical escape with on-property amenities including four sparkling swimming pools, a seaside hot tub, a Mayan-inspired Revive Spa and fitness center, Vida Aquatica Dive Center, as well as five restaurants and bars. The ultimate coastal experience is complete with a carefree, bohemian atmosphere, the look and feel of Mexico’s traditional past with thrilling adventures nearby.

By News on the Net - Thursday, June 8, 2017 - Full Story

3 Unusual Places to Stay in New Zealand

Unique accommodation is at its best in New Zealand. Kiwis are known for their creativity and ingenuity, after all. Below is a short roundup of some of the best – and most unusual – hotels in the country.

Locking Up the Charm – Jailhouse, Christchurch
Built in 1874, Jailhouse Accommodation, in Christchurch, has been a men’s prison, a women’s prison and a military camp. Decommissioned in 1999, it sat unused until 2006, when it was sentenced to life as a hostel. Many of the facility’s original features still remain – most of the rooms started life as jail cells. Tucking yourself in, you can just imagine the history of those who did time there. The 80-bed hostel contains numerous accommodation options, from dorms to a family room. Backpacker dorm beds start at $25 NZD (approx. $24 Cdn) per night.


Going Against the Grain – SiloStay, Little River
SiloStay is a striking addition to the landscape: metal silos, traditionally used to store grain, have been repurposed as accommodation and now loom above the hamlet of Little River, on Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch. The silos blend cutting-edge design and a commitment to the environment with a high-end accommodation you might not expect from the agricultural look of the complex. Prices start from $180 NZD (approx. $172 Cdn) per night.


Watching Over the Water – The Lighthouse, Wellington
Lighthouses are a beacon of safety and comfort for many. Being able to stay in one – that offers a distant view of New Zealand’s South Island just across the bay – is a shining example of a unique tourism opportunity. Located in the charming seaside neighbourhood of Island Bay (just 15 minutes from downtown Wellington), the Lighthouse prices start from $170 NZD (approx. $163 Cdn) per night.

By News on the Net - Monday, June 5, 2017 - Full Story

Move Over Cinco de Mayo…

While traditionally May 5 is celebrated by raising a glass of Mexican beer (or tequila), there is a different option for wine lovers – May 5 is also International Sauvignon Blanc Day.

The French may have given us the term terroir – the wonderful alchemy of influences from soil, aspect and climate that creates the unique character of a wine – but on the other side of the world, New Zealand winemakers have also shared their own kind of “magic” with the world and it has a distinctive New Zealand name.


Turangawaewae (pronounced: too-runguh-why-why) means “my place” in Maori. It describes a uniquely New Zealand approach to winemaking that includes terroir and also embraces the surrounding landscape, the characteristic weather, and the history and spirit of a place and the people who make it their home.

By News on the Net - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - Full Story

Get Dirty at Mudtopia in Rotorua, New Zealand

Festival fans are set for an epic new mud and music experience later this year, with the announcement of the southern hemisphere’s first Mudtopia Festival, to be held in Rotorua, from December 1-3.

The three-day, high-energy festival in Arawa Park is designed to create a playful sensory experience that will awaken the world to Rotorua and the wonders of mud, by enabling people to get muddy and unleash their inner child.

Rotorua mud is extremely high in minerals, particularly silica, due to its contact with natural geothermal and mineral waters that come from deep within the earth. This high mineral content ensures that the mud stores heat easily when warmed, making it ideal for wellness treatments, as well as for the activities planned for Mudtopia.

By News on the Net - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Full Story

A slower pace of life can be found in Suffolk

This comes as quite a surprise when you think that it is only 80 miles from London. In Suffolk there is great support for local produce and the independent trader. So much so that I am told even a well known supermarket chain has been unable to secure planning permission to build a store in Halesworth.

“The owner of the wine shop here has been trading for over 30 years,” one local entrepreneur, who has relocated from Surrey, tells me. “I was an accountant for BP for 30 years and every day as a commuter I used to leave my house in the dark and return in the dark and did not even know my next door neighbour. It’s different here; it takes me twice as long as it should to walk up the street in the morning because I’m talking to so many people.” In Suffolk there is plenty of farmland and house prices are comparatively low compared to the built up south of England, making homebuyers contemplate a move here.

By Tim Saunders - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Full Story

Travel: Wiltshire

More of us are holidaying at home and this becomes apparent during a trip to Devizes, which is experiencing a booming tourism trade.

“We’ve already beaten last year’s bookings and we’re not even half way through the year,” reveals Michael Messam, volunteer at Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, which has just received the Queen’s Voluntary Award.

By Tim Saunders - Saturday, March 4, 2017 - Full Story