Q Magazine - Winter 2017/18

EXPERIENCES Recent travel memoirs from the ladies at Quality Travel GAIL revisited CROATIA , one of the most beautiful and historically rich countries in Europe, with its extraordinarily picturesque coastline. This time Gail stayed in one of the smaller charming coastal fishing villages that offer a peaceful retreat yet with easy access to Dubrovnik and nearby islands using frequent local ferries. These waterfront villages offer a range of hotel and self-catering accommodation, restaurants, cafes and bars. The country's rich heritage is punctuated by influences from the Ottoman, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian cultures, evident in the Byzantine and Baroque architecture of thewell-preservedmedieval walled cities, palaces and churches. Cuisine and local wine come highly recommended. Hot air balloons rising over The Nile and the Valley of the Kings as dawn breaks has to be one of the most memorable sights one can imagine. This was the view from Gail’s cabin whilst cruising the tranquil Nile on board SanctuarySunBoatIII . With just 14 comfortable cabins and the highest standard of service this exquisite river boat together with the quality of food and private docks are all part of why this Nile cruise is so special. The Arabian-style sun deck and a refreshing dipping pool is perfect for a little relaxation after a morning exploring the ancient temples with a knowledgable Egyptologist. It is reassuring to see that EGYPT is once again attracting those visitors who wish soak up this ancient civilisation. KAREN recently experienced afternoon tea at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square , a beautifully restored hotel right in the heart of London’s iconic sights. Other new openings on the horizon are FourSeasonsMegeve , due to open 17 Dec 2017, more like a modern Alpine chalet than a large resort; this intimate hotel has just 55 rooms, most with fireplace and balcony. Also new to the group is FourSeasonsTheSurfClub,Miami , situated on 900ft of pristine white sandy beach in the North Beach area offering a serene and luxurious getaway in a modern architectural marvel set amid nine acres of lush tropical gardens. Last but not least is Four Season Desroches due to open in early 2018, remote and secluded, but just a 35-minute flight from the main island of Mahé, feel like a true castaway edged by 14 kilometres of soft white beaches - perfect to twin with FourSeasons Seychelles . DIANA made a fly/drive trip around BORDEAUX and SOUTH WESTERN FRANCE staying at the IntercontinentalHotelBordeaux and the GrandHotel inStJeandeLuz on the Atlantic coast. Both are excellent destinations for a short break, combining sightseeing with consistently good cuisine and chateaux wines! She also travelled to CRETE in September, which is one of the best months to visit this sun drenched island. She stayed at the Elounda Bay Palace which is excellent for both couples and families and a perfect choice for those looking to explore Crete's rich culture, ancient history and beautiful local beaches. She visited the north west coast of PHUKET staying at firstly The Anantara Layan Phuket Resort , where in addition to the option of staying at the hotel, there are some fabulous private villas with private pools and butler service and which would be great for families or groups of friends. Further north on the same coast is the delightful Anantara Mai Khao . These villas are scattered around the tranquil grounds of the hotel and are all very spacious and inspired by southern Thai style, each with its own hardwood sun deck and private pool. Both these properties would be perfect for a relaxing holiday in the sun. SALLY has had a wonderful time in ITALY ! A couple of nights at the Palazzo Parigi in Milan which is a fabulous hotel located in the heart of the artistic district of Brera, just a short walk from the Via Della Spiga which is the very glamorous shopping area! It has a lovely peaceful outside area too, which is a great place to relax in after a hard days sightseeing….or shopping! FromMilan it is an easy drive of just over an hour out into the Lombardy area, where high on a vine-lined hilltop is L’Albereta . All the rooms here have views of the vineyards that cascade down the hills surrounding the hotel. They also have a 20,000 sq ft of Medical Spa with a team of 30 highly qualified doctors who focus on holistic and systemic screening methods. This is an absolute gem – a couple of nights here was perfect. Then it was on to Tuscany, a drive of around 4hrs 30mins into the Maremma countryside and the fabulous hotel L’Andana . This is an historic Tuscan villa with a spa and hammam, black-slate hot bath and indoor pool. Massage and beauty treatments are available. There is an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the gardens, a tennis court, a small golf course and mountain bikes. Cookery classes are given by the hotel's chef. She spent a wonderful couple of nights here, then it was back to reality and a drive of approx 2hrs to Rome for the flight back to Gatwick….. but she did have time to stop for the most delicious lunch overlooking the sea at the iconic hotel IlPelicano ! Anantara Layan Phuket Resort Four Seasons Seychelles Sanctuary Sun Boat III L’Albereta